Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Christmas 2013

I never did get around to how wonderful our Christmas was this year.  

Our tree! It was given to us for free by my work.
They had it stored under an old elevator & it smelled so they bought a new one.
This aired out for a week and ta-da! No more smelly!
It was an exciting year for both of us since we hadn't had a Christmas close to family since we'd been married.  Happily, all of Ben's siblings & significant others were able to gather at Ben's parents' home in Ft. Madison.

Ben, Andy, me, Tescia
(Photo courtesy of Tescia)
Prior to our travel to FM, my brother-in-law, Andy, and his gf, Tescia, stopped by for a visit.  Most of our time was spent sitting around the Christmas tree telling stories and catching up.  Tescia brought the world's largest box of cookies & a case of wine, so we were set for good times. ;)

Can't take them anywhere. . .
Trip to Iowa City to show Tescia Andy's old stomping grounds.
After their departure, Ben and I had our own Christmas.  We cooked a delicious, healthy shrimp Mediterranean pasta for supper, turned on the xmas tunes, and enjoyed a glass of wine.  When we opened gifts, Grover was excited to receive new, yummy treats, Ben was excited for his $$$ to invest in an electric acoustic guitar, and I was excited to get my groove on with my new Kinnect & dance games!

This is how I presented Ben's $ for a guitar. :)
I had to work until noon on Christmas Eve, so we weren't able to get to Ben's parents' home until close to supper on Christmas Eve.  Bri was the only one home when we arrived, so we took a minute to unload our things and check out the newly remodeled basement. (It's awesome, btw).  When everyone else returned from church, we were greeted with many hugs and smiles.  We soon were indulging in appetizers and fine wine.  When everyone was hungry, we sat down to a meal of oyster stew or chicken noodle soup (whichever you prefer).  

Story time!
(Photo courtesy of Tescia)
Before the Kara and Nina went to bed on Christmas Eve, Glenda read us all The Night Before Christmas.  Kara helped Glenda to remember to show us all the pictures.  Her concern was adorable and made us all chuckle. :)

Photos from Christmas Eve:

We had matching bows!
(Photo courtesy of Tescia)
Nina watching Ben play his new guitar.
(Photo courtesy of Tescia)

Beautiful fireplace! Andy and Jon were looking for Santa!
Or lighting a fire. . . whatever.
(Photo courtesy of Tescia)

Keith, Nina & Kara
(Photo courtesy of Tescia)

Glenda & the girls.
(Photo courtesy of Tescia)
Jamie, Nina, Kara, Keith
Andy, Nina & me
(Photo courtesy of Tescia)
Andy & Tescia
(Photo courtesy of Tescia)

Nina was very curious.
I think we have a musician on our hands!
(Photo courtesy of Tescia)
Love Kara's face in this picture!
(Photo courtesy of Tescia)

The girls LOVED the train!
(Photo courtesy of Tescia)

Glenda playing a bit on Ben's guitar.
Christmas Day began with French toast casserole, then presents galore! It was fun to see Kara and Nina get excited about their presents from Santa.  Kara received play make-up and my goodness, she was in love!

Playing with the girls and their Santa gifts.
(Photo courtesy of Tescia)
After gifts and thanks were given, Ben and I headed over to my mom's house for lunch.  We arrived early enough to help her cook and get things ready for company.  I really regret that we didn't pull out a camera, or even our phones, to capture our time spent with Ma, Clif and Shane.  We enjoyed our meal, opened gifts, and then Ben and I headed back to his parents' house.

Here is what we did with the rest of our Christmas Day night:

Bill & Jon boxing

Bri, Jamie & Andy dancing to Applause

Tescia & Andy boxing
Needless to say, everyone was sore the next day. 
I look forward to many more happy holidays with our families. 

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