Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I'll be home for (a week in between Thanksgiving and) Christmas

On November 27th I got to make the long trip from Layton to Mountain Home to surprise my dad on his birthday.  I left the Salt Lake airport early that morning, had a quick layover in Denver, and safely arrived in Little Rock that afternoon.  Joseph, Julieta, and their two cute baby boys made the 6 hour round trip drive to pick me up from the airport and I'm so thankful they did!  When I got to my parents' house, they were still at work so I waited somewhat patiently with Joseph and Emily and their families for the party to start.  Mom got home first, so we planned out the details of the surprise.  She was my accomplice when Dad pulled into the driveway.  I hurried out to the front porch, Dad's present in hand, and called him.  I told him I tracked his birthday package and it was supposed to have arrived that day.  He decided to go check the front porch for it and was very surprised when he saw me standing there.  I believe his initial reaction was, "How did you get here?"  A bit more logic oriented than emotional but it was still priceless.  Then the week of fun with my family began!

This was the first time in a long time I've been home when there wasn't any big thing going on.  No reunions or funerals or holidays, just everyday life with the fam.  I got to spend a lot of time with just me and my parents, which was really fun.  I can talk all day long with my parents and not run out of things to say.  It would have been much better if Johnny could have come, but I'm just thankful he was supportive enough to let me buy a plane ticket and leave him for a whole week to fend for himself (AKA eat every meal with his parents down the street).  He's a keeper.  And so are my in-laws for always taking such good care of us!

I also spent a lot of time with my siblings and their kids.  Johnny and I have the cutest nieces and nephews on both sides our families.  I just rarely get to see the kids in Arkansas and they are growing up way too fast!

Tanner and Bailey are always a treat.  Tanner talks so much now and he's as crazy as ever.  Bailey is a sweetheart who gives the best kisses in the world!

Here's Danny.  I believe he's a 7 month old in 18 month clothing.  This kid is not messing around!  He has the best grins that will melt anyone's heart.

Clark plays hard to get when it comes to taking his picture, so I had to steal this one from his mom.  He and I became pretty good little friends this visit.  He even voluntarily held my hand!

One day we all (minus Dad who had to work) went out for a nice pizza lunch.  Can I just say how crazy things are when they all get together?  Four kids ages 3 and under makes for madness from time to time.  It's a blast though!

I also got to be in town for Emily's second 5k race.  She just started running this summer and she's doing great with it!  It was awesome to be with her kids while she crossed the finish line.  Don't mind that Emily is wearing makeup and looks great even though she just ran a tough race and I'm going natural and slumming it just because I was lazy.  Totally normal.

I'm so mad I didn't get any pictures with my mom this trip.  We planned to get one the day she drove me to the airport but we both forgot!  At least I forgot, she may have remembered and thought she was off the hook.  We had so much fun hanging out together.  Dad told me I had to take Mom shopping while I was home so we spent all of Friday out on the town.  We found tons of cute things for her to wear and now I'm just sad I won't be home to see her in them!  She looks dang cute in her new clothes.  I love that woman!

On Sunday night Mom made Mexican food.  Grams was legendary for her enchiladas so Mom made those, Aunt Robin made the tacos, and we also had tostadas - yum!  That brought me back to my younger days of all the Mountain Home family getting together for delicious Mexican food meals and plenty of root beer.

On Monday, my last real day in town, I was busy making pies for my dad!  He loves coconut cream and banana cream pies, so I knew I had to make him some when I was home.  Dad thought the next time I'd be home was in June and he had already been telling me that I had to make pies then.  He got them a few months early:)

We ate our pies Monday night after we finished yoga.  My parents have a private yoga instructor come to their office every Monday night so they can get a nice little workout.  I joined Mom, Dad, and Aunt Robin for yoga that week. How cool is it that my parents and aunt do that?

Mom drove me back to Little Rock Tuesday morning so I could finally see that husband of mine.  Even that three hour, very curvy drive down to the airport was fun because it was just more time to spend with my mom, talking about anything and everything.  (PS since moving to Utah and getting used to the straight I-15 I have lost my tough stomach when it comes to windy curvy Arkansas roads.  Sad day.  Hello car-sickness.)

  Dad was even late for work that morning waiting for me to get downstairs and say goodbye.  

We did so many other things this trip but I forgot our camera and was left with my mom's iphone to capture the moments.  I think I did pretty good considering that, right?

I'm so glad I got to visit my family.  I love living in Layton but I'll probably always be prone to those homesick tendencies.  This Christmas we're staying in Utah and it'll be my first Christmas away from home.  If it weren't for this quick surprise visit, I would have a hard time with being away on Christmas.  This trip was just what I needed.  I love my parents and siblings and their little families so much!  Lucky for me, Johnny and I will get to see my parents and a whole bunch of my Mom's family next week for Becca and Derek's wedding in Arizona! We're so excited!  More to come later.  Merry Christmas everyone!