Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Au Revoir Dear Friend!

 

Our good freind Katie left on Sunday to move back to Indiana. We had the honor of spending Friday evening with her. It was a chance for us to say good-bye, as well as our doggies to play one last time! It was a tearful evening, as we have become very close, and good-byes are never easy! But I'll use Au Revoir instead, "till we meet again", I like that better! I know we will see her in July and maybe some day in Indiana, and we have email, blogs and cell phones, but it just won't be the same. It's so neat looking to see how, who and when the Lord brings people into your life. We had had Domino for a few months when we started taking her down to the school field. One day, a girl was there with her cute Golden Retriever/Lab mix. We started a conversation and I could tell there was something about her. Before long, our conversation turned to working at camps, actually, Christian Camps! I knew it!! you know how you can tell someone is a believer!! We started to meet at the field more often and before long, started to hang out. The beginning of this year was so fun as Katie and I would go walking for an hour every evening with the dogs, through Nellie Gale, a very fancy neighborhood! We would have so much fun, walking and talking and catching our breath. Those were certainly memorable days! It got to hot in the summer and then life got busy so we didn't get to do that as much as we used to, but I will treasure those times. Thats when we really had good conversations and when we really got to know eachother well! She also would join our family (Steve's family and my sister's family) for any b-day, or other special holiday, or just Thursday dinner at the Garrods and became a member of our family!!! She even acted as my intepreter on a few occasions, when I was apparently hard to understand!! haha! "DO you have a Christmas Stocking Hanger?", it's not that hard...but the poor guy at World market was very confused, "whats a hang-AHHH?" Of course, that makes me more nervous and the accent gets stronger, so I just turned to Katie and gave the look of, PLEASE translate!!!
Anyway, there are so many stories, and so many memories. We will miss her smiles, her laughter and our times together!!! Here's wishing you a good time being back home and thanks for the memories Katie!!
We love you!!
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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Letter 2007

Dear Family & Friends

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We trust that you had a great year and that you have enjoyable moments to look back on and reminisce. Please join us as we do the same!

2007 started with a BANG and a CRACK!

January brought a BANG! I finally took my oath & became a US Citizen! All the time, money and effort paid off and it was a remarkable experience and a real honor! I even received my first Jury Duty Summons a few weeks later! They certainly don’t waste any time!! Once an official citizen, I was able to begin the process of petitioning for my parents to join us in Sunny California.

February brought a CRACK! Literally…Steve broke his ankle/joint in 3 places and had to have surgery. He now sets off airport security with all his hardware: 5 screws and 2 plates. He was a real trooper and made incredible progress from a wheel chair, to crutches, a cane and then just a boot. Praise the Lord it was his left foot, so he was still able to drive. He is fully healed and this winter season he’ll be snowboarding again!

March brought the completion of our Salt Water Tropical Fish Aquarium. This has been Steve’s on-going project for about 2 years or so. He built a very handsome tank stand, that was my serving table last Christmas, but now houses a 220 gallon tank, full of corals, angels, snails, tangs, star fish, clown fish (aka: Nemo) and even a baby Sting Ray!

April was full of parties, baby showers and weddings. And the longest day of my life! I attended an 8hr seminar so I could become a Notary Public for my company. I am happy to announce that it was successful.

In May, with prayers & baited breath, we submitted my folk’s petitions. Steve’s mom and I also had fun introducing Ruth to our (wacky) tradition of leaving at 4am & driving 4 hours to go to the annual Swedish Festival in Kingsburg! While us ladies drove 4 hrs, Steve and his dad sailed 6 hours to Catalina Island. They saw hundreds of dolphins in route and had a marvelous time.

June brought high temperatures as well as more weddings and birthdays, including celebrating my brother-in-law’s first American birthday!

The winds of change blew through July, especially as Steve said “good-bye” to rainbow flip-flops and T-shirts and “hello” to Corporate America: dress shirts and SHOES! He’s an IT Director for a worldwide optics company and has done very well for himself. Steve and I also had the honor of working at yet another Willing Workers Weekend at Forest Home Christian Camps. We had such a great time with the staff that we opened up our home (as well as his folks and the Garrod’s), to the whole staff for a weekend.


