The snow was perfect for packing and it was warm enough that Luke and I both took off our mittens by the end for the finishing touches. The memories made this morning (it was so fun!) will definitely outlast our little snowman.
We've been going through some serious withdrawals since Grandma and Grandpa left. Luke misses playing and running the show with Grandma and "helping" Grandpa with his projects. I was able to organize our pantry, hall closet and spice cabinet while they were here. That felt so good. We loved having them here and hope that we didn't wear them out!
Happy 6 months to Emma! 6 months seems old enough, but when I say half a year, wowzer! Where has the time gone? Emma has a very sweet disposition. She loves to be around her brother. We are entering a new phase of 2 children with Emma becoming mobile, she can roll everywhere! She still likes to be swaddled with her binki for sleeping. Her favorite food is oatmeal cereal. The only other food that she likes almost as much as her cereal is sweet potatoes. She loves baths and splashing in the water. We sure love this little peanut!
Several weekends ago we went up to Erie to celebrate cousin Haley's birthday. We went to her birthday party at a gymnastics center and all of the kids had a blast. After the party we went to Mike and Melissa's home. We had a great visit and hope to be able to head up their way more often.
Outside of Luke's hair being super awesome in this picture he was getting busted for going down the slide head first. Seriously, who lets their kid do that? (Refer to post-Colorado Christmas) Guilty.
We arrived home and decided to celebrate our family Christmas the next day. There were some gifts that Santa knew he had to deliver to Colorado because we wouldn't be able to fit them in the car to bring them home. We had a lot of fun being able to enjoy Christmas again!
The teepee came from Grandma Carrie. We have lots of fun pretending in here. I love that you can fold it up and tuck it in the corner when we are done. Very clever.
Emma liked chillin' in the teepee.
Santa brought the slide for Luke...Santa must have looked over a few "incidents" from the year. :)
Luke called his Uncle Greg to tell him all about his slide.
Everyone had a turn. Well, until Luke informed me that I was too big. Sadly, he was correct, I couldn't fit. :)
Checking out the stocking stuffers.
Emma threw her arms up in the air with excitement about the clothes from Grandma.
Luke deciding what part of the home needs fixing with his new tools and gentle touch.
I don't think it will ever get old the excitement you see in your kids' eyes on Christmas. Whether it is over a piece of candy in the stocking, the wrapping paper (Emma) or a new slide. It makes Christmas complete.
We were blessed while traveling. We had clear roads for each leg of the journey and we were pleasantly surprised how well the kiddos did at 2.5 years and 6 months of age. I still have a hard time road tripping at almost 30 years old. I think total time in the car was about 24-25 hours. I don't think we'll push our luck with too many road trips like that again. :)
On the way out to Utah Luke never took a nap. Looking at this picture, I realize the sugar intake combined with the excitement of going to Grandma's and Grandpa's house that I was the one dreaming if I thought he would actually snooze. Emma slept well and was pretty entertained just watching her brother next to her.
Luke was loaded up with the toys he received from both Grandmas on the way home.
This time, Luke cashed out...with the drill still in hand.
We headed up to Boise to spend time with the Nielson side of the family over New Year's. They had warm cookies waiting for us as soon as walked in the house. Cookies are always delicious, but warm cookies after a few rough spots on the road (giving Emma a full-on sponge bath at the gas station was probably the highlight) was just what this gal needed.
Luke L-O-V-E-D playing with his cousins. Here they are demonstrating "yucky water". I think I played the same game as a kid, but called it "hot lava". They also taught him "Hide and Seek". You have to be pretty sneaky to hide with Luke around. He will watch or follow you and promptly say, "I see you!"
Hot chocolate break.
Grandma and Grandpa were never too far from all of the action with the grandkids.
Luke enjoying one of those heaven-sent cookies that I mentioned earlier.
Wrestling with Grandpa.
Emma tried apples for the first time while we were in Boise. Pucker up!
I may have given her several more bites for my entertainment.
For New Year's Eve the gals went to 'Les Miserables' and the guys went to 'The Hobbit.' It was nice to break it up that way so no one had to worry about what to do with the kids. We played a few "Minute to Win It" games that evening. I think the favorite game was one that involved trying to shake ping-pong balls out of an empty kleenex box that was tied around your waste. It was pretty clear that the winners were Bryan's parents. There may or may not have been video recorded of such events, but I know the line and will not be posting it on the blog. However, I'm sure Bryan can send you a link. :)
It was a nice Christmas, probably the last one that will start at 9am. There is something about Grandma and Grandpa's basement that keeps Luke asleep for hours. It is amazing. Luke didn't understand Santa too much this year, but he definitely understood what to do with the presents that were wrapped for him (and some presents that weren't for him. Luckily, Luke's grandpa's iPad is still in one piece).