Matt's Corner

Christmas Vacation

12/19 (the drive part one)

Have you ever noticed how extremely beautiful the desert is at dusk? As I sped towards Phoenix, the swirling purple and blue sky seemed to grow closer with every passing mile. To either side the mountains were lit by the setting sun, while a glance in the rear view mirror revealed the last of the day’s dazzling light. A few green shrubs still remained from this year’s lingering summer and warm start to winter. As the sun sank slowly behind the mountains its fading light made the stretch of land ahead appear almost white, dusted by the silhouettes of a thousand silver spikes. As the dun dipped lower the purples darkened… the oranges, yellows and reds behind me were gradually lost to the night’s inky deep blue. So BEAUTIFUL!

12/20 (grandma’s house)
Turning into grandma’s neighborhood always brings back a thousand happy memories: those carefree summers, with unhurried days of being spoiled by grandma.... Her house unceasingly smells delicious (undoubtedly from the lingering aroma of our latest meal together) as we ran about discovering ancient treasure or learning a new art (she’s so awesome). Turning onto her street just fills you with the anticipation of her beautiful smile and tender hugs; her warm house is continuously overflowing with so much love. It’s a place you always want to go and never want to leave. SO GREAT TO SEE YOU GMA!
12/21 (let the Christmas vacation begin)
J My first (and least favorite) gift = a giant 3rd degree burn on my leg (Very annoying and slightly painful). Gma, can I borrow your shorts?

Grandma, Jeff, Meg and I spent the afternoon playing countless games; WWWAAAHHHHOOOOO, hot dice, scrabble and chicken-foot were among the favorites. Then it was dinner with the WHOLE family (minus Matt)… ribs, salad, fruit, rolls, green bean casserole, and Meg’s version of lemon pie. Stuffed, we congregated in the living room for a vivacious (can it be done any other way?) family chat.
12/22 (just like old times)
Following a FAMILY breakfast affair of gma’s homemade biscuits and gravy (MMMmmm good), Brett’s Airsoft arsenal begged the boys to combat…till the neighbors called and complained about the kids with guns.

Our dear old friend Bill Sam stopped by and it was so GREAT to see him. After a quick bite of spaghetti (gma makes the BEST sauce you’ve ever had) mom and I were off to the dentist (like a thousand times before). Now trust me when I say that you have never seen a dentist office like this one; you walk into a giant spaceship, past video gaming systems, on light up space-themed carpet, through astronaut doors, and are greeted by a friendly smile in the brightest scrubs you have ever seen. My favorite room (which I didn’t get to experience) = “the quiet room,” where it’s just you and the Mac Books. My AMAZING uncle Brian gave me an honest assessment (hard to find in Cali.) of my teeth: 6 cavities, 2 crowns needed… oh and my bottom four teeth are going to fall out sometime in the future because they have no root….. (This is all after the literal $27,000.00 [that is the right number of zeros] that has already been invested in my mouth). Celebrating Christmas Eve in the dentist chair…my uncle is that AWESOME!
12/23 (a Christmas celebration)
At 9:30a.m. I call mom to rescue me (not the first time, prolly not the last) from the dirty looks I get for being alive at that hour (all the other kids are seriously committed to not getting out of bed before eleven). We stop for our traditional AM coffee. GREAT TIMES
After a twice delayed flight, my man is FINALY here! But after circling the airport four times, we can’t find him (despite our four working cell phones). “Ok (Matt) stand under the green united airlines sign.” We circle again. “Are you at the wrong airport?” After our sixth circle we search the departing flights side... phew. Ok, NOW I’m ready for Christmas!

It’s time to get our party on at Brian and Julie’s new mansion (Brett was not happy about being packed safely in the trunk). Christmas with them was an absolute BLAST! Such an incredible treat to be WITH our OKC family, as these times are (unfortunately) now so few are far between. Gpa Robert made us laugh so hard our side ached and Gma McAnally was looking snazzy. Year one of marriage appeared to bid Stephen and his lovely bride, Mrs. Crissy, well. Charlie was looking good in his new leather jacket and studly cowboy boots. Brian and Julie are full of enthusiasm, joy, and creatively fashioning a seemingly zillion projects. Their kids are just as fun, incredibly smart and absolutely precious. It was a fun night of FAMILY, pizza, fellowship, kids on sugar, sword-fighting competition, presents, laughs, exquisite coffee and a hilarious game of DIRTY SANTA (just don’t steal Derek’s key finder because last week he found his missing house key in the front yard…. And make sure Megan gets that air filter for Boss dog)!
12/24 (an unforgettable Christmas Eve)
I woke up to ice pelting the window and sleet pounding the roof above me…it was a slow drive to Brian’s office (with mom and hubby for moral support). Now I have spent A LOT of time in the dentist chair and I must tell you that Uncle Brian is undoubtedly one of the best (not the laughing gas talking). SEVEN cavities and two hours later I have my first new years resolution: floss every night (novel idea right?). THANKS B!

