December brings my favorite holiday (Christmas, of course) but other than that--not a fan of December.
Because of our job as Head Residents, it adds a lot of responsibility to that month. There is 1) the end of semester mandatory meeting 2)Pre-white glove cleaning 3)check-outs 4)apartment cleaning & 5)check-in set up. I was so incredibly grateful for my 4 wonderful employees for those last couple weeks--they made white glove and check-outs so much easier for me! I also loved the new system that we came up with this semester for our cleaning!
For Christmas, we had decided to drive to Washington to spend through Christmas morning with Andrew's family, and then Christmas afternoon on with my family. Check-outs were on Sat. December 18th, and then we had planned to leave either the next Monday night or early Tuesday morning. Come Monday afternoon it was really looking like I wasn't even going to have a cleaning crew until Tuesday morning...but alas at 2:30 my cleaning crew pulled through!! I had started going through the apartments and cleaning them, but then I got a crew of 5 people and we zoomed through the rest. (Many thanks to Lauren for watching Hyrum the entire time!!)
We had the car packed by Monday night, and we ended up pulling out of Rexburg a little before 6 am. Hyrum was an awesome traveler! He woke up the two times we stopped for gas/bathroom breaks, I fed him, and he went back to sleep! We made the drive in just under 10 hours, and he only fussed the last 30 minutes--everyone has their breaking point. :)
We had a ton of fun while staying with Andrew's family. Funny story time! A few days before Christmas, we went to WalMart to finish our shopping, with Andrew's Mom. We each grabbed a separate carts, and did our shopping. At one point, Andrew and his mom spotted eachother, and then started on a "crash course" towards each other. After they slammed carts, his mom loudly stated "Sir, you just rammed my cart!" I guess that many people were quite shocked at what had just occurred...until Andrew said something like "Okay, Mom, let's go." I just laughed and laughed about it--I love the Potters!!
Christmas eve we got together with all of the "Washington Potters" and ate chili, cookies, snacks, and watched some Christmas movies. It was a really fun new tradition for me! :) We gave Hyrum his Christmas jammies--and he loved them (or at least I did)!
Christmas morning came bright and early, with even more new experiences! We spent it with Andrew's parents and one of his brother's family. They were "Secret Santa-ed" and so it was really fun to watch their kids open their gifts and be super excited for all the new toys! Hyrum spent more time eating the wrapping paper than he did unwrapping the gifts, but it was still fun. We also had pie for breakfast! There was a super delicious apple cranberry pie that Grammy made--oh, just thinking about it makes me salivate! :)
We were able to spend Christmas afternoon with my family, and it was quite fun to watch Hyrum interact with his two cousins on that side (ages 2 and 1). The day after Christmas, my youngest brother, Kyle, was baptized--and I was extremely excited to be able to witness him make such a great decision!
THE DRIVE HOME
The drive home was much more eventful than the drive to Washington. We had my sister, Emily, on the drive down with us, which helped to keep Hyrum happy (thanks again, Em!).
We didn't leave Selah until about 11ish, which put us leaving Prosser after noon...which was a little bit later than the ideal. Because we only needed to go to Caldwell (about 6 hours from Selah) so we thought it would be okay leaving late...but oh were we wrong!! About 20 miles north of Pendleton, Oregon we passed a sign that said "Road closed 78 miles ahead" uuhh...blue skies, no clouds, no snow...so why would it be closed? After making a few calls to family members back home to check news reports we found out that a train had derailed next to the freeway. Because there was some concern that there was hazardous materials aboard they closed the freeway to assess/clean it. They had JUST closed it...so basically it could be closed for hours...through the night even. So, what did we do? We did what anyone else would do...we waited in Pendleton...hanging out a the local WalMart! :)
After pulling up in Pendleton, we were driving around trying to find something to do when we came upon this place: "Rodeo Lanes" Not sure of why we though it was so funny, but I pronounced it "Ro-day-o Lanes" and we just had to stop to get a picture...but anyways. Hyrum was such an angel for this entire experience, he was a trooper!!
After spending about four or five hours of killing time we finally got the call telling us that the freeway had opened back up...so then the decision: did we go on and get to Caldwell super super later, or do we take the more expensive (but much more fun) option of getting a hotel, RedBox, pizza, and ring in the new year crazy-style?? We decided to drive on through, arriving in Caldwell around 11ish, and promptly falling asleep! For the second year in a row, Andrew and I have not made it to midnight! :)
Once we made it to Rexburg we started full swing for check-ins! Now that they are done we are just resting and relaxing...just as it should be...