4 min read

Christmas 2023, part 2

I wrote about the first round of our Christmas celebrations, and then, for the second round a couple weeks ago, my parents and brother, Matt, drove down to visit and celebrate a belated Christmas together.

It was their first time visiting us in our new home, and Cooper had a lot of fun showing them all around, detailing the spaces, and certainly wanting to explore everything with flashlights with Uncle Matt.

On Saturday, we had chicken tacos that I made in the crockpot, and then we spent some time catching up. Sunday morning, I stayed home with my brother and the little boys, who were getting over colds. My brother showed Cooper pictures of redwood trees (really big trees for Cooper!) and I baked sourdough biscuits and bread that I prepped the day before.

We exchanged gifts and we received so many thoughtful things. A quilted runner my mom made for me, some cozy pajamas and tops, honey from Northern Minnesota, an adorable small basket that was my Grandma Donna's, Bombas socks, beautiful yarn, and 1000 Hours Outside. My brother gifted some fun flash and globe lights for the boys, along with some of his beautiful landscape photography prints, that we need to find a home for on our walls.

My parents gave Finn a battery-operated Brio train engine, because trains are a big deal for these little boys. Finn and Cooper also received a little pillow and quilt my mom sewed for a little lamb that they gave Finn, or for any other beloved stuffed animals. They absolutely love setting up little cozy beds for bear or puppy (we aren't much for creative stuffed animal names, are we)? My parents gave Cooper the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game, which we have really enjoyed! And both boys received several beautiful picture books and their own little flannel shirts (like their daddy wears).

Nicholas had to work on Monday, so the rest of us spent time together. We visited the farm store with my mom for our raw milk pickup. And then we went on a little hike around a local county park that is a recent discovery for us. Looking at a historical sawmill and sugar shack, and larger mill. I loved seeing my dad explain how the sawmill worked, and how Cooper is just a little sponge when it comes to how things work.

Apart from those larger to-do's, these were some of my other favorite things about this visit:

  • hearing about my dad's college experience and the summer that my Grandpa Bob (his dad), rented a sawmill to mill lumber to build their garage. And hearing more stories from my dad's childhood.
  • snacking on sourdough cardamom bread and sourdough biscuits and drinking coffee and homemade chai
  • watching a little Simple Living Alaska on YouTube, in particular, a video about snow mobiles and ice fishing
  • Sitting with my parents while all three of us read, and talking about my mom's recently finished book list (she always has great recommendations)
  • Lots of reading picture books to little boys
  • Lots of playing trains with little boys
  • Seeing Finn eager to wipe the kitchen table down in his spot
  • Going for a walk around our yard, my mom mentioning which species of trees we have in our wooded section of the property, and my brother and Cooper playing with snowballs
  • We had beautiful, fresh snow on all the trees outside our windows, a view that is one of my favorite things.

It was a very sweet few days spent together! I am so glad for visits like this. We love you guys, Mom, Dad, and Matt!


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