christmas is over.

It's amazing how fast it came and went, isn't it? But now it's the 27th, the radio stations have stopped playing "Jingle Bells" and "Silent Night," and life is just back to normal. There are still a few trees up, a few lights still twinkling on some houses, some leftover snow. Today I took the decorations off of my baby white Christmas tree, feeling a little bit sad. There's this sort of magic that only comes with Christmas, and once it's over, that magic dies, too. At least until next year.

I had a beautiful Christmas, did you? On Christmas Eve we were able to Skype with Devin in Tokyo. It was so much fun to hear his voice and see his face! We Skyped using an Xbox, so we could watch on a big screen TV. Isn't technology great? I'm grateful for big brothers who know how to do that kind of thing, because I'm clueless. Look how happy Elder J. looks! He spoke some Japanese for us and man. What a crazy language.

My parents came to Utah this Christmas, so on Christmas Eve we stayed with them at a hotel. I don't know if I've ever woken up and opened gifts in a hotel room on Christmas morning before. It was a little different! The gifts were great {I got a red KitchenAid and it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life and thanks Mom and Dad!}, but it was just fun to be with my family.

We ate a Christmas lunch at the Grand America hotel, and holy smokes. Ham and turkey and roast and 7 kinds of potatoes and 20 desserts and the best lemonade I've ever had. If you ever find yourself in Salt Lake City on Christmas, head over there. Seriously, one of the best meals I've ever had. I wish I had pictures of the little desserts, they were so pretty! 

Then we saw the requisite Christmas movie. I picked "Saving Mr. Banks," and it was so good. I could sit and talk about it for hours, but go see it and then we'll chat. You'll come out the theater with some serious feels. "Mary Poppins" has always been my favorite Disney movie, so to see how it came to be was wonderful. And after this movie I'll watch it with a completely different perspective. To Mr. Disney!

That was our Christmas in a nutshell. Quiet, delicious, with plenty of family time. I hope yours was just as wonderful.

Let's have a great 2014, shall we? While 2013 was a good year, I went through some tough things. I'll be honest, about 75% of this year was HARD. But I've been determined to make 2014 something amazing. I hope you're with me on that! I've got some fun things planned. Now go listen to that Carpenter's Christmas album one last time before you put it away, okay?

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