Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Visit to Santa

Landon understands who Santa is now (on some level at least). So when our ward Christmas party came around we were excited to see Landon's reaction. We have a particularly awesome Santa in our ward. When it was almost our turn Landon looked at him in awe and said "Ah! Santa!" So we were feeling pretty good about it, until he got plopped on Santa's lap ...
Yep, not so much a fan. We asked him if he wanted to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas. The conversation went something like "NO! MA! DA! NO! NO!" while reaching for us. We even tried telling him that Santa had candy for him ... this did make him turn around long enough to snatch the candy cane from Santa and jump into Jeff's arms. Afterwards he was very happy to look at him from a distance. When we saw this same gentleman in church the following Sunday, Landon looked at him and said "Santa" with a lot of reverence for an almost-2-year-old. But circumvented him with lots of room to spare... you know, just in case.

Last night we were at the mall and saw Santa again. We asked Landon if he wanted to go sit on his lap. He immediately started shaking his head and saying no. We decided that we'll listen to him so he doesn't get traumatized by the whole thing :)!

Friday, December 16, 2011

To: Dad From: Landon

Yesterday Landon and I decided to wrap his present to Jeff. He loved every second of this very important job. He picked out everything - the wrapping paper first, and carefully applied the tape (wherever he thought it should go) and then picked out the Santa gift tag.

Then I told him we needed to go write To: Dad From: Landon on the tag. He colored the box vigorously. The wrapping paper wasn't colorful enough ... so he helped it along. It was so, so cute! He kept asking for certain colors while he worked on his masterpiece (that included two sides of the box).
It's hard to tell from this picture, but there
is a lot of coloring on the box!
Then when we put it under the tree he decided it needed just one more piece of tape. You know, just in case Dad decides to take a peek!
Now tonight Jeff and I are tackling our wrapping!! Nothing like presents under the tree to make you realize Christmas is just around the corner!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas is Coming!!

Gosh it's been so busy I have been a blogging slacker lately! But you know what I think that means? CHRISTMAS IS COMING!! I'm a big subscriber to Christmas being the most wonderful time of the year!! It makes me so, so happy.

Around here we're getting ready in lots of ways. First off, by having some loved ones in town. My aunt and uncle came to town and met Landon for the first time ever. They were all smitten ... including Landon who thought they were awesome! He particularly loved my uncle Michael who was more than willing to play, play, play! We were so busy I totally forgot to take pictures.

Second, we did a little Christmas Light viewing:
Seven years ago Jeff took me on our first date to see the Christmas lights on Temple Square. Every year he takes me back for a fun date to walk down memory lane. Love that.

And a little holiday getting-together-with-friends:
This year we wanted to give back a bit so we all donated pajamas to the Women and Children in Crisis Shelter. Did you know they always need pajamas? That makes me so sad, because it means that because of circumstances created by others they had to leave home with nothing. It felt good to give where we could. If you get a hankering to donate something to them it can be dropped off at the United Way - just make sure you tell them what group it is for.

Otherwise we are busy shopping, baking and eating!! In fact, sometimes it just plain wears us out and this happens:
What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Angel's Landing

We had a great time at Thanksgiving this year! We went down to St. George and spent the day with Jeff's whole family, stuffing ourselves silly. The next day we planned to hike Angel's Landing in Zion's National Park. When Jeff suggested that we see if some of his siblings wanted to go hiking I was really excited ... it seemed like such a fun, outdoorsy sort of bonding thing to do (very different from my typical Black Friday shopping).

Wow. Did I underestimate just how "outdoorsy" this was all going to be.

Several people mentioned that it was a hard hike and that there was a "small" (please note the "" there ... because MULTIPLE people used the word small ... it was a conspiracy I'm certain of it) part where you had hold on to a chain. I thought it wouldn't be a big deal, especially since Jeff had hiked it before ... really he would tell me if it were that bad, right? Wrong. He knew I wouldn't do it if I knew the truth (and he also added some nonsense about how he knew I could, blah-blah-blah I stopped listening at a certain point in that conversation because I was trying to stay alive on a mountain).

Anyone who knows me should know that I like a good hike, but I couldn't really be considered a seriously or daring hiker. Or really interested in anything much past the two to three mile mark. So Angel's Landing was a bit of a stretch.
The view from the bottom
It all started out fun. We were hiking along. It was steep and there were a lot of switchbacks, but nothing terrible ... it was a picture perfect day and I was happy to be outside.
Just starting out
The whole gang on the way up
The switchbacks
Then we hit the chains. The chain part is actually not "small" at all. It is a HALF MILE LONG.
The longest "half mile" EVER.
And you need the chains for a reason. They weren't exactly there for decoration.
Please notice the grimace
Are we having fun yet?
I have never, ever, ever been so terrified in my entire life. I was crying most of the way up. While I'm not super outdoorsy I wouldn't say I'm a wuss either. Until I met Angel's Landing. I seemed to be the only one who thought it was so scary (with good reason ... several people have died in the last few years hiking it).

I was grateful Jeff and one of my brothers-in-law were super helpful getting me up (I was happy to stop at multiple different points, but like an idiot, kept going) and back down.

The view was pretty, but I'll be honest. I was still so scared (we were about 5200 feet up at this point) that I wasn't that impressed.
The last part you climb just before the summit
Finally the top!
And maybe a real smile?!
And you know how they say the way down is way easier. They lied. It isn't.
Heading back down. Don't be fooled,
I was only smiling because I was sitting down.
I was terrified.

But I did it! So did everyone else, but they weren't scared so it doesn't really count.

One lady we met on the really-narrow trail told Jeff she hopes I don't divorce him after it was all said and done. Clearly everyone could tell things were going really well.

Jeff took lots of pictures to prove I did it. Please notice my pained smile. Or lack thereof :)!