This was supposed to be our year with Jon's family, but all of his siblings are/were great with child(ren, one sister is expecting twins!) and unable to travel, so it was a Utah Christmas two years in a row. We spent the majority of our time in Heber at Annie's place and it was a week and a half of glorious family, food, and relaxation.
Snow in the mountains of St. George on our way up
Ada at Tony's Tacos, first stop (after Annie's house to drop our stuff). Dollar tacos. You should go.
Joseph and Jon. I am not exaggerating when I say I want five just like Joseph. There was never a more delightful baby.
The view from the porch of Corinne and Kyle's rental house.
Zoomed in. See the elk? I'll make it easier for you:
Hat sisters. This was at Heritage Park's "Candlelight Christmas" which was one of my favorite things we did. It was all about how the Mormon pioneers would have celebrated the holiday, complete with groups of carolers in period costume, a dance hall where you could learn the Virginia Reel, a live nativity in an actual barn, and Father Christmas.
Ada waiting her turn.
Best Father Christmas ever.
Matchers. SLC skyline in the background.
Ada and Nana.
Caroling with the cousins. The past several years my mom's side of the family gets together for a caroling party, but this is only the second we've been able to attend. So much fun.
Joseph and The General, after caroling
I asked for a riding lesson from Annie and she kindly obliged Christmas Eve morning. I hadn't ridden in years. My crotch did not thank me.
Taken from my grandma Sweetie's porch, Christmas Eve.
Corinne snapped some portraits of Annie and me with her fancy new camera before our traditional Christmas Eve fondue dinner. This is (I think) my favorite. It's hard to choose though. That's SNOW, not dandruff.
And I'm obsessed with this one of Annie:
Gift opening after dinner. Sweetie made photo books of each of her three children. My dad's looking through his in this picture.
Ada 'n Gunsie
Poppie 'n Gunsie
Ada playing in Poppie's walker
OMG, THAT BABY!!!!
FIVE. I WANT FIVE. PURE JOY.
Sweetie's beautiful parlor
Jon and Penny, Christmas Eve evening.
Christmas morning. Bed-headed Jon helping Ada assemble her new little camera.
Annie and Steve's gift to Jon and me. This picture of a raw steak was wrapped up in the most beautiful wrappings I've ever seen. I laughed for an hour. (They got us a ton of Omaha Steaks and treats! NOM) You can see the ankle bells I made for Ada in the background of this picture. I thought they would last maybe two wears. They lasted less than one. Ha.
I made that hat for Joseph.
This was a year of particularly thoughtful gifts. My mom had my grandpa's old clarinet cleaned and restored for me. I played it four years before I decided I was too cool for high school band. I'm reserving most of my Christmas money this year to go toward lessons and I cannot WAIT to start playing again.
And Annie drew this for Corinne and Kyle. Amazing.
We almost had a disaster though. Annie brought this special present out last from her bedroom and Ada overheard that it was "for the Monson family." Let's just say that if you had witnessed her tantrum when she was (first) told she wasn't allowed to help open it, then (second) physically restrained by yours truly when she lunged at it anyway, you would have thought she was in need of an exorcism. Three-year-olds don't understand the words "extremely fragile" and "priceless" and "heirloom."