Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflecting on 2011

What a year.
In short, this was a year of milestones as well as many tests of emotional and mental strength for my family.
Good and bad…here are some notable notes from each month of the rollercoaster ride that was 2011.

In January
I started my new job.
I love it. It’s perfect for me, and it has brought me a lot of peace that I’m finally where I believe I belong in my career. There is rarely a dull moment where I work.
In February
My daughter participated in her first school musical, 101 Dalmatians.
She was a dalmatian puppy. She was adorable!
In March
My son went to his very first Sabres game!
And he even got a game-played puck as a souvenir from one of the officials.
In April
I got to meet our brand new little nephew for the very first time.
I love babies. I just don’t want anymore of my own.
In May
My Dad’s leg pain began, leading to seven long weeks of unexplained agony until he finally had emergency bypasses after complete blockages were discovered from his groin to his ankle.
On January 19th, he will have the same surgery on his left leg so that he doesn’t lose it.
He was within one or two days of needing the first one fully amputated.
In June, my baby girl turned 11…AND graduated from Elementary School. Time has flown too, too fast.
In July
The kids and I went to the beach (a rare event for us).And I had a birthday…no photographic proof necessary :)

In August
On our trip to Darien Lake (which was on our sixth wedding anniversary Red heart)
our little guy went on the “big” swings for the very first time. Couldn’t get our daughter to go on it, though. She’s so very cautious about things. Part of me hopes she grows out of that someday, but another part of me hopes she holds onto that characteristic with both hands.

In September
My little girl - my baby girl - who it feels was born just the other day - started Middle School.
This is the only picture I got of her that day, unlike past years on the first day of school.
She was not in a picture-taking mood…and I was a total mess all day long.
Of course, she did just fine.
In October
I discovered the Sock Bun curls trick via Pinterest…seriously, life-changing ;)
Unfortunately, since I got my hair trimmed in November, it’s not so easy to do anymore.
WARNING: Layers, even long layers, make it very hard to do a sock bun.
I so wish I would’ve known that ahead of time.
Sock Bun Sock Bun Curls
In November
Well, in November nothing really all that notable happened.
We just enjoyed the warm fall weather we were treated with this year.
In December
My baby boy turned 8.
And I had yet another realization that I am getting old…
2011 was definitely all jumbled up with good and bad…but then, most years are that way I guess. 
It’s amazing how much life can change, and has changed, in just one year.
I can’t even begin to imagine how 2012 is going to turn out.
And no, I don’t think they Mayans are right - might as well get that out in the open now.
To begin the year, my Dad will face his other leg surgery in three weeks…
The results of that surgery will in many ways set the tone for the rest of the year for us all.
If things go well (which I expect they will), my Dad can get on with his life once he’s home and begin enjoying the retirement that has pretty much been forced upon him by this medical situation.
That’s what we’re all hoping for.
We will just have to wait and see and hope for the best.

From my family to yours…
Here’s hoping it’s the best yet for us all.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wonderful Christmastime

We are exhausted! But what a great Christmas this has been! In fact, according to the kids, this was the “BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!” We have to agree...everyone was together (mostly) and healthy (thankfully!), plus Santa was very good to all of us this year. For all of that, we are so thankful. Christmas Eve dinner at my mother-in-law’s was delicious and memorable, as it always is…
David was excited to see Grandpa John’s new Polar Express train under the tree this year!
Santa even came around to visit the kids in the neighborhood before he set off on his long journey!

My beautiful sister-in-law enjoyed telling Grandma all about her new love…Red heart

It was our sweet little nephew’s FIRST CHRISTMAS!! So sweet and special.
We love him so much!

The cousins Christmas picture was an adventure as always!
We only wish the Arizona cousins had been here too…
Me & my hubby <3
No, that is not his serious smile…but this was the best one of both of us :)

My daughter took the lead on putting out the cookies and milk for Santa this year.
Ok I swear when I took this picture last year she was about half that height.
WTH is happening?!

Santa had come!
My little guy politely woke me up twice to tell me - once at 4 something AM and then again at 6:30…
I gave in the second time. He is such a patient little boy, I love him so much.

Santa even left a tasty treat for our Layla, which she promptly took right to her bed. lol
Ok actually Santa left a LOT of tasty treats for her.
Then she was checking out everyone else’s presents….
Ok, I admit…I was totally jealous of this...

Who’s that?? Ultimate Optimus Prime?! From Mommy & Daddy??
Yeah that’s right…. :-)

We also got them the Happy Nappers they (surprisingly) asked for…

And our living room floor was M.I.A. by the time they were all done.
Christmas night, we had our annual dinner with my side of the family…my Mom always makes her delicious homemade pasta sauce and meatballs, and she buys the amazing Gondola ravioli. I wait all year long for Christmas dinner. My Mom hates pictures of herself…this is the best one I got.

And now there’s a little less than a month left until my Dad’s other leg gets opened up for full bypasses. He’s having trouble relaxing about it, naturally…we are glad he was able to enjoy Christmas and being with his family…and his beloved cat, Sebastian. They are inseparable.

So although it went by all too fast, I hope every one of you out there had a
Red heart

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Pretty Good Week

The week started out with uncertainty – my sister was scheduled to have surgery to remove a large cyst on her ovary on Monday…the surgery went well and she went home the same day. The doctor had suspected endometriosis may also be involved and told her she may lose her ovary – possibly both of them - because of it, but thankfully that was not the case. Instead she got the best news possible – the cyst was easy to remove and her ovaries and uterus look healthy otherwise. She is free to have children! She wasn’t sure she was going to have the option anymore once this surgery was over with, so I’m very happy for her! And for me! lol I want to be an Aunt someday!

My daughter’s school holiday band concert was this week and they really were amazing. I was so proud. Honestly, these kids sound better than my high school band EVER sounded. Their teacher is a little too over-the-edge serious about her job…and yeah it pays off, but it also stresses some of the kids out too much. I think my girl might take a break from band next school year, but ultimately it will be up to her…it’s stressful but at the same time I can tell she’s proud of herself and the progress she’s made – as she should be!

She’s the blurry one in the middle. lol I am so bad with my camera :(

Other than that, my son’s been busy having fun with his new birthday toys and we’ve been trying to figure out where the heck to put the old ones because as of right now, Santa would be horrified at the mess and might give him socks or underwear or something instead of toys…we’ll keep working on it…

Sunday, December 4, 2011

All Partied Out

Well, we had two parties for my little guy this weekend…
The family party Friday night, and the “friend party” yesterday.B-Day cake by Daddy
Our gift to him this year was “The Real Lightning McQueen” The "Real" Lightning McQueenIt was a big hit :)

He invited ten boys from school to his mini-golf party.
They. ALL. came.
I’m telling you, the children are nutso…including my son.
My poor daughter was the only girl at the party…but she held her own!
What was I thinking??I’ve met most of these boys before, but some of them were new to me and they just amazed me with their energy, lol. They all adore my son which is awesome. He’s kind of the class clown, and that’s ok as long as it doesn’t have any negative effects on his grades… It hasn’t, so far…
Our party hostess had incredible patience and was very good at keeping the kids busy, moving from one thing to the next…She didn’t even mind when they dumped their drinks all over the floor.
It was a great party weekend, but I’m SO happy it’s over.
Now we just have to find somewhere to keep all his new stuff.Hopefully in the next few weeks we will be donating lots of old toys and clothes to charities for the holiday season… That’s one huge advantage of my son’s birthday being so close to Christmas.