2007 Wrap Up

Oh, Steph, you come up with the coolest things! I had to copycat. Here are the first sentences from the first post of my blog each month in 2007.

January: Today we are busy taking down Christmas decorations.

February: The US Department of Homeland Security provides information on how your family should establish a plan in the event of an emergency.

March: This was taken on Mother's Day, one month before Mark was born.

April: I am back after my week long break.

May: No more highchair!

June: I don't know what it is about summer, but my mood is enhanced.

July: Sunday on our way home from church we stopped at our local farmer's market.

August: First, let me begin this post by saying everyone deserves a blogging break!

September: Have you ever had a day that seemed like you are in a movie?

October: When I started this blog my life was faced with many challenges.

November: In the past few days many things proved to be true.

December: We had a good time stuffing our faces with more turkey Saturday.

Blessings to all of you in 2008!



This Month.....

The Thing I've Been Working On The Most: Preparing for all the holiday events, which have sadly come to an end. But I may need to make a menu up for our friends New Year's Eve. Think this will happen without an unwanted surprise, Steph? It better!

TV Show Worth Watching: Reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond. Makes me laugh every time.

The Christmas Present I'm Loving: Steve surprised me with an one-of-a-kind artist rendition of a favorite photo of my boys in pointillism. You'll see it as soon as I get it back from being framed. Very special.

My Favorite Blog Entry From This Month: Probably this one. I pray Matt is always this helpful!

Blog I Am Always Visiting: The Berger Buzz (Old high school pals, well, not OLD -- you catch my drift!)

Movie I’ve Seen (in or out of a theater): I finally got around to watching United 93. My emotions ran all over the place. One of the best I've seen in a looooong time.

What I'm Most Looking Forward To Next Month: Our family going to this!

Visit Adventures In Babywearing to share your's too!


Down From A Holiday High

Our Christmas celebrations went without a hitch. We enjoyed a service at church Sunday night. Time with families. Sang carols. ATE ATE & ATE!!! And I am still figuring out where to put all the new stuff given by everyone. So far Mark can't part with this garbage truck given by Nana and Papa H. Matt is hooked on his new Xbox 360 games and is practicing on becoming the next Stacker Champion. And my mind is already jumping to next week when this house will be de-greened and back to normal. But let us not forget throughout the year....


(Taken at our home with Matt's cousins during our 2nd annual PJ party.)


May You Be Blessed...I Know I Am!

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy 2008!


My Yuletide 12

So this meme, uh sorry, HOOPLA is going around asking bloggers to reveal 12 random things about yourself that relates to the Christmas season. Thanks, Sheryl, for tagging me! (And to those that have already done it, I've enjoyed reading yours.)

1. When I was young a Christmas Eve tradition for my family was eating at Pizza Hut before going to nighttime mass. The restaurant was always empty, so we never worried if our laughter or storytelling got a little too loud.

2. There is one holiday song I just do not understand: Dominick the Donkey (The Italian Christmas Donkey) My eyes are rolling just thinking about it. It's darn right obnoxious!

3. On the subject of Christmas music, my two favorites are O, Holy Night and Silent Night.

4. One Christmas season that wasn't so joyful was when my brother, Mike, had to have jaw reconstruction surgery during his college break. It was scheduled a few days before Christmas Day and we weren't sure if they would release him in time to come home and celebrate. His mouth was wired shut and looked like a chipmunk all swollen up -- not to mention he was on a liquid diet for 6 weeks. Christmas just wasn't the same that year.

5. We always celebrate with my side of the family Christmas Eve and Steve's side Christmas Day.

6. My mom started this one: when singing the 12 Days of Christmas we divide the "days" and each person has to act their phrase. Watching my father do "9 Ladies Dancing" one year was priceless!

7. We play poker with nickles and dimes with Steve's family. One year I ended up almost $4 richer. And that won't even pay for a venti coffee now -- Starbucks, you are overpriced!

