Tuesday, August 15, 2017

January 2017

As usual, January was full of birthday fun. But, before we could start the celebrations, we got to enjoy some beautiful North Carolina snow. For NC, we actually got a decent amount so the kids (big and small) got to enjoy some nice sledding and snow ball fights in our neighborhood.

Thankfully, the snow was gone by the time we needed to leave for our Mason's 5th birthday celebration in Orlando. As much as I was dreading my baby boy turning 5, having that milestone birthday in Disney World seemed to make it a bit easier. We decided to stay on the Disney property this time and stayed at All Star Sports and Mason loved it. After having a fabulous character breakfast at Chef Mickey's we spent Mason's actual birthday in Hollywood Studios and Mason got to experience almost all of the Star Wars attractions. The next day, we visited Animal Kingdom, which was a treat for all of us because even Todd and I had never been there. Our last day of the trip was spent at Magic Kingdom and by the end of the day, we were all exhausted so we probably didn't get as much excitement about that day as we should have. 

With Mickey at Chef Mickey's

Watching the Storm Trooper parade through Hollywood Studios.

He chose a funnel cake for his birthday cake and it was bigger than his head.

Yep, 38 years old and no shame in taking a picture with my favorite guy Goofy.

The kids (with squinty sun faces) in front of the Tree of Life

Meeting Donald Duck at Animal Kingdom.

Obligatory Cinderella's Castle picture at the Magic Kingdom.

After the exhaustion of traveling to Florida, we decided to have a super low key birthday for Aubrey. She had dance on her birthday so we brought cupcakes for her friends to enjoy during class. Afterwards, she got her presents from us and enjoyed some cupcakes at home. Later that weekend, we invited her BFF over for a sleepover, which was one one of the most requested events in our house.  The girls had a blast and made Aubrey's birthday celebration a blast.

As usual, I was happy when January was over. Traveling and 2 birthdays made it an exhausting month so I was ready to get back to some sense of normalcy.

December 2016

We have lots of catching up to do. There has been lots of life going on since I last added to my blog so I just need to jump in and type away.

December as usual was such a busy month. I love the holiday season but there always seems like so much to do and it goes so quickly.

We started off with our Christmas/family pictures. I love getting these pictures every year because I get to see the real difference in the kids over the years and it is amazing.

Aubrey was in her first Christmas show at school and it was....interesting. I think the music teacher had some really high expectations for these 2nd and 3rd graders because this musical was really, really long. But, I have to be proud of Aubrey. Miss I Don't Like To Be In Front Of An Audience auditioned for a role and was given the opportunity for a speaking part. She did a great job. The play was really cute, but just a big dragged out and hard to understand at times.

We made our second journey to Christmas in Davidson and the kids seemed to really enjoy it again. It was pretty cold that night but something about celebrating Christmas just seems to make you forget how cold it is. 

Todd and I riding the trolly to the festivities.

Our next holiday celebration was watching Mason's last preschool Christmas show. Oh, the waterworks that ensued when I realized it was our last preschool Christmas show. This was the 5th time we've watched those cuties sing Christmas songs and it never gets old. 

The kids enjoyed wearing their Christmas jammies to church for Jesus' birthday party. Something about wearing pjs out in public just makes any event better. And add in a birthday party and it just was over the top.

Todd and the kids did the annual trip to Raleigh to visit his family while I went to work. Once they got home, I took the kids off Todd's hands and they built their first gingerbread train. The loved building it, but I had to watch them really closely to make sure they didn't eat all of the decorations.

The kids are really getting into writing the letter to Santa. It is so cute to watch them come up with the "perfect" letter and to watch Mason practice his writing.

Christmas Day was such a fun day. We actually had to wake the kids up to go open presents because we were so excited. After seeing Santa's loot, we did our traditional breakfast at Todd's parents. The kids spent Christmas Day playing with their toys before my parents and sister came over for dinner. Even though there was nothing different about our Christmas, I love the traditions and that the kids anticipate them. 

