Saturday, January 1, 2011

Top 10 of 2010

I was hoping to have this post up before we rang in the new year, but alas, it's a little late. Story of my life. Deal. I have compiled 10 of our favorite events from this year into a top ten list. They are basically in the order in which they occured, and not at all in order of importance. Enjoy!

1. Bathroom Remodel- This one was a long time coming! Since we've lived in this house (6 years) I've hated our bathroom. A lot of things in this house need remodeled, fixed up, replaced, etc- but that bathroom was the number one thing that I've wanted to change, and in January 2010, WE DID IT! I absolutely adore everything about my new bathroom, and it was totally worth all of the effort that we put into it!

2. Nolan- May 17, 2010, we welcomed our first nephew into the world! This little guy can light up a room with his smile and charming personality. Matthew was honored to be named as his Godfather in October. We're so excited to watch him grow and change each time that we get to see him!

3. Florida Vacation- In June we were able to take a fantastic trip down to Florida with several of the people that we love the most! We celebrated our anniversary, Sara and Todd's last trip as a couple, I was able to reunite with an old friend, and meet up with a close one! We were blessed to be able to have my mom and dad accompany us and help with the boys. We had the best of both worlds getting to spend time with our boys and my parents, and also being able to go out with our best friends sans kiddos! I couldn't have asked for a better trip!

4. Five year anniversary- This is one of my favorite events from this year. Celebrating 5 years of marriage to the man that I adore? What could be better than that? So much has changed since we said, "I Do." Yet, we're still the same two young kids that fell in love 9 years ago in so many ways. I wake up every single day, thankful to have him by my side. He is the best friend I've ever had, the best husband any woman could ever ask for, and the most amazing father to our two wonderful boys! I can't wait to celebrate all of the anniversaries to come with him!

5. KaeLynn- When Michelle first told me that she was expecting a baby, I was shocked. It was a lot for me to digest at first, but it wasn't long before I was falling in love with that little peanut. By the time that she arrived on July 29, 2010, I was head over heels in love with her! This girl made my Little Sister a mommy! She's such a sweet, precious little thing- and it's such an amazing thing to watch my little sister be such an awesome mama!

6. Cooper- I knew this little guy was in the works before his mama would even admit it to me! He made his debut on September 13, 2010, and he is just perfect. I'm so thankful that Jodi and Brett live so close and that I'm able to see this little guy pretty often. He looks a lot like my two boys did, so it's fun to watch him grow and change. I can't wait to watch him play with my boys as he grows! Hopefully they don't corrupt him too much :)

7. Allie- This little princess?? Well, I pretty much adore her! She's the daughter of my best friends, and everything you'd expect the child of two awesome people to be! She arrived on September 24, 2010 and completed the foursome of nieces and nephews that we were blessed with this year. I'm pretty pumped to be the one that will be watching Allie when her mama goes back to work, because she's such a sweet and fun little girl!

8. Growing in Christ with my husband and family. This has been a big one this year. We've become far more active at St. Susanna and it's been such an amazing thing. After finishing RCIA last Easter, I started teaching FPU there. I'll be starting my third class on February 22. Beyond that, we've enjoyed attending mass regularly and getting to know the other families. Owen is also loving his PreK class and has made a number of friends. It's truly an incredible thing to see your children grow in Christ, and in turn to grow with them. It goes without saying that our two boys are our world (They're our Top 2- every day of every year!) , so we're incredibly thankful to be able to raise them in a place like St. Susanna!

9. Saying Goodbye to credit cards! This December, we broke up with credit cards forever! After 21 months of "Living Like No One Else", we've cut this chain that was holding us down and are one (BIG) step closer to being debt free!! If things go as we plan, we will be completely out of consumer debt before the end of this year! WOO HOO!!! It is a pretty amazing feeling to see our hard work turning into serious momentum!

10. Watching my friends and family members become parents- Maybe this one is kind of cheating since I already gave each of the babies their own number- but seriously these little souls defined our year in a lot of ways. We're so happy to have nieces and nephews. We're so happy that our kids have cousins, and watching my "sisters" grow into the role of motherhood has been amazing! We love you Nolan, KaeLynn, Cooper and Allie- Thanks for making our 2010 so special and memorable!

