I was not very excited to make the drive back to Utah again after all of the vomit that happened on the drive for Thanksgiving. But I didn't want to ditch Sam's family so I sucked it up and went anyway. Since we've been married, we have not spent a Christmas at Sam's parents' house. We had one Christmas with them but we celebrated in Columbus at the Warnick's. I was excited to see the Merkley family traditions that Sam grew up doing.
Before we left town, we delivered gifts to our friends and neighbors. I wanted to do it as a family but it was so cold that I ran up to the doors and Sam and the boys stayed in the car. We took a break at Arby's between the 20 deliveries we made.
On Saturday, we left for Utah at 9:15am. Sam drove the entire time both directions. That never happens. It was great though. It was the shortest day of the year so it got dark early. The roads were pretty good on the way down and we got to his parents' house in fifteen hours. The boys were wired, despite it being after midnight.
The next day, we went to church and then went to Emily Sarah's house for dinner. I was really worried about going over there for dinner because she does not have a kitchen table and she collects shot glasses. It ended up being pretty bad because there was not one single thing that the boys were allowed to touch. No shot glasses got broken. The boys played with her guinea pig though. The next day, Emily Sarah told me that her guinea pig had died. She had noticed he was slowing down all week so I'm hoping the boys didn't stress him to death.
Declan got to play with two of his great-grandmas at once.
On Monday, we went shopping in the morning then played around the house. We let the boys pick out a toy for each other at the dollar store. We asked them to keep it a secret. When we got back in the car together, they both immediately announced what they had picked out for each other. Then we got home and they announced to Dave and Marian that we got them a croquet set. So much for surprises!
For dinner, Grandma Merkley took us out for dinner to Chuck-a-Rama. Old people love buffets. Last time she took us there I was pregnant with Declan and could not find a single thing that looked appetizing. This time it was better but the place was so busy! We had to wait for an hour just to get a seat!
On Tuesday morning, we bundled up and headed out to go sledding. It had snowed a lot on Sunday and we probably should have gone sledding on Monday since, by Tuesday, the snow was pretty much ice. The boys didn't mind. They love snow when it is warm outside!
Marian made a fancy dinner for Christmas Eve. When she said she needed to make a salad, Alex said, "Do you even know how to make salad?" Marian responded, "I do. Smarty pants." Alex shouted back, "Smarty shirt!" So much attitude.
After dinner, we acted out the nativity and read a story about Christmas symbols.
We let the boys open some pajamas on Christmas Eve. They were thrilled.
After the children were asleep, Santa got to work.
Christmas morning did not start super early which I was grateful for. Once the boys woke up, they couldn't wait to get upstairs!
I was looking into getting Alex a digital camera for Christmas because he loves taking pictures so much. But I didn't want to spend $100 on a camera that he would drop and it would break. Then I saw this toy camera on Amazon. It was on sale for $5. It is basically just a case and then we insert Sam's old phone and it works to take pictures. Brilliant invention.
After naps, we went to see Frozen.
The boys cuddled up with lots of stuffed animals for sweet dreams while Sam and I Skyped with Matthew and Laura.
On Thursday morning, Sam and Dave took the kids sledding again while I slept in. It was nice!
On Thursday, we went to the Treehouse Museum in Ogden. It was awesome! I wish we had gotten there earlier in the day because we stayed until closing and I still wanted more time!
We went out for dinner at Dave and Marian's favorite Thai restaurant and then drove around the Layton City Park Christmas lights. Twice. The second time through there was a family handing out hot chocolate. It was very sweet.
On Friday, Dave and Marian babysat the boys while Sam and I went to the Bountiful Temple.
That night, I took Alex and Edison to wander around Target and then I read a book on my Kindle all night. Such a great Christmas present from Sam!
We started the drive back to Williston on Saturday at 9:30am. Edison was crying because he had an earache. At Thanksgiving I was wishing I had a sick kid instead of a puking kid. I got my wish at Christmas. The weather was really bad from Billings to Williston and we didn't get home until midnight.
Santa had forgotten to bring one thing to Utah so he left it for the boys in Williston.
Sam got a giant apple at work. A picture cannot fully capture the size of this apple. It weighed two pounds and the nutrition facts say it serves 17 people, for a total of 2550 calories. It was so delicious though.
The boys were excited to play with their new Christmas toys in their own house. Our house is brimming with toys. These kids are sure spoiled!