Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Year In Review

2010 has been a crazy, exciting, amazing year . . .

Garrett, Summer and I went to the circus
My mom and Grandpa came to visit.

Garrett started T-ball and ran a kids race

I got my Nike + and new tennis shoes. I got REALLY got serious about running and started logging my miles. More on this in a sec!

We spent a day at the race track for Koni/Grand Am practice laps.

Garrett learned to ride his bike without training wheels
Garrett played his first T-ball game
The kids and I picked strawberries at the strawberry farm
We had a bit of a life lesson when some of our friends moved away

I ran a "budget" half marathon
Garrett turned 4
Summer, Garrett and I flew to Colorado to see my little brother graduate from high school
We drove to Ohio with 2 kids and 2 dogs for a family reunion

We drove BACK from Ohio with 2 kids and 2 dogs
Garrett had his end-of-season T-ball party
Summer got introduced to boating, something she's STILL getting used to

I read and fell in love with the Twilight series, which also really renewed my love for a good book
Garrett's obsession for listening to audiobooks in the car was in full swing
We went to the Childrens Museum to check out Dino Island

Garrett started preschool

Summer turned 2
Brad and I went ALONE to St. John for an entire blissful week. Still can't thank his folks enough for making that happen!
Brad and I actually got to go diving together for the first time in forever

My mom came for a visit
Halloween was so much fun for Garrett

Summer started potty training and life ground to a halt
Garrett participated in Ocean Kids at UM
Garrett started writing his name
Brad and I ran a budget 5K with friends
We spent Thanksgiving with our "Florida Family"

We spent most of the month working on our Christmas gifts
Brad was away twice for work
Garrett and I watched a full lunar eclipse on the summer solstice
We started a journal for all of our science experiements
Best Christmas Ever!
We celebrated our 8th anniversary
Brad turned 32 and I turned 29

My thoughts for the year:

2010 will always be the year I became a runner. I started running after Summer was born in 2008, but I truely fell in love with it in 2010. I put up 475 miles RUNNING this year since the end of March, when I started counting. It has helped me grow in ways I never imagined (and shrink in so many other ways!)

My son loves school and has learned so much. He's already looking forward to kindergarten. He can not only write his name but will copy anything you give him. He has a love for science and music . . . and pretty much everything. I can not wait to watch these things grow in him in the year to come.

Summer isn't a baby anymore. She started 2010 as as a little person who could walk, but didn't have much to say. Now she's playing constantly with Garrett, talking about anything and everything, and is fully potty trained during the day. She loves to bake, is always asking "What's that?" and is totally a Daddy's girl.

We have lived well this year . . . we have eaten organics for the entire year thanks to ABC. We have financially improved ourselves by not using our credit cards and paying off our debts. We have worked hard and played hard.

On 8 years of marraige:
This was a tough year for us in the marraige department. We butted heads a lot and didn't see eye to eye on a lot of things. I know that my work load this year has been a lot heavier than in the past, and that factored in largely by placing me under more stress. The best things in life are never easy, so we work through our issues and keep going. And even though we've had our fair share of disagreements this year, we're still very much in love. What more can you ask for after 8 years?

I absolutely can not wait for what 2011 has to offer. I can not wait to turn 30 and get on with what are sure to be the funnest years of my life. My 20s have been about the things that define me--becoming a wife, mother, runner. My 30s are going to be about enjoying all of those things to the extreme.

Goodbye 2010, its been a great ride. I'm ready to welcome 2011! And I'll be starting it off at a run!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010

This post is obviously going to be a little picture heavy.

First up - Christmas prep:
Basket for Garrett's teacher on the last day of school
Summer crushing candy canes to make peppermint cake ball pops:

Summer enjoying cake balls:

Finished product, which went to some of our friends :-)

Two days before Christmas, we FINALLY got a Wii (Thanks Grandma Becky!). Brad and I tested it out that night, and Garrett got to give it a try on Christmas Eve. Mario Kart = big hit!
Ginger bread house construction. I wasn't very good at this, and half of the roof fell off. Next time I think I'll use super glue!
But the kids sure had a fabulous time decorating:
Garrett selected goodies for Santa and dictated a letter, then signed his own name.

