Tuesday, December 10, 2013

11th Annual Ornament Decorating Party

From what we can remember, this tradition of ours was started back in 2002.  That makes this year our 11th Annual Ornament Decorating Party with our good friends, The Ziegelmeier's.  As I look back on my blog at some of these parties of years past, it is unbelievable to me that all this time has gone by.

Here is a photo from our 4th party in 2005:

And one from this year:  

Since we've begun, Maia and Brianna were born - Diondra grew up and went off to college and Haley, Keira and Jake are teenagers or are almost there.

Our families have endured wonderful times and sorrows.  We've lost grandparents, endured Sandy Hook, changed jobs and Kristin has battled and beat cancer.

We've lost two cats and gained a dog.  Ate many dinners together and leaned on each other for advice and strength.

Each year Kristin and I go shopping together after researching ideas for homemade ornaments.  I think the shopping and planning is one of the best parts.

We have never missed a year but this year breast cancer threatened to take this tradition away from us...

But we're too strong for that.  So, instead, Kristin kicked cancer's ass and came back stronger than ever and shared a delicious drink to celebrate.
We look forward to another 11 years and many more together and will have trees FULL of decorations to remind us of of this wonderful gift of life we've shared.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thankfully Simple

This year we were invited to this really wonderful event that friends put together.  It is a complete Outdoor Thanksgiving celebration.  Everyone brings something and they enjoy a true Thanksgiving meal together outdoors.  We had every kind of food and drink you could imagine and, of course, turkey.
The kids really enjoyed hiking and playing in the woods.  A friend of ours brought the girls all the way to the top of the mountain which was a pretty big adventure and they loved it.
It was FREEZING outside... not as cold as it could have been but enough to make it uncomfortable unless you were next to the fire so everyone gathered there to warm up when needed.
Of course, we also had our regular Thanksgiving celebration at home as well.  Dee came home and brought an international friend from college so he didn't have to be alone for Thanksgiving.  He's from Costa Rica and I was blown away to see my girl and him carrying on conversations fluently in Spanish. She has studied Spanish since high school and has decided to make it her Minor but I had not realized how good she was until this visit home.
I am thankful that my girls love each other like this.  I love it when they are all home with me and cherish each moment.  They were so happy to have their sister home for Thanksgiving.


I cooked the traditional turkey and sides.  Brianna and Maia helped me in the kitchen and Keira helped me set the table and get the house ready.  We only had my mom and aunt this year in addition to our family and it was nice and relaxed.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to enjoy the simple pleasures of warmth, home, food, family and friends.  xoxo