Blogger Men Tell All About Christmas

It is the Christmas edition of Blogger Men Tell All! Then, after Justin answers his questions, we’ll show you what our Christmas Break was like!

Justin’s note: BTW– I will be speaking through media clips.

What is one thing you really want for Christmas/the holidays this year?

(Tayler: He means food–and my mom gave him $50 to spend on any meat that he wanted!)
Justin’s side note:

Does your family generally do Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (or other sorts of) celebrations?

Those who know this will understand. (Tayler: His family loves National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation…I didn’t like it so much.)

What is your favorite part about the holidays?

What’s your New Year’s resolution?

Where will you be at the start of 2015?

(Tayler: He means we really didn’t do anything to celebrate, and we kept the noise level of the TV down as to not wake up Rhys.)

Well, I for one am not sure that Justin was having too much fun with this, or was just a little lazy this time around…

But, anyway! Onto Christmas Break!

On Friday, December 19th, Justin and I went to his best friend’s wedding. It took place at the Draper Temple and it was exceedingly cold and windy! Thankfully, my sister watched Rhys while we were in the temple attending the sealing ceremony and taking pictures outside the temple. After pictures, we went down to Orem for the luncheon. It was a delicious luncheon with gourmet food. We hung out with our friends between the luncheon and the reception watching Rhys be adorable and going to Wal-Mart for supplies for the car *wink wink*. We even got lost on the way to the reception since the address said East instead of saying West like it should have. But, we got there and had fun watching Garrett and Heather be adorably in love and commenting on how much Rhys spits up.

Then, on Monday, December 22nd, we went to another reception for our friends Alec and Kelsey. Both of these couples had lived in our college single’s apartment and all of them were friends! Alec and Kelsey had a very quaint reception and served hot chocolate and donuts. The best part about this reception, Rhys tried a peppermint donut and loved it! We also let him try a regular donut and he loved it! This was big news because before this, Rhys didn’t like any type of bread. The worst part about the reception was the amount of spit-up Rhys did. It was fun to catch up with more old friends at the reception.
Then, on the 23rd, after Justin was done with work, we went to my parents’ place in Farmington. That night and Christmas Eve was spent playing with Rhys, playing videogames, and visiting with family. On Christmas Eve, we visited my Uncle Dave and Aunt Wendy who had their children and grandchildren visiting. The youngest was Kate, who is less than a year old. It was adorable to see Rhys try to socialize with her–she thought he was funny and would laugh. Rhys would then lean towards, gabbing the whole time, and then grab her clothes or arm, and she would begin to freak out. It was too cute for words!

After, we tried to put Rhys to bed, and he had such a hard time going to sleep–this was the case during the entire trip. He actually was in the middle of a growth spurt, and away from his normal routine and bed, so it was understandable, but very difficult and Justin and I, especially since we had to share a room with a squeaky bed the entire break! We were able to watch half of The Nativity Story, which is a family tradition and my favorite Christmas movie, before I had to bring Rhys down and rock him in my arms for the rest of the movie. Rhys wasn’t able to fall back asleep and so eventually, around midnight, in desperation, we went on our first middle-of-the-night car ride to get Rhys to fall asleep. He did, so we carefully took the carseat out of the car and put it in our room and let him sleep the rest of the night in there.
Christmas Day was so much fun. We had a delicious breakfast with Grandma, then opened presents when Rhys woke up. He loved his new toys and I loved his new outfits! One of his favorites was an infant toothbrush–probably because the bristles felt good on his sore, teething gums. Justin got himself a Wii-U for Christmas and I got myself a DSLR–a Canon EOS Rebel T5! Our gifts to the family were a hit as well!

Poor Tucker did NOT like the Christmas clothes and hats he got.

I love his expression on this! He got nursery rhyme books that I thoughts were super cute, but he’s like, “Nah, not interested!” Haha!
The rest of the day was spent napping, eating chocolate, and playing videogames. That night, we set up another family tradition for whenever Justin and I spend the night–Lord of the Rings Risk! I had fun playing with my new camera during this, just using the zooming…and I love the vibrant colors!

