Friday, January 16, 2015

Christmas in Murray 2014

If you ever want to make packing for a Christmas trip feel like a breeze, just move first! Getting ready for Utah was a walk in the park after moving a family of five. I kept thinking, is that really it? One suitcase, a pack-n-play, and a box of gifts? No sweat! 

It felt SO GOOD to arrive in Murray and finally find Christmas! It was like my mom handed me and my little family Christmas on a silver platter, and we were so grateful. Because up until then, moving had kind of taken over our lives, so my guilt was majorly lessened knowing that the kids would get a real Christmas in Utah. 

On Christmas Eve, Ryan and my dad took Landen, Trenton, and Chase skiing. The all did awesome on the tug rope and then Chase took a snooze in the lodge with my dad while Ryan took Landen and Trenton up the lift. 

On Christmas Day, we woke up to SNOW! It was pretty dry on the ground up until then, but after opening gifts we explored fresh snow in the backyard while big, beautiful flurries drifted from the sky. 

It was so fun having Rachel and Chad's family, as well as Mary and Tom's family, with us all in Murray, but we sure missed Corey and Sally's crew! 

Ryan skied with his friend Charney at the Canyons the day after Christmas, while the rest of us did a quick (and cold!) sledding outing, followed by Big Hero 6 for the kids and Unbroken for the grownups. (Thanks to my mom for watching the littlest ones!) 

We spent Saturday with the Nielsens. It was so fun seeing everyone. And the boys even snuck in a BYU basketball game with Gregg. On Sunday we drove home, leaving mid-day like we usually do, so that the kids sleep the last handful of hours. 

Quinn ADORES my parents. I love this little snuggle with my beautiful mom, above. She runs to them constantly and just generally is never more than five feet from them when we're in Murray. I've never seen anything like it, and I hope it stays that way forever! 

Favorites from the End of 2014

One Sunday evening we drove fifteen minutes to a beautiful Christmas tree farm nestled in the hills of Half Moon Bay, just off the 92. I brought my big camera to play with, and the kids played hide and go seek with their dad. Hearing their shouts from within this silent maze of pine trees was magical. This AZ girl never imagined raising her family in a place where a round of hide-and-go-seek in an empty Christmas tree farm was totally doable. 

Before we moved, we spent our last Saturday in San Francisco, because it just felt like the right thing to do. :) It was too cold to stay more than an hour at Crissy Field, but hot chocolate at our favorite XO Chocolates (on Columbus) warmed us right up. (You can see Chase's milk mustache in that picture of him in the car.) :) 

The last three photos: Trenton with two friends, Alex and Silas, at his old school; Chase snuggling in the bed with me on my 30th birthday, after a nice nap; Quinn applying lipgloss to an already chocolaty face. 

Goodbye 2014!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Big Move, December 2014

In the Bay area, owning a home is a far-off dream for most of us. For almost seven years we've chatted with friends about how insane the real estate is here and how jealous (but obviously, happy!) we are of friends who are settling down in cheaper areas. (Until winter hits... Then their freezing Facebook photos remind me that the Bay area does have its charms!)

One by one, a lot of our friends move away to someplace more reasonable, and every time, I think, Why in the world are they not over-graming their new house?? I always figured I'd be bouncing off the walls when I got a house of my own...and I totally am!

So I'm gonna document. Document what it was like to get our first hear the boys pray for it for months on hold the key in our eat our first meal live without a couch for six weeks.

Telling the kids that the previous owners accepted our offer! And celebrating with Martinelli's on our patio. This was a really happy moment.

Our first visit to the townhouse after getting the key!

At this point, we hadn't decided whether we were going to move right in or rent it out for six months. But clearly, we were a little excited! The kids slid around this bare floor for an hour.

At Thanksgiving, my parents came out to visit us and to help up move the first few loads of our things. We were so grateful to have their help! 

This is how the place looks today. We've got a rug! (It sheds like a blue dog. Hope that improves!) Plus chairs and a temporary table. 

This week, Ryan worked hard to figure out and set up this space for us, downstairs in the office. It's not quite finished, but it's a little bit of organization heaven. 

One of the best parts of living here is the grass right out front. Chase mastered his two-wheeler as soon as we got here, almost like he was saving the memory for our new place. :) The boys ride lap after lap while Quinn verrrry slowly toddles along on her balance bike, waiting for one of her brothers to catch up and chat with her before continuing his lap. 

On our second evening here, at about 6pm, Ryan was working with the internet guy and I found myself telling the boys to get on their bikes, when normally at that time, I would be telling them to come inside. Quinn found her stroller and started definitively patting it, telling me she wanted in (which she never does!).We had walked about ten feet around our circle when a mom and a couple of kids appeared. It was our new neighbor (an LDS family) who has a son in first grade. We ended up chatting all the way across the street to the park, and the boys hit it off right away. 

Later, I thought about how all those little stars had aligned to have us in just the right place at just the right moment. It wasn't a huge deal, but it was comforting for me to get talk to another mom and to see Trenton make a friend in his same grade. Just a little tender mercy I want to remember. 

Update! We've got a table!