Stories from the lives of Jared, Stephanie, Aubrey, Hannah and Dani Or, Jare-phanie-brey-nah-ni

Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas Vacation Part 6

The morning was filled with packing and saying goodbyes. Or rather, saying goodbyes without actually using the word "bye." 

Aubrey seems to have abandonment issues and gets really upset when Jared or I say goodbye around her. 

Somehow, we got everything packed up and loaded stuff into the car. Aubrey woke up and people played with her for the last time (at least for the year 2013). 

Tim and Laura drove us to the airport and things went a lot smoother than the trip coming to Utah. 

Except for the fact I completely forgot my backpack at the house! It had the second computer in it and several of Aubrey's favorite movies. We called Laura and asked if anyone at the house could bring it to the airport. Ashley and Nicole were rockstars and offered to bring it up for us.

Jared waited for them while Aubrey and I made our way through security and getting to the right terminal. Things went pretty well! Jared got the backpack in time, the flight had no delays. Things were good! And it worked out that on the plane, we had an empty seat by us, so Aubrey had plenty of space in her own seat, rather than sitting on our laps the whole time. 

Plane took off, no problems. She was well-behaved on the plane. Aubrey was even good when I had to change her diaper on the plane. Those bathrooms are tiny and rather uncomfortable for one person, let alone someone and a toddler!

But we made it to Chicago. That's where things got a little rough. It was cold and snowing. Our gate was taken by a flight that was delayed so we had to wait an hour on the plane before we could get off. 

Our luggage came in good time and we made our way to the shuttle to get our car in a park, ride & fly. It was snowing, but everything seemed fine. The car started, which was a miracle. 

The drive home was pretty great. I had accidently left two unopened Dr Peppers in the car, and they totally had exploded while we were gone. Oops. 

Jared sat in back and put on a movie for Aubrey. She fell asleep and he hopped up front with me. Driving from Chicago to Fort Wayne was pretty stressful sometimes. The windshield got dirty and I could hardly see out of it. Jared was also inspired that we stop somewhere to eat and it happened to be right before midnight. I totally forgot most places are closed New Years Eve! 

We stopped at a Burger King, which thankfully had still been open. We were that store's last customer of the year :)

We made it home and got ready for bed. Poor Aubrey didn't appreciate being woken up and was rather upset to be woken up and then put to bed. But she was fine after a while and we all slept in. 

That was our Christmas vacation!

We miss them all very much. Tim and Laura were so great  for letting us stay with them so long. Brandon, Ashley, Nicole, Megan and Spencer were also great for playing with Aubrey and letting us invade their space for a while. 

Everyone was so patient with Aubrey and we had such a great holiday!

Christmas Vacation Part 5

Saturday, Dec 28 (the day we are currently on in the story) was Tim's birthday. 

Aubrey got up her usual time, but had a stuffy nose. Poor baby!

We had another relaxing morning. Aubrey had a great time playing with everyone and anyone willing to play with and watch her. 

After her nap, we had a late lunch/early dinner at The Red Iguana. This is a family favorite mexican place. The food is really good and it's a fun hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Aubrey was as good as always in the restaurant! Up until she threw a toy on the floor and I took it away. A young man who worked there told Aubrey to not get upset when she started to whine. 

She has a problem with be spoken to by strangers. She immediately put her head down on the table and started to cry and let these huge crocodile tears fall! It was so funny! Poor young man was so embarrassed and didn't mean to upset her! 

We put her in the car and everything worked out. Everyone went home with full bellies and a few take-home boxes. 

Later that night, Tim opened his presents and it was a fun day. I really hope he had a fun birthday. 

The next day was an adventure. We had given Aubrey something new for her cold that was developing. Too bad we didn't know it would make her wired for the whole night! She would cry and cry and cry until one of us went in and held her. I was up pretty much all night. Jared was a super sweet husband and father and took her for a few hours so I could rest. 

But I couldn't really sleep until the morning when everyone went to church. I was a bad person and didn't go to church. Jared came back after the first hour to put Aubrey down for a nap. I was feeling much better after being able to sleep for a few hours. 

And we began getting ready for another family dinner. We invited family already in Utah on Jared's side and they came over for dinner. Laura was so great and hosted it all for us. Aubrey was a little nervous with people invading the space she claimed for herself (the whole house). But she did well overall. 

It was so fun seeing everyone. Karli is about to have her baby and it was fun talking baby with her.

Aubrey had another rough night with coughing, but she slept through most if it, which was a huge improvement!

Monday was our last full day and it was kinda sad. 

I had made a playdate with a former roommate Krisy and it was so fun seeing her! She has a little baby bump now and a little boy that just turned 1 that weekend. 

Aubrey had fun playing with Aiden's toys and Aiden was having a difficult time with her taking over his space. But I had a great time visiting with Krisy!!

It was naptime again so we went home and made plans for another late lunch. Tim had to return to work, so we would meet him somewhere near his work. 

We went to a chinese place and Aubrey had some fun. Everyone always enjoys the silly things she does while at restaurants. 

It was a pretty chill day. I helped with dinner that night. Laura and I both made our enchiladas. She makes hers with red sauce and mine are more creamy/cheesy. It was really fun helping out. And I always enjoy cooking! 

