Saturday, December 31, 2011

The King is 1!!!!

I can't believe this hansthum little man is already 1!  I swear it was just yesterday that my sister was heading to the hospital to get induced and find out if she was having a boy or a girl!  Well, Mr. Kingstyn turned out to be the most gorgeous little red head ever!  Looking back on this year I'm so happy I've been able to go out to South Carolina and enjoy amazing moments and milestones.  This past week he's been in Michigan/Toledo and was able to hit yet another milestone for all the family to witness...he's WALKING!!!  This has been such a great year with him and I look forward to the many more to follow.  Happy Birthday Kingstyn Sese loves you so much and thinks about you everyday!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Downtown Christmas Date

John was traveling this past Monday and Tuesday so I had to come up with something to keep my crazy monkeys busy after Addi got out of school on Monday.  I called my awesome friend Liz to see if her and Joey were available to go to dinner and look at the lights downtown, so that's exactly what we did!  We started the night off going to Moon Under Water and got to eat outside in the beautiful weather!  The kids were awesome and more than anything were so excited for it to get dark and go see the lights!
 (Of course Auntie Liz had to sneak Mr. Brody a lemon, which he sucked on for quite a while)
(the evening couldn't get any better, the horses were out and the kids were so excited...except Brody, once again death grip that gave me some new arm bruises)
Every time I see this tree it reminds me of the Thanksgiving my Mom and Al came to visit and we went to the lighting of this tree ceremony!  The best part of the whole night was just watching Brody running around the grass and chasing after the kids.  It was hard to get him to leave, but luckily my plan worked and he was worn out by the time we got him home.  I should probably say the same thing about Addison, because her and Joey were running like crazy and by the end were sweating up a storm.   
 (I love this picture of Brody following Joey)
(The lights were amazing this year, they had lights that made it look like it was snowing)
This is another reason why I love living so close to downtown which makes for a beautiful view of the water.  There's always something going on and while I wish we could take more advantage of the events, we do what we can and the kids have a blast.  I love St. Petersburg, I can see us living here for a long time!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yikes...I Tried!

I thought it would be the BEST idea to make a ginger bread house with little Miss Addi this year, was I wrong!  I seriously thought this would be so much easier with the premade box and all you would have to do is decorate it.  Well, ours didn't turn out like the box at all!!
As you can see below, we tried but I must say I'm a little ashamed by my lack of creative skills.  Ugh, I was so frustrated throughout the whole process.  Addi and Brody were in heaven just eating the icing, but I wanted to prove to myself I can be "domesticated".  I have a feeling next year I'll just have Addi pick one out that is already made, I just don't know if I can go through this stress again!  ;o) 

Monday, December 12, 2011

First Santa Visit

Brody seems to be adapting to this Christmas stuff pretty well.  Its been a little cooler where I got to bust out the long sleeve x-mas pjs (how cute is he)?
On Saturday we took our first trip to go see Santa Claus and it was a little interesting.  Thanks to our friend Corrine she setup a nice Breakfast with Santa at The Museum of Fine Arts.  It was gorgeous inside, we've never been there and for sure plan to come back!  Some of Addi's friends were there and got to enjoy a book from Mrs. Claus first, which was interesting because Addison was a little weird about it.  She refused to sit with her friends and then refused to face forward when she did.  I have no idea why she was acting so strange, but she did eventually warm up and even sat on Mrs. Cluas' lap 
Now Brody was a different story!  I know he's been a little hesitate about all this craziness going on, I had no idea the kid could squeal the way he did when I tried putting him on Santa's lap.  I couldn't help but laugh, but he was seriously scared to death.  The most fun he had was playing with the other kids and throwing a ball around.  I think it was getting a little too close to his nap or he is just terrified, but when it was time for the kids to get on Santa's lap Addi was all about it and Brody was NOT!  I couldn't even get a picture of him screaming because as soon as I tried to put him on his lap he jumped right off.  Sooo, John took him and I just enjoyed the excitement of Addison telling Santa what she wanted.
Brody still has two more tries to get this picture for me, but we'll see what happens.  I might need to be in the picture with him or else we won't have a 2011 x-mas picture of my little guy with Santa.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Just Call Me Great-Aunt Stephanie

My niece Gabby (my brother Mike's daughter) had a baby girl at 3:30am, she's 7lbs 1oz and 19 inches long!  Please welcome the newest member of our family Zoey Jane!!!
After lots of false alarms Gabby was finally able to have her baby girl early this morning.  I can't wait to get the details, but it seems like she's doing good and she'll have some company tomorrow since my dad and brother will get to see her for the first time!  From my memory I think she looks just like Gabby when she was a baby, I can't tell if her hair is blond or red, but it seems like we are all having at least one red head baby these days.  Gabby started off with red hair, Addi started off with red hair and of course my hansthum little nephew is still rocking the red hair.  While I'm wayyy too young to be a great aunt, I'm super excited to have a new member to add to our growing family!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Little Snow Bunny!!

