Christmas Vacation

Ahhh.  Christmas vacation.  The two weeks right at the start of winter when we all get a needed break from the daily grind to just be and enjoy one another.  There were plenty of days spent in our pajamas, but I'd say the majority was spent on the go!  Our boys are busy and need to get out of the house or else they start fighting and tearing the place down board by board.  Anyhow, Bron and I aren't ones to sit around either.  We only have ourselves to blame for our lack of true relaxation around here because we like to have fun and adventure too!

On Saturday morning, two days before Christmas, we braved the snowy roads and traveled 2.5 hours up and over the pass into northern Utah to play at Crystal Hot Springs.  The natural hot spring has the highest mineral content in the world.  It tasted like salt water!  But it made my hair oh so silky.

The rumors we'd heard about the place didn't disappoint.  Nestled at the base of the mountains, there were three hot pools.  The newest pool was the most popular.  It was only 18 inches deep, perfect for lounging in.  Underneath a small waterfall was a man-made cave where the water was only about 8 inches deep.  It was Conrad's preferred hang out spot because he could move around as he pleased.

However, what set Crystal Hot Springs a part from other hot springs were the tube slides!  There were two huge tube slides set on a hill with a funny old-school shack at the top.  I think the dated features definitely added to the place's charm.  The walkway up to the slides were enclosed and warm water sprayed from hoses.  There was hardly ever much of a line and even Conrad got to ride down on my lap!  Conrad enjoyed it but at the same time felt kind of wary about the whole thing.  Jed and Levi, however, went down the slides so many times that they lost count!  It was a blast of an afternoon and all three boys passed out in the truck on the ride home.  Yes!  Mission accomplished.

The day after Christmas, my mom and brothers came to visit.  We made it up into the hills for what has become an annual sledding trip!  We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day for sledding.  It was sunny, just barely 32 degrees, and the snow was knee deep.  Conrad took on the slope for the very first time.  He had surprising balance for such a little dude and loved every minute!

^^Eyes closed.  Tongue out.  It's the best way to ride!^^
^^My mom and Ryan covered in powder.^^
^^Levi crashed but made it!^^
^^Tiny Conrad took on the hill over and over again.  This kid is happiest outside.^^
^^Michael with Conrad.^^
^^Michael's tongue out just makes this whole picture!^^
^^A lesson from our one year old: when you wipe out, just lick the snow.^^

It felt so good to see my mom and brothers!  I am so glad they made the effort to come visit us.  It surprises me how much it means to me!

I neglected to take pictures for the rest of the break.  But here's what you need to know:

1.  I hired a babysitter for Conrad so that Bron and I could take our two big boys to the movie theater one evening to see The Last Jedi.  I'm not sure who was more excited, them or me!  The movie was SO GOOD.

2.  We spent three days on the Nelson Dairy with all of Bron's brothers and their families.  The adults left all 19 grandkids with Grandma and Aunt DeAnn to spend Friday afternoon skiing at Kelly's Canyon.  I'm out of practice, but it was a blast!  We also stayed up late playing games and making too much noise.  Then Saturday we ate delicious ham lunch followed by a small program (where the kids danced) and exchanged gifts.  As noisy and chaotic as those family get-togethers are, the memories made between cousins and adults alike are worth it.    

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