Christmas in Minnesota

Last Friday, Michael took a big exam and then afterwards we left for Minnesota. The drive went super fast because we were listening to Serial (the podcast. Haven’t heard of it? We highly recommend… Season one just ended).

Isis was in for the long haul. She does pretty well in the car.

Isis was in for the long haul. She does pretty well in the car.

... And her presence comes complete with surprise kisses, so I can't complain. (She got me good.)

… And her presence comes complete with surprise kisses, so I can’t complain. (She got me good.)

We arrived late that night and were welcomed with hugs from my mom and dad. It felt so good to be home. We were the first to arrive, but the Atkins arrived the next day and the Congdons a couple days later. The following week was full of family, food, games, and conversation. It’s what every holiday should be.

We were so glad to see Bandit...

We were so glad to see Bandit…

... and Kirby, too.

… and Kirby, too.

The “old men,” as we call them, are 15. Bandit is still going strong, if slower than he used to be. Kirby, though, spends most of his time sleeping and breathing rancid breath. He’s really showing his age, that one. He is still as cuddly and sweet as ever, though, and we cherished our time with him this trip.

A Papa sandwich.

Our first night with the Atkins in town, Michael suggested we go ice skating. We went to Centennial Lakes, where I had gone several times growing up– I even had my prom pictures taken there! It’s a massive, elongated pond that feels more like a river. In the winter they rent out skates when the water freezes over. Dad, Greg, Lindsey, Michael, and I gave our ankles a workout while my mom got some Grandma time with Wyn in the warming house. My dad hadn’t skated in more than 25 years! He needed a little help at first (pictured above) but he did get his skating legs back pretty quickly. 🙂

Teaching Wyn how to play FIFA.

Babies, babies, babies! I’ve been so happy each time I’ve been able to see my niece and nephew this year. I’ve had five visits with Wyn and four with Darcy. I feel like the luckiest long-distance aunt alive. If only we lived next door! Michael and I told their moms we need a live webcam. Speaking of Michael, how precious is he with a baby? Someday.

Darcy and her daddy.

This little smiley girl is the best cuddler in the world and will play with your hair as she snuggles into your shoulder. Sign me up for a lifetime of that, please. I miss my Darcy girl already.

Yes, that is a tiny bottle of whiskey. Don't worry, the cap is screwed on tight. ;)

Yes, that is a tiny bottle of whiskey. Don’t worry, the cap is screwed on tight. 😉

She obviously didn't have a single drop of the whiskey, she was just using it as a nice teether. But I had to include this picture where she looks more than a little tipsy... Holding some Jack Daniels.

She obviously didn’t have a single drop of the whiskey, she was just using it as a nice teether. But I had to include this picture where she looks more than a little tipsy… Holding some Jack Daniels.

We had our Christmas Eve and decorated the tree and house (complete with dance party!), and Michael saw It’s a Wonderful Life for the first time. Christmas morning was everything it should be and more, with babies on hand! They got more gifts than the rest of us combined, but they’re so much more fun to buy for.

In the picture above you can also see Bandit in the background. He loves Christmas and I think his happiest moment of each year is falling asleep in the living room surrounded by wrapping paper and family. It’s probably that latter part that he loves so much.

The table set for Christmas dinner

The table set for Christmas dinner

Relaxing with the pup after a big meal

Relaxing with the pup after a big meal

Darc with her Uncle Michael

Isis with a little playmate

Isis with a little playmate

Isis has been around little kids and done really well, but we were so happy with how gentle and loving she was towards the babes all week. The only problems we had were excessive kisses and the occasional stolen toy. 😉

On a family walk at the park near our house, sitting on the boulder I've been climbing for about 18 years now.

On a family walk at the park near our house, sitting on the boulder I’ve been climbing for about 18 years now.

Family games-- usually trivia-based. A Wible family staple.

Family games– usually trivia-based. A Wible family staple.

_ . _

Wynden turned one year old on December 28th, and we got to attend his birthday party the day before.

Dearest nephew, I can’t believe you are already one year old! A year ago I was awake at 3:30 in the morning, knowing you were on your way and not being able to go back to sleep. How are you already so old, and walking everywhere?

Apparently birthday cake is torture. He did not want to smash it or eat it. Weirdo.

Apparently birthday cake is torture. He did not want to smash it or eat it. Weirdo.

My sister made a wonderful video documenting Wynden’s first year. He’s the smiliest baby in the whole world, as evidenced by all the countless takes that Linds couldn’t bear to narrow down (can you blame her?). Also, you can catch a glimpse of our Christmas Eve dancing at 7:35.

I love you, Wynden. I’m sorry you have a Christmas birthday, but I’m so happy that it means we’ll get to spend some of your birthdays with you.

_ . _

Minnesota, it was wonderful being back home. Time with family, time with dear friends, lots of movies and games and good conversation. It was a really wonderful Christmas, and as always, it ended too soon.

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2 thoughts on “Christmas in Minnesota

  1. I love love love this. What a wonderful documentation of our time together! I might have to share it, if that’s ok… Your pictures are amazing, too! Love and miss you, Danadoo.

    Like

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