Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Letter 2013

First, if you found this, presumably you could read the print on the back of the Christmas card (or you found me online).  The printer I used usually does a great job, but I was disappointed with how the cards turned out on the backside.  Since I procrastinated, I didn't have time to do anything but send them out.  I'll have to wait until Monday to call their customer service and let them know quality wasn't quite so controlled.

Here's what the back should have looked like: 

2013 Year in Review:

Our 9th anniversary - April 17th
Little Bean's First Holy Communion - May 5th
Sweet Pea turned 1 - June 6th
Little Bean turned 8 - July 1st
Sweet Baby turned 2 - July 16th
Sweet Baby goes to live with her bio dad - December 20th

Thank you for all the prayers and love this year.  We are so very blessed.

Truly, truly, for every hard moment this year, there have been beautiful, sweet and precious ones to fill us.

Here are some of the highlights from our year:

Little Bean took dance

Sweet Pea learned to crawl

Learning about snow

And loved it!

The original snow fan in our house

Lots of snuggles with Sweet Pea

An Easter Egg Hunt!

In our Easter clothes :)

Little Bean was in a school play

And made her First Holy Communion

With her Papa, a deacon

With her godparents

Papa administered her First Holy Communion

Had a family reunion in June

The whole clan

Sweet Pea fell in love with books

And learned to walk

Little Bean turned 8

We returned to homeschooling

We watched a lot of football games

Little Bean is nearly as tall as me!

We started remodeling our basement

One little bit at a time

Hubby is trying to get Sweet Pea to go on the potty...I'm in no rush :)

Little Bean seems to always have a book in hand

Sweet Pea got enough hair for a little ponytail

We had our share of germs

Sweet Pea wrote a letter to Santa

Little Bean mailing off her letter to Santa

Have a blessed Christmas and New Year!

7 Quicks Takes with a late {Theme Thursday} Dreaming

Yesterday was rough and I didn't blog.  The night ended with me cradling my sobbing 8 y/o who was asking why we couldn't have "just one more Christmas" with Sweet Baby......luckily I had my fit of sobbing Wednesday night, so I was a little more able to deal with hers.  After coming home from the hospital on July 18, 2011 as a newborn, the case will close on Sweet Baby today and she will be in her father's custody.

It is a difficult and heartbreaking time for us, made sweeter by the love of so many around us.

So, in honor of a belated Theme Thursday with Clan Donaldson and making it quick with Conversion Diary, here are 7 dreams I'm grateful for this Christmas:


Hubby's graduation in 2010

This guy.  I'm grateful for him.  When I was young, I knew I wanted to be married and raise a family, I just had no idea that I would be so very blessed to spend my life with a man as caring, thoughtful and selfless as this guy.


This girl.  She made me a mom and she's one of the coolest kids I know.  I've had friends tell me she's an advertisement for having kids, which is probably the best compliment I've ever gotten.


Easter 2010

This house.  Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.  It is filled with love and laughter.


This job.  I work from home, sometimes I work as a trainer in a building, but most of the time, I'm with my kids, working around their schedule.  Sometimes I don't work at all, some times I work up to 30 hours in a week.  I get a little money to fix up our house and lots of time with our kids.  So very very blessed.


This girl.  This is a dream I thought for six years of secondary infertility wouldn't come true.  Her middle name is Hope to remind me that God is bigger than my doubt.


This relationship.  Never has a little sister been more treasured.  In her earliest moments, Little Bean prayed for the safety of Sweet Pea while I was undergoing hormone shots to maintain my new pregnancy/baby's life.


The last 2 years, 5 months and 29 days with this girl.  Sometimes, the dream ends and you have to wake up, but I'll never stop being grateful for this dream.

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes (that are admittedly kind of phoned in because none of us have time to be online right now)     

Thursday, December 12, 2013

{Theme Thursday} Dozen

It's time for Theme Thursday with Cari at Clan Donaldson

So, this has been an interesting day.

Last night, I wasn't feeling well, pretty sure there's a sinus cold coming on, so I went to bed about 7:30.

I was up at 5, and after a couple painkillers, feeling well enough to trudge my way out to the gym.

My car didn't start.  Wouldn't start.  Just made a sound like a buzzer going off.

After I got back from the gym (my husband got a warmed up car out of the deal because I had to take his!), my husband and I tried to get my car to jump start in the *delightful* -16 wind chill.  

Ugh.  This has been happening a couple times a year for the last two years.  Every time I have my car tested, there is no diagnosis.  It works JUST FINE for them.  My car is possessed and I hate it.  Maybe I should use holy water on it instead of calling a tow truck to yank it up on the bed like a repo and send it off for expensive testing.

