Friday, January 29, 2016

Last Sunday my goddaughter/niece received her 1st Communion.
She looked so beautiful and it was such a magical mass. I just love 1st Communions. I get teary eyed at every single one just thinking back to when I received mine and now my boys theirs. It's a very special sacrament to receive and I know she will never forget it. After mass I had my mom take a picture of us because we all looked so darn good ;) This was the church my boys were baptized at and they haven't been back since. It was a pretty special Sunday :)
not sure why Asher just can't be normal, ha

"Have the courage to be truly happy." 
~ Pope Francis

I absolutely love this quote. It's easy for people to say they are happy but inside really are not. Or it's easy for some people to complain all the time about everything when really they are happy. 

Just be happy. 

Everyone has things they are going through in life but for many people I know, even though they have all these blessings they still find things they feel are missing. This then leads them to not allowing them to feel happiness. Love your life, even if it's not what you thought it would be. A higher power perfectly designed your life just for you. 

Trust his plan. 

I can tell you that there have been moments in my life where I have sat and thought how in the world did I get here. This is nothing that I ever expected. But once I cleared my head and heart, I reminded myself that this life was designed just for me. I am exactly where I am meant to be and I am choosing to be happy and love every minute. It really does take a lot of courage to chose happiness. Especially in a social media crazed world. Once you decide to be truly happy with your life you will be surprised on all that you were missing before :)

Happy FriYAY!

goals for 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I know it's already the end of January but this month I have been spending time thinking about my goals personally and for our family this year. I am so excited to see what 2016 has in store for us.

My personal goals are:

Eat healthier and be fit
Cameron and I both have this as a goal so that of course makes it helpful ;) I have signed up for the Barre3 January Challenge and absolutely love it! The workouts are all online and are categorized but time so I just chose what would work best in my schedule for that day. They are hard and I have been quite sore but the instructors are so motivating that I just really enjoy every workout. I also love the recipes they email out. Cameron is on a very strict diet right now and the recipes fit right in with him so that's been really nice and helpful. Also this lent I am going to try and go vegetarian again possibly even vegan. I have already cut dairy out of my diet (except for cheese...I love cheese). Last year I think with living with my parents and not really being in the right mindset just made the experience harder for me. This year I feel much more prepared and already eat a large portion of my meals vegetarian.  My goal with all of this, is not only to be healthier but to make it more of a lifestyle change.

Finish decorating the house to make it homier
When we moved in last year I went through every room and pretty much just quickly put it together...with exception of the kids rooms. Then I went back through and made changes but it still didn't feel right. There are a few rooms left in the house I really want to create a new space in. Almost the entire upstairs is done...the only room I have left to finish is Amelia's bathroom. Downstairs I have the guest bedroom, guest bathroom, updates in the homework room, a few updates in the kitchen, living room (I have a HUGE project for this room!), master bathroom and bedroom. I also want Cameron to build a barn door for our entryway that closes off the mudroom. I absolutely love our house and living here has been almost dream like but I want it to feel a little homier. That's one of the things I loved so much about the house on Windmill Cove. I have already started the guest room and master bathroom so look for posts on those room to come!

Spending more one on one time with the kids
This is actually a goal of Cameron and mine together. We have talked about doing monthly date days or evenings with the kids for years and have made time here and there for it, but this year we are going to make sure we do one each month (starting in Feb). The first month I am going to take Asher somewhere and Cameron is going to take Aiden and then we will switch back and forth. Cameron will also take Amelia somewhere special sometime. I don't necessarily need to since her and I go special places together all the time ;) I am so excited about this! I have already planned to take Asher ice skating in February because he has always wanted to go. I think Cameron might take Aiden to Top Golf because he is starting to show an interest in golf. These dates should be a lot of fun but most of all show our kids how important they are to us.

More dates for us grownups ;)
Since we are carving out time to take the kids on monthly dates we are also going to try and make sure we take 1 (maybe 2) dates a month. Last year life was just so crazy busy with the new house and playing select baseball. The months just flew by and before we knew it the year was over. This year we have less on our schedule (no more select baseball) so hopefully it will be easier to make time for each other. Cameron and I love spending time together and my parents love keeping the kids so there are no excuses!

