Jeff and Ashlyn came from Utah to stay for the whole break, which was a delight. She's just a doll--so game to come and spend two weeks at her in-laws for heaven's sake. That's a scary prospect at best but she was awesome. I admire her as a person more and more as I spend time with her. She is smart and fun and oh-so-good for my boy. He's awesome, too, but I already knew that. Ashlyn continues to make us smile as we build our relationship with her, and may it ever be so--yes please!
One sweet bonus of that funeral was three days with my sister from Arizona. We had some happy times together and I'm glad she could come all this way to see this good friend who had lost her dad. This sister is fifteen years younger than me and when she went with me to help me pick out new glasses, the optometrist thought she was my daughter. It has happened often throughout that girl's life. No worries, because if that means I resemble her in any way either physically or in spirit, I'm good with that. Because she is wonderful and I love her so very much.
Christmas itself was full of the anticipation and satisfaction of gift giving including surprises for everyone Even if they had done their own Christmas shopping, I managed to sneak in a few unexpected goodies. The big one for me was a snazzy convertible roadster--Eric picked it out as a surprise and it is SO fun to drive! We were already planning on getting another car, he was just nice enough to take care of the choosing and legwork and form-filling-out all by himself. Didn't he do a good job? Oh how we love our sporty Zoom Zoom car!
|Santa came to us on Christmas Eve!|
|Three Kings with Attitude|
During the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, there was much of sleeping in, dining out (CheeburgerCheeburger, Cafe Rio, Fogo de Chao), playing games, working, watching of television, talking and visiting, shopping and a couple of city outings. We made so much incredible food that I made everyone go for a walk in the woods at one point so we wouldn't actually explode from just sitting and eating for days at a time. All in all, I think it was good times. Everyone is smiling in all the photos at least, so we'll take them at face value. Seriously, it was a joy I can hardly express just to hear the kids all laughing together so often. Priceless. Amazing. Worth every minute of the last 25 years of motherhood.
Since I got my new phone in October, I have gotten into iPhonography and am having a blast figuring out how to get some really great shots with a camera that fits in my pocket and is slimmer than a candy bar, that also happens to be my phone, my calendar, and my music player. Pretty amazing, really. It is a very nice alternative to my DSLR, much as I love the big guy. There is virtually no shutter lag on the phone camera so it's sometimes more useful and fun than my little point and shoot. As they say, the best camera is the one you have with you, and I always have my phone. Here are some shots from a frosty morning walk in December. I was enjoying the rising sun shining on the crystals that had formed on every edge and thinking, dang, I wish I had my camera, then I realized that I did have a camera! I'm getting better at framing with the live view (hard for me since I'm used to a viewfinder), and the proportions of the images, but I like the quality a lot and think these photos are just dandy for what I'm using them for.
One early morning just after the new year, I left the house early to go do some cleaning at the temple and was rewarded with this view as I arrived. It was worth the effort just to see this grand building in the rising sun. Once again, iPhone to the rescue and I got the shots.