Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013 Goals

In this Austin Household, we do not make New Years Resolutions, we make New Year's Goals. You see, there is a difference. I find most resolutions are forgotten by, let's say, February at best. Goals, well, we look to achieving them all year long. Let's look back at our goals for last year.

Now for 2012 Goals

1. Finish 2011 Album Check and on display.
2. Finish Addison's baby book (3rd year's a charm): Um, no. I think I will give up. She has a baby book, just not the expensive scrapbook. At this point, I would not remember everything anyway. She is 6!
 3. "fluff" the master bedroom. I can't wait for this one!! With a possible move, all big updates were and are still on hold.
4. Celebrate Chris' BIG birthday in style somehow (no secret what he wants!). Kinda check? We were in Florida, where is was working. We tried anyway.
5. Family Exercise Check as always.
6. Invest more Make this yellow...can always do better.
7. Dual 365 Photo project - Chris and I are doing one TOGETHER this year! Scary, right?! After quitting initially, I ended up finishing year 2. I just snapped pictures and put them on 365 without much thought, but I finished. I will not be doing it again...but I finished.
8.. DISNEY! Chris says no matter where we live, we will go in 2013. We were to go the first of December 2012. We thought, if we were going to be living there, may as well save our money until we live there. Well, we will see where we live in 2013...but Disney is back into the plan.
2013 Goals!
Now onto 2013. Chris and I are both looking to 2013 with hesitation. He may get promoted or he may lose his job. Really, it is difficult to look ahead that way. We have been on hold so long that I am not sure what moving forward looks like anymore. I'm secretly hoping he seeks a job outside of where Obama has most of the control for the next 4 years because I'm pretty sure we will not survive. Chris' goal, to hang on tight (either to what he has or what he will be getting), because we see 2013 to be really challenging and bumpy no matter which direction it goes.
Other Austin Goals:
1. Disney
2. Mommy employment. That's right, I will finally get off my butt and do something. Visiting with people recently, I have heard that many think I am just sitting here doing nothing. I welcome them to come over during the 2 weeks Chris is in Florida especially or when I am working overnights sleeping a couple hours between shifts. So far I have no takers. I am honestly scared of what the job outlook will look like. I do not want to work full time nights as a nurse where I will be stuck working nights, weekends and Holidays until our kids get married. Yeah, not really my cup of tea (and I like tea). But, the alternative is difficult to get. So, we will see what I do.
3. This is the stunner...MOVE. Yes, Chris and I may be moving in this year. Not sure this is a goal or not. One, we do not like forking out the nearly $10,000 in taxes every year to live in Papillion, NE. Really, it is just Nebraska right?! We live on a piece of dirt that costs more in taxes than my Dad's entire farm in Iowa. That does not make any sense to us. We want to pay off our mortgage, yes, live in the free and clear. And, paying $10,000 annually in taxes will make it that much more difficult to achieve that goal. So, a move is in the works as a possibility. I do not want to move again within this state. But, if Chris or even little old me snags a job in another state, we may take it. Again, we are putting on our seat belts and we will see. We have to weigh all of our options, but we are up for an adventure and looking to where it will take us.
4. Finances: With my working, we hope to stock away all of my earnings.
5. Fitness: Keep up fitness and nutrition to keep our family on the right track. 

Really, that is all I can write down at the moment. Just writing down the first 3 goals, I am stressed. We hope to enjoy the last few months with Asher at home and help prepare him for Kindergarten in the fall. The girls will take Catholic Education again this summer here in Papillion preparing Addison for her first Communion next spring in 2014. We will enjoy more time at my parents home at the lake this summer (and I mean a lot of time there) and we will work on enjoying life to the fullest.

Blink and we will be 90 years old. :) So, let's get started...bring it on. We are strapped in and ready for this ride. Bring on 2013!

Holiday Cards or Not

This year, I really pondered whether or not to send those crazy Christmas letters. Chris and I have taken a Christmas picture and sent out an annual update every year since before we were married. That is a lot of years.

Come to find out, some did not like my letters, or at least some of what I was writing in them. You know me, I am not so fond of being censored or being told what not or to do. I also found that I was sending out the letter to family that did not even know we lived in the same town. Why? Why why why am I doing that? If they wanted to know how we were or vice versa, we would visit, call, whatever. Right? And yes, I love hearing from our friends. Many of our friends are now connected online and know kinda of what we are up to. If not, there is always this blog.

