So I am finally putting up a post about our Christmas vacation, even though it has been a couple weeks now. We drove home to Utah to be with our families for the occasion. My family's big tradition is to get together on Christmas Eve, have dinner, and read the nativity story while all the little kids dress up for the parts. The kids are always way excited about it. We may or may not have had a neurotic sheep this year. Once that is finished, we all open the gifts that were to and from each other. My family now totals up to 50 people (mom, dad, siblings, spouses, children) so the present opening gets quite crazy! My family also tends to enjoy jump roping with small children.We slept at Taylor's house with all of his siblings on Christmas Eve, which is always a sweet release after being at my parents crazy zoo. We are really lucky to have our families living so close together to be able to spend a lot of time with them both. We spent the rest of the week relaxing and visiting friends, Taylor got a little sick, and I spent much of my time sucked into the vampire love saga books. Definitely the highlight of the week, even better than Christmas, was on the 29th when my brother and his wife were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. My sister from Hawaii surprised us all by coming for the occasion, which made it the first time that my whole family was in the temple together- spouses and all. What an incredible milestone and achievement, especially for my parents having 9 kids! It was a such an awesome experience. Amy & Brandon from Hawaii also blessed their baby while they were in town, and my nephew Heston was baptized! Quite a busy week! Here is a pictures of the 4 newest babies...they were less than thrilled about this picture and somewhat lifeless.
It was a wonderful break from school and work, and we love being able to have a white Christmas. However, there is no denying how much we both loved coming home to the welcoming arms of sunny Santa Barbara. It is always nice to come home. We spent our New Year's Eve enjoying hot caramel apple cider at Starbuck's, taking a walk, and going to see the movie "I Am Legend"...Taylor barely survived that one. I think we've both decided that this year our goal is to be more adventurous, just get up and go! We will only have such a short time to spend together, just the two of us, so we better enjoy it!
the above view is what taylor's lucky mother gets to see off her back deck every day. it was really nice to have a very white christmas.