December started with a bang on December first because we had a neighborhood Santa party at our neighbor’s house…this was the view from my garage on the way over…

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Tough to tell from this pic, but there were a LOT of people over there.
Lucy got to go do some service with some friends…one of them chose this to be the activity for her birthday party which was such a great idea.

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They pack food (mostly soy, dried veggies, rice) in a sealed bag and send hundreds of thousands of those all over the world.

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…and Winter Formal was all on that same day.  Claire and friends decided to go this year:

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Grace went with her girls too…

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ok, AND with her cute date 🙂

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Lots more about Winter Formal back HERE.

There were some safety concerns at the high school one day so school was cancelled and all these teenagers ended up here before Lucy even left for school.  She was pretty delighted about that.

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These high schoolers weren’t too sad either:

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I can’t remember what we did that day, but I have this photo of Grace and friends using that day off to get creative…

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We went for Activity Days with this darling group of girls to perform at a retirement home.  These girls were SO excited to perform:

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And those people were so happy to listen.
(I wrote all about that activity back HERE.)
We jumped into celebrating with Advent this year for the first time, and I loved it…brought in the true reason for the season in so many good ways.
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We worked on a little page from our Advent book each morning for scriptures.  I wrote about that back HERE.
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Our home turned into a wedding invitation factory in December.  The girls and I got busy with these suckers, checking addresses three times over, using our golden calligraphy markers, stuffing, stamping (Dave joined in on that part), and boy, that was a lot of work!  Grace’s friends joined in too…so good with calligraphy I was impressed.
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Two sad things about those invites:

1) there was a good typo on the main invite…whoops!

2) lots of those things got lost in the mail.  It’s interesting because people have come out of the woodwork and told me that same thing happened to them.  After all that work to get them in the mail, it’s kind of sad that so many people didn’t get them.
But hey, they were done and stuffed in that big blue box at the post office with a lot of satisfaction.  I want to remember what a huge relief that was.
Lots more about sending out those wedding invites back HERE., but I don’t think I mentioned that there was another mail mishap.  The parcel I sent to Abby’s mom with her stack of invites was set to arrive there in two days and that took four or five.  Hmmm.  A little disappointed in the mail service right about now.  But they finally got theirs and had their own little mailing/stuffing party:
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Good times.
I cooked THIS bread: 
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Claire jazzed up our post-dinner-clean-up routine:

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We wrote letters to all our cousins out on missions to go along with their Christmas cards.  Plus we made a banner and sent it in the mail to be ready for one niece who was arriving home just before Christmas.

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It felt like our kitchen was a missionary-mail workshop for a couple days because we have a lot of cousins out serving all over the world…four out, then one came home and another left.
Lu and I did a lot of tandem bike riding in December.  

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I am not the world’s best bike rider, so I got my ankles bruised up a tad bit on that tandem with Lucy stopping or Bo barging in front of us…always a little bit of an adventure 🙂
I got to teach art masterpiece for perhaps my last time in my motherhood career.  
Oh man, that just hit me right here while I’m writing it.  Weird that this elementary school chapter is closing up shop.  We did pseudo cave paintings.  

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It wasn’t my favorite project, nor circumstance since I was teaching the whole sixth grade in a huge room (6th grade is different from all the other grades since they shift classes during the day).  But it was still good to be in there with those kids, getting to be close to my girl who still likes me to come into her classroom…sometimes.
Art masterpiece has been a big part of my life for so long.  Strange that I’m ok letting it go.  It was so good while it lasted though, and I’m sure I’ll get to go help with the art walk at the end of the year.  Maybe that will serve as my culminating art masterpiece experience and I’ll get all wistful and teary then.  
Lucy had a Christmas piano recital.

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I did a post about that back HERE.

I feel compelled to take a picture of the trees in our neighborhood about every time I drive in.

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Which results in Lightroom having like 64 copies of pretty much the same picture.  

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But I love noticing the little changes as the seasons change.  And I love that even after living here for so many years it still takes my breath away…how the trees are backlit sometimes, sometimes in a fog, sometimes glistening in the sun, sometimes blue skies, sometimes gray.  

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This world is a beautiful place.
Lucy invited two sweet new friends over.  

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That girl is surrounded by the best of the best.
Claire got her hair highlighted.  Yes, she’s young for that type of thing, but it was kind of fun.  

