Family Open House


I’d love to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving today!  We are out and about with both our families and enjoying the moments with all of them and I hope you are doing the same whereever you are this  year.

Last weekend, we had both our families over to our new house and it was so much fun!  Luckily the weather cooperated and there was no rain.  Many of Mark’s immediate family were able to come, but some were not, so we will have to catch up with them later on.  All of his 4 girls have been over to the house and 3 of them made it to the Open House.

I managed to catch Shingles, so it’s been a very crazy week for me.  Just 2 days before our open house, I started getting some symptoms and did research online and self-diagnosed Shingles.  I was able to get in my Primary Care doctor’s office and confirmed that it was Shingles the day before our party. We were scrambling around trying to see how contagious this stuff is and apparently, it’s not contagious at all for Shingles, but can be for Chicken Pox.  One of his daughters was a little nervous to bring her 2 boys over so they skipped it, but most everyone else came over.  The new baby stayed home too, she didn’t want to take a chance with Baby Rose either and I can understand that.  The doctor told me that it was safe for me to be around people, just to not hold any newborns.  He said as long as I was covered up, it wasn’t a problem. I was wearing 3 layers at our party.

I’m feeling OK (not 100%, but low energy), but this stuff takes time to get over and the doctor gave me an anti-virus medication to take for 7 days.  I know it has to run its course, so I’ll have to deal with it.  I was in some pain the first couple of days, but it’s not too bad now.  It’s been about a week since it all started.  All of this right before the Holidays!  Hopefully it will be gone in a few weeks.  It sure is ugly!  It has gotten worse looking every single day, but now after a week it’s looking better and not so fiery red. Have any of you had shingles?  I know they recommend the Shingles vaccine after age 60 and of course, I didn’t get one. I just hate getting vaccines and am a little anti-vaccine since I’ve been so healthy all my life.  My sister said she’s getting the shot now!

OK, on to party!  Enough about my ailments.  Now I feel old!

Mark and I have been working so hard to get the house ready for the Holidays and to show it off to our families.  Since we had a party on the calendar, it made us get things done so we would be ready.  Mark worked hard on the yard, getting all the leaves up and making it look so good.

I worked on the inside, setting the table with some of my serving pieces and getting the food picked up.  I didn’t attempt to make all the food myself, we were expecting at least 25 to 30 people, so I had it catered from Chicken Salad Chick. Smartest decision ever and the food is really good!  We wanted to keep it simple and so it was sandwiches and sides with desserts.

Assorted sandwiches with a lot of chicken salad, of course, along with potato chips, their Grape salad, Broccoli salad, and fresh fruit I picked up from the grocery store.

Their mini-croissant chicken salad sandwiches are delicious, by the way.

I picked up desserts from a local bakery we all love, Gabriels, and picked it up at the location here in Acworth at the Old Mill, if any of you know the place.  Love their desserts!  It was a fun and festive time and I think everyone enjoyed it.

Mom and dad were there looking spiffy as usual.  They really loved the house and Dad particularly loved the woods behind our house with all the trees.

Lauren, Philip, and the girls came in for Thanksgiving holiday and came straight to the party after driving in. It’s always good to see them and those little girlies, we just adore them.  Parker is getting so big and looks much older than her not quite 4 years old (in February).  She’s a smart girl and talks up a storm.

Two of Mark’s nieces, Chelsea and Devin, were there, with 2 of their little girls. They both have 3 children each and these two are just adorable.  Luckily the weather held out and we were able to put tables on the deck.

Mark’s mom and dad were there as well and I just think the world of these two. They raised a really good son and I’m grateful to be in this family, which is large and fun loving.  From their 3 children, they have 11 grandchildren and I don’t know how many great grandchildren.  A true blessing!  I had met all of Mark’s extended family and he had met all of mine too, but the families hadn’t met each other until now.

It was really nice to see our moms hug and meet for the first time.  We just hadn’t taken the time to get them together before now. Last year his parents went through a lot of health issues and half of this year, dad has been dealing with them as well, so it’s nice to have them all mostly healthy now.  I love that we both still have our parents, what a blessing they are in our lives!

Alex and Kelly, one of Mark’s 4 daughters. She’s expecting baby boy #1 and he will arrive in January.  Very excited to welcome another baby to the family soon!

Mom and Baby Iris, who is now 18 months old, looking so adorable.

Lauren wanted me to mention that she made Iris’s dress, isn’t it cute?  Dad and my cousin, Brenda, in the background. She and her daughter, Denise, were there too.

Philip, Parker, my sister, Renee, and Iris.

Mark and two of his daughters, Traci, and McKenzie.  Traci just had the baby that I shared earlier, baby Rose and McKenzie is the baby of the family, on the right.  He has 4 beautiful daughters and I’m enjoying getting to know them better. The oldest, Lyndsey, decided not to bring her boys around my Shingles, so you can meet her another time.

It was a very nice day with our families and we enjoyed opening up our home and showing it off for the first time since getting the main level mostly finished.  I’ll be back next week to share the main level before Christmas decor goes up, so you can see it all as it is now.  It’s not all completely done, but done enough for now. I’ll have spaces to fill and things to add in, but those will all come along the way.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and thank you as always, for supporting and reading my blog!






- Rhoda


  1. Jean Anderson says:

    I’m so sorry about the Shingles. I had it two years ago. It burns, then it will itch and my favorite it burns and itchs at the same time! I had a mild case but it was awful. We are both lucky, it can be extremely serious and cause horrible problems. Get the shot. You need one so you don’t get it again, but you have to wait a year. I laughed when you said you felt old. Maybe if it had a different name. I mean, Shingles? Really, it sounded so icky to say I had that, LOL.
    I cannot tell you how happy I am to see you, Mark and all your families. You’ve been through a lot and it just shows you never know what is around the next corner. Enjoy and thank you for letting us enjoy with you.

    • Thank you, Jean,I’m hoping the worst is over with the shingles, it’s getting much better after a week. I’ll have to think about getting the shot so I don’t get it again. And thank you, we are very happy together in our new house and it’s really fun to do our first Christmas together in the house!

  2. I had shingles in September and fortunately my case wasn’t what I feared! But the medication they gave me for nerve pain knocked me out. Hope you are back to normal soon.

  3. So glad to see all the happy family members, your dad especially. I don’t have my dad and miss him terribly, so I always enjoy “sharing” yours.
    Your mom was really stylish with her wood watch..I’ve been seeing them all over on some of my favorite blogs. Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy life. We are all so lucky to have family that means so much to us.

  4. Candace Yergensen says:

    Love following the progress of the new home and I love seeing you so happy! I have followed you for years, long before you moved back to GA.
    I had shingles last May, I too decided against the shot, to my regret! It was awful, the nerve pain was terrible and I still will get the vaccine There is a new one coming out in January from what I ws told.
    Thank you for all the great posts!

    • Thank you, Candace, I appreciate all of you out there who have been with me for so long. I think I might have to get that vaccine when it comes out, sure don’t want this stuff again.

    • HI, Candace, thank you so much for reading along all these years! I’m getting better, but it’s a little slow going. I plan to really enjoy my December and will be taking it easy and resting a lot.

  5. God bless you all, sucha beautiful family.
    I stumbled upon your DIY Cornice/Valance blog, and from there I went to your other beautiful blogs about home decors and holiday recipes.

    Thank you so much, for sharing it with us.
    My mother and I adore you. We are crafty ladies. Cheers and have a blessed 2018.

    -Brenda Cox

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