So, as of December, we have been engaged for 2 whole years. It seems like a long time, but sadly, it was necessary, with us living in Japan so long, and then living abroad. It meant that, while we had beautiful engagement photos in kimonos in Japan, we hadn't had our traditional, American style engagement photos. Thankfully, this Christmas, our wedding photographer was in town again, and so were we - at the same time. After scouring Pintrest for months and months, trying to decide what to
do for engagement photo locations, we settled on an orange grove. I had wanted row boats, but sadly, it's not a "thing" in Florida, like it was in Nara. So the orange grove it was. We got there a little early, and checked out the big store they have for the grove. It's got all sorts of fresh juices, orange ice cream
and orange themed gifts! It was super cute! We got a crazy little old lady in a golf cart to trek us around in the grove, as we couldn't go there ourselves. We were a bit worried that we weren't going to find any nice big trees full of oranges, but right near to the owners
house, we found a huge tree. And it was perfect for the photos. We had a good time taking photos in the orange grove, and then we changed outfits and took some near a funky tractor! It was only a few days after that I got the email with all the photos - and I loved them so much! I loved them all! We chose 15 of them, and I've already got an order in to be printed so we can hang them up on our walls!
Mummy always complains that she doesn't have enough photos of us all together. So, becasue Josh and I were heading down to Florida on the 27th, and Shelby was heading back to the UK to visit with her friends for new year, we decided to take some nice family photos. Two years ago, we took really nice, color coordianted photos. Well, this year we weren't so good at the color coordinating, and so they are best in black and white! It was nice to have a photo with Josh in because it comemorates his first Michigan Christmas!
Josh is exceptionally tall compared to the rest of our family! He got on really well with Jackson the puppy - he absolutely loves him! We tried so hard to take photos of Jackson, but he's a bit wriggly, so we settled for lots of him in Grammies arms. I love these photos in front of the Christmas tree - it's now becoming a nice tradition!
I am always really excited for Christmas Morning. Although, as I get older, Christmas becomes more about the run up, than the actual day, it still is really fun. I got all sorts of nice presents, and Josh really enjoyed the day too! It's always a bit boring after all the presents have been opened, but then, there comes the food! I love turkey, but most of all I love cranberry sauce and potatoes! I think I could eat that every single day!
I think, since the Christmas morning I recieved my camera, I have loved taking photos of my grandmother's Christmas tree more than anything, ever. I probably take the same pictures all the time, but I still love to take photos there. We had already done one Christmas party,
and the Peil family Christmas party is on Christmas Eve. It's a good time. A long night, but a good time and it was Josh's first time to meet everyone! We thought it was really nice that we coordinated so well for Christmas and with the tree, so Mummy took some photos of us in front of all the pretty Christmas lights. It took a lot of tries, because my camera was a little broken, but a few came out ok in the end! We (somehow) were ready much before everyone else, and so were able
to hang out in the living room, read a few books, and chat with Shelby.The Christmas Party is always good fun, and everyone was really excited to meet Josh after so long. I know he did really well, and was chatting to people and acting so much more social than me! We got to see lots of cousins that live really far away,
and it was lovely to see my cousin Carly again too. She is now back from Prague. I will be sad not having a cousin close by to travel with! We stayed really late at the party, but at least this year, when I got home, I had already done all my Christmas wrapping for the next morning!
One day, while we were still in Germany, Josh gave me this link to this funny Christmas sweater with a sloth on it, since he loves sloths. I ordered it, and sent it to America. Once we got there, I was able to give it to him, and he was so excited to have a Christmas sweater finally! It's so hard to find non-religious or sweaters adorned with Christmas trees, so this was perfect for him! I think this picture is best because it shows how happy he was to have a cheesy sweater too!
Mummy came to visit us for a weekend. I was so excited she was coming, especially before Christmas. It meant, while I had my Christmas tree done, she could help me add some more finishing touches to the house, as well as put a wreath on the door. We
were a bit worried about her being bored, so we decided to go to Koln Christmas markets on the Saturday, and then relax and do some wedding planning on the Sunday while she was here. We invited Steph, the PE teacher at our school to come along. She's a great travel buddy and good friend we've made
while living in Germany. Christmas markets are THE thing to do in Germany in December. Since we did so many last year, on our drive around Germany, it is good they only happen once a year so we don't get too bored of them! We arrived at the train station early, only to have our train delayed.
But once we got there, it was super easy to find the Christmas markets. Not only are there one Christmas market, but several, and they all have a different feel to them. The one near the Cathedral we found to be quite, touristy. There was a very old one which had beautiful lights in the trees, but my favourite was the wooden houses ones, which had an ice rink in the centre! We didn't buy much while we were there, apart from a few presents, but we did shop a little at TKMAXX!