Trains, Trains, Trains

One of my family’s Christmas traditions is to go downtown Cincinnati for the afternoon to see Santa and all of the other festivities, including the trains at the Duke Energy building. They’ve been doing this display for nearly a century, and we’ve gone since I can remember. It is one of the most magical parts of the season to me. They do almost as good of a job as Elf does in Gimbels.

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A Time to Be Grateful

This Thanksgiving, I spent the break in Southern Utah. For the first few days we were in Enterprise, a little town in the hills between Cedar City and St. George. T.J.’s mom’s side of the family lives there so we were able to be with his Grandparents, Great-Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles.

The night before we were leaving, we had anticipated getting caught in the “Storm of the Century,” as they were calling it. But the storm completely passed over Provo and the snow just dusted the grass down in Southern Utah. That was quite a blessing because I was not looking forward to driving in a storm.

Once we arrived, we hung out at T.J.’s grandparents house, ate dinner, caught up, and looked at old pictures of T.J. and his cousins.

For some reason, all my exhaustion caught up with me so I napped so much the entire break. I couldn’t help it. I just would sit in a cozy chair next to the fireplace and five minutes later, I’d be asleep. But it was very relaxing and the naps were much needed.

I also used the time to read the first Hunger Games. I read the first 50 pages out loud to T.J. because our car’s sound system is kind of broken (I had to pop a couple dramamines though so I wouldn’t get car sick). But the book is incredible, I’m almost finished, and then I’ve got to start on the other two! It feels so good to read, I haven’t read for myself for a long time.

Let’s see what else happened….

We slept over at T.J.’s uncle and aunt’s house (Wade and Angel). They have four darling girls and a beautiful home. The next day was Thanksgiving, where we went back to the grandparents’ and ate there. There was so much food. I’m not used to big families. My extended family only gets together once every few years, and at those reunions it still is less than the Huntsmans’ gatherings. I love it though. Anyway, the dinner consisted of a turkey, a ham, lots of side dishes, and about 15 pies. 

After dinner, and another nap, we all got into trucks and drove into the mountains searching for the perfect tree. When my family goes to look for a perfect tree, our excursion stops at about wal-mart and maybe Target. So needless to say, this was the first time looking for a real Christmas tree. I wish I would have been better prepared with better boots and pants. But next year, I’ll be ready.

We finally found one. It looked kind of small to me, but that’s because I’m an amateur. It actually was huge in the living room.

After the kids decorated the tree, we headed back to Wade and Angel’s house for, what turned out to be, a night of intense games.

It was awesome and so much fun to get to know T.J.’s siblings and their spouses better. It’s so cool to me that all six of us are about the same age and really get along, plus we all live so close. What a blessing!

We played Rock Band for a while (which I pretend I’m a pro at, but I just like putting it on the hard setting because it’s more fun even if I fail). Then we played Spoons, which is one of my family’s favorite games. But Angel spiced it up a bit by hiding the spoons throughout the house. Dangerous? Yes. Hilarious and Awesome? Most definitely. Then we played the ol’ Gestures-Boys v. Girls. The girls won, clearly. But the boys did a great job. T.J. was trying to act out “Crazy.” To end the night, we played a few rounds of Pit, which is on my Christmas list, by the way.

On Black Friday, we decided to skip the stores and sleep in because we are low on funds and sleep. It was kind of sad passing up Black Friday, but we got to hang out with T.J.’s little cousins a little longer before we headed to St. George.

In St. George (which is one of my favorite cities because of the red rock), we saw the new movie “The Next Three Days,” with Russell Crowe. It was absolutely intense and a great thriller. We watched a bunch of football games for the rest of the weekend including the BYU v. Utah game. After BYU’s loss, we drove home and had to talk about the game for the majority of the five hours.

It was a great trip, and although I was a bit homesick, I made it through and am so grateful for my in-laws!