Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Wrap Up

We had a fantastic Christmas. It was nice to be home and not worry about traveling. We were happy to host Scott's parents for a few days. Michael was such a good boy...he is such a joy to us. 

We went to church at 5pm on Christmas Eve, then came home to have corn chowder (in the crockpot), veggies, beer bread, and cheese and crackers. It was nice and low key. Christmas morning we had a brunch of baked french toast, fruit, and kolaches from Margie. For Christmas dinner we had a big turkey, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans and rolls. We also had lots of cookies and special pepermint ice cream dessert. was a lot of work. Although I am happy to have lots of leftovers, especially the turkey! 

Michael's two big presents were a John Deere tractor from his grandparents and a mini trampoline from Santa. He loves them both! 

Michael was all about Christmas this year and seemed to really get it all. We read our Christmas books every night for the month of December and did our countdown advent calendar until the big day. We were a little disappointed as he had been practicing his Christmas morning routine for weeks- he was going to run down the stairs, see all his presents, come wake mom and dad up and say, "Santa was here!!". We were ready with the video camera to get it all and I think he forgot all his plans. :o)  He is a funny little boy for sure.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas 2012 Video

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

MIchael's 4th Christmas

2009 - 2 months old 

2010- 1 year old
2011- 2 years old

2012 - 3 years old 

I can hardly believe this is our 4th Christmas with sweet Michael. Where does time go? We're going to make this Christmas a good one!! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Snow Day Fun

I couldn't resist posting these sweet photos of Michael that we took during our snow day on Friday. 

These two extra days off were such a blessing to me. I loved being home with Michael, sharing meals together and reading. He says the cutest things and I love seeing his happy personality shine.

I also love, love, love all my Christmas cards and being home when the sun is out!

...and one funny one-watch out, vampire kitty strikes again! :o) 

We are anxiously awaiting Christmas and trying to find peaceful moments through the day. I hope you are doing the same.

Friday, December 21, 2012


We had a snow day yesterday and are at home again today. While I am excited to be home a little extra, I am just dying inside at all the instruments I know kids are going to leave at school for two whole weeks over break. Ugh.  I'm trying not to think about it!

Michael and I had the best day yesterday. We did playdoh for hours, had great meals together, and snuggled together on the couch. We lost power for a few hours but luckily it was during naptime so we all got in a good snooze. 

Can you believe that after the weekend it will finally be Christmas?? That is crazy pants!

 life rearranged

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A visit with Santa

This past weekend, we all trekked out to the mall to pay a visit to Santa.  I hadn't realized how much more planning goes into a visit to Santa now that I can't stop by on some random weekday morning when I'm not working! We got there bright and early, about 15 minutes before Santa arrived and we were first in line (actually we made Scott wait while Denise, Michael and I walked around). It was pretty cool being there early because we got to see Santa make a surprise appearance on the level above us and then ride the escalator down.

Michael was so brave and had a good conversation with Santa. I'm pretty sure he asked him for a trampoline, a barbie doll and a dollhouse, and a rocket ship. 

How big does Michael look? Where did my baby go?? 

 After we visited Santa, Michael took a quick spin around on the little train (he loved it) and then we played at the mall playground for a big chunk of time. Michael kept climbing to the top of the little castle and saying it was his "Candy Castle" reference to the Candyland games we play nightly. It was too cute. We all also enjoyed a nice morning pretzel snack from Pretzelmaker which is conveniently located by the play place so the lovely pretzel smells wafts over to you. I haven't had one of those in years!

We had a great visit to Santa and it was so fun to see Michael get so excited to see the big guy. Less than a week left until Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Newsletter

Dear Friends and Family,

Holiday greetings to you! I hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits this Christmas season. I am trying something new this year: an e-newsletter instead of sending it along with my card mailing. It seems like most family members and friends are blog readers and so I thought this would make life a little easier (why is it that trying to print out a Christmas newsletter is always so frustrating??). I've spent a few afternoons this season reading through my old letters and cards I've gotten through the years and it just is such a good way to  remember and mark the big events in a year's time....especially my own life! 

2012 was a big year for us as we passed two big milestones with Trace's 1st birthday in May and then the 1st anniversary of his death in October. It hardly seems real that we will turn over a whole new calendar year without him being here with us. A year does not seem like a very long time to me and I still struggle daily with grief over losing Trace. Some days the load seems lighter and other days it seems heavier but it is a load I bear and it does take lots of energy just to make it through every day. Although it might seem like our life has returned to "normal" on the surface, we are still very much rocked to the core. I try to live each day for Trace and pass him on in spirit through loving actions towards others. I can see his spirit in Michael, in nature, and in music.

At the start of 2012, I returned back to work at United Community School after a three month leave, working two days a week teaching 5th and 6th grade band. My students and coworkers were a huge blessing for me and I'm thankful for the patience and compassion they gave me as I transitioned back to work. This fall I started my 8th year teaching, back at United, but also with the addition of a half time job teaching 5th and 6th grade band in a nearby district. I work every day and I split my days between each school (and two afternoons a week go to the Catholic school in town!) and I have over 100 students. It is busy and good, with never a dull moment. I am finding work to be fulfilling and I hope I am making a positive impact on my students' lives.

In addition to teaching, I've been playing with the Central Iowa Wind Ensemble (my 8th year) and just this year I played with the Boone Municipal band on their summer series. I haven't been as active in my church orchestra this year, just playing with them for the Christmas Cantata. With the addition of working so much more, I haven't had time to pursue my old hobbies as much but I still enjoy updating my blog and clicking a few photos when I can.

Scott is still at State Farm in Johnston and is busy as ever. He is still playing adult league hockey every Wednesday night and plays golf weekly in a summer league. He is planning a ski trip to Colorado this winter with his guy friends. 

Michael turned three this past October and is a busy and smart boy. He started at a new daycare this fall and is loving it. He learns something new every day and is working on skills he will need when he goes to school. He loves his new friends and provider and we feel so blessed that it is all working out so well. Michael and I had a great summer together, spending lots of time at the park, pool, and playing in our yard. We also organized a summer playgroup where we got together each week with friends for a playdate or outing. We managed to get the boat out often to the "big, big swimming pool" (in Michael's words) and I think the highlight of the summer for Michael was going to Adventureland with Grandma and Grandpa....something he still talks about, months later!

The other big event this summer was my brother John's wedding. His new wife, Meredith, is very nice and we are happy to have her as part of our family. They are making their home in Pleasant Hill and we are so happy for them. We know the future holds exciting things for them (including their first home purchase later this month!). 

My sister, Denise, is a sophmore at Iowa State and we are so happy to have another Cylone fan in the family. She seems to be doing well and it sure doesn't seem like that long ago that I was in her shoes. Was it really 10 years? We are so happy she is close by and we get to see her often.

Mom and Dad have been a big support to us this past year and we are so thankful for them. We realize it is a big blessing to have parents willing to drive three hours anytime to see us and help us out. They love to spend time with Michael and even took him camping at the Iowa State Fair for a couple of days this August. 

Scott's parents are still in Muscatine and are busy as always, even in retirement. We see them often and are so happy that Scott and I (as Cyclone fans) have bragging rights for a whole year as we beat Iowa in football this year. They are in good health and spirits.   

 It seems like we've spent most of 2012 laying low and trying to navigate our new lives without Trace. However, we have big things planned for 2013, including a trip to Walt Disney World in March! We are so excited (I think I am the most excited!) and I have already started researching and planning our days there. 

We celebrated the holiday early with the Rumohr/Goettler side of the family this past weekend and we are hosting Scott's parents over Christmas. After Christmas, we hope to celebrate a Cyclone win over Tulsa in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. We are traveling down to Tennessee with a group of friends, are staying with Scott's Aunt and family, and are looking forward to a change of scenery and warmer weather.

 May you have
the spirit of Christmas
which is Peace,
the gladness of Christmas
which is Hope,
and the Heart of Christmas
which is Love

Merry Christmas!

I would love to hear from you and hear how your year is going and any updates in your lives!

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