We spent a wonderful day down with our “extended family,” friends that I have loved for years and years and years. Julianna’s sisters (Tara and Wendy), Wendy’s son’s (Ashton and Aiden), and her mom and dad (Sharon and Robert) all came down from Utah to be with Julianna’s family for Christmas celebrations. If Julianna is my pseudo sister, that makes Sharon my second mother and all the rest pseudo-relations, as well. And that’s just how I think of them. It was one big, happy reunion.
The time was spent eating, and chatting, and catching up. All of the kids had a good time together. Laura was a great helper with all the younger ones, especially with Jake.
The day unfolded without any planning or particular agenda, other than to consume chocolate in all its various forms.
We had an indoor picnic.
Some spent most of the day hard at work…
While others were hard at play.
Then Julianna decided to take advantage of her mother’s fantastic cooking and baking skills and enlist her in a cinnamon roll making tutorial. Recently receiving this KitchenAid from generous sister Wendy helped seal the deal.
It had to be properly broken in. Plus, what was she to do about those pregnancy cravings?
I documented the experience.
We’re always laughing. Always. Didn’t you know baking was funny?
The tried and true method for cutting the dough: using thread. Way better than using a knife.
They are phenomenally good! Better than Cinnabon, I promise you!
I think I discovered the beginning of my holiday decorating obsession. It all started in 1st grade with Mrs. Fugate’s tissue paper projects. This is Julianna’s that she (like the rest of us) labored over, rolling each square of tissue paper into a tiny ball and then gluing it just right onto the particular pattern. Hundreds of tissue balls later, you had yourself a Santa or an angel tree topper. Somewhere, in my parents’ garage most likely, is my own Santa creation that looks similar to hers below.
Speaking of decorations, check out this cute Snoopy gingerbread house Julianna’s kids decorated. One of 5 Peanuts-themed houses they made. Adorable.
Aunt Tara and Aunt Wendy met Jake and Joe for the first time. There was mutual love.
After a great day of baking and eating and laughing, I was reminded how blessed I am to know this family. They are wonderful people that I love dearly. I’m glad I got to grow up with them. And I’m grateful that my kids get to now, too.