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Happy New Year!

Happy late New Year,

Hope that you all are doing well. It's been a long time since I wrote. I can't believe it's already the 2nd week of January. My December was full and I loved every minute. Over Christmas break we had LOTS of "family time". From the 19th -31st we had family at our house. If I'm honest, it's just nice to not have to travel. My wonderful Mother -n-law, Mary K, started the chain of family members. I am so lucky to have the easiest Mother n law in the world. We had lots of fun getting all of the pre-Christmas stuff done. LOTS AND LOTS of wrapping. Here she is with us on Christmas Eve.

My Mom and Dad joined us on the 23rd. I surprised my Mom and Mother n law with tickets to The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. It is always soooo amazing!!. I mean really, I want to be able to dance like that. If I tried to kick my leg up that high, I would crack something for sure. Here is pic of my parents with us on Christmas Eve. My mom and Dad always made Christmas so special when I was a kid. i always had Christmas with my grandparents growing up, so I'm thankful that they make it a point to be with my kids during Christmas.

So late Christmas Eve, my oldest sister Donita and her family joined us. That is always extra special for my boys to get to be with their cousins who they rarely get to see. The only sad part was that my middle sister, Dayna, and her husband Ty were not able to be with us this year.

So with so much of our routine way off schedule, I'm finding it hard to get back in the groove of school and basketball schedules. However, I'm excited about the new year. It's a time to think about the things you hope for to come. Our church did something that was very meaningful to me. Our pastor was talking about how much gratitude and hope are inter-related. It is in the remembering of the things that God has done that make you know you have hope for the future. He had us take some time to write out some specific ways that God was faithful to us last year. We then took time to thank God for His evidence in our lives. Then he had us write down things that we are hopeful for this next year. f could see that by my being thankful for the past, I have hope that God hasn't forgotten me. He is faithful and will come through in my circumstances. It immediately helped relieve some things that I was anxious for in the coming months. Try it, maybe it will help you as well.

No matter what you are facing this year, I hope you know that God will be there every step.
Love,
Denise

Shelley Says...

Happy New Year everyone!!

We are at home today savoring the last official day of vacation. Caroline had close to 3 weeks off and we have loved every single minute of it. I LOVE CHRISTMAS BREAK!!!!

We got to do lots of fun and Christmas-y things together - I wish I would have taken more pictures! Isn't that always the case?!

I took Caroline and our neighbor Sarah to see the Nashville Nutcracker and it was so so good. The next night we went to see the Rockettes. We took our good friend Michael along with us. I bought him a ticket for his Christmas present because he had never seen them. It was such a fun night and great way to kick off the holidays.

Here is a picture outside of the Opry House before the Rockettes that Michael took of us…

I finally got a new BLACK purse for Christmas - that brown one is SO OLD….I'm retiring it. It's been good to me, but bye bye…

Dave took this one with Michael. I told him he should send it out as his Christmas card. Hahahhaha….(I really just wanted you to see his dapper coat and scarf) (and shoes)

After the show we picked up David's brother Brian from the airport, and went to eat at Bricktops, our FAVE restaurant. I wish I could say the "Eat Fest" didn't start until that night, which was the 21st, but unfortunately it started WAY before that…very unfortunate.

My parents got to my house on the 22nd, and we had such a sweet Christmas. Caroline LOVED having her Uncle Bri and Mimi and Boppa here.

We even cranked up the hot tub a few times…

The pool was 52 degrees and I'm pretty sure there were a few kids in it on a few occasions. (Something about the "polar bear club.") No thanks.

No thanks to 52 degrees and no thanks to putting on a swimsuit. HA!

We have a tradition that my mom started with us when we were kids - that is to pick ONE gift to open on Christmas Eve. Caroline opened this Disneyworld game that David found for her on ebay. She and the neighbor kids have played that thing a thousand times. Money well spent!

I look at this picture of her and her dad, and I think…David is getting cuter the older he gets. Men are lucky in that way. HA!

Here is Caroline and her Uncle Bri. Right after we got home on Christmas Eve. Church and Chinese food. So all American!

aaaaaaaaand here is Mimi on Christmas Day. Cooking up some Parmesan Mashed Potatoes. The Eat Fest continues…

Well - those are just few of our holiday moments…
Hope you had a wonderful restful Christmas and that your New Year is off to a great start!!

Shelley

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