We're a little behind with this recap of the holidays, but here it goes:
We headed to Utah on the 9th in order to be there for a special occasion on December 10th - a surprise birthday party for my grandmother, who turned 90 years old. The ENTIRE family was there, plus lots of good friends. This never happens. To explain how big this was, I finally met two cousins who I've never met...I'm 27, they are in their mid and early-20s. Despite the progress, I still have one cousin who I've never met. One of these days...
Here's the Irvine crew, minus Natalia, with my Grandma Chary.
Happy birthday, Grandma!
Parties last a few hours, but memories/photos last much longer. Steve was assigned photo duty for part of the party, and captured every person/couple that came to the party in the following pose:
Because we got to Utah so early, there was still lots of work to be done before the holiday merriment took over. Nathan and I with our computers - technological analysis for him, Ph.D. applications for me.
Trip to the Logan temple with Steve's family - it was a freezing cold night, but really nice to be together.
Our much anticipated visit to Doodlebug Preschool to see Miss Sara in action. We caught her on the day of her Christmas party - Polar Express pj party. We love what she's done with her preschool, and it was really fun for Steve and Sara to re-live some of the Taiwan kindergarten madness.
I have a sneaking suspicion that our little one might turn into a bookworm...we may need to invest in Sara's awesome library design wherever we end up come summertime.
We were lucky enough to spend an afternoon with Steve's aunt, Jamie, who kindly walked through Target with us, aisle by aisle, to tell us what we actually need for baby instead of what you think you need. Best outing ever. We got to spend a couple minutes with some of her family before we had to head out.
Steve and Dax on the drive up to Hardware Ranch to check out the elk.
Checking out the elk.
Getting ready to hunt the elk?
A big thanks to Miss Katie Van Ausdal for inviting us to attend Music and the Spoken Word with her to enjoy the Christmas concert put on by the Tabernacle choir with Jane Seymour and Nathan Gunn.
A couple more pictures from the baby shower.
Here we have Steve and Juli - second cousins and really good friends. Juli is due in February, and we're excited to have little ones running around that will be one month apart, just like Steve and Juli are.
Like mother, like daughter...
If I'm half the mother that my mom has been to me, Ainsley Jane will be a very lucky lady.
Sharing dessert at The Bakery (Gourmandise)...let me repeat... THE bakery - with Jon and Sarah Casper after the Mannheim Steamroller concert. Loved the music, loved the food, and especially loved the company after the show.
Before the concert started, we walked around temple square and stopped in at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building to get warm. It's still weird to think that I worked there, but as always, it was as beautiful as ever.
Steve was practicing with the new camera that Santa brought us for Christmas.
Not too shabby, eh?
We spent Christmas in Logan with Steve's family this year, and here we have the Nesbit's playing around with some colorful shapes.
I love this picture of Julie and Derrall -- I have the best in-laws!
The Irvine family Christmas party took place after Christmas, and we're glad we got to be there before flying home to Ohio the next day.
One of my favorite parts is hearing my dad and Karen talk about memories they have of my extended family members who were alive when I was really young, but who I don't remember much about, except for hearing these stories.
A few of Karen and Paul's grandkids - they keep getting cuter and cuter.
Steven Grant. Interested in all things political and non-fictional, as well as all things Taiwanese. He snagged his MPA from Ohio State and is now helping the Ohio DODD manage their money.
Kristen Kathleen. Doing what she loves - teaching and studying Art History at Ohio State University. One of these years she'll graduate and move the entire family to Europe. In one way or another she'll be in school for the rest of her life.