Parker Turns Seven

img_5057I feel like Parker has grown tremendously in the last year. He’s started a new sport-soccer, developed a love of running, he completed his first chapter book, and he became an active tiger cub in Boys Scouts.  He’s also a great big brother and helper at home, with generally a positive attitude and an optimistic outlook on life. Parker also loves the outdoors and spends a lot of his outside time in the woods behind our home making “forts” and pretend campsites with his brother, Mason.

He makes Dan and I so proud. When I think about all the things that I had hoped for in a kid when he was just a little baby, he’s been everything we’d hoped he’d be and more!

With all that to say, it’s really crazy to see how fast the time has flownimg_5042by. When I look back at his milestone photos, it’s so fun to see how much he’s change over the years. He’s growing into such a fine handsome boy. In a blink, he’s now seven.

I asked these questions to Parker when he turned four, and thought it would be fun to see how the answers have changed now that he’s seven.

1. Who’s your favorite super hero? Spiderman

2. What is your favorite color? Red

3. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a Dad, and work on a computer like Daddy at Splunk

4. Where do you want to live when you get older? Pennsylvania

5. What’s your favorite TV show? Spiderman

6. What’s your favorite book? Magic Treehouse

7. What’s your favorite toy? Action Figures (Spiderman, Army men, etc.)

8. Who’s your best friend? Mason, Logan C., Logan H.,  and Coal

9. What’s your favorite song? Star Wars Theme song and One Call Away by Charlie Puth

10. What’s your favorite food? PB&J, carrots, and apples

img_4839The morning of his party day, we had a low-key morning. He enjoyed opening his gifts (all spiderman themed) in our room and we chatted on the front porch together while I drank my morning coffee. I love our little moments we get to have together.

I tell myself every year that I’m not going to go crazy with party planning, but each year I end up doing something fun anyway. I just love parties, really. I can’t help myself. Parker went to a party at Stars and Strikes last year for a friend, and loved it. He asked for a Spiderman party, so I obliged and added capes and face masks to the party guests to bring home as a party favor. It ended up being a lot of fun to have them on during laser tag, bowling and bumper cars. All the kids had a blast!

Parker told me as we were walking over to the bumper cars that this was the best party ever, and thanked me. I just love how thoughtful he is.

img_4849We finished the night with a slumber party in Parker’s room. Mason slept in Parker’s bed with him, and Sienna got to sleep in her sleeping bag on the floor. They loved it.

The morning of his actual birthday, I made him pancakes before school, and we sang to him at breakfast. I surprised him by coming to visit him at school for lunch and he enjoyed cupcakes with his classmates. I’m pretty sure he felt special for his birthday!

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11 Years!

It’s hard to believe that we have been married eleven years! When we talk about our early years of marriage it’s such a different life than what we have now.

It’s funny because we’ve been talking to the kids more about some of our travels we did before they were born. Parker was asking about the Eiffel tower and if I had ever been.  Then we got on the subject of scuba diving, and we talked about submarines and helicopter rides that we did in Hawaii many moons ago. Things have changed over the years for sure!

We’ve definitely had some adventures, but have had some hardships as well. One thing remains true. Dan makes me a better person, and I love him more every year that we’re together.

One way we love to connect is travel. We love our kids, and we really enjoy going on trips with them, but there’s something about getting away without the kids that brings us right back to where we were early in our marriage. A time when we were more intentional with our time together, without the interruption of little ones needing our time and attention. This is what we did when we decided to go to Blue Ridge to stay for a few nights.

It was such a great getaway! Dan found this cute little log cabin (another reason why my husband is amazing) that was just perfect. Honestly, if you’re looking for a nice, affordable place to stay near downtown Blue Ridge, this is such a great place. It is a two bedroom overlooking a valley with a view (in the early spring at least), quiet and peaceful, with a great outdoor hot tub.  We were really impressed with the town of Blue Ridge. I had not been there in years, but the shopping was great there. We were very disappointed with downtown Helen last year, even though the place we stayed (Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn and Spa) was nice, the town itself left more to be desired. It was also nice not to have to rush in the morning to get to breakfast. We’ve felt the need to do this at previous B&B’s so we didn’t miss out on the food. With this cabin, we didn’t rush at all. We woke up slow and got to sleep in and it was heavenly! We’d definitely stay there again!

We found a fun trail on our way to Blue Ridge just outside the falls called Fall Creek Falls. It was absolutely beautiful and it had a rocky, mossy enchanted forest feel heading up to the falls. One nice bonus, the path was super quick and easy for a hiker of any skill level. We didn’t want a super long trail because we wanted to get to the cabin and clean up and head to town.

In town, we ate at several Restaurants. All of them were delicious!  My favorite was Harvest on Main. We got a table on their front porch during the day on Saturday for lunch, and they had great food! They menu was different without being too weird. I like weird, but Dan likes familiar! We actually ran into some good friends of ours as we were leaving the restaurant.  It was so fun to be in the exact same place at the same time so far from home! We welcomed the hello from them, and then enjoyed some nice shopping after.  I found myself some super comfortable italian leather shoes from a company called FLEXX and Dan found  a knife store, and git a survival-type collection that had been discontinued, so we were both happy campers. We really enjoyed each other’s company the entire day. It brought me back to being a newlywed!

 We also ate at Blue Ridge Brewery which was also nice, but we didn’t drink their beer, so we can’t really give a full review, although the food we got was tasty. Dan loved their pretzel. I got a blackened trout that was D-lish! We ate breakfast twice at Serenity Garden Cafe. Their food was good, but never had any fresh fruit, which I found pretty odd. I was doing the whole 30 at the time, and really wanted a fruit option. Their food wasn’t bad, the atmosphere could’ve been better, but not bad for a breakfast place.

For our Anniversary evening, we went to Cucina Rustica. It was a little outside of town, but a very nice upscale Italian Restaurant.  How we came to eat at this restaurant is kind-of a neat story. We met an elderly  couple on the streets of downtown Blue Ridge.  They were coming out of a restaurant and we were asking them about good places to eat around the area. We got to talking and come to find out he was Tom Ledford, the town’s county commissioner, and the person who helped get alcohol into the restaurants in Blue Ridge. It was a dry town for a long time! I had no idea that even existed, I mean, sure everywhere was dry back in the day, but this was recently, like within the last ten years. They said you were allowed to “brown bag” wine and bring into restaurants, but the restaurants couldn’t sell it.  So, he recommended his buddy’s place who helped him get elected to the board, and they were ultimately able to pass beer and wine.  I’m glad they recommended the place too, because it was very nice and the food was delicious. I got an appetizer of bacon wrapped lamb and a salad, Dan got a ravioli dish.  I indulged in wine and dessert since it was our anniversary and it was heavenly after over two and a half weeks of being good on the Whole 30! Dan also gave me the sweetest necklace for our anniversary. No hints at all, he picked this out on his own. I will certainly treasure it all the days!

Overall, it was such a nice time of bonding with my sweetie. I truly value our marriage, and I am so glad that God brought us together. He makes me so happy.

Holiday Photo Booth

We decided it would be fun to try doing a photo booth this year over the holidays. This was our first adventure with it, so we weren’t sure what to expect. My friend Ashley of Ashley Bruschi Photography was a big help with loaning me her flash, and educating me on what camera settings would be good with the flash… because I have NO clue when it comes to using an external flash. It’s whole new world for me!  I found the backdrop on Amazon (we decided to do black because it’s more forgiving with shadows), and we got a few of the fun glasses on Amazon as well, and then the rest of the props came from the local Party City.

We had two Christmas parties at our house this year. One was a ornament exchange with a few close friends and neighbors, and the other was our family Christmas Eve gathering. For the family gathering, unfortunately, we didn’t get as much participation because it was just to chaotic with all the kids, but it really is a fun way to capture an event. It’s challenging to photograph adults at a party. I think kids are a bit easier because they can turn on the charm and goofy-ness.  A photo booth is just the thing that turns grown adults in to goof balls themselves. Well, and alcohol helps too, I suppose. I can’t tell you how many good belly laughs we got from these silly props and poses. It was a big party hit.


2015 Holiday Festivities

We had a great time celebrating the holidays. It’s no surprise that I am a big fan of Christmas. Anyone that knows me knows that I love the whole shebang. The music, the decorating, the lights, shopping, Christmas outings with the fam, cooking, visiting Santa, hosting parties, and all the holiday festivities that go along with it!

IMG_9155Lake Lanier Under the lights 5K
The first thing we did to get into the holiday spirit, was run/walk the Lake Lanier Under the lights 5k.  We did this last year, and it really is a fun event to do. Not only that, but I love the time I spend with Dan, running and being goofy out there together. You get to see lots of light displays during your run, and the jolly man himself. It’s a great atmosphere. It’s something that we enjoy and would like to continue doing every year!

