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I know this is very late, but Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

We spent this Christmas in Utah with Sam's family, and loved every minute of it. It was the first time in a couple of years that the entire family was together. There are six brothers, three wives, and three grandkids now. On one beautiful, sunny day we set up a tripod in the middle of the street in front of Grandma Gray's log cabin in Mapleton and took a few family photos. The photo shoot ended with all of the brothers competing to see who could throw a snowball at the stop sign down the street. I think after a good 20 minutes of this, I might have finally heard a metallic clang as I retreated to the house with the rest of the girls. Oh, brother.

Many firsts for Miss E:

Her first 13 hour road trip- after we missed our flight standing in line at the Oakland airport. She was oddly good on the drive, and slept most of the time. I decided it was a Christmas miracle.

Her first Christmas- where she finally got to find out what was in the shiny packages she's been chewing on for weeks. Thank you, thank you to all of our family for the mounds of gifts she received. What a lucky girl! Although, to be honest, I think she was most excited just swimming in a happy sea of wrapping paper and ribbons with her cousin, Baby Leo.

Her first time meeting the whole Gray family- I mean, that's a big deal and she only freaked out a few times. Eliza became a bit clingy on the trip. This makes me feel very motherly- full of warm fuzzies, while also feeling slightly annoyed. But hey, if that means I get a fleeting cuddle once in awhile, I'll take it!  

Her first snow- which she loved to go for walks in, darting her little tongue in and out in the cold. Sam even took her sledding down a hill, and would drag her around on the sled like a little seal. On the sharper corners she would roll off and just lay there in her puff-puff suit like the kid in "A Christmas Story."

We had such a great time in Utah with family and friends. It made us miss the Beehive State, but after a couple of weeks we were very happy to come home to the Bay. This past year has been absolutely amazing. It has brought us a new home, a new job, and a beautiful baby girl. I couldn't be more grateful for where we are in our lives. We are all looking forward to what 2014 will bring us!

bonus brother photo:


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