I've waited too long to share our Christmas pictures, and so much has happened since that I'm having trouble remembering it at all! I'll do my best...
First of all, I must express my gratitude to Suzanne, Kim and Doug for flying across the country to be with us. That was all the Christmas present I needed, and helped me to get through November and December - I had something to look forward to. Kim and Doug arrived Christmas Eve afternoon, and Suzanne's flight arrived later that night. Following Allphin family tradition, we ate Mexican food on Christmas Eve - yummy!
Unfortunately, my kids NEVER sleep in, and Christmas was no exception. I think that they were up at 5. Poor Suzanne was still on MST and she and Brent had stayed up until 2 the night before. We didn't get any good present-opening pictures, but here's what we started with:
When we drove out here to South Carolina in June, my mom sent Christmas with us. Thanks mom! Otherwise, the pile would have been MUCH smaller! It was fun to have something to open on Christmas morning.
Our favorite gift was the WII. I was tempted many times to open it, since it's been sitting in my closet since July and we've been stuck here at home so much. I'm glad I resisted, it was a great surprise. We decided to get Mercedes a FIT to go with it, since she doesn't play with toys anymore. We spent Christmas day hanging around in our PJs playing the WII. Here's a picture of Suzanne:
And here's Coop in his Christmas PJs... the monkeys were a hit:
It rained most of the weekend, but on friday we did go to the zoo for a few hours. We saw a:
But my favorite animal was:
On Saturday we were lucky that Charleston's forecast was sunny, so we headed out there. I've wanted to go there since July, but every time we've planned to go it's rained. We rode a trolley around town, saw the boats in the bay, and ate at a great seafood place.
You might be able to guess what happened right after this picture was taken. Yup - Cooper took a dive into the water and came out scared and totally soaked, from his shoes to his hat. Luckily he wasn't wearing his jacket, so we walked around town with a naked boy in just his jacket for the rest of the day. Next time I hope I remember to pack a change of clothes... just in case. Since he couldn't walk, Grandpa carried Coop for most of the day.
The seafood place we ate at is called Hyman's, and it's been run by the same family since it opened long ago. The hospitality was amazing. The owner came by our table to make sure we were being well taken care of, Cooper was served THE BEST peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I have EVER tasted, and they even gave the kids coupons for free ice cream. The food was wonderful, and no one seemed to mind that our kids made a huge mess.
After eating we drove out to an island and "tried" to walk on the beach. I got to the sand and turned back to the car - it was so cold! It was really beautiful, though. East coast beaches look much different to me than the west coast ones I'm used to. The sand is so fine and soft.
As it grew dark we decided to head home, expecting a relaxing and peaceful 60-75 minute drive. Unfortunately, South Carolina isn't as used to highway accidents as California is. About half an hour into our drive home the traffic stopped. Completely. No inching. No moving. Everyone turned their cars off. I was a little freaked out, as we were almost out of gas and both Mercedes and I needed to go to the bathroom. After sitting there for more than half an hour, the traffic finally started moving. I was so relieved to get to a gas station!!!
After church on Sunday we just relaxed. I think Cooper's favorite part of Christmas was reading books with Grandpa.