The day after Christmas Jason's sister and brother's families came to town. Jason's sister Renee had extra tickets to Knott's Berry Farm so she invited us to come along. It was the most beautiful sunny California day. It was really fun to see what another Anaheim amusement park had to offer. But my favorite part was getting to spend more time with Jason's family. I love good discussions in long lines.
Like I said, a pretty picture perfect kinda day.
It was a wonderful trip to Southern California. It was hard to want to leave... but we got up super early one morning so I could make it back to our annual friends lunch at Pizza Factory in Cedar. Every year the group is a little different. Ashley and I are always there but who else shows up is always so fun to see. It's so true... the saying "The older you get the more you need the people you knew when you were young." I think this year was hands down my favorite reunion to date. It was awesome.
I came home to find this.
We went with Chad and Maddie, Nick and Jeanine's Fam, and my mom and dad on a hike just north of Snow Canyon. It was a beautiful sunny day.
And then we spent the evening back at the house watching tv. Brad has mastered the Parson slouch.
The next day was Jason's birthday. Now luckily he doesn't read this so I can write pretty freely because Jason's birthday was just another one of those days when I am so impressed with Jason. He hates hates hates attention. Well I should say he hates attention for things like his birthday. So what did we spend his birthday doing? Moving probably 10,000 pounds *made up number of food storage and art prints in subfreezing temperatures out of my parents main garage to their second garage. Then Jason bought and built some shelves so my mom's business supplies could be a little more organized. I wish we had a before and an after picture. But anyway, the point is... Jason is awesome. And I am so grateful that he is so caring and most important, that he loves to work.
After we finished that project that took most of the day, we headed home. Here is Jason eating his birthday pie as he drove.
We had heard there was inversion in northern Utah.... when we got to Utah valley and there wasn't much inversion we thought maybe they were exaggerating..... and then we got to point of the mountain...... yes.... that grey line is straight up pollutiony smog disgustingness. It was SO BAD in Salt Lake Valley that you could not even see the mountains. It was awful. Welcome home, right?
The next day I finally made Jason's birthday cake. He requested a Red Velvet Cake. I had never made one... but I think it turned out pretty alright! Of course I didn't want an entire cake sitting at our house so we took it over to Alina's for the Lindstrom family New Years Eve party. Loriane and Nils and Brita and Jonathan were there. Of course Jason didn't want candles... (Or too much frosting)
And Nils being a party animal...
One of my proudest things of the break was teaching Brad how to do the Home Alone scream.
I was kinda surprised how hard it was to take down the Christmas tree this year. Maybe it's hard every year... it's crazy how a silly plastic tree with a string of lights can hold so much emotional value in my life. It's hard now to look over in the corner where the tree once was and see a dark space. This Christmas season was absolutely wonderful. It was spending so much time with loved ones. Thoughtful gifts and Christmas treats are always a highlight. But of course my favorite part was being able to share the joy that Brad brings into our lives with other people that we love. Seriously, I can't get enough of this kid.
On New Years Day we were able to go back to our own ward in South Jordan. I was excited to see my favorite old man playing the organ. He. Is. Awesome. He plays with such enthusiasm. He plays loud and fast and always adds little fun additions to each song. I write about this because I hope I never forget how I felt when we sang the opening song, I Believe in Christ. As we sang my favorite hymn tears ran down my cheeks as the organ blasted through a true celebration to the gift the Savior gave us.
My favorite line, "I believe in Christ; so come what may."
Although I probably don't enough about it during the Christmas season, I am so for His life and His gift and the hope and joy it can bring.