Wednesday, December 8, 2010


My mom made the holidays. If you ever spent a holiday with her you will know what I mean. She made the holidays so special. It's not Christmas without you mom.

Christmas 2006

My dad has done a great job (with a little encouraging from me) since my mom passed away and I'm grateful for that. My mom was very good at giving gifts and I'm trying to keep up with her standard. We never got a ton of stuff but she tried her best to get us great gifts every year. I started doing all of her Christmas shopping the year she was diagnosed. She would come up with the ideas and I was given the credit card and sent on my merry way. I loved helping her and making her feel like she was still the Queen of Christmas. Even for our last Christmas together I thought that I had done all of the shopping but she had her elves (my Auntie V and Kathy) go shopping so I would be surprised by at least a few things. That meant a lot to me since I hadn't received a Christmas present that I hadn't picked out for myself in about 5 years.

Christmas 2008

This year I was trying to figure out what gifts to give everyone. Here's what we've come up with so far:

A turtle for Andrew's youngest brother, James. Totally Andrew's idea but I love it.

Personalized family descendant tree for my Grandpa Howerton. Found here on

Personalized thumbprint family descendant tree for Grandma and Grandpa Gardner.
Found here on

Gift card for Jared, Rose and Tyler. They took us to this place over Thanksgiving. It was heaven.
Here's their website.

We're doing service for the missionaries this year for Martsie and Dennis. We love our missionaries!

Now for Aaron and my Dad I have NO idea! What shall a girl do?
The rest must remain a secret so I don't give anything away.

Merry Christmas from us here in the Cleve!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


This was me about 30 minutes ago while taking Kipling for a walk. It's FREEZING here!!! According to the always truthful it is currently 29 degrees with a high of freezing. Lovely.

After my "i hate everything" post things started looking up, thank goodness. I like my job even though I get paid nothing and Thanksgiving was a success. Andrew and I drove the 9.5 hours to Raleigh with the pup in the back seat only to have a constant party for 5 days and turn around and come back. It was so fun seeing everyone again and Rose and Jared cooked a mean Thanksgiving feast. I haven't eaten that well in a long time. Needless to say I did not want to return to the bitter chill of the Cleve.

Things went well with my dad. He never brought up our incident and was just plain happy to have his family all together. He got a lot of Grandpa time with his biggest fan, Tyler, and even wrestled with his furry little grandson, my pup, more than a few times. I declare that Thanksgiving 2010 was a success! We'll see how Christmas goes.

Speaking of Christmas. I have to figure out how to fit everything into 6 days and a tiny carryon bag.
oy vey.