Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Forward to 2012

 me at the end of 2011
As every year I have high hopes for the new year to come, big reams, goals and resolutions are made and not always fulfilled. I did fulfill a lot of the things I had outlined for 2011 but the ones that fell flat all revolved around me.  I didn't take the time to reflect and work  on me, and because of that I didn't go forward with any of my personal goals of finding a new career or selling any of my creations.
I am grateful for all the lessons 2011 brought me, I am grateful for all my friends an family. It was a quiet but busy year. It didn't turn out the way I envisioned it but it was a good year none the less. 
This year instead of doing resolutions, I am dedicating a theme for the year. I will have a whole year to work on it and there isn't a check list to check off. Anything I accomplish puts me that much closer to finding out who I am right now, at this stage of life. My theme for 2012 is me. I need to take time to reflect on how I've changed and grown over the last 7 years of being a mother, I need to reflect on how my relationship with Rock has changed and grown and how I can make things better. I need to reflect on my role as a mother now that my children are growing up and we are leaving the baby stages behind for the last time. I need to figure out why I have this fear of putting myself out there and making something of myself. Instead I marinate miserably at my job when I have talents and potential.  I feel like I'm just coasting right now.
I'm feeling more reflective today because it's the one year anniversary of my MIL's funeral and it's making me realize I didn't make enough changes this past year to make the most of my life.  This holiday season a few of my friends have lost their loved ones as well. This is making me reflect on my life even more. One of them was a young mother of 3 young children.  I keep thinking what if it was me? I don't think I've done enough to make the most of the life I have.  I need to make the most of it, I need to make changes to benefit all of us, life is so short and precious.
2011 I supported Rock through his journey, I watched the children while he goes works out and attends meetings that help him change both physically and emotionally. I  supported him through the loss of essentially a person, he has lost over 150 lbs since March and still going strong.
2012 will be my year, I hope to get back on the health kick I was on before I gave up on myself because I felt like my body failed me again when I did the triathlon relay. I am so mad at myself for not being able to finish the race and having to be pulled out of the water. I will start the year out right, change my diet and get back into the gym.  I will focus back on getting healthy as opposed to training for an event. I think that doing that took the fun out of it for me. It also brought up memories of my body failing me in the past. 
So see the theme is me, I have a lot of work to do on a lot of fronts to make myself a better person. I can't wait to see what this next year will bring.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year may 2012 bring forth new hope. I hope that 2012 is filled with lots of love, laughter, prosperity, family, friends, health and happiness. 


Me at the end of 2010

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas day

Christmas morning Monkey was so excited because the Tooth Fairy came and gave her money and Santa had come that she bound into our room at 6:30. Rock got up with her and started prepping breakfast by 7:30 all the little ones were up and impatiently waiting to open presents from Santa.

My little monkeys waiting to open presents.

Opening and playing with presents from Santa. Rock got a roasting pan, I got art supplies, both girls got play dough sets, Monkey got the Barbie Princess Charm School doll house, Muffin got some Barbies from Princess Charm School and Tutu got a Little People train track and some Chuck the Talking truck cars.

After that round of presents Rock made us breakfast, he friend up some bacon and made a Puffy Oven Pancake from Aesthetic Nest (yes she provided us lots of food recipes this Christmas). My mom use to make something similar growing up, we called it Dutch Puff and it was super yummy. My mom and I really enjoyed the breakfast.

After breakfast we opened up yet more presents. We opened our stockings from Santa and presents from each other and my parents.

Enjoying Candy Canes

And after dinner we took pictures as the whole family.

I'm glad we were able to get these pictures all together.

And my little models posing for the camera.

It was a quiet Christmas, not like ones we've know in the past where we are surrounded by chaos, family, laughter and love. This year it was just us and my parents. It was nice to have a quiet Christmas but we obviously don't know how to cook a Holiday meal for only  of us because we had a ham, a 17lbs turkey, mashed potato casserole, green beans mozzarella, glazed carrots, Brussels sprouts (a new side dish to our rotation), gravy, stuffing, and buns. We have been eating left overs all week, plus all the leftovers from Christmas Eve. The only complaint I got from the girls was there wasn't enough ham so for New Year's Day I will be cooking another one.

Despite budgets and such everyone got spoiled, the girls got digital cameras (that I picked up on clearance when we were at Target in September), art kits, some money, Tutu got a whole bunch of clothes, and a Cars racing set and a remote control car. Rock got money because there are some retreats he wants to attend next year. I got mostly money (that I already spent some on Boxing Day stocking up on art supplies, yarn and storage at Micheal's), my dad got me a few things from Forever 21 (I found it when we where downtown a few weeks ago) and my mom got me a set of crochet hooks.

I hope that everyone had a good Christmas and Santa was good to everyone. We are planning for a quiet New Year's as well. My cousin might come by and we will just hang out.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Miss you Mom

Today is a special day in my life. A year ago today the world lost an amazing woman, a woman who was selfless, kind, caring, a beautiful soul. A year ago today my MIL passed away while I was in the next room nursing Tutu just after 4am. I had been up with her all night changing the dressings on her wound every hour or so because it was leaking so badly.  After suffering with the tumor for over  3 years, taking care of my step-FIL before he passed away, after spending 4 months in the hospital and 5 months at home she left her earthly body and went home to be with God and all her family that went before her. She no longer had to suffer as she had been for a long time.  She was so strong but the cancer was stronger then her. She was more then just a MIL to me, she was a second mom.