No wonder Santa is so fat!
After the kids were in bed, Santa's elves delivered the other big goodie:

We put the empty box in the living room and the actual car in the garage. I have a very cute video to upload of Garrett discovering what Santa had left, but I need to find MORE time to upload that.

Christmas morning
Garrett was up way before Summer was. No surprise there.
Happy boy got most of thing things from his Christmas list.

Summer got up and opened her goodies at her own pace. She is in love with the bear she got from my dad (wearing the hat from the Davis clan)

Kisses for "Bear"
Slowly unwrapping her gifts :-)

Giving Potato Head Jr. hugs (Thanks Aunt Stephie!)
Not sure I have taken a picture of the tree in all its glory!
Tea set = HUGE HIT! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa C!
How come my hubby looks handsome on Christmas morning and I look like THIS? Am I just a better photographer, or what? :-)

And then we spent lots of time outside enjoying the car :-)

For dinner, we had my friend Glori and her family over. The men hit it off, the kids had a blast, and the only picture I took was of the dessert tray.
Just a few more, almost done!! Lego fun and dressup.

And that, folks is Christmas 2010 in pictures, and a few sparse words. Absolutely the best Christmas ever.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Swamped . . .

I wish I could say I've had time to download all of the Christmas pictures and write an accurate account of just how absolutely fabulous our weekend was. But I just haven't found it yet. I've been struggling with a very sticky cold that won't leave me alone, work has been crazy and when we I am feeling human and not working my butt off, I pretty much have just hung out with the family. Which is, of course, what the holidays are meant for. There is sooo much that has happened this past week worth writing about -- Christmas, our 8th wedding anniversary, and the fun things the kids have been up to. Hopefully I'll find time to put these last precious moments of 2010 down before 2011 rolls its way in. In the mean time, here's this year's family picture. Its the closest we got to a Christmas picture this year--first time since Garrett was born that we skipped the Christmas cards all together, in an attempt to limit the chaos.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Catching up . . .

I'm so far behind I hardly know where to begin.

Yesterday I had 4 kiddos for a while. Ava stayed for the day, and Baby Luke (the littlest Largent) stayed for only a while. You'd think the older three had never seen a baby before, they were ALL over baby Luke.

Brad's birthday was Wed. Garrett had a BLAST decorating his cake. It was chocolate truffle torte, with M&Ms as Garrett's personal touch. Most horrendously, fatteningly delicious think I've made in just about forever. Death by chocolate :-) Brad got home at 8pm from his business trip, at which point Garrett and I sang happy birthday and Garrett immediately went to bed.
Grandma Becky's 12 days of Christmas started. Give my kids wands, they turn them into swords.
Ah, the Christmas tree decorating

Huge undecorated tree in my living room :-)

Garrett was sooo excited.
The boys putting on the star.

Decorating outside:

Lowes craft #2:

Show me the Mommy - the new do

Craptastic picture because its from the webcam, but I chopped my hair off. Brad doesn't like it, but whatever. I'm turning 29 tomorrow and decided it was time for a change. Now everyone says Summer and I REALLY look alike :-)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Card Photos - Take 1.

I am horrendously behind. AGAIN. Since I last updated, we had Garrett's Christmas program at school, and got the LARGEST TREE available at Lowes for our house. Then proceeded to rearrange our furniture downstairs. Because apparently moving a 10 foot tree into the house wasn't enough of a challenge. I worked most of the weekend, got knocked on my butt by a migraine, went to an awesome birthday party for one of Garrett's besties, finished most of the crafting/wrapping/packing of boxes to go to various family members. And I sooo have not even taken our Christmas pictures yet. Every year, I get the kids and the dogs together for this ONE thing. This is the only time all of my babies are ever in a picture together. Last year it took two (or was it three?) tries to get a winning picture. It is just not that easy to get all four of them to look at the camera and behave. I suppose it would be easier if we just did the kids, but the dogs are such a big part of the family I just can't bear to leave them out.

