Thursday, December 31, 2009


Dear Readers,
Thank you for checking on us from time to time. You are swell.
Wishing you and your families the best in the New Year.
Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Calm Before The Storm.

Six years ago today, Tim and I were in Boston. We had a full day planned that would lead us late into the night celebrating with old friends. We started the day on the Freedom Trail, searching for the best Cannoli the North End had to offer. We passed the home of Paul Revere and sat in the family boxes in the Old North Church. We meandered through the Copp Hill Cemetry. When we stopped at Quincy Market for some 'Chowda', we spotted a celebrity which somehow made us feel like locals. Our friends Faith and Aaron drove over from Northampton to spend the New Year with us. They met us at our hotel where we talked and laughed like old times when we all lived in the Napa Valley. We took the T to the airport to pick up Shannon. We giggled with excited anticipation of celebrating First Night in Boston Common. My memory of this happy day is so clear. I had no worries, no cares.
This same day thousands of miles away in Placerville, my life changed forever. What came next was a series of foggy details that scrambled up my happiness and replaced it with sadness, anguish and fear.
This day now means something else to me, a reminder of what can be lost in life. A reminder of what I want to hold dear.
Patricia Ann Sattler
April 3, 1952-December 30, 2003

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Family Outing.

On Saturday the Bottings/Grafs took an outing to Nevada City. Spending family time together in this charming old town warmed my heart on a cold, crisp day. I do hope we make these day-trips a family tradition?!

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Monday, December 28, 2009

The Holiday.

Christmas with the little girls is better than any gift I've ever received. I remember the years Tim and I were "Married Without Kids" I was still trying to relive my childhood excitement of Christmas morning. It always ended up a bit anticlimactic. Although Tim did do the "12 days of Christmas" for me one year, that was ridiculously fun.
On Christmas morning Savannah jolted out of bed and ran to the living room to see if Santa had enjoyed the eggnog and snicker-doodles she had left for him.
Christmas at Grandpa Dan's
Christmas at the Botting's

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays.

Merry Christmas
From our family to yours.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Cookies.

Jared and Jenny invited all of us sisters and families to their home Saturday night to decorate Christmas cookies and play games. Merriment was had by all.

Savannah and her Sweet Lissa.


The Treasure.

The Guys.


New Dresses.

Cousin Sydney and Ivy.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Real Deal.

This last weekend we went to the Keszler's Christmas Party. Jeni throws the most beautiful parties. Her attention to detail and stylishly classy eye created a dreamy holiday party. The atmosphere was warm and inviting. Guess who showed up? That's right, Santa! He was so endearing to the children and wore the most authentic costume I've ever seen. We sang carols and had a great time catching up with old friends. Up until the party I hadn't caught the Christmas Spirit. Thanks Jeni and Robbie for the invitation and fun memories.

Our Hostess Jeni.


My sweet cousin Laura graduated from CSU Sacramento on Friday. This girl is like no other. Her heart oozes with love and compassion. She has always had a sweet spirit about her. We grew up close, the Combellack's and Sattler's, there isn't a childhood memory that doesn't include Lollie and Devin. I remember waiting anxiously in the hospital the day she was born. Ever since then she has shared her beauty and creativity with everyone she comes to know. Congratulations Lollipop!

Family waiting for Laura's name to be called.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Tim sits on the Board of Directors of the El Dorado County Builders Exchange. Last night was the annual members meeting and Christmas party. It was strange to be in a room full of people and not recognize a single person. It was fun to see Tim be the (well I dare say "social" but if you know Tim this word doesn't really jive with his personality) person introducing me or chit-chatting with other party-goers. The MC of the night was District Supervisor Jack Sweeney. There recently was a campaign to recall Jack, the campaign didn't get enough support. I liked him and his bad jokes. My favorite part of the night was when we all stood to say the Pledge of Allegiance and realized there wasn't a flag to salute, so a congressman took off his lapel pin and held it high for everyone to see as we all pledged away. Somehow, this pledge seemed more relevant and heart-felt because of the creativity it ensued. I also was very surprised at Tim when he started bidding on a live auction. I think he was just gambling to see how high he could get the guy in front of us to go. At any rate, most of the night I was wondering what this fun impostor guy had done with my shy-guy, back-of-the-crowd guy, don't-cause-a-scene guy, not-much-for chit-chat guy, leave-before-the-dancing-starts guy. I liked this "new" guy so I took him home. I hope he stays around. If not, I hope to see him at next year's party.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


This is the face of a KILLER! She can put the hurt on any food a pint-sized child holds in her chubby fingers. Yesterday it was Ritz crackers. You should have heard the horrifying cries of two very scared little girls. Oh Geezy...

This is the face of PEACE. I'm so jealous of this baby. He doesn't have to worry about anything except the bare necessities.

This is the face of RELIEF after a long, hard night.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Tim and I went on a date last night to see Green Valley Community Church's annual Christmas play or should I say their annual Christmas Broadway Show. The show never disappoints. It is so well done it's hard to believe the show is here in Placerville. If you have tickets to a show, you are lucky.
Savannah and I decorated the pink tree in the little girls' room. She did a good job. It was hard for me not to space the ornaments out after she clumped them together. When she realized the rest of the tree looked naked, her organized personality took over and decided that it was better if she handed me the rest of the ornaments and I place them on the tree. We used the angels my Mom used to have on her tree. Savannah knows they were Grandma Patty's and how special they are to me. This morning I found some of the angels in her bed. When I asked her about it she said "I wanted to take extra especial care of them because they miss Grandma Patty." It warmed and then broke my heart.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Nutcracker.

Savannah's ballet school performed the Nutcracker this last weekend. It was a whirlwind of rehearsals, make-up, tutus, performances and driving... a lot of driving. The costumes were beautiful and the older Company girls were like Goddesses to Savannah. She was in awe of the Sugarplum Princess and I was in awe of the caliber of the show. I am thrilled for Savannah to belong to a school that inspires hope for future greatness in dance. I wish I had better photos of the dancers, no cameras allowed you see. I'm working on getting a video of her part. Thank you to those of you who came to support Savannah and share in her joy. Dee Dee, Tony, Lissa, Scott, Lori, Maddie, Dad, Sylvia, Jared, Jenny, Rebekah, Hannah, Laurie and Shannon.