This year Tony and I spent Christmas at my sister's house in the California mountains. We weren't sure if we would make it to her house, as the road we normally take to get there had been washed completely away by torrential rains. After a detour, we made it there on the 23rd. the kids were excited about Christmas of course, but who was up first on both Christmas Eve and Christmas morning? Aunt Stacey of course. I had to wait 2hours for the girls to finally wake up. I had been instructed to not go up stairs or wake anyone up before it was light outside. Oh the agony!
There were plenty of presents to go around. Somehow there is always an abundance of gifts, even when no one has any money. I swear i hardly spent anything but our car was loaded down. I gave a lot of things I had bought with coupons or for really good deals. No one really cares how much you pay for an item anyway.
Ali is getting older all the time. She wants so bad to be an adult or at least a teenager. She loves listening to music, wearing "rock out" clothes, and being in charge. She still likes bits of being a little girl, but don't tell her I told you so.
Ashling is a budding photographer. She had told me she wanted a camera Christmas Eve, and she was very happy Santa brought it to her. She doesn't like to be too silly, and I had to bribe her with nail polish to get her to chirp like a bird. (It's kind of a long story. You can ask me in person.)
Annika is just the smartest little kid. I am only somewhat bias as I have a bit of experience with kids age 18 months to 3 years. She talks and talks in mostly understandable words, more than most kids her age. She loves her pacifier, or "fa fa" as she calls it. She loves to go places, sing "twinkle" and is pretty easy to entertain. Her favorite thing seems to be to climb all over the dogs, Sierra and Eko, but she doesn't like when they walk on her.
We did a short snowy hike on Christmas day to help make room for the wonderful prime rib dinner Cameron made. It has become a family tradition to have prime rib Christmas dinner. It is one I think we will keep up.
The next day we were scheduled to go to my "Uncle" Brian's and Angela's house. They may not be official family, but I see them more than I do my actual relatives, so they feel like it. We had an awesome ham dinner, and got to spend lots of time chatting. I love talking with them.
Since highway 330 was washed away we were somewhat trapped up the hill. It's not that we couldn't go anywhere it was just that it was such work to. We made one foray down the hill to the Los Angeles Temple visitors center and the Santa Monica Pier.
I'll be honest and say that I was not at all excited about going. Mainly because I hate LA, or at least the overly congested roads. I knew before leaving that the traffic would be BAD and that it would make me grumpy. I just had a feeling, but I went anyway and sure enough, I was a grouch! Some of it was interesting, so not a total loss, but I would have been just as happy staying home, which is rare for me.
Even though it didn't snow much, there was just enough that we went sledding at Snow Valley one day too. There was some talk about skiing, but the snow was kind of icy and we just decided a short time sledding would be more fun. Thanks to Cameron's Snow Valley volunteering, we were able to sled using the lift for free. It was kind of ice snowing so we only went for an hour or so, but it was nice to get out of the house.
Overall it was a pretty nice trip. I started to feel a little cooped up by the last day or so, but I still had fun.