Mini Vacation

We spent last weekend in Denver with my parents.   Our house to their’s is 10 1/2 hours, so it is about half way.  I haven’t seen them since we drove through on our way moving to NM in August.  It may have been the longest we’ve ever gone…  And even still, it doesn’t feel like it.  It could be that I talk to my mom almost daily (multiple times somedays), and my dad at least once a week.  It’s like that phone commercial… We don’t call to say “how’s life going”, we call to ask “how was your day”.  Anyways, it was a much needed visit.  And it’s always nice to get away.  Have someone else make your dinner and do the dishes, and make your bed.

Here’s our weekend in photos…

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While waiting for my parents, we entertained ourselves in the pet store.  This cutie was a Standard Poodle/Old English Sheepdog mix.  Had we not put her back when we did, she would have come home with us.

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And there they are!!  The kids were so excited to see Kiki and Papa!! (And me too!)

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We started with lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.  My main requirement for the trip!

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Baylee got Chrissa’s ears pierced at the American Girl store and got to check out the new Girl of the Year, who is from Albuquerque.

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Then it was Garner’s turn at the Lego store!  He got to fill up a cup with miscellaneous legos from ‘the wall’ and he built 3 of his own lego people. He had so much fun, but it is quite possible that I enjoyed it even more than he did.  We will be going back this summer.

After dinner, the kids were really excited to go swimming.  So were Drew and Papa… until they got in and realized the heated pool was freezing!!

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I have the cutest video of Reese jumping in and telling Papa to scoot back, but apparently I can’t upload it on here.  She is fearless!  These pics are not the best quality, but still a highlight of the trip.

Day 2 consisted of IKEA and the outlet mall.  The kids were troopers!!  All the candy they got to eat could’ve had something to do with that.

It was the first time in an IKEA for all of us except Drew.  It was awesome!  So much so that I was completely overwhelmed by the time we got done.  I will have a list when I go back through this summer though.  One thing it did is just solidify the fact that I want to live in a smaller place, a little more modern, but still with a great kitchen.

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kids trying out a bed at IKEA watching hockey.

After all of our shopping, we went back to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner!!  YUM!!  It’s a very large menu… I think you could eat there for 2 months and never eat the same thing twice.

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We wore Reese out.  She slept up until dinner came.

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We took dessert back to the hotel. I’m not a fan of Cheesecake… but that Linda’s Fudge Cake on the right, that’s a different story.

The next morning, it was time to say our goodbyes and head home.

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Reese loves her Papa!

Then after a few short stops and 5 1/2 hours of driving, we were home.

I’m so glad we were able to work it out.  It was so, so much fun!!  We’re already looking forward to seeing them again in March!!  It’s my mom’s Spring Break, so they’re coming to check out where we live.  So excited!!  Hopefully it will warm up by then.  I’m really itching to get outside!!

I started something yesterday. Something very challenging, for me.  I will write about it next.

XOXO,

TA

Snow!!

It’s weird blogging this now, when it’s 58 degrees and beautiful out!!  But, it is worth it!

Last week we got to enjoy a snowfall that lasted all day.  It was a beautiful site!  Now, the snow that fell all day only accumulated to maybe an inch and a half.  But it was enough to lightly cover everything.  And knowing that it may be the only snow the kids get to play in all year, I immediately sent them outside in our tiny, rock covered back yard.

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Reese stayed inside with Drew and me, where it was warm!  And probably got a little extra snack to ease the disappointment.

It all started to melt right before the sun went down.  So needless to say, the roads were pretty icy!  That night around 10pm I got an automated call from the school district stating that the schools start time would be delayed by 2 hours.  I am pretty sure I laughed out loud as I was listening to it!!

Being from WY and living in MT, this was nothing.  Last year living in MT, they never even plowed the roads and there was never a canceled day of school.  I think one day, I looked out and knew that I wouldn’t be able to get back up my street if I left the house.  So we had our own snow day. 🙂

After a late start the next day, it was gone as fast as it came.

XOXO,

TA

Sweet as Honey

Well, I’ve gotten all of my pictures either printed or ordered to finish up my 2012 Project Life… My goal is to have it done before we head to see my parents next weekend.  But, I guess that will depend on when I receive my ordered pics.  Really excited to get it done!!  I’ve also received some new stuff from Becky Higgins to get Garner’s school scrapbook completed.  YAY!!!  I will post pics soon!!

