Sunday, December 29, 2013

So this is Christmas...

On Thanksgiving day Kim told me that they were planning on heading up to Washington for Christmas and wanted to know if I wanted to come. I was a little hesitant and took a few weeks to decide. I hate driving in winter weather, especially on roads that are known to be yucky during the winter months. I also wasn't excited to be in the car for a long period of time, especially so quickly after our trip to Disneyland. I knew that being up there with everybody would be so fun, but it was time and travel to get up there that was not exciting. But what would my other option be? staying home, and having just Q and I at Christmas? talk about a downer. So kind of a few days before Kim was set to leave I decided to come, with the stipulation that we would take my van and Aaron drive through any bad conditions. The drive turned out to be okay, mostly heavy rains and fog, and Q sure enjoyed having Elsie to ride with in the car. 

Q holding onto my foot

But once we got up there the visit was so fun! WE even headed up to Moses Lake for Christmas Eve Grandma's so we got to see other family too. We had some delicious soup, rolls, and pie. Had some great performances. and of course got crazy playing games. My family is awesome.

These red lights make me feel at home
While at Jared and Lindsay's we played games, watched movies, ate, danced, and had just a great time! Lindsay made some delicious food, and the adults even enjoyed an afternoon out at a movie. We got together with some of Jared and Lindsay's friend (Brad and Karen) to play games which was also a blast.  One night the grownups watched Gravity (downloaded...shh don't tell) and it was so intense. Not that I ever wanted to go into space before, but this sealed the deal on that. yikes!

Christmas morning was so fun, and we even got to see Santa again! We are so lucky. The kids all enjoyed their presents, and really enjoyed spending time together!  We even got to facetime with Mitch and Caitlin which was super fun. The kids all enjoyed talking to them, as did the adults.

Q's haul

her new tutu from Auntie Em
I even got to see my friend Melanie, so I was happy about that. (man, I forgot to take a picture)
In the end, I'm glad we went up. It was so fun and Q had a blast with all her cousins.

Plus, when we got home Q had a cool gift waiting for her from my cousin Krista!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I found out long ago. It's a long way down the holiday road

Q and I have a few Christmas traditions that we love to do, and this year I felt like they were so last minute, but we got them all in and we loved it.

First, we see Santa when he comes to visit the Riverwoods mall. True story, we had gone another night to see him, and he was out! It was a real bummer to drive there and not see him...Q was not happy. So, to make up for it we drove around and looked at lights (another one of our traditions). There are two houses that we are particularly fond of, and check them out every year. Q is a big fan of christmas lights, so this is always a hit.

When we went back to see Santa, the line was huge and it was freezing out, but we were determined. We also ran into an old friend, Jonathan Mayne which was so fun! Q was excited to Santa and let him know what she wanted. 

Another one of our traditions, and one that I had as a kid was making gingerbread houses with the Woodruff's. Man, I love these people. Kyle and Jamie were kind enough to host us this year, and I got to see their beautiful new home. We were sad that Janice and Larry were out of town and we didn't get to see them, and of course missed all the other Woodruffs and Bates', but this yearly tradition just makes me so happy and Q loves it too. 

With Disneyland and such, funds were a little low this year so I was unable to send out christmas cards, which made me kind of sad. Then one day Q dressed herself up as an "elf fairy" and I had an instant e-card idea! 

We also got to see Elsie perform in her first piano recital and it was so great. She did so good, and Q was so proud. 

Yep, by the time Christmas came around we were sure in the spirit!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Teach me how to really show it...

Q's school had their Christmas program, and it was a joy! Q is so fun to watch because she gets so animated and her body just can't stay still. They showed off their karate skills, sang some christmas songs, and even got a visit from Santa. I am so grateful that I have a job that allows me the opportunity to be there for all these things. I love spending time with Q, and especially love watching her do her thing.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Think of a wonderful thought, any happy little thought...

Since moving to Utah, I decided that it would be a shame if we didn't hit up Disneyland as often as we could since we only lived an easy days drive away. Q and I both love Disneyland, and it just makes us happy. And ever since we hit up Disneyland in December last year and saw the magic of Disneyland at Christmas time, we just knew that was the time we liked to go. We invited lots of different people to come with us, but in the end it was just Q and I on our first Mommy and Daughter only vacation. 

Besides the awful trip down to anaheim, which included stop and go weekend/post thanksgiving traffic from vegas to Barstow making the trip from vegas to anaheim 7.5 hrs instead of like 4

It was a great trip. WE had so much fun, and Q loved having me all to herself, and being in charge of our days events. We hit up the parks at opening time, and stayed until closing, every day. We hit up every ride, parade, entertainment show, character greeting, and food that we wanted and as many times as we could. We tried out Space Mountain and Radiator Springs racers for the first time and Q loved both! 
the crazy line for the "jingle cruise" was deceivingly short from the outside
Q and I were both super stoked to see Pocahontas and Mulan represented at Disneyland

churro lips

We were so tired at the end of each day, that we slept so great and Q enjoyed a full week of sleepovers with Mommy.

 I also debut my sketcher's GoWalk shoes, that were so comfortable and allowed me to wear my skinny jeans without looking like a major "mom" in tennis shoes. (what a great find those were...thanks Kim!) 

The most stressful part of the whole trip (besides the traffic heading down) was trying to get tickets for the Radiator Springs ride. Holy crap it's intense! First you have to get to the park early and get in line outside, then you have to race to the fastpass line and wait some more. Then when the park officially opens you have to move with the fastpass line and try to watch for "cutters" in order to get your tickets for the ride. I had one such man try to cut in front of Q and I, and we got into a little verbal altercation. But I won, and he ended up cutting in front of people behind me...I am ruthless. But after about an hour of waiting in line, racing with a stroller, and stressing out, I wasn't about to let anyone ruin my chances of getting a ticket. 

I was thinking this trip that Q might be a little more interested in rides than character greetings, but she still loved it, and I still had to be on the lookout for the characters so she could collect signatures and pictures. It's kind of stressful, but I do love it, and it makes her so happy. I'm sure the time will come, when she doesn't care about the characters as much...but I hope not. 

I mean look at that happy face!

Isn't Disneyland just the most magical place!