Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sunshine and Summertime

Now that it is officially summer - I thought I would summarize what we have been up to!

Really fun month that was very busy with lots of fun things!  I will do a separate post on Disney trip, but that was from May 15-20, and was more magical than I could have even imagined - I fell in love hard with Disney.

May was also fun with an adult night out to see Garth Brooks in concert with our friends Brad and Kristen, and Erin Groopman.  He puts on SUCH a great show, it's fun when you know the words to every song, everyone is singing and he is so talented.  VERY good show - and we all had a blast!  Then, I was able to go see Tim McGraw and Faith Hill in Lincoln with my mom and sister - we were able to meet up with my best friend since 5th grade, Lindsay and her mom, sister and sister in law.  We had lots of fun laughing and giggling before the concert - the concert was pretty good, but hard when I had just seen Garth.  The girl time was by far the highlight!! Loved the 3 hour drive in the car with my sister too!!

Then, we had Mother's Day, which was very special and always nice.  The kids and Patrick spoiled me- and we got to celebrate Mimi too!

After Disney, we were able to go down to the lake for Memorial Day - it's always so nice to get to spend our long weekends at the lake.  Will is ALL about fishing!! That kid could fish all day long!!! He is also getting more and more brave, jumping in the water and swimming off the dock on his own.  He still wants to go very slow on the jetski and boat, but hey - he has come a long way!  Ellie loves to play at the water table and in the pool, she likes fishing with all the older cousins for a little bit, and is a little hesitant to get in the water unless mom or dad are holding her.  It's really fun to see the kids grow and play together at the lake for those weekends.  We are so blessed.

We got to celebrate Grandpa D and Cody's birthday at my Dad's in Atchison.  We got a slip and slide and the kids had a great time playing and splashing!! Grandpa has a perfect backyard and we love our visits to his house, and playing with his tractors.  Patrick had his guy's trip that weekend to Colorado - and they all had a great time.  So fun they do these trips every summer.  We miss him though - and were SO excited to see him when he got home (on my way to Atchison, I may have gotten a speeding ticket.... I had pulled over on the side of the road and the kids were asking what happened.  I said Mommy was going a bit too fast, etc.  So, right when Patrick gets home, Will rats me out and tells Daddy that mommy was in the grass, b/c she was driving too fast.  Patrick put two and two together and I was busted. Come on Will, give me a few minutes to tell Daddy myself!)

Next weekend, I went to Winston-Salem, NC to visit one of my best friends from college, Caitlin Harness.  I flew out with her twin sister Carlie - and we had a blast!! Was so fun to see where she lives, meet her friends, go to her pool, and have lots of fun (and drinks :))  It was a nice, long weekend trip!! So thankful for good friends that feel like home.

The following weekend was my cousin Spencer's wedding in Lincoln.  Spencer and Sidney have been dating for 7 years, so Sidney has been part of the family for awhile.  It was so very fun to see all of my cousins, aunts and uncles - and I love a good wedding and dance party!!  The kids enjoyed the donut wall, dancing (although Will was more inclined to sit at Grandpa Don's feet and watch - but Daniel and Gwynnie were dancing away, and Ellie loved dancing with Daddy)  Patrick was so nice to take the kids home and my sister, Mom and I stayed until the dance was over, and got home around 1:30am!! Late night for us old-timers :)  I love, love my family and when we all get together!!
Father's Day was the next morning and we got Daddy an experience to go deep sea fishing with his brothers and dad when we are in Gulf Shores (in late July)  We also go to spend the afternoon at Mimi and Grandpa's and was a fun day celebrating Patrick, and all the wonderful Dad's.

My last weekend in June was celebrating my friend Julie Lawson's bachelorette party.  We took a bus to 3 wineries north of KC - and had fun celebrating her and getting to hang with my pal, Erica.

Exactly 7 years apart

Ellie - loves doing her gymnastics, calls me out when I wear a 'silly dress' (one with some fun patterns/design), she loves to wear dresses, her new big girl bed, and her swim lessons

Will - graduated from pre-school with Miss Mary at St. Luke's, we are so lucky Will had such an amazing teacher to get him ready for Kindergarten, and we will miss all the great teachers there and Will's buddies.  I may have shed a few tears at his graduation.  He loves to play anything competitve, did t-ball at the J this summer (not the best experience, but oh well) and hasn't met a stranger - he is Mr. Social.  He loves to watch racing cars or boats on the iPad, and has also gotten an obsession with Monster Trucks/monster jam.  He is such a fun kid, with a big heart - shows a lot of empathy - and I love the snuggles he still likes to give his mom at nights and in the morning.  I soak it up.

Whew - we have been busy!!! But it's all so fun, and I love these experiences and memories we are creating.  Life has treated us kind, and I don't take for granted the love we have, our health, our good fortune, and I pray that we are raising our kids to be good humans, to be respectable young kids, to have kind hears, to be hard workers, and most of all - that they love Jesus.  This is my Mother's prayer - we are all doing our best to raise these littles right, and I'm so lucky to have the best partner to do that with.

Now, back to work I go (a good, brief pause in my working day is good and healthy!)

Blessings to you all!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Laughter is the best medicine....

I'm sitting here on a Monday at work, missing the warm weather we got this weekend and playing outside with the kids (I call this Monday withdrawals)  I was reflecting on how much fun we had together this weekend - just laughing at the kids.  I always wish I could take pictures and videos to easily remember these days and sweet memories, but most of the time, they stop doing whatever cute thing they were just doing, right when i get my phone out to record.... so some stories will have to do:

  • Ellie told us this weekend her name was not Ellie, it was Elizabeth.  Elizabeth Ellie to be exact... I love this, obviously Elizabeth is her actual name, but we never call her that!  So i'm not sure where she heard it, but was so funny.
  • Ellie also started singing really loudly in the car last night after dinner... the I love you Ellie, Will, Mommy, and Daddy song.... although this time she just busted out with I love you Sarrree-wahhh, oh yes I dooooo, and then I love you Paaa-trick.  We were laughing so hard that she just started using our first names
  • Friday was St. Patrick's Day... as we were talking about it earlier in the week, Will kept saying that Father's Day was Friday.  I said, no buddy St. Patrick's Day.  I overhead him again in the week, calling it Father's Day... I'm thinking why does he keep getting confused with that, only to realize a few minutes later - duh! Of course he is confused with his dad's name being Patrick - he can't decide if that's a real holiday or if he is just celebrating his dad :)  Funny!
  • Sunday - the kids were playing outside on the swingset by themselves.  Patrick and I could watch/observe them from our living room windows - and we saw Ellie fall down and she was crying and upset.... Will went over to help make her feel better you could tell... he bent down to hug her, then was bending his knees down to talk to her on her level, and then just started busting out some dance moves! It was so funny to see him just start randomly dancing.  
  • Will can be found either playing basketball, as MUCH as possible, but also decided to play soccer at the park.... with his soft baseball that we brought :)  I love his competitive spirit and we can't watch a March Madness game without Will asking us about 10 times who we are cheering for, and about 20-30 times per game who is winning :)  He is SO focused and zoned in during Jayhawk games and is fun to see the love of KU basketball passed down from Altenhofen generation to generation.  (Birthday shout out to Grandpa Joe--- hope you are having a great birthday today!!! Lots of love we are sending to you in Seneca.... and I know you are always a regular reader of my blog :))  

I can't believe we have Will's Kindergarten screening tomorrow... what?? And Ellie will be turning 3 in less than 2 weeks.  NOOOO!!!! My babies are getting so big.  Love their sweet personalities, and the fun we have (even when that 'fun' includes that almost 3 year old throwing major temper tantrums in the morning when she can't wear her pretty dresses to school, or her Minnie Mouse dresses.  Sigh.  It's a battle.... that most times I don't fight, and as long as weather appropriate, no biggie.

Hoping our Jayhawks keep wining, as they are in the Sweet Sixteen and playing in KC.  Love March weather, and it's getting close to April!  We are on a Disney high right now and SOOO excited for our trip May 15th!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

2017 Updates

I should probably do more of an attempt to summarize the last several months - let's start with October 2016 - most notably - we went to San Diego (Patrick had a work conference, so the kids and I joined in!!) It was SOO fun!  I just love San Diego - great weather, nice people, and lots of fun things to do.  Most of all - was the San Diego Zoo!!! I just really loved it - the animals are SO close, it's so clean and it's really close together.  Just a really, really awesome zoo.  We loved going to see the seals in La Jolla, and Coronando Beach area and the famous hotel.  Really great trip!!

Then, of course, was Halloween.  Will was our superhero, Captain America, and Ellie was an 80's workout girl :)  Super fun, and Ellie was the queen of social media posts for her outfit (thank you Pinterest for the idea, and to Ellie for making the picture super cute)

Will's 5th birthday at Pump It Up.  We had lots of fun celebrating with our cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents - and they were really great at assisting in all party needs!! He loved turning 5 and was so cute when he would get this shy smile and blush when he was the center of attention!!

Santa pics, Pinnocoho the elf on the shelf fun, and the magical Christmas season.  I just love this time of year and was so sweet to celebrate with friends and family.  Patrick and I hosted several parties - from my work Christmas party (where we got a white elephant gift of a beta fist, that Will immediately named Mark (no idea where this name came from!!)), and had Patrick's group of friends over, and then had my group of college friends over for New Years.  It was a really really great holiday season.
Ellie got a dollhouse from Santa, and Will got a new racetrack, and an animal bucket, which is what he kept asking Santa for (?!)

Hmmmm.... what is fun about January?! Not too much, except I celebrated my 33rd birthday - and had a really really nice dinner with my sister, Cody and Patrick at Bluestem.  We did wine pairings - and the food, wine and company was all excellent.  Lots of laugh and delicious food.

Will started basketball through the Jewish Community Center (the J) and it's been a lot of fun watching him play.  He had his first game and had a sort of deer in the headlights experience, as he mostly was found on the court twirling his hair, and then flailing about when he got the ball and shooting it underhand and not even close to the basket..... it was hard to watch!! Then, after watching some Jayhawks and some focus on his part - I guess this last Sunday at his game - he was ballin'!! Patrick told me he scored about 20 points!! He was running up and down the court, shooting lights out and was playing defense.  Pretty fun- I'm looking forward to seeing him play this Sunday.

Ellie - started Gymnastics and has really enjoyed going to do 'somersalts' as she calls the class.  It's been fun seeing her in a little leotard and just enjoying having her own 'thing'.

Some words to describe the kids at this stage:
Will: competitive, driven, hair-twirler, loving, sweet, dazed when he is tired, loves praise

Ellie: social butterfly (all her friends at school get so excited when she walks in), good listener, great at picking up toys and following directions, she loves books, loves to play Zingo, independent (goes downstairs and just plays on her own), silly, eye-roller (just started this to get laughs from us) and overall sweet girl.

If I haven't said yet - we are truly blessed by these sweet kids - and Patrick and I are so lucky.  I couldn't ask for a better partner in crime to raise these babies either.  Thank you God for your gift of family, your loving presence in our lives, and to continue to stay as the center of our lives and our family throughout the years.  Amen.