Monday, January 5, 2009

Cheaper by the Dozen

Maybe the saying should be crazier by the dozen. Whatever the case, our recent trip to Utah was a blast amidst much chaos. 3 Grandparents, 6 parents, 11 kids, 2 dogs and one puppy make up for one heckuva good time.

Kyle, the kids and I took the long trek (15 hours) to Utah on December 27th for our nieces wedding on January 2nd. Although the drive is horrible (Nebraska and Southern Wyoming...can it get any worse than that? YUK!) we can't complain because the roads were perfect. Considering this time of year that is something to be grateful for. Luckily our car is equipped with leg room and 3 DVD players or we would have never made it. Yes, flying was an option, but why fly out of Des Moines for over $800 per ticket. Seriously, I can fly to Paris for about $600. We only need two more kids and then we could charter a private plane for less than is costs to fly out of Des Moines.

We arrived a few days earlier than the rest of our family so we got to enjoy some quality time with Daron, Jennifer, Ashley, Audrey, Emily, Aaron, Abby and Jonathan. The kids loved having some older kids to play with, especially McKay. She loved being the center of attention. Now she is a little spoiled and she is adjusting back to normalcy. (relative term)

My friend Jami came over for dinner one night. It was great to see her. Thanks for the cheese, James!

We also met the Ockey's for lunch. We enjoyed some yummy Mexican food over a three hour lunch! After that meal I am sure both Laurie and I are hating the New Year...back to my exercise routine tomorrow.

We celebrated New Years Eve, Mormon style of course. Daron broke out the chocolate fountain and we ate all night long. Collie and Doug got into town about 3:00 am on the 1st. I was the fortunate one who stayed up and waited for them; I didn't mind because I couldn't put down the book I was reading (A Thousand Splendid Suns). After their arrival the official chaos began. I am not staying that it wasn't before, but you can't fully appreciate it until everyone is there!

The most special day was on the 2nd when Ashley got married. She and Deven were sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple. The sealer gave them some wonderful counsel and advice and, interestingly enough, reminded us why the temple covenants are so important in your life. It isn't that we each don't know and understand that, but it really helps you appreciate them more when you hear a different perspective.

It seems like just yesterday that I met her (right before she was baptized). She used to love bouncing on Kyle's knee. Boy how time flies. She look absolutely beautiful and I can't say enough how proud I am of her for upholding her values and choosing to get married in the temple. She truly is a wonderful young lady.

McKay had a great time at the reception. She is quite the little dancer. And of course, the kids filled up on sugar.

Our last day there was filled with playtime in the snow. My brother in law Doug proved once again that he has it out for our family by running right into me with his sled while I was taking pictures. Come on, hitting my kids in the heads with balls isn't enough???

All in all we had a great time. There were some time outs, disagreements, and even some yelling, but that is what makes you appreciate family even more.

We got back to Iowa this afternoon and as we were getting back into the car to go get dinner, I mentioned that we thought the kids loved being in the car so much that we would go right back to Utah. Both the boys were ready to go. Despite the long drive and how tired this vacation made them, they were ready to go back and be with family. It doesn't get any better than that.

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