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Owen's Special Day

Last Thursday, we decided to take Owen out on a special date with Mommy and Daddy. Eli got to go hang out with Aunt Sar while we took Owen to do a special "big boy" activity... Rock Climbing! I have bought a couple of groupons over the past couple of months to a couple of local indoor rock climbing gyms with the thought that it would be something that Owen would really enjoy. When we first arrived, it took him a while to get his feet under him. He was scared to be belayed because he thought that automatically meant that he had to go high. He gave it a couple of tries, and then we decided to just let him watch us climb for a while.

Look Ma! A wall that I'm allowed to climb!

As the day went on, his confidence grew and he became more and more excited and willing to climb. We discovered that he was much more comfortable climbing when he wasn't belayed because he felt more in control of how high he went. He is actually a very good climber! (imagine that!)

Here's our little monkey doing a flip on an inverted wall. He's a crazy one!

We had such a fun time climbing, even though we were completely worn out by the time that we finished! We decided that we need to do training to strengthen our arms before we go back. We also decided that we need to build a climbing wall in our basement- and that maybe we need to open our own climbing gym in Plainfield! ;) I can see the beginnings of another really fun hobby for us!

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Christmas with Michelle and KaeLynn

Wednesday, we made the trip up to Muncie to spend some time with my sister and her little sweetie, KaeLynn. We hadn't seen them since Thanksgiving, so Kaelynn of course has changed a ton! She's such a laid-back little sweetie- I just love her to pieces.

We did our part in spoiling her rotten. She's totally rocking out that rad new hat that her Aunt Stephie made for her! Can you believe that she was 5 months old exactly in this picture? Crazy! Where has the time gone?!?!

I can't wait til I get to see my girls again. I always miss them a ton. I wish that they lived closer :(

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Christmas Part Two: Gessner Christmas

December 26, we hosted Second Christmas with our Gessner family. We had a wonderful, enjoyable day! My favorite part was celebrating our nephews' first Christmas and seeing the four boys together. I just love those little nephews of mine, they're pretty lovable little guys!

Here are a few highlights from Gessner Christmas

They brought a *few* presents.
My SILs and handsome nephews
The Grinch

Grandpa Dave and Cutie Cooper

My boys *teaching* Nolan how to use the pound and roll tower.

Aunt Jodi with Cooper and Eli. Eli LOVES the babies!

As always, so thankful for such wonderful family. I couldn't have picked more wonderful in-laws! Love you all so much!

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Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Part One

Christmas has once again come and gone. I am sitting here enjoying the glow of our Christmas tree for the last evening before we pack it away again. I'm still trying to figure out where on earth we'll put all of the new toys and gifts, and leftovers from oversized meals still reside in my fridge. As much as I love Christmas, I'll be glad to have everything packed away, cleaned up, and back to normal.

Christmas Eve, our wonderful neighbor, Kathy, spent several hours making a gingerbread house with Owen. They did a terrific job, and all of our holiday guests admired their handiwork. It was so sweet of her to spend the time to make this with Owen, and he really appreciated getting to do it.

After Christmas Eve Mass, (which was far less eventful than last year's mass!), we came home and the boys put on their Christmas jammies and watched the Polar Express.
Christmas morning, the boys discovered with excitement that Santa had indeed made a visit during the night. They were thrilled to be able to rip into the big suprise!
And they were even more thrilled to discover what Santa had brought!
Later in the day, we were joined by more of the family. Grandma and Grandpa McKinney, Grandma and Grandpa Gessner, and Great Grandpa Norbert all joined us for presents, food, fun and family time.
Owen and I also made a birthday cake to celebrate Jesus' big day!

As Christmas came to a close, jammies were re-donned, books were read, and tents were crowded.
It was a wonderful day and we were so thankful to be able to spend it with the ones we hold dear. How lucky we are to be so blessed this Christmas!

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