Our Daily (G)races

Training to be the best wife, mom, runner, and person I can be each and every day....

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015....a look back

With less than 12 hours to go in 2015 I can hardly believe another year is coming to a close. With the kids being busier and busier each year I swear that time passes more quickly. It's true I know it!

I have spent a lot of time thinking about 2015 this past week. My initial thoughts were I am so glad this year over. It has been a mess. All I could think about at first was the challenging and way too hard parts of our year.  We spent way too much time in doctor's offices. We spent way too much time missing events because of injuries.  We spent a lot of time struggling with sports.  I was seriously bummed by all this. Then I read my friends post on Facebook about working hard-struggling through the muck to get to the good stuff. Is it worth it?  That was her question and that made me really rethink all the struggles Emma and Jonah had with gymnastics and thus me and Drew. Was it worth it?  I think the hard work made the rewards all that  sweeter. Emma now smiles when talking about gymnastics. Jonah is progressing and ready to compete again. It was hard, but the uphill battle resulted in huge smiles in the end. 

Then I thought 2015 wasn't all that bad. Good things, fun things happened all year long. I looked at the crazy number of pictures on my phone and great memories made me smile.  We did struggle, but our year was filled with great joy and happiness. 

So here is what I choose to remember about our 2015...

Running the Austin 3M half marathon with Susan in January. Helping her achieve a running goal was rewarding for both of us. 

Our Rice baseball game adventures began in February and ended in June. It was a lot of time at the ballpark, but fun for everyone. 

I turned 40 in February and my friends helped me celebrate!

In March we did some redeoing and had a blast!

Drew and I finally had a honeymoon. We spent 5 days in Roatan in May and it was amazing!

In May Elena graduated from Pre-K!

In June Jonah and I went to Las Vegas for a gymnastics meet. Hanging in Vegas with a 9 year old was very PG and also exciting!

We spent a bunch of time this summer on a boat in North Carolina and enjoyed every minute. Our time in Oriental was good to us as always. 

In July Elena and Jonah participated in a gymnastics exhibition at Minute Maid park. That in itself was fantastic and getting to watch the Astros beat the Red Sox was icing on the cake of our day!

Imagine Dragon concert with Drew...can't wait to see them again!  No words for how great the concert was!!!

Time with cousins and my sisters in MD and PA...priceless summer moments. 

Zach, Meg and I at the wedding!  Let's do it again next summer!!

Hiking in the Adirondacks in August

Eagle Camp was not as wet and everyone had a fantastic time with more cousins and family. 

Galveston for Labor Day continued a great family tradition and the weather was perfect!

Aunt Janet visited for almost an entire week in October. 

Samuel played two seasons of flag football. The experience was awesome and he grew so much as a player. 

Emma qualified for the Level Five State meet. It was the biggest accomplishment of anyone in our family all year. So unbelievably proud of Emma. 

A girls getaway to Ft. Worth...yes please!

We got Ranger in November.  Still trying to decide if this was a highlight, but at least he's cute. 

I ran the Philly Marathon in November    and spent the weekend with Susan and her friends.  Again no words to describe the experience...

For the first time in years we spent Thanksgiving  week with family in PA and MD. We split out time between Bowie and The Cottage. Seeing family at a time when we usually don't was a blessing for all of us. 

My Favorite Things...always a highlight. 

Christmas and the Christmas season was fast, busy, and crazy, but wonderful. 

So yes there were struggles. Emma and Jonah overcame them. Drew and I survived them.  We are definitely hoping for a healthier 2016 and less time on the sidelines.  But the highlights were worth the struggles. They always are in my opinion.  It was a memorable year!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Months and months of thought and preparation are over. It's like a wedding that we get to relive each year, but I wouldn't want it any other way. I simply love Christmas and I love experiencing Christmas with my family.  Each year I really believe the kids get the true meaning of Christmas more and more. Then they of course still love the gift giving and receiving part of Christmas. Who doesn't????

Just like yesterday we had to wake kiddos. Elena was bursting to open presents so at 7:45 I told her and Samuel to wake Emma and Jonah. Elena had patiently waited 45 minutes for the opening to begin. 

Santa was good to the kids and everyone was pretty happy with his-her gift. It took Samuel a moment to appreciate a JJ Watt jersey, but he does!

We had lots of presents to open from our family. I keep all those presents under the kids tree. It is fun having two trees full of presents!

New woven place mats and table runners

New signs...Emma got hers this summer

Just might have been his favorite gift

Jonah felt the need to wear this jacket for way too long. 

Everyone got the "big gift" they were wanting. Samuel got a Kindle. Jonah got Beats. Elena got an American Girl doll and Emma got a hair straightener. They also got some fun little things that I am pretty sure they liked just as much. 

She loves these socks!

They are ready for Eagle Camp!

Buccee shirts for everyone

We got engaged!  Just kidding. I don't wear my ring when running and have been asking for a Qalo ring. Well he got me a set of three so I could match the ring to my running attire. That is just awesome!

Emma LOVES elephants and wanted and Ivory Ella shirt very much. 

Santa brought her a house to color and use with her American Girl doll. 

He likes the headphones!

Our neighbor is the starting corner for OU and Samuel is a huge Jordan-OU fan. He is ready for New Year's Eve!

As for the experience gifts....I get to go to another Texans game and sit in awesome seats. As of right now the weather will be perfect football weather and I cannot wait to tailgate!!!

Jonah and Samuel will be attending Monster Jam again. We are really hoping Jonah does not get sick on the way this time. Despite being a repeat gift the boys could care less. They are super excited for 1/23!!

Emma and I are going to the Carrie Underwood concert in April!  Elena and I are going to Mary Poppins the musical in March. I can't wait for both and both girls were super happy. 

Our big family experience this year is a ski trip to Beaver Creek. Jonah has a meet in CO so we decided this would be the perfect time to go. We are staying at an amazing house that is ski in-out.  Drew's mom is coming to ski with him and the kids. I get to relax for four days. We are all very excited. This will be Elena's first ski experience, Samuel's second, and third or fourth for the other two.  Three weeks and we will be in snow!!!

Drew wasn't left out of all the fun. He is getting a new grill and is very happy about that. Ours is done and now tomorrow Drew gets to go shopping. Drew's experience gift will be skiing. He is a huge skier and living in Houston is a bummer for that. So four days in the mountains and then extra days in CO...Drew will be really happy!

The kids probably got way too many things. They are spoiled and I know it. However, they are just as excited to give gifts too. They know they are lucky kiddos.  They also know today was about Jesus and his birthday. We have what we have because of Him. 

Then because it is in the 80's we went to the park. The kids played and it was a fun way to spend the afternoon. Ranger even enjoyed it. 

He absolutely loves his new yo-yo. 

Our Christmas is going to end with dinner and family movie night. What a day filled with so many blessings, smiles, laughter, and fun!

We wish all our friends and family a very Merry Christmas!  We hope our paths cross in 2016!