Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Year in Review.


It is hard to believe 2012 is nearly over.  We survived December 21, 2012 everyone!  Here is a re-cap of my year.

My baby graduated from elementary.  A new phase in my life, no more elementary children.  I have had someone in elementary for 18 years straight.  Click here to read about it.

 

A lot of Taj moments.  Click here to read about one of them .
 
 
 
He turned one in June.  Click here to read about his birthday party.
Halloween Rocked this year.  Click here to read about it.
 
I participated in two blog swaps.  My Favorite Things Swap, click here to read about it and my Favorite Color Swap click here to read about it.  Both women did a wonderful job.

I was able to do a little crafting.  Here are my top three I enjoyed the most.

L O V E Letters.  Click here to read about it.

Redneck Wine Glasses. Click here to read about it.

Wooden Angel. Click here to read about it.
Children:
Kera:  She was promoted at the spa and is actually doing what she went to school for, esthetician.  She chose to stay in the apartment she and Emily rented last year.  Taj has his own bedroom now.

Matthew:  He sliced the tip of his finger off at work, he is currently at corporate for management training where he will be either a general manager or assistant general manager for a year.  This will be great for him and he will be able to definitely earn enough money to finish his last year and half of college.  He met a wonderful girl and he is in a healthy relationship.  He and four other friends moved into a house to rent.

Emily:  She moved out in August to a duplex with a couple of friends.  She was promoted at work and is now a head teacher at the daycare she works. They are going to pay for her to go back to school and get her GED as well as her associate for teaching.  She has matured so much and is finally happy.  She found her way and she is shining.

Joshua:  Oh my!  This kid took a costly adventure this past Summer. He now has a full time job as a phlembotomist and a part time job still at the grocery store.  He is working on paying his debt back to the University so he can continue college as well. I think it will take him a little while to do this.  Joshua loves to spend money but he is paying his bills along the way.  Joshua moved out in August as well and is in his own apartment with a wonderful room mate.

Ethan:  Near the beginning of the year his heart was broken and he seemed lost most of the year, however near the end he found someone to help mend his heart and he too seems happier now.  I am happier as well because he is finally applying his self at school.

Noah:  As mentioned above, my baby is no longer in elementary, he is now going to junior high.  I am terrified with this one.  I hope he does not give me the problems like his brother Joshua.

In 2012 we had the opportunity to travel.  Todd and I flew to Las Vegas and spent a few days there.
If you want to read about our stay, click here
 
We also drove to the Herbert Hoover Dam while we were out in Las Vegas.  What a breath taking view. Click here to read more about it.

In the summer we took a road trip to Washington DC for a few days.  My Mom joined our family vacation this year.  Click here to read about our days in the Nation's Capital.
 

We spent a day in Delaware.  Click here to read about it.
 
 
 
We drove through Pennsylvania.  Click here to read about it.
We stopped at the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.  Click here to read about it.
Dad's cancer is still there and in November we were told he has six months.  However, we had one of the best Christmas I can recall in years.  Click here to read about it.

We had a very successful year with our gardens.  Our first to garden at the community garden.  Click here to read about it.  
 
Over all I had a good year.  I have a husband who loves me and I feel so lucky to have in my life.  Our children are doing great.  I hope that 2013 is just as kind to us as 2012 was.

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Sunday's Song

This one just makes me want to get up and move!   I listened to it a lot when I left my ex-husband.  I listened to a lot of Goo Goo Dolls then.  I even went to one of their concerts at the State Fair and the lead singer nodded and winked at me.  All I can say that little nod and wink made this then  37 year old felt more like a 22 year old.  Enjoy!

I need to add this one because it is still December...Christmas theme still.  I do not know how I forgot this one last weekend but I love this rendition.



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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Belated Birthday Dinner

Last night Todd took me out for my birthday.  We wanted to try something different and new.  We ended up going to Cedar Ridge Winery near Cedar Rapids.  I have never been to a winery before other than the Amana Colonies a couple of years ago.  Todd had been to this one a few years ago when his supervisor retired.

The atmosphere was delightful.  We first tasted a few wines.  We are just learning the wine tasting and trying to find the one we like.  We ended up buying a bottle of Edelweiss.  This was one of their semi-sweet white wines.  In 2011 it won gold in Mid-American Wine Competition and is made 100% from the estates grapes.  We were told it has a peachy/apricot finish but to be honest I could not tell.  I just liked it the best. 
I have plans for this empty bottle too.  The "E" is also for Evans.  I plan to drill a hole towards the bottom and put white Christmas lights in it then place it in the kitchen.  It will be a lovely reminder of our dinner that night.

