Friday, December 28, 2012

Winter Wonderland

For the first time in 10 years, my parents, younger brother, and I were able to go and visit our families in the midwest for Christmas this year. Living in Florida, I almost forget what cold weather is like. Usually for Christmas I wear a t-shirt and shorts. So when I found out a few months ago that my parents decided to go up north for Christmas, I became anxious for some winter weather. I just love cold weather! I would take below zero temperature over hundred degree heat with a hundred percent humidity any day.

Our first stop on our trip was the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri where my dad's parents live. This is where we saw our first glimpse of snow on our trip. My brother, Jager, has never seen snow before, so this was a big deal.

^^tiny bits of snow on the ground!^^

Then we headed to Des Moines, Iowa to see more of my dad's family. This was the first time in many years that all of my dad's brothers were together, so it was very special. We stopped by my dad's hometown  Pella, Iowa, which is a small Dutch community outside of Des Moines. I made sure we got some tasty treats at Jaarsma Bakery, because they have the best Dutch pastries. Also, this is where we truly saw some snow on the ground. Jager and I were so excited that we had a full-on snowball fight outside of our hotel. We didn't care that people could watch us make fools of ourselves from their hotel windows. It was so much fun! 

 ^^btw, they deliver online orders^^

 ^^Jager's bunker for the snowball fight. I have an awful aim, so he won the battle.^^

^^my grandparents, dad and his two brothers^^

Finally, we made it up to Dawson, Minnesota. My mom grew up on farm near here, and now we are the only ones in the family that don't live in Minnesota anymore. We went to Christmas Eve service at her old church and then celebrated Christmas at the farm. All 27 of us ate lots of good food, opened presents, and then put on our matching pajamas, which is a long-standing family tradition. This year, our pjs included Zubaz and t-shirts with all of our names on them. Pretty epic!

We will be here in Minnesota for just one more day. I will definitely miss the cold weather and spending time with my family. I wish we can do this for every Christmas. Since this might not happen again for a while, I've been soaking up as much of this as possible.

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