There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

It’s been a mad scramble as we’ve tried to see everyone we could while in the States…On Monday we were in Utah, Tuesday Texas, Friday Iowa and Saturday Missouri…

We had dinner with Ken and Mo, and met new baby Charlie

We had a Christmas party at Kyle and Andrea’s house, which included a white elephant gift exchange

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We met with my old friend Maren and her husband Scott. Really the first time we’ve hung out since Jacob Lake. We ate at One World Everybody Eats which serves organic food and you choose how much you pay for the meal, then walked Temple Square.

Beautiful Salt Lake Temple

Two girls from home with their babies. Olivia, Jennifer’s oldest, is so funny. She was scared of me because I didn’t have a baby, but warmed up to me after a while. Maleah has a baby girl named Makani. It’s so strange to see friends with babies.

We had sushi with Jared and Sarah



We went to Texas Roadhouse with Jefferson and Erica. Felt like home!

The happy couple, Kenny and Iva

I had to give a speech at the wedding. First time I’ve ever cried out of happiness :)

Santa and Mrs. Claus came to the Hansen Christmas party! They were larger than life and sang Christmas carols!


Grandma loved her scarf from Barcelona

We sang Christmas carols and visited with Mrs. King, our high school choir teacher. That’s her CUTE niece who I could hang out with all day :)

Jacob, Kai, and Jack bonded over Nintendo

Our Christmas tree with the typical amount of presents underneath. Jacob knocked the tree over this year, it was funny!


Jack, the whirling dervish
At the Christmas music party. I performed O Holy Night after a bit of social pressure, Kai did God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Jack jammed on his sax, and there was paper plate smashing to the Hallelujah Chorus and bell ringing one person to a note for Joy to the World. Afterwards, Jacob recited poetry in French. Kai called it “the elitist music party”

Christmas goodies at the Hillers


Grandpa Hiller is something else. Here is an exchange that happened the day after Christmas. Jacob and I were sleeping on the floor. It was nine am. Grandpa woke us up, saying we had to get to work.
Grandpa: You didn’t have to work in Utah, and at your parents house you didn’t have to work, but HERE you will work!
Me: (sleepily) Well, I cooked dinner at my parent’s house.
Grandpa: (suspiciously) What did you make?
Me: Fish and vegetables.
Grandpa: Hmph. Store-bought fish?
Me: Did you want me to go catch fish in the middle of winter?
Grandpa: Well, that’s what I did. Back in Minnesota, we’d cut a hole in the ice…
I got up.

Kate’s boyfriend Bart is actually from Southlake, Texas! What a small world. Would’ve been funny if I’d wore my letter jacket to Christmas this year…he would’ve recognized it! We played Grandpa’s rummy.


Al and Laura and Cindy. Cindy and I had each other for the gift exchange. I gave her a Moroccan pillow, she gave me a Hopi necklace, vase, and candy for Jacob :)

We didn’t get to spend as much time with anyone as we would have liked to, but it was great to see all of them! We got lots of travel-helpful things for Christmas, such as an ebook reader, world phones, travel compartments for my computer and makeup, a scanner for business receipts, etc. We are now preparing for our next world trip… ASIA.

Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 361 awesome articles for us.

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