Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Road Trip

We had the chance to visit some family and friends in Kentucky this past weekend.  It's always a long drive and a busy trip but I feel so blessed to have two grandmothers to visit.  We left on Friday as soon as I got off work, made a pit stop at my parents house to eat dinner and give Eli some play time and a bath and then hit the road.  We got a hotel around 3am and were back up and driving again by 8am.  We actually got to spend most of the day visiting my Grandma, we played dominoes and just generally had a good time.  We even got to see two of my aunts and two uncles while we were there.  Yo Gabba Gabba is Eli's favorite show so we took a DVD with us.

  While we were at my Grandma's we put in the DVD for him to watch while we played dominoes.  My grandma has an older tv and it sits in a cabinet so it is practically on the floor.  Eli was absolutely amazed that he could touch Muno and DJ Lance! We kept pulling him away from the TV and he would just go right back up to it :)

When we left there, we had a two hour drive to get to my Grandmother's house.  We spent all day Sunday with her.  Most of the time when we visit we have to run in and run out but this time we just sat around the house.  We got to see another of my aunts and an uncle and Eli had a ton of fun playing.

Before we left on Monday we went to visit one of my very best friends (and Eli's godmother) and her little girl.  Eli and Lily played so well together, I only wish we lived closer so that they would actually get to grow up together the way we did.  By the time this picture was taken Eli was exhausted and ready for his nap on the way home.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Simplifying in 2012

Happy New Year everyone!

We have had such a wonderful break that I almost hate to see 2012 begin because it means that very soon we'll be going back to work.  Doug has been off since Dec. 16 and I've been off since Dec. 22.  We have had so much wonderful family time, with my family, Doug's family and just the three of us.  We always have grand plans for our time off and this break was no different.

First we went to Doug's grandmother's house for Christmas on the 22nd.  Then my parents came down to help us with some projects around the house.  My dad built our entertainment center not long after we moved into our house.  It was built for a big, old TV (not at all flat-screen) so it was really, really deep.  A couple years ago we got a flat-screen TV and hung it on the wall so the depth was no longer needed and Eli kept climbing into it and hiding a ton of toys behind things.  So while they were visiting my dad cut off almost half of the entertainment center.  It is amazing what 9 in. will do in a room!  Doug and my dad also ran all kinds of cables in our attic so that Doug could actually use the SlingBox I got him for Christmas.

We went to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve which was a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas in my opinion.  Then we came home, put Eli back to bed and got everything ready for Santa's visit.  The next morning was one of the best parts of the whole break.  Eli came into the living room kind of hesitantly but soon he was playing with every toy in sight.  I can't wait to see how fun it will be next year.

After Eli had some time to play we packed up the van and hit the road headed for the beach.  We had a great time!  We have been going to the beach in the winter for 3 years now and our little tradition is to get in the room and unpack everything and then go for a walk on the beach.  As soon as we got to the sand I put Eli down so he could walk... big mistake!  He did NOT like the sand at all!  I think it was because it was so unstable and he probably didn't feel confident walking on it, but suffice it to say, he was terrified of it the rest of the time we were out there.  The waves were pretty rough too so it was kind of loud by the water, we didn't stay long.

We got home from the beach on the 28th and have spent the past few days just being together.  The one thing we did get accomplished is part of our family's resolution for 2012, simplifying.  This past year we got to talking about whether or not our house is big enough for the family we want or if we need to eventually get a bigger place.  At first, both of us were on the "need a bigger place" plan.  We would like to have two more children so our little 3 bedroom, 2 bath house is definitely too small for that, right?  That's when I realized that we had such a materialistic, bigger is better view and we really needed to simplify our lives.  Both of my parents grew up in large families (one with 9 kids and one with 11) so they didn't have rooms of their own.  Even my sister and I shared a room for a while as kids, by choice.  The fact is, if we are blessed with two more living children, all three of them could sleep in the same room or we could have one in a room of their own and two sharing.  Having a small house will simply force us to be together, our living room will be our play space, our TV space, and our fighting space (I'm sure).  And when our children are grown and gone, our house won't be too big either.  We will have the perfect space for a guest bed or two and an office.

The one thing that is important though when you don't have a large space is storage and organization.  We have a nice big attic that is partially floored and we use it for things that we don't use a lot.  But the truth is we also have a lot of unused or not efficiently used space in our house.  Doug and I have his and her closets in our room and they are both big walk in closets.  The truth is there is more room in either of the closets than is really needed for two people.  I mean how many clothes do you really wear?  I know personally I tend to pull out the same 10-15 outfits every time I get dressed.  So as part of our simplifying, Doug and I went through all of our clothes and pulled out everything that is either too old or we weren't wearing.  We trashed some things and took a lot of clothes to the Christian Mission.  Then we reorganized our dresser, allowing us to put some things that had been in the closet in drawers and finally, we combined our closets.  We chose to use the bigger of the two closets although it is still bigger than we really NEED.  Everything is neatly organized in our closet and we even put our extra towels and some blankets on the top shelves.  At this point, the other closet is really just being used for storage and it isn't really organized all that well, but when we find ourselves in need of some more space we'll be ready.  We've even toyed with the idea of putting my crafting stuff in there and making what is now my craft room a playroom.

I am so looking forward to what 2012 has in store!