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Summer of ’17 (Part II)

September 16, 2017
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Ella Bella <3s Tara Bear

Playing Doggies

Playing Doggies at Tara’s Birthday Party

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playtime at Tara's house

Playtime at Tara’s House

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Version 2

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Taylor J. got married!

This kid:

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grew up, got even taller, and became a husband. And I can’t even process it because, like, wait, wasn’t this ^^^ just last month or something?

Ryan was his wedding DJ and introduced the newlyweds and their bridal party to the Blues Brother’s theme song, which was perfect.

It’s always nice to be reunited with the good ol’ Family Frens. I love them all and I am thankful for each of them.

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Dad turned 55!

He set up some yard games, and Ella was the true badminton champ.

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This is what it looks like to be 55. He was riding this kids’ bike trying to dodge golf discs that were being hurled at him. Happy birthday, Dad! 😀

Ella The Artist 

Fun in Grandpa Sanders’ Garage

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Labor Day Poolside Fun

We like to say goodbye to summer by enjoying the Grandview pool on the last day of the season that it’s open.

Adry n' Grandma

Adry n’ Grandma

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The pool wears Eleanor out. She has to take catnaps during each break period.

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Goodbye, Summer 2017! 

 

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Thirty Years of Throwback ~ 2009-2011

April 10, 2016
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1985-1992

1991-1995

1996-1999

2000-2002

2003-2005

2006-2008

2009

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Adry’s first birthday party!

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Didn’t everyone have a pair of those navy sneakers for a minute?

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This is a photo from the scavenger hunt that Dave and Ginny hosted. I believe Matt, Alexz, Mer, and I called ourselves “Team Awesome” and we did not win, haha.

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This is one of my favorite photos of young Reese and Baby Adry.

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I loved being a stay-at-home momma with Adry this year. I will forever feel grateful I had those couple of years with my baby boy.

2010

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Another young Reese and Baby Adry. I can’t resist posting these pictures.

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Our bowling party! So much skill displayed that night.

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A very Sanders Easter. I believe this is the year I put edible grass in Adry’s Easter basket. Jamie came over later that night and we all sat around in the living room laughing and joking ’til our abs hurt about who-knows-what-probably-something-really-immature and obnoxiously eating the Easter grass ’til we got sick. I actually really miss random hangouts like that.

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Adry, Dad, and I did a TON of biking with the bike trailer and Adry’s bike buddy Charlie the frog that year.

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2011

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The year Nick and I decided to spend an entire season in a High School Throwback and he was kinda my 2nd best friend for a minute. It was good for us, though. Well, it was good for me at least; I can’t speak for him.

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I fell head-over-heels for ^^THIS^^ guy! It was a whirlwind adventure and I fell hard.

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Tay, J, and I at the theater for the last Harry Potter movie!

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Little Bro J and I spent a lot of time together in 2011. We roomed AND worked AND hung out as friends together. People used to marvel at how well we got along. They’d say, “If I spent that much time with my [sibling] we’d fight all the time, but you guys are like best friends!” I am thankful for the year I had with my littlest brother.

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Ella’s First Birthday Party

December 6, 2015
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Baby Girl’s very first ever birthday party was last month.

My Birthday Pumpkin!

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with Aunt Becca

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Aunt Rebecca shared a special moment with Ella during which Ella said “hi” back to her for the first time. It meant a lot to her, especially since she’s an SPL grad student, and in turn it made me very happy that Ella has her Aunt Becca in her life 🙂

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This is my momma’s One Year of Ella project!

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Aunt Alexz made this adorable and delicious pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing! Another amazing auntie in Ella’s life… she’s a very lucky girl.

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Time for opening presents!

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playing with Tara

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one of our attempts at a group photo, haha

Here are a couple of other attempts for fun!
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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

THIRTY Years of THROWBACK! 2003-2005

September 13, 2015
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1985-1992
1991-1995
1996-1999
2000-2002

 

2003

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The Sanders kids used to think it was the greatest thing ever to get Coke in our Easter baskets. (I know I’m older here, but J was still a kid, so Matt and I still got Easter goodies.) Contrary to popular belief – probably an assumption based on the Sanders’ undying love of Coke – Mom and Dad did NOT keep Coke on tap in our childhood home. As a matter of fact, sugary treats such as soda, cereals, and candy weren’t brought into the home at all, as far as we knew, except on 3 holidays: Christmas, Halloween, and Easter. So when we got it we made that shit last!

