Thursday, January 31, 2013

Christmas in Wyoming (part 2)

I'm not gonna lie.  I was not happy about having to travel for Christmas this year.  We were spoiled last year. Completely ruined by spending Christmas is our very own home, with nearly all of my family! And once I've had my cake and eaten it too, it's not pretty trying to pry that cake out of my hands, or dig it out of my mouth. 

I whined and complained about the whole thing.  Then I seriously looked into the cost of flying all of Reid's family out here.  I was desperate to do anything to avoid that potentially treacherous drive on our nation's Worst Stretch of Freeway 

Luckily my pity party ended soon after our drive began. To my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed my shifts at the wheel! Reid got to deal with the kids, whilst I listened to the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  And honestly, the record should show that this year getting to WY was perfectly uneventful (unless you consider the passenger's window falling out of its tracks, and having to stop in Rawlins to duct tape it up "eventful"--which i don't.  Not after Christmas 2008). 

And the weather cooperated perfectly.  The only snow we saw was exactly where we wanted it--in Star Valley, at which point the world around us transformed into a winter wonderland. The smoke pouring out of wood-burning chimneys was graciously making its way through our heat vents.  The street lamps held in place thousands of white lights that criss-crossed above us on Main Street. The kids were singing "Over the River and Through the Woods" at the top of their lungs. 

Why in the world had I complained about this?  What a fool I'd been thinking that my cake was being ripped from my grasp!  We were about to spend the best holiday of the year in the place that, if towns could mate, would be the offspring of Bedford Falls and the North Pole!!

This year at the Allred home was quieter than years past (well, as quiet as any place where we are can possibly be).  Reid's two sisters were greatly missed as they were both back east with their families/future in-laws.  So it was just our crew of six, Tom and Jana and their two kids, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

At first Grace was lost without her bestie, Ella.  Abby was lost without Christopher.  Then they remembered that they had each other, and they got along perfectly the whole time.  Eliza and Gabe were inseperable.  And James and Winnie just toddled around, being cute.  Winnie rubbed off on James, and over the 6 days we were there he officially chose walking as his main mode of transportation.  I plan to tell him that he started walking on Christmas, 2012...though his first steps were 3-4 weeks before that.  Who needs to walk when three sisters fight over who gets to carry you wherever you need to go?

The adults enjoyed playing games, putting puzzles together, creating culinary masterpieces, and late night conversations about what miracles would need to occur to get us geographically closer to each other.  

Grandpa spent the entire 6 days with any number of grandkids on his back.  If ever he tried to do anything else he'd hear,  "C'mon Grammpa, the horsie can't be tired!" Grandma had crafts and treats and cookies galore.  She has the best toys, the best movies, the best food, and the best lap for book-reading and story-telling. They truly have perfected the art of being Grandparents.

Between playing in the snow, cutting down the Christmas tree, sledding down the snow pile, warming up to hot cocoa, decorating gingerbread men, watching movies in "Grandma's room," acting out the Nativity, playing "school house" in the basement, or singing Christmas songs in the front room--there was never a moment that wouldn't have made the cut for a Hallmark movie.  

Reid, Grace and Abby singing Christmas songs around the piano
James with the mini bible that he toted around with him the entire trip
If his cousin Winnie was around, he would sit in this chair for 20+ minutes just to make sure she didn't get it
James looked so handsome in his Christmas outfit! 
Cutting down the tree
Hot cocoa in the car, fresh tree on top
Getting ready to play in the snow
Snowball fight!
(I totally think that Grace looks like me in this picture, btw)
Sledding down the man-made snow hill
I wish this picture weren't so fuzzy--i'd blow it up and put it above my fireplace! I love the way my little guy is looking at my big guy!
Decorating gingerbread cookies
Abby, desperately trying to lose her tooth on Christmas Eve so that Santa and the Tooth Fairy would bump into each other
My camera gets jaundiced sometimes...
Grandma and Abby playing dress-ups

Abby as Mary for the nativity
Gabe was Joseph.  Or the donkey.  I can't remember now.
Abby with her Barbie and Pet Shops that Santa left her
Eliza opening her stocking and her camera from Santa
Grace was shocked that Santa actually brought her a real violin. 
James loved nothing more on Christmas morning than tearing apart his mini post-it notes, one by one
His pet monkey that Grace gave him came in a close second

Again with the chair!  

Grace loved her dolphin blanket...

And the dolphin bulletin board that I made for her.  We didn't bring this with us, just showed her photos of it.  She really loved this gift and told me it turned out exactly how she'd hoped it would.  Sweet girl.

 I made the girls these cute necklaces out of old scrabble tiles. The tutorials told me that super glue would do the trick....
They lied

Abby loved the snuggy I made for her.  It really was the perfect gift for this girl who's always cold in the morning and brings her bedspread downstairs to eat breakfast!
 The blanket i made for Eliza wasn't (isn't!) finished...maybe i'll get a picture of it when I regive it to her this Christmas :)

It was such a wonderful Christmas.  The only thing that eased the pain of leaving was knowing that 6 more days of family time awaited us in Provo.

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