Happy New Year!

So how was everyone’s Christmas? Our family had an amazing time. We had multiple Christmas’s and our children are SPOILED! So am I for that matter. It’s so fun watching all the kids open their gifts. That’s my favorite part of Christmas is the giving and the children. And of course seeing family we don’t get to see quite as often.

I got a lot of things for Christmas that I asked for. Including some cool gear for snappin’ some photos, a work out bench, a new Kindle, & some tennis shoes!

One of the things I have been asking for {for the last few years actually} is a scroll saw.  I asked for the Ryobi Scroll Saw which would work fine for the random projects I have floating in my head!

But instead, my parents hooked me up with an industrial, beast of scroll saw! Complete with a giant motor and huge stand! This thing is awesome sauce! It’s still at my parents so I don’t have a picture of it yet, but once it’s in my grubby little hands, I’ll be sure to show you!

Apparently it was sitting at someone’s house {whom they knew?} and had not been used, just taking up a lot of space. So they gave my parents a super awesome deal, & well, the rest is history!

I could seriously build a house with this thing! Now that I can do so much more than a few tiny projects, my mind is really, really spinning with some cool thoughts… just need to get them down on paper some where…

Which reminds me, I have started probably 10 notebooks for project thoughts… but I always misplace them and start a new… some day I’m going to find that stash…

But anyways. Back to the point of this post.

 

HAPPYNEWYEAR

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I hope the Christmas hustle & bustle has settled down a bit and I hope you have managed to make room for all your new goodies {we are yet to be completed with that part}.

Have you thought of new resolutions? Are you even a new resolution-er? Are they work related or personal goals? Maybe you want to aspire to do something that you have never done before? Become a healthier you and push yourself to limits you never thought possible? These are where my goals are headed.

I’m not typically a new year’s resolution gal. Usually mine are your typical ‘lose weight‘ resolution. But, this year, I have a few with actual details. Not many, but enough to keep me working through out the 2015 calendar year.

With this past year, we had a lot of really high ups and some pretty steep downs in all different areas so I have to say, I’m excited to start fresh. Maybe just a normal year… with not too much excitement? Na. That’s not how we do things ’round here.

A) We’ll start boring. Yes to lose weight. I want to lose 80 lbs in a full year. Difficult, but not impossible. I asked for a weight bench {for Christmas} so I could start doing different exercises with that, including free weights. I love lifting. It’s the cardio that I’m not such a fan for. With the holidays and the busy season, I got hit hard and exercising just took to the back burner. At first I tried to fight it and worked hard at trying to work it in. But it never worked and it made me feel even more guilty and more of a failure than I would have if I would have just said, ya know, you’re not meeting your goals anymore anyway, let’s just put this on pause. Come the new year, you’ll see a new me. I bought Chris Powell’s book Choose To Lose and I’m about 37% done. {Kindle’s, turn out, don’t give page numbers, just percentages… which I’m not a fan of, but I can deal}. It’s such a good explanation of everything and he dumbs everything down for me. So much of it makes sense now. He is such a huge inspiration and I love his show. In fact, my whole week was just off if they post-poned his show for any reason. I can’t wait to get going again. So look for that series after the first of the year.

B) I want to teach my children to be more giving & to inspire them to show the path to their peers. Teach them that receiving is not everything & that giving has so much more fulfillment. Giving is what brings out the best in people. I feel this is important for our children to learn. The world is full of so much hate and I, as a parent, need to teach them how much good they are capable of, regardless of the situations. To look for the good in the bad. To want to make someone smile just because. To help restore everyone’s faith in humanity. So a big goal of mine is teach my children to give.

C) Blog at least twice a week. Monday and Thursday. I feel that for right now, is a good number. If I can fit more in, then great. But I won’t feel like such a failure if I can’t. To have a schedule is exactly what I need to get my life organized. And that’s part of this… I need a blogging calendar to help me organize my thoughts and posts. So I’ll be looking for one {on Pinterest} that fits my needs. I’m hoping if I can keep up my blogging schedule, I’ll be able to move my blog to the next level by end of year. But we’ll just have to see :)

D) Become a better photographer and start taking myself seriously. I would really like to further my skills but my doubts in myself are holding me back. I want to be able to contribute more financially to my family and I really want to do that with photography.

E) And last, but not least. To become a better person myself, in addition to becoming a healthier me. It may come as a shock to you, but I have my faults as well. {Please… please, settle down… I know, but stop with the surprised faces.} I have so many angles that I would love to work on. Including being quick to judge, being more thoughtful, and being a better wife and mother. Which are the two main areas of focus for me.