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In December I poured over all things burgundy.  Ties, dresses, flowers, more dresses.  Love these ties that my friend sells and that worked out perfect for all the groomsmen:
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Her website is HERE.

I also spent like two hours in a dressing room one day trying to figure out how short to get the long dress I found altered. 

It’s weird how weddings make you think about all kinds of trivial things.

Lu and friends sweet-talked me into decorating a gingerbread house I had bought for a family thing…and I was so glad because although these faces don’t show it, I think they had a pretty grand time: 

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Someone sent that above picture in our family chat (Dave’s family), and I just love it so much.  There’s Dave up there on the right and his wonderful grandmother I’ve heard the most beautiful stories about right there in the middle of he and his brothers.  Wish I could have met that spunky and full-to-the-brim-with-love little lady who made everyone around her feel special.  
You can tell it in her face, don’t you think?
Lucy and I snuggled up in that spot there on the couch and read a few things at Christmas.  Gone are the days all five kids would snuggle up with me under the tree, eyes wide with wonder reading Christmas stories.  

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I’m so glad Lucy would still appease me and help slow down Christmas time as we read.  We read this book this year:
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Well, we read part of it, and then Lucy got tired of me cutting off chapters right in the middle of the best places and she decided she’d take matters into her own hands and finished that thing all by herself (more on that book back HERE).

This dog gets carried around like she’s our baby.

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And we pretty much love her.

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I think this was accidental…but maybe not:

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I made Grace take a picture because she most generally ducks out of pictures.  Isn’t she just a beauty?
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We had a big family gathering with Dave’s family since his oldest brother was in town.

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As all our kids grow older for some reason it gets tougher and tougher to gather, so it was so nice to have an excuse to hang out together all night long.

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Love these people.

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Dave’s brother was here for his middle son’s graduation, so the whole family was here.  One of his boys married an amazing concert pianist.  She played a little for us at the end and I wish we could have had her playing all night long.  It was so beautiful.

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We got to go to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for this vehicle:

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All kinds of info about that over HERE….so grateful for all the good O.U.R. is doing, and to be more informed.k
We finally finished Dave’s office. 
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But I only got those two pictures of it…
Lucy wrote Christmas cards to her teachers.  I particularly loved this one:

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Love that girl …and Bo too.

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December was crazy with wedding prep.
Lots about that back HERE.
But then suddenly Max and Abby were here and we were off to the races…starting with what’s most important:  some good food.
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Those couple things along with all kinds of other wedding preparation details back HERE.

I don’t know if we were wedding prepping here, or just having a regular old FHE…

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Abby’s family arrived and our kids all hit it off like peas in a pod.

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Lots of other wedding prep stuff with Abby’s family in that same post back HERE.
We had our annual gathering with Dave’s family.  It was nice to have these two wonderful people here (Nana & Papa) since they were in Ghana last year and we missed being with them for the holidays. 
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I don’t know what was happening here but I like this picture:) 

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We had our annual white elephant gift exchange as well as a little talent show program.

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Dave was happy to have a little running partner for one of his runs: 
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This picture is a little representation of all the gobs of stuff we did before the big wedding day…I’m holding the table up as much as I could so it wouldn’t break like it did once when Max sat on it…Ha!

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My family arrived in town too, just in time for the bridal shower Dave’s cousins threw for Abby…so so sweet of them!

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All the details about the bridal shower back HERE.
And later that day we held the family “wedding dinner” at our house.
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That is a grainy photo representation, lots of pictures expanding on that night back in this post back HERE.

Gosh, lots happened in December.  Are you tired of reading yet?  I’m tired of typing I’ll tell you!

Ok, so we had friends come help prep on the wedding morning.

…and I’m going to go ahead and act like it was all smooth and easy-breasy but that morning had some good emotion built into it.  Dave and I had a good little morning fight, we had an ironing fiasco, nine ladies trying to get ready all at the same time, a little bit of a late bride, a ring forgotten…yes, that morning had some stories of it’s own.
But in the end these two were running into the temple to get married and it was a pretty beautiful thing.  I think my dad snapped this picture and it’s one of my favorites:

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And then, just like that, I had a married son.

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And a beautiful, gracious, wonderful daughter-in-law.

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And two months later I’m still reeling about that.

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Wedding day post with all our wedding outtakes is back HERE, the after-party (reception) is back HERE, and the professional wedding pictures are back HERE.  Oh, and the video of the whole deal is HERE.