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My two favorite pictures of me n’ Jamie.
We were both dating our future ex-husbands – Stephan and Ben – at the time. Unbeknownst to each other the boys each got the Snoopy and Woodstock shirts for me and James as gifts. Then Jamie and I, entirely unaware of the fact that we possessed these matching shirts, packed them to wear on the same day in Chicago. So of course we had to get corresponding facepaint at Ed Debevics.

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Mer, Dave, Ben, Les, me, Hilary, T.Matt, Jason, Kevin, Eric, Amber, J, and Mom the day I turned 18. Incidentally it was also the day OSU won the National Championship against… er… some other football team. So of course we had a party that was completely about me and not football at all!

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Throwback to Creation Fest days! And thrift store plaid pants, midriff spaghetti straps, dangly belly button rings, pigtails, band t-shirts, and MATT’S MOHAWK in its baby days.

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Throwback to J&Tay on the far right and their Best-of-Pals days. I miss those kids together!

 

2004 

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Jamie, me, and Jessie. Keeping it classy. Jamie is wearing a Jr. Asparagus t-shirt ~ throwback to Veggie Tales!

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The year I wore my mother’s wedding dress to marry Ben! It was a very happy day and I enjoy remembering it.

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Left: Me, Ash, Ryan, Mer, Pammy; Right: Les, Jessie, Jamie, Harriet.
breakfast with the bride’s maids.

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Throwback to the Alternative Christian scene with babydoll band tees, studded belts, and dickies.

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This was the year Pammy was diagnosed with Stage 4 Sarcoma and began an intense fight for her life. The girls and I stopped by the hospital to pamper her with a pedicure.
(Mer, James, Me, Pam, Ash, Jessie, and Harriet)

 

2005

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This was our last family-friend outing before Dave died.
It was the cookout for which we forgot spoons, so we got creative with plastic cups!
(Tony, Pam, Me, Dad, J, Matt, Les, Dave, Tay)

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Out for Tony’s birthday!
(Me, Ben, Matt, Mom, Les, Mer, Ash’s boyfriend, Ash, Tony, Ginny, J, Tay, Ryan, Ryan’s girlfriend, Pammy)

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Me ‘n Momma <3

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

THIRTY Years of THROWBACK! 1996-1999

July 25, 2015
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1985-1992

1991-1995

1996

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Throwback to church plays. Matt, Mer, and I are dressed up for our Go Go Jonah play. Matt was a Ninevite and got to chase Jessie around with a sword, which was appropriate. Mer was a Yeoman of Joppa, and I was Jess: the visitor of The Museum of the Bible. I remember Dad working his tail-end off to re-write that whole script in order to include every single kid who wanted a speaking part or solo, and he also created a great stage set-up complete with visual and sound effects for the ocean and storm. It was such a cute little play that we even got to take our show on the road and put it on for another church.

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Throwback to church Sunday School at DCN led by Dave. I’m sure Dave put in a lot of time and effort preparing lessons and discussions for us but my only clear memories of those days were his field trips to Krispy Kreme and having us take bets (like good Nazarene kids) on how long it would take for the donuts to be devoured by the congregation… oh, and his sassy jokes throughout haha. Thank you, Dave, for the memories <3

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Throwback to American Girl Dolls– back when there were only FIVE! Samantha, Felicity, Molly, Kirsten, and Addy- and Addy was brand new back then. I had Samantha and she is currently packed away in my parents’ garage with her school desk, bedroom set, tea party table, and several outfits… and Little Jacob is quite enjoying his tea party with her in this picture.

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The year I was a midget for Halloween. (Jessica Harris the Joker, Jamie the… spider-vampire-witch?, Little Jacob Spiderman, Matt the Pirate, Me, and Taylor the football player)

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The Brothers and I. Throwback to GIANT hair bows, Honey We Shrunk ourselves on VHS, and Matt’s buzz cut!

 

1997

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My Nutty Bar, Me, ‘n Ash the year that Mom attempted to force-feed me Nutty Bars any chance she could get because I was painfully underweight.

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Jacob with his little friends, Me, Ash, Matt’s friend Mark, and Matt. Matt and J are both wearing their super cool visor sunglasses, and Dad is organizing the wagon. We also each have our white socks folded in half several inches above our shoe line in proper 90s fashion.

 

1998

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My cousin Jack and I are standing in front of the chapel at The Naz (where we would both end up as students together several years after this) holding up the medals we won at BLAST. BLAST is essentially a 3-day Nazarene talent/skill contest. I assume we both entered in Writing Poetry and Prose, although Jack could have done something in music. Also, throwback to BIBS! which I think I loved and wore at least through 8th grade (not that pair). And I’m not gunna lie- I’ll be the first to hop back on that train if they come back in style because so comfortable that is all.

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James and I sharing a seat, and we are both in the awkward and uncomfortable throes of young adolescence as well as a more enjoyable and exciting blossoming best-friendship.

 

1999

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The Sanders Clan Oh-My-Gosh-We’re-All-Dressed-Up-And-The-Weather-Is-Nice Photo Opp in the Yard and are J’s socks pulled all the way up his shins!? Haha! I love that family.

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Yes. The year we were N’SYNC for Halloween, complete with several dance routines we spent months choreographing and practicing, and a fangirl. We won 2nd place in the Hilliard Parks and Rec Costume contest, losing to “The Millennial Girls” who wore matching sweatshirts and shook pom-poms with cutesy smiles on their cutesy faces AND THE INJUSTICE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN, DO YOU HEAR THAT CITY OF HILLIARD!? Haha. James had to duct tape her boobs down to be Justin, Taryn was Chris, Ash was Joey, Jessie was Lance, and I was JC. We carried a boom box and occasionally broke out in dance along the neighborhood streets during trick-or-treat night, and ladies squealed and ran in to get their camcorders to capture us on video.

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Neighborhood buddies! Steve, me riding piggyback on James, and Matt in the van window

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This picture is the perfect throwback to the nineties. First, I must point out my high school “sk8er boyfriend” Nick’s wide-leg silver pants and skater shoes (he actually skated a lot. All the time. He was a legit skater boy), Ryan Parks’ forward comb hairdo and wide-leg painter pants, Jessie and I are both wearing all-white cloth shoes with 3-inch thick clunky soles, AND there’s a disposable camera on the table!

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Jamie, Jessie, and I! Throwback to Y2K and bringing in the new millennium!  And to all our friends’ families that stocked up on supplies in preparation for the end of the world. We all held our breath when the ball dropped but we survived! Haha.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

THIRTY Years of THROWBACK! 1985-1992

April 25, 2015
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1985

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Hello, Baby Jessica! And Dad looks like he was about 12 when he had me!

1986

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Sittin’ with Grampa, then in my Miami Vice outfit!

1987

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Coloring. Those eyes remind me of Ella’s.

1988

The year I became a sister!

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Mom was pregnant with T.Matt.
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Snugs with Baby T.Matt!

1989

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1990

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Halloween! Me in my little homemade angel costume with Super T.Matt, Clown Harriet, and some other cowboy I don’t remember at all!

1991

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This was that one minute that I liked cats! This cat’s name was Jinglers. He made me forever detest cats. I have memories of watching that thing torture and kill little helpless animals purely for sport. I remember crying and begging him to stop when I saw him batting a baby bird around until it died. Thank you, Jinglers, for my earliest nightmares!

1992

The year I became a sister again!
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Holding newborn J
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THIS is Throwback fun for everyone! My dad, mom, and little brothers to the left; Dave’s trying to duck a little because he’s super tall and right behind the chandelier; Les weighs about 10lb in her little Mickey Mouse sweatshirt; Tony and Pam to the right; the kids (me, Mer, and Ryan) are cleverly giving each other bunny ears, and Toddler Tay is trying to put up with it all!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

A Sanders Thanksgiving 2014

December 20, 2014
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Once again my mother, The Food Woman, and my husband, Chef Daddy, spent HOURS planning, shopping for, and preparing an absolutely delicious Thanksgiving meal for 23 people who got to enjoy it at a beautifully decorated table.

I cannot remember all the dishes, but to name a few: three kinds of stuffing (to accommodate the vegetarians and those with aversions to onions), two kinds of sweet potatoes, church potatoes, brussels sprout salad, deviled eggs, two kinds of soup (one made by Alexz who brought a couple of other yummy dishes), homemade rolls, salad and corn casserole made by Sherry, and several desserts… the list goes on. It was a proper Thanksgiving with stretchy pants and food comas.

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Rebecca and J dressed Ella up in her Chef Baby outfit.

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Adry stood by the window for the longest time anxiously awaiting Tori’s arrival.

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Apparently Mom asked J and Rebecca to set out extra toilet paper rolls in the bathroom.
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The Bird

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Reese decided to cuddle with my poor sick boy.

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Adry Padry’s Sixth Birthday!

March 25, 2014
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Adry woke up on his birthday morning to a card from his Uncle T. and Alexz in Baltimore.
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A kitty playing metal guitar. Two of his favorite things. (I used to wear that shirt he’s wearing up until I was about 19 or 20. I have no idea how I was ever that small!)

To celebrate over the weekend, a few of us were supposed to take Adry to the Five Iron Frenzy concert at Skully’s and grab dinner at Chuck E Cheese beforehand. FIF fell through (Sad face) so we spent some extra time playing games and then went to Uncle Jacob’s house instead.

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Tori saying ‘goodbye’ outside the Chuck E Cheese window

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Tickets!

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At J and Becca’s house, Adry got to bounce on the new ball Grandma and Grandpa Martin got him. He also got to visit with Reese and help us play games. Before too long he passed out cold on the couch. I think he was a satisfied birthday boy 🙂

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

One Big Holiday Update Part II

January 5, 2014
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We kept New Year’s Eve low-key this year. We hung out at my parents’ house, had some mixed drinks at their little self-serve bar, made our own pizzas at a pizza buffet, listened to music, and played games. Simple. Relaxing. Fun. Didn’t get many photos.

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I got my camera out at Becca’s prompting because she insisted that a picture of her and J be taken by the end of the night. Unfortunately, after snapping a few pictures of the Jenga game I put my camera down and forgot about it… So THIS is J and Rebecca watching the moms’ Jenga game, the only photo of them I got. Hah.

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Anyway, a few days later I turned 29. My birthday started off with a car accident. A cop had stopped in the middle of an icy road. The car in front of me apparently didn’t see him ’til it was too late and put on their breaks and fish-tailed ’til they hit the car. I saw them breaking and fish-tailing from a ways back, so I started tapping my breaks, which didn’t help at all, and I slid right into them. I slid for so long that I had time to consider turning off the road into the embankment to avoid getting a ticket. I decided it was safer for me to just keep going straight, so I braced myself, hoped for the best, and screamed, lol. Ugh! So of course I got the ticket, a towing fee, and a busted car on my birthday morning. My very first car accident. On my birthday. No one was hurt, but it was still frustrating.

However. As frustrating as it was, I got to fall in love with Keithy all over again which was a fantastic birthday present. I had called him right away and waited in my frigid car ’til he got there. My hands were literally blue and numb by the time he got to the scene and I hadn’t noticed because I was just so annoyed and nervous. He just kind of swooped in, scooped me up, gave me hugs, tucked me in his warm car to thaw, took charge, and figured everything out. Handsome, smooth, calm, patient, in love with me. In the accident aftermath I was feeling relaxed and incredibly lucky. Cars, tickets, money- none of that matters. I have everything that matters. I am so fortunate, so blessed, and so in love.

After that was all said and done, I got to enjoy the birthday dinner I requested from The Food Woman (stir fry and no bake cookies). It was delicious. The next day Dad decided to treat me to dinner. I chose Cheesecake Factory hoping to see Keithy who was working that night.

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It was a fun evening of relaxing, talking, visiting… And I did get to see Keithy, if only for a moment! Worth it.

I loved all the time this season that I got to spend with my family. I can never get over how many awesome people I have in my life.

I’m thankful 🙂

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Thanksgiving 2013

November 30, 2013
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This year’s Thanksgiving was an interesting and adventuresome one. From The Great Dog Chase to tipsy cooks, it all made for a memorable event for sure.

Keithy’s parents and The Jordan Family joined us this year. It was good to be with everyone.

Mom and Keithy worked for a combined 30 hours prepping and cooking our meal. (Several other dishes made by Mom Martin and 4 hour clean-up by Dad.)
Salad, french onion and asparagus soups, 3 different kind of stuffing, cornbread casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry salad, brussels sprouts salad, deviled eggs, turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, savory sweet potatoes, lentil loaf, homemade Hawaiian bread rolls, homemade outback bread, peanut butter pie, homemade Jeni’s Buckeye ice cream, apple pie, Italian nobake cake, and water with fresh cucumber, lemon, and mint.

All for one hour of BLISSFUL indulgence!

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A Series of Poorly Composed Selfies:

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This is either Poppy or Pearl. I can’t tell which one.

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Adry loved Alexz’s parents’ dogs.

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After eating we watched A Christmas Story (as is Sanders Family Thanksgiving tradition) and played a few games.

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At the end of the day all of the humans were stuffed and exhausted, and all of the dogs were home and alive and well. Success.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal