The Livingstons

The Livingstons

Monday, January 6, 2014

A California Christmas 2013

Greg and I got to go down to California for Christmas this year! It was SOOOOO nice! I absolutely loved being with my family and enjoying our time together. I miss them all more than they can even imagine. It was just so wonderful to be together. I got to see all of my siblings during this trip, except for Josh and his family and Karina. It was really awesome. Here are some pictures of the great things we got to do during the holidays!

These first few pictures are some things that we got to do before we even went to California. 

We went to see A Christmas Carol at the Hale Center Theater in Orem in the beginning of December. Greg's cousin, Cameron, was in the play. He was Young Scrooge in Christmas Past. He did amazing, and he had such a beautiful singing voice!

The three ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.

One random December Saturday, we went up to Janet and Martha's to spend some time with them. Janet actually bought me a bunch of new clothes: I got a pea coat, some pants, and a couple of new sweaters (it was awesome!). Well, on our way home that night, we all of a sudden heard a pop in our engine. I was sitting there thinking, "Seriously? Car issues AGAIN?!" For those of you who don't know, 2 summers ago, we had some major car problems in Vegas on our way back to Utah from California. It set us way back financially and was such an inconvenience. Anyway, we heard the pop in our engine on the freeway, and then all of a sudden, the car started freaking out and wouldn't shift right. We got off the freeway and barely made it to O'Reilly's Auto Parts shop. Basically, what had happened was one of the serpentine belts had shredded but was still barely holding on for dear life, which saved our car from just altogether stopping on the freeway. We got very lucky that we made it to the auto shop. We could've easily broken down on the freeway and would've had to call for a tow truck and it would've just been a horrible mess. Well, Greg and a guy from the auto shop were out in 12 degree weather at night for 2 hours fixing our car. I seriously have the best husband in the world. He is amazing.

Here is the shredded belt that Greg replaced.

Our auto shop friend, Derek, helping fix our car. It was FREEZING!!

Greg and I made some sugar cookies this year again! Last year, we tried to make some and cut them into cute shapes, but it was basically a total failure. This year, we just stuck to plain old circular cookies. They were SO GOOD! They tasted just like those sugar cookies you buy from the store. They were so soft.

We had our annual little Christmas celebration together, just Greg and me. I love these little moments we get together. I love Greg so much.

Stockings are one of my favorite parts of Christmas. 

All of our stocking stuffers for each other.

Greg got me this really cute bright red jacket. I love it.

He also got me some boots. Which I also love.

I got Greg a spear gun. He had been DYING to get one, so I surprised him! He is so excited!

We finally made it to California after a 9 hour drive. We got there the Friday before Christmas. We were seriously so excited to be there. It was like 75 degrees every day. It did get pretty chilly during the nights, but it was nothing compared to Utah weather. 

My dad's hair. We always joke around with him and say it looks like a toupee. My mom and I ended up giving him a haircut because it was getting a little outrageous. 

My dad also is one of these types of people. You know, the kind of person who wears socks with sandals. Yep, that's my dad. And I love him.

My parents were taking care of my brother, Brian's, little French Bulldog while he and his family were on a cruise for Christmas. Her name was Chloe, and she was about 4 months old. She was so much fun!

The day after we got to CA, Ann Marie and I played in our high school's alumni soccer game. We got to see a lot of our old high school teammates. It was a lot of fun! We played against the current Varsity team, and we kicked their butts.

I love my little sissy!

We went down to Little Corona so Greg could go spearfishing and Ann Marie and I could enjoy ourselves on the beach. It was an absolutely beautiful day. There seriously is nothing prettier than this.

Greg, getting all ready for his first spear fishing experience of this trip!

Ann Marie decided to take some really flattering pictures of herself on my phone. And now I'm putting them on here for the world to see.

My little spear fisherman :)

Christmas Eve was such a nice night. We went over to my grandparent's house (a tradition) and saw a lot of my family. We did a gift exchange and Greg and I got two throws and a movie gift card. It was awesome! It was really nice also talking to my brothers and sisters. 

Christmas morning was really great. I think I get just as excited as a little kid. Greg accidentally left an alarm on, and it woke us up at 7 am. And then I couldn't go back to sleep so we went downstairs and woke Ann Marie up. We usually do stockings, then open presents, and then have a big breakfast. My mom made cinnamon rolls and pumpkin pancakes. It was really great!

I got my dad the movie "New York Minute" with Mary Kate and Ashley Olson in his stocking. He HATES this movie. We used to have it, and every time we'd get in his truck, we would turn it on and watch it. He ended up just getting so tired of how dumb and cheesy the acting was, so one day when we turned it on, he ripped it out of the DVD player in the truck and threw it out the window as we were driving onto the freeway. It was kind of hilarious and sad at the same time. Anyway, this Christmas, I decided to help him relive that glorious movie. He was laughing when he saw it.

My cutie on Christmas morning. My mom got him that new jacket he's wearing.

Opening gifts.

We got my dad those goggles for when he goes spearfishing with Greg. Of course, he had to put them on in the house.

The missionaries from my home ward came over for breakfast on Christmas day. They were really excited to play Foosball. Ann Marie and Greg creamed them so many times.

Sisterly love again.

I love Greg!

I decided this Christmas that I don't care about having a white Christmas anymore, even though it is pretty. It's all about having a 75 degree warm Christmas.

Later on Christmas day, Davy and Kelly came over with Chuck and Lucy. I love that family! We exchanged gifts and had a nice time being with each other. Greg and I played hide-and-seek with the kids for a while. They are seriously soooo cute! I love my nieces and nephews!

My parents got Chuck this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy that you can hit and it pops right back up at you. He and Lucy LOVED it!

One night, we went shopping for a suit with my mom and dad. You can tell how excited some of us were to be there...

One evening, my family and I went on a bike ride at the beach in Huntington. It was just a perfect time with my family. We even went to eat at Ruby's on the Huntington Beach pier. That is my favorite place to eat. It was absolutely beautiful down there that evening. We all had such a good time together.

My cute mom.

My cute sister.

The bike I was using was pretty old and messed up, so Greg and Dad had to spend some time fixing it.


A few days later (I actually think it was New Year's Eve), Greg and I went to the beach with my brother Greg and my dad. While Greg Lee and my dad were out surfing, Greg (my husband) and I played soccer on the beach. We eventually got a boogie board and went skim boarding. It was fun!

We played a lot of games with my family, including Dominoes and lots of card games.

New Year's Eve was really fun. The missionaries came over again to play Foosball and try to win. I don't think they really succeeded... Haha.

We had a few people over that night.

Happy New Year from the Livingstons!

My good friend, Jake, and I.

Our last day in California, we went out to the desert with my dad to go dirt biking for a day. It was seriously SO fun!!! I was so incredibly sore afterwards (and I still am).

The beautiful desert.

I love my husband. And I love that he loves to do the things that I love to do.

We did some other fun things while we were down there as well: we saw Steph, Anth, and their family; we had a fun time cooking things and spending time with my aunt and cousins; we played many games; we went to Yogurtland (my mom's favorite place ever); we went to the beach several times (and Greg got to surf and spearfish several times!). We really did have such a good time!

We were pretty bummed to leave home and come back to reality here in Utah. We actually just started school and work again today (Monday, 1/6/14). But we really did enjoy ourselves while we were with my family. We always have such a great time with them. I miss them all the time, but I'm so glad we were able to spend time with them! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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