Rose-y Romance

Michael went to Ecuador last week and brought me back a little surprise…
2 Dozen Roses from the Rain Forest in Ecuador!!!  ummmmmazing!!!!

He traveled with them packed tightly in a box — apparently they had to be shaken in customs to check for bugs.  🙂

And here they are almost a week later – huge blooms, a little antique looking, and just BEAUTIFUL!

Thanks Michael!!

The 2nd Annual…

HARPER HOLIDAY HOORAH (& “Farewell, We’re Moving to Brazil!”) Party was this past Saturday.  It was a wonderful gathering of great friends, tasty treats, and lots of Christmas cheer.

One of the major highlights of the party is the gift exchange that is always full of surprises and hilarity.

Julie and Brendon with the legendary Shake Weight! Obviously this was quickly stolen away.

          Leah excited about her cushion massager


Michael Patrick Saign receiving applause from the crowd as he takes his ICE like a champ!


Some of Michael's "guys group" including DP, Sean, Brendon, Ethan, Harper (in his "festive-host scarf") and Thomas

Michael & me hanging out by the fire at the end of the night. Please note I am sporting the fabulous Santa earrings made by the one and only Clare Fincher of "I-D-Clare" -- thanks Nan! 🙂

All night I couldn’t stop looking around at all of our friends and thinking how blessed our time in San Francisco has been.  I am so thankful to God for the incredible people who He has put in our lives and for the amazing experiences we have had living here.  Although it is going to be very difficult to leave all that we have here, I pray and trust that God is preparing the path ahead of us as we soon open a new chapter and embark on a new journey.

Thanksgiving in South Carolina!

So, I realize that this Thanksgiving post is a little delayed, but hey, we’re moving continents, so I’m a little busy these days (more on those details soon).  At any rate, Michael and I had a fabulous Thanksgiving visiting my family in South Carolina.  Here are a few highlights…

Highlight #1: Meeting my PRECIOUS niece, Augusta Clare Zais.  Upon my arrival into Charleston, I was greeted and picked up by the cutest, newest Zais family: Brad, Suzanne and Augusta Clare.  I hadn’t seen Brad & Suzanne since their wedding so it was great to stay with them for a few days to catch up, hang out, see their new house, and of course, spend lots of quality time with AC.  She is suuuuuper awesome and they are fantastic parents.  Makes me so happy.  🙂  Michael also loved getting to meet his niece — he was great with her.

Highlight #2: Thanksgiving day with the entire Derham clan.  The Derhams were my mom’s mom’s parents.  They had 4 children: my grandmother Clare, her two sisters Sue and Sallie, and their little brother, Johnny.  This Thanksgiving all 4 of the Derham siblings, all of their kids, all of their kids, and all of their kids (which is actually just Augusta Clare – she is the first of her generation) + spouses were present.  It’s always a little chaotic but it’s family, it’s great food, and it’s lots of fun.

Highlight #3: Clemson vs. Carolina football game!  I grew up a Clemson fan because my grandfather went to Clemson and he is one of the most enthusiastic and loyal fans out there.  However, my mom went to the University of South Carolina AND my dad recently became a Board member there due to his current office as State Superintendent of Education.  This is really sweet because it meant we had great parking and box seats.  This was not sweet because it meant that I could neither wear orange nor cheer for the Tigers.  To compromise Michael and I wore neutrals and just embraced the amazing energy in the stadium.
So much to be thankful for right now but family is and always will be at the top of the list.  Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with fun and highlights too!