Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

Trips home around the holidays are always a bit hectic and busy, trying to squeeze everything in and see everyone and do all the things we want/need to do. This trip was no different - which means this post is going to be LONG. With a million pictures. I'll try to make it as concise as possible, but that's not my strong point, so begin if you dare :)

It conveniently started with Tanner's work party. We were going to get our own hotel since we were flying out of Minot really early Saturday the 13th. But his work party was on the 12th and they always get us a hotel, so we scored!
 Lovely sunset from the hotel, that Harvey also enjoyed. He also was loving the bathroom and learning how toilet paper rolls work.
He was loving giving "the baby" kisses too. We dropped him off at someone from the church that has watched him before and we went to the work party. They had a photo booth but Tanner didn't want to do it with me. This is the only picture I took from the evening.
My tag was the only one they got right. Both our name stickers were spelled wrong too. Oops. Only our 3rd Christmas party :) Tanner didn't win anything this year, but someone that works with Tanner, who happens to weigh probably over 400lbs, won the grand prize - a stand up paddle board. We all, including him, got a big laugh out of that.

Our flight left at 7:30 so it was an early morning. Harv was being really social with this little girl that was sitting in the airport by us.
We were sitting across from a couple that left their 14 month old boy home for a quick trip to Chicago and a football game. Apparently it was the mom's first time away from him and her sitting by us made her break down into tears. Kind of cute, sad and funny, all in one.
We had some big delays initially in Minot. It scared me because I really didn't want to miss our connecting flight in Minneapolis and it just seems like I ALWAYS have issues when I fly. Luckily there was an AMAZING sunrise we watched while waiting to see if we were even going to be able to take off. And extra luckily, we were.
Harvey did awesome on both flights. The rest of our journey was uneventful and then my parents picked us up from the airport. Tanner thought it was pretty funny (and it was) that ski bag after ski bag was being unloaded on the baggage area, and then they dumped out his golf bag :) He had high hopes for being able to golf on his birthday for the first time ever.

It was my mom's birthday that day. We ended up going out to lunch at In and Out and then just hung out at home and played some games and made my mom dinner, etc.

Ben and Julie came over and Harv got reintroduced to his cousins. It was so much fun seeing him and Vienna play together. One baby is cute, but two babies the same age is extra cute ;) He was kind of sick and a little grumpy - and overwhelmed by a lot of somewhat unfamiliar people - although I really think all the facetiming we have done helped him be way more comfortable with our family.
One thing he was NOT comfortable with was Jez - my parents chihuahua. Oh my gosh. I kind of regret not getting a picture or video of this because it was so crazy. He was TERRIFIED of that dog. Every time he saw her he would start shaking and screaming a scream I had never heard from him before. It was really sad actually. And then if she went out of the room, you could tell he was just unsettled about her not being there because who knew when she might appear again. The strangest part of it all was the next morning he woke up and was as friendly as he always is with dogs and never had a problem with her again. ???

The next day my whole family came down and we had a birthday party for all the December birthdays - me, my mom, my sister and Tanner.

This is them looking weird at my dad while we all sang "Happy Birthday" the special Stoddard way.

Monday Tanner took Harv to lunch with his brother and I went and played racquetball with my dad. Way fun. He still always beats me. That afternoon we got family pictures taken, which I was pretty excited about. We have a few more edited pics coming our way, so look forward to a future blog with those :)

Eating grapes :)
Loving bath time with Papa Chris
Tuesday and Wednesday we spent with Tanner's family. Tuesday we got pedicure's with Nat. Tanner had never had one but was surprisingly willing to try it out. He is DEFINITELY a fan now :) I didn't have anything to do with Harvey and so he had to come with and that took a little of the relaxation out of it but it was still way fun and very glorious! 
We ate Kneaders for lunch, and then Nat's fam came down that night with the kiddos and we had pizza and just played and reconnected.
Wednesday was Tanner's birthday and we started it at a yummy breakfast place in Bountiful with his brother Carson. Sun Shine Cafe. Best blueberry pancakes I've ever had. Then he fished what he wished and the weather was perfect for a round of golf. Harv and I walked the front 9 with him and Carson.
That night we met all his family minus the Smithfield crew at Rio Grand - a family favorite. It was super fun and delicious. Tanner had introduced Harvey to his dad's train around the tree already, and that restaurant has a train that goes around the ceiling and Harvey kept watching it and turning to find it whenever we said "where's the train?". 

Birthday boy!!
Harv was a fan of Tanner's dad and brothers.
Couple random pics from Tanner's parents house...

Randomly one day, he decided he could climb stairs, even though he's never been around them. And he climbed to the very top - maybe 15 stairs. Silly kid.
I think Thursday was back at my parents. We met my mom and Heather and Kathryn for lunch. Harv liked my dads kale.

We saw where my mom worked and she showed us all off to her coworkers. She has a sweet office and a great view. It was cool to see it!
After that we got Tanner's birthday/Christmas present - a suit that he's been wanting a long time. That night my cousin Kelsey came over to watch Harv and my mom and Dad and I went to A Kurt Bestor Christmas at Abravanel Hall. It was REALLY good. Tanner used to go all the time when he was growing up, and my parents had maybe been once before, but it was my first time and it was very enjoyable - except for the fact that I was feeling sooo sick (had been since the night of Tanner's birthday). I blamed Harvey :)  But who knows. All I know is that I was probably more sick than I have ever been, or at least in a while, just about the whole vacation. That part was lame but I tried not to let it ruin it. 
Friday we went to the aquarium with Ben and Julie and Kathryn and Heather and my friend Brooke and her son, Garrett. 
Waiting in the car

Harvey loves ANY type of steering wheel!
Just some random pics after the aquarium. 
Lunch at Pei Wei's

Vienna wanted nothing to do with me the whole trip but she LOVED Tanner! So cute.
The next day was my birthday. We went to Bruge's Waffles in Sugarhouse. No one had ever been there and that is a sad, sad thing, because it was AMAZING. Waffles with ice cream and strawberries for breakfast??? Yes PLEASE. And I didn't even feel guilty about it one bit since it was my birthday and all. The place was legit too. A guy with a Belgian accent was running the place and giving us the scoop on everything. I want more of all of it right now!
And a waffle stuffed with chocolate bars topped with creme fraiche. Hello.

