Tuesday, December 31, 2013

17 months old

(Still not a clue on height and weight - I feel like you eat ALL the time though so you have to be growing)
Clothing Size: 18-24 month everything with 2T shirts
Shoe Size: moved up to a size 6 this month
Number of Teeth: 14-16.  Your canines are have finally emerged to the surface.

Oh man.  December 2013 was QUITE the month - cannot believe it's going to be 2014 in just a few hours.  Just like every year, the holidays seem to make everything fly by because we are always going from here to there and running around.  But even with the constant on-the-go, we had a great month.  It is seriously my favorite thing to see you learn and change.  

You are learning SO much now, every day.  You finally started to say more words (yes, of course I constantly was worried and asking your teachers if everything was ok...they assured me it would just come on your own) and guess what?  You strung together your first sentence this month!  "Ride the bike" you would say over and over again referring to the exercise bike in my parents basement that you are obsessed with.  What's funny is that now you think everyone has a bike in their basement to ride.  Sorry, Charlie, that's not the case.  But I love hearing you say a sentence!!  So we pretend we are going to ride the bike regularly.

Know what else you are?  Quite the daredevil.  You love getting up on the ottoman and coffee tables and climbing up and over everything.  It scares me to death.  But you seem to think it's quite amusing.  I'm just waiting for a trip to the ER.  Let's put that off as long as possible.

You are a little more interested in the iPad/iPhone now, which is nice because that makes our few attempts to go out to eat a little more bearable.

Santa quite isn't something you understand fully yet, but you sure love opening presents and getting new toys.  Santa was very nice to you this year and so was your family - so hopefully you are a good boy going into 2014!!!  I'm already looking forward to next year when you are almost 2.5 (um that's crazy) and we can do more fun stuff to celebrate the holiday season!  Playing with your friends and cousins is always a perk of holidays too.

The final highlight of the month?  Going on your first plane ride and vacation to Florida.  I was really worried about our 3 hour flight, but you were amazing (let's see how you do the way back to KC tomorrow) and have just loved vacation.  The beach and sand are your favorite thing EVER. You seriously get SO dirty in the sand and throw it and just roll around in it.  Let's just say your baths were more frequent and full of sand run off in the bath.

We cannot wait to see how much you change and grow up in 2014!!!  We love you and your little personality that is emerging and changing by the day.  You are definitely ACTIVE to say the least and keep us on our feet...but we enjoy the challenge.

Love you little man!
Mom and Dad

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013!


 I felt like we got off a rough start getting into the holiday spirit.  Luckily, Jimmy to the rescue and he got up all the Christmas decorations and that was the beginning.  Our tree was nothing to write home about this year in terms of decor...but Charlie loved all the Hallmark Keepsake ornaments that had buttons and made noise.  Because this kid is obsessed with everything that resembles a ball - we didn't take the time to put up the ball ornaments...which I think was a good idea.

I had a few videos I need to get off our video camera of how much fun he had with the ornaments.  Every time he hit the ghostbuster ornament, he'd shake his booty to the song.  So cute.

I love this picture.
We were kind of on top of the gift purchasing.  Which was good because there wasn't that much time to shop due to Thanksgiving being so late.  We did use Elfster this year  with Jimmy's family, which was awesome because you could make a wishlist and easily get exactly what people wanted.  We always do a gift exchange with cousins, and my sister in law, Lindsay is always on top of what her kids want!  So with those and just a few more presents, we were ready to wrap.

I thought wrapping with this kid would be a good idea.  Yeah...um...NO.

But luckily he looked pretty cute in his new camo PJs and robe from Bass Pro shop...because that made up for it.

And the fact that he was entertained for HOURS going in and out of Toby's new kennel.  Ahhh - the joys of finding solo entertainment.  It's amazing what we can accomplish!

I do love when it's the holiday's and all my friends from all over the country are in town.  On Monday night, some of my college friends got together for dinner and of ours, we were up to shenanigans in the restaurant bathroom.  Amy brought a doppler she had to give to Emily....and with Courtney being an OBGYN...it was time to listen to heart beats.  Oh how I love my friends....

Even though we were all off work on Christmas Eve, apparently Charlie wanted to work.

So on our day off - I decided to try to be a crafty mom and use the store bought gingerbread kit to see if Charlie would like that.  Well - those things are harder than I thought they would be.  However, he thoroughly enjoyed eating all the candy.  And icing.  I mean so did I.

This was our result.  #gingerbreadfail

We ended Christmas Eve at the 3PM church service.  Even at 3PM, the candle light service is still amazing.  I love it and look forward to it every year.  Even better?  Charlie did GREAT in the nursery.  Second time in a row.  Maybe the guilt trip I got from the nursery staff about needing to attend "more regularly" kicked in...haha.

Nana and Papa joined us for the service at Rez West, which was awesome and then Jimmy cooked up a delicious shrimp meal for us to enjoy. 

I did want to attempt to get a good family picture since we were dressed up - luckily you can take 8 pictures before you get a good one.  I guess that explains why back in the day there are hilarious pictures of us as kids, right?  Since our parents just had the point and shoot - they didn't know what was on the other end.  So my thoughts?  Make sure to post the funny ones too because your kids will appreciate the amusement of them...someday.

