Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010

The final major event of our trip to Portland was Christmas. On Christmas Eve, after we got showered and cleaned up from the snow, we had a delicious family dinner. After dinner all the kids got dressed up and we acted out the true Christmas story. Since Merrick is the youngest of the children, he got to play the role of baby Jesus. We striped him down to his white onesie so that he could be in his "swaddling clothes" and laid him in his "manger". I could not believe how long he just laid there, looked around, and watched everyone. Unfortunately I did not think to snap a picture until he was already out. Luckily some people were smarter than I was so I will have to round up pictures of the actual event.

After we were done with the Christmas story we exchanged ornaments. We had drawn names and purchased/made an ornament for one other person. We did this two years ago and it was so meaningful and fun. It was great to be together with all the family on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Day everyone opened present in the morning at their own homes. Merrick once again loved opening each of his presents and his stocking.

While Merrick had lots of gifts to open he also had one gift to give. Merrick had worked really hard in the months leading up to Christmas and colored calendars for both sets of grandparents. Once again I forgot to take pictures of Grandpa and Lollie opening theirs, but I was smarter with Nana and Papa.

Eventually all the presents were open and the rest of the day was once again about being together as a family. It was the perfect Christmas and the perfect trip!

Let It Snow

Our next big adventure in Portland took place on Christmas Eve. The whole family, aside from Brendon and Rachel who were quite literally wrapping up Christmas, packed up and headed to Mt. Hood to play in the snow. I was so excited to let Merrick have his first snow experience. Unfortunately I did not plan very well as far as gloves were concerned, so we had to improvise, but Merrick did not seem to mind.

The snow was perfect and while it was lightly snowing as we played it did not seem too cold. The Lundberg kiddo's had brought sleds and we found the perfect hill.

We made our best attempt at making a snowman.

Here are just a few more of my favorite pictures from a great day.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

O Christmas Tree

Ever since I can remember my family has always had an artificial tree at Christmas. They are just so much easier, but there is something special about a live tree. This year my parents were offered a tree by the place that they kennel their dog. They have a Christmas tree farm on their property and they told my parents they could come and cut one down. When we all got into town we convinced my mom that a live tree would be fun and that it was worth all the hassle.

The Christmas tree farm was truly beautiful.

We searched and searched for just the right tree and when we found it we were all so excited. We could not help but pose for pictures with our beautiful tree.

It did take some work to get it cut down, get it home, and get it set up, but I think it was worth it (maybe that is because I was actually responsible for very little of that work).

It was an experience that all the adults will never forget. While Merrick and Kai almost certainly won't remember it, I know they had fun exploring at the time.

Great Wolf Lodge

Merrick and I returned yesterday from our trip to Portland. It is so good to be home and to be together with Jeremy again, but now it is time to get caught up. I would like to get all my blogging about the trip done before the end of the year so I better get cracking.

One of the first things we did after arriving in Portland was head to southern Washington and The Great Wolf Lodge. Ben and Becca's family had been staying there and they were able to get us all in to the water park for the day. It is sad that a water park in Washington can put any water park in Arizona to shame, but it was truly amazing. The whole park is indoor and heated. They have a children's area, wave pool, another play pool with basketball hoops, a water tower, two jacuzzis, and lots of slides, including the scariest slide I have ever been on.

Merrick was such a sport. He played and played in the water all day and finally in the late afternoon fell asleep on my shoulder. By the time we left in the evening we were all waterlogged, tired, and very happy. It was a great day.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pre-Christmas Christmas

We are headed to Portland very soon and will not be able to spend Christmas with Jeremy's family. We decided that since we won't be together on Christmas, we should have a pre-Christmas and exchange gifts. We started the night with a super yummy Mexican dinner with fajitas, guacamole, queso dip, beans, rice, and Martinelli's.

After we were all so full that we could not eat another bite, we exchanged gifts. As usual Merrick was the star of the show. He was so cute opening his presents. He took off the wrapping paper one tiny piece at a time and handed it to grandpa, saying "thank you" each time.

While we all had gifts to open and all got some great things, there is nothing better at Christmas time than seeing the world through a child's eyes. I loved watching Merrick explore his new toys. He is definitely a very lucky boy to have so many people who love him so much.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Calling All Smiles

Lately Merrick has become very interested in looking at pictures. He loves to point out and name the people that he knows. Just before nap this morning he spent half an hour looking at pictures from Jeremy's graduation and identifying familiar faces.

I have decided as one of his Christmas presents to make him a photo album with the smiling faces of all his family and friends, so I am asking for your help. If you would like to be included or if you have a particular picture you would like me to use, please send it my way. I know Merrick will really love this. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Temple Lights

This weekend we took Merrick and went with Jeremy's family to see the Christmas lights at the Temple. When we pulled in the parking lot Merrick insisted that he not ride in his stroller, but that he walk. He is becoming such a big boy and he did a great job walking and staying with us.

I love this picture even though it is blurry because it shows Merrick grabbing the lights along the walkway. He did this several times as we walked. He would reach out, grab them, and say "pretty".

We took some time to take pictures in front of the Christmas tree.

I think that my favorite part of the night was watching Merrick take it all in. Last year when we went, Merrick just sat bundled up in his stroller and really did not know or care about what was going on. This year he was active and interested. It is amazing how much my baby has grown in a year.