Our first Christmas (2017) at the Sparrow House was filled with friends, family, laughter, games and good food. France was our country this year so we incorporated the Christmas customs and foods from that country. Candis decorated the mantle for us and the tree was of our own design.
As usual, we acted out the nativity on Christmas Eve with the giraffe from the summer porch serving as a terrific camel for Jacob, the wiseman. Tricia and her family joined us so we had plenty of shepherds and angels. David and Rose served as Joseph and Mary. Baby Jesus was created by the boys – they took a log from the mantle and wrapped it in swaddling bands…
IT’S SATURDAY AND WE ARE GATHERING FOR AN AMAZING, LIFE CHANGING DAY!
Our family gathering – some traveling from far and some from near. So happy to have a reunion and share this monumental moment together. It’s 3 a.m. Saturday morning and we’re all smiles.
It was a sweet arrival and each day was filled with so many thoughtful moments from Candis and Andy…
It’s been such a whirlwind these past 4 days. We are being led into a beautiful home that will be ours. A home that feels like Candis and Andy created just for me with all of my wish lists checked off.
As we were being led inside the Sparrow House there was a neighborhood and family party going on outside – complete with what I heard was a delicious lunch.
People keep asking me if it seems real yet – no. I think everyone else thought it was real long before I did. Even during filming I’m peeking around corners and trying to soak it in – to feel like it is for real. Rose on the other hand, has it down – no doubts, all smiles and joy!
Part of our very happy clan!
An appropriate end of photos before dinner. Two tired and happy troopers who I hope will have many happy memories at Sparrow House throughout their lives.
It all started with a phone call…well, several phone calls since I kept sending them to voicemail. The cynic in me could not believe anyone would really give a house away without any strings attached. The “Pollyanna” in me thought “Maybe?” Someone captured this photo of me at the window trying to stay calm —- in case they didn’t really show up to my house to surprise me — or in case they did show up…Reno was the producer of the Pilot Show for Win This House. He told me that no one ever sends him to voicemail – I told him that I really thought it was a scam. I think the photos below will illustrate how quickly that thought was dispelled.
Reno and crew showed up at the front door — it was a little unnerving that Candis and Andy weren’t with them as I had told myself that I would believe it was real if they were there. The crew kept me busy with sound and light checks and millions of questions.
Seriously trying not to burst at the seams here and to hold still —- extremely difficult! I cannot lie – I was a little suspicious here ->
Candis and Andy had a lovely tour of our trash can area as they entered from the side of the house to surprise me from behind. Boy was I surprised – I seriously doubt there will ever be such a huge surprise in my lifetime again.
Candis & Andy snuck into my backyard to surprised me!
You cannot meet Candis and Andy and not fall in love with them. They are creative, genuine, caring and hard working people.
Graham was asked if he would like to have the “big check” or the balloons during all of the excitement and he chose the balloons. When Noah heard about that he commented that he could not believe how stupid his little brother was. LOL! As the celebration continued inside – reality was still nowhere to be found! Surreal became my new word of the day.
At the end we ate cookies made by Michelle (“Thigh Thinning Chocolate Chip Cookies”) and passed out water bottles while I signed papers and gave out names for planes tickets…no, I could not remember all of my family names…to be expected! Couldn’t even remember my own birthday. And after everyone left – what did we do —- we ate the cake they brought us of course! We laughed and we watched – “Win This House” again…
A day that we still marvel at – a day of shock, surprise and gratitude. Thank Yous to Michelle forever for getting me to enter the “Win This House” giveaway! XOXO