WOW! I am about to post my 365th picture. I'm not going to lie, I think this blog challenge has been one of my greatest accomplishments. I have never really stayed true to a new years resolution, but I smacked this one out of the ballpark I think!!! It all started with a brand new camera and an idea I got from my Aunt Amie & Uncle Scott in AZ. This blog challenge got me a lot of attention with my close friends, acquaintances and even strangers. I didn't get the media attention I had hope...wink, wink. But I guess that was unrealistic. I do, however, want to print out my photos and make a book so I'll always remember this challenge and my continuing determination to complete it. Well, that and it was such a great journal through an entire year of my life; it'll be nice to have that in printed form. Now to find a website or company that will print 365+ photos with blurbs and long stories!!! That might be a pricey book. Maybe I should ask for donations from all my loyal readers!!!! LOL, any takers?? :)

I'll get on with the inevitable. Tonight was New Year's Eve and I celebrated it with parts of my family. We had a yummy Chinese dinner, games, more food, laughs, Just Dance 3 (where I pulled my groin muscle...yay me!) and made great memories. My idea for my last photo was better in my head than it was in real life. I bought a bunch of those 'champagne poppers' from the store and I was hoping to get an action shot of someone pulling the string and releasing the streamers and confetti. I enlisted my entire family to help me out! I'm really glad I bought a TON of those things, because take, after take, after take, after take, I just couldn't seem to get one. It happens in a millisecond and my shutter speed couldn't keep up. My family is always great supporters and tried to help me in ANY way possible. We ended up making a gigantic mess on my dad's kitchen floor. Confetti was everywhere and on everyone! After going through the hundreds of attempts, this one was my favorite and is a perfect close to my life's story in 2011. Now I'm on to bigger and better things...okay maybe not. I might just be on to blogger withdrawals...we'll see!!

My last picture, #365 - That's All Folks!

Now, who's up for the challenge in 2012?? Any takers? If you're interested but don't know how to blog or post, let me know. I'm always up for a quick tutorial!! Or take my sisters advice and skip the blogging part. Just post a photo everyday. Either here on blogger or on facebook. (And you don't have to be as anal as I have been. Don't worry about posting EVERY single day. Take the pictures everyday but post weekly.) Whatever you decide...if you're thinking about it...DO IT!!!! I have top pass the torch to someone.

Thank you, thank you to ALL my readers, followers and stalkers. This wouldn't have been fun without someone else enjoying it. This really was my life in 2011.  THE END!



1 day left!!! Oh my heck I'm so excited!

Well people, I'm finally starting to feel better. Just in time for the New Year celebrations to begin. [insert knock on wood here]. Tonight was my first night out of the house since Mondays family reunion get together. Parts of my family gathered to see the 2nd Sherlock Holmes movie tonight. I had originally canceled on this plan because of my sickness, but since I started feeling better I changed my mind just hours before. And I'm soooo glad I went too, because the movie was FABULOUS! If you enjoyed the first one, you will definitely enjoy this one.

Since today's photo is my 2nd to last, I asked my family to participate. My original idea was just to have them holding up 'peace' signs commemorating my 2nd to last picture, but Jessica came up with a better idea. Andee, this one's for you! (Our 'MICKEY' go 'round number TWO!)

364 down only 1 to go!

Oh and pay no attention to my husbands wardrobe. Apparently no one else got the memo that it was "Hawaiian Shirt Day."
My family is awesome!



2 more after today and I'm DONE!!

Holy crap. I have just 2 more pictures to post up on this 365-day photo challenge. And I am soooooo ready for a break!! Wahoo!

My puppies were being extra affectionate with each other. Not sure why, but they kept cuddling with one another. I'd look down and Simon would literally be laying on top of a sleeping Lucas. Later I saw Charlie resting his head at Simon's feet. Then at one point they were cuddled up in a 'tri-fecta' ball next to Joe on the couch. I swear its like these 3 had some "Love Potion #9!" I know they love each other, but they are usually snapping at each other for stealing their toy away or snipping as they take our attention away from themselves. Its pretty funny how similar these 3 are to actual 3 human brothers. Apparently its a love/hate relationship. I pulled out my camera to capture all the lovin' going on and I was happy to snap this one, my #363's - Lucas loves his Simon!

I was able to snap this just milliseconds before Lucas' wet tongue smeared over Simon's face!! Yeah, glad I didn't get a picture of that mess!!! Haha!! But look at those cute whiskers on my little Simon. I love how his nose is perfectly in focus, but the rest of his body is blurry. Man I just love my boys!!!

