Joe and I had a great trip to Utah. We arrived on Christmas eve a little later than expected because of delays (possibly weather related), but we were greeted by my sister (sister #1) and her family and whisked away to the house of another of my sisters (sister #2) for dinner. People were ready to eat (and a few already were) when we arrived, and so we didn't have to wait for food, which was nice. We had some really great food (pork tenderloins, stuffing, potatoes, etc) and it was like no time had passed since I saw my family. Dysfunctional as we may be, I love them so much! I wish they could've all been there! But I digress...
We stayed at the new home of another of my sisters (sister #3) for the first few days of our trip. Even though she has a 3-year-old and a 9- or 10-month-old, it wasn't too hectic, and Joe and I found it enjoyable and relaxing. She and her husband were wonderful hosts and they kept us well fed.
On Christmas, we watched their kids open presents and the adults all got some presents too. Joe and I were expecting to maybe have one or two presents to open (from my parents, since we'd already exchanged gifts with his family and each other), but in addition to the gifts my parents gave us (one to him, two to me, and one for both of us), I got a gift from sister #2 later that day. Sister #3 (the one whose house we were staying at) hosted Christmas dinner, and we enjoyed pasta, homemade pizza, and lots of spinach & artichoke dip. Then we played some games and chatted and had a great time.
The following night was dinner at sister #1's house, which we got to after being dropped off by sister #3 to sister #2's house to carpool (are you lost yet?). My parents and another sister (sister #4) and her family were staying with them. We had Mexican food. Again, everything was delicious! I could've sat there and eaten tons of homemade tortillas, but I decided to stick with a more well-rounded meal. We played more games and then headed back to sister #3's house to sleep.
Saturday we went to PF Chang's for dinner after running some errands and relaxing at sister #3's house. We switched places with my parents for the rest of the trip, so we were now staying at sister #1's house with sister #4 and her family while my parents stayed with sister #3. We did this because we had plans to go to Joe's sister's house to spend Sunday with her and her family.
We went to church with Joe's sister and had lunch and dinner there. We also played some games with her family and then headed home. Once arriving back at sister #1's house, we played the Newlywed Game with sister #1 and sister #4 and their spouses. It was a lot of fun.
Because of a late night on Sunday, Joe and I slept in until about 9:30 am (which was far less than 8 hours of sleep!). We decided we needed to have some Sonic on our trip, so my brother-in-law drove us there. About two hours later, he and my sister (sister #1) took us to Salt Lake to have lunch with one of my other sisters (sister #2) and her husband before being dropped off at the airport.
We were exhausted when we got home, but we were glad to have that vacation and get to see so much family. We were happy to be home sleeping in our own bed last night, and we were happy to see our kittens. They survived and didn't tear the place up while we were gone, which is a good thing. And other than a few very small patches of snow, that is all melted, which was another nice thing to come home to.
In other notes... we played a game called Scruples, which is referred to by members of my family as "the sleep on the couch game." There wasn't a whole lot of arguing between couples, but I did get frustrated and quit at the end when everyone ganged up on me. In my defense, I was so sick of playing and just wanted to win (which I apparently wouldn't have).
Also, I ate more than enough junk food (candy and fudge, mostly) to make up for my lack of such indulgences the rest of the Christmas season. I wouldn't be surprised if I gained 3-5 pounds this trip.
In addition, I disobeyed the doctor's instructions to wear an ace bandage and use a crutch to help my healing ankle (a snow-related accident with a horribly boring story). It still hurts on occasion, but it seems to be doing a lot better.
I played Guitar Hero World Tour for the Wii and found it quite fun. If I had that sort of game or even Rock Band for the XBox, I would probably play a lot more, so I guess it's a good thing I don't.
Pre-made plans don't always work out, and that's okay. We were supposed to do some scrapbooking, but we never got around to it. I did, however, come prepared with the 2 pages that were suggested to give to my siblings for their scrapbooks. One of those pages was our Christmas letter with the picture on it, and the other was a picture collage I put together into a word document. I found it quite humorous when I heard the following from my oldest sister (sister #1): "Lisa (sister #2) called me and said she was very concerned about you because of the picture in your Christmas letter." Apparently, she wasn't sure whether or not I was serious in that photo and thought I was turning into my mother or something. So, I wanted to assure everyone that the picture was taken in jest and is in no way, shape, or form serious. In fact, we have decided to start a new Christmas tradition of awful sweatshirt/sweater pictures to include with Christmas cards. I already have a great/awful idea for next year's photo.