Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Our 2014

Happy New Year's Eve!!!

This year has flown by...I cannot believe we will wake up tomorrow and it will be 2015!  This year has been a great year for our family.  Probably the biggest moment for our family this year was Harrison graduating from high school.  I still can't believe I have two children out of high school....YIKES!!!!!

So here is just a quick look at a little bit of our 2014 in review!

I am SO SO proud of this kid! 

It rarely snows here in NC, and when it does it is usually just a dusting.  Well in February we got real snow, like 6 inches of fluffy fun snow to play in.  The kids were so pumped...schools closed for 4 days, and we got to play in the snow, sled, build snowmen, the works!  It really was great, and the great thing about living in the South, when it does snow, it leaves pretty quick, so it is a win win.

This girl was ready to play in some snow!!
Olivia lost some teeth, this year...\
I love that toothless grin!!!!!
Harrison looking super handsome for Senior Prom.

We spent lots of our summer days at the kiddos LOVE to swim!
We took a super fun trip to the mountains...they LOVED the hot tub!
I love these two so much...we had a blast on a mini vacation in Myrtle Beach
Jack won top prize in a school fundraiser and won a trip to Sports Connection in a limo...pretty cool for a 6th grader!!!!
We spent every other weekend from March until June at the baseball field watching AJ do his my guy!!
These two kicked some serious butt in football this year, and proudly sported their pink in honor of breast cancer awareness and my amazing Aunt Marlene! 
We celebrated my adorable niece London turning 1!
We started another school year...7th, 5th and 1st....WAH...when did they all get so big???
The kids ate their fair share of s'mores
My hubby became a grandpa for the second time...I think he is the best looking grandpa around!!
We trick-or-treated as a coach, Elsa, and a scary man all dressed in black
After months of hard work, my blog got up and running....thank you to my sweet friend Andrea !
These 3....I just love them so much

This girl!!!

I captured lots of sweet moments between these two!

We spent time with cousins

We took silly selfies!
Yuck....I turned 40 this year!!!
We had serious fun making crazy costumes out of boxes
We added this sweet kitty to our family!
I enjoyed every single second with this man!!
For the most part 2014 was truly fabulous for my family.  We had lots of laughs, made lots of memories and it was pretty much perfect.  However, back in April, my grandfather, who had just turned 95, passed away, we all knew it was coming, but it was still very hard.  My grandparents were truly two of the absolute best people ever put on this earth.  They lived an amazing life, had 3 children, 8 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren....truly amazing.  Last year I was fortunate enough to travel back home and visit with my grandparents....
This picture means everything to with my grandparents, and all my children...truly amazing!!
After my grandfather passed away, we were all concerned about my grandmother, she had spent the last few years, taking care of him, as his health declined, she was an amazing caretaker, mind you she was 89 years old, and took the absolute best care of my grandfather.  I talked to my grandmother often after my grandfather passed away, and even though she missed him terribly, she really seemed to be ok.  She turned 90 in July, and my family gave her a birthday party...even at 90..this lady loved a party!!!
Seriously...does this woman not look AMAZING!!!
And then on August 20th, I received an early morning phone call from my mother, saying that my grandmother passed away....I mean I couldn't even believe could that be...she was fine, healthy, this just couldn't be true!!!  Four months later, I still cannot believe she is grandmother was truly one of a kind...I miss her every single day.  As sad as I am that she is no longer with us, I truly believe she is where she is supposed to be....she was married to my grandfather for 68 years, and I truly believe she died from a broken heart, she just couldn't bear to be here on this Earth without gives me great comfort knowing they are both together again, watching down over all of us! 
I have always considered myself life isn't perfect or glamorous, but for me it works...I have been fortunate to be surrounded by amazing people all throughout my life.  I wake up each and every day and the first thing I do is thank God for all that I have, I take nothing for granted and appreciate everything and everyone in my life.  So as we get ready to start a new year...I am excited and grateful to be here to start another year, another year of making memories with my family.  I hope you all have the best year ever!!!!!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

No Resolution New Year

Happy Tuesday Girls!  

It is hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of 2014!!!

We are ready for 2015!!!!

Each year, I realize more and more how quickly time does truly pass.  I am always sad to see the holidays end, however I really love the fresh start and clean slate of a new year!  

For years, I would always make new years resolutions, the basic, generic, resolutions that most of us make, lose weight, eat healthy, go to the gym, save money...blah blah blah!  And usually by January 16 I have pretty much fallen off the wagon!!

I saw this and just laughed...yup that was pretty much me!!!!

I realized for me, making a New Year's Resolution just never works, my intentions are always good January 1, but I just can't do it.  This year however I am not making one of those "generic" resolutions, yes I need to lose a few pounds, yes I need to not drink so much Pepsi, yes I need to eat better, yes I need to save more money...and hopefully I will be able to do all those things!  But, for 2015 I have decided to write down at the start of each month, small goals to try and achieve, that I know will make a BIG impact on my life!  

