Wednesday, December 31, 2008

CRAZY! 2009 Goal #1, Here We Come!


Justin and I signed up for the Salt Lake City 1/2 marathon. Crazy! We have four months to train for 13.1 miles. Wish us luck! We may need a forklift waiting at the finish line to carry our jelly, lifeless bodies home. April 18Th, keep the date!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ice Skating

Today I took the kids ice skating with their cousins. It was Sieauna and Alex's first time but they were awesome! They have definite athletic abilities above and beyond their mother. Sieauna was only on the ice for about five minutes before she was off the wall skating away doing twirls on the ice with Rachel. Alex and Bekah stayed on the wall, but only for a bit before Alex was off chasing, and falling, after his sister. Even Ruthie got in some skate time with daddy and auntie Kelly. The kids had a blast and loved every minute of it. When it was time to leave, aunt Jen treated us all to some hot cocoa. Yum! It's been about 20 years since I've been. I'd forgotten how painful it can be! :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

My Happiness

I loved the hustle bustle craziness of Christmas and being with family, but do you know what really makes me happy? I spent all day cleaning and taking down Christmas deco. Getting things organized and clean makes me happy. I got the kids to bed and checked in to see them off in blissful dreamland. That they are happy, makes me happy. A quiet evening reading a book in bed with my husband doing the same next to me, that makes me happy. Here are some shots I took of my happiness.
It's possible I may become the worst mom ever for taking these and posting them! But, I don't care. This is my happiness.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

This Christmas was harder for me emotionally. I was wrapping a gift for someone and as I pulled out a decorative bag, I saw a envelope in the bottom. I opened it to find a Christmas card from last year from my Grandma Helyne. She had signed it, as she usually did, "I will love you forever". It was very sad and yet in that same instant I was suddenly so happy that I hadn't thrown this card away. It will now be an ornament on our tree forever. Merry Christmas grandma, I miss you. They say life goes on and while it stood still for that moment, it indeed goes on.

Christmas carried on in its usual hustle and bustle. We began the festivities at our traditional Christmas Eve dinner at mom and dad's. This is the third year that Justin has been wowing the family with the main meat course. Yet again he did not disappoint. He smoked a crown pork roast in our Big Green Egg with cedar and topped it with an apple, bourbon cranberry sauce. SO good. He also served up a side of mushroom risotto with a white wine smoked cheddar mix. I am so proud of you hunny buns. Amber brought one of my favorites, green bean casserole. Mom did a really good poppy seed salad, Jen brought delicious rolls and Kathy did her secret recipe rum cake. My hilarious brother showed up dressed as Eddie from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. After dinner we had total chaos as the seven grandchildren opened gifts. It was a mess of paper and giggles and we loved every minute of it!

The evening ended a little short as Justin had a cut on his cornea (he spent the morning in Instacare and still managed to cook up the yummiest dinner. He gets my hubby of the year award!) and was in a lot of pain. My sweet little baby niece was struggling with a little cold, and Jen was still suffering from a bad asthma attack from the night before. The good news is that we had our little kiddies all tucked in their beds by 9:00! Fearing that Alex would wake with his "traditional" stomach flu (he's thrown up the last two years due to the excitement of it all), I was happy when I checked in on them again at 9:30 and they were both dreaming of sugarplum fairies. I stayed up late cleaning the house and preparing breakfast for the next morning and maybe ;) wrapping a few presents.

Christmas morning we awoke to the phone. It was nan & Beep asking if we were up because they were on their way! While little miss Sieauna had gotten up at 6:00 to tell us Santa came, we (mean parents) made her go back to sleep (or at least lie in her bed) until Alex woke up. He woke around 8:00 and we patiently waited for nan & Beep to arrive. Santa brought DS's for the kids. Nan & Beep brought a Wii fit and some Wii games. Mommy got gift certificates for a pedicure/manicure and a massage, daddy got a keg system from mommy, and lots of little things. Breakfast was yummy (I made a sausage strata) and then the grandparents left to get ready at their house for Christmas dinner.