We were pretty sad thinking about how we would leave the next day. Traveling is always an adventure and we would really miss everyone.

Christmas Vacation Part 4

Our big gift from Jared's parents was a night out!

And it was much needed. 

But that morning we went and got our family photos taken! This Christmas was the first time in a while that all the family was together and they wanted an updated family picture. 

Everyone looked great and Aubrey was fantastic! We got a look at one of the pictures and Aubrey was so cute and smiling! The photographer was so good with her and knew a few tricks to get her attention! I'll have to keep them in mind if we get pictures taken of her in the future. 

We put Aubrey down for a nap and headed to check in to our hotel in downtown Salt Lake and head to our movie. 

Finally, we got to see the second Hunger Games movie! Hooray! And it was so good! But we were late and got awful seats. The ones in the very front. I started to feel very sick, so Jared was amazing and stood by me while I sat in the entrance way against the wall. He was so sweet and stayed next to me the whole time. From now on, I plan to get to movies SUPER early just so I can get a good seat. 

Our special dinner was Sonic! We've had a gift card for Sonic for months, but there isn't one near us. So we saw there was one in Salt Lake and ate there! Because I was still feeling a little sick, we went back to the hotel and just relaxed. It was wonderful! 

We ordered breakfast to come in the morning and it was pretty good. 

Probably the best part of our night and half-day away was going to the Salt Lake Temple. We hadn't been since the one time we went to get married and sealed together forever. I'm still very happy with my choice of eternal companion and it was awesome going back to the temple with him. 

We did a live endowment session, which was so amazing. I can't even describe how great it was! And sitting in the celestial room was so special for us. We had a mix-up with our wedding time so we spent A LOT of time in that room on our wedding day. It was wonderful being able to sit in that same room again. 

It was time to go home and prepare to see my extended family. 

Because we were spending most of the time with Jared's family, I thought it would be nice to have one night with my family already out there. We decided to do a dinner and visit with everyone. 

They made my favorite dinner of chicken wrapped in bacon and it tasted delicious! Aubrey had so much fun playing with my baby cousins, Sydney and Nora. Sydney is 4 and Aubrey had so much fun chasing her around, not really understanding the rules of tag or hide-in-seek. 

Everything was so much fun, but it was time to head back home for Aubrey's bed time. We like to be pretty consistent when putting her to bed, and it was a half hour drive back to Jared's family. 

I love my family very much and it was fun seeing them. 

Aubrey wasn't happy to go to bed. She missed running around. I broke our biggest rule and went in to get her out of bed to let her run around some more. Her grandparents, aunts and uncles didn't mind her being up late! The second time we put her down, she was down for good. 

But this is about when her cold began to really kick in. Made the next few nights pretty rough. 

Christmas Vacation Part 3

Christmas morning!

As I said before, all the kids were sleeping in the basement, except for the sets of parents and Aubrey.

Mrs Claus brought a box of each child's favorite cereal and some chocolate milk Christmas Eve night while everyone slept. It's a fun tradition. 

Aubrey is good and wakes up consistently at the same time each morning. So at 8, we went to get her from the play pen and made our way to the basement to see who was awake down there. Aubrey had no problem waking everyone up. 

We waited for Jared's parents to wake up at their leisure and got in our positions to open presents when they came downstairs. Aubrey played Santa again and handed presents to people before getting distracted by something. 

Christmas was so much fun. We got so many great things we wanted and a few extra :)

I got to Skype with Ben for a few minutes, which was so awesome!!

On the kitchen table, everyone's stockings were waiting for us to open. But people were so in love with their presents from the tree, that we waited a little bit before opening the stockings. We got more amazing gifts! 

The table was cleared of stockings and we began getting ready for breakfast. Brandon Roush brought some really yummy cinnamon, orange and strawberry rolls for everyone, which were the hit of the meal!

After that, we enjoyed some of Aubrey's new movies and just relaxed. People tried on their new clothing or just had a pajama day! 

Christmas dinner was delicious ham and new potatoes. One of my favorite meals. And we tried some sparkling cider that was a gift for Jared's dad, Tim. They were pretty good!

It was a pretty low-key day and we just spent most of it relaxing. Which is how Christmas should be :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Vacation Part 2

Everyone absolutely loved having Aubrey in the house. 

There was always someone to play with her and she could run around. When she got grouchy, we'd put a movie on and she would have someone sit by her. 

And Aubrey was fabulous! 

Now, I'm totally going to forget things. The days went by so quickly and events may be left out. 

But one afternoon we went to Temple Square to see the lights. We got there very early though and the lights weren't on. We took advantage of the sun still being out and we got a great family picture with just Jared, me and Aubrey. 

Here are the pictures we got!

We love to see the temple! 

To waste some time, we went to the City Creek Mall and walked around for a bit. It was fun. Once it got dark, we went back to see the lights. But I forgot the stroller. Whoops. Aubrey didn't care for being held so long and got cranky. She got even more cranky when she couldn't pull on the lights. She really got upset when we wouldn't let her get in the fountains to play. 

