2012.12.30 Ikea and Family Time

When 11 members of our family get together for breakfast, we know better than to talk to each other.  This morning, as everyone gathered around the table to eat, it was observed that everybody had their electronics out.  It does help to keep the bickering down…

I counted 7 devices at this table!


We left the house just 30 minutes behind schedule for our shopping excursion to Ikea.  We didn’t make it far before we stopped at Starbucks, for the second day in a row.  It is good to spoil yourself on vacation.

Once we arrived at Ikea, we stopped for an obligatory group photo.  Everybody say “Swede!”

According to the sign, they sell Swedish Meatballs here.


Shortly after arriving at Ikea, we ran into some old friends for the second time in as many days.  Today it was Jeff & Lori Walderich, from Tulsa.  I used to work with Jeff, and these days they are big-timing it with their own pizza chain called Top That! Pizza.  (Visit them for lunch or dinner – you won’t regret it!)  They were in Dallas scouting the competition, and of course, looking at Swedish furniture.

Steve and Jeff: former co-workers REUNITE!


We were scouting out a sectional as well as looking at some bathroom remodeling pieces.  Scott was looking for floor lamps, and KK/PK just wanted to scout the “Made In China” first floor.  Joe and Judy were visiting their first Ikea in America, having spent some time prowling in one outside Toronto in years past.

Miles testing out a Sectional.


Miles stress-tested each sectional we passed as well as spent some quality time in what he called a “Swedish lawn chair”.  And by quality time, I mean that Miles spent hours sitting in this chair while the rest of us hiked throughout the store.

Miles in a Swedish lawn chair.


After about one hour in the store, I had the following text exchange with Miles:

Steve: What’s up?

Miles: Sitting in a Swedish lawn chair with a woolen covering.

Steve: Have you not moved?

Miles: I switched chairs.


In mid-afternoon, we stopped for a bite to eat at the very busy Ikea cafeteria.  They had the meatballs on sale, so everybody except Uncle Joe got the meatballs.  Joe got a salad, but they were out of clean forks, so I got to see someone eat a salad with a spoon for the first time in myl life.  Later, Joe added a clean knife to his arsenal.  He made a happy plate.

Lunch came complete with a joke from Uncle Joe: “What is Honeymoon Salad?”  The answer: “Lettuce Alone”.

Once the shopping was complete, we headed back to the vacation home to meet up with the rest of our bowl family – the Dahlens.  Neal, Lynda, Kelly, Allison, Matthew, and the one and only Earlene.  We were very excited to see them.  Plus, they brought chicken wings and ice cream.

The previous day, this group had driven to Houston from Dallas to attend the Meineke Car Care Bowl, since Minnesota was playing in it.  Allison went to Minnesota so they often pull double duty during the bowl season.  (Minnesota and Oklahoma State)

For the next 8 hours, we spent time eating, visiting, playing games, and catching up.

Earlene and Allison sharing stories.


Mallory and Marissa hanging on Matthew (in Buffalo hat).


Neal, Lynda and Kelly enjoying a Texas-sized spread of food.


Scott, Mallory, Marissa and Matthew at the Table Tennis Championships.


Stephanie and I like to consider ourselves runners, but Neal participated in more races (running and racewalking) last year (around 28) than I have probably entered in my entire life.  Each year, his office at work is encircled with his race bibs and awards (yes, he routinely wins his races) and calls it his “Ring of Bling”.  My own personal ring of bling for 2012 would have had two race bibs and no awards. I will just have to live vicariously through him (again).

It was a fabulous day where we got our shopping fix, plus got to spend half the day kicked back visiting.

Time spent with family is time well spent, even when we don’t have our electronics out.

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