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LOVED being in Utah despite how wimpy-in-cold we all are. In case anyone is wondering, Utah is COLD!

There are so many people we love there so every time we go there are so many logistics to figure out. Phew! It’s hard enough to organize my own family, especially now that Abby and Max are in Provo and Elle is engaged to a boy who’s family is there, let alone all the other people we want to see and love up there. BUT, so LUCKY we have that many people we adore.

I’m so happy that I got in breakfast with my high school girls (SO grateful for them and how we can always pick up where we left off), talking long. Love those ladies (and also the ones who couldn’t make it, missed you guys!) who are such a big part of who I am.

Still so much more to catch up on, trying to plan a little “retreat” soon.

Two of my sisters and I got to go on a beauty-laden snow hike, since it’s tradition after all (missed all the other sisters!)

Oh it is almost too heavy to love all that beauty so much and it helps to be able to share it with sisters I love, while talking about things I love too.

I’m going to take you there with us for a minute, trying to let pictures depict the beauty…which they never quite can, but gotta at least try.

This place was all frozen up, snow piled high on the branches, a little half-way frozen brook following the path:

See all these little frozen waterfalls below?

…and vistas?

…and beauty-sisters?

Yep, it was a good afternoon 🙂

I don’t have many pictures of all the other snow escapades, although there were a lot of them, but here’s one:

We had a “fake” new years eve with the Shumways, Looslis and Noah & Kristi’s families since some of them weren’t available on real new year’s eve. We ate, played some games and got creative with painting.

Loved seeing these kids so excited to see Max when he arrived a little late from volleyball:

There’s something I love so much about creating with people I love.

Love watching the big cousins with the little ones too.

Had Elle try on some vintage wedding dresses, first my mother’s:

…and also Saydi’s:

And Charity’s too:

On actual New Years Eve we got up early…

…and headed out to the slopes to ski:

All of us minus Lu and Max (volleyball). Plus a whole slew of cousins from three different families (my side and Dave’s too), which made it pretty grand.

It was Abby’s third time skiing and she hung easily with the rest of us and Dave was so happy to have everyone out there he had to just come give me a gleeful hug a few times at the bottom of the hill, he was so excited about it.

Man alive, that is a LOT of work, skis situated, tickets bought (thanks to my brother-in-law for half-price tickets!), gear organized and worn in the right amount of layers, uncomfortable boots latched up tight and making us walk like Frankenstein, but in the end, once we’re on that lift and all is situated in the midst of all that beauty, it really is heaven.

Check out our awesome daughter-in law…she rocked it!

A family on the hill, minus our two bookends Max and Lu:

Back through the last sunset of 2019:

To a night filled up with more games and talking, wrapped cozy around these tables:

Celebrated on this “real” new years eve by playing some good games directed by Lucy and had a pretty great count-down. These two decided to go off sugar for 2020 so they ate as much ice cream as they could before that clock struck midnight.

They are pretty committed on that tough goal, we’ll see how it goes!

My parents are the best hosts, letting us borrow cars, feeding us, providing a beautiful spot for us to stay nestled in the midst of all that winter beauty, discussing the world with us, and teaching us bridge, (now a beloved new game for Lucy).

Oh and also hanging with Lucy while we skied and wedding-dress shopped…definitely not her favorite things to do.

Elle tried on 528 wedding dresses, HA! Totally not her thing to do, but she did it and we learned a lot of things she didn’t want.

That last one they were trying to see how they could alter it…and that lady at Alta Moda dress shop was pretty awesome!

Elle had some good audiences to keep entertained:

Pretty fun that Carson’s sister and mom were able to join us for part of it:

Loved getting to know them better in that process, and it was also fun for Elle to be reunited with her Jerusalem roommate and also Julie, Dave’s sister. Had to finish off the dress shopping with a little sushi.

We met up with Carson’s family through a giant snow storm, first with just his mom and sister (who had joined us for wedding dress shopping), and then to dinner with both his parents and sister (worrying about Dave and Lu who were trying to brave the snow storm through the canyon to meet us, cars going off the road right and left), then at Carson’s house, all but one of his five siblings there with their kids, so many people and so much love filling up the air, playing games, talking, getting to know each other. And Dave and Lu DID make it through the snow, which was a huge bonus.

I’m kicking myself I didn’t get pictures, but Elle chose well on the in-law front!

Watched, mesmerized, the most gorgeous sunset over snowy plains on our flight home, with a heart full of gratitude that we got to fly this leg ($25 flights on Frontier, woohoo!), me and my Hawaii girls and Lu (Dave and Claire went back the day before to get Claire back for volleyball).

I really like my desert. It’s always my favorite thing to go and have adventures away, but even more favorite to come home, especially when it welcomes me with sun and glowing fall leaves lining my neighborhood.

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  1. Why did you do a hotel room to get away over christmas break when you were planning on leaving the state for the same break?

    1. Not my business, but as a mom, time stolen away with just your immediate family is very different than time with your extended family. Both are amazing, wonderful, filling, and so on, but that time stolen away with just your people (no distractions from friends, housework, or welcome pressure to see everyone) is pretty sacred. I get it!

  2. What a lovely way to send out the old year and ring in the new, surrounded by family. Happy 2020! xo

  3. Beautiful winter photos! My favorite wedding dress on Elle was the one with the tiny loops down the front, shirred waist, and smooth skirt. Looked great on her and seemed timeless but still unique.

    1. Thanks! We actually decided to get the dress made so she can have exactly what she wants. Hope it works out ok! Crossing our fingers!

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