The Story of Us

The Story of Us

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Blessings

So between trying to catch up on Nutcracker Photos, Gymnastics meetings and Meets on the weekends and last minute Christmas orders..... I actually made it to Christmas. It definitely was a very busy season and it all caught up with me yesterday and today. Made a trip to the Doctor this morning for another sinus infection :( Blah.... I'm feeling pretty miserable today for sure,at least I am not working at the YMCA for these two weeks and I can rest up.
Thursday the 20th was my last day of work there and I was frantically trying to get orders done and everything shipped out by Friday so that they would be delivered by xmas. On Friday the 21st it was my Grandma Blanchards 85th birthday. Mom, Dad and her all drove up for the weekend and we took Grandma out to lunch. I can't even begin to describe how much my Grandma means to me or how much she has impacted my life in a positive way. She is a symbol of strength and faith and I can always go to her with anything and talk through things. In the past 5 or so years we have grown extremely close and she has helped me grow into a woman in many ways. I am so thankful she is as healthy and full of spunk at 85 and I hope it never fades. I don't know what I would do without her in my life supporting me. Happy Birthday Grandma!
So Friday night the rest of my family arrived and I was so excited to see my nieces! It was a wonderful weekend getting to spend so much time with them. So including everyone in the house we had 7 adults and 2 kiddos for 4 days and on Saturday we hosted for our extended family Christmas and my cousins and Aunt and Uncle joined us making 15 adults and 10 kiddies under the age of 6. Oh yeah and 2 dogs! Yup thats right 10 kids! It was really nice to have everyone at our house though. Sunday we had "Christmas in Michigan" where Santa visits MI. and the girls felt like it was Christmas Day here and we woke up and had breakfast and opened gifts/ Then Sunday evening we took the girls to our Christmas Eve service at church. It was a wonderful weekend with family and I am glad everything went smoothly and we spent time together.
Christmas day we went to Ben's parents for breakfast and then Christmas gifts. And back again in the afternoon for Christmas dinner with his extended family.
All in all Christmas this year went really well with both our families. We are very blessed with the love and support we get from our parents and I just felt so Lucky and Grateful for what we have together and our parents and Grandparents. I think this Christmas has been my favorite so far. Even though it was crazy busy right before it was just a wonderful, blessed time.

                                  Grandma with her 10 Great Grand Kids

  Rylie and Ellie

 Our Tree with all the presents!

Ellie opening gifts
 Rylie opening gifts

Dec. 8th

I seriously thought I had blogged after this crazy weekend (Dec. 6- 8) but apparently I didn't, so now I am desperately late on any December posts. Well Thursday December 6th I drove down to Jackson to shoot an evening in the Academy of the Arts dance studio for the Christmas photos of the Nutcracker Production. I usually make a trip down for the shows on most occasions not always the Christmas shows but this year they asked me to take some group shots from the Nutcracker scenes. So I went thinking it would be nice to make a little money off of it right before Christmas and I never expected the turn out of kids and groups I had.It was a lot of work right before Christmas but at the same time it was a pleasant surprise.I hope I am able to do that more often. On Friday I stayed for Rehearsal and then joined my Grandma and Mom for the traditional Hanging of the Greens at SAU. It had been quite a while since I had been back on campus and my Mom was excited to show me her new office and all the renovations they have made to the main building. They had snacks and hot chocolate and shot off fireworks at the end of the night so it was definitely an enjoyable evening and helped me leap into the Holiday season even more.  On Saturday I took Grandma and Mom to lunch and then Grandma and I went to the first showing of the Nutcracker and I shot pictures during the 2 shows on Saturday. It was nice spending time with them the last weekend and this weekend doing holiday things. On Sunday the 8th I went with the Eller side and did a day trip to Frankenmuth. Which is always a fun trip. We went to the Bass Pro over there too which I had never been to that one so it was cool to see. Ben and I picked out a new Christmas ornament for our tree (and one for Reggie) at Bronners. Its becoming a tradition for us.  The next week we were able to decorate our tree with all the ornaments and I do have to say it might be my favorite tree this year. We moved it from behind the couch to in front of it int he corner so that when we are watching tv or sitting on the couch you can see it now and I love just snuggling up on the couch and watching the lights sparkle on it. I love Christmas. I love it more spending it with my hubby and our families.
For all the Pictures from the Nutcracker visit my facebook page here to view them:
Nutcracker Photos

                                   Our Christmas Tree all lit up :)

 Nutcracker Photos

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's Christmas Time!!

