Thursday, January 4, 2018

Cheers to 2 Years

I was kind of on the fence about doing a 2nd birthday party on New Year's Eve, but Rob doesn't get Saturdays off, so a New Year's Eve party we had. I decided to go with a traditional black and gold theme and lots of balloons, because Clark loves balloons, I mean who doesn't, but he's obsessed with them. There was lots of bubbly, the boozy kind and the kid friendly stuff, glittery cake, and massive sandwich trays because I definitely didn't feel the need to cook an entire meal.

It was a fun night with a small group of friends and family. Totally low key, and perfect for my wee man that gets overwhelmed easily. Everyone's favorite part of the evening was the New Years (6:53pm) countdown. We had a little issue with execution, but it was still loads of fun. You can get a little glimpse of it in the video below.

Cake Topper / Kiss Me Kate Studio
All other items crafted by me or purchased at Target

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Year in Review 2017

Facebook reminded me this morning that I shard a 2014 year in review post on this day 3 years ago. It was fun to read that post this morning and look back on things that were highlights each month. I decided it would be fun to go back and do one for 2017. We had a couple major heartbreaks, but overall it was a really good year for us. So much changed for all 4 kids this year, and those are the things I'll remember most. First steps, starting kindergarten, riding bikes with no training wheels, sleeping through the night. Vacations and weekend getaways, or even evening getaways, were also highlights of 2017 for me.

We started the year with a family vacation. It was Scarlett and Clark's first time on a plane, and the first time out of the country for all of us. (I've been to Canada, but that's just northern USA ;)

Clark took his first steps this month.

The babies and I  helped celebrate Valentine's Day at Harrison and Brooke's preschool and got to see Q and U get married.

Scarlett took her first steps this month, and she hasn't stopped since.

I did a bathroom makeover for our downstairs powder room. I also tackled a facelift for our foyer and stairwell.

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a traditional corned beef and cabbage meal.

Scarlett and Clark finally started consistently sleeping through the night!

Brooke Started riding her bike with no training wheels.

My business hosted our 9th Annual Easter Bone Hunt and raised over $5,000 for our local animal shelter.

I hosted a Harry Potter themed baby shower for one of my dearest friends.

Rob and I snuck away for an evening to see John Mayer in Columbus.

Easter was very exciting for all 4 kids this year.

We welcomed a new family member in April when my brother and his wife welcomed their first baby.

Harrison and Brooke turned 5! We celebrated with a super hero themed birthday party.

H and B also graduated from Preschool.

The kids and I spent lots of mornings at the zoo.

Harrison ditched the training wheels on his bike.

Rob and I went on our first kid free vacation. We went to meet my new nephew in Seattle, and made a stop in Denver on our way home.

My parents stayed with the kids while we were gone and got the swings put up on our swing set. The kids have been swinging ever since.

Scarlett and Clark stopped nursing in June just before we left for vacation.

We spent a lot of time at the pool during July.

We celebrated the 4th of July at home this year, a change from our usual. H and B loved running around with their friends that night.

My parents built a new house and moved to the lake in July. My sisters and 1 brother came home to help us christen the new house and spend a week at the lake.

I turned 35!

We had a successful transfer of our last embryo and we're pregnant for the 3rd time.

Harrison and Brooke started kindergarten.

We said goodbye to Tyson after 11.5 years with him.

My brother, SIL, and baby nephew came to spend a long weekend at the lake.

Rob and I went with some friends to another John Mayer concert in Indy.

We found out on the day of our first ultrasound that the baby had no heartbeat and had stopped growing a week earlier.

Rob and I got to take Harrison and Brooke to Cedar Point for the first time.

Lots of trips to farms and pumpkin patches were made this month.

We celebrated Halloween with 2 Power Rangers and Goldie and Bear.

Rob and I went to yet another concert and saw Ben Folds with some friends.

My siblings came home for Thanksgiving this year, so we spent a long weekend at the lake with family.

We witnessed our first old fashioned horse drawn carriage parade. We plan to make it an every year tradition.

Christmastime with the kids was so special this year!

We took Harrison and Brooke to see the new Star Wars movie, something they'd been looking forward to for a long time.

After what seemed like months of painting trim and built ins, our living room has been painted from floor to ceiling. (We're still waiting on our new furniture to arrive)

Scarlett and Clark turned 2! We celebrated with a New Year's Eve birthday party. Cheers to 2 Years!

