Thursday, February 27, 2014

Last but not least...The Ellis TOURNAMENTS

We spent our last few days in UT with Stan & KK in their awesome SLC apartment.

Somehow I only have ONE picture of this time....but I have lots of memories, so I'll just tell instead of show.

Favorite parts of these few days for Savannah and Lily:
  • Going into the hallway to look at the 5-story waterfall in the lobby of their building
  • Playing in the exercise room
  • Going up and down in the apartment elevator
  • Playing with Grandma KK & Papa Stan & their cousins
How do I know this?  It took them about 2 full months to stop asking to do all of those things every other day. 

Our favorite parts:
  • Bingeing on Ping-pong, pool, backgammon, Settlers, Wizard, Foosball, Basketball, Uno, etc etc etc for about 2 days.  (Rob, as usual, made a great showing in the tournaments.  Me, not so much.)
  • Spending time with dear family we don't get to see nearly often enough
  • Seeing how BIG and CUTE our little nieces and nephews are getting
  • Going to the MTC devotional on New Year's Eve that Stan was giving
Toasting to the New Year...with chocolate.  2014 should be a good one!
The drive home FROM Utah was much much much less eventful than the drive TO Utah, for which we were very very very grateful.  There's nothing like a 36-hour car trip to make a 24-hour drive seem like no big deal, right?  And actually, the vacation was so so so wonderful and fun that it made the entire ordeal totally worth it.  Isn't family awesome?!?!?!

Jacqueline Was Wife-ed and Caroline Was Blessed

The Saturday after Christmas was a busy day for us.

Jacqueline had her reception the previous night (somehow I don't have any pictures...must have had something to do with the fact that both S & L were sick during the event!), so Saturday morning was wedding day, Saturday afternoon was wedding luncheon, Saturday late afternoon was baby blessing, Saturday evening was Ryn Ellis's baptism & more family time.
Modeling our Wedding/Blessing day attire, compliments of our Norwegian family
The wedding was absolutely beautiful.  Jacqueline is one of my favorite people in the whole world and she managed to marry someone who seems just as wonderful as she is.  Jacob is a genuinely NICE nice nice person, and it was so sweet to see them so happy together!
We love Auntie Jacqueline
Jacqueline got married in the Draper, UT temple and Kit, Rob's sister, was having her eldest daughter's baptism at a nearby chapel that same day.  We decided to take advantage of having all of our extended families together in (nearly) the same place and do Caroline's baby blessing just prior to the baptism.

All of Caroline's living Grandparents and Great-Grandparents!
Caroline was not happy to be woken up for the blessing so she shared her very rarely used Angry-Baby Cry while Rob was speaking, but by picture time she had calmed down to her usual happy self.  
Proud Grandparents of grandbaby #26(?)
Proud Grandparents of grandbaby #3
Proud sisters, happy to have a REAL baby to snuggle
The rest of the evening was spent celebrating at Kit & Kevin's house.  After a long, wonderful 24 hours we were ALL happy to crash by bedtime!

Christmas in Utah

My little sister was getting married in Utah on the Saturday after Christmas. My entire family would be together. A lot of Rob's family would also be in Utah for Christmas. Rob was going to take 2 weeks (!!!) off of work to make the trip. Plane tickets would have cost over $2000 and we also would have had to rent a minivan (3 kids in car seats) for a week.

These are all of the reasons that we decided to drive to Utah for Christmas.

Somehow, though, once we had been in the car for 24 hours straight but hadn't even left Texas (we were part of an overnight, 11-hour, standstill traffic jam outside of Amarillo), I felt like we were completely CRAZY to drive to Utah for Christmas.

Sisters can get married without you, right?

Luckily, Rob was the voice of reason and we soldiered on.  And 36-hours of driving finally got us there.

We spent our first day with our Ellis family in SLC delivering Christmas presents, playing games (of course), and seeing the lights on Temple Square.
When Lily saw this her eyes got really wide and she said in awe, "BIG temple."
The next week was spent with the Schneiber family having Christmas, playing in the snow, seeing relatives, and getting ready for the wedding.
Rob and Lily spent hours outside working on their own "Olaf" the snowman
Savannah was much happier LOOKING at the snow than she was playing in it.
Baby Caroline in her Norwegian sweater onesie
Smiling at "Grandpa Dirt"
Christmas morning was so great being with all of my family.  The last time we had a Schneiber Christmas, Jacqueline was on her mission so it's been a long time since we've all been together! 
These strollers for their Pink & Purple Babies were HUGE hits. 
A sleepy Christmas elf got left under the tree
Putting the "Cool" back in Footie Pajamas....maybe
Erik & Jacqueline are finally married so they got their Christmas advent calendars Mom & I made about 3 years ago. 
Jacqueline, Mom, & Grandma Emma w/ Jacqueline's wedding quilt
Grandma with her Sweet Caroline
Magic Russ Snuggles.  Guaranteed to put your baby to sleep!

Still to come: Jacqueline's wedding & Caroline's baby blessing & New Years w/ the Ellises