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Monday, January 9, 2017

Stinsons Visit & Disneyland

The day after we got back from Arizona, Lissa's family came to visit! The girls especially had a lot of fun playing together. We've missed them since we left Houston last year!

We spent the first few days hanging around the house (and Sophia developed a mysterious stomach ailment), and for the day and a half, we went to Disneyland! It was SOOO crowded. In fact, it was at capacity and they began turning people away. How many people does it take to get to capacity? Google says 80,000. Yeah. Luckily we got there right when it opened so we could do a few things before it filled up, and then we took advantage of using Fast Passes to ride more rides. Overall, I'd say it was a successful day (even though Sophia spent the whole time sick in the stroller and we even waited in line for the bathroom so she could go throw up). We said goodbye to the Stinsons that night, and our family went back to Disneyland again the next day. It was raining, however, so we didn't last long before we called it a day and drove back home.

Using the free slurpee coupons from Grandma! Apparently Grace was too drunk to pose for this picture...

New Years Eve dance party (the night before Sophia was sick)

reading bedtime stories to all the Mrs. Claus...es... 

Carson "must-ache" you a question! 

Carson having a tummy time with Uncle Jason #whodiditbest


Pictures from Disneyland - not in any order:

 Star Tours! We told Sophia to squeeze our hands if she got scared. She squeezed them the entire time, and I looked over several times and heard her screaming about wanting to get off the ride. Our little daredevil. ;) 

Forcing Carson to take a selfie with me in front of the giant Christmas tree!!

Grace only agreed to be in the picture if she could make that face. 

Nap break! 

It's so cute to watch the girls get excited about the parades. Grace was clapping and waving to all the floats. (Poor Sophia was too sick to care :/ ) 

The first two times we'd been to Disneyland, I was pregnant and couldn't go on any big rides! So Russ stayed with the kids and I went with Lissa's family. As you can see by my face in this picture, I really enjoyed it. haha

We happened to be right by the castle as it did it's transformation with holiday lights. It was really pretty! 
This was right before they changed the lights. Still very pretty.

The sea of people and the lights on Main Street 

Jason and Grace became bff on this trip. Now she likes to give me "big hugs" and "soft hugs" like Uncle Jason taught her. 

 Baby Mickey Mouse ears!

rainy day at California Adventure 

 Carson made some very intense facial expressions during the few rides he went on. (this was in the Little Mermaid ride)

 Uncle Jason and Aunt Lissa bought the girls (and Jason) build-a-bears! Grace was particularly delighted!

The #1 thing Sophia wanted to do was meet Princess Elana (she is new since we'd been there in September). Mission accomplished!

 family picture! (it looks like Russ is trying to conceal his identity...)


For Grandma: Our attempt at a group shot of all the kids. Sophia was really sick and Carson is obviously not enjoying himself, but it's pretty good overall! Grandma, you'll see it again in this upcoming year's grandchild calendar ;) 

 We had an awesome time with the Stinsons and are so glad they could come visit!!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Thanksgiving and Christmas in Arizona

We made the trip to Arizona for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. The trip was better than expected overall. Carson was a champ and slept almost the entire time, but we did have to stop about every 3 hours so he could eat. We are also very thankful for the TV in our van because for some strange reason our girls do not sleep in the car, even though the trip was 10+ hours! Both visits were short, but we had a great time visiting family, going on dates (yay for grandma to watch the kids!), and enjoying the stores and restaurants we came to love in Utah (since Mesa is basically a mini Utah).
Thanksgiving
One day during our visit, Russ and I and Russ's dad did sealings at the Gilbert Temple. The last time we visited Arizona (2.5 years ago), we missed the open house by 1 week, so we'd never been inside. Russ's mom met us with the kids afterwards and we walked around the temple grounds and tried (pretty unsuccessfully) to get a few good pictures. 
 family selfie!

That same day we met up for lunch with some friends from Provo who live in Arizona now. 
It was great to see them again! I couldn't decide which of the next two pictures I liked best. Grace is hilarious in the second one, and Carson was screaming his head off!

We went to a train park one afternoon and the girls loved it so much we went back the following month when we were visiting for Christmas.

 hot dogs and s'mores!

Sophia had a sleepover with her cousins and had SO much fun! 

 one of our feed Carson & feed ourselves breaks :)

before church. I love this picture (Grace doesn't, though!) 

Carson with Sarah - his cousin 2 or 3 weeks younger than him!

 Christmas
 This gingerbread-making activity was before we went to Arizona, but I thought it was funny that when I said, "Make a silly face to send a picture to Daddy" they both did exactly the same thing. :) 

 Obligatory picture with Santa - no one even cried this year, but while in line, Grace kept saying, "But. I scared!"
Uncle Jeff and Carson Jeffrey 

Grace refused to wear the elf jammies I got her, but she looked adorable in them! At least I convinced her to wear the shirt to see Santa!

 One of my favorite Christmas Eve traditions is to act out the nativity story. Carson got to play Jesus, with Sophia and Russ as Mary and Joseph. Grandpa was a narrator, Grandma, Aunt Hayley, and I were wisemen, Grace was the angel, Uncle Jeff was the donkey, and cousin Makenna was a shepherd (cuddling with our tired donkey in this picture)

church on Christmas!
Sophia picked out this book for Grace all on her own and used her own money to buy it for her. :) 

Aunt Suzy has a magic touch with the babies!

Carson amidst all the wrapping paper. He was the best gift of all (even though he wasn't wrapped :D).

back at the train park with Russ's childhood best friend and his family (plus some nieces they were babysitting)

 I also love going to the Mesa Temple to see the lights! It's fun to go and take a picture in the same spot every time to see how our family has grown and changed! 
 Look at those eyes! Carson was taking it ALLLLL in.