Midwest Christmas

James and I ventured over to the Midwest to visit my family for the holidays. It was a whirlwind of family, friends, traveling, and food!  We enjoyed ourselves immensely!  We arrived Minneapolis on Saturday afternoon; my parents picked us up and when we arrived home my sister was there to greet James and I with a massive amount of baby clothes from newborn to 9 months old.  She has been spoiling our little girl–even before she arrives!

On Sunday my sister, her boyfriend, my brother (minus his fiance, she had to work), my mom and dad, James and I, and my grandma and grandpa met at our annual brunch.  We do this every year–although James and I only partake every other year when we are in Minnesota for Christmas.  The food is always great,  but too much, and so many choices.  After we finished our brunch we all headed over to my grandparents house to open presents, watch the Vikings WIN!!, and play some Rummikub.  If you do not know how to play or have never played Rummikub before, you must try it out.  It’s a blast! After we left my grandparents house we headed back to my parents house to do our family gift exchange.

Monday night James and I met some of my high school friends at Coopers Pub close to Minneapolis.  It is always a lot of fun catching up with my old friends and its nice that James is getting to know my good friends a little more each time we are in Minnesota.  James and my best friends boyfriend hit it off immediately and the two of them planned a trip to Montana this summer–my friend and I are thrilled! On Tuesday my mom, James, and I went to the Como Zoo.  It’s a free zoo located downtown–it was a cold day, but we figured it would still be fun!  The Como Zoo is an old fashioned zoo where the animals are in mainly their natural habitat with just a fence between us and the animals.  We would go when we were little and I remember the cages were not reinforced very well, I noticed that when we went this time they were a little more reinforced, but not as much as some zoos.  The warm weather animals were in their inside habitat but the ones that could hang out in the cold were still outside.

photo 2 (5).JPGI did not know that James was standing on the poor guys head..

IMG_20151221_133407430We were like kids at the zoo!

This is my favorite picture! The arctic fox is thinking “He is going to get me!”

The three of us decided that the animals were just fed because almost all (minus the fox and deer) were sleeping.  There is a massive green house at the zoo too, so of course we had to wander around there for awhile after walking outside to warm back up!

photo 5It would have been a really nice picture if James would have smiled.  But this green house was so pretty I could not pass it up!

We headed to Wisconsin on Thursday morning to celebrate Christmas with my moms side of of the family.  We made it just in time for James and my brother to play one game of broom ball.  Every other year we have a family broom ball tournament at my uncles ice rink. Each family is a team (we were the Mighty Ducks) and the winning team gets to take home the “Denominator” trophy for the next year!  Sadly my family has not won yet, but we have been close!  After the tournament we all headed to my moms parents house for our Christmas Eve party!  This party is quite a party–there are about 30 people in one house ranging from 85 years old down to 3 months old.  The average age being about 30 years old.  It is always a blast with my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.  It can be very overwhelming for somebody who married into our family and James did experience that–however this time he was ready and really enjoyed himself!  Christmas Day we had lunch with my grandparents and drove back to Minnesota later that night.

While we were in Minnesota James and I were also able to see my brothers new house and my sisters growing farm!  Both places are very nice and I enjoyed having my siblings show off their pride and joy!! It was a whirlwind of a week but we had a blast!

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