Friday, December 23, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We've been busy bees getting ready for the holidays, but we made sure to stop and enjoy many sweet little moments sipping on egg nog and baileys, celebrating my 29th birthday, nibbling on festive treats, and visiting a local tree farm for our Christmas tree!

Hope this holiday brings joy, laughter, and happy memories to you and yours! 

Stay tuned for my annual slideshow at the end of the month!




Two trees! :)





Monday, December 19, 2011

Thumbprint Holiday Cookies

Made from a box, but super cute, festive and yummy!!

Happy Holidays!


Pink Cheeks

Really tall old man behind me at the post office: Excuse me, can you bend down a little so I can see over your head.

Me: ha! Good one!

Old Man: So how tall are you? Four foot somethin'?

Me: 5 foot even

Old Man: Wowee, ain't much taller than a country mouse, eh!

Me: *abashedley smiles*

Old Man bends down to my level and with the kindest eyes says: Well, I'll tell ya this...your face turns a nice shade of pink.

 :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gobble Gobble

Thanksgiving this year was extra special. Steve and I hosted my mom's side of the family at our house this year. TWENTY TWO people. Yes, I was in over my head. But, I must say, everything went off without a hitch and it was the most memorable Thanksgiving dinners ever. My mom arrived in town the Monday before Thanksgiving to help. We (she) bought all of the groceries, she helped me move ALL of our furniture for the carpet cleaner, we decorated the tables, and she was my main squeeze in the kitchen! By 2:00 on T-day, the house was packed with all of our family! 



The second my grandpa arrived, Steve was ready with an ice cold Keystone Light for him :)
 All of the grandkids






Fun with ladderball! 



 Super carver



Festive! 
My favorite part of our Thanksgiving celebration were the dinner games. This note was at the entryway table when everyone arrived. (Don't you love the beer can rim leftover??)

Then, I wrapped the slips of paper in foil, and put the foils into the rolls before baking. I baked the rolls and before dinner told everyone to grab a roll and open it up to find the foil. Once dinner got going, we took turns opening the slips of paper and reading aloud the "thankful" note. The person with that note had to guess who wrote it. This game was hilarious, sweet, and memorable. My favorite thank you's were "I'm thankful for the Green Door" - a joke played on my grandpa by my cousin. "I'm thankful for my mom who is looking down on us all today", a sweet message about my grandma Ladonna who I KNOW was there celebrating along with us, too. "I am thankful for waking up next to someone who smiles first thing every morning" - Steve's message about me! :) All of the thank you's were creative, lovely, and fun and I highly recommend this game!!! 

The next game was Turkey Word Blitz, where I got the idea from my friend Heather. Before Thursday, I wrote down Thanksgiving day themed words on pieces of paper and hid them under everyone's placemat. After we finished eating, I asked everyone to look under their plates to find their word, and one by one we went around the table describing or acting it out without saying the actual word. Some words were challenging and some were easy, but it was another good way to get a huge table all involved together. 

I am so thankful that everyone traveled from far away to be with us on Thanksgiving. I've always wanted to throw a huge dinner party, complete with fun decorations, good food, and lots of laughs and that's exactly what it was. I loved seeing my cousins and learning about what they're interested in (Justin Beiber!) I loved tap dancing with the little girls - putting on a show for everyone (complete with stage lights and a spot light, thanks, Steve!) and I loved being together in one place, talking about old times and dreaming about the future. 

It truly is a happy holiday season!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Year of the Foot

I thought I would give everyone one last virtual update of my bunion surgery results. Ya'll cross your fingers that this is the last time you have to see pictures of my ugly hoofs.

Foot before:

After Surgery, earlier this year:





One year later:


It's been a year since my bunion surgery and I still often find myself grateful for being able to walk. As I think back on the crutches, awkward baths, many miles driven to and from LA, and the hum of the ice machine, I realize what a huge ordeal this surgery really was. I remember my first steps in my tennis shoes, and how liberating it felt. I remember wishing I could do the most simple things in life..stand up, take a shower, cook dinner, carry things! And I remember my sweet husband taking such good care of me - the best part of being couch-ridden.

And now, a year later, I am doing all of those little things and I hardly notice my foot at all! I think the surgery was a huge success. A few months ago my foot still felt very stiff, and Steve would say, "well don't worry it hasn't even been a year yet!" And now that the year is up, my foot actually feels almost normal! I've changed my footwear habits - mostly flats and tennis shoes, and kitten heels for special occasions! People ask if I would do it again on the other foot..right now I say NO. I don't have time for all of that again. But, if my left foot starts giving me problems, I won't hesitate.

If you ever need a podiatrist, you MUST visit The University Foot and Ankle Institute and say hi to Dr. Briskin for me!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Autumn in the City

Japanese Tea Garden - Golden Gate Park - San Francisco, CA




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