Sunday, December 23, 2007

My favorite weekend of the season

This past weekend is my favorite weekend of the season because of all the traditions our family takes part in. Since our oldest daughter, Ali, lives in Portland I never quite feel that we can begin the holiday celebrations until she comes home-it's just not the same without her. Since she got in late Thursday evening we were ready to "hit the ground running" on Friday. She and I had lunch with Erin and Jennifer (the two amazing wedding coordinators from Lake Natoma Inn) and then quickly came home to get ready for our annual Christmas celebration with our friends the Meachims. Every year we get together with Misty, Pat, Mackenzie and Carson to enjoy the evening together, have a wonderful dinner, make gingerbread houses and exchange gifts.
Although our two families have only been in each other's lives for six years, we feel like we've been family forever! This year the gingerbread contest was "the boys vs. the girls". I think the guys were able to get more into it than the girls, since half the girls were doing the dishes :) ! In any case we always have a great time creating our masterpieces and every year the houses get better and better. Take a look at what the guys added to the roof of their house! Carson is at such a great age to enjoy Christmas.
He was so excited and couldn't wait to open all the goodies that "Aunt Debbie and Uncle Louie" got him. After he opened his gifts, take a look at what he decided to do with one of the decorations!

Dinner with these dear friends are one of the traditions we've enjoyed creating. Mackenzie just makes me laugh all the time and I can quickly see the innocence of the fourth grader becoming the independence of a young lady. By the time the evening was over, the kids were totally exhausted and just crashed!

Saturday night we carried on a tradition that my husband and I have been doing for about 20 years. We began this custom when our oldest daughter was a toddler. Every Christmas season we take one night where we go out for pizza and then travel around and look at all the holiday lights and decorations. When we lived in the bay area we had neighborhoods all over San Jose where we drove to take in all the sites. The first year we lived in Lincoln we found whatever areas we could so that we wouldn't totally miss out on our tradition. However, the year after we moved here we found a neighborhood in Rocklin that is fondly known as "Candy Cane Lane". There is an entire development where about 90% of the houses are decorated. After having pizza at the local Round Table in the area, we enjoy walking around the development twice so that we don't miss out on enjoying one single light. This year, we decided to add a little twist into the evening. The five of us, and Katie's boyfriend, Nick, all went bowling. What an experience!!!! I practically grew up in a bowling alley and began bowling when I was about five. My daughters, however, have only thrown the occassional bowling ball-and when they did they often used the "bumpers" that have been so popular for years. Well, the bumpers were not available Saturday evening, so you can imagine how many gutter balls came our way! I haven't been bowling in about 10 years and boy did my bowling ball have a lot of dust on it! Considering I haven't thrown a bowling ball in quite a while I didn't think my score of 131 was too bad! We really did have a good time and my husband and I decided we're going to do it a lot more often!

Lastly, Sunday evening was spent with our good friends Bob and Elaine from Dolphin Dream Studios. They came to our house for dinner and we had a great time! It's so much fun to be friends with the vendors I work with...I certainly makes working a lot more fun!!!

With tomorrow being Christmas Eve it reminds me how important family and friends are, not just at this time of year, but each and every day. My husband and kids are the most important thing in the world to me and being together during the holiday season creates memories for us that will last a lifetime.

I hope you all enjoy every minute with the people you care most about and remember what the season is all about.
I'll be posting some things next week from our trip to Colorado. I can't wait to photograph this part of the country...a part of which I've never visited. IT WILL BE BEAUTIFUL!!!

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