>Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010!

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I just looked back at my posts from December of last year to see if I made any resolutions “official” by blogging about them, but no such luck. Honestly, I was probably just trying to keep my head above water with Maddy and Libby that I didn’t have time to write them down. I can guess what they were – start running again, be a better wife/mother/friend, healthier eating/exercise habits, etc.

Well, I did start running again in January 2009 and have logged a little over 500 miles this year. When I think about it, that doesn’t seem like a lot, but I pretty much ran consistently with the exception of the month of November. Not too shabby. I feel good with my running too. I can’t say that I’m any faster, but it doesn’t scare me like it used to to go run 5 miles. I also made some great friends along the way.

As far as the others are concerned, I’m sure I could put them back on the list.

I also think a lot about what I want this blog to “be.” When I first started, I said “So, I hope that this blog can be a journal of some sorts so I can look back at what my life was like in my mid 30’s and hopefully, I will learn something along the way.” I guess that is still the true essence, but now loaded with diaper stories, and photos of my daughters.

I really do feel blessed this year. I have two happy and healthy children that I really cannot imagine this world without. They have brought more to my life than I would have ever imagined. I’m lucky to have a wonderful Hubby who loves me, has helped me immensely and in so many ways, and takes a lot of crap from me and ignores a lot of it. He truly is my biggest supporter and cheerleader. I am lucky to have friends that I can count on ~ new and old.

I’ve seen many friends go through a lot of pain this year and I wish for them happier days ahead. I’m sad that I’m losing my very flexible and very great part-time job. I think I’m still in shock that it’s ending (today is my last day), but I guess there is also some excitement about what’s to come. I am lucky to be taking on a big role with my local Junior League in the coming years. While there’s excitement, I’m also a little nervous, honored, and humbled at the same time.

It wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t include a photo of the kids for your viewing pleasure. My best (and oldest as in length of years – not in age) friend and her family came to visit us for a few days earlier this week. It was great to catch up, but we did admit that our house felt like Romper Room on more than one occasion. I also think we’ve both decided that four kids is too many.

It’s hard to beat a friend since the 2nd Grade. I won’t say how many years that’s been!

No idea what was wrong with my children. Everyone else was happy.
Happy New Year to everyone! I hope 2010 brings you health, happiness, and laughter!
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>A look back

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I know you are always supposed to keep looking ahead, but I can’t help it … I’m a sentimental ol’ sap and I love the memories that photographs bring.

I kept seeing this on Facebook, and I couldn’t help but to play along.

Of course, there are a lot of memories that this didn’t capture, but it gave a good overview.
For the most part in looking back at 2009, I ran a lot (or at least had photos made at the races), watched my babies grow from itty bitty babies into walking & talking toddlers, enjoyed time with the Junior League, and spent some time with Hubby and great friends.
I’ll keep looking ahead, but I think it’s nice to take a look back every now and then.

>The big red box

>On Christmas Eve, we attended our church’s candlelight service, took a drive to see Christmas lights and then headed home since it was nearing 7:15 and Maddy and Libby’s bedtime.

When we got home, the girls were wandering around downstairs and Hubby and I were grabbing a few items that we needed to take upstairs.

Maddy walked back to one of the guest bedrooms and I found her patting a BIG gift wrapped box. Hmmmmm …. I know I didn’t put that there, but I was trying to figure out when it arrived.

I told Hubby that Maddy had sold him out and led me to a surprise that I could only assume was for me. He just stood there and laughed. After moving it from the front porch to our mud room, then wrapping it, he showed it to Maddy.

This sucker would have been hard enough to wrap, but also to hide? Nearly impossible! I had to also laugh that he did this while I was out running a couple of short errands and was probably only gone about 30-40 minutes.

Oh, and what was inside? Not a refrigerator, but a new cubby/shelf with hooks to hang in our mudroom so there is a place to hang my purse, their backpacks, diaper bag, dog leashes, etc.

