Thursday, January 15, 2015

Books of 2014

Completed in 2014:
Clutterfree with Kids
Sycamore Row
The Reason I Jump
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
How to Be Like Walt
North of Hope
Dad is Fat
Coming Back Stronger
Best Christmas Pageant Ever

I should just realize that even with two book clubs and unending desire to read and soak up knowledge and stories of others - that my time as a wife, SAHM, part-time worker, business owner,  and friend ... and let's be honest excessive tv-watcher that I am just not going to get a lot read.  Oh well.    What I did get completed in 2014 - most of it was great!  

2014 was clearly the year of memoirs and biographies, which was interesting to take a look into people's journeys through life.   I really enjoyed North of Hope and one person's journey through grief.    My favorite book of 2014 (which I began 2013... 2012?) was How to Be Like Walt.   As a Disney fanatic, I loved the opportunity to get a fuller picture of Walt Disney's rise, creative process, and family life.    From the additional research that I read - this particular biography was amid the best.   I'd recommend it.     There were many other books in 2014 that were begun, some of which will be completed in 2015, others that will find their spot on the shelf or already have returned to the library.     

Here's to a new year of exploring literature!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Best of 2014

Well 2014 was certainly not the year of blogging!   I did spend much of 2014 working on my 365 project which while that blog isn't fully updated I did complete the project in its entirety and will ultimately get the blog updated for record keeping sake.   I also will likely backlog a few blogs from 2014 for the same reasons.  Maybe.  2014 resulted in my returning to work (part-time from home) with my church, volunteering a LOT a the same church,  starting my photography business, and spending time with my family and friends.  It was a busy busy year! 

Best of 2014

Best Event:  Cruise to the Caribbean 
Best Movie: The Lego Movie
Best Over-Played Song: Timber  (Not that it's my favorite, but I do love it and it is overplayed.)
Best Book:  How to Be Like Walt 
Best New-ity of 2014: Our new deck!
Most Shocking News of 2014:  Carrie and family moving BACK to California.  :(

MW's Words of the Year: Culture
Jo's Word of the Year: busy! (Between work, volunteering, starting a business, being a mom of 2, it was a busy year!)

Events of 2014 in no particular order:
1. 365 Project
2. Starting my photography business
3. Checking into Children's
4. Bri & Eric's Wedding (and Bachelorette weekend!)
5. Seahawks win the Superbowl!
6.  10 Year Anniversary
7. Mae started preschool
8. Epic Limo Birthday Night
9.  Shooting my first wedding
10. 1950s New Year's Eve Party!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Freedom of the Seas Cruise

In a whirlwind of fun our family set out on a last minute cruise to the Caribbean!   In less than 5 days we booked tickets, rooms, and our adventure began by flying to Florida to board the Freedom of the Seas Royal Caribbean cruise-line.     Our family of four was joined by Uncle Kai and Auntie A.   It was a great time to spend with them.     

Our adventure began out of Fort Lauderdale and we started our cruising on Mother's Day.    Couldn't beat that!  The ship was amazing.  They had a great children's program and how our children's ages fell they were in the same room together so it was perfect!   They both enjoyed the program which gave mom and dad probably the most babysitting we've ever had!     

Day 2 we were at sea and we enjoyed  spending time with the fun the ship had to offer.  We kicked it off with a Character Breakfast and the kids had a good time with that - then enjoyed the pools, an ice skating show, and relaxing.   That night was the first formal night and the kids enjoyed getting dressed up and eating the fancy meal.   Though after that meal we got smarter and we elected to feed the kids around 5:30pm, drop them in the kids area for the evening and the four of us adults enjoyed a later dinner by ourselves at 7pm for the remainder of the cruise. 

Our first stop was Labadee, Haiti.   It was beautiful and as it turned out - our favorite port.  We spent a few hours at a beach with the kids and played with them - and then we took them to childcare beach area that is provided by the cruise ship and the 4 adults went to another beach and enjoyed swimming and relaxing in some shade for another couple of hours before we gathered the kiddos and headed back to the ship.

Day 4  was a stop at Falmouth, Jamaica.  I spent the morning not feeling great so the family headed off the ship and walked around the shopping areas.  After lunch time I was feeling back amid the living and we all got off the ship in search of a beach.  We took an overpriced cab and found a local bit of sand and spent a couple of hours splashing in another beach.  It rained on us a bit and back to the ship.

