We jam-packed our time after Christmas. These are some of the highlights:

We were able to spend time with a bunch of Dave’s family, including cousins from Utah before we left to go there ourselves. I think everyone’s favorite was ice skating. My Mother & Father-in-law put on a big ice skating party for everyone and we had the greatest time! They were so kind to do that.
Grace and I pretty much stuck together holding each other up, and Max & Elle took off skating around with their cousins (while Claire & Lu were snuggled up safely at home with a babysitter). We definitely need to do that more often. Next time we’ll drag Dave away from work for long enough to enjoy it with us (he’s had some crazy stuff going on at work these past few weeks).
cute sister-in-laws and cousin…I can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of the hosts, Nana & Papa!
Then we packed up the car and headed to Utah. Sweetest ever Dave decided to leave the pressures of work and drive us up there (since I was going to drive up by myself with the kids, and he was just too nice to let me do it). The first night we stayed at Dave’s sister’s house in Layton. He has two sisters who live on the same street and we loved going back and forth catching up with them. The kids adored being with their kids. And if you can believe it, being the camera crazy person that I am this is the only picture I got of our time with them:Don’t get me wrong, any picture of Lucy with her darling cousin Ella couldn’t be a bad thing (especially when Lucy “looks” like she could be a walker…rest assured she’s still not), but I’m mad I didn’t get any pics of anyone else. There’s always next time…

Our main prerogative for the trip was to be there for my littlest sister’s missionary farewell. She leaves for London in a couple weeks. The highlight of the trip was being able to go to the temple with my parents and all nine of us kids. It was kind of surreal to have everyone there together.
Her farewell was awesome too. She’s pretty darn prepared. The kids loved snuggling her up before she leaves them high and dry for 18 months.

I wish I could have captured on my camera the freezing temps. up there. Man oh man we were so cold up there. And it hardly stopped snowing the whole time. This was awesome for Dave, who took Max and Elle skiing. And since of course he wasn’t about to take a camera with him, I’ll have to include this picture from last spring…just picture it without me and with huge flakes of snow coming down creating mountains of pure powder that Dave couldn’t get enough of. The kids were good enough to just ski with their cousins by themselves and Dave and his brother-in-law went crazy in the powder. He couldn’t wipe the smile off his face for days.But for those of us trying to bundle up five kids and transport them back and forth from various activities making sure they had their snow gear with them everywhere they went it was a little more tricky. And add to that the fact that we don’t have 4-wheel drive and our car battery kept dying and we were trying to maneuver around with such sheer numbers (just about my entire family was there)…made for a few crazy moments.

But it was so fun to spend some time in my parents’ new house up in the canyon (they’re not moved in yet so we were back and forth from their new to old house).Elle’s face is trying to explain how cold it is (you’d think she’d bundle up more than that but my kids don’t understand “bundling”)…and behind her are a few of our parade of cars that got stuck in the snow…luckily I have a bunch of brothers who are good at pushing cars out of snow banks.
but check out the breathtaking effect of snow. Ok ok, I do love it. But did I mention it was COLD?!
The kids didn’t seem to mind.

Dave & my brother Eli striking a pose in the beautiful light that fills my parent’s new house.
and Claire too…sitting on the big rug where my parents showered us with gifts for our “second Christmas” the night before.My great parents “holding” their grandchildren. (a Christmas gift)

On New Years Eve we headed to my Aunt’s house in North Salt Lake for our annual New Year’s party. They are selling their amazing house so this was the last year we could swim and eat and play games there until midnight.Dave and I put Lucy to bed there and let all the rest of our kids stay up until midnight. They thought they were in heaven when they got to count down to New Years with all us adults and have their own glass of sparkling apple juice when the clock struck twelve.We got to hook up with our good friend Mike for lunch…we were sad we didn’t get to see Amy. We were only there for four days. Dave had to fly back early for work stuff and I got to drive the kids home. Luckily my brother came with me and we stopped overnight half way to stay with my sister and brother’s families who live there. We got to be with my little nephew for his 8th birthday.And the good thing about driving with Josh is that he understands that when there’s a beautiful place you just have to stop.The kids were great during the long drive……except for Lucy. And it would be a serious understatement to say she was bad. Wow. Sometimes I still feel like my ears are ringing. Cute cry or not, she was one miserable girl. She won’t be accompanying us on any more road trips for a while!

