As you probably know, Advent is one of my favorite seasons. I love the anticipation and the waiting. I love thinking about the long-expected Jesus’ birth and also His second-coming. I’m thankful for the intentional season to prepare for Christmas.
Throughout the Advent season we usually go through a book and do a little something fun each day leading up to Christmas Day. This year has felt a little disjointed (we’ve missed a few days or had to put a few activities all on one day), but we’ve had some fun nonetheless. We are reading “Prepare Him Room” by Marty Machowski this year. And we’ve done many of our usual activities including: making Christmas cookies, having a family sleep over (we did this on Micah’s birthday) in matching pjs (a ridiculous splurge I did this year that made us all laugh a lot), Christmas wrestling match, caroling with our church family, driving around to see Christmas lights, red and green dinner, breakfast for dinner, picking up trash in the park with friends, participating in their piano recital, and watching home videos from 2021 while enjoying ice cream sundaes (on a Sunday, of course).
In Krav Maga, the boys have officially earned their second stripe on their white belts and are now more than halfway to earning their yellow belts. They absolutely love these classes. They are having a lot of fun learning about self-defense, getting a good work out, and spending time with their friends.
We had the pleasure of hosting my cousin, Anne, for a week. She’s such a gem. We really enjoyed our time with her, even though she was working from our home during the week. One of the evenings we had Matthew and his girlfriend over for dinner and games in the backyard. We also played some games, played ping pong in the garage, and Ethan taught Anne how to play the ukulele. Over the weekend we all went hiking and paddle-boarding.
Thanks for coming to visit, Anne! So good to have you!
And, finally, some other pictures from the past two weeks:
…we had a final piano lesson for the boys (during which I went for a nice long walk), a dentist appointment for Ethan (and he sat in the front seat because he’s old and heavy enough for that), a final walk to the pond (where I saw a coyote), and our last krav maga class (before taking two weeks off for our trip).
…we had a birthday to celebrate! This guy brings so much joy to our lives. Every one of us likes to sit and chat with him and give him lots of hugs. We each drew him cards to celebrate him. I’ll bet you can guess who drew which card.
The following day we hit the road for our two weeks in Wisconsin. We stopped in Des Moines on the way and had incredible pizza (thanks, Mel and Joel, for the recommendation years ago that still remains a delightful treat!) and took a nice long walk. Micah requested that we take those four pictures of the two of us. Ethan did not. =P
I’m very thankful for the life we live. It’s lovely to be content just to be back home again, even after an epic trip. 1. We were excited to see the growth of our Dahlia’s in the backyard – I suspect we’ll get some flowers in the next week. 2. Micah prepared this delicious European-style lunch for us and then snapped the pic. 3. And I couldn’t resist a picture of my four double-eggs in a row. Feels like it should be some kind of a record. 4. Ethan got some new books about birds for his birthday and he stays up reading them at night. 5 and 6. I was thrilled to get back to my favorite walks!
The boys are always especially glad to be back in town for Krav Maga. They are loving their classes and the time with their friends. They each earned their first tip (I think that’s what it’s called when they get a new tape band on their belt) and today they got their uniforms and boxing gloves. =)
A dear friend of mine from high school came out to Denver for a vacation with her family and we all snuck in some time together at the Audubon Center.
We also joined some dear friends at Cherry Creek Reservoir for some dinner and time on the water recently. We’d never done this with them before but it sure was fun!
Mikey and I celebrated our 15-year anniversary! We enjoyed sushi and then watched the video my dad made for our wedding reception dinner of pictures of both of us growing up. It’s hard to imagine that we’ve been married 15 years already, but it sure has been a fun adventure!
Next up…a short visit from my brother and his family!
The long-awaited birthday trip to celebrate Grandma Cleve finally took place at the end of June. It was cancelled and rebooked at least twice, so you can imagine the thrill of *finally* getting to take this trip together! Grandma Cleve flew to Atlanta and traveled with Ashley’s family and then we all met in Turks and Caicos for a week of relaxation and gorgeous sites!
Pictures won’t do this island justice. So many of these shots look like we photoshopped ourselves into them. Unreal. I’ll start with some pictures of time at our home-away-from-home on the beach.
We enjoyed playing Bocce at the house…
Working hard to open up some coconuts…
And going snorkeling at the beach:
We ate lots of fantastic food (including the best crepes of my life!!), some all together and some on our own.
We ordered in and bought some cakes to celebrate the birthday girl one of the nights there:
We spent some time exploring the island and various beaches. I especially loved the exploring we did on our last day there. We found some gorgeous spots unlike any other place we had seen before: