Merry Christmas

The week leading up to Christmas through Christmas morning, we got to spend at a beautiful resort in Palm Desert with my family. It was chaos and it was fun and we got to all be together for an entire week. I have three brothers, two of which are married with two kids each. They are all under the age of 5. Jack absolutely LOVED having his cousins around and even cried when it was time for them to go home. Everyday from 7:30am til 8 pm we just played and laughed and kept ourselves busy. Three of the days were warm enough to go poolside, but the others were a bit to chilly so we kept busy doing other things. I have an overload of pictures, but this turns into my scrapbook so I don't want to leave anything out.

Playing in the hotel

Grandma's "Cousin Buddies Club" and nativity FHE

Poolside fun

Listening to a story by Mrs. Clause and going for a boat ride around the JW (the same hotel that Saved By The Bell episode where Jessie's dad gets married)

Making Gingerbread Houses

We went to the playground a few times to feed the ducks and get the wiggles out, and each time it was a giant rompfest (for kids and adults)

The Living Desert Zoo

Girl Time

Family Christmas Card Photo Shoot

Christmas Eve Talent Show and Program
The kids re-enacted the Nativity with scriptures and songs (Jack's attention didn't last- and neither did his shepherd's hat). Oliver helped recite his favorite storybook, Sophia (and I) did a Nutcracker dance, and Jack was supposed to ride a skateboard but that talent came later b/c we forgot to bring it

Santa comes for Christmas morning

After we checked out of the hotel, we got to go to San Clemente and have Christmas dinne and more gift exhange at Derek's parents house. Two of his brothers were in town and it was great to all hang out, eat a delicious meal, and enjoy the company. It's been nice being able to 'share' the Christmas experience with both families. (I didn't get any photos!)

My family then stayed in San Diego for a few more days and one day we went for a ski boat drive downtown. It was cold, but a great excuse to bundle up and snuggle!! (pics to come)

Sadly everyone had to go home (Dallin stayed with us a few more days) but we loved being able to hang out so much and enjoy the company of family. I can only imagine next year's holidays when there are 2 more babies added to the Bills' side of the family....more mayhem and more to love and snuggle!


East Coast Trip

So this past weekend Derek and I were able to get away for the first time without Jack (we have spent a night here and there but never more than 1 night away). We went back East to visit schools, see my parents, and enjoy the holiday season.

We started out in Boston where the weather was BEAUTIFUL! It was unseasonably warm and sunny. We went to Newberry Street for some delicious Upper Crust Pizza the first night. The next day while Derek was at schools, I walked around Harvard Square and had lunch with my good friend Ashley at a yummy cafe. Derek and I then raced to the bus station and literally ran on board and were the last ones on (long story short, we were told we HAD to get Mike's Pastries in the most confusing part of town).

Paul Rever in bkgrd by Mike's Pastries

The bus took us to downtown NYC where my parents met up with us. We enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner and walked to Rockefeller to see the lights and beautiful window displays.

Anthroplogie beautiful window display

SAKS...music and lights to TransSiberian Orchestra

Rockefeller Square

my cute parents

Times Square

The next day Derek stayed at the hotel to work on some things while my parents and I braved the cold, heavy rain. We headed to Union Square to check out the Christmas market, then over to my favorite ABC Carpet & Home. It is 6 floors of BEAUTIFUL home furnishings. If you are ever in the city, you must go see it! They even had a great Santa Clause with a long line of kids waiting. We then headed over to Soho and ate a a charming, delicious cafe called Prince St. Cafe. We hung out there for a while to dry off then decided to call it quits. We picked up Derek and drove down to DC in the first snowstorm of the season.

Union Square
DC was beautiful all blanketed in snow, freezing cold, but beautiful. It was fun to enjoy that weather for a few days and really kick of the Christmas season. Sunday we went to church (love going to my home ward) and hung out at home. Monday we ventured to Georgetown for lunch and shopping.


The Rhino, New Years Circa 2002

That night Derek and I went out on a little date to take advantage of no kid. We definitely missed Jack and were ready and excited to see him when we got home. Thanks Bill and Nina for watching him!