With all the traveling over the holidays, I put up the tree before Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, presents started showing up!
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.
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…
Just kidding! This is a house across the neighborhood from them. Calling Clark Griswold! Speaking of kidding, Mom got me this as a gift?!
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.
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.
A bit harder was my 1000 piece Shoe puzzle!
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!
Two great friends reached out and said “Hey, want to go to the Crossroads Classic with us?” Yes please! Watching Boilers, Bulldogs, Irish, and well… Hoosiers. Count me in! And my HLP would probably like it too!
Making our way to our seats, I saw yur boy Blue!
Great times with great friends!
I had to show my gratitude. They could have sold these tickets for 3x the money! Thanks for looking out!
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!
They are not pictured in my truck because they couldn’t fit inside! We packed my car for our Mom and 3 kids!
Our Mom’s eyes kept getting bigger and bigger as we unloaded the presents under their tree.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Come on! Gingerbread man?!
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?”
Best part, my teammates get in on the action without prompting from me. Fun-lovers!
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!
I can’t get enough Fitz! And now I know they release more tour dates as they go on tour. I’m a sucker but I love introducing new people to them. CS even enjoyed it!
Then he repaid me with a date night concert the next night. Holiday inspired martinis did not disappoint. We had to get some class before we made it to our venue.
I bet most people were at the concert to see the headliner.
We were not. CS was interested in the openers. And no one was right up front, so let’s take a spot in the front row to watch Citizen Zero rock out.
We watched the roadies tune and test the equipment. Then they would go to back area of the stage, take off a hat or a sweatshirt and came out as Citizen Zero. Fake roadies saves money! But there was a mascot, sort of.
We were there to see Adelita’s Way. I found them back in 2009 with their first single, Invincible. Rick was rockin’ the Grandpas cardigan look. Not the head banging outfit I was expecting but a great show, up close and personal.
We listened to 1 Scott Stapp song then left. Sorry Scott.
K and I took a great escape down to FL before the bitter cold arrived to the Midwest. As we enjoyed the warm salty air, this washed up and scared the shit out of me as I was blissfully taking pictures!
I had seen a bright blue jellyfish on one of my previous beach walks, so I was hyper sensitive. We ventured out one night to see how the locals do it. Meet our Florida snowmen.
K found this man more appealing. At 10 pm, it was half price tequila shots. Twist our arms.
This vaca was all about good food, great drinks, and sand.
After being beach bums for a few days, we needed to get some culture. Florida style. We found a holiday lights boat tour on the Intracoastal Waterway. I was hoping for a boat like this…
Just kidding. That’s Steve Spielberg’s boat. Our boat was more this style…
But it came with a tree. I’m not the only one who puts Christmas trees near water.
The yachts and homes on this waterway were unbelievable and massive. Like stuff you see on TV.
According to our guide, this family fell in love with the Harry Potter movies, then had there home updated to reflect the homes in the movie. $$$$$.
Our farewell toast to the beach. Who needs stemware and flip-flops?!