Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sledding Christmas

 About a week and a half ago I got a genius idea. When you go sledding, you basically walk uphill the whole time right? Wouldn't that be a great way to hike with Kai? He was all over the idea. We went a few times by ourselves, then when the girls got out of school for Christmas break, we talked them into coming with us. It was a beautiful day. patches of blue in the sky, the sun was shining, and there was still snow in the trees. We ponied up the cash for one more sled from Reams, and borrowed the fourth from our neighbors. 
 Like most of the times with Kai, we just went up Maple canyon (Whiting), and picked sections of the trail to sled down. I love this. Usually nobody else is there, and you get the fun twists and turns the trail naturally takes to make a more interesting ride. 

 Afterwards, the kids talked me into trying another local hot chocolate. I actually bribed Ari with this if she'd try one of the hills she was scared of. Bribing works with Ari. Punishment and forcing? hardly ever. 

 Such a fun day over all.
 On Christmas eve, I cooked the big celebratory dinner for us and my parents, and Jeff took the kids out to sled. They did Slate canyon, which they said was super fun and steep. I will have to figure out how to get there.

 I really wish I'd taken pictures of Christmas dinner. I did a big seafood lasagna, and roasted beets with goat cheese and walnuts, and roasted Italian vegetables, and Kelli's great bread, a pumpkin pie and a spectacular apple tart (yes it worked great Lauren! I'd probably do a traditional cheesecake crust next time, but we loved the filling).  I love being with my parents. We all went to see the Spanish Fork festival of Lights between dinner and dessert, and my Dad brought a Christmas movie for us to watch afterwards. It was "We're no Angels" with Humphrey Bogart. Yes, there is lying, stealing and a double MURDER in the story, but it was a real feel-good film anyway. We all liked it. My dad and his movies!

 Christmas morning was great of course. I did that thing where I worried somebody was getting gyped, but of course there were plenty of presents for all. 

 Ari even got  the sewing machine she was hoping for (Amazon lightening deal or it would have been way out of budget).

 Family and Christmas. It doesn't get any better.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The festival of trees.

 Every year I hear about the Festival of Trees held in Salt Lake, but never go. I was under the impression that it was super expensive, and Jeff is not a fan of this kind of thing, so it never happened. But! I now have a really good friend here in Mapleton, and that's what girl friends are for! Brenda stopped by and picked me up and off we went. Luckily, my sister Deja was in town with her family too, and met us there. How dumb am I though? I got zero pictures of the group of us. Lame. At least I got lots of pictures of the trees! I saved only those pictures of trees I thought especially unusual (like above --antlers?) or beautiful, or both (I kind of liked the antlers actually).
 With some of the trees you could barely tell there was a tree under all of the decorations. I consistently cut the top off of most of these guys. Dang.
 But this one made it. Most trees did a spray of floral picks like this at the top.
 Except the Mercedes dealership tree. I didn't love their topper. But I loved loved loved their snowy owl theme!
 I had to get a pic of the "Serenetree" -- One of Jeff and I's favorite shows of all time. Yes, we're nerds, but I love Firefly.
 This one!!! Love it! You wouldn't think black and white would work so well to look festive, but I just loved it.

 Bright. Extra festive with festive sauce on the side.
 This "old-fashioned Christmas" one was a favorite too, but I blurred the picture. Bummer.

 These three together, done by an interior decorator were one entry. The volunteer on duty said she comes every year and blows away every other tree. These trees are auctioned off for charity, and some go for thousands of dollars. These did, although I can't remember for how much.

Most trees had a setting around them. You know I love the blue and white dishes....
 and the tree itself was covered with them too! Unique idea!

 Nostalgia hit at this tree and setting. This is what Christmas looked like when I was a kid --tinsel and all. Those lights!

 A little sweetie accompanied me for a big part of the show. This pale pink was one of her favorites.

 Another of mine --I'd never think of turquoise and copper for Christmas, but it works beautifully.

As it does in this wreath. There was a whole section of wreaths. I wish I had taken more wreath pictures!

Lime green? Another unusual choice, but it made this tree stand out!

 I did decide that I want my next tree to be flocked, with long needles (if I can afford it that is).

 Heheh --love this picture.

 Another fairy-tale tree, with a little bonus fairy. Yes, I'm loving the flocked. I had a great time and highly recommend going. It's also so nice that they have moved venues in the last couple of years. It used to be in the Salt Palace downtown, but now is just in Sandy at the convention center which is much easier to get to. I'm really hoping to make it to downtown though before the season is over. Salt Lake does Christmas right.