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st. thomas

yesterday we took a little jaunt over to the island of st. thomas to pick up emily(rickys girlfriend) at the airport and do a little shopping!

we took the ferry over, and it was SUCH beautiful weather!

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doesnt he look just like jim carrey with that hair? 🙂
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i love the color you find all over the islands!
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once we got there, we went straight to my parents favorite jewelry store, and started playing some serious dress-up!
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my sweet, sweet, sweet husby bought me a couple of shiny baubles 🙂 he doesnt look TOO happy about it, but i told him this takes care of birthdays and anniversaries for a bit 🙂
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after all that shopping we cooled off with some awesome smoothies before jumping back on the ferry
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matt stole stephens new shades…not quite sure if he can pull off the hipster look 🙂
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we had a couple friends join us on the ferry…these birds stayed with us almost the entire ride, it was really cool, and also terrifying being right under them, if you catch my drift 🙂
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after we got back to st. john we ate at a little tex-mex place for dinner…
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the boys had fun(if you can call it that?) putting all different types of hot sauces on their nachos. the caribbean hot sauces do NOT play around. i love texas pete and tabasco as much as the next person, but these sauces are TINGLY! 🙂
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loving the local flava!

st. john day 2

yesterday we spent a little time out by the pool, trying to get some sun on our white legs 🙂

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last night we took a sunset cruise on a catamaran…it was absolutely gorgeous!

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they put the boys to work right away, raising the sails…

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and husby even got to steer the ship!

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after all that hard work learning how to be sailors, we sat back, relaxed and enjoyed our front row seats for the sunset

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when it got dark we headed back to the harbor, and went to grab some dinner…

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dinner at rhumb lines… SO GOOD!

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our colorful and tasty “pupu platter”…

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and some of the best desserts ive ever had! death by chocolate cake = a very happy tara 🙂

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st. john day 1

yesterday we just explored a little bit, trying to get our bearings on this new island

we ate lunch at a little mexican place in town, and i think my favorite part were these little chickens walking around, acting like they owned the place…

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then we all piled in the cars for a little tour of the beaches. all the roads here get REALLY steep, and its pretty crazy sometimes. lets just say we are very thankful for brakes!…

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there are only one or two roads on the whole island, and they have these nice little overlooks where you can stop and look down on the shoreline…

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we kept driving until we reached the end of the road, and saw this cute little lemonade stand right before we got to the beach…and look who took advantage of a business opportunity! 🙂

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st. john is made up of mostly national park, so there are some neat hiking trails. this one was like some sort of magical bamboo forest 🙂

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at the end of the trail were some old ruins…

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it was a great first day, and now we are ready for many more adventures this week!

St. John!

this year for Christmas vacation we headed to the island of st. john, in the usvi. we had a nice early wake up call (4am) on the 26th and hopped on a couple of flights to the caribbean.

this was our first glimpse of st. thomas…

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and our first glimpse of the natives…

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we took a open-air bus-thing to the ferry…

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we finally made it to st. john right at sunset…
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i was going to show you this picture…
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put i decided i liked this one better :)…
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after loading up all of our luggage in this little blue pickup, we were off to see the house we rented!…
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it was dark when we got there last night, but this morning i snapped a few shots around the house

this is the little bungalow where matt and i are staying…
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and here is our view looking back to the main house…
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this is one of the views off the deck…
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and heres a shot of the living room…
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we are just now starting to explore the island, so im sure there will be lots more shots coming soon!

Christmas Hats!

Happy Belated Christmas!

it was so nice being home for Christmas this year, the schedule was a little different than normal but it still felt like home 🙂

my parents on Christmas morning and mom wearing her cute little Christmas cat tee-shirt that shes been wearing for years 🙂

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hot chocolate after breakfast…

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mikko was VERY happy with his christmas present…

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that night we went over to my dads sisters for Christmas dinner. this is my LOUD, northern side of the family, and when im with them i know exactly where i get my laugh from 🙂

my dad, brothers and i showing off our hitch-hiker thumbs…apparently my bionic joints are a family trait…

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so earlier i told you about how we like to wear funny hats as a Christmas tradition…

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i love this face :)…

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me and my cousin brandi…

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here are all the “adults”…i think mom wins the cutest reindeer award…

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and here are the “kids”…

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merry, merry Christmas from the mccleskey’s….

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and reindeer roxie…

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🙂

Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas! i just wanted to share a few photos from our Christmas Eve celebration with my moms family last night. i havent been HOME for Christmas in a few years, so this year has been extra special as i soak up all the wonderful family time 🙂

mikko and moto sitting in the kitchen right under the counter-tops…where they always sit waiting for scraps to fall 🙂

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all 19 of our stockings! mawmaw has been adding to the collection slowly but surely over the years, as new grandbabies and spouses show up….

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roxie showing off her Christmas sweater :)…

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my moms giant Christmas tree that i love…and presents for 19 people.

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we have a little tradition that developed over the last few years, that we give each other the tackiest Christmas hats we can find…here’s rasta-santa pam…

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and here’s rasta-santa pam with her two elves(her brother and brother-in-law)…

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i thought this was pretty clever- stephen got a brueggers bagels gift card….INSIDE a bagel. and then PawPaw ended up eating the bagel as a snack while we opened presents. hehe

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me and mama :)…

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roxie in her new Juicy shirt and festive attire 🙂

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one of my most treasured presents ever, the angel was my great-grandmother ollie’s and the bowl was my great-great-grandmother dennings! such special gifts from MawMaw!

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after all the guests went home, me, husby, 3 of the dogs and both of the brothers curled up on the couches and watched the grinch(my favorite!) before heading off to bed to wait for santa 🙂

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Vintage Christmas

me being a reindeer and my best friend/sister/matron of honor being an elf way back when. classic.

happy christmas eve!