Christmas Day 2008

Better late than never – right!?

On Christmas Day, we departed Iowa in the early morning to make our 6 hour journey to Wisconsin.  I was kind of bored during the ride…

Even though the ride was boring, we were able to watch a beautiful sunrise…

The roads were a little empty on Christmas morning…

We finally made it to Wisconsin and enjoyed the day.  Yes, my jacket has special powers.  🙂

I don’t remember what we were laughing at, but it made for a good photo…

We ended the day with some live Christmas music.  It’s a long-time tradition with Shawn’s family.  🙂  🙂

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Christmas Eve 2008 – Part 2

We had a great time celebrating the holidays with our family and friends in the U.S. this year!  Enjoy a few more photos from Christmas Eve.  (I stepped on the other side of the camera for too.many.photos!!)   🙂

A future blog post will be dedicated to Mallory – so stay tuned!

I just had to share another photo of my beautiful grandma!

My grandparents have been blessed with 11 grandchildren and 10 GREAT grandchildren.  Below are 6 of the “great” ones.

It’s always fun to try and get a family photo with everyone looking in the same direction…

“Hey, look over here!!”    Ok, this one didn’t work either.  Maybe next time!   🙂

Cousins…

More cousins!!

Someone has never seen a camera before.

My “twin cousin” and I had not seen each other in over 2 years.  Do you think our smiles could get any bigger?!  (I also like the boxes growing out of Ashley’s head.)

Ashley and her sister, Stephanie…

My sister and I…

Next up:  Farewell Iowa…we’re off to Wisconsin to see Shawn’s family on Christmas Day!  Maybe I’ll get all of the holiday photos posted before spring arrives…just maybe…  🙂

Christmas Eve 2008 – Part 1

It’s always a good thing when Santa comes to visit!

My mom and her granddaughter / my niece.  (And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mom!  I think she’s turning 21 today!)

My Grandpa is 86 years young and he can still take a mean photo!

My beautiful Grandma who is also 86 years old!

I think this is only 1/4 of the food that was made…

Does anyone like butter, sugar, or chocolate?

You always feel less guilty about eating dessert when you take it, but you don’t look at it!  🙂

Still Here!

Happy New Year to everyone!  I hope to share photos from Christmas soon…but for now, enjoy this random photo I stumbled across.  It was probably taken 3 years ago at Lake Rebecca Park Reserve, one of our favorite places to run in the greater Twin Cities area.  Ahhh – the joy of summer in MN.

Back in Japan

Thank you to everyone for a fun and memorable trip to the U.S. during the Christmas holiday!  We had a great time and I will eventually post a few photos from the festivities.

We departed the U.S. on December 31 and landed in Japan on January 1.  We didn’t sleep too much on the flight, so it seemed incredibly long.  I still find it odd that we were in transit for most of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day…maybe we’ll have to have to designate our own day to celebrate the beginning of 2009 on the ground!

Our suitcases have been unpacked and the laundry is complete.  (I cheated and did laundry before we left the U.S.  I forgot how quickly you can do laundry in a full-size washer and dryer!)  Several of my clothes smell like the Italian Seasoning I brought back from Graziano Bros, so maybe I should have reconsidered doing laundry before we departed!  🙂

The 40+ degree temperatures in Tokyo feel like a heat wave.  We were not disappointed to leave the -20 degree (F) weather behind!

We hope your 2009 is off to a good start!