It’s good to be home.

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  1. You had the busiest Christmas season ever! It was so fun to see you at Laurel’s home and catch up with you and your cute family. You were so brave to pack it all in just a few days and then drive home without Dave. You are a full-on trooper! πŸ™‚ I am sure your parents were in heaven having all of their kids in one place for your sister’s farewell. I am actually reading one of their books right now and loving it. After our trip, I figured that I needed some bit time help in that dept. πŸ™‚
    It was ridiculously cold up there and it was the first time in forever that we have been to Utah in the winter time so it was a breath of fresh air to come home and put on the flip flops again.

  2. I love that white snow! I heard it was freezing in Utah but you just have to experience that change of season every year. We are just now seeing the leaves fall this week here in AZ. What if we never experienced the beauty of winter. This is the first time we have not gone to Utah for winter break since we have been married. We were on overload so it was good to stay and refresh but it looks like you had a great time. What a neat memory to be at the temple with the whole Eyre clan.

  3. Fun Fun update! You and your family couldn’t be cuter. I am so impressed that you all were at the temple. Your parents obviously did something right and now I am going to try to read everything they have ever written. I hope I have the energy to implement just a little of what they have done. Glad to have you back in the mild temperatures!

  4. That was such a fun post! I think my favorite is the temple picture. Good luck to Charity on her mission! Last one of all you guys to go. You are a super blogger, Shawni. I always look forward to reading your posts because they give me a smile and remind me of what we’re all here for! Temps here have been in the 60’s and I can’t say that I’m missing the SNOW!

  5. oh man i LOVE this post! it’s so full of such great stuff and so many great pictures.

    i love your parents new house from what i can see of it in these pictures. and for the record your parents do not look old enough to have all of those grown children. glad you had such a great time and that you’re all back safe. πŸ™‚

  6. I love this post too Shawni. I love the collage of grandchildren. Fun that you went skiing with your family.
    Just saw your comment on my blog and if you want to email me (croppnmad@cox.net), I would be happy to tell you all I know about Disneyland! My favorite place! We’ll be going there next month.

  7. Great update. I can’t believe little Charity is going on a mission. She’s all grown up. Did all the girls in the family go on missions and the boys? impressive!!!! Yes, it was so bitter cold in Utah!!!

  8. Shawni, just checked out your photography site and am amazed at how talented you are. I wished you lived close by and you could photograph my kids and my new baby. Seriously you are talented and it looks like your business is exploding. We got family photos taken this winter and paid a fortune and they were not even close to your great shots. YOu have a natural eye for this and I am sure people realize this!! So fun to look at your photos!!1

  9. It was so great to see you guys! You have the cutest family! I love the pictures of all the snow, and stuck cars…its so fun to visit the snow for the Holidays, and leave it all behind after it gets mucky and dirty!

    Where did you guys find that awesome frame with all the photo slots? What a perfect gift for your parents!

    love you all!

  10. I just love looking at your blog…..you always have so much to say and of course you know how much I love your pictures. Sound like your Christmas was great and COLD…..You have inspired me to start my own blog. Check it out – 3girls1yoyo. I am loving having a blog it gets me to write. Which is great. Talk to you soon.

  11. Your little Lucy is a stinker. There is nothing worse than driving for hours with a crying baby. Okay, plane rides are worse. But car rides are a close second!

    Anyway, I am envious of your parents home with all that natural light. A photographers dream!!!! Great photos. Looked like a fun vacation…all but the long drive!

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