This is Rock's favorite picture of his mom because it shows so much of her fun personality.

I share more about MIL here when we celebrated her life at the cottage this summer.

Mom I love you so much, and miss you like crazy. Christmas wasn't Christmas without you, no one to decorate with, sings carols with, bake with, with the same enthusiasm you did.  I hope you are resting finally and enjoying your eternal life.

As with previous weeks I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Mama Go Round.

What I wore to Monkey's Christmas concert and work.
hair pin - gift from my mom
cowl necklace - made by me
t-shirt - Penningtons
skirt worn as a strapless dress - Thyme Maternity
jeans - MXM

What I wore to Christmas Eve - it seems like I'm into the turquoise accessories since I wore them  times this week. In my defense it went with my tree.

hair pin - gift from my mom
cowl necklace - made by me
top- Penningtons
skirt -Penningtons
leggings - Penningtons
 bracelet - Forever 21
earrings- made by me

Christmas Day
hair flower - Walgreens
t-shirt - Forever 21 (gift from my dad, he has such good taste, ok so I picked it out with Monkey)
 belt - Forever 21
bracelet - Forever 21
jeans - MXM

And here is the whole family on Christmas day. I shared pictures from Christmas Eve here and will share more Christmas pictures this week, along with some of the gifts I made.



On Boxing day I made a quick run to Michael's to spend some Christmas money and spent the day in comfy clothes so no pictures from then. Yesterday we went to visit Rock's extended family and this is what I wore.

hair pin - gift from my mom

t-shirt - Forever 21 (this is a better picture as you can see all the embellishment on it. And yes I wore it twice in a week)

 belt - Forever 21
bracelets - Forever 21
jeans - MXM

The necklace that I'm wearing there is one I never take off. It was my MIL and she bequeathed it to me. She wanted a journey necklace for the longest time. FIL promised to get it for her for their 20th wedding anniversary. He got really sick a few months before that milestone and passed away the day after their anniversary.  She never got her necklace but her boss being the great man he is (they had been working together for 12 years) bought it for her on her birthday last year. She got her necklace she wanted for the longest time.  I wear it everyday to remind me of her, to keep her strength with me, her wisdom and guidance.

I'm sorry this wasn't such a happy post, but this whole season I just wasn't feeling it.  I hope my MIL is watching down on me and proud of what I have accomplished, proud of what our family has accomplished and proud of what her son has accomplished because Rock has made so many life altering changes in the last  year.

Be good to all those around you, love them and let them know because you don't know how much time you have with them.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve

 I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  We had a good Christmas but a quiet one. It was not like Christmases of past where there was lots of people, lots of gifts and lots of laughter and fun. This was our first Christmas without my MIL. She was greatly missed by all of us.

Thursday Monkey's school had a little Christmas concert.

After they sang we were invited to the classroom to help the kids decorate gingerbread men.

And a picture with her teacher

Christmas Eve is the big night for us. In Polish tradition we have a big family meal. We don't eat meat Christmas Eve so our protein is fish. Usually we do a traditional 13 dishes, one to represent each month of the following year and one to represent the year.  If you want good luck in the following year you need to eat a little bit from each of the dishes.

This year I wasn't really into Christmas, I only did partial decorating and we didn't do all 1 dishes.  For dinner we had 2 kinds of fish, halibut and red snapper, breaded and fried, sauerkraut and potato and cheese pierogies, picked herring, this potato and vegetable salad my mom makes, assorted pickled veggies, and borscht (beet soup) with mushroom dumplings. Rock doesn't eat fish so he and my cousin's fiance ordered and ate panzarottis. They also ate meat since it's not their tradition. For dessert Rock made this awesome Cranberry Pudding. I got the recipe from Aesthetic Nest.

After dinner we did presents. As a child we always did presents Christmas Eve, now we separate presents into  blocks to honor everyone's Christmas traditions.  We exchange presents with my cousin and her family, some of my parents gifts and Rock and I give the kids pj's every year so they look cute Christmas morning opening presents. Christmas morning we do presents from Santa and after breakfast we open the rest. It also allows for the kids to enjoy their gifts and not get overwhelmed with all the stuff at once.

The kids goofing off before dinner.

My cousin and her family.

Present Time

More goofing around.

My mom knit baby L this cute crocheted Santa suit.  Can you tell I'm a smitten Auntie?

 All the kids and my cousin.

And this is what our house looked like after Santa visited. We had not 1 but 2 special people visiting. The Tooth Fairy also made a visit.  On Wednesday Monkey lost her tooth but she saved it until Christmas Eve to give to the Tooth Fairy because she wanted to see if the 2 would meet. She wrote them both notes asking if they met each other and had check boxes for them to fill out. It was cute.

I'll share more photos later of our Christmas Day.