The views were stunning looking back over the reservoir and down into the San Jose valley. This was maybe 15-20 minutes from our home and it is incredible to me that we can live in the tenth largest city in America and yet we can be up in these gorgeous mountains for hiking and camping within just minutes of leaving our house. Clara, Paul and I look super matchy-matchy in these photos, but I didn't actually plan that this time.
I don't think I have mentioned on here that Clara LOVES riding up on our shoulders. She laughs and talks and kicks and has so much fun up there. Then she starts grabbing at hair and sticking it in her mouth and we always end up with wet spots where she has sucked on our hair (so gross). My dad carried her around like this for a lot of the morning.
I didn't realize until later that Paul was wearing his woodcutter shirt from the Little Red Riding Hood story. He is so funny.
My parents are so cute and it has been fun to see them as grandparents, first with Emma and now with Clara and Lily. My dad always says "hey cute girl" to Clara when he picks her up and my mom has a magic way of talking to little kids where they just think that she is the most interesting, fun person alive basically.
If I am totally honest, cutting down my own Christmas tree is not my favorite tradition. I like being out in nature and all and everything smelled so good up there, but I sort of just feel super guilty sawing one of these living things down to take him, stick in my house for a month and toss it away. For some reason, I feel less bad about the whole tradition when I just pick out a tree from Home Depot. I guess I just like to let other people do my dirty work for me. Plus, there were just SO MANY trees to choose from - hundreds all over the mountainside - and it was tough figuring out which would be a good one. It stressed me out, especially since my personality and approach would be to look at every single tree, then go back to the very first one I had spotted and just take it whereas Paul's approach is to get out of the car and immediately set in asking me "how 'bout this one?" like it is time to get down to business and start sawing away.
We were just missing Jennie for this picture. We wish that she could have come too, but she spent Thanksgiving with her husband's family in Idaho this year.
My dad cracks me up. I think that he was joking that he was going to catch the tree and then when it actually started toppling he was in the way and had to put up his arms in surprise and holler in self-defense.
I would like to point out that Paul, my U of U law grad, is wearing a BYU hat here. We all know where his true loyalties lie. Also, my dad is a hip grandpa who wears his hat backwards. I love that.
Clara with her Aunt Jessica. It is SO much fun having her home from her mission. She read a lot while she was out here and gave me some great book recommendations. My dad took all of us to Barnes & Noble when he finished the novel he had brought with him and told me and Jessica to each pick out a book we wanted and he would buy it for us - I got the first Percy Jackson book at Jessica's recommendation and it is so good so far. I have gotten used to listening to audiobooks while I drive and I needed the example of her and my dad sticking their noses in books to remind me how much I love it and how I come from a family of readers and lovers of literature.
We loaded the tree into the bed of Paul's truck. I was surprised that it only cost $50 when we went to pay for it. That doesn't seem like a bad price for a super fresh tree that we still had to cut shorter when we got home so that it would fit in our living room.
Paul put the lights on the tree the next night and Clara was pretty interested in them. We have always done red Christmas lights because they are different and festive and it is what I grew up with, but I am sort of thinking about trying white lights next year, just for a change.