Friday, December 25


We enjoyed Mama & Papa Hughes' first trip to Pittsburgh for Christmas Day!

Seeing the view from Mt. Washington...

our best present of all... :)

a little boy who loves anything that moves, hit the jackpot this Christmas!

Christmas dinner was ham, sweet potatoes & pears, corn casserole, homemade rolls, and broccoli salad. I think it was pretty good! :)

Hope your Christmas was as blessed as ours!


Christ. Eternal Son of God. Infinite. Almighty. Creator. Heir of all things. Upholding the world by the word of his power. He looked down on us with love and, without ceasing to be God, took on our human nature. God-Man. God, yet without the unapproachable glory. Man, yet without sin. Limited. Mortal. Frail. Why?
He became a man because the death of a man who was more than man was needed. The incarnation was God’s locking himself into death row. Christ did not risk death. He embraced it. That is precisely why he came: not to be served but to serve and give his life a ransom for many.
We celebrate Christ being born. But so much more, we celebrate WHY he was born. And that is to take on Himself the wrath that was ours. We reflect on Mary & Joseph, human just like us, but chosen for a divine task. Most importantly this day, we celebrate our SAVIOR.
Have a blessed Christmas!

Sunday, December 20


This is the scene we awoke to on Saturday morning! It was so beautiful!

Saturday evening we headed downtown to check out some of the holiday fun! We always love downtown, but at Christmas it is extra special!
There is a skating rink around the big tree, Christmas music was being pumped out, and the snow was continuing to couldn't have been a more perfect winter night!

Next to the skating rink was a big indoor display of gingerbread houses and Santas from the around the world.

They were also offering free horse-drawn carriage rides. I figured the lines would be too long, but when we went to check it out, there was actually nobody in line! So after a short wait for the carriage, we were on board!
Welcome to your first winter, gman!
(he's not super impressed!)
I hate being cold, I hate being cold, I hate being cold.........
One of the reasons I was dreading being back north for winter.
However, this night gave me such an appreciation for experiences we have missed the past 4 years. It gave a renewed thankfulness for how God places you right where you're supposed to be and has a way of making you content as well!
So, despite still being cold, :) I am really thankful to be right where I am this winter and thoroughly enjoying the beautiful snow in my home, sweet, home.

Wednesday, December 16

An early Christmas in [freezing] Minnesota...

There are too many pictures and stories to tell from our week in MN...! I'll just have to hit a few highlights and the rest of the pics can be viewed on facebook.
On 2 of our 4 flights, we got an empty seat for gman, which was soooooo nice! He did very good despite one canceled flight and an hour sit on a runway! Managed to take a few cat naps when he needed them. VERY thankful for babywise, because his little body is so programmed to his schedule, that he still fell asleep when he needed to!

It was a beautiful winter scene and the temp. was around ZERO most of the week! We happily stayed inside. :)

graham was forced into layers of clothing a lot which he HATES!
but I think he looks cute!

watching the Christmas parade from the skyway with my nieces, nephew, sister, and sister-in-law!

love downtown Minneapolis!

graham had lots of extra good care and fun with his cousins!

and extra love from his aunts & uncles!

enjoying his first Christmas experience!

loved spending time with my SIL, mom, & sister!

missing two brothers for this shot...we can never quite get everyone together!

And this is how we all felt when we arrived home....!
It was a wonderful week though and thank you to each family member who went out of their way to make the week special!

The rest of the pics can be viewed here.

Tuesday, December 8

Cookie Time

I don't know if anyone else saw this, but a while ago, Betty Crocker had a thing where you could sign up to be picked to host a cookie party. And they provided everything! So I thought, why not? Then a couple of weeks ago I got an email saying I had been picked as a host. Oh I had to plan a party! But it turned out really fun. They sent me a whole box of STUFF including some cookie mixes, coupons, items for goody bags, lots of misc. things AND a $15 gift card to purchase other ingredients. THANK YOU Betty Crocker, pretty great!
So....I started planning. They were trying to promote treats you could make using their cookie mixes as your starting base.
Here we are ready to go...
in corner #1 - chocolate cranberry biscotti
corner #2 - Christmas tree brownies
corner #3 - ooey -gooey caramel bars
corner #4 - peanut butter kisses
Everyone starts their assignments...looks intense, huh?!!

1st pan into the oven!

These were the most fun to do!

take home goodies

The chaos in our wake...

We had a fun (if slightly crazy!) group including a few friends from church, 2 of my neighbors, and 2 other friends from the community. There were lots of laughs!

Everyone got to take home a plate of cookies and I even had enough to take to some of my other neighbors as well. Can I just say I am a big fan of baking together? It was a lot of fun!

Thanks Betty (if I hadn't mentioned you enough already). I should seriously get paid for this. I'm also available for commercials. :)