Saturday, February 4, 2012

Holidays 2011

We had a rough start to our holidays this year. Vaughn's Grandpa Charlie passed away on November 19th. He was a fun man to talk to. He was full of stories about his amazing past. He always called Layla "Tyke" We are going to miss him greatly. During the funeral services I noticed a robin sitting outside the window as if he were listening to the talks. He stayed through the whole thing till the end and flew away. I decided it was Grandpa Charlie listening in.

Thanksgiving this year was pretty low key. We had dinner with Vaughn's family. I made the turkey this year. I made the famous turkey that I won Vaughn's heart with when we first were dating. It turned out wonderful.

Starting the 28th of November I took a "vacation" from my business. It was my birthday week and I decided I deserved it. I started it off just right by going to the spa for the day. Oh it was so wonderful! We celebrated my birthday early with the family since I was going to be gone on my birthday. I got a new stove! I was so very excited. Our old stove was so tiny you couldn't fit a pizza pan in it. In order to fit the new stove in Vaughn had to do some remodeling of the kitchen counters. It turned out great.

On my birthday I hopped on a plane and flew down to New Mexico. I went to go visit my birth children. I went by myself. I flew into Albuqurue which was a 3 hour drive from where my birth children live in Roswell. I rented a car and spent the night at a hotel since the weather was bad. In the morning I had a very scary drive down to Roswell because New Mexico does not know what a snow plow is. I was praying the whole way. Once I got into Roswell I got a little lost because my map was wrong. But eventually I found their house and Kendrick was outside in the driveway hullahooping.

My visit with my birth children and their family was amazing. We had such good times reconnecting. I am so proud of them. They are beautiful and so smart.

And Silly!

For Christmas I made them an advent claender of sorts. They had 24 fun gifts to open. Here are the fun straw glasses!

It was so hard to leave but I am so glad I got the opportunity to spend time with them.

It was hard to believe it was Christmas time this year. We had such a warm winter so far and hardly any snow. To get us into the holiday spirit I bought us tickets to ride on the North Pole Express. Both Layla and I LOVE trains. She was so excited when we got there and realized what we were doing. It was a great experience and a great memory. I think we will do it every year now.

The train took us to the North Pole where Layla got to meet Santa and tell him she wants a trip to Jamaica. All she got was a jingle bell. She wasn't quite sure about him but she was pretty excited he gave her something. While we were on the train they had a high school choir sing carols and served us yummy hot chocolate.

Layla had a blast!

Christmas morning when Layla woke up I told her Santa had come and she somehow knew exactly what I meant and ran straight for the tree. She said "WOW!" It was precious! She got pretty spoiled this year. It took her all day to open her presents. She would open one and want to play with and not open any others.

After we opened a few presents we got all dressed up and went to my dads for breakfast and went to church. Then came home and opened more. For dinner we went to Vaughn's parents house and opened even more presents. We were all spoiled this year.

The Wednesday after Christmas we headed down to sunny Mesa, AZ. We drove down and Layla did amazing. It was in the 70s the whole time we were down there. We went down to Mesa to attend Vaughn's cousin, Kelson's wedding. We stayed with Vaughn's sister Maren and her family. The wedding reception was held outside at night and it still felt great! As always it was so fun to hang out with all the cousins and their kids. Layla had a blast playing with her cousins and her "other" cousins :)

We were still in Arizona for New Years eve. Vaughn's mom watched Layla for us and we went over to Vaughn's cousin Andrea's house. It was pretty cool to sit outside around the fire and roast marshmallows on New years Eve.

We hope you all had great Holiday season and Happy 2012!