Friday, December 31, 2010

Holiday adventures on a train, in the snow, in the cold, in the rain

This year we spent Christmas in Logan, Utah with the Humiston clan.  Our trip started on December 18 with 15 hours on a train, which went better than expected, even though Jared still doesn't sleep well on trains.  This was Todd's first train trip, and he could not get over the amount of leg room available.  Our train was shockingly early arriving in spite of a rain/snow storm all of the way through California.  The only incident on the train was as we were arriving in Salt Lake City.  Our car attendant came through to give the ten minute warning for the train stop sobbing and announcing to everyone that a passenger on the train had just died.  We found this to be very strange, unprofessional behavior, but, sure enough, there were paramedics and sobbing family members all over the platform when we got off the train.  And that was the end of our train drama.
Annika and Ryan (known to Jared as "Nanni" and "Ry-rah") sacrificed sleep to pick us up at 3:00 in the morning, and then let us cram into their tiny apartment for a couple of days.  Living in close quarters with my sister and her hubby gave Jared a special attachment to them.  He hasn't stopped asking for Nanni since we got home.
When we got to Logan there was a little bit of snow on the ground.  Jared was in bundled-up-baby heaven.  Here he is in all of his mismatched, too big snow gear.
I forgot what a project it can be to go outside and play when it is 30 degrees and wet outside.  It rained for the first three days of our visit and then the snow was no more.
One highlight of our trip was Jared's first ever basketball game.  My cousin, Carly, is a cheerleader at Morgan High School. Her school's basketball team played Logan High in Logan during the break, so we went to watch.  Jared loved the excitement.  He called out "Ball!" every few moments as he noticed again what everyone else was looking at.
Watching Jared was at least as much fun as watching the game.  Every time the buzzer sounded, he did a shockingly accurate imitation of it.  He was also excited about the giant stairs we were sitting on, keeping us constantly terrified that he was going to fall into the huge gaps by our feet.  He did his best to get into mortal peril, but we managed to take him away in one piece.
Another trip highlight for Jared was plunking on Mama Jill's piano, or "pappo."  He even sang along with his tunes.
Cheyenne, Andrew, and baby Aaron came a few days after we did, and then the cousin fun began.  By cousin fun I mean that Aaron watched Jared constantly enthralled by everything he did while Jared mostly ignored Aaron except to occasionally take his toys away.  Here are the babies with Ryan and Cheyenne on Christmas Eve in their new pajamas from Mama Jill.
Other fun activities included a visit from my dad,
going shooting,
swimming in this nice, warm pool,
way too short visits with my friends, Jordanne and Yeon Mi,
and, of course, all of the Christmas day festivities.  Here is Jared getting into his first Santa filled stocking ever with help from Aunt Faith.
Here are Cheyenne, Andrew, and Aaron on Christmas morning.
We opened presents at Grandma Jill's house before driving to Murray to spend the rest of the day with Jared's great grandparents and my uncles and cousins.  Here are some squirmy babies with their grandma.
It was great to spend this holiday with family and friends.  I think one of the highlights for Mama Jill was getting to go to church with the whole family the day after Christmas so she could show off her growing brood.  I also loved getting to go, as a family, to the Logan temple where Todd and I got married four and a half years ago.
We caught our train back to California on December 26 at 11:00 p.m. after a day of snowstorms.  Anni and Ryan sacrificed their sleep and safety on icy roads to drive us down to the station.  Thanks again, guys!  On the return trip we had a sleeping car.  Jared and I shared a bunk for the night, and he is a major bunk hog, but he slept really well.  Naps were better, too, in the privacy of a closed compartment.
This was a great trip.  Thanks to our Utah family and friends for making this a memorable Christmas.

Since I will probably never be organized enough to send actual Christmas cards, let me take this opportunity to wish our family and friends everywhere a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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