We spent New Year's Eve with my parents celebrating my mom's birthday. We did some shopping and then Todd grilled some yummy steaks, which was so much better than going out to fight the crowds. After my parents went home, Mason and Todd ended up crashing well before midnight so Aubrey and I brought in the New Year watching the ball drop on tv. It is fun that she is getting so excited about these traditions and I can't wait to see how they develop as she gets older.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

November 2016

November was a great month, but super busy. We started off the month by attending an awards ceremony for the Gaston County Recycled Art contest. We found out Aubrey won 3rd place with her bottle top jewelry and we were so excited for her. She told us that the kids pick on her because her art is not good so it was some sweet news for her to hear that she won a prize for her art. She got to miss the day from school to attend the ceremony at the Gaston County Library and was tickled with that. She was given a certificate and a gift card to Hobby Lobby, which just made her day.

Mason wrapped up his first season of team soccer and was so excited to get another trophy. I think soccer replaced t-ball as his favorite sport and he showed a lot of promise on the field.

The kids were pretty excited to go vote with me this year. The precinct volunteer told the kids to make sure I only watched my machine and followed all the instructions and the kids took their job very seriously. They were excited to show of their stickers afterwards and made sure to tell me they told their friends they "voted." I am glad I can include them in on the voting process and hope they are excited to vote when they are old enough.

Aubrey got to attend her first dance convention this year. I was a little nervous about the whole deal because I knew she was going to be in over her head and I was afraid she would get frustrated. While I was right that the classes were really hard for her, she managed to keep a positive attitude and try so hard to keep with the older girls. I was very proud of her and can't wait to watch as she grows in dance over the next year.

Per tradition, we hosted Thanksgiving at our house again and it was perfect. The weather was awesome and the food was fantastic. I love all things about Thanksgiving and this one was perfect.

We picked out our Christmas tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving and it was a really great tree. The kids loved decorating the house later that afternoon and enjoyed their hot chocolate tradition that comes along with it.

We ended the month with the Mount Holly Christmas parade. Aubrey was so nervous to dance in the parade for the first time because she has always ridden in the truck with the dance studio. But, she did a great job and enjoyed seeing her friends along the route. Mason enjoyed sitting on the sidelines with my parents and catching the candy thrown at him.

October 2016

October has always been one of my favorite months. The weather is usually perfect, its my birthday month, and we have Halloween candy. Perfection. This October was no different.

We made a big step for Aubrey by forcing her to take the training wheels off her bike and that was a big fat fail. Poor girl just has no frustration tolerance so the multiple falls that come along with learning to ride a bike just made her give up. We realized she probably needed a new bigger bike after the fact so we gave up forcing the issue until that happened.

We did our annual trip to Hodges Farm for our pumpkins. This is our 9th trip there and its amazing how much the farm and the fall activities have grown there since our first visit when Aubrey was a baby. We checked out the animals, climbed on the hay, ate ice cream, and of course picked out our pumpkins.

Todd and the kids went to Atlanta for his cousin's wedding and I stayed behind to do school work. It was nice to have a quiet weekend to get work done but I was happier once everyone was home safe.

The kids both dressed up for school for Halloween, or excuse me "Book Character Day" for Aubrey. Mason decided he wanted to be a shark for school which was perfect because I could use the shark costume we already had in the house. Aubrey decided to be Fancy Nancy again so we reused an old dance costume that worked perfectly.

For Halloween this year, the kids decided that we were going to do a family Star Wars theme. Aubrey reused Mason's Darth Vader costume, Mason was a Storm Trooper,  and Todd re-used Luke Skywalker for the 3rd time (we get our money's worth out of costumes if you can't tell). I was supposed to be Princess Leia, however I waited way too late to get my costume so I ended up being Rey from the latest movies. It was still fun to dress up and the kids had a great time trick-or-treating.

So while the month was busy, it was the perfect October for us and I cannot complain one bit about it.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Catching up

Well, as evidenced by the lack of posts over the past 4 months, this fall kicked my butt. I knew I was taking on an overload with working, starting a business, going to school, and taking care of the family. But, I didn't realize just how dead I would be by December. We somehow made it work as a family, but it is not something I ever hope to go through again. I am finished with school for the time being and we've settled into a work/family/small business routine so life should be a little less chaotic. I spent the month of December decompressing and doing all of the holiday activities and just enjoying life for a while. I actually have a little free time on my hands now so the goal is to get caught up on all of my pictures and my blog. I fully realize there is no one pressuring me to blog, but after looking through old posts a few weeks ago, I know there is so much about the last 4 months I will forget if I don't get it written down and out of my head. I am thankful I have written down all of these memories over the years so I have something to go back and show my kids and grandkids. So, there will be lots of catching up on my blog the next few days as I get thoughts out of my head and pictures off my camera.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

