This was our first Christmas not going to Missouri over break. It was very strange for us, but it was also a big blessing that the doctor allowed us to travel to California. Jarred's sister and bro-in-law graciously invited us to join them over the holiday so we made the journey to southern California!
We left on Saturday morning and made it to Cali late afternoon. We did so much during our trip, I might get some of the details confused, but this is the gist of our trip :-) Pretty sure the first afternoon/evening we just hung out. We played Scrabble, and thanks to living with the Scrabble-master and playing Words with Friends against him, I barely squeaked out a win.
Sunday was excellent! We went to church and I really loved the service!! The worship was wonderful and the message of the Christmas story was presented so simply but was so good. It really reminded me of our church in VA, which made me miss everyone there, but it was so good and refreshing to be a part of the service that day. After church we went to Orange Co to visit some more family. We went to lunch with our Aunt Rob and that woman is such a blessing!! Every time I see her, she shares a part of her or her families testimony and it's just beautiful!!! Her love for the Lord is so evident and so inspiring - such a blessing!!! I think we just hung out Sunday evening - maybe that's the day we watched some of the movie "Elf"??
Let's see...Monday was Christmas Eve. We were lazy getting ready and then headed to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Normally I'm not much of a museum-type person, but the library was very nice and a great experience. Plus, they had two exhibits going that are not always there. The first exhibit was one of Christmas trees representing every decade of American history...it was a LOT of trees! ha! But they were soo well done and so beautiful!! The second exhibit was the Disney archives which was really fun to see the history of Disney from the beginnings to the present. I also learned that Disney really got started in Kansas City...pretty cool! On Monday we also exchanged gifts because the bro-in-law had to work on Christmas. Jarred got me an awesome gift!!! He is SO good! He had my VT diploma framed!!! Techs diploma's are like super huge and you have to have them custom framed - and I would have never spent the money myself so it was the PERFECT gift!!!!! Oh, and we went to Friday's for dinner before the Christmas Eve service at church!
On Christmas we were just lazy. Then, as part of the Caple family tradition, we saw a movie in the evening. We saw, "This is 40"which, I unfortunately do not recommend. It was not that funny and there was a lot of language and it was a really sad picture of what the typical American marriage looks like these days. But, thanks to Bethany and Drew's generosity, we didn't have to pay for the movie because they gave us two free tickets!!
Oh - and I forgot Jarred's favorite part...we went to the beach on Christmas!!!! I saw dolphins for the first time! It was very cool :-) I just love going for walks on the beach with my baby!! He loves the ocean so much and it just makes me so happy when he is happy!!
Then, on Wednesday, we did some shopping and more hanging out. We also took their dog to the dog park that evening which was beautiful! I would absolutely take my dog there!! The park is on top of a mountain overlooking the whole valley and the sun was setting - it was just amazing! And we topped the evening off with some toasted raviolis :-)
Oh - and we got some very exciting news!! One of my bffs from home, Trish, and my sis-in-law Sarah both got engaged!!!!! We're so excited for you both!!!
Overall, we ate way too many sweets (oreo truffles, peanut butter cookies with hershey kisses in them...way too many!), we were spoiled by Bethany and Drew providing so many meals and a place to stay, and we were able to celebrate the birth of Jesus with family. We are blessed!!