Happy birthday, dear Bella. Happy birthday to you!

It’s August 28th and a three-person birthday day – Bella, Beto and Tim. We’re starting the posts with Bella. We chose this pic because she really in a princess. She’s a beautiful, talented and loving little girl – and the reigning queen of our “Northland family.” We had assumed there’d be a big party for her today, but her Dads told us she wanted to celebrate the occasion on Saturday so her grandparents would be sure to be here. So there’ll be a big weekend birthday party that probably won’t be limited to Saturday… if we know our Bella.
We’ll follow this with Beto’s and Tim’s birthday posts. We hope you find the “cakes” tasty!

Recapping Thanksgiving…

We had an amazing Thanksgiving and thought we’d share some thoughts.
It was, indeed, a wonderful Thanksgiving with the biggest crowd we’ve had here at the house (except for Keon and Rick’s wedding).
There were 17 of us… and we all managed to eat, drink and be merry. Everyone brought food and we put it all out on the dining table and kitchen counters so everyone could help themselves. I swear, I think we had more food than Golden Corral, and we ate most of it. In addition to food, just about everyone brought wine so we had plenty to drink. The high point of the day for me was that Dub volunteered to “say the blessing”. It’s something I usually do, but he did a great job… and there were several of us (including the grandparents) with tears in our eyes.
After dinner on Thursday, we were all sitting around… drinking wine and talking. And Dub, Austin and Izzie were playing with the dogs… and I was feeling thankful.Thankful for so many things. My husband, our son, our family, our friends and our home. And I was thinking about how I’d really wanted to move to Colorado because it was a great job opportunity, and now I have this super job here in K.C. – near to our friends and extended family. So I’m just very thankful for all we have and the decisions we’ve made.
As wonderful as the big Thanksgiving crowd was, I have to admit I’m looking forward to a (somewhat) quieter Christmas.
It was 65 degrees, sunny and beautiful here today so Keon and Rick came over and we put up the Christmas decorations outside. There seem to be more and more every year – and keeping Dub off the roof is a challenge… but they’re all up now and look beautiful.
For Alex, Izzie and me, this was our first Thanksgiving as a family and sharing it with special friends was great. Izzie was at first taken aback by the big crowd and sort-of hid behind Alex and me. She finally began to relax as Dub, Austin and the dogs kept entertaining her. Once she realized she was kind of the main attraction, she and had a good time. Of course, all the attention from Dub’s grandparents didn’t hurt. She looked absolutely stunning with her new clothes and hair style… but I’ll let Alex tell you about that.
It was a really good Thanksgiving and we’re thankful for our dear friends who opened their home (and hearts) to so many of us.
Cal mentioned how amazing Izzie looked at Thanksgiving, so I’ll tell you about that. Before they left Australia, Cal’s parents took her shopping and bought her a TON of new “cool weather” clothes. They’re a good start on filling her closet and she loves them. She and I chose a pair of slacks and a lightweight (green) sweater for the occasion.
Then, there was her hair. It’s naturally beautiful… and she told us her Mom was the only one who had ever cut it. I asked her if she would like a special style for Thanksgiving and she was excited about that. So, we went on line and looked and looked and finally found the one that’s pictured above. So, I called around looking for someone to do it for her. Of course, I was too late because apparently every female in the Kansas City metro area has her hair done for Thanksgiving. I found a shop with a stylist named “Doug” who had time to wash and cut it, but not to do the braids. He turned out to be a super nice guy and, when I showed him the picture he thought it would be perfect for her… he just didn’t have time to do it. I asked him if he thought I might be able to do it and he (eye roll) said he “thought not.” But he was a good sport and showed me how to do the types of braids shown and told me where I could get the bows and bands and stuff I’d need. Long story short, I did it. Izzie was really patient – and it took about 2 1/2 hours, but we got it done… and I have to say it’s perfect. Exactly like the picture, only with green bows and bands – and, of course her hair is black. Cal couldn’t believe it, and I was a little surprised myself, but it meant a lot to her and I wouldn’t take anything for our time together.
Cal, Izzie and I are planning to host a big Christmas celebration at our new home. It’ll give David and Ben a break and we’re excited to do it!

Sock it to me!

We spent a lot of time with Alex while Callum was in Australia making arrangements to bring Bella home. We helped him get everything settled in the new villa… helped him paint Bella’s room, went with him to pick up her furniture, etc. He was lonely and needed to be around people and we always love spending time with him. We were talking one afternoon and he said, “I guess you never really know a person until you get married and move in together. One thing I learned about Cal was that he’s really into socks. I mean, really, really into socks. When we moved, we were putting stuff away and he had enough socks to fill a whole drawer. I mean, TONS of socks. Which is cool with me… I just didn’t know. I started sort of teasing him about it and he said, ‘Hey, bub. How many pair of underwear do you figure you have?’ So, we took them out of the boxes and, sure enough, I had enough to more than fill another whole drawer. We started laughing and throwing socks and undies at each other and ended up with a big pile of them on the bedroom floor… and, before we knew it, we were naked and fucking on the floor in the middle of the pile. It was awesome and I’m sure we’ll never forget that silly, special time together.”