Many many adventures!
This year I want to get out of the house and go on adventures! For the past 3 years Amelia has been our excuse not to do things. She wasn't the easiest baby in the world and traveling with her made things pretty stressful. Now that she is 3 and there are no more babies on the horizon I am so excited to get out and see the world with my family! On long weekends or school holidays, on spring break, summer break and fall break we are going to take advantage of time and do something! The boys and I already started this goal when they had Martin Luther King Jr day off. Yeah it would have been easy to stay home but I wanted more. So I packed them up and we drove up to Waco and went to the Cameron Park Zoo. We had the best time!
 It was sooooo cold! When we got there the temp in my car read 46!

 This girl adores her brothers. She calls them "my boys"

I can't even believe that I have lived in Georgetown for so long and never taken my kids to this was so nice! 

After the zoo we went to lunch at a nearby Mexican food restaurant and then drove by the Magnolia Silos from one of my fav shows Fixer Upper.
I couldn't go in without Cameron (another weekend trip planned) but we drove by and took pics and then hit up a few antique shops in the area where I scored this cool old scale
for only $7!!! Quite the steal ;)

It was the best day that could have been missed by sitting at home and doing nothing. No more of that for this family! We are taking advantage of this time we have together. And I have to say...I am really really happy to be done with the baby phase ;)

my last goal is...

Give Liturgical Living a try
Now for this one we are going to take baby steps with. I picked up a calendar from church and the boys and I went through and for each month chose 1 or 2 or 3 saint's feast days that we are going to recognize in our home. We will do this by me cooking a special dinner and dessert and ready a story about that saint. Baby steps I said...;) We are also going to start celebrating their baptism day. This is something I have never really thought about doing until I started reading the blog Catholic All Year and this post. My kids already abstain from meat on Fridays in Lent and they all give something up so these are things we will just continue. Our last little jump into liturgical living is saying the rosary as a family once a week. I am excited about infusing our religious beliefs into our daily life.

 So there ya go! I mostly wrote this post for personal reasons as I need to be kept accountable and be able to remind myself if I need the push in a few months. So far 2016 is shaping out to be a good one for us! I hope you are feeling the same way :)

ski trip day 4/5/6: last day skiing and traveling

Monday, January 25, 2016

I would like to preface this post by apologizing for my long hiatus...2 weeks of sick kids, a sick husband, school holiday, hosting a teacher luncheon and 1 kid getting braces along with homework and sports commitments can kind of throw a mom's schedule out of whack;) So in an effort to wrap up this trip I'm combining all the remaining days into 1 post!

Day 4

Our last full day in Taos was New Year's Eve. We slept in, got ready on our own time, loaded up all the kids (even Amelia) and up to the top of the mountain we went. We spent the whole day skiing which was so much fun.
she fell asleep in my lap :)

Her face when we asked her if she wanted to ski! Ha!

The boys and I skied the last time together and as we were going down Aiden started crying saying "I just don't want this to end, I want to stay longer." It was so sweet and I pretty much felt the same way. Note to others: when skiing with kids plan to ski longer then 3 days. There is so much down time and 3 days just isn't long enough!

That evening we went out for dinner at a restaurant up at the top of the mountain. The food was amazing!
 Kids had their own table...which I highly recommend!

 On New Year's Eve in Taos they have a torchlight parade and a huge fireworks show. The torchlight parade was skiers skiing down the mountain holding torches (pretty self explanatory) but the thing is it was dark. And they were skiing down a black. I mean these skiers were no was quite impressive.

The fireworks show was the most amazing one I've ever seen. We luckily got up really close and watching them light up the snowy mountain was magical. 

It was a moment I will never forget. After the fireworks and dinner we headed back to the cabin where we watched the New Year's Eve special all huddled by the fire. 

We all stayed up until midnight in New York, toasted the New Year and went to sleep. There was a busy day of travel ahead of us.

