Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ringing in 2013!!

We rang in the new year last night with our third annual progressive dinner.  This is the one event that my kids get SO excited about and anticipate it for weeks.  I guess to a child it is just so out of the norm and fun to go to three different houses for appetizers, main course, and dessert.  It is a long night but it gives us plenty of time to catch up and laugh.  My belly is actually sore from laughing so hard!  It was truly a wonderful night.

I had my doubts yesterday that I could go through with the night.  We got word yesterday morning that one of our UVA friends, Alyssa, went home to be with Jesus. She was Kyle's age and Kyle remembers that they were studying last year for the same SOLs in the hospital.  She fought a courageous battle against osteosarcoma.  She is now a beautiful ballerina dancing with Jesus with both of her legs.  My heart is so heavy for Jeff and Lynn and little sister, Lexie. 

After hearing the news about Alyssa my mood darkened into a deep funk and it felt almost unfair to be ringing in the new year with laughter and friends.  Then I remembered that one of the life lessons that cancer has taught us is to seize every opportunity to make meaningful memories with loved ones.  With that new mindset I headed to the Dollar Store and bought boxes of candy to hand out as prizes with our games. 

We started the night out with appetizers at the Osborne's house.  It is hard to discipline yourself to nibble and not eat too much there.  She had some yummy finger foods!  Then we headed to our house for the main course.  I had made lasagna and chicken cordon bleu casserole with Toni's salad and bread.  We had picked up some pizzas for the kiddos and we actually sat down and ate. 

After eating.... it was game time! We usually plan some family-friendly Minute to Win it games and this year Tonya came up with some good ones!
Here is my husband with panty hose on his head. In the leg of the panty hose is a tennis ball.  The object is to swing the tennis balls to knock down the water bottles.  To watch our grown men with panty hose on their heads made us belly laugh.  We are also a very competitive group of people which adds to the laughter. 
Kyle trying to knock down those water bottles!  Have I mentioned how competitive we are??!! :)
Yesterday I went to the dollar store and bought boxes of candy for a cake walk type of game.  The kids walked in a circle and when the music stopped they stood on a number.  Whoever's number was called got to pick a prize out of the bucket. 
Tonya also did a minute to win it game where the kids had to suck up M&Ms with a straw and make a smiley face on their plate.  Cute!!
Kyle's fourth grade teacher on the left and his current teacher, Mrs. Roark on the right.
The annual group picture of the kids!  Hope would only get in the picture if sweet Kelsey would hold her:) The Jonas' are expecting their fourth, a little girl in a few weeks so amazingly next year there will be an addition to this group!
I was loading up the kids and Mike went back inside to get something, or so I thought.  Next thing I know he comes out in his old white bucks-which were his partying shoes from college.  Evidently these shoes are hot again (Jonathan spotted them on the shelves at Belk) and Mike is smug in the knowledge that he is once again a trendsetter.
The ladies of the group in Macy's room. 
I made a homemade centerpiece for the table for dinner:)  I am such a holiday dork.

The last game we played was a number guessing game.  The kids and adults had to put down their guesses and whoever got the closest won!  Renee won both of them-she is such a smart cookie!

It was a wonderful new year full of laughs and good food.  After the scary and often horrible 2012 it felt right to laugh and enjoy fellowship with some friends.  Between our cancer journey with David and Suzanne's pregnancy we have not gotten together in a while.  It felt so good to laugh and watch our kids enjoy time with their friends.  We never know what tomorrow will bring, but cancer has taught us to enjoy every moment.  May God bless you and your family in the New Year and may 2013 be a year for peace and love in your household.

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