Wednesday, January 22, 2014

First Christmas

Here's a photo journal of our Christmas break and first Christmas together! 

The day after Curtis' last final, we flew back home to Iowa to spend a couple weeks with our families. Iowa welcomed us with an ice storm that day, and then a snow storm the next - a cruel transition from the beautiful Arizona weather! We told all our relatives that we'd gladly host Christmas at our apartment next year. ;)

The day after our flight, we traveled with my family to celebrate Christmas with my mom's side. (December 21-23)
 Us with my siblings and cousins!

We spent 3 days there, then came back to our hometown and celebrated Christmas with Curtis' family. (12/23) On Christmas Eve, we spent the day with my dad's side of the family, and went to a Christmas Eve service with them to hear my Uncle preach. That night we celebrated with my family. On Christmas day, we drove with Curtis' family to Michigan. We started on the West side, with Curtis' dad's family. We were welcomed with 2 feet of snow, and more coming every day! We spent several days there, then traveled to the East side of Michigan, first celebrating with relatives from Curtis' mom's side, then going to her parent's house. (And that's how we celebrated Christmas in 7 different homes, in 7 different cities, all in 1 week!)

Our first Christmas together - pictures taken by Julie Jorgensen

 Letterboxing and visiting different sites around Port Huron, MI
 Another storm rolling in over the lake!

After all the celebrations were over, we came home and had a very quiet and relaxing New Year's. And when I say quiet, I mean we didn't do anything to the equivalent of last year or the year before. ;)
That weekend, my sister had a basketball tournament in Quincy, IL, and we joined my family on this weekend adventure!

 Crossing over a frozen Mississippi River, from Hannibal, MO to Illinois!

 My sis in action ;)

 The sunrise in Hannibal, taken from our hotel Saturday morning!

 My dad is very fascinated by our letterboxing hobby and was more than willing to take us to a letterbox nearby in Quincy. Here we are in front of the Quincy Museum!

 Every one of these was different!

 My sister shooting a free throw at her last game :)

We returned back to my parent's house that Saturday, and had 4 more days in Cedar Rapids. We enjoyed spending time with family, catching up with friends, and visiting the new location of Trekkers Bible Study. The weather, however, took a big downhill spiral. The lowest it got down to was -50 windchill during one night. Here I took a picture of the thermometer while we were driving as proof...

 …yet that didn't keep us from letterboxing! We had a lovely drive around Linn County the day before leaving, after surprising our sisters at school over lunch.

 I am not at all comparing this Iowan landscape with one I would see in Arizona… ;)

 This was taken at a rest stop on our last day - we tried to get a letterbox but it was frozen underground! Oh well, hopefully it'll still be there and thawed next time we come back. ;)

We returned home to Arizona after 19 days in Iowa, and the temperature jumped 90 degrees in the right direction! It's great to be back, but we're very thankful for the time we got to spend with family.

 Ending with these lovely pictures from our drive home - seriously, living in Arizona in January is always a great idea!

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