We decided to end the night a little early. Everyone met at Kneaders for dinner and Aubrey was very well behaved for that!

Laura (Grandma La La) would give Aubrey some of her food. Aubrey loved it so much she took the fork and kept dipping it in to La La's food and then into the salad dressing. It was so funny!

Overall, it was a great day. Few grouchy moments with Aubrey, but it was such a fun family night. 

The next day was more fun for Aubrey. More running around, more snacks, more of people being willing to play with her. 

Everyone was super great too and worked around Aubrey's schedule. We had lots of late lunches because we'd go out after Aubrey's naps. 

For Christmas Eve, we went to The Cheesecake Factory and it was awesome. Aubrey ate broccoli, french fries and little pieces of rice and peas from people's food. And she'd make a walrus face by bending the french fry in her mouth and having both ends sticking out! I couldn't get a good picture, but it's easy enough to imagine her doing it!

Later that night, we did the Christmas eve presents and the program. Aubrey handed everyone their presents and we'd applaud every time she gave one! She was a great Santa's helper. She'll do almost anything for applause!

After we all put our pajamas on, we went downstairs for the Christmas Family Program. 

For those who don't know, every Christmas eve, the kids in the family put on a program. They rewrite songs, create dances, or reenact movie scenes. It's a tradition and is a present to their parents. 

Aubrey wouldn't do the songs we practiced a few weeks before (Jingle Bells and Once There Was A Snowman), which I expected to happen. But when her aunts and uncles and father would do things, she'd run out and watch them. It was funny. 

It was time to put Aubrey down for bed because we kept her up for the program. Jared and I stayed in the guest room near Aubrey, but the other kids slept in the basement (another tradition). 

Christmas day will have to be another post. I don't mean to drag this out forever, I just want to document most of the important things that happened. 

Christmas Vacation Part 1

We had so much fun the past week and a half! For Christmas, we went to Draper, UT to spend time with Jared's family. 

It was the first time in years that everyone has been there! It was a special event for all of us. 

Because so much happened, I will document the trip in parts. Aubrey is currently awake and trying to get used to the time change and getting back to the regular schedule, so I don't have much time to go through everything at once. It happens :)

I had most everything packed a couple days before our flight. There are always a few things we have to wait for the day-of to pack, so I left plenty of space. 

We flew out of the Chicago Midway airport, which is a good 3 hour drive for us. We planned to leave with extra time in case there was traffic or weather or crazy lines at the airport. Aubrey was so good in the car! I sat in back and held up the computer for her as it played movies to keep her entertained. Jared was so great and drove the whole way.

The airport was another story though. While I changed Aubrey's diaper, Jared was stuck in a long line trying to check in 3 large bags. Poor Jared. I was going to get a headstart through security, but realized I left Aubrey's birth certificate in Jared's backpack. So we waited and met up with Jared when he was done and went to the security line together. 

Thank goodness for the family line! Aubrey was NOT happy to be stuck in her stroller after being so good in the car for 3 hours. A man directed us to the line for families and people who needed extra assistance. We got through it quickly. I planned my outfit ahead so I wouldn't get stuck in the metal detector. I wore slip on shoes, no belt, no jewelry except my rings. Went through smoothly :)

I always forget about the no liquid thing. But they tested my water bottle to make sure it was water and let me through. Aubrey's stuff was fine. I was SO happy I didn't have to dump out her watery juice. 

We still had time to waste at the airport, which was great. Jared took her on the moving walkways and she  loved it!! Finally time to start boarding and Aubrey was getting cranky. It was her bedtime and we were all ready for her to sleep. Plus, the plane was delayed about half an hour. 

But of course, things never go perfectly. We took off, everything was good. I got Aubrey to sleep in my arms. Getting comfortable was a difficult for me though. She is kinda heavy now and the seats in the plane are kinda awkward. Aubrey woke up after about an hour and totally freaked out when she realized we were somewhere other than home. 

Jared tried to comfort her in the back on the plane where people couldn't hear her too much. But she would not be comforted. So I went back and worked my magic. Got her calmed down and sat back in our seats. We put on a movie and just wanted to survive the rest of the trip. 

Landed, got our luggage and met Chris and Alicia in the pick-up section. 

It was so fun seeing them, even if just for a few minutes! They took us to Jared's family's house. 

Funny story: the driveway at the Roush home was pretty slippery. There was ice and my boots had no traction. I tried walking from the car to the door and my feet kept slipping! So there I was, stranded in the middle of the driveway, unable to get to the door. Luckily, Chris hasn't started the car yet and Alicia had the door open. I started calling for help, either to get Chris's attention or try and get Jared even though he was already in the house with Aubrey. Alicia realized I was calling for help and told Chris to help me. He came out, laughed at me when I explained the situation. But he helped me to the house by letting me grip his arm. 

Thanks Chris!

Aubrey was so good with the family! Let people hold her. Had a good time. Spencer was wonderful and gave up his room to Aubrey so she'd be across the hall from us. Everything was set up and we successfully put her to bed. 

She slept great and woke up happy the next morning. Aubrey loved all the new places to explore and really enjoyed the stairs!!

Thus concludes Part 1: Getting to Utah