I really noticed last year (with some friendly reminders from my husband), that I was spending way too much time "plugged in".  I was constantly on my phone checking emails, checking Facebook, checking Instagram, etc, and not focusing enough of my time on my family.  It is so very easy to get caught up in the social media world, feeling the "need" to know what every single person is doing at that exact moment.  Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE social media, and all the wonderful people that it has brought into my life, but I can never ever allow it to take precedence over my own life and family.  I definitely feel like there may have been some little moments over the past year that I missed, simply because I was too busy doing something on my iPhone!  My husband is pretty fantastic, and we rarely ever argue, however his absolute biggest pet peeve is the amount of time that I spend on my phone, it really aggrevates him.  We have discussed it like a gazillion times, and I have always said I would put away the phone at night, and well, I never do.  And then over the Christmas holiday I thought to myself, how selfish of me to spend all this time on my phone or iPad, my husband does so much for me, and asks for so little in return, just for us to spend as much time together as we can, and I can't even give him that!!!  Well, once I had that realization I just knew something had to change, how unfair to him, and my children as well.  So going forward I am going to make a conscious effort to really not use my phone after dinner! 

(not sure why the picture quality is so awful)
- turn off my phone after dinner
- wake up 30 minutes earlier each day
-go to bed each night with Mark
-play at least one game a week with the little kids
Turning off my phone will allow me to really focus on my family!  Trying to wake up a little earlier in the mornings will hopefully help make each day start a bit smoother, so I don't start the day feeling rushed!  Going up to bed each night with Mark, this is very important to him, so it is important to me.  This will give us some peaceful time to chat or watch some TV, just the two of us!  Playing at least one game a week with the littles, this may sound so silly, but with 5 kids, and a very busy, crazy life, I often feel like I don't give them all enough one-on-one time, so I am hoping this will let them know, they yes even though our lives are super crazy busy, I am never too busy to spend a little alone time with each of them!!

So there you have it, my list of my January Goals, they are small little things, that I know are attainable, that will make a BIG impact on my life.  I am definitely not perfect, and I may slip up along the way, but I am really hoping that at each month's end, I will be able to cross each goal off my list as "completed", and hopefully these new things will become routine over time in my day to day life. 
So how about you make resolutions, do you set goals for yourself?  I would love to hear what others do to start off a new year!!!
Thanks so much for reading today!  Have the BEST day!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas and Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Monday Ladies!!!

Hope you all had a great weekend and a wonderful holiday.  It is hard to believe that Christmas is over!  This year has flown by and in just a few short days we will be welcoming the new year.  This family is READY for 2015! 

Every year for Christmas, my ex-husband comes into town to celebrate with us, and he usually stays with us at our house.  This year, he brought with him his girlfriend and her two daughters, so they stayed in a hotel, but were with us pretty much at all times, except during sleeping hours!  I was a bit nervous going into it this year, how would it be adding an entire new family into this mix, how would Christmas morning go, lots of people, lots of presents, lots of commotion!  Well, it all actually went pretty well.  On Christmas Eve, we ate, played, laughed and watched some Christmas movies.

Olivia and Kami playing on someone's iPhone. (this is the ONLY picture I took Christmas Eve)
After all the fun they headed back to their hotel, I got my kiddos into bed, and then we got ready for Santa to arrive!

I am sad and embarrassed to say that I did not take a single picture of my kiddos Christmas morning opening any of their gifts, like not one.  I was so caught up in the excitement of it all with them that I never even thought to grab my phone and snap some pics.  Epic mom fail...I know!!!!!
I did take this picture moments after Santa's arrival Christmas Eve.
And this picture of Olivia by her brand new bike, but seriously, that was it.
I love this boy
 Olivia was less than thrilled to have to leave the house Christmas night...she was tired and just wanted to stay home!!!
On Friday, we all slept in, which was super nice...we all needed some rest!  Kenny came that morning and took all the kiddos out for a few hours!   It was a much needed break for my hubby and I, we did a little shopping, made a few returns, and then had a lunch date...awesome day!  Friday night we grilled out and just hung out, watching some college football, playing some games, low key perfect night.  Their dad left to go back home that night, so we all said our goodbyes and off they went!
Saturday morning, we woke up and headed out with the two little boys for some more shopping.  They are super fun to hang out with, they make us laugh!!!!
First stop...the Golf store...the boys LOVED it here!
Getting in some "free" practice
Lunch at Steak 'N hubby building the paper car!
For $1, Jack will eat just about anything..he said this pepper wasn't too bad!
AJ...well...just being AJ!!!
After lunch we headed to get a new computer was running SO slow so my hubby got me a brand new one...and I am one happy girl!  After a day of running around, we headed home, picked up a bit, and ate some leftover PF Changs for dinner...FABULOUS!!!!! 
Sunday was a rainy day here, and it was the perfect day to hang out in our PJ's all day and just watch some football!  After a very busy week of last minute shopping, and the craziness of Christmas, it was so nice to just relax and not have to do anything!  We are a HUGE football loving family over here, so we really enjoy just sitting all together watching all the games! 
Olivia was the only one who had any "plans" on Sunday, she went with two of her BFF's to Build-A-Bear, she was super excited to spend some of her Christmas money!
She was thrilled with her new Hello Kitty!!
 I am so glad my kiddos have another whole week off from school, I just wish my hubby could be home hanging out with us too!!!
I hope you all have the BEST Monday!!!!