After a delicious dinner and gathering up a plate for Santa and his reindeer, Charlie went to bed and it was up to some of Santa's best elves to put together what he had dropped off.  Santa had brought Charlie an awesome Little Tikes play set.  Eventually going outside when the weather is nice...we'll see where it lives now.  And my parents got him a play kitchen that Jimmy and my cousin Brett assembled.  After many reminders from me that "sticker placement is CRUCIAL" - they got it just right!

It was funny because Charlie RARELY sleeps until 7AM on the weekdays and NEVER on the weekends.  So I for sure thought this would be like a 5:30AM wake up day.  Nope, the kid slept until 7:30.  So my parents made their way back over so they could see his face when we came down the stairs.  While he really liked the presents, he still doesn't "get" Santa - but that's what we have to look forward to next year, right?

The first thing he went for?  The bag of Christmas bows.  Ha.  Of course.  The second thing was the kitchen!

My sister was with her boyfriend's family in Wichita, but that doesn't mean they didn't leave presents for him.  They went WAY overboard and had way too much fun shopping for him.  They got him play food, a grill, a giant ball pit and a few other little things.  He loved it!

However, I think we need to work on getting him to understand the function of a grill...

The play set?  Yep - that was a hit!!!

After lots of playing a nap, we were ready to head over to Jimmy's parents house for the Carter family Christmas.  With 9 kids...they were all dying to open the presents while we were waiting for everyone to arrive!!!

Charlie was the first one to open since he was the youngest - and his gift was a hit!!  He got 6 foam swords.  I think his older cousins had way more fun then he did with them (check out Ben's face that my sister in law, Trish, caught on camera)...but he'll get the hang of it!

I was a mom fail and we only took video and no pictures, but I stole another one of Trish's pictures from Facebook of Uncle Jimmy passing out scratcher tickets that he got all the kids.  Charlie didn't get any...but apparently he wanted some!!

We had a great time celebrating a wonderful holiday this year.  Listening to the true meaning of Christmas during Christmas Eve services is always the highlight of this time.  It can be so crazy with gift-buying and lots and lots of food...but it's nice to hear the story of Jesus' birth and what it means to Christians.  We are lucky and as of our traditions right now, we are not running from place to place all day long on Christmas Eve and Christmas, so we get some time to enjoy the season and the time with our extended and little family.

This year, it was much different with a 16 month (almost 17!) month old and I'm sure each year will get more and more fun as he starts to get into the traditions (next year, I'm going to attempt Elf on the Shelf for sure).

Hope you all had a great holiday with your family and little ones!!!

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Golden birthday girls

I have gotten REALLY bad at posting a special post for special friends and family on their birthday.

However, I couldn't let December 29 pass without wishing 3 of my friends a VERY happy GOLDEN birthday!!  I have way too many memories of helping them celebrate many birthdays over Christmas break during college and even after college.  

So Courtney and Ashley (the Kelly twins still - even though Court is married) and Emily...


Ashely and her teeth

Courtney LOVES cupcakes

Emily and her hands...

Wishing you three the best year yet and hopefully you can still keep up with all the birthday shenanigans we used to engage in in 2013 and on.  

And guess what?  Since next year is the big 3-0...we need to have something pretty awesome planned.  No questions asked.

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Remembering during the holidays

While we celebrated my grandpa's life back in October, what would have been his 89th birthday came December 17 as well as our first round of holiday's without a phone call or a visit to see him and my grandma.  I forgot I took some really great pictures that I want to remember at his services.  So as we wrap up the holiday season, I thought it was a good time to remember him and all the loved ones we all lost this year and years past.

Where I'm at in my life, I do feel blessed to celebrate so many lives being started with the birth of so many wonderful children that my friends and family are bringing into this world as well as celebrating so many lives well lived with my own grandparents and my friends.  Being in your late 20s, you're at such an interesting point and I'm going to embrace it and celebrate all the things God has given us and all the people he's brought into my life.

 With that said, here are a few pictures of the visitation for my grandpa.  As I mentioned before, it was a wonderful few days celebrating his 88 years of life and being with our family and friends that loved him so much.  I know my dad so misses his nightly phone calls hearing his dad's voice and I miss our phone calls with him.  But he's pain free and watching over us every day!  Lucky us!!!

beautiful flowers and my grandpa

Where he's buried next to his other family members. 
One thing that was really neat about our time at the cemetery was the 21-gun salute that was done in his honor.  Members of the local VFW participated and it was so neat to see some of his old friends out there honoring him and his years of service in the US Navy.  Very proud of him!!!

 My mom snapped a family picture outside of the church.  Charlie looked so dapper.  What was also really neat was that the church that his funeral was in was the same church that my grandparents were married in over 60 years ago.

After the funeral, we took advantage of the seriously gorgeous weather that Storm Lake, IA was having...especially considering it was early October.  It's usually freezing when we are there...so it was fun to get to be by the lake and at the AWESOME playground that was by our hotel!!

