So, let me start by apologizing for the almost 3 month absence from the blog. The first trimester really takes it out of me and until a couple weeks ago, I was basically in survival mode, sleeping every possible chance I had. But, now that I’m 16 weeks (today!) and feeling MUCH better, I figured it was time to get caught up on the blog! And isn’t March the perfect time to blog about Christmas? 😉
Every year since we’ve been in São Paulo we have alternated Christmas with one family, New Years with the other. This year we were back in Arizona for Christmas and we had the loveliest time with all of the Harpers.
On our overnight flight, in order to bring Colt’s carseat on the plane and have an actual seat for him (since we didn’t buy him a seat), Michael and I had to split up and weren’t able to sit together. This was not ideal especially since Colt was pretty tough, crying at regular intervals and generally being upset about being so restricted for such a long time. Thankfully during our connecting flight he slept the entire time and was well rested and in great spirits by the time we landed in Phoenix. As soon as we took him out of the car and set him down in the yard he immediately felt right at home. You can see that we hadn’t even finished unloading our bags before he plopped himself on their John Deer tractor!
Colt riding his first tractor!
The next order of business was to get his cousin, Julian Joseph over to the house to play! JJ is only 3 1/2 months younger than Colt so it’s really fun to get them together.
JJ and Colt – too excited for words.
One of the first things on the agenda for the trip (and with the Harpers, there is always an agenda!) was to go see the Zoo Lights at the Phoenix Zoo. It was so well done and both Colt, JJ and their parents and grandparents had a great time.
Michael, me & Colt with TJ, Christy & JJ!
Sharon and Ollie with their grandbabies!
Colt was mesmerized by the talking giraffe.
Michael and Colt.
At the zoo we had the opportunity to get Colt’s picture taken with Santa. We had never done it before so we waited in line for the photo-op. I was pretty sure how Colt was going to react and he did not disappoint. We love the pictures.
Family pic with Santa!
Classic & priceless. I love it.
Next on the agenda was the Arizona Cardinals v. Seattle Seahawks game. Although it didn’t go our way, it was a really fun night with friends and family.
Go red birds!
Then before Christmas, we headed to the Harpers’ ranch property, Hidden Valley, for a few days of family-time, rest and relaxation. Hidden Valley is truly one of my favorite spots in the world and I never get tired of going. It’s just magical!
Colt swinging with Uncle Joe.
He loves it!
All bundled up, A Christmas Story style.
Exploring the property with Hudson.
Feeding the ducks with Dad and Papa.
Family by the creek.
Family walk around.
Sunshine over the orchard.
Colt & Dad!
Getting all saddled up with Nana!
Dinner out on the town with my hot date.
We came back to Phoenix on Christmas Eve just in time for mass and the annual Christmas Eve party with the Griegos. This year dinner and festivities were at the Griegos’ house and we enjoyed the traditional Christmas Eve meal (oyster stew, salad, tamales, enchiladas and rice pudding) followed by the annual dice game where Michael won a round!
Santa and his reindeer.
Holiday hats in full swing.
The next morning we attended a beautiful Christmas mass together and then gathered around the tree for gifts!
Colt opening the scripture book I made for him.
Julian being adorable.
Later that afternoon, Sharon and Ollie unveiled one last surprise gift for Michael & me and TJ & Christy. They had secretly had paintings done of our boys and it was such a surprise!
So surprised and amazed!
We loved it!
Christmas evening Colt was coming down with a little cold but we still had fun putting him and JJ in matching PJs and watching them play in their matching chairs.
Family pic with a sick, snuggly Colt.
The rest of the visit was filled with enjoying family and a BIG holiday party that I will do a separate post about next, but for now here are a couple final Phoenix pictures.
JJ and Colt (wearing a hat that officially looks like a swim cap) riding along in the wagon.
Colt reading with Papa.
Loving the Arizona sunshine.