christmastime 2021 continued … with sleeping under the christmas tree ^^
and a christmassy saturdaday up in slc while ian was away at a wedding in california. i took the kids first to the grand america hotel, where they were dazzled by the decorations and especially the marble run in the window of the toy shop:
and especially the huge gingerbread house!
bless the stranger who asked if she could take a photo for me, ha!:
we took the lightrail train to see the candy windows at macy’s:
and popped by to see my mom at my parents’ condo downtown before checking out the nativities at (under major construction) temple square:
and the huge christmas tree at the joseph smith memorial building.:
we got to use the giving machine at city creek center. gabriel chose a month of diapers for refugee babies, and moses chose sport equipment for refugee kids. they each contributed $1 of hard earned cash and mom and dad paid the rest 🙂
we drove past this incredible house before heading back to provo. wow, was this a sight to see!
a little different than the gorgeous classy christmas displays in west london. haha. but still very impressive!
evie looking a little festive with her red velvet bow for church, and my favourite christmas book that makes me cry (like weep, not well up) every time i read it aloud to my kids:
we got more beautiful snow and i could not get over how gorgeous mount timpanogos looked in the different early morning sunrise-y light from our back yard!
snowman building in the sun … it was so bright that the snowman was the only one who could keep his eyes open for a photo, haha.
lighting our german christmas pyramid and singing christmas songs together:
we went to this awesome toy store at riverwoods mall to pick out gifts for a family that we were doing a little “sub for santa” for. and we actually saw santa outside the shop!
our street lookin pretty in the snow and blue skies … i have come to really love provo’s geography and weather.
making cookies for santa, and cuddling twins (they got really into giving each other hugs and making each other giggle in december):
in november i started hiking (there’s a trailhead just up the road from our house!) with two new friends each thursday morning (starting at 5:30am!). i absolutely love getting out in the cold fresh air so early and moving my body and talking with wonderful and interesting humans. one thursday in december our hike was super snowy and totally magical and i tried to capture it with my phone!
i went to the nutcraker in salt lake with my dear friend catherine (we’ve been tight since junior high and she is such a good friend and one of my favourite people on earth). i adore the nutcracker and it was so fun to watch the production of my childhood. i have sure loved witnessing the san francisco ballet and the royal ballet perform the nutcracker but i will always love ballet west’s production the best. // gabriel had a darling little preschool christmas performance – here he is with his teacher who is an absolute magical angel:
my favourite part of christmas is helping my kids save up for, select, wrap and give presents to each other. isn’t their writing of their siblings’ names on their carefully wrapped gifts just the sweetest?!
three christmassy activities that i don’t have photos of but really want to remember:
1) we got to go to the first presidency christmas devotional with our dear friends from london (who are related to one of the speakers – due to covid there were very limited tickets available). after that inspiring program, we went to my parents’ condo a block away and caught up with our friends, talk talk talking late into the night. it was such a wonderful night and i’m sad we didn’t take any photos!
2) we celebrated santa lucia day with eating our traditional aebleskivers (and playing out aebleskiver guessing game) and telling the story of santa lucia my candlelight. we invited some new friends over to join in the celebration and that was our first time inviting others over to our new home (with still very little furniture and decorated only by the christmas tree and advent calendar, ha!). it was lovely and i’m really sad we didn’t take any photos!
3) my cousin, who lives just a few minutes away from us, invited us over for a christmassy dinner and games along with anyone else they are related to that lives in provo. it was such a fun night with cousins, second cousins, laughs and treats.
crazy babes in their christmas pajamas and high chairs … eve is constantly standing up in her’s, ha!
i got to go to an amazing carol service at the cathedral of the madeleine in salt lake city. my sisters and their families were there as well (although we weren’t able to get seats together). it was transcendent – a blessed opportunity to sit still and absorb something truly beautiful and feel the supreme peace of the baby jesus.
ian took the kids up to my parents’ house in park city while i was at the concert and then we all gathered after the concert. we had a huge slumber party and then family christmas party the next day.
it’s always so hard for me to get christmas presents for my parents. so difficult to know what to get them and so much desire to show them love and appreciation. this year felt more successful than those in the past. i made them a calendar showing all family members’ birthdays with pictures, and also inspired my sisters to come together on a gift of some art prints that are just perfect for my mom and dad (and even moved my mom to tears! sign of a really good gift 🙂 ). both of these paintings are by my dear old friend and now favourite contemporary artist, caitlin connolly. my dad is writing a book called “the parental god,” and my mom has been doing a lot of work learning about and sharing information about her/our grandmothers.
in the morning, gifts were given to all the grandchildren, and my kids were so excited! after many years of facetiming my parents while the kids opened gifts from their grandparents, it was so fun to be together in person! // later on in the day, gabe chilled with grandfather while he did some things on his computer – i thought this was such a sweet little scene:
moses with his new yoto player (gift from g&g), v v excited // we played a bunch of music together and i didn’t take a photo until after the music stands had been abandoned … it was so fun for me to play my flute after a many year hiatus! my sister and dad played the cello and my sister and mom played the violin (well my mom switched between that and the piano). we got some of nieces and nephews playing christmas songs on instruments too!
there was also treasure chest fun, of course:
and lots of sledding (this mild stuff we did plus my crazy nephews hiking up the huuuge hill across the street and riding their homemade “ski bike” down it!).
after snow fun, moses and gabriel got to make little gingerbread houses from some kits my mom had!
what a fun sleepover and snow day in park city! we headed home in the afternoon to prepare for our at-home christmas – since we were going to be in arizona on actual christmas day with ian’s parents and didn’t want to bring all of our gifts or impose with all of our traditions, we celebrated christmas eve and christmas morning on the 17th and 18th of december! to be continued… 🙂