We headed to their house around 1:00, relaxed and exchanged gifts until my parents and Justin's sister and her kids came over and we had Christmas dinner. Kathy's famous clam chowder, meat assortments, deviled eggs, key lime cheesecake, chocolate creme pie, just to name a few. It was all so good. We played Raving Rabbids all afternoon and called it a night around 8:00, just in time to make it home before the snowfall.

Phew! Now you know what happened to us this year. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pierogi Night 2008 at the Young's



Ahhhh, traditions. Once again we had a great time at mom and dads making our polish pierogi. Each year as the kids get older, they participate more and it becomes funner to them. This year Alex got to roll out a batch of dough! My brothers have finally mastered the perfect dough and I had to ask dad if it was hard to give up control and the dough master title. Amber showed us how to make the ultimate perfect pierogi and the smaller girls made tons of random "concoctions" which we were surprised to eat later. Jeremy made up a new "polish pot pie" and my contribution was adding some crab and cheese into the mix. Hello!!!! They turned out so yummy!! I also had some quality bonding time with my new little niece. She loved to fall asleep on me and I loved to hold her while she did it! She's such a love bug. Justin had fun being uncle of the year playing with all his nieces and nephews. They adore him. We had a great time and it's the perfect way to officially start the Christmas festivities. Thanks mom & dad!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Seriously!

Put Alex in place of the kid with his tongue stuck on the pole and you have this mornings drama. I received a call from the school that Sieauna "double dog dared" her brother to put his tongue on the pole. It got stuck. He forcefully pulled it off and it bled. The teachers had to come to his rescue. It's seems a little funny, but MAN is my daughter in trouble.

But hey, it could have been worse!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pride & Joy


I am so proud of these kiddos. They had a Christmas singing and dance performance this morning. They both had their own solos and well, I am just so dang proud of them. They rock. (Yes, I am a little bias). LOVE these kids.

Cookies Anyone?

What do you get when you mix a snowy day,

two awesome hosts,
and a table full of decorations?

One heck of a cookie decorating party! My awesome friends Wendee and Nicole hosted their 1st Annual Cookie Decorating Party. And they even made it a "nut free" zone for us! We were so excited to attend as this is something we normally don't get to participate in with Sieauna's allergies. Lots of ooober yummy homemade cream cheese frosting and sugar cookies, sprinkles and more than a dozen kids under 10 assured a fun filled crazy messy time. Thanks guys, for making it great. Can't wait until next year.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chop Chop

After a haircut from hell (serious, I was given the nickname "mushroom top"), I had it fixed today. It's a lot shorter than I've had it in awhile. The back especially. But it's fun and something new for the holidays. Thanks Tina!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thanksgiving Pictures


I was a little busy and overwhelmed last week and forgot to post about our super relaxing Thanksgiving vacation. We stayed in Deer Valley at this incredible home Justin's parents rented. This is our second year here and it is so nice and cozy. I wish we could just book all our Thanksgivings there. There is some kind of peaceful feeling I've developed upon walking in the house and the kids adore it. They are becoming spoiled though and asked me as we left "Are we having Thanksgiving in Deer Vally every year?" To which I replied "If only we could be so lucky." :)
I woke up early Thanksgiving morning and ran the Park City Turkey Trot (in prep of all the wonderful yumminess to come). The weather was beautiful the whole time. The kids had a blast. The food...YUM-O! Kathy's turkey and stuffing was amazing, as always. We did a little shopping in Park City. Justin bought me a new cold weather running suit so I just had to try it out the next day (five miles around Deer Valley ski resort and down to Park City). Thanks Nan & Beep, we really appreciated this, and everything you do for us, so very much.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Twilight

Wonderful Holli hooked up the momtourage with tickets to Twilight this evening. Well????? I liked it, a lot. I think the book was WAY (yes, emphasis on way) better, but that is to be expected. Only one tiny little thing rubbed me the wrong way. What's with the cameo? You don't see J.K. Rowling showing up unexpectedly in Harry Potter now do you? It's just my opinion. Edward was hot, James was HOTTER! I am really looking forward to the next one. Way to go Stephenie!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Grandma's Love


While going through hundreds of pictures of my grandmother to find just the right ones for the DVD I am making of her, I came across these two that melted my heart. The first is of my grandmother tenderly loving me as a little girl. The second is of her doing the same with my daughter. I just love seeing the same undying love, a generation apart. One thing I noticed in every single picture, grandma was smiling and she always had a look of absolute love for her family on her face. I miss her.
Here is my grandmother's obituary if you would like to view it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Grandma Helyne

In the season of family, togetherness, and all we have to be thankful for, some sadness came our way today. This afternoon my dear sweet Grandma Helyne Young passed away peacefully in her sleep after a recent fall and much, much pain and suffering. She was amazing. She survived breast cancer twice. She worked at the bakery (Carol's Pastry) until the very last minute when she just couldn't do it anymore. She loved having family gatherings with all the kids, grand kids, great-grand kids, and great-great grand kids around. I have so many memories of her. She was at the hospital for the birth of both my children. She always offered a coke and snack anytime we came to visit. She let me drive her car (the boat) the day after I got my licence (brave woman)! We had many 4Th of July parties at her house. She always had a toy to give every child that just happened to pop in. Her backyard was like a secret jungle and so much fun to play in. I could go on forever! My memories are flowing crazy right now and my emotions are very high. I will miss her so much.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving:

1. I am thankful my grandma is out of the pain that had changed her life this last past month.
2. I am thankful that I was close to her. We had special moments together, shared secrets together. Watched Bo Derek run up the beach in her braids :) (that was for you grandma).
3. I am thankful that I was blessed to have her in my life for as long as I did.
4. I am thankful my children were close to her. They knew and loved great-grandma Helyne.
5. I am thankful that people say " You have your grandma's toes." Grandma always told me our toes meant royalty :)

There are so many more memories. I can't even begin to list them all. Goodbye grandma. I love you. I will miss you. I am so glad you are out of pain. I will see you someday.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

What are you thankful for? Here is just a small list of my "thankful fors"

1. My Family. Both sides. They make me complete, bring me drama, bring me love and I am happy.
2. My Kids. They are the biggest source of joy, and craziness in my life. I wouldn't change a thing (except for maybe Sieauna's nut-allergy to be gone) but we deal with the trials we are given.
3. My Friends. Listen to "Good Friends and a Glass of Wine" by LeAnn Rhymes. Nuff' said.
4. My job. I have the best job and work the hours I need with the husband and family I love.
5. Freedom. After reading Kite Runner and Thousand Splendid Suns, I have really realized how truly spoiled we are in this life. We are freakin' Gods & Goddesses!
6. Wine.

I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving and remember what it is you are thankful for, then let that person know. They will be glad you did.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Locks Of Love - Here We Come!

Well we won't be doing any super cute long hairstyles for awhile, but it's for a good cause :). Sieauna made a very big decision to donate her hair to Locks of Love. She has a 13 inch pony tail to donate and they cut a total of 16 inches. Her new hairstyle looks darling for her personality and she loves it! Plus-mom won't have to listen to crying from the tangles for awhile. Way to go Sieauna. I am so proud of you. http://locksoflove.org/

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nut Free Cookies for a Year! Woooo Hoo!

This was the contest:
Free Year of Cookies!
This month, one lucky AllergyMoms subscriber will win a YEAR of FREE COOKIES from Cherrybrook Kitchen. The winner will recieve her choice of 2 boxes of ready made cookies every month for a year!


And this is the email I received yesterday:
Good Morning Kelly,
You WON, the YEAR of Cherry Brook Kitchen Products!!
Let me know if you have a preference. If you know what you'd like for all 24 products, I can certainly ask them for what you want.
Congratulations!
Gina Clowes

How cool is that? Sieauna will be getting two boxes of totally safe, NUT FREE cookies every month for a year. We are so excited. It's so hard to find baked items, especially cookies, we can enjoy without worrying about a reaction. Yea! http://www.cherrybrookkitchen.com/

New York


New York was a blast. We surprised my grandparents, I mean TOTALLY surprised them. So much that my nanny needed to sit down because she thought she saw ghosts! Then we (mom and I) got a big surprise ourselves! My wonderful, super, awesome, special Aunt Diane booked us tickets to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular in NYC!

