December, twenty-fourteen

Another year has come and gone, but before I review 2014, I thought I'd do a quick review of December. It's been a bit hectic!

The month started with our very first family trip to a tree farm to cut down a live Christmas tree! I've always wanted to get a live tree, but for one reason or another we've never done it. Our good friends joined us to help take some family pics of us while we picked out our tree and it was a lot of fun. We all froze our butts off, and it was muddy and damp, but we found that perfect tree and then warmed up in the restaurant afterwards. Maybe a new tradition? 

(Photo Credit Tracee Roof)

We got the tree home and decorated that night and we've really enjoyed having the live tree. We did also put up the (now pathetic looking) artificial tree in the other room for old times' sake.
 December also brought a new 'do for me. I've been trying to grow my hair out for a year or so now, and it's finally getting to a length I'm happy with. I decided to celebrate with some red and blonde highlights and I love it! I really like how "my girl" curled it all up too, so I've been trying to do that on my own sometimes - NOT as easy as the professional stylists make it look!
 Please ignore that giant zit on my chin!

December around these parts always bring a bunch of big Christmas gatherings. Hubby and I both have huge families, and Christmas is really the only time of year we all get together. His side was first as usual. I just love how his Grandma sits all the little great-grandchildren around the kitchen table and read them the Christmas story from her tattered Bible every year, ends it with a song and then gives them each a gift to unwrap. She is such a special lady and we all love her!

Since the beginning of November, K's weekends have been completely absorbed by rehearsals for the 4 parts she landed in this year's Nutcracker. She has worked so very hard and loved every single minute of it all, making a bunch of new friends. December 19th & 20th, they performed and I couldn't have been more proud of the whole cast. They all did wonderfully and I didn't actually mind the dozen or so times I watched the performance between full run rehearsals, dress rehearsals and paid performances. I think K has definitely fallen in love with ballet and it will be a part of all of our lives for quite a while now. She has a real knack for dance and has been told so by her instructors. I can't wait to see where this new love takes her!

Christmas morning came around before any of us were really ready for it this year. It was an unseasonably warm Christmas and it was kind of tough to get in the spirit for some reason. Everyone received great gifts and we spent extra time together as a family, so at least that was nice. 

My side's family party is actually the weekend after Christmas, and this year we threw in a "our generation" cousins party as well. It was great seeing everyone!

My brother has been dating a really great girl for a little over 6 months now and we are all so glad they've found each other. She is sweet and laid back and fits right in with our crazy bunch. :)

I caught this great smile shot of my Grandma at the party and I just had to share it. She is one of my favorite people in the whole world!

Now that Christmas and the Nutcracker are in the past, it's time to move on to C's basketball season. She enjoys it so much and I think it's a great thing to help both her social and physical skills too. She's growing up right before our eyes and even with all of her difficulties and struggles, she is an amazing girl!

On top of all that, I've been shooting weekends full of photo sessions and editing like crazy into the wee hours of the mornings. Trying to find time for everything I need to do is truly impossible, but I do my best. K will be turning 12 on Friday. Will someone please tell me how to slow this life down a bit?!

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