Christmas, how I love thee.
Here we go.
Christmas, to me, really started the night before we left for Utah. We got Jude a picnic table and (evil) tricycle that we couldn't bring along, but wanted to have assembled and waiting for him when we got home. I was so excited to do this; staying up late with your loverboy putting together your child's Christmas gifts?! It seemed like classic memories waiting to happen. But now I know why you hear so many parents talk of this in exasperated tones -- these things are so hard to get together! The trike was a beast and to make it even worse, Jude's legs aren't quite long enough to pedal it, so it is sitting in our garage right now and has been used once. The picnic table was easy. Anyway, we stayed up too late putting together the tricycle, and as I mentioned before, we (I) woke up at 2:45 in the morning (at my command) to get on the road. I am sort of resentful toward that stupid trike and probably will continue to feel that way until Jude is long enough to get some entertainment out of it.
At a pit stop I sprinted through the cold to the restroom while Jeff changed Juju's diaper. When I got back I found Jude in his own personal brand of heaven: rocking out in the driver's seat, no pants on.
We made it to Utah. At Grandma's suggestion, the boys went out to make a snowman. Way too cute and I didn't have to go outside. This was Boys' Club time.
Jude saw me taking pics at the window and ran over to say hi. I love this person.
Voila! I named him Herb, and he lived a glorious 12ish hours before the wind decapitated him and stole his scarf.
Jude took no time at all warming up to people this trip, and the hugs, kisses, and snuggles were sold or donated in bulk. Jude slept in the office right by his grandparents' bedroom, and every morning they'd get up with him and play for a good long time before we'd venture up or they'd come to get us. A true and generous Christmas present for this tired mom!
We met up with some aunts, uncles, and cousins for bowling; Jude may have enjoyed himself a little.
CHRISTMAS MORNING DAWNS. Jude and his cousin L got to open one present each, and then we waited for the Lewis family to arrive a few hours later before opening any others. At Black Friday my lone purchase was a remote control truck that was 55% off. I thought, "Sure, why not." He was OBSESSED with it. He probably exclaimed "Truck!" 350 times in an hour. I was sick of hearing the word, but it was so lovable to see him so thrilled. And here he is, clutching my Tums, sitting by his prized possession. Sidenote: It has already broken so the remote control aspect is out, but he doesn't care, still plays with it every day, and exclaims "Truck!" only about 30 times an hour.
Here he is waiting (a little impatiently now that he knows those boxes hold items as cool as trucks) for the rest of the family to arrive. He plunked himself down on a present that was fortunately in a very sturdy box. Milk, of course, in tow.
After cousins came, presents were opened, wrapping paper folded up for next year or thrown away, and the orgy of greed concluded, Jude was clearly auditioning for the title role in an as-yet undeveloped reality show called The Almost 2 Year Old and Too Much Christmas. With a viewing of Cars 2 with cousins, snuggled next to Dad, he mellowed.
The mandatory (and joyful!) trip to Litza's Pizza. Jude gets his very own Root Beer every time.
He and Aunt Michelle have always, always been good pals.
We also were able this time to drop in on some friends, and the Jexies (although not much because they were sick). President Eyering spoke in church on Sunday and I loved every minute. It was great to be in Utah.
Then upon arriving back home, we had a little belated Christmas celebration with all the Eatons save Elizabeth's family.
A little back up for Jeff's present: we are not gamers. I have never planned to bring video games into the house. I get a little nervous about where it could lead; all those awful games out there. Also, isn't it a magnificent time drain?? At the mall the Microsoft store (something we also don't really "get into") has a huge set up right where people can play Xbox 360 games (mainly the dance and fitness games) for all to see. Jeff mentioned a couple of months ago it looked fun; I thought it looked like something that, once purchased, is used thrice and then left to collect dust. That was all that was really said about it.
Then Black Friday came. It turns out Jeff had told his sister Erica to pick up an Xbox if there was one for a crazy deal. Medium length story cut short: Erica picked up an Xbox for us. The next day Jeff said as we drove to his parents' house, "Do you have your checkbook with you? We have to pay Erica back for something she picked up for us last night." And then he immediately started massaging my shoulder. Hmmmm. When I found out what it was I started laughing but believed we'd probably sell it on Craigslist for a profit (it really had been marked down quite a bit). Then as the Christmas season went on I realized, "Hey, this is something Jeff actually WANTS!" It's so rare he wants to spend any money on himself, and he didn't want to play Halo until the wee hours of the morning, he wanted to get the dance game so we could have us some good old family times. So I decided to be a kind wifely soul and got him the dance game and the Kinect thingy. I felt like a traitor entering into the Microsoft store, but I must give them credit where credit is due. The game has been a lot of fun, and I can only imagine I'll enjoy it more when I quit this bowling ball attached to my torso.
Anyway, we played the game for a while when my family was having our Christmas, and Sarah and Harry probably win the award for most skillful novice performances.
Cameron and Katelyn playing the game meant they had to stop staring deeply into each others' eyes for a few minutes. I am kidding, kidding.
Mimi, Grandpa, and Jude doing what he does best: guzzling.
Is this really the only picture of the 2 of us? Terrible. I need to hand my camera over to other people more often.
I'm so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life to celebrate my favorite holiday with. Really, I'm grateful! Christmas has always been wonderful, and it's gaining in awesomeness as the years go by!!!
Good news people: the next Christmas season begins in approximately 9 months :).