Hi Everyone! Well here it is... the last post of 2016. I miraculously managed to out-do myself this year by writing one more post than I did last last year, so that in itself is a triumph! I just wanted to stop in and tell you that while I am very grateful for the many blessings that this year has brought us, 2016 has me jaded, and I am ready for this year to be over! I know that I'm not alone when I say that a fresh, new start is definitely needed.

But before we close the chapter on 2016, I would like to recap my holiday with you guys. Because we can't just let pretty pictures go to waste, now can we? How about that Christmas tree this year? I just used the slim line tree in the living room and called it a day! No stressing like last year. Sweet and simple.

I kept it inexpensive with old ribbon, paper balls from paper shop ( I just closed them with tiny bulldog clips and stuck them on the tree) and tiny vases of fresh flowers from a Kroger Manager's special bouquet.

But whoa, before I get too carried away, let's back up a bit and tell you about Thanksgiving! This Thanksgiving was the first one where I prepared all of the food myself. Brandon and I decided that we just wanted a low-key holiday with just the two of us, and you know what... it as wonderful! I cooked, we ate, then slept and it was amazing. Preparing Thanksgiving dinner is definitely a labor of love, and this year I definitely gained more respect for my mommy after having to do it all on my own.

Gosh, leftovers much? I'll definitely be cooking a little less next time. :)

As for the decor, I just switched up the mantle from our initial fall refresh, which basically involved changing the banner and adding an extra little something.

This year we tried a Thankful tree, which may have to become a Cook household tradition. It was really special, and I was glad that I could get Brandon involved. I picked up the tree for $3 in Bullseye's Playground at Target, where you can usually find all the great, cheap seasonal stuff!

In December, I made a few tweaks to the mantle with another Target banner, and our stockings.

For Christmas Brandon and I had another nice low-key holiday. This year I can definitely say that it wasn't about the gifts (which truly lets me know that we ARE in fact growing up). It was more about relaxing and spending great quality time with one another. My sister stopped by which was a treat, and I was craving baked spaghetti, so that's what I whipped up for dinner.

Chips also got a little festive with the sweater that her Grandma got her. It was big, but she definitely didn't mind that it covered her like a blanket.

Anyhoo, tonight we're bringing in the new year unlike ever before - with a wedding. Our dear friends are jumping the broom tonight, so I'm excited that I'll get to celebrate with our "framily". This is also the very first year in almost 30 years of life that I have ever had the chance to get dressed up and party for New Year's Eve so... I'm pumped!

I hope that all of you have a safe, warm, and wonderful evening while welcoming in the new year, and let's get this grind together for 2017! See you on the other side!