January 8, 2019

Christmas in Arizona

We were in Arizona for so long it seemed like it deserved it's own post instead of just a casual mention in the monthly GBOMB (unfortunately I didn't take very many quality pictures during our relaxing break). One night, we went to Illumination, Symphony of Light (which is a mile-long drive-thru light display) that the kids thought was amazing. Another day, we met up with my Hanley side of the family to eat breakfast in Tucson in celebration of my dad's birthday. Later, we made gingerbread houses at my mom's house where Olive had the time of her life eating way too much candy.

Sunday we had an hour church program and the cousins went in matching outfits. We enjoyed a delicious Christmas Eve dinner along with the annual Snow Christmas Eve program. We got to experience some more cute matching cousin in their Christmas jammies. Christmas morning started at 8:30 and was actually pretty relaxed. The kids took their time going through their stockings and then we slowly opened presents and played with toys. It's so much fun watching kids open presents. After presents, Kevin made us pannekoeken for breakfast (which is a Dutch version of crepes). We went to my mom's for Christmas dinner and hot chocolate and to exchange more gifts (much to the children's delight).

The next day the Steed cousins temporarily left us so they could visit family in California. It was good timing for them to leave because the next day Taylor came down with a stomach bug. He recovered by Saturday so we spent a morning at the Phoenix Zoo and then Olive and I hung out with my mom that evening. Then it was my turn for a feverish 24 hours. I came out of my feverish state by New Year's Eve and we had a "party" for the kids. This party consisted of Chinese food, watching some YouTube clips of the kids choosing, and then tricking them into thinking they made it to New Years by putting on a 3 minute countdown off of Netflix at 7:30 pm. The next day we went by my Aunt Emily's house so Taylor and Olive could see her "farm" which currently consists of 4 dogs, a cat, a bearded dragon, and a plethora of chickens, quails, and tortoises. They always have fun at Auntie Em's. We made it home just in time to see our Steed cousins return from CA before it was bedtime. Our next two days weren't spent doing anything in particular besides letting the kids cause chaos together. We left the evening of the third to make it back for a doctor's appointment I had the next day. I then proceeded to totally forget about the said doctor's appointment so we pretty much decided to head home on the 3rd for no reason when we could have stayed a few more days.

Other notable events were Andrew and I going to the Alamo Drafthouse after the kids were in bed to watch Mary Poppins Returns and attempting to watch all of the extended versions of Lord of the Rings with Stephanie and Kevin (we did not quite accomplish this - next year it will happen). Besides forgetting my doctor's appointment, we had a great Christmas break full of memories and fun. Only 351 days until next Christmas. 😉

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