We chose to sit in what they call the event center because there was music entertainment last night as well.
Only it was prettier at night and they had white table cloths on all the tables with on pillar candle which and a ribbon and bow around it.  I loved the ambiance of the night.  We chose to have an appetizer: house smoked salmon with remolaude and baguette.  I must say, this was the best appetizer Todd and I have ever made.  I am going to try my very best to make my own rendition of the remolaude so we can have it again.  The actual meals are limited but perfectly fine. I heard people say they have outstanding pizza so that is what we had.  The pizza is a wood-fired pizza and not the standard pizza at all.  We ended up ordering, Prosciutto which is LaQuercia prosciutto, mushrooms, arugula, truffle oil.  The crust was closer to the thin side but not thin and definitely lived up to all the praises I have heard. 

We definitely plan on returning.  They have a Sunday brunch we have heard is one of the tops as well.  I think next time I want to go when it is summer time so I can take pictures of the beauty of it all as well.  I think the vineyards lush with green leaves that surround the building will be breath taking among the hills.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Confessional

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It is that time of week... Friday Confessionals.  Mamarazzi will be back after the first of the year hosting her parties once again. Mean while Aubrey from High-Heeled Love is doing an outstanding job filling in.  Thank you Aubrey.


I confess…

I have not blogged a whole lot the past two weeks. It did not have anything to do with the holiday, well okay it did a little but I was so behind from being sick. The week prior to Christmas during the middle of painting our main bathroom, Todd came down sick with the nastiest flu ever. Of course I got it two days later only being four days before Christmas. I did not have the luxury to rest and re-coop like Todd did. He was down three days, I was down one day and the next day I pushed myself until I could go no longer. I took many many breaks because I was still sick, but I did not rest like I should. I am so glad Christmas is over because I did not feel like I was able to enjoy the time leading up to it.

I confess…

However, it was a GREAT Christmas. If you want to read about Christmas Eve click here and about Christmas click here. I think it was the best EVER Christmas day for me. It was so wonderful having all of my sisters together without fighting and my Mom and Dad too. Mom had a male friend there with his children, he seems nice. I am just so happy we will have this Christmas as a positive memory with our Dad. I even took a picture of myself that day. (See my new photo in my profile.) I usually do not like pictures of me, but this photo is a good one. My happiness must have shined through in it because I was truly happy. Only two things could have made it better, my niece Julie being there (She is in Texas and is near the end of her high risk pregnancy so she could not travel.) and having Todd with us. He had to work.

I confess…

This year's Christmas decorations were very simple. I did not have the time to make what I wanted as well as decorated. Here are our simple decorations this year.



I confess…

Tonight we are going to go out to some place new for dinner to celebrate my birthday which was yesterday. I am excited. I have such a wonderful husband, he surprised me with dinner last night so I did not have to cook on my birthday. What a keeper I have.

I confess…

I made a big decision in my life. I am going to apply outside my company. I do not want to go much into details about it as of yet since I am in the early phases but wish me luck. This is a major decision for me with the fear of another recession coming and the risk of no FMLA for my Dad but it is something my husband is backing me up 100%. I have such a wonderful husband.


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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012 was a good one for me.  It will most likely be my last with my Dad.  This Christmas all of the boys chose to postpone their Christmas with their Dad to go to Des Moines with me and spend with my side of the family since we were told last month my Dad has six months to live.

This was the first time since I was 15 years old to have both my Mom and Dad and all of my sisters together with me for Christmas.  I have a sister who can not stand another sister and the last time they were together she tried to beat her up. I was so proud of her for keeping her mouth and hands to her self.  It was absolutely a great memory we will have of my Dad's last Christmas with us.  He has lost a lot of weight and his skin color is not great.  Here is a picture of my boys with my father last year.
 And this one was taken on Christmas this year.
 
My Mom worked hard on her house and the basement was ready for family as well.  There were 24 of us at my Mom's.  I loved listening to my boys playing pool with my Dad in the basement.  They were so impressed at how well he plays.  They giggled and laughed about the good time they had with him while I was driving us home, two hours away.

The younger nieces had fun and there was less screaming and running around with the basement complete for everyone too.
 
 
 My Dad with the younger girls.
 My great nephew.
 Ethan playing with the baby.
 My sister Lisa and her son with his family.  
Her daughter (my niece) was the only one who could not make it.
 
 Me with my Dad and boys.
 My Mom with Miranda and Joshua.  She looks so tired here.
 My Mom with the boys and below me with them.
 
 My sister Amy and her son Carols with my Dad.
 
My sister Katie with her family and Mom and Dad.  

It was a very happy Christmas.  One I will cherish forever.  I hope you all had a great one too.

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