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A Look Back at 2015

2015 was a wild, crazy, busy, exciting year for our family.  When I think of the past year quickly I don't think much happened. But when I really start thinking back over it I start to remember just how much *did* happen for our family.  The majority of the year was centered around my pregnancy, the birth of Tenley and the first 6+ weeks of her life.  Sprinkle in the boys' sports, Tate growing and being a toddler, and a million other things and it was quite a year.  Here's a little look back.

The boys celebrated the 100th day of school with a week of dress up days.  Book characters, Pirates and animal day (Aiden was a 'party animal').

Tate turns 1...and hates his smash cake!

We start demo on the basement, Brennan turns 6 and I find out I'm pregnant!

Andy and I went to Florida!

Last day of school (Aiden 3rd, Bren K) and baseball started for Aiden

Bren starts baseball and Aiden turns 9!

County Fair time

Iowa State Fair and back to school - Aiden grade 4, Brennan grade 1

Football fun!

Halloween with the Grim Reaper, Darth Vadar and the cutest little monkey

Our beautiful baby girl arrives!!!

Christmas programs, Christmas celebrating, and baby snuggles

For the first time ever I am looking forward to the new year.  I hate change, and a new year is a change, but this time I am so excited to start a new year. We have no major changes planned for our life this year, our family is complete and we can just hit the cruise control and live our life.  So excited for that!

Happy New Year to all!

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Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015 was a really nice Christmas.  Tenley handled it really well, Tate handled it really well - that was such a relief.  Little kiddos can make or break a big holiday like Christmas and mine definitely made it!  The day after Andy and I discussed how Brennan is a Christmas kid - he was all about every aspect of it, which made it even more special!

We started off our celebration with pictures in front of our tree.  I had to wake Tenley up to get her dressed and boy was she NOT happy about that!  The Princess doesn't like being waken up we learned.  :)  Luckily I was able to get some pictures of her not crying.

This is what we are dealing with where Brennan is concerned - he's hit the 'awkward over smile' stage.  :)

After this little photo shoot we headed off to Christmas Eve mass. We always sit with my parents and sister's family, it's a tradition that we all love.  Following mass we headed out to my parent's for our family Christmas.  This year for supper we made a bunch of snacks and appetizers, it was a huge hit with all of us. Then it was present time!  Tate was so cute, he had to show my dad every gift he opened!

After the presents and stockings were all opened it was time for our annual jammies picture.  My folks give the kids jammies every year for Christmas, then we take a picture of them all together.

The next morning, bright and early, the boys were up.  Tenley woke me at 5:45 to eat, which worked out great since I had to get the roasts in the oven for lunch at 6.  As I was getting those around I heard the boys knocking on the basement door - they knew they couldn't come up without our approval or they would have seen their gifts without us.  I opened the door and had them shut their eyes as they walked back to our bedroom to lay with Andy until Tate woke up.  Finally at 7:15  he was awake and it was time to see what Santa brought.

I love that the boys were all excited to get books from Santa. They also received some from us and my parents.

After Santa presents we had breakfast, cinnamon rolls, then got dressed before opening gifts from Andy and me.  After that it was time to clean up our mess and get the house ready for Andy's family to arrive for his family's Christmas.

For lunch we had roast, carrots, potatoes, gravy, a relish tray, rolls, cherries in jello and deviled eggs.  I made 2 pies for dessert.  Then it was time for presents and stockings!  Tate received a barn from Andy's brother's family. He opened it then got up and walked away. We all thought he was heading off to find something to do but no, he went to get his container of farm animals to put in that barn! We got quite a chuckle over that - he was a man on a mission when he opened that barn up!

Everything was picked up by 3:00. We had our pies then everyone loaded up their cars and headed out.  We left just after 4:30 to go to my Grandma's Christmas for supper.  I always love that get together, everyone's so jolly and happy and it's more relaxed because there aren't presents for everyone, just stockings for the great grandkids, which is nice.  There's always plenty of yummy food and desserts.  Usually about 8:00 we all start picking up the extra tables and chairs she's brought out, we vacuum and make sure everything's picked up and we all head out.  It's not a late night, most people work the next day when it's a weekday, and the kids are all tuckered out anyway.

It was a wonderful Christmas!  Now on to 2016!
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Happy Birthday, Andy!

Today is my husband's 35th birthday!  Today's post is all about him!

This guy - he makes me laugh.  Every single day, he makes me laugh!  No matter how awful my day has been he will always make me feel better because of that ability to tickle a giggle out of me.  This quality about Andy is what drew me to him all those years ago in Biology class and it's what keeps me insanely in love with him today - 19 years later!

Having a newborn and toddler is hard HARD work and Andy recognizes that.  He seems to know just when I need a boost of confidence and has texted me a couple of times telling me how proud he is of me and that he thinks I'm doing a great job with Tate and Tenley.  He has no idea how much that meant to me both times, and it came just when I needed to hear it.

