Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas!

On Christmas Eve, I told the kids that they needed to stay in bed until 7am just in case Santa was running late. After reading the Night before Christmas and "All God wants for Christmas," and prepping a plate of cookies for Santa, the kids opened their PJs that Santa brought early. We were hoping this trick would help them sleep! :) Then we let them keep their ipods over night so they could see check the time. Amazingly, this plan worked! I heard Asher stirring about 6:30 and got up and allowed them all to come downstairs. MUST do this again next year!

The kids all have their own wrapping paper from Santa. Alivia had Christmas Polka dots, Addison had Santa, and Asher had HO HO HO! That way, they all know their presents without opening the wrong ones. Works great every year.

Alivia got a bean bag chair, a lounger pillow, a karaoke machine, clothes and lego friends stuff. Addison got more lego friends stuff, a pet store shop thing, a chair from Justice, bean bag chair, and clothes. Asher got more nerf guns, clothes, samari castle and set, and light sabors. There big gift from us they opened later as we shared it with my parents. We gave Chris his energy drink he likes, jeans, north face fleece and I made him a calender and a photo book. The kids all gave him a present, too. Alivia gave him a subway gift card, Asher gave him a Spider Man t-shirt from Dicks and Addison gave him cross fit socks from Rogue Fitness. Oh, and Chris got an Ipad Air. Chris gave me jeans, north face fleece (we think alike), Victoria's Secret things things, and more. We were all happy with our things.

We went to 9am Mass this year. We arrived about 20 minutes til 9 and sat up front as normal. Father sang through Mass. At first it was pretty,t hen it made me anxious. I could not tell what he was saying so I found it frustrating. Boo.

Back at home the kids played and prepared for my parents and my Aunt Marsha to arrive. We had paleo chicken and shrimp for dinner. It was wonderful...but I am not sure what our guests thought. I did not hear anyone complain, but I know they think we are weird.

The kids let us chill a bit after dinner before begging for more presents. Marsha had them have a little scavenger hunt for presents, which was fun. She gave the girls cute things from Clairs and Asher some Superman darts and nerf guns. From my parents, Alivia and Addison got more Lego friends and Asher got more batman and samari toys to keep him busy. Then, it was time for the big gift. We walked them downstairs to an indoor big ol bouncer! It is made by blast zone, the same as Addison's bouncer pool slide she got for her birthday, and we are hoping it will last. I shopped for this for a while and was able to get it for $60 less than what it is listed for now with free shipping (and this thing is quite heavy!). The kids are jumping behind me as I type. It is a good investment for indoor activity for the winter. It sure beats watching movies under a blanket to keep warm.

As for Chris and I, Chris was stocked up on clothes and I was stocked up with running gear. My parents are more than generous as usual. And, my Aunt, she treated us to Netflix! We love that. It is a great family gift!

We could not have asked for a better Christmas. We have what we need and then some, health, family who love us and each ther. We can not take any of those things for granted on Christmas or anyday.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Cookie Baking Time

On Monday, the kids and I made a very cold trip to Iowa to my parents' home to bake Christmas cookies. We wanted to help break in their newly redone kitchen.

The baking was fun. The kids helped for maybe 20 minutes until they were full of cookie dough. Then they were off to play the piano and check out Grandma and Grandpa's house. Grandpa brought back subway after his Dr. Apt. Grandma and I did not think they would eat a thing, but they all finished their sandwiches! Then, it was time to frost and decorate. Let's say they are full of frosting and sugars! Definitely must brush your teeth after eating these!

It was a fun day. The kids said they had fun on the way home. Gotta love Christmas break!

Christmas with the Austins

Christmas started for us early this year with Christmas at Chris' parents' home with his parents and his Grandma Pat, who lives with them. We had been busy shopping and going roller skating that day, but the kids were still beyond excited to get the festivities underway.

Chris treated all of us to Mamas Pizza La Vista (yes, they have a La Vista location now! Move and they will come, right?! :) ). Then, it was time for the much anticipated presents.

Addison and Alivia received the Barbie dream house, barbies, clothes and new backpacks, while Asher (sharing with the girls) got an air hockey table, Nike clothes and more nerf guns (that boy has an arsenal of nerf guns!). Chris received a nice start to his hiking items neede for his summer summit up Longs Peak and I received a gift card to Costco where I can continue to stock up for our family. It was a nice to see everyone.