There's a dozen things I needed to do today.....but instead, this happened:

So, making the best of a day stuck in the house, Little Bean and I made this dozen happen:

She was in charge of the sugar, and I think we're all going to have diabetes if we let her cook much more.

Although, I made her this yesterday, and she hasn't taken it off yet, so I feel there may be some more cooking in her future:

All in all, I think it's a sign I should go back to bed and sleep off this cold to nip it in the bud. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Gift Giving Guide - A Link Up

Linking up with Mary Kate over at Why, yes I AM crazy for some gift giving ideas!

First, please don't show this to my nephews or my daughters.  Okay?  Okay.  We shall proceed.

For the littles, I completely agree with Mary Kate on the fewer, high quality toys, rather than piles of broken garbage in a few months.

Sweet Pea doesn't even know she should be looking forward to these from Catholic Company:
Safety tested for really little ones (0-36 mo)

We bought Sweet Baby a few presents, and they included:

This book made me cry....a. lot.

Styling this Spring :)

They also had matching rain boots and rain coat :)

Little Bean is getting quite a few art supplies for Christmas, including these:

Darice 80-Piece Deluxe Art Set                                      How to Draw 101 Monsters: Easy Step-by-step Drawing (How to draw)

We decided as an extended family to buy for our godchildren, so I have two nephews (and a sister who sometimes reads my blog, so that's going to have to remain a mystery for now!)

My younger nephew is 4.  I'm sure his parents will appreciate this:
Runs on land or in water - who's ready to go swamp riding?

Don't worry, I bought A LOT of batteries to go with it!

My older godson is really into fluffy things.  Very fluffy things.  And warmth.  He always wants to be warm and fluffy, preferably while playing video games or watching tv, I'm sure :)

Warm and fluffy!

This is a Korean blanket.  One of my favorite people in the world is half Korean.  She got me a Korean blanket for Christmas about 15 years ago.  I still love it.  She bought my husband one when we were first married and she bought Little Bean one when she was a baby......Sweet Pea waits patiently =D  Anyway, we're a fan of these soft, supple blankets at our house.

So much so, that this is one of the gifts I am most excited to give this Christmas :)

I also recommend purchasing candy you like for the stockings:

Yep, that says 24 pack - thank you very much!

AAANNNNNND! Something every single person with a little girl should know about:  Halo Heaven.  Seriously.  Go there!  Follow them on twitter, give them your email address, they send out crazy good coupons.  I am in no way affiliated with them, I just heart them so much, they should send me gift cards....but it's so inexpensive, I don't really need them.  You shouldn't even be reading anymore, go get this stuff:

$0.75 Butterfly hair clip - stocking stuffer alert!

Why yes, you did read that right, $4.25 BEFORE any coupon codes!

Leg warmers for $3!

They have girl and doll sizes!

The coupon code running right now is HOLLY30 for 30% off.  There's so much more to see, including bow ties for boys, pet accessories, stuff that fits American Girl sized dolls, and more hair bows than you'd know what to do with - happy shopping!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Why I Love My Husband vol. 2

Linking to More Like Mary, More Like Me for another installment of Why I Love My Husband.

Here's the premise:  The purpose is to rejoice in the special and wonderful things our husbands do for us, to give them a much needed pat on the back, and to brag about how great our "other half" really is. Save the negative stuff for a priest or trusted friend-not a ladies night out.

 Right now I really should be working.  I've been working all's what I look like when I've actually gotten dressed for a web meeting:

Totally wearing yoga pants....

The rest of the time, I'm probably wearing pajamas or yoga pants, my standard issue mom gear.

So, as I've been working over the last few hours, here's what my husband has been up to on his day off (he has a Sunday-Monday weekend).  First, he started with shoveling again, because it snowed since he did it yesterday.  Currently, he's been spending the better part of the morning moving things around the basement that I'm refinishing so I can paint that part of the floor.

I asked him to move the furniture.  Much of it is bulky and heavy and I'm really more the finishing worker than the mule.  He did this quickly and without complaint. 

I was planning on having to spend my entire afternoon scraping the basement floor to prepare it for paint.  Just a few minutes ago, I heard the scrapers start.  I'm not downstairs.  I'm not scraping it, I'm up here taking a break from work to tell you, my husband is awesome.

So, after working all week, shoveling the walk and moving furniture, he's taking a little more of the load off my shoulders.  Because that's just the kind of guy he is.  It wasn't his hare brained scheme to redo the entire basement, even. 

One step closer to a rec room - siblings prepare yourselves for some game nights in the near future!

Soon the rest of the basement will be sealed and painted - next step - sub-floor!