I had been very excited to get back to Minnesota and South Dakota over the extended break and see all the old familiar faces and places that were left behind with the move this summer. In some ways, ten days felt like too long of a trip, but in other ways there still wasn’t enough time to catch up with everyone we wanted or planned to see. 

Lauren’s sister Kate and brother-in-law Tim were very generous in lending us a room to sleep and car to drive during our stay for the bulk of the trip. We celebrated Christmas Eve with Lauren’s family, and I tagged along with Tim and Kate to Oakdale for Tim’s family Christmas on Christmas Day. We ventured to Carpenter Wednesday through Friday for the Glanzer holiday celebration with a record 17 people in attendance.

The theme of the trip was certainly babies and kids. I met babies Annika, Colton, and Leah on the trip, while older nieces Peyton and Emerson battled furiously against each other for my attention while in South Dakota. I attempted to divide my time evenly, but Emmy won out in the end with her persistence. 

We got to see many friends–Jaime and Christian, Walsh and Sarah, Feeney, Liz and Curt, Jason and Patrick, to name a few. I visited my former co-workers at Microboards and my former dentist who installed a crown. I even caught up with animal friends Eli, Rufus, Fatsy Cline, Buster, Duane, El Gato, Roscoe, and Bobby. 

I received some super Christmas gifts–money, books, liquor, and gift cards, to name a few, and also gave out lots of awesome Callaway and Texas Longhorns gifts.

Overall, a good time seeing everyone and at the same time very refreshing to be away from the office for almost two whole weeks. I’ll probably post some photos to Facebook soon… in the mean time there’s always my Tumblr photo blog. Speaking of which, I successfully completed my goal of posting a new photo every day in 2011 and plan to continue this year. It was much easier than anticipated.