So there you have it, my 2015 goals. They will be work… but all for the better. For the much better.

I hope you all keep safe tonight and have DD’s!!!

Have fun smoochin your one and only at midnight! Whether that be your significant other or your best friend!! :)

 

learn from yesterday

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

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I hope with all the hustle and bustle you take a moment to remember what Christmas is all about.

I am so excited to spend our first Christmas as a family of 6, this year adding two very healthy baby girls. Making new memories and seeing the older two enjoying themselves. I love getting to see everyone and relaxing while watching all the youngster’s have fun.

I didn’t get to send out a Christmas card this year, it just wasn’t in the budget. So this will have to do ya’ll!

Here were our out-takes, it only took 5 tries.

Take 1:

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Take 2:

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Take 3:

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Take 4:

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 {Can you believe, this was our FIRST family picture since the twinnies were born? 9 months later. Sad. But true.}

Merry Christmas to All!! And to All a Good Night!!! Ho Ho Ho!

July 4th Weekend

Happy {late} Birthday America!

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How did you celebrate the most famous birthday of all? I tell you what, I need a day just to recover from the 3 day weekend… phew. But July 4th is my favorite holiday of all! No stress from purchasing presents for people and guessing what they really want that’s in your extremely small budget. No running to 8000 houses in a matter of two days. No figuring out how to fit the 100 new toys your children got into their already over-stuffed bedroom. Just fun, family, and fireworks. And alcohol.

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{Proof my twins aren’t always sleeping and smiles}

I love fireworks, always have. But what I love even more now, is watching my children watch the fireworks. And seeing their love for the show is as much as what mine is. I. Love. It.

Although, we had 3 late nights in a row. Literally, the kids were up tip at least midnight Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We finally got home Sunday around 8:30 and finally got to just sit down.

{And PS. Some of these pics are with my cell phone… so clearly not near as good of pictures. Buuuuut still cute enough to share :)}

It started Thursday night for us. My Grandma, Aunt Tammy, Uncle Todd, Jacob, and Jordan all stopped by at the daycare to come say hello since they were finally in town, and they wanted to see the twins for the first time! Well, they gave Kensli a new 4th of July dress and she was super stoked to wear it for fireworks! She looked so adorable.. like a little big person!

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We took the kids to Prairie Meadows to meet up with some friends and to watch the fireworks. We all had an amazing time. We got there about 7 pm, so we got to chill for a good 3 hours before the fireworks started. But it was worth it. Us adults got to chat and watch the babies while the big kids got to run around and do whatever big kids do.

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And the fireworks were soooo awesome! It was an excellent show. Kensli sat in my lap during the light show and just was in awe. I had more fun watching her than the fireworks… and fireworks are my favorite. After each firework, she would scream “This is so cool!” or “Mom, that was butiful!” or “Mommy, I love that one”.

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She did not want to take the above picture. Can you tell?

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Even the twins watched! Boy were they wide eyed as they listened to the Booms and giant bright lights! It was too cute. And of course, hanging with my best bud and her fam is always a treat. Living 45 minutes apart makes it some-what difficult to get together. And she works nights and weekends and daycare during the week. With 4 children. A very busy family. So I take advantage of any oppurtunity  that presents itself that we all can hang together.

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It took an hour to get out of the damn place though. Eh. Traffic sucks. And of course, on the side of the building we were parked at, they decided to have one ways only. But of course, had no signs, no traffic conductors, no cones, no nothing to let drivers know that. So it was just chaotic.  However, we did make it home at midnight….

And you can see how much fun they had:

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Friday was the bomb digity! My Aunt Pam and Uncle Scott have a July 4th party every year. And we go every year. Because it’s awesome sauce!  Uncle Todd, Aunt Tammy, Jacob, and Jordan all come into town, and my whole Campbell’s side of the family get’s together.

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All my family Jessica and Brett’s family on the other side also are there! {We all grew up together and just consider each other cousins. I even call their Grandma J ‘Grandma’.} Everyone loves getting together and just wants to have fun and holy cow is fun had by all. And food. Fun and food. And alcohol. Fun, food, and alcohol.

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I absolutely adore this picture.

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Soo close…. {cough::cough.. Brett!}

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There we go! Aren’t we a good lookin’ bunch??

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Then we decided to push our luck… and this was the best we got. But hey, this here group is amazing, and what you see here is us. Take it or leave it friends!

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There is always a giant slip ‘n slide, baseball, water balloon games, and squirt guns. Water usually gets everywhere. But it’s cool. There are only a few rules. A) Don’t hit great grandma’s. {This was made by a great-grandma} B) Don’t hit anyone holding a baby C) No water in the house. Seems pretty fair right? Fair and simple. Easy for kids to remember… including the drunk big kids.

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Jason and I {and the kids} stayed there with Scott and Pam’s kids Brett and Jess, along with their significant others Emily and Nate. As people started high tailin’ it outta there… we all kept the party going. But don’t worry… I’m sure we were super entertaining… {Sorry Aunt Pam and Uncle Scott}

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Ha! I wasn’t going to put that last one in there, but it cracks me up every time I look at it… and it’s my blog. So. Sorry Jess and Nate :) Love you both!

Nate was determined to do some fire crackers and Broden was right there with him. They were like two kids waking up on Christmas Day. Hilarious!

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This would have been so excellent if it weren’t blurry… but I loved it enough, I decided to post it anyway!

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The kids were out as soon as we got in the car. I believe we left about 10:30-11ish. So by the time we got home and kids in bed; it turned into another midnight night. But so worth it.

Saturday, we all kinda slumped around and did nothing. Until about 3. Then we started getting around to head to Kelley and Jared’s in Indianola. Us girls got food ready and took care of the tiny humans. While the men took the two boys {Broden and her son Trenton} fishing about a mile or so away. Trenton was the only one catching anything until…. Until Broden caught a giant snapping turtle!! Saaaaay whaaaaa! How scary! Can you imagine going in to lift the ‘fish’ out of the water and then HOLY SHIT!!!!!!! Something just snapped at you!!!!!!

Then they came home, we all ate some delicious steak and veggies, and started a bonfire! Seriously. We had a bonfire in July. And we were cold and sitting close to the flames. Since when are bonfires comfortable in July? Oh well, I love bonfires so it was glorious! I was extremely tired from the two nights before, and mix that with a little bit of alcohol and I may have fallen asleep at the fire.

Sunday morning, the Campbell’s had a wedding shower for my brother’s fiancé, Megan. It worked out perfect because everyone was in town! It was so nice! And I loved hearing about everyone’s first kiss :) {You can only imagine all the juicy details with all those first kisses}

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After the shower, Jessica and I decided to go for some cheese dip and Margs… and just chit chat and bullshit. It was long over due! {Seriously, we need to get together more often Jessica!} But it was soooo much fun! And turns out… a waiter that used to work at Jason’s and I’s mexican restaurant here in town, now works at the one Jess took me too… ya. He asked immediately “Pitcher of margaritas?”

… Damn it…  {Hang head in shame} “Yes please.”

Then Sunday evening we headed over to my Grandma Campbell’s to say good-bye to the Rastello family and order pizza. I hate saying good-bye to them… I really wish they lived closer to us or just here in Iowa would be fantastic! But it sure makes it fun catching up and seeing them when they are here. We try to make every second count!

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And that’s a wrap on my weekend! I hope you had an eventful and super fun 3 day weekend!

Love and Toodle’os!

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend. Ours was filled with relaxation, friends, and fam.

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But I hope you didn’t forget that Memorial Day Weekend isn’t about getting sloshed and your backyard BBQ’s.

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It’s about the men and women who have and still do serve for the United States Armed Forces. For those who gave their lives for our freedom. For those who gave up everything. It’s a day to respect their bravery and sacrifice for the nation.

It was originally called Decoration Day after the Civil War. Then, later the name was changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day. Just a tad bit of American history for you :)

Please take some time out of your busy day to remember and think of all of them. And think about them often. It doesn’t just have to be during the dedicated holiday. :)

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

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{Not sure why this didn’t post yesterday… like it was supposed to… so I apologize it’s a day late!}

 

Word to Ya Motha

Good afternoon my fellow peeps! Did you all have a fantastic Mother’s Day? I hope you made a Mom feel fabulous on their one day of the year!

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Because really, we mothers are as super as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And that’s no lie.

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While driving to and from places yesterday, I was thinking about all the different types of moms out there. How some hearts are so full they could burst and some are broken hearted for numerous reasons.

And all of them should be celebrated. The ‘Mom’ title is a hard one to uphold. There is no vacation time, you don’t get to call in sick because the weekend came too soon, and it’s 168 hours a week. Moms aren’t always thanked, often not appreciated for their hard work, get a lot of sas from their little ‘bosses’, and quite frankly tend to be the negative nancy when a bad idea is debuting.

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But the love we give and receive is true and unconditional. To hold your child for the first time, when their little hand wraps around your index finger, to see your child smile at you, when they run up and give you the biggest hug and kiss when you walk in the door, to hear the words “I love you mommy” makes it all worth it.

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It is the most selfless job on this planet and is also the most rewarding. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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So whether you are a mom to children you birthed, to someone else’s children, to angels, to future children, to our four legged friends, or to children you are praying God blesses you with, Happy Mother’s Day.

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I must say.. aside from my children’s mom, I have the best mommy ever. She has always been there for me, always. She helps with my kids and loves them as I do. She is always a phone call away and I trust her with all my little secrets! She makes my kids feel like they are her whole world because they are. She helps in anyway she can. She is the most self-less woman I have ever met. Always thinking of everyone else. And if I could afford to buy her her convertible Ford Mustang that she has always secretly wanted, I would. Someday mom… someday. And that would never come close to everything you have ever done for me and my family.

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Mom, we need updated pictures!

My Mother’s Day was exhausting… but only because Jason was gone the entire week before in the Netherlands for work, so I had 4 children to myself, trying to keep all of us alive, while not burning down the house was a huge task in itself. He got back Saturday night about 11-ish, so come Sunday, we were all exhausted. But it was still a great day!!

Saturday, my cousin and myself had the kiddos make their grandma’s and Broden’s mom these cute little plants! I kinda wanted to buy one for myself… but I didn’t. Kensli of course loved playing in the dirt, so she’s all about this gardening thing. Which is good, because we want to build a salsa garden and a daycare flower garden.

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Mother’s Day started with Broden getting picked up by his sister to go see his mom for the day and we got the 3 girls bathed and ready.

The first big event was Kensli dropped her first F bomb. Jason wasn’t moving fast enough to open the back door so she could go out and play. And finally, she calmly said “Dad. Please. Go. Open. The. F***in. Door.” Oh boy. Jason and I couldn’t look at each other because if we would have, we would have died laughing… but I thought we did well surpressing the laughter. I did let him correct her. But amongst all this crazy talk, I did note two things: A) She did say please and B) She even used it correctly. I can see how her teenage years are going to be already…

We started out the events by heading to my mother in laws for the afternoon. It is always a nice and relaxing time when we visit there. Have a few beers, Kensli plays with her grandparents, Jason and I bullshit with his dad, and it’s a good time had by all. Kensli even talked Grandma into taking a nap with her. Although no nap was really had, she thought it was cool Grandma was pretending with her! I’m telling you, I lucked out big time when it comes to the in-laws!

We then headed home to get Broden back and took off in the other direction to my cousins Jess and Brett’s place for our awesome family BBQs.   We all brought our own meat and Jess’s boyfriend, Nate, and Uncle Scott grilled and Brett made the most fabulous margaritas… or maybe it was the giant 1″ diameter straw they gave me to drink it with that helped it go down so quickly? Thank goodness my husband was there to drive me home!

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The twinnies were passed around and loved by all, while Kensli and Broden played soccer with Brett {really, Kensli was trying to have a full conversation with Brett and give him kisses while the boys played… It was interesting to watch!} and laid in the hammock.

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At one point, Kensli hopped off rather quickly which sent Broden flying off in the other direction. I about died… it was so funny! Thankfully, Broden thought it was pretty funny as well!

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Our day finished with a tornado warning. The kids were in bed and my phone alarm went off and then seconds later, the big tornado siren went off in town. I hung out outside for a little while because I didn’t want to have to wake up the kids if I didn’t have to. And at first, I thought ‘Well this is silly.’ There was no wind, no huge clouds, no nothing. Just a lightening storm over yonder.

However, 2 minutes after I said that, the wind picked up. Big time. My trees were bending over and it was hard to keep my balance {or maybe that was the margs?}.

Regardless, I decided then it was time to head for the basement.

I went and got Broden and Kensli up, which by the way, waking kids who were dead asleep… almost impossible. But can be done.

I got them downstairs, and came back up to get the twinnies. Laid them in their carseats with a blanket and went downstairs to drop them off. They were getting hungry, so I quickly went upstairs to make two bottles. Ha… good thing the tornado didn’t touch down right then. I would have had hungry babies stuck in a basement!!!

When those were finally done, I came back down only to find Kensli was not down there. She snuck back upstairs to go back to bed. Child! Does she not know the severity of this wind! Jiminy Crickets girlfriend! Ran back upstairs to the main floor, and then to the up upstairs to get her. Ran back down… Let me tell you, I was not in shape enough for all those stairs in that short period of time.

But as you can tell, there was no tornado, and we were all safe and sound. The kids were clearly concerned… as they fell asleep on the loft downstairs. They had found a pillow and a blanket and hit the hay.

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Aren’t they so precious?

Well, that was my day in a nutshell! I hope yours was as fabulous as mine. Did you end your day in a basement?

Hopefully you had a nice comfy bed in the basement!

Loves and toodle-os!