Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples

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Ugly Christmas Sweater Party & Concert

Saturday night we went to an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at a local brewery. They had a local band playing Christmas music (including “Let it Go”) with the lead singer being our worship leader from church. Yeah, that’s right. We have a rock star as our worship leader. 😉

It was a great time – eating from a local food truck, drinking local beer, laughing with friends and listening to good music. It was a nice break from all the craziness of life lately.

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Trying to take a selfie with lots of people. 🙂


And you can’t have an ugly Christmas sweater party without a contest. There was a plethora of lights, garlands, tinsel, doilies, ornaments and mistletoe.

This guy on the end here was proclaimed the winner. I mean, any guy who can come out into public while wearing a Dickie and sporting a hairdo that Ken Barbie would be envious of, deserves to win first place!

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We had a great time and I look forward to next year’s! I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!

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Life lately has been a whirlwind. We have spent weeks at hospitals, hotels, driving from city to city and ultimately a funeral. Randy’s dear grandmother passed away last week. It was terribly sad, but we take comfort in the fact that she is now in her true home, in the arms of the Father. Now we are picking up the pieces and trying to get back to the normalcy of life.

Because we have been away from home, we are just now decorating for Christmas. I am thrilled to have Randy’s family for Christmas this year! It will have a touch of sadness due to the circumstances, but the important thing is, is that we are spending Christmas together as a family. I think that is what grandma would want, her family enjoying each other’s company.

This year we went to a chose-n-cut tree farm for our Christmas tree. I knew that the precut ones were going to be rather dry, since it was so late in the season. So we got ourselves a nice fresh tree! It was a lot of fun picking out a tree! I hope to continue to do this every year for Christmas!


We are running around the house now, trying to get everything ready in time for Christmas! Hopefully, it will all be ready in time! Either way, it is still going to be fun to have family over for the holidays! What are your plans for Christmas?


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Truly Grateful

This Thanksgiving was quite different than planned. I don’t have photos to share of our beautiful family or of our amazing Thanksgiving dinner or of the beautiful decor that only Thanksgiving can provide. This Thanksgiving was spent in a waiting room at a hospital. Randy’s grandmother was in a house fire last week and was sent to an ICU burn center. She is OK and it seems like she is going to pull through. She is definitely a fighter and her strength is an encouragement for us all. It is a tragedy that she lost her home to the fire, but she is alive and that is all that really matters.

Spending Thanksgiving in a hospital really got me thinking. I don’t ever recall spending any holiday in a hospital. All of my holidays have been spent at the comfort of my home surrounded by my family. Thinking about this made me realized how truly blessed I am. Every Thanksgiving I take time to reflect on my blessings and I am aware how blessed I am. I am thankful for everything that the Lord has blessed me with.

But after this Thanksgiving it had me thinking about all the families around the world who spend their holidays in a hospital. Those who have had an accident within the family or for those who spend every holiday and celebration in the hospital. My heart goes out to the families who spend their holidays in a hospital. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to spend year after year in a hospital. The Lord has certainly blessed me and my family with good health.

Spending days in a waiting room, we joked around how this Thanksgiving was not going to be blog worthy. But why not? I don’t have fun ideas or recipes to share or even pictures of my day. But what I do have, are memories of spending real quality time with my family. And at the end of it all, isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about? Being with your family? Reflecting on what you have and not what you don’t have?

I wish Randy’s grandmother was not in a fire and that she didn’t lose her home. But she is alive, thank the Lord. And we have each other. That is what really matters. Having each other and being there for each other through the good times and through the bad.

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful! No matter where it was spent, I hope it was spent with the ones that you love.

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