Christmas in Phoenix

The last time we celebrated Christmas in 2012, really!  We headed to Phoenix the evening of the 28th and made it just in time to catch the tail end of my cousin Josiah's rehearsal dinner (the wedding was the next day, the 29th).  The kids were tired but slept in until 5am, who could ask for anything more? :)

The next morning we opened gifts with my mom, brother Eric, and his wife Haidee (who had arrived from Japan a few days earlier for the wedding).  Fluffy wings, books, and some fun wooden toys were all highlights from Grandma.

Ben and Maggie also got some new music from Uncle Eric and Aunt Haidee:  Sesame Street and Raffi.  Classics!
 Uncle Eric was more than willing to engage in Maggie's favorite pasttime of reading books.  Both look entertained here...
 Eric and Haidee also got us some unique gifts from Japan.  Toe socks for me...
 ...and some "classic" Japanese fashion for Eric.  I guess a lot of people wear shirts with inspirational messages in English which are quite humorous (unintentionally).  Here is Eric's.  I love the "budge not inch" line.

Then a beautiful wedding ceremony and reception.  Congrats to Josiah and his new wife Rachel!  Now we have 2 Rachels and 2 Erics in the family.  Excellent.

We all got married!  And celebrated our respective anniversaries: Haidee and Eric (1, Dec 30), Eric and me (7, Dec 31), Josiah and Rachel (0!, Dec 29), and Nathan and Heather (4, Jan 3).

The next few days were spent relaxing, shopping, celebrating New Year's (we decided to celebrate at 4pm since that's when France turned over the calendar), and visiting with some of Eric's very good friends from college (kids' table, below).

In all, too short of a visit, but still fun and we wouldn't have missed it for the world!