The next morning, at 5:50 AM, the girls woke to the Barbie dream house being complete. Chris stayed up late putting that thing together, perhaps saying a few choice words along the way. The girls really appreciated it, though. As Alivia says, The Dream House keeps us occupied. " Yeah for that, right?!


Friday, December 20, 2013

The Austin Family in 2013

We are grateful to have survived 2013 with our family intact. Admittedly, we had a rough year. Again, Chris has been front and center for most of the stress. He resigned from the Tampa position in early spring and took another job within Northrop Grumman. That made the move and travels to Florida off but job security was not good.   He then set out to get a new job. He landed a job as a UX Designer at Solutionary in Omaha. He is now doing something he enjoys and has professional goals for the New Year. He ended the year in a great professional place. In the meantime, he started working out at Cross fit Omaha, and Chris and I started eating Paleo (no dairy, no grains – meat, vegetables and a little fruit with some nuts and good fat is key). Since September 1, Chris has lost 20 pounds and is quite lean! It is crazy. We both like eating Paleo and will continue to eat Paleo at least 90% of the time. He looks and feels great, and that is the important part. When Chris is not working or working it, he plays soccer or play station with the kids.

Alivia is now 9 ½ years old and is in the 4th grade. She likes to play with her friend Lizzie, play Lego friends, or ride her bike around Shadow Lake. In 2012, Alivia ran 3 5K runs, one with Girls on the Run, one in my hometown of Shelby, Iowa, and one for Heart Heros. I ran all of them with her, which was quite fun yet challenging. Alivia is quite the little runner for her age! She plans to play soccer this spring and run with Girls on the Run.

Addison is now 7 and in the 2nd Grade. Addison is still seen walking around with one of her many stuffed dogs. She started taking piano lessons in the fall and is quite good. She loves to play Bella’s Lullaby from Twilight and is now playing Jingle Bells. Addison just had her first Reconciliation and is preparing for First Communion this spring.


Asher just celebrated his 6th birthday and is well into Kindergarten. He had no problem with the transition from home to school (that was just me!). He played spring and fall soccer and wants to play again. He is about to start basketball at the local YMCA. That should be interesting since Asher is about 5% in height! Asher likes to ride his bike (without training wheels he wants me to point out), play with his friends, and has an endless supply of boy energy to keep Chris and me quite active.

2013 has been a transitional year for me as I kissed all three kiddos good-bye as they all went to school. I have had a hard time just sitting still since. I have worked a lot of hours as a nurse at the Med Center where I still officially work “as needed” but am scheduled about 4 shifts every 2 weeks. I work at night and sleep all day until I pick up the kids. So, Chris and I rarely see each other awake while I’m working. I continue to run, work out to T25, cross fit and Turbo Fire and have a goal to run a full 26.2 mile marathon this spring. I can’t wait to get that checked off my to do list. J  

Pippa, our Papillon dog, continues to keep us on our toes. She just came back from being retrained and we are hoping it worked. Needless to say, I think we have 4 kids, one furry.

We did not do as much traveling as we wanted to this year with Chris’ job changes. He did take a hiking trip with his family in July while the kids and I went to my parents’ Lake home at the Lake of the Ozarks a couple times. Chris and I took our annual anniversary trip in August, this year to Estes Park. That is a very pretty place to hike and visit.


We have big plans for 2014! I want to run a marathon, Chris and his brother want to summit Longs Peak in Estes Park, Colorado, Chris and I will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary in August, and we may plan a fun winter trip to Florida before next Christmas. We hope to make our home a 5 bedroom home starting in January, too, so Chris can have his much needed office when he works from home. It is going to be an adventurous new year!

From our Family to yours, Merry Christmas and God bless you in 2014!

Monday, December 16, 2013

November 2013 in Review

In November, we celebrated Addison's First Reconciliation, Thanksgiving and Asher's 6th Birthday. It was a busy month! Now onto the slow month of December (sarcasm. :) ).

Bring on some PICTURES!!! (click to review!).

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Saint Nicholas Day 2013

Friday was Saint Nicholas Day. To celebrate, Saint Nicholas, better known as Mommy, gives the kids an ornament and candy annually. I try to select an ornament based on their interests that year. They know it is from me and they have come to expect it. Not sure I like that. Okay, I don't like that.

