December 31, 2008

Christmas in Arizona

Right after the adoption, we took the 12-hour drive to Arizona to be with our family for Christmas. We are getting to be professionals at long-drives. This was our 4th time this year (and we are headed down again this weekend for another funeral . . .). We know all the best, cleanest bathrooms from American Fork to Mesa.
Highlights from our Christmas:

1. Quading with my family at 4 peaks on Christmas Eve morning. I got to ride in the yellow jeep with my 3 sisters. It's been a long time since it was just us together! We took turns riding Grandpa Neff's old ATV around. The boys loved it! The whole time Kyler was shouting "faster, faster!". At the same time, Kacin was shouting "Slow down!".
2. Eric's uncle, Doug, died Christmas Eve morning. I know it is not a highlight, but a significant event. It was all of the sudden and pretty tragic. Eric had become pretty close to Uncle Doug. I mean, we even have "Got Doug?" t-shirts. His death made the rest of our trip a little more sullen, but a lot more grateful for our wonderful family members and all of the great times and memories we have together. Death always makes you cherish the time you have with others a bit more. It was also great to see Wade, Eric's dad, a little more than we otherwise would have.
3. Hanging out with the Girls
Some of my favorite people! We grew up together in Mesa. I've known these girls since 4th grade and we were so close growing up--always together. It was me, Jenny, Trisha, Jill, and Linnelle at Lisa's house. We were sad Heather and Alyssa couldn't make it!
4. KFC. Even though Grandma and Grandpa Neff weren't here this year, we still had the traditional KFC dinner on Christmas Eve. It was strange not having them around for it all (Grandma died in July and Grandpa died in Oct.). They are definitely missed.
5. Santa came! The boys fell asleep with their heads close together on Christmas Eve whispering about what Santa was doing (getting his reindeer ready of course). Santa filled the stockings with cars and gloves. He left the gifts (unwrapped, Eric!) under their stockings. Camping chairs, a watch (for Kacin), and a skateboard (for Kyler). And he let us know a trampoline was waiting for us in Utah!
6. Biscuits and Gravy Christmas morning. Everyone was there! Even Grandma and Grandpa Allen came over for breakfast. Then we unwrapped all of the presents (except for my camera which I got to open on Christmas Eve--THANK YOU, ERIC!). It was so much fun watching Kacin's face light up each time he opened a gift. He exclaimed almost every time that it was "just what he wanted". Kyler was a bit more passive, except for when he opened up his suit. There was a huge smile for that gift.

7. The Bottom Chin
Kacin was sitting with his Uncle Josh. He looked up at Josh's face and was staring intently at his chin. Then he announced "Your chin looks like a bottom!" Sorry Josh!

8. The Allen Family Un-Talent Show. We performed a lip-synch/dance to "Donde Esta Santa Clause". The boys sang "Jingle Bells" almost perfectly! My dad multiplied into 4 people that did ballet (oddly, another one of him didn't even get off the couch).

9. The scary green bunny. Yes, Dad opened it Christmas morning and it haunted us the rest of the trip. More to come . . .

Merry Christmas!!
Barb said...

It is so fun to relive the Holidays this way! For the most part it was an amazing time together, thank you Allreds for sharing your first Christmas as a family of four with us, it was priceless. (I am getting to the blog soon, Lo Lo!)