The kids got to spend Christmas day and half of the next playing with their new toys. Just enough time for them to be completely sick of them. So we hopped in the car, threw on a show, and made our way to the snowy frozen north.
We spent our first day there with Jon's family (Grandma and Grandpa Nielsen and Ben, Cara, & children). They scored some seriously sweet Christmas gear this year. My little niece spent the day showing me new videos on her ipod nano. Every time she flashed her latest download, I kept thinking, 'I'm pretty sure I got the latest crimp n' curl cabbage patch doll for Christmas when I was nine.' I thought about saying it out loud once or twice but I knew it would only illicit one of two reactions from my niece.
1) Eww, Auntie Kacey, you were still playing with dolls when you were nine?
or, even worse,
2) Cabbage Patch dolls? What is that? Auntie Kacey must be REALLY old!
I wisely kept my mouth shut.
My parents came in the next day, which was Sunday. We spent our first evening exchanging Christmas presents all of us were too lazy/poor to ship. I am not sure who was in charge of the sibling draw this year, but it did not go in our favor. Jon had Kendall who is not the easiest Earl girl to shop for. I had Trevor, the boy who, barring a major change of plans, was going to be my in-law in a matter of days. And, to really make the game fun, Trevor had me. Kristy got more than one anxious phone call from both sides of that trade off hoping for some good ideas. Trevor followed well Kristy's good hints. I got two beautiful necklaces and one very warm and cozy scarf, which ended up being the only warm item I had all week. The rest of me was an icicle, but my neck was consistantly toasty warm!
The thrill of being on a real train for the first time in her life last about ten minutes for Scarlet. Luckily she had Kendall's DS to keep her distracted for the other 50 minutes.
In her defense, Jon only lasted about fifteen before he insisted on attempting this picture.
I must also mention Kristy was the smartest bride of the day. I cannot even tell you how many girls were braving the day in very pretty little short sleeved wedding dresses. They looked lovely, but also slightly blue.
Not only did Kristy so gracefully sport the winter bolero but hiding beneath that skirt are several layers of warm tights and some seriously awesome furry white knee high boots. Beautiful and brilliant.
We made the mistake of taking the kids outside to wait for Kristy to emerge a little too early. They were loving playing in the snow, looking at the temple, and getting their picture taken by dad.
Happy looking group right? Let's close up on my bunch.
Thankfully for all involved, Kendall had a candy stash in her purse.
The rest of the day involved a beautiful luncheon and a reception in Heber that evening. And, minutes, it seemed, after we arrived in Utah, we were ditching Jon and heading to Washington. I can't really explain the logic behind it, but somehow it was arranged that the family and Scarlet would drive the suburban back to Washington while mom, grandma Earl, Rhode, and I flew back. Don't get me wrong, I am SO not complaining about the arrangement. Any travel method that did not involve the babes and I in a car for 11 hours was ok in my book.