Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sorensen Cousin Christmas Reunion

Being a military spouse, it's hard being away from your family all the time.  I only see my parents & brother once every two years & I only see my extended family (cousins) once every 3-5 years.  My dad's entire family pretty much still live in the same town I grew up in in Utah.  So I'm always super jealous they are so close to each other.  So when I wind up in town, I always try to organize a big family reunion so I can see everyone while I'm in town.  I've been emailing my cousins Jodi, Hailey, & Whitney, & my Aunt Heather, & thanks to their help & hospitality, we were able to put together an amazing reunion right before Christmas.

I was amazed at how big our family has become.  Not only did I get to see almost all my cousins, their spouses, & their kids . . . I also got to visit with my dad's brothers & sisters who I haven't seen in years & years.  The whole night was just perfect.

I was SUPER excited to see my Uncle Ryan (my dad's youngest brother).  He's always been my "big brother" rather than my "uncle" since he actually moved in & lived with us when I was 9.  So he always was kind of a brother to me.

Everyone brought either an appetizer or a dessert to share & we had a big feast in Jodi's garage.  Everything was delicious & I just couldn't get enough of all the smiling faces.

I was excited to see my cousin Gentry who I haven't seen in almost 10 years.

My Uncle Kent & Uncle Ryan spent all their time with Bladen who totally cracked them up.  They loved his no nonsense (no filter) conversations.

Cari & I enjoyed catching up with my cousin Hailey who lives in Colorado now.

At the end of the evening we did a huge gift exchange for all the kids ages 0-18+ (unmarried).  We divided them up into age groups & played different games to decide who got what gift.  The kids had a BLAST.

Canyon got a giraffe pillow pet & a cute Christmas book.

Bladen got a super hilarious game called Wet Head.

Craiger got a drone.

Taya got a fun family dice game.

Lorien got a beautiful gold heart bracelet.

And Cadence got an adorable monkey mug full of candy & some hilarious snowman pencils.

Before we left we TRIED to get a big family photo, but I there were still people there that didn't squeeze into the frame.  It's amazing how big the family has become.  I wish Grandma & Grandpa Sorensen were here to see the legacy they have created.  We miss them so much.

Merry Christmas everyone.  Thank you for coming out to see me while I was there.  We had a blast catching up with you all.

Jazz Game & Family Fun

We finally made it to Utah & much to our surprise, there was NO snow.  It was a perfect drive & we were happy to be with family when we got there.  It was the first time we had seen my parent's new house since they had just moved a few months earlier.  It is beautiful. . . & I love Lehi, the town they live in now.  It's a great little town.

The first few days there we planned out meals for the week, went grocery shopping & present shopping (my favorite part of the week), & just hung out & played games.  Cari introduced me to this amazing drink place where they add flavors to Sprite (like PEACH) & it was just delicious.  We went there every single day & got new drinks.  It was a blast.

The Wednesday we were there, Justin took Trek & the boys to the Jazz game.  He had floor seats & the boys have never been to a real basketball game before.  They had SO MUCH FUN.  They even ran into Mitt Romney which was kind of fun.  Craiger even caught a basketball shot from a cannon.

While the boys were at the Jazz game, I threw a neighborhood Christmas cookie & hot cocoa party for my mom & dad.  They had invited the entire neighborhood over, so I helped make the cocoa, supplied the cookies, & kept the guests entertained for the night.  It was a blast getting to know all the wonderful people who live around my parents in their new house.

Every single day was filled with fun.  In fact, we wore the kids out by 8 each night.  We'd find them passed out asleep all over the house.  It was pretty funny.

And Justin & Cari's dog stayed over a lot while we were there too.  We love Rex.  If I were to ever get a puppy, it would be just like Rex.  (a cross breed of a schnauser & a schit-zu).

Opa & Oma's House

After an eventful day at Universal Studios, we had a nice, quiet day at Opa & Oma's before heading out on our long drive to Utah.  

When we woke up on Sunday morning, we were surprised to see a bunch of cute stockings near the fireplace filled with gifts from Opa & Oma.  

We took turns opening up each stocking & seeing what fun things were inside.  Canyon really loved his Mickey Mouse . . . 

And his yellow pig that made piggy noises when you squeezed it.

Craiger got a Jack Skellington Infinity character,

and all sorts of fun things.

Bladen got some new sets for his Schleich dragons & knights.

And Taya got a beautiful fairy & a bedroom for her dollhouse.

Lorien got a Merida Infinity character & a cute Harry Potter shirt.

And Cadence got an amazing oboe solos book & hair things.

I was the luckiest of all & got a frozen piano book & a Belle Funko Pop figure.

Trek got a wire brush for his tools, some computer things, & lots of candy.

Trek's parents also had our names for Christmas this year so we got to open our Christmas presents early.

Trek got the Labyrinth game he's been wanting & some really nice socks.

I love Trek's mom.  She is the only person on earth who would buy me Zumba clothes.  I'm SO in love with them.  I do Zumba every Friday night & now I'll get to dance in hot pink.  I'm SO excited.

After church we came home & made gingerbread houses.  The kids had a blast making their own little designs.

They all turned out wonderful.  

Thank you Opa & Oma for such a wonderful 2 days.  We loved being with you.