Blog Hop

Holiday Memories {Blog Hop}

I think you had as much fun as I did last week with Bernie from Needle and Foot’s Guess Who game, but I have to admit it was more challenging than I expected! Bernie has been brainstorming ways to spread cheer this year. This week, she has organized a Holiday Memories blog hop. See below to hop around and visit all the participants.

Christmas Holiday 2003

My fondest holiday memory has to be the Christmas holiday from 2003. But let me back up a little bit.

NASA Unitary Wind Tunnel Cross Section

NASA Unitary Wind Tunnel Cross Section

In the summer of 2001, I met a young college student from the University of New Mexico (I went to the University of Tennessee) while we were both working as cooperative engineers for NASA Langley Research Center. The cooperative engineering program that summer was in a really rough place: several students were abusing the program by not going into work, one student got into a physical altercation with another employee, and the program was handed over to a new administration team to be reorganized. They brought all of the students together for a big meeting and one of the options being considered was sending all of the students home and starting the program over from scratch. I was on my final work rotation prior to graduating from college, and I needed the money I had planned to earn that summer to finish paying for college, so this news was not something I was going to just accept. In the end, based on references from our mentors, the new NASA cooperative engineering administration team formed a group of co-op student advisors, and I spent a lot of time with that group helping guide good hiring practices for the future while also creating new online and brochure content to attract the best and brightest. As such, I got tours of many of the facilities I hadn’t had an opportunity to visit, and I even had this fun photograph taken of me and this strange young man from UNM, Michael, sitting in the Unitary wind tunnel testing cross section as part of the recruiting effort.

Engagement

Engagement

After the summer was over, Michael and I continued to stay in touch via email, and later that fall we officially started dating long distance. One thing lead to another, and in the fall of 2002 we became engaged. At the time, I had graduated and was working in Austin, Texas. Michael was still in college (he had first gone to a local community college and received his welding and machining certifications and worked as a machinist prior to enrolling in college as a dual major in math and engineering), and we spent those first few months figuring out how and when to get married and begin our life together. In the end, he transferred to the University of Texas in Austin to finish his undergraduate degree, even though it meant out of state tuition and an extra semester to get to graduation.

Just Married

Just Married

Which brings this story full circle to our wedding just after Christmas in 2003. Because my family was in Tennessee, his family was in New Mexico, and we were living in Austin, in the end we opted to host the wedding in south Austin. Because Michael was still in college, getting married over the Christmas break made a lot of sense. And when I realized that I wasn’t going to have to spend any money to decorate the small church because of all the Christmas decor, it sealed the deal. It was a small ceremony, but the most important people in our lives were there to celebrate with us.

Grandpa

Grandpa

Including my husband’s maternal grandparents. The icing on the joyous celebration is that the wedding rehearsal and dinner was on my husband’s birthday. Usually, he doesn’t get much of a birthday celebration. But in 2003, everyone was there wishing him a happy birthday and those few days of family and love are definitely my most treasured holiday memories.

I hope you enjoy visiting all the participants in the Holiday Tales blog hop, and feel free to share your own favorite holiday memory, tradition or story in the comments!

Holiday Tales & Traditions Blog Hop

27 thoughts on “Holiday Memories {Blog Hop}

  1. Preeti says:

    Enjoyed reading your love story. You two make a gorgeous couple. Such sweet memories and not a cookie in sight 🙂

  2. Lea says:

    Hi Yvonne, I truly enjoyed reading about you, your love and your wedding celebration (and birthday celebration for Michael). What happy memories and beautiful pictures!!

    Happy Anniversary to both of you, and Happy Birthday to Michael, whenever his exact birthday day is.

  3. Such a sweet story – thanks for sharing. Love the photo of Grandpa! Congrats on your upcoming anniversary, and HB to Michael.

  4. Thank you for sharing this with us, Yvonne. I enjoyed seeing the photos of you and Michael, and reading about how you met. December birthdays around the holidays are always a bit overlooked, so I’m glad Michael had a big celebration during your wedding celebrations. What fun memories!