When we arrived in NYC (about 4 hours by bus from Amsterdam) we were dropped off at Rockefeller Center. We saw St. Patrick's Cathedral and then took in lunch at Rockefeller Cafe (so neat, it overlooked the ice rink). Then the show. WOW! It was so cool, seriously. It snowed (actual, real snow) inside Radio City Music Hall. So amazing! Then we walked to Times Square and took in the craziness of it all. Very short trip to the city but so fun.

On our other days, we did some shopping at Colonie Mall in Schenectady, went gambling in Saratoga, drove around Albany and Haagerman, and visited with all my relatives that live up there. Oh, and we ate, and ate, and ate. I have seriously gained 5 pounds from all the yummy polish food. Wowy. I also had the privilege of celebrating my grandfathers 87Th birthday with him.

It was a very nice getaway but I am so glad to be home. I missed my family dearly. It didn't help that my kids got sick the night I left until the day before my return. THANK YOU my sweet hubby for taking care of the household. Also thanks to my mom-in-law for taking sick Sieauna for the day while Justin worked and making Alex's birthday special. And thanks to my friends who were lined up and ready to go, even if the kids were to sick to participate in all the scheduled play dates :)

I had a wonderful time but there is no place like home.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy 7th Birthday Alex!











I can't believe my baby is seven. I remember when he was just this little sweet baby I couldn't put down (probably the reason it took him forever to walk). I miss his little baby antics and love the little man he is turning into.

After all the Pokemon tails were pinned, the pinata was broken, the cake was gone and the presents were opened, we asked the little man if he had a good birthday and if he was happy. He replied "It was my best birthday ever and I got everything I ever wanted!" It makes me feel so good to know we made him happy. I love this little (big) guy. Happy birthday my sweet son.

Happy Birthday Tracy!

My wonderful friend Tracy celebrated her birthday with all the girls at a slumber party at Silverado Lodge in Park City. We soaked in the hot tub, drank some wine, ate yummy appetizers, drank some wine, had pedicures, drank some wine, told ghost stories, drank wine...you get the picture. It was my first girls retreat and I had such a wonderful and relaxing time with the girls. Thanks to all my friends, and my new ones (Kim & Janna), for such an awesome weekend.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

In The Words Of Homer Simpson

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmm Beerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr". Master brewer Justin has created his latest home brew. This time it's a Smoky Porter. We brewed on election night, therefore naming it "Election Ale". I'll keep you posted as to when it's ready for taste testers!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween 2008

Pink Ladies, a T-Bird, a devil and a German with lieder hosen. Throw in a handful of small children and you've got one heck of a fun trick-or-treating session. Thanks Shon, for the cool jackets.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ninja Troy

Alex wanted to be a ninja again this year. He got all dressed up for dance class last night as a ninja. This morning, just before the school parade, Sieauna said "Hey Zan, why don't you go as Troy from High School Musical since I'm going as Sharpay, Maddy is going as Gabrielle, and Lauren is a HSM Cheerleader?" Thank goodness we had this costume in the closet already because he jumped on the HSM band wagon in a second flat. So last night he was a ninja, today he was Troy. Now, let's see what he chooses for Halloween night. We still have a pirate costume in the closet too. What will it be?
0ur own High School Musical posse.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Golf Anyone?

