Monday night into Tuesday (and maybe even through Wednesday?) there was a winter storm warning. In Minnesota, sometimes this means we get 1/2 inch of snow, and sometimes it means we get enough snow to collapse the Metrodome. Apparently, Utah means it when they say it, because it snowed about a foot. Rarely have I enjoyed a snowstorm so much as this one, when I didn't have to go anywhere on Monday and could just enjoy the snowfall. (Easy for me to say - I wasn't out there like my Dad snow blowing 3 or 4 times). We had lunch with Lana on Tuesday, Micah's Mom. It was my first time meeting Lana in person and it was like looking at Micah again. Before we left on the trip, I noticed that I was thinking about Micah more and it hit me, that I haven't been to Utah for Christmas since he passed away. And Facebook was no help; almost every time I clicked on "See Your Memories From This Day" things, it would show me updates from Micah asking when he could come up to see us at Christmas time. So it was the first Christmas in a while that Chris and I didn't have plans to have Micah over, and that was a very sad thought. How we miss getting together with him! But what a comfort it is to know that Micah had placed his faith in Christ alone to save him, and that he is really, truly, with Jesus at this moment and happier than he ever was here. I really enjoyed meeting Micah's Mom, and she was so sweet to bring the girls some beautiful dolls (and chocolates for us!). I hope we get to see her more as the years go by!
We did some additional shopping at Hobby Lobby, Costcoo, The Container Store, and Hallmark (to prepare for our after Christmas shopping, of course).
On Wednesday, Aunt Meghan and Uncle Stephen flew in with Baby Claire (or, Claire Bennett), as did Nana and Papa (or, Great Nana and Great Papa). Heidi was really fascinated by Claire, and was just hugging and kissing away at her when they arrived. We kind of spent the day resting and lazing around, which is always good to do once in a while! I have some fun pictures of Heidi playing with toys that I played with as a kid, which is always fun to see. I had lunch with my friend Leslie from Junior High/High School. It was great to catch up!
Thursday was Christmas Eve. During the day, Aunt Meghan got Claire all dressed up in a big puffy snowsuit to play in the snow. She didn't seem to love it, poor girl. Sophia, however, loves the snow and would have spent every spare second outside if I had let her. Heidi is a lot like me...she doesn't understand why we would go out into the snow. I tried to get her dressed to go outside, and when I zipped up her snow pants, she unzipped them. When I put on her coat, she unzipped that too. When I put on her mittens, she pulled them off, and the same thing with her hat. I managed to finally win the "getting into winter clothes" battle because I thought she'd want to be outside if everyone else was outside. Turns out, no. She wanted nothing to do with playing in the snow and after about 2 minutes I took her back in and let her shed the snow clothing. That night for the Christmas Eve service the girls got all dressed up in their Christmas outfits from Great Nana and Great Papa. During church, Heidi was not really all that interested in the sermon part, so we sat in the back in the "crying room" and were soon joined by Uncle Stephen and Claire, and another mom with her little daughter. That night the girls took a bath together, and I have those naked pictures of Claire and Heidi that I will be sharing for years and years to come. We also worked hard to keep my Dad up late, so that he wouldn't be up at 5 a.m. on Christmas morning, and we managed to keep him up until 10:45 (and I have picture proof of it).
Christmas morning arrived! Sophia actually woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and asked Daddy, "Can I snuggle with you?" when she came in the room to kiss us goodnight. Daddy agreed, and I woke up at 5 a.m. with my head way off of my pillow, sleeping on the bottom half of the bed, with Sophia sleeping with her head on the pillow laying sideways across the bed so that her feet were resting on Chris. The girls had a lot of fun at Christmas; Heidi got a pooh bear from Aunt Meghan and said "Wow!" when she opened up the wrapping paper. Sophia's new diaper bag for Bitty Baby means that we will never again be able to leave the house with Sophia being adequately prepared to take care of Baby Anna :) Dolls and books and bears and singing toys - it was a fun morning! I think Christmas is much more fun with kids than it ever was prior to having kids. I love watching it through their eyes.
The day after Christmas. The girls all got matching outfits, which we of course had to (tried to) take pictures in. Heidi mostly wanted to watch Nana's new snoopy toys singing. Hallmark in the morning was a success, followed by some more minor shopping, and then In 'n' Out for lunch! Yum! I wish Minnesota would get on board with those. In the afternoon, Papa, Daddy, Aunt Meghan, Uncle Stephen, and Sophia all went sledding. Sophia absolutely had a blast. Family all arrived from Arizona that evening around 5 and we had a pizza dinner with them. Chris' friend Trevor was able to join us, which was really nice. We hadn't seen him for probably 3 years or so. I wish I had more pictures from everybody there. Camden was carefully watching over Heidi, peeling oranges for her and everything. Kendal spent the evening mothering Sophia; the two of them were really having a lot of fun together. Sophia wanted to spend the night, and it was hard to say "no" but since we were flying out the next morning we really couldn't have her stay there. Great Aunt Lynne made a beautiful blanket for Heidi - I was thrilled! It's so beautiful. When we got home, Heidi was worn out from playing with everybody and went right to sleep, without a fuss. Sophia, however, was just having fun watching Mickey in Nana and Papa's room and asked if she could snuggle with them (and how could they say no to that?) so she had a "sleepover" with Nana and Papa.
The next morning, our last day, we left early for some Banbury Cross donuts for breakfast. Going through the airport and security was considerably less traumatic in Salt Lake City, and we boarded the flight without an issue. It was a little disappointing that we didn't have screens on this flight, but Heidi fell asleep about 30 minutes into the flight and slept almost the whole way so it really wasn't too bad of a trip. It's always so strange to look back on the evening after landing and think to myself, "we were just in Utah this morning!". How strange that seems.
We landed, and Oma and Papa picked us up and then graciously offered to keep the girls during the afternoon nap so Chris and I could get all unpacked. We then went back over to have some dinner and celebrate Christmas. Copper was thrilled to see us! And I missed my puppy! The girls, of course, had a blast. Sophia got the first Despicable Me movie, which we have now already watched a couple of times, and Heidi's favorite thing was probably a princess little people carriage. They just love those little people toys. I was given a beautiful Pooh Bear bead for my Disney bracelet, as well as a "Pro-Life" bracelet that I just love. I was unfortunately feeling pretty ill all evening, so I have practically no pictures and a foggy memory of the evening. Chris did get to finally open his fat tire bike, which he is really excited to ride around in the snow. He did practice a little bit and commented on how stable it felt going through the snow in the yard. Back home, we all went to bed!
What a beautiful Christmas we had, celebrating with our families and friends. I look forward to all that this year will bring to us. It is amazing how much has happened even in just the last year. And my sister and her husband are going to be celebrating their first anniversary on Friday! It'll be an interesting time this Summer for sure when Chris is gone for training for 12 weeks. It'll be quite the shock! But God does great things, for His glory and our good, and my continual reliance on Him is all that I need! God bless you and your family in the upcoming year.