Well 2009 ended with a bang! It was such a cool year for me and having this be our first Christmas together I could not have asked for anything more. I have felt so blessed, even when times have been difficult or maybe not as I have planned. I am learning everyday that the Lord is in control and He will make things workout the way He chooses. I am so grateful His plan involved me becoming Mrs. Bishop and inheriting a family that has a legacy of their own. What an incredible gift.
Before we left for Colorado we were able to spend lots of time with Ma and Pa Bishop. We celebrated Cheryl's 50 birthday, which she is struggling to embrace, we got to go see movies and have yummy dinners, and have parties. It was a blast. Monday. the 21st, we loaded up the Altima and followed Ryan and Charlie at 7:30 pm on the trek home. The trip went by so fast and we made it home at 2am.
The week began, we got to take the older nieces and nephews sledding where Mr. Bishop may or may not have gotten into a little fender bender. Don't worry, the competetion of who could catch the most air on the sleds erased all worry of what happened to the car. Wesley won, for obvious reasons, his tiny little body catapulted at least 12 feet in the air and down the hill. Ammon and Ben's determined faces to beat him were priceless. Drake is working on Sledding skills 101 but next year he will be ready! We got to sit in Mom's comfy living room and remember the good old days with Mamie and Oliver. Unfortunately, Mamie has selective memory and can only remember the horrible things I did to her. I promise there are great times in my memory log! Mom also made ready the Thanksgiving feast that both Mamie and I missed this year. When they say you gain about 5-10 pounds during the holidays they meant when you stay at my house. Blake learned he really liked homemade cranberry sauce and nearly drank it all.
Christmas Eve was especially thrilling. Blake and I rode along on Dad's cinnamon loaf run and got to visit with some old family friends. We then got ready and the large family gathered up at the Garrett Jones Residence where we found finely decorated tables, adorned with caramel apples, and lots of smiling faces. Unfortunately, Amy and Nat and their families were not there...or were they. Santa Claus brought a special miracle this year. As we were preparing Christmas Roast Beast, a strange Santa appeared off the back porch and came in greeting everyone. His eyes were bright and his nose exceptionally long (totally threw me off with the bread and all) The not so exciting feeling..."This stranger knows all of the kids names and is hugging them all." Still confused and a bit perplexed by the whole situation my family stayed smiling or at least had their mouths opened in awe. Santa asked my parents who was missing in our family gathering and my mom yells out, "Natalie!" As Santa directed all the children to look out the windows in the field for his reindeer to witness his Christmas miracle, we were then surprised by Nat and her kids shouting Merry Christmas from the kitchen behind us! The West family sneakily rode Santa's sleigh and made their way over Soldier Summit, through Grand Junction, climbed Vail Pass, and sauntered down to C-470 and landed the reindeer right in Garrett's lawn. We were all so excited and so happy to be together. I, of course, was crying.. I really need to get that looked at. We had an incredible evening with really good food prepared mostly by Chef Roy Jones and his associates, the Christmas Story read by my dad as I sent the kids out at the wrong times...I didn't know the wise men came so much later in the story! Luke sang Oh Holy Night and taught us how feeling the Spirit is quite possibly the only way to enjoy life. We then were able to express our appreciation for the family member that served us. It was a emotional night that really enabled us all to really appreciate each other but more importantly helped us realize that we aren't much without the Savior Jesus Christ.
Christmas Day was a day of pure chaos, overeating, and presents! Blake and I stayed at my parents house with The Mullins Family, Luke, and Tanna. Because it was Belle's first Christmas we all were excited to just watch her then open our own presents. So at 8:30 Mamie text us in the basement and says Belle is up, lets party! So we all came upstairs and waited for Belle to find what Santa brought her. Luke, over zealous at the sight of what Santa brought him shouted out, "Jaclyn! A Polar Bear!" And help up a 8 foot stuffed polar bear. In my annoyance I shouted, "Luke! You're in Belle's way!" I was much excited for his find after Belle had greeted her tea set with a little, "Hi." and a kiss on a plastic crumpet! We all then were able to enjoy the first sit down breakfast I have ever had. My mom had really put a lot of hard work into our stay and had prepared quite the banquet. We had yummy pancakes, Tanna's egg casserole, and hoimemade buttermilk syrup. Blake announced he would later be bathing in the syrup, he liked it so much. My mom was glad to realize he was only kidding. The Christmas nap soon took precedence over the excitement of Luke's bear and Belle's crumpet. We woke to the sound a feet walking upstairs. The whole family came over to add a little chaos, but lots of fun to the day. Blake had to take a couple breathers and find something to fix in the old computer because there were so many children! The end of the day was made especially exciting when Garrett announced the 2010 family trip and challenge. This years trip would be a bit different because not only would only all the Jones adults be taking a trip, but it was contingent on our accomplishing two goals, one spiritual and one physical. People could accept the challenge or not and if you accepted and failed, NO ONE GETS THE TRIP! Holy cow! So everyone began to brainstorm up goals that we all would endorse. My family was all about losing the weight and accomplished hard events...Blake wants to gain weight...oh if only!
My long blog will now end with Boxing Day...where we all got together at Tiger and Alli's to celebrate how much we love to eat! A Mexican Fiesta! I worked off my calories by a special performance during karaoke and as I laughed until I creied while we all watched Christmas' of old. Ryan and Scott whipped out the old Eve footage. Blake got to see me as a five year old, just a sassy and bossy as ever...BUT he also got to witness the fat years where my glasses covered 2/3 of my face and my big bulky sweater hid about 25 pounds of baby fat. Not cute! I pray my daughter's get his metabolism.
My year was great. It ended with the annual Oakley trip where Derek and Kenz graciously host a fabulous New Year's Eve party. Mountains, lights, games, dancing, and more. I love spending time with our friends! A great year!