Thursday, January 8, 2009

Our Very Merry Christmas

Our Christmas was full of fun suprises, the first of which being the arrival of these two lovebirds from Virginia:

I used my frequent flier status to help bring April & Alex home on Christmas Eve as a surprise present for my mom (and the rest of my family). We (me, A & A) planned this way back in October and let me tell you, I was so excited that it was the hardest thing to keep secret! So to keep myself from telling my family, I told every random stranger I met throughout the past two months. You know how it goes.

After spending the night in the Dulles airport (in Washington, D.C.), April & Alex's 6 a.m. flight was delayed a few hours, which would have made them miss their connection in Cincinnati. It turned out to be quite serendipitous, however, because Delta ended up putting them on a non-stop flight that brought them home a few hours earlier than their first flight would have! The surprise worked out perfectly and it was the best thing ever to have the whole family together for Christmas.

Then, while April & Alex napped, the rest of the family went up to the Huntsman Cancer Institute to go caroling and deliver some presents. My best guy friend from high school, Jason Long, passed away from leukemia in 2007 and was treated so well at HCI. Now, his family carols there every Christmas Eve and they invited us to tag along this year. It was the neatest experience to remember Jason, put smiles on the faces of those who really need them, and remember what Christmas is all about--honoring our Savior Jesus Christ and sharing His love with everyone around us.

That night after dinner, Santa stopped by! The kids were all excited to get their final requests in ...

... and Gabey Baby was really excited to see Santa from afar ...

... but up close it was a completely different story:

Luckily, he cheered up quickly when we took him to see Grandma and Grandpa.

We did our annual reenactment of the nativity scene later that night. This year, Matt was cast as a shepherd and I was an angel with Christian. Doesn't he look just like one of those Greek statues in this picture?

After the play, Pixie came! Pixie is our elf that peaks on us for Santa the three nights before Christmas. If we're good, he leaves presents on our doorstep Christmas Eve.

Pixie's a big hit with the babies:

Then came Christmas morning! It's always a bit crazy at our house with so many kids, but we love it.

Matt had a big surprise waiting for me:

My own piano!!!

It's gorgeous and has the most beautiful sound. I'm so excited to be able to have that music in our future house! I love that Matt's gift to me will not only entertain the two of us but will also really benefit our future family.

After breakfast, we headed up to Brigham City to spend Christmas Day with Matt's family. We had a blast playing Wallyball, eating Shelley's sticky buns, and just hanging out with everyone. The next morning, Matt flew to Dallas first thing and I got back to work... but then joined him a few days later :-) We had a fun little adventure in Texas, and I can't wait to show you all about it!


anoyce said...

Oh my goodness! Ashley! I'm so glad that you had an amazing Christmas, and what a gift!! That fiance of yours sure treats you right!!

Stacie said...

thats so lucky you get to travel SO much to be with Matt! What a blessing. Sounds like an awesome Christmas too and thats great that April & her husband could come as a surprise. Wonderful :) Congrats on the piano too..thats pretty freakin' cool

Seven Grafs said...

How did they hide the piano from you? It was so cute to see your mom's surprise at April's visit. What a great gift!

Ryan and Donna said...

WOW! A baby grand piano! That is an amazing gift. Congrats! I love the pictures you posted. Awesome one of your mom hugging April....very tender! Love your posts.

Lacey and Tyler said...

The Piano is so beautiful! Excellent job Matt!!! OH and you mom looks so happy about your sister! Home run! (Ironic that I am using sports metaphors huh, lol)

Following Him said...

What a Christmas...sounds like you were a great surprise in the making with April and her hubby! Love the fact that all the family was together again :) Love the pict of you and Matt and the piano is just beautiful!

Sharla said...

Wow! What great gifts all the way around. You and Matt were both full of surprises! We loved having April and Alex at the Cabin, but missed you and Matt! What a great thing for you to have your whole family. That will continue to be a difficult task as you guys move all over the place. We were gone for 6 years!!

Jodie said...

I am so happy you LOVE your piano! Matt was so excited when he told me about it. When are you heading out again? Miss ya!