Boy howdy, a lot happened in December.
Let’s get to it.
Our sweetest ever friends knew Dave didn’t want a lot of hoopla for his bday (back at the end of November), so they figured we could just put together a home-made dinner to celebrate him. His face shows kind of how he felt about that. HA!
(Precisely why I didn’t want a big fuss for my birthday but apparently he forgot about that by then…but I’ll forgive him. And this particular evening was a really good one.)
We rushed home for the Turkey Trot “post party wrap-up” with the team:
This turned into a pretty beautiful meeting because the lady from BrainFood came to remind them how much good this whole things does. It is a Herculean effort but it is WORTH it, and helps so many kids. Both at BrainFood as well as with Families Fighting Blindness.
Everyone left so buoyed up after a big group hug.
That really is the “dream team.”
This is a regular morning around here:
Scriptures, breakfast, hairdos, and tired faces.
They gave Claire her gigantic poster from the wall of the gym (all seniors had one).
Kind of a sad day that high school career is over.
Love these friends who have been through thick and thin with me over the years:
Dave and I have been on the search for a good workout place ever since our last one closed up shop. This was a pretty good one!
I love @sharonsaysso. If you don’t follow her you should:
Dave went up to Utah to join all the siblings for our nephew’s wedding dinner:
…and wedding morning in that beautiful temple:
Love these siblings!
…while I stayed with Lucy for her first MCO concert prep run-through:
And then I snuck up there to join everyone:
While this trusty big sister stayed to help Lucy navigate the first concert:
We got back just in time for the second one.
And, as always, it knocked our socks off.
It was SO GOOD.
I talked all about it and how we carry our own lights back HERE.
We came back to our kitchen filled to the brim with all these kids (dressed in matching pjs with their dates) for their pre-winter-formal “day date” activity:
Lucy has perfected the art of the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie:
It is pretty impressive, not easy to do when your eyes don’t work very well.
(This is her favorite recipe HERE.)
I had my first cello recital:
We had a SPECTACULAR sunrise one morning, turning all our walls in our house pink in it’s glory:
My Relief Society presidency and I put together these gifts for all the women in our ward:
I wrote about those spoons back HERE.
Small but sentimental and filled up with so much love.
We got to talk to our missionary. And Claire had “Adam Sandler Day” at school:
How random is that??
She also apparently won the “hottest in class award” with that special number. HA!!
It was state football finals (upper right), and WE WON!
First state victory I think EVER for our high school.
(Winter Formal over HERE.)
That was on the same day as this:
(Our second annual “Walk to Bethlehem” for our church congregation….all about that HERE.)
Which made for a pretty nutty weekend but it all worked out and we made it through!
We collected all kinds of things for stockings to give to the refugees flooding into this area:
Lucy had her Christmas choir performance for her school (on top of her MCO concert), that girl is in the singing business right now!
I love watching her sing her heart out on that front row.
She’s also in the piano business and did such a great job on her Christmas recital:
A little Christmas dinner get-together:
Not sure why I have this pic, but I love any pic with that senior of ours:
Our dishwasher broke. We tried fruitlessly to fix it to no avail, dang it.
After many covid delays, Dave finally had a formal graduation ceremony from the Master’s program he worked his tail off for:
We were pretty proud of this guy (and also his friend) for that big accomplishment.
Lots more about that HERE.
We read books:
More about that book on the right over HERE.
And our favorite under-the-tree-read-aloud books HERE.
Lucy supported her team at many a basketball game:
More about basketball all over the place on this blog, but HERE‘s one post.
December cozy nights:
Good grade girls:
I was late on Christmas prep, still in the aftermath of our November hoopla with the sealing and the Turkey Trot and all that jazz. But I got to work:
Had some great help just when we needed it from Nana and Papa:
(They helped us stuff, seal, and stamp all of our Christmas cards.)
Packages to the kids who couldn’t be with us:
A “favorite things” party with all these lovely ladies:
Cool frosty fog filling up the retention basin one day:
Lots more volleyball….and also Max and Abby came for some pre-Christmas togetherness since we couldn’t be together on the big day:
More about their visit HERE, as well as a little about this wedding that happened in our back yard:
Our sweet Stake Presidency came by to personally drop off some special Christmas gifts to Lucy. Seriously, the sweetest thing:
The only picture I got of the refugee Christmas stocking drop-off:
Our traditional Christmas program at Nana and Papa’s where each family could tell a Christmas story and musical number:
Since our brother and sister-in-law got called to be mission presidents (in Sierra Leone!) We decided we better sneak away with them for some warm pre-Christmas vibes:
And we felt so lucky for every single second we got together.
Lots more about that HERE.
We raced back to Elle’s open arms on Christmas Eve:
(And also Carson but he was studying during the pick-up), and got busy fussing away at all our regular hoopla joined by all those cousins:
It was a pretty memorable Christmas Eve HERE!
And then Christmas Day…
Complete with one of our presents for the kids: tickets to the Suns game:
All kinds of thoughts about Christmas back HERE.
I did another devotional for the Come Follow Me app:
And I can’t find a link for it right now, but it’s there somewhere!
My sister Charity and her family were in town with her in-laws for Christmas and we got to snag them for a quick visit:
We whipped up the gingerbread house Lucy had been asking to do together all season long:
Our neighborhood turned to fall:
Then we packed up for a little impromptu skiing:
Right as we were taking off on the road we got this picture from these three who got to have the happiest reunion in Texas!!
Dave and I may have been even happier than they were if you can believe it. All about that back HERE.
Some gorgeous (and COLD!) skiing:
…some good card games:
…and snow frolicking:
(Lots more details about that trip HERE.)
And then the long drive home on New Years Eve…the sun setting on 2021 as we drove:
Got back just in time to bring in the new year with these folks:
More about that HERE.
Love this thought to close out December:
And there we go, 2021 wrapped up in a bow.
I also love the book A Gentleman in Moscow and hosted a book club discussion about it. So many beautiful quotes, many of my favorites are ones you shared here. If you tag Amor Towles in a post on Instagram, he will most likely ‘like’ it!
So sad to watch what’s happening between Ukraine and Russia. Not only heartbreaking for Ukraine (we now have 2 refugees in our home), but I also mourn for the loss of a sense of goodness about Russia: it’s people, culture, and values. I believe that it will be many generations before that can be restored.