Before heading to the party, we made a quick pit stop at Brandon's parent's house to visit with Gigi since she wasn't feeling well.
And then because my husband and Jon can't help themselves, they peer pressured Pap Pap into taking a Wisconsin Lunchbox in honor of the big night.
Then my sisters, parents, and I exchanged numerous photo texts of each other from our various locations across Western PA because we all had separate party plans and missed each other.
Gilmore New Years eve is always filled with fun and laughter, but Brandon's favorite part of the holiday is spending time with his cousins, (who they have self-dubbed themselves 'the four horseman'...as in the apocalyptic horseman part in due to their tendencies to drink a whole lot in a very short amount of time anytime they're ever together). As an only child, Brandon's cousins were basically brothers to him growing up, so I can't help but smile (and occasionally shake my head at their shenanigans) when they all can get together.
And since Jon and Brandon are basic clones of each other and attend all drinking/hunting/fishing events together, the 4 horseman has since been expanded to include a fifth horseman...and then our son and Ray's son also jumped in on the hand gesture...so along the years, we've accumulated 5 grown horseman..and 2 horseman in training (oh, Dear God).
As official DD (and at 8 months pregnant), I spent the evening stuffing my face with spinach dip (mmm) and hotdogs & kraut. It was awesome.
Ninny is now a seasoned Studer/Gilmore/horseman wife and knows that the best way to spend your time at these events is to stay out of the way and sit back and laugh. She and I played dress up with Grey
And they even put on a little musical interlude together at around 11:45p at night. First of all, my 20 month old was still awake at 11:45p...second of all, musical interludes is kind of Ninny's specialty at Studer/Gilmore/horseman functions (taking into account the very first time she ever came to a new years with us and was coerced into participating into a 'talent show'). hahha, love you, Nin for being up for always being up for anything.
Grey was so glad to meet his cousin, Reid this year...and the 2 of them playing together was adorable. Reid was so patient and sweet with Grey (as Booboo tried to sit on his lap 44 times during the course of the night).
And Grey had fun spending time with his other Gilmore cousins, Katelyn & Alexis who were both happy to play with, wait on, or get snacks for him.
By the time the ball was dropping, I had a still-awake, albeit cranky toddler and a still-awake, albeit highly intoxicated husband on my hands. After a quick popcorn snack (oh, Brandon...), we made our way to the truck and after locating a wandering Jon, was able to get on the road and sink into bed - thankful for another happy, albeit busy, year come and gone.
With the new year comes resolutions which is really my favorite part about the holiday because I am such a cliche Virgo. 2011 was a great year for us; we moved closer to home, got a beautiful new house, started growing a new little studerbaby, Grey grew steadily all the while learning to walk, talk, and climb. It was an exciting year, but a hectic one too...one that sometimes felt like we were just 'getting through' the days. Just getting through hard parts until it would get easier and things calmed down. But as we can see, we aren't any closer to calming down, with a new dog, more renovations, and a new baby on the way...so in the spirit of one of my favorite quotes:
"For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin- real life.
But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first,
some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.
At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."
-Fr. Alfred D. Souza
we decided to make-over our new years resolutions into goal categories for the year. Brandon and I had a long discussion about how we want this year to feel less like we're just getting through the days and more like we're working towards a goal...we'll multiple goals; who we want to be in a year from now; better versions of ourselves.
So we sat down and created our 2012 goals by category and then because I'm 'that mom,' we made one for Grey too. We arbitraily came up with the categories based off of the things that we'd like to accomplish this year...in addition to our 12 months of dates...and our 12 months of Kindness. What can I say, I love making lists.