In true Wesley fashion, we made a whirlwind trip to the Cities for three Christmas celebrations in two days. We ignored the ongoing ice and snowstorm as we traveled continually from Wednesday through Saturday.
We had a lovely time. It all went too quickly, as usual.
Lola, especially, had a wonderful time playing with everyone. I love that now she is older, she is remembering people much better and is more comfortable around her extended family.
Christmas No. 1: the Wesleys' place in Maple Grove.
The actual Wesley Christmas celebration began the evening of Christmas Eve, but Ray, I and Lola played late Wednesday night and Thursday morning with Grandma and Grandpa.
One of the very first things Lola runs to get in her grandparents' house are two books from (my) Ray's childhood: one is about a duck and one is about a dragon, which we refer to as a gecko. (Lola doesn't know squat about dragons or what they are - but she loves her geckos. So we go with that.)
People came over for food and fun that night. There, of course, were presents - but Lola was more interested then in the people.
I love the following picture; she is such a flirt!
And she got some hugs in with two of her aunts.
Unfortunately, Lola had too much fun and tired herself out before it was time to open gifts. But, she had a ton of fun playing with her cousins and running circles around the house while chasing after Ori, the cat.
Christmas No. 2: downtown Minneapolis.
The afternoon of Christmas Eve, Lola and I went downtown Minneapolis to visit with my Grandma Jacquie and other relatives. Our trips to the Cities are often whirlwind adventures and we can't ever seem to fit in enough time to see everyone we would like. So it was, especially, nice for me to see Grandma and the rest of the Evans crew.
We all gathered in a party room at my grandma's nursing home.
Lola was a bit skittish at first, but she warmed up, particularly to Jozie (at right in following picture).
Grandpa Dave was successful at trying to get Lola to eat some chili, which was relatively shocking. Lola is a vegetarian baby - she doesn't want anything to do with meat. So it was surprising that she took to chili so well ... until Grandpa said she wasn't eating the meat as much as the beans!
Christmas No. 3: my parent's place in Mahtomedi.
Our final Christmas of the Cities' trip was at my parents' place, where the chaos was evident! With five grandkids now, it was blur of activity with a 3-almost-4-year-old, three toddlers, and a 6-month-old.
OK, well the baby was (quite happily) eating dinner at the time that picture was taken.
Lola figured out, at some point, the joy of opening gifts. She was so excited! (The second picture that follows is a touch blurry - but you can see her dancing with excitement.)
It was a very memorable time.
We left the Cities Saturday (oops) and relaxed for the six-hour drive back to Bemidji. In retrospect, we probably should have just stayed put and waited for some of the ice to melt from the roadways. But we didn't really know if the roads would improve much by Sunday. So we stuck it out.
Luckily, Lola was quite comfortable in her car seat playing with her Christmas toys.
We came back to Bemidji cursing winter the entire way. Until we actually reached the Northwoods. And the winter landscaping took our breath away. It was gorgeous.
Christmas No. 4: ours up in Bemidji.
Not too much to say about this one. We just relaxed all day Sunday and opened gifts as we wanted. We didn't clean - and, for the most part, I left the camera on the table. I wanted to watch Lola open gifts.
But, of course, I did take a few shots later, as she played:
We had our final Christmas celebration Tuesday, as my dad came to Bemidji. But I didn't take pictures. We had a lot of fun, playing with Lola and, later, palying two games of Scrabble.
Ray and I now are hosting our friends for an extended poker weekend. Well, it used to be poker. Now it will probably be a combination of Wii and 500.
See you next time!
- Bethany :)