Saturday, February 4, 2012

Thanksgiving and Christmas 2011

First of all, I'd like to say thank you to everyone for your loving comments on my last post about Hannah. We are very blessed with such a great circle of family and friends!

Instead of continuing to wonder where in the world I should start with catching up on this blog, I'll decided to just pick something and go with it!

Here's a little insight to how we celebrated the holidays. Julie and David invited us, along with our parents and our cousin, Sara, to their home for Thanksgiving. Like most Thanksgiving celebrations around the country, there was a little bit of "resting and relaxing" going on.

At our celebration, there was also a little bit of wrestling and tickling going on between uncle and nephew.Sara, Julie, and I had a great time reconnecting again!
It included a lot of laughing!
Of course there was yummy food as well. There was the standard Thanksgiving dinner, and then there was all the other deliciousness...

That same weekend David came over to play at Grandma and Grandpa's. There wasn't any snow with the warm winter, so we had a great time playing tag and soccer in the backyard. We ran around so hard that someone needed a water-break.
My awesome dad. I think the older I get the more I become Daddy's Little Girl.
My awesome husband. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful partner in life!
My favorite little guy. What a fun goofball, who is also smart and hilarious and gives great hugs!
Back in Appleton later that weekend, we got to host some great friends at our house. Jim and Suzy are leaving for Ecuador in a few months, and they just became parents this weekend. I'm sure Stan and Cheryl are excited to be grandparents! It's fun to get to see them each year when they return to Wisconsin!
I'm a big fan of our tree this year. In fact, we just took it down 2 weeks ago because I was enjoying it in our living room so much! I started wondering if we could leave it up all year, but decided against that....
It was fun to experiment with the close-up settings on the camera.
I couldn't find the topper I thought we have, so here's my homemade version.
I enjoy nativity sets, and here's a great one that's been given to me piece by piece over the years.
We had a few things going on in Appleton over Christmas weekend, so we went to the Twin Cities the weekend before so we could celebrate with my family. We weren't able to see David and Julie, but my little buddy was able to join us on Friday night for a celebration. Here we are listening to Uncle Brent read the Christmas story.
Then we had a fun time watching David open his presents from us. Gotta love that excitement!
When we were at his house for Thanksgiving, it was easy to see how much fun he had playing with dinosaurs. We knew he'd love this book!
He immediately went through page by page to read all of the dinosaur names.
We didn't skip a page!
He asked for help on the hard names.
Then it was time for the rest of his present from Uncle Brent and Aunt Kari.
A dinosaur sticker book!
It was a hit!
As you can tell from his grin! Wow, I love this kid!
He also got to open a gift from Grandma and Grandpa, and loved his new flashlight! It has this big light, and then also a powerful beam light and some other fun functions.
We love spending time with him!
And I think he likes us too! :)
No time spent together could be without wrestling or climbing or, well.... boys being boys!
I think someone loves his grandparents!
And I know they're pretty fond of him, too! :)
The next day I got my haircut and she curled it. Then we took some of the traditional pictures in front of the fireplace.
After our photography session, we got to go to an amazing concert event, called "The Story". It was the story of the Bible from Genesis through Revelation, hitting some of the big stories along the way. There were songs and videos that were incredibly well done! There were big-name artists like Steven Curtis Chapman, Selah, The Newsboys, Natalie Grant, and others. I'm so thankful my mom got tickets for her and my dad, and Brent and me! It was such a blessing!
After we came back, we decided to open presents. I took this picture because it was pretty funny to realize that we all skipped out on wrapping the presents this year! Often times in my family, people are found finishing the last of the wrapping just moments before the opening. I guess this year we just decided to skip it altogether!
My mom purchased a special ornament in honor of Hannah. Thanks, Mom!
On Christmas Eve we had a beautiful service at Hope, and it was easy to see just how hard Brent worked with our choir -it sounded amazing! On Christmas Day we hosted Brent's family for dinner. Here is what our dining room looked like for the occassion.
We had roast, potatoes, broccoli salad, rolls, and all sorts of other fixings. I just took a few pictures of a few items, mostly as we were waiting for everyone to arrive.
Once they arrived, this was the only picture I took, otherwise we were just busy having a great time together! Here's the whole family:
Which reminds me to ask you to pray for our family. Brent's grandpa, pictured above, is now on Hospice, and of course that means a lot of difficult emotions for everyone. Please pray for peace and rest and comfort.
Well, there's a little insight to some of our celebrating. I'll do a separate post of our time with Micaela, as it's time to close for now.