I have realized that after the holidays I lack all motivation to document and blog about the experience. I think it's just overwhelming because there is SO much I want to include and so many pictures, etc. So, then I don't end up doing it and that is not the answer either. So, I am going to do my best to document and make sure I make a record of our holidays this year. There will be a few holiday posts and they are probably going to be long and have a lot of pictures.
We were looking so forward to Christmas holidays this year because all of our Johnson family was going to be in town. We were so excited to see cousins, play games, have "Johnson discussions" and just hang out with the people we love. It was also extra exciting to know that Benson understands so much more now and everything about Christmas was going to be so much more exciting than last year. The whole week definitely lived up to our high expectations.
The holidays began with a LOT of snow! Benson LOVED it, although as soon as we would go inside he says "cold, snow cold" haha.
Benson was ENTHRALLED with the Christmas tree this year. The one at my mom's house is especially magical, but even the very simple one at our house was enough to keep him very happy. Every morning he would run into the living room and point to the "twee" and the lights. He loves everything about Christmas trees. He was so disappointed when we took ours down and even said "lights?..."Santa Cwas?" I was surprised that he had made the connection.
Ben and I had the chance to go see "A Christmas Carol" at the Hale Center Theater in Orem. Ben was not looking forward to it and thought he would fall asleep. He was wrong. It was so well done. My good friend, Adam, and his wife are in it and they gave us the tickets. THANK YOU! We need to make it a tradition.
Growing up we never really made gingerbread houses, and we are pretty far from the creative type, so I never really had much desire to make one. But, having a kid changes all that. Benson loved every part of the gingerbread house process. He was adorable and that made it so much fun. It did not matter that I had no idea what I was doing, we had a blast.
(I love this picture because this look of complete joy is how Ben looks at Benson 99% of the time. Daddy sure does love his little boy)
He was very proud of the finished project.
The Saturday before Christmas the whole family (minus Rachelle's family and Justin) took the frontrunner/trax up to Temple Square and City Creek to see the lights. It was SO cold that day, but still just so much fun. Even though I don't think the train saved us much time, it gave us so much more time to just spend together. If we were driving we would have spent the travel time in separate cars, missing out on the time as a group at the stations and on the train. It was great.
cousins posing (gotta love Scotty's feet)
I Love to See the Temple
Benson was out!
The whole fam-damly!
We had a lot of time to spend together as a family, especially since we now live so close to my parents. It made it easy to go home to put Benson down for naps or bed and then for me to come back and play games or just talk late into the night. It made the holidays even better than ever.
playing "white Mormon games as Ben calls them"
My dad treated the whole group (and a bunch of additions from the Coleman and Nelson families) to sledding up at Soldier's Hollow. Honestly, I am not a big fan of sledding, but Ben loves it and was excited to take Benson. The only problem was that the kids hill didn't exist this year and he was too little for the big hills. So, I just pulled him around on a tube, which he loved. Then, he had to go potty (he potty trained at the beginning of the month) and we ended up the rest of the time in the lodge, haha. I was ok with it, although I feel bad that my dad paid for me to not sled. It was fun though.
(yes, that is a bandaid on Benson's face. He has these impetigo spots on his face that will not go away because he keeps picking them. We had family pictures the next day and I wanted to make sure his face looked better. It was a success but the bandaid definitely looked a bit ridiculous)
My mom arranged to have family pictures taken on Christmas Eve day. This was the first time the entire family has been together in a few years, so it was the perfect time. We actually haven't had family pictures taken since November 2008, so it was time. It was cold, but the setting in Pleasant Grove was gorgeous and I am sure the pictures will turn out great.
Grandma and Grandpa with all the grandkids
As you can tell we had a very busy week. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family that we love to spend time with. We just wish we could be all together more often than once every few years. But, that's what happens as we grow up. We are just grateful for the time we do have together.