Comfort & Joy

This is my Christmas blog for 2016 that really turned out to be comfort and joy and I shall explain why.  Our holiday started on Christmas Eve with my family and I going to church then coming home and making a “Holiday & Snow” pizza for dinner that Megan had requested.   Nate made a fantastic crust and I added the toppings.  It was the perfect ‘comfort’ food with a glass of wine to kick off our holiday.

Happiness is sitting around our tree, passing out gifts, and enjoying our family time.  I love the stories that go along with some of the gifts.  It’s usually something silly and how the gift was purchased.  I seem to always have something go wrong with my gifts while out shopping that makes us all laugh.

I think one of my favorite gifts I purchased this year was seat warmers for Nate & Kelly’s car.  I wrapped it in the same packaged and had their names on it.  They were convinced it had to be something related to their guitars because they share that hobby.  Megan and I were laughing as they opened it and the look of confusion on their faces was priceless.  Ha, got ya!   JOY!

Being a college student, some more dorm items were needed for Megan as we approach winter-time.  She got flannel sheets and slippers.  We need to keep her warm while she’s away from us.  COMFORT! 

Nate had a little music theme going for me.  Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, which was on my Goodreads list and a big surprise, tickets to see Bon Jovi in March.  Got his newest CD and the tickets were attached.  Very excited about that!    JOY!

We can’t forget our little Jazzy.  She always gets the first present each Christmas.  She never truly plays with her gift on the first day…unless it’s a bone, rawhide, or in the food category.  Nate found her the cutest squeaky toy…an adorable owl, which she nows loves playing with (a week later).  It makes us smile just looking at it.   JOY!

I need to keep my family cozy each winter, so they all got something fun to wear.  Kelly is always complaining about how cold she is.  Never can keep the house warm enough for her.  I found this shirt at a boutique and knew I had to get it.  It was the perfect gift.  COMFORT and JOY!  

The other two family members got similar items.  Hockey is a must in Minnesota, so Wild gear is fun to wear around all winter.  The good news for now, is they have won their last 12 games in a row and are sitting in the top spot in our division.  Great way to show off our support for our Wild guys.   COMFORT and lots of JOY!

My comfort gift came from Megan.  A coffee mug from Winona.  Every morning as I sip my warm coffee, I will think of her.  The other comfort gift was from Kelly.  New hot pads for my kitchen.  I can now grab pans out of my oven, without my fingers getting hot!  Definitely COMFORT!   love them both~

Christmas morning came and with it came an ice and rain storm.  Not very typical for our Minnesota Decembers.  Our plan was to head over to Terry’s for a wonderful family celebration with my side of the family.  She was even having an “Ugly Sweater” Christmas this year.  We couldn’t wait to see everyone all dressed up in their sweaters.  We were in charge of bringing the appetizers, so after opening “Santa’s” gifts, we started to get the food ready.  I made an antipasto wreath and Kelly made Grinch kabobs.  They both turned out so great and we couldn’t wait to share them.  COMFORT!

Then came the storm…the wind was blowing so hard, the rain/sleet/ice was crashing against our windows so loudly, that we decided to check the weather website.  Next thing we knew…my family and I were all texting each other and had to cancel our trip over to Terry’s due to the scary roads.  We were so sad, but safety first, I guess.

So now we had on our sweaters, no place to go, and no dinner planned…but we did have appetizers!  We decided to have some fun in our sweaters, eat our own food, and watch movies all day.  Christmas will still be fun…and it was!  JOY!

My family sent their pictures as well…we all had the same idea and were missing each other.  Thank you for sharing~  More JOY!

Thankfully the storm ended and we were able to leave for Wisconsin the next day and the roads were clear.  It was time to cross the border into Packer land and celebrate with the other side of the family.  We headed to Nate’s parent’s house (aka: Grandma & Grandpa’s) and had a wonderful evening  to ourselves to visit and get caught up.  Jere made a delicious lasagne and had wine, which hit the spot and warmed us right up after a long drive.   COMFORT!

The next day, Nate’s brothers and family all came over to celebrate with us.  The girls got to hang out with their cousins, Hayley & Melanie as well as their Aunt & Uncles and we adults enjoyed each other’s company while catching up on the past six months, since we’ve last seen each other.   JOY!

While in Wisconsin, we tend to do a lot of “Wisconsin” things…or at least, I’m made to do these things.  My father-in-law and I like to talk football and whichever team is on top at that moment, we like to talk it up.  Of course, our Vikings have tanked the second half of the season and now the Packers have taken over once again.  ugh!   I tried to give my $2.00 back for the bet I lost, but he thought it’d be more fun for me to keep the money and wear this hat.  Okay, as I said…when in WI, do as a Wisconsinite would do…I’ll play along…sort of.


Not JOY!

Its a tradition to play this dice game at the Solberg house, then exchange silly gifts as a prize.  This year we included the kids and they seemed to enjoy it and it was nice to have them join us.  We got some doozies for gifts this year.  Here are a few…Melanie got the bunny costume from A Christmas Story…we kept calling her Ralphie after that.  She was  good sport.  Nate got musical drumsticks, Megan got the sad Packer hat, Jere got a ski-ball game & Dell a pool game, Brett’s going to be lettering, Kelly got a movie & popcorn, I got a dog-washing kit & candle, Chad will be playing a new Jenga-type game, and Jody will be shooting snowballs at everyone.   JOY!

We had a wonderful time in Wisconsin but had to get back to Minnesota for New Years.

Tonight as I write this, it is almost midnight.  Both girls are having friends over and the parties are going well downstairs, while Nate and I head upstairs for a little quiet.  I made sloppy joes for the kids and Nate made a wonderful steak dinner for our little celebration.  It’s always a nice way to end the year.  One of Kelly’s friends has an Exchange student from France staying with her.  He goes by the name of Flo, for short.  He made a cheese quiche and a chocolate volcano cake.  Oh my…he’s a keeper!  JOY!

Megan had a few of her girlfriends over for the night.  Oh, how we miss these girls now that they are all spread out and at their colleges.  Such fun to chat with them and glad to hear they are all happy.


I can’t even tell you how many years Kelly has been having a New Year’s party.  We love having her group of friends over each year and listening to all the laughter and loud music.    JOY!


Tomorrow is New Year’s Day.  A day of football, naps, leftover food, and just pure lounging.  I am looking forward to it.  COMFORT!

I hope you have a happy and healthy 2017.   Here’s to new beginnings and not an election year.  Relax and have fun~   Cheers!


Comfort & Joy to all!



  1. Ok I love the comfort and joy theme
    All those comfort items for winter is a must
    Not the Packer hat though
    The joy of spending time with family and together is priceless and the smiles tell it all
    Wow and Tickets for Bon Jovi that’s a fabulous gift ,way to go Nate
    Wishing you all Comfort and Joy for 2017

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