Just something sweet for today…

I asked Reese if she was my sweet girl today… And she said, “I’m sweet as honey!”  Hahah!!  That is the truth!  However, I have never said that to her.  Which I guess is what makes it even cuter.:)

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Just a cute pic I found from last summer… Makes me look forward to warmer weather, and our beach trip we have planned!!

Happy Friday!

XOXO,

TA

Right now…

Right now I am loving my new glass water bottle Drew got me for Christmas.  I am trying to be healthier, just like so many other people right now, and not drink so many Rt. 44 Dr. Peppers from Sonic.  Something I’ve failed at many times, but I keep trying!

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Right now I am wishing my kids liked the banana chips that I made yesterday.  Hopefully Drew will, otherwise they’re all going in the garbage. (I don’t like bananas.) Next I’m trying apples and papaya. (I like both of those.)

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Right now I am working on this big mess!!  Trying to finish up last year’s Project Life so I can start many other scrapbooking projects on my list for this year.  I told Drew that it may be a while before the dining room cleaned up!!  I’m hoping to create more of an office space in our extra living room soon.

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Right now I’m trying to work on “The List”…  of all the things I’d like to accomplish over the next few months.  (Projects, books to read, habits I want to start or change, find a Preschool for Reese, kids activities, etc.).  Instead of having my list ready on Jan 1st, I like to spend Jan regrouping and reflecting on the new year.  If more people did this,  I think the 87% of people who fail at their New Year’s Resolutions by the middle of January would have a better chance.

Hope you all are having a great day!!

XOXO,

TA

PS:  Right now I’m trying really hard to not go get that Rt. 44 Dr. Pepper, because I am so tired!!!

My word

One Little Word for 2013

“A single word can be a catalyst for enriching your life…”

“It can be something tangible or intangible. It could be a thought or a feeling or an emotion. It can be singular or plural. The key is to find something that has personal meaning for you. This is not your mother’s word or your spouse’s word or your child’s word – this is YOUR word.”

~Ali Edwards

I had heard of this before, and never really understood what it meant.  I didn’t know what to do with it.

Last year I had a weird feeling when the New Year rang in.  I was sitting with my mom and Drew working on my planner for the coming year, watching the ball drop on TV.    The fireworks we could see out the window were meant to symbolize the celebration of the New Year and for many a fresh start.  So many of you were excited for this, and had your New Year’s Resolutions all ready to go.  For me I felt a sense of dread.  I didn’t know why, but I knew that it wasn’t what I wanted to or should be feeling at that moment.

It took me a while to just simply digest this feeling.  I am usually very optimistic and excited for the coming adventures that a new year has to offer.  So after a lot of thought and prayer I realized that the constant changes in our family were really starting to get to me.  We had moved to a new place, Drew was traveling all the time and apparently I wasn’t adjusting as well as I thought I was.  I knew that our current situation wasn’t long-term, and that there was a very big possibility that we would be moving again within the year.

I felt like our life had become a giant roller coaster ride.  Not that the ups and downs necessarily meant good and bad, but more so represented the constant changes.  So that is where my word derived from… “Ride”

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I was going to choose to Ride this roller coaster of life.  Whatever life threw at us, I was choosing to handle it with grace. It was either that or go crazy and not be the wife, mother, daughter or friend that I want to be.  It didn’t come easy at times, but ultimately it was the right word for me this past year.

For the past few weeks, I have been listening… waiting for my word.  And it’s something that I’ve actually thought about off and on for the past few months.  Not that it was going to be my word, but how I want to live my life everyday.  It seems like I live a lot of days like I’m just trying to get through it.  Get all of the chores done, the children taken care of, spend time with my husband, etc.  I haven’t been enjoying the moments that ultimately are the most important.  I have a lot of things going on in this crazy brain of mine that I want to change and/or do this year.  So I have chosen to live this year with…

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My word!!

I will write more on what this is going to mean for me soon.  I am still trying to figure it out myself.

Do any of you choose a word for your year?  What is it?  Please Share.

XOXO,

TA

Holiday Recap…

Something fun to start with… We woke up to this on New Year’s Eve.  I love the milder fall and winter that NM has to offer, but it sure was nice to see this white stuff covering the ground.

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Anyways…

Now that the Holidays are over, and my decorations are all put away… I couldn’t get them down fast enough!  I have had the chance to reflect on it all.

The other day I read a Facebook post someone wrote about how you should never feel guilty because you can’t keep up with the so-called “Pinterest Mom”.  As I read it, I thought that was so true.  I’ve always believed that you should always be the authentic you.  Never feel like you’re not doing enough for your kids, as long as you are giving them all the love that you can.  Because that’s all they really need.

Then after my company left, I got a big wake up call… I realized that was me!!!  I am not trying to keep up with anyone else I know or have seen personally, I am trying to keep up with myself!  This voice and vision in my head of what I think I should be doing.  I love to craft, hand make gifts, bake and make candy.  It really makes me happy.  I feel like that when I give a home/handmade gift, it is more personal.

But then as I look back on the past 6 weeks or so, I have not sat down and enjoyed hardly a single moment of this Holiday season.  I have worked so hard on making gifts and planning and doing our family activities that I feel like I missed a lot of it.  While I was working hard to make everyone else’s Christmas special, I forgot about me.  I’m sure that sounds selfish, and I LOVE doing what I’ve done.  But I had this vision of sitting with the kids, watching Christmas movies, drinking hot cocoa and knitting.  The one thing I wanted, I never did.

And then all of the company… from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Let me first say that we love our family and we are so blessed to have family that would want to spend their Holidays with us.  The kids love it!!  And we had a lot of fun during their visits.  (I’m sure my mom and sisters are laughing wondering what they’re going to read next!!)

But, aside from the normal busyness that accompanies the Holidays, it is Drew’s absolute most crazy time at work.  So in turn that is harder at home for me.  He gets busier at work, when I get busier at home trying to do all the normal things, plus get all the Christmas stuff done.  And then we add company to that and all that goes into getting ready for and planning for them, then entertaining while their here. Whew!  So, at the end of everyday we are just totally exhausted!! That then can be perceived by guests that they aren’t welcome, which is absolutely not the case.

So, while we love our families and appreciate the visits, we have decided that the Holidays are not the best time for us to have company…  From Thanksgiving-December 26th. After that we would love to have visitors, especially for Reese’s birthday.

And as much as I love making a memorable December for my kiddos with our Daily Activities, I think I’m going to have to make adjustments there too.  We may just do them on the weekends.  And maybe during the week, we can just really focus on having a good dinner together and reading Christmas books before bed.

As for all of the homemade gifts… we’ll see how I’m feeling next fall. 😉

I am a firm believer that when something isn’t working that you need to acknowledge it and make the adjustments that are necessary.  We started that a few years ago, and apparently we still are learning what works for our family.

I have big plans for my 2013, and I think I’ve finally decided on my “word” for the year.  I’ll write more on that next.

Here’s a pic of one project that is high on my list.  For me!! 🙂

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I hope you all have had a great start to your year!!

XOXO,

TA

Christmas Countdown: 20-24

Hello there!!  I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday… since Christmas and New Years have passed since my last post.  I did what I was trying so hard not to… So now it is Jan 3rd and I am catching up on my December Daily Activities.  But, because it’s so late… I’m not posting pics of each one.  Here’s this list and a few other pics.

December 20-24:

20th: Baylee and Garner worked on their letters to Santa in some cute books from Creative Memories.  Santa left them so they could keep them as a keepsake. Love them!!

21st:  We didn’t do anything this day at home.  Reese and I went to school and helped out with their Christmas parties all morning.

22nd: This is the night we went for a drive to look at Christmas Lights.  A tradition we always look forward to.

23rd:  Aunt Gigi and Gabby came!!

24th:  Marshmallow/Toothpick Art!  I found three different kinds of Christmas marshmallows, I poured them each in a bowl, poured a box of toothpicks in a bowl, and told them to create!  We’ve done it with regular marshmallows before, so they knew what to do.  Kept them busy for a long time!

And then it was finally Christmas Day!!!

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After Christmas my sister, Robin and my nephew, Gabe also came to visit.  Here’s a couple of pics with all the kiddos with them and Aunt Gigi!

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We celebrated Reese’s 3rd Birthday on the 28th.  Wow!!  I can’t believe that it’s been three years already!!

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And then everybody left… Drew included.  He went to Denver to watch the Broncos end the regular season with a victory.  He and his buddies had a ball and here’s pic with Champ Bailey.  So excited for them!!

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Our friend and the kids Godfather, went to Denver with Drew and stayed with us on New Years Eve.  The kids love him as much as Drew and I do!  He’s awesome with them!  I think they decided that he will now be called “Uncle Ryan”.  🙂

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And then I crashed!!!!  I have gotten a lot accomplished the last several days, but while really exhausted!

I will recap our month next…

XOXO,

TA