1. I love my sister and her family and was giddy about seeing them since the last time I'd seen her was when Lou was born and it had been even longer since I'd seen her boys.
2. She and her husband Matt are like the host/hostess with the mostess times a bazillion. It's a guaranteed good time with them.
3. I got a whole week of Robert.
4. Houston is warmer than Salt Lake. The only day I wished there was snow was Christmas.
5. These little cousins sure love each other. Min was in heaven the entire week.
6. Charlotte is a master decorator and their house was like the North Pole. No kidding. It was so beautiful. She and Matt also just finished remodeling their house and it was so much fun to see what they'd done. It was gorgeous!
We arrived there the morning of Christmas Eve.
The kids took a little dip in the hot tub right when we got there since it was too cold for the pool.
Min had been talking about swimming at "Charlotte's house" for days so swimsuits went on as soon as we walked in the door.
Robert assumed the role of awesome uncle (and awesome dad) all week long, and he and Matt were superstars and gave me and Char a couple outings, including a needed girls night out.
That may have been one of my favorite parts of the trip.
We never get to hang just the two of us like that.
Oh, I'm getting ahead of myself here...
So Matt and Charlotte are both really great cooks and Matt really outdid himself by getting filet Mignon and lobster for Christmas Eve dinner.
It was not the most relaxing holiday meal with five kids under 4 but it sure was one of the best I've ever had.
That night we let the kids open one present, which was their Christmas jammies.
After we got them to bed it was time for Santa's elves to get to work.
Matt and Charlotte had bought their kids a huge swing set for the backyard and Matt thought there might be a chance that with Robert's help they could put it together that night so the kids could have it Christmas morning.
Not a chance.
The thing had 125 steps and I think they got through step 30 or something by 3 AM Christmas morning.
Charlotte and I were busy inside wrapping gifts and the whole lot of us were quickly becoming walking zombies.
So, off to bed we went at 3:30 AM and we got a nice wake up call right at 7:30 AM.
The kids were nice enough to watch a show for a minute to let us snooze a little longer, although they were obviously anxious.
Once they were given the go ahead it was like a tornado had hit the living room.
It seemed like presents couldn't be unwrapped quickly enough.
It was wild but so much fun and they were so excited to see that Santa had brought them what they'd asked for.
Minnie was oddly quiet on Christmas morning, although she was pretty excited about her gifts.
She got a princess costume, a barn with farm animals and Mr. Potato Head (she's really diggin' Toy Story these days).
We really couldn't tell until later how much she liked her toys because she was so off on Christmas morning.
It was hilarious.
Robert and the Adseros were so generous and we just had such a lovely and relaxing Christmas day.
The guys spent another day and a half finishing the swing set, which I think they actually kind of enjoyed.
The kids woke up every morning and got right to playing, often out in the backyard in their jams.
We went to movies, the zoo, the aquarium and cute Old Town Spring where they have lots of cute shops and the most amazing toy store.
It reminded me of "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium".
Charlotte really is one of my best friends and I'm so grateful we were able to spend the holiday with her cute family.
I wish so badly they lived closer to us, but I guess we'll just have to keep visiting them wherever they move to (they've lived in South Korea, Idaho, Calgary and now Houston).
Try for Europe next, would ya?