Tag Archives: party

Welcome 2020!


new years

Boy, 2019 was a doosy!

It is hard to believe how many changes occurred in our life over the course of a single year. It was a year of high highs and trying lows as we navigated a multitude of huge life events. As I scroll through the last 12 months of blog posts I can’t believe it has only been 365 days since the first blog of 2019. In so many ways I feel as though I have lived a dozen years in that dozen months.

I love New Year’s Day. There is something cathartic about flipping through an empty calendar, each square pristine in its lack of markings, filled only with the promise of possibility.

I love the opportunity for reflection tied to this holiday…the intentional break after a frantic month of celebration and frivolity, to simply pause and ponder on the past and dream about the possibilities of the future.

I love the chance to hit the re-start button on our lives as we make plans to let go of those things that weighed us down last year and move forward with a hope and optimism about the year ahead.

I love the goal setting, the list making, and the future planning.

And as much as I love the transformation that occurs every December as the house gets caught up in the spell of Christmas magic with its trinkets and tinsel, there is a peaceful exhale that comes as the house sheds those layers of decorations and reverts back to a simpler and starker state.

After a month of excess, the promise of restraint pulls at me. It had been a month of much…much celebration, much lost sleep, much frivolity, much junk food, much, much, much…

And nothing sounds sweeter than the routine, restraint, and rest associated with the sleepy, snowy stillness of January,

But before we could settle into 2020 we had to ring out the old year with style, with one more celebration in 2019. It was New Year’s Eve and we had a party to get to!!

Every New Year’s Eve for the last decade we have rung in the new year with out best buddies- The Hudak’s!

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This year was no exception.

Even Grace and Zach opted to join us in lieu of other plans.

This New Year’s celebration was a big one, as it was the year we would  be opening the time capsule we packed as part of our New Year’s Eve celebration five years ago.


But before we broke into that vault of memories and took a walk down memory lane, we needed to fill our plates and our bellies with sustenance!

Lana and I split the responsibility of our New Year’s Eve feast, with each of us making five or six appetizers for the party.

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Once we had everything laid out, the kids were set loose on that buffet of deliciousness.

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Once everyone was satiated we gathered to open our time capsule.

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Olivia did the honors…

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And everyone pulled from the container the papers that were filled out five years prior and began reading the responses to the questions on the forms. It was delightful to read the answers of the people we were five years ago and compare them to who we are and what we believe today.

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Some of the papers were downright hilarious.

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It was such a delight to see the transformations in ourselves that the kids decided they wanted to do it again, writing letters to themselves to be read in five years. This time Braden and Zach were able to add their notes to the time capsule.

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It was soon time to gather around the tv to watch the ball drop.

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Sparkling cider was poured,

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And everyone began the countdown…

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….Happy New Year!!

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Welcome 2020…I’m so happy to see you!

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Grace and Zach’s Wedding Reception


It is hard to believe it has been two weeks since Grace and Zach’s wedding reception. Since that day they have enjoyed an amazing honeymoon abroad while the rest of us spent time recovering from one heck of a party!

Slowly, the house is returning to normal, as each piece of furniture and each decoration finds its way back to its original spot. and we ease back into the routine of everyday life.

Molly has returned to school in Idaho. Grace and Zach, now home from their honeymoon, are enjoying the adventure of married life as they establish their own routines and traditions in their darling little apartment.

The reception was beautiful. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Grace’s vision of the night came to life in a way that made it feel as though we had invited our closest friends and family over for a holiday dinner. There was comfort food, familiar faces, music, laughter, dancing and displays of love that left all our hearts overflowing with gratitude over the blessings of their union.

We made the decision ahead of time to hire our dear friend, Holly (who is an amazing photographer) to capture the magic of the evening so that I wasn’t having to watch the events of the evening unfold from behind a camera lens…

And yesterday she sent us the edited photos, allowing us to relive what was an amazing night.

She perfectly captured the feel of the evening and the love that overflowed as we celebrated the nuptials of Mr. and Mrs. Tame.

Here is a look into that blessed night:








The whole event made us dance with joy!

“In Her Shoes”


Tuesday night was our annual Relief Society Garden Party for the ladies at church. The theme for the night was “In Her Shoes.” We shared the message that although the shoes we might wear in life differ,

we are all walking the same path in hopes of arriving at the same destination. None of us need to walk alone.

As Relief Society sisters we are here to support, encourage, and lean on each other when our burdens are heavy and when we are tempted to just sit down and quit walking.

It was a night of sisterhood, fellowship, laughter and tears as we became better acquainted with each other, shared our stories with new friends, and cried tears of support as we listened to the messages spoken.

The night was a true labor of love as many women offered up their time and talents to create a special night for an amazing group of ladies.

Here is a peek at our night…

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We hit our first hiccup on Monday night when the weather channel reported a 70% chance of rain. Last year’s garden party was so much fun and the ladies enjoyed being outside so I was crushed when we had to make the call to move it into the gym at church. I had no idea how our committee was going to manage turning an ugly gym into a “garden,” but thanks to the many green thumbs in our group we were able to gather enough potted flowers to achieve the garden look we were looking for. I then tore apart my home and with the help of Toby and the kids moved half my home into the gym for the night. 🙂

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My family was a huge help as they dedicated their day to helping mom avoid going off the deep end. We joke in our family that every calling Toby or I take on becomes a family calling. 🙂 Yesterday we had a few extra honorary committee members!