 

Tree Lighting of Avalon

We enjoyed a tree lighting ceremony in Avalon. This was our first year attending the tree lighting ceremony there, and it was nice. It was super cold, and a bit crowded, but we ran into some friends, and it turned out to be a really fun evening.  This may end up being a tradition each year leading up to Christmas!

Parkway’s Children’s Program

Mason and Sienna took to the stage with their classes to sing Christmas songs for the holidays.  This was Sienna’s first time singing and she did great! She loves singing, and is always animated with her movements when putting on a performance, and Mason isn’t shy about singing either. It was super precious and we enjoyed every bit of it!

 

Cookies with the Clauses

It was kind of sad this year going to Cookies with the Clauses because I remember taking Parker as a toddler, when Mason was just a baby. My how the times have changed. Now Mason and Sienna are attending without big brother because he’s in Kindergarten. In a blink of an eye! Next year Mason will be in Kindergarten as well!

Sienna and Mason had a great time. We met a few friends there, but we were waiting in line for a while for Santa and Ms. Clause that we didn’t get to visit as long as we would’ve hoped to.

 

Getting the Perfect Christmas Tree

No Christmas would be the same without our annual visit to Kinsey Farms. We decided to go on a weekday this year because it’s always been super busy on the weekends. Although, this is a Christmas Tree farm, they’re not typical Christmas trees that they grow there. They’re leyland Cyprus, and other green trees, but Fraser firs are what people typically get, and they aren’t grown in this area. They’re mostly grown in the Appalachian regions of NC. They are trucked into Kinsey farms, but we still love the atmosphere of the farm, and it has certainly become a tradition of our family.
Even though Mason and Sienna managed to dump hot chocolate all over them, and they burned their marshmallows several times, we still managed to laugh about it all. I love our crazy family!


When we got home, we got busy decorating the new tree! We decided to do colored lights this year, which is the first time we’ve done this. I noticed that they don’t photograph as well as the white lights, but it was fun to use the for a change!

 

Meeting Santa in Avalon

We had planned to visit Santa at North point mall, but they are just too fancy. I mean, for realz, fancy!! In order not to have to wait in a line for a long time, I planned to do a reservation. Except this year in order to make a reservation at North Point Mall Dreamworks Santa, you had to pay ahead of time for the pictures too. Say whaaaat? Who does that? I mean… this year happens to be the first year that we don’t have a kid afraid of Santa, but if we did then we’d be up a creek with crappy photos. I’m just not a fan of paying for photos you’ve never seen. I think I’m pretty normal in that degree. It is a fancy set-up though. They allow you to design your sleigh, and you go on an interactive ride in your sleigh prior to meeting santa. We may try it next year, but Dreamworks needs to get a reality check before next year and not require the pre-pay for photos in order to reserve.
So, we went to Avalon instead, which turned out to be a great experience anyways. The only thing that was a bit of a let-down was the weather. It was literally 70 degrees! Not very Christmasy but we made the best of it. After a sweet visit with Santa, and a wonderful staff that allowed me to take MY OWN photos for free, Parker begged me to take him ice skating. It was so expensive that we could only take one child, and we told the others that they weren’t old enough and they’d have to wait until next year. Dan took them to the soft play area and Parker and I took to the ice. It was so slushy from the weather that Parker fell several times into the wet mess. However, in true Parker fashion, he laughed and laughed and didn’t mind one bit. Just like when he was learning to ride a bike. He never got upset or frustrated, he just laughed, got back up, and tried again! I need to remember this when I’m frustrated by the fact that he’s a goof ball and won’t be serious…I’m thankful that he also has the type of personality that doesn’t take himself too seriously and knows when to laugh it off, even if it’s the hundredth time falling in slushy ice and soaking your pants from the waist down!

Christmas Eve

We were overjoyed to be able to host Christmas Eve in our home this year. We typically go to Angie’s house, but we asked if we could host, and we were so thankful that she not only agreed, but was happy that we offered. I know we live a little further out, and we were excited that everyone was able to come up and spend such a special time in our home.  We had a table full of appetizers and desserts, and we enjoyed catching up with family, and we watched a short clip from the movie Nativity that talked about the birth of Christ, and the true reason why we celebrate the holiday. In years past, we have done everything from reading scripture, to singing Christmas Carols, to sharing prayers, and we decided to change it up, and put our stamp on the night. All the young kids are excited to open “stocking stuffers” from family members, of course too. Truthfully, I may be equally excited to see the joy and smiles on their faces!  Overall, it was a big success! We were exhausted, but everyone had a great time and the kids were tired by the end, but still excited for Santa to come and for Christmas morning.