Andy is hands down the BEST dad for our kids.  He loves to play ball with the boys (and they love that he loves it!).  He wrestles in the living room with Tate and lets him jump off (and on) his back when he's trying to relax on the floor.  He snuggles Tenley when she's fussy and can always get her to fall asleep - she's totally smitten with her daddy.  He's always down to change diapers. For about 2 days he kept getting stuck with the poopy diapers so he started saying if your name starts with a T and you have a stinky diaper "I'm your man".  :)  He reads books to Brennan for his homework nightly without any complaint.  He looks over Aiden's homework and reads him his spelling words.

I never have as much fun with anyone else as I do with Andy.  He makes the worst situation bearable just by being there holding my hand.

He always does all the icky, scary, not fun stuff that I don't want to do.  Like cleaning something gross.  Or killing a spider.  Or running into the gas stations for drinks so my lazy butt can stay in the car. :)  He spoils me rotten, and I know it!  Don't worry, I take none of this for granted and tell him often how much I appreciate it all.

I wish there were words to express how much I love this guy!  He's a stud and I want to spend all of my time with him.  More than once a week one of us says "lets run away together".  If we could we totally would! :)

Happy birthday, Andy!  I hope you know how much you mean to all of us.

All my love,

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Christmas This and That

I'm sad to say we've not been the best parents this month as far as making Christmas special goes.  I use Tenley as an excuse quite a bit but really, who wants to be dragging a newborn all over heck in December with all those germs and the cold weather and whatnot?  So, sadly, the boys have been the ones to suffer.

Having said that, we have been able to fit in a few traditional Christmas activities this month.  For instance, a visit to see Santa!  This year Brennan has asked for a Foosball table and chapter books.  Aiden asked for football and baseball cards, books and an X-box (not going to happen, Pal).  Tate's list consisted of tractors and books, and Tenley wants Barbies, Cabbage Patch Dolls and books (or wait, was that my list??).

On the way to seeing Santa Tate fell asleep in the car.  I knew this spelled disaster, but also maybe some funny pictures.  We walked in and saw Santa was with another family so we checked out the train table, the highlight for Tate for sure!  3 minutes later it was our turn to sit with the big guy.  The big boys had no trouble talking to Santa.  Tate, firmly in Daddy's arms, just looked.  Then it was time for the picture.  The big boys stood on either side of Santa, which left a spot next to him in the chair for Tate.  Andy set him up there and I handed Tenley to Santa.  In that short 10 seconds Tate decided there was no way he was staying there next to a stranger and the tears started.  He climbed down and would not go back next to Santa.  I ended up in the picture at this point.

The boys' Religion Class Christmas Program was a hit this year. They do it prior to the church service and it lasts less than 10 minutes. They sing 5 songs, 3 of which we get to sing along with, which is a nice touch and I love because they are traditional Christmas songs.  Silent Night, Away in a Manager and Joy to the World.  They then sang a sweet little song called Happy Birthday, Jesus then finished the program with We Wish You a Merry Christmas. The neat thing about their program is that each class dresses as a different 'character' from the nativity.  Bren's class were angels and Aiden's were shepherds.  As they walked into the church I actually laughed out loud as I saw Aiden, the shepherd!  It was a hoot!!!  It also made him giggle to see me laughing.  So cute and silly and funny!  These pictures are courtesy of my mom, aka the paparazzi.  You should have seen her walking all over the church snapping pictures for me!  Thanks, Mom!

Even though we didn't do too many Christmas activities this month it hasn't dampened the boys' Christmas spirit!  They are very excited for the big day.  Friday after school they came sauntering in to the living room where I was sitting - Aiden was whistling and Bren was kind of walking beside him so I couldn't see that he was carrying a gift.  They stuffed in behind the tree, made all kinds of noise as they tried to sneakily bury it (all the while I was sitting 5 feet from the action, ha ha!), then they waltzed away like they hadn't even been there.  Ha ha, silly boys, totally cracked me up!  Then Bren spilled the beans and told me it was a gift for me and Andy, and he that he thinks I'm really going to like it.  :) :) :)  I can't wait to see what it is!

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Brennan Lost A Tooth

Do you remember how hard it was as a kid to watch your friends lose their first tooth when you hadn't lost yours yet?  Poor Brennan has waited and waited to join the club. So many of his friends lost their first tooth in Kindergarten but not Bren.  We thought he had a loose tooth clear last April but it never fell out.  At his dental appointment in October I asked his dentist about it and she assured me there was nothing to worry about.  She even found he really did have 2 loose teeth at that appointment.

Finally, on Thanksgiving Eve, Brennan lost his very first tooth!  We were at my parent's house for supper and the kids were all playing.  They came running in to the kitchen to announce that the tooth has fallen out!  Somehow while they were crawling around on their knees it just popped out - we think maybe Bren's tongue pushed it out.  They all had to look on the floor for it.  Luckily Aiden had a sharp eye and found the tooth.  It was quite the deal!

I'm so glad I had my camera there that night!

The tooth fairy was very kind and brought him a $2 bill and a new electric toothbrush, which he loves.  Quite the Thanksgiving excitement!

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