Friday, January 30, 2015

Jake's Birthday Celebration

Trying to squeeze Jake's birthday post in here during his actual birthday month....where did January go??

His actual birthday fell on a Thursday, so he went off to school with his "special snacks" to share with the class (he chose cheesesticks off the approved list of school snacks...the times have changed, yes??) and that night, we went to his dinner pick....Eat N Park!  No complaints from me.  I'm pretty sure it was the first time he had been serenaded with the birthday song in a restaurant...he took it a bit better than I do, considering I have a panic attack and end in tears.

We headed home after a yummy dinner to open gifts....


Then the next night, GG, Pappy, Nana and PopPop all joined us for his family party!  I somehow manged to get zero pictures that night :(  But we ordered some food and Jake was spoiled some more...thanks for the gifts, everyone!

Saturday night we decided to carry on our tradition of not cooking (you know this made me happy) and we went to Red Robin for dinner.  Bottomless fries, you are my true love.

entertaining himself with a new sticker book from GG & Pappy

That's some laaaaaaaaaid back chicken finger eating right there.

The following weekend, we went into unknown territory....the very first friend sleepover.

When we first started talking about ideas for Jake's birthday party, he immediately said he wanted a sleepover.  I made him think about it for awhile, reminded him that we could only have a few friends over if we did this (not the 20+ that he's used to at his previous parties) and that he couldn't be disappointed if his friends decided they didn't want to stay all night.  He thought about it for a few days then confirmed that yes, he did want a sleepover. 

We decided to invite 3 friends....2 of them are right in our neighborhood and 1 lives about 2 minutes from us.  Easy escape routes if there was any middle of the night meltdowns :)  Jake requested a football theme and considering we were a week out from the super bowl, this theme was super easy to throw together using supplies from the dollar tree...score!!


The party to be expected when you put 4 boys together, I suppose :)  Lots of crazy running around, not a whole lot of sleep.  But they had fun, and hey...the party was a huge money saver.  Always a bonus. 

Hope you had a great birthday, Jake!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

2014 Reading Recap

image courtesy of

 Here is the full list of books that I read in 2014:

  • "The Rosie Project" (Graeme Simsion)
  • "If I Stay" (Gayle Forman)
  • "Safe With Me" (Amy Hatvany)
  • "Goldfinch" (Donna Tartt)
  • "We Were Liars" (E. Lockhart)
  • "The Tao of Martha" (Jen Lancaster)
  • "The Vacationers" (Emma Straub)
  • "The Island" (Elin Hilderbrandt)
  • "I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends" (Courtney Robertson)
  • "The Honest Toddler" (Bunmi Laditan)
  • "Summerland" (Elin Hilderbrandt)
  • "Happily Ever After" (Trista Sutter)
  • "Me Before You" (JoJo Moyes)
  • "Allegiant" (Veronica Roth)
  • "Insurgent" (Veronica Roth)
  • "Divergent" (Veronica Roth)
  • "Sisterland" (Curtis Sittenfeld)
  • "The Storyteller" (Jodi Picoult)
  • "The Husband's Secret" (Liane Moriarty)
  • "The Interestings" (Meg Wolitzer)
  • "And the Mountains Echoed " (Khaled Hasseini)
  • "The Girl You Left Behind" (JoJo Moyes)
  • "Emily and Einstein" (Linda Francis Lee)
 I would say of the ones listed, my favorites were:


Don't laugh at my last pick, it was one of the most entertaining reads of the year for me!! :)

Player of the Week

Jake was recently selected as the "Player of the Week" for his class; not only did he get to be the teacher's special helper for the week, but he got to make this giant poster about himself and have it displayed at his school!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Happy 7th Birthday, Jake!!

Dear Jake,

7 years old.  1st grade.  How did these things sneak up on me? It seems like this was just yesterday, not 7 years ago!

So much has changed, but you can still make us smile, just like we are in that picture above.  You are funny, witty, smart, and athletic.  While you sometimes get frustrated with school work (especially homework), we know that you are trying your hardest, and it's a great feeling to see the huge smile on your face when you come home with a good grade on a test. 

Your love for skiing has continued into this year, and I know you're excited that there are still a few more months left to enjoy your favorite sport.  You gave basketball a shot earlier this year and didn't love it, but you stuck with it and have already said you want to play baseball again this spring. 

