Happy new year!!! I hope 2018 started off with a bang for everyone. I know I’ve said it before, but 2017 blew by like no other. For me, it was definitely the year of hard work and amazing trips. Yes, there were lows, but overall, it was a pretty decent year. I’ve definitely had worse, let’s put it that way. After our whirlwind trip to China in early December, we finished off the year with one final trip to the Midwest for the holidays. Since my hubby and I are both originally from Ohio, we can never resist making the trip back to spend Christmas with our families. We love doing it, but I’ll admit, our trip back home is anything but relaxing.
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To be clear, we fly from Arizona to Detroit. We’ve done the cross-country road trip to the Midwest before, but not for Christmas. However, we spent quite a bit of time in the car driving back and forth between my parents house in Toledo, Ohio, my father-in-law’s house in Bowling Green, Ohio and my mother-in-law’s house in Flatrock, Michigan. We lucked out big-time on this trip because were able to test out a 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid (C/O Toyota) for the week we were in town. Thank goodness for big SUV’s because my family doesn’t travel lightly over the holidays.
I’m flat out embarrassed to admit we checked 7 bags (yes, seven) when we flew back to AZ after Christmas. Five suitcases and two big brown boxes. My kids are very blessed with with generous grandparents, aunts and uncles; however, Kurt and I are the lucky ones who get to transport their generosity home. The Toyota Highlander easily fit all of our bags in the back cargo space with room to spare. I also loved the captain’s seats in the second row, which was perfect because we could easily access the 3rd row of seating, if needed. It was the ideal family car.
I was also beyond thankful for an SUV with 4 wheel drive because we woke up on December 23rd to this:
My kids were thrilled we ended up with a white Christmas!! It was beautiful, but driving in snowy weather does not do good things for my blood pressure. Thankfully, the Highlander managed the snow no-problem. The snow also gave me a good excuse to wear my cute duck boots and stay bundled up in my cute chenille hoodie. We celebrated Christmas with my MIL in Michigan on the 23rd, then headed back to Ohio to see my FIL and parents for the 24th and 25th. We were even blessed with a surprise visitor on Christmas Eve:
The snow kept falling and my kids had a ball playing in the fluffy white stuff. Well, that is until their hands got cold and they wanted to go back inside. My desert children aren’t built for the cold weather!
I wore the cutest buffalo plaid dress on Christmas Eve to my mom’s annual Christmas party. This exact pattern is sold out, but the same dress is available in a pink plaid pattern here. Note: This dress runs big so definitely size down. You can also use code JENNY15 for 15% off your order.
I spent Christmas day in my jammies and the remainder of my trip in comfy sweaters. This fuzzy grey sweater is super soft and crazy affordable (only $12!!). I’m all about texture and this beauty was as cozy as can be.
We overall had an amazing time in the Midwest. It was freezing cold – literally 1 degree the day we flew out – but we had a ball. The kids were in Christmas heaven and the visit was worth every bit of effort to spend it with the people we care about the most.
And with that, I’m ready to lay low for a month or two and enjoy our Arizona “winter” weather. Cheers to 2018!!