Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review, Looking Forward to 2014

Well the Christmas stuff is packed up and put away, we got a new tree so out with the old and in with the new. 2013 was quite a busy year! I am hoping 2014 is just as good if not better. Here are some of my highlights from 2013:
- Lost 12 pounds, worked out more, and ate better
- Started running again and went farther then I ever had before and completed my first 10k. Ran at least 1 race a month from May through September
- Became a mom to a 16 month old for a week and now to a sweet 5 year old girl (2 months in)
- Went on a nice relaxing vacation to the Dells 
- Went to two Brewers games this year, ran the Sausage 5k and the Brewers mini marathon
- Had a great year with Justin and Tobi and Guido
- Blogged more
Looking forward to 2014 I am not going to set a new years resolution but instead try and set goals for myself to achieve:
- Become a better mom, learn from experiences, and share mine
- Run my first half marathon- set for June in Milwaukee
- Run 1 race a month from May-Sept- including more half marathons
- Book our 2015 trip to Mexico this May
- Continue eating healthy, tracking my food, working out, and lose 15 more pounds
- Blog more :)
- Work hard and play harder- Brewers games, vacation, fun kids stuff
- Keep up with my crafting- knitting and scrapbooking
Do you have any goals you are hoping to achieve for the new year?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy Holidays- Part 2

Monday the 23rd we packed up the car to the tippy top with stuff to bring down to central Il. We had some much to bring we barely had room for the 3 of us. We took P to gymnastics and then stopped quick at McDonald's for dinner before putting her in her PJs and in the car. Thankfully it was an easy drive with almost no traffic. Once we got to Deer Creek, P woke up and met Justin's Parents. I let her stay up a bit before heading to bed.
Tuesday the 24th we went to our friend's Sarah and Joel's to see them and exchange gifts. Beforehand we went to Sonic because I had a hankering for hot dogs and a slushee. Just a note, the East Peoria Sonic has to be the SLOWEST one I have ever been to! We had a great time seeing Sarah, Joel, Sarah's mom, sister, and boyfriend. We wished we could stay longer but were glad we got to see them even a little bit! Afterwards we got pizza from our favorite place down there, Monical's and sat and talked to Justin's Uncle Bug and Uncle Al.
Sweet Dandy Cat

Justin and his uncle

Shadow Dog
Shadow dog was quite popular with P this week, I think she was missing the kitties. We put P to bed around 8pm so she could get in bed for Santa to come. We stayed up and Justin played the WWE 2K14 and I knitted my scarf.
Christmas morning P slept until 8:30, I am not even sure she remembered it was Christmas! We went downstairs and she saw Santa had left her a doll she asked for, she was so excited. Around noon our nieces showed up and the girls colored. Justin's sister can shortly after and Uncle Al came back to enjoy Christmas dinner with us. We had quite the feast!
Oh I bought myself an early Christmas Present for Thanksgiving, a D3200 DSLR camera and took over 300 pictures on Christmas. I love the camera and I am so glad I got it!

 This year almost everyone got hand made scarves by me. Justin and I got his dad a Nook, which he loved. The girls all got Stuffees and P got a LeapPad2 which she loved! I think Christmas was good to everyone this year! After opening gifts the kids played with their toys, they had fun feeding and changing the Baby Alive. P got to stay up until 8:30 then she headed to bed, we did not want to stray too far from her schedule. I soaked in the hot tub and watched tv (the hot tub is in the garage) and Justin played a little WWE then headed up to bed too.
Thursday we had some family come over to visit and hang out prior to us packing the car and heading home. It was a busy but fun 3 days, but as always we were glad to be home and see the boys. P survived her first trip to Peoria and had a good time.


