Wednesday, August 28, 2013

July Recap

I know, I know... I skipped April. My pictures are missing from that time, so I'll have to grab those from my backup disc and post later. In the meantime, here is the latest update for June and July.

This summer, Sean was old enough to go to Summer camp at our church (no more daycare). Let me tell you, this is the most A-M-A-Z-I-N-G camp! Talk about keeping the kids entertained! I was thrilled with all of the activities that they do, as I've always had a little bit of guilt (okay, a lot) about not being able to be home with the kids in the summer. They have always been in daycare - non-stop - since they were born, so I was so happy he got to do fun stuff. They went to movies, did gymnastics at I-Power, went to Skateland, the zoo, had water time, "bring your wheels (bikes" day)... you name it! He came home exhausted almost every day, but always had a blast! They had plenty of down time as well (code for "I get to play my DS!"), and also did a bible lesson every day, of which I love.

Each week, the kids would vote on an award to be given to one kiddo, who demonstrated that particular trait. Imagine my delight, when Sean came home with the "Kindness Award"! To be chosen for that out of 30 kids ages 6-12, I was so proud!!

So to celebrate, we of course had to go to TCBY (which still cracks me up since neither kid of mine actually eats ice cream)!

Later in the month, we traveled over to Peoria, to visit one of my best friend's from college/sorority, along with two other of my dear friends from the sorority. Jodi was a gracious host, and we had such a WONDERFUL visit! It was so nice to get the families/kids together to play. We even managed to get a picture of the four of us girls (me, Jodi, Jen, and Jill)!

A lot of the summer has been spent in the pool, at least for Sean and Nathan (I actually have yet to swim). They would LIVE in the pool if I would let them... especially Sean. Although I'm super impressed (and slightly terrified) with how daring Nathan is getting! Sean loves to swim and go under water without his puddle jumper. He's getting so big... sniff, sniff. Between my parents pool, and my sister's pool, the kids are SO tan!

Sean and Nick having fun

Of course, the day this picture was taken, was just about the end of the world. "Monkey" was accidentally left at aunt Laine's house. When Sean asked me to call them and make sure they had him (and were taking good care of him), Aunt Laine sent this picture to put his mind at ease. Is she not the BEST Aunt ever?!?

"Monkey" is on the left


In preparation for Pre-school, Nathan finally made the trip to the Dentist. And let me tell you, I am SO glad we waited! He was such a superstar, and I was SO proud of him! Doesn't he look SO big here?

One of the BEST parts about this summer, was the boys being old enough to get really excited about new movies coming out. Nathan couldn't wait to see Monsters University, and Sean was super stoked to see Despicable Me 2. Both were cute, but we really love Despicable Me 2 the best. ;-)

The month ended with my birthday... and what a birthday it was! Jamie surprised me, by picking up BOTH boys from camp/daycare, and bringing them in to see me at work. Imagine my surprise when I see two little bald heads coming down the hallway, each holding a rose and a card. Well, actually make the THREE bald heads. Jamie also had a card and a bouquet of roses. :-)

That weekend, one of my very best friends, Kelly, planned a little "kidnapping" event. Jamie, the boys and I, we getting ready to walk in to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch, and the next thing I know, these crazy people started running at me, grabbed me, and threw me in a mini-van (you should have seen the look on poor Nathan's face...). Good thing Jamie knew about it, as I was a little concerned as to why he didn't come try to save me! :-)

Here's what these crazy people REALLY look like:

Happy 4th Birthday Nathan!

Why is it that FOUR seems so much older to me than THREE? I mean, it's only one year. But man, my baby is FOUR. We had a wonderful time celebrating his birthday with several of his friends from school, church, and just family friends. Of course he chose to have it at the indoor playground at our church again, which was fine by me! The kids always enjoy the time there to run and play, and I love that clean up is a breeze! ;-)

My birthday boy chose a Toy Story theme, so I, and two my friends, got to work. First on the agenda was finding the perfect invitation. I knew I couldn't do one with a picture of Nathan, because I'll be darned if that child stays still long enough for me to get a picture of him that doesn't look blurred. Seriously, he never stops moving. Ever. But thanks to Etsy, I found the right one.

Next on my list, was to find the perfect goody bags, which actually ended up being buckets. Of which I failed to photograph. :-( But that's okay... my dear friend, Michelle, really outdid herself with the awesome cupcake display. Her talent never ceases to amaze me! And those I DID remember to take a picture of!

Finally, my long-time friend, Janay, who has done several different shirts for the boys the past several years, created this adorable design for this year. Isn't it wonderful (and isn't he adorable)?

All-in-all, it was a wonderful day celebrating my little guy. And judging by this smile, I think he had fun too.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fast Track to an Update - Part 1

Man, I cannot believe I haven't posted ANYTHING in 2013! As of now, I vow to do better at keeping up with my blog. I actually miss doing it (and hopefully you all miss reading it)! So let's get started!

