charleston: arthur and christmas

January 14, 2015

Because I am a very non-professional photographer, I forgot to pack the camera charger for our trip to Illinois. After one night at the friends Christmas party and a day in Arthur, Illinois (Amish country!), our camera was dead for the rest of the trip. So it really is sad how few pictures we have from this Christmas. Woops. 

So here are a few pictures from Arthur, a couple really high quality phone pictures I stole from instagram, and some extra words about our week in my hometown.

First of all, we had eight adults and two kids (and a dog) in town (in one house) that week. So my parents decided to rent a twelve seater van to get us all around. Perfect! I seriously have to include how impressed I was with my dad driving that huge thing around all week. The street we live on is lined with ditches, and he never landed the van in any. He also navigated it through busy Chicago traffic! But we'll talk about that later.

We missed our mom one day when she still had to work and the rest of us took off to Arthur. Arthur is a tiny town home to a pretty traditional Amish community. They have a store with homemade groceries you'd drool over. I know we walked away this time with a pan of sticky rolls, tons of jams, yogurt covered pretzels, and I think some homemade noodles. We also spent some time in a really neat antique store where the only thing Stefan and I really wanted - a Dutch Root Beer sign - was over two hundred dollars. 

And of course lunch at Yoder's! I don't really know why I say "of course." I think I had only been there one other time, but it is really good food. It also provides a nice parking lot corner perfect for post-meal family van photoshoots.

I guess this picture is the only proof we did actually celebrate on Christmas morning! We had fun opening gifts together, eating ebelskivers for breakfast (complete with lots of jams from Arthur), finishing a puzzle in record time, napping, talking, and more eating. Mostly sugar. The rest of the week was spent watching football games and Christmas movies, decorating cookies, delivering cookies via the big van, eating at McHugh's twice, going to church in Mattoon for the first time in a long time, coloring with our niece and trying to win over our nephew. Our niece and nephew both love puppies. I don't know how many little stuffed animal puppies we had in that house by the end of the week - especially after more were opened on Christmas - but it also didn't hurt that Molly and Austin brought their dog on the trip!

One night we also took ourselves on a little sibling date! El Rancherito and Unbroken. I loved both! The couple who took this awesome picture for us couldn't believe three of us were siblings - he said he never could have guessed which three were related! I don't really blame him, though.

We had so much fun being in Charleston for Christmas! I think that may have only been the second time in my whole life we celebrated Christmas at home instead of Utah. And this was definitely the only time we have celebrated in this house! My parents were of course awesome hosts, and it was fun having so many of us together. I would post about all our awesome Christmas gifts, but then you would all secretly think we're spoiled. So thank you to everyone who was a part of our Christmas in Charleston somehow - even if it was just running into each other at Walmart! Because I actually was really excited to see the one friend I did run into at Walmart. Haha. Merrrrry Christmas.

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