Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas this year was pretty low key. Our Christmas Eve was filled with tasty food. We had banana pancakes for breakfast and made a turkey breast, mashed sweet potatoes and asparagus for dinner. On Christmas Day we went to my parents' house for Christmas with my mom's family. Then on December 28th we celebrated with my immediate family in the morning and then my dad's family in the afternoon.

Christmas 2013

Mom and Ben

Patrick's gift

Ben and his remote control car

Christmas 2013

Mom & Dad

Mom, Dad & Ben

Earle, Dianne, Sara, Patrick, Nathan, Nickie, Ben & Luke

Mike & Elim

The Whole Traxler Family

The Ben's

Jeanne & Elim

Christmas 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Camper Cabin at Lake Maria State Park

Last weekend we tried out a new adventure. We had been to Lake Maria State Park a couple years ago and saw they had these camper cabins. We thought it would be fun to stay at one of those in the winter. Patrick checked into it and they are very popular and this was the only weekend that was open until March, so we booked it. Up until a week before hand we thought we would be hiking in without snow, but lucky for us a huge storm came in just days before our trip. That also meant a cold front came through after the snow as well, so we were forced to bundle up as temperatures were below zero.

I was not looking forward to hiking in negative temperatures, but it really wasn't bad at all. We got to the cabin and the wood burning stove still had embers in it so we had the cabin warmed up in no time. We didn't have much time until the sunset so we got all our stuff organized before everything went dark. The cabin doesn't have electricity, so we had to use our headlamps to see the rest of the night. The rest of the night we made dinner and played a game of checkers. It really is nice to get away and just enjoy life versus constantly focusing on your never ending to do list.

In the morning we woke up, made some oatmeal and then bundled up for some snowshoeing around the park. We spent a couple hours snowshoeing around the park. It was still pretty cold, but it was lightly snowing and no one else was crazy enough to be out there so it was pretty cool to have the park to ourselves.

snow shoes

Lake Maria State Park Camper Cabin

Patrick Backpacking to Cabin

Lake Maria State Park Camper Cabin-002

Cabin Scenary

Lake Maria State Park Camper Cabin-005

Lake Maria State Park Camper Cabin-006

Cabin Inside

Candle Light Dinner and Games


Lake Maria State Park Camper Cabin-001

Patrick and Sara at Cabin

Lake Maria State Park Camper Cabin-003

Snowy Snowshoeing Scenary

Lake Maria State Park Camper Cabin-004

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend

This year for Thanksgiving we headed to La Crosse to spend Thanksgiving with Patrick's family. We drove down on Wednesday night after work. We stopped for dinner at a new sub place by our house and traffic was kind of annoying so we didn't end up getting there until around 8pm. That night Patrick went out to a bar from our college days for 25 cent wings and dollar beers.

Thanksgiving morning we were up bright and early for the Turkey Trot. We hadn't pre registered so we got there around 7am for the 8am run. We ended up running into Erin a girl that we both worked with in college. All three of us ran the entire 5 miles together and made pretty good time. We finished in 48 minutes and 28 seconds. I wasn't really feeling it at the end, but Patrick motivated me to keep going:).

2013 La Crosse Turkey Trot

After our five mile run we went back to Steve and Sandy's to shower and hang out with Steve's family for a while. Then we were off to Georgia and Rich's for Patrick's family Thanksgiving. We spent the day there eating a tasty meal, watching football and just hanging out.

The next morning we were able to visit our friends Chris and Sammi who recently moved from the cities to the La Crosse area. We saw their new house and all the home projects they have planned. And to cap off our trip we headed to Etrick to take some photos of my friend Katie's one year old girl.

And if that weren't enough on the way home we stopped in Red Wing and checked out their little town Christmas festivities. It was a really neat little event. One of the churches had a live nativity scene, there were sleigh rides with real reindeer and the main event was a parade. We didn't watch the parade, but we did check out quite a few little shops and even bought a couple things. It was a great way to kick off the Christmas season.

We planned on getting our Christmas tree on Saturday, but after being gone for a couple days it ended up being much nicer just relax. On Sunday morning we went to Lowe's and got our tree. This year we got a short tree and it was only $23. Our living space is so small it really is just nicer to have a small tree so that works out well since they are so much cheaper and require less decorating than the taller trees. The tree is pretty similar to last year, except I was very excited to find my red wooden garland from last year's after Christmas sales in our box of Christmas decor. We also added our 2013 ornament to the tree, a grizzly bear eating huckleberries from our trip to Glacier this year.

Christmas Decor 2013

Christmas Decor 2013

Christmas Decor 2013-002