Thursday, December 31, 2015

Picture of the Week - 12/31/2015

The last day of 2015!  Wow!

I've got lots of thoughts rumbling around in my head as we get ready to dive into a new year.  I don't know if I have really sorted through all of them just yet.  Right now, I'm feeling a bit like the dogs look in this picture.  

I'm a wee bit bummed that the Holidays are nearly over again for another year.  It's not that they weren't awesome, because they were.  It's more a forced acknowledgement that the number of holiday seasons like this we have left with our crazy little family is limited.  There won't be another one like this one.  And while this is true of EVERY day and EVERY holiday, for some reason it's hitting me a bit harder than usual today. 

Just a little blah about the whole thing. 

I think maybe it's because I've enjoyed the quiet time, the extra snuggles, the family time so much these last few weeks.  I know, in my logical head, that 2016 is going to be a whirlwind.  I know based solely on the number of commitments we have, the responsibilities we have signed up for, the events, activities, travel, work that is coming our way, that the next 12 months will be challenging.  I know that it will fly by.  And I know that I'll be sitting here again next New Year's Eve trying to figure out where the time goes.

Yeah...  it's just a little BLAH.

But that doesn't mean I'm not going to be fired up to tackle all that stuff that I know is barreling it's way toward us.  It's not that I don't want to peek around the corner to see what's next.  I do.  I can't wait.  I know there is fun coming.  I know that there are more family moments.  More laughs.  More learning opportunities.  I know 2016 will be awesome - whatever it brings.  Because we will MAKE it awesome! 

So let's do this.  Let's get out of the post-holiday funk and get on with things! 

Here's to a safe Happy New Year!  Here's to another great year!  Here's to 2016!!

PS - We had a houseful of noisy boys last night for a sleepover.  Any chance of making it to midnight tonight evaporated around 2 AM this morning.  So here's to you hearty souls out there celebrating.  Have a drink for us! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Picture of the Week - 12/17/2015

It's a tradition.  The Santa Hat picture. 

This tradition started by accident - as so many of the best traditions do.  I had a son who loved to wear a Santa hat at every opportunity.  I liked to take pictures.  One thing led to another...  and now...  I can't imagine a Christmas going by without a Santa Hat picture. 

And Christmas is almost here!!!  I'm almost SO excited!!!  Bob and I are both coming out of weeks that absolutely kicked our rears at work.  The kind of weeks that DESERVE a break!  But we are almost there!  Tomorrow is the last day of school for the boys.  Today was my last day IN the office this year.  I have to work off and on over the next 2 weeks, but no more driving to Buckhead until 2016.  Woot Woot!

This time next week we will be halfway through a Christmas Eve showing of Star Wars.  Tickets are pre-purchased and we are super excited.  Then we will get to settle in to wait for a visit from the dude wearing the original Santa Hat. 

This really is the most wonderful time of the year!!!

Happy last minute preparation days!  Try to slow down and enjoy.  This time goes WAY too fast!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Picture of the Week - 12/10/2015

Newsy kind of update today.

First update is about Quinn.  He recently tried out for the percussion group in the band.  He had been interested in percussion from the start, but the band director makes the kids start on a different instrument and try out for percussion.  He made it!  He's so excited!  I'm so excited for him!  He's much more a drum kind of guy than a trumpet kind of guy.  

Spencer participated in his first middle school wrestling duel on Sunday.  It's his first wrestling match in around 4 years.  Maybe 5.  He got his first PIN!  Super proud of him.  He lost some matches too and the team came in 5th.  But it was good for him to get out and learn.  And I am pretty sure that he got more coaching in the 7 hours we were at the duel than he did the entire last YEAR he wrestled.  He says wrestling is way harder than football.  
Beckett continues to thrive at the new school.  So cute!  And such a relief!!!  He's also becoming quiet the little chef.  He insists (literally, there is no saying NO to him) on "helping" in the kitchen.  Holiday baking is quite the experience.  He knows just where to pull his chair over and has gotten quite good at cracking eggs without breaking yolks, measure sugar and flour with a measuring cup (including the bit where you level out the cup), and working my mixer.  The other morning Spence was making eggs and Beck insisted on COOKING his own.  I figured - has to learn sometime...  So he cracked is own eggs, mixed them up to make scrambled, and then cooked them.  He nearly did a fantastic job - right up until the very end when he touched the pan.  He burnt his fingers, fussed for a minute, then ate the whole egg.  LOL  He's pretty funny!