So, this year, 2012, was the first year since 1999 that I did not send out a single Christmas card, picture or letter. I did mail out a few New Years picture cards, ones that I wrote, "Thank you for the Christmas present" on the back of.

Really, it was a lot less stressful. I did not have to worry about what pictures to include or curb what was going to be written. I wrote the letter on this blog, of course, so I could include it in our annual photo book. However, I do believe I have found a new trend, no letters. Besides, we spent all our USPS stamp money ($1500 to be exact) on a cluster box mail box that now sits in the neighbors garage until spring waiting to be installed. I have no love for the USPS at the moment anyway.

We will see what next year brings. But, if you are waiting by the mailbox for our letter, you can come back inside. :) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year via the internet. :)

Last Date Night of 2012

Chris set up a little surprise for me to end our 2012...a date night. Who knew he had it in him? Anyway, the kids were to go to his parents overnight while we got to do whatever we wanted. Hum...what to do?

We set out to try a new pizza on our  hunt for the best pizza in the Omaha Area. So far, our family likes Mama's Pizza midtown best (but their west location is probably just as good, it is just further away from us at the moment). Moving on, last night we decided to try Frank's Pizza off of 132nd and Dodge. It was freezing cold out and I did not want to go anywhere, but we drove there anyway. Chris brought the box to the car and had me lift it. Was there anything in the box? The pizza was extremely thin, burnt and had just a splash of sauce and cheese. The crust, as it turned out, tasted like it burnt toast. Yuck. So, Frank's Pizza is not on the list of Omaha's best pizza for us, nowhere near the list actually. Costco's frozen pizza beats Frank's Pizza actually. We gave Frank 1 out of 10 stars at best.

So, for the rest of the night, we went to the movies, seeing, "This is 40." That movie is LOL hilarious! Okay, maybe it is because I'm now closer to 40 than I am to 30 and Chris is 40, our kids are similar ages to those in the movie, the movie is quite relate-able, and it is just plain funny. This movie was just what we needed. So funny.

Next up," Life of PI." This is not a funny movie. It is sort of a Castaway type movie with a grown Tiger. It was a good movie, too. It is more of a serious movie, though, but not that serious.

We would recommend seeing either movie. If you want a good laugh, "This is 40" is perfect. If you need a little drama, than "Life of PI" will work.

Normally on the morning after our date nights when the kids stay over someplace, Chris and I go on a run. However, my now temp low is 30...and the high today is not even 30. So, we stayed in, relaxed and watched TV in the quiet house. Quiet is something it never is in our home, unless you are here between the hours of midnight ant 4am. :)

We enjoyed our date night and look forward to the next one. I'm thinking the next one should be on location somewhere warm. GET ME OUT OF THIS COLD! :)

Thank you to Chris' parents for watching the kids. We are guessing some noise cancelling headphones will be purchased in their near futures. :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Lincoln Children Museum

We have a tradition every year to go to the Lincoln Children's Museum during winter break. With that said, we have a certain day that we go, when the other schools are still in session and our district is out. This year, that particular day fell on a snow day. So, we selected today to go. It'll be okay, I thought. How bad can it be?

We arrived right at opening, at 9:30, and found a parking spot in the garage up front. So far so good, right. After paying nearly $40 for the 5 of us (Gees!), the kids went to playing. Addison loved the vet area, of course, moving quickly to the baby nursery. Asher liked the fire truck. Alivia liked the grocery store. We moved downstairs before the crowds intensified. It was so bad I could not keep track of the kids. There were people everywhere. And, for some reason, every child you saw had a runny nose (no tissues or parents in sight). Seriously. I wanted to go home about 1 1/2 hours in.

We played until lunch before having a picnic lunch I packed upstairs. The kids played a bit more on their favorite areas before calling it a day.

Every year, this is a place we look forward to visiting. I do believe this is probably the last year we go. I was not impressed. There is not that much different than the Omaha Children's Museum, where we have another family pass for another year thanks to a gift from my parents. So, I believe we may be done with our annual visit to Lincoln. I will have to find something else fun to replace it.

The kids had fun, and that is all that matters. Addison slept all the way home...until the next play date arrived. :)

Austin Christmas

Last night was our final Christmas celebration of 2012, with Chris' parents and Grandma Patricia. We arrived for a yummy pizza dinner and lots and lots of goodies. Then, it was time for the long awaited presents. It is amazing how quickly the kids open presents! It is crazy! Alivia was excited to see a razor scooter and an art kit with her name on it, Addison was thrilled to see more dogs and a journal, and Asher was excited to find a webbing spider man and a helicopter toy.

