This year has flown by fast and I wanted to share a few of my highlights. Although I always have a nagging feeling of what I didn’t cross off off my “To-Do” list, I accomplished a ton this year.
A couple of large projects, lots of small ones, a few personal milestones, and many moments enjoyed.
My heart is full. I’ve spent the year enjoying my children, family, and friends. I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for us.
Here is the time machine back to 2013:
We welcomed spring and warm weather with open arms. We also welcomed new life into our lives.
Surprise! We found out we were expecting. I spent the next couple of months on the couch with morning sickness. Blech!
Are my kids lazy or just smart? They figured out a faster way to collect eggs at their Grammy’s house.
In early summer, we decided to take a day trip to Bruneau Sand Dunes. It is the “largest moving sand dune in North America” (according to the sign at the park). Sam and I hadn’t been there since we were kids and thought it would be a good destination for a day out. While driving through the desert town of Murphy, Id, we happened upon their annual “Outpost Days” at the Owyhee County historical museum. We stuck around and got to watch our very first horny toad race.
We saw a snake, got attacked by a million mosquitos, and ooh’d and ahh’d over the view of the Snake River Valley on the drive home. It was great to get out of the house and the drive made it feel like old times before children.
Sam and I USED to have a sense of adventure!
We decided that we need to make more of an effort to get away, even if it is just for a day to rediscover those things you forget.
With June came Father’s Day, and I surprised Sam with this great cooler stand. Ana White broke my design down into a free plan to follow and you can make one for your Dad too!
July is a big month for us every year. It is Sam’s favorite holiday, second only to Christmas. He LOVES 4th of July.
Like really loves it.
Each year, we go to the illegal fireworks stand out of town.
This is what is crazy about fireworks in Idaho. You can buy illegal fireworks (those that go higher than 10 feet off the ground) within state lines, but it is illegal to actually set them off in Idaho. So you sign a waiver upon purchase that you will only light them off out of state and you are golden.
After the 4th, the following week is time for the annual Snake River Stampede. It’s a rodeo that has been a part of my town’s culture since before I was born. I grew up going to the week-long festivities including the “Buckaroo Breakfast” and the Snake River Stampede Parade.
This is the largest horse parade in the west- I even rode my horse as part of the parade when I was twelve, so there is some nostalgia there that makes me all teary-eyed when we attend every year. I will say, the parade is not what it used to be. Maybe it is just me, but it seemed much larger when I was a kid.
Ohh, I SO wanted to be a rodeo queen when I was a little girl! All the sparkles, the crown, the big cowgirl hair… It was as close to a Disney Princess as I was ever going to get.
Sam had to work, so we had a girls day out at the rodeo. I brought home the program because cowboys have the best names. Who needs a baby name book when you have the bronc riding schedule?
We also said “Goodbye” to a few things last year. One was my waistline, and two were these shoes. These were Lyla’s. As you can tell, they were well loved. These were a gift to my oldest by her cousin Brooke. Ava never really wore them, but when Lyla discovered they were a perfect fit, she wore them with everything. I could not get these shoes away from her! She loved them so much! I know I will have memories of her prancing in her sparkly shoes, her dainty little feet tip-toeing around, and the sound of her tiny voice singing. I thought of keeping them for sentimental value, then realized that’s what hoarders do, so I took a picture of them and chucked ’em.
August was a hot one! And an ultrasound confirmed that the bun in my oven was a BOY! Our first boy was something to look forward to.
I decided that if I was ever going to have a yard sale before summer’s end, I was running out of time! My nieces came over and helped me sort through a mountain of baby girl clothes. Two girls and a grandma who likes to shop equals an ungodly amount of baby girl clothes that were taking up some serious space in our storage shed. With the clock ticking, I knew I had to make some room for our little boy.
I can tell you this was one proud parenting moment for me. My daughter has skills. At five years old, I was so impressed with her ability to make conversation and give her sales pitch to yard sale customers. In her articulate little girl voice:
“Hello, I’m raisng money to buy an American Girl Doll. I’m selling muffins, doughnuts, and cookies. They are $1 for the large, or 2 for a $1….Which would you like?”
