Home For The Holidays 2015

The holiday season sneaks up on us here in the Caribbean, as we live in the land of eternal summer. After a fan-freaking-tastic friendsgiving celebration with our island squad in an east-end villa, I was looking forward to heading home to Iowa for Christmas. We made a quick detour to St. Croix for boat parade, but the next day I flew home!

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Friends around the table for Friendsgiving!

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It’s easy to be thankful for this view.

I got to spend a few days in my hometown with my parents before Dan flew home and joined us. My mom cooks all my favorite foods and holiday treats and I get to be spoiled for a few days while tucked under lots of clothing and blankets to stay warm when I’m home in the winter. Marley got to fly home with me and then stayed with my parents for the whole visit. When Dan flew home, we headed to Sioux City to spend a few days with his family. We got to make pierogi, enjoy time with our nephews and it was even warm enough for me to do a little trail walking.

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Christmas time is here.

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Christmas wish: peace.

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Making pierogi!

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Christmas means lots of opportunities for holiday yoga Instagram action. In socks.

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I dubbed my nephew Owen my “little heater” and I loved holding him to stay warm! Ok and because he’s so cute 🙂

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Winter’s walk.

Next, we headed to Dan’s mom’s house for some more Christmasing! It’s always a really relaxing time with family and I spent a lot of time in front of the fireplace. I even got to sneak away to take a yoga class! Dan’s grandfather (Papa) painted a lovely piece for us which we’ll treasure forever.

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Dan and Papa with the beautiful painting he created and gave us for Christmas.

After that we headed back to my family’s house on Christmas Eve for the actual holidays and yet another Christmas celebration.

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A bow tie-clad Marley says “Merry Christmas!”

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Stockings are kind of a big deal at my house. #SorryNotSorry

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Dan finally has a shirt to wear on Drake game days!

We had a wonderful time with all of our family, and it’s always good to go home for the holidays. Dan had to fly back to St. Thomas a few days before me to finish out the year at work. We were able to save some serious cash by having me fly out a few days later, so I got to enjoy a few more days with my parents. Luckily, Dan got out just ahead of a major winter storm that kept us inside most of the next day. It was a wild night (not).

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I couldn’t not snap a picture of my actual letters with this.

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My Dad was born on January 1st, but I got to celebrate a little early with him.

After spending more than two weeks in the cold Midwest, returning to the Caribbean was bittersweet. I love my family and am always sad to leave, but was so ready to be greeted by the sun and sea. We spent New Year’s Eve (or Old Year’s Night as much of the island calls it) at Hull Bay Hideaway, the beach bar by our house. We enjoyed food with friends, enjoyed some bubbly and danced with our toes in the sand to a great band! It’s hard to believe that our island journey will end in 2016. I’m making a resolution to make the most of every moment we have left! I made this little photo compilation of what an amazing 2015 we had.

Happy New Year to you and yours. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll do what you want later in life. Don’t be fooled into think you have time. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to settle where you are. Take a risk, look for the lesson in everything, and savor every little bit of the life you’ve been given!

 

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