Monday, January 27, 2014

She's 14!

14 years ago today I was in the hospital.  With a brand new baby. My first.

It was snowing, but NOTHING like it has been here the last few days.

I had a perfect baby girl, my first, who cried the entire night because she wouldn't eat.

Crazy stubborn back then too!  :-)

It's been a wild ride these last 14 years.

She's kept us on our toes.

She's tried every sport under the sun, literally.  Basketball, Volleyball, Softball, Track, and Cheerleading.

I'm glad she's settled on Cheerleading.

She's very good at it.

I'm so proud of her.  She's smart and maintains great grades, she's beautiful, inside and out, and she is a loyal friend. 

She can drive me INSANE with her stubbornness, but in the same breath make me laugh uncontrollably.
She has the quirkiest sense of humor, but she is SO FUNNY when she wants to be.

I lucked out getting a daughter like her. 

Happy Birthday Gracie.  We LOVE you!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What we did on a snow day

I can't remember EVER having this much snow or cold since the kids were little, or since I was little for that matter.

We had another day off school today.  Because of frigid temperatures.

Really stinks since this is the year they only built in one snow day instead of three like usual.
All the schools around closed, thinking of the kids that have to walk to school and be exposed to negative temps.

I do enjoy it, but my paycheck does not.

I was up by 7:25, and I wasn't very happy about it.  Brent had left for work, and I couldn't go back to sleep.

It's not that I couldn't leave the house for snow reasons, but I really didn't want to.

I did get some baking done, because the kids requested something sweet.

Took a trip to the post office to mail some etsy items, and encountered a very beautiful, but VERY FRIGID morning.

Even the snow drifts on the ditch looked cold.
I shoveled out the drive with Evan, and put Rudy in the garage on a pile of blankets because it's cold, and he deserves some warmth.
Hung out with Oreo

and had a mini Friends marathon.
I forgot how FUNNY that show used to be.

I even got our tax stuff for the farm, my etsy shop, and our general tax stuff organized and ready for our tax lady.  (God knew I needed some extra time for this!)

It was a relaxing day, and I'm wondering what will happen tomorrow. 
I really can't handle going to school through the first week of June.  We're already up to the 3rd. 


Warm air, wherever you are, can you send some our way?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Some Adult Time

This past weekend, we sent the kids to church snow camp, and we headed up on the train to Chicago to meet our cousins from Illinois.

We did this for the first time last year when the kids went to snow camp.

It was supposed to be to celebrate our anniversary, which is in Sept.

Last year we had such a good time, we decided to do it again.

So, we packed up the kids and us, had Grandparents shuttle them to and from the church, and we drove ourselves to the airport to catch the train.

Unfortunately the kids didn't get to go tubing in the snow (remember, we had just had a blizzard, and there was a TON of snow) because while we were gone, it started to warm up, and rain came, and then turned to ice, and made it too dangerous.  Bummer for them.

In the meantime, we arrived in Chicago and proceeded to have a great time with our cousins, Brad and Sally.

We went to restaurants that would be too expensive to take the kids to with us, and we went shopping at places that wouldn't interest for the LEGO store where we happened upon this...

Since Ev is such a HUGE Iron Man fan, he was a little jealous.

Our hotel was located right in the heart of downtown...3 blocks from Michigan Ave...and about 3-4 blocks from everything else important.

Bloomingdales was our neighbor...

and so was every quaint little restaurant, grocery store, or 3 story brownstone.  (Made me rekindle memories of when I desperately wanted to live in one of those quaint little brownstones...still kinda do...)

They even had one particular restaurant for the bacon lover...
We didn't go though.  Instead we hit up Webers Grill, P.F. Changs, and a hole in the wall mexican place called Su Casa.

Oh, and we frequented Starbucks quite often.

Our weekend went both fast and slow, and I was a little happy to have my head hit my own pillow when we got home.

We had great weather (in the 40's...a heatwave from the negative temps just earlier in the week), and great company.

Makes me ready to take the kids back for our annual summer foray into the city for a White Sox game.

Hope your weekend was tops too.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

It's called a blizzard around these parts!

So our Christmas vacation from school has been extended 2 extra days due to the blizzard that hit us over the weekend.

We got 16+ inches of snow.  THEN it started blowing around.

In my last post, I alluded to the fact that it was by far the best Christmas Break we've ever had, but it just keeps getting the fact that each day we're home, my paycheck gets a little less.

I remember in the 80's when I was in Elementary School and we were off for a week due to a huge blizzard, but MY kids have never experienced that.  Sad if you think about it.

Now that they are almost 13 and 14, they just don't go out and play in the snow like they used to when they were smaller and it took YEARS to get them dressed up to go out in it.

BUT, yesterday, after literally being snowed in since Sunday, the kids and I went venturing out.

It's also been -15+ below with windchill for the last couple of days, so we were in NO hurry to go out anyway.

Our dog Rudy, has been sleeping in the garage on a pile of blankets for days, with frequent potty breaks outside. 


Much to our delight, the County FINALLY decided to plow out our road yesterday.  They had to take a big payloader in front of the snow truck with a blade to even clear the road.  The snow truck even got stuck for a minute.   No one on the road has been able to leave for days because the wind totally blew the road shut with drifts.

Our neighbor brought over his tractor with a bucket on the front and cleared out our driveway yesterday so we could get a fill up of LP gas for our tank out back.  He piled the snow into BIG mountains in the front and back of our house, so the kids and I went outside to slide down them.

It was a BLAST...but EXHAUSTING to climb up without falling down.

There was a lot of uncontrollable laughing going on.

It sure is pretty to look at, but I'm glad we're finally plowed out.

Hands down, greatest vacation ever...and we never left home.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

It's been utter relaxation

I can't remember a better Christmas Break.


Once all the hustle and bustle and stress of getting ready for the Holidays was over, we've had a great time just hanging out.

Sure, the day after Christmas, we did a crazy thing and went with Brent over to Mishawaka to the mall, and out to eat.  The kids had money to blow after all, and we love FIVE GUYS BURGERS AND FRIES.

It was CRAZY busy, and the traffic was ridiculous, but we still had a fun day.

Brent took off of work alot of the time the kids and I were off from work and school, and we've had a GREAT time watching A LOT of movies, and just hanging out.

Over Christmas we learned how to play Dutch Blitz (card game for those who don't know.)

and we've been having crazy hours long tournaments after supper. 

I've had to ask for breaks since Brent wanted to play it EVERY NIGHT.    He's a little competitive!

We've went to high school basketball games, and out with friends.

I've also tried to do a lot of organizing around the house.  A new year ALWAYS makes me want to clean out the clutter of the past year  years.  Let's be honest.  I have a trunk load of stuff to take to Goodwill once the roads are good enough for me to get out.

I've rearranged some things around the house too now that the Christmas Decorations are tucked away for another year.

I've even caught up on scrapbooking (2 years worth!)

I've been putting it off for a long while, but it felt great to get it finished caught up.
We've had time for Starbucks (on the way to get groceries.)

and wearing new footie pajamas.

We've seen snow (currently in the middle of a storm), and dry grass.

We've hunkered down on the couch...

and LOVED it. 

It will be hard to go back to work/school, but I'm calling this the best break we've had for awhile!

Hope you all have had a great break too!