December 31, 2014

Christmas 2014 {sweet moments}

This Christmas was filled with the joy of cooking and hosting some family events. I loved it! (I think I have finally developed and mastered a great gluten-free, casein-free stuffing recipe.)

With my hands busy prepping food, I didn't have the time I normally do to take pictures, but I did occasionally pause to take mental pictures and give thanks for the sweet time with family.

Building airplanes and "vrooming them as fast as they can go." I loved watching their creativity in action.

Chinese food for dinner, a Mayes family Christmas Eve tradition

Christmas morning was welcomed with a pancake breakfast, presents and more fun with cousins.

As the rain cleared away, there was a unanimous heralding cry to break-in the new trampoline.

 Christmas night the cousins were enraptured by "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

More family time around the table. After much research, Aaron settled on two marinades for salmon and grilled the fish to perfection. An encore has been requested.

Each evening after the dishes were cleared and the kids were tucked into their beds, the adults would gather around the table for a [friendly] game. This family likes to compete. :)

The finale to every family gathering is the grand attempt to take a [nice] picture of the cousins/grandchildren on the couch. It is always a memorable closing scene.

Bittersweet good-byes

Until next time...

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December 17, 2014

Fall 2014 {beauty & joy}

This has been an autumn to remember. Between the fall-time craziness of my photography business and with the local fun family activities, we enjoyed all this season had to offer. Apple picking, visiting the pumpkin patch, Thanksgiving Day and playing in the leaves always make great family memories.

Interestingly, one memory I will forever cherish was made on a day I didn't dare bring out my camera. We visited Sky Top Orchard with close family friends and it rained all day. Torrential rain. ALL day. It was great! We had the place to ourselves as we picnicked, slid around in the mud, ran and laughed in the rain and, of course, trudged across the orchard seeking our favorite apple - pink lady.

I guess some memories are best documented solely in the heart. :)

But here are a few pictures of the rest of our autumn joy...

Learning to fish and exploring the pond

 Pumpkin Patch 2014

 ...with Grandpa and Grandma Mayes

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