2013 In Review

A few days into 2014, but I love looking back at these each year – This year the revised list of questions from RA.

1. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 40 – the big one. The day of my birthday, I took a vacation day. Had a manicure/pedicure with my friend Sara, met Karin for lunch and shopping, dinner at Noodles with the family, and then we played Just Dance Disney with the kids at home. Good day! The next day we had friends over for the evening, so the kids play Just Dance again and we caught up with friends. It was a GREAT birthday!

2. What are your strongest memories from this year, and why?

My kids aren’t babies any more…

In 2013, Maria transitioned from a Kindergartner to a big kid. She is quite the social butterfly and has a lot of interests. She has definite opinions about what she likes. She also now to the point where she chooses her friends based on common interests and not just because she sits by them.

Charlie went from a toddler to a preschooler. He is all boy and loves all things trucks or balls. He transitioned to a big boy bed and gave up his “nuk-er”. He started preschool and is now going all-day, every day. He can easily play by himself for 45 minutes at a time or with other kids. Maria and Charlie really have discovered they love to play together! He does not like when she has a friend over and he is left out.

3. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?

Fired my cleaning lady… A few things had disappeared and when my friend’s daughter’s piggy bank was emptied out, we let her go…

4. What did you want and get?

Braces – Still have them, but I see the changes and only have a few months left in them..

5. What did you want and not get?

Charlie to be potty trained!

6. What would you like to have next year that you didn’t have this year?

Better balance to my evenings during the week and spending more time with my kids.

7. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

For 2013 my goals were to:

  • simplify and not over-think. – I don’t know how well I did at this!?

My 2014 goals/resolutions are:

  • Get healthy – Eat better (stop cheating and eating gluten/dairy/soy) and exercise more – Cliché, but I really fell off the wagon this year…

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

I think I got some clarity on how I can be more successful at work.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not being prepared for change when I got a new manager at work. It was my first change in manager in my 4 years with the company and I did not handle it as well as I should have. I think it still would have been hard, but I think I could have made it easier and I will do better next time.

10. What did you rely on when you were overwhelmed?

My co-worker friends , seriously they supported me a LOT this year.

11. What are your strongest recommendations for entertainment from this year? (books, television, movies, music, etc)

TV = New Girl , Books = Still Alice

12. What song will remind you of this year?

Girl on Fire – by Alicia Keys – Mostly I will remember Charlie singing along in the car… too cute!

13. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year (not necessarily from the song that reminds you of the year).

I don’t quote songs…

14. What was your most enjoyable purchase?

Mazda CX-7

15. Did you travel? If so, where?

I made it to Wisconsin a few times – Luther Park in August, Spooner and the Dells in October, Green Bay in November

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Time off with my friends – with and without kids…

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Candy Crush

18. Compared to this time last year, how are you different?

I think I pulled myself out of a rut. Or at least recognized that I was in a rut – Baby Steps.

19. Compared to this time last year, how are you the same?

I still weigh the same, I still look the same,

20. What’s a life lesson you learned this year?

I need to embrace change and be prepared for curve balls. I think I’m slowly getting better equipped for this.

Previous: 2012, 2011, 2000-2009

My First Grader

My First Grader:

  • is still waiting to lose that first tooth
  • loves reading Little House on the Prairie
  • wants to be a pop star or an artist
  • loves watching The Wizard of Oz and Annie
  • loves her little brother
  • loves her cousins and 2nd cousins
  • formed a club with other girls on the playground and they compete against a club of 3rd grade boys! (help!)
  • likes to dress “like a teenager”
  • wants her grandma to teach her how to sew
  • is a member of the school chess club and a daisy scout
  • does her homework on the bus

I just love this girl so much, and she’s growing up so quickly!

First Grade School Pictures - 2013

Our 2nd Annual Wisconsin Dells Weekend

After last year’s fun weekend in the Dells, we were more than ready to do it again! Maria had the whole week off from school again, so we left Thursday morning, stopped for lunch with Grandma in Rochester, and then proceeded on to the Dells. What I loved about this, is that it was exactly like last year, and Maria did not figure out where we were going!


Our first stop was the outlet mall for new Crocs for Charlie, and of course, Jibbits for both kids! We then checked in at the Wilderness for our 2 night stay. We got a good 3 hours in before a late dinner and bed. And then up early Saturday for more water fun!


After late-afternoon naps, we headed to Buffalo Phil’s for an awesome dinner! Yummy food (gluten-free for me) delivered to us on a train! Then on to a night of fun with our friends at Knuckleheads! It didn’t take long for Maria and Briann to team up and go on the rides. They even took on the ropes course and had a great time. Charlie and Brooke were stayed on the smaller rides, but Brooke soon learned that Uncle Chad would chaperone her on the bigger rides.


Sunday we got in a little more time in the water before heading home. All in all, a great time!

More Pictures (you’ll notice more pictures of Charlie… this is because Maria was often off on the bigger slides with her daddy!)

Rally Sunday

We had Rally Sunday this past week.  Charlie started Sunday School.

There was NO separation anxiety at all. He just walked in the classroom and made himself at home!  When I picked him up he said “We went outside. And God made Everything!!”

When we picked up Maria she showed me a picture she drew of herself on the Wild Thing and could not remember the Bible story they read. (Which I especially found amusing later that afternoon, when she told me that she was a better listener than Charlie)

Here they are being cute before church. Both are wearing hand-me-downs from their cousins!
Ready for Rally Sunday!

2013 – First Day Of School

Here we go again!  More milestones – of the first day of school type!

Charlie had his first day of preschool today and Maria her first day of First Grade.  Both had great days. Both were tired tonight – Especially Charlie!  But his teachers said he just went with the flow and it wasn’t like he was the new kid at all.  Of course, it helps that they all know him as Maria’s little brother!

First Day of Preschool!

Maria declared the new girl in her class her new Best Friend in the car ride home from after school care.  Which is good, considering her Kindergarten BFF is at a different school this year.  And she came home with homework (1/2 page of numbers). She has also been asked to read 20 minutes a day. So we set up a little table in her room, where she can work without Charlie and I showed her how to set the timer to make sure she gets 20 minutes in.

First Day of School - 1st Grade!

All in all, based on the first day. I think it’s going to be a good year!
First Day of School!

More First Day Pictures

Labor Day Weekend

We’ve had a good weekend!

I took Friday off and ran errands and got my haircut… had some “down” time by myself.  It was a good way to start the weekend.

On Saturday the kids and I went to Rochester to visit my parents.  We also were able to get in a visit (and swimming) with my best friend from junior high who I haven’t seen since probably the early 90s!

Yesterday both kids got some special attention. Chad & I took Maria to Valleyfair and Charlie stayed home with Grandpa & Grandma all by himself. Both kids were very excited!

This was our 2nd visit to Valleyfair with Maria and I have to say it was very different!  As she had grown over 3″ since last summer (and over an inch since May!) and was now able to go on most of the big rides.  The Wild Thing and Monster being her favorites!  Her favorite from last year was not quite what she remembered although she tried to make it fun!  She also declared the Looping Starship (the upside down Viking ship) the most boring ride ever, even though Chad almost got pegged in the head with someone’s cell phone that came loose.

Today is laundry day… 🙂  and both kids are off to school tomorrow – Maria starting 1st grade and Charlie starting preschool! Both are excited!


Lifting weights at Grandma's