Monday, December 31, 2012

December 2012 Review

The last month of the year was very full!

A friend who moved to Florida came back to town for a really short visit. We had dinner and talked for hours.100_2798

Katie counted her cash and we realized she has saved over $200 for Living Water International. We decided to start a fundraising page so we could donate it and get the cash out of her room and into the hands of those who can do something with it!_MDS2511

Mommy fail #1: instead of doing our Journey to Bethlehem tradition, we decided to skip it this year and do some other activities instead. A town near us has this thing called Christmas Traditions, and there are Santas dressed in period costumes (and other holiday characters) who roam the shopping district. You can collect their trading cards and join in the fun tracking them all night. I thought our kids would love doing that, so we showed up one Sunday evening at 4:50pm. Yep. Only to find out it all ended at 5pm. Sharp! We walked around with the kids anyway, window shopping and taking photos. Fail.IMGP3177

A few days later, I planned a Mommy win. I dressed the kids in their jammies, we loaded them into the car, and we drove to a nearby park for something called Celebration of Lights. There were thousands of lights on display. We arrived to find out it was the ONE night of the season when the park was closed to driving traffic. It was the only night for walk-through tours. Yep. Fail again.

That same week, Santa was supposed to visit our neighborhood clubhouse. I was SURE that would work out well since I was planning it and there were no chances for a walk-through tour. (Ha.) Until I got the call from Santa that he hurt his back and couldn’t make it. I scrambled for 4 days until I finally found a Santa who could save the day._MDS2565-

Girl Scout caroling in our neighborhood helped set a happier holiday tone.IMGP3230

Finally, the Celebration of Lights visit turned out to be a success.IMGP3281

And so did the Christmas Traditions. Here’s the Frontier Santa with Dan and the kids.IMGP3301

We finally ventured out on our first gluten-free fast food trip. (Thank you, Chick-fil-A!)IMG_2034

Dan and I celebrated our 17th anniversary with dinner after what has become our traditional gift to each other in the last few years: serving at church. Dessert was cheesecake and a half-baked cookie topped with salted caramel ice cream. Yum!IMG_2054

Katie also baked her first all-on-her-own cake at Grandma’s to celebrate Christmas, an uncle’s birthday, and our anniversary. When it was time to decorate, Grandma gave each kid a third of the cake to decorate._MDS2768

We celebrated Christmas a day early with my in-laws, who accommodated my work schedule. Can you tell what Katie’s favorite two gifts of the night were? A Mizzou hat and a frog pillow!_MDS2771

I got to work serve five different Christmas Eve services at my church. I was so excited to be a part of it. This photo doesn’t do the stage design justice. The room was filled with tiny twinkling lights. The worship music was inspiring, the message was breathtaking, and I was in awe of the amazing people I work with and the incredible God I serve._MDS2792

Dan continued my lifelong tradition of having Dad read The Night Before Christmas._MDS2809

The big day arrived!_MDS2856

After a huge meltdown when Jackson had trouble figuring out how the new Wii works, the kids spent much of their Christmas break attached to the TV screen._MDS2861

The afternoon of Christmas Day was spent with our extended family. (And this isn’t even all of them!)IMGP3349

A cousin from my side of the family was in town, so we had lunch with him, his wife, and his daughter.IMG_2077

I got to second shoot a wedding with my photography mentor.IMGP3608

Dan and I escaped town for two nights on a belated anniversary trip. We went to our college town where we met twenty (!) years ago. He took me to see the movie Les Miserables, and it wrecked me. Our first morning in town, we woke to find snow falling. We walked through campus and visited our favorite spots. It was a great getaway. Maybe I’ll publish a separate post about our trip back “home” soon.

_MDS3459 (2)

We were gone for New Year’s Eve, and the kids stayed at their grandparents’ house. Here they are, celebrating the arrival of 2013 in Greenland with sparkling grape years eve in greenland

Welcome to 2013!

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