Sunday, December 9, 2012

Four Parties, Thanksgiving, and a Wedding....

'Tis the season for parties!  Besides Thanksgiving, we have been to 3 different surprise parties, a good-bye party, and a wedding all within a month!  We have been busy every weekend in November and the first part of December.  Even though we are exhausted and our house is a mess, we feel so blessed to have such amazing friends and family, and we will gladly to take any opportunity to spend time with them before we leave.

Party #1:  A surprise birthday party for my best friend, Melany!  A girls night! {Until Melany dragged Eric downtown to meet us at one of the swanky bars we went to...but he didn't complain, she is his favorite "sister-in-law."}  We drank wine, ate delicious Italian food, and gossiped.  Melany has been my very best friend since we were 10 years old.  I wouldn't have missed her birthday!  I'm already sad thinking how I won't be here next year to celebrate with her.  Anyway... It was a great night and I am really really going to miss these girls.....

Wedding:  My cousin (who I also went to high school with) got married in Rapid City, SD to a great gal who was a year behind me in Dental Hygiene.  Rapid City is about 8 hours from Omaha so we road-tripped with my best friend Melany.  It was smooth sailin' until about an hour outside of Rapid City....

Thankfully, Eric was driving.  He's a pretty calm cookie so this didn't phase him.  I, on the other hand, was freaking out!  I'll save you the details but we made it safely to our hotel.  

The wedding was sort of like a mini-class reunion since I haven't seen a lot of my guy friends in a while.  I only got this one picture of me and my girlfriends...I don't know where the guys/husbands were.  It was a gorgeous winter wedding and we had a ball!  They make a great couple and we're so happy for them!

Thanksgiving 2012:  Eric's mom and step-dad host Thanksgiving every year at their home in Brookings, SD.  It's a comfortable, easy-going time there and we are sad that this will be our last Thanksgiving with our families for a long while.  Eric loves to cook and he is really good at it, so we typically get to Brookings early so that Eric can take over help.  I can cook if I have to and sometimes I actually enjoy cooking, but Eric is really good at it so I have no problems sitting on the couch- or this year, take pictures- and let him work his magic (and he prefers it that way)!  

Isabelle never really leaves his side.

If Thanksgiving dinner has deviled eggs and mashed potatoes, I'm a happy girl!  I had my kindle and there was plenty of wine so I just relaxed, drank my wine, and took pictures.  After dinner, Eric & Isabelle stayed in the kitchen, I went into a turkey-coma, and the family played card games.

My mother-in-law & sister-in-law do Black Friday craziness every year.  I've always kinda wondered what all of the hullabaloo was about but here's the problem: I hate crowds, I can't handle crowds.  But....this year I had my eye on a cheap TV at Wal-Mart and thought that going to the Wal-Mart in Brookings couldn't possibly be on the same caliber as Sioux Falls or Omaha.  I. Was. So. Wrong.  Since I've never been to something like that before I have nothing to compare it to, but let me tell was RIDICULOUS!  I did leave with a TV and a few other little gifts, but not the cheap TV I went there for.  I decided that it was worth the extra money to just get the heck out of there!  Now, I can say that I've been to Black Friday and that I will never never ever go again!

Party #2:  A German good-bye party at Eric & Shilo's house.  Since my Eric will be leaving right after New Years, these next few weeks are the last time he'll get to see most of his friends for a very long time.

The theme of the party was all things German!!!  Schnitzel, potato pancakes, lots & lots of German beer and wine, and even German chocolate cupcakes!  

WE HAD A BLAST!!!  SO MUCH FUN!!  These are Eric's best friends from elementary school.  Eric and Shilo are married and Shilo was "one of they guys" growing up.  We are blessed to have such great friends!  Saying goodbye was difficult, very difficult.

My Eric, Dan, Shilo, Chris, and Eric.  All of these guys were in our wedding.

Hilarious photo bomb x 3

Eric & Eric

Lots of laughing!

Ohmigosh, this was a FUN party!  I mean I can't even tell you how much FUN we had!  An all-night dance party in the kitchen, great friends, lots of laughing, it just couldn't have been more fun!  We were really thankful that we live in Omaha and didn't have far to drive home, because this is how we looked the next morning.....

Party #3:  Another surprise party!  My Dad's wife, Rita, threw him a surprise 50th birthday party!  There was a live band so we spent the majority of the night watching our niece dancing and shake her booty....cracked us up!  Aubree had her dance moves down good!  But because I was laughing so hard and Aubree was super quick, I didn't get any good pictures of her booty-shake.


'Birthday Boy' with his oldest, Me!

My youngest sister, Chelsea & Me.

Eric and I got to spend time with my sister, Chelsea, and our niece/God-daughter, Aubree.  Since we had Isabelle & Aubree with us we didn't stay at the party too late and instead took them back to the cabin and stayed up all night gossiping.  Sister-time is good for the soul, don't you agree?

Party #4:  My sister, Angie and I have been planning a birthday surprise for our mom for months!  Since Angie lives in Florida, Chelsea is usually busy, I'm moving to a different country this summer, and mom is turning the big 5-0, we wanted to do something special. 

I had to figure out a way to get her to my house with a bag packed for the night, so I told her that I needed her to take my daughter to her Christmas concert because Eric and I had to go to an Army Christmas party and that we'd probably be out late. 

When mom walked into my house, she was just expecting me to be there.  So when me, Eric, Chelsea, and Angie all yelled "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!" we really shocked the sh!t out of her!  It was really special to have Angie and Chelsea took a few seconds for her to realize what was going on.

We had an entire girls weekend planned for her!  We did a '50 Shades of Grey' themed girls weekend!  Now....we didn't get all dirty with the party theme, my 9 year old little girl was apart of this girls weekend!  We kept it clean!  
I did not inherit any of my Grandma Sue's creativity, so most of these ideas came from Pinterest:

 We had chocolate fondue and used zip-ties for the fruit.

Red velvet cupcakes with vanilla frosting and 'shades of grey' liners. 

 "Twitchy Palms"

Ropes, Hearts, & Flowers

Angie and I spent Friday morning, before our mom came, decorating the hotel room so that we could surprise her again with the full details of the girls weekend.  We hung up streamers, had a big bunch of gray balloons, wine, and confetti covering every inch of the hotel room.  

She knew that Angie & Chelsea were here to celebrate but she had no idea about the plans.... a chichi hotel at the Old Market in Omaha, a fancy dinner, lots of wine, more drinks at a fancy bar, mani/pedi's, and shopping!!

I just love her face!  She was so happy!  Happy to be with her daughters and happy to be turning 50!  

Our sister, Emily was the only person missing from the weekend, but we still had a blast!  And now.... I am going to clean and do some laundry and I will be recovering from all of these amazing parties for the next month or so ;o)


  1. Did you guys like that Schlenkerla beer? Smoked beer? That's famous from the town of Bamberg, which is where Matt is working right now! My mom and I had a girls day out there and went to the brewery and tried it and their "famous" food... it definitely wasn't what we expected. But if you like it, I can take you guys to the brewery sometime! I'm excited for you guys to being the next leg of your adventure!

  2. I didn't think that the Schlenkerla beer was too bad, a little different but I am always up for trying different beers. We would love to get together and tour the brewery. See how it compares to Anheuser-Busch and Sam Adams. I am sure Matt is frequenting the establishment while you are away to kill time and enjoy some good food and beer, or did he learn to cook for himself? Ha Ha. When are you due back in Germany after your deployment? We are excited to start this next leg and happy that there are people over there that we know and hope to get together with more than once or twice! - Eric