Tuesday, December 29, 2009

GoodBye 2009

As we enter into a new decade, I pause, (or gasp) as I realize how fast time is flying by. As much as I embrace the new and look forward to the future I always love to look back. What a year it has been. Full of ups and downs and twists and turns.

Look at how little that face was! In JANUARY 2009 we started off the New Year with much sickness with Summer and decision to get surgery for her ears. Tubes did the trick and that baby has not had ONE ear infection since! We are so thankful that all went well and she is such a healthy little girl now.

In February Mike and I celebrated our 16th Anniversary together. We took our first trip ever alone (thanks to my wonderful Mom!) to Cancun, Mexico for 3 days. We rode horses in the ocean, got couple massages, and drank and ate ourselves silly.

In Ohio it snowed and iced and in my own world, things slipped a little. I lost what I thought at the time was a best friend, and in has been a year long process to recover. It shook me so that I lost ground with my issues with anxiety and spiraled to a place I haven't been in years. I have fought my way back, and at times it seems still climbing out of that pit, but with my faith and family and friends to fall back on, I know I am strong and can do it.

In March I turned 34 and Summer turn 2. Mike bought his third Pizza Store, and has turned it into a profitable success.

In April Tatum with other High School students slept outside in cardboard boxes to raise homeless awareness,
and we added two new kittens to our brood, and Mike turned 45.
May brought grandma's pool opening up,
and a wedding....
and Matty turned EIGHT!

In June we took a trip downtown to see Dora LIVE!,

Daddy saved the worlds biggest frog,
and we visited our cousin Nat in Cherokee, North Carolina:)
I tried my hand at photography with these shots with my new camera in July.

And we had a family campout at my mom's house for 3 days. (my brother Tim driving a pontoon boat)
and that bled through to the hot days of August.
In September Summer started Dance...
Jake started his 2nd year of football, and Matt started swim team.
Tatum attended her first dance...Homecoming.
Jake turned twelve.
And we said goodbye to summer with a family trip to Myrtle Beach.
My Tatum had her sweet sixteen in October.
And learned to drive!
And Summer took being a cat literally.
November brought chilly weather and a chance for family pictures. Summer took a HUGE step and gave up her pluggy (pacifier ).

And before I could blink it was December...
I can not wait to see what the next year will bring. I have been blessed with a strong and loving mate to walk this life with. I have an incredibly supportive and loving mom who is my rock. I have four amazing kids that exhaust me terribly every day, but enthrall me just the same, and who I love to pieces and am so excited that I get to watch grow up. I have the most wondrous creator who loves me for me, and who I want more than anything to please, and I will strive to do so every day.
Bring on Twenty-Ten!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful

Or Crazy.

Or a little wound up on getting organized.

I get this way every year.

The day after Christmas. I look at all this stuff. The presents. The wrappings. The garbage. The old that needs to be replaced with the new that we have now received. The piles galore. The decorations. (yes I said decorations...they no longer look pretty. They now become my enemy in my goal of staying afloat of this house. they are now seen as my enemy.)

I also have always had this deep rooted sorrow that Christmas is over, and it's almost like a band-aide. Rip it off and it won't hurt as bad.

Everything must get in order!

Today it innocently started with the staircase banister. The flowers, the lights, the garland. Packaged up neatly for next year. The storage closet in the basement was a disaster with us tearing it apart all month for decorations, so I began reorganizing it. Slowly the cards were peeled off the back of the door, and the pictures placed in the albums. Bins were brought up for all the other decor, and soon all that was left was the tree.

The Tree.

I sheepishly asked Mike if he thought it was okay if I went on and took it down today. He of course gasp like a woman, and looked horrified at me. Although this man knows me too well ( I admit there was a year I took the tree down on Christmas night...no lie) He told me how I needed to keep it up a little longer.

So halfway through my basement cleaning out the decor closet/crazy/putting away Christmas presents/sorting through messy house/starting dishwasher for the third time/driving Tatum to the mall I couldn't take it anymore, and took down the tree.


Now don't be hatin.

We all gotta do what get's us through. And we had a glorious December enjoying and anticipating our holiday.

Now it's done.

Nice and neat:)

Okay...I may have some issues.

Thank goodness Christmas only comes once a year:)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Fun

The past few days have been a blur of Christmas fun! On the night before Christmas Eve, Tatum had her two good friends over from school for a gift exchange. They watched movies, opened gifts, made hot cocoa and smoothies, ate a ton of junk, and ran around like goofy nuts.

