Archives For Vacation

By Eric on July 5, 2013 6

As Kelsey said last week, we recently spent a week in the Okoboji area. This is our 10th summer as a couple, and we’ve spent time there together every year. It’s an awesome in-state getaway for us and we’re truly blessed to have a place to stay when we are there.

Maybe we’re just naive and the only ones who never thought of this before, but for vacation we’ve started to plan not only the week we are away from home, but the week before we leave and the week after we get back. Now that we’re responsible for more than ourselves on vacation (Rooney packs more than the two of us combined), we’ve tried to really think through our time off and how to get the most out of it.


Confession: Last year we learned that vacation with a newborn is not really a vacation. It was more like a tornado picked us and all our baby junk up and set us down four hours away in a familiar/enjoyable location, except we still had to be rookie parents who had no idea what happened to vacation as we knew it.

It wasn’t that we didn’t love being parents, it was that for eight years prior, Okoboji had been our place of escape, adventure, relaxation and bliss. Last year, it all changed with a newborn. I was frustrated not being able to relax the way that we had in the past. This year was completely different for a number of reasons that I will get to in a moment. Another important thing we changed this year from last year was our own mental thinking, taking a family approach to the vacation vs. the selfish agenda we’ve always had in the past. (Rooney is not the only one who has grown a lot in the past year.)

A few weeks before we left, we came to the realization that we should think about vacation in three stages: pre-party, party, and the hangover…

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By Kelsey on June 27, 2013 7

We spent last week in Okoboji – our favorite vacation spot! I spent a lot of time there in the summers while growing up, so I have a ton of memories attached to it. It’s also where Eric and I got married. We plan to spend at least one week there every summer in hopes of giving Rooney many memories of her own of this special place!

My Top 10 of Okoboji Vacation 2013:

10. Rooney slept like a champ! Unlike last year, when she was breaking out of her swaddle, this year she slept 13-14 hours a night. We let her stay up til 8:00-ish since we were having so much fun, which means my morning wake time wasn’t until 9:00 am most days. (Sleeping in is my idea of a good vacation.)

9. Watching Rooney ride the kiddie rides at the local amusement park, Arnold’s Park.

8. Gourmet chocolate toffee from Goodies.

7. Watermelon Laffy Taffys from The Sugar Shack in the Central Emporium.

6. Dinner with my friends Emily and Megan at one of my new favorite restaurants, Bracco.

5. The mini insane taco and sopapillas from Mrs. Lady’s.

4. The cornbread muffin at Hey Good Cookies. Their cookies are amazing, too.

3. Getting pulled over by the DNR in the boat ;) It’s just so classic for my family and gave us a good laugh. Thankfully, we didn’t get a ticket (our registration was expired without our knowledge) and were still allowed to proceed to dinner outside at The Ritz, where there was a DJ playing fun tunes.

2. Sitting on the deck every afternoon, enjoying the PERFECT weather.

1. Seeing Rooney have so much fun with my family, especially her cousins!

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By Eric on December 1, 2011 9

You probably already heard that we spent Thanksgiving in Washington, D.C., and if not, you knew by the title of this post, right?

It’s true, we headed out early on Thursday morning to the Des Moines International Airport (which has no international flights) for a 7:10 flight to our nation’s capitol. The purpose was to not only take in the beautiful city, but also to visit Kelsey’s brother, Cole. The Christiansons, Williamses and the Smiths were on their way!

There are going to be a lot of photos and not much commentary…k thanks!

Thursday (Thanksgiving Day)

The plane was light with passengers so the three of us were upgraded to first class! Bingo!

After arriving, we all got metro passes. We relied on the metro and walking to get around. The most I think I have ever walked in four days. Even more than Disney World.

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By Eric on August 2, 2011 11

For the readers that don’t live in Iowa, or who may not know about the Okoboji area, it’s one of the few resort areas in Iowa and is called the Great Lakes of Iowa. Big Spirit, East Okoboji and West Okoboji are the three main lakes. We want to share our favorite things to do while in the ‘Boji area, in case you ever make it up there! The post will also serve as a nuts-and-bolts piece to give you an idea of why we love it so much! You might remember from our fairytale that our first summer’s weekends were spent in Okoboji. It’s where we first said “I love you” and also where we said “I do.”

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