Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Jordyn's 4th Surgery

On December 19th, Jordyn had her 2nd surgery of 2016 {4th ever}.  Sending a child back for surgery {& anesthesia} never gets easier!  This time they took her tonsils & adenoids out and put in her 3rd set of tubes.  This set is permanent, so fingers crossed, we won't have to do this again. The surgery went great, unfortunately she did have bleeding while in recovery, so they had to take her back into surgery, however once we left, everything went great.  Well, in full disclosure, the ride home was very eventful, but we all survived and she handled the pain AMAZINGLY!  Literally didn't complain on pain once and was eating almost 100% that night {if we would have let her, she likely would have been eating chicken nuggets that evening-- crazy girl!}  She has her three week follow up on Thursday, so we will know for sure then, but we expect nothing but positive news.  So proud of my brave, strong girl!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

GOALS | January 2017

I know everyone is making goals this time of year, but annual goals don't work well for me because I tend to lose focus, so in 2017 I'm planning to make monthly goals in an effort to be more accountable.

Overall I would like more family dinners, less eating out, more working out, less money spent, more water drank, less time spent worrying, more time praying and reading, less negotiating with my kids, more dreaming with my husband, less time spent scrolling through social media, more laughing and playing with my family, etc.

January's list to push me in the right direction...

Blog about NYC
Go on a date with Adam
Meal plan :: at least Mon - Thurs
Stay out of Target the entire month!
Take the kids on individual dates again!
Organize the closets :: Move shoes outside?
Make 1 photo book :: I have like 30 to do this year!
Go on a family date :: Skiing? Ice Skating? Movie?
Update the kids' travel journals :: MO, TN, NC & SC
Go to the gym 3 times each week :: Consider it a little 'pre-vaca prep'

What are your goals?  I love new suggestions!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 Highlights

Like everyone else, I love taking the time to make a 2016 highlights post.  For myself, if no one else.

2016, wasn't the easiest year, but it was a good year.  We're all healthy {praise be to God!}  Most of all, this year taught me to reprioritize my family.  When work gets demanding, it's easy for me to let it slowly overtake my life.  I've been blessed enough to have a hobby that's turned into a business -- a booming one at that -- but along with that, it's taken more and more time away from my family each year since I've started it.  This year, I finally pulled back from photography business to make my time for my husband and children again.  It's hard to say goodbye to the extra income, but in the end, I know I'll never regret spending the extra time wth my family.  2016 was the year I really started to feel a connection with God, too.  I started going to church because I want to, rather than feeling like I needed to.  I'm praying more and gravitating to those that have a good relationship with God.  I feel more 'centered' than ever.

If I had one goal for 2017 {though I have many} it would be to make more time for my husband.  I've been telling people for years now {honestly since we've had children -- not that I'm blaming this on them} that my poor husband gets the very worst of me.  He get's what's left after the kids, work, photography, the house and everything else.  It's sad, but unfortunately true.  We've been better about sneaking in dates here in there this year, but I want to make it more quality time.  More deep conversations.  More late night chats.  More dreaming big.  More love and less sharing of his {our} less than best side to others.

That got much deeper than I intended, so let's lighten this up a bit...

FAVORITES of 2016...
Movie | The only ones I saw were Sully, Finding Dory, Pete's Dragon, Storks, Zootopia & Bad Moms
Television | This is Us & the Chicago series {PD, Fire, Med}
Music | Chris Stapleton, Brett Eldridge, HOLY, Middle of a Memory, Record Year, House Party
Books | Bread & Wine & The Woman in Cabin 10
Podcasts | The Happy Hour w/ Jamie Ivey & Young House Living Has A Podcast

Okay, the real post...

We moved into our new house and took the kids to play at the Science Center, ice skate at Brenton Skating Plaza, skiing at Seven Oaks, and rock climbing at Climb Iowa.  Adam and I went to our first Drake basketball game.  I also shot stills for a video company--being on set was a first for me!

We celebrated watched the Super Bowl with friends, Valentine's Day, settled into our house, took the kids to the Iowa City Children's Museum with friends, and went bowling as a family.  I went to the Realish Housewives of Waukee and Jordyn took at Art Class at the Des Moines Art Center.  We also traded in our minivan for a Jeep.

Cullyn's room was completed, we went to SkyZone, Cullyn started Tumbling at Triad, and had built-ins installed in our living room.  Adam and I went and saw our favorite Jazz artist, Hamilton Loomis.

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day and Easter, had a picnic in the park, took the kids glow golfing, finished Jordyn's bedroom, went bowling for a birthday party, played with piglets at a farm, celebrated Cullyn's Birthday, went to Turks & Caicos, and cheered for Auntie Ashley as she quit her corporate job and turned her hobby into a full time business.  Jordyn had her 3rd surgery {1st Tympanoplasty}.

