I love this picture. Haiven totally looks freaked out, as if she wants me to get her out of there quick! Taj just can't help climbing in the crib with her when she's in there. He makes sure to keep the mobile going for both their entertainment.
Haiven meeting her great grandma Martha for the first time. You can tell Haiven likes her too by the little smile on her face:)
Taj was pretty proud to have his very own silver bell and he preferred that we look at the bell instead of him!
This was the best picture we could get of Santa and his elves. All of the kids on our car were freaking out! I haven't heard that many little giggles and squeals all at once since I was in elementary school!
In Brannon's defense, I let Taj take some pictures and he chose Brannon as his subject:)
Nothing like a cold, Monticello sunset over the Blue Mountains!
Haiven meeting her great grandpa for the first time. You can tell that she was very intrigued with him:)
This year for Thanksgiving we went home to Monticello. Besides the holiday traffic, the trip there and back was pretty much perfect. We only had to stop once both ways to feed Haiven, otherwise she slept the entire way! When Taj was Haiven's age and we went home for Christmas, he cried the ENTIRE way, so we were geared up for a cry-fest, but we were pleasantly surprised by the snoring in the back seat. Thanksgiving dinner was great as always and I'm sure I ate too much for someone who needs to drop a lot of baby weight still! I think Brannon and I are going to have our own Biggest Loser competition to see who can drop the weight first. I think I might win since I have a gym pass and he has a giant sweet tooth.
Instead of doing Black Friday this year, we took a ride on the Polar Express in Durango, CO. My mom booked us tickets and while they were a bit pricey, I say they are totally worth it if you have kids. Taj absolutely loved it! His perma-smile face was glued to the window pretty much the entire ride. We drank hot cocoa, ate chocolate chip cookies, and listened to the Polar Express book on the way to the North Pole. Once we got to the North Pole, Santa came aboard and gave all of the kids on the train a silver bell from his sleigh. Taj wasn't so sure about Santa, but he loved the bell. Haiven slept like a rock, thank goodness, for the whole ride. I don't know how people traveled long distance in those old cars. They sway back and forth like a boat on water. I was just glad nobody got sick! It was such a fun night and literally a magical experience to see Taj's face light up and to experience the magic of childhood again through him. It actually brought tears to my eyes watching Taj as we pulled away from the train station. I was embarrassed about it until I looked over and saw my mom and sisters with watery eyes too, then we all laughed for getting so emotional over a train ride:)
It was good to just relax and spend time with family over a long weekend. Just so I remember, I love getting together with my family over the holidays because it always includes National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Elf, game night, hot cocoa, chips and Yolanda's salsa, mom's latest recipes, late nights telling stories, craft day, a bad mood or two, and lots of noise and laughs. My family knows how to spend quality time with each other and I've always been grateful for that and I know our relationships are stronger because of it. I know my mom will appreciate this since she is always so worried that if she doesn't have a lot of activities planned that we will all be bored and not want to come home. I told her that we all like to come home because it's home. There is no way it could be boring with all of us there together!