Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Oh, hey January!!



I think I've come home from work every day this month and said, I'm going to blog tonight...I need to write a blog tonight....and then something comes up and I don't...so now I'm practically a month behind and even contemplated for a short minute, just hanging this whole blog thing up all together.  But, then I remembered how much I love to document our life, even the little mundane things that only really matter to me and my family.  That's really all this little blog of mine is for, right?  So, here is a quick recap of what we've been up to this month so far...


// We celebrated Christmas with Adam's family by having our traditional seafood feast for dinner, going to Spanish mass and celebrating Kings Day at their church.  It was such a special celebration and we devoured more delicious food. 


// We celebrated Christmas with my family the following weekend.  The girls were so happy to be able to spend a few days with their cousins.  We had a great time decorating cookies, playing lots of games (including our traditional game of sardines) and trading gifts.  We also got to see my grandparents who we haven't seen in a long time. 


// Princess Javiera turned ONE on the 14th.  She was spoiled rotten by having Adam home from work all day to play with her.  She was given lots of special treats, some new toys (that Chip destroyed) and a pretty pink striped sweater.




// The girls and I had a fun mama/daughter date with our friends Amy, Macy and Sydney on a random weekend that Adam had to work.  We went out to lunch and then hit up Cherry Berry for dessert.  It's been forever since we've hung out with these guys and it was so much fun to catch up.  Syd and Mac ended up coming back to our house for a sleepover, which was just MADE Alexa and Lillian's day!!



// Our friends Crea & Jason (and their daughter Addie) got into a major/minor car accident near their house...major because their vehicle is nearly totalled and minor because besides some soreness from their seatbelts and the air bags, they came out completely unscathed.  Nevertheless, it was very scary and I couldn't wait to see them and give them a big hug at dinner out at The Ground Round.  The kids were a riot and made little signs asking the waiter to bring them some more popcorn. 



// Our buddy Avery wrestled in a state qualifying tournament on MLK Day.  The girls didn't have school, so Adam was able to be home and take them to the all-day tourny.  Avery did SO well.  Won is 1st and 3rd matches and lost his 2nd and 4th match that would have given him 2nd place into state.  It was hard for me to be at work and only receive text messages for updates, but I was able to be there for his last match, thankfully.  Unfortunately, it didn't end with him making it to state, but he wrestled hard and made us very proud.  Despite the compltely bored and tired faces on the girls, they enjoyed watching him, too - there was just some long breaks between his matches.  Adam wrestled in high school..so, he was totally in his element and even ran into a few of his old coaches.




// Last Friday was crazy hair/outfit day at the girls' school.  They love to go all out for dress-up days and had a fun time putting these little ensambles together.



//  For dance the girls are required to take a certain number of technique classes over the coarse of the season.  Alexa is required to take 6 and Lilli, 3.  Lilli has surpassed her required amount, but Alexa still needed a couple more..so, she took a few over the weekend.  Carly, Alexa, Jillian, Lilli and Elly made a dancer sandwich! ;)



// Oh, and Alexa turned TWENTY overnight.  I don't know how it happened, but my little girl is growing up so fast!!  However, I am loving the fact that she has a cellphone now because of all the cute selfies she sends me.  #loveher




Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Someone Special is ONE Today!!!





Happiest of Birthday's to our little peanut today!!  We can't believe she is ONE already!!  She hasn't been with us quite a year yet, but this is the day she was born and we are all about making her feel as special as she is today.  This little nugget has sure completed our family and we couldn't be more happy that we were brought together (read story here).  We've spoiled her with a new sweater, some squeaky toys and of course her favorite treats.  We love you Princess Javiera!! 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wonderfully Made Decor - Family Celebrations Sign Review {+ Giveaway}






Hooray for my very first blog review of 2015!!!  I am so excited to share with you the amazing Etsy shop, Wonderfully Made Decor.  Not only is it an incredible shop with beautiful pieces of art, but Mystena, the shop owner and designer, is super sweet and fabulous herself.

Mystena's creativity started when she was very young.  Her and her grandma would always sit together and make something.  She would sell her creations to her neighbors that were sweet enough to buy something from her.  Over the years she has dabbled in every hobby you can imagine, card making, scrapbook, quilting and sewing.  But, recently her passion has turned to create home decor with random household items.  She loves getting together with her girlfriends for their craft days and seeing all the wonderful things everyone makes.  She is usually the one talking to much to get anything done. ;)  But, with their inspiration she finds herself up late at night crafting something wonderful.

One of the many unique items that Mystena creates is her printables...


You will find that she offers quite the selection ranging in family/household rules to special dates, inspirational and special pieces for your little ones nursery.

She created this beautiful "special dates" printable for my family with all of our birth dates and of course the day Adam and I began our family. 


This is such a special piece to our family and we hang it proudly in our home.  


Mystena also creates the most beautiful 'family birthday' or 'family celebration' signs with little wooden charms that hang down to represent special day under each month.  


This is one of my most favorite pieces of decor in our home.  It is such a unique piece and we have the ability to add to it whenever we see fit.  Right now we have all our birthdays featured (including the puppies) and mine and Adam's wedding anniversary.



We love the colors and the trendy patterns on the wood charms.  It came fully equipped to hang on the wall, with 30+ charms, all the connecting rings and even the black sharpie.

What a fun way to feature all our special occasions.

I also really love that Mystena creates a similar board for classrooms so that the teacher's can display all the students' birthdays.  If you're looking for the perfect 'teacher appreciation' gift - this is definitely it.  She is also open to any suggestions if you have something in mind.


Wonderfully Made Decor :: Etsy :: Facebook :: Twitter


GIVEAWAY:: Mystena would like to offer one of my lucky readers a special family birthday sign of your own.  Please use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter.  Good luck!




Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2014 {A Year in Review}


JANUARY:
The girls got very acquainted with digital learning days as they had quite a few days off from school due to the Polar Vortex we experienced.  Homework was sent through their iPads and we spent a lot of time at home snuggled in.  We attended the MLK event at King Park in Minneapolis and got to meet Robyne Robinson and Paris Bennett (from American Idol).  I got strep throat.  We made fleece tie blankets for the children's hospital at our church, had a fun dinner party with Lo, Leah and Andrea (and their families) and my brother Ben got engaged to his girlfriend Kelly.




FEBRUARY:
I attended the Twin Cities Mom's Blog Launch Party with some of my favorite bloggers.  The girls and I spread kindness all around Target by placing $5 gift cards in our favorite sections of the store.  We had lots of fun at the girls' annual sock hop at their school and spent lots of time watching the Winter Olympics.  I enjoyed a lovely coffee date with more of my favorite bloggers (turned best friends), we celebrated Valentine's Day and Lilli's 100th day of Kindergarten and had a dinner party with our friends Mike and Karlye.


MARCH:
We welcomed Javier to our family, a sweet 1.5 lb Yorkie.  Adam got a promotion at work and is now the park director at North Commons.  The girls were off for spring break and Alexa got a new bike.  We celebrated St. Patty's day, went to my brother's engagement party at Parade Ice Arena and had some fun cousin/uncle time at the hotel pool.  We watched the movie Frozen at the girls' school with a bunch of friends for family movie night and surprised our friend/neighbor Steve on his 50th birthday.  I also co-hosted the annual MN Blogger's Favorite Things Party.



APRIL:
Lilli brought her broken bone count to 2 when she tripped and fell and landed on a patio block in our back yard.  She was such a trooper and sported the most glamorous pink sparkly cast for a month protecting her broken elbow.  I did a week long series on National Infertility Week on my blog. 
We celebrated Easter in Albert Lea with Adam's family!!






MAY:
We celebrated Cinco de Mayo by having the girls wear their new dresses from their great-aunt Nellie, we spent an entire Saturday getting the girls' dance pictures taken and brought my parents to the May Day Festival/Parade in Minneapolis.  We celebrated Mother's Day and my 32nd Birthday.  Lilli had her Kindergarten program at school, Alexa participated in a Run, Hit and Throw event at Adam's new park and the girls got to meet their new fur-cousin, Jasper - my brother's golden retriever.  We had a Memorial Day picnic with our friends Melissa & Thatcher (Azalea & Ashford) and Becky & Jeromy (Linnea) in Minneapolis and then had our friends Amy and Chad (Sydney & Macy) over for a dinner and a bonfire.  We were introduced to geo-caching and fell in love.


JUNE:
Adam and I chaperoned Lilli's kindergarten class trip to the MN zoo and the girls had their last day of school (3rd grade and Kindergarten).  We helped prepare and serve food at our cousin Brady's high school graduation party.  The girls had their very first big dance recital and walked with their dance studio in the Dew days Parade.  Adam and his bean bag partner Avery took 3rd in the Dew Days bean bag tournament which led to many more tournaments throughout the summer.  Andrea and I celebrated our birthdays together with dinner at The Bonfire.  AND we got the very rare and exciting opportunity to meet President Obama at an event at the Lake Harriet.



JULY:
The girls walked in the 4th of July kiddie parade in Apple Valley.  Our dog Chip turned 5 years old!  I took a road trip with #thecorefour to Iowa/Nebraska to meet up with our friend Katie Mango.  Adam and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.  Some of the MN bloggers got a tour of the new Chic fil A.  We went to the car cruise with our friends Amy and Chad - Alexa got to ride with her friend Macy in her grandparents convertible.  The girls attended VBS at our church.  We got a weekend visit from Uncle Tiny and Aunt Courtney and took them to Minnehaha Falls.  Lilli had her first sleep over at her friend Sydney's.  Adam's Aunt Toni passed away and we had our cousin Giselle visit for a weekend.





AUGUST:
My whole family was able to spend a weekend together at my parents house during their town festival, Flekkefest.  Adam and my brother Tiny won the bean bag tournament and the girls got to ride ponies, watch the parade and have some fun times with their cousins.  Adam had his annual fantasy football draft/guys weekend up in Thief River Falls with all his buddies and the girls and I had our 'girls' weekend.  We had a lunch date with Andrea and Lo, went to the Science Museum, Cherry Berry and then met up with my mom and dad for a trip to the MN Zoo.  My brother Tiny (Danny) got his first teaching job and we celebrated our cousin Cruz turning ONE!  Alexa and Lillian participated in a week long dance intensive week and tried out for dance competition teams at their studio.  They both made it  - Lilli is with the Starlights and Alexa made Amazing Stars - SO exciting!!  Alexa was accepted into the first multi-aged classroom (of 3rd and 4th graders) at her school, we did a lot of school shopping, back to school interviews and open house.







SEPTEMBER:
We spent Labor day weekend on our friends boat on the St. Croix River.  The girls started school - Lilli (1st grade) and Alexa (4th) and dance classes resumed for the season.  Adam and I took our very first trip together and spent 5 days in Las Vegas - celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary and attending a friends wedding.  We also accomplished our goal of finding 50 geocaches.





OCTOBER:
Alexa is officially in the double digits - she turned 10 on Oct 1st and celebrated with 2 birthday parties - one at Cherry Berry and the other with a slumber party at our house.  Lilli turned 7 on the 4th and had some friends over to our house for pizza and an ice-cream buffet.  The girls became brand reps for the company "Love Dance Clothing Company".  We went camping with my family (this was actually the last weekend of September) at Glendalough State Park and the girls had bring a friend to dance week.  Alexa was a zebra for Halloween and Lilli dressed as a tiger.






NOVEMBER:
Lilli was star student of the week in her class!  Adam turned 31 and spent the day just as he wanted to - on the couch watching football.  I hosted my first ever Fall Spectacular vendor show at the Eagan Community Center.  The girls were cast in the Moscow Ballet's The Great Russian Nutcracker and began practicing at their studio.  I celebrated Starbsgiving with Andrea, Kristin and Carolyn.  Adam and I hosted his family at our house for Thanksgiving and we learned that Javier is actually a little GIRL - we changed her name to Princess Javiera!




 DECEMBER:
The girls performed with the Moscow Ballet in the Nutcracker at the Orpheum Theater.  Alexa was a Russian dancer and a party guest and Lilli was a snowflake.  We welcomed Kristin into the 30 club at Toby Keith's Bar & Grill.  Kelly asked me to be her bridesmaid in her and my brother's wedding in June 2015.  Adam and I took the girls to Macy's to visit Santaland and see Santa himself.  We surprised the girls with tickets to KDWB's Jingle Ball - the concert of the year!!  We got to see many of our favorite artists including Demi Lovato, who sang "Let it Go" from the movie Frozen.  
Alexa sang in the children's choir at church on Christmas Eve and we celebrated Christmas with our friends Crea and Jason and their kids Parker and Addie and Joanna and her kids Gavyn and Elly at the movie theater watching Into the Woods.

We rang in the 2015 with sparkling cider at our house with the puppies.  The girls both had sleepover's the night before and were ehausted- Alexa at her friend Rachel's and Lilli had Addie spend the night at our house.  But, we all managed to stay awake until 11pm and watch the ball drop in NY!



2014 was quite an incredible year for our family!! We are blessed with great health and happiness and many memories made with family and friends.  We have high hopes that 2015 will be the same!



Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas 2014


Despite the fact that Christmas came and went so quickly again this year,  we had such a wonderful and relaxing time.

Our typical tradition is to drive around and look at Christmas lights on Christmas eve and then attend midnight mass (at 10:30).  But, this year Alexa sang in the children's choir at the 4:30 mass, so we just switched things around and went to church first and then drove around and looked at lights.


{My pretty girls all matchy matchy}


Alexa was so happy to sing in the teeny tiny children's choir of all girls this year.  She even got to play the triangle, which she was pretty proud of.


She sang and played beautifully!!

We grabbed some snacks afterward and headed out to see the lights.  We had spotted this nativity scene a few nights before, but caught it kind of last minute, so I had Adam drive back so we could get out and get a closer look.  It was so pretty and they had Christmas music playing, too!!  Nothing like a beautiful baby Jesus to get us in the spirit of Christmas.


We made some Christmas cookies when we got home, left some with milk for Santa and then snuggled the ever so excited girls into bed.

Adam and were up much later preparing the house for Christmas morning.  We finished some last minute wrapping, filled the stockings and watched Christmas movies.

Christmas morning came at about 8:30 - hooray for kids who like to sleep in.

Their stockings were downstairs with their presents from Santa and our presents to the girls were upstairs.  Santa brought Lilli an American Girl doll (aka..an Our Generation doll) named Sydney Lee..she's a ballerina, of course, some dance shorts and a snowflake Christmas ornament.
Santa brought Alexa a few beanie boo's, a Christmas ornament and a chrome cast for her bedroom.



The big things from us this year were their dance warm up's and a whole bunch of shop kins.



Javiera was even spoiled with a pretty Christmas dress.  Chip got a toy, too...that he destroyed within about 10 minutes of opening.



After a quick lunch we loaded up our warm blanket's and made our way to the movie theater to see Into the Woods with our friends Crea and Jason and their kids Parker and Addison and Joanna and her kids Gavyn and Elly.


{Lilli & Elly}

{Addie & Alexa}

{Joanna and I}


{Elly, Lilli, Addie, Alexa & Gavyn - - missing Parker}


{Crea, Joanna & I}


After the movie we came home and made our traditional homemade pizza and a delicious salad before we watched a few episodes of Gilmore Girls and then went to bed.  Such a quiet and perfect day.


We have Christmas with Adam's family this coming weekend and then with mine the weekend after...so let the festivities continue into the new year!!!