Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas in Colorado: Everything Else

A hodge podge of other pictures from our trip to Colorado...
Evelyn and her cousin, Kolbe, are 16 months apart - but pretty much weigh the same and are the same height. :-)  So we put her in Kolbe's swing to see if she liked it. (she did)
The Sunday before Christmas, Dan and I got to go to the Broncos game.  
This is pretty much one of my favorite places on this earth.
Orange Crush is back!!
We met up with some friends of ours, the Forbells, who we know from Corpus (Dave is in the Marines).  They have been in Monterrey, CA for the past 18 months, but are from Colorado originally.  They were in town for Christmas - and were on their way to Washington DC to start their next life's chapter.  It was fun to see them!
Evelyn and Kolbe...again, 16 months apart!
Little stinker.
The annual cousin picture for Grammie's video.  Gonna need a bigger couch soon!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas in Colorado: Christmas Day

Christmas day is one of my favorite days every year.  I love celebrating the birth of my Savior.  I love being in Colorado.  I love being with my family.  And now that I have my own little "my family," I love it even more.  On Christmas Eve, my Mom always makes soup and my Grandma comes for dinner.  My Mom and Dad also buy Christmas matching Christmas jammies for us all to open on Christmas Eve. 
Evelyn loved hers - this could have been the only thing she opened all year and she would have been happy!
We then always go to Midnight Mass with my family.  It makes for a late night (especially with littles!), but it's always special to celebrate Jesus with my family.
Ready for church on Christmas Eve!
Our Christmas angel!
We walked out of mass to fresh, fluffy, beautiful snow falling on Christmas Eve.  I was a giddy 5-year old - it was awesome!

We woke up Christmas morning and did the whole Santa thing.  We had left a set of Toy Story figurines, some books, and this red ball that we spent about $1.20 on.
Could have stopped at $1.20 because she was completely content with this red ball!
She did like the Hershey's kisses in her stocking as well!
Here she was saying, "more" and looking for more.
Opening presents with Daddy
And with Mommy
After all of the kids finished opening presents, she loved playing in all the paper.
Playing in the paper with Heidi
She loves her cousin Gavin!
Her new piano - another big hit!
The glorious snow continued through most of Christmas day - big, white, fluffy flakes.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas in Colorado: SNOW!!!!!

SNOW - GLORIOUS SNOW!!!!!  On our second day in Wray, we got a good old fashioned Colorado blizzard  It was spectacular.  It started snowing around 9am, and really started coming down while we were at lunch with my family.  As we were driving home from there, we could barely see well enough to drive.  They called a snow day at the schools, which meant Evelyn's cousins would be home for the afternoon, too.  The snow was so bad that some of the school buses turned around and came back to the school because the drivers didn't feel it was safe enough to bus the out of town kids home.
I snapped this outside my Mom and Dad's house as we got back from lunch.
I think we ended up with like 7 inches of snow.  It was so awesome.  I loved every second of it.  My Dad says it's because I didn't have to be outside scooping it, but Dan said he even enjoyed shoveling this time!
Pretty Christmas lights in snow...swoon.
The next day, in true Colorado fashion, it was sunny but still cold enough to keep the snow around!  The kids got another snow day from school, so we bundled them all up to head outside and play.  It was SO MUCH FUN watching Evelyn play in the snow for the first time in her life!

She loved it - she was laughing and squealing the whole time!
Her first snow angel
Dan dug a hole to put her in...she was throwing snow and laughing the whole time - it was hilarious!
This picture pretty much says it all!
(wish you guys were here, too, Buxmans)
All the girl cousins!
And a short video of the squealer...
After watching her have so much fun, I love snow even more.  I loved every minute of it!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas in Colorado: Colorado Springs

