Saturday, January 10, 2015

Merry Happy Everything

This Christmas was a bit slapdash for our family; none of the presents were wrapped until Christmas Eve, our extended family "christmas party" wasn't until Dec 27th, and we watched exactly zero Christmas movies together. It wasn't that we were lacking in Christmas cheer, we just were too busy with everything else going on!! And guess what? It has honestly been the best holiday season yet!

I'm just so happy to be reunited with my friends and family that nothing else has seemed to matter much!

And what better present is there than to be bursting with love and gratitude?

The week before Christmas one of my dear (and tallest) friends, Gardner, came back from serving a two year mission for our church. While waiting for him to land at the airport I saw another friend of mine whom I also hadn't seen in two years!! It was just Grand Reunion Central
As our friend group keeps welcoming more and more friends home, it is so fun to see how everyone has changed over these last 2 years, but also how they are exactly the same. 

Speaking of change, I was more than surprised at the airport to find that my little brother (who is 10 years younger than me!) is not so little anymore! On his tiptoes we are almost the same height! 
Every winter break my mom lets each of us choose one family activity that we really want to do, mine this year was to make gingerbread houses. Ev and I teamed up and came up with two masterpieces! Everett wants to be an architect when he grows up (plus a goalie and a game inventor, but that's besides the point) so he gets credit for most of the ideas, I just helped him execute his vision. Usually he really isn't into this kind of thing, so I couldn't help but laugh when he poured some sugar in the palm of his hand and gently blew on it to give the gingerbread houses a snow dusted look, genius! 
I am going to just have to do a whole separate blog post about skiing.. But suffice it to say that while the valley was seriously lacking in snow, the mountains were not. This photo was from when it snowed 18" overnight and we skied in deep powder all. day. long. 
Also: Is anyone surprised that Santa was shredding at Alta the day before Christmas Eve? nope. 
low quality picture, but high quality friends, so it's staying right here. 

And then BAM, in the blink of an eye it was suddenly Christmas Eve! 
Our tree is always ladden with ornaments that us kids have collected over the years. This handmade one is my favorite. I bought it in Germany at a christmas market a few years ago. 

While I loved watching my younger siblings open up their presents, the real highlight of Christmas was without a doubt: MY BOY BRENNON, or should I say Elder O rocking it in the Orlando, Florida mission! We got to talk to him for a whole 45min on Christmas day and we all just screamed when he popped up on the screen, because we were so excited. 

He is doing so great, I love that kid! I couldn't be prouder of him. He also sent us the most random assortment of presents and letters in a box from Florida, which I loved too! He is such an example to me of love and service, I can't wait to see how he grows over his two years! 
Cue more friends, more homecomings, and more reunions! 
Then, Dads birthday on the 29th is always special! This year we kept it simple and went skiing, went to noodles & co, then had a very green mint chocolate chip cake! I failed to get a good picture of him, but this one somehow seemed to suffice. HBD Dad! 

Finally, to kick off 2015 right Pelle and I went on a 3hr long hike in the terrace hills. The view was gorgeous, the air was fresh, and the good karma was flowing! I accidentally dropped my drivers license in the snow and a kind Russian woman picked it up and found me on the trail. 
Also, we saw a coyote, the coolest flock of birds ever, and a large herd of deer. So I'd say it was a successful outing! 
Holidays schmolidays, traditions are fun, but friends and family are what it is really all about! 

2015, I'm ready. 

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