Christmas Day

We enjoyed a relaxed morning at home Christmas Day.  The kids big gifts this year were a dollhouse for Sienna, remote BB8 for Parker and Mason got a Lego AT AT.  Aunt Angie hosted Christmas lunch at her house this year, which was really nice because typically the family Christmas Day lunch is held at the farm, which is too far for us to drive with the kids.  It was nice to visit more with family and get to see my grandparents that weren’t able to make it on Christmas Eve. We had a wonderful relaxing Christmas!

Parker’s Ninja 6th Birthday Party

This weekend we celebrated Parker’s sixth birthday! Wohoo! He’s growing so fast, and I just love watching him year by year learn and grow. This year, he has really been into Ninjago, a lego ninja series that has lego sets, and a cartoon show, as well as books. So, we thought he would enjoy a ninja party at a local Karate center, and let a pro teach him and his buddies the ways of the ninja!

In addition to learning Karate moves, they learned about stranger danger, how to block moves, and Parker got to break a board, as well as cut his cake with a sword! As if that wasn’t enough, all the kids got to take a swing at Lord Garmadon Piñata, which they all loved!

We enjoyed every minute of celebrating Parker. He is SO worth celebrating. He brings us all so much joy. He has such a happy spirit, and positive attitude, and I am so thankful he’s apart of our family.


Grown-up Birthday Fun

We celebrated Dan and I’s Birthdays in August, and we had a nice time keeping it low-key with some family time as well as enjoying a date night sans kids {We love them…but sometimes its a must!}.

For my birthday, we enjoyed a dinner at Ichiban with the family and a few weeks prior Dan went with me paddle boarding for the first time with a few friends of ours. Everyone had a great time. Dan and the kids baked me a home made chocolate cake, which turned out delicious and Dan surprised me with a photo printer. I’ve been loving having hard copies of some of my favorite photos to frame, hang on the fridge, or give away as gifts. So nice!

For Dan’s Birthday, we enjoyed a date night and movie- the latest Mission Impossible. He got a new katana sword for his birthday gift that he had been wanting, so that naturally made him very happy. He also requested that I make a chocolate cake topped with his favorite icing that his Mom used to make for him as a kid. Well, I had some big shoes to fill, but I took on the challenge and found this recipe on pinterest and it turned out great! I made the home made chocolate cake they suggested to go with it.  The only thing bad about this cake is that the icing doesn’t last long, but other than that, it was a huge hit, and a new favorite of the family!

fluffy white icing

Fluffy White Icing-Marshmallow Frosting

yield: frosting for 2 nice-inch round cakes

1 cup of granulated white sugar (not powdered sugar)
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/3 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, bring the 1/3 cup of water, sugar, cream of tartar to a boil. Do not stir the sugar mixture as it will cause it to crystallize. Boil until you have thick clear bubbles ( should only take about 5 minutes and reads a temperature of 245 F). Be careful not to boil even 1 second longer. *(If a mistake happens and you do boil the sugar too long and end up with an amber colored sugar mixture, don’t throw it away. Add some heavy cream and you have an amazing caramel sauce. soon as it comes to a rapid bubble, because it will turn amber, and than you would have to quickly make a different recipe, and add heavy cream, which would be “caramel sauce”).
In a metal bowl, add all the egg whites, and beat the egg whites until starts to get a little thick and forms soft peaks. Set your timer for 7 minutes. Now slowly (take care and do not let this boiling hot sugar syrup burn you) add the sugar syrup only a little at a time and beat on high speed for 7 minutes.

On the last minute, beat in the vanilla extract. The frosting will be fluffy and light. My mom recommends adding a drop of food coloring if you want to be daring.
Enjoy this fun, old-fashioned frosting on whatever sort of cake you love. It is guaranteed to be requested over and over again.;)

 

Dan turned 41 and I turned 34! Time flies! We are embracing this new year to come and hoping for many more days for God to bless us with good health and time with family and friends.

Over a decade of Love!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since we’ve said “I do”!  We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary on March 19th! Our journey has been anything but easy, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that my life got infinitly better the moment we decided to take our vows in marriage!

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In ten years, we’ve gone through some challenges.  Between the deaths of several family members that are close to us, miscarriages, surgeries, health issues, job changes and other marriage strains… we’ve had our fair share of heart ache.  We’ve also enjoyed some amazing blessings; welcoming three healthy babies, getting to be a  stay-at-home Mom to them, finding a great church home, moving into our dream home,  meeting some incredible people, taking memorable vacations and watching precious milestones… we’ve been by each other’s side through these immeasurable blessings!

There is one thing I am absolutely sure of.  Cliche or not, we couldn’t have done any of this without us leaning on God through the ups and down. Relying on him again and again to help us with life.  I seriously wonder how unbelievers get through the struggles of marriage without having God in their life! Whether it was bringing the right people in our life at the right time to love on us, encouraging us through our church, small group, or our pastor’s message or prayer.  Sometimes it was allowing us to make mistakes so that we can further rely on God for his purpose and plan.  We certainly couldn’t do it without his guidance! We are still working on submitting ourselves to one another and to God {We are FAR from perfect} so that we can be a better spouse, child of God, and a living example to our children. We are constantly a work in progress.

One of the passions that Dan and I both share is our love of travel! We wanted to get away for our ten year, but we didn’t want to be too far away from our three munchkins so we decided to head up to the Georgia Mountains. Helen to be exact.  I had been there as a young child, but I don’t really remember it much, and we go to Dahlonega so frequently that we decided to try something different.  My Mom offered to watch  the kiddos so we could get away, and we are so thankful for her. The kids love spending time with her, and they were so happy to have her stay for a night.

Dan gets major brownie points for finding this amazing Bed and Breakfast outside of Helen with some of the most beautiful views of the mountains I’ve ever seen! The name of the place is called Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn and Spa and it is absolutely everything they claim that it is. A beautiful retreat with amazing views, a delicious selection of desserts in the evening and a delicious breakfast in the morning.  We got a fairly standard room and it was really all we needed.  We also took advantage of their spa and enjoyed a nice couple’s massage on the last day.

We drove up on Saturday and we decided to take a short trail walk up to Ana Ruby Falls.  It was beautiful and the weather was in the 60s and warming up, so it was perfect for the hike.  The falls were beautiful and it was so nice and peaceful being in nature together!  After the hike, we went to explore Helen.  It is cute town with the German inspired charm but a little more touristy than we would’ve liked.  Touristy in the sense that almost every store had cheap souvenirs instead of real mom and pop stores that housed mountain art or authentic house ware goods and/or designer boutiques.  Not that I need a boutique-style shopping everywhere I go, but I could do without the cheap shot glasses, lighters, tshirts, etc in every shop. I did buy myself a selfie cam in one of those ridiculous shops.  I couldn’t help myself!

One of the best things we did while we were there was go to Habersham Winery.  The wine was great and it was just nice getting to try some wines and learn more about them.  The winery was right beside a huge antique mall, and we took our time roaming through the various vendors to see.  After wine, antique shopping, mini golf, and relaxing some more at the Inn, we headed to dinner at Mully’s Nacoochee Grill.  The food was delicious, the owner and staff were wonderful, and they had live music that made for the perfect setting.

One perfect day!

 

 

Our little get-away was just the thing we needed to reconnect as a couple and celebrate our ten year anniversary!  I’m so thankful that God brought Dan into my life, and I look forward to many more adventures to come in our marriage and family!

Easter Sunday 2015

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful Easter Sunday to celebrate our risen Savior! We had a great time with the family, enjoying a fun time at Stonecreek Church, a delicious brunch at The original Pancake house, and a visit to Aunt Vicki’s house for a yummy dinner complete with an Easter Egg hunt and Lego building with cousins! We were happy to have Drew and Anna and their boys with us this year. They rotate between families and we’re always delighted when it’s “our” year!

 

 

Overall, a wonderful Easter and great memories were made with Aunts, Uncles and Cousins!

Mason’s Lego Birthday

Blogging has taken a back seat lately but I can’t forget to blog about an important milestone- Mason’s Fourth Birthday on March 11th!

Here are a few things about four year old Mason!

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1. What is your favorite thing to eat and drink?  Pineapple and Pepperoni Pizza, orange juice and water

2. What is your favorite toy and super hero? Legos, Superman and Batman

3. What is your favorite show? Matchbox Big Rig Buddies show and Leapfrog DVDs from the Library (Mason is NOT a big fan of TV or movies…it’s the weirdest thing)

4. What is your favorite thing to play with outside? The kiddie pool and the water table

5. Who is your best buddy? Gatlin (from his preschool class) and Parker and Sienna

6.  What is your favorite thing to do in school?  Play with lincoln logs

7. What is your favorite color? Red

8. What is your favorite sport? Basketball and Karate (He’s yet to play any team sports)

9. What do you want to be when you grow up? A swamp driver.  I want to take my teacher to a swamp with NO crocodiles… (ooooh kaaaay)

10. How many kids do you want to have one day?  Three kids

11. What’s your favorite thing you like to do with Mommy and Daddy? Build a HUGE HUGE lego city!

12.Where is your favorite place to go have fun? Catch Air and Cogburn Park

13. What is your favorite Music?  I love Jack Johnson and Laurie Berkner band

To say that Mason is obsessed with Legos is an understatement. The kid lives and breathes legos! He also still likes big trucks, and leapfrog (his stuffed animal he sleeps with and the educational video) but Legos take the cake for the most played with!

We really wanted to do a party at Lego Land, but it was just rediculously expensive and it had a minimum of 10 kids that had to attend that had to be paid for in full in order to fulfill the reservation.  So instead, we decided to take him to make a family trip out of Legoland and the do a small lego themed party at home.

Everyone had a great time at Legoland and there were lots of activities for everyone!  The kids loved the rides, the legos building opportunities, the 3D movie, the huge play area, the huge lego city that included a miniature version of major landmarks in and throughout Atlanta. It was so fun!

Even though Mason is very outgoing, and one of the most talkative of our kids, he also is pretty sensitive, and can get overwhelmed with a big crowd. So, we tried to keep the friends to a minimum so that he could enjoy just having a good time instead of feeling overwhelmed.

I had two lego building areas where the kids could let their imaginations run wild.  The kids had a great time with building and showing their new masterpieces to their buddies.  Then we went upstairs for a few organized activities.  Mason also loves music, so we decided to incorporate his favorite songs “Shaky Egg” (with lego filled Eggs) to sing and dance to.  Then we played the song “We Are the Dinosaurs” as we grouped them into two teams and they stomped around holding small spoons of legos to carefully dump into the bins.  The kids seemed to really have a nice time!

We looked high and low for a reasonable Lego cake, and opted to do a “Curious George” cake, minus the Curious George toy since the colors were very lego, and we added our own legos on top!  Mason loved it!

We had a really nice time celebrating with family and friends! Another year older, and another reason to celebrate!

New Years and Monster Jam

This year our New Year’s Eve was pretty low key. I made dinner of Chicken Teriyaki with fun 2015 shaped bread that I saw on Pinterest.
Afterward, we decided to meet up with the neighbors and roast marshmallows by the fire, shoot off small fireworks, sparklers and just enjoy conversation. The wine I drank at dinner made me tired so I didn’t last long outside with the neighbors. After we went in and put the kids to bed, I went back out for a little bit, then I came inside and ended up falling asleep watching Walking Dead. Dan ended up waking me just after midnight to kiss and wish happy New Year. We’re officially an old married couple! All that said, it was still a fun night.
I decided to play with my camera a bit that night since I was still learning the new settings of the camera I got for Christmas. I played with the settings to see if I could achieve a sparkly-blur effect with a slower shutter speed while we were playing with sparklers. It turned out okay. Still learning!

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For Christmas this year, we got my brother Spencer, my sister-in-law Lisa, and our nephews Zane and Gavin tickets to Monster Jam.  They came down from Greenville to stay with us, and we really enjoyed spending time with them, and going to the Monster Jam event!

 

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Lisa is so amazingly talented, and it was so nice to take some time to pick her brain about camera settings, what she’s learned, tips and tricks, etc. She’s so smart and I just love that she has been blessed with so much creativity and knowledge and that she’s willing to share it.  It was a great time visiting with family!

Parker, Mason and Sienna opened their Christmas presents from Aunt Lili and Uncle Spence and they loved them! The boys got Monster trucks and Sienna got a sweet little ballerina doll. Great memories this weekend!

As a side note, I updated my “What I ♥” (about me) page above. You may want to check that out, especially if you’re new to my blog!