Your favorite shows right now are the new Star Wars cartoon you just discovered along with some of your old standbys, like Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  And you'll sometimes volunteer to watch Paw Patrol with Liam; you like to act like you're doing it for him, but I know you love it too :) 

If given the chance, I'm convinced you'd be outside 24/7 if we let you.  You are happiest when you're running around the yard, or riding your bike, or shooting hoops in the driveway.  If you must be inside, you can usually be found building Lego structures, playing Minecraft, sketching football players and helmets in your new sketchpad, or rearranging your various "collections" (football cards, tiny football helmets, etc)  And football!  Football, football.  We play football, we read books all about football, we watch football.  This has been your new obsession as of late.

For as independent as you have become, there are moments when you will still come curl up in my lap and just want to sit there.  You always want to snuggle in as close as possible if we're watching a movie or reading a book (you especially love to "tuck your feet in", meaning that you like to slide them under my legs to keep them warm....but only if I'm wearing cozy pants, you get very frustrated if I have on jeans!)  And Jake, I hope those moments don't stop anytime soon.  You are go, go, go all day seem to have endless amounts of energy....but when you do pause to snuggle, it makes my day.  I can immediately remember sitting in your glider late at night in your nursery, holding you, enjoying the quiet, and breathing in your baby smell.  Your hair now smells like regular shampoo, but it doesn't matter :)  I still sniff it sometimes anyway, which sometimes causes you to wiggle off my lap and say "Mooooooom!" but I just can't help myself.  I try to remind myself that these moments won't last won't always want me to lay with you for a few minutes before you go to bed.  So even though I always feel like I have a hundred things to do once you guys go to bed, I try to enjoy those few minutes of just laying there with you.  It's sometimes when you turn into the most chatty you've been all day and share things about your day with me. 

Daddy and I are so proud of you, for your effort in school, your progress in sports and most importantly, for the kind heart that you have.  Happy birthday, Jake!!

1 week old baby feet!
2 weeks old
15 months old-passed out cold while eating Easter dinner :)
2 years old
2.5 years old
3.5 years old
4 years old
5 years old
5.5 years old
5.5 years old-and a moment in Jake's life that he still talks about as being one of the best :)  fighting Darth Vader at Disney World!
6.5 years old
allllmost 7 years old :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Hello is my name"

Liam has been learning "The Lord's Prayer" at school. The memorization is going pretty well so far, he just needs to work on a few lines, including this one that makes me smile every time:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hello is my name....

Part of me wants him to continue to say it that way :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Christmas Break 2014 Recap - The Lazy Edition

I still can't figure out why 2 weeks goes by so quickly!!  Christmas break ended up being a nice balance of spending time with friends and family, enjoying all of our new stuff, and being completely and totally lazy.  I definitely spent more time in PJs or sweatpants than I did in real clothes over the course of the 2 week break, and I consider that to be the sign of a good vacation.

The day after Christmas (Friday), the boys spent a huge chunk of time in the morning enjoying their new toys, and I spent a huge chunk of time in this position:

Oh yes.  Those are new slippers. New PJs. New blanket that is like a little slice of heaven covering your body.  Those are my kids in the distant background, playing and not fighting.  That's coffee in my hand.  Basically, this is a picture of pure, mama bliss, my friends.


The boys loved checking out all of their new toys, and it was even warm enough to test out roller blades and roller skates in the driveway that afternoon! In pajamas...obviously.

On Monday, Nana and PopPop headed home and the kids were stuck with just me once again :) I went from knowing nothing about Beyblades (one of the most coveted items on Jake's Santa wish list) to being an expert by the end of the day.  #boymama

We enjoyed some new Wii games, including Ninja Turtles (which I don't really understand how to play, but Jake loves it) and Toy Story Mania (which the whole family loves):

Jake taught me how to play chess....maybe "tried" to teach me is a better way of putting it.


we played a lot of Go Fish:

We read some books....

Watched some movies:

Popcorn and a movie at 10am?  Sure, why not?  it's Christmas break!
The kids spent a lot of time breaking in their new markers and colored pencils:

Gracie did a whole lot of this:

And of course, there was lots of time for snuggles:

My new mug from Anthropologie!!  Thanks, mom!

Liam often asks to "hold hands in the house" <3 comment-3--="">

One night, the kids begged and begged to have a sleepover in Liam's room.  We figured it's break, why not let them try?  They LOVED it.  And actually did it a few more times over break :)

Jake the bed hog

That's it for part can probably see why I titled this recap the lazy edition.  I promise, we really did leave the house over break.  Not much, but we did.  Until next time, Happy New Year!
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