Well, it’s the day after Christmas, and for us it means getting back into our normal routine. After we returned from our trip to Mexico, I headed down to Iowa to hang out on my parents’ farm for a few days with the kids (who were already there). Jake finished up working and made his way down at the end of the week to spend the weekend with all of us. My brothers and their wives met us there too. It was an absolute joy to spend quality time with everyone.
I actually remembered to bring my good camera along, so instead of the usual iPhone photos, I have some great pictures to share. Thanks to my sister-in-law, Ali, who grabbed my camera and took a bunch of these, I’m actually in some photos! Thanks Ali!
Saturday morning we celebrated Christmas with my immediate family. Every year the six of us siblings and in-laws secretly trade names and buy a present for the person we get. I’m so glad we do this. With a $50 limit, it allows us to buy one or two nice things instead of having to shop for everyone and ending up with a bunch of useless little gifts.
Everyone got our kids adorable things as well. We are the only ones with kids so everybody really goes above and beyond buying things for them. I’m excited for years to come when I have little nieces and nephews to buy for!Baylen is at such a fun age to open presents. He gets super excited and I love seeing his eyes light up. Joey and Madison got him some adorable clothes, some of them being vintage looking t-shirts with Wheaties and Lucky Charms logos that Madison got a hold of through working at General Mills. I’m sure you’ll see Baylen sporting them in future posts!
He also got a super fun Thomas tent from Jason and Ali! It’s pretty special, and he’s very selective about who gets to enter. ;) Emersyn and Mckinley each got their first doll from Nana and Papa! It’s so much fun watching them grow from babies into little girls!
Saturday night we celebrated at my Grandma Kiel’s house in Orange City. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera along, but all my cousins were there and we had a wonderful time! My grandma has a hobby of going to Menard’s with her friends and getting tons of free stuff through their rebate program. It’s so cute. She stocks up all year long and provides all the hilarious white elephant gifts for our exchange. This year I got a two pack of utility knives. Ha!
Sunday we had my dad’s extended family to our house, which included 47 people under one roof! It was cozy, but so great catching up with loved ones who I only get to see a couple times a year. Mckinley Jo and Great Grandma Hofmeyer!These girls were such a huge help and Emersyn and Mckinley had a ball with them. They would make the perfect mother’s helpers if only they lived closer!Baylen was obsessed with the little dogs running around. He’s always been a fan of Joey and Madison’s cavalier, Nutmeg, and bonded quite a bit with her new little sister, Pippa too. Jason and Ali’s french bulldog, Baxter, put up with a lot of being chased around too. It was so adorable to see how sweet Bay was with those little pooches. Jake and sweet Mckinley.Uncle Brad and Aunt Missy were able to come from Wisconsin. It’s always a treat to spend time with them and their four precious kids!We caught my cousin Stacie, and her husband, Korey, getting some sweet cuddles in with their kids.And the girls in our family!On Monday I got to see some dear high school girl friends. We met for breakfast at Allison’s house. It was SO GREAT to see them and get our kids together! There’s a group shot floating around somewhere. I’ll have to post that as soon as I get it!After a full weekend, we drove home on Christmas Eve morning back home to Minnesota. We wanted to have some time to celebrate with the five of us without having to rush around. It was so special to be able to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home relaxing and soaking up time with Baylen, Emersyn, and Mckinley. I made a ham dinner for the second time in our marriage, and Jake and I continued on our Mad Men marathon after the kids were in bed. It was an absolutely perfect day.
AAAAND, 40 or so pictures later, there you have it: a (thorough) recap of our Christmas! If you made it this far, thanks for humoring me.
Merry Christmas to all of my lovely readers!