Ah…its been a busy busy month. Its not over…its not even Christmas yet, but I’m pooped!

December kicked off with an early surprise birthday party for John. My mom came and watched Afton for the day so the two of us could go on a date for the whole day. What a luxury that was! We were so grateful. It was just like old times- him planning a variety of romantic outings that I knew nothing about and culminating in his birthday surprise that he knew nothing about. I had started planning for this in early November and had to somehow convince him that we had to meet friends at the Minneapolis Bucca di Beppo for dessert at 8pm. As we rode the sleigh around the village of Afton freezing our tails off, he asked if we could just go to Bucca’s early. Knowing that would not do, I had to think fast so I faked a case of sudden onset diarrhea. Some would say this is overboard. I disagree. I set out to make the party a surprise and I was determined to keep it that way. So as I sat in the bathroom catching up with my grandma and a few other long distance folks for 20 minutes killing time, I told myself it was worth it.

It most certainly was. The poor guy didn’t have his glasses on so when we met our friend Jason at Bucca’s and he walked us to the table where only Katelyn was supposed to be, the whole section of the restaurant shouted “SURPRISE!” and John didn’t even know they were talking to him until he got closer and began recognizing faces and saw the sign. 🙂 Mission accomplished. 27th golden birthday party that he’s been waiting for since second grade? Check.

The next round of events were christmas parties, picking up loved ones from the airport, catching up with friends staying the night on their way up north from Iowa, our own little family Christmas, and as of tomorrow, heading to Webster, WI to spend Christmas week with the Anderson family and next week New Year’s with the Buselmeiers. Afton has gotten through 2 of her 4 christmas dresses. She wore the green one last Sunday for church and 2 Christmas parties and she wore a lovely red one that her daddy picked out today.

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I have seriously considered dressing her up just for fun sometimes. She is just a little doll.

Below are some photos of our time with friends, Ryan and Nadine who passed through on their way to Grand Rapids, MN and their daughters Kennedy and new adorable sweet Georgia who I could have snuggled all night. Nadine snuggled Afton all night after she was born when she and Kennedy came to stay with me. She prayed that she would be the baby whisperer and she certainly was. It was one of the first full nights of sleep I had gotten since coming home from the hospital. I was so thankful! 102_5913







On Saturday morning we opened our stockings as a family and on saturday evening we read the christmas story (pictured) ate yummy snacks and opened gifts. Afton got into gift opening a lot more than we had expected her to. She played with everything she opened, including clothing items, until we replaced it with another gift. Here’s her getting into the presents a day early. Little stinker.




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