These Are The People I Love

These are the people I love. Just not all of them. Not even close, really. But these are the people who I shared Christmas with and made new, good memories with. And happened to capture at least acceptable pictures of. And learned how to put prepositions at the end of sentences with. :)

Steph, Kade, Zy, and Dad. My beautiful, hard-working sister; two of my nephews who laugh easily and honestly and have fantastic, curious minds; my father, one of the greatest, kindest, most talented men alive.

Mom, Dad, and Addison. Mom, who is full of $7!* love (really!) and who is infinitely supportive; you already met Dad, but you can see what I mean; and my truckasaurus niece, who is sweet, rotten, amusing, energetic (hey, she’s two…), and seriously is a tank. (Ha! Who am I to call names?) Addi from the front.

Chace, another super-loving nephew who always has a hug and a thing or two (or twenty-two) to say.

Corey and Kristy (and Mark). My brother, who I respect more each day; my sister (in law) who smiles easily and seems to love easier (you might not understand what it takes to love Corey ;) ); and my soon-to-be nephew who I can’t wait to meet – and so I send text messages about on a (too?) regular basis.

Blondie, Joe Mama, Mom, Shari. My second Mom, a woman with many names. An intelligent, hard-working lady who can (and does!) listen openly to any story I have to share and give good, solid advice. Or just a sympathetic ear.

Phil. My second Dad. A man who truly loves being alive; a person from whom we could all learn a thing or two. Some of those things might be safer not to learn in public, though ;)

Casey and Alayna. My brother (in law) who is truly a kindred soul who makes me laugh and who I can always count on; my niece who comes out of her shell and shows her cuteness more each time I see her.

Ben and Christy. My brother (in law) and sister (in law? …Ben’s wife) who are the loving and overall good-natured parents of Layna. Serious well-wishes in the move to the new lifestyle! And sorry about the picture! Didn’t intend the red eyes and lack of even a hint of a smile (Ben smiles, I promise! and Christy is NOT some kind of Christmas demon.)

Cody and Tiff. My brother (in law) and his girlfriend, who are the proud, expectant parents of another nephew…who, if he’s anything like his parents, will be incredibly sweet, funny, and probably cute.

Mamaw and Papaw. My grandparents (in law) who, in addition to being extraordinarily loving and generous, are matriarch and patriarch to a beautiful, joyous, loving, accepting family.

Tony. My husband. My partner (in crime ;)). My best friend. The most considerate man I’ve ever met. The man who talks with me in-depth about absolutely any subject – and sometimes no subject at all. The man who has moved all over the country with me always seeking what’s best. The man who I can count on to understand me. The man who supports my choices when few others can fathom them. The man who I vowed my forever to. And meant it.

Yes – these are the people I love. The people who I have tried to describe ever-so-briefly, and have not even scratched the surface of the goodness of each person. My family.

You are all wonderful (sooo sorry if you are not in the pictures – I assure you I love you very much!!), and I am beyond lucky to have you as part of my life. I am proud of each of you and grateful to you. Thank you for sharing love and memories this Christmas.

Buttercrunch Toffee – As Good As My Imagination

There are just some things that we (royal we, mind you) associate with The Holidays – snow, family gatherings, fat-laden foods, sweet treats. That’s what makes this toffee perfect for sharing over the holiday season; equal volumes of butter and sugar, caramelized into airy, crunchy perfection and then topped with chocolate peanut butter and festive sprinkles. I don’t see how you can go wrong. Continue reading

Making Spirits Bright

The wind is loudly blowing, the snow is streaming down in thick, heavy confetti flakes, and the road is coated (in ice, I’m told). At least in places. It finally feels like winter Up North should feel. It might not stick around, and we probably won’t have a white Christmas (I sincerely hope that’s because we’ll be in Ohio , where we frequently don’t have a white Christmas), but it makes me happy right now. Continue reading