Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 Resolutions

I'm not usually one to make tons of resolutions for the new year - I try to think of them more as goals. This year I am going to set some and really try and stick to them.

1. Be the best Mommy I can be - I feel like lately the kids have started to overwhelm me and I am yelling more than I would like to admit.  I said to Rick the other day that I though it was going to get easier the older they got, and he laughed and said ummm no it's the exact opposite! So - I'm really going to try not to yell unless someone is in danger and try and be as patient and understanding of these little people as possible.

2. Be the best Wife I can be - I know this sounds cheesy, but marriage is work, right? Mine is not perfect nor will it ever be, but there are definitely things I can do to help better it. I want to be more understanding and supportive in 2016 and have more open communication to avoid little annoying fights.  

3. Declutter our life - We have SO much stuff in our house it's ridiculous.  For 3 years, our basement has basically served as a garbage dump where we just hoard everything.  This week Rick has started sorting through stuff and making garbage/donate piles and it already looks 10 times better.  I can't wait to see it when everything actually has a place (rather than just thrown on top of eachother) and it's cleared out enough to enjoy the space.  It's not a finished basement but we do have a couch/tv/video games/poker table set up down there and it's good enough just to go hang down there for a little bit. 

Our kitchen is also another dumping ground.  Our counters seem to pile up everyday with loads and loads of crap! I would love for the kids to stop bringing their toys out of the playroom and leaving them everywhere else (like my kitchen counters)

4. Organize, Organize, Organize! - This goes with the above - I want everything to have a place. We already have some good systems in place, but also some that just aren't working and some we haven't even started and need to.

5.  Eat a little better - I don't eat that bad right now as it is, but there's always room for improvement. My biggest problem is portion control.  I have always been a big eater and I basically only work out so I can eat - but this new year I want to remedy that. Smaller portions, better choices in what I put in my body and instead of having 2 cheat days on the weekends where I let myself eat whatever I want, only 1.  

6. Working out - I already work out 4-5 times a week but I would like to increase my time or change up my workouts.

7. Date my husband more - Since having kids, we really don't get out much.  We have chosen to only let family watch our kids because that's what we feel safest doing and sometimes that limits us on going out. I want to try and squeeze in more dates this new year - even if it's at home after we wrangle the kids to bed.  Instead of sitting on the couch watching tv (which always puts me to sleep) we can play games or work on a project together.  

8. Lots of family time - As much as I love alone time with my hubby, I love family time probably a little more.  These 4 people I share my life with are my everything.  I feel like we already do so much as a family, but we could step our game up.  I would like to incorporate Friday night game nights and just spend good quality time with one another.

Most of all, I want 2016 to bring health and happiness to all those I love. Those 2 things are really all that mater.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015 Recap

Wow, I can't believe Christmas has come and gone - in the blink of an eye it seems.  I feel like we did so much to soak up the season and I was very present through all of it but still, it went too damn fast.

However, we are still cranking the holiday tunes and admiring our Christmas tree over here so we will soak it up even longer.

Christmas Eve morning we woke up to a surprise North Pole breakfast from our elf! It was so fun and the kids enjoyed it SO much.  We did this last year too and it will now be a tradition - something fun to mark the end of our elf's stay.

Later in the morning we made brownies to bring to my aunts and cookies to leave out for Santa. After Avery had a nap we all got dressed and ready and headed to my aunts at 5. Ella wasn't feeling so hot so we gave her some ibuprofen in order to make it through the night.

Even though Ella & Avery were in terrible moods, we still managed to have a good time. We stayed for a few hours then headed home to read The Night Before Christmas to the kids and then wait for them to fall into a deeeep sleep.

We put everything out and I think I collapsed by 1am.

Ella was really into opening this year and Brayden was all about sorting the presents by name. We originally tried to say they take turns opening but Ella being her 3 year old self, did not listen to that one and just started opening everything, ha ha.

Brayden was funny - he only asked for 3 things this year so when he was opening more gifts he would say "I didn't ask for this, but thanks!" Some things he liked and others I think he thought "why did I get this?!"

We made them wait to open their "big" presents from Santa last and Ella was over the moon when she saw her castle!! I thought Brayden would have been a tad more excited about his hot wheels garage though.  He opened it and said, oh it's my hot wheels garage, like it was the same as receiving books, LOL

At the end of presents, Brayden said " I guess we didn't get our pink and blue ipads Ella" and I told him remember what Santa said, and he was like "oh yeah, he isn't a fan of those kinds of things" LOL

We played all morning, ate homemade cinnamon rolls (our tradition) then headed to my Moms in the afternoon.

My Mom had a full spread of delicious food and I inhaled everything within minutes ( I was starving)

The kids had SO many presents to open - again, we tried to take turns there and it was working a little better than at our house. My Mom waited to give them their tablets last and again, I thought there would have been more excitement - Brayden, said "oh, these are our ipads" - I think the problem this year was Brayden asked for 3 things and he just assumed in his little mind that he would automatically get them (and he did) and also he just isn't the type of kid who gets overly excited for anything - never has been and I don't see it ever changing. I told the hubby next year we need to make sure to not get him something on his list (although when he thought he didn't get the ipads at our house he really didn't care so at least I know in that sense he's not a spoiled brat) - I guess I just thought there would be more emotion, but I've learned that kids are all different and rarely will they react the way you think they will :)

It was still a fabulous Christmas and we have been enjoying the gifts all weekend long! I feel like I am on vacation these 2 weeks with Brayden being home, but today it's time to get my butt back in order and actually do some things around the house and I should probably get to the grocery store...

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

3rd visit to Santa

Well we went and saw the big guy yesterday at our Mall - you know because that was Brayden's one request while he was on winter break.  I was so happy I pushed us to leave the house by 8am and we were in line by 8:30 - and yes, there was a line! We waited about 30 minutes which wasn't so bad and there is plenty to keep you entertained while waiting.

There's an Ice Palace you enter into right before you see Santa.  Snow is falling and the kids love it. 

Then it was time to meet Santa! Brayden and Ella walked right up and were completely mesmerized. I grabbed Miss A and put her right on his lap to get the picture taken first - of course she was less than thrilled - poor girl had to be tortured again.

After the picture, I took A and the bigs talked with Santa for a while. They both said they wanted pink and blue Ipads and Santa just kind of brushed that off and asked what else they wanted, LOL. (little do they know they are getting pink and blue tablets from my Mom but I have been making them think otherwise for months)

Brayden asked for the hot wheels toy and Ella asked for that big ice castle :)  Santa said he thinks those wouldn't be a problem.

They hugged him and we were on our way.  We walked around the mall for a little, grabbed some hot pretzels then left.  The line to see Santa when we were leaving (10:30am) was seriously at least a 3 hour wait!

Until next year, Santa

Monday, December 21, 2015

Soaking Up the Season - Christmas Traditions

We have had such a great time this past month celebrating Christmastime! I love our traditions we have in place and making new ones.

Here's a look at what we've been up to this past month

We had our 3rd annual Christmas Tree Chop Down - I love this tradition so much and hope my kids will always remember how much fun it was (even if they complain half the time right now, ha)

We trimmed the tree with the help of these 3 cute little elves!

Our elf, Twinkles, showed up! He isn't super creative, but the kids LOVE him so that's all that matters :)

We made our annual gingerbread house and I am the only one who gets just a tad frustrated with the house building process?! It never stays together, LOL.  I tried so hard then let it sit for 20 minutes before we decorated and it was still collapsing. We just made it work and then when we were all done and I went to put it on a shelf, it all crumbled.  I almost cried.  Thankfully, hubby came to the rescue and put it back together for us and I can say it has stayed that way for weeks now. (sidenote - after I wrote this I saw my SIL who told me about Costco's gingerbread houses that come already put together! Totally getting that next year)

We went and saw the zoo lights - this is something we did 4 years ago and wanted to do again.  It was fun but the drive to get there was NOT! It took what is a 25 minute drive, over 2 hours to get there!! Everyone goes to the zoo lights and we really didn't realize the traffic would be that bad.  We learned our lesson so if we go again, we need to leave at 2pm, LOL

Of course the kids have enjoyed eating a chocolate out of their advent calendar every morning this month.  It's definitely the highlight of their day.

We had breakfast with Santa at Brayden's school - this would be a new tradition if we continue to go. Honestly though, the food was yuck and Santa was just OK, but the kids had alot of fun so it's probably something we'll do again and support the school.

We drove around in our jammies, drinking hot cocoa and looked at Christmas lights.  This year we found an awesome neighborhood that we will for sure go back to year after year.  These houses were HUGE and put on insane displays! I'm sad I didn't get a picture of the best house, but still got some. Then we headed back to our neighborhood and saw some pretty decked out houses too.

hilarious selfie including our pup and a garbage bag full of clothes in the way back, LOL

The kids wrote their letters to Santa - it was so cute to see Brayden write his own letter this year.

We made cookies with my nieces. This was so fun! Hopefully it becomes a tradition.

And while we were making cookies, our husbands were making pierogis! YUM! Hoping this becomes a tradition too!!

And of course we have been doing SO much crafting! 

This month seemed to have flown by, but when I look back at everything we did it kind of doesn't. Either way, we have made the most of this holiday season and there's still a few days before the BIG day!

Brayden is on school break and his one request is to go to the mall and see Santa (even though we've seen Santa when we got our tree and at his school) - he knows the Santa at the mall is the real one and those others were just his helpers.  So of course I said yes, we'll do that tomorrow and you can just call the nut house now to admit me because going to our mall 3 days before Christmas is just INSANE!