I've seriously considered not sending cards this year. I usually have my cards printed and out right after Thanksgiving, but have been so far behind this year with all the chaos. Even if I get the pictures done in the next few days, I'm not sure its realistic to print and mail them before hand. I'm considering just sticking it here and on FB and if anyone wants it, I'll send them a file. We'll see though-it just depends how long it takes me to get a decent picture.

I did these this evening, because that's as soon as we got to it. Everyone was relatively cooperative, the lighting just wasn't good. So we'll probably try again in the morning. Enjoy the outtakes!

Oh, side note: I started writing for Our Wicked Ways . . . check out the sidebar for the link. Most of the motivational/fitness/healthy living stuff will be blogged about there. And starting in January, I'll also be writing for 500 miles in 2011 (Not to late to sign up for the challenge!!)

My son, the clown. Too bad Summer wasn't looking at the camera.
This is totally reminiscent of the lip lock G laid on Lolly several years ago during our trip to Orlando. And to think I was just asking for a peck on the cheek--usually I can't even get G to that!!

I love their smiles here. Oh, and can you get a sense of how ENORMOUS my tree is based on these pictures????

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Monday Mayhem . . . On a Thursday.

Yes, it has been that kind of week. I am not even sure why. Potty training is my new excuse for the chaos. It throws a wrench in the already insane schedule we have going on. We're home more, and yet swamped. Oh, and it has been C-O-L-D here. Cold enough for me to want to go into hybernation. This morning it was cold AND rainy, which REALLY made it hard for me to bring myself to get out of the door.

What we've been up to . .

We put up Christmas lights on the outside of the house. Garrett had SO much fun helping Daddy with this. He then spent the rest of his time measuring bricks/beating on them with his little tools. Garrett and Daddy also did a craft at Lowes on Saturday.

We've baked a LOT of goodies. I was so behind on baking that I had a fridge full of veggies, so we've made muffins galore. Garrett took a huge container to share at school, and of course the container came home empty :-)

We've had the neighbors over a lot to play. Garrett is all about his buddy Xander here lately. They've fished together, hung out together after school, etc. etc. etc. My kids went to their house on Monday so I could go in a little early to work. Summer has gotten her play time with Ava too. Its so funny that they both have their little best buds now. Garrett also got to have a picnic at the park with his little friend Alex (who he has told me he is going to marry). Her birthday is Saturday and if you were to ask Garrett, it is going to be THE social event of the season :-)

Work is insane for all. My boss is on a cruise again which means I have to hold down the fort. Brad is traveling for business again next week. This has been a bit annoying for me, since I really wanted to go on our cruise for work this month and also because Brad is going to be gone over his birthday. Garrett has been talking for a MONTH about the cake he wants to make for his daddy, so I'm not sure when we're going to be doing that.

We went to Homestead's first Farmer's Market on Monday. It was small but fabulous. Garrett enjoyed picking out starfruit and tomatoes to devour. Kid loves his starfruit and tomatoes. You would think I would have told him he could buy all the candy in the candy store when I told him he could pick out his OWN tomatoes and fill a pint sized container.

Garrett has teased me a lot about his Christmas program for school, which is tomorrow. I can not WAIT, its going to be so cute!

We've shopped, we've wrapped, we've sewed, and my boxes are started for family. We've played Christmas music, and Garrett and Summer walk around the house singing Jingle Bells, which is pretty hilarious, especially when its Summer.

Eclipse came out on DVD, and of course I had to rent it and watch it once (okay, maybe a few times). Stupid addicting Twilight Saga. I was less annoyed with the parts they left out this time around, but I still was sitting there going over what they ACTUALLY said in the book during the whole movie. Clearly I've read the books way too many times. Or rather, listened to them at work. Whatever. So now I'm back to thinking the big-screen version of Breaking Dawn may not completely suck. I have 11 more months to change my mind on that.

I read an intriguing, yet incredibly disturbing book called "Wintergirls". Its a YA book about a teenager dealing with a self-destructive lifestyle. Like so many things I read (including Twilight), it was just something I pulled off our library's audiobook database. As I said, it was very disturbing and also sad, but a definite page turner. It was interesting to see the battle with food from such a very different perspective. I recommend this one for anyone looking for a good read.

