Christmas Vacation: Via Photos

What an amazing 11 days we had this Christmas vacation!! While we spent the first six days traveling in our four-wheel-drive sleigh around Northern Iowa, the past five days were filled with all things neglected through out the year: our family planning meeting for the year (more on that later), numerous home projects (including setting up the nursery for our baby girl), reading, writing blogs and enjoying our last bit of time off before our lives change forever. It was simply amazing and rejuvenating. I've already written more than I wanted to here so I will let the photos and captions speak for themselves.

Pre-trip Preparation

Kelsey's Soon Maternity package arrived the morning of our trip and she decided to completely repack to include her new stuff.

Starbucks for the road = an annual tradition.

Christmas in Northern Iowa

Kelsey's aunt and uncle's house has just enough room for the entire Christianson clan.

Sixty family members gathered in one living room.

Everyone gets their own re-usable plastic cup. We're an environmentally friendly family!

Mylie found a friend in Ben (our long-awaited Chinese baby!).

Our gift exchange winnings. Score!

The next day: Most everyone was sleeping after a trip to Fort Dodge for Christmas with Grandma Jo.

Christmas tree at Mom's house. Same angel on the tree as when I was a kid.

Christmas night, back at Kelsey's parents'. Bessa (great-nana) reading with Myah.

My gift from the Smiths. Just started reading it a few days ago.

Cuddle time with Uncle Ric.

Baby W got as many gifts as Kels and I. Not too bad for her first Christmas.

We spent the 26th at Bessa and Grandpa Grotewold's. Love their tree and decorations.

The lefse-making crew. Kels loves it. I do not...

Always way too much food. This was the healthy table. The other was filled with cookies, sweets and Oreo balls!

Come-as-you-are pajama day. Bessa went all in!

Long story, but someone brought a dickie for the men's grab gift exchange. Bessa says, "I have a whole drawer of those!" Here's the proof.

The 27th was a free day at Kelsey's parents'. We relaxed.

And found treasures from Kelsey's childhood. These are both now hanging in the nursery to pass down to our daughter.

Went for supper with Kelsey's parents and brother in Albert Lea. Casa Zamora's is the best!

Finished a puzzle! Well, except for the missing piece we never found...

On the 28th we were able to spend time with Garrett and Lauren and meet baby Dylan!

Back Home for Christmas Unwind

Gift card used: Pizza Ranch has pop machines from the future, in case you were wondering. More than 100 flavors!

This lunch date was much-needed after our tour of a possible daycare. All the details, bah!!!

We had some good luck shopping with our Christmas money. $15 boots for Kels.

$4.99 for Harry Potter movies. It was on our list to rent/watch over our Christmas break so we couldn't pass these up.

Back home for the nursery set up. It took us three days off and on to complete!

We made smoothies daily. Thanks for all of the suggestions!

Craft day. Involved lots of painting of old furniture, hanging things on walls and creating wall art for baby's nursery.

On the 30th we had our annual family meeting. This year will be a big year for the Williams family!

It was also Iowa Hawkeye game day. We were able to watch it with our best friends, the Abels and the Stoffas.

Errands and a lunch date at Smokey D's BBQ on the 31st. Then we rang in the new year with some Subway and Harry Potter and were in bed by 10.

Yesterday we ate lunch at Jethro's BBQ, which just opened by our house. Love it.

Did you have the week off? What did you do? Cheers to a great 2012!