Winter has most certainly arrived around the BigG home! Lots of snow and now COLD, COLD weather. Leading up to New Years, this is the kind of weather that makes my party maker go a little weak in the knees. Now, although I know that if read too closely, that sentence really didn't work...but I am going with it. It is typically our tradition to have a New Year's Eve get together. But...weak kneed. That's the state of my party planning self when it gets cold and icy on our road. And I'm not going to lie--I am the primary driving force of most things 'party' around here. Although John does enjoy a nice shin dig, he seems to have a better memory when considering the work and preparation such revelry create.
I tested the waters to see if people already had big plans going on or if they'd be up for a get together. My extended feelers weren't giving me a definitive answer all the way up to the 30th. And by then I was thinking how lame I am always throwing it all together at the last minute. But then I talked to a couple of ladies and they helped me find that tipping point which pushed me into full on 'We gotta get ready for a party!' mode.
And so we did.
Cleaning. Cooking. Clearing (of snow).
I am not exagerating when I say that it was FRIGID outside! But my champ of a husband stepped up to the task and onto the tractor. I, dutiful wife that I am, even brought him a cup of hot chocolate to encourage him to stay out in the cold to bring my plan to fruition. Once again, John get's the Great Sport of a Husband Award!
For the last little while in our lives I have become aware of a shift. We are no longer the family with 5 little kids. We are now the family with a couple of teens, a tween, and a couple of little guys who learn too much from their older siblings. So this year I tried to shift accordingly with our New Years plans.
We invited other families with YM/YW aged kids to come over. You know, it's funny, but they are pretty much the same crowd that we used to call when we invited other families with little kids. I guess families are growing up all over these days. ;) I continue to be impressed with the people we know. Not only were they able to bring their fun selves and all of the kiddos, they all managed to bring SO much yummy food that we could have stayed for days and never have eaten it all!
This year was a little unusual compared to past years. Typically there are people indoors as well as outdoors. We have a fire going out in the fire pit, but this year not too many of us ventured out. The fact that our low was somewhere around -15 might have had something to do with it. Although, it might have just been all of the good food and fun people found indoors that kept us all from venturing out. The kids got the wii going...
(P.S. the reason I really put this pic in is because of fun Lanae in the back with the green coat! heehee)
And we all got into the New Year's spirit. I was going to make some kind of joke about us all being 'party animals,' but I will refrain.
I tried to get a few games going. I am all about the social interaction in the teen year thing. This is everyone doing the hand slap game. I thought I was so cool and original with my games but several of the kids said they'd done these things at EFY. I joked with a couple of my friends that maybe we would play suck-and-blow (a kissing game using a credit card) cuz they probably didn't play THAT at EFY. But I went with 'Do you love your neighbor' (an innocent chair trading game) instead.
One thing I am sad I didn't get together was some sort of photo booth thing. I would love to have had a photo of everyone, but I was running around and didn't get very many pics taken. Anyhoo.
As midnight drew near (that is midnight on the East Coast AKA 10pm mountain time), John did some fireworks for us. With the insane cold, no one minded that it was an abbreviated version of years past. Loved it!
When it came time for the countdown to the New Year, I did something a little different this year. I was certainly inspired by the marketing of my local Walmart. I passed a display with lots of plastic champagne type glasses and I bought a bunch. I also go some Raspberry Lemonade for the midnight toast. Even John mentioned that it seemed somewhat worldly to drink a toast at the New Year, and I admit the thought crossed my mind. Maybe next year I'll get a disco ball to drop, but this year I enjoyed throwing back the slushy stuff (I had left it outside and it froze somewhat) while welcoming 2011!!
Of course because it was only really 10pm, that left time for the pinata, bebe! All the kids got in a few good swats and collected a few treats.
Most families with little kids bundled up and headed out. The older kid crowd went downstairs for a movie while John and I hung out upstairs. We talked and laughed and cleaned up a little. We talked about the past year and the year to come. I almost think that was my favorite time of the whole night. Have I mentioned how cool I thought it was that he spent the afternoon outside plowing for this? :) When the movie finished up at 1am (yes, that IS mountain time) we stuck a candle in a cutie (one of those little oranges) and sang Happy Birthday to our friend Mikayla who is a New Years baby. One of the kids took everyone home and we were left with a quiet house.
I am really glad we had a New Year's party! It is nice to get together when it's hard to get out. I am grateful for the good year that we have had and I have a good feeling about 2011!! Happy New Year!!!