Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas - Part 1

On Tuesday night we headed down to Iowa right after the kids got out of school. As luck would have it, we managed to head into weather that, while not completely awful, was just awful enough to slow us down quite a bit. A trip that normally takes us 6 hours took us about 7 1/2 hours. But, we arrived safely - extremely late, but safe. By the time we go there it was well past bedtime, but the kids had already slept some in the car and weren't quite ready for bed. I think we all managed to crawl into bed around 12:30 or 1am - depending on who you were in the house.

Christmas Eve Day was nice and relaxing. We had a chance to just hang out with Mike's mom, Kay. Mike's family traditionally celebrates on Christmas Eve so that night we headed to church with his brother's family. Afterward it was back to his mom's house for dinner and some present opening. Each year as the kids get older it seems present opening gets pushed back; I think they realize how limited their playing time together is and they make the most of it. But, present time still comes around, and it's still general chaos:

Christmas morning found no big reason to get up early; we'd left our presents in MN. Santa had visited Iowa the night before and we had left a letter back home requesting Santa leave our stockings filled in MN so we wouldn't have to haul everything back. He's very accommodating that way. There were some presents from Grandma Murphy to open on Christmas morning and a few games that we played, but mostly we just relaxed. Later that afternoon we had a chance to eat a delicious meal with Kay, Pat & Missy's family (Mike's brother), Mike's aunt & uncle, as well as a really good family friend.

Friday night we switched some kids around and Maddie slept over at her cousins' and Aaron, our nephew (about Jake's age) slept over at Grandma Murphy's. The boys were in bed by 10pm...sleeping??? I'm not really sure what time they finally retired; Mike threatened them around 11:30 I think.

Saturday we headed right across the border to Illinois to celebrate with Mike's cousins. HUGE houseful of people and I believe the adults were outnumbered by the kids. But, it was a great chance to catch up with people we only see a couple times per year. During the white-elephant gift exchange Mike was the proud recipient of soap on a rope. I zeroed in on what I thought was a deck of cards; I was right - they'll be put to good use during next year's card party.

We left for MN straight from there at around 5:30pm. Because we had such fun on the drive down in crazy weather, we decided it would be good laughs to do it again - only in a greater capacity. It took us 5 hours to get the distance that would normally take 2 1/2 hours. I thought for sure Mike was going to pull over and call it a night when we hit the crazy snow storm (after all the ice, rain and sleet we'd already plowed through). But, I had church Sunday morning at 9:30, and while I would have happily gotten a hotel room, we would have had an early morning leaving to get me the rest of the way on time. Luckily things returned to "mostly normal" once we got through that snowstorm. We only dealt with a lot of wind for the rest of the way. And, at 1:30am we pulled into our driveway, unloaded the kids, and crawled into bed.

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