And here is my Charlie. He was curled up next to Joe while Lucas & Simon were making out. Charlie is currently on steroids for his back problems and he's 'beefing' up a bit. Hopefully this guy won't need surgery. For now he's on limited activity and lots of food & water. For a pup, that's the life, right? Lazy & full!!!



pictures left people!

I wish I had more exciting things to post about this week, it being my last week and all.... But alas, I'm sick and nothing picture worthy is happening to me this week. Well unless you count the impressive pile of tissues next to me on the couch. I'm pretty sure my eco-friendly followers woudn't appreciate that and there is just something gross about used tissues! I went the more 'clean' or 'sanitary' route.

My #362 - Fresh Tissues!! However I found out the hard way that these were VICKS vapor tissues. My eyes have been watering like crazy the last few days, so now they are dry and sore. I wiped my eyes with these tissues and man did it burn!!! How sad is it that my sweet hubby put 2 tissue boxes next to me as I laid on the couch? I have VICKS tissues for my stuffy nose and then ALOE VERA ones for my watering eyes.  That's just another sign that he loves me unconditionally...I'm a little high maintenance!



4 pictures left!

Its been going around, in various forms and I've caught it. I'm sick. It started Christmas night and has knocked me on my butt today. I did have to work a bit today, but I've been in bed ever since I got home. Had some yummy soup in a bread bowl for lunch/dinner and I've been drinking lots of fluids. Lots! I'm so happy I already had my favorite orange juice stocked up in my fridge.

My #361 - Nothing like some good ol' vitamin C!



5 photos left!!

Wahoo, down to my last 5 posts! Today marked the last day of my Christmas celebration. Joe and I spent some time with my Mom & Kelly and enjoyed catching up with each other, then we got to go to a huge family party with my Mom's side. Her brother, my uncle Randy, put together the whole thing and it was fantastic. Almost everyone was there (minus 2 of my cousins and my Uncle & Aunt). We had yummy pizza & salad, gifts, games & socializing, which is my favorite! Randy has always been great at getting everyone together and making sure we're having fun. Our first game involved both white elephant gifts & regular gifts. We all took turns grabbing a gift not knowing if it was a regular gift or a white elephant gift. Then we got the chance to steal gifts from other! It was a great time!! My cousin Laurie (Randy's daughter) brought this gift as a white elephant, but Joe picked it up and we're pretty happy about it!

#360 - Our very own Fertility God!

Okay it really isn't a fertility god. Someone she knew used to have this up as a decoration. She was able to get a hold of it, named it a Fertility God and brought it as a laugh. Well everyone thinks its a Fertility God and no one stole it away from Joe because they knew out of everyone, we need it the most!! Haha, I love my family! Welp, we're gonna hang it up and see if it works. It might just be our year in 2012! Thanks Dave & Laurie for sending this our way. Guess we'll see!

Thanks to my Mom and all her family for creating a wonderful night. I'm so glad I got to see everyone, catch up and play some fun games! Here are a few extra pictures of the night. We played "Tornado" or as I call it, "Lightening." We also played his really FUN game called Human Rock Paper Scissors!! We laughed so hard with that game - it was fantastic!!



6 Pictures left!

Merry Christmas everyone! I had a fabulous, kick back kind of day with my family. I almost felt like I had been drugged by something because I was in a daze all day today. Just tired and exhausted. Whew. The holidays can do that to you I guess! Joe and I are actually back at home and in bed for the night. Been here since 6:30pm. We're watching the Green Bay game and cuddling in our heated blankets! I'm actually hoping to go to sleep pretty soon. How funny is that. Its only 9 o'clock!!

Both Joe and I felt very lucky this year and got totally spoiled. My dad & Nancy gave us our Disneyland passes for Christmas, so we didn't have much to open this morning. But we had a wonderful time in DL and I'm so grateful for my parents and their kindness. One of my favorite things as a kid was my stocking. I loved hanging them up all season and having them filled to the brim the Christmas morning. Plus the excitement of digging all the way down and finding all the hidden treasures. I'm not sure what started the tradition; my parents could have just need something to weigh the stocking down or create a nice round shape at the bottom, but the last thing to pull out of the stocking was always an orange. Oranges are great this time of year and ever since I was a kid, its always a must have on Christmas. Even through my teenage years & adulthood, my dad & Nancy have kept the tradition and continue to give us an orange. (My older sister Kalie has now passed that tradition on with her boys!) My family makes fun of me a little bit because when I was a kid, I actually called it a 'peel' instead of an orange and we have a home video of me pulling it out of my stocking, utterly excited, claiming 'I got a peel!!!" Well here I am 29 years old and I was extremely excited to get an orange yet again this year. Thanks Dad & Nancy!!!

