Margaret (Curtis) McDaniel + Curtis McDaniel = Curtis.Squared

January 17, 2012

A Celebration-Filled Weekend

We went to Jacksonville last Friday to celebrate lots of things - see a Broadway show (as we had originally planned for our 3 year anniversary), witness the wedding ceremony of a special friend, and celebrate my Grandmother's 80th birthday. 
Since we didn't get the opportunity to see Wicked in New York City (because we lost the lottery 3 times), Curtis and I had planned to do this when it came to Jacksonville.  The show was amazing - full of fun surprises and very entertaining!  I definitely recommend you seeing this show, if you haven't already!
We also got to celebrate our friend, Natalie Haynes, get married to Damon Webster.  The ceremony was beautiful and it was wonderful to see lots of old friends from Pinewood and RUF!
Lastly, we got to sing "Happy Birthday" to my Grandmother on her 80th birthday.  She had a yummy cake!  Most of her family was able to come other than one of her sons that called during our celebration since he couldn't make it.

Side note: During this trip, I had a chance to talk to several people who read my blog.  Thanks for your sweet comments!  Please feel free to reply to my blog posts, if you would like.  I love to get feedback!

January 5, 2012

New Year's Celebration

Curtis and I had the special treat of having my older brother (Tim), his wife (Monica) and my two nieces (Charlotte & Adelie) visit us for a few days.  They live in Galveston, Texas, and it is very rare for us to spend time together!  The last time that I saw Tim and his family was in December of 2009.  I hadn't even had the chance to meet my youngest niece, Adelie, because she wasn't born yet.
I love how Charlotte (age 3) and Adelie (age 1) match!  Monica told me that Charlotte always wants to match her sister.  How cute is that!
Curtis spent lots of time with Charlotte.  We could tell that Uncle Curtis was one of her favorite people in the family. 
 We went to Paula Deen's famous restaurant, The Lady & Sons, with them.  Here's a great picture of Adelie smiling with her big sister at the restaurant.  The food was yummy - Tim and Monica really enjoyed their ribeye steak.  Curtis and I love their mint sweet tea!
 What a beautiful family they have!  I enjoyed every moment that I had - my conversations with Tim & Monica, cooking with Charlotte and just holding Adelie.
 Here I am spending some quality time with Adelie!
 On New Year's Eve, we all went exploring in downtown Savannah for the day.  I just loved these sunglasses that Charlotte had!  They perfectly matched her outfit.  She really likes penguins!
 We walked into lots of little shops, we tasted local wine and honey, and walked through several of Savannah's squares.  Here's Charlotte posing in front of a huge Christmas tree in Ellis Square.
 Uncle Curtis and Charlotte ran around in Ellis Square also.
 Adelie was content to watch under her stroller shade.
 Here's a girl shot!
 Charlotte had the Balloon Man make her a special penguin balloon to match her outfit.
 She was so happy with her balloon!
 Uncle Curtis is very silly - he wore Charlotte's glasses.
 Charlotte posing with a huge Nutcracker and her penguin balloon.
 A family shot of the Curtis' in Johnson Square: Tim, Monica, Charlotte and Adelie.
 Charlotte threw in a coin into the fountain after she made a wish!
 We even explored an antique store.  Charlotte got bored and began feeding Adelie her lollipop.
 After visiting downtown, we spent time hanging out at our house.  Curtis and I got Charlotte Candyland for Christmas, so we played a few rounds of that.  
Before we knew it, it was time for the girls to go to bed and the festivities continued in anticipation of the new year.  

We played Yahtzee & Apples to Apples until midnight came.  We celebrated with some bubbly and watched the ball drop!  I think all 4 of us are looking forward to a new year, hoping that this year will be better than the last one!  Then, off to bed we went so that we could go to church the next day to worship the Lord.  The church service went well - I think Tim and Monica were really encouraged by the sermon.

After all of their stuff was packed up, they continued their trek down to Jacksonville to see our parents. 
We had a great time, but in the end, we were really pooped!  I don't know how we are going to have the energy when we have children in the future, but we are still looking forward to that day!

January 4, 2012

A Curtis Style Christmas

Here's our McDaniel family Christmas 2011 picture:
I mentioned that our Christmas was "Curtis Style" - in case you didn't know this, my maiden name is "Curtis" - so, we spent Christmas this year with my side of the family, the Curtis'.  Before I go into all of the Christmas festivities with the family, I will start with the cat family...
 Here we have Buddy Curtis (left) and Regis Curtis (right) meeting Lion-O McDaniel.  We say these are his uncles.  Regis was my cat when I was living with my parents, but they didn't let me keep him when I moved out and got married. 
 I thought this photo was just precious.  Buddy is checking out the toilet while Lion-O is hiding in the bathtub.
 Here's a picture of my mom holding Regis.
Regis must have remembered me because he snuggled up to me while I was on the couch and made himself at home.
In this photo, Lion-O is wearing a Mexican hat that he received from my parents for Christmas.
Here we have Curtis & Lion-O taking a cat nap on Christmas Day.
 OK, so on to the rest of the family:
 We spent Christmas Eve going to a candelight service at Pinewood.  Afterwards, we headed over to Uncle David's house for a nice family dinner.  In the above picture, we have all 3 of the Leinecker kids.  Uncle Rick, my mom and Uncle David.
 Here's my grandmother, Margaret (Marge) Leinecker.  I was named after her. :)
 Here's my grandfather, Richard (Dick) Leinecker.
 Here's a good picture of my cousins, Jason & Jennifer, sandwiched in with my parents.
 ...and here we are with my cousins, too!
  Aunt Ginger & her dog, Lucy.  Ginger is also carrying a baby that is due in May.

The next day, we woke up very early and opened up gifts.  We had a nice breakfast and then we went to a Christmas Day service at Pinewood.  It was very encouraging - they even spent some time talking about dealing with loss during the holidays.  It was very emotional for Curtis and I, but we are so glad that we made the decision to go!  

Curtis and I also had the opportunity to skype with his family in Pennsylvania.  We would love to be able to celebrate the holidays with both sides, but it can be so difficult when they live so far apart.

Later on, we had almost the entire family on my mom's side come over for a Christmas dinner.  Everything was tasty!  Afterwards, we had some entertainment for the whole family with a Wii game called "Just Dance 3" that Curtis got me for Christmas.
Here I am trying to emulate the dance moves on the screen - it was more difficult than I thought!
 Here's my younger brother's attempt!
 Curtis did a great job.  We even have some of his footage on youtube, if you are interested, click here.
 Ben & Uncle Rick - dancing together!
 Jason, Curtis & Ben dancing.
 My mom, Jennifer & Jason getting down.
A father-daughter dance!
Curtis & I danced to "A Crazy Little Thing Called Love."
 We had a lot of fun!

Two days after Christmas, we headed to Melbourne to visit some of my dad's side of the family - two uncles, an aunt & a little cousin. 
Here I am spending time playing with my cousin, Elle, in a tube!  She was so cute and we had a great time with her.  We even played on her playground outside.
 Here's Curtis & I on the swing!  We bought Elle a Looney Tunes mix-and-match game for Christmas.
 We immediately started playing the game.  I think Elle really enjoyed our gift!

Curtis and I were able to see most of my family on both sides - we were missing my older brother and his family (but we got to see them for New Year's - post will come soon), 3 of my cousins, and one aunt!  Now that we are all getting older and moving all over the country, it can be difficult to get everyone together.  I'm very thankful for my family and the new memories that we made this year.