07 Dec

Holiday Party Pictures

Posted by Jenna, Under Holiday

I’ll be honest, I have mixed feelings about this little party of mine. You’ll see the photo booth pictures below and think that we were bouncing off the walls all the time, but truthfully the whole thing stressed me out a lot more than I anticipated. I spend too much time reading blogs (and thus thinking that everyone has parties with perfectly coordinated details, including matching their outfit to the decor), and not enough time socializing (being able to lead a conversation and keep everyone involved is certainly a skill), and I walked away from this experience thinking that hosting one party a year is more than enough for me. I’m just really, really grateful to everyone who took the time to come. Time is precious and it meant a lot to me.

For the food I kept it simple. Cookies, cheese, crackers, and apple slices.

Ami brought whoopee pies and right after she came I remembered that I hadn’t put up Christmas decorations yet (we only have a handful of things so it didn’t take me long!). Other guests brought things like peppermint bark and chocolate covered popcorn. I indulged greatly.

My big project (though admittedly still an easy one) was a popcorn buffet.

The crowd favorite was balsalmic popcorn. I’ll be making this again in the future. (Kelli I used the balsamic from the Utah place and it was divine!)

2nd favorite, cheese popcorn (I shredded an Asiago rosemary cheese from Costco over this buttered batch).

Fiddle Faddle/Munch N’ Crunch (either or), covered with melted almond bark.

Bacon popcorn. Seems like it would be amazing, but it was meh.

We ate, talked, played some bust-a-move, and then I brought people back into the 2nd bedroom for some photo booth action.

CUTE OVERLOAD. Easily my favorite picture from the night.

These are some friends of ours from church/school. They walked over in the snow to come say hello!

More church friends.

This is Maria and her husband (yes, someone brought their spouse! I was so impressed, TH would never, ever, come to a blogger thing).

I’m still not very good at posing people in a studio style setup. I don’t want any of my pictures ending up here. :)

Thanks for coming Maria and husband!

It’s Quiche! Also known as Kristin of Bien Living (about to become world famous, I just know it).

Quiches are made with lots of eggs.

Quiche and Avocado, together. I am crazy excited about this.

And Ami!

Those of you who know Ami, know she is a dog person, not a baby person.

Which makes this darling picture extra funny, because TH is the one who was taking it, and he clicked the shutter right as Ami was smiling up at T1 saying “I never want one of these!”

Ami, I’m really thinking you should reconsider after seeing this. :)

Family picture time. I think I’m going to do a collage for our Christmas card. Ami took all of the pictures that I’m in and she did a fabulous job (she really has an eye for composition!)

Holla to my boys!

I really like this one because of the smirk T1 has and how nice my cheekbones look.

This is Cait. She drinks raw milk (hey, so do I!), and she is having a home birth (I think you know I did that too). Basically we are MFEO in the BFF kind of way.

She was also willing to get crazy with me in the booth.

Here we are acting like the characters portrayed by our hats. She is santa, and I am a deer. See the hooves? And the deer-in-the-headlights look?

Next we tried jumping.

Some spinning. Which I obviously liked more than Cait did.

Cait I’m not insane, really. I just love having my picture taken.

And we ended the night with a little bit of hair-flipping.

Hosting the party was stressful, and rather draining, but when I look at these pictures I remember how much fun we had and I admit I kind of want to do it all over again. So keep your eyes peeled for details about the That Wife Holiday Party 2012!

36 Comments


  1. Fantastic photos! It looks like so much fun.

    I am a work from homer who spends too much time on blogs and not enough time socializing… And I totally get where you are coming from, stress-wise. I love parties and being a hostess, but it wears me out!

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  2. Looks like you had a blast! :)

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  3. The family pictures and hair-flipping pictures are awesome!

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  4. I LOVE the party pics – it looks like a blast. I’m really excited you moved to Chicago, because now you are only 6 hours away (I live in Iowa) and someday I want you to do my wedding photography (who knows when that day will come)!

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  5. Goodness your child is getting so big! And he is so adorable!

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  6. If you were nervous/stressed you didn’t show it. And I’m stealing your popcorn buffet idea. Looking forward to next year!

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  7. looks like a great time!

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  8. Hi jenna, If you ever need helping planning a party or need some tips on how to keep the flow going, please feel free to ask me! I am not good with formal parties, but I’ve hosted tons of other types of parties and would be happy to help!

    Also, T1 looks ADORABLE in the photo with you two kissing in the background. easily my fav photo.

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  9. Aw! That’s so nice! I love holiday parties! These photo booth pictures are amazing as well.

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  10. Stephanie Appel says:

    Hey Jenna,
    Your party looked fantastic!!! I’m SOOOO bummed we weren’t able to make it – my husband’s grandmother recently passed away and it seems like we have spent EVERY weekend out in the suburbs with his family lately. (Trying not to vent, trying not to vent….) Anyway, if we were in town I was prepared to drag him along, even though he said I was a crazy stalker for going to a party of someone I’ve never met. How come men don’t understand these things?

    Congrats – it looks like you pulled off an awesome night. And the pics are divine!

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  11. Oh my goodness, T1 is adorable! What a cutie.

    Also, LOVE the twirling/hair flipping pictures. I love doing things like that, too! I used to have super long hair, but just cut it all off in September! Seeing your hairflips made me have a little bit of hair envy!!

    Sounds like a fun party!

