If at first you don't succeed...you know.

Last night we participated in the Larson family tradition of going see the lights on Temple Square. This is not a tradition that I have come to look forward to, and let me tell you why.

The last time we attempted it we decided as a family (extended Larson family) to take trax up together to avoid traffic. We lived farther north than the rest, so we were going to catch their train (car, train, shuttle? I'm not sure what to call it) at a stop further up the tracks. I bundled our 3 little boys, we arrived at the station, started loading them into the stroller, then the train arrived. We threw Jack and Tays into the stroller, Kevin carried Noah and we RAN as fast as we could. We had to cross the tracks to get to get to the doors on the other side of the train, but Taylor (who wasn't buckled) fell out of the stroller right in front of the train, which started inching forward. I grabbed him, made eyes at the driver who was giving me a "hurry up" wave with his hand, pulled the stroller out of the way, Kevin signaled to the driver that we needed to get on, but as soon as we cleared the tracks the train rushed off. Trax waits for no man. Kevin's family waved (what else could they do?) as they zoomed by.

The next train wasn't due for 20 minutes, and we didn't wish to repeat what had happened the year before, so we gave up and went home.

The year before that we had all agreed to meet at Temple Square, but traffc was horrible downtown, and it seemed there was not a parking spot to be found. We drove around, our 2 little boys crying and crying, searching for over 45 minutes. We finally found a spot, got the boys into the stroller, rushed down to to meet up with Kevin's family, who by that time were done and cold and ready to go home. We stayed for a few minutes, but the boys failed to see the magic through their tears, so we loaded them back into the car and went home.

The year before that I was a new mom, it seemed to be the coldest night of the year, I was worried about Jack getting sick the whole time so he never left the stroller and I couldn't wait to get him back into the warmth of the car.

The year before that was awesome. We were newlyweds, we held hands, enjoyed the lights, clung together against the cold, I enjoyed participating in this family tradition that was now partly mine. I was pregnant and dreamed of what it would be like to bring our family here, introduce our children to the wonder of Christmas time in this special way, surrounded by relatives, point out the different colors and tell them about the Savior.

Fast forward to last night. We met at Grandma and Grandpa Larson's, drove up and found parking close together and it was as I had always dreamed it would be. We brought 2 double strollers and the boys were well bundled. There was no whining, just excitement. It wasn't as cold or crowded as when we usually go. Austin was perfect, sleeping in the car on the way up and silently watching from the stroller the whole time we were there. It was so fun to be there with everyone, to connect with the nieces and nephews. The boys loved the different colors, the nativity scenes, the visitors center, touching the little light bulbs that hung within their reach, and they fell asleep on the way home.
So, moral of the story: Stick with family traditions. they're usually worth it in the end.


  1. Hooray for a nice family outing! I know your pain about adopting new traditions, Dean's family has a few of their own that just do NOT work with naps/meals or toddlers, and I am expected to participate with a smile on my face and have my daughter dressed up and pleasant. Those events usually result in tantrums, from me and Leah!

    PS Did any of your boys get sick last week? Leah came down with a dumb cold the day after we hung out, and I hope she didn't spread it to you guys!

  2. Wow, what stories!
    You are such a gifted writer, and so honest.

  3. It was fun to read about your Temple Square outings. I'm glad this one turned out so well. I have had good and bad ones doing the lights thing at temple square, much like the ones you described. This year, being the first one of our marriage to be far from Utah, I find myself wishing we could have one of those trips to Temple Square, be it good or bad. You don't know what you've got until you don't have it anymore, right?

    Oh, and I love that you have 2 double strollers. I LOVE my double stroller. It is like our second car. I've been trying to convince Josh to spring for a triple stroller for just such outings. But maybe what I need to do is just have our next child and get a second double stroller. Brilliant!

  4. Sounds like a perfect night!!! They look so cute in the stroller!


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