Looking out the window, we discover it’s going to be a WHITE CHRISTMAS. I don’t know how that much snow fell in the last couple hours, but all of us west coast people (especially Jeff) are getting our wish.The thirty minute drive back lasted 2.5 hours…..Matt took over at the wheel because we knew we were in for it (of course his license is MIA and the only way he made it to OKC was with his passport… does that work in accidents?). The weather was CRAZY!!! Sheets of ice were masked by the rapidly piling snow and the extreme winds meant ZERO visibility. More than once Matt (who didn’t bring his coat because his wife told him not to) had to jump out of the driver’s seat (on the freeway) and bang the collecting ice off the window wipers. We passed about 30 accidents (Matt stopped counting after that) and even more people simply abandoning their cars in the middle of the street. Since Meg’s scion wasn’t going to suffice, we detoured to pick up the remaining kids. All six of us were piled into dad’s new avalanche with the heater blowing 90 degree heat at us (to keep the windshield from re-icing over). Occasionally we would roll down the windows for a blast of cold snowy air (till Derek smashed Megan’s finger in the window). Mercifully, the Lord got us safely to grandmas where were given giant hugs by Aunt Kelly and Uncle Darrell. We caught up with Denver’s GQ couple till they were off to celebrate Christmas with Darrell’s family. An hour later, I was awakened from my nap by the ringing doorbell… they were back?!? Apparently, all the roads were closed and they had been circling a ten mile radius the entire time (and they're from CO). After sharing dad’s favorite fried chicken and an enlightening game of “guess who”, it was clear that we were all SNOWED IN AT GRANDMAS!!!! It was a festive 14 person sleepover…. an unforgettable Christmas Eve.

12/25 (it's Christmas, it's Christmas)
After cold showers and warm muffins Gma’s kitchen was incessantly filled with lavish cooking…. I think it’s the first time we’ve gotten the entire family together in ten years!! SO FUN!!! Steve and his kids arrived (missed you Kim) and it was TIME TO EAT! There was stuffing and mashed potatoes and HAM and sweet potatoes and corn and cranberry salad and fruit salad and gravy and rolls and cherry pie and pecan pie and lemon cake and death by chocolate and raspberry chocolate mousse. YUM!!!! Dirty Santa #2 laughs = the adults stealing up all the cash, anti-ipod Matt, opening all the itunes gift cards, Cory & Taylor pilfering all Derek’s gifts, Kaitlyn & Kelsey bargaining for the gifts they had brought, and Grandma topping all gifts at the end. We also got to open dad and mom’s thoughtful gifts (I’m using that plane ticket AFTER the snow). Following the famous scrabble championship (and three loads of dirty dishes) we were off to the next party (we go where the food is…j/k). Having lived near the west coast the last six years I forgot to pack my boots and am resigned to 3 inch heels…. not a great idea amid a blizzard. All eight of us pile into dad’s truck, which is literally pushing the snow heaped around it (Where are the plows?), to continue our Christmas celebration at the Vanover’s. SO great to be with everyone! MERRY CHRISTMAS! J
12/26 (the drive part three)
We weren’t quite sure if sis’s scion could handle the elements… sheets of ice, piles of snow, abandoned cars, etc… THANKFULLY it did.

12/27 (predictably)
No holiday is complete without something breaking at our Arizona rental property. This Christmas, it’s the dishwasher…The positive = DJ and Danielle (and their newest addition Rueger) are a BLAST to hang with (and also the fact that Matt can fix anything)!


Robert said...

you should be a writer - i could picture Phoenix in a new light!

so...does grandma live in phoenix or that cold snowy place???

looks like you had a ton of fun. I am waiting for robert to get back - the excursion had some issues and we had to leave it at the ford dealer down the hill. we may rent snowmobiles today. the kids are so excited (me too!) this is tracy not robert :)

Danielle Mueller said...

It was fun. Grandma lives in Oklahoma... not my cup of tea.

Loved your snowmobile pics! Looks like a BLAST!

Miss you guys.

Debbie Rothaus said...

I love how you recapture time together. You don't miss anything. What a great time!