This year Sieauna wants to be Sharpay from High School Musical II - the golf scene. She sure looks cute, sassy and that princessy stuff I love her for!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Take A Picture, They'll Last Longer

Aren't they pretty? My head cold from last week hasn't gone away-thought it did but boy was I wrong! It hit hard again yesterday and I felt so crappy. My sweet husband came home from work with these and dinner. I, once again, am feeling so grateful and blessed. He is just so darn good to us! He also brought Sieauna a single rose all wrapped up. She was so excited and proud. Thank you Justin, for being the perfect husband and for spoiling me and the kids. Thank you to my mom-in-law for raising such an angel (and great cook!) and to my mom for finding him for me. I am forever grateful to you all. BTW-I went to the doctor today and she gave me some antibiotics. Hopefully this nasty sinus infection is on it's way out.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Feeling So Grateful

I am so thankful for my parents. I've got this nasty head cold which has prevented me from having the fun filled UEA weekend I had hoped for. I had a girls night planned, fun things to do with the kids, etc. and what are we doing? Staying in bed all day watching movies and playing video games. Sieauna has it too and just a few minutes ago Alex came in the kitchen and told me he has the sniffles. Bummer. So...while I'm in pity party mode, guess what happens? My mom brings over a book, game for the kids and a grocery bag full of comfort food! Soups, cupcakes, Cheetos for the kids, medicine, dinner for tonight and ginger ale. Then, not 10 minutes later, the doorbell rings again and it's my other mom (in-law) with a huge batch of home made chicken noodle soup-which she just happened to "whip up" while cooking all her other things for a girls night dinner at her house tonight (which I was suppose to be attending but I don't dare impose this nasty cold on anyone else). Anyway, I am feeling uber blessed and grateful right now. THANKS MOMS!!!!! - Now...where did I put those cupcakes?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Lagoon

Tracy, Holli and I took the kids to Lagoon today for Frightmares. It wasn't anything scary like we thought it would be, just lots of fun. Despite the bad head colds Sieauna and I have from to many kisses from Daddy last week, we had a ton of fun riding The Rocket, The Mouse, all the kiddie rides and more. I especially loved the cheeseburger for lunch (seriously, why are amusement park burgers so good?). My favorite was Colossus. Ashlee and I held on tight, eyes closed, for that high speed roller coaster. We can't compare to the dare devils Lauren and her daddy Jim...they are serious thrill seekers! It was a great day and the weather was beautiful but now it's bedtime for all of us tired, worn out sickies. Special thanks to my great momtourage who made it so worthwhile.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Mohawk

Sieauna has a book report this month that required her to pick a North American Indian Tribe. She chose the Mohawk because "Poppy lives by the Mohawk river in New York." One of the requirements was to dress an Indian as true to life as possible. This is her rendition:

What's All That White Stuff?

It's October 12, 2008. The summer furniture is still up. The flower pots are still out (with flowers in them). The patio lights are still hanging in party mode. So...what the heck is all that white stuff?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Impromptu Party Night!

It started as an after school playdate at our house and turned into:
...an impromptu "salon night, girls + Justin night", whatever you want to call it! We opened a few bottles of wine, ordered pizza, and Wendee treated us all (kids included) to manicures! How lucky for us!!! What a fun night with friends.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Grandpa Ryan's Sour Dough Start

Justin and I (well let's be honest, Justin really) was given a cup of his grandfather's sour dough start from way back when. This start is older than Justin! We have it sitting in our fridge and take it out on occasion. Well, I was craving some homemade sour dough so I pulled it out last weekend and fed it. Low and behold, it was hungry! I keep it in our bedroom (warmest room in the house) and in three days it had doubled and was all nice and bubbly with lots of live cultures (apparently how it should be). I found some recipes for sour dough rounds and sweet rolls and tried my hand at some baking-DON'T LAUGH! Wouldn't you know it? I made some of the most "awesomest" bread the fam had ever had! Mom said I was now in charge of Thanksgiving and Christmas bread. Kathy said I had the knack of the sour dough. Now really, I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but my friends know I DON'T COOK! So this was a huge feat for me. Anyway, I guess I will be making another batch this weekend. Since it's now being requested daily by a certain little girl who happens to rule my world.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

All in the Family

Just dug this picture out of the closet today. It's a few years old, at Jeremy and Amber's wedding, but it's a great reminder of who made me who I am today. I love these people!

Friday, September 26, 2008