Saturday, February 21, 2009

Christmas and New Year's 2008

We had a happy Christmas.

The Eclipse Christmas concerts at the Grand Theatre were a big success.

Jenny Jordan Frogley performed with us as a guest artist. She brought along her husband, Scott, and also Daniel Beck to perform duets with her. She also sang Silent Night with Eclipse. She's freaking awesome.

On Christmas we acted out the nativity with Heather's family. Tober played the part of baby Jesus. Somehow I can't imagine the Christ child crawling out of his manger and trying to escape, but that's the character choice he made, so we just went with it.

My mom traditionally buys new pajamas for each of her grandkids at Christmas, but she ended up giving Tober a really cute Santa costume instead. Here he is with his aunt Marci:

Opening his presents:

Christmas morning:

Here he is with the other Taylor grandkids in their new PJs. We like how he's holding his binky like a stogey in this shot.

Eclipse had been asked to sing on New Year's Eve at Sun Valley Resort.

In addition to our booking fee, they provided us with a 4-day ski vacation, which was sweet. We got free lift tickets, stayed in a 5-star hotel, and could eat at any restaurant or ski lodge for free.
Here's Tober lounging in our bed at the Sun Valley Inn.

The other cool thing was that we got to hang out with the Sun Valley Carolers. The guys in Eclipse were part of this group when we were at Utah State.

For those of you not familiar with Sun Valley, let me provide some background. Sun Valley is a resort in the middle of Idaho that caters to rich people and celebrities. There are a bunch of famous people (Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.) who have homes there. The resort is owned by Earl Holding, who also owns Sinclair Oil, Little/Grand America Hotels, and Snowbasin. The two main hotels have outdoor swimming pools that are heated to the temperature of a hot tub during the winter months, which feels amazing after a long day of snowboarding.

The resort goes to great lengths to create a magical, Christmasy atmosphere during the holidays. At the heart of this effort is the Sun Valley Carolers. This is a group of 12 singers (6 guys, 6 girls) that go around the village each evening dressed in Dickens-era costumes and sing Christmas songs for people. They carry handbells, which they use to accompany themselves on many of their songs. They stop at each of the Sun Valley restaurants and Santa Claus goes with them to interact with the kids at each stop. People love it!

The carolers are there for 2 weeks, from the middle of December until New Year's Day. This year they added a second set of carolers, so they could be in more places, visit the restaurants multiple times each evening, etc. Here they are warming up before going out to carol:

Here was my basic schedule when I was a Sun Valley Caroler:
Step 1--get up, put on snowboarding clothes
Step 2--eat free breakfast
Step 3--go snowboarding
Step 4--eat free lunch
Step 5--swim in pool that doubles as a massive hot tub
Step 6--take a nap
Step 7--eat free dinner
Step 8--get dressed in Dickens costume
Step 9--warm up and devotional with the carolers
Step 10--go caroling
Step 11--go swimming again or watch a movie or play games
Step 12--go to sleep
--repeat the above steps the next day...

Not a bad way to live for a couple of weeks, huh? Eclipse was there for 4 days in this case, but we're not young, single, college students anymore, so adjustments had to be made. We traded off watching each other's kids so that everyone got a chance to hit the slopes. The guys with older kids were able to take them to Dollar Mountain (the kids slope) to try out skiing or snowboarding, which was cool. On the last day, the wives and kids went to brunch together so the guys could go snowboarding together. It was just like old times! Here are some shots of us on the slopes:

James, Dan, Jake, Kevin, and me:

The view from the top of the lift:

One of our favorite jumps. The first time I didn't get enough momentum going into it:

The second time was much better:

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Thanksgiving 2008

For Thanksgiving, we went down to Vegas to visit family. We stayed at my brother Jason's house:

While we were there, a dark wizard attacked October and tried to kill him. He escaped unscathed, except for a scar on his forehead:

The event reminded us of another boy who had a similar experience:

The real story is that he scratched his forehead on the post of someone's earring. The same photoshop magic that allowed us to create October's very realistic Harry Potter costume also made it possible to remove the scar:

There is a park near my brother's house, and the Tobmeister was able to frolick with his cousins to his heart's content:


I'll end with a couple of video clips. After church on Sunday, we spent some time frolicking in the grass:

Our son hates the feeling of grass on his neck and ears. Here's his reaction when we lay him down: