Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

In many ways it was like every Thanksgiving before it, but there were at least two major differences. 

Caleb did not ride with us to Montana, nor did he go home with us at the end of the holiday. It had been three long months without him and I couldn't wait to give him a squeeze and spend a few days 
with him. We were thankful to Maureen for picking him up on her way to Helena and returning him to school on her way home. They arrived in Helena shortly after we did and it was so good to see him!

The biggest difference, however, was celebrating our first Thanksgiving without Grandma. 

The Hatch family is a tight-knit group. They are all so good to me and we have great relationships, but the fact of the matter is, I'm an in-law--the only sister-in-law--not one of the original six.  Jon's five sisters did an amazing job putting on Thanksgiving as Karen would have done. Several of them had been together all week planning, shopping and baking. Though I tried to make myself useful and be helpful to the whole process, there were times in the bustlings and conversations that I did not feel a part.  It's nothing intentional and I didn't take offense, it simply made me miss Karen all the more.  I just felt a little more on the outside than usual or than I ever did when it was her steering the Thanksgiving ship.

One night, I found all of the siblings gathered in their mother's room visiting and laughing hysterically.

Christopher and I were the only runners in the Turkey Trot this year. I love this tradition and was glad he would do it with me.

Our feast that afternoon was super delicious!

The traditional Turkey Bowl followed.

 The girls dressed up in prom dresses to recreate a photo they'd done four years ago.

We got our Staggering Ox fill and these cousins know how to rep the Y, too.

While we maintained our adults-only dinner tradition, we learned from past mistakes and did not go to Chili's.  Jon and I decided, however, that the food and service at the Mexican place we went to instead was just as disappointing. The company is always good, though, and that's what's most important.

It was hard to say goodbye to Caleb at the end of the holiday, but we knew we'd see him in three short weeks for Christmas break.

All in all, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving with family!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Sweet Sixteen--The Party

For her sweet sixteen birthday party, Alyssa requested an Italian dinner and photo booth with the numbers 1 and 6 in a pink and gold decor.  I love it when she gives me ideas of what she wants for her party.  I sure had fun with this one.

I rented a table and some chairs to accommodate all of her guests. I bought some gold spray paint for the vases that had previously been silver and we found gold numbers for the photo booth, which we set up in the den.

The photo booth turned out so cute:

The party guests seemed pleased with their dinner of pasta with white and red sauces, garlic bread and salad.

Alyssa, Sydney, Maddy, Riley and Linsey

Maison, Sam, Bailey, Ashley, Mathlida and Emily

Hailey, Maya, Ella, Jada, Gracie and Jasmine

Lys wanted a candy bar for dessert.

In planning for the party, we decided it would be fun to turn the photo booth into a game and it ended up being a total blast.  Alyssa and I came up with 12 photos that each of the three teams had to take together. The results were pretty hilarious.

fake smile


Regular cute smiles                                                                                 Rockstars


Group hug                                                                                            Ninjas

A photo to represent this year's election



Fake fight

Once all the teams were done in the photo booth, we put all of the pictures on the tv.  Pretty funny and so much fun!

Alyssa got so many thoughtful and generous gifts from her friends.  Such a fun night!

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Time the Seahawks Won Just for Me!

What? The Seahawks are playing a Monday night game and it's also my birthday? Um, I think I need to be there.

It was my first Seahawks game since they've been good.  I mean, I went to a game or two back when they were nothing to write home about, but this is Russell Wilson and company we are talking about.

We had such great seats with a fabulous view of the field.

We are really bad at selfies.  Really bad.

Jon and I shared a small bowl of mac and cheese that came with an adorable football roll.  Cute and delicious.

The 12s are known for being the loudest fans in football, but after actually being in that stadium, I can attest to the volume level.  It's deafening. Scream at the top of your lungs and you still won't be able to hear yourself.  Plug your ears and you can feel the reverberation in your head. It's crazy!

The Seahawks very nearly blew the game in the final seconds.  I lamented to Jon that they were going to lose on my birthday and the one game I get to attend.  But then some key defensive plays kept us alive.  

They won!  They won just for me, I'm sure.  Thanks for the birthday gift, Seahawks.

The mob of fans chanted Sea-Hawks all the way out of the stadium.

So much fun!  A perfect birthday.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sweet Sixteen

This gorgeous girl has grown up so much in the last year!  Turning sixteen--I can't believe it!--means she can now experience many fun life milestones like dating and driving.

Sunday birthdays can be a bit of a drag, but she got a new dress to wear to church and her favorite dinner of roast beef and mashed potatoes.

The McInellys came over to watch her blow out her candles and help her eat her cake.

Many exciting things ahead for this one, including super fun party with her friends.

Happy 16th Birthday, Alyssa!