O Christmas Tree | 2016

We put our tree up on Sunday after Thanksgiving.  It’s always one of my favorite days, putting up the tree!  We had already decorated the den a little bit (because we did Johnson family pictures in front of the fireplace) but we worked on the tree and the outside lights on Sunday.

Peyton had a lot of fun bringing the ornaments that Forest gave her over to me at the tree and we would try to put them on together.  I’ve been a broken record since Sunday saying “no no.  We look but don’t touch.  Put that back on the tree please.”  The only thing low enough for her to grab is plastic candy canes but she gets them anytime I turn my back!

trimming the tree

trimming the tree

trimming the tree

trimming the tree

trimming the tree

trimming the tree

trimming the tree

^Peyton was using a plastic toy Santa as a camera remote. :)

trimming the tree

trimming the tree

trimming the tree

trimming the tree

Until next time — Cindy

Family Pictures | October 2016

We’ve made it a tradition to do our family pictures the weekend of Halloween.  Last year’s pictures were taken ON Halloween and this year it was a few days before.  We found a cute little area at a local park with several different background options.  I’m ‘always worried we’ll never get good ones and this year it was tough getting Peyton to smile because she would obviously rather be running around and exploring.  But we knew going in to expect that and we made the best of it!

I have too many favorites but here are a few  10,000 of my most favorite!

Family pictures - Oct 2016

Family pictures - Oct 2016

Family pictures - Oct 2016

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Happy 5 Years, babe!

We’re celebrating our FIFTH wedding anniversary and I don’t have an abundance of words to write except these past five years have been overflowing with memories and I look forward to the next ninety (five) years!

5 year anniversary

Until next time — Cindy

*All images are original to A View from the Shore

Anniversary Adventures

Anniversary - 2015

Forest and I celebrated 4 years of marriage last week, November 12, 2015.  We took the picture above that night after dinner, before Peyton got sleepy and ready for bed.  I don’t know how we managed to get all of us looking at the camera but we did and I L.O.V.E. it!!

We were reminiscing those 4 years on our anniversary and I can’t believe all of the things we’ve done and the experiences we’ve shared.  Our wedding was such a sweet and amazing day and I looked forward to it for so long.  But it was only the beginning!  Obviously.  Any marriage begins with a wedding but it was only the beginning of so many great things I didn’t know I should be looking forward to.  Not just the fun things like vacations, holidays, anniversaries and babies but the mundane things, too, like evening walks, Friday nights in, yard work on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and buying chairs.  Of course marriage isn’t always fun things and we’ve had our share of bad moods and disagreements but when we were thinking back on our 4 years of being married, the good moments are the ones that stand out and I couldn’t imagine ‘doing’ life with anyone else.

So speaking of experiences shared, we added a new one to the list!  A few weeks ago Forest asked if I’d be able to find an up-to-my-standards babysitter for Peyton for a few hours on Nov 14th because he had ‘reservations’ for us.  I found a babysitter well in advance (I had several in mind so it was just a matter of who was available) and often wondered what we would be doing that required reservations on a Saturday afternoon.  So November 14th finally arrived and I asked Forest in the morning what I should wear.  His only response was “I don’t know, something comfortable.”  I didn’t know how comfortable or how casual was acceptable – I didn’t want to waltz in wearing workout clothes and get funny looks – so Forest pulled up the website on the iPad.  ROCK CLIMBING!  We had a 1-hour ‘private session’ at a rock climbing place nearby – Gravity Vault.

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Our first few climbs were easy – we could climb using whatever holds we wanted or could reach.  The next several climbs were a little more challenging – we had to follow a path and were only able to use the holds that were marked with a certain colored tape.  Our arms were starting to get wobbly after the 3rd or 4th time up the wall but we kept working through several more before our arms just wouldn’t cooperate anymore.  I was nervous when we got there.  It’s pretty intimidating seeing really high walls that you’re supposed to climb to the top but I was impressed at how well we did.  Forest, who is afraid of heights, scaled the first wall like he’d done it several times already.  It was such a rush to make my way to the top of the wall that I didn’t even notice how high I was!

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We headed to dinner after our 1-hour was up – Texas Road House – and we could barely lift our water glasses to drink.  I think we’re both back to normal by now, thank goodness.  Picking up a baby with wobbly, jello arms isn’t for the faint of heart.

Until next time — Cindy

*All images are original to A View from the Shore

Christmas Traditions

Most families have Christmas traditions – hosting a party on Christmas Eve, dinner at a certain family member’s house, sending out Christmas cards, etc.

I’m here to share ours!  The ones we brought from our separate families (the ones we grew up with), and the ones we’ve started for our family.

From Forest’s family:

  • Baking and decorating Christmas cookies in the week(s) leading up to Christmas
  • Waking up extra early to get Christmas started

From Cindy’s family:

  • Christmas Eve service at church followed by opening one gift before we went to bed (it was always pajamas)
  • Waking up extra early to get Christmas started
  • Cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning after we opened all of our gifts

New traditions that we’ve started since being married:

  • Attending Christmas Eve service at church
  • Opening one gift on Christmas Eve that we got for the family (a board/card game, movie, etc.) and playing/watching before bed
  • Watching The Polar Express on Christmas Eve

Christmas is always so special.  Not because of the gifts under the tree or the food we make.  It’s the family we have beside us (near and far) that makes it special.  It’s the traditions we’ve kept or the new ones we make.  It’s the day of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

1 John 4:9

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  And angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news that will ause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Luke 2:8-14

Until next time — Cindy