Our first Christmas spent as a married couple was spent in Michigan, 2nd in Michigan (because Thanksgiving was spent in CA w/ my family), 3rd in CA with our 6 month old Blake...but then surprised Dan's family with a New Years visit (we found the drive from Boston to Michigan to be a breeze and did it often). Our 4th Christmas was in Michigan. 5th I was pregnant with Reese and we drove to Utah to Dan's sister new house to celebrate with his side of the family. Our 6th (this is 2006) in PA and MI. Our 7th we spent Christmas Day at our place in CA with my brother and sister-in-law. Then our 8th I think was another split one between our place in CA with my brothers and their families, my cousin Rachel, cousin Geoffery and Joni (they were to be married days after Christmas). I remember "boxing day" was on Christmas that year and we left directly after the wedding and lunch. 2009 Christmas was spent in flying to MI to meet up with Dan and go to the last show and a leg of touring with 30 seconds to Mars. We spent a few days before Christmas with his parents then borrowed their car while they spent a week in UT. We drove to PA to spend a long week with EVERYONE on my side including 3 grandkids born that year (that was a first, we're usually all all over)! But that year we spent time with both sides PA & MI drive is only about 7 hours. No biggie!
Which brings us to the Christmas of 2010. As many of you know I LOVE hosting parties and get-togethers in my home! I love the cleaning, preparations, cooking, planning, all of it! So I was more than THRILLED to get to host Christmas at my home! There would be 11 total, that's including the 4 kids. That's nothing, I've had 12 people LIVING with me for months at a time! So this would a dream! And it was! We picked up Dan's parents from LAX on the wettest night of the year. It was pouring, and reports were joking about CA dropping off into the ocean because of all the rainfall. We went straight to a hotel in Anaheim. We had planned to go to Disneyland with everyone the very next day...and wouldn't you know it, but the clouds all cleared and the sun crept out. It was a gorgeous day to spend at Disneyland with the family. We used fast passes, plans, and timed our day and we were able to ride plenty of rides, see some characters ans eat good food. It was a great day! The next day was Christmas Eve and spent rather oddly but together. Dan had been wanting to go to H&M for some jeans before we moved but our time was limited. So everyone were good sports about driving to a mall on Christmas Eve, eat some mall food, and wait for others to shop. We then drove directly to see the most amazing display of Christmas lights in the SCV. Then right home to serve up dinner that was just the tastiest dinner in some time! Ham, funeral potatoes, salad, rolls, and orange jell-o. SOOOOOO good! We opened up jammies, read from the scriptures and finally got off to bed around 10pm. Christmas morning is a blur. But we had such a nice time together opening presents. We have a tradition of having a breakfast cassarole on Christmas morning with fruit parfaits. It cooks while we unwrap gifts and is usually timed our perfectly...just like this year! Again...a hit with the food! Yum! After cleaning up and getting dressed we saw Tangled as a family and ate dinner out. Sunday was a WONDERFUL day at church. Saying goodbye was hard. I'll not dwell on that at this time (if ever). And ever so kindly all my guests helped to pack up boxes, disassemble beds and cribs, and take stuff down to the garage. I'd be lucky if they want to be my guests again! They really did amazing work...I will forever be grateful to them all!
The next morning I purchased 4 dozen donuts for the team of 15 people to unload and load up the trailer. Yes 4 dozen. I think my kids and the Barlow boys, and the Lyche boys enjoyed at least a dozen to themselves. The place was empty by 10am, in-laws were on the road, my brother with the trailer already driving to Utah. We had to tie up some lose ends and say a few goodbyes. Again, goodbyes are hard, tears were shed. We were on the road headed for our night stay in St George, Ut, by 2pm. Tuesday morning we hit the road by 10:30am headed for Pleasant Grove...where we will be calling our home!
We made it! We're here and we've settled in and loving it!
Just a few pictures of our Christmas Time festivities!
Shillig Famiyl $3 gift exhcnage
Tram ride home from Disneyland w/ Grandma & Grandpa
Christmas Eve Jammies....oh the happiness!