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2014 // The Year in Review



January 1, 2014 I said to Andy “let’s hope this year is better than the last.”  3 days later we received a phone call that made time stand still.  My dad had an accident on the farm, he fell from the rafters of his shed and was being airlifted to the University hospital.  We dropped everything and headed for the hospital.  It was the scariest day of my life.  For the next week we had no idea how our life would change – would my dad die?  Would he be paralyzed? Would he ever speak again? Would he know who we were?  And then, a meeting with his team of doctors.  “I am confident he will make a significant recovery.”  Those words gave us the shot of what we needed to carry on and help him through the next phase of his recovery.  Now, almost exactly a year later, we can see that doctor was right on the mark.  My dad is nearly 100% exactly who he was before the accident.  In 2014 we witnessed a miracle.  It could have been the worst year of my life but because of that miracle it was a year worth being grateful for.



February is always the best month of the year for me because it’s when my birthday is. But this year it was the best month because my sweet little Tate was born.  February 10th he arrived, all 10lbs 7oz of him!  I fell instantly in love with my big little man. In some of my darkest days he was with me, both inside my belly and in my arms.  I am always full of joy when he’s with me.


This month also marked when my dad came home from the hospital, just in time for my birthday!  He looks so much more like himself in this picture than the one above.

Randy's last day at St Lukes 2-21-14 003 (2)


This month the baby was baptized, it warmed up one day so I hung out sheets on the line after a brutally cold winter, and Brennan, the other pea in my pod, had his 5th birthday!




Spring was almost here!  The Easter Bunny came, my little chunker kept growing, the boys played soccer and we were able to start planting the garden!




In May Aiden made his First Communion!  It was a really special day for us.  IMG_0810

Brennan graduated from Preschool.  What a bittersweet moment – so proud of our little guy and I love watching him grow up but I miss that squishy little guy being home with me all the time!



Aiden turned 8!  The boys were in a parade and had swim lessons.



We took a family vacation to Chicago!  It was so much fun, we had a ton of laughs and have great memories that we reminisce over often.


Aiden made his show ring debut when he showed a goat and a rabbit for Clover Kids!  We had so much fun watching him learn and show off his new skills.



A new school year! Tater turned 6 months old! Hot Beef Sundaes at the Iowa State Fair!



Football and a family reunion.



Aiden won a coloring contest and his prize was a ride to school in the fire truck!


Of course, being October, we carved our pumpkins and the boys dressed up for Halloween!



November is always such a great month, it’s all about family and good food.  This year was no exception.



We had a great month celebrating Christmas and spending time together as a family.  Although we all ended up being sick at one point or another during the month, by Christmas we were all healthy, cough and snot free and ready to party!


Even though it started off scary 2014 turned out to be a wonderful year for our family of 5!  Happy 2015 everyone!


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Christmas 2014


It’s almost a week later and I still can’t believe Christmas 2014 is in the books and over.  Everything’s picked up, our returns and exchanges have been made and the store’s Christmas section is marked down 50% and picked over.  Sigh, I wasn’t ready to see it go.

For me, this was the year of the kitchen appliances.  I received a 4 square waffle iron, large electric griddle, large 15” cast iron skillet, 10 cup food processor and a 4 slice toaster.  In case you are wondering, YES I asked for all of those.  I was tired of making 3 pancakes at a time or 2 waffles at a time and not getting to sit down and eat breakfast with my family after I’d made it.  Also tired of the traffic jam at the 2 slice toaster every weekday morning.  It was fun this past weekend making breakfast and actually eating it with the rest of the family!


Don’t worry, I didn’t pair that scarf with the pink cardi – it was a gift from my sister so I obviously had to try it on right away!  Next time Andy’s gone for the night I’m going to sleep w/ that iron skillet next to my bed in case I need to knock out an intruder – it’s heavy!

Since this was Tatie Tot’s first Christmas we took a ton of pictures of him.  His favorite gifts were those that played music and lit up – he loves music and it’s so cute watching his face light up with a big smile when we crank up him new ‘radio’!


The boys’ big gift from us this year were their very own tablets for reading and playing games on. I wrapped them inside of 3 boxes that were all wrapped so they unwrapped quite a bit to get to their one gift. They thought that was pretty funny.


We’ve barely seen their faces since.  I’m allowing them to play quite a bit now since they are new and it’s their school break, but come next week time limits will be set. 

Every year we take a group shot of the kids in front of the Christmas tree and one of the kids and my parent’s after the kids open their new jammies from Papa and Grandma (my folks).



Here are pics from a couple years back of the kids so you can see how much they’ve changed:


One memory I wanted to get down so I won’t forget later in life is how Tate would push wrapped presents around the floor.  He’d put his hands on the top then stand up and start pushing.  He’d just push until he ran into a road block (the wall, a chair) then he’d abandon them and go find something else to do.  It made me laugh.


Always one to look ahead, I’ve already started my 2015 gift lists.  I keep a running list every year of ideas I have for myself, Andy and the boys so when it comes time for their birthdays or the next Christmas and someone asks me for an idea I have a decent sized list started already.  It really comes in handy!  I just keep it in a notebook in my junk drawer so I can easily pull it out when ever someone says “I want…” 

Happy New Year to you all! 


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Dynamite // 2014


Dynamite, our elf on the shelf, has been coming to visit us for 4 years now.  The first year he just moved from one resting place to another. The second year he started to cause a little fun mischief and the third even more of that mischief.  Then this year it dawned on me – those little elves are supposed to remind our kids to be good, not naughty, so they can go back to Santa every night and tell him that the littles deserve their Christmas presents.  So why on earth is it ok for the elves to be naughty if the kids shouldn’t be?

This year Dynamite stepped up to the plate and showed the kids that being good is fun and can be silly.  Here are 9 pictures of our friend Dynamite from this year.  Feel free to pin the image to your Pinterest boards to reference for ideas for next year!


One morning Dynamite hid 12 candy canes and left a note for the boys to find all 12.  Another morning he left a note for Tate saying “Peek a boo, Tate!” and hid behind the plant.  And yet another he left a grocery list with $7 in Monopoly money for us to buy him some candy.  The rest of the days he tried to be as sneaky as possible to hide in hard to find places so the boys really had to look for him.  My favorite day was the 23rd, he hid in the manger holding Baby Jesus to remind the boys why we really celebrate Christmas. 

So, no outrageous things happened this year, like when he wrapped the toilet in wrapping paper last year, but the boys still had just as much fun with him.  Being good is the way to go, right Dynamite?


“I am going 2 miss you boys!”

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Santa Visit // 2014


Sunday we took the boys to see Santa.  I wasn’t too concerned about how Tate would react, he’s never met a ‘stranger’, he makes friends with everyone wherever we go. 

We arrived right at 1 when Santa’s House opened up and we were behind 2 babies in line.  The boys used their wait to watch the train they have set up.  Then it was our turn!

Aiden told Santa he wanted an Xbox, Brennan asked for a Kindle to read and play games on and Aiden told Santa he though Tate would like a rattle. 


Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends!


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