Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Last Post Of 2011

Well, we are in the last few hours of 2011. I am actually at home, in my p.j's, and in my bed! Ha! I have never been much of a late night person, not even on New Year's Eve. We did go to a party with some of our friends in our Sunday school class, but we all brought our kids, so of course we had to get them home and in the bed.
I have been thinking today about the many things that took place this past year. Many good, some sad, but each one made up our 2011.
1. Matt and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary! A lot has happened in 5 years:)
2. Matt turned the big 3-0 this year! (My turn is coming very soon...yikes!)
3. My Bubbie, Jake, turned 3! He learned how to ride a bike, sleep in a big boy bed, write many of his letters, and became a GREAT swimmer! He went to his first movie (Cars 2), went roller skating for the first time, and went to his first Steelers game!
4. Brooklyn turned 1! She has changed sooooo much this past year! She went from a tiny newborn to a big 1 year old!
5. We spent lots of time together as a family. We enjoyed trips to the park, the splash pad, Monkey Joes, the library, school football games, Dan Nichols park, the NC transportation museum, Discovery Place Kids, and Carrigan farms for apple picking!
6. I was able to quit my full time teaching job and just take a small part time teaching job so that I could spend more time with my kids! What a blessing it has been. I have LOVED every minute with them. I can honestly say I just can't spend enough time with them!
7. We lost my Grandpa this year back in July. His health had been declining for quite some time, but not a day goes by that I don't think about him. I miss him dearly!
8. Brooklyn was hospitalized twice this year for RSV, croup, and pneumonia. We are soooo thankful that she has been healthy since then and growing big and strong! (She even survived a fall down our entire flight of stairs the other day with just a scratch! Wow...scary!)
9. We didn't do much traveling this year, but did make it to the beach and the mountains. We went to Surfside Beach with my entire family for the 22 year in a row! What a fun time that was! The sun, the sand, the surf, and the memories!
We went to the mountains (Boone) for the weekend and crossed the "shaky bridge" as Jake would say!
10. We trusted the Lord (and still have to every day) to provided for us through Matt's job in real estate. Things have been a bit slow these past few months, but we are choosing to TRUST HIM even in the hard times. We are praying expectantly for some BIG changes this next year in Matt's job. We are praying some very specific things for him. We can't wait to see what God will do!
We have grown in our walks with the Lord this past year. I have studied the names of God in my own quiet time and learned about the Gospel in church and Sunday school.
11. And some of the most exciting news of 2011 for us was finding out that we would be adding a BABY BOY to our family! In just a few months we will get to meet him! What a blessing that will be!
Wishing you a Happy New Year's!
See you back in 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Winter Swim

Today is the last official day of Christmas break for us. Next week our normal routine will be back in full swing. I have fully enjoyed every minute with my family these last two weeks!
We finished up our break with a fun swimming day at the pool where I used to work at. My sisters still work there and offered to give Jake and Brooklyn a little lesson this morning. I love the fact that both of my kids love the water. They had so much fun swimming around like little fish. This summer might be a bit hard for me when it comes to the pool. With a 3 year old, a 1 year old, and a newborn, we might not get there very often!
Jake hopped in first and loved every bit of his lesson:)
He practiced swimming back and forth from the table to the steps...
worked on his kicking,
and of course...JUMPING through the hula hoop:)
Brooklyn bear got a turn too...
This girl has no fear! She splashed away and kept putting her face in the water!
She practiced doing little swims to the wall...
And was pretty comfortable on her back too!
What a special treat to be able to swim in the middle of winter time:)
Thanks KK and Al!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Birthdays, Baby Boy, and Rollar Skating!

Today has been a fun filled day for us!
We started out our morning by celebrating my nephew Riley's 6th birthday!
He has a December birthday like Brooklyn, which makes a busy month even busier! He had a few of his buddies over for a reindeer themed party which included an all time favorite of our family...doughnuts!
In baby news...
I am 21 weeks today! Yay! Just over half way there! I am feeling good these days as baby boy is growing bigger and bigger! I can feel him move more and more now too. I still have to be pretty still though. Matt can't quite feel him move yet from the outside. I think he will be able to soon though. His heart rate was 157 at the ultrasound a couple of weeks ago. We are also going to be scheduling a 3D ultrasound which we have not had before! It is new in my doctors office so they are offering it to all their patients! The nurse said that it is best to do it around 28 weeks so I think that's when we will have it! That will be kind of cool!
Also, please pray for a sweet, new friend of mine who sent me a message today. She and her husband have been trying to have a baby for quite some time now. I don't know all of the details, but she is starting the IVF process. So far things are looking hopeful! She asked for good health as she goes through this and that also financially God would provide for them to cover all the costs that comes with this process.We are believing God in this situation!
Yesterday I got an e-mail from my MOM's group letting us know that a skating rink in our area was having a dollar night tonight! Jake has never been skating before and Matt was going to be home, so we thought it would be fun to give it a try!
Getting all laced up...
Jake was excited, but very unsure about things...
Sissy and I sat this one out and just watched as my boys would pass by!
Jake was VERY frustrated at the beginning, but after tightening up his wheels a bit, he did GREAT:)
They enjoyed a few laps around the rink and a few skating games too!
Now we are home and a bit exhausted from our great day! Whew!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Celebration Of Our Savior~ Christmas 2011

We had such a beautiful Christmas season celebrating our Savior's birth! We were able to spend lots of time with our families and make lasting memories together!

Christmas Eve is always spent at my parents. We all get together for appetizers and plates and plates of all kinds of cookies and Christmas treats.
We exchange gifts with each other...

each one simple, but sweet...

and enjoy time together eating, laughing, and sharing stories!

My favorite girls...

Love my Brooklyn under the tree...

It's hard to believe she was just days old last Christmas:)

My beautiful Grandma...

My brother Tim...

(We missed my brother Steve sooooo much again this year. We were all hoping he was going to surprise us by coming home! Ha!)

My sister and her family...

My amazing Dad and Mom...

And look at this picture...

LOVE it...

And next year there will be two more cousins in this picture! What a blessing!

Since the kids were up pretty late on Saturday night they slept in until about 8:15 Sunday morning. We didn't have to be at church until 10:45, so we still had time plenty of time to open presents, have a small Christmas breakfast, and get ready to go.

Brooklyn taking in all the goodies that Santa left for her...

Jake and Brooklyn opening their gifts...

Light Sabers and a remote control car were at the top of Jake's list...

I guess Troy gave Santa a super good report because he got both!

After presents were opened, we went to church. What a special morning it was to actually be able to go and celebrate Jesus' birth on Sunday! It doesn't happen very often and it was wonderful!

The next stop for us was Matt's parents house for Christmas lunch.

We were a little sad because Matt's brothers and their families didn't make the trip to Charlotte this year. We missed seeing them dearly and being able to celebrate with them.

We had a delicious lunch together of honey baked ham, honey baked turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac and cheese, black eye peas, and rolls! Whew! We were all so full after eating all that, that a chocolate pie and a pumpkin pie got sent home with us!

We exchanged gifts with each other...

Jake was in heaven when he received his pirate ship!

But most of all enjoyed just being together!

We had a very Merry Christmas 2011

and we look forward to all the blessings that 2012 will hold for us!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Last Few Items On Our Christmas Calendar

These last few days before Christmas have not slowed down one bit. We have been busy participating in more Christmas fun!
Wednesday morning Matt and I took the kids to see The Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra, or the Bearstein Bears as they're affectionately referred to, at Founders' Hall.
We had a great time! We don't really ever have a reason to go up town, so it was kind of fun to go! We watched the bears for a while
and enjoyed the Christmas music they were playing!
Next, we headed to the fancy Ritz Carlton hotel to see their giant gingerbread house! We felt a bit out of place, but what a sight to see!
Thursday our fun continued...
My mom's group was planning an outing to the Great Wolf Lodge for their story time and snow fall. I signed up to go and invited a few of my neighbors to come along with their kids too. We got there in plenty of time to grab a quick bite to eat at Dunkin Donuts before things got started! Of course chocolate was the best choice!
Everything was decorated so beautifully!
There were Christmas trees everywhere (and even an angry birds tree, which Jake thought was great)!
When story time began all the kids gathered around for a fun filled show and Christmas songs. After a few songs, all of a sudden the snow started to fall! It was sooooo neat! After all, that will probably be the only snowfall we see this year around here!
My kids LOVED it and it will definitely be apart of our Christmas calendar next year as well!
Then it was off to Mimi's for an afternoon of baking.
Every year we get together to make up goodies for our Christmas Eve get together! It can get a little (or a lot) messy and a bit crazy with so many little hands helping, but that is just part of the fun!
Mimi helped the little ones with the sugar cookies
while Brooklyn and I made our own cookies. We made our own version of thin mints which are super easy and very delicious!
Everyone had wwwaaayyy to much sugar, but a super fun time:)
Today are doing a little last minute shopping, cleaning, and baking and then tonight the wrapping party beings!
Merry Christmas Eve Eve:)