Saturday, April 16, 2011

change is in the air . . . how do you do holidays with your fam?

so...a new topic of discussion in our household has been how to handle the holidays. We thought we had it figured out, but we are slowly realizing that pleasing everyone (including ourselves) is impossible.

i know this can often be a heated debate for some, but we thought we had it all figured out. we even discussed it in our premarital counseling. for some reason, it's just not working out like we had planned...

here's the catch: both of our families are in town so we have been splitting a day (it seems most holidays fall on Sundays) and doing half with my fam and the other half with joe's fam. we are super blessed to have both famlies in town, so i would never trade that for the world! but it does seem like it would be easier to make holidays work if we had to travel somewhere- but again- i'm really glad we don't have that challenge in front of us- because i actually would rather figure this out then have to travel to spend time with one of our sides (sorry to all those who have family out of town- i know God helps you all figure it out and you make what works for your fam- it just seems like it would be a huge undertaking- not to mention, kind of stressful- especially when you throw kids in the mix)

so, the half day ends up being lunch after church with my fam (which is kind of a tradition whether it's a holiday or not, then an early dinner w/ joe's fam...the tricky part is, that it's not working out that great anymore. Judah is cranky at lunch time, then wants to take a nap when we are with my fam, and joe's fam feels like they are getting the leftovers of the topic is up for discussion in our home right now (no conclusion has been made)- but, should we (or should we not) rotate holidays even though both families are in town? I guess the stubborn side of myself says- that's crazy- let's just make our families compromise so I can get my way and hang out with both since they are both in town- but the practical side of me says- my husband would be happy and it would make for a less stressful "day."

i guess it's still up for discussion- but we are thinking about making the switch her shortly- now it's just where to begin. Do we start with Easter? As it's next Sunday? Or do we start with Mother's Day (and tick off one side of the family who wouldn't get to see us) and then Father's Day (again, either a Mom a Dad or Joe and I would all be affected on those days depending on where we are spending what day with which side)...the thought of that just seems crazy to me not spending Mother's Day with my mom or Father's day with my dad (or me now as a MOM not being with my fam, or Joe as a DAD not being with his)- but would it make for a less stressful "day"...we would be changing tradition- but sometimes change is good...right?

So...there are my thoughts for the day. Maybe it's a little too much info for some (i guess i just like getting feedback as to what works) or maybe some outside opinions as if my thoughts sound crazy or not...i'm trying to be open to this "change" and make it the best for our immediate fam (Joe, Judah, myself and baby on the way) but then we love both of our extended fam's too...and want to please all parties...

Change is in the air- i guess it's inevitable. it just affects a lot of people around us (including our siblings and grandparents too) what solution do you think would be best without really knowing our famliy dynamics?

This little guy will be happy with whatever we decide I'm sure...

Friday, April 15, 2011

surprise . . . joe turned 33!

Joe's goal in life was to be married before he turned 30. In order to reach that goal (and for other reasons to) we decided to get married on March 1, 2008 just about 30 days before he turned 30. He made it right in time...married at 29. Our March/April seasons of life are just crazy busy.

I've always heard that turning 30 is a big milestone and being a newly married wife I wanted to try to make his 30th special, but the truth was, we just returned from our amazing honeymoon in Hawaii, I had my 25 birthday, I was moving all my stuff into our amazing home, we were somewhat broke, and then Joe turned 30. Luckily, my parents came through and let us go on a trip with them to Pebble Beach that year (which made up for my lack of doing something amazing)...

All that to say, I joked around with our families that maybe randomly I would do a surprise birthday for him when he turned 33. I guess I just liked that number at the time. Well, he turned 33 this year and my plan came through!

If you know Joe at all, he's a sports guy 24/7. Come to our home and ESPN will be on. He plays softball, basketball, flag football (reigning champs), etc. I was trying to figure out what would be a quick/easy set I thought- let's do a sports (ESPN) theme with all his favorites represented.

I connected with our immediate families and a few of his close friends and they all came through. I got Joe out of the house with his good friend Shane (our neighbor too) to watch a RiverCats game (luckily Joe's friend who he coached growing up was pitching for the other team that day) so it was a great way to get him out of the house for the surprise!

I rushed home after church on Sunday to set up. I pulled stuff from my parents garage (old sports items from my brothers) and then ransacked Joe's stuff in our garage. It all came together in a couple of hours - thanks to my mom's help too for getting some fake turf for the tables!

I think it's the first surprise party I've ever thrown and it was a success! He was totally shocked that I could pull it off- in fact- he said it was his favorite birthday yet! I was super happy!

If you've read this far, you must just really be my friend (cause it was probably a really boring blog)...but here are a couple highlight pics (i'm missing so many good one's- these were all taken after the party by default) and one quick video- of course in the midst of the chaos I forgot to get all the details (like the cracker jack party favors, etc)...but it was a quick whirl of a weekend and it worked for us!

Take a quick look at the "golf" table, Joe's minimal hat collection, USC gear display and football table:

Judah, Joe and the Birthday song: