In the Good Ole’ Summer Time

Hello there! How’s life in your neck of the woods? Things are pretty HOT where I am right now. One o f the hottest days so far this summer! Hunter and I are enjoying our air conditioning while miss Everly naps.

I feel like I have had such a great summer so far. I also feel the crunch of time as August draws near and things start to pick up at my work, not to mention I will soon be working full time and Hunter will be going to pre-school! This feels like the first summer in awhile where I’ve actually gotten out and done things with the kids. Sure life is different than before I had kids but it is different in a good way! I have loved my summer adventures with my Goonie Bugs.

One of our favorite summer time activities has been taking a big ride through the Marsh to Riverside Park and enjoying the beautiful International Gardens.


You wouldn’t think that two little kids would enjoy a park that doesn’t have a playground but Hunter and Everly love to look at the giant Koi that are in the pond, tell me all the colors of the pretty flowers, and find all the waterfalls.

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Plus mom gets a good workout pulling 50+  pounds of kids behind the bike for 7 miles!

One of the best $20 investments we made this summer was a “Family Pool” from K-Mart. The kids love to splash in it and mom and dad like to sit in it and cool off!

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We’ve had a few visitors this summer. Gardner stopped by to take in a baseball game with Brian. Of course the kids enjoyed torturing spending time with him.


Both Brian’s sister and brother came home for 4th of July. We celebrated my niece’s 13th birthday. Hunter and Everly LOVED playing with their cousins. We went to several parks and even to the public swimming pool.


My friend Marianne was also home both on Memorial Day weekend and Fourth of July. We go to spend time with her and her twin boys. Things are pretty crazy fun with 4 kids under the age of 4!


Oh and how can I forget?! The President of the United States also came to town! He spoke at the University just a few blocks from our house. I’m pretty sure Hunter and Everly have no idea who Barack Obama is but I couldn’t resist taking them just down the street to see the motorcade go by. They enjoyed the helicopter and all the police motorcycles and cars.


Hunter still loves all things trains! We couldn’t resist taking him to a Rail Fair they had locally. The allowed people to go inside a train engine and caboose.

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They also had a few model trains set up which was only a preview of the very cool model trains we saw at the Twin Cities Model Train Museum the following weekend when we went to visit the Gardner’s.


We even got to “drive” several of the model trains.


This was such a cool place. Definitely a high light of the summer and a place I am sure we will visit again!

These may seem like simple little adventures but they bring such joy to my kids and in turn to me! I know as they grow older we will have even more adventures and eventually it won’t be cool to have adventures with mom. For now I am enjoying every simple and wonderful moment!



A Day in the Life with two little Goonie Bugs

My oldest niece is turning 13 this week. I have been trying my hardest to remember what I was like when I was 13 years old and find I am having a hard time! The good news is I can go into my basement and thumb through an old diary that I started writing in regularly when I was her age. I kept a hand written diary until I got into college. What does this have to do with anything? Well, I realized that even though I don’t blog very much any more this is the one little way that I am documenting what my life is like now, at 35, with two children age 19 months and 3 years plus 4 months. It’s been a long time since I’ve done “A Day In The Life” post so I tried my best to bring my camera where ever we went today and tried to remember everything.

This morning was actually pretty rough and I know that I lost my patience more than one! But we all have those days so here it goes!

5:15am The day starts pretty early. Brian has been up since 4:45am but I barely heard him leave our room. I do hear one of the kids (probably Hunter) yelling. This is not unusual. I wake up and check the monitor. If one of the kids is up before the other I try and sneak into their room and try to get the awake kid out so the other one can sleep. I check the monitor and both kids seem to still be asleep. I of course cannot fall back asleep so I stay in bed and read. I consider getting up and making coffee but I am too comfy in bed. I know this could possibly be my only “me time” for a long time today!

6:05am Both kids are now awake and I listen to them chatter while I finish up a chapter then I go in to get them, but not before I start the coffee pot!102_4063  102_4066

Trust me, they are way more awake than they appear in these photos! They are chattering away. I like to sing them the “Good Morning” Song and they laugh as I tickle them! In case you don’t know the “Good Morning”  song here it is! (sorry couldn’t get it too imbed)

Immediately after getting up I send Hunter to the potty and I change Everly. Then we ease into the day with a nursing session for Everly while I sip coffee, watch the news and Hunter plays “games” on my tablet.

Sometimes I grow a little weary of nursing but then I remember that  I  get to look into these sweet baby blues every morning and every night (and sometimes in between!)


