Family is important to me
I am close with my siblings and parents. At the same time, I am the only one that lives outside of Salt Lake City. This is the main reason I make it a point to visit at least 2xs a year. I have 2 nieces and 1 nephew (born after this picture was taken) that I want to create a relationship with from a young age. I want my family to know they have an Aunt (daughter and sister) who loves them, even though I don’t see them on a regular basis. I have amazing parents (including a step dad) and great siblings.
Christmas usually consists of Sci-Fi movies, going out to eat, Temple lights, and playing games. This year was a little different. As we have gotten older, our family has grown. Not just with grandkids, but with significant others. Kevin (3rd from the left) got married, and my boyfriend was in town this year. We juggled spending time with each other as well as our significant others families. This post is an overview of my holiday season, as well as my favorite things to do in Salt Lake.
Spending time in the mountains
Ah yes, those rocky mountains. Its hard to go wrong anywhere in the valley. There are so many places to go. Immigration canyon, Millcreek canyon, Big and little cotton wood canyon, and many more around the valley. This year I spend time in the Wasatch mountains as well as Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Heber had a crazy snow storm before we got there. Snow on snow on snow on snow! If you hopped over those blue mountains in the background you would end up in Provo Utah.
These are the best pictures from my photo shoot up Big Cottenwood Canyon. These are REAL MOUNTAIN! Austin doesn’t have real mountains. This is what I think of when they say “outdoors” This place is packed with things to do all year round, even in the winter. You can snowshoe, ski, snowboard, cross country ski, ice caving, ice climbing, snow mobile and what ever else you can think of to do in the snow. In the summer you can hike, bike, rock climb (my favorite) or just drive up the canyon to get out of the heat. I do miss the mountains from time to time. They give me a sense of direction and a sense of security. They also represent an escape to me. There were always so accessible growing up. If I needed to get out, they were only a few minutes away.
LDS Temple lights
My parents would wake us up crazy early on Christmas Eve and drag us to the temple lights.
Little did I know there was a strategy behind this. The lights turned on around 5am, and off around 7am. There were no crowds, plenty of parking, and a great way to exhaust your kids so they fell asleep nice and early. The day was full of big meals, sledding, crafts, and finally a present before we went to bed. Which seemed to always be pajamas from Grandmas. What ever it was, it worked. We were out around 9pm! If any parents need a Christmas hack, this is a good one.
The Macy’s downtown have a tradition every year to sponsor the candy windows. They are really impressive. Yes, this is all made of candy and they are huge! I remember these as a kid. Now they do more rotating scenes. I assume they are easier to transport. Worth going when you are downtown.
Random Christmas Trees
This tradition has been going on for years! It started out when I was in high school. My dad decided to to go out west to the copper pits and find tumble weeds to see if we could make a Christmas tree out of them. I learned that day that;
- I was allergic to a certain type of Tumble weed
- Making your own Christmas tree is really fun
This is what you get when you have a family full of Engineers!
Hot tubbing in the back yard
These little girls are my nieces. Cutes little girls! One of their favorite things to do is get in Grandmas hot tub. They thought it was so funny to jump out and through snow balls at me. I am ok with a snowball fight… in hot tub 🙂 We plaid 20 questions which went like this:
Me: Is it a person?
Me: Is it a princess?
Me: Is it Elsa?!?
Niece:…. Yes…. (as she rolls her eyes)
Tree of life
This is the first year I have visited the Draper lights. It started out with just this tree in the middle of the park. Over time it gained the name of the “Tree of life.” Worth going to if you are in the area and don’t mind walking around in the cold.
Draper Aquarium- THE LIVING PLANET
I’ll tell you what! Going to an aquarium with little kids is so much funner then going with adults. Everything is new. I went with my youngest niece. They hosted a “Noon Years Ever” party. SMART! I am all about celebrating the new year at noon rather then midnight (call me old). Here are a few pictures from our adventures.
I returned from my amazing on new years day.
I love my family and am so lucky to have them in my life. This wasn’t a crazy trip to a far off place in a remote part of the world, but there is no where I would rather be then with these people. They remind me of who I really am.
Till next year!