Addison is OBSESSED with wearing a hat and gloves since my friend Liz dropped off some clothes for Brody which included a winter hat and some mittens (for Brody).  She even wore the hat to school on Tuesday and guess what...when I picked her up she was still wearing it!  She's so funny!  Today has been the first day that its actually been pretty cold (45 degrees, but high of 66) so I pulled out her winter hat and gloves that we got a couple of years ago when we went to WA.  She was of course super excited because they were pink and even more excited when I told her its cold out and she needs to bundle up for the car ride over to school.
Of course we had to add the pink sunglasses too since we DO live in Florida.  I loved the looks on the ladies faces when I dropper her off at school...they LOVED it!  I'm interested to see what she looks like when I pick her up today!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's Beginning to Look alot Like Christmas

I still can't wrap my head around the fact that its already December let alone going to be Christmas in a couple of weeks!  John and I decided to get our tree this past Sunday and it went great!  Addison is so much fun, I swear everything that comes out of her mouth goes a little like this "ohh my Gosh that is so cute".  Whether it has to do with the decorations or all the fun ornaments we've been collecting, that tiny little voice just melts my heart!  We had to decorate our house and tree in stages.  Friday night I started taking the decorations out, which then continued into Saturday and then Sunday we took the plunge and got the tree a week earlier than planned.  Since John had to spend most of Sunday cleaning up the yard and mowing our lawn with a weed whacker the out door lights will not be hung until this weekend.  So, while Brody was sleeping we brought the tree in and let it sit a while so that it could "settle".  OMG was Brody confused when he got up from his nap!  He had no idea what was going on and was not happy about a tree being in our house.  He was holding onto John for dear life every time he walked past it, it seriously took him hours to even pass the dining room area by himself.  Once he got settled with that and we let him touch one of the branches he was even more confused.  It was a look like "why the hell did you just do that to me"?  Well, our little cranky butt ended up going to bed a little early that night and while I was at the grocery store John and Addi put the lights on the tree.  Brody ended up waking up and now not only is there a tree in his house its all lit up.  You could just tell he was so confused, but adapted pretty well.  Since we ran out of time Sunday night to do the ornaments we did them Monday night after John got home from work.  Well, once again Mr. Brody went to bed early and then decided to wake up after we had the ornaments about torturing a kid during Christmas.  He was so excited to see all these beautiful things hanging from the tree, but all he would keep hearing was "NO".  After doing some adjustments as far as how high he could reach, the ornaments seem to be safe.  Watching his reaction to all these changes was hilarious!  I must say he's adjusted and is now say " ca" when he sees the needles on the floor.  We still have to keep reminding him not to touch the branches, but he's learning and in the mean time I just have to watch him like a hawk.  I can't wait to see his reaction when its time to throw the tree out and he has all that space back! 
 (Don't make fun of the leaning adds character)
Addison and Brody received an amazing gift in the mail a couple of weeks ago from my Aunt Michele.  They got a really cool Advent calendar that we can keep for years to come.  I decided to hang it on the wall, somewhere that Addi could reach with her stool and our little monster wouldn't knock it down.  It is the coolest one I've seen.  Addi opens the doors each day, the items have magnets on the back and she can place the item whereever she wants.  I thought we would get the box out the night before Christmas and place them in the correct place.  Anyway, what a thoughtful gift!  I seriously love it and love the fact every year when we get it out I can remind them its from their Great Aunt Michele!
Another project that I've been working on since John and I have been together is collecting a small piece of the tree trunk from our Christmas tree each year.  I'm missing 2006 because we were in Washington that year.  I was struggling with what to do with these in order to make sure they didn't get destroyed and keep my house less dirty during this time of the year.  I came up with the perfect idea and bought a Shadow Box from Michael's.  They were BOGO so now I have another one for the next 10 years of x-mas trees.  I'll post a pic of the final product next time.  Thanks to my Aunt Carrie who told me about this idea, because every time I look at these I have the best memories and actually feel amazed how time flies.  I write where we live at the time along with the year and as you can see I fill them with hearts because its such a special time.
I'll be the first one to tell you, I've never been this over the top excited person about Christmas (except for maybe when I was younger), but having these kids and watching their reaction to things really brings me back to childhood and makes me excited all over again.  Addison is just amazing I love how she comments on everything being so beautiful and how excited she is about Santa coming.  I know I keep saying it, but every year gets better and better and its because of my little family!  (more pics. of the house to come)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Big Game!!!

While we were in South Carolina visiting the Small family, the college football game of the year was on...Michigan vs. Ohio State!!!  It was so much fun watching it this year because Troy & Lindsey who are huge Buckeye fans were there visiting too (they're from Toledo) so we had some rivalry fun.  The game was exciting and extremely memorable.  The kids had a blast as well as the adults, loved seeing all that maize and blue.  Of course the game ended in the best possible way...we WON!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Our Babies LOVE Eachother!!

Getting the kids together this past Thanksgiving weekend totally exceeded my expectations.  Of course our little mama Addi was right on top of when to tell the boys "no" before we could figure out what they were doing, but of course she was all about loving on her baby cousin Kingstyn and still giving her little brother the same attention.  They seriously had a BLAST!  Kingstyn was still figuring out this whole "why am I not the only baby at my house", but he showed lots of signs that he's going to be an awesome big brother one day.  Brody and King got along awesome, while they're still kind of in their own world, they had a blast playing together in the huge playroom.  It truly was amazing to see the three of them together as if they were siblings and I continue to tell myself its only the beginning...its only going to get better as they get older.  The cousin bonding was a success and I can't wait for the next get together!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sisterly Bond

I am the luckiest person in the world to have a sister so close in age.  This has especially been even more important as we get older.  Its exciting to watch each other grow and share stories of whats going on with our kids and being so close in age we seem to go through many of the same things as we figure out adult life together.  As we have our ups and downs because...hello we are sisters we always come out stronger and know that no one will ever damage the bond we've continuously work at and enjoy to have.  I love Natalee so much and know she will always be my best friend and be there for me no matter what happens.  I can't thank God enough for allowing us to not only be close in age, but to be so similar as well as different in times and more importantly help us continue to grow and realize we'll always be close no matter what obstacle we have to endure.  I love you Natalee and thank you for being there for me and my kids 100%, I'm never going to stop loving you and I know we will be inseparable forever!