Three of our four family members wanted to go to Colorado this year again, as opposed to my wanting to stay home. The majority ruled, so we planned to drive there, leaving on December 23. Then the Midwest got hit with a blizzard and a lot of snow and blinding ice warnings for the route we normally take up through Oklahoma. We debated on whether or not to go, and felt like it would be too dangerous. At the last minute, we found some plane tickets on good old Southwest Airlines and flew to Denver on Christmas Eve to return on New Year's Day.
Thank goodness we could take two bags each on Southwest without getting extra fees. We maxed out what we could check with eight suitcases total.
Three families worth of presents all piled up.
Aunt Deb and Uncle Mike's kids tore into everything rather quickly.
Michael seemed to like his new shirt from the Texans.
Christopher loved his new Nerf gun from Uncle Mike and Aunt Debbie.
Christopher also had a blast sledding and spend a lot of time outside enjoying the snow.
We attended church with the cousins and I saw this adorable Christmas sign in their church building from another ward's nursery and took a photo of it to remember it.
Posing with the cousins. From left to right, it's Christopher, Michael, Courtney, Lindsey, Kasey, and Aly.
Sun in our eyes and chilly outside, here I am with my husband.
I went running on two of the mornings while I was there, and in the process, lost my cell phone. I suppose tucking it in my new (somewhat loose..sorry for the TMI) sports bra isn't the best place for it, for future reference. So I had to backtrack my route and when I did, I took my camera with me to show where I ran. It was surprisingly not as cold as it may appear, and I was actually getting rather toasty while jogging.
I ran around the lake where Kelly's parent live, and this is the trail right behind their house where I attempted to burn off the calories from all the Christmas goodies that I'd indulged in. So far, no sign of my phone.
After Kelly dropped me off here in the car to retrace my steps, he drove around to meet me at the other side of this road next to a barn, just before the dam.
We parked again, right outside the fenced off dam, and Kelly miraculously found it, sitting in the snow. I was so relieved and grateful.
Here's a view of the lake where Kelly grew up, frozen over.
Aly spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house a few of the nights while we were there. So did Courtney.
We all went to the movies to see Avatar and The Blind Side a few days after Christmas.
Brenda invited us to a Minnie Mouse birthday party for Jade. Here she is with Grandma.
Brenda baked this cute little cake.
The kids played a Disney Bingo game, similar to Scene It.
Then they hit the piñata in the garage for a while as Uncle Joel raised and lowered Mickey Mouse.
Lindsey spent most of the nights away at her cousin Kasey's house plus one night visiting her good friend, Mindi. Both girls are seniors in high school and anxious to graduate and start college next fall.
We attended a New Year's Eve party at Aunt Deb and Uncle Mike's house. She posted pictures from the night here.
We didn't get much sleep, as we left for the airport on New Year's Day at 7:45 am, spending a long day on airplanes, as we couldn't be too picky, considering we booked our flights very last minute. We flew from Denver to Tulsa to Houston, then changed planes, and finally landed in Austin after 5 pm. We were happy to be home again.