Tuesday, December 31, 2013


As 2013 comes to a close I thought I would share some of our highlights from the past year. 
The top highlight for me had to be our trip to Disney back in May.  Our first vacation in 6 years and our first family vacation and we jumped two feet in first by going to Disney.  We are planning and saving for our next trip for October 2015 so starting tomorrow I can say we are going to Disney next year.

Cooper graduation preschool in May and started kindergarten in August.  I could not have imagined a better transition, he loves school!  Just tonight he was praying for January 6th to come quick.

It took us three years but we finally had family pictures taken. 
In October we took another stab at Big Splash Adventure in French Lick and had an amazing time.  Both boys loved it and Cooper realized he was no longer afraid of water slides.

Of course anytime I get to spend with both of these girls together, at the same time, makes the list.
I got to go to an IU football game with Steve & Scott.  It was freezing!!!
Looking back 2013 was a great year with hopes of 2014 being even better.  Cooper will start first grade this year and Cameron starts preschool.  As for me, my only real resolution is to try and find contentment in every day life.  My two biggest challenges are the way I look which effects the way I feel and comparing myself to others.  I don't want my years to go by and look back and find that I missed out because I was worried about others thought or I didn't feel good about myself.  So here's to a new year.
Oh, and did I mention we are going to Disney next year (almost)!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Day

Christmas morning is without a doubt my favorite couple hours of the entire year.  It's just so exciting.
Steve and I were both up and ready before the boys got up. 
 Cameron was the first one up and he was roaring to go, we had to hold him back so we could wait for Cooper.  He was ready to dig into his stocking.
 This was the year of dress up clothes and games.  Cooper already plays a mean game of Sorry and he has no problem sending his momma back to home.  We don't put a whole lot of emphasis on Santa, they each asked for one gift and that's what Santa brought, plus one more.  Cooper got a Captain America doll and his shield that he has been asking for.  I only hope he gets that excited in the future on a $10 gift.  Cameron got a plush Art from Monsters University and a Sully mask.  I'll let the rest of the pictures speak for themselves.

We had just gotten done with our gifts when Steve's parents and brother showed up.  It's our new tradition to have Christmas at our house so the boys can play with all their things and it's a double bonus that Steve's mom still does all the cooking. 
If you could only hear the giggles that came out of these next two.

 My in-laws got both boys a new IU hat, jersey, and Cameron got some candy stripe pants.  We are all ready for game day now.

I missed getting pictures of Steve & I exchanging gifts.  We try to do something for each other every year, we feel it's important that the boys watch us opening gifts from one another.  Last year was small, largely due to Cooper needing tubes right before Christmas.  This year we got to go a little bigger.  I got Steve new shoes, some clothes, a few gift cards.  I got clothes,  a new pair of Toms, which need to be exchanged, and a Fit Bit fitness tracker.  However, he had to get a large in order to get a discount.  Well now they are all sold out of large and small.  I ended up giving it to him and ordered me a Polar watch.  I really only need calories, nothing fancy.  Can't wait to get it and start using it. 
Steve's parents again blessed us with more than we deserve.  We both got IU stuff, Steve got more gift cards, and someone is under the impression that I cook, or maybe need to start cooking more.
After we were all done, we brought up the big surprise for Cooper.  My in-laws got him a new bike.  We got to go out yesterday for him to ride it, he loved how fast it went.  It just looks so big!

After lunch we all settled down for a movie, none other than Monsters University.  I wish this would have turned out better.  The boys were snuggled up with Scott.
Once the house was empty we ended our night with some games.  Too cute for words.
I probably say every year is the best Christmas ever but it really does seem that way.  6 and 3 just seem like perfect ages and I'm sure next year 7 and 4 will be perfect ages.  We just had so much fun.  I'm looking forward to another week off to play with all our new toys.  We have some Kinect games we haven't even opened yet. 
Want proof the enjoyed themselves?  This was 7:30 on Friday morning.  Out of bed and immediately to the dress up clothes.

Cameron may be having an identity crisis, Captain AmeriThor? (We got double gifts from Steve's cousins so they were returned and Cameron wanted a shield too)
One more, just to make you laugh.  The names Sullivan, Jimmy Sullivan.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Eve

Let me back up a minute to Christmas Eve Eve.  Probably the two biggest days of anticipation of the entire year.
Paolo the Elf brought he boys Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast. 
 I had several things to do before the big day, and I did get those done, but we had a minor interruption with a trip to the doctor for Cooper who had strep.  We are lucky in the fact that it is mild since he doesn't have tonsils, but it can be tricky to figure it out.  He never runs a fever with it and only has minor pain.  It takes a few days to realize he might really be sick.  Just thankful it was something that could be treated and we got it in time so he wasn't sick on Christmas.
I had to pick up a few things at the store so we went to Meijer for free antibiotics and we also ran into Luke and his family.  Double Score!!
Now on to Christmas Eve.  Paolo leave the kids a departing gift on Christmas Eve and this year it was miniature glow up light sabers that had M&M's inside.  So I did what any good mother would do and let them have M&M's for breakfast.  It's Christmas Eve, who cares.

We had our annual McDonald's breakfast with friends.  I love this little tradition we have and it allows me to see Gretchen while in town during the busy holidays. 

This is 2011.  Look how much they have all grown.

Christmas Eve night was spent having dinner at Scott's, going to our Christmas Eve service, and back to Scott's for a gift exchange with Steve's aunt and cousins.
They waited so patiently while the Christmas Story was being read.
All bets were off when it was time to open gifts, they went straight for it.

They got so much, I'm not at all blind to how blessed we are and how much our family loves these two kids.  So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, we appreciate it all.
Cameron fell asleep on the way home so it was just us and the big one to help put out the reindeer food and cookies.

We took several pictures.  He was just so darn excited.

 This was supposed to be our silly one but I cut Cooper out so we did it again.

The big day is just a few hours away!
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas and Tornados?

Christmas number one is in the bag.  I like to call this one the Upton/Black/Dorman/Jenkins/Lee Christmas.  We are one big, somewhat dysfunctional, family.  We went to my mom's on Saturday and the boys were pumped.  All week long Cooper couldn't wait till the 21st.  We've already had to start purging old toys to make room for the new ones.

The highlight of the night included their Harry Potter and Voldermort wands. 

My mom found some IU wrapping paper for Steve, and of course he had a little help from Cameron.
Cooper, Cameron, and Layne did some dueling outside.

It took most of the evening to get everything out of their boxes and put it away then it was time for bed.  We put the kids to bed and not 10 minutes later had to get them out of bed and go downstairs for the tornado warning.  Cooper wasn't asleep yet but apparently when Cameron decides to go to sleep he means it.  That kid was out.  Matt & Stefanie came over cause they don't have a basement and Aiden was awake, him and Cooper were running around the basement playing, banging on drums, Cameron slept through it all.  He cried the next morning when he found out he missed baby Aiden.
Cameron's class had a Happy Birthday Jesus party at church this morning.  Cooper missed his, he wasn't feeling good this morning so Steve stayed home with him. 
This is a random picture, Cooper called me into his room so I could see what he was doing.  I'm not even sure what was going on there. 
I'm looking forward to at least one day off before the festivities begin.  Although we may end up in the doctor's office for Cooper, better tomorrow than Tuesday or Wednesday.