Monday, January 2, 2012

"Feliz Navidog and a Happy New York!"

Well, that's how my little sister with Down's syndrome says it anyways! When I told her, "Riley, it's Feliz Navidad and a Happy New Year, silly girl!" She simply said, "I love New York!" Haha. I love that little girl. After a beautiful Christmas and a quiet welcome to the New Year -

We are back!! 2,000 miles of driving, 14 days of vacationing, 78.4 sweets(/several pounds gained . . .), 5 loads of laundry, and a couple days of recuperation and I'm ready to blog again and to eat from the food pyramid right side up!

Here is our trip recap for you all. We made our way up to Palmdale to visit my Granny Shanks. We made a stop at Eric Schats' Bakery in Bishop, CA for lunch on the way. We heartily recommend it if you are ever in the area.
My camera was cold and created the fog around the edges. Hehe!
Visiting Gran was a delight as always. We had a surprise visit of some talented carolers the evening we were there. We talked for hours. She fed us well and gifted Squire with the opportunity to take any tools he liked from my deceased Grandpa Shanks' old workshop home with him. He very happily obliged. I'm pleased to see that some of my Grandpa's old tools will be put to good use in fulfilling my husband's "Honey-Do" list! ;)
After our one night visit at Granny's, we made our way up to Reno to visit my family for the majority of our Christmas break. Squire teased but didn't indulge Lincoln with sugar cookies. Poor child. Probably scarred him for life. ;)
 We saw some great light shows while we were in Reno. Lincoln's pupils have never been so dilated. This was one of them:

Also, my parents introduced us to this house in Sparks, NV - it features an Orca family to show the nativity story among other sea creatures. They definitely scored originality points . . .
We also went hiking with my mom and her friend Julie during out visit. On this day, the stream was half frozen over. It was mesmerizing to see the water move under the ice - it looked like it was boiling hot, and popping out of cracks like a hot spring would in several places.
Lincoln had no shortage of entertainment or hands who were willing to hold him. Here he is with my dad and Riley on Christmas Eve day.
On Christmas Eve after McKenzie arrived late from the airport, we spent some time visiting with my Grandparents Elsmore. Before bed, we read from the last section of our advent scriptures as a family.

Christmas morning, we went to church and listened to the music of the choir directed by my talented mom. Nothing brings the Spirit of Christ into Christmas more than beautiful heartfelt Christmas music. Can I just say how much I love celebrating Christmas on a Sunday? I really love it. 

And how did Lincoln like his first Christmas? Well, he really enjoyed playing with all the boxes and tissue and wrapping paper for sure. He also enjoyed pushing around the little walker he received from Mimi and Grandpa Elsmore:
video

 We didn't even open our gifts until after church around noon! Seeing as how we normally have everything opened by about 5 or 6 am on Christmas morning, this was a new experience for the Elsmore kidlets. But, the later time helped us to appreciate and savor the thoughtfulness of each gift a bit more I think. Even as my family's earliest Christmas riser, I found it very enjoyable.

I vacationed most of my break sans blogging, though I did manage to get this one and this one out during the trip. My dad got a kick out of how I type while at a full height computer desk, but I tell ya, it really is the most comfortable way to blog!:
The most comfortable way to blog.
I don't know why the heck I didn't get a single picture with McKenzie, but here's one with Riley I took the last night before we left. McKenzie taught us this really cool dance move that she looks a lot better doing than we do. But, Riley and I decided to incorporate it into our own sister handshake despite our less-than-perfect execution:

video
My mom and dad made it such a wonderful Christmas for us all. I'm so glad we got to spend so many days with them. Here are some last night snapshots with them as well:

And - one with my brother and his wife Heather who came up the day before we left for Page to see Squire's family:
While my whole family was in town, my parents made sure to have some professional family photos taken. Here is one from the shoot - a Kardashian-inspired picture. Pretty hilarious if I do say so myself. You can check out more of Rachel's beautiful photography here.

Our second leg of the trip included a visit to Page. And, because we are lame we completely forgot to take any pictures of it!! But here is the recap anyways. On our way to Page, we stopped in St.George for some Cafe Rio - yum! I needed my fix since leaving Provo. And by the time we arrived in Page, Trace had prepared a beautiful meal of Cornish game hens for us to eat. We visited with all of Squire's family while we were there. And Lincoln frazzled and dazzled them all with his rambunctious nature (which led to a massive plant/soil spill all over the carpet . . .) and his 7 toothed cheesy grin. Squire, of course, spent most of Saturday at Paria. While he was off helping Grandpa Hepworth and the other boys do ranch chores, Lincoln and I rode around on the 4-wheeler, and pet Pokey - which Lincoln wasn't the slightest bit shy to do. 

Our New Year's Eve was spent mostly with Grandma and Grandpa Hepworth - just chatting politics and about navigating the world of facebook. And then, we went to sleep around 10:30pm. Yeah, having a baby makes you desperate for sleep - or at least wises you up to the fact that waking babies up in the middle of the night to party is generally never the best use of time, energy or emotional resources. So, we didn't take that chance nor did we regret it. Sunday, we made it to sacrament meeting, finished packing, saw Trace and Derae one more time and were off!

Over the course of the 2,000 mile round trip, the biggest horror story with Lincoln included a bad poopy diaper followed by a baby boy pee episode (you know the kind) that resulted in a wet driver seat and a change of clothes for Lincoln. But with our arsenal of snacks, we were able to keep him pretty content for the majority of the trip.

Today was Squire's first day back at the books. *Sigh* Oh well - the break was beautiful while it lasted. Feliz Navidog and a Happy New York! ;)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fabulous vacation!! Welcome home! It was fun to see pictures of your family too. I especially love the picture of you 3 with your Granny. What a great pic!

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