Tuesday, November 30, 2010

'tis the season...

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!
Ours was very very nice! I decided not to post my pictures...basically because it takes too much time to load pictures on here and I wanted to put these on instead. Anyhow, we celebrated (as I said before) with the Balatbat family. Everyone gathered at my in laws house and ate wonderful food (and yes there was turkey)! Filipino's love to cook and they always do things in HUGE amounts (at least my relatives).

Thanksgiving night, at midnight, Julian, Joyce (his sister) and I went to the outlets to start our black friday shopping! It was a crazy crazy experience! I LOVE black friday shopping! It is so fun to be out there with all those other crazy people! We got home around 3 a.m. and then we were up again at 9 to go shopping some more!

Saturday, was a day that I had been looking forward to for a long time!! We decided that we were going to go get our very first Christmas tree! I love Christmas and I have been excited about decorating for our first Christmas! So first thing Saturday morning we headed out to a local "tree lot"....
and we found our tree!!!
It was so fun! Even though there was no snow and actually it was raining...the little tree lot did feel very festive! :)
Getting ready to take it home!
Michelle, my best friend, spent the entire day with us and we used her big truck to haul our tree home!
Carrying it in!
Up the stairs!
Let's just say, this moment, or this twenty minutes...which was about how long it took us to figure out the tree stand and get the tree to stand straight....was a very memorable time! One of those that you just won't forget...Julian "Babe, stop pulling it"..Me "I'm not pulling, you are pushing".... It was a very special! :)

yep...that's me...still holding it up!
then the fun part...all the stuff on the floor is the decorations we had yet to put out...

Did I mention it's our 1st Christmas and we are EXCITED!! :))
Finally Michelle was in a picture! Thanks for taking pictures all day for us Michelle! We love you!

It's our awesome tree topper! I love it!
We made a last minute decision on what the tradition would be for the "who puts the tree topper on"...we decided our entire family would do it together (all two of us) ...I'm not sure how that will work in the future, especially if we have several kids but we will cross that bridge later! :)
Love my moose couple...(passed down from my mother) btw most of my decorations were passed down! Including our tree skirt...which is definitely very special to me!!

Our stockings! I got these after last Christmas at an adorable store called Swoozie's!!
Love them!
Here's the finished product!
the nativity scene we had all during my childhood
Love this set...actually one of my bridal shower presents from my Mom! I just had to put them out...they are way too cute to be in the cupboard!

It's so perfect!!
It definitely is "beginning to look a lot like Christmas" around our home!
Looking forward to all that this Christmas season has in store!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Early Thanksgiving...

This past Saturday, we had a Thanksgiving Dinner with our Sunday School class!
It was very nice!
Right at the beginning of the school year our church started our Sunday School class. It's called the young couples class but its really open for anyone. I guess if you wish you were a young couple or you used to be a young couple or you are a young couple....you are pretty much welcome! :) Our class is co-taught by Daniel Kelso (most of my readers will know who that is...if you don't know...Daniel grew up at the church that I attended all of my childhood...and he married someone that grew up at the church that my husband did (our current church) and the other teacher is a Jared Stager.
Let me just say...I love the Stager's! Kathy (who is the wife) has been a huge blessing to me since moving here! They just moved here to California last fall around this time. Kathy's dad is a pastor in New York. She and I have the homesick thing in common!!!! She has been such a great friend to me. She always seems to know when I need a hug or an encouraging note or a random text. She, like me, never left home until her move here and is very close to her family. She is about a year ahead of me in the whole "getting used to CA." thing! I love her. Another amazing thing about Jared and Kathy is that they have adopted THREE children!!!! All from different places....Guatemala, El Salvador and New York. All of their girls are just adorable!!
Anyhow, we had our Thanksgiving at their home.
Here are some pictures....

