Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Catching Up...

It has been a busy fall and so, inadvertantly, I took a break from blogging.  It wasn't deliberate.  Each week I'd think, "This week I'll sit down and do a blog post."  And you know how it goes...  The week would come and go and it didn't happen.  In my absence, Blogger did an update and wouldn't you know, I have NO IDEA what I'm doing!  (Shocking, I know.)
I went to Chicago for a long weekend with three wonderful friends:  Sandy, Kim and Teri.  We pampered ourselves and had a fabulous time shopping, eating, visiting the Art Institute of Chicago, laughing at the comedy club, shopping, laughing and eating some more.  I want to return with my family ASAP! 

Mike and I took a whirlwind trip to the coast in North Carolina.  We stayed at a beautiful beach house on Topsail Island and had fun relaxing, walking on the beach, touring a beautiful old southern mansion in nearby Wilmington and spending time together.  It was great.

The rest of my photos did not appear in the proper order and I'm having a heck of a time moving them around so I finally just waved the white flag in surrender. 

Leah snapped a few photos of Lacey and I on a fall walk.  It was a lovely evening and I think Lacey looks adorable!

Our family rang the bells for the Salvation Army with the Carters.  We always enjoy doing that every year.  It wasn't even that cold this time!  Some years are brutal!
As the holidays approach, my girls and I host a fun holiday extravaganza cookie exchange.  Much fun was had and food was consumed by all.  Best of all, at the end of the night we each had a sampling of many varieties of delicious cookies and treats to share with our families.
My friend Heidi is setting hers out on a table crowded with sweet, sugary goodness.  It makes my mouth water just remembering...

Even before we had the cookie exchange, there was the Christmas tree party with Tony and Brenda.  Mike's sister and husband graciously host a party for family and friends every year in the great north woods of Wisconsin where we gather 'round the fire, eat delicious food, drink hot drinks and wander into the forest to pick and cut our Christmas tree.  Tony and Brett (who is no longer with us and we miss terribly) planted these trees many years ago and we are blessed to have our pick!  That's Leah between Amy (a cousin) and Aunt Brenda above.
Here's Emily on Christmas day, above with Lacey and below showing off some of her gifts.  Happy pup, happy girl!
Our Christmas tree with all the trimmings.  We purposely picked a narrow tree that would fit nicely in the corner windows in the library.  It glowed at night with the lights on.  Mmmmm, I love Christmas trees!
Emily and Leah posing in their Christmas outfits before we headed down to Grandmas to spend the day with family.

Gathering around the table.  Being together through the years on Christmas is one of the best gifts of all.

Mike was up at the cabin on New Year's Eve and the girls had plans with their friend, Jessie, so it was just Daniel and I at dinner.  We first went to the Tintin movie and then returned home to a special meal of Spicy Orange Chicken and Rice with Izzie.  Daniel put the candles out on the table, a nice touch.

The girls before they went out to dinner.  They were all dressed up and looked lovely!  Don't worry, they were home in plenty of time to ring in the new year with Daniel and I. 

Here are two of my favorite women:  my Mom and Emily on Christmas day.  We gave mom a framed photo of Emily for Christmas and they posed together for me.  I love them both so much.

That's my fall and holiday season wrapped up in one goofy post.  Thanks for putting up with the quirks of Blogger and my lack of experience in putting it all in order. 

2011 was an amazing year.  We had highs and lows, sadness and joy but we came through it all together as a family and that is what counts.  May your 2012 be filled with love, joy and excitement too!


Leslie said...

just stopping by to thank you for your kind comment on my recent "lament." and you are right, pain often wreaks havoc on the emotions.

i love your christmas tree, and what a wonderful recap of your recent months. hope 2012 is filled with His goodness for you and your family.

Pansy Cottage Girl said...

Well it certainly looks like youve been busy! I hope you have a wonderful time in Las Vegas and yes, it will be warmer than where you are! Its so nice to hear from you. Thank you for visiting me.