Saturday, January 11, 2014


I have never been so ready to see a year roll around on the calendar as I was to see 2014. It's not that 2013 was a bad year, in fact it was a very good year, but 2014 brings the promise of some big changes for our family.

There are some day in life that are days of big change. And, May 10, 2014 is going to be one of those days for our family. We have been planning and dreaming of this day for five long years. And, finally, we are in the year that this is going to happen!

Matt is going to graduate in May. And, yes it is a big day for him. But, it's also a big day for us, all of us. While he has been the one doing the hard work -- very hard work -- the kids and I have missed him and we've had to adjust to him being gone so much. Matt has held down a full time job and been a full time student. That's a LOT. Even as I type this on a Saturday afternoon, he is working, writing his dissertation and we are missing him.

I am more than ready for the time when he can enjoy a weekend with us. Or we can watch TV after the kids go to bed instead of him having to work. I'm ready for a new normal, one that includes having dad around most of the time. We started this process (of him getting his masters) when Harrison was just 3 weeks old and he just turned 7. The kids are used to this crazy schedule of ours -- they have no idea what is coming in just a few months!

So, I say welcome 2014! We have been waiting for you.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Christmas Day

Matt and I got up very early Christmas morning! I woke up at 5:45 and Matt was shortly behind me. With the kids on the other side of the house, we wanted to be sure and be up when they got up. I started our christmas breakfast and we waited for them to wake up -- we sat at the kitchen table and played UNO while waiting for them to stir. That was such fun! Just the 2 of us, hanging out and waiting for the kids to wake up, drinking coffee, playing cards and talking about our Christmas memories from growing up.

The kids woke up about 6:30 -- Madeleine and Harrison first. And they saw that Santa came!

Madeleine got the Saige doll that she wanted, a Lego Friends boat, and a table and chairs for her AG dolls.
Charlotte got a doll bed for her babies and highchair and a new doll. 

Harrison got a new spark scooter, Lego train and the huge gator he's been wanting. 

A boy and his gator. Love at first sight! He had dreamed up a big gator and asked it for santa for Christmas. We'd never seen one, but he was sure that the elves were making it special for him! 

We had breakfast before opening gifts that day. We had cinnamon rolls, quiche, paris puffins, and bacon. Yummy!

Then it was time for gifts! We had a great, messy time opening gifts that morning! 

The kids spent the afternoon playing with toys, we all watched a movie and then it was time for our big Christmas dinner! We had ham, baked fruit, mashed potato casserole, green bean bundles, rolls and our favorite peppermint pie for dessert! Yum! What a way to finish off Christmas! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas Eve

We had a wonderful, laid back Christmas eve this year. We started the day off with our traditional sibling gift exchange. The kids love giving gifts to each other! They are so excited to watch their gift be opened. We do this separate from the other gifts so that they can focus on what has been chosen for them from their siblings. It also gives them something fun to do on Christmas Eve! 

While the kids played with their new toys, I started on baking for Christmas day. Then we made and decorated cookies for Santa! Yum! They are getting better and better at this each year! 

We usually do dinner out on Christmas Eve. This year we had dinner at our favorite mexican spot and then headed home for dessert and getting ready for santa. I have to say the excitement level at our house was high! They were all so excited and this is the first year that Charlotte has really gotten into all of this and she was all hyped up!

With the house all picked up and ready for Christmas morning, I snapped a few pictures of our Christmas-y house while the kids got their baths. 

We put on Chrismas jammies and scattered our reindeer food outside. Brrr! It was cold!

The kids put out OJ and cookies for Santa! It's always a big decision to choose from the cookies that they have made which one to put out for Santa. 

We read The Night Before Christmas and then it was off to bed! After a fun and full day, I think they were all tired -- everyone was asleep by 8:30 which is a BIG record in our house! Matt and I headed to bed early too; we were sure that everyone was going to be up early! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Harrison is SEVEN!

I still cannot believe that my little boy is SEVEN! Where has the time gone? He has been counting down to his birthday for weeks and his excitement was bursting by the time if finally arrived! His big day fell on a Sunday this year and we started the day with his breakfast of choice -- our favorite paris puffins! Yummy! I put 7 candles in them and our Mr. Cautious was worried they would catch the muffins on fire.
We ate quickly and got dressed for church that morning. On a side note -- the week before at church Harrison's teacher gave him a birthday card that was signed by not only her, but everyone in his class. He was so proud of that card! I love the sweet ladies that teach our children at church and I'm so thankful for them! 

After church we spent the rest of the day doing whatever Harrison wanted. We started with lunch at McDonalds. :)

Then we headed off to play Laser Tag, Go Carts, and fun at the arcade for the afternoon. This was Harrison first time at LaserTag and it was a hit!! We'll definitely be doing that again soon. Then we met up with Mimi and Grandad (and Mammy was in with them too!) at Red Robin for dinner! Yum! Harrison was one happy kid -- hamburgers twice in one day. And, his buddy, Grandad was here for his big day. I'm so thankful that they were able to come and celebrate with us!

We headed home afterwards for cake and ice cream and presents! Harrison got quite a haul this year -- Jabba's Palace Lego set, puzzles, Star Wars books, more legos and a new fishing hat and tackle box for this spring.

Harrison is currently obsessed with Gator Boys on TV and all things gator. So of course we had a gator party. Ricks did an amazing job with his cake!

Happy birthday to my big boy! I have been so blessed to be your mommy for 7 years! And, I've loved every moment. You are the sweetest boy with the softest, kindest heart ever. I am so thankful that you are ours!