Zane has had a pretty quiet couple of weeks.  He's enjoying his downtime and has been filling up his new Kindle with books to read and/or look at pictures.  He's also ALL about Christmas this year.  He wants everything he sees on commercials.  He seeks out the elf every morning.  He talks about Santa and the events that are coming every day.  He's single handedly getting me into the Christmas spirit.  It's hard not to get excited when his enthusiasm is so infectious!  

Last weekend we had a birthday celebration for my mom.  It was completed by a photo session in front of the restaurant with all members of the party wearing ugly Christmas sweaters - mostly borrowed.  Hilarious!  I can't wait to share the results, but I am not going to be ruining any surprises and these gems will be featured on my parent's holiday cards!  Stay tuned!  

This weekend is Bob's birthday!  I've convinced my parents to watch the boys for a bit on Saturday so we can celebrate.  Any bets on what kind of drunken Target purchases we make?  Cause we normally end up at Target buying random things after a couple of glasses of birthday wine.  :)

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Picture of the Week - 12/3/2015

I have so much I want to write about today.  There are so many things going through my head about the holidays, this time of the year, life with middle school boys, work challenges and work/life balance, the tragedies that have happened in the news recently, my to do list.  There's too much in my head.  It leads to poor sleep.  I know I'd feel better if I got it all out, but I just don't have time.  Sigh...  if only time were unlimited.

Instead of all that stuff I will share with you that Beckett started a new school this week.  This is not a decision that we took lightly - and honestly there's still some worry about how this will all work out.  As many of you may already know, we have been at Goddard for a very long time.  We have been very loyal and we had a great experience there.  We have had at least one child there since January of 2008.  And most of the time there were multiples.  At times there were 4.  Loyal indeed...

A few things happened to Beckett over the last few years that kind of bothered us.  Nothing major.  And if he were our first child to go through the program, we probably wouldn't have even noticed.  But we did notice.  And once you notice stuff, it's hard not to see it all over the place.  This was nothing dangerous or harmful to him.  It largely centered around our feeling that he had a bit of a "bad boy" reputation.  Either that or overly sensitive teachers.  I think it's important to note that if Beck were unhappy or in anyway unsafe, this decision would have been easy and we would have moved on long ago.  It was way more subtle than that.  It was really just more a case of not being 100% comfortable.  

Also the traffic to get to Goddard in the morning is pretty awful.  It requires a left hand turn, during rush hour, out of our neighborhood.  It was taking Bob more than 20 minutes round trip to travel about 3 miles - total.  The new place is a right hand turn and way easier to get to in the morning.  While the traffic situation seems small and petty, it contributed to the decision.

So we turned in our notice way back in October and Beck's last day at Goddard was the Friday before Thanksgiving.  He started at the new school on Monday.  And he's been SO happy this week.  As each day passes and we get through another successful drop off/pick up I breathe a little easier.  As the fear of the change diminishes, I am starting to see the unexpected benefits that this change could (and in some ways already has) given Beck.  

This is HIS school.  He's not following any of his brothers.  He's not compared to anyone.  He's owning it Like a Boss!  He's forging his own way and I think this will ultimately be SO good for his self-confidence.  (Not that his self-confidence needs any help...  that child is fearless.)  The change of scenery has allowed him to get away from whatever preconceptions and reputation he had back at the old place.  

It's been a good week for him.  And I look forward to more good weeks.  I'm so pleased with how warmly we have been welcomed into the new school.  

Here's a picture of the boys' visit to see Santa.  We've seen this Santa couple before.  Aren't they cute?  I was so pleased with the big boys and their willingness to play along.  They each walked up to Santa and told him what they wanted.  They cooperated with a nice little family picture.  They are pretty awesome.  And the little boys...  we are smack dab in the middle of Christmas Magic territory with them.  I'm soaking in every day because it's SO much fun!  I love this time of year with kids.  (Even if it does tend to fill my mind up with too much stuff!)

Have a great week everyone!