We were planning to host my whole immediate family for 4-5 days around New Year’s (giving everyone a chance to see our new place) but the day my family was supposed to make the trek from Rochester to Brainerd, my mom ended up going to the ER for some health issues (which I won’t go into here). She ended up staying there the whole day, so even though Travis and I were a little disappointed, we decided that it would be better to pack up our stuff and head to Rochester instead of having our family come up to us. It was a little tricky fitting everything in our car, since we had bought a ton of food at Costco the day before! We made it work – but only after jumpstarting our car for the 2nd time in a week (apparently we might need a new battery.)
We left Brainerd around 9 am on New Year’s Day and made it Rochester a little before 1 pm. Emma had lots of fun playing with her cousin Jensen.
We had our big family celebration that day, since it was the only day we would all be together (stupid work schedules). Before dinner, we took group photos. Usually, we put it off and then totally forget about it!
After dinner, we opened presents. The past 4-5 years or so, we have drawn names and then when we’re opening the presents, we guess who the present is from. This year, people guessed about 80% accurately! Travis got YakTrax and I got a serving dish from Crate&Barrel, dish towels and a book. Emma got an easel/desk and shopping cart from G&G, a cute sweatshirt from Brian and Jill, an awesome lumberjack hat from Chris and Meg, and a Melissa & Doug doll and book from Jeremy and Jen. She is spoiled for sure!
We bought my nephew Jensen some cap guns complete with sheriff badge and holster for Christmas. I’m not sure who enjoyed them more – Jensen or Travis and Jeremy!
The next day (Friday), it was just us, my parents and Jeremy, Jen and Jensen so we decided to do something fun for the kiddos. We checked out the Children’s Museum of Rochester for the first time and were very pleasantly surprised! Jensen and Emma had a great time. The whole place was Clifford-themed, but apparently they switch out the exhibits every 4 months. We will definitely be back!
Unfortunately, that night we discovered that Emma was running a pretty high fever. Looking back on it now, I can tell that she had probably started feeling out of sorts Thursday night because even Friday morning, she wasn’t herself. She woke up a couple of times that night, and since we didn’t want to make anyone else sick, Travis and I decided to drive back up to Brainerd a day early.
So late Saturday afternoon, we hit the road again. Even though it was a bummer to leave early and miss out on Jensen’s 3rd birthday party the next day, I’m ultimately glad we did because that night was a doozy! Emma developed a really bad cough and (now we know) an ear infection (her first!), so she was pretty miserable. It was nice having our big, comfy recliner to rock her in, since we were doing that for many hours that night. Now almost a week later, Emma is finally getting back to her normal self. We’re pretty sure she got the flu (influenza) because she has been tired and clingy for days, which is very unlike her.
All in all, our New Year’s plans didn’t quite turn out how we had planned but it was nice seeing everyone for the time we could anyway.