By Eric on January 3, 2012 19

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!


Husband to Kelsey. Father to Rooney. Follower of Jesus. Born and raised in Iowa. I like blogging. Bulleted lists excite me. Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Looks busy! OMgosh, Missy just got every single Harry Potter DVD from family this Christmas! We didn’t own any before the holidays, and now we (she) owns them all too! I’m intrigued to know what crafts you were creating with stencils and a map of Minnesota…oh, and let me know if Ric needs any help setting up the nursery…I’m pretty handy when it comes to baby furniture ;-)

    • Have you guys seen/do you like the HP movies? Or was it just a random gift? Haha. We’ve seen them all once except for the last one, but we want to watch them all again before the baby comes. Two down, six to go!

      The craft turned out great :) It is for the nursery…which is mostly completed. We’ll reveal it via photos next month sometime!!!

      • Nah, we had seen them all…but didn’t actually own any of them. Missy’s sister got sick of us always borrowing them from her, so Missy asked for her own copies for Christmas. Actually, she only asked for #1 & #4 (her faves), but ended up getting them all + the first Twilight. She’s loaded up now!

        Can’t wait to see more of the nursery and crafty projects!

  2. Did you stay awake for the Iowa game, Kels? We were in Oklahoma and cheering for the Sooners but I can’t say I stayed up for the whole thing! I’m super impressed if you did!

  3. sounds like you guys had a terrific time! Thanks for sharing:)

  4. Garrett’s beard = awesome.

  5. Love the photos! Looks like a fab holiday. We did a puzzle too and had 1 piece missing. so disappointing! Oh well.

  6. Where did you find the $15 dollar boots? I am in the market for a pair myself.

  7. Oh my gosh I just laughed so hard at the dickies picture!! That is SO something that would happen with my family. I love it.
    1. I second the question about the boots! I just bought almost the exact same pair at famous footwear and paid $60 – and I’m not sure I’m happy with them. :(
    2. I hope you’ll share the smoothie-making experience with us, and tell us what varieties/flavors you made and which were your favorite!

  8. I love the glimpse into your week! That *soda* machine is awesome. haha, my family is in Michigan and they say pop too and we argue back and forth about it.

  9. Whoa that is one big house! Looks like you two had an amazing Christmas vacation. We need soda machines like that down south! Can’t wait to hear more about your annual family meeting.

  10. What a score with the Harry Potter movies, well done you guys! Looks like you had a wicked vacation, jam packed but well worth it!

  11. I know how you guys budget so I was surprised to see you bought all those movies. Was it part of your entertainment fund for the month?

    • Hey Lexi! We paid for them using a gift card, a rewards coupon and our entertainment fund for the month. We were planning to rent them all in the next couple months (before baby comes), but $4.99 was such a great price that we just went for it! It was a lot of fun that we were able to get them all.

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