whoopty-doop and hickory dock


We never got a tree this year. It just never happened. I was very on top of presents and planning, but decorating, for me, should happen when you feel like it. There was never a particular day when we felt a wave of holiday spirit, so we skipped the whole journeying out to get a tree and then decorating it thing. Luckily, some elves got involved Christmas Eve after we were all asleep, so we woke up to a truly magical Christmas morning.

The world around me was also great at providing plenty of spirit to keep my family smiling through mid-December. This wonderful woman created gingerbread from scratch, and cut into shapes to make beautiful houses.


Her main priority when looking for recipes? Taste! It was sooooo delicious.


Our combined collections of sprinkles and decorating goodies was quite extensive, so our boys were really able to go to town


Six different people, six different styles. As it should be!


Laura told me about a crazy Christmas display at Lawless Distillery, so we went to go enjoy the lights and some crazy Christmas cocktails.


They were not my altogether my favorite drinks, but the festivity of the place, the bartenders and the drink containers more than made up for that. Check it out!


Our first family gathering this year was my parents’ house.


We aren’t able to be at the greater Sikkink gathering this year, so Grandma Betty sent our gift over early.

The Zoo!


So some of these photos are ones sent from my parents’ phones. I was not consistent, apparently, about the size I sent…so when you see a super crisp photo or a super tiny photo…that’s why.


The next gathering was with the Petersmas in Pella.


I loved getting to play with Bobbi’s little guy! He’s such a sweetie


Grandpa Mel got his very own Ted. He says he loves him, but hasn’t quite developed a taste for the ears yet.


The pool table in the basement got a lot of use. Henry loves playing and watching


Charlie was pretty busy putting together a rover


By this point in the evening, multiple families had had to leave due to a stomach bug. Least merry timing ever!

So the rest of us decorated cookies and hoped for the best.



The next morning, Christmas Eve, Charlie had enough time to put together his Lego set, and then we had to hit the road. It was way too short of a visit!


We had an easy drive back, though, and a lovely time with the greater Novak clan that night. The boys especially enjoyed their fun basement.


Christmas morning was about as perfect as they come. The boys came downstairs repeatedly to admire the elves’ work, and would then run back up to report to the other one. Everyone was so happy, we had great music, and we all were able to just bask in the glow of the morning.

In the afternoon, we had our final two gatherings, both in the same place, the Novaks’.

Charlie probably would have snuggled in his sleeping bag all day.


Henry can now be the caped avenger, SUPER HENRY!!!


Derek facilitated craft time while the darn adults took way too long opening in the other room.


Unfortunately, I spent the rest of the day debilitated by sickness.
Merry Christmas, eh?!

But now it’s over.
We’ve had full days, and I’m so grateful for them.
Now we can have some days of “nothing.” Yay!

Next week I turn 32, and I plan to be very well rested by then.


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