Winter in Review

22 Feb

Alright, to fill in the blanks from my long winter’s (blogging) nap, here is a photo retrospective. Warning, it’s crazy with photos!

We kicked off the season with our introduction to the world of winter with multiple kids- meaning racked with the first of many more illnesses to come. Both babies were pathetically sick and would not detach themselves from me for any reason. Thus, I spent the first part of December with two koala bears tucked up against me.

We flew to Utah with three sick kids (you’re welcome, fellow passengers) and actually had a pleasant flight. The babies slept and Finn was fairly quiet and obedient.It was great to get out there and spend time with family. The babies seemed to get better quickly but Finn was pretty sick and in a nasty mood for the first few days we were there. He perked up when we went on a trip on the Polar Express with the whole Mason clan. LeAnn had bought tickets for everyone on this train up near Park City that transforms itself into the Polar Express for Christmas. It was a great idea! The train was super crowded and we were all holding babies so it was a little tough to enjoy the hot chocolate while trying not to spill it on everyone around you.

Grandma LeAnn and Lucy, thrilled to be in her first tutu

This is the expression Finn wore for the better part of a week.

Behold, the gymnastics of trying to get three squirrelly children to pose in their gorgeous Christmas outfits.

As part of our Christmas gift from LeAnn, Patrick and I went to dinner at La Caille, a fancy schmancy French restaurant. We got dressed up and had a delicious meal. We decided to be adventurous and tried escargot, which were really yummy. At least the one of the four on my plate that I actually ate was yummy. Turns out it takes a certain amount of skill to yank one of those slimy guys out of its shell. All dinner long we speculated on the possibility of moving to California. Patrick had recently interviewed at Claremont Graduate University for the Hunter Chair in Mormon Studies and we were waiting to hear if he got the job. It was fun to speculate but also nerve-wracking to have to wait to hear word.

We got to spend time with our very bestest who all moved away from us and made us sad. There are ten plus years worth of South Bend friends in this picture. It was so fun to reunite with them.

We had the Mason family Christmas party, a fun and delicious event. LeAnn is an extraordinary cook and hostess so it was a magnificent affair. The cousins smothered the babies with lots of attention and cuddles. Santa made an appearance and we got the obligatory photo capturing the sheer terror of a child placed on a strange man’s lap. I’ve added Finn’s 1st Santa visit for comparison.

Other fun times from Utah:

The twins were allowed at the grownups table.

We visited the spectacular Temple Square Christmas lights.

We reunited with fellow ex-expats, the Heisses.

Finn and Rachel were too cool for the rest of us.

We flew to Texas on Christmas Eve and arrived hours earlier than expected, thanks to a kind Christmas spirited ticket agent who eliminated our four hour layover and got us right off one place and onto another. Javi had already gotten there earlier that day. We had the traditional De Leon family Christmas party that night. It was fun to introduce the kids to everyone. After a long day of travel though, the kids were exhausted and we spent most of the party tending to them.

And of course, Christmas morning. These kids didn’t even know what hit them. Finn kept looking like he just couldn’t believe this was all happening to him, he was so happy.

Finn got a tricycle, which he hasn't stopped riding since, as our scuffed hardwood floors will attest.

Rhett was entranced by all the colorful things he could rip to shreds without recourse.

Lucy patiently allowed us to stick discarded bows on her head.

Finn forced Patrick to build him a train track of epic proportions...

I got to see some more of my bestest at a baby shower for Beca.

Beca and David at a baby shower for their little boy, Grant.

Janae and Nathan are currently expecting boy/girl twins. The poor suckers.

Unfortunately I came down with the plague on Christmas and it got steadily worse until I finally found myself shivering and incoherent in a night clinic in downtown McAllen. I later found out that the Dr. misprescribed my medication which explains why my cough only just went away last week.

Grandma introduced the kids to the wonders of the iPad.

And Uncle Javy introduced Finn to the glorious world of Angry Birds. Finn's favorite game is now to pretend Lucy and Rhett are angry birds and he is a pig and has us launch them at him.

Gigi and Great-grandpa brought over walkers for the kids to use.

Lucy mercilessly running over Great-grandpa. Just kidding, I think he was fixing a wheel.

Grandma Luisa proved that she really is just a big kid. I let her and Finn loose in the park and they got up to all kinds of trouble.

We asked a family friend to take photos for us, since we haven’t had a family photo in oh like fifteen years. She owns orange groves so we posed out there and she got some fantastic shots despite the obvious difficulty of trying to get a million people to all keep their eyes open and look at the camera. If you see pain in my eyes, it’s because I accidentally stepped into a fireant hill. Those of you who don’t know what fireant bites feel like, consider yourself lucky. Those little buggers hurt!!!

Grandpa Javy and Finn stealing oranges.

Lucy's famous stink-face.

The De Leon clan.

And finally, our (big) little family!

Whew. Sorry if I crashed your computer with all these photos. Now we’re all caught up on the holiday season. We had a great time but we’re happy to be home and back in our routine. At least for now…

…did I mention we’re moving to California?

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5 Responses to “Winter in Review”

  1. Aprillee February 22, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    What a fun post! Your kids look so cute in their Christmas outfits and I love your family picture. Congratulations on the upcoming move. How exciting!

  2. Spencer February 22, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    Pat & Melissa,

    Happy to see you’re doing well. Good luck on your new adventure!

    P.S. I bet you’re missing living in Egypt right about now.

  3. Nancy February 23, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    Ahhhh! So exciting! I love California. Congratulations on the new job!

    Also, I love that last family picture.

    And it was so nice of you to let us be part of your Utah trip. 🙂 Maybe we’ll see more of you now that you’ll be in CA. 😉

  4. emilia February 23, 2011 at 12:39 am #

    you’re going to live really close to my house!!! (sort of!) CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  5. Lisa Adams March 19, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    When are you moving to CA? We have good friends moving to south bend this summer for him to go to law school and I was going to get them connected with you guys.

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