Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review

Here we are at the end of another year already. I just looked over the list of blog posts from 2015, and  I made a list of the things that stood out to me. Below is a recap of some of the events that will mark this year.

The year started off with a trip to Naples, Florida with my friends in the window. We had such a great time that we are returning this January. Unfortunately, Karen (far right) can't make it this time. There won't be as many laughs or arguments without her.

The winter of 2015 was cold and snowy. We had to shovel a path for Riley to be able to go outside to do his business. It was also very cold. One day was -18. I'm not complaining that this winter has been on the warm side.

I still can't believe my childhood friend, Paul Jacoway, passed away this year. Looking at this photo makes me miss him still.

In April, Katherine and Josh earned their Master's degrees in Marriage & Family Therapy. I'm happy to report that they are both gainfully employed.

The whole family got to spend a week together at Beaver Creek in May. The kids hiked up to Hanging Lake on Memorial Day.

Kendall couldn't make the hike that day because she was still recovering from an illness, but she was there too!

In June, I celebrated five years of writing blog posts on Life with Riley. I never imagined this would go on so long.

Our bike ride with the kids in Mount Vernon was a great day for me. I learned later that most of the group was pretty sore later that night. Don and I had our bike shorts, so we were fine. I hope this doesn't deter them from going again.

Of course, our annual bike trip in the fall was a highlight for the year. We got to spend 12 days in Slovakia and Hungary with our friends Greg and Merry.

And the biggest excitement of the year happened on December 19 when Daniel asked Heidi to marry him. We are so excited to welcome her into our family!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Dinner at Mirabelle

Tonight we had dinner at Mirabelle restaurant. Mirabelle is a French restaurant located just inside the Beaver Creek resort. The food was fantastic. Don and I had eaten there together many years ago, but I hadn't been back since.

Just as we were leaving, it started snowing, so we asked someone to snap our photo on the porch of the restaurant. The greenery with lights ended up making a nice frame for the shot. The only thing missing was Katherine and Josh who are back in Marion and plan to spend New Year's Eve celebrating in Chicago with friends.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Around Beaver Creek

This is the area near the main lift at Beaver Creek.  You can see the Hyatt hotel in the distance.

Don is either cold or he is trying to say something.

Daniel is teaching Heidi how to snowboard this week.

The Mini Mice (3 year-olds) learning to ski.

A sculpture by the creek outside Beaver Creek Lodge.

Peter and Kendall sent me a selfie from the chair lift (the beard keeps Peter warm - in case you wondered).

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Dunphy Family Christmas Eve

All the kids (who are now adults)

And all the older kids (who are also adults)

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 1966

Carolyn posted these two pictures on Facebook this week. They are just adorable. I had not seen these photos in years. The top one is from 1966. Michael - 9, Patrick 5, Carolyn 3, Me - 7

I'm not sure what year this was taken. Maybe the next year. We loved the cardboard fireplace in the background in which we remember hanging our stockings with thumbtacks.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Birthday, Riley!

Riley is seven years old today. He's getting to be a middle-aged man. In dog years, he is 49. Next year he and I will be close to the same age. He is the best dog ever. Happy Birthday, Riley!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Where Did You Meet?

Don and I met in 1983 in what was formerly known as the East Ohio Gas Building in downtown Cleveland. The address was 1717 East Ninth Street. What I didn't know until Saturday night was that the coordinates of that location are 41.502 latitude and 81.687 longitude.

Peter and Kendall made us the above plaque with those coordinates as a Christmas gift. They also gave one to Katherine & Josh and Daniel & Heidi.

Katherine and Josh's coordinates are 41.972 latitude and 87.712 longitude. That is the address of a specific building on the campus of North Park University where they met in 2007.

Daniel and Heidi met at the Stabucks in Cuyahoga Falls in 2015 where the coordinates are 41.148 latitude and 81.508 longitude.

This was such a creative gift! And Kendall has the most amazing lettering skills. She did all of that by hand.

Now we just need to find out what the coordinates are of the house where Peter and Kendall met at Lake Chautauqua in 2013.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

She Said Yes

Daniel didn't just get down on one knee to propose to Heidi. He lit up his whole backyard.

Fortunately, he had some help from Peter and his friend Jon.

And Brian.

It was no small feat to keep this secret from Heidi. Many lies were told, which we all feel very badly about.

But Heidi forgave us because Daniel asked her to marry him. 

We were hoping she would say "yes!" and she did.

Thanks to Kendall and Peter, there were many fun decorations around the house.

And thanks to Liz and Carolyn, we had the cutest cookies ever!

Our family had fun.

And Heidi's family had fun.

Heidi was pretty excited about her ring! Which had a lot of bling!

Now we can't wait until they set a date!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Flip or Flop?

A big old house is on the market in Cuyahoga Falls. It is up for auction by the bank. Apparently the previous owners left in a hurry. They forgot to take half of their belongings with them.

The basement was piled high with goods.

And the living room wasn't much better.

But Don saw some potential, and he wanted to know what Peter, Kendall and I thought.

So we took a tour this morning, stepping over junk as we went.

One of the bathrooms had a stained glass window and a clawfoot tub.

Another bathroom had a lot of mold.

They left behind a piano and a stand-alone fireplace in one room.

A bed, a chair and sort of a couch in the bonus room.

Is it a flop? Or can it be fixed up and flipped? The house is not zoned as a duplex, so Don doesn't think it would be a good rental home. At least ten people could live here. It is a huge house. There are so many rooms!
The gold room.

The purple room.

The white room.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Decorating for Christmas

I had a lot of fun decorating for Christmas this year. Since I had a big party for VCA, I decorated a little more than I usually do. I had my old stand-by decorations, but I added a few more to dress things up this year.

In the living room, I hung artificial greenery on the windows (since I still don't have any window treatments for them).

I have a collection of Christmas books that I pulled out to add height to some of the smaller figurines.

This fox is the perfect size for a wall in my kitchen. He holds candy canes for each day of December.

On top of the piano in the living room, I framed an 8 x 10 print I received from the She Reads Truth Advent book package.

In the foyer corner where the umbrella stand usually sits, I put a small tree. It is the perfect size.

On the foyer entryway table, is the nativity set Don's mom gave me many years ago.

I filled a basket from Target with Christmas crackers and set it on the small antique bar in our dining room.

This bird I picked up at Target looks adorable sitting on top of two Christmas pop-up books.

I've had this trusty moose for over 20 years, but the snowballs are a gift from a friend. So far no snowball fights have broken out, but Riley has enjoyed tossing a couple of balls around.

Another mouse I found at Home Goods sits on top of my antique card catalog in the study.

As always, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care.

Riley likes the red shaggy pillows I found at Marshall's. Don - not so much.