My break has been so amazing. I am very blessed to have such a great amount of time off, and have definitely welcomed the much-needed vacation from school, work, and stress. I know that this won't happen in the "real world" once I escape this world of college, so I am soaking up every minute of this fabulous time.
Here are the highlights of my luxurious break in chronological order...
1. Cookie Making
Every year, a bunch of us girls get together and make frosted cookies, almond bark pretzels, and caramels and then go around and deliver plates of these goodies to the elderly. It is SO fun! We have done it since we were in Jr. High, and the tradition has never died. We joke that we will still be doing it when we are all married with kids and living in different states; this will be our one re-uniting event.
2. 2 Peas in a Palette
This is Kristi and I trying not to get stressed over everything we had to do. Actually, this picture was taken at the end of mot of our Christmas cards, but this is us spending a couple of hours getting details straightened out in a very "organized" (Kristi: *wink wink, I'm sure your mom would beg to differ) manner. Hats off to Kristi and I for completing at least 30 cards total! We had fun with it all.
3. Ski Trip
Here is Tracy, Heather, and Polly posing in front of a beautiful sunset at a gas station on the way up to Michigan.
Tracy, Tammy and I on the ski lift.
Packing it up after a long, good day of skiing/boarding/blading!
What a fun trip! It was a great group with a lot of good memories.... buying "lunch" at Meijer's at 4:30 in the morning, traveling for 4-5 hours in a car before even seeing traces of sunlight, tearing up the hills with my snow blades (everyone knows that snow blades rise above the coolness of snowboarding... they are in a class all their own... I mean, don't get me wrong, I still think snowboarding is way cool, but snow blades, having originated from the skiing family, make skiing look classy, and anything that can do that is cool), getting lost many times on many different occassions resulting in many detours, getting beat by an 11-year-old in ping pong (that really was a crush to my ego, thanks to Holly's little brother.... kidding! But he was pretty good), riding the ski lift with my two favorite T's, playing Rook most of the afternoon, seeing Tracy among other girls jump really high in the food court at the mall, watching some Xtreme Japanese show that I thought was absolutely hilarious, and, of course, the 7-8 hour car ride home! Ok that's enough memories.
First, I have to brag about my nieces and nephews. :) From left to right: Sophia, Noah holding Lola, Oliver holding Naomi, and Domniq. Aren't they cute? I love them. I remain the famous "Aunt T" or "T" or sometimes, even "Taryn." It always catches me off guard when one of them calls me "Taryn," because I'm like "What? You actually know my real name?" All those kids hold a special place in my heart. My heart is going to just have to keep getting bigger as more babies are born, because those kids take up so much of it!
My mom is one of the most creative people I know. For years, she worked as a seamstress who did sewing alterations as a business at home. She gave that up about 5 years ago when our family did foster care for awhile, because that consumed a lot of time. However, she has taken advantage of her extreme talent ever since... a couple of years back, she made purses for us girls for Christmas that were completely unique. We've always got a lot of compliments on them. She also made "memory quilts" for her two sisters and herself when both of their parents died by taking material from my Grandma's dresses and hankies and material from my Grandpa as well as some of his ties, and made a quilt out of it with chanile (sp.?) on the back! She recently began her own personal business called "Sutsie Pie," (that is what her and my dad used to call us when we were babies), and so now everything she makes us has clothing tags on it! It's really professional-looking. Each family got a REALLY soft blanket (I'm addicted to mine, I sleep with it every night) and she also made us girls purses again this year out of real vintage material that she found and some old jeans. You will see us displaying out choices in this picture, and my mom is holding the 2 that weren't chosen. She will hopefully continue to make them and sell them, as well as mostly baby blankets/silkies/clothes for the brunt of her business.
I love Christmas time. I love being with family, and I love the theme of Christmas. I love the special bonds we all share. I love the carefree spirits and the fun times. We celebrated Christmas Eve day with my family, and then on Christmas, my parents and I went over to my Aunt Rhonda and Uncle Jeff's house and spent it with them, and my two cousins, Trevor and Trent. We played games most of the evening, and I had fun competing against my Uncle Jeff during the games (not that I'm competitive or anything). I was fresh in Rook when we played, so that was an easy win. Dutch Blitz and Rummikub were also fun to challenge them in. I love games!
5. Sleepovers (I can no longer refer to them as "Slumber" Parties, because we don't ever sleep)
Just kidding, we do. But usually not until after 2 or 3 a.m.
H, Kristi, and I had fun that night. Pictures are proof. Needless to say, it was an early morning. Poor H had to get up for work, but Kristi and I didn't begin our day until around 11.
6. My BIRTHDAY
We celebrated my birthday tonight early because I'm going to be gone over my birthday. Here is a good sibling shot. It took us about 4 tries because my brother has issues keeping his eyes open. After every picture, my mom would say, "Tate, your eyes were closed, "and Tate would shout with all seriousness, "No they weren't!" but he was in denial, because they were.
Here is a picture of my cake. It was luxurious (that is my new word, can you tell). It is buckeye cake... chocolate peanutbutter cup fantasyland, basically. It was AMAZING.
So, that about wraps it up. This is a really long post. Of coursre, you know that if you are still reading. Anyway, don't worry, because I'm leaving this Saturday and am going to be GONE a whole week in Florida! Expect a sunny update when I get back.
I love you all!