Sean has wanted to enroll in gymnastics ever since he attended a party at iPower here in Champaign. We had a gift certificate to Little Gym that my parents got for him for Christmas last year, so it seemed now was the perfect time to use it! Sean had 16 weeks of balancing, tumbling, swinging, and flipping, and loved every minute of it! He couldn't wait to get back every week! I had a nice time getting to know some of the other Moms that were there, so it was fun for me too!

Presidents Day 2013... a day that our family will never forget. This is the day we said goodbye to our beloved Seabass after 14 years. We knew that he wasn't going to be with us forever, but I had no idea how hard it would be to lose him. We know the best decision was made, but it still breaks my heart to think that he's not part of our family any more. My heart really broke for Jamie, who got Seabass when he was only 8 weeks old. It was his best friend, his buddy. We miss him every day, and our hearts will always hold a special place, just for him. ♥ Here are beautiful flowers our veterinarian’s office sent us the next day... what an incredible gesture!

The last weekend in February, 70 of my sorority sisters met in Chicago for the weekend. Talk about a WONDERFUL weekend! People came from Georgia, Florida, and one of my besties came from Texas! I was the most excited to see Lynda and Emily (two of my best friends from college), of whom I hadn't seen in over four years! The three of us shared a room, and actually came up the night before the reunion. I can honestly not remember the last time I laughed that hard... it was so good for my heart to be with them! I was excited to see so many of the girls, but those two really made it amazing! Here are several pictures from that weekend of the three of us. As much as I love seeing these, it makes me so incredibly sad, as the fourth member of our group isn't with us. It was actually at her funeral that I saw these two beautiful ladies the last time. I miss Melissa (aka Cherry) every day, and can't wait until that day we are reunited. Miss you sweet girl!! ♥

As a working Mom, I don't often get to do many things with Sean and his class, but in February, the Mom's were invited to a special "Teddy Bear Picnic". Everyone brought in their favorite teddy bear (Moms too!), and we had a fun afternoon with crafts, teddy bear games, and cupcakes! I loved being able to spend that time with Sean in his element. Such a fun afternoon! ☺

The month started off doing one of our absolute FAVORITE things! Heading to St. Louis with our dear friends, Ryan and Jodi, for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament! We missed it last year, so we were SUPER stoked we were able to join them. It is an amazing weekend of basketball, good food, beer, and of course - awesome friends!! Of course SIU never rarely makes it past the Thursday night game, but, there's always next year. The good news about them always doing so poorly... teh SIU shop at the tournament is deeply discounted! LOL

My sweet, sweet friend, Erin, invited me to join her in Bloomington, IL at the Hearts at Home Conference. Let me tell you, this weekend was a game changer for me. I learned so much about myself and my parenting style that I couldn't wait to get home to share what I had learned with my family. I know that there is no such thing as a "perfect Mom", but that doesn't mean I should stop trying! I did learn some key pointers to help me in this role of a Mommy, and I have learned to cut myself a little slack when I fall short. I'm telling you, game changer. I can't WAIT to go back next year!!

The most exciting part of March for our family, was our NEWEST ADDITION! Allow me to introduce Jax Lance. We found Jax at a humane society in Franfort, IN. Someone brought him and his brother in, after finding them abandon in a dumpster. CAN YOU IMAGINE??? Who would do such a thing?? It absolutely infuriates me, but I'll save that for another time. Seriously, this nine pound ball of fluff completely stole our hearts! We know he cannot replace Seabass, but having Jax in our family definitely makes our house feel more like our home. He has been a wonderful puppy (although he's growing up too fast!), so we definitely hit the jackpot with this one. Isn't he the cutest thing EVER?

Of course, nothing compares to our favorite dog... the Nate-dawg. ;-)

This year, we had a little visit from the sneaky little leprechauns on St. Patrick's Day. They were up to no good doing silly things to our house (drawing a green mustache on Daddy when he was "asleep", turning the toliet water green, dumping all of their stuffed animals on their bed, filling up the bathtub with green balloons, etc.), and even sent the boys on a scavenger hunt for the pot of gold when we got home from dinner! There were ten clues, but they found it!! Hopefully those sneaky little fellas come back next year... it was a blast!

Most people would think the end of March should feel like Spring. But we all know in Illinois, anything is fair game when it comes to the weather. We had about eight inches of snow in one day... and we LOVED it! We had hoped we would have a good, big snow... we just didn't expect it to be so late in the year! The boys' school was cancelled, so we spent the day playing outside. They had a BLAST! I got so many great videos from that day - I wish I could put them all on here so you could here the giggles. But these pictures will have to do!

More to come soon for April, May, and June... Stay tuned!!