This might be a long post, because I have lots of pictures and a video to put on here. Bear with me here! ;)
I hope you all had a good Christmas! We certainly did. Sorry we didn't get around to sending out Christmas cards this year - partly due to the fact wasn't really excited about getting my picture taken and also it gets expensive and we were trying to do "Christmas on a budget this year".
But it's always fun to get everyone's letters and cards to read what they've been up to all year long. We loved all the cards we received - ***thank you!*** We have them displayed in our living room. Seems like I always get the "yearly update" from cousins and long-lost friends who have added more children to the clan unbeknownst to me! So that is really fun. And it's just really neat to see everyone growing up. We were thinking of sending out an e-letter, but since we blog, we figured pretty much our year is nicely wrapped up in summary in this here blog. :)
Well, my biggest Christmas wish this year was that it would snow. But of course it didn't...although we did get a few snowflakes on Christmas day - but it was mixed with rain and it didn't stick, but I was looking out the window starring at it and saying "Will, it's snowing!! Everyone - it's snowing!!" LOL So at least I got to see some snowflakes on Christmas Day.
We switch going to each other's families homes every year, and this year it was our turn to go to my family's house up on Camano Island. This was actually a welcomed break for us because we had driven to Idaho/Utah twice in the last 2 months, and so we were excited to only have to drive an hour and a half north of our own home this time. My parents were super excited to have us come up, considering that we were the only kids that came home for Christmas this year. (My other brothers all live out of state and had their own Christmas plans this year).
Saturday, the 22nd, we drove to Leavenworth -which is a really cute German town about 3 hours away from us. It's a great place to go at Christmas time - as you can see from the festive pictures (and video).
That was a lot of fun - especially the part where we got stuck in a line-up of cars going up the mountain for 2 hours because someone wrecked. Once we got past that, we all had to use the bathroom so bad and couldn't find anywhere to stop - so my dad just decided to pull off to the side of the road. My mom and I were not happy about this - because we were definitely not going to moon the traffic driving by. So after my dad and Will took their bathroom breaks, we tried to pull out onto the highway again and soon found that our car was stuck in the snow. LOL.
About 45 minutes later, after my dad and Will had tried to put chains on the tires and broke the chains, my dad finally decided to listen to Will's idea of rocking the car back and forth to break it free of the deep grooves in the snow it had created. And Voila! Moments later we were free. Oh, and during that time my mom and I hiked in the deep snow about 1/4 of a mile so we could finally go. To which we barely missed embarrassing ourselves in front of a hiker who just happened to be walking by!
So we finally made it to Leavenworth after 5 and 1/2 hours in the car, which should have only taken 2 and 1/2 hours. But it was so worth it, and getting stuck in the snow was a fun adventure anyway.
This pic to the right is my mom and dad walking by a church in downtown Leavenworth. The sky and snow was just gorgeous, so Will snapped this shot.
We had fun walking around the town, and had a nice Italian dinner at a restaurant there. Now, traditionally, in order to get the full Leavenworth exprience, you should eat at one of the German pankcake houses and order some weinerschnitzel, however, my parents really wanted to take us to this Italian one - so that's what we did. And then menu was really interesting too - they combined a lot of Italian foods with German. In fact, I ordered "Schnitzel a la Sweis" which was a pork steak with mushrooms and Italian ham, with a side of scalloped potatoes (definitely not Italian).
These are my parents at the restaurant, and then the very first picture above in this blog is Will and I at the restaurant. Thanks Mom and Dad for treating us to dinner - it was yummmmmers.
After dinner we walked around some more, listened to the carolers sing, and of course I had to get some fudge from the Chocolate Factory.
We also found a fun tree lit up with hundreds of Christmas lights and it seemed like there were all these couples waiting to get their picture taken next to it - so we just nicknamed it the "Kissing Tree".
More snugglers next to the "Kissing Tree"
Okay, so after a great day at Leavenworth, we all returned to Camano Island. On Christmas Eve, Mom and I still had some last-minute Christmas shopping that we needed to get done, so we left for the mall and left Dad and Will at home.
Those boys sure found themselves a hobby over the weekend: Photography.
Well, photography was already a hobby of my dad's, and he is really into it. He has more camera equipment than a professional - haha!
He spent a great deal of the weekend teaching Will how to use our camera manually and get the best shots. His quote for the weekend was "If you just leave it up to the camera to take the picture, without you it's just a piece of metal."
When Mom and I returned from Christmas shopping, we found a note that said "We went to go play, see you later."
They returned to the house after a few hours along with hundreds of shots that they took of a field full of snow geese. I have to say the pictures turned out pretty good! Will also got a tri-pod for Christmas from my dad, which he was pretty excited about. So now our photos can look extra-specially good from now on. :)
This shot was after Will was trying to scare just a few of the birds to get a good picture, when all of a sudden the whole mass of them got spooked and took flight.
Yep, this is all Will's doing! LOL Though, they did say it was pretty cool. There so many birds you couldn't even see anything through them.
(A shot of Will out in the field of snowgeese)
Christmas morning was fun, I think my parents were more excited than we were to get up though. They knocked on our door and said "Okay you two - we're tired of waiting. It's time to get up!! We've got the Christmas tree lights on, and the music playing and everything. Come on downstairs!"
Here is the video of Leavenworth and also opening gifts on Christmas morning.
The day after Christmas, my dad took us to one of his favorite photo-opt places on the island and took some "Christmas" photos of Will and I. So here are some of the best ones. (I think you should be able to click on them to see larger versions).
Okay okay...here it is:
My 4 month, 1 week old baby belly. I am too self-consious to take those monthly photos of how big I'm now starting to get (and how fat I actually feel), so this is all you're gettin' for now.
Photography: Ron Southworth
Obviously with two goofs like us, it's not always easiest to get non-goofy pictures.
Well, that about wraps it up. We're now back at home and are going to spend New Years here at home together. No idea what we're doing yet though. My favorite gifts this year was #1 - spending time with my husband and my parents, #2 - (this might be surprising but...) the MoTab CD I got from my parents, it's my favorite Christmas ablum ever now. It was just broadcasted on PBS on Christmas Eve. It's "The MoTab with Sissel" (a singer from Norway).
I think Will's favorite was #1 - Games, games, games (I got him Monopoly, and Connect 4), #2 - tripod, and #3 the huge coffe table book of satellite images of the earth called "The Complete Earth". I think he has spent hours looking at the book so far. But I know he missed his family too.
Happy New Year!