Tuesday, January 7, 2014

{christmas in minnesota}

Every other year we travel to my hometown in Minnesota to spend time at Christmas with my entire family.
My family, which includes my parents, four siblings (plus three spouses and eight grandchildren!) only gets together about once a year, due to my sister living in Montana, and me in Kentucky.

So we treasure the time we have.
Our brief four day visit to the farm was both relaxing and chaotic, with all of us (most of the time) at my parent's farm (that I grew up on) - which is a big farmhouse, sure, but still feels a little crowded with seventeen people in it.

Plus, one day, my mom invited a bunch of our extended family over for a post-Christmas open house celebration, so that day the house was extra full.  Full of food and laughter and some relatives I haven't seen in years.  Such an special/amazing day!  

I took a LOT of photos over those four days.
Here are some of my favorites...
girl cousins - fin and bel
cousins/besties - spence and casey - making a delicious batch of guac
my dad and his daughters (plus my sister's baby, Selah)
my sister and I
tried to get a 'normal' shot of the cousins...but thankfully I ended up with a bunch like this. :)
the whole fam after church 
our dog colbie loved the snow - and the playhouse grampa built
my dad's latest project in retirement...he installed this entire fireplace, complete with a barnwood mantle from our former barn 

some of the guys brave the cold for a stroll (or some cross country skiing) 
cousins playing with auntie jen!
warming hands by the stove!  the temps were single digit at best during the daytime! 
girl cousins!  
selah's first solids!  she also did her first roll!
winter sky at dusk on the farm

There was a ton of laughing, a 'new year' slideshow, lots and lots of beer consumed - some good and some not-so-delish, a few jaunts around the property despite frigid temps, several raucous games of Catchphrase, lots of shrieking kiddos, more food than can be described accurately, plenty of cousin scuffles, and the normal amount of talking over each other just to be heard.

I love my family.

As always, was tough to leave, not knowing when we will all be together again.  I think it helps us, though, to appreciate the time that we are.

And to my dear home state of Minnesota...I brought your mean, bitter cold back here with me.