Loved having this partner to get through all the crazy stuff and bask in the glory of the love and goodness of it all.  

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Miss you Sarah!  xoxo
Love that Elle’s good friend (and ours too), was the videographer (link for that up above).
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Loved this apparently very serious conversation my brother was having with all these same-age nieces.  I hope he was filling their brains with how awesome their moms are.  

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Max and Abby were off, and we were left with the Eyres here, which meant the party was still going.

And still going strong.

More on what we did, including our Jerusalem Supper (part 1) back HERE.

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Max and Abby came back from a couple days staying close-by before they left for California for their honeymoon.  Loved having that opportunity to give them their Christmas gift: Max’s mission books.

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All about those things back HERE.
We tried to soak up our Hawaii girl in the midst of all this since she wasn’t staying long…

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We met up with some friends (including Dave’s brother and his wife) for dinner:
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We played a whole bunch of tennis.

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Hung out and had good talks around the pool under that royal blue desert December sky:

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I think I happened to catch the .5 seconds my mother actually sat down while she was here…
Had a little Christmas Eve visit from these three who helped us wrap the last gifts while we were all out enjoying all the beauty of that day: 
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Basked in having a baby around: 
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More on all that pre-Christmas stuff back HERE.
Got ready for our Jerusalem Supper, Round 2:

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More photos of way more than you’ll ever want to see, every angle of all that giving and unwrapping and loving up babies and cousins, and nativity on my Christmas Eve post back HERE.
And then it was on to the hoopla and commotion and love and excitement of Christmas morning.
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All the details of that grand morning HERE.

And then my family left on Christmas afternoon, and it was just down to these four girls of ours.

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We went to dinner, played games, had an impromptu “Polar Plunge,”  all detailed in that Christmas post (here).

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…followed by Max and Abby’s return and lots more gift unwrapping…this time in the wedding category:

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Elle left for her adventure in Spain and Portugal and we started getting pictures like this that popped into our phones:

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And the rest of us headed up to Utah to help these two get settled in their new place, and start their new beginning together.

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That sounded a tad bit cheesy up there, but isn’t it cool to have new beginnings?  Love that these two get to do it together.  There are more pictures of their cute new place and the stuff we got to do together back HERE.
We did a bunch of other stuff in Utah…like going to see a Jazz game:

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Sledding with old friends:

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Music and the Spoken Word with our big girls:

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A hike with my sisters in the freezing cold blizzardy wind which you cannot understand from just looking at this peaceful-looking picture:

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It can’t depict the wind howling around us and our frozen cheeks.  But I sure loved being with those sisters of mine.
And then, just like that, 2018 came to a close with a dance party and games at my parents house with a bunch of Eyres.

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 And 2019 came rolling in.

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  1. I love seeing all the pictures. Thank you for sharing your life with us!
    I LOVE that white flower pot on your coffee table with the plant in it, please someone if you know where I can get one like that, please let me know?

  2. I noticed your comments about lost invitations, so I'm passing on some info from my sister, a Postal Service employee. The red envelope/gold script lettering is so beautiful, but really hard for USPS machines to read. Plain printing in black ink on white paper is best (but not nearly as special). Looks like it was a great wedding.

  3. That’s so weird about the mail. I’ve always thought of it as one of the best, most amazing, services to send something beautiful across the entire country in a few days for just the cost of a stamp or two . I recently sent about 100 invites for a special event and we had just 1 not delivered. . Did you have a return address printed on them so you got back what was not delivered? Possible folks mistook it for a Xmas card because if the timing and red envelopes?

  4. There are delivery recommendations around Christmas for boxes and letters. Anything mailed in December is going to take extra time out of state. It’s a bummer if you rush it and it doesn’t get there so fast. Sometimes a two day guarantee doesn’t include the start date you expect because of the time of day they were dropped off. Also a weird weather pattern might effect the route and cause delay. Gosh the other side got the invitation box so late. They still had to address and mail taking up more days. You must have had no idea how many were coming. Were you able to call everyone who hadn’t responded? I’m not entirely sure paper invitations will be done ten years from now.

  5. is there any way you could ask abby where she got her beautiful white lace dress she wore on her way to the temple and as she was leaving her reception? it’s the shorter of the two dresses she wore on her wedding day. thank you!

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