Erik, Juliet and I spent Christmas in North Dakota.  It is 6 and a half hour away and I was a bit nervous to make the drive with Juliet, but she did great.  This was her second trip to North Dakota, the first time she was 14 weeks and slept the entire way.  This time, we left during her bedtime and she slept most of the way.  When she was awake, we read books, sang songs and had snacks.

We can pretty much always guarantee a few things in North Dakota.  Really good, comfort food.  Cold, cold weather.  Lots of relaxing.  Good family time.

This trip was no exception.  We spent 4 days lounging in Erik’s mom’s sunroom, eating, drinking and also some hot tub time (Juliet too!  We turned the temperature down and she “swam”, she LOVED it!)
We drink a lot of tomato beer in North Dakota.  It’s any beer mixed with Clamato juice, plus olives.  I used to think it was weird, but now I’m hooked.

I also asked Erik’s mom to make wassail tea, it’s sweet and reminds me of Christmas.  I love it. We always have big breakfasts in North Dakota.  Eggs, waffles or pancakes, potatoes and frying sausage (a combo of pork and beef, Erik could eat this every day). Juliet ate a ton in North Dakota.  She is crawling everywhere and builds up an appetite.  She likes grandma’s cooking, too.  Karen (Erik’s mom) always has a ton of appetizers before we eat Christmas dinner. Spinach, artichoke chicken crostini, yum.Tortilla roll-ups.

The traditional Christmas Eve dinner at Erik’s mom’s house includes lobster tails and prime rib. While we were there we also had chicken and dumplings and lasagna.  So much good food.  I guarantee I gained 5 pounds.
Juliet had adorable holiday outfits to wear thanks to her Aunt Chris. Grandma can make Juliet laugh and laugh and laugh.   Plenty of desserts including homemade vanilla ice cream.Juliet had a blast opening lots of gifts.  She was very spoiled by grandma with toys, clothes and more toys.  I just loved the little santa jammies she wore and how happy she was with all the wrapping paper and bows.

We still have our tree up and I am a little sad to think about putting all the Christmas decorations away.  The holidays always come and go so fast and we love the family time.

2012 was an amazing year.  Looking forward to a great 2013!

Happy New Year!