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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Having a second Christmas ain't half bad

REAL butterfly wing earrings at Gardner Village
My parents flew into town last week with my grandpa and it was so much fun having family here. Aspen was over-the-moon having so much attention from people and she's probably going to be depressed for a week now that they're gone.

I took everyone to Gardner Village our first full day together and we survived walking around the antique store with both a toddler and a 90+ year old with a walker. We didn't break anything and I'm pretty impressed with our mad skills. It was a lot of fun to take time to shop around; usually when I go to Gardner Village it's just so Aspen can walk around and we don't go into stores (except the Storybook Nook).

Aspen's Great-Grandpa Vito reading some new books to her
On Saturday we drove down to Provo for the new Carl Bloch exhibit that my mom has been dying to see. It was nice to see more of Bloch's works, plus some by Heinrich Hoffman and Frans Schwartz. Aspen had a blast seeing where her Aunt Sophia goes to school, and she had quite a thrill in the Wilk when we ate lunch. There was a small stage set up near the piano and she decided to put on a show for everyone in the seating area. A student happened to be playing music so Aspen, with the encouragement of her Aunty, got on the stage and did some of her dance moves. When a group of girls saw her getting ready to perform, they got up from their seats and repositioned themselves in front of Aspen's stage to be her audience. She was in heaven.

When I went over to let her know it was time to go, she just kept saying, "I can't believe I got to dance on a real stage! It was a real stage!" She's excited about her dance recital her class will be having in the spring, and after our little preview at BYU, so am I.

Sunday was a big day for us because we planned to have second Christmas after church. As part of the festivities, Sophia and I prepared a duet to sing in my ward as a surprise for our mom. We've never had an opportunity to sing together before, so we thought it'd be a nice gift for Gail to put a little something together. It went really well and I'm so glad we were able to put something together. My mom also got to meet a neighbor of mine who's the mother of one of her Institute students who she's spent a lot of time with in Maine (small world, eh?).

Looking at old family photos at my brother Seth's house
After church everyone congregated at our lucky little house and Aspen distributed gifts to everyone. I had held back some of her gifts at real Christmas so my parents could see her reaction when she opened some things from them. One of the big items she had talked about back in December was a cash register, so I knew she was going to flip when she opened the one my parents got her. It's a teeny tiny one but she loves it. There's a working mic and she pushes the button and talks jibberish into it just so she can be using it. Many of us took turns buying things from her for twenty-five thirty-ten dollars that night.

It's bitter-sweet having my family visit because it's so many days of non-stop fun and then we all have to scatter again. At least we'll have more time together after this new baby is born; I'm already trying to prepare myself to travel with a newborn this summer so we can make the trip to Maine and enjoy some beach time.

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