And, last but not least, did I mention it has been cold?? Freezing cold, in my book. I am not sleeping well because its cold. Summer is not sleeping well either because SHE is cold, so I spend half of most nights in room rocking her huddled under blankets (where we both sleep better) while the boys enjoy the beds and the heated blankets. I HAVE been running in the cold. 14ish miles so far this week. But only because its the only thing keeping me sane. I've been exceptionally thankful for the heated seats in the Yukon. Otherwise I may not be able to convince myself to take Garrett to school in the mornings. Oh, and coffee. Coffee has REALLY been my friend this week. I realize I'm a baby and it gets so much colder elsewhere, but I'm just not meant for cold weather. Our house was in the low sixties today. Just not okay, lol. I'm over it.

Holy cow, now that I've written down what our week has been like, its no wonder I'm exhausted and grumpy and completely burnt out. On a daily basis, I have trouble remembering what I've accomplished in the previous days, so writing it all down (and jogging my memory) makes me realize HOW MUCH STUFF we've done this week.

I'll try to update in the AM with video and pictures. Just too tired to bother right now.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Frugal Friday . . . I can't say a single thing

The holidays are such a HARD time to spend reasonably. I think we're doing nice gifts this year on a reasonable budget. I want the kids, and especially Garrett, to see what the spirit of the holidays are truly about--thoughtfulness, family, and giving. We're doing a lot of hand made (either by ourselves or others) gifts this year. And of course, I can't share a DARN THING on here about the fabulous deals or ideas we're using, because pretty much everyone we're doing stuff for reads this blog.

So here's your frugal Friday . . . Don't go crazy in your holiday shopping-just because something costs a lot doesn't mean its from the heart. In addition to gifts that Garrett had on his list, this year I'll be doing some things for him that he has asked for from time to time but I haven't had time to do--like sewing the patches on his Lowes Apron. I suspect that will go over just as well as buying him some expensive toy I will end up donating to Good Will in a year or two. And don't forget about Consignment shops. Buying second hand may have a horrible reputation, but we love doing it here for TWO reasons. Number one is I am cheap, and I hate spending money. Number two is that if something in perfectly good use isn't given away or sold to another person, where does it go? Yes, that's right, the landfill. Along with the box it came in. You get the idea.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Whoops! (Could also be titled random musings)

I realized that in all the potty training chaos, I have completely skipped the obligatory "I can't believe its December, where has the year gone??!!" post. And really, I'm too tired to write one. Potty training, Compton style, is exhausting. There is nothing gradual about it when we decide to potty train. We just don't use diapers anymore during awake periods. In the past 2 days, we haven't even used diapers when we go out. Which means lots of planning, a bit of laundry, and nothing as indulgent as a ride in the jogging stroller so I can run right now. Which means I have to strong arm friends in to Summer-sitting so I can run. AND Brad has been out of town for the past 36 hours for work. I can count on one hand the number of times we've been apart in the eight (yes, it will be EIGHT!) years we've been married . . . and really, every time we do it I'm reminded how much I still love the man, even though he can drive me totally batty sometimes :-)

So, anyway-Potty training. Bought big girl undies today. Summer has the whole potty thing down, now we just need to work on it with clothes on. Summer also got her own marble jar this week-since she's acting so big, its time to start rewarding her for helping out. I think I may find her something smaller so she can get a few prizes to get the idea, but I think Garrett may take serious offense to this so I must think about that a little more before making a decision.

Garrett is obsessed with Super heros. He loves his Iron man and spider-man PJs. Its COLD here and none of his zip-up sweatshirts fit anymore, so I took him to Walmart (mostly to find tiny undies) and let him pick out a sweatshirt. He originally wanted Transformers, but as soon as he found Iron Man he was stoked. Picture of that will be forthcoming.
And, of course, there have been lots of fun creations this week.

I think this is a robot.

And this was a Bat-mobile. No idea where this whole super-hero obsession has come from. He's also obsessed with comics. Go figure.
Last, but not least, Summer trying to write while I was trying to work. This kid loves to write and color. Garrett never could stand to sit for it at this age.
Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday. Hoping for lots of fun, even though I do need to work too. I'm ready to go get the Christmas tree already!