Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Entire Month of December in a Single Post

 I am way behind on blogging. So here goes the abbreviated version of the busiest month of the year.

I started the month with a series of illnesses. First was a sore throat. Then came DOUBLE pink eye. My right eye was swollen shut during the worst of it. I was pathetic and cried and made Paul stay home from work so I could die in my room. As the pink eye resolved I developed a sinus infection. Great way to start off the month, right?

I recovered from the plague just in the nick of time to celebrate birthday #26. Pumpkin pie is slowly becoming a birthday tradition for me. It's just so darn good.

 Next up was the Wyoming Ward Christmas Party. Santa always makes a debut at the party and the kids loved it. Kate was a bit wary but Vince was a champ and gabbed to Santa about how much he wanted Rescue Bots for Christmas.

Throughout the month we kept busy indoors. We did a lot of building with legos, playing with instruments, getting dressed up, baking, reading, and made the occasional trip to the indoor park at the mall and the Grandville library. 

Another highlight was making gingerbread houses with our church friends. My friend Kate headed up the idea and she did a phenomenal job. I think the kids ate more candy that day than they did on Halloween! Sadly, I only snagged one dismal photo of the event.

Another item of note was seeing real reindeer! Thank you KDL for being so awesome!


Christmas morning came and the kids were so excited. I love that the older they get the more they can anticipate the holidays and traditions we have. We opened presents, sent Vince on a hunt to find his train set, and ate caramel sticky buns. Sooo good! Nana and Grandpa Griffioen joined us that afternoon. We celebrated Christmas dinner with a fiesta. My friend, Christie, makes delicious homemade tamales so we ate those alongside guacamole & chips, Spanish rice, corn, and jarritos. My parents stayed the night and on the 26th we tried the Shark Tank restaurant, Tom & Chee. It was hit with the fam. 

 We ended the month at the library where they had a countdown and new years celebration at noon. The kids made hats, party streamers, and blew into kazoos until they deteriorated from massive amounts of spit. It was a total hit. 2015 went out with a bang!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving in SC

As a general rule I prefer to celebrate holidays in the comfort of my own home, but if you offer a beach house on Hilton Head Island, you know I'm going to say heck yes! My Uncle is a very generous man and he let us use his beach house for a Thanksgiving family reunion. We had almost 40 people under one roof and it was amazing! We had a slight scare that we wouldn't be able to make it because Paul waiting a little too long to ask for vacation. Thankfully, his boss is a boss and gave him the time off.

We took 3 days to drive down. Yuck. So many days in the car! The payoff was swimming at the hotel and helping my parents pack up all of the delicious food. When we finally got there we enjoyed a week of bliss. Paul works so hard every week and it was a dream to wake up with him next to me each morning (so I could kick him out of bed to take care of the early riser).

Throughout the week we enjoyed lots of swimming, playing at various parks, going for bike rides (except for that one time that the pedal broke off while I was riding, leaving me in a heap on a poor defenseless bush), walking on the beach, finding starfish, throwing a carnival for the grand kids, playing lots of games, singing, and even squeezing in a few games of golf. Phew! It was lovely. And I could definitely get used to waking up to an oceanfront view.

I love my family. People are usually slack jawed when I tell them I'm the youngest of seven. While it seems crazy to others, it's totally normal for me. Being surrounded by family is what I love most. It was heaven to walk outside of my room and be surrounded by my favorite people. There's a whole different level of closeness you get when you live with people for a week versus visiting for a few hours. I'm grateful for all the time we were able to spend together for Thanksgiving week.