So the night before leaving for Utah we headed over to the Mormon Center next to the Sacramento Temple for one of Jon's best friend's, Brent Hollingsworth, wedding.
Jon, Brent, & Riley at Brent's wedding Dec 19, 2008
Kati & Jon at the Hollingsworth wedding.
This was the first "Christmas feeling" display I saw the whole holiday season in CA. I really struggled with the holidays this year because it just seemed really messed up in my mind to hear Christmas music playing and see all the Christmas t.v. commercials, yet I could walk outside in t-shirt and pants with no coat and not freeze. I would hear about the snow storms in UT and think, "Oh, Christmas" and then walk out my front door and think, "Ha jokes on me 10 second take back". IT just really messed with my head. So when we saw this display at the Sac Temple I really wanted a pic. It was the first of our UT/Christmas/Holiday escapade.
So here we have this beautiful manger scene displayed at the front of the temple and my husband decides to do the unthinkable and "oooo & ahhh" over the baby Jesus. It may be sacrilegious, but please don't be offended it was all with good intent.
This Christmas was a different than most for Jon and I. It was our first Christmas together so we had lots of family parties to attend. The adventure started with The Hales Family Christmas party (Jon's mother's family).
The following is a pic. of Jon and Ann at the Hales Christmas party pretending to be professional bell ringers while the rest of us sang the words to the song they were playing.
Ann's mom gave all of her children the same gift this year. A book of pictures filled with memories from growing up. Interesting, but I'm pretty sure I was the only one wiping tears from my eyes (and I have no relation to any of those pics go me apparently my eyes leak water at anything I think should be touching or heart felt).
Ann and her siblings looking at the books.
Ann and her mom. Parents, you never know how long they'll be around, so moments like this are priceless.
Well, Jon and I were attempting to have a "family photo" at the party but sometimes we really struggle.
And the next Christmas party...Cotant Family Christmas Party - Mama Johnson's family Christmas party
Kerri & Grandpa Cotant (and yes can you see all the food in the background? Welcome to the Holidays).
Cousins forever! Kris, Chad, Rhett & Me! Why do I love the holidays? Because of family. I just love doing anything and everything with family and this Christmas was the best ever because I didn't have a job to work at before or after Christmas we were just home to be home and it was wonderful. (I'm sure Jon wouldn't have stayed as long 2wks can be kind of long, but I loved every minute!)
Cole, Brittany, Tyson, Wyatt, & Tyler - Cousins!
Without fail every Cotant party we shed a few tears. It just comes with being apart of the family and this year was no different. My grandfather sharing his thoughts on Christmas, Christ & family.
Mama & Papa Johnson...The best Parents ever! How grateful I am to have such great parents!
Brooke, Jon, Me, Annie, & Chad - Christmas parties mean lots of pictures if you can't tell.
So every family has different Christmas traditions and right now our family dynamics haven't changed too much to change the tradition just yet. So one of the traditions we have is on Christmas Eve we have a spiritual message, do some family bonding, and open pjs. Then all the kids file down into the basement to prepare for the big slumber party and Christmas morning. Lucky for me, I'm married so Jon and I got a matress as well as Rhett & Annie. Yes, this is where all the kids sleep. It's couches, floor, mattresses and pretty much wherever you can find a spot. After we've all claimed our spots and changed into our pj's, we watch a Christmas movie and fall asleep until 6am Christmas morning when we all wake up to begin our Christmas day.
This is my favorite dog EVER Kiarra. Kiarra loved Christmas as much as any of us and the best part was she knew exactly which presents were hers.
Okay, so not everyone is as excited about the 6am thing. I guess Rhett thinks our family has out grown the getting up early part but I disagree.
Brooke, Jon & my dad. Jon is pretending to be happy about the 6am thing too. I'm pretty sure there is only one 6 o'clock in Jon's day and that is in the PM. In fact, I don't know that last time Jon was up at 6am. Well Jon, welcome to the Johnson family for Christmas you're not the youngest anymore babe so 10am on a Christmas morning just doesn't work.
Oh Wyatt, he was definitely the most excited. Although he is growing up and pasted the Santa stage, he is still young and heart and I love him for that.
Mama Johnson! Christmas wouldn't happen if it wasn't for her. She does all the decorating, planning, shopping, spending and everything else that comes with making the holidays so great. Thanks mom!
Our first Christmas morning together! I love Christmas, I love getting up early, I love getting presents, giving gifts, White Christmas the movie, white Christmas mornings, decorating, Christmas music, anything and everything that comes with Christmas and my husband, well he is just beginning to understand how much I LOVE CHRISTMAS!
So this year finances were tight. I mean we live in CA, which as a newly wed couple can be challenging by itself coming from UT. The cost of living is just a little different. Jon is in the middle of starting a company and well it's just life. So we decided not to do gifts this year for each other, but freakin Jon doesn't listen and bought me a present any way. This is his famous wrapping. Thanks babe for the IPOD we both know I needed a new one.
Merry Christmas in our new pj's.
This is Christmas at the Heaths. Jon's parent, Ann & Rod. I'm so grateful for wonderful in-laws!!!
Yes, this is the man I'm married to. He lives in his own little world and ticks to his own little drum and I love him for it. He thought bringing the 80's back was a good idea. Thanks goodness it only lasted a few moments because there are no words...
Oh how I love my niece! She is just the cutest thing ever and this is Chloe with your Sock Monkey. Apparently not having my own kids and not really being around kids I'm kind of out of the loop but I guess the sock monkey is quite the thing to have a little kid. Who knew something made out of socks could be such a hit???
So there you have it Christmas in UT. There were many other events but my computer isn't working right and I'm not able to post more pics but I figure you get the idea that Christmas was wonderful.
I'm so grateful for the husband, family, and friends I'm blessed with. My life wouldn't be the same without them.