What I’ve Been Up to Since Last Year

It is nearly impossible to get things done with six people off of work and school.  The less my kids and husband have to keep them occupied, the more popular I become.

We enjoyed two weeks of Rob being home, which at first was hard – because he had to get used to our home routine and I had to learn to let him be part of our home routine.  There were a few bumps in the road, but honestly, once the added stress of Christmas was over, it was pretty smooth sailing (and by “smooth” I mean, no one has been killed or injured…yet).

The kids went back to school today without much hoopla.  As much as I wanted to celebrate the fact that they were back to their routine, I quickly realized that it meant that I had to get back to MY routine – and that routine involves a lot of getting up early, cleaning things, cooking things, and driving.  Boo.

At the beginning of December a baby shower invitation arrived in the mail, which was puzzling because I don’t know any pregnant people.  Turns out, I do!

My best friend from elementary school is finally having a baby!!  She had numerous, serious health problems when we were growing up and well into adulthood, but when she married 18 years ago, I figured it would only be a matter of time before she started a family as the two of us had always dreamed of having tons of kids.  Obviously I had child after child, but when she never had a baby I figured that maybe a family wasn’t part of her plans anymore.  Turns out there were 10 years of trying with multiple losses involved along the way.  This was their last shot and thank God, it took!  She is having a baby boy in a few weeks.  What a blessing.  That’s her on the left with one of our best friends from high school on the right.  We don’t get to see each other often so it was great to get together – especially for such a happy event.

A couple of days later it was New Year’s Eve.  A few of us girls at Crossfit decided to have a NYE fondue party.  One of the girls’ mothers had hosted one for the last 25 years, so thankfully we had a little bit of help in planning.  Even though we weren’t leaving the hostess’ house, we decided that was no reason not to get dressed up anyway.

This is the kind of picture you get when you wait until the second before you are walking out the door and you hand the camera over to your almost 50-year-old sitter who has no clue how to use an iPhone.  Oh well.  It’s a halfway decent picture of Rob and I in the same room, so I’ll take it!

I dragged out our big bag of NYE party supplies for the kids.  I think I took it out just a wee bit too early in the day.  Kellan and Riss spent the better part of the afternoon *literally* ringing in the new year with those piercing horns, bells  and super-annoying ratchet-y sounding noisemakers.

The fondue was a great success.  Everyone (myself included) seemed to have at least one retro fondue pot in their possession to bring to the party.  The colors and designs were classic!  I really wish I could have gotten all of the pots in one picture because the avocado green and harvest orange ones were even better than these two!

Fondue is delicious!  We made two pots of cheese as appetizers and hit a bit of a snag with the meat/chicken/fish course when we misjudged how long it would take for the oil to heat up.  For a few minutes there we were convinced that all of us would kick off 2013 with a case of e.coli, but with a few adjustments we were back in action.  I was in charge of the dessert portion of the evening.  I’d barely set the chocolate fondue out when everyone descended upon it like vultures.  Good stuff!  The kids were horrified when they found out I was making/taking one of their favorite desserts to the party so I left them at home with their own set of supplies and they rung in the New Year high on sugar themselves!

There was a little bit of drinking involved, but nothing this New Year’s Eve breakfast couldn’t cure….

Cold pizza and coffee…breakfast of NYE champions!

For the next couple of days we enjoyed regular ol’ family time via late night trips to get ice cream and at-home makeovers.  The older boys spent most of their time bunkered down in the basement with their XBox.  They are lame.

Right before break ended we took a road trip to Sandusky, OH to visit one of the largest water parks in the country.  We live less than 3 hours from the indoor water park capitol of the world, but Rob wanted to be adventurous, so we took the 6 hour drive East.  I didn’t mind.  I finished two entire novels on the way.  Yay!

Par for the course, I brought a camera with 0% battery, so I only managed to get a couple of photos because I didn’t trust myself with an iPhone near water.  I really stink at recording family memories “on film”.

These three were almost impossible to get out of the water.  They could have stayed in the pools until they turned into prunes.

With a few bribes from the hotel’s candy/ice cream shop, I managed to get an “okay” picture of the kids.  Eliza has taught Larissa how to do the classic Facebook kissyface pose which she now breaks out every time she sees a camera.  Awesome.

The last few days of vacation were spent preparing for the return of regular life.  I managed to take down all of the holiday decor and left only the packing of the artificial tree to my husband…which means the bare tree still stands in our living room, along with its enormous box.  I guess I know what I’ll be doing this week….

I am still trying to come up with my “one word” for 2013, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t already committed to some other new year goals.

Two weeks ago Rob decided that he was going to embark on a 60-day juice detox.  After sampling several of his sewage-looking concoctions, I bought him this:

Things have improved a bit, but I’m sticking to real food.

I don’t have to worry about watching my weight when I have this baby!

Fingers crossed this works!!

In general, I’m going to try to slow down, calm down, be less critical, and try to laugh more.  This got me off to a good start!

No, I didn’t buy it.  But I should have!!

And for good measure….I’m throwing in a little inspiration for the week.


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