Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Home for the Holidays: California

To stay with the list theme I will give you the top ten of our trip to Cali. This is not a ranking just what comes to my mind first. Lots of pictures!

Top 10 from our trip out West for the Holidays

1.) Meeting my adorable nephew, Nolan, for the first time!

Love the hat and love the drool

In his shark towel. Absolutely love this picture, his eyes are so blue.

He is so adorable

So I am totally smitten by him and could post hundreds of pictures of him (maybe I will)


2.) Having an impromptu High school reunion. HBHS forever, GO OILERS!

Two of my besties. Julie on the left gets major props for organizing this whole shindig and Jamie on the right for helping Julie in her efforts. You girls rock!

All the additions since we graduated high school.

Chelsea, Lauren and Turi-I played either soccer or volleyball with each of these girls.

Reunited and it feels so good!

The newly engaged high school sweethearts Kyle and Tahlia

And a visit home wouldn't be complete without seeing Aaron. I wish I saw this guy more than once every few years.

Our real ten year high school reunion is this year and I am sad I am going to miss it, but this was a good alternative. It was great to see all of you!


3.) Celebrating the holidays with Mom, Terry, Grandpa, Uncle John, Nancy, Kendra and Jeff. Enjoying lasagna and lamb as Christmas eve and Christmas meals and even helping out with some of the cooking. The generosity of my family and their awesome gift giving skills.

My Uncle John and Aunt Nancy all the way from Germany too.

Gramps and his German Christmas present- the Pope

Executive Jeff with a new Italian tie

Big sis and her new Italian purse

Grandma enjoying her new brag book of Nolan

Justin giving us the forecast in his new raincoat, clear skies in the living room

My amazing new slippers. I have worn them everyday since getting them. 

4.) Celebrating the holidays like old times with the Aston Family. A kick ass brunch that only Americans know how to do with cinnamon rolls, homestyle potatoes, scrambled eggs, honey baked ham, and more.

My cousin Kristi and her sweet family

My aunt Pam and my cousin Shannon. I can't believe Shannon is going to be 21 soon, watch out Vegas.

Cute sister photo


5.) Raging at my brother's 40th birthday bash.

The birthday boy and his hot wife

All the redheaded siblings and their families minus Nolan because Grandma had already taken him home.

Mom and Terry

My nana Margaret and my Grandpa

All the kiddos

More siblings of Jeremy, Grady and Katie. Grady's band rocked it out at the party!

Jeremy's mom, Robin, and her husband Bruce and Katie again

Love this picture of my Bro. He is one of my favorite people and I really admire him and love his story. This picture just captures his zest for life. Love you Jeremy and hope you had an awesome birthday!

6.) Enjoying a ride down the coastline on a beautiful California day. I think the temperature was around 70.


Yes this is where I grew up. You may ask-Why did I leave? On a December day like this I definitely question that decision.

One of my favorite hang out spots in high school.

Signature pose

My sweet beach cruiser with basket included. One of my all time favorite things to do in life is cruise the beach.

7.) Watching live American football for the first time in a year and a half.  Go Navy! (This one is for Justin)

8.) Sister time at the glorious South Coast Plaza mall-amazing conversation included.

9.) Hitting up almost all my favorite restaurants like TK Burger, Dell Taco, Nordstrom's Cafe and BJs. Las Barcas didn't make it in this trip and I am highly disappointed in myself, there is always next time.

10.) Hanging with my Bro, Plus one aka Meredith my sister in law and my beautiful nieces Elizabeth and Emily.
Sporting the new Utah sweatshirt and Italian tie

Elizabeth and her authentic German nutcracker

Emily got one too! The girls were in the Nutcracker this year.

It is a mini Jeff or as my brother liked to say Minters aka mini Winters

Now time for some reflection. It was great to go back to my stomping grounds for the holidays. California will always hold a special place in my heart and honestly people you just can't beat the weather. I haven't been home since the summer before we left for Germany and I haven't been home for Christmas in about three years. If I am being honest with myself I really do enjoy being around family for the holiday season and I want to say we will probably make sure to do so in the future. No matter how crazy your family is, going home for the holidays is way more entertaining then staying in Frankfurt just the two of us. Thanks family for making Christmas 2010 a very memorable one.

I couldn't resist just one more. Look at him isn't he so freakin' adorable?

--Marisa
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