We had a pretty relaxing few days in Colorado Springs, which was nice.  Dan and I had both had pretty hectic days in the weeks leading up to our trip, so we welcomed hanging out in sweats and not doing much of anything (first trimester pregnant girl really enjoyed it...).  
Evelyn got to open up her Christmas gift from Uncle Ed and Aunt Sandi - a Jesse doll (which she loves!)
She also got to play with Uncle Ed's rabbits.
She was a little shy around them at first, but she warmed up to them with some time!
Before the Broncos game on Sunday, Ed and Dan fixed the seat belt in the car.  We read online that you could release the tension of the belt by removing a bolt behind the seat that the belt is attached to.  Unfortunately it required an odd-shaped allen wrench to remove, so Ed had the idea to just take the seat out to release the belt.  Thankfully that worked.  Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the seat removal because I was napping with Evelyn. :-)
Yay - a functioning seat belt!
On Monday, Ed and Sandi both had to work, so we planned to take Evelyn to the North Pole (an amusement park west of Colorado Springs that is Christmas themed).  I had been when I was really little, but hadn't been back in years.  They have some bigger kid rides as well as quite a few smaller rides for younger kids, and of course, Santa Claus.
Entry into the North Pole
We got there a little early, so Evelyn was helping Daddy wash the windshield and drive while we waited.
The "actual" North Pole (there is a pole of ice in there that stays frozen year-round)
We picked a fairly good day to go.  Most of the kids in the Colorado Springs area were still in school, so there weren't a lot of people.  It was pretty chilly (30s - which is chilly for us now!) and windy, but for the most part, the wind wasn't too bad in the park. 
Daddy and Evelyn walking to the kiddie rides.  She is so darn cute (I'm a little biased, I know!).
I love this hat - I wish she could wear it more than the 2 weeks we are in Colorado!
Riding her first ride.  I don't think she quite knew what to think!
This was her second's also the only ride I remember from when I was young!
Daddy and Evelyn on the Christmas tree ride.
Coming off the Christmas tree ride (like the mittens, Em?)
Next we went on a carousel ride.  We first put her up on one of the horses, but she was not a big fan of that, so we moved to the little sleighs on it. 
This picture cracks me up because she looks like she's hacked off...but she really was enjoying it.  I think she was just trying to figure it all out!
Riding with Daddy on the fire truck ride.
Then we went to Santa's house to see Santa.  She did great on his lap!...
...Until he turned her around.
(why do we do this to our kids??...another 'white lie' to the kids I struggle with!)
The last ride we went on was a little train ride along the mountain side.  I think she was getting pretty cold at this point.
Sweet girl.
The only family picture we got at the North Pole!
Dan took her down this slide once (he said it was freezing at the top!).
We had a great time at the North Pole - I think we'll try and make it an annual event when we are in Colorado Springs (we'll see how cold it is next year with a 5 month old!).

We had one last night in Colorado Springs with Ed and Sandi.  While we were waiting for dinner to finish cooking, Dan was letting Evelyn drink out of his water glass.  She thought it was a pretty big deal to drink from the big kid cup!
Another fun few days with Ed and Sandi in Colorado Springs!  On Tuesday morning we packed up and headed to Wray to spend the rest of the trip with my family. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas in Colorado: Traveling

We left for Colorado on Friday as soon as Dan was out of work.  We decided to drive through the night like we have in years past - that way Evelyn sleeps through the majority of the 18 hour trip.  She stayed awake (as planned) from Kingsville to San Antonio, where we planned to stop for dinner.  I was thrilled to eat at Panera Bread...oh how I miss Panera Bread.  We let Evelyn run around a little bit and got her in her pajamas so she could fall asleep whenever she wanted in the car.
When I came out, I found Dan giving Evelyn swing rides - she loved it!
She watched Toy Story 3 (a favorite) from San Antonio to Junction so that Dan could sleep while I drove some more.  In Junction, we stopped to get gas and switched drivers.  Dan took the leg from Junction up to Amarillo (the worst part of the drive, in my opinion - so I was happy to sleep).  Being pregnant, I was uncomfortable already trying to sleep in the car - and the shoulder strap was driving me c.r.a.z.y., so I decided to wrap it around the back of the seat and fasten it to keep the little seat belt chime from going off continuously.  It worked quite well, and I got some good sleep.  Except that when we stopped in Amarillo, the auto seat belt retractor kicked in and cinched up the belt when I raised the seat and we couldn't get it back around.
In Amarillo (at 3:30am, mind you), we tried to fix it by trying to get the headrest out.  After trying to force it up, asking the gas station attendant for tools, and buying some WD-40, we realized it wasn't coming out (we later found out that they don't remove).  Dan had the idea to do the crazy 18-step sequence that Ford outlines in the owner's manual to keep the seat belt chime from going off.  We tried it once to no avail - but tried a second time and got it to work (thank the Lord!).  So we set off for the next 8 hours of our trip with no passenger seat belt.  Dan was particularly pleased with my handiwork because it was his turn to sleep, and because of the seat belt he couldn't lay the seat back. 
Again, oops.  But isn't he cute?
I had the leg from Amarillo to Trinidad - basically as we cut west in the Texas panhandle through the northeast corner of New Mexico and into Colorado.  I always love this part of the drive because it's usually turning morning and beautiful because the mountains are in the distance (and getting ever closer!). 
I had to snap this (yes, while driving...I'm bad, I know) because it was so gorgeous.
We stopped at a Subway in Trinidad to have breakfast.  Evelyn had woken up just before we crossed the Colorado state line (smart girl!) and was bright-eyed ready to face the day.  The downfall of driving through the night is that you are still exhausted, but she is pretty much rested as usual!
We made the rest of the trip after breakfast and got into Colorado Springs around 10:30am Colorado time.  It was even flurrying a little as we got into town - I was ecstatic!  (It didn't last, sadly...but for a Colorado girl who hasn't seen snow in 2 years - it was a good start!)  We got showers in and got everything settled so that at naptime we could all get some sleep in (Dan's brother had to work the day we got in, so we could get some sleep without being rude house guests!).  Evelyn did so fantastically on this trip - we couldn't have asked for better.  She had one melt down in San Antonio about 5 minutes from the restaurant - mostly because she was hungry and hot.  But other than that she was happy as can be!