Tag Archives: party

There’s always something to be thankful for

25 Nov

Today much of the country participated in Thanksgiving, a day dedicated to sharing and acknowledging the many ways we have been blessed. Many families woke up this morning and started their festivities with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, followed by a dinner of turkey and all the fixings. The number of people sharing in the festivities isn’t important, but rather it is who is there that is important. 

Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember, probably because I am blessed to be part of a family that is extremely close, not just in distance from each other, but in our relationships. It is not uncommon for my family to get-together as a large group multiple times a year. We just love being together – there’s laughter, joy, stories and fun. WIth open arms we accept and adopt friends, neighbors and anyone who needs to be loved, which if you think a about it – that’s everyone. And that extends to our Thanksgiving table as well. Over the years there have been any number of new faces who have joined our celebration and we embraced them as only my family can!

This year, I will admit I struggled with Thanksgiving. It’s the first major holiday we’ve celebrated since Scott and I moved into our apartment (for the purpose of this blog, Forth of July and Halloween aren’t major holidays). Last night, there was no smell of pumpkin pies, pumpkin logs or mincemeat pie baking in the oven. I woke up this morning and there was no parade to be watched (we only have Netflix) and there was no arguing with my sisters over who would get to use the bathroom first to get ready. It felt like any other day of the week to me. Scott and I got ready and drove out to meet my family. I hoped that once we were all together, I would find whatever was missing this year. 

Once at the church (there are just too many at our Thanksgiving dinner to fit in a house, we counted 42 this year!), even the setup was different. For my entire life, we have all sat at one table and passed the dished around. This year, it was buffet style. Honestly, my first reaction was that the tradition was ruined. But in the end, it ended up allowing everyone to sample a little bit of everything (in years’ past, there were dishes that never quite made it all the way to the other end of the table) and everyone was eating much sooner. 

    

One tradition that remained is the olive finger photo – my sisters, cousin and now her son, and my aunt, always put black olives on our fingers and take silly photos during dinner. This has happened ever since I was a small child.


The other tradition that remained firmly in place was that of going around the table and one-by-one sharing the things we are most thankful for. Listening to everyone always fills my heart with joy as I hear their touching words – some spoke about challenges with health, car accidents, the loss of loved ones, but what they all ended with was the strength of this family that has continued to pull them through. 

While I started the day feeling as if today were nothing special, I end the night reminded of what is most important – faith, family, friends and memories. It was not easy letting go of tradition, but today is truly about creating a new tradition and memory every year. 

This was the first Thanksgiving Scott has gotten to spend with me and my family. He has been such a blessing to me as we made the transition to living together away from our families, and continues to be my rock as I have gone back to school to get my master’s degree. He has embraced my family and they him. I could not be surrounded by a better group of people – just check out the photos!

This Thanksgiving was also special because we got to spend part of it with my cousin, Erin, who will be enlisting in the Air Force in just a few days! We are so very proud of her and will miss having her around, but know she will be where she needs to be, following in the footsteps of others in our family who were absent from the table this year, but who are always with us in heart and mind.  

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New Year’s Eve 2015

31 Dec

I’m not a big partier when it comes to New Year’s Eve. In years past I have gone to friends homes to celebrate, but in all honestly, I’m completely happy to stay at home in my comfy clothes, with my family, off the roads where there are crazy drivers (who may or may not have been celebrating with too many adult beverages), where I can quickly climb into bed at 12:01 a.m.

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This year is no different. So far tonight, my sister has taken group selfies, I’ve read 100 pages of my new book, and watched some of the New York City New Year’s Eve coverage on TV.

And folks, this is about as wild and crazy as it’s going to get here on New Year’s Eve….I even went against the packaging and made my Ghirardelli peppermint premium hot cocoa with Cashew Milk rather than water!

And I just finished Factiming with Scott. Long distance relationships are not always easy at the holidays, but we’ve found a way to make it work for us! We had to celebrate the New Year a little early this year so he could get enough sleep before his early work shift tomorrow. We’ve had some fun adverntures and firsts in 2015, and I am so excited to see where 2016 takes us!

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So here’s to my last post of 2015 – I had grand plans of finishing some drafts I had started a few weeks ago, but I’m just too distracted to write creatively or to go back and edit. I promise, I’ll finish them soon-ish, they are fun stories, so please come back for those!

So readers, what does your NYE look like? Are you a party-animal or a home-body like me? However you are celebrating, I hope you all have a safe, fun-filled and wonderful New Year! I am going to close this out so I can watch Carrie Underwood perform on ABC! Good night and Happy New Year all! ūüôā

Valentine’s Day Office Party Invitation

27 Jan

I love when I can use my creativity at work! After the success of our Christmas party, it was decided we needed to have more office parties.

And so, my boss sent me a “top secret” email with the details for our Valentine’s Day party asking me to come up with an invitation.

And for being a Monday morning, I think it turned out awesome! 20140127-191641.jpg I may be a little bias, but I think my little poem rocks! And it only took me three minutes to come up – the hardest line being how to incorporate sign-up to bring food, which funny enough, was the line my boss loved the most!

Then to make it pretty, added a couple photos and a border in Adobe’s InDesign.

I should have taken a video of my boss “delivering” the little invitations, she was so excited, giddy may be a more appropriate word!

Now it’s time to get planning, I may have lost the ugly Christmas Sweater contest because mine became too “cute,” but I’m counting on that particular “skill” to rock the Valentine’s box decorating contest. Plans are already underway – pictures will probably be posted after the party.

In the meantime, send all your hearts, flowers, Cupids and flower inspirations/thoughts my way.

Santa’s Secret is Out!

15 Dec

Tonight my sisters and I attended the annual Christmas party at our church. There was tons of catching up to do with friends who moved out-of-state to go to school and older folks who kept asking what I was doing with my life now that I’m a college grad (OKAY….so they didn’t state it EXACTLY that way), delicious food and a cute holiday program.

Come on, you can’t help but smile when you hear 3 year-olds singing “Away in a Manger”. Or when your baby sister (I know you are 16 now, but you will ALWAYS be my baby sister, deal with it kiddo!) is up there on stage playing her trumpet beautifully!

And then it was time….the moment we were all waiting for….the jolly man from way up north…..SANTA CLAUS!! [Insert cheers from young and old!]

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And things were going great…¬†until MY SISTER DE-BEARDED Santa!!!¬†

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And that’s when we learned the truth. Papa is SANTA!!

I guess that explains why I never saw him and Santa together in the same room. Or how I ALWAYS got what I wanted for Christmas, it’s because….drum roll please….

I’m Santa’s granddaughter!

HOW COOL IS THAT?!

BEST ¬†CHRISTMAS ¬†SURPRISE ¬†EVER! Love you Papa, I mean Santa! ‚̧