There is something magical about being in Oregon for Christmas. Maybe it is the abundance of Christmas trees, or maybe it has to do with the gloomy mist that never seems to dissipate. Whatever the reason, I love spending time in Oregon for the holidays. And what made this time even better is that my dad came out from Idaho, so we were able to see both my parents for Christmas!
Caitlin and I spent about a week in Oregon and spent most of that time relaxing with my family. We spent Christmas Eve over at my sister Carley's house. She is a phenomenal cook, and her house is gorgeous, so it really felt like a picture perfect Christmas Eve with her. She got married back in March, so this was the first time we spent Christmas with her husband and her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Of course, I didn't take any pictures, but it was a great time.
On Christmas day we lounged around my moms house and my stepbrothers came over to visit. We also got to talk to one of my stepbrothers who is on a mission in Minnesota while we put together a puzzle. We opened gifts once my sister and brother were there, and surprise! Caitlin bought me a new macbook pro for Christmas. She is such a stinker. I absolutely love my computer, and I'm using it to type this blog.
That evening we went to a Christmas light display up by our old house. We have been going to this display since we were little kids. It is at a house, but you get out of your car and walk around and they give you hot chocolate and cookies. It is really great. They even have a yurt that they decorate inside with a bunch of trees and Christmas/ski lodge stuff. It is really sweet.
We spent a long time at the Christmas lights, and luckily it wasn't too cold. Afterward, Caitlin and I went back to my moms house and watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon classic). That movie is seriously the best Christmas movie ever made. I make it a point to save it until Christmas Eve or Christmas day.
On the day after Christmas we went with my siblings to Trillium Lake at the base of Mount Hood and hiked in the snow for a couple of hours. Luckily Carley and Mike have a ton of snow clothes since we packed none.
The hike was so much fun, and we loved spending time with my family outside in the snow. Carley has a great dog that we are in love with, so we kept playing with her in the snow. The hike was only about 4 miles, but since it was in the snow it took us a little while to make it in and out, but it was well worth the trek.
Also while in Oregon we visited my best friend Lacy and her husband Jay; we visited Lacy's mom Linda; my old bishop, Bishop Smith; a handful of friends from high school (the few I still keep in contact with); and my grandparents. We also made a trip out to the Portland temple, which we forgot to take pictures of until we were leaving, so it is an awful parting shot - but it is all we have.
Spending time in Oregon helped me realize that it wouldn't be too bad moving back up there for a little while, although as long as we raise enough money, Uganda will come first. I guess we'll see what happens in the future.