17 for 2017

While staring at the Florida ocean, K and I decide we wanted to stay put for NYE, so I’ll host a party! Hosting is the easy part. The theme is where the creativity gets challenging. Good thing my brain was clear and in popped an idea. The invitation…

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I’m all about the tiny hats this year!

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As the RSVPs came in, the main question was, “Are people really dressing up?” Hell ya we are! When else do I get to wear my high school letter jacket and Polo knit? CS was all about the tight rolling.

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After great food and merriment, we rang in the new year with our amazing friends!

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Even Sam was a trooper!

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We closed our night by writing our 2017 wishes on a lantern. I just love the sentiments these lanterns bring out.

My 2017 New Year started with a perfect message from my girl Kate.

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I couldn’t agree more. And I was ready for my breakfast of champions with my Kate flute!

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After an easy kitchen clean up, I was ready to tackle a new puzzle. I asked CS to pick one for me. I was handed 2 puzzles in 1 box. What?! This was going to require major precision. Color coding was a must! An ocean scene vs. a seashell scene.

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Boom! A little over 2 hours and it was complete. Great way to start a new year full of joy and gratitude. I hope you do too!

Presents

With all the traveling over the holidays, I put up the tree before Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, presents started showing up!

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I couldn’t talk CS into opening any early, so K and I celebrated early instead! I wanna open presents! We are such good gift givers.

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Headed to the Fort this year with 2 of my favorite people to celebrate with my 2 more of my favorite people. Mom and Dad went all out with the Chrismats lights this year…

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Just kidding! This is a house across the neighborhood from them. Calling Clark Griswold! Speaking of kidding, Mom got me this as a gift?!

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I kept staring at it going “NO. No way.” I read it all and still was like no. Once you start to open the box it says “Gag Gift!” on the sides. Phew. The real gift inside was the wildly popular new game Speak Out.

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Everyone but Dad was on board to play. The giggling takes over during the game and you have to pull it together. It was a lot of fun. Puzzles are still a favorite of mine. This one combined 2 into 1. But then once I did the Sudoku, the puzzle was done. I felt bad throwing it away.

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A bit harder was my 1000 piece Shoe puzzle!

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6 combined hours over 2 tries. It was a bit of a headache, but I got it done! Only 4 more puzzles to go.  I always buy myself a present and this little guy caught my eye. After a long debate, his name is Bungina. I don’t know where I am hanging him yet but I say hello to him every morning!

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Happy Holidays!

Spreading Holiday Joy

My amazing new work family adopted a United Way Christmas family this year. Myself and 2 other people got to play Santa and deliver the gifts!

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They are not pictured in my truck because they couldn’t fit inside! We packed my car for our Mom and 3 kids!

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Our Mom’s eyes kept getting bigger and bigger as we unloaded the presents under their tree.

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I thought I would make it through without crying, but nope. Our Mom wanted a hug. I kept it to welling up tears at the house, then lost it as I drove home. Such a great reminder of how grateful I am for what life has afforded me. If you ever hear me complain, call my bluff. If you think you have it bad, you may need a life check. Making a positive difference in someone’s life is not measurable. It’s a choice and a choice I will make for the rest of my life.

My Dreams Come To Life On Stage

Previously.

I’ve started dreaming again. Oh how fun it is! I can never really describe how amazing my dreams are. Until I saw the ISO Yuletide Celebration. Holy shit. This is how I dream come to life.

I have to credit my Mom with this event. She’s been in the past and said get tickets. Sure. Any time I can spend with my parents, I don’t ask questions. I made a large assumption that I was just going to see the symphony for 2 hours play Christmas music. Piep loves to sing, so I figured it’d be a good day for all. Until the night before, I get an email from the ISO that there will be a live reindeer out front before the show. Animals?! Yes please!

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So I’m thinking that was fun, never touched a reindeer before. As I walk into the lobby. Ummmm Yuletide mascot? Not sure, but I need a picture.

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I’m feeling great! Animals, mascots, let’s go hear the symphony. Then I walk into the theatre concourse, and WOAH. I see a sea of holiday mascots. I could hardly contain myself. “Pieper, take my phone! Let’s go!” She’s such a trooper. Reindeer!

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Penguin!

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Tree?

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Mouse!

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Come on! Gingerbread man?!

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I thought we were done until Mom and I found Olaf! And a kid who’s face says “Why is this adult taking a selfie?”

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Best part, my teammates get in on the action without prompting from me. Fun-lovers!

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Fwd: Pic

If you have never been to the ISO Yuletide, please please go. I never in my wildest dreams thought anyone out there had combined my love for theater, mascots, animation, fun, family, hope, goodness, music and sheer happiness into a show. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. And you get treated to Josh Kaufman as the emcee. Yes, the voice winner!

Turkey Travels South to West

Mama and I need a shopping fix. We hit Holiday Mart again and left with empty hands and mostly full wallets.

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Most of the boutiques that we loved, weren’t there. They must not need the publicity anymore. The clothing selection looked liked it was purchased online and overseas. Just not the quality and style we were looking for. We made up for it with a shopping cart full at TJ. Ahhhh we felt better!

Mom offered to make a turkey. Mannie wanted lasagna. Mannie rules the roost and even dressed up for the festivities. Then he requested a selfie.

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CS has a built in selfie stick. I tested out my new real selfie stick that I swore I would never own. It was free, so I call it a wash.

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To get our Thanksgiving turkey, we headed west to visit the lake CS grew up around, a beautiful sunset on Smithville Lake.

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My tour guides!

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To add a little fun, everyone donned Thanksgiving themed headgear.

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J-Man and I collaborated on some decorations for the table.

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After the meal, I was treated to the annual lighting at the plaza. Before:

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After! Bonus fireworks!!

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Thanks to all my non-laws for the tour! Go-go-CS-selfie-stick-gadget-arms!

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$754 Burpees

Previously. (I missed 2015, but they didn’t. Over $600 raised last year.)

I’m so blessed to have year-after-year caring supporters of my philanthropic cause, the Pink Ribbon Connection (PRC). My gym at work loves a challenge and loves to challenge it’s members. Who wants to do 1 burpee for every $ raised?!

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This year, we had a guilt factor 🙂 Come, do the burpees with us! Even if you are in San Diego! I only had 40 minutes to offer in my busy work day. I figured a 100 burpee day would be my commitment. Make it visible and achieve your goal.

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Let’s get to work!

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I met my goal of 100 burpees faster than expected. Urg. Ok, let’s do 54 more to be a bigger part of the gang. The gang did SEVEN HUNDRED and FIFTY FOUR burpees. That’s quite insane. This is what getting to that point looks like.

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The aftermath…

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This fundraising effort is directly connected to our community. PRC provides Peer Counseling Help Line, Breast Cancer Informational Gatherings, a PRC Newsletter – The Pink Letter, a Library and Patient Resource Guide. And what I love the most, PRC provides free Wigs, Prostheses, Bras, Hats, Turbans and Accessories to our survivors. I appreciate Komen’s efforts. I hope you appreciate and value ours. Donations are always welcome.