  5. Cocoa Quilts says:

    I always enjoy hearing how couples get together. We got married near Easter, same thing just family and a few very close friends. We were married in a planetarium, all the spring flowers were in bloom (no extra charge), although the charge for the planetarium was a whopping $25. Thanks for sharing and wishing your both a Happy Holiday season and healthy 2021.

  6. Patty says:

    Beautiful story! Thanks for sharing.

  7. rl2b2017 says:

    Hi Yvonne! It seems that you and that strange young man from UNM were just meant to be. From sitting in the wind tunnel to successfully maneuvering a long-distance relationship, you both worked hard to make it work. What a wonderful Christmas story, and Happy almost-Anniversary. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  8. Oh Yvonne, this is the best. Such a romantic holiday memory! December is filled with special days for you and Michael – birthday, anniversary, and Christmas! Thank you for sharing this – beautiful pictures of a beautiful December wedding!

  9. What a lovely love story! I was a December bride too. Thanks for being a part of this hop, such fun to read this cold and rainy morning.

  10. What a great story! I love the double celebration weddings….mine was my mother’s 60th birthday and it allowed me to throw a party for her. Happy December and Christmas to you and Michael.

  11. What fun to read how you and Michael met and got hitched. 🙂 Christmas holds extra-special meaning for you, clearly! And I know this year it will as well. 😉

  12. Mari says:

    What a sweet story! Merry Christmas, happy anniversary, and happy birthday to your hubby!

  13. jrp53 says:

    As a long time Austinite (I even worked at UT Austin for 23 years) i can attest to the beauty and magic if Austin. I’m so glad you had such a great wedding celebration! Have you been back for the QuitCon shows?

    1. jrp53 says:

      P.S. I even live in South Austin…

  14. Barb N says:

    Fun to have a glimpse at how your romance blossomed and resulted in such a fun time of year for marriage celebrations! Happy anniversary!

  15. Sarah Goer says:

    A very memorable Christmastime, indeed! I love seeing your photos. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Rochelle Summers says:

    What a beautiful memory to share with all of us. The photographs are wonderful and you and your husband made/make a lovely couple. Thank you for this spot of joy.

  17. Susan Salo says:

    I follow many of the blogs on this hop and it is so nice to get to know you all better! Our last two Christmases we were able to spend out West (we live in Michigan) with our daughter in Washington state and my husband’s family in southern California. (Daughter just moved there a few years ago.) We get to spend time with both families and it’s been very special. My MIL is 94 and we love the chance to see her too. Alas, we are home this year…..

  18. Cindy Pieters says:

    What a wonderful memory, thanks for sharing with us!

  19. What a heartfelt and terrific post – “that strange young man” is such a great line.

  20. What a great story, Yvonne 🙂 Isn’t it wonderful how the most precious memories are about people, not the ‘stuff’ of Christmas?

  21. Danice G says:

    What precious memories. Thank you for sharing with us all.

  22. That’s a lovely story of how you and your husband met, Yvonne, and so fun to have Christmas and family time as a part of the memories of your wedding! I really enjoyed reading your post!

  23. Definitely one the best kinds of Christmas memories. It’s a great story with fun pictures, thank you for sharing. Happy anniversary!

  24. Anja @ Anja Quilts says:

    What a great story. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Oh what cool memories – and an even cooler way to meet!! Hope you had a great anniversary!

  26. Suzanne says:

    What a lovely story! I was married in December too, on the 30th to be exact. The wedding photo you shared is perfect example of elegant simplicity and you both look beyond happy.
    Your grandpa looks like a darling; something tells me you adored him. I never knew either grandfather or my paternal grandmother, they all died too young. I DID have a wonderful, feisty, sewing maven of a little granny who had been a southern belle – she was really something and is one of the reasons that I love sewing so much.

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