Happy New Year!

Hello friends! Happy New Year to all of you! I took some time off over the past few weeks (at least) from blogging and a few other things. The holidays are always VERY busy for us and this year was no exception. Although we did not attend as many parties or functions this year, we had a lot of time with various family members and it was important to me not to miss out on anything.

Back in April, my sister mentioned wanting to buy tickets for her and her boyfriend to fly down and visit some time around Christmas (We ultimately settled on the week before Christmas). She’s my half sister and we did not get the joy of growing up together, but we have grown really close since we met.

A couple of weeks before they got here, Jake (her boyfriend) contacted me and said he was planning on proposing to her while they were here (yay!) and asked if I would take photos of it all happening. It was SO fun planning this covert surprise and such a pleasure to be a part of it. It all went off without a hitch (she said yes of course!) – his sister made a quilt with her favorite animal and the words “will you marry me” incorporated beautifully. He opened it up for a picnic on the beach, dropped on one knee, and pulled out the ring. It was the most beautiful moment to help capture. Afterwards, I surprised them with a few engagement photos as well, which turned out beautifully.

They stayed for a week, and it was SO great to have that time with them to enjoy getting to know each other even better. I love them both so very much.

They went home the weekend before Christmas, and we had the weekend to get ready for Christmas. My mom came over for the day and for dinner, but that wasn’t all – we had a little Christmas miracle later in the day.

Backstory: Back in early November, we found a cat outside our house crying and begging for food and attention. It was very clear she had been a house cat at some point – she knew what it meant when I set down a bowl for food, she tried to come into the house, she was extremely sweet and not afraid of us whatsoever. I ALMOST brought her in the house until I could take her to the vet to check for a microchip, but I had to pick up my son from school and I was honestly torn not knowing anything about her, if she had fleas, etc. But she had been at the front door for a few hours, so I decided I would take her to the vet when I got back from getting my son.

When I got back, she was gone and we couldn’t find her anywhere. I looked for several more days with no success, so I figured that maybe she had gotten back home.

On Christmas, one of my neighbors posted on the Nextdoor app (it’s like social media for your neighborhood) that there was a cat outside her house begging for food, trying to get in, etc – and that she had been hanging around her house since Thanksgiving, eating things like canned spaghetti from her trash. I debated what to do, and my husband was on the fence as well. We decided to go pick her up from the neighbor and put her in our fenced backyard with a box and some blankets to keep her warm, and some food and water, until we could try to find her owner or figure out what to do.

Throughout the day my boys went outside and played with her (near her, really) and were SO EXCITED to have a cat at the house. At one point, they went out and thought that she had gone – she wasn’t anywhere to be found. We all looked and couldn’t find her, so we thought she escaped. My 4 year old was DEVASTATED. He was sobbing and crying that she was going to be cold and we needed to keep her safe. I wasn’t sure how to help him or comfort him, so I decided that it was best to pray. We prayed together and prayed for her to be safe and warm. Later, they found her in the backyard again coming out of the blankets – she was probably in there the whole time keeping warm!

That evening, I checked and saw that the 24 hour vet clinic was open even on Christmas, so we took her up there to have her scanned. It turned out she DID belong to someone, but they weren’t from around here. They had stopped to visit family during their move to CALIFORNIA for a job. Poor thing had been missing for 5 months. They were only able to stay in town for a few days to look for her but had to leave because of the job waiting for them. They never heard anything about her and had begun to assume the worst.

We turned her over to the vet, and the owner was planning on flying her home to California. After giving it some thought, she was concerned about the cat being traumatized through the travel process, and they had been without her for 5 months and had processed it emotionally already. She offered to allow us to adopt her if we wanted, and said if we didn’t that she would go ahead and fly her home.

After giving it some thought and discussing the logistics of having a pet again, we decided to take her. I am SO happy we did. She is the sweetest thing. I think her favorite thing is to come and sit with me on the couch, cuddle up in the blanket, and go to sleep. She seems to really like the couch – I would too after sleeping on the ground for so long.

Her previous owners also had young kids, so she is completely accustomed to being around kids and has been very gentle and accommodating with mine. All in all, it has been some of the best circumstances as far as adopting her and she fits in perfectly with our family. My 2 year old is completely enamored with her!

The weekend of New Year’s we went to visit my in-laws to celebrate Christmas and my son’s 2 year old birthday (what??) – the boys always have so much fun visiting them! We love to spend time with them – family time is so important.

Those were the biggest highlights of our holidays. What were some of your highlights? Did you do anything or travel anywhere? Stay in? Let me know in the comments below!

Keep sparkling my friends!



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