mama mondays: blogivesary and ugly sweater winner

Today is a day for celebration!

Three years ago to the day, on January 10, 2008, this blog took root and revealed its first small blossom in the form of its inaugural post.

To celebrate, I’m including links to three posts: that initial post, the final post of that same month (in which I extrapolate on having a larger family) and a link to the blog of one of my newest North Dakota blogger buddies, Katie Pinke, who mentioned my children’s book, P is for Peace Garden: A North Dakota Alphabet, in one of her recent posts. I can think of no better way to celebrate than with the kind thoughts of another blog-mom who loves children’s literature. After all, it was because of that book that I named my blog Peace Garden Mama. Sidenote: Katie and I found one another through Twitter, where she Tweets as “katpinke” and I as “peacegardenmama.” I never ceased to be amazed at how we find one another through modern-day connecting methods.

The posts:

How Does Your Garden Grow? (Jan. 10, 2008)

A Vase Full (Jan. 30, 2008)

3 Prairie Dwelling ‘Must Have’ Children’s Books (Jan. 4, 2011)

This post wouldn’t be complete, however, without one more celebratory paragraph or two.

It’s become an annual tradition among a group of friends and I to break up the winter blues by having an “Ugly Sweater Party.” I honestly don’t know which of us came up with the idea, though I know it was borrowed. There are similar parties going on all over the country, and should your local thrift store or closet turn up empty, you can browse an online Ugly Sweater Store. For inspiration, listen to this Ugly Sweater Rap on YouTube.

Well, this weekend it was time, again, to gather and sport our finest Ugly Sweaters. Thanks to an announcement Wednesday on Facebook that I had yet to track down my ugliest sweater, and to a friend’s response that she had the perfect sweater, I entered the party with great hopes of a win. Much to my delight, I was proclaimed this year’s winner. (Note: Not only did the sweater come with Christmas tree, gifts and bows, but with small jingle bells that actually jingled — I know I got some extra points for that!)

I was honored with a trophy:

As well as “Purdy,” a commemorative, rotating wooden treasure bestowed upon the winner each year:

Note: Purdy was named by the 18-month-old son of our first year’s winner. When Christine brought her prize home, her young son was taken with it and kept pointing to it saying, “Purdy! Purdy!”

And here we all are wearing our lovely sweaters.

After playing Bunco and gobbling down some treats, we talked about all the crazy styles we’ve embraced through the years and enjoyed some hearty laughs at the memories.

And isn’t that what life is all about — finding the golden moments, the excuses to share a memory and a laugh, to revel in being alive together?

Q4U: What celebrations have you partaken in recently?