>Children’s Museum visit

>Guess where the cameras were? Yep, right on the kitchen counter. I could have tried taking photos with my BlackBerry, but Maddy and Libby are just too darn fast.

We bought a family membership to our local children’s museum as M&L’s Christmas gift. Since they still don’t really know what’s going on with the gift situation, we decided that this would be a good gift to enjoy all year long.

We walked in and headed to the Tot Area for kids under 2. It had a big tunnel, cars to ride, rocking chairs/animals, soft play areas, balls, books, blocks, etc. Lots of mirrors, textures, etc. It took them a few minutes to warm up and then they were off … hopping in the car, zooming through the tunnel, picking up balls, etc. It was really fun to watch them play and also to notice how differently they play.

Case in point, Maddy walked over to the swinging doors, pushed it open and walked out into the huge hallway like she knew where she was going. I followed along and after a visit to the lobby, we found the Market area with baskets of fruits, veggies, cheeses, breads, shopping carts, cash registers, etc. I think she did more shopping out of the other kids carts instead of from the shelves, but it was all good. At one point, I think she was just happy holding onto to 3 lemons and walking around.

We caught back up with Libby and Daddy, checked out the hospital area, the campground, and the theatre/stage area, had a little snack and called it a day.

All in all, I’m so happy with our gift decision. They had a blast, expended lots of energy, and we all enjoyed it. Next time … camera will be in the bag. We also heard about a cute New Years Eve Eve concert with a countdown to 12 noon. How fun is that?

>Thinking about …

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  • Those Hallmark cards that start with the line, “To our wonderful son & daughter” with “daughter” in quotes. It aggravates me every holiday that we receive one. Do they bother anyone else?
  • The Popcorn Factory tin that I noticed at Target yesterday. It contained some kind of savory mix that included jalapeno, cheddar, and another flavor. I didn’t want to pause too long or I knew that sucker would end up in my cart and I would eat the whole damn thing. I’m still thinking about it. And Mexican food. And good, warm bread. And Pioneer Woman’s crash potatoes. No, I’m not pregnant, just trying to stick to Weight Watchers.
  • Who else but me would run out of tape in the middle of the last present I was wrapping? Luckily, I found some double stick tape and finished it like the pros.
  • Does anyone else keep a copy of Martha’s “three perfect bows” how-to guide with your gift wrap supplies? I do, but I can never get my bows as pretty as hers. Maybe it’s because my ribbon was 1/2 off at Michaels’ or Target, and I’m sure Martha’s is not.
  • For obvious reasons, we put our packages on the mantle instead of under the tree this year, but I like it so much that it may become an annual tradition. Plus, it keeps me from trying to figure out how to decorate my mantle.

>One day,

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I’ll have something witty to write about, but until now … more photos of my children.
This was their first experience with chocolate chip cookies. They actually seemed to take their time and nibble them, just like my Meme would have done. Only, they also drank sippy cups of milk and Meme would have been drinking black coffee.
They are 18 months old today. Where does the time go?
The cookies never left their hot little hands the entire time.
Don’t even think about it.
Yummmm.

Sweet.

>Santa! I know him!

>One of our neighbors had a little gathering last weekend for about 10 families … and Santa made an appearance. It was great watching all of the other kids (who were about 4-5 years old) when he showed up at the door.

Our two weren’t so sure about sitting on his lap by themselves, but they were fine once we hung out on the sofa with the big guy.

We had to laugh how they are totally checking him out. I also laughed at how Libby is holding a measuring cup that she must have “borrowed” from the kitchen and Maddy was wearing the jewels that she “borrowed” as well.

It’s so hard for me to believe that Christmas is next week. I definitely feel in the spirit this year, but it just really feels like this month is flying by. I think I now understand what my Mom always said … that she wanted everything to slow down this time of year so we could truly take time to enjoy it.

>Question …

>If you hire a cleaning person on a regular basis, do you give them a holiday “tip” or gift? If so, how much?

What other service providers do you give a holiday tip or gift? Hairstylist, babysitter, teachers, etc?