A quick trip to see family

I prepared for my trip by getting Christmas 100% ready, making Christmas gifts and packing and getting my house ship shape for my dear Mother-in law who flew all the way from Midland, TX to watch my kids for the weekend while I took off for my sister’s wedding.

My latest painting for Caitlyn’s wedding present
My dad’s Christmas present

Nearly the minute we arrived we got a sandwich from my favorite sandwich shop and then headed to Jennie’s salon for a hair appointment. She touched up my roots and trimmed my dead ends so not a huge transition, but it was nice to get it cleaned up and gave me time to chat with my sister!

After my hair appointment we did our annual Christmas Eve celebration (a few days early). My parents did it so I could participate and so they could “kill two birds with one stone” by allowing my siblings time to hang out with me without having to have another party a few nights later for actual Christmas Eve. Even Jieun made it for the tail end of the party with her adorable four-day old Yuli (pronounced Yuri— kind of). I was so thrilled to be able to hold her!

We started with a quick pageant where Harvey got to be the baby Jesus. Then my dad and mom bore their testimonies. Surprisingly the kids were attentive and reverent. Then we dug into our “Christmas Eve” feast. After dinner we exchanged presents and did our annual white elephant gift exchange with the theme “date night” and “mental health.” It is interesting how in a lot of cases the presents fell into both categories.

Baby jesus (dressed as santa)
The cousins huddled together to stay warm

The ceremony at the temple was beautiful (even if Caitlyn’s new grandpa-in-law messed up the words a bit). The spirit was palpable and it was wonderful to have all my siblings in the sealing room together. It was especially nice to be able to get a chance to go to the temple amidst this pandemic and where most of them are shut down or only open for live ordinances. I felt extremely blessed for so many reasons. 1) for my dear mother-in law who flew all the way to GA help me out so I could attend my sister’s wedding 2) for my husband who made sure I would be able to go 3) for my family and the gospel that holds us together 4) for safe travels and a well-behaved baby. It was one of my greatest gifts this Christmas.


  1. Nice post, Elise. Yuli is her name, not “Yuri”. Also, your painting turned out great!

  2. So glad you were able to go! What a gift!!

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