September 2016

September started the 4 months of craziness. Mason started his last year of preschool and I was a sad mess. It really seemed like Aubrey was just starting preschool so sending my baby off for his last year just seemed surreal. He was so excited for school, especially because his friend Tyler was in his class this year. Pre-K has been an adjustment for all of us, though. This year he has actual homework and getting him to do it is sometimes a challenge. The homework is optional, but he gets a prize for doing it. He is much more concerned with getting the prize than actually doing the homework so it makes for some stressful nights. I am trying to not burn him out from homework at the age of 4, but want him to start Kindergarten in a good place so it is a balance of managing that right now.

Comparison of first day of 2-year old preschool vs first day of pre-k. Be still my heart. 

I fully jumped into the LuLaRoe world in September by having my launch party. It was pretty stressful to put it all together, but it turned out to be a great time. I had more fun selling things than I really thought I would and was so excited to see the numbers at the end of the night.

ECU and NC State played each other in football this year and unfortunately, Todd and I were not able to make the trip to Greenville to watch it like we have the last 2 games. So, we decked ourselves out in our finest gear, made the kids chose sides, and watched ECU win at home on the couch.

Aubrey's school had their annual fun run to raise money for the school and Mason and I were able to watch. She enjoyed running laps as fast as she could around the school and Mason entertained himself with the football equipment while she ran.

Aubrey surprised us all by requesting a "big" haircut. I was a little nervous about her cutting it short because we have to put it in a bun for dance. But, she was so excited to get it cut and really enjoyed the after so I just rolled with it.

The rest of September was a blur of school, dance, soccer, LLR, and craziness. But, that's the real world and our reality for the next 4 months.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

August 2016

August went by so fast! It seemed like it was just starting when it was over. I was pretty busy all month with various activities, but there wasn't as much going on family-wise.

One milestone we did reach was taking the back off of Aubrey's booster seat. I know this doesn't seem like a huge deal, but Aubrey was ecstatic. This is the last step before she completely comes out of the booster in January and I'm still a little sad about it. We could have taken it off ages ago, but the part of me holding on the little girl in her made me wait.

We did a lot of shopping this month and Aubrey conned me into taking her with most for most of it. Taking kids school shopping is such a chore, but taking 1 kid seemed a lot better than 2. I enjoyed spending that one-on-one time with her, so it was a good trip. She also conned me into buying her lunch while we were out and I couldn't resist taking a picture.

Mason started his next season of soccer and moved up to league soccer this year. He was so happy to be back out on a field and playing a sport. I love that he is such a sports kid.

Aubrey started her 5th year of dance this year. But, this year, she was invited to join the competition team so its not the once a week deal anymore. My mind was a little overwhelmed at first because I competed for years and I know the work and dedication that it takes from the dancer and the parent. I am glad her teachers have the confidence that Aubrey is ready, I just don't think Aubrey knows what she is in for this season. So, she lives at the studio 5 hours per week and keeps us burning Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road up as we run her back and forth. Its exciting and overwhelming and I can't wait to see how it plays out when competition season starts in the spring.

National Dog day was in August and the kids begged me to take a picture of them with the dogs. Getting all 4 of them to cooperate for a picture was, um, a challenge, so this is the best that I could get.

On our last day of summer vacation, I took the kids to the airport observatory to watch planes take off and land. Mason was thrilled to see the planes up close and it was awesome to watch him get so excited. I love going to the observatory and spent many hours there before I met Todd. Its a fun place to just sit back and watch and relax for a bit.

We wrapped up summer when Aubrey started back to school on the 29th. The schools started so late this year, but I was glad to have the extra time with no schedule or routine to follow for them. Aubrey tried to tell everyone all summer she wasn't ready to go back, but as soon as we met her teacher, she was all ready to go. I think her teacher this year is awesome so I am hoping for a better 2nd grade year than 1st grade for her. I also realized this is our last first day of school picture that won't include both kids going to the same place. Sigh......

I finally got my call from LuLaRoe on the 15th so I got to place my initial order and get some pretty clothes to sell. The order came in 4 big boxes and it was mind boggling how much was in those boxes. Its now official that I am a small business owner. Scary and exciting all at the same time.

So, August has come and gone. I am so ready for fall and all that it brings. Our lives are pure chaos right now, but its all fun and exciting from here on out.