I have to hand it to her, Tatum and her friends (Thanks Brandy and Cole for being so cool like that) were wonderful with the kids, included Jake (and me!) in the game we played, and were sweet to the little ones. Not many 16 year old can you say that about. They had a great time, although I can say they are too big of kids to be running through the house, wound up on sugar playing hide and seek!~Lol. (I was sckeered a few times at just the bigness and loudness of them, and it was eye opening to what it will be like when Jake and Matthew are teenagers...I yi yi!)
The next day was Christmas Eve and we started off the morning with our NEW family tradition of stockings given to each other. We drew names earlier in the month, and we were suppose to fill that persons stocking. My intent was to draw out the holiday a little more...make the gifts more appreciated being given at a different time than at Christmas morning...and to inspire them to buy and think of each other and to alleviate all the stockings being left up to me! I think it will be a learning experience. I almost cracked under the pressure of this. (we haven't done stockings in YEARS due to the excess work it seemed, and after much complaint from the kids, and this new brilliant idea I got off of someone's blog of the name exchange...I thought I would give it a whirl.)
Here was the problem.
I had to buy for Matt. (me doing the shopping)
Mike had to buy for Summer. (me doing the shopping)
Summer had to buy for Mike. (me doing the shopping)
Matt had to buy for me. (I had to help him)
Jake had to buy for Tatum. (I had to take him/help him)
Tatum had to buy for Jake (she totally did! with her own money. )
If you can see the reoccurring theme up there, I pretty much still did the stockings! And at a couple points in Target I did loose my cool. I think you read the post about me sucking as a mom? Yeah, that day. So, poor Matty is scarred, but sitting back I really think in time we can make this work. Summer will grow. Jake will soon become more independent like Tatum and hopefully follow in her ways. (he DID really help alot with Matt in the store) And Mike intended to shop for his person, it just got away from him this year. It was exciting for each other to watch open up what we got each other (I did have to act a little surprised some with Matty's, Lol...for goodness sake, I AM the one who checked us out of the store:) And the funniest part was how much Summer got into shopping for Mike! I took her to the dollar zone area and let her hold her own carrier basket, and she was QUITE adamant about some of the things she chose for him. His stocking did have a jump rope and snoopy magnets in there:) (But I slipped in a few things he needed too!)
Christmas Eve night was spent at my mom's house with my brother's family. It was fun and the food was great! We spent the evening opening presents, eating, and watching old home movies. My mom and sister in law had made my brother and me each a CD with all the old pictures and 8 mm films put on it from our childhood. Some were even back from when my grandparents were dating! You couldn't of given me a better gift:)
We sat a talked and planned about our summer vacation next year and then we played the new game I had gotten.

It is like charades but fast paced. Very very fun.
Before you know it Christmas morning was here! The morning was spent of course with gifts under the tree, and our French Toast breakfast. Nap for Mom and Dad and Summer:) And then back to assembly of toys! Here are some of the kids favorites...

watch out people! She is mean and pink on the road!!!

brand new skates for Matty
Mike came home from the store the other day with all this catnip and cat treats and cat toys. This is so funny because he is not the cat guy (but secretly becoming one I think!) I asked him what was up with all the stuff and he said "it's Christmas!!"
So now our cat are c.r.a.z.y. with all this crap in their system they are not use to, lol. Here is Abby watching out the window while we play...
here are the older ones with all the "techno stuff"...Geez!

And then we went to our annual Christmas day movie:) We Loved it:)
And me?? I'm busy tightening my butt right now (from all this eatin!) with my new shape-ups!
Too funny! It's like walking on a rolling pin. I think I'm gonna walk right into the kitchen and eat some delicious Christmas Lasagna!
(Mike is cooking up a storm)
So I hope everyone's Christmas was wonderful and spent well with their family. I am so thankful for mine. And I am so thankful for Jesus and the beautiful reason we come together today in the first place. Merry Christmas everyone. And Peace on Earth...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Visit With the Big Guy

(if you have my music turned down low or off you really should turn it on....this is the most awesome Christmas song ever! I found it the other day remade by the Barenaked Ladies)

The time had come to visit the man in Red. The man with the toys. The guy up North.


With all of my kids this has usually turned into an almost dreaded event. I try. They cry. We come home with a picture of them hysterical. I hope they aren't damaged for years to come.

Summer last year proved to follow in her siblings footsteps. (see this post).

So I didn't really have high hopes. But hope I had dammit! I am a mother still you know.

We dressed her in her finest and build her up with lots of "Santa talk".
We waited in line and watched others...

We got pep talks from Grandma....
we shone like a STAR!!
(no smile... but we did whisper to Santa that we wanted a Mermaid:)
and then we got a prize...a coloring book from the Big Guy himself!

On the way home my mom and I heard Summer singing to herself. Her little song was "I Love Santa ".