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Monday, December 29, 2014

Here Comes Valentine's Day

For years I loved shopping.  Most of my life really.  I officially do not love it any longer.  I find it cumbersome and a bit annoying.  I really dread it most of the time lately (maybe that has to do with putting Brecken in a cart equates with poking his eyes out with daggers).  No that is not dramatic.

Even though I've always loved shopping, my most favorite day of the year to do it has been December 26th for years.  

Until the last couple years.  Not only are the sales not as good as they used to, but I also don't need shit like I used to (think I needed at least).  However, this year I walked into Target to get milk on what happened to be December 26th.  I only went down the Christmas aisle for old time's sake…but I am no longer one of those crazy ladies pushing to get at the Elf on the Shelf game that is 50% off.  Well, ok, I was like a little ninja and grabbed that one.  (Seriously, Victoria got one for Christmas and Brecken is obsessed with that elf that he can actually touch so I figure two is better than one!)  

All that fuss didn't truly excite me.  And now that Brecken was finally seated and securely strapped in I told the kids we'd just go around the store for fun.

Low and behold……

They had already begun stocking for Valentine's Day!  Cue Cupid!

OMG!  The greatest day of the year!!  

I don't understand why people wait for the day after Thanksgiving to start celebrating Christmas.  And it beyond annoys me if someone comments on the account that my kids always gets their picture taken with Santa prior to that.  

So when people show a distaste for celebrating Valentine's Day in December that is crazy to me!  Best day of the year people!  

My friend at school mentioned, that I bought a gift for "everyone" at school.  When you work there and your kids go to school there that really does pretty much create a cause for buying a gift for everyone.  

However, the ONE person I didn't buy for was Brecken's new teacher.  OMG.  Seriously.  What the…

I texted Laura and told her and she said, "I know you'll make it up on Valentine's Day."  


That's what I love about Valentine's Day.  Low stress, and nobody expects anything.

It's truly the best day of the year!

The End of the Semester

I took two grad. school classes this semester.  That means I received the books and work in September and have until December 31st to complete them both.  I told myself and others, that I would have one done in October and the other finished over Thanksgiving break so they would both be done before we left for Mexico.  If you know me at all, you can predict not one book was even opened until….wait for it…we were on the plane to Mexico.  I actually finished half of a class on the second leg.  A special thanks to Liv who set me up to work offline on a google doc!  Gracias!

Unfortunately I came home so sick I couldn't think of reading let alone actually writing my ideas down.  

That left winter break.

In the last few days I've finished both.  "Why do I wait this long?" I asked Mark.  "Because if you didn't you'd just fill these days with something else.  You're crazy like that."

So there you have it.  I'm crazy like that.  I only signed up for one class this spring.  Which spring starts in January 1st.  I'm planning on working on it while I'm recovering in bed from my surgery.

Any bets on if this will actually happen??

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Many Uses for a Pregnancy Test

The Monday we got back from Mexico I picked the kids up from school and was making dinner.  Christian said, "Mom, can I do art?"  My answer is (almost) always YES!  That means he and probably the others will sit down at the table and create.  I love it.

We have a huge cabinet in the bathroom that the bottom portion has turned into the Art Closet over the years.  I recently threw quite a bit out and gave bags and bags of goodies to daycare and took a bunch more to school.  Still, we have way more than a normal family would ever have.  So he went in, rummaged around and came back out.  He quietly sat down at the kitchen table and started to create art with a USED PREGNANCY TEST!!!!

I just about died!

He took the cap off and rubbed it on an ink pad.  I took a pic and texted all my friends.  I whispered to Mark to go and look at him but not to say a word.  Mark walked into the kitchen and said, "What is that?"  really not knowing (yet) and Christian replied, "I don't know.  But it doesn't work very good."

When he was done he put the cap on and put it back.
Grossest thing ever.

I sent the text to Dad and Deb.  Poor Dad called a few days later to see if that was a recently used test.  He was hoping for Baby #4.

*Side note: When I was cleaning out the cabinet I was talking to Liv and told her I didn't know where to put the used pregnancy tests.  She said, "In the trash!" 
I told her I kept one from each baby and didn't want to throw them.  Now I did toss one.
This may be God's way of saying Keep on tossing Kelly!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Current Happenings

What's going on right now…..

* My poor little boy Christian hurt his knee in gym last week.  I didn't think much of it….he would complain on and off but still played and rough housed like usual.  Then last night he was really hurting and I took a good look and it was super swollen.  Ice skating was canceled today.  He had it wrapped and iced.  It does look better but I'm taking him in, in the morning to make sure.

* He has now come down with a 101.4 fever.  Currently sleeping.  Like to keep it that way.

* I've started reading Fly a Little Higher.  Oh my gosh.  I can't read more than 20 pages at a shot.  My heart breaks each time I turn a page.

* I've heard and read the phrase, "I'm done shopping."  Do people really make a list and when everything is crossed off it's just over?!  That is bizarre.  I had a new idea today for one of the kids.  Which means I get to find another thing for the other two kids.  I really did go - less is more - this year.  But by Thursday morning, that may not be the case.

* Cheeseballs are delicious.  But I over indulge every time I open them.  Love/Hate relationship.

* I have two classes to finish by Dec. 31.  One I haven't even started.  And my book for the spring session has already arrived.  Hoping I actually notice that raise in February.

* My dad stopped over today.  He brought Dairy Queen.  Played at least 40 games of Connect Four.  He never lost.  Read a couple books to Brecken.  Played remote control trucks with Christian.  Built a gingerbread house with Christian.  Practiced sight words.  Then he left.  To take snap I would presume.

* I still have quite a bit of wrapping to do.

* One of Brecken's gifts came in the mail a couple days ago.  Brecken's Night Before Christmas.  Of course we ripped it open and have enjoyed it over and over.  I read it to my class and they were mesmerized by the personalized details.  - worth every penny.

* Brecken has been making some nice progress.  Got a good report from his teacher on Friday.  Working on setting up some therapy at Theraplay.  The paperwork is atrocious.  Shocking, really.

* Each Christmas I make a book for my Goddaughter/Niece/Second cousin Grace.  It begins the day after her birthday and ends with her last birthday party.  One full year.  Last year I think I gave it to her around Valentine's Day.  This year I got it done one full week before Christmas.  I went to pick it up today.  They "have no record of it."  I have it done and paid in full.  I sat on the phone for nearly 30 min only for them to credit me back (turns out not the full amount) and then I had to reorder.  So annoying.  Hoping I have it before Wednesday night.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Screw the 6+

About a year ago I accidentally ordered myself a new phone case but for the wrong iPhone.  Man, that feeling sucks.  The case sat in a drawer for nearly a year until I upgraded.  Now I use it even tho the pic is pretty old and Brecken doesn't even have all his teeth.

Today Mama Deb's gift came…you guessed it….a new phone case.  I spent quite a bit of time "designing" it.  I was so excited to see it. I opened it.  I thought, "She is going to LOVE this!"  Then Mark walked by and said, "It's wrong.  Won't fit."  And kept on walking.  OMG he's right.  I ordered a 6+.  Ooooooh I'm so mad and sad!  Not only what a waste of money but now I won't be able to get a new one in time!

If you know someone who has an iPhone 6+ and they think my kids are cute, let me know.  It's all theirs!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Week-end Full of the Christmas Spirit

We've been back for a week now.  It took a few days to recover (we both came home sick) and rejuvenate but we're refreshed and happy to be back together with our littles.  This week I was working my ass off at school to get back into the swing of things.  I realized that we only have five school days left before Christmas break.  Less than two weeks until actual Christmas!  I've been using every waking moment planning, creating and ordering the gifts.  I've literally been working projects during lunch each day this week.

A Christmas party was canceled for Friday night.  We kept the babysitter and went out to dinner (waaaaayyyy too early for Mexican food. What were we thinking?).  We stopped by my grandma's to pick up a tree I got on super clearance years ago (thinking we would move and we'd have a small fake tree and a large real tree) and put that up as a surprise for the kids.  Since we've decluttered, we decided not to decorate for Christmas. . .vowing we'll make up for it next year.

On Saturday morning the kids and I (Mark had to work) ran some serious errands.  Brecken had a horrible day.  Errands and a toddlers melt downs do not mix well.  During nap time V & C made gingerbread houses.  They are so independent now.  It's bittersweet.  They don't need me at all and they just create.  When The Boss woke up we made our pretzel/hugs/m&ms treat.  Watching Brecken with all his will power not eat that third hug was adorable.  His little fingers working the tinfoil.

Today we made more of the pretzel treats and chocolate chunk cookies.  I took each of the big kids, separately to shop for their siblings.  It was adorable.  Both putting thought into make each other happy.     After dinner everyone got their jammies on and grabbed a cookie and some water and we drove around to look at Christmas lights for a couple hours.

We crammed an awful lot of Christmas spirit into one weekend.  The kids will wake to wrapped gifts under the tree.  Only 10 more days to go.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Mexico 2014

We dropped the kids off on Monday after dinner.  I didn't cry this year. (Last year was a total break down.)  I capture this little dude on my way out the door and looked at his adorable face over and over (ok three times) through our "week" away.

The kids have never flown (when they can remember at least) so I sent this to C's teacher to show him.

Even tho we still hadn't landed Welcome to Mexico was all I needed to see.
Let my Mexican Smile begin.

Here we are on the way to the resort.
I was having difficulty unplugging and texting this to "my people" with:
It's drizzling, do we look like we care?

It's true.
We did not care.

