Monday, January 2, 2012

A Peterson Christmas

We got back from South Dakota a few days ago, and our time with Brett's family was awesome.  We arrived at my in-laws' place around seven in the evening on Christmas day.  The family had put the festivities on hold until we arrived.  We had Christmas dinner together and then had the Peterson Christmas present opening spectacular.  This is only the second year I've been a part of the gift giving around the Peterson Christmas tree, but I'm convinced it's like no other.  There are always presents piled to about half-way up the tree.  We each take turns giving and opening presents.  It's very methodical and structured.  I. Love. It.

We ended the evening by watching home videos of Christmas 1988 and 1989.  I don't know what makes home videos so funny, but they just are.  I was rolling with laughter as I watched the one-year-old version of the baby who grew up to be my husband.

The next day I got to have lunch with my dear friend and office mate from USD.  Kailee--along with Brett--is one of the sole reasons I kept my sanity during graduate school.  It was so great to see her and catch up and hear about what's going on in the third floor of Dakota Hall, the home of the math department.

Our visits from USD friends continued the next day when we got to have dinner with another dear friend, Nathaniel.  In addition to being a math student, Nathaniel was the only guy besides Brett that went to our grad student Bible study in Vermillion.  So, the two boys share a special bond as they've endured hours and hours of girls talking, laughing, and flirting conspicuously with the single one.  Nathaniel would always come over for Friday night pizza as well when we lived in SD.  We miss getting to spend Friday nights with him and watching all kinds of movies from Nacho Libre to Ben Hur.

Another highlight was getting to go wedding dress shopping with my newly engaged sister-in-law, Rachel!  She found a beautiful dress, and I know she's going to make a stunning bride.  We're so excited to welcome her fiance, Joe, to the family and are looking forward to the ceremony in June.

Rachel's Christmas gift to her siblings and their spouses was a night of ice skating and hot chocolate; so our last evening in Sioux Falls, we all went to the indoor skating rink and attempted to skate.  I don't know who thought of the unnatural idea of gliding on ice with a thin blade attached to a shoe, but somehow it's just as fun as I remember it being when I was a kid.  It was a great way to end our Christmas journey.

For now, we're home again.  We had a great time traveling all over this Christmas season, and I'm so glad we got to see so many friends and family.  And as the Swedes say, Borta bra, men hemma best--"Away is good, but home is best."

Sheri hand-made all of these stockings!

"We look so South Dakotan!" -Brett

The future Mr. and Mrs. Pope

Once we got home, we finally got to see the lights at Rhema.

Gotta pose in the circles.  It's tradition.

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