We delivered May Day goodies, celebrated Mother's Day with my mom & mother in law and Memorial Day weekend at the lake, spent an evening at Jester Park, and went fishing at the lake.  Adam and I went to a Garth Brooks concert, celebrated Cinco de Mayo, and went to a Kentucky Derby with friends. We also watched our 2nd oldest niece graduated from high school.

We celebrated Uncle Brad's graduation from Dental School, watched Jordyn's first dance recital at Stephen's Auditorium in Ames, took family photos in Iowa City with my family, spent a Friday morning picking strawberries and a Saturday at the Farmer's Market downtown, and Father's Day weekend at the lake.

Was tough, as we said goodbye to Alicia and Brad so they could start their new life in South Carolina.  We spent a quiet, rainy 4th of July at the lake with friends followed another super fun weekend at the lake the following weekend.  We had lots of picnics and a trip to visit my Grandparents and Great Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin.  I took the kids to see Finding Dory at the drive in and Summerfest.  We all danced to Adam's band at the farm. We also hit several Splash Pads and Adam and I went to Guthrie River Ruckus with friends.

We watched the iCubs with friends, had lazy family days painting rocks, making snacks & watching movies, and eating donuts in the park in preparation for school starting.  We went to the Iowa State Fair, the Farmer's Market downtown, and Wilson's Apple Orchard in Iowa City.  I celebrated my 30th Birthday in New York City with my mom and sisters. {I need to blog about this!}  I photographed my final wedding for the year and met my first blog friend.

School started back for both kids, Dance resumed for Jordyn, and we took the kids to Adventureland for their first time.  We ate at the food trucks, took final bike rides for the year, and spent an evening at the Apple Orchard.  We even stopped to splash in the puddles one afternoon and went to the Lake of the Ozarks for the weekend with friends.

The kids tried soccer for the first time, I planned Jordyn's fall party at school, I took the kids to the Luminarium exhibit downtown, Aliya and I took the kids to the Pumpkin Patch, we had a girls' spa night while the guys has a superhero night, Adam and I celebrated 7 years of marriage, and Jordyn turned 5!  We cheered on the Cubs all month long -- until they won the World Series and Adam and I went to an Iowa Football game with friends.  We took a family trip the TN, NC, & SC.  We had our family photos taken at the lake, took the kids trick or treating and trunk or treating for Halloweenbought the kids a trampoline for the backyard, and took at nature walk at Saylorville Lake.

November was supposed to be a quiet month for us, but ended up being a brutally exhausting one because Jordyn got head lice that ended up taking so much time & energy.  Work was also extremely demanding for Adam during this time.  We did celebrate a nice Thanksgiving with Adam's family.

All of us ended up getting the stomach flu in December, which really limited our Christmas activities, but we still managed to do 12 dates of Christmas -- Christmas tree shopping, the Snowflake Express, Breakfast with Santa, Jolly Holiday Lights, Jordyn's Dance Recital, several Christmas Parties {Adam earned another trip}, amazing Christmas' with family, and a New Year's Eve with friends.  Jordyn also had her 4th surgery {3rd set of tubes, tonsils, & adenoids} and is recovering well.

2014 recap

Monday, January 2, 2017

This & That :: 1

Did this:
Celebrated Christmas!
Went on a double date with Adam's sister and husband

Left the kids with my parents for a few days
Tried Plus39 in downtown Des Moines
Took down the Christmas decor and organized the house

Supervised my dad and Adam as they ran electrical & mounted a TV in our room
Put together a storage unit for our room
Rang in the New Year!

Ate Hurts Donuts with my family {thanks sis!}
Watched Sully with Adam and Storks with the kids
Let Cullyn sit with me in church instead of going to kids' church
Lounged around a LOT!

Instagrammed that:

Scheduled this:
W: Our Kids 1|52 
F: A Photo 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Kris Kringle Christmas Tree Farm

After Breakfast with Santa and the Snowflake Express, we stopped at Kris Kringle to get my parents' Christmas Tree.  I'm pretty sure we set a record for shortest time it's ever taken us to pick out a tree!  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

North Pole Party 2016

A week before Christmas, we threw our 2nd Annual North Pole Party for the kids'.  This year, it was in Ankeny, so we ended up having more people.  We invited a few daycare friends, dance friends, and the neighbor girls.  It was a Sunday afternoon which was perfect.  We spent the morning making snacks and preparing for the party.  The day before we got a little snow, so the ground was covered.  Unfortunately, it was just too cold to be outside, so building a snowman was out of the question.  Each of the kids made reindeer food, wrote a letter to Santa, decorated a cookie for the tree, listened to Adam read 'Santa is coming to Iowa' and enjoyed snacks and hot cocoa. It was the perfect afternoon!  Always my favorite holiday party of the season.  :)

Other Good Reads

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