My friend Kristen and her husband and their youngest joined us as well as the rest of my family minus Heather and Shane. It was a great birthday start!
A couple weeks before we went home, I decided that it would be fun to have a family party on my birthday. I have missed so much getting together with all my aunts and uncles and cousins. A good ol' fashioned Wilding party hasn't happened for a long time and if it has, I haven't been around. So I sent out a hypothetical text to see if people could/wanted to. And it was met with astounding success. The only problem was, unbeknownst to me, Tanner had already planned and made reservations for a surprise birthday party for me. That one ended up getting cancelled and I felt REALLY bad. Apparently you aren't supposed to plan your own birthday??!? Oops. BUT - despite that - I do have to say, that the night made my heart happy. So many of my cousins and aunts and one of my favorite uncles ever came and I haven't seen so many of them for a really long time. It brought back so many warm, fuzzy, happy memories of growing up around them and all the parties we've had through the years. Gosh. It was awesome. Too bad Harvey had refused to nap all day so he was super grumpy and went to bed WAY early so people didn't get to see him much or at his most awesome self. Oh well. 

Sunday was Tanner's mom's side of the family party - the Burningham Christmas party. It was a little different this year with a kid. I didn't get to participate in the family bingo game much. And they didn't play their tradition LCR game. But it was fun to see people and the food was good :) The first pictures are from pre-partying at Mimi and Papa's.
Lovin' the train!
FINALLY getting to see Aunt Carrie
I love this picture so much.
Monday and Tuesday was more Niederhauser time. We spent some time up in Mountain Green Monday with Nat while Major got to go birthday shopping with Mimi and Papa. We hit up Dickey's for dinner that night. Tuesday everyone but the Smithfield crew again went on the Polar Express (Heber Creeper). It was maybe worth doing once, but definitely not worth what they charge. And Harvey was a little difficult to keep entertained the whole 90 minute journey. But it was fun being with everyone and it was a beautiful day!
He's a Niederhauser...

Monday and Tuesday evening we got Clare to play and learn a few new card games - which was awesome. He actually liked them (he's not usually a big game, esp card game fan). So we stayed up late playing games with Tanner's parents which I always just love. Wednesday was Christmas Eve and we were going to spend the morning and day with my fam to do Christmas. We had a big lunch and did our family gift exchange and then Christmas from my parents. This was by far Harvey's favorite present. He opened it first and go so excited about it. When we took it away to have him open his other presents, he got mad and tried to go after it. So we moved it where he couldn't see it but that didn't help either. He had a one track mind. And he was obsessed with it the rest of the trip.

Love this picture.
My mom made me that AWESOME tree skirt and Tanner got a "'just my size gift card :)
 All of Tanner's family was getting together that night for the Niederhauser Christmas so we had to leave my family's a little prematurely so we wouldn't have to miss out on that. Never enough time!

Christmas jammies from Mimi and Papa
 We did the traditional Niederhauser greatest hits song guessing game. We picked our Steinbach ornaments and did the sibling gift exchange. We were planning on getting up early and visiting the nieces and nephews on Christmas, so we did our gifts that night too. Tanner didn't take any pictures of me, but I got a cool kid friendly iPad case called a Speck and an AMAZINGLY nice set of knives, which I really am so dang excited about. I love kitchen stuff and I've been needing new knives for awhile. I can't wait to start chopping like crazy with them. Tanner got his suit but he got to open a few small gifts - some nice wool socks, a gun holster and some shaving soap he loves :)
First stop Christmas morning was Mtn Green. Nat made us breakfast and Tanner helped with the customary lego sets. We saw all of Emery's Frozen gear and Mitt made Harvey laugh like crazy pushing him around on Dusty.

I know this is blurry, but it's just too precious not to share and everyone was moving too fast to get a good one.
That is one happy boy :)
Next stop was Smithfield. A little more of the same. Playing with new toys and enjoying family time. They got a hot tub as their family gift so Harvey and I got to enjoy that a little too.
 Carrie made a yummy lunch and Harv and I took a lovely nap together on the couch. It was a really nice and beautifully snowy Christmas day. The evening was pretty mellow. The next day I got to go to breakfast (same Bountiful place, same blueberry pancakes) with 3 of my best high school girl friends that I haven't seen forever. It was AWESOME catching up with them. Then Tanner and Harv and I made a run to Salt Lake to pick up his suit and run a few more errands. I also got to meet up with a best friend from college for a short bit who I never see either. I'm retarded and didn't take pics of any of that. Oops. The rest of the day was just packing and organizing and cleaning since our flight was leaving at 6 the next morning. My parents came up to say goodbye and Preston and Nat and Carson and Nat were there and we all ate dinner and hung out for a little bit too. Saying goodbye is lame. And sad. But it was an awesome vacation and an uneventful trip home, which was nice. Merry Christmas!