August
was hot! Steve went on vacation to the Four Seasons in Maui, with our friend Jim. Jim’s wife started law-school the week of the trip, which Jim won through work, so Steve got to enjoy Maui all over again! Both Steve and Jim deserved the break, away from Corporate America, closed toed shoes and dress shirts. The good news was August also brought the approval of my Mom’s petition! Praise the Lord!

September, Steve and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary! We went away to our favorite quiet spot along the California coast - ‘Where the Pines meet the Sea.” We had a wonderful time in Cambria and can’t wait to return.

October was enjoyable since I was able to take a week off work to just be. We also were able to celebrate my sister’s b-day, which was the first time together in eleven years! The BEST news of October was that after a few delays, my dad’s Petition was approved!

November, we enjoyed Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family, and Steve ended the month with a business trip to chilly Boston.

December we have a cluster of birthdays coming up, including my dad’s, our niece Becca, Steve’s & our four-legged baby who turns 2!! It seems like just yesterday our toes were being bitten off and our furniture chewed! (By the dog -not Steve!)
Between Progressive Dinners, Christmas Concerts and Family get-together’s, December will be busy!

All in all, this has been a wonderful year. We have been so blessed to enjoy so many “firsts” with my sister and her family, as well as anticipate the arrival of my folks! We enjoy fellowshipping together with family at Coast Hills Community Church and we look forward to another year of “firsts” and fun memories in the making! Thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with us!

All our Love and God Bless

Steve, Shaz & Domino Hughes

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called: Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, the PRINCE OF PEACE!
Isaiah 9:6

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Picture Time

 
 
 
 

We finally took our Christmas photos!! It's funny as Steve gets asked all the time to take photos for people, but it's hard for him to be the photographer when we need him IN the picture!! Our friend Katie very kindly took them, as we were meeting her and her friends at the beach so Steve could take her friends Engagement Photos. We decided to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, and get ours done too! Sadly Domino is not in it, but oh well! We took them at the Montage in Laguna Beach, below the cliffs. The sky was just gorgeous as the rains had cleared all the smog away! It started raining at one point, but was an enjoyable time!! I will post our Christmas letter soon! I just need to edit it ONE more time! Thanks Melissa for the Tips on Christmas Letters! That was helpful! Oh, the picture we chose for our card is the full body one, portrait, not landscape!
Happy Christmas to everyone!!!
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Monday, December 03, 2007

Christmas is Here! (Almost)

 
 
 
 

At least it really feels like it! We have 98% of our Christmas shopping done and wrapped! We've never had it all done this early before, and I've got to tell you...it feels GOOD!!! Domino helped with the wrapping abit, and we listened to CHrismtas favorites while sorting & wrapping. On Saturday we had such a fun day. It was cold and slightly rainy and we went out to find the PERFECT Christmas tree! We have so much fun analyzing the tree, checking the shape, height, my favorite...its' "chubbiness", and the overall general health of the tree. Each year, we find the perfect tree...we both agree on it and just KNOW that it's the one! We found it and then decorated it together, while the Sound of Music was playing in the backgroud! I gave the Christmas favorites a break, as the wrapping was becoming a litte tedious and the Hills are Alive sounded like the perfect pick-me-up! Our tree looks gorgeous, and between the fish tank and the lights on the tree, the view inside in absolutely stunning! ( if I say so myself!!) Happy Christmas Season everyone, and all the best with everything that needs to be done!
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Happy Birthday Steve & Dad!!

 
 
 
 

We had a little party for Steve's b-day at his folks house with my sister's family too. It's so fun as we get to call my dad the evening of Dec 2nd, which is the morning of Dec 3rd, and we take turns singing happy b-day to my Dad and then my folks sing happy b-day to Steve, as w/ the time change, it's both their b-days!!!! Ha! I'll miss doing that when they are here (DV), but it's a small sacrifice to pay with instead being able to celebrate in PERSON...finally!!
Here to many many more b-days to the TWO most amazing men in my life!!!
Love you both!!!!!!!!!
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