Desert Christmas

For Reese’s first Christmas, we were celebrating with family in the hot and dry Phoenix desert. It wasn’t a winter wonderland in the slightest but a very good time seeing family and enjoying the sun and warm weather. We had six nights and days at our disposal and did a pretty good job enjoying our time.

We flew out of Seattle midday on Thursday, which was a nice reprieve from the early morning flights we have been having. Reese and I met Bryan at the airport via the bus and light rail and that was a breeze. Our flight was smooth sailing and Reese was again a great traveler on board. We got to Phoenix, ditched the jackets, and headed home for dinner of beef and vegetable stew, catching up and then trying to get some much needed rest.

Reese ready for Arizona!

Every night, except for the first, we gave Reese a bath in the kitchen sink and kept to our routine with her. She slept, more or less, like her usual self after the first night that we were there but was waking about an hour earlier than she does at home, we think due to the Phoenix sunshine. Friday we dined at Si Senor for some New Mexican cuisine and then showed off Reese to some of Lon and Trish’s friends at the nearby shopping complex. That night we visited the Phoenix Zoo for zoo lights and Reese was quite amazed and excited by all of the awesome lights.

Saturday, Bryan and I got out for a hike with Reese on South Mountain. Bryan and I had hiked at South Mountain once before but we started at a different spot and took a different trail this time. Reese was enjoying the Ergo, facing out and without the infant insert, for our nearly six-mile and 1,200 ft gain of hiking. She did pretty great, except for when the sun was in her eyes, and Bryan and I got in a good workout carrying her and an even heavier diaper bag with water and snacks.

On Sunday we spent the morning at church, again showing off cute little Reese before heading back home for a low key afternoon of lunch from Firehouse Subs and then Bryan and I walked around the green belt. We had clam chowder for dinner (in honor of my family’s Christmas Eve rituals) and grasshopper pie.

Monday was Christmas Eve and we had a nice and slow morning of banana pancakes, bacon and ham. Bryan and I took Reese to downtown Chandler to see the tumblewood Christmas tree and browse some of the shops. We walked around Bryan’s high school and barely made it back in time to get Reese into her Christmas dress and us to church for the 4 pm Christmas Eve service. This was a short but sweet service and Reese quite enjoyed the “Silent Night” candles. We headed home for the Miller’s tradition of a Christmas Eve spaghetti dinner. We made sure to get to bed before Santa arrived.

And Christmas Day was our last full day in Chandler and began like a Christmas should…with presents. Reese enjoyed the unwrapping of the presents and did a little too well for herself (we almost had to pay bag fees for the extra weight). Bryan and I did quite well ourselves and were very thankful for gifts and the greatest blessing of the year: Reese. After presents we had cinnamon rolls and then Bryan and I did a first since almost a year ago; we went on a run together. It was a slow, short and painful run but one that was needed, still enjoyable, and made us feel a whole lot better afterwards. We came back sweaty and ready to help with a few side dishes for the grand Christmas dinner of prime rib, potatoes, green beans, salad and rolls. It was all very delicious and left us all feeling full and happy.

After several days we had a lot of old and new toys and clothes to pack up. We managed to get everything into our two checked bags, took Reese for one last walk around the green belt to stretch our legs before our travels and then set out for a lunch of sandwiches at Flancer’s before heading to the airport. Our flight was at 4:35 pm and we arrived in Seattle right around 7 pm. We got home just before 8 pm, decided against a bath for Reese and got her right into bed pretty quick. We also managed to get our recycling out to the curb and unpacked a fair amount before heading to bed ourselves.

It’s good to be home after having such a great week with family. There is still a lot to unpack and organize but that’s not happening until the weekend (I’m at work) but Mr. Mom is at home with our little girl for these two days and has gotten quite a bit done himself. Bryan and Reese also were able to meet me for lunch on Thursday for a warming lunch of dumplings in the International District.

How Daddy does daycare.

Looking forward to the weekend to get our house back in order. Now we only have four more flight trips planned before the end of April (help me!). I’ll be looking forward to staying put for a while after that I’m 100% sure.


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