Monday, February 11, 2013

Christmas 2012

Two days before we were supposed to head to Colorado for Christmas, we got hit with a big storm.  I can't remember at this time how much snow we got, but school got canceled here and travel was not advised on all the roads and interstates.  Actually, I guess the storm occurred Wednesday night, and our plan was to leave Friday morning.  We got up with the intent to leave home around 7:00 a.m., but travel was still not advised, so we waited around a while.  Finally we decided to either had to just go for it or make the decision to wait until the next day, so we went for it.  It was slow-going; I think we went about 35 on the interstate for the first couple of hours.  From our house to Lincoln, which is about 200 miles (I think), we counted over 80 cars in the ditch, including one seriously totaled semi-truck.  The normally 10 hour drive took us about 12 hours.  Once we got to about the middle of Nebraska, we were able to go the speed limit without concern.  Oh, and we got rear-ended somewhere in Omaha, but there was no damage, thank goodness.  We also had one stressful moment (or more like 20 stressful minutes) where Mike missed the exit to Julesburg, the eastern most town in Colorado before a LONG stretch of nothing, and we were really in need of gas.  We anxiously watched our estimated miles left until empty gauge, comparing it to the mileage signs until Sterling, which we knew was the next chance for a gas station.  The green mileage sign would say 26 miles, and our gauge would say 27.  Mileage sign 15; our gauge 16.  Then the last one was dead on; both at 8 miles or something.  As we pulled off the interstate our car said it had 0 miles left until empty.  Thankfully, we made it to the gas station without anybody having to get out and walk.  Good thing, because we'd already been in the car 11 hours and had at least an hour to go.   

For some reason I can't get this picture I took in our car to center.  DTE = Distance 'Til Empty.

It was a very long day, but the kids actually did really well.  We did let them watch more movies than normal.  About the last 45 minutes or so, Jake was really done being in the car, and I couldn't blame him.  Here he is at an earlier point in the day, getting ready for a nap, I think.  Unfortunately, it was a short nap.

We were all so happy to arrive at Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Dick's house.  I can't really remember what happened next, because it was 6 or so weeks ago.  Oh!  Becky and I met up early the next morning to run a 10k (6.1 miles) in City Park.  It was chilly, but not bad weather.  I could definitely tell I wasn't used to the altitude, but I still felt happy with my race.  We went from the race to meet the family at a parade in Golden, and then we all went out for a delicious lunch at the Spaghetti Factory.   However, first we stopped by the Railroad Museum to see if we'd be able to ride the Christmas train.  The place was packed, so we decided to skip it, but not before Jake got it firmly planted in his head that we were going to ride a train.  He just could not let that idea go.  That night, Drew and Zach got to spend the night at Myles and Cam's house, and Mike and I had a holiday party to go to with some of my high school friends, so Grandma and Grandpa got some special time with their youngest grandson.  They took Jake to the nearby mall and he got to ride on a train and a carousel, and he still talks about riding the train with Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Dick.

This is a picture I took as the boys were walking into the Spaghetti Factory.  I like how they're all holding hands and the city is the backdrop.

On Sunday, Mike and I got to go to our first Jewish brit chayim, or baby naming ceremony, for our friends' Ana and Keith's baby girl Gabriela.  It was very interesting and similar to a baptism.  It was a small ceremony, and we were so honored to be invited.  Isn't Gabriela just a doll??

Sunday night we all went out to the Botanical Center to walk around and look at the amazing Christmas lights display.  It was gorgeous, but COLD!

On Monday, since Becky and Tom both had to work, Cam and Myles came to spend the day with us.  Mike and I felt like we just had to get out of the house, so we took the boys bowling.  It was fun and interesting.  I like this picture best because of the look Myles is giving me.  Not thrilled to be having his picture taken, I guess!

There was definitely lots of drumming happening on Grandpa's drum set throughout the visit.

That was Christmas Eve, so that night Becky and Tom came over and we all went to church at my parents' church.  Here are the hilarious before church photos.  I wish Anders was in the photo; I am sure he would have added some extra hilarity, though I'm not sure anyone could top Myles and his faces.  It's especially funny when I look at them in iPhoto and quickly scroll through them, because then  I see Myles' face in sort of a stop-animation effect.

Here is Becky, Tom, Cam, and Myles before church.

A quick photo of the 2 youngest cousins.

The best family photo we got.

Church was good, and I was thankful for the shorter service compared to what I'm used to at our church.  We took up a whole aisle, which was kinda funny, and pretty much had the only kids in the entire service.

Here are some pictures from Christmas morning.

This is while we were doing FaceTime with Sandy, Will, and Anders.  It was tough because the kids were noisy and the wifi seemed spotty, so there were some technical issues.  And it was hard for us all to be together without Sandy, Will, and Anders.

After a delicious steak dinner grilled by Tom, we celebrated Jesus's birthday with the birthday cake I had made.  We let the boys decide the details about the cake, and they picked a rainbow cake (on the inside) with a manger for the decoration.  The rainbow part was no problem, but I really wasn't sure how I was going to do the manger.  And once Drew asked for a camel, I knew there was no way I could do that.  I didn't have my normal cake-decorating tools or a lot of time (it was Christmas Eve, for Pete's sake), so this was about as good as it was going to get.

The boys patiently waiting for their cake...

In this picture, if you enlarge it, you can kinda see the fun colors inside the cake.

By this point in the evening, everyone was wiped out.  The kids were exhausted, whiny, and short-tempered, and the parents and grandparents pretty much were, too.  There was a hilarious moment, though, when Cam stabbed his entire piece of cake with his fork and held it up for Grandpa, and then, of course, the entire piece fell on the floor.  Cam, as you can imagine, wasn't happy.  And neither was Becky.  So later, when Cam was still whining about it and Becky told him to "drop it," I seized the moment with a "He already did" joke that I thought was pretty clever.  Thankfully Becky saw the humor in it, too.

Anyway,  we had to head back home on the 26th, so it wasn't a very long trip.  It was busy and fun and crazy and wonderful, though.  And, lucky for us, the drive home was only about 9.5 hours long.  Somehow Jake was sick of the car about 45 minutes before we got home again.  I don't know how he lasted so long on the way out to Colorado.

I'm one post closer to being caught up!

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