Once the true Christmas was behind us, we continued to enjoy family time - especially Little D time, where he impressed us all with his amazing stacking skills.
But before long, it was time for Ruth, Drew + Little D to head off to Boston to spend the New Year's holiday - aka even more saying goodbye/see you later!
Kevs was less than pleased that the whole house seemed to be emptying and I could tell he was getting worried we were all just going to up and disappear and leave him behind. This night marked the first of many of his "sleep-on-luggage" strikes against me packing back up to head back to Utah...good thing I had a few more days out in Ohio.
With the house relatively emptied out during the day, I was able to catch up (albeit briefly) with some long-lost Ohio friends! Col, Mike, Sara, Elise, Troy, + Johnny Boy (not pictured because I forgot to take my camera out at Bob's...whoopsie! :)
BLA 4ever (:
I just love the awkwardness of this picture hahahah.
Please excuse my incredibly greasy-looking bangs. I promise you it was pouring rain outside right before this picture was taken - the drops on the car behind me as proof (:
Grandma time was also readily enjoyed! Including having Daddy + DK enjoy having a little bit of fun with Uncle Stuart's homemade manger scene...
Typical Manger scene.
Typical Manager scene: when hamsters rush in.
And, of course, no visit to Ohio would be complete without a little bit of Graeter's! I like my waffle bowl to ice cream ratio to be about a 10:1, if you couldn't tell (although the mint ice cream is really the best part, I don't know what I was thinking).
We also enjoyed comparing our differing tastes in simple desserts - can you guess which one is mine?
(Mama = whipped cream overload, Daddy = naked brownie, Me = perfect ratio of brownie, ice cream, and whipped cream; what does this say about each of us, I wonder? :)
Before we knew it...Anna was back in town (!!) as a surprise to everyone except me ;) to spend the New Year's holiday! We celebrated her return by taking a nice walk through a park (right by where Daddy first worked when we moved to Ohio!), where we found nature's toilet (I would love to know the story behind this one...it looked like some big random pipe that someone decided to turn into a mintature toilet, adorable) and stepped in lots and lots of puddles. Oh, and then we stopped by to see the rushing waters (seriously, it had been raining so much) of the
Hoover O'Shaughnessy Dam, thank you Scioto River.
By the end of our walk we were all starving, nature-ally (get it? ;), so we headed over to this cute little restaurant (I can't remember the name of it right now) about 20 minutes away from home, so yummy. Nothing beats yummy, fancy food + family (not to mention a side dish of carrots that looked fit for a rabbit + the most delicious chocolate dessert of my ever life)!
The rest of the weekend was spent playing games, games, and more games (!!), and of course no trip to Ohio with Anna + Sarah would be complete without a trip to our nearest mall Hurricane Simulator! And yes, you are reading correctly: the MPH of the wind in there when the picture was taken was over 78. We're kind of a hardcore family.
It wasn't long before the true New Year's holiday came around!
We celebrated the best way we know how...
...making the most delicious (-looking!)
gingerbread graham cracker houses! Okay, so maybe a bit belated, but who said building them should only be a Christmastime kinda thing? It's always the right time to eat a bunch of candy get really sticky and messy with icing make a huge mess build fun and creative houses out of food!
Can you guess whose is who's?
Anna's A+ house:
DK's Mario/Nitrome/Something Super Secret Chamber:
My...Gummy Bear Campout (okay, I kind of failed on the whole "house" thing, but some people live in tents, right?? I promise there's at least two graham crackers underneath those pretzels...):
By the time our houses (housing structures) were all built, it was nearing midnight - aka time to break out the
alcohol Martinelli's! No worries though, the Kevs came downstairs to make sure we were all drinking responsibly.
Finally...midnight hit (Happy New Year!!) and we all celebrated with all kinds of family love + hugs + (most importantly) drinking our fancy little glasses of
champagne LDS-approved sparkling cider. (:
Once we wrapped up our celebrations and got upstairs, we found the Kevs had taken over the toilet (the result of too much partying, he knows too well), but that didn't stop us from brushing our teeth together (because we do that so much?? haha) and then getting off to bed (it was Sunday the next day, after all!)!
The next day (Sunday - 1/1/12) Anna headed back up to Wisconsin, and we enjoyed lots of family time (games + the like!) while I packed everything up in my little giant of a suitcase, and before I knew it, Monday rolled around (all too soon!) and it was time to head off to the airport to head back to Utah, but not before getting in a beautiful morning run outside - in the first snow of the new year. (:
Hope your Christmas/New Year's break/holiday was as fantastic as mine was! Can't wait to get the whole family together again soon. (: