Be ye warned...this is an extremely picture-laden post!
We had a fabulous time in Utah over Christmas break! It was so nice to be able to see friends and family, and to get to spend a little more time than usual there. Our trip in words and pictures:
One of the first things the girls did after we got there was build a snow cave with their Uncle Blaine.
As you can see, they managed to make it big enough for all four of them to fit inside. Not comfortably, mind you, but still...
We stayed at Grandma & Grandpa Ebert's house, and the girls had a blast playing with their cousins Abbie and Savannah, and Erica's boyfriend's daughter Haylie, who's practically a cousin.
There's always plenty going on at the Eberts'. Scotty is home getting ready to go on a mission, and the girls loved having their huge football-player uncle to boss around.
We went up to Grandma and Grandpa Youngberg's on Tuesday, where Grandma let the girls open an early Christmas present, which turned out to be a cardboard playhouse that they could decorate themselves. They spent most of the morning working on it before their coloring arms got tired.
The Youngbergs live in the mountains, so there was close to 2 feet of untouched snow for the girls to play in.
On Christmas Eve we followed the Ebert tradition of going skiing. Vicki and Lexi were both set to join us, but when Lexi learned (the morning of) that the alternative was going sledding with Grandma, she opted out. Vicki, on the other hand, has been skiing for about 4 years now, and wouldn't miss it. And this year she really got it. It was so much fun to ski with her and not be held up so much. She loves it.
Christmas morning dawned a little too early for some of us. The stomach flu that Lexi brought from Oregon made its way through all three girls, finishing off with Vicki late Christmas Eve. So she and I were up most of the night, but she didn't want to miss out on presents and insisted that we get her up when her sisters were ready.
And despite feeling horrible, she was thrilled to death to find that Santa had left her a sewing machine of her very own! And terribly pleased that it says, right on the box, "This is not a toy!"
For the month and a half leading up to Christmas, Ellie has held firm in the belief that Santa would bring her a drum. She was quite positive about this, and fortunately Santa didn't disappoint!
Lexi in going through a Hannah Montana obsession right now, and Santa was well aware of that, too. That guy doesn't miss much. She was very excited to receive a Hannah Montana fleece blanket.
After opening the rest of our presents and ensuring that Vicki was finished throwing up (okay, maybe praying is more like it), we headed up to the Youngbergs' for another round of Christmas.
Grandma and Grandpa got the girls matching plaid PJs and...slippers!
We, along with my brothers, got my sister this awesome t-shirt:
And she got Chris and I comfy jammy pants!
The girls had a sleepover for a couple of nights with Grandma and Grandpa Y., subjecting them and Adrienne to some more of Santa's presents: Barbie and the Diamond Castle and Dora Saves the Snow Princess. But we also let them borrow Wall-E, so that has to count for something!
While the girls were at Grandma's, Chris and I enjoyed some quiet time. Among other things, we went out to dinner with my Study Abroad buddies. Usually just us girls go out, but we decided to invite the hubbies this year, and they all got along swimmingly. Woohoo! Now we can plan our reunion in London (which should have been this last summer - 10 years goes by really fast!)
I kind of forgot I had my camera for most of the rest of the trip, but we enjoyed swimming, sledding, multiple snowy drives up Parley's canyon, more playing with cousins, a party with Chris's high school friends - there are 13 (and 3/4) kids between us now! - and the UofU/Alabama football game. The girls have never seen their father so worked up. He's not a huge sports fan, but Utah football is a different story.
On the Saturday before we left we got all the Youngbergs (plus Adrie's boyfriend James - yay, we finally got to meet him properly!) together at Robbie and Rebecca's apartment for a tasty lunch and a rousing game of Scene It. Adrie, James, and Alan (oh, and Ellie) beat the pants off the rest of us, which is surprising considering Robbie majored in film. The girls played with my camera most of the afternoon, so I will do another post with the fabulous shots they got, but I had to include this one because it's a treasure:
There's apparently actually quite the story behind these sunglasses (or, more appropriately, the picture of these lovely people in these, um, beautiful sunglasses). Rob & Reb, you're such trendsetters!
Here's the whole fam, cheesing out:
After this party, we headed back to the Eberts' for packing and last-minute playing with Abbie and Savannah. The drive home was blessedly uneventful, and the snow in Portland thankfully held off until we had unloaded the car and were snug, safe, and warm in our little house (minus two fish). We had a blast in Utah and it was sad to leave, but then again it's really nice to be back in our own beds!