Day 5

The next morning we woke up, ate a big breakfast and started packing and cleaning up the cabin. We finally got on the road about 10am and started heading towards Albuquerque. On the drive we took a scenic tour to the Rio Grande Gorge. It was beautiful!

Then we stopped in Santa Fe to eat at The Pantry a well known restaurant. We had to wait 45 minutes for a table but man it was worth it! The food was amazing...I'm still thinking about it ;) After eating we were on the road again! Between Santa Fe and Albuquerque there is a road called the Turquoise Trail. I had read about it online and was really looking forward to driving it. Man it didn't disappoint. There were little towns to stop at, gorgeous views plus it snowed on us a little. The kids put down their ipads and we all just enjoyed the scenery. 
We made it to Albuquerque that evening, returned the rental car, checked into the hotel, ordered room service and relaxed. 

This was by far the best New Year's I've ever had.

Day 6

Day 6 started very early for us ;) We had a 5:30am flight so we were up at 4am. We stayed at a hotel on the airport property so we pretty much just woke up, got dressed and headed out. I have to say I DO NOT recommend early flights. 

We were all so exhausted the entire day and I was so tired I had absolutely no patience with the kids. It just isn't worth it to me at all. Anyway, we had a great day of delays and were back in Austin by 11am. 
Someone couldn't make it home :)

We drove home and when we were pulling in the driveway we all literally breathed a sigh of relief to be home. I grabbed Amelia and a few bags, headed for the door only to find out that we had been locked out by our housekeeper. No biggie I thought I have a set of keys...nope...Cameron grabbed my keys without the house key on it. We literally just laughed because it just seemed about right ;) Thankfully Cameron's mom has a key so she brought it to us. While we waited for her, Cam and I took down all the outside Christmas decorations. See, sometimes things happen for a reason :) Once we got in we crashed.

This has to be the best vacation we have been on yet. Yeah there were issues traveling, yeah Cameron got really sick but overall the trip was amazing. Magical really. The kids were so well behaved and had so much fun. After we got home we kind of tossed around the idea of buying a cabin up there so we can go back every year. Who might just happen :)

Till next time New Mexico...

ski trip day 4: snowmobiling, hot tubs and playing in the snow

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Wednesday morning we woke up early (again) because we had a scheduled snow mobile tour to get to. Thankfully Cameron was feeling really good and was ready to go for the day. It was snowing really hard outside and after watching the news found out that on the mountain it was going to be -10. Yikes! So we added extra layers to our clothes and out the door we went!

I seriously cannot even tell you how cold it was. I couldn't even take off my goggles and mask for the pictures ;) 

Cam, my brother in law Brandon and my Dad. This picture cracks me up because both Cam and Brandon have their eyes closed ! Ha!

Asher and I teamed up on a snow mobile and Cameron and Aiden got the other. Sissy stayed back at the cabin with my mom.

The scenery was absolutely amazing! I just couldn't get enough of all the snowy trees. They were magical. 

About halfway through the ride all the kids were crying because they were so cold ;) I mean this was some serious cold. Driving the snow mobile was so much fun...something I would definitely do again. After the ride was over it was really snowing and still really cold. Cameron wanted to stay and ski since the day before his time had been cut short. So my Dad, the kids and I headed back to the cabin where we all warmed by the fire snuggling little sissy and the boys and their cousin Alexi in the hot tub!

About 3 hours later Cameron called up to come and pick him up. Once we got back to the cabin I decided we needed to take some pictures outside. I'm so glad we did this because these are my favorite pictures from the trip!

View standing on the front porch of the cabin

The cabin

Since we were the only ones home we decided to take advantage of the family time and went in the backyard to play in the snow. Cameron was feeling so good and happy, the kids were just over the top happy to be in the snow and the whole time all I could think was how lucky we were. This was one of my fav times of the trip (yes I had a lot of these moments).
She loved eating the snow. We have a hilarious video where she's saying "I need more snow!" 

My snow angel 

 Our snowman (that Emily and Alexi built)

The day was so perfect. We ended it sitting by the fire (like we did every evening) watching our little performers

Our last day at Taos Ski Valley was coming upon us and we all still had so much we wanted to do!

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