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Divorce doesn’t always suck

27 Dec

I know some of you may read this and think that I am crazy.  And no, I have never been divorced but my parents did when I was in kindergarten/first grade.  A lot of people don’t believe in divorce and I’m not saying to proactively get a divorce because your outcome may not come out like mine but without divorce in my family I would have never been blessed with my amazing step parents and their families.

You see, my parents both lost their parents either before I was born or when I was an infant so I really never had grandparents and my Aunt and Uncle both lived across the country.  We made trips to go see them and are close with them but we are extremely lucky if we get to see them once a year.  I don’t ever remember my parents fighting but I also don’t remember them together.  It was as simple as that.  I have great memories with my mom as a child and great memories with my dad.  Both great parents they just didn’t really work as a team.

After their split, they had dated a few people to my brother and my disliking.  That wasn’t the best but when my mom found my stepdad, Darrin, and my dad found my stepmom, Vicki, we knew that these were the perfect additions to all of our lives.  They really contribute so much love and happiness to our family and I’ve always considered them family and not “step parents” per se.  It’s great also because my entire family gets along!  We all go to big events together like my brother’s wedding and his award ceremony and anything that we can all share.  Because of this, every Christmas is amazing getting to see everyone in our growing family 🙂

We always go to my dad and Vicki’s for Christmas Eve and this year we decided to go to the gun range for some non-traditional fun.

The Livermore Gun Club.

You have to sit in these short stations.  I’d never seen a range like this before.  Whenever I’ve gone shooting, it was skeet where you can stand.

My brother is an excellent marksman from his military training.

My dad and brother setting up our target frame.

My dad.

Vicki trying to squat down to see the target since the opening of the station is pretty short.

Me and my dad 🙂

Me shooting.  This shotgun was no joke.  I’ve shot 12 gauges before but we were shooting slugs and it had much more of a kick than I was used to.

My dad and Vicki ❤

My brother and my dad.

Of course it turned into some sort of contest at which I have to say my brother and dad draw.  They were both great shots but our target was so far it was hard to tell who hit what.  We then headed home for some soup and a lighter lunch to hold us over until we went over to Nan’s (Vicki’s mom).

We all have a big dinner and then gather around to exchange gifts and catch up on life.  This is all “inherited” family through Vicki and I feel so lucky to say that now because of her and Darrin (my stepdad), I have a HUGE family!

My dad and I looking at his new ornament.  We get a new ornament every year and I can’t wait to display all my ornaments some day when I can have a large tree of my own!

My brother and Liz got to come home and be silly for a few days.  It was beyond nice to see them since they are stationed in Texas at the moment.

Nan’s Christmas tree.

Christmas breakfast at my dad and Vicki’s… This was an AMAZING french toast casserole!

Vicki could be the next Martha Stewart.

After breakfast, we head over to my mom and Darrin’s for gift exchanging and brunch.

We all sit by the tree and exchange our presents.  We also wad up our wrapping paper scraps and see who can make it in the fireplace from the farthest haha.  This year, Liz was the winner!

My brother’s new prized possession?  A remote control helicopter that he was trying to fly over the cat…

My Christmas was so wonderful and the only complaint I have is that I didn’t have enough time with everyone.  The holidays come and go but quality time is priceless.  I know divorce situations do not turn out like this for everyone and I feel extremely blessed by my situation.  Yes, juggling isn’t always the easiest due to the amount of hours in the day, but there is never any tugging or un-fair requests.  Divorce isn’t always the best option for everyone but in my parent’s case, it couldn’t have brought any more positive people into my life.  My parents didn’t meet their matches right away but when they did it was instant.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday as well!  Now I must pack and I’m off to the UP for New Years, I can’t wait :)!

Want to see life size Christmas ornaments?

6 Dec

All you have to do is visit San Francisco’s financial district to see these magnificent life-size decorations!

These weren’t huge flowers but they were still beautiful and vibrant lasting through the cold winter days.

The reflection in all of the Christmas bulbs give the free illusion of a fish eye lens and I love that with all of the skyscrapers!

There are so many warming, beautiful decorations displayed across this city right now so I will spend a day some time soon to really capture the meaning of the holiday here in the heart of the city to share.  For now, consider this a small glimpse of what is to come 🙂

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! 5 Reasons why I’m so excited for the Holiday season

8 Nov

OK, OK.  I know it’s not even Thanksgiving, which I am also VERY excited for, but with the time change and all the new exciting lights out in the city, it’s really getting me prepared for a wonderful holiday!  There are so many reasons why I enjoy this time of year but here are 5 to get me started:

1. Gingerbread!

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I love gingerbread cookies, gingerbread with icing, gingerbread teas/coffees, gingerbread scented candles and pretty much gingerbread everything.  There’s something so nice about being snuggled up inside the warm house with gingerbread around.

2. Decorations!

(photo cred)

San Francisco turns all of the large financial district buildings into large presents.  At least that’s what I see when I look at them 🙂  The lights are so beautiful.  I also love driving around all of the suburban neighborhoods and looking at the Christmas decorations.

3. Snow!

(photo cred)

Although we don’t get snow where I live, this is the time of year when I know snow is falling in all of the mountain towns.  The resorts will fill up and it’s time to go snowboarding.  I usually make a trip out to Michigan around Christmas where Ian’s family is and spend time in the snow with them.  It’s always so beautiful to experience snow around the holidays.  Last year it snowed on New Year’s Eve in Michigan and it was beautiful!

4. Quality Time!

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I know, I’m a total family person.  I love getting to spend quality time with my friends and family on the few extra days off of work.  It’s so nice to just share stories and catch up on life.

5. The Movies!!!

I feel like every family has their tradition of what movies they watch around the holidays.  I LOVE holiday movies so much.

A Christmas Story has always been our staple.  I love the scene where Ralphy’s brother is trapped in his snow one-sy.

Progressively over the years, Elf has become more of a staple.  It’s just so hilarious I can’t even point out one of my favorite parts.  Will Ferrel does such a great job of bringing the jolliness in this movie.

Christmas time is one of my favorites and I’m going to enjoy every moment of this upcoming season 🙂