Jan 2, 2009

go get a cup of hot cocoa. this could take a while.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

We've been on the road for the past couple of weeks visiting family, celebrating seven Christmases, sleeping in, and eating waaaaaaay too much. But we're back in Texas now and no longer have to deal with any of this...

Ah, snow...we were definitely welcomed by father winter. A frigid -30 degrees to be exact. So, that's 100 degrees different than when we left Corpus. The dogs were less than pleased.

Fortunately we got to see all of our family (and we miss you all!). And since I have a billion photos from the trip I think I'll keep the writing to a minimum and let the captions do the explaining. Just want to say a quick congratulations to Natalie and Jack on the almost Christmas birth of their second son, Brody. Yay! Hope y'all are getting some rest. :)

We had a few days in town before Christmas Day so we used that time to catch up with old friends who were also in town. And to eat plenty of my mom's famous sugar cookies...

These are the cookies. Look how cute the little Santas are!

Izzy and Bean's stocking at "gma and gpa's house"

Our stockings. Made with love by mom. :)

Bean with Gpa.

Izzy with one of her Christmas presents. A frisbee! Woo!

Nate and I at Hy-vee with the poster we designed.

Gma and Mom filling up their grocery bag for the food bank.

All of us with our food bank groceries. Dad perfectly framed back there...

Yay for Target Christmas shopping. Got some new socks and such.

Ah, old friends at Es Tas. Mark, Nate, and I.

Gude and me. By the way...any of these totally crappy quality pics are taken with my phone. So, sorry about that.

Jake. Pretty much explains itself.

My favorite pizza in the WORLD. Check out all that cheese. Mmmm.

And then it was Christmas...

And Santa came to my parent's house.

Christmas morning with the fam...in my pjs of course.

My brother with his annual guinness book of world records.

Me and Nate with our stockings and presents from Santa. He's totally real.

Best picture of my Papa ever. Wearing the crappy white elephant gifts Nate and I brought.

So after we stopped crying from laughing so hard, we headed to Gretna...

Dad and Gma Drapal with their old stockings I think.

Aunt Terri and Cousin Amanda. :)

Another classic from my little bro.

The Drapal Family. :)

and then we headed up to Sioux City...for the Irwin Christmas...

Nate and his Mama.

Me messing around with Nate's new flash. This is him and his dad Byron. :)

Nate with his uncle Tim figuring out their new camera.

Nate, Jamie, Erin and me with Gma Jo and her delicious homemade irish cream.

Jamie and Erin doing a bang up job straitening out Gma Jo's painting. Nice.

The grandkids (Irwin)...and Chico the Chihuahua. 

Chico. A very manly 3 pounds. :)

And then the Dass Christmas...

The Family. :)

Stepmomster, Machelle and brother "Moose" with our nephew, Parker.

No joke. It was this cold outside.

Nate playing darts during our annual night at the Huddle in South Sioux.

Yeah for cousin Brett...who apparently ended up beating me after all.

And who also happens to be dating my good friend, Ashley.

I was terrible.

The girls. Me, Machelle, and Lisa.

Nate and his dad Ken.

We traveled up to Sibley to see the rest of the Dass family. I got these awesome earrings and a fake rat as part of the gag gift tradition this year.

Gpa Dass and little Tallen. :) Super blurry...dang phone camera.

Nate and Gma Dass.

Uncle Pete with the pillow he was lovingly gifted. Awesome.

And after heading to Moville for the Rippke Christmas, driving some more, and catching back up on some rest, it was New Year's week...

By the way, if you haven't been to rural Iowa in the winter...here ya go.

Yay for windmills!

Nate and Kevin before midnight. I believe my dad's word were "you guys are pretty gay." I'm sure he meant it in the best possible way...

Kevin loves me.

Me and my bro boy.

Unsure what's going on here...

My brother as a winter tire.

The boys drinking some Iowa whiskey to ring in the new year.

Me, my mom, and my Gma Jones.

My mom makes the best Monkey Bread. 

And we went out to the cabin on new years day.

my dad's wall of death.

Em, Curtis, and Nate opening gifts from "the land Santa."

Nate in the kitchen.

The other view of the kitchen.

Our stockings at the land.

Mom telling us who's are who's.


Grace looking awesome with the rhino.

The most hillbilly picture I've ever been a part of.

I don't remember what he did, but he totally deserved this.

Mom and the kids.

Papa and his ornament for "the land" tree.

The whole family. :) Miss you guys!

And a pretty sunset in the backyard the night before we headed back to Texas. See ya next year Iowa!

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