Next up is breakfast! But before I can even get started Hunter has a HUGE meltdown, big tears and everything, because he wants to build a “nest” out of blankets and pillows and he couldn’t make it they way he wanted and I couldn’t understand what he wanted because he was crying and blubbering. I have him cool off a bit in his room, then give him lots of hugs and wipe his face with a cool wash cloth.

7:10 am Breakfast goes off without a hitch. No tears! Lots of smiles!

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After breakfast we do what I call “Morning Chores” we don’t do these every morning or even every morning I am home with the kids but there are few things that NEED to get done. First up unloading the dishwasher. Lucky (I think?) for me the Goonies like to “help.” They actually do a pretty good job and since most of our dishes are unbreakable I don’t have much to worry about. It is always a bit of a game trying beat the kids to the dishwasher before they grab the glassware!

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I also vacuum quick, also something they love to “help” with as they follow me around with their “vacuums” (any push toy) or today Hunter ran in front of me and picked up any toys or clothes so they wouldn’t get “eaten” by the vacuum.

I had a few other things I needed to get done before we needed to start getting ready for the day but I was sidetracked by an important phone call which I tried to take all the while refereeing fights and trying to entertain Everly who wanted to play. I have to give Hunter a “time out” for hurting Everly and then realize we better shake a leg as we need to get to gymnastics by 9:25am and it’s almost 9:00am. Yikes! I manage to pack snacks, some library materials we need to return and get both kids and myself ready.

We head out to the van and I know we are cutting it close. As I get Hunter into his car seat I smell something and realize he has had  an accident. I grab the bag I keep in the car, change him and we are off. Of course we can’t find a parking spot and have to park a block and a half away from the Y. So, now we are 10 minutes late. I drop Hunter off at the gymnastics center, head up to the balcony with Everly and sink into a chair with a sigh ready to watch Hunter and his gymnastics buddies.

Even though we are late (I hate being late!) Hunter doesn’t seem to mind and has fun on the “monkey bars”, the “tumble track,” and working on his floor skills.

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I spend my time watching him and trying to keep this little monkey entertained!


After gymnastics we take a break in the Y’s lobby and have a snack. Then we head over to library to turn in our completed sheet for the Summer reading program and pick up a new one. Of course we picked up a few more books even though we have a whole bag full at home! These kids love books!


We head home for lunch. Everly cries and screams the entire time I am preparing lunch because I made her come inside when she wanted to play outside. Other than Everly  not eating much lunch is uneventful.

1:00pm: After lunch it is nap/quiet rest time. I get Everly settled and she pretty much conks out as soon as I close the door.


Usually Hunter has quiet rest time in my bed, reading books but he has pretty much been reading since we got home from the library only breaking for lunch and then reading while I cleaned up and got Everly down for her nap. He asks if he can watch his “movies” which means our home videos from the last year and half or so. I agree and get him settled on the couch.


The next hour is all mine. Again, I don’t always do chores during “rest time” sometimes I actually do rest. But there are things I just need to get done. Brian is on for dinner tonight but I am on for tomorrow as Brian has an errand to run after work. I know that I don’t want to be busy in the kitchen after I pick the kids up from daycare so I prep tomorrow night’s dinner. Then I clean up the kitchen and scrub all our floors. Oh yeah and I throw the laundry in the dryer and get another one going plus fold and put away more laundry that has been lingering since the weekend.

By now Hunter is done watching movies and I am tired so he and I settle in and read a few books and also do some coloring until daddy comes home (around 3:30pm) and Everly wakes up, close to 4:00pm.

(picture from a different day of him coloring)


Hunter and daddy play together while Everly and I hang out. Daddy make dinner and the kids and I spend some time together, we watch an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse which Everly is really starting to enjoy. The kids get pretty excited about dinner and both try and climb into the same chair, something they have done before!


Dinner is also uneventful except for a storm rolls in and Everly is fascinated with the sound of thunder and lightening. She tries to hide!


Hunter chatters away telling daddy about his day and talking about how Lily has a park at her house and when it rains it gets wet but inside her house it doesn’t get wet. That kid cracks me up!


After dinner I clean up and Brian plays with the kids. I enjoy listening to the funny games Brian plays with them. I join them and pretty much let the kids come up with what they want to play as I am all out of ideas. Everly plays this funny game where she brings Brian and I all her crayons then takes one at a time back to the table and colors on a piece of paper. Hunter and Brian take a pool noodle and pretend it’s a telephone.

At about 6:30 we clean up the toys and books (should have taken a picture of that!) and get ready for bed which entails; brushing teeth, going potty/changing diaper, putting on p.j’s, reading books, and singing songs. The kids are in bed by 7:00pm. I sit down (with a beer) to write this post, happy that I got all my “chores” done earlier, and Brian heads out to run an errand. The kids chatter for about 30 minutes but then are sound a sleep. And soon I’ll be heading to bed to read and SLEEP!

So there you have it! That’s a day at home with my two Goonie Bugs. If you want to read other “Day in the Life posts check out:

A Day In the Life of a “Working Man” from June of 2012

A Day In the Life with 2 Under 2 from January 2014

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Cha-Cha-Cha Changes

Whew! Hello there! Can’t believe it has been TWO MONTHS since I last posted! I honestly had good intentions of posting about a month a go but I think when I finally sat down at my laptop I realized the bills needed to be paid, then when I went to look back at photos from the last month I realized I hadn’t downloaded them, something went wrong with my computer or some device and when I finally got it all sorted out nap time/quiet rest time was over. Not gonna lie, by the end of the day (a.k.a. when the kids go to bed) I usually have some type of chore or meal prep to do for the following day and once that is done I just want to veg out and not open my computer. I struggle with the idea of giving up this blog but then I look back at all the great memories I’ve shared and now can keep forever. BUT if I don’t update more regularly then I forget what happened in our lives any way! Such a constant struggle! I honestly don’t know how “professional bloggers” with kids post so often!

This week marks a very important anniversary. Four years ago (almost exactly) I found out I was expecting Hunter.  That was truly a defining moment in my life. I can still remember that day so well and all the emotions that went along with it. Sometimes I honestly can’t believe how fast the last four years have gone and now I have TWO children. Having children certainly changes your life and I feel like once you have children change is always in the air. So much happens in their little lives and things certainly have been changing around here.

One of the biggest changes that has happened since I last wrote was that on Memorial Day Weekend I decided it was time to try letting Hunter and Everly sleep in the same room. Up until that point I had been sharing our room with Everly and Brian and been sleeping in his Den since he has to get up so early and he didn’t think he could sleep in the same room with a baby since he is such a light sleeper. I don’t know what made me decide that “it was time” maybe because Everly turned 18 months, maybe it was because we had a long weekend and I was ok with not getting a lot of sleep. I guess for the most part the transition has been going well. Everly still naps in the afternoon and Hunter does not. So, Hunter is ready to crash by 7pm and Everly is usually still raring to go. We still put them to bed at the same time. She usually ends up talking and singing in her bed and he falls asleep pretty quickly. Then he usually wakes up pretty early and for the most part wakes her up too. This is usually ok because she naps. There have been several nights where one of them has woken up crying (or screaming in Hunter’s case) but I think only once did a night waking cause the other to wake up. I am sure am glad to have my room back and I’m sure Brian is too!

These two little goonies of mine just seem to be growing up before my eyes. Everly has lost that “babyness” as she gets closer to two and Hunter truly does seem like a “big boy.”

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Hunter still loves anything with wheels, especially trains but anything is fine! I was so excited to take him to the Touch a Truck event they had locally where he got to get up close and personal with some of his favorite vehicles!

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Hunter also started going to gymnastics at the YMCA and he LOVES it! I enrolled him hoping it would help him practice his balance and physical activities in a positive way plus give him more confidence and it has really worked out well. I have to remember to bring my camera to the next class but here he is showing me how he does the beam using a board we have at home.

I can definitely see improvement in his physical abilities. He has so much more confidence and fun when we go to playgrounds. It makes me so happy to see him running and climbing around like a little boy should.

Even though he is getting to be more independent he still likes to cuddle up with his mama and read book or watch t.v.

Of course he is a techno wiz as any kid is these days and loves to play (educational) games on my tablet as well as look at and take pictures.

He is so imaginative and creative. During his quiet rest time he sits in my bed with his library books and “reads” for 45minutes to and hour. Both of the kids LOVE books and reading. We are having a lot fun at Family Story time at the Library and participating in the Library’s summer reading program.

These two are playing together more and more. Of course they still fight like crazy and I’m surprised no one has gone to the emergency room yet but I see their friendship blossoming. And I swear in the next two pictures he is kissing her and tickling her, not torturing her!


Everly copies everything her brother does. She is so much more physical than Hunter was at this age. Crawling, climbing, jumping, trying to do somersaults. It’s pretty cute!

But she is definitely still her own person. She loves accessories especially hats, coats, and sunglasses!


She is talking a lot more these days. She says some pretty unique words like “mermaid” (she has mermaid pajamas), and if you ask her, “Are you sassy?” She says, “I sassy!”.  One thing that I have had to get use to is because she is less verbal than Hunter was I don’t always know what she wants. That’s when the tantrums happen!

June is almost over and we have had a few summer adventures. The kids love riding in the bike trailer and we are lucky to live near some really nice trails. We love to ride down to the river and visit the gardens in the park. So far I haven’t been able to get pictures of this adventure yet.

We also took our first road trip of the summer to Madison. We stayed with Brian’s aunt and went to breakfast on the farm and the zoo with Brian’s cousins.




Looking for the Polar Bears!


We’ve also been enjoying the nice weather taking lots of walks and visiting lots of local playgrounds. We enjoy the simple things!

Another big change that will be happening soon is I will be going to work full time starting in August. I have been at my current 3/4 time position for the past 8 years. The woman I work with is retiring. My current boss decided to drop some of my duties (working with college students) and merge my position with that of my colleagues to create a full time position. It actually works out quite well as I will only be spending one more day during the week in the office and then Sunday mornings, and since I’m at church on Sunday mornings anyway I don’t think it will feel that different. This was definitely something we needed to do financially for our family. I sometimes get nervous about how I’m going to “get it all done” when I work full time but I know I will just have to adjust to another “new normal.” I feel fortunate that I am able to stay at job that I love, work with people I know, and also be able to spend time with my kids.

So that’s what’s happening in our neighborhood. Living life and loving the simple things!

Life As Of Late

It’s been awhile! I decided to do something different for this post. Instead of doing a specific age update on my little sweethearts I thought I’d just give an update on what is going on these days with our family.

Little Miss Everly is just a day short of turning 17 months. I remember how much fun “one” is from when Hunter was that age and am enjoying it just as much with Everly. She is such a little cutie pie!


Her independent personality just shines through more and more every day. She is definitely more mobile than Hunter every was. Not only is she an excellent walker but she has started climbing on EVERYTHING! She can even walk up  steps with some assistance. We really have to keep an eye on her because if there is something she shouldn’t get into, she will! I’m pretty sure this is more typical behavior of a one year old versus my Hunter boy who was very cautious and pretty content to stay in one place for long periods of time.

Her pickiness over food still continues. She has her favorite foods but pretty much refuses to even try most of the dinner we put on her plate. Oddly enough she really likes some of my more unusual breakfast choices like green smoothies and oatmeal.


She still nurses 2-4 times a day. I never thought I would be nursing this long but here we are. I kind of love that she gathers up all her “buddies” (white bear, green bear, and her baby), signs the word for milk, and then pretty much throws herself at my chest.

She doesn’t have as many words as Hunter did at this age but she is still able to communicate her needs, likes and dislikes. One of my favorite things she says is, “bra-da”  (brother) for Hunter. It’s usually the first things she says in the morning. She loves him so much!



She seems to really like bears, one of her favorite books is Brown Bear Brown Bear and when ever she sees a bear in a book or on T.V. she gets really excited. She also loves playing outside, especially with bubbles and she LOVES going down slides!

I would never ever want to be on a reality show but sometimes I wish I had a camera to follow me around so I could capture all the little adorable things my kids do. Like the other day Izzy was laying in our bed with her nose right at the edge. Everly went nose to nose with her and just kept giggling and giggling saying “woof woof! woof woof!” I also love how what little hair she has curls at the back after her bath. She is such a sweet girl and loves giving hugs and kisses. When we went to an Easter egg hunt she kept putting all her eggs in another little girl’s basket. Too cute!


I have often felt, in my professional life, that my third year on the job was always kind of the “sweet year.” Things just seem to click into place and I am kind of seeing that with my Hunter boy. In the last two months he has really become independent and started doing a lot of self care on his own. He can almost get completely dressed by himself, he puts his shoes on himself, he can even use the potty by himself (if his pants don’t have a button or zipper!). He told us he didn’t want a booster seat when he turned three. He has also been eating like champ! He usually says he doesn’t like what ever I serve him but has no problem trying it and then telling me, “I like it mommy!” I think the promise of Easter candy after eating a good dinner has helped too Smile


He is SUPER excited for pre-school next Fall. We went to an open house in March and he especially loved the playground (they have a train!). When I came home from registration he jumped off the couch and asked if we could get our coats on and go. He will go two mornings a week and we coordinated it so he will go with his best friends from daycare Lily and Mia. I think he is really going to love school. He is such a smart little guy and his vocabulary just floors me. Today he was pretending to mix up a cake in the bathtub and he said, “It’s kind of automatic!” Where does he learn this stuff? He has such a great imagination and I love listening to him make up games and stories. I just can’t believe I’ll have a preschooler this Fall! He is growing up so fast!


