A Utah Christmas

We spent last Christmas in Utah and that was the official beginning of our journey. During our visit, Jamie and I secretly looked at real estate in Midway and fell in love with our lot–only the second property we looked at. One year later, we woke up to a winter wonderland in our very own home. It’s crazy how much can change in a year!

Christmas Eve in Salt Lake City was a full day. Brunch at Little America (and sadly the only picture I have of the entire family).

Afternoon at the movies to see Rogue One.

And a delicious dinner at my sister-in-law Tammy’s who is over-the-top with her gourmet food and gorgeous decorations. Jamie’s family was gracious enough to humor me with all my family’s Christmas Eve traditions of playing the bells, the left-right game and the holiday gift exchange. But there’s no one more over-the-top than my own Canadian family’s Christmas Eve revelries. Just look at these crazies in their matching jammies! 

We were on the fence with staying with my in-laws for the night but between a full house with Jamie’s other siblings, the prospect of sleeping on the couch, and my persisting cough that has been keeping me awake, we decided there was no place like home. So, we made the drive back in the dark. It had been lightly snowing all day so it was a risky decision; there was a good chance we wouldn’t make it to his parent’s for Christmas but decided it was worth it to be in our own house.

Our Christmas Eve jammies had a new twist this year: Hadley is in women’s sizes and I thought it would be fun to get matching PJs. She was delighted with her owl PJs…until she realized they were the same as mine and I wanted to get a picture of all of us after she’d (gasp) taken off her make-up.

I entitle this picture: Loving family minus one melting down, tired, PMSing tween.

She eventually came around, mostly because we each took an arm and leg and dragged her out to watch A Christmas Story with us. Because that’s how we roll. No one melts down alone in our clan.

Note: Jamie took a stellar picture of her during Said Meltdown that will be saved for future blackmailing purposes.

Christmas morning dawned bright, crispy, snowy and beautiful! Jamie woke us up at 7 a.m. to give us enough time to open presents before church. The big takeaways: Bode’s big gift was an air hockey/ping pong table that is being housed in our unfinished basement.

If you look closely, you will see Hadley’s owl PJs. Don’t tell her I told you that.

Hadley claims she’s the only kid in seventh grade without a phone and I’m OK with that. She’s obsessed with photography so we bought her a used (yet still pricey) camera to start her business. 

To save money, Jamie and I vowed we wouldn’t buy each other gifts but discovered a few weeks ago we both bought each other Magic Bullets. From the same random store in Salt Lake. If that wasn’t funny enough, we both bought each other the new JasonBourne movie.

Next year, maybe we’ll both accidentally buy each other trips to Hawaii.

Church was beautifully inspiring and I’m so grateful for our welcoming and wonderful ward that already feels like family after only a few months.  Then we drove the 50 minutes back to Jamie’s parent’s house and had a nice low-key Christmas stuffing ourselves with appetizers, soups and desserts all day long.

After a decidedly tough year, it was a simple, wonderful way to celebrate being surrounded by family and I couldn’t be more grateful…and excited for our adventures in the New Year!

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