It was a nice night. After all this Christmas fun (and roller skating), we were all exhausted. Merry Christmas one last time...until next year.

Skate Date

 Yesterday afternoon, after days of listening to Addison beg, we went to Skate City for open skate. We arrived, paid our big $$ (Seriously, why is it so expensive?!), rentals, fun tunnel area fee (($3 a person), and finally it was time to skate.

We went around the rink. I was in the middle of Addison and Alivia while Chris helped Asher, who skating for his first time. The girls and I went around ONE WHOLE time before Addison started pulling me off the rink while Alivia was still pulling me around. I broke free from Alivia as Addison tugged me off. I was wearing roller blades for the first time, let's just put that out there. As I came off the rink I fell flat on my back/head. My head luckily slammed into the carpeted area just missing the rink and my camera came around slamming into me. Oh, it was a fall. I thought for sure I was going to see blood everywhere. Huh, no blood? My head was intact?! God was clearly watching for this clumsy moment to occur.

Anyway, Addison was done. I mean, she was ALL DONE skating. One whole time around after hours/days of begging, requesting, whining, for ONE TIME?! I turned to see if Chris was watching me fall and he was talking to Asher, who was now in tears. So, this is what $35 gets you now adays? A semi concussion and tears? Gees, I can get that at home for free. :)

Chris took Addison and Asher off to the play tube area ($3 each per child btw) while I skated with Alivia. She got comfortable on her new roller blades while I tried to get my balance on the rented, stinky ones (Really, nasty!). We had fun, actually. We finally got Daddy to come and skate with us. We dragged Addison back on the rink for ONE MORE LAP before we left. That was it. 2 hours of skating. Daddy and I had many laps of just the 2 of us while Alivia rested. That was fun. I guess it brought back memories for Chris. LOL. I don't think I want to know.

Next time, Daddy and Alivia will just least for a while. It was fun for a winter break activity I guess.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas!

Our day began early, 4:50 AM to be exact, with Asher and Addison waking me to tell me that Santa had come. I looked at the clock, turned to them, and told them we will see what Santa brought in a couple hours. They did return to their rooms, not sure if they returned to sleep. I, on the other hand, was wide awake. They scared me half to death, so my heart was racing. Time to work out, shower and get ready for Mass I guess.

I was done and all ready for Mass and it was still quiet in the house. What do you know? It was not long and I heard little feet upstairs.

All that shopping and the gifts were opened and paper was everywhere within minutes. Alivia was excited to see roller blades and mechanical pencils (the girl does not ask for much but is upset when she does not get what she wants. :) ), Addison was excited to see a Barbi sick dog kit and a new board game (sorry, no guinea pig), and Asher was thrilled to see a pirate ship and an iPod touch. Chris and I decided not to exchange since we pretty much have everything we need at the moment. Mrs. Claus did give Chris some glass bottles of Coke and the Little Debbie version of Ho Hos. :)

We went to Mass to find Grandma Kathy, Great Grandma Pat, and Grandpa Bob, so they sat by us in the front row. Mass was full but not crowded, and it was a beautiful Mass.

Now onto Party number 2 with my family. My Aunt Marsha was sick, so it turned out to be just my parents and my Grandma. Small but wild group! We quickly got to dinner where we ate too much. Clean up was not too bad though. Then onto the huge pile of presents! Alivia received some nice new sweaters, necklace and a lala lalaloopsy doll house she did not know she wanted but played with all night. Addison received roller blades (giving us more reasons to go to Skate City), her own lala lalaloopsy set up (roller coaster or something). The girls played with those along with Addison's Polly Pockets Pet Shot all night. Asher received some bat man toys, a punching bag toy, and a roaring dinosaur. Needless to say, there are no shortages on toys in the Austin house tonight. Whew...Austin Toys Shop anyone? Seriously! Grandma Bet and Grandpa Bill sure know how to spoil their Grandkids. The noise level in our house was so high from the excited screams. Chris received some nice new pans per his request and my mom updated my mommy wardrobe nicely as usual (thanks Mom). My parents also, unknowingly, started the Disney 2013 savings account. Although it was in the works for 2012, we did not go since we did not know if a move to Florida would be in the works. Now, no matter where we live, we will be going to disney in 2013 (shhh, it is a big secret).

After the wildness of presents, it was time for angel cake for Jesus' Birthday. We were all still full, but found a place for more. :) Everything looks and tastes so much better on Christmas for some reason.

It was a fun day spent together with those who love us most. Merry Christmas!