She stayed outside for a solid 8 hours selling treats and manning her table. One kind lady even donated $20 to her doll fund. It brought me to tears.
Ahh. Victory is a sweet reward!
Moving on, August was another attempt at finishing our bathroom remodel from the PREVIOUS summer.
The story goes like this:
The summer before, our water heater flooded and ruined our kitchen. We repaired the damage and took on another project of a bathroom remodel with the extra money we saved from DIYing. Problem was, we got lazy, and when the weather turned, we gave up on cutting tile outside in the snow. We only managed to tile one of the three walls. Normal people have nice insulated garages for this sort of thing, but that was something we overlooked as young newlyweds when we bought our house. So the bathroom job went on the backburner. We planned to finish it in the spring, but I got preggers and the morning sickness won out.
So, I finally decided to get that tiling done before winter came.
One year of using only the bathtub was not so fun.
And we celebrated TEN YEARS as husband and wife! An entire decade of marriage. A flash in the pan, I tell ya. I don’t even remember what we did, I think we had a night in with the girls, but still, we had each other.
October is one of my favorite months because I LOVE FALL.
The weather in Idaho during the fall is divine. We hadn’t had family pictures in a few years, so we took to the park while the leaves were ablaze.
I shared this spooky Halloween sign I made from scraps with a tutorial on my blog too. Using more Deco Art products, it really turned out great and I am happy it will be around for Halloweens to come.
I love to sew and especially like the challenge of making my kids’ costumes. The most difficult part is talking them down from the ledge of which Disney Princess they want to be. I prefer something a bit less predictable. I won! This year, they went as “Glinda the Good” and “Theodora” from “Oz the Great and Powerful.” I finished just in the knick of time.
We had a great time trick-or-treating. Unfortunately, my body was pretty maxed out at this point. With one month to go, and it being my third pregnancy, I was especially achy. Don’t get me started on what the baby “dropping” felt like that time around. It’s X-rated.
My hormones were kicked into full nesting mode, but my body just couldn’t keep up. I did manage to squeeze out (no pun intended) a couple more big projects- just before our little man showed up.
I slipcovered our formerly white sofa to a nice chocolatey brown. It’s easy on the eyes and hides stains. A welcome change from our seriously gross old cover.
Next up was another project using Deco Art products. I repainted a thrifted set of nesting tables with their Americana Chalky Paint. This product just won the CHA’s Hottest New Product of the year award for 2014!
The girls are so delighted to have a little brother. It has been a smooth transition, and so far, I think going from two to three children is way easier than going from one to two.
We finished off December with a “Good Old-Fashioned Family Christmas” (name that movie).
The girls sang beautifully in our church’s Christmas Eve program.The rocking chair interview had an extra little rocker this year. The girls were so excited for Santa to come that they skipped feeding the reindeer and put themselves to bed an hour early. As I was closing their door, they said, “Don’t forget to put some cookies out for Santa!”
And, to the girls delight, Santa brought their most requested gifts.
Last year, Ava told me about a week after Christmas, “Mom, I asked Santa for a Furby, but I think he may not be able hear well because he brought me a Barbie. You know, because he is old.”
That must be it, Ava. I think Santa is old and deaf. That, or he wasn’t about to spend $50 on a dumb stuffed animal.
Well, this year was proclaimed the “Year of the Furby” because Santa scored a sweet deal on Walmart.com with a sale and gift card promo that brought joy to the children’s hearts on Christmas morn.
And Lyla, she only wanted one thing. A Mooshka doll. It took about a month of her trying to explain it to me before I finally saw a commercial and realized it was a thing.
We are half way through our first year of official homeschooling. Ava is killing it in kindergarten, and Lyla is showing me she is more brilliant than I had ever suspected. She is quietly taking it all in.
We have a few big goals that are within reach, and I feel that with our family growing, we are in the midst of the best days of our married life.
Well, there you have it. A few of my highlights for the year. I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for us! Here’s to a great year, and another to come!
So, how about you? What were your highlights for 2013? What are your goals for 2014? I’ve got too many to list, but I will get there a little at a time.
And because I can’t resist, more gratuitous baby shots: