First off - Halloween! It was a very cold Halloween, but we still made it out to the Ascension trunk or treat - which was super overwhelming with LOTS of kids, most of them a lot bigger than our 2 littles were, running from place to place, almost trampling! The kids loved all the candy though! We had a little Princess Sophia and a Ninja Warrior. (Patrick and I also got to make it to Will's school halloween party - the Kindergarten through 2nd grade all parade down the hallways and all the older kids and parents are cheering for them. It was so cute! Then, each classroom had a little party - was fun to be there for that for Will! Saturday we went to downtown Overland Park trick or treating at the businesses - it was ok... lots of lines and shuffling, but gave another excuse to dress up! Then, the following was Halloween. We went out for about an hour, Ellie was terrified of anyone that had a dog, which was basically every house.... and Will and Patrick kept going for awhile, until Will said his legs were feeling 'wobbly'. (too much walking I guess?!!)
- Great Wolf Lodge w/ Brett, Angie, Brady and Emma. It was fun to experience it - honestly reminded me of a mini-Disney. The lodge feel, everything geared to entertain the kids, SO much stimulus and activity, overwhelming, expensive :) I think our kids were just a little too young to completely enjoy all the slides, that would have made it feel more worthwhile.... we mostly hung out in the lazy river or the baby pool/baby slide, or the hot tub. For some reason the kids ALWAYS had to pee, and taking kids to pee when dripping wet, sticky suits is one of my least favorite things to do. So, overall, it was fun, just might not try it again for a few more years or when they get more adventurous (and when they can go to the bathroom on their own!) and we enjoyed our time with cousins!
- Wedding of our great friends Brad Birkel and Kristin Council. Patrick was in the wedding, and we had a great time at the rehearsal dinner and wedding day. Was great to have that adult time and my Mom kept the kiddos so we could enjoy!!
- Ellie had a Thanksgiving program at her school - so cute! She loved wearing her turkey hat!
- Had a fun chili cookoff at our house with all of Patrick's co-workers. Stayed up playing cards and laughing lots!
- Thanksgiving - we celebrated in NE, specifically celebrated Turkey day at my Aunt Denni's. Was great to see family, and I love how we all write down something we are thankful for, could be funny or serious, and then we have to read what someone else wrote. The big news of the weekend is that NE fired their head football coach (Mike Riley) and replaced with Scott Frost!! Big news and the whole state is fired up again about Husker football.... me too!!!
- Will's birthday..... so because we were in NE already, and didn't want to make my mom have to drive to KC - on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend we celebrated with her, Don, Amy's family, and my best friend Lindsay and her family - by doing a small party at Mom's house and then up to Lost in Fun in Lincoln. The bummer part was Will had a HORRIBLE head cold on Thanksgiving and into Saturday... felt SO bad for him. He just wanted to snuggle with me, snot on me, I mean.... he wanted to feel better so badly... poor guy!
- On Sunday (Will's actual birthday this year) - we had Bill, Marilee, and my Dad meet us at Eggtc to celebrate a birthday breakfast with Will. Then we were on to Pump It Up - to celebrate with 17 of Will's classmates from Ascension. It was really amazing to see how well behaved all the kids were - listening, waiting patiently in line, cheering each other on... it was just really impressive. Nice to meet some of the kids I have heard about, and their parents! I was stressing a bit about ALL those presents Will would get - and was proud of him being ok with us keeping 8, and donating the rest to kids that don't get presents on their birthdays. He had a really nice time, and was feeling a lot better on his actual birthday, so that was great!
- Will started basketball practice and Ellie started gymnastics at 360 - both love doing that and it's fun to see them enjoy the activity!
- We each had our work Christmas parties on the same night - so we went to dinner with Patrick's group and then I went down to my party for just a little bit. Was pretty tame night, but fun to celebrate. I also hosted a small group of my direct reports at our house, which was a fun night of playing 'What do you Meme'- the new game for the season.
- Went to Hip Hop Nutcracker with my sister - loved getting to sit and just chat with her - and dance with her! Fun night!
- Ellie had her first mini-dance recital. Was more of a practice for kids to get a feel of being on stage, performing, and each dance was 1-2 minutes long and you could leave after your child performed. It was great!! We weren't sure how Ellie was going to like having that attention on her - she usually can be quite shy... and we could see there was 3 rows of little 3 year olds, I assumed she would be in the back... but when the lights came on, she was up in the front row - dancing away!! We were giggling with delight and cheering for her loudly. (The night before I was laying with Will in bed at night, and he was saying how he didn't want to go to Ellie's recital, it would be SO boring..... I said, well, sometimes we do things that we don't want to do for people that we love.... and Will thinks about that for a minute and then just says... Touche Mommy. Cracked me up!
- Christmas fell on a Monday this year - so we went to NE on Thursday evening, to celebrate with Mom/Don/Amy's family on Friday. We enjoyed opening presents and playing with our cousins, and then had a fun shower for my cousin Emily, who is getting married in April. Fun girls only night. Friday night, we had a bit of a rough time.... first we were woken up to Will throwing up in the hallway, on his way to the bathroom. Poor guy - it was a mess. He threw up and then said he felt awesome. So, we really couldn't tell. He acted fine. THEN, after cleaning him up and most of the puke that we could, we got everyone back to sleep and about an hour later, Ellie throws up all over the comforter and my bedroom carpet. We ended up putting both in the tub and partying at 4am. So weird, b/c they both acted just fine, but I knew and had heard of a boy in Will's kindergarten class that had the flu....... I couldn't sleep wondering if we should be going home, as the whole Mack family was coming down on Saturday at noon. So, Will and I took a huge nap on Saturday morning, and he was doing fine. We enjoyed seeing all of my cousins/aunts/uncles - and were missing quite a few this year. Well, by early evening Will was feeling really horrible, and started running a high fever. Poor guy said he didn't want to go upstairs, b/c he would miss out on all the fun, and Nebraska is so fun :( Gosh, he sounded SO much like me in that moment, all I could do was squeeze him. We made it through Saturday night - with Ellie having some diarrhea in her overnight, that went onto the bed... I mean, seriously. Poor thing, and that poor upstairs! We went through a whole box of baking soda. Sorry mom.....
- Sunday was Christmas Eve, so we packed up and headed home. We were all low on sleep, not feeling well, but trying to power through. We got home and then decided we should go to 4:00pm mass at our church. We thought we will get there 30 minutes ahead of time and will be fine - NOT!!! There was an entire church full upstairs and the entire lower level- every seat filled 30 minutes prior, and already standing room was getting full. We ended up standing for Christmas Eve mass, kinda bummed, but I realized it's not just Christmas Eve to celebrate - it's every day, every Mass, and not to get too upset by it. It's just crazy to me how people were taking selfies in church, hollering out in the communion line to their friend - like what? Come on people, have some respect for the Eucharist! My dad came over after church and had dinner with us and someone got roped into being Santa's helper :) It was really fun to have him spend the night and be with us on Christmas!
- Christmas morning (Monday) - the kids both were feeling well, woke up and were SO excited to see what Santa brought. It is SO magical to see the Christmas spirit through their eyes. They did stockings, and opened the presents Santa left, and that we had wrapped and then saw a note that Santa wrote- telling them there was a present down in the basement for them. Will got a pop a shot and Ellie a tent. We had a nice brunch and the kids loved playing with their new toys. At that point, I was starting to feel a little under the weather... but we got ready and were heading up to Bill and Marilee's. Ellie also started feeling pretty crummy, so the two of us went right upstairs to lay down for awhile. Ellie took her turn not feeling well for most of the night, but got some energy towards the end of the night to open gifts- she had a slight fever though.
- After realizing we all likely had the flu - due to the head cold, respiratory mess that we were in, on Tuesday through Thursday of this week - we basically have quarentined ourselves and just have stayed in our house, trying to rest and get better. No matter how much sleep we get, just can't shake this virus. I can't wait for us all to get completely better - it's like one day one kid is real sick, and the next someone else feels worse.... I have a pretty wicked cough, but last night was the first time i wasn't shivering and then sweating through the night. (Seriously, how did I get the flu TWICE a few months apart?!!) I think this strain was extremely contagious, and with Will going to school, lots of new germs to infect us all with :)
All in all, we have so many blessings, so much to appreciate, so much to be thankful for. We are excited to have a few more lazy days to wind down 2017..... and excited to see what 2018 has in store for us. It's been a fabulous year, i enjoy the kids and their age SO much right now, and just want to record/video everything they do and say so that i can remember it!!
Some pictures to cap off this post: