Monday, December 31, 2012

to fresh clean starts.









The ornaments have been removed from the once-fresh-now-brittle Christmas trees and are ready to be put into boxes and stored for next year.  This was our first Christmas in years that we purchased real live trees and I had forgotten just how fun it is to clean up after those things.  Needles, needles everywhere.  But so worth it, am I right?  The funny thing is, if you had asked me just yesterday if I wanted to put away Christmas, I would have said NO WAY!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  I'M NOT READY.  I THINK I'LL KEEP IT UP ALL WINTER!  IT'S TOO SOON!!!  CHRISTMAS FOREVER!  Yet I woke up this morning and reality hit when I looked at our sad, little, mopey trees - the ornaments drooping off the ends of the downward-sloped branches, little bits of branches and needle-clumps scattered on the floor beneath.  It was time.  So the ornaments came down, the lights came off, the tree skirts were folded, the trees were carried out back, and the hardened cat turd that was exposed in the process was swept up and tossed along with the millions of pine needles.

And guess what?  I had been so afraid of what the empty house would look like without all the twinkly lights and holiday decor, but I didn't need to worry at all.  It looks MARVELOUS!  CLEAN!  FRESH!  NEW!  A fresh clean start to the New Year!  Not such a bad thing after all.  Like a fresh layer of snow that simplifies and tidies the landscape, I forget just how calming and good simplicity can be.  A mantel that just yesterday was crammed gorgeously with pine garland, twinkle lights, pinecones, candles, a Santa, a book, a framed picture, a snowman face, and a wreath can be just as beautiful in its sparseness.  I look forward to arranging decor back into nice clean lines and getting organized this week.

For New Year's Eve, we'll celebrate the start of the new year quietly at home, watching the Times Square action on East Coast time for our first time ever.  It's just how we do.  Food, television, and more food.  Wherever you are in the world, Happy New Year to you!  Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by here and peek in on me!  You make this girl feel like a million bucks!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

i am an animal.


That is all.

from my family to yours, a very happy new year!

A year's end {especially such a big, eventful year for this family} calls for a plethora of meaningful photos set to music that'll tug at one's heartstrings.  I bring you our year - Spokane to Pittsburgh - let's go...




Here's to a most uneventful 2013!

when one goodbye just won't do.








We said our goodbyes this morning and waved out the windows as Grandma and Papa and Travis and Carleigh all drove off to the airport.  But guess what?  Those crazy people are still in Pittsburgh!  Their plane was oversold and all four of them were offered free airfare and hotel vouchers for waiting until the next day to fly.  Of course they jumped on the chance to volunteer for that.  So, McKenna and I spent one last evening with them at the hotel for a game of twisted farkle {which I won, thank you very much}, dinner and snowman-building.  And then we said our goodbyes for reals.  It's time to get back to business.  According to McKenna, we've got a lot of lazing around to do before our winter break tragically ends and we're forced to return to school.  


Saturday, December 29, 2012

moms can sled too.












Thanks to my wonderful brudder for taking these awesome shots with his fancy camera!
It's nice sometimes, to not be the one holding the camera, so I can show you that I'm actually an active participant in the fun stuff we do.  I'm not just sitting on the sidelines, no way!  

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I'm currently sitting in the family room of my rather suddenly, quite empty house.  It's just me, Jackson & McKenna left in here.  Yesterday, Elyssa and her friend flew back over to the other side of the states {Elyssa won't be back for two weeks}.  Early this Saturday morning, after snow-blowing the driveway at an unholy hour of which the neighbors most likely cringed with disdain and shook their fists angrily toward our abode, Husband headed to the airport: destination Kentucky.  Kentucky, you ask?  Yes, Kentucky.  For he found a car for purchase on ebay, which doth meet his needs, for a really good price.    And can you believe Kentucky is only like a 6.5 hour drive from Pittsburgh?  My brain hasn't really caught on to how many places are so close to me now.  It'll catch up soon, I hope.  Back to the main idea of this paragraph though; the people who leave me.  Next up, the awesome foursome {I just made that up - clever I know}, my parents, my brother and his Carleigh all left for the airport just one hour ago.  They arrived Christmas Eve, so they have had plenty of time to see how we're living it up in this Pennsylvania place.  They were even able to enjoy some Pittsburgh snow throughout their lil visit!

So, how did we all survive THE TEN OF US - all in one house for 5 whole days?  Because that's honestly a lot of people, isn't it... to feed, to sleep, to plan, to get around, to simply hang out?  Well, I'd say we did pretty darn good.  With ten people, of course, their will be the uncomfortable things to endure - like cold showers, air mattresses for beds, the ever-meowing damn cat that somebody feels sorry for and lets into the house at 7am, and also the feeling of oh-my-god-i-have-to-feed-all-of-these-poeple-again that happens every four hours. But, as any philosopher would tell you, it's the uncomfortable times that allow us to really appreciate the comforts.  And when this big crew is having a good time, it's usually a GREAT, HILARIOUS, OBNOXIOUSLY LOUD AND FUN TIME.  Boy, do we know how to laugh!  So to pass much of the time, we cooked {which always leads to cleaning}, we played games, we watched tv with the fire going, we played in the snow, we went out to eat, we went shopping, we saw a movie, and we made our traditional family video.  Also very helpful, my parents had rented a car, which allowed them to break off and venture out into Pittsburgh to see the sights, while others did their own thing.  It was a phenomenal thing.  While they did exciting things out and about, I was able to do exciting things like laundry.  

All families have their crapola.  They just do.  But our crapola is so small {it's like deer turds compared to some of the moose crap other families are faced with}.  When I take pictures and everyone is smiling or when we are putting together our dance video, and it looks all ideal and fun and like the people in the pictures like each other, it's all real.  We do like each other.  We do enjoy each other.  We are not perfect.  We know that.  But we are real.  We're family.  I love these people for all of their quirks and ticks and imperfections just as much as they love me for mine {because boy do I have them}.  And I'm so happy and thankful that they left the comforts of their homes and routines to come be with us this week.  

I love you guys {you know who you are}!



wearing.



husband approved in Anthro sweater & wool pants and American Eagle Outfitter booties.


I just picked up these awesome pants at Anthropolgie >> on sale >> 30% off.  woot woot!  They are like wearing the most comfortable pajamas ever.  enough said.  Anyway, I'm happy to be wearing something other than jeans.  Have you noticed that's like all I wear?  And even more importantly - Husband even digs these pants {and how hard is it to please a marital spouse sometimes}.  "Best pants ever."  His words.  Ba-BAM!

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In case you're wondering about me randomly showing my wearings on a blog mostly about my amazing family & loving home, well I wish I had a good reason for you.  It's quite complex, but I'll try to simplify it.  One - lots of you really like it when I do this.  Two - posting outfit photos keeps me motivated to get dressed.  Three - it's going to be oh-so-groovy to look back on this time in my life and see what the heck I was wearing.  We really shouldn't take ourselves too seriously, right?  Life is fun!

pleated poppy

going against her better judgement...



here's her majesty on Christmas morn.

Just keeping it real.


Friday, December 28, 2012

a dapper crew if ever there was.






Here's the group mustache photo shoot from this morning!  Aren't we a handsome crew?  Handsome, you query?  Need more persuasion?


Handsome.


just another family dance video.











After all these years of producing music videos, we sure do have it down.  Not even a little snow can slow down our family shoot.  Computer on a sled?  I'll take two please.  So, without further ado, I bring you the the most current of our productions {hot off the youtubes as of this morning}!  And please kindly excuse my lack of restraint at the end of the video, for I had intentions of asking it to be edited out.  I was probably the one with the least amount of motivation this morning {hence the pajamas} and so even I was surprised to find myself so unbridled and full of ridiculous passion.

P.S. My son walking away at the end makes me laugh every time.  :)





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