Happy New Year! The last two weeks of 2015 were doozies! I'm sure you all can relate. Two weeks off of school for the kiddos = a full, fun filled schedule. Normally I like to have a nice relaxing, mellow time while the kids are at home for break, but that was not the case this year...
Every year we like to collect donations and deliver to the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco. So on a very rainy day, the first day of school break, we loaded the car and trucked into the city with the goods. We finally made it to the brand new, beautiful facility.....
.......but not until after we accidentally drove to the old facility across town. It was a rainy day adventure to say the least.
Leading up to Christmas, we had a few family dinners scheduled, to help prolong the holiday. Christmas Eve day we have the tradition of going to Great Grandma's house, (Dominic's Grandma) here on the ranch. We spent a good part of the afternoon with Great Grandma, all dressed in her beautiful red, before the rest of her family came to her house for dinner.
I always reacquaint myself with photos and wall hangings every time we visit Grandma Mary. This is a painting of Burdell School, which was a one room school house that was built on the ranch in the 1800's. It was burnt down in the 1950's, but it lives forever on Grandma's kitchen wall.
Another favorite of mine is this painting of our family's dairy before Stafford Lake was built. In the 1950's, the dairy was moved to its current location so that Stafford Lake could be built.
Christmas Eve night is spent on the ranch, at my mother and father-in-law's house. This has become a very meaningful family tradition where we, along with Dominic's sisters and their families gather for food, drink, good times and the opening of presents.
Bryce had fun playing "Santa" this year....and yes, he is wearing his cousin's Raiders Santa hat.....yikes!
Christmas morning is spent at home, very relaxed and cozy before heading over to my sister's house to celebrate Christmas afternoon with my side of the family.
The party continues, with Fuzzy, the photo-bomber and all.
Three Portuguese Girls-A-Cookin'.
Linguica and bacon, among other goodies.
OH, and the highlight of Christmas night, we finally were able to meet our new little, one month old cousin. The kids were amazed at how small her little toes and fingers were.
And proud Daddy, is extremely happy with his little girl.....and yes, he IS a Dallas Cowboys fan....
After Christmas was over, we didn't want to let the festivities go quite yet so we headed out to the coast with some very good friends for another Christmas tradition that began in 2014....Oysters and wine.
above photo credit: Heather
There was a whole lot of enjoyable eating during the last part of the year. I'm almost sad to see it go. But, we must keep on track.....spring is around the corner, right?
Paige and I decided to take a ranch hike with our new pup, Chipper. Chipper is six months old and has never really been on a leash, until this day. He did pretty well! He made it to the top of the hill behind our house without any stalling. Here we had a nice, clear view of the ranch, Stafford Lake and in the distance, San Pedro Bay.
This hike was also an opportunity for Paige to rack up some steps on her new Fitbit Flex.
Between Christmas and New Year's, a good friend asked me if the kids and I would be interested in attending the fabulous production of Cavalia - Odyesso in San Francisco. Absolutely amazing. I am a horse lover and rider and was completely awestruck by what these horses were able to accomplish. Wow.
Before New Year's, it got cold. REALLY cold. Something like 28 degrees.....Now I know that's not cold for some of you, but for us California wimps, it's too cold.
New Year's Eve, our out of town cousins drove up to stay the night with us and we ate, drank and watched Napoleon Dynamite after the ball dropped.
I am thankful for great times, and especially for the great memories. It's a Wrap, 2015.
I hope your end of the year wrap up was awesome! Looking forward to an exciting 2016!