Sunday, December 30, 2012


This has been a week full of surprises. I decided at the last minute to drive down to Tucson for a family dinner. It is a long way to Tucson.  I broke the drive up into two days, staying the first night in Redlands, California.  The first day went well, and we made it down south fairly easily.

Then the kids and I hit the road again on Friday, pulling into Tucson in the afternoon. We met my mom and siblings at Funtasticks, and the kids were able to run around and do something that did not involve a minivan.  It was lots of fun: go-karts, carnival rides, and skeeball. 

After that, we all headed over to our hotel, the JW Marriott. It is a super fancy 5 star hotel, tucked up into beautiful saguaro hills to the west of town. It has been pretty darn cold down here, but everyone went swimming that evening.  The pool was heated so it could not be passed up, except by me.  I left the swimming to Jamie, Leah, Mike, Cody, and my kids. I took the pictures.

When it was time for everyone to leave and for the kiddos to go to sleep, Catye decided at the last minute to stay at the hotel with Heather and me.  I thought that was a bit strange, but I was deliriously tired and was like, whatever!  So the three of us sat in the hallway waiting for the kids to all fall asleep.  We were talking and playing games on our phones.  And the two of the them had some kind of joke between them. They kept twittering with each other and I was ignoring them.  But when I looked down the hallway and saw Rinar walking towards me, my jaw just about dropped to the floor.  My rascally husband flew down to be with us for the weekend.  He still has to work, but just came for the dinner so that we could all be there. Catye was really sticking around to drive back to my parents house with Heather.

But boy, was I surprised!!

And the surprises just kept on rolling in.

We got to the church on Saturday around lunch for our get-together. Rinar and I pulled into the parking lot and looked over at Christi's car, and I'll be gosh darned.  I could not believe who was in the front seat: Grandma Wilma!  What!?! Christi had flown her in from St. George so that she wouldn't miss the dinner either.  It was pretty darn cool.

This is everyone in our family.  I can't even remember the last time we were all together. It has been ages. We had to get a family picture.

And all the women...

This is Christi's Mya. What a cutie.

Christi and Thomas brought a pinata, and the kids had a lot of fun whacking at the thing. We also played a riveting game of Duck Duck Goose and Curses. Leah's family was in town, and they all came to the dinner, as well as Leah's brother Roy's in-laws. Whew, that can get confusing.  But they all came and feasted on Mexican food, joining in on the celebration. The more the merrier.

We went back to the hotel for a second round of swimming, this time with Thomas and his kids.

It was much better to swim while there was still some daylight. It was not nearly as freezing cold as it was the night before. 

Today, my parents and siblings came back to the hotel to hang out and we also were able to get a few more pictures with the beautiful scenery. Julia was really happy to see Grandpa.

We went to church with mom and then hung out at their house for a little while.  Rinar headed back to the airport and I headed up to Scottsdale. 

After all, I have a long drive back!

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