It's crazy to look at the picture from January and then the one from December and see how much the kids have changed in just a year. Of course the babies have changed, but even Brooke and Harrison look so much different than they did 12 months ago. I'm excited to see what 2018 has in store for us.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas 2017

We had a really great Christmas weekend. Nothing beats Christmastime with little kids. Every little thing is so exciting to them. This year was extra special because we had Rob home with us all day on Christmas Eve. We decided to take advantage of two full days together and do our family presents on Christmas Eve morning. In addition to the kids’ presents from us, they also had quite a few gifts from aunts and uncles that had arrived in the mail. It was a lot, and we didn’t want Scarlett and Clark to be overwhelmed by the excitement of it all. It was great to have that Christmas morning feeling two days in a row. We opened presents, ate breakfast, and then spent the morning lounging around in our PJs watching Home Alone and getting food ready for Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day. It snowed all day on Christmas Eve which made things extra magical. I LOVE having a white Christmas.

That evening we went to Rob’s parents' house to spend Christmas Eve with his family. We did presents, had dinner, and the kids got to play with our niece’s hamster which was the highlight of their evening. I was in charge of let the daycare dogs out that evening, so while I went to work, Rob went home and put the babies to bed. My parents drove down to spend the night, so they hung out with the big kids until I was home. Then we read The Night Before Christmas, put out milk and cookies for Santa along with some treats for the reindeer and then it was off to bed for Harrison and Brooke. They were quick to fall asleep, and then it was on to making the magic happen.

I woke up at 5 am on Christmas morning to go hang out with the dogs again, which was fine because I was so excited I was sleeping terribly anyway. I made it home by 7, but Harrison and Brooke had already been up and 30 minutes. My dad sent me pictures of them sneaking a peek over the balcony before they crawled into bed with their dad. The morning was a happy blur of opening presents, eating candy, coffee cake, and egg casserole, and chugging coffee and mimosas at an equal rate. Santa brings mostly books and clothes in our house, and Scarlett got to the point where she was so tired of opening clothes that if she opened something and saw a white box, she’d throw it to the side and move onto the next present. Once Clark opened his Elmo phone, he didn’t care about anything else.

Home Alone 2, lots of snacking, a visit from Rob’s family, failed nap time, lots of Lego building, and by 4pm it was just Rob and I and the kids. We watched the Steelers game, put the kids to bed by 7:30, and then fell asleep on the couch watching SNL.

It was a great couple of days. All of the decorations came down yesterday and we’re ready to move onto the babies’ second birthday tomorrow! The kids still get to open presents at my parents’ house later in the week, so the Christmas season still lives on, just not inside our house anymore.

I am so grateful for our kids and that we get to experience this season through their eyes. We are beyond blessed. I hope that all of you had a blessed holiday as well, celebrating the birth of our savior. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Holiday Home Tour

The shopping is done, the presents are wrapped, our halls are decked, and we've baked holiday snacks. Now we get to sit back and enjoy it all. We have a visit with Santa, holiday light viewings, and a whole lot of Christmas movie watching planned for this week. I am loving spending my evenings in the living room with the fireplace going and the glow of the Christmas tree, so movie nights currently hold extra special appeal. 

While the babies were sleeping, the big kids were at school, and there wasn't a bag of popcorn dumped all over the floor, I thought I would snap a few too many pictures of our home dressed for the holidays. 


Our Christmas tree has been knocked over twice, two light strands and a tree topper have died on us this year, and there's usually at least 3 ornaments laying on the floor. Baby Jesus is constantly missing from our manger, our fireplace snowmen are crumbling on the inside from being carried around, and the presents under the tree will have to go back on the built ins before the babies wake up unless I want them opened today. All this to say, Scarlett and Clark are loving Christmas and slowly killing all of our decorations. And you know what, I really don't care. We have to buy a new tree for next year, purchase more light strands, and the snowmen Clark and I both love so much may not survive, but that's ok. My little people love it all as much as I do, and we're going to enjoy the heck out of it all for another week, because it's all coming down on the 26th.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gift Guide - 2 Year Olds

Shopping for Scarlett and Clark is so much easier than shopping for Brooke and Harrison. I can buy things I think are cute or things I think they need, as opposed to making sure I get whatever item they saw in a magazine or on the TV that they insist they have to have. As easy as them not having a say makes things, it's somewhat difficult because their brother and sister have EVERYTHING! Harrison and Brooke broke our teepee and lost most of our play makeup, so those are easy replacements. Books and clothes are always staples under our tree, as are art supplies. Scarlett and Clark are currently all about our play kitchen, so the food truck and hot cocoa set seemed like logical additions to their growing food service business.

All of the items listed are still available with guaranteed Christmas delivery if you order before the weekend is over, so get shopping.

Harrison and Brooke have been asking for an elf this year, and I refuse to do Elf on the Shelf, because there is no way I would remember the darn thing every night. Our "elves" will start leaving a few little surprises in their stockings starting this weekend, and there's a strong probability that I'll forget to put something in their stockings at least once. Maybe I should just get them the darn elf they want? I'll save that decision for next year.

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? What about invisible elves that visit in the days or weeks leading up to Christmas?