We decided to try out a nice hike at the Wind Caves, though driving into the park, the ranger told us that the main trail to the caves was closed, because they were doing a helicopter rescue. Whoops. We found some other trails to hike while watching the helicopter, fire trucks, and ambulances race around.
I've seen this Phoenix and arrow sign SO many times from the air, and I finally figured out where it is! That was a little treat.
We kept getting text updates from mom, dad and Tanner while they were making the drive from Oklahoma. Honey was excited to road trip!
Meanwhile, we headed south to visit Dad's family for the day.
Cousins! Drew and Nikki were able to come from Kentucky.
Of course we had to go to Bahama Bucks on the way home. Double punches on the rewards card since it was below 60 degrees.
We spent the next day at Aunt Lauri's. She's got decorations like this for every holiday, I think.
Winter in AZ is pretty awesome.
Finally that evening, the OK gang made it! It'd been awhile since we were all together. It was the start of a great Christmas holiday. Dad and Taylor had to catch up about their new matching phones.
I've missed her.
Tried to convince Tanner to shave his beard.
Honey found her spot under grandma's arm.
I took off one night to have dinner with Celisse, who was back in town from DC. It'd been way too long since we'd seen each other, and it was a lovely night with some of my favorite food at Postino.
I love puzzles, especially Dowdle puzzles, and Courtney made me open one present early. What a perfect one! I continued the tradition of making the family do a 1000-piece puzzle when we're together.
She's bewildered by these stairs. Doesn't like them cause her little paws can slip. Poor thing.
Went to church with Megs, not realizing that my old ward had split. Strange! We found a treat on the bench and almost ate it.
Back at Grandma's house...
Kari Ann sang in a choral performance, so I went to check that out. Afterwards I paid a visit to her house to see Einstein. Yep, he still loves me.
All the Williams boys went shooting. Beware, future husband. This is what you'll be doing on Williams Family Holidays.
Christmas Eve dinner at Grandma Kleck's. I think we were only missing Aunt Karen, who was stuck working in Alaska.
Some of Aunt Becky's gang.
These two were cracking us up.
Grandpa got out the guitar and sang us the song of Ole Shep.
Christmas Day we drove back to Coolidge to dad's fam. One quick trip before Taylor and Courtney had to fly back home to Utah.
Grandma works hard in the kitchen.
And the menfolk talk about guns.
Christmas Mexican dinners are the best.
Can you say tamale?
Gift time. I don't even remember what's in there.
Nice photobomb, Drew.
Alexis thought she was going to pop any day! I think she sadly had to wait a couple more weeks.
And that was the end of Christmas.
I had another lunch date with Jorge and my brother, where I finally tried out Federal Pizza. It's part of a restaurant group that I just love, but I didn't totally love the pizza. The veggies were nice though.
Tanner, not Jorge.
Tried the donuts and chocolate for dessert. Meh. Not as good as it sounded. Should've gone to Churn across the street.
We all got shopping gift cards for Christmas, so I took Tanner to try and spruce up his college kid wardrobe.
Went to see Les Mis in a fancy dinner movie theater. I thought I was in a nightclub. Oh, fancy Scottsdale.
Alisson kept us entertained for a good bit. She and her mom (my cousin) just came back to the US from Ecuador, and the cute girl speaks some funny Spanglish.
I took Tanner to meet Einstein.
And we finished the puzzle!