People usually start getting into the Christmas spirit right after Thanksgiving, if not before. I felt I was late on that bandwagon this year. Don't know why, it seriously has been one of the craziest falls ever and so much photography work as long with full time coaching, I think I forgot to mention that the weekend before Thanksgiving we hosted a home gymnastics meet and I took "pictures" for the girls in their team leotards and so I have been working on all those order on top of all the Christmas orders. This coming week I will be in Spring Arbor for studio pictures for the Jackson Dance Company for A Nutcracker Christmas. So needless to say I have been spending any extra time on my computer editing and have fallen behind on everything else. Like wishing it wasn't Christmas yet so I could enjoy it longer and more and spend time getting decorations up and not miss it cuz before I know it, its gone. Well this weekend definitely put me in the mood. Today in fact. This morning Ben and I went and picked our tree. Oh wait, this morning Ben, the dog and I went to pick out our tree. Someone was waaayyyyy too excited about this adventure. Holy Cow. I'd swear we have a kid sometimes and not a dog. Anyways after that my mom and grandma arrived and for the first time ever I got tickets to go see the Singing Christmas Tree. Its Americas Largest and last year it was shown on TV for a Christmas special I think on TLC and this morning we made USA today! How cool is that? I love it when cool things happen in our town and it just makes me love living here even more. The tree was amazing and my mom and grandma both loved it and I am so glad we went. It was way cool. Once we got back home I went on a cleaning and Christmas decorating frenzy!! With some help of course but it is nice to have all the twinkling lights glowing in our home and the sound of thunder outside with everyone all nestled in bed. Its so cozy and loving. How can I not sit here and smile, feeling so blessed at all I have. Wonderful family, great friends, an absolutely amazing husband, the best dog anyone could ask for.... a house all lit up with lights. Tis the season I say, I am so looking forward to Christmas Break and enjoying myself. We are hosting Christmas this year so it makes it extra special knowing I am decorating for more then just Ben and I this year.
Well I am off to go cozy up in my bed while visions of sugarplums dance in my head. Hope everyone is feeling as Merry as I am so far this season. I hope it lasts all month!
Happy December! 

Thanksgiving in Outdoor World

Thanksgiving this year was only a little different than previous years. We weren't sure until a few days before if Ben was going to work or not. He definitely had to work on Black Friday though, which let me just say was not fun for him dealing with all those people. Luckily though he did get Thursday off and we spent the morning together sleeping in and going shopping! I know, weird right that we went shopping on Thursday morning. It was actually a really nice time and it wasn't crowded at all and we got some really good deals. Okay wait, as I am writing this I am thinking Ben went hunting, yup he did cuz I remember him saying he saw too many other people, so yeah I guess it was just me that slept in. Oh wait again, no I didn't I got up and worked on editing pictures all morning. HA! I guess it was too good to be true. Back to the shopping we did do that though and it was fun. Then for the afternoon we went over to his parents for a Eller Thanksgiving with all of his side of the family. I ate way too much but it was relaxing and Ben and I came home and it was so weird just spending an evening at home together. Well actually a morning and evening, alone together. I took  a nice long relaxing bath when I got home and then well it was like 8:00 and we decided to go to bed. No joke. Ben had a really early and extra long day at work and we both were full of food and beat. So yeah we turned in pretty early.
Friday I had 4 shoots. Yup 4. A very long day indeed. It went over pretty well, just exhausting. However I was done by like 5 and I can say it was really nice being home before my husband and making him dinner and just being there when he walks in the door. Usually its the other way around so I always really enjoy the evenings where I am playing the 50's housewife :)
Saturday morning we woke up nice and early to head to Chicago to see my brother and his family. My parents had gone down on Thanksgiving on the train and Ben and I stopped to pick up Grandma and she rode with us to their house. I can't tell you how much I missed my nieces, it had been since July that we saw them and I just love giving them big hugs and hearing them talk and tell me silly stories. Ellie Suzanne is 2 and is usually pretty shy but she was so much more open with us this time and let me tell you that girl loves her Uncle Ben. It was so special to see them together. After a little bit we headed out to Bass Pro to see Santa and do some sale shopping. Well who am I kidding we never pass up a Bass Pro or should I say Ben never would. They have a huge santa land there with games and trains and stations and of course Santa. Ben and I had one of the girls and headed into the mall on our own for awhile and then he rode the carousal with them and shot the toy guns and bows and we all had a lot of fun.  Once back at the house my sister in law made a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner for all of us and then it wasn't long after that I tucked the girls into bed and headed there myself.
The next morning we headed back and stopped at Cabelas on the way home and of course spent a lot more time shopping there where we picked up a meat grinder for the deer meat so Ben doesn't have to go somewhere to do it every time. Now he can process it at home.
A long, exhausting weekend but definitely a fun weekend and I was so glad to spend more time with the girls and family.