Thursday, December 29, 2011

Duffy Christmas Party 2011

Isn't it funny how you can go several years without knowing that a great friend is only a few doors down?!

When Ava started kindergarten she became friends with a little girl named Addyson. I swear, when you look at them, you know why they're little magnets to one another. They are so similar that even their teacher gets them confused! While waiting to pick Ava up from school I got to know Addyson's mom, Stacie. They moved into the neighborhood around the same time we did, have three children, & are very similar to us! Soon came the play dates after school, then birthday parties. After a couple of months I exclaimed to Stacie, "Where have you been all this time & why didn't I know you before?" :-)

Anyway, this year we were invited to their first annual dress-up Christmas party. Cate found the popcorn right away, the girls found the toys & we found the wine. We had a great time!

I am so proud of my family. My Superman still takes my breath away when I look at him~ Con, I love you & your boots!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bianca & Kevin's Wedding!!!

We got to Timberline Lodge up on Mt. Hood at 3 in the afternoon on Thursday, December 15th. It was a snowy paradise. Even the drive up was magical as we passed by glistening waterfalls & snowy banks with tiny paw prints on them.

The girls squealed with excitement as they gathered up small piles of snow (& subsequently pelted one another) in the parking lot. We walked into the lodge, &, "Wow!" Built in the 1930's out of timber & stone, you can tell how much love & work went into the building. It seemed like everywhere we looked, we'd find some intricate carving. The rugs are handwoven, the chandeliers are made of antlers; it is simply amazing. I don't remember being in a building that felt so solid, for lack of better words. To make things even better, our room was already ready!

After unpacking, we headed to the "cafe" on the second floor (our room was #218). The cafe was more like a lounge where you can enjoy the best cup of chilli or clam chowder (or cocoa) with a panoramic view of the mountain. I told Conrad I've never seen clouds like that except while on a plane!

Next up was the rehearsal & dinner. That is when Conrad & the girls got to meet my aunt & uncle from Bogota, Colombia for the first time. Words could not express how it felt to see them after 14 years. My sister, Natasha, pulled Bronwen & Ava aside & taught them how to introduce themselves in Spanish. Ava went first & said, "Me llamo es Ava." Then Bronwen went, "Me llamo es Brrrrronwen (rolling the "R")." It was fantastic! We all ate a delicious dinner, courtesy of Kevin's parent, drank & headed to bed.

The next day...on the agenda was the Magic Mile Skyride! With a short time-line & 3 little ones, we knew skiing wouldn't be much of an option, but at least experiencing the lift would! We bundled up & went all the way to the top of the mountain, then back down. Conrad got some great shots! Of course the girls had to make a snowman too! It was hilarious, Ava, with her little powerhouse body made a snowball that was about 2 ft in diameter! That was the base. Another funny part was Cate laying down, fluttering her arms, trying to make a snow angel. :-) By 11 a.m., it was time to get ready for the wedding.

All I'll say is that I doubt there has ever been a cuter wedding party -we were decked out! Lauren, one of Bianca's good friends, & her sister, Alexis, helped all of with our hair. I could tell how happy Bronwen & Ava were to be part of the women. My mom came up to the room too, dressed to kill in a fitted gold dress. She is incredible!

This wedding was filled so many touching moments. My favorite memory is of all of us dancing to The Isley Brothers' "Shout." I swear, I get teary-eyed with joy when I think about it. There's a part in the song when it says, "A little bit softer now -shout, a little bit softer now -shout" & everyone gets quieter & quieter & lower & lower to the ground. Conrad was dancing with Cate, getting lower & lower, I was with my sisters & my darling little girls were there, dancing with their uncles, looking at them as they were getting closer & closer to the ground. It was such a magical moment, I'll never forget it. Best of all, Tom, my mom's boyfriend, captured it.

Another cute part was during the ceremony itself. I didn't think Cate would make it down the aisle herself, so I carried her, but Bronwen & Ava were 100% ready for the job. Without any hesitation, they gracefully decorated the aisle with petals. At at the end of the aisle though, Ava noticed that there were still many petals left in the basket. Keeping up with what her Uncle Kevin told her, "I want you to put a lot of petals up at the front for Bianca & me," Ava tipped the basket all the the over to make sure the area was covered. Everyone cracked up!

All in all, we had an amazing time! Thank you Bianca & Kevin for letting us be a part of the greatest moment in your lives. Here's to a beautiful life together. :-)