This year, I have their packages all prepared for them when they got home from school Friday. Alivia saw them first and saw her candy, Dots, and said, "Can I switch? I don't like it." Really? I told her she could switch with me (aka, have nothing). Seriously, she was crying over the candy. Mayb she has outgrown the fun and spirit of it all, or maybe I have, I don't know.

Asher and Addison were excited by their treats. Asher got an airplane ornament and M&Ms, Addison a Lab puppy and Twizzlers and Alivia a peace sign ornament all from Pottery Barn (after Thanksgiving 25% off with free shipping!) along with the Dots that she was not happy about.

Most of the kids like this tradition, so we will try again next year. The ornaments are helping to fill our tree, and their trees someday, too!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Asher's 6th Birthday!

Happy 6th Birthday Asher Wade! Asher turned the big 6 years old on November 29, yes, Black Friday. He was so excited and sweet when he woke up raring to go. He opened up a little present of 2 shirts (one that says, "I go fast!" and a soccer shirt). He loved both of them.
The Superman Party was scheduled for 1-3. His 7 friends arrived right on time, 5 boys and 2 sweet little girls. Gotta love Asher. He is all boy and a total flirt!
The Superman party started off good and fun with Superman coloring, Superman tattoos and all the kiddos getting Superman Capes and running around in a Superman obstacle coarse. Asher's friend, Nick, did not likes Superman. So, Chris put in the movie just to show him a cool part so the little boy would see how cool Superman was. While the boys were watching a small snipit of the movie, one little boy swore, using the Lord's name in vein within the swear word. Okay, what?! He is 6! Then a little 5 year old repeated it and thought it was funny! Chris was not happy. He sped up the party then and there, shifting things to presents and cake, then outside to play and exert all that boy energy.
It went well after that. But, Chris and I learned why these boys spend their days in the safe seat at school. We also learned that if the parents do not physically bring the kid to the door, instead dumping them off in the driveway, the kiddo probably will not be the best behaved. Just saying. :)
Asher had a great time, and really, that is what we were seeking.
After the friend party, Asher had time to play with his new toys, get cleaned up for party number 2. Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Bob gave Asher his gifts on Thanksgiving (art supplies and roller blades), so it was just Grandma Bet and Grandpa Bill at the Mamas Pizza party on Asher's Birthday night. We were able to try out the new Mama's Pizza in La Vista. It was quite good. After an afternoon of cupcakes after a day off Turkey, even Asher could not eat much.
Asher then opened the remote control car from us and the green machine from Grandma Bet and Grandpa Bill. His gifts were very cool. He was excited.
Asher had a fun day and went right to sleep. That NEVER happens.

Asher's Favorites at 6 years old
Color: Black
Toy: Coloring box from Grandma Kathy (Asher loves to color and draw and does so every night before he finally falls to sleep).
Fruit: Strawberries
TV Show: The Middle
Lunch: Subway Turkey/salami with pickles, mustard, lettuce and onion.
outfit: Go fast shirt (that he just opened when I asked him these questions) and jeans.
Game: Connect 4
snack: Scooby snacks
Animal: Cheetah
Book: Little books from school
Best Friend: Cameron
Cereal: Chocolate Special K sans milk
Favorite thing to do outside: Ride my bike without training wheels.
Drink: Water
Holiday: Christmas
What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Little brown bear
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Waffle and bacon
Birthday Dinner? Mamas pepporoni pizza
What do you want to be when you grow up? A pilot.

Asher is a wild little boy who likes to play non stop, likes his ipod touch for quiet time watching netflix or likes to color alone in his room late into the night. Asher will not sleep unless his door and the door to our room is open and he can see us in there (so we can not go downstairs after he goes to bed). But, Asher stays up coloring and rarely gets to sleep before 9:30 even though he goes to bed at 8 PM. :) Asher loves his vegetables but will not eat bread, will drink milk out of a cup but refuses it in cereal and loves to give us hugs whenever possible.

Happy Birthday Asher! We love you!

Estes Park Photo Book

For Christmas, I made Chris a photobook of our trip to Estes Park this last August. I put it together in perfect timing considering Shutterfly is having a big sale now through Wednesday! (I finally finished our 2012 album and ordered that, too, while I was at it!). I'm excited for Chris to see the final result. But, he will have to wait. :)