#359 - I got another 'peel'!

Now I'm looking forward to spending time with my Mom & Kelly tomorrow as well as the whole PECK family during our get together tomorrow night! Its gonna be great fun!


7 photos left!!!

Its Christmas Eve! I can't believe its already here. With my vacation last week, December has seem to fly by so fast! In fact with my countdown going until the end of this blog, I've had to literally count the days left just to make sure I'm right!! I REALLY only have 7 more photos! I want to make sure this last week is special and  I hope to try and put a lot of thought & time into my last week of pictures. Gotta leave my followers wanting more!! ;)

I'm not going to write much tonight. My heart is full of love, excitement and anticipation for the events of tomorrow & Monday. I love all the family time and the memories we'll be making. Joe and I spent the night with my Dad, step-mom & my siblings. Lots of food, movies, games & laughter! Now we are home, cuddled in bed with our boys and enjoying 'our' little family. Our hearts ache a little knowing we won't be playing Santa Claus again this year...but we are still hopeful that we'll get to participate in the full enthusiasm for the holiday in the future.

Wishing all my readers, followers, friends and family a wonderful holiday. I hope you are able to spend time with the people you love. May your hearts be full of the true meaning of Christmas. God bless!

My #358 - Stockings are hung. Presents are under the tree. Cookies are laid out. And children are deep in dreams of the spectacular morning to come. Merry Christmas!!



8 photos left!!

Today was a whirlwind of a day. It was my last work day before the holiday weekend and I was booked solid for 8 1/2 hours! After work, instead of running necessary errands, I spent the an hour at the vet finding out some awful news about my puppy Charlie. We're saying prayers like crazy at my house tonight. However there was a few highlights to the evening. Yet another great Christmas tradition!!! My family has season tickets to a local playhouse, Hale Center Theatre, which I've posted about before, but every holiday season they put on A Christmas Carol and of course EVERY December 23rd, we have our tickets to see the show. I can't even remember how many years we've done this, but its been at least 10 years. It has always been the 'official' start to the Christmas celebration with Christmas Eve the next day. Tonight did not disappoint!! My family got together - in style - with an 'Ugly Sweater' contest to go along with it. Shopping for a sweater was on my huge list of errands this week, but I just never found the time, so I didn't participate. I'm glad I didn't though because the competition was fierce! I was really impressed with not only the creations & diamonds in the rough, but with the participants! Both my brother-in-laws joined in on the fun and that is really out of character! We had a vote at dinner and my step-mom Nancy passed out the prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place. It was a great turnout!!

And the winners are.... - #357

3rd place was my husband Joe. He didn't technically wear an ugly sweater, but he pulled off the "Cousin Eddie" blue leisure suit from Christmas Vacation. (He did this on the same night last year, but did the white sweater with dark black 'dicky' turtle neck instead.)

2nd place was my sister (and roommate) Andee. She was clever enough to actually make hers! It was 3D! Balls, holly leaves, crocheted doily, ornament earrings and all!! (She was talked into keeping the sweater and adding to it every year. I guess we've now made this a tradition alongside the Christmas Carol night!)

And 1st place my brother-in-law Jesse! His was great not only because it really was an UGLY sweater but because it was a woman's sweater and clearly 2 sizes too small!! He was such a great sport and we all loved that he played along!! He took home the $25 prize AND the coveted Ugly Sweater ornament for his tree!

Such great fun!! I'm excited to participate next year. I now have 364 days to get something together. I CAN DO THIS!



9 pictures left!!

Another wonderful thing about this Christmas season, is all the Christmas cards!! Checking the mail each day has become the best part of the day, rather than the most boring. I love reading the great stories and seeing the cute family pictures. With not seeing my [far away] family and friends all the time, its so nice to get that yearly 'catch up!' And I'm not gonna lie, the pictures really are my favorite!! I slacked this year and didn't get my cards out in time...in fact I never got them printed. :(  However I still think I'm going to send them out, just after Christmas. It'll be more like a Happy 2012 card rather than a Christmas card. So, no worries people, I'll get them out soon.

Thank you to everyone who thought of us and sent a card. I'm excited to see the ones we have yet to receive. I love each of you and the time you spent sending them out. The thought was very sweet! Happy Holidays to all!!!

Holiday LOVE sent via snail mail! - #356