Family Holiday Party 2010

**Warning** I am about to get a little sappy. My stone cold heart very rarely has feelings and it would be a shameful waste if I didn’t share them. If you are not prepared for sap, please skip ahead to the pictures.

Last night was my parent’s second annual holiday party in which a group of our family friends and their kids get together to eat, drink and be merry. This year, instead of getting some food brought in, I asked if I could cook for New Food Tuesdayz. For a long time I’ve wanted to cook for these people because they are my biggest support and they love me unconditionally. The challenge of cooking for 30 is just an added bonus in my mind.

So, I would like to thank each and every one of them for joining me and my family on such a special night. In my mind, they are all family and life would be dreary and sad without them. They take such good care of me and my brothers. They watch out for my parents when I can’t. They are my biggest cheerleaders. They make me feel like I can tackle the world. Every young women woman needs to feel confident and they give me that gift.

Thank you Steve, Christie, Jenna and Jenson Vliss. Your zest for life is infectious and your family dynamic is something everyone should aspire for.

Thank you Scott and Jackie Shopshire. You are going to let me play in your herb garden. This automatically puts you on the list of top five favorite people. The Trader Joe’s cook book didn’t hurt your case either.

Thank you Tom, Mary, Matt and Lauren Rapcaz. I can’t seem to narrow down the list of reasons why I love you all so much. So here is a list from just last night. Tom drinks, chats and does dishes simultaneously. Mary dances with a wooden spoon all over the kitchen. Matt had never had soup until I changed his life. Lauren squeezed 571,834 oranges in her drink so she couldn’t taste the vodka. Oh, and they brought me a beautiful cake plate.

Thank you Jerry, Alma, Lacie and Dillon Fisher. Thank you for being such amazing partners in crime to every member of my family. Every moment spent with you is an absolute joy.

Thank you Steve and Debbie Gard. It was amazing of you to come to our home and let me know how much you enjoyed the evening. Thank you for making me feel warm and fuzzy.

Thank you to Mike, Denise, Rex and Brooke Learmouth. You are my second family. Life would not be the same without you and last night would have been no exception. Thank you Mike dazzling us with your musical selection and Denise for the very thoughtful gift. Oh, and thank you Rex for only drinking one Four Loco.

Thank you to my lovely aunt and uncle, Lynn and Hank. Without your helpful chopping hands, we would have eaten dinner at 2am.
Thank you to Mom and Dad for letting me cook in your home.

Thank you to Albert and Josh for keeping me humble by reminding me that cooking on five burners really isn’t that impressive because all I am doing is flipping chicken a couple at a time.

Thank you to Eric and Lindsey for being my rocks and keeping me sane when insanity is happening all around me.

The night was completely wonderful. It was full of amazing people and…

A beautiful tree…

A hideous sweater…

The most massive plate of pasta and Wild Mushroom Ragu EVER…

Cooking on five burners simultaneously…

Thankfully only one Four Loco

Christie using anything she could find for a microphone…

Beautiful hearts…

And one absolutely amazing moment caught on video.

I love you all. Even MORE than I love food.

My heroes.

Love and Beer Floats

P.S. If I forgot you, I was drunk. Things seem to be erased from memory when I'm drunk. You can flog me the next time I see you.