8. I keep all the presents hidden in our basement until Christmas morning. My kids have no idea was to expect!

9. Every year my boys get new sets of PJs. This year Matt begged for Transformers and thankfully I found them online somewhere (Kohls, Target, Amazon, Walmart and even Penney's were out).

10. My mom made Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus out of glass bottles and paper mache 30+ years ago. To this day someone brings in baby Jesus to his crib of hay while everyone sings "Happy Birthday" to our Savior.

11. One of our pre-lit garland strands that wrap around our porch is out. Our local Walmarts does not have any in stock and Steve hasn't had the time to perform the dreaded task of pulling each light out to find the culprit. You should see how this situation is making me feel. You know, Mrs. Everything-Has-To-Be-Balanced-And-Right!!!!!!!!

12. Every year I pray everyone is healthy so we can celebrate Christmas fully. So far this week I've battled a stomach bug (or possibly food poisoning thanks to McD's Southwest Chicken Salad), which also decided to hit me on the way home from our church's candlelight service Wednesday night. I had to pull over twice to, well, you know, and I'll leave it at that. And Matt has Fifth Disease. His cheeks look rosy red as Santa's!!! As long as it's before the 24th, I'm ok.

Now I tag Sunny Side of the Street. Have a great weekend everyone! I will be staying away from all retail stores if possible.



"Falliss Mighty Ducks"

Matt's interpretation for "Feliz Navidad".


"Please, come in!"

I hope you feel welcome as you view areas of our home that make our family's Christmas season special.

Our living room's tree and family room's mantle with more goodies. Perfect to sit by and read my favorite magazine or plan a holiday party.

Matt makes sure to put up the day's "star" every morning. And what I love to gaze upon is our photo wreath. Can some of you spot yours? It will be full by the 25th and my challenge is to arrange the photos so they all fit.

Visit BooMama for more tours and thanks for stopping by!!


Time To Wipe the Dust Off

I am doing better. My guilt is slowly leaving. I guess all moms go through moments of could of, should of and would of. Time to move on....

Right now Steve and I are battling colds. Mark is over his (I think) and Matt remains healthy as a lark. Let me take this time to say a special thanks to chicken soup, Pad Thai (a favorite spicy dish to clear my sinuses), Shower Soothers and coffee. You are wonderful to me!

I am off to rest and recuperate. Ah, sweet sleep.


I Can't Turn Back the Clock

I am suffering from guilt. For those of you that read I was frantically looking for the mini-DV with Mark's birth on it, rest assure -- it was found!

The other day Mark was interested in seeing home movies. I grabbed our not-so-organized stack of DVs in our computer desk's cabinet and started one up. All I did was open up a can of worms! I ended up playing each one to finally label and put them in a basket. Let me also admit that these videos were from 2003. I know! If any major disaster happened yesterday, I missed it.

To watch Matt turn three and witness my pregnant belly holding Mark was special. But as I also watched it hit me that we had much more of Matt's life than Mark's. I started to feel, well, bad.

Honestly, there are some areas of Mark's first year I would like to forget. Maybe it was this or this. Or quite possibly I was preoccupied with this. Like I posted in My Purpose, this specific time in my life was rough and maybe I just wanted to bury it. But now I am regretting I didn't capture enough. Even though that time seemed low and hopeless, I can still grab certain moments that filled me with happiness and contentment.

So I will work through these feelings and know I can grab our digital video camera and make new memories last.

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas 2005

Please accept my apology in advance if I do not get to your page. I am frantically searching for our mini-DV which has Mark's birth on it. Talk about dealing with major guilt!


Promos A-Go-Go

Last night Steve and I decided to wrap the boys Christmas presents. No TV on, just us. It was a time to talk and share. To be honest, we rarely do this after the kids are in bed. Usually we fall down on a couch and start our DVR. So this was a special treat and one that needs to be done more often then not.

While hard at work chatting and wrapping I commented that majority of the gifts were purchased online. Thanks to companies like Amazon and Target, who offer free shipping, it made our gift buying much easier. I also found other sites like All Aboard Toys and The Toy Hunt which had active promotional coupons that saved me more money than if I drove out to our local Walmart. (HINT: Google the site and "promotional code" before checking out. You are bound to find something!) Oh the feeling when you open your front door and find a box in your PJs -- talk about convenience!

Ok, Mark's breathing treatment is almost done. Yes, he started another cold yesterday and like always I have to be on top of any asthma reaction because of it. Thanks a zillion, Caillou, for making breathing treatments sooooo easy! Do you think we can go two weeks without another illness hitting a member of this family? I sure hope so!



Just arrived back from our weekend in Terre Haute, IN. We had a great time -- thanks Uncle Jeff and Aunt Erin for your hospitality. Matt couldn't ask for anything more but to see you guys on his birthday and swim in a hotel pool!

I have tons of unpacking/laundry to do. Photos to download. Suitcases to store. Schedules to get back on. Dinner to create. Blogs to visit. Christmas cards to address. And most of all, looking forward to a good night's sleep in our own beds. (Please forgive me if I don't get to your blog these next coming days -- thanks.)

I will get started on the above while Mark naps and Matt plays on his new Xbox 360 (birthday/Christmas gift). Also, I leave you with a great snapshot my friend took of Mark and I when we attended our school's Winter Fest a week ago.


First Snow Fall

This morning at 6am I woke up to Matt tapping my side.

"Mom, can I go out and help Dad shovel snow?"

"Sure, if it's ok with him," I replied half awake and also thinking he was half nuts to want to go out that early. Off he went anxious to help out and earn a few dollars, not to mention spending time with Daddy out before Steve headed to work. As for me, I rolled over and slept a little more.

I have never understood my son's sleeping habits. Out of the womb he was an early bird and to this day he still wakes around 6am. Even if we tuck the boys in well past 10pm, Matt is still up at his usual time while Mark catches up on ZZZZ's. Other moms say this will change. I'll believe it when I see it!

But I had to rethink this morning. I was proud that my boy was so willing to help his dad out. Talk about early signs of showing a good work ethic!!! And when he came in to get ready for school he found $3 on the table. Trust me, I looked out the window and witnessed Matt shoveling a quarter of the driveway by himself and then some. JOB WELL DONE, SON!

And to celebrate this first snow fall of the year, I started laundry, lit my favorite holiday candle, listened to Mark belly laugh while tickling his feet and now during Mark's nap I will fold clothes while watching "Scrooge". Oh, and I almost forgot, make a cup of coffee!

Wordless Wednesday: 7 Years

Guess who turns 7 Saturday? We celebrated early with Papas and Nana since our family will be out of town visiting Uncle Jeff and Aunt Erin this weekend. Someone is excited! Like my Lego Brick cake? Turned out pretty well with the help of real Lego bricks hiding the faults. I can bake and cook most items with ease, but decorating cakes makes me nervous to the core.


A Little Bit Country?

At first I was flattered to be compared to the likes of Carrie Underwood, but when Steve said his turned into Calista Flockhart, my flattery turned to skepticism.

Thanks, Steph, or should I say Kelly Clarkson?

Go to Adventures In Babywearing to participate!


More Turkey Sandwiches Anyone?

We had a good time stuffing our faces with more turkey Saturday. It felt good to drag Thanksgiving out a little longer. And my contributions were well accepted and, oh, so good.

Matt sure looks scary, but it's hard to get anything serious outta him when Uncle Jeff is around. A good turkey and all the trimmings does a family good -- as you can see! (And thanks to Matt, who took majority of the snapshots you see here....and SOOOO much more.)

When we left we were surprised with a major ice storm. With the help of a sledgehammer and large ice scraper, Steve managed to get our minivan up our steep driveway. Talk about slick!