Happy 2018!

Wow, the older I get, the more time seems to fly. Seriously, where did 2017 go?

We held our 14th Annual Blankenheim New Years Pig Roast last night – the first in our new home! It was a great time with a lot of old faces and some new ones too! The dogs were in their element – they hung out all day in the yard and made a lot of new friends. I’m sure the fact that they were being fed all sorts of people food helped too!

Every year is a bit different, and as we’ve gotten older we’ve done less of the shots at 2am and more of the 9pm New York new years. This year, everyone left around 11pm and by midnight it was just us two:

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I hope you all have a wonderful 2018 – I’m looking forward to everything it brings!

 

This Is Thirty-Six

Well, today I celebrated the 20th anniversary of my 16th birthday. For those who don’t feel like doing math, I turned 36.

I did what any good future ranch-owning cowgirl does on her birthday. I stood in the freezing cold rain and helped put up fencing. Thankfully Mike and my Daddy were there – not gonna lie, I got too cold by noon and had to call it quits. I began to think about what people who freeze to death on Everest feel like.

I decided to make myself useful and get the gang Taco Bell. Then my Mama and I headed out to look at furniture.

We finished the day off with a great big family dinner at Strings – nothing but the best pan fried raviolis for this girl! I spent the rest of the evening reading through the wonderful Facebook messages, text messages, and emails I got from my friends and family. You guys really know how to make a girl feel loved!

I wouldn’t have had this day any other way! Here’s to another amazing year on this planet!

New Years, Two Weeks Late

As always, we had our annual New Year’s pig roast. I’m pretty sure that even if I didn’t send out an Evite, people would still show up at my house. This was the 12th year and I have a feeling we’ll be doing it forever!

The day starts with the dressing of the pig in the morning – once it’s all stuffed with potatoes and other yummy spices, it’s put on the spit and starts cooking.

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Headed for the spit
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Ready to cook!

This pig was a little bit smaller than we’ve done in the past couple years – so it went on around 10am rather than earlier in the day.

After the pig goes on, we wait. People stop by all day to check in on it and enjoy the “cracklins” – basically the tasty skin that starts to form as it cooks. Mike has a special marinade that he pours on throughout the day that makes it taste even better!

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Finally it’s time to cut the pig up. It’s quite the process that requires skilled butchers… or just a bunch of dudes with electric knives.

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Creating a cutting strategy

We had a blast this year, as always. We never really know how many people are going to be there, and every year it’s a great mix of people we’ve seen every year and new faces. Our friends and family all bring side dishes and we get to sample all sorts of amazing cooking! We celebrated both the New York (9pm) countdown as well as our own west coast countdown. It was a wonderful time!

 

 

Merry Christmas!

We spent Christmas Eve with Mike’s side of the family. The normal tradition is Mass, followed by presents at Grandma’s, then presents at his parents. This year was a little bit different – we had some snow and a county-wide power outage, so Mass ended up being cancelled. We headed over to Grandma’s for the traditional hors d’oeuvres and presents. Here’s Grandma’s beautiful tree:

Christmas Eve 2015 (3)

And of course, some of my favorite Blankenheims:

Then we headed over to Mike’s parents house for more presents and one of my favorite traditions, wrapping paper wars. Everyone opens, balls up their wrapping paper, and then it’s all out war!

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Christmas morning is always fun for me… Shadow has always known what’s up and absolutely loves opening his presents. This year was no different, however, now we’ve added Brady to the mix.┬áHe’s not as enthusiastic about opening presents the way Shadow is, but he sure did love playing with his tennis balls once we helped him get them open!

We spent Christmas Day with my side of the family.

Our gift to the kids (along with Mama and Daddy) was a playhouse… the kids loved it!

Kati and Nate hosted this year and made some delicious prime rib (and even better au jus Nate!). Chloe even got to have some quality story time with Oma and Grandpa:

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And, of course, no Christmas is complete without a visit with your horse. He’s already torn two holes in his blanket (which was his Christmas present), so I’d say it’s a hit.

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Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Christmas Cards

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is sending and receiving Christmas cards. I try to include my little family in my card, each year adding a little humor (one year I photoshopped my pooping dog into the Swiss Alps with Mike and I).

Every year I display our cards through Christmas. This year I’ve decided to keep it up through New Years, so everyone who comes to the party will get a chance to see them.

Here’s this year’s collage so far:

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Thank you to all of our friends and family who sent cards this year – I love seeing how your families have grown and hearing from you! Merry Christmas!

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A Most Excellent Day

Today is my 34th birthday… I can’t believe how quickly time goes by! Wow, how old does that make me sound?!

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how important spending time with the people I love is… and that’s what my whole day was about. I spent the morning with my awesome hubby getting our old truck sold, then headed out to go riding with my niece Katie. Her birthday was a while back and we’ve been waiting for good weather to go riding (that was our gift). Today was the big day… and it was a blast!

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Katie & Missy
Katie & I Riding
Katie & I Riding

Finally, I ended the night with my CERT friends… the coordinator team met up for an end of year dinner at Chevy’s. They surprised me with the whole sombrero/singing thing (honestly surprised… the waiter slapped it on my head from behind and scared the crap out of me!) and it was great to just share a meal together.

Tomorrow the festivities continue (I always seem to have more of a birthday week!) with a pizza oven extravaganza, after I ride with my sister (because it’s not a good day if I don’t get to ride!). Life is pretty darned good… here’s to enjoying every minute between now and 35!

Merry Christmas!

I’m sitting here by myself with a cup of coffee listening to Christmas music. Mike had to head into work for a bit and the family is on it’s way. I’m enjoying the calm before the storm… the beautiful chaos that is a house full of people. I can’t help but feel incredibly blessed today… not because of the presents or the food, but because I get yet another day to be surrounded by my incredible family.

Merry Christmas!!!