Christmas was great this year. Exhausting, but really fun. We went up to Bountiful on the 23rd to spend time with my family. The house is pretty chaotic with all the family in town, but it was awesome to spend time with them, especially since Sarah had come out from Chicago. We went out to eat that night at Buca’s in Salt Lake to celebrate my graduation and afterward went to Temple Square to see the lights. It was bitter icy cold, however, and it didn't take very long before we were back in the car headed home. I tried to put on Christmas Vacation but no one was interested in watching it. I guess Chevy Chase just doesn’t have the same effect anymore.
On Christmas Eve we went and visited the Fishers and their new townhome in Farmington. Samuel spit up all over their nice micro suede couch and they treated us to some delicious caramel wassail. They sent us home with a ziplock bag of Amish Friendship Bread starter, but we’ve seemed to misplace it. We got home in time to do "Chuck’s Deli" with Sarah. Bacon makes every sandwich better. And muenster cheese is amazing. I actually begged for a second because the first was so delectable.
After lunch we hit the back hill for some dangerous sledding. We tried to smoothing out a mound of snow in front of the railroad ties to save our tailbones, but it ended up making the wipeouts more brutal at the bottom of the hill. I almost killed Sophie on one run. After a while people became wary of the treacherous slope and decided to go to the old stake center for better sledding. I stayed at the house with Ashton and Samuel and made some delectable wassail using a Lion House recipe from Alpha. It was super potent stuff. It burned in the throat and boiled in the belly.
In the evening we had potato soup in breadbowls, always a good time and very filling. I think I’ve become accustomed to eating small portions of food at our place because I have a hard time stuffing much in my stomach anymore. We finished the evening by exchanging sibling presents. Sarah totally spoiled us this year. She gave me the book "Caps for Sale" and a box filled with amazing caps for me and Samuel to wear. She also gave Samuel a super charming vest. My folks gave us all pajamas and photo calendars, both of which have become favorite traditions, and they gave Samuel a sweet “shutterfly” photo album. Ashton and I gave my folks this brilliant clock with a goofy photo of everyone in our family in place of each of the numbers. It just happened that there are twelve us of right now, including the dog.
Samuel had a rough night Christmas Eve, so we were ready for everyone to wake up the next morning. We started opening presents around eight o’clock and didn’t really finish until noon. It was quite the marathon. My parents have a hard time keeping track of how many presents they’ve bought. I guess that’s what happens when you start Christmas shopping in February! We were very spoiled, and I got a lot of awesome stuff. My favorite gifts were books, my gray Vans, my bike pump, a framed photograph by my cousin Daniel and this ridiculously awesome remote control helicopter called the Silver Bullet. It’s about the size of a hummingbird and it is a hoot. It’s pretty much impossible to fly without crashing. Samuel got a lot of sweet loot as well, and Ashton made off like a bandit. I almost feel guilty when Santa brings me so much Christmas booty. I’ll just have to remember to pay it forward.
After the present party we had a nice salmon dinner and then took off back to Provo to spend time with Ashton’s family. Ashton’s poor siblings waited all day to open presents with us, and by the time we got there our nephews (who hadn’t napped all day) were pretty wired and nutso and we kind of rushed through the opening of presents in a frenetic whirlwind. We got some great presents there too and doubled our carload. I got the essential Roald Dahl set, which I’m very excited to read with Samuel later, and some base liners for biking and climbing. I felt spoiled last year, but this year was even more outrageous. We hung around for a while after and played Scattergories. I forgot how stressed out that game makes me.
Ashton's Speech for the Natalie's Wish Event 2017 - Here are the full remarks that Ashton gave at this year's Natalie's Wish Event: A few weeks ago my four-year-old, Lars, who has cystinosis, got home from...
3 weeks ago