Happy Holidays Everyone- Part 1

Here is hoping everyone had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. This year was quite the Christmas for us, especially since we now have a child in the house. We involved her in every bit of Christmas decorating. She helped me put up and decorate the tree, we got her a stocking, and let her pick out an ornament for the tree. She even made some ornaments at school and day care.
Friday the 20th Justin and I kept up our tradition of giving our gifts to each other separately from the family. After the princess, "P", went to bed, we opened gifts and watched Friday Night Smack down. Justin got me a froggie Pandora charm that he had "P" pick out for me, too cute!
JBL and Cole

Tobi and Guido playing

Justin got a Jacob's Clap Trap

I got a Brodus Clay!

Tobi has to wait for tomorrow for his gifts
Sat the 21st we celebrated Christmas and my mom's birthday with my parents. They came over and I made stuffed shells for dinner. Justin made some great Italian sausage on the Foreman.

Titan Santa as the centerpiece
After we got dinner going we sat down and watched Despicable Me 2 and opened presents. Everyone got lots of great things! I got a Coach purse and Pandora charm (Gingerbread Man) from mom and dad, Justin got a Sonicare tooth brush, and "P" got more toys that she knew what to do with, including the Easy Bake Oven she calls the baker I got for $5 at Goodwill.
Justin and dad talking sports

Lots of gifts!

Someone got pants!

Gap sweaters, so soft!

New Coach purse

I made mom that scarf

Tobi loves his toy!

Guido and his Star Wars Tie
After presents we had dinner and Tiramisu to celebrate mom's birthday. Everyone had a wonderful day and I think P truly enjoyed her Christmas with my family.
Stay tined for our trip to Peoria for round 2

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Library Adventures- Exploring What the Library Has

Twice a week Princess and I enjoy going to an adventure to the library. I have been going to the library since we moved to our town 5 years ago. You really realize how many cool things they have when you go to the kids department. One thing our library has that is awesome is Theme Bags. We have gotten a few of these theme bags. Some we have had are Princess and Healthy Food. They usually have a few books, sometimes a puzzle, or activities to do. The most recent one we got was the Llama Llama bag. It included the cute stuffed Llama above and two books to read as well as an adventure log to write what you did with the Llama. She loved us getting to take care of the Llama for a week!
Our library also has lots of run puzzles and games for the kids to play while at the library. You can check out board games to play while you are there or go to the computer lab and use a computer or tablet. Another awesome item we have recently discovered is the Playaway Views. They are these little screens that show 2-3 episodes of a kids show on it. We have gotten Arthur, Eloise, and a few others. They are great for the car or when we need to wait somewhere. It is nice because it is like her own personal tv without worrying about her clicking on anything she should not. We love these!
My favorite part of the library is just picking out the books I can read her each week. So far we have made it a routine to read 4 books on the couch with the tv off each night before bed. I pick out 2 and she picks out 2 books to read. Sometimes Daddy even gets to read a book. It is a great way to end the night and relax before bed.
What exciting things have you discovered at your library lately?

A Visit With Santa at Bass Pro Shop

The weekend before Thanksgiving we decided to take the princess to see Santa. I had heard that Bass Pro Shop had a great Christmas area and a wonderful Santa experience. I had gotten her a beautiful holiday dress the day before at Goodwill and she decided to wear it to see Santa. We got there about 11:30 and it is a good thing we did because we got the last 12:30pm pass. The next time would be 2pm, yikes what would we have done for all that time!
She was in awe when we arrived at the store, I don't think she had been in a store with so much going on! They had coloring pages for the kids to work on and a station where they could write letters to Santa. At noon we went over to make a penguin ornament craft. That took some time and was a lot of fun. They also had some laser shooting ranges for the kids and trains set up. There was so much to do while you waited for Santa. Everyone that worked there was very nice and in the holiday spirit.
When it was our turn to have our picture taken they captured the sweet picture above of her hugging Santa. Yes it is blurred because we prefer to keep her identity off the internet. The people working were so nice and took 3 photos of us, we even got a nice family picture of the 3 of us with Santa. You got a copy of each picture printed out for free, yes that's right Free! You could also choose to purchase more pictures there or online when you went home.
I will admit I was pretty impressed with the Bass Pro Shop Holiday area. I would highly recommend taking your family there if you can and we will be back in the future!