Merry Christmas!!

We made it back home this evening after spending the past 4 days celebrating Christmas with our families.  The drive took 7.5 hours, but it went faster then expected.  Was a sunny day with clear roads and not too much traffic, except going around Madison, WI…

So here’s a recap of the last few days…

On Friday we both had to work, but we managed to get done by 3:15pm.  Quickly loaded the Jeep and was on the road by 3:45pm.  The roads were still snow packed and icy from the snow storm that came through on Wednesday (12/19).  John was amazed at how bad the roads in Iowa were.  It was like the roads were never “pre-treated” and just not plowed in places.  The trip to my parents took 90 minutes longer then normal.  At times the traffic was down to driving at less then 25 mph.  We saw at least 100 cars and semi trucks in the ditches by the time the trip was over.  Most were snow covered – so we assume they have been there since the snow storm.  John put his Jeep in 4 wheel drive, drove a safe speed and gave the cars in front of us plenty of space.  We made it to my parent house by 9:00pm.  Mom was ready for our arrival with a pan of yummy lasagna in the oven.

On Saturday my brother’s family came over for a Christmas dinner mom prepared.  Had a delicious ham that had a really nice smoky flavor and many side dishes.  Afterwards we exchanged gifts.  Was a fun day and nice to see my nephews again.


Mom, Deven and Scout


Scout and Jet out for a walk with Kelly the dog...


John and I attempting to take a pictures with Mom's uncooperative cat, Tom.

Then on Sunday we spent the morning with Mom and Dad exchanging gifts and having a nice lunch.  Around 1:30pm we packed up and headed north to John’s Dad’s house.  The drive took us 4.5 hours but the roads were much better.  Once we got the Jeep unpacked and settled in we meet up with John, Sr. and Betsy at a local bar and grill for supper.  It was nice to relax with a margarita (or two) and buffalo chicken wrap..

On Monday John went with his Dad to finish up his shopping, run errands and visit family/friends.  I stayed at home with Betsy and helped get some projects done before John’s sister and her family arrived that evening.  Was nice to chat with Betsy and be helpful.  That evening I prepared beef ribs in the oven and then on the grill.  They were good, but turned out a bit tough – think I left them on the grill a bit too long…. I was not happy about that… but everyone else like them…


John Sr. getting the fireplace loaded up for a fire..


I could not resist putting the ornament in the coyote's mouth. Grrr...



That evening we exchanged gifts with everyone in the living room with a real fire in the fireplace.  It felt very Christmas-y.  Was fun to watch the nieces and nephew open their gifts.

This morning John Sr. made us eggs and potatoes for breakfast.  Was nice to have someone else make me breakfast 🙂  Then we got everything packed and were on the road by 9:30am.

Was nice to see our families, but it also feels good to be home knowing we will be sleeping in our own bed.  Prince was very happy to see us.  He meowed for 30 minutes telling us all about things.  We have the neighbor boy come over and feed/play with him.  He is much better off staying home then having us take him with….

In parting, here’s some vintage photos of John and I from Christmases very long ago:


Derek, probably 1972 or 73


Christmas ornament with John in 3rd or 4th grade... how cute...

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