Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas Vacation 2014

Christmas 2014 was more than I could have hoped for!  I really need to start focusing on getting more picture of people rather than a beautiful sunset.... someday.  But until then, here is what we got.  

We started with dinner in Cedar on our way to head south.  The only picture I took was of the Christmas tree.... my mom's Christmas tree for years was a "fancy matchy matchy" tree.  I am so glad she's changed.  Gone back to a more traditional mismatch ordiments tree.  My favorite are these little German ornaments called Steinbach ornaments.  My mom started collecting them on her 6 week journey across Europe years ago.
 
I felt like LA really welcomed us with the most beautiful pink and gold sunset as we drove to Glendora.
As soon as we got to Glendora we headed to a huge Glendora Stake production of Lamb of God with a full choir and orchestra.  Both Nils and Raine particiapted but Nils had many solos which made it so amazing for me!
After church on Sunday Raine and Nils had to rehearse again and do another performance and so we stole Lars and Caitlin and made them go to the Getty with us.  I am always blown away when we go to this amazing muesum.  I absolutely love this place!  I must say I think Sunday might be the best day to attend this museum.  It runs right along the 405 Freeway... AKA the freeway from H#$%.  It was amazing to drive straight there and straight back without any traffic at all.
I will always be grateful for my love for art.  It is something that I will never be able to do.  I understand that.  But I am so glad that I have such a fond appreciation for the work of others.  It is so fun to get to share that love with Jason.  It's so fun to watch him whenever we go to an art gallery.


But of course at the end of the day, no matter the beauty created by an artist... I am always so much more blown away by nature.  And boy it was such a beautiful view and sunset.





The next day I went on another glorious California Christmas run around Glendora.  California recently FINALLY received some rain and so we were greeted with the most beautiful green blanket of grass every where we went.  Three of my favorite views from my run.


And of course....... one more picture of my favorite house of all...
What I wish I would have captured in Glendora: Sunday night late after Nils and Raine came back from their last performance of Lamb of God, along with Lars and Caitlin, we sat around the fireplace by the Christmas tree and opened a few small gifts to each other.  It was just a special moment, the 6 of us.  Raine had painted Caitlin a darling painting of Donuts (her favorite.)  Lars had helped me surprise Raine with a gift she really wanted.  It was just a perfect little experience I am so glad I got to share with 5 of my favorite people.


We then headed down to San Diego county to spend the next few days until Christmas with Jason's family.  Honestly, the weather was almost a joke.  It was 79 degrees at the beach.  So of course I went for an amazing run while Jason went surfing.

Jason's one of those guys...


What I wish I could have gotten pictures of: Jason's sister Jennifer and little boy Reid came and joined us at the beach.  It was fun to get to spend some time with her and just talk as we basked in the sun.  It was fun to watch Jason play with Reid.  It always pulls at my heart strings...


After we went to a Swarmies by the pier in Oceanside that had a super fun mural on one of the side walls.



Of course one of the happiest things for me about the California sunshine was tomatoes in George's garden at Christmas!!!  I tell ya, California is paradise.

On Christmas Eve we started the day by driving down to San Diego airport to pick of Jason's little brother Jared.  We made a stop at La Jolla Cove.... our first visit since our wedding day.

 After we decided to go out on paddle boards around Oceanside Harbor.  Don't get any crazy ideas... I didn't dare leave the harbor.  The waves scared me.  But we had a great time paddling around the harbor looking at all the boats.  The weather was amazing!
We spent the rest of the day at the house with Jason's family.  Here are my only two pictures of Christmas day.... This is how Braithwaite's do Christmas.
And here is my Christmas workout outfit.  Yes, I look very much like an elf.

After an amazing dinner we headed out to try and make it to Cedar before everyone went to bed.  Of course we got stuck in horrible traffic headed up the Pass..... but we made the best of it by opening up a present to my parents.  Trivial Pursuit Party Edition.  It was a super fun game and loved playing it in Cedar.

Cedar of course was filled with lots of food, including the yearly tradition of the crab feast, hours of card playing, and of course football in the background.

One day Jason wanted to go check out his favorite climbing spot up Cedar Mountain.  So we went for a hike.  Sadly there was too much snow and WAY too cold to climb but it was fun hiking through a winter wonderland.

 
My coat you ask?  My dad's "bear huntin' coat" is the warmest thing ever.  

My family was so good to me and didn't do our traditional Christmas carol singing until Jason and I got there.  I tried to get a panorama picture of the whole group... here is as good as I could get.



Matchy Matchy Sunday....


We took Broc, Craig, Marcie, Chad, and my dad rock climbing down in St. George.  It was super fun having my family see Jason in his element and trying it out.  The highlight of possibly the entire trip was when my dad was doing a pretty difficult climb.  He actually did better than most of us in the beginning but then got tired when he was almost to the top.  It took all 4 of them to heave my dad to the top.  Funniest thing ever.


Jason helped my dad fix his snow blower and was super excited to go out and use it.  There was a -15 degrees wind chill so Jason dressed up accordingly.

Nils, Raine, Myra, Kenneth, and Natalie joined us on New Years Eve.  Sadly I was pretty sick but we made the best of it with card games, trivial pursuit, yummy food, and lots of good fun.  I didn't even come close to making it to midnight.... maybe next year.

Jason needed to get some more climbing in so we went down to St. George again on Friday.  It was unbelievably cold.... like 28 degrees.  But that didn't stop me from going on an amazing 10+ mile trail run and Jason climbed with some friends.  It was an amazing day.


The trip ended with my niece Sophie's baptism on Saturday.  After a tasty luncheon to celebrate her baptism we headed home.

It was a wonderful trip.  But the crazy thing is.... going home was just as wonderful as leaving.  I guess this is what it feels like to grow up.

1 comment:

goddessdivine said...

79 degrees sounds really good right about now. ;-)