However, half way through our game, we got a terrible phone call. Now, northern Utah had been struck with a Winter storm, and it had been snowing for a few days. Grandma said she was nervous when she drove down to open presents with us. Our Uncle Dave’s car slid while visiting us. Grandma had left to go visit our Grandpa who was in a nursing home. The phone was Uncle Dave. A few minutes later, mom came downstairs, crying, and dropped to the floor. My first thought was the Uncle Dave had got in a car crash and was injured. The second thought that went through my head was that the same thing (or worse) had happened to Grandma on her way to visit Grandpa. But, what my mom said was that my Grandpa had passed away. Now, my Grandpa had been in the nursing home for 4 years due to numerous health problems that my Grandma couldn’t take care of at home anymore, and he’d been sick and unhealthy for over a decade before. So, it was a long time coming, but it still was a blow. Mom and Dad left immediately to meet up with the rest of her siblings at Grandpa’s nursing home. Rhys woke up, and my younger siblings were each struggling to cope in their own way. I was more devastated for my mom than Grandpa. I had loved him and had the most memory of him, but I knew it was a long time coming and he was out of his pain and misery. But, I worried about my mom. The next day was spent consoling Grandma and Mom. The funeral was set for the New Year’s Eve, so after making sure that Mom would be ok, Justin, Rhys, and I left for Boise, Idaho to visit his family.
Thankfully, the trip up there was smooth sailing and good weather. We only had to stop once to gas up, eat, and feeding Rhys. He was a trooper, either sleeping or happily playing or contently watching outside. We stayed at my SIL Jodie’s place with her husband and 3 boys. My SIL Jenny, and her new hubby were there as well as my SIL Jana and my parents-in-law. Thankfully, Rhys slept better (but not as well as he did before vacation) since we were up in the attic and far away from any noise.
We spent the whole weekend with the family watching football, playing with the boys, taking pictures of their backyard, visiting with Justin’s family, playing very competitive and intense card games after the kids went to bed, and celebrating Henry’s 8th birthday and baptism. (In the LDS church, we believe that men shall be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression, so there we don’t believe there is a reason for infant baptism. But, at the age of 8, we believe children can tell right from wrong and have the ability to follow Christ’s example and commandment of being baptized into his church.) He had spent all week prepping for the baptism by learning more about the ordinance, the promises made, and the importance of it, as well as practicing bending so he would be completely immersed. After his baptism on Monday night, all his cousins and relatives from his dad’s side of the family also came over, so there was a big party for him.

All of Monday, we were also watching the Watching Channel since both Justin’s parents and Jana and we had to leave on Tuesday (Justin and I back to Utah, and they down to Vegas to fly out to GA). The Winter Storm was just getting worse. Thankfully, Tuesday morning, the drive wasn’t too bad. It snowed and was a bit icy a teeny bit the first hour or so, and super windy as soon as we hit Utah, but Rhys wasn’t having a good time. We had to stop twice to feed him or change a diaper. Justin dropped Rhys and I off at Grandma’s house and then continued on home to go to work. We stayed at Grandma’s with my siblings while Mom helped her plan the funeral. They had gone to her house early in the morning since they had lost power and it was in the single digits! Well, around dinner time, Mom packed us all up and headed to her home. But, she hadn’t taken any house keys, since she was just going to go in through the garage door, but Dad had bolted that door shut on his way to work in the morning. So, we were locked out. So, in her small car, Mom, me, two of my siblings, Rhys in his carseat, and her two little lapdogs, went to Arby’s for dinner and ate in the crowded car until Dad came home with the keys. Quite the adventure. 
The next day was the funeral, and it was a beautiful service. All my mom’s family was there. She spoke about memories she had about Grandpa as a child, and some of the stories were new to me. Then, one member of all the groups of siblings shared memories. Madison shared about how Grandpa had taught me how to play Chess and would play Cribbage and Chinese Checkers with me all the time. She also mentioned about him being able to see Rhys and a picture of his hand with Rhys’s newborn hand. After a week of having a brave face, I finally broke down then. That was such a tender moment, since my Grandpa was crying as he met Rhys for the first time and when he held him for the first time. Rhys must have understood since he was quiet for the entire funeral service. Then, we went to the cemetery, and it was freezing, so my sister watched Rhys in the car with the heater on. Grandpa had been part of the Army during the Korean War, so he got a Veteran’s burial and salute. It was very nice to see Grandma receive a flag.

For New Year’s we just stayed in, watching How I Met Your Mother, playing Rummikub, eating Lindt chocolate, and trying to comfort Rhys back to sleep every two hours.
So, Christmas Break definitely had it’s ups: visiting both sides of the family, seeing Rhys play with cousins and toys, not even thinking about work, and spending 24/7 with Justin.
But, it also definitely had it’s downs: Rhys not sleeping well, the weather, and Grandpa’s death and funeral.
I am dreading having to go to work in two days. The break has been so nice, and I know I am ready to be a SAHM next school year!
What were the biggest up and the lowest down of your Christmas Break?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.


  1. Your son is too cute!! Wow! Sounds like you mostly had a great time. Sorry to hear about your grandpa 🙁 Sending wishes and prayers your way.


  2. Looks like you had a great Christmas! What kind of camera did you get? I'm looking to buy one and trying to figure out what to buy. So sorry about your grandpa.

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