Next up was the Grand Caymans where we got to enjoy swimming with the dolphins and more beach fun!

There was a final stop in Cozumel, Mexico but our family of four decided to stay on the ship and just enjoy the fun that was offered around the ship.     However Uncle Kai and Auntie A did get off the ship and had much fun! 

The other fun feature that we utilized throughout the cruise was the babysitting that was for a large fee - but you got 2 babysitters that would come to your room for about $19 an hour (steep, but worth it!)   So the adults on several nights were able to go out all together and enjoy the various shows, bars, etc., while the kids slept happily in their beds.  We had a good time hanging out - going to the club on the ship and generally enjoying the kid free time.  :)      A and I had met one morning Sergio a bartender who introduced us to Ocean Mimosas and aside from his tasty mixology he was really fun to hang out with - and at least once each night we found time to stop by and hang out!

Overall it was a great great time with family and a lot of fun!   We'd certainly love to do it again! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

10 on 10 - April

Better late than never, right?  ;)   I did actively participate via Instagram in 10 on 10 this month.    Did you hear?  I recently joined the already-well-in-progress party that is known as Instagram. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

To My Children

 Dear Ace and Mae,

It's been a while yet again since I last wrote a letter to you.   So much has changed in just one year.     The phrase the days are long but the years are short is the mantra that we live by around here.     Your giggles fill the house, as the piles, forts, and imagination spread throughout it as you play and run and chase each other.    You are so loud and yet (most of the time) so happy.   

Spring has arrived and so has the sunshine.  Trips to parks, walks, and playing in the backyard has returned as possibilities without frostbite and being soggy from the rain.   I am so looking forward to more of the fun outdoor adventures that we'll have as the spring turns to summer.  

Mae, since my last letter where you were telling everyone you were three (yet you were two)  you have turned three, and yet now  you tell people you are five (like your brother.)   You are constantly are informing us, with your hands on your hips, that you're a big girl now (and you nod in affirmation in case anyone had doubt that should help cement that as fact.)    Sometimes we will refer to you as Baby Girl - and you are quick to respond with your arms out to either side and sort of looking down your nose "Yah, but I am not a REAL baby.  I'm a big girl."   Yes, that is true.     You love to snuggle, you are constantly requesting more hugs and kisses before bed or before I leave.   

Ace,  you're growing up - you're set out on some personal brave adventures recently - and I'm so glad you're seeking independence, I hope you learn the best way to express that independence though and exercise bravery that doesn't leave me hyperventilating.   You're killing it at school and you're doing so well.  You're reading so well, and I most especially love to hear you read to your sister.   I hope you continue to love and protect your little sister every day.   

Mommy loves you both so much and it's hard to believe that time flies go by so quickly.    You might drive me crazy on the day to day life - but every gray hair and mess it well worth it.    As you continue to grow and stretch your world views please hold onto your budding faith in Jesus and lean on him to know right from wrong.  

All my love,  

Your mom

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Project 365 - February

This month I seemed to have some challenges picking up my DSLR more than the previous months - there were at least five days that I used my cell phone to grab a picture and only one of them was intentionally chosen to use it.  There is one day that I took a picture of near blackness - simply because I was protesting taking a picture at all.   I suppose it's 'poetic' when I piece together my book for this project to have a near black page.  It was the day Loving Husband returned home from a deployment - I wasn't really thinking about the camera, just having him home.  I snapped the shot just before bed with my cell phone.    There were other creative days though, plenty of them really!   There was the frozen lake day where we went out to see the lake JUST to take the picture - the kids enjoyed throwing rocks onto the frozen surface and the noise that it made.   In February we also hit the 100 Day milestone!   It was overall a great month!  I also finally started compiling all of my shots (in their full sized form) into a folder so that come November 1st of this year I can order my 365 book! 

My goal for March also includes some backlogged blogging (Mae's birthday party being top of that list!)  So hopefully you'll hear a bit more from me between now and the end of March!  :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Project 365 - January

The third month of picture taking and there was much fun to be had.  Many events surrounding Mae's special day turning three including taking pictures again in mommy's wedding dress.   Mommy herself got to venture out and away from the kids this month for a girl's get away!  So exciting and I was able to capture this night shot!   All in all a great month and a good month for photo taking!