Thursday, January 5, 2017

Christmas in the Midwest

Yes, I know it is already after the new year, but these last three weeks have been crazy town so I have not had time to write up a post about our time up north.
Our trip started with some unexpected weather predictions. I had been keeping an eye on the weather for Minnesota and as the days got closer, we knew that we were going to hit a big snow storm in the afternoon of Friday December 16th, right when we were planning on arriving. So we made a last minute decision to move up our departure time by about 6 hours to try to beat the worst of the storm. We left Dallas around lunchtime and stopped just outside Wichita, Kansas to catch up with some friends who recently moved there from Dallas. It was really fun to see them and catch up with them. We really miss having them in our area, but they moved back "home" so we completely understand it. We may just have to make stopping at their place part of our new driving routine.
We woke up extremely early Friday morning so that we could get into Minnesota around 3 pm. We, however, woke up to a small pocket of drizzle and ice that we were completely not expecting. We also took a single lane highway to get to a main interstate and the road seemed to go on forever. It was a really nerve wracking hour and a half, but we made it to the main road and were golden from there. Until we entered Minnesota of course. Right around the Minnesota/Iowa border was where we ran into snow. It was coming down pretty good and our tires were not great with the snow (which we learned later in the week). Luckily, we made it to our friend's house in one piece, and then we were able to actually enjoy watching the snow fall. Richard played poker with some friends that night, while I enjoyed watching Netflix and going to bed early.
The reason we left Texas so early was so that we could make it to my big family's Christmas celebration on Saturday. My aunts, uncles and cousins are pretty spread out these days, but the majority of people usually make it home for Christmas. I always love being able to see everyone and catch up with what is new. Plus, we play a gift exchange game every year which is always a good time. And as usual, I was having too much fun to remember to take any pictures. Richard did however take a picture with my cousin, these two are the two doctors of the family!
The rest of the week was spent with either family or friends depending on the day. I was able to meet up with my besties for coffee and then we split up and two of us headed to the Mall of America. We walked around and talked and I got to spend more time with her little man. Love these people.
I went with my family to Macy's Santaland in Minneapolis. This is probably the last year of that display so it was a little bittersweet. My niece saw it for the first time which was so much fun.
I also went sledding with my family. Although, really I just watched my little sister and my nephew sled the whole time. Pregnancy and sledding don't mix well, especially on the giant super icy hill we went to. My dad went down a few times, but my older sister, my niece and I were all happy to watch from the sidelines.
On Christmas Day, my family got together in the afternoon to celebrate with cards, presents, dinner and of course snapchat filters.
We also spent a lot of time in Wisconsin with Richard's family. We enjoyed our annual visit to see Santa, making Gingerbread houses with his brothers, shopping local stores and bonfires outside in the freezing cold. On Christmas Eve, we enjoyed a tasty dinner together before heading to late night church. We of course had to take an updated picture from after the service ended. We then spent Christmas morning with his family opening gifts from each other and from Santa before eating a delicious brunch.
Overall, we had a great trip and as usual the time went by way too fast. We left the day after Christmas and drove straight through to Texas with Richard's little brother. The car was way over packed, but we made it safe and sound with extra time for an early bedtime. More to come from our additional holiday adventures!
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