Well, I'm finally getting to finishing this post that was started a month ago...
Mark had a few weeks off work over the Christmas holidays, so we packed them full of family fun! We spent Christmas with my family in Mexico, a few days in Fairmont with Mark's parents and a couple days in Sylvan Lake over New Years.
I'll start with a montage of pictures from our week in Mexico with my family. It was a week filled with adventures and chaos, but lots of fun for everyone. We started off arriving at the Calgary airport at 5am to find out our flight had been delayed 5 hours. We didn't end up leaving until after noon, so it was interesting trying to keep 4 exhausted kids entertained in the airport and then during a 5 1/2 hr flight afterwards.
Poor Brody hurt his fingers quite badly just hours before they had to leave home, but he was such a great sport all week.
The boys were as excited as the adults to see our plane arrive at the tarmac.
We were finally on our way!!!
Welcome to Mexico!!! We finally arrived to our resort after 9pm, but there was a mix up at the hotel and it took another couple hours to get situated in our rooms (which were all on opposite ends of the resort). We'd also booked cribs in all the rooms but didn't get one until the third day. Zach slept the first few nights in the jacuzzi tub. The poor guy was so confused as to why all his blankets were in the tub, and why he wasn't getting a bath. Haha! Once we were finally able to get some sleep, the rest of the week was fabulous!
Zach absolutely loved the water - whether it was in the freezing cold pool or the salty ocean.
Brody took awhile to get used to the feel of the sand in his toes.
Girl's Night Out!!
The boys all watched the kids while the gals got to eat at one of the 'a la carte' restaurants. It was so delicious and great to have a relaxing, kid-free dinner with my most favourite ladies.
Our resort was an 'eco-resort' so it had a variety of animals to enjoy.
There was tons of activities to enjoy, amidst juggling all the kids. Everyone took turns with the kids so some could get away for a bit. Mark took a scuba-diving course before we left, and was able to get certified while we were there. Others went parasailing, canoeing, zip-lining, played volleyball and visited the Mayan Ruins.
The kids loved playtime with Grandma and Grandpa, especially the bubbles!!!
We had so much fun, we wore the kids out completely!
On Christmas Eve, Zach sported his new 'Big Brothersaurus" t-shirt ... yes that is an announcement! Zach is pretty excited to become a big brother in July!!
Even though we were far from home, we wanted to enjoy some of our Christmas Eve traditions. Lauren performed a few songs for us all.
Dad attempted to read the Christmas story from the bible, with some 'help' from Brody.
Mom had an activity/story for the kids about the true meaning of Christmas.
Then we all headed down for our Christmas Eve dinner at the buffet.
Zach was excited to see that Santa still found him in Mexico.
We enjoyed a nice breakfast at the buffet before packing up and heading out.
Our crazy family on the bus ride back to the airport.
We enjoyed a very fancy Christmas dinner in the airport terminal of pizza and Burger King! How exquisite indeed!!
The flight home was actually quite smooth. Because we flew home on Christmas day, there was an extra seat on the plane and the check-in employee said she'd give us the seat for free since we had Zach. I almost jumped over the counter and gave the lady a huge hug. Zach slept over 4 hours of the flight home. What a relief!!
We spent the night in Calgary, and had a yummy Boxing Day brunch with some good friend's, the Hirtle's. Later that day we headed to Fairmont, BC where we spent a few relaxing days with Mark's parents. Mark went downhill skiing with his dad while Zach, Momma Corie and I hung out at the condo. Zach got spoiled by his grandma with lots of fun in the snow. It wasn't even that cold, but I think Zach did a better job than his mom at adjusting back to the Canadian climate!
For New Years' this year we drove down to Sylvan Lake to stay at a great condo for a couple nights with two of Mark's brothers and their amazing wives (including little miss Claire and Zach, of course!!) We enjoyed a fabulous New Years' fondue supper and stuffed ourselves all night long!
There was a little confusion with the heating system at the condo and 'someone' (it just might possibly have been me ...) thought that they were turning off the fireplace for the night, when in fact turned off the heat completely. Needless to say - we all froze! Oops!!
The Corie bro's (and Claire) snuggling in bed while the women made breakfast.
I forgot to bring any toys for Zach, but Uncle Brian came to the rescue and entertained him with some 'homemade' toys.
After a crazy busy, holiday season we spent the rest of the Mark's time off just hanging out at home. Even though we had an amazing time away, it always feels nice to come home and get settled again. Zach didn't last long though before getting antsy, so we did head out to WEM's HUGE marine life aquarium for a few hours. Zach recently learned how to say fish (aka 'ish') and kept saying it over and over! We got to watch them feed the sea turtles and he absolutely loved the penguins. It was a great way to finish off our family holiday!!