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  12. I’m glad it all came together! Parties are weird when it comes to a “flow”. I’ve been to some with themes, and decorations, and costumes, lots of food and people, and it was flat. Then I’ve been to others that were totally impromptu, just a random weekend night party, that ended up being so much fun and going into the next morning :) You never know how it’s going to work out-so much of it is chemistry and who happens to show up. It looks like everyone had a great time at yours though, so I wouldn’t sweat it :)

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  13. How fun! I love the pictures!

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  14. Looks like a great time!

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  15. I totally understand the stress of hosting parties like that, but think I’m getting better at major prep beforehand and just letting things go when guests arrive. That takes time. It looks like a lot of fun!

    I lurve the family pics–especially the one of TH and you kissing the corner, with T1 in the center.

    Also, E would never ever come to blogger gathering either. In fact, if I was throwing this party–he probably would have found an excuse to leave the house! ;-)

    you have heard the song I whip my hair by Willow Smith, right? I hope you were at least singing it to yourself in the hair flipping pics!

    finally (sorry for the extra long comment) I wish I still lived near Chicago and could have made it! We are coming out for Christmas, but not until the 24th.

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  16. So sad that I was working all weekend. :( Looks like lots of fun, though!

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  17. This looks like so much fun! What does a popcorn buffet entail? And your hair is getting very long! How do you manage? Mine is getting long and I just want to chop it all off!

    Jenna Reply:

    I just made lots of popcorn and topped it in different ways. Then set it all out and told people to enjoy! I wanted to get fancy and make cones like this for people to eat out of: http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/2009/07/cookbook-of-month-recipe-buffalo.html and it would have been fun to have little cards describing each batch but… I’m just not that crafty :)

    Jessica @ One Shiny Star Reply:

    I’ve never heard of balsamic (vinegar!?) on popcorn! Sounds delicious but I worry I might put too much and then the popcorn would be yucky and soggy. But it sounds delicious!

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  18. I love how all the pictures came out! You did a great job hosting the party – I’m sure it can be tricky having a group of people who’ve never met as guests. The popcorn was favorite! I loved the cheese and white chocolate.

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  19. Well I think you just need more practice. The more parties you have the easier it gets. Having a party is not about having a Martha Stewart home, it’s about getting people together.
    I love pot luck style for that because it takes the stress of the food away from you. All you have to do is make one item, provide something to drink and a table to put it on, well ok and clean the house. Maybe you could organize some gathering up with some girls you know from church as a practice…

    That picture with the two of you kissing makes me smile, I can imagine T1 being like “giggle. my parents are kissing. giggle”.
    I love the shirt you wear by the way it has a nice shine to it.

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  20. I love the pic of T1 and Ami. Look at his wittle pointed toes!!!!!

    Your husband looks very similar to my fiance. Three cheers for hotties!

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  21. Man it looks like you guys had fun! I’m so sad I couldn’t make it up there for the party. I really did want to go. Next time!

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  22. I swear T1 turned into a little man overnight. He’s growing so quickly but still handsome as ever!

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  23. Yay! How fun to see a Chicago friend on your blog!

    Looks like you had fun. You did a great job. Seems all the stress and effort was worth it.

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  24. Did you have it in your apartment? I thought you were going to the clubhouse…no wonder you were stressed! Anytime anyone comes over I insist on cleaning my house top to bottom. Drives my husband nuts, but I get so stressed about it! We are hosting Christmas this year, and have a loooooong to-do home-projects list because I’m worried about every detail. In my head I know it’s ridiculous, but when I see that spot of chipped paint, or dusty vent, or think of buying appetizers instead of making them it makes. me. CRAZY! I’m sure this perfectionism in other parts of my life is a good thing, but not when it comes to entertaining.

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  25. That looks like so much fun! Glad the popcorn was awesome, you have to tell me how to make it!

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  26. Looks like loads of fun. Wish I didn’t live all the way across the world – I would love to meet you in real life. You seem so much fun!

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  27. Love the pictures! I had “I whip my hair back and forth” running through my head when I saw the last few =)

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  28. Love the idea of a popcorn buffet! That sounds divine!

    Second all those that mention how ADORABLE T1 is – he’s just growing into his personality! Also, second all those who love your dark hair. I love it too. Love the family pictures. Love everything.

    Many people, including myself, wish we could be there. If I ever do come to your holiday party, I’ll be sure to help you in anyway – parties are fun but they are work!

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  29. I don’t know why you were so stressed – everything was great! I feel like the conversations and flow were perfectly fine!! Love the pictures, too :)

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  30. When I was pregnant, I put red wine vinegar or basalmic vinegar on just about everything. I also ate pot-popped popcorn with sea salt every night (it was one of my major cravings). Now you tell me there is such a thing as basalmic popcorn?!! :)

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  31. It looks like y’all had so much fun!! I hope you’ll have parties when you live in Dallas again! I would love to go! :)

    Laura Elizabeth Reply:

    Oh, and all the different kinds of popcorn look amazing!!!

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  32. 1- popcorn buffet!?! Amazing idea. I just made “poppy chow” this week…substituting the Crispix in puppy chow to kettle corn. Peanut butter, chocolate, powdered sugar, and the sweet crunch of the kettle corn? Justin and I ate all of it within a few hours. Yikes.
    2- your photobooth photos are so fun! Loving Quiche, and Ami holding up T1 is PRECIOUS!!! And…you have some fabulous family portraits…you guys are all so photogenic!
    3- I kind of wish I had awesome hair flipping abilities like you do.

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  33. Finally catching up… I AM SO BUMMED that I missed it :(

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      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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