Christmas 2015

This Christmas we couldn’t make it back to MN (or FL) to see anyone, so we ended up having a lovely little quiet Christmas with just the two of us and the dog. We both took Christmas Eve off work and just hung out at home all day for the most part. We made a quick run to the store to get some dinner worked out. We ended up getting a turkey breast and cooking that up with some taters and green beans. It was pretty tasty.

After supper we opened presents. We ended up with a weird looking tree. It’s so tiny, but all the boxes under it were huge. People sent us things, but after a few accidents with the wrong person opening boxes, we decided to just play it safe and wrap anything we received without even opening the box. So we ended up with all the these huge boxes with a ton of packing material in them!

Tree and presents

Beauty was perhaps the most excited to be opening presents.


We couldn’t keep her waiting, so we opened up the present Jake (Nan’s dog) sent her. It was a stuffed alligator! From Florida! Where they have alligators! (It might have taken me a bit to figure that one out…) Beauty of course wanted to eat its face.

Beauty and stuffed alligator

Beauty did that while we opened the rest of the presents.

Beauty eating alligator

Beauty eating alligator

I got a lovely glow in the dark Batman mug!

Batman mug

But I don’t know who it’s from! There wasn’t anything in the box and it was direct shipped from a seller. So if you gave this to me, please let me know it was you!

I made Joni do most of the work.


Even when the present wasn’t for her! HAHAHAHAHA!

Joni with Steve

OK, so maybe there was stuff for her in the box too.

Joni with corks

Beauty didn’t care about any of this. She was busy.

Beauty eating alligator

Ben and Jaci and Irena and Hank and Winston sent us an awesome gift. See if you can guess what it is before Joni unwraps it!


That’s right! It was a huge Lego set!

Big Lego set

I was pretty excited.

Will excited

We still haven’t put it together since we’ve been doing other stuff (just keep reading to find out what), but I’ve been eyeing it. I really want to put it together. I’m going to make that happen this week before I leave for India.

The parents got me a leaf blower.

Will with leaf blower

We have a tiny yard that gets covered in pine needles from a big tree. I’ve been sweeping them off, but I figured a leaf blower would get the job done a lot better. I gave it a run yesterday and found out that it does about as good of a job but is a lot easier. And I can chase the dog/wife around with it! So big win on that.

By this point Beauty had eaten enough of the alligator and was getting bored.

Bored Beauty

She perked up when Joni opened her German pillow from my folks!

German pillow

Joni liked it too.

My sister and her kids sent us adorable little custom Coke bottles that say “Aunt Joni” and “Uncle Will”! They’re absolutely darling.

Coke Bottles

We can never drink them of course. We’ll need to find a good place to display them. Oh, and just ignore my face in that picture. Beauty decided to lick the inside of my ear at that exact moment…

I almost forgot to mention the cool wood beard comb from Kari and Jesse and kids!

Beard comb

It’s so sophisticated. And wooden. I like wood things that are sophisticated. The comb is a perfect combination!

The big gift of the evening was the stand mixer we got ourselves. Alton Brown always uses one and we’ve been doing enough where we could finally justify it. It’s pretty sweet. We’ll get back to it later.

That finished off our Christmas eve celebration and gift opening. But that was only the beginning of our holiday break! What would Christmas day bring?

Star Wars! Yes, on Christmas day we went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We saw it in 3D since that theatre offered assigned seating, which was nice since every showing is basically sold out until mid-January and I really didn’t want to fight for seats. We sure looked cool, eh?

Us in 3D Glasses

I’m just totally going to skip the part where I tell you my thoughts on the movie. That’s reserved for a future time.

Before the movie we went out to eat at an Indian buffet. They had a special Christmas buffet going on with an Indian themed turkey dinner. So they had mashed potatoes, turkey, and cranberry sauce, but it all had an Indian twist. Like, the cranberry sauce was actually cranberry chutney. It was really good. The paneer chili was especially tasty, if a little spicy.

Christmas day also started a little dog sitting. Jenn and Wouter went home for Christmas, so we’re watching their dogs for a few days. We started Christmas day and looked after them through Sunday. Our general process has been to get up in the morning, get Beauty a little exercise

Walking Beauty

then head over to Jenn and Wouter’s place to walk and feed their dogs. There might have also been a few selfies involved.

Joni selfie with Ziggy

Saturday and Sunday have been a weird mix of sitting around, visiting dogs, and baking. I decided to make some gluten free Christmas cookies (yes, after Christmas) and Joni decided to make fudge. So we’re sitting around with cookies and cream fudge, chocolate fudge, chocolate crinkle cookies, and date pinwheels! And since none of those really needed the stand mixer we just got, I decided to make a double batch of chocolate chip cookies to give it a shot. I foresee danger with the stand mixer. It makes cookies far too easily accessible…

We’ve also been working on a few little side projects we have. They deserve their own posts, so those will come later. Suffice it to say, we’ve enjoyed our few days off here. We’re not excited to get back to work tomorrow (especially since Joni is covering for her boss while he’s out of town). And we just have four work days, a day off, then I’m flying out to India for two weeks. Time to get panicking on that. It’ll be fine, but it’s a long time to be gone. Oh well. Guess we’ll just need to drown our sorrows this week in cookies, fudge, and Legos.

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