Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and New Years!  I know we had a lot of fun and enjoyed some much needed quality time with family and friends.  It was so nice to surround myself with loved ones over the past 10 days and completely escape from the daily hustle.

This was a laid back holiday season for us.  We had family over on Christmas Eve, went to the 11pm church service with the kids (Ethan fell asleep during it), and then spent Christmas day with more family.  It was very nice and relaxing.  Then we enjoyed the week off of work, school, and sports and hung out as a family.  We did a day shopping trip up to South Ridge where Mariah went to all of her favorite stores and Ethan and Mariah rode on the train inside the mall. 

On New Years Eve we had a couple friends and their toddlers over.  We watched the kids run around and take over the basement, we played a couple games on the xbox, ate lots of wonderful food, and watched the ball drop at midnight with the toddlers!  They all managed to stay awake! 

2010 was a pretty good year!

Mariah began confirmation classes at our church and is really reaching her goal with all the requirements. She has almost completed all of her community service hours towards confirmation requirements.  Some of the community service she's done is a car wash for her dance team, a Christmas performance at a local VETS home, she helped build a fort in early December for a little boy that passed away last week from cancer at the age 11, she's also done a walk to raise money for food for the hungry. 

Mariah also has been very involved in a local dance team called Junior Broncos.  This is a dance team for 6, 7, and 8 graders.  It helps prepare them for tryouts for the high school dance team, which is pretty competitive.  If she makes it on the dance team in high school she will not be able to join any other sports.  I believe tryouts for the high school dance team happen within the next couple of months for 8th grade girls!  Speaking of high school... we get to go to freshman orientation on Jan 17th.  I can't believe we are preparing Mariah for high school... where did the time go?!

Ethan has also been an active little man.  In May we potty trained him in about 2 days!  I was really worried about potty training him and thought this would be a huge challenge, but to my surprise he caught on instantly and has been doing wonderfully ever since!  Makes him seem so grown up! 

In March we moved Ethan from a church based daycare to an in-home daycare.  I was so nervous about making this move because Ethan loved the daycare and the teachers and had spent his first two years of life with these wonderful people and children.  We didn't move him from the daycare because there was anything wrong with the care, we moved him to give him a more one on one type of care and to allow us the financial flexibility to be able to have another baby!  Well this moved worked out very well all around.  Cory and I are expecting our 3rd child in July 2011 (as you've read in previous posts) and Ethan's in-home provider is willing and happy to continue watching Ethan and the new baby once I return to work when the baby is 12 weeks old.  Ethan is really enjoying his new daycare situation.  He really loves Ms. Melissa, her husband Mike, and their three kids Mason, Parker, and Sophie.  I hope this next baby loves it there just as much!

Cory decided to pursue his bachelors degree and started his first online class in October!  He did wonderfully and finish the class in December with a 98%!  He starts his next class in a couple days.  If all goes well he will have his degree in 4 years.  So proud of him! 

Cory also rewarded himself with a big treat this year... he bought a snowmobile!  Scotty joined a club in the area and asked Cory if he wanted to join too (this was before the snowmobile was purchased).  Cory thought this would be a great "man" thing for him to do and jumped right on board.  However... since the purchase of the snowmobile... we've had very little snow... Last Sunday Cory and Scotty took a drive over to Monroe County and spent the day snowmobiling.  Cory learned a lot about handling his new machine and he said he loves it.  The guys had a great time and can't wait for more snow.  I on the other hand... can't wait for summer. :-) 

Okay, it was easy to write a little something about the rest of my family from this past year... but now to write about myself.  Well, I am 14 weeks pregnant!  I am tired, but starting to get a little bit of energy back.  I am loving watching the kids grow and learn new things on a daily basis.  I am proud of my family and their accomplishments.  I am still in the same job that I've held for the past 2.5 years and in February I will be celebrating my 11th year anniversary with this company.  Earlier in 2010 I had registered to go to school for my masters degree.  I got 2 days in to school and decided it wasn't what I really wanted at this point in my life.  Instead I am continuing to work my "mom job" as I call it and spend the rest of my time with my family and friends.  I enjoy my job because it gives me set hours, great benefits, and flexibility as needed.  Also, we close down from Christmas to New Years so that is all holiday paid time off!  Definitely a great benefit! 

Cory and I have been working on projects around the house as always.  My creative mind is always going!  We added a magnetic chalk board to the side of a cabinet in the kitchen.  This has been a perfect place to display fun messages and artwork and accomplishments from the kids.  We finished the trim in our master bathroom after having our tile shower redone due to previous leaks, we also finished the trim on our island in the kitchen ~ which looks beautiful ~!!  We started putting trim up in the basement and hope to finish the rest of that in 2011.  Also hoping to finally finish our fireplace during this next year!  It is such a wonderful feeling to put the finished touches on our house.  It has been a project in the works for over 5 years now. 

I think that pretty much sums up 2010.  I am sure I am missing a lot of great details, but I can't write about everything in one post.  :-)  Cheers to an amazing 2011 for everyone! 

Here are a couple recent pictures.  Enjoy! 

Ethan playing xbox:
 Ethan watching his tractor closely:
 Daddy and Ethan snuggling at the 11pm Christmas Eve Service:
 Ethan and daddy watching trains:
 Ethan with his new Buzz Lightyear:
 Mommy and Ethan cuddling:
 Ethan in the caboose:
 More train watching:
 Mariah and Leah watching Alannah dance with xbox:
 Mariah and Ethan on the train:
 Kitchen Island BEFORE:  
Kitchen Island AFTER:
  Bathroom before trim:
Bathroom after trim: 
Me and my baby belly at 14 weeks pregnant!  :-)

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