It's the time of year where we all get together with the ones we love. We eat, we drink and we laugh a lot. There are lots of hugs, full bellies and even a couple of squabbles. Is that a word? It just felt like a good word to use there. You know what I mean though, we like most of the people we see, but there are always a few that we night have to put on a happy face for, you know, we've all got that crazy Unc..... You get my point.

This past summer, we hosted a dinner at our house here on San Juan Island. We had been toying with the idea of hosting more events here, so it was a great trial run. Only problem is, we loved it so much we wanted to do it every week. But that also equals a lot of work!

To me, gathering together has never been about having the perfect decor, perfect food, or perfect outfit to wear. Sure I enjoy cozy homes, good food and fancy new clothes. But there is also something so wonderful about things that are a little more worn in, authentic and true to who we are. The people are what make those times we get together the most special.

Every year I have a million half burned candles leftover from the wedding season before. For this dinneI raided goodwill for wine glasses and silverware. I have a pretty solid collection of white plates and serving platters, and a stash of the most beautiful farm tables made by my Dad. (Which he rents to people on the island, Folks!)

We pulled all of the pieces together, cooked a million meatballs, drank good beer from our friends over at San Juan Brewing, shared laughs and made some great memories.

And in true Ryan Family tradition, we do a big 1-2-3 HOORAY before our meal to celebrate all that is good in life, and sometimes even just yelling hooray makes you forget about the bad things, if only just for a minute.

So cheers to you, this season in your life, whatever or wherever that may be. We'll hold you close to our hearts and hopefully we'll get you up here one day for a big ol' HOORAY and family dinner by the sea, sipping bourbon by the fire well into the night with us.

Until next time!


Kestrel Bailey Photography

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