(Pretending the laundry baskets and the tote are a train.)

Hunter took swim lessons this past spring. At his first lesson he did great but after that he cried. Still not sure what he was afraid of but it’s definitely we still want to work on. He is still a very cautious boy when it comes to physical activities.

He and Everly have started to play together and that is really fun!



Of course she wants to do everything with her brother and play with all his toys which can often times cause conflict (read screaming and tears) we are still working on that and I am sure there will always be sibling rivalry!

We went on our longest road trip to date with both kids to visit Brian’s sister in Detroit. Both kids did pretty good in the car and they had so much fun playing with their cousins! The boy who never naps was even lulled to sleep by the coziness of the minivan.




So hard to get a good picture of my Gooniebugs!

Of course life isn’t always sunshine and lollipops! We have our days when Everly cries and cries and I can’t figure out what’s wrong. Or days where Hunter melts down over every little thing. But almost every day I look at these too little gifts that God gave me and I think, “How did I get so lucky.” Life is good! Busy, exhausting, sometimes a little crazy but good!

As for me I’ve been getting back to running, cycling and more and have a whole post planned on that. Things at my work are going to be changing so that means some changes for me  and our family. Can’t write about it until things are more official but it’s an exciting time. Brian is doing what Brian does. Working hard and hunting hard when he can.

Here’s an ok family picture we got at Brian’s sister’s.


It’s a simple life but a good life!

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Hunter James:How can it be that you are THREE?

Doesn’t this seem like it was just yesterday?


How is this the same little squishy faced baby?


Love this big boy so much! We had a great time celebrating Hunter’s third birthday with friends and family. Ever since Christmas when we watched the Polar Express Hunter has been obsessed with trains! We even took him to the model train sale that came to town and he loved it! So of course his party was train themed!



There were lots of presents including a toy train set that use to be Brian’s!

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He also got some classic board games and we have been having a fun time playing them in the afternoon after “rest time” (he doesn’t nap any more!).

And everyone loves cake and ice cream!

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I think this was the first birthday that Hunter really got excited for. We talked about it for weeks before hand and he was super pumped to celebrate turning three!

Most notably, developmentally these past three months, is that Hunter is potty trained! He barely ever has an accident any more, and even tells us when he has to use the potty (rather than us prompting or making him “try”). He also is almost always dry in the morning but I still haven’t been brave enough to not have him wear diapers at night.

Other than that he is still my very verbal, imaginative, bright little boy! We are looking forward to going to our first independent swim lessons this month AND going to a pre-school open house. Can’t believe how much these little people change in such a short amount of time.  Sometimes I think that time moves too fast and that my kids are growing up to fast but it is so much fun to watch them become there own little person, to discover new things and learn new skills. I try so hard to soak it all in and enjoy it! Here’s to three and another year of fun!


Everly Laura: 15 Month Update

Seriously, I can’t believe it has been so long since I updated this blog! When Everly turned 13 months I meant to update, then she turned 14 months again I meant to update and now here we are! Honestly before the New Year I thought about giving up my blog completely. I really don’t have time to update. But at the same time I like having a record of what my kids are up to, even if I don’t do it very often.

So, my sweet little Everly! The first quarter of her second year of life has been fun. She is really coming into her own as a little human being. Most notably she started walking when she was about 14 and a half months old. She was excellent at cruising and would even take a few steps when we encouraged her. One weekend we had some friends over who had three young boys (all older than Hunter.) I don’t know if she thought she needed to show off or just wanted to keep up with the boys but she just decided to let go and walk. After that there has been no stopping her. She still crawls but I think she probably is at the point where she walks more than crawls. She is so cute when she walks. She always has this look on her face like she is so proud of herself. She also doesn’t walk smoothly and toddles which I think is so darling. If you recall Hunter didn’t walk until he was 21 months so to have this tiny little person toddling around is just so fun and adorable!


She isn’t quite as verbal as Hunter was at this age. She does say a few things of course, Mama and Dada are favorites. She also has Night Night (nye nye), hat, bye bye, teddy, and something that kind of sounds like Hunter (Ah-ta).


Before her first birthday you could pretty much put any food in front of her and she would gobble it right up. Once she got a taste of that cake she has been SUPER picky. She loves sweets and anything snackey like crackers and she loves cottage cheese but everything else is give or take. She is very independent and likes to try and feed herself which can result in very messy meal times. We are still nursing some times as much as 4 times a day. Not sure where out nursing relationship is going or when it will end. At this point Hunter had pretty much stopped but I was also pregnant with Everly and I’ve read that this affect things. If we are at home she often times signs the word for milk and beats on my chest crying until I nurse her. Otherwise our regular nursing schedule is in the morning when she wakes, at night before bed and after nap time or when I get home from work. We went down to one nap a day shortly after her first birthday and she usually takes a good 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. Still sleeps like a champ at night usually between 11 and 12 hours.


You can almost see it in the picture above but she is sporting 8 teeth now. 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom. I keep thinking she will be getting a molar or two soon but I don’t see any yet!

Of course she still likes to play with anything her big brother plays with. They seem to be interacting a little more and almost playing together. I look forward to seeing their friendship grow!


She is still such a sweetie pie and I love it when she exuberantly comes rushing over to see me when I come home chattering a mile a minute as if to tell me all about my say. So lucky to have this little girl in my life!

Reflection on 2014

In years past (before Hunter was born) I use to write up a nice long newsy Christmas letter telling all our family and friends all the exciting adventures we had over the past year. These adventures included travels, work accomplishments, race reports from half marathons and triathlons, grad school achievements, and for Brian of course hunting and fishing successes. Since becoming a mom I just didn’t feel I had time to write a year end recap let alone print it out on fancy paper (why does my printer always seem to run out of ink in December?) and fold and mail the letter along with the perfect holiday photo card. Plus I didn’t think that there was anything too newsworthy to write about. But, as I sit back and reflect on the past 365 days there are so many little things I am thankful for, I don’t think I could possibly capture them all in a one page letter, nor do I think that everyone would care to read about them!

Being a parent causes you to be busy in such a different way than before children. In 2014 Hunter turned 2 and Everly turned 1. People with young children, or those who have had children close together can probably relate and know exactly what my 2014 entailed. Honestly, many days seemed to blur together and I often feel like I am in the movie “Groundhog Day” where I keep doing the same things over and over again. The seemingly endless loads of laundry, constantly saying, “Be kind, use your manners, wash your hands, be gentle with your sister.” Diapers! Oh the diapers! Mealtime battles and trying to get out the door in a timely manner are just some of my daily doings.

But then there are the victories that seem so momentous! Like the 2 year old staying dry, wearing undies for a whole week! Or the baby who finally sleeps through the night. Of course their are the daily occurrences that simply melt my heart and make me wish I had cameras recording my kids all the time. Like Everly’s smile when she wakes up in the morning or from a nap. Hunter’s excitement over the first snow fall. Hunter giving Everly a sweet kiss on the head. Everly standing up on her own and looking so proud of herself! The things Hunter says and remembers are so entertaining to me. I often wonder, “where does he come up with these things?” And watching Everly evolve from a tiny newborn to this independant little mover and shaker has been so much fun.

I could not reflect upon 2014 without mentioning the huge loss of my father who past away in February. I continue to grieve the lack of his presence in my life and lives of my children. He was, and would have been such a great grandpa! I take comfort in believing that we will one day be united again in heaven and try to keep his memory alive for Hunter and Everly.

Gone are the days of 10 mile runs as a I train for my 2nd half marathon of the year, or hours spent in front of the computer writing a master’s thesis, or experimenting in the kitchen with the latest recipe I found on a blog. The farthest we traveled this year was Washburn, WI (which was pretty far with two kids!), I am happy to tell you that I finally started exercising again even if it is only a couple of times a week for 30 minutes, and my favorite things to cook lately are whatever I can get my kids to eat. Sometimes I look back think about how vastly different my life is now but I love it, I truly do. I may not love every single moment but this is really a wonderful life, sleepless nights and all. I am truly blessed to have those two little rays of sunshine that greet me each morning with smiles on their faces and let me snuggle and kiss them good night. I have a husband who supports me and loves our children to the core of his being. Truly God has given me so much and I am so thankful! I can only imagine what 2015 will bring for our family. I am looking forward to what new adventures God has in store for us. Peace and blessings to you as you celebrate the holiday season!

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