Thursday, December 31, 2015

Insta Update! Goodbye 2015!

I have a whole lot of instas to update today! I thought I better get them in before the calendar year flips over and I guess no time is better than the present. Looking back over these (mostly from the last month/month and a half) it gave me some time to reflect on the upcoming year. I feel good about the new year and I am excited for what it will bring. 

We burned off some energy this morning at The Playground, an indoor playplace. The kids loved it, especially the girls! 

Scott spoiled me with new red fiestaware to add to my Christmas collection. I love how happy it is! 

Christmas break: survival times. It has been a change of pace to be home with the kids all day but while its had its challenges, it has been good. The kids have had fun playing in the basement- lots of space to run and we brought some outdoor toys in for them to climb on. Unfortunately, we couldn't get our little playhouse through the door to come back inside for the winter. :o( 

Christmas Eve- Michael fell right asleep! 

New jammies and new toys! 

We had ugly sweater "week" at school for teachers to wear their holiday garb. I have nothing that is festive in the slightest, but I found these two shirts at Boone Walmart for under $8!! I was pleased with myself and actually wore them several times. I'm going to put them away with my Christmas decor so they won't clog up my regular dresser drawers until next year. 

My goal has been to get 10,000 steps a day on my fit bit. It is hard to do it every day and I can never get there without extra walking/exercising but it keeps me motivated and that is good. I do miss the nice (er) weather to walk at the park with the girls! The bottom photo is from my concert day where I do all the set up,  tear down, student wrangle, host and conduct a concert all in about two hours. My poor feet! 

Our family, minus the girls, went on an outing to see the new Star Wars movie the weekend it came out. It was SO good and I loved seeing it right away. I also got some new Star Wars shirts guessed it, Boone Walmart for a great price! 

Christmas cards- my favorite! Love getting everything ready and putting them together for my friends and family. It is a such a great tradition! 

Michael got to be in the big kid Christmas program this year at church and he did SO GOOD!! We practiced the songs for weeks in the car and I loved how he was actually singing his parts in the program. The kids did so good and I don't know how they do it- it was a long program (about 45 minutes!!) and the kids were up there the entire time, no behavior issues at all. The audience was so good, gracious and respectful. I think it was a better show than his school program- we are so thankful for the wonderful children's programming our church does. 

Also- I had to tie dye (!!) a shirt for him to wear in the program. I had never done one before but luckily Boone Walmart pulled through for me again and had a really nice tie dye section. It was actually pretty fun to do! Michael supervised the process and it was not even a bit of mess. 

Michael completed another round of learn to skate lessons at the ice arena. He did really well and learned a lot! I think he will start hockey skills for the next round which is still mostly skating basics but isn't that the most important part of the game? 

We visited the festival of trees in downtown Des Moines the weekend after Thanksgiving. It was really fun and something I had never done before!! We just went for a bit in the afternoon and they had a fun scavenger hunt for the kids to do, looking for various aspects of trees. We actually timed it poorly as Disney on Ice was going on in the same area at the same time- I thought next year we should try and hit both on the same day! 

In late November, our washing machine broke on us and we had to do a few trips to the local laundromat. It was a huge pain in the butt! It wasn't so much the doing the laundry but the hauling it there and back that was hard. Our delivery of the new washer was delayed so we had to do an emergency second trip to the laundromat but that time Scott helped and we had a nice family dinner at the pizza place next door. The girls were so cute and were great entertainment for the other diners! 

The girls have LOVED this trampoline since we pulled it back out of storage and even Michael jumps on it daily. I remember us hemming and hawing over such a big purchase for Christmas the year Michael got it but it has really been great. I would even say it is one of the best things we have purchased- especially if you have the space for it. 

I can hardly believe 2016 is upon us!! Above is my most liked photos from instagram in 2015 and it makes me smile to see how much the girls and our family have changed just over a year. We are looking forward to so many wonderful things in 2016...Disney, an adult only vacation to celebrate our 10th anniversary, lots of summer fun, getting rid of baby things, and keep trying to stay on the healthy eating/exercise wagon. Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Recap 2015

Here is our Christmas recap 2015! Also known as my big fat Christmas post!

We were at Scott's parents for the holiday this year. It was a bit hectic getting on the road because I had school Monday, Tuesday, AND Wednesday and we tried to leave as soon as we could on Wednesday which resulted in a lot of frantic packing and crossing fingers everything would fit in the car (it did, barely). We also had a childcare scramble as our regular caregiver was off the whole week but luckily we were able to find care with the girl who helps her out sometimes. However, it did not go super well and we thought maybe the girls were sick, and the weather was kind of iffy leaving Wednesday night and once we were on the road we wondered why the heck didn't we just wait until morning?? It ended up being a smooth trip there and the whole holiday went well. The girls were on a sleep strike for days earlier in the week but did well while away from home so were feeling pretty good! When traveling with young children it seems like no matter how optimistic I try to be there is always "this could go terribly, horribly badly" lurking in the back of my head. 

We had some good family time at Scott's parents. My time was mostly spent referring the babies away from the Christmas tree but it was nice not to have anything on my agenda other than spend time with family. I especially enjoyed having a bit of down time during the girls naps- I even had a chance to sit down and play some Christmas carols with Michael on my mother in law's beautiful piano, something which is a real luxury of time these days. I also loved playing a duet with my niece and sister in law- all too fleeting and now I wish we had carved out more time for making music together! We all took turns preparing meals and I was pleased how easy my meals of cold breakfast (muffins, fruit, coffee, yogurt) and Christmas Eve snacks turned out. Nothing required any prep or kitchen time! 

We attended Christmas Eve service at Scott's family's church at 7pm. I was worried about the late time but the girls did marginally well. I did take them to the nursery towards the end of the service as they got a little noisy and distracting. I unfortunately missed the candlelight singing part but I guess there is always next year. I remember one year when we traveled out of town, I snuck out of the house to catch Hope's big Christmas Eve service by myself and it was quite lovely. As hectic as those services are, they are a part of my personal Christmas tradition and I love them!

Here are some photos in completely random order: 


Michael woke up not too early (7) on Christmas morning and was excited to see his pile of presents by the furnace. I was glad he had his cousin Ellie to share the Christmas magic with! 



His big gifts were a big Minecraft set (The Mine) and also some Pokemon cards. 



The girls got matching toy remotes (which they LOVE and I figured such as much as they love to steal and hide real ones), a vintage Fisher Price TV music box, xylophone and two new board books. 



With the help of about three adults we managed to get one (only one!) photo of all three of my children in their matching pjs!! 


We were also spoiled by Scott's parents and brothers and sisters with lots of lovely gifts. 


Christmas Eve spread- I made my traditional meatballs, veggie pizza, and chex mix. I also made strawberry pretzel salad but we never got it out as there were so many yummy goodies already. 


It was a really nice holiday and I'm glad we could spend it with family. I know Christmas can be a stressful time for me and others and I tried to keep my many blessings in the forefront of my mind this season. We are excited to see what 2016 brings!

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