Monday, December 30, 2013


Be prepared, this has the potential to be a long post.  It's not like I go  back and read them, so I am not sure why it's so long. Maybe it's because I like to talk, and this is a way of talking?  Well, I'd better get started.  Pay close attention, there may be a quiz at the end.

Family pictures-another successful year.  My sister did a fabulous job coordinating the color and outfits for everyone. When I say everyone, I mean it!  She picked out everything.  They were our best ones yet.  She is hired to do this every year for us now.  I love getting pictures done because it's  fun time for all of us to get together.  Waiting for the pictures to come from the photographer is like waiting for a huge surprise...and they are so fun when you see them for the first time.  I hate to admit it, but I usually cry when I see them.  Looking back at each years pictures is fun, to see Abby and Kayla as they grow up and I can't wait to do a year-by-year as the pictures continue.

Christmas this year was amazing.  I already wrote a post about it so I won't take too much up on this one.  I am thankful to have a family that gets together and enjoys each other.  Not only did we have our immediate families, but Pete and Fran joined us again  this year. Aunt Michelle, Kirsten, and Gwen came over, too!  From Jason's side of the family we had his sister in law and his mom/step dad.  After Christmas Jared, Pete, Fran and I went to the outlet malls by the casino and I spent some of my gift cards.  I bought a new pair of tennis shoes..those puppies will be worn out before I know it :)

Everyone has a birthday each year (crazy, right? ) and this year was no exception.  I turned the big 3-2.  I didn't have big plans or a crazy party, which is exactly what I like :)  I am pretty sure the students in my class have more fun with my birthday than I do, and it's fun to see.  If it were up to me, I'd stay in bed ALL day on my birthday and sleep...but who am I kidding?  I would do that every day, any day.  My family and friends always make me feel very special on my birthday.

I spent this past year struggling with my stupid 'girl parts'.  I had endometriosis surgery in April or May and have just had a tough time with serious cramps.  It has seemed to get worse, instead of better.  I switched doctors and they started from scratch, with examinations and testing.  Come to find out it's a bit more intense then just the typical endometriosis-it's internal on the muscle wall and can be quite painful.  On top of that, I have PCOS (and let me tell you, taking the glucose tolerance test to find this out is not fun....).  This week I meet to find out what the options are to feel better, because I just feel gross.  I have dreams of being 'gutted' from the inside, and I know it's from the cramping.  Just painful.  Liveable, but not fun!

I was so lucky to go to Wisconsin this summer, thanks to a very generous student and her family.  I went to the shareholder's meeting and spent time with family.  Jared even joined us for a long weekend!  My next trip will be with my mom, for sure.  She has to get back out there and see everyone.  Especially since she has lost a TON of weight and is looking so good!!!  My sister has been running marathons, and I am so proud of her.  I don't get why she loves them so much, but she does.  Chel is hoping that I get addicted to them, too, so we can do them together.  She has talked me into doing a 5K on New Year's will be mostly walking because I am in NO physical shape to run.  But, I promised my sister I would do five 5K's this year and I will keep that promise.  She has even offered to work out with me.

Jared has a horse...named Trigger.  I have helped take care of her a few times and man can she be a biotch.  But she also is super amazing and can be very theraputic.  She doesn't talk back!  Plus, I can brush her hair and she doesn't complain about me pulling on it.  Ha.  It has also been something for Jared and I to bond over, and gives me an excuse to hang out at his house when he is out of town.  Jared is still doing well with his work and is madly in love...with Marley.  Who isn't, though?  She is the most amazing dog.  Raji is pretty close to her, though.  Raji had come so far in the time I have had her.  She is even cuddling a little at night with me.

Abby is in first grade this year.  I LOVE having her read to me.  It's probably the teacher in me, but I just can't get enough of it.  I have been over there a few times and she has gone over her homework with me, or read me a short book.  Abby is thriving in her AR reading, and has taken an interest in cursive writing.  Of course, I have been showing her some cursive letters so she can be the smartest one in her class.  Kayla is in preschool again this year, but will soon be in kindergarten.  I can already tell that she is going to give those teachers a run for their money....not in a bad behavior kind of way, but a challenge to know 'why' and 'where' type thing.  Kayla also has taken her posing for pictures to a whole new level.  Sticking out her hip, tilting her head to the side...we may have a future fashion model on our hands.

This year I took on another job, working for the city of Tempe Special Olympics.  I have loved every second of it and have bragged about the fun I have to everyone and anyone who will listen.  I have become really fond of the athletes, coaches, and parents.  It is an amazing community and I am lucky to be part of it all.

Quiz time....get ready.
1. What grade is Abby in?
2. Jared has a horse named _______.
3. How many 5K's will I do this year?
4. What's my mom's favorite color?

Did you cheat and look back???

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We may be a bit crazy at times, but I wouldn't change any of them for anything.  
We spent today over at Michelle and Jason's house.  We have gone over there for many years, and I just love it.  They have the space to have us all there and it's just really nice to have everyone together.  Jared got there early to start putting up the trampoline Santa brought Abby and Kayla.
Chel worked hard in the kitchen and I got a cute picture of her and my dad.  Kayla, Abby, and Gwen had a good time playing with the boxes while the trampoline was being put together.
Thank goodness for Jared and my mom's handyman abilities and patience. They got it mostly put together, and then we helped with the final stages.  Pete and Fran enjoyed watching the trampoline go up, and Aunt Michelle, Kirsten, and Gwen got there towards the final stages.  
Success!  Just had to move it to the sand area.

I think it's safe to say they LOVE their trampoline.

My major gifts:  A Packers frame with my last name on it.  Trying to decide if it should go in the classroom or in the den at my house?  My mom and dad also got me a Packers chess game. The only downfall is it's against the Vikings...
Raji got a beautiful new necklace.

My sister and Jason made the most memorable gifts for us.  They took all of our old VHS tapes and changed them to DVD's.  I will wait and watch them all when there isn't any company here so I can cry and wipe my tears in private :)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

We are very lucky to have my aunt and uncle join us for Christmas the past few years.  Since my grandpa passed away, we started a tradition of golfing on Christmas Eve.  This year we were at Dobson Ranch Golf Course. (And by "we" I mean them and not me....but Jared, Meg, Pete, and Fran.  I drive the golf cart while they play.) It was a beautiful day, in low 70's.  After we ate at this Cornish restaurant that was delicious!  Here are a few pics of our day:
Fran and Meg.  It was 'boys vs girls'
Can you say amateur pro?  ha.  
Meg treated to Irish Car Bombs.  It was Pete and Fran's first time drinking them.  A nap was needed after the delicious meal and drinks!
All the gifts arrived (thanks to snapfish for delivering the photo books today!!!), gifts are wrapped, and a very full tree.

Looking forward to a beautiful Christmas tomorrow with the whole family.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Family pictures 2013

Have some time? Get ready for picture overload. Thanks to 
Casey at CrazyDaisy Photography 
for another year of fabulous pictures....

This year has been another year full of amazing things with our two favorite.  Abby turned 6 and is in 1st grade.  Kayla is 4 and is preschool, starting kindergarten next year.  I can't believe how fast these little gals have grown.