With God’s grace we pulled it off and the finished result wasn’t too shabby.IMG_0137 (2)We carried the shoe theme through all facets of the evening, beginning with our centerpieces. Each table had a different colored pair of heels. As the women arrived they chose a button pin to wear and had to find the high heel shoes that matched their ribbon color and that determined where everyone sat for the evening. It was a fun way to encourage the ladies to mix and mingle and get to know new friends.

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The evening began with a delicious appetizer table prepared by Karen. It turned out so pretty that we almost hated to dig in…but we did, and it was delicious!

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We let the women have some time enjoying appetizers and chit-chat before our first activity began.

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Then it was time for our first game of the night: Speed Friendship. For this game the ladies sat in two rows , facing each other. They were given a list of possible “get to know you” questions that they could use if they wanted or they could ask their own questions.

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A whistle blew and Shelley, who was running the game, gave them 60 seconds to get to know the lady that sat across from them before she blew the whistle again and they had to move down a chair. It was a fun, fast-paced way to get to know each other a bit better.

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Then it was time for dinner. When we first talked about the theme we came up with the fun idea of serving dinner in shoe boxes. I was able to order white shoe boxes online and Pat put her creative touch on them to make them pretty. With the help of many “behind the scene” helpers each box was filled with a croissant, chicken salad, pasta salad, a bag of potato chips, a small bottle of water, 2 dinner mints and utensils/napkin. Dinner was delicious and the shoe boxes were a fun touch!

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Following dinner we had the spiritual message of our evening. The ladies who serve in Primary (those who teach the children on Sunday) sang a special musical number.


Then we heard from three amazing sisters (Karen, Rorie, and Shelley) who shared their personal stories of what it is like to walk in their shoes and the lessons they have learned from their journey. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room and I think we all left feeling humbled and less alone in our own personal struggles.

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When the program was complete we ended with prayer and then revealed the answers to our other game of the night: “Guess Whose Shoes.” For this game the ladies had to guess the owners of 10 different pairs of shoes that we had on display. There were a wide variety of shoes from ballerina slippers, to cowboy boots, to bowling shoes. As we revealed the answers the owners of the shoes stood and shared the stories behind the shoes they brought. It was another fun way to learn something new about the ladies we pass in the halls at church each week.

The winning players won crazy shoelaces (donated by Diana.)

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The night ended with high heel shoe cupcakes, lovingly made by Teresa. They were adorable and brought home the theme of the night in the sweetest possible way!

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The message of the night was a powerful one. So often we feel alone in our walk through life. We often feel weighed down and weary. Sometimes we find ourselves stumbling and wondering if anyone even noticed. Sometimes we are tempted to just sit down and refuse to take another step forward.

When we feel this way we need to remember to look up, look around, and reach out to those walking near us…

Reach out for help, or reach out to offer help.

That is the beautiful blessing of Relief Society:


We never need to walk alone. 🙂

Happy, Healthy Hearts


On Wednesday we celebrated Valentine’s Day with our home school co-op friends. I am so grateful that we joined this co-op 10 years ago. It has provided us with wonderful experiences, lasting friendships, and many holiday parties. When we found our co-op group, we found the missing piece to our home schooling puzzle. Through our co-op the kids have had the socializing opportunities that so many people ask about when they hear we home school. 😉 My kids have had the chance to make wonderful friends with like-minded families and I have had the chance to bond with an amazing group of women who walk the same road. They have become my confidants and safe ears to share with, laugh with, and cry with through all sorts of challenges.

Through our co-op the kids have had an opportunity to sit in a classroom of peers and experience the traditional school environment of note taking, hand raising, and having a teacher they don’t call “Mom.” As a group we have gone on a myriad of field trips, planned end of year picnics and have given the kids the missed holiday experiences that the public school children speak so highly of…particularly, the Valentine exchange. 🙂

This year the theme chosen by the moms in charge was a “Heart Healthy Valentine.”

The school day began with our usual schedule of science, history and art being taught for the first 3 hours. The party began after lunch.

The kids were broken into two groups…a younger group of students: 7th grade and down,

The little kids...

The little kids…

and the big kids: 8th grade and up.


The big kids had a separate party and a fun game to participate in. The women in charge of the big kids created a life-sized “Candy land” sort of game. The theme though was “heart healthy”, so as the teams’ game pieces (played by the kids) moved around the board they had to answer first aid questions or do different exercises.

The big kid party.

The big kid party.

Gracie as a game piece. She landed on "wiggle for 2 minutes."

Gracie as a game piece. She landed on “wiggle for 2 minutes.”

Molly (on the yellow team) waiting her turn.

Molly (on the yellow team) waiting her turn.

The kids had a lot of fun with it. Gracie’s team ended up winning.

The little kids had their party in the gym. They also had a game. Theirs was a “tic tac toe” game that involved taking turns tossing bean bag hearts onto “tic tac toe” squares. The opposite team had to perform whatever task the bean bag landed on.

Tossing bean bags.

Tossing bean bags.



There were a variety of exercises and health activities.

Sit-up time!

Sit-up time!

Drawing out a healthy meal on paper plates.

Drawing out a healthy meal on paper plates.

At the end of the game the kids gathered in a circle to hand out their Valentine’s Day cards.

The valentine exchange.

The valentine exchange.

Everyone was eager to show off their boxes.


After the cards were exchanged, the awards were handed out for the boxes. This year the Valentine boxes were judged by category. The four categories were: science, history, art and music, with two winners in each category.

Rusty's box

Rusty’s box

Rusty was one of the science winners. He did a box based on Benjamin Franklin and his kite experiment.

The two science winners.

The two science winners.

The party was a success.

The prize!

The prize!

Everyone left with happy hearts…

and healthy ones too! 🙂