Thank you 2015!

This is it:  the last day of 2015!  This has truly been an amazing year filled with so many blessings.  Thank you for joining me on this adventure – you are a blessing to me and keep me motivated to write.  I’m optimistic for what God has planned for all of us in 2016!

December couldn’t have been any better.  I spent 5 nights in Atlanta with Jonae and her family and had lots of baby snuggles!  Juliet is such a good baby!  (I’ve already warned her to watch out with her next one!)  Lots of babysitting time, Breakfast with Santa, Buckhead Church and yummy food.  Very nice pre-Christmas celebration!

Returning to California, I volunteered a few evenings with my all-time favorite ministry, Operation Christmas Child.  I helped inspect and sort gift shoeboxes that will be sent to children in Peru and Malaysia.  The Southern California processing center (there are 9 across the US) was on target to sort through 925,000 boxes that had been donated!  It was a wonderful experience and I’m blessed to have taken part.  (

I was able to take Brian to one of my Happiest Places on Earth – Disneyland of course (his first time to see their Christmas decorations!) We had a wonderful day and he really did enjoy all the lights!

After a few days at home, Brian and I drove to Las Vegas to spend a few days with Whitney and her fiancee Elliott.  We were there at midnight to ring in his 30th birthday!   My sister Pam and her husband Dave surprised them for the 2nd night…more fun, food and laughs!  Adam arrived from Ohio and we all returned to California to spend an evening with my nieces, nephews & parents.

Christmas Eve we went to an afternoon church service.  Pam’s family & my parents joined us for a late dinner and we had fun exchanging gifts.  I awoke early on Christmas Day to watch Pam’s family open their gifts (at my house I had to wake my boys up at 11!)  We enjoyed unwrapping presents and returned to Pam’s for mom’s famous lasagna.  A very “happy” Christmas as Mitch told me later that evening.

We ventured to the movies on Saturday and I drove Whitney & Elliott back to Vegas on Sunday for their flight home to Ohio.  Brian and I worked this week and are looking forward to a nice long New Year’s Eve weekend.  Heading to Pam’s shortly to ring in 2016 with her family and friends.   Beyond blessed.

I am mindful that my life is not necessarily “normal” and that many of my friends have experienced pain and sorrow in 2015 that they do not want to repeat.  My prayer for all is that Jesus will reveal Himself to you in a new and passionate way in 2016.  Draw close and allow Him to love & bless you as only He can.  Smell the flowers.  Stop and gaze at the clouds and sunsets.  Smile at a stranger.  Breathe deep and don’t take any moment for granted.  Choose joy.  Life is precious.  God loves you and so do I.  Happy New Year!  Welcome 2016!

Nonstop Family Fun

Hello!  I wanted to give you a quick update with some pictures from the last few weeks.   I’m headed to Atlanta in the morning to see the kids and baby Juliet (she’s 4 months old already!)  Time is passing so quickly – I’m being mindful to enjoy every moment.

Thanksgiving was a very fun gathering and the food was delicious (my sister is an excellent cook!)  The weekend that followed included a little black Friday shopping and a Turkey Shoot soccer tournament for Zander.  The weather was cool but it was so nice being outside.  Mom & Dad made it safely back to Tucson and Adam returned to Ohio to finish up his first semester.

Brian has an incredible knack for finding really good deals – whether it is through facebook groups, craigslist or yard sales.  He found us a 9 foot artificial Christmas tree for just $40 – exactly what we needed for our California living room.  It was a treat to have Zander help us decorate…he really enjoys all my musical Hallmark ornaments.  Brian also started his world-famous Christmas light display – although on a much smaller scale this year (didn’t make sense to ship all that stuff across country.)   He definitely misses the larger production, but was pleasantly surprised that it only took him 6 hours to decorate.

My brother and his family were able to visit this past Saturday.  Pam and I grabbed lunch with Tiffany and Michelle before shopping at the church Global Fair.  We also found ourselves spending several hours in Kohl’s on Sunday (after church, of course!) before we enjoyed a yummy Italian food lunch.   So nice to have extra girl-time…and now I’m ready for some baby snuggles!!!

Have a blessed week!  Remember…Jesus is the reason for the season.  Love to you and yours!

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