Checking in.
They give you fruit juice while you check in.
I made myself right at home.
I sauntered over to the Lounge and grabbed a beer and a champagne.
I thought about that first champagne for weeks.
It was all I hoped for. 

Just got to our Ocean Front Suite with my second champagne.
Don't worry, after that one I lost count. ;-)

Mark is getting ready and I already grabbed my first cerveza.
Love me some Dos Equis (when nothing else is available).

Our first official drink in The Lounge.
When I think about everything I love about Mexico
The Lounge is the top of my list.
We've had some amazing conversations there.
So many memories.
It's where we actually relax and enjoy each other.
I love the Lounge.

In town we had a beer at a restaurant and they had these gorgeous plates. 
As soon as you don't order food they whisk these gorgeous plates away.
I wanted to buy one..or some.  
They are not for sale.
They don't have enough already.
Mark said, "Name your price."
I truly cannot imagine what he really was willing to pay.
But they actually said, "No price."
Now that they are Priceless, we want them even more!

Because this is what you should do your first night…..
Get a henna tattoo from a street corner our of a pop cap.
Although, I do love having my three stars for the week.

World's Smallest Bathroom.
I texted this to Laura and she texted back, "OMG, be careful!"
It's small…but is it scary?

This will down as the official Most Fun First Night Ever.
We met Joe and Dawn and had ourselves a blast.
We were on just a few hours of sleep but nobody every would have known!

Headed to the pools in the morning.

Relaxed by the pool and ocean for hours.

Until we headed to town for our first couple's massage.

Can't get enough from our view!

The second day we headed to our second resort.
Long story short….
there was a mix up last year.
We either got $500 cash back or three free nights in this resort.
Mark picked the resort.
We ditched our usual ocean front suite for two nights.
Turns out, ours truly is the very best!

"The Lounge" in the new place.

Not quite sold…..

Walk on the beach in the night….

Even though technically this resort was better…bigger…more beautiful….
"our" beach couldn't even be compared.  
Ours is SO much better.
That in itself would keep me from this place.
Windy and huge drop offs.

Ok, it wasn't THAT bad…..

The pool is the biggest in the Yucatan Pennisula

They are all unheated and pretty chilly.

I will never forget this moment.
I looked up and actually thought,
"God, I am so lucky."

He's going to admit these shoes are on their last leg...

Walking over to the mall on sight.

Picked up a new hat which I think suits him perfectly!

After a long day of drinking in the sun, then a steak dinner, we took a taxi to Puetro Morelos.
Because, really, we think we're locals after about 24 hours.
Yes, I'm serious.
The concierge tries to convince us that Puerto Morelos is a waste of time.
We get in the taxi.  He wants to know EXACTLY where we want to go in Puerto Morelos.
Mark said, "Where ever normal people get dropped off."
I kid you not, the guy said, "Normal people get dropped off in Cancun or Playa del Carmen."

Turned out to be a very memorable trip (from what I can remember!)!
It's a fisherman's village.
It's not developed.
It's freaking perfect.
Give it five years and it will be crawling with tourists!

Second Best Night Ever?!
Quite possibly, if only we could remember all the second nights….
The taxi driver and I ended up hugging in the street because we were both so happy in Puerto Morelos.
Supposedly he had only been drinking coffee…..

Up bright and early.
It wasn't that early…don't let us fool you…it was almost noon.
By far, Puerto Morelos was my roughest night in Mexico EVER.

This is "the best chicken sandwich" of Mark's life.
I was drinking water at this point…..he wasn't.

Their Lounge

Back at "our" resort this bird was so happy to see us his feathers were standing on end.
Let's be clear - so were mine.

Our Lounge
Look at those happy faces.

THEE Resort

Sunset in town.
Just had our second couple massage….

World's most expensive been in Mexico.

Sunset is amazing while walking thru town.

Quick pic by our favorite tree.
We taken so many pics by this tree over the years!

This is one of my very favorite pictures from the whole trip!

Dinner at Mi Pueblo.

Early morning.

Three mile walk down the beach at 7:30am.
We've been taking this walk for years.  
We call it the "Long Walk."
We've never taken it so early.
Simply gorgeous.

This was under water all the other years!

The most perfect 86 degree day.

Back to the Lounge before we headed back to town.

Love is in the air…
figuratively and literally!

A lemur and a the second world's smallest monkey.
It always seems like a better idea before I'm holding them.

This is the most perfect picture ever.
Heaven ;-)

Our last night.
The Japanese restaurant.
As usual the sushi was out of this world and the company was fantastic.
One of my favorite meals, always.

Our last sunrise.
We set our alarm.
But I got up took a few pics and went straight back to bed.
We left the door open to hear the ocean, but it was really hot that day.

The city continues to bless us with the most perfect weather and memories we could ever hope for.
We love the people, the language, the culture and each other.
Only 51 more weeks…..