Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas in Cali

All in all we had a blast at Mom and Dad K's this Christmas!

Every other year we fly over to Southern California to spend Christmas with the Kirkland side of the family and 2009 happened to be a Kirkland Christmas year. So, we packed up our things (and with 2 kiddos in tow it ends up being a LOT of "things") and headed to the airport. I was a little nervous about flying with 2 lap infants--ok, not just a little but a lot nervous. As many of you know who have flown carrying an infant, the flights can be a bit difficult. People are not understanding and kids are not always willing to cooperate.

However, we flew Continental on the way out to L.A. and that was WONDERFUL! I am going to use that airline from now on! Seriously! The check in line was like 5 people and they had all "lanes" open with just as many check-in attendants as there were people in line! We had the most helpful lady who checked our bags in while we were using the e-ticket kiosk! It was awesome! (And, did I mention this is the weekend before Christmas when everything is usually CRAZY!) Also, Ian talked me into one of the best travel decisions ever...first class tickets! Let me tell you, with two kids on your lap, the extra leg room is VERY useful! I was soooooooo glad we did that and it made the traveling with 2 infants that much easier. The boys actually did very well, considering. We had no major fits or outbursts and the people around us seemed pretty "goo-goo gaa-gaa" over our boys! :) I was hoping they would conk out, but Elijah fought it until we touched down in L.A. Of course he was knocked out when we first saw Gamma and Gampa; couldn't even wake him to stand up so we could grab our luggage! (Side note...I also had NO idea that first class means your bags are specially labeled and they come off the conveyor FIRST in line, I kid you not! And, there was no weight limit for bags for first class passengers!) OK enough about first class on Continental, but they really do know how to make your flight niiiice!

Christmas with the Kirklands was even better though! All four brothers and sister were home for the holidays and we had a FULL house! 7 adults, 2 infants and 3 dogs! :) It was so much fun running around the house, hanging out in the kitchen together, shopping at South Coast, having marathon wrapping parties with champagne, movie nights, and good conversation! It was also special because most of the family had yet to meet Joaquin. He got to make his debut to his God-parents, Marsha and Craig Stoneman on Christmas-Eve as well!

Since Elijah really wasn't aware of Christmas last year, this was a first time for him to learn about Baby Jesus and the manger, St. Nick, the Christmas tree, and of course actively open presents. (Even during his first birthday Elijah wasn't really into opening gifts, so this was a fun new experience for him!) Little Bubba, loved everything, of course, though he was totally oblivious about this day being any different from the rest! The boys got so many gifts we had to mail 3 boxes home to get them all back! Seriously, you guys went above and beyond!

As I was writing my thank you cards this year I realized that the thing I was most thankful for from all my family was the time they each spent investing in my children. I was incredibly touched to see Elijah and Joaquin playing and learning from their aunt and uncles and grandparents. It is really one of those feelings I could never imagine had I never been a parent. It somehow reaches deep down in your soul and softens you to see someone else loving your children so much.

Here are a few pictures from our time in Cali. They may be a bit out of order because I uploaded them at random times...

Christmas Dinner

Gampa and Elijah on Christmas morning. The fun starts early around the house with Gampa, the "everybody loves to hate what a good mood you are in" early riser! Elijah didn't seem to mind though.

The boys among the stockings after Saint Nick had come!

Barely made it through the first half of the Christmas Eve service. Daddy and Uncle Stu had to take the boys outside to run around about 1/2 way through the service.

Ian's childhood park

Elijah had a blast!

So did little bubba!

This is Flower Street. It is the street where Ian grew up and his parents still live. It is so quintessential Southern California with the palm trees and beautiful houses!

Outside the Kirkland house; on our way to Ian's childhood/neighborhood park

Elijah teaching Joaquin how to dance

All my precious boys. Daddy got a haircut if you didn't notice. :)

The boys first time on a merry-go-round. Elijah wasn't really as impressed as I thought he would be. :)

First Time in the Disney Toy store! Ahhhhhh

Gamma, Elijah, Ian, Joaquin and Chris all heading to South Coast to go Christmas shopping

Joaquin loved all his Gamma time!

Elijah and Uncle Stu hanging out around the house. This was a common site during the holiday! Poor Stu got dragged into a lot of play time!

But oooh how Elijah loved his Uncle Stu!

Joaquin with his God-parents, Marsha and Craig Stoneman

Gamma showing Elijah that Santa had come and filled all the stockings with gifts

Joaquin's special stocking

Chris, Gamma and Katie all during the unwrapping session

The boys going through their stockings

Christmas morning trying to crawl around on the floor. There was no room, however, due to the crazy amount of presents lurking around the tree.

Joaquin and Lita (Ian's grandmother)

Joaquin just loved being with Lita, if you can't tell!


  1. Especially love the last pic with "Little Bubba's" face! :) It was so great to see you guys!

  2. my gosh. your fam is just too beautiful...they boys are growing and changing so much...they are going to be knock outs mom. :) those big blues...ahhh!

    and ya'll are SO stinkin brave to travel with 2 lap childrent...but am so thankful it was such a breeze. note to self: fly continental.

    love ya rach!!!