My plate!! Yum!!
Filling our plates!
The kids corner!
(The baby is the Stager's youngest. Emily is her name they adopted her in June.)
The men
Katrina, Emily and me....
(Katrina is their oldest from Guademala. She is in my class!)
Now with Joy...she is such a trip!
The Kelso men ..
I love Thanksgiving!! Although I am a little nervous about my first Filipino Thanksgiving!! :)
I will definitely keep you posted on how that turns out. I am hoping to see something resembling a turkey....We (the WHOLE Balatbat family) is gathering to celebrate the American holiday. Let's just say...it should be interesting.....:)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


So, I know I already posted this...but this past Sunday was my Grandpa's 80th birthday!
The family had been planning a birthday party for the past couple of months and the first time my Mom mentioned it to me I started thinking about how awesome it would be to be there for it! I miss my family so much....everyday....
It's a very long story but when Julian and I looked into it we found that it would be possible for me to be there! I decided to keep it a surprise!
Let's just say....it was a wonderful weekend!!!
I flew out of San Fran on Friday afternoon and arrived in Charlotte, NC late that night. My Uncle Kirk, Aunt Amanda and cousin Paige picked me up from the airport.
This is us on the way from the airport! We were all super excited to surprise them!
Since it was so late we decided to wait and surprise my parents and grandparents Saturday morning.
We planned it all out and arrived early the next morning while they were all finishing breakfast.
It was a moment I'll never forget.
I wish all of you could have seen their faces!!
I walked in the garage door that is right off their kitchen...no one was looking when I walked in. In a normal voice, I just said, "Hey, I heard there is a party today! Is this where it's at?"
My Grandpa was the first to turn and look and as I looked over at my parents they all had the same confused look on their faces. You know, the one you get when you see someone you know where you least expect them. It was great!!!
Here are some pictures from the moment...
He was so cute...he kept hugging me!

I missed my Mom so much! We were both crying!
He was just beaming!!! :)
We spent the morning getting ready for the party.
Here is the birthday boy waiting for the party to start!
He was so happy all day! :)
Grandpa and his little girls! aka..the party planners!
the food was great!
The granddaughter's! We always have a great time together!

and we all love him!!!
Another great thing about the trip was the time we all got to spend with David and Ali! David's family was our next door neighbors for our entire childhood..we grew up like brother's and sister's. It was so great catching up with him and getting to know Ali more!!
Everyone waiting to sing Happy Birthday and eat cake!!
The cake was beautiful and yummy!
Singing :)

I love them SO much!!
proud to be his granddaughter!
Cutting the cake!
My Uncle Kerry and Aunt Lisa (on my Dad's side) also live in Greenville so they came for the party too!
..this is where the younger people hung out...:)
Dad's inner-child comes out when he is around all the cousins! He gets a little crazy! :)
...but they LOVE it!
so cute!
It was such a beautiful day!!
Grandpa had about 30 friends come! Quite a big turn out for your 80th birthday!!!
Brother's and Sister's
Look at them! :)
what a beautiful couple!
Another wonderful part of the weekend was getting to meet my brand-new brother....I absolutely fell in love with him! He is definitely cuter, more laid back, sweeter, and calmer than any brother I have ever had..:)
But he kind of stole a little bit of the attention from Grandpa..which is something that I plan on discussing with him next time we are together!
....but maybe not because he is just so cute! It's hard to be stern with him when he is looks at you with his sweet eyes!
Did I mention that he knows how to shake already?? He loves it! Once you do it with him once he will be doing it the rest of the day!
He also likes to be in the middle of every conversation! Literally in the middle!!
He can make himself comfortable no matter what situation he is in!
He is just all around great!
After all the birthday festivities we headed over to BJU (my youngest brother's school) and cheered him on in his play off soccer game!
Here we are...David's fan club!
Go #11!!!

Yes, he came too! :)

Just a little cold but happy to be together!!!
Sunday, being Grandpa's actual birthday, called for another celebration at a local fish restaurant!
Paige's choice off the menu!
Grandpa loved getting sung to and especially loved the dessert part!!!
All of us...(minus Dan) who had to work :(
Just a few short hours later I had to say goodbye! :(
It was truly a wonderful weekend...the only down side was that my sweet husband had to stay home...It was very hard to leave them so soon! But I'm very thankful for the time we had!
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