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life lately… a holiday recap!

Monday, January 9, 2023


We hope that your holiday season was grand in every way possible!

It’s the new year and we are ready for all that 2023 brings our way!

We are especially excited to kick off January with regular posts,

twice each week, every Monday and Thursday!

For those of you who are just becoming familiar with our site, we started this blog in mid November. As recently retired kindergarten teachers and newbie grandparents, we quickly realized that we missed teaching and that our passion for learning only continues to grow! We set out to find ways where we could use these skills in our new roles as Grands and so, our vision for “Our Grand Lives” was born! If interested, you can find out more about how we got started here and more about the two of us and our friendship here. Our goal in writing this blog is to share what we’ve found successful - especially with our Littles (but also with our Middles), to build a library of resources to use now and in the future and to offer ways to tweak or change an idea to meet differing needs. At the same time, on occasion we will use this platform to document and share happenings in our own grand lives with family, friends and readers! So that is where we begin today!

For our first blog post of the new year we want to take a look back at our holiday season… the grand moments that shaped our days from Christmas to New Year’s including everything in between!

Welcome to our first edition of a monthly feature that we call Life Lately!

Christmas Eve morning found Laurie and her family enjoying their long standing tradition of baking (and eating) their Christmas Tree cinnamon rolls! Yum! Yum! If you want to read more about this tradition, you’ll find the details here!

After breakfast everyone headed to the living room where presents were opened!. Little D’s favorite gift was her Target shopping cart from her Auntie M who loves Target and her Uncle D who works for Target Corp.

It was a lovely way to kick-off our Christmas celebrations!

Mid-afternoon Laurie’s siblings and their families met at Sister S’s house for a traditional appetizer dinner, lots of laughter, fun drinks and more presents!

Finally, everyone - sleepy Grands and Littles alike - headed home with thankful hearts!

Meanwhile, Laura, Hubby D and Daughter A enjoyed a FaceTime visit (or maybe even two) on Christmas Eve with Little L and her parents. Since they weren’t able to be together, Laura couldn’t resist and had sent a Christmas Box for Little L to open on her first Christmas Eve…

It was filled with goodies including two of the sensory bottles Laura had previously made, a few fun books and “Baby’s 1st” items! Laura also added a few special touches - a note to Little L, a small gift for Little L’s mommy and daddy and the nativity snow globe that had once belonged to Little L’s mommy, too!

The box was a hit and made everyone feel like we were together, at least for a moment or two!

Christmas Day found Laura and Hubby D hosting his extended family for a meal and an afternoon of fun! So grateful to have Hubby D’s mom with us, too! A special moment, indeed!

Laurie’s Christmas Day was quiet and spent just with Hubby M as their kids celebrated with their in-laws. After cleaning up, watching a movie or two and maybe (😉) catching a short nap, they made FABULOUS Old Fashioned cocktails from a kit Hubby M had received as a gift. Cheers!

Early on Monday, December 26, Laura and Hubby D loaded up the car with luggage, groceries, presents and even a Christmas Tree and then headed to our Happy Place, our family’s lake home in northwestern Wisconsin. Our Middles and Little L joined us by mid afternoon when we had our family Christmas! JOY! JOY! JOY!

What was SIL C’s favorite gift?

It had to be the Figgy Pudding Spam he received!

LOL!!! That was a fun moment!

Have you ever had raclette? It’s a Swiss dish where one heats cheese on a special tray and then scrapes off the melted part, serving it over boiled potatoes and grilled meats! Daughter J and SIL C brought this table grill and all the fixings with them. This was the first time Laura’s family (other than Daughter J) has sampled this traditional meal that our SIL C’s family enjoys each year! It was delicious and we even snuck our own family’s traditional Christmas Eve protein - scallops - into the mix! 😋

Laura’s lake adventure continued when many from her extended family arrived to join in the festivities (14 additional members beside the six that were already there)! The next two days were spent playing games, watching movies, playing in the snow and enjoying the hot tub. The three Littles loved their matching pajamas and an early first birthday celebration! Little L thoroughly enjoyed her first experience with FROSTING!

One other highlight from Laura’s time at the lake was the Appetizer Contest that took place one evening! All of the Middles were invited to participate and, boy, did they embrace the challenge! As an added perk to the contest everyone enjoyed a delicious meal of hors d’oeuvres! Such yummy entries, including these runner ups!

Of course, we had to include a cocktail entry as well…

Niece B’s Holiday Margarita!

And now for the winning entries!

The friendly competition and laughter was in high gear and prizes were awarded to

the top three contenders as lots of fun moments were shared!

Talk about next year’s contest - the second annual - has already begun! Woohoo!!

Laurie’s Christmas week continued with two special celebrations. Laurie and Hubby M celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary on the 28th! Look at those youngins!

Then on December 30, Son D celebrated his Golden Birthday!. DIL M threw a fabulous “gold” party for D with friends and family.

Laurie helped by providing 30 pictures of her sweet little boy - one photo per year - and making his traditional cheesecake. Happy 30th, D!

On Wednesday afternoon Laura and family packed up once again and made the 4.5 hour drive to Madison. Everyone was excited for the weekend ahead - a family NYE wedding followed by Little L’s first birthday on New Year’s Day! It was bound to be a very memorable way to ring in the New Year!

On Friday we arrived at our home away from home for the next few days - the Ludlow Mansion and Event Center where our SIL C’s sister would be married on New Year’s Eve! Decorating the venue followed by the rehearsal and dinner and lots of celebrating took place that day and evening!

On Saturday it was photo time for the flower girl and bridesmaid!

A picture perfect moment!

These three made the trip down the aisle together with Little L walking as she held hands with her mommy & daddy!

Such a precious flower girl! Gramma Laura got to hold her (and her cute rattle bouquet) during the wedding ceremony and other than a delighted squeal or two, Little L was a quiet angel for her auntie and new uncle as they made their wedding vows to each other!

How gorgeous was the venue?

Kudos to @thesweetvioletco and @stemsandstuffdesigns (the bride’s cousin & aunt)

for the beautiful florals! It was a magical night!

And look at our entree! Fresh homemade pasta… three different ways!! AMAZING!!!

Little L and Laura enjoyed sharing every delicious bite!!

Laura and crew were able to capture a quick family photo to document the special night! Can you tell that Little L was quickly losing speed? It was off to bed for her with Gramma and Grampa in tow!

Mission accomplished! After her busy day, this flower girl was pooped!

Nighty nite, sweet girl!

Meanwhile, the Middles danced their hearts out,

ringing in the New Year with the bride and groom!


Laurie’s New Year’s Eve was much quieter!

Little D came over to spend the night and then New Year’s Day was spent taking a beautiful winter walk.

Reading lots of books and enjoying playtime with her Grands were also part of the New Year's plan while her mommy and daddy had a much deserved break!

On New Year’s morning, Laura and company got up, packed up and worked together to help clean up the venue! Then it was off to Daughter J & SIL C’s house to celebrate a very special occasion….

It was Little L’s First Birthday - as well as her Golden Birthday, too!!

We’d planned ahead and most of the decorating and food prep had taken place before everyone had headed to the wedding venue on Friday. The celebration was also low-key which everyone truly appreciated after such a fun filled weekend! Of course, Little L didn’t have much idea what was going on but she loved the decor, loved her mini Bundtini birthday cake, liked opening presents (at least the first few) and she patiently tolerated her birthday hat and all the photo taking!

Ohhh, Little L! It’s hard to believe that a whole year has gone by since you were born on January 1, 2022! You’ve added so much LIGHT and LOVE and GIGGLES to the world! You are loved, Little one! Happy 1st Birthday! 💗

Phew!!! Thanks so much for scrolling through our Life Lately post as we shared our grand moments from the past few weeks! Our families have been busy and we’ve definitely created memories that our hearts will hold forever!

If you'd like, please feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post! We welcome your thoughts! Then, be sure to head back to our site this Thursday, January 12, when we will get down to the nitty gritty with our brand new post, Household Happies: Q Tips and Cotton Balls! As always, if you don’t want to miss a thing, be sure to subscribe to our blog (scroll to the bottom of the page to do so) and/or follow us on Instagram!

댓글 1개

2023년 1월 17일

So adorable! Love following these grand adventures!

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