Charlie loved it - especially because they had an infant maze that was just his size!

Our last celebration of the weekend was for my grandma.  She was so strong all weekend and during everything...and the day of my grandpa's funeral was actually her birthday.  So of course we got her a cake and sang her Happy Birthday.  She's the sweetest!!

After lots of family time, hugs,  tears and laughs...and MANY rides on the luggage cart with dad...it was time to head back to Kansas City.

It was a beautiful few days commemorating and wonderful guy and the great life he lived.  He was a friend, a farmer, a volunteer, a husband, a dad, a brother, a son, a grandpa, a great-grandpa, a service man, an ethical and hard working man...among MANY other roles he held and held them all so well.  He will be greatly missed on this Earth and especially all those times we just need a hug or slobbery kiss from our grandpa, but I'm thankful that he's in a better place and all the wonderful memories we got to have with him!!!

Thinking of everyone who lost someone this year (or year's past) that they love, especially during the holidays.  May peace and love be in your hearts!

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Graduation weekend: success!

In August, most people thought I was nuts.  And after living this last semester, I would probably agree with them. But guess what?  We made it.  I'm done with grad school.

Why did people think we're crazy?   Because this was the first semester EVER that I was going to be consistently going to class more than one night a week.  And not just two nights...but three.  UGH.  Just typing it makes me want to puke.  I'm so glad it's over with.  I had 2 classes left - both required to graduate with my emphasis in finance and management.  Usually, I could pick my classes really based on preference, but more on the schedule.  I didn't like going to class more than one night per week and had been able to keep it like that (even last spring when I took 9 hours, or 3 classes, because I took an intercession class that was 3 nights a week, but just for 3 weeks and then another online class).  But this time, it was either you go to class 3 nights a week or put off graduation until spring. 

Seriously, the thought of going another 16 weeks was just not something we wanted to do.  So Jimmy and I decided we would suck it up and deal with it for 16 weeks this fall and we'd be done.  Easier said then done, right?  Have you ever done something like that and then while you're in it...you think...what the HECK was I thinking?  Yes, that is exactly what we said to ourselves a few times.  With school + craziness at work with both of us having new(er) jobs, we were not happy campers for a while.  But we made it.  And that's what matters. 

So when it came time for graduation...we celebrated and it was wonderful!  It for sure wasn't just a celebration of my and just my accomplishment...but celebrating that we made it as a family.  And a celebration of all the support of family and friends we had this last semester that made all this possible.  And really to Jimmy because he's awesome too.

It kicked off at work - my Hallmark friends are the best and so sweet.  They not only got me this delicious cake, but took me out to lunch too!! My last Crown Room cake.  It was delicious!!!

On Friday, December 13, we all met at UMKC's rec center for graduation.  I really didn't want to participate - mainly because I'm cheap and didn't want to have to pay for the gown, hat and robe thing.  But Jimmy said I had to and that Charlie would love and appreciate that picture someday that we had together.  Yep.  He was right.  And it was so good to see some of my friends from grad school that I'd made over the past 3 years and hadn't seen in awhile.  It was long, but great!

Snacks are the best entertainment

Walking across the stage!

My favorite picture! (made the Christmas card also!)

We were going to go out to dinner to celebrate after the ceremony, but it was 7:00 at that point and our little man was fading fast.  With snack for dinner, he was tired and we decided to just go home.  So we ordered Chipotle online, I put Charlie to bed, Jimmy got Chipotle and we celebrated just me and him.  And it was perfect and delicious!!

The next night, we had planned on having our families over to celebrate with a small party.  Little did I know what my tricky, party planning husband had up his sleeve.

At first, my friend Emily and her husband Jeff walked in and just figured that Jimmy had extended the invite to a few of my closest friends...and then more and more people started walking in and I finally got the picture.  Jimmy invited like everyone.  And it felt like everyone came.  I was in shock (mainly to see all these people AND that they drove all the way out to our new house...which is about 15 minutes from our old house which was in the heart of KC).  It was seriously SO so fun to see everyone.  I had so much fun talking as people came and went and their kids came and played with Charlie - who is already a party lover just like his dad!

So thank you Jimmy for such a wonderful surprise and to everyone that came and celebrated with us and for so many others that reached out that wish they could have been there.  It seriously meant so much to me.  I love that all the people are here for us during good times and bad.  Love you!!

 Some party pics my mom snapped!!

Charlie and Brodie hanging out with Carly!

I mean people were EVERYWHERE!!!

Yes Bennett, Charlie loves the freezer too!!!

Cousins love Charlie's toys!!!  And he loves them!

 It still feels surreal to be done.  I dont' think it has sunk in yet.  Everyone keeps asking me how it feels, but with the holidays these past few weeks and getting every thing ready to leave my job at Hallmark, it seems like the craziness hasn't stopped.  I start my new job on January 3, which I think after a week of going to that and NOT going to class every night and being able to cook and play with Charlie and not walk into our house at 6PM stressed out about everything...I will be VERY happy it is all over.

So in the end and after 3 long years and one kid in between...we are happy that I did it and I finished it.  Check to that life goal!!!

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