A new year; a new journal entry . . . a little late. I couldn’t wait one more day because, as we all know, it’s my birthday on Sunday, and after that I’ll have all kinds of things I’ll want to post about my birthday week. Ok. I kid, I kid. But seriously . . . The first few photos are from the weekend before New Year’s, but we’ll let it slide.
The whole family was going to go to Chicago for the weekend after Christmas to see Lily be sealed to her new family, see some Jones family, and just have a little “get away” together. With the sickness going through our house, it ended up just being me, Anna and Ben. Since we were smaller in number, my parents ended up driving with us, and we shared a hotel suite, so it was still fun and special for the kids, and helpful to me (especially since I ended up being pretty sick on the trip, so we cut it a day short).
1st pic: It was so beautiful being in the Chicago Temple and seeing Lily joined to her family for eternity. I am so happy for my sister’s family, and admire and love them all so much! I am so happy that Lily is part of the family, and love her so much! It took place in the same sealing room that Ethan and I were married in almost 9 years ago, and I hadn’t been back in there since. So that was a nice added bonus to the morning in the Temple – to be able to reminisce on the promises and covenants Ethan and I made, and the feelings I had that day. Ahhhh…
2nd pic: On Friday night we all (us, Beth’s fam, some of Stuart’s fam) went out to a DELISH restaurant I’d never been to before, Sweet Tomatoes. It was buffet style, but all so yummy and flavorful. The kids had fun picking out all kinds of yummy things to try . . . and I did too. 🙂
Then it was time for swimming! The cousins had fun taking a dip (first pic shows Anna, Ben Rebecca holding Lily), although not for long since it was LATE our time. I love the pic of Beth and Stuart lounging poolside . . . in all their normal clothes, boots too! hehe. But seriously, they’re so cute.
On Saturday after the temple, we went to my cousin’s house. They were hosting the Harry Jones family “Saturday after Christmas get together”, and were kind enough to let us join. Part of the time was set aside for a talent show, and it was so fun to watch . . . and even Anna decided to get up and sing. Sweetie. The pic above shows Rebecca (my niece) playing a beautiful song on the piano, and the other pic shows part of the Jones clan.
Anna and Ben love this side of the family, and were just in heaven all day surrounded by little cousins, and having fun. Love the pic of Anna giving Natalie a squeeze . . . they’re such cuties together. Oh, and I really, really wanted to get a pic of the three cousins who were born soooo close together in 2008 – Seth, Benjamin, and Griffin. But for some reason, none of those 4 year old boys were interested. Go figure. 🙂 I had tons of fun chatting with Griff though – such a social little guy. And oh my goodness, I could just squeeze my cousin Pat’s baby, Collin, alllll day.
Love these sleeping pics of the kids. After a long Friday of driving down to Chicago, running around the hotel (visiting all the rooms with friends and family, etc.), late dinner out, and swimming, they were just exhausted! And the second one shows the two of them FINALLY asleep on the late drive home to Marquette on Saturday. So peaceful…at last.
We loved seeing Auntie KC while she was in town for the holidays, and besides the usual get togethers, she made sure to have an alone date with each of the kids. (She’s such a sweetie!) The pic above shows Anna and KC after their date of getting their nails done professionally, and going out to dinner…WITH Anna’s new American Girl doll. And the second pic I threw on here because Anna is just a little obsessed, and it kind of cracks me up. She’s reading an American Girl Doll magazine while sitting next to her A.G. Doll, Caroline. Geesh, I was never like that with dolls growing up (I owned some Barbies, and had some baby dolls, and I think they were ok….but never a real obsession, or true love :), so this is kinda interesting to watch.
This is one of the shirts KC picked out for Cabers, and I. LOVE. IT. It’s just so perfect for him. He’s also playing with the Mario characters that Santa brought for Benjamin . . . because Ben was at school. Ben-Ben doesn’t usually share them with Caleb when he’s home, so I let him sneak in some time while Ben’s away.
After all the sickness, and festivities, and travel of the holidays, we were ready to have a PJ/movie/popcorn night for New Year’s Eve . . . and we didn’t even have the kiddos stay up any later than normal. So the pics above are fresh out of their baths and into their pjs to get ready to watch Brave…such a good movie! (And I love these matching pjs on the boys that GraMelissa got for them!)
Cute, little snuggle bugs! It was a fun, low-key night. We plopped them in bed, and watched a movie just the two of us. I think we technically made it to midnight . . . but just barely. And New Year’s Day, our last day of vacation, was relaxed, but fun. Anna had a playdate in the morning with a friend, then Beth had Anna and Ben out to her house to play with M and M. (And she and I got to chat and hang out . . . love!) Then, we farmed out the kids, and Ethan and I had an early afternoon date alone, until the kid’s bedtime. Ahhh, it was perfect, and so needed after the busy-ness of the holidays . . . and all the sickness. Then, Ethan went back to work on the 2nd, and the kids went back to school (not enough break if you ask me!). And life was back to “normal” . . .
So, I often write out New Year’s goals on here, but decided to skip it this year, mostly for the sake of keeping this already too long entry from getting any longer. Ethan and I have a couple of things we’re working on together, and I have a couple of things I want to try to renew that have been slipping. Nothing too extreme or different . . . baby steps to more peaceful, healthful living hopefully.
Hope you all had a great start to your new year, and that your 2013 is filled with love, joy and peace!