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Saturday, November 29, 2014

13 Days of Serena

So Serena is turning 13 on December 9th. We tossed around having a huge party for her with friends and family then the more I thought about it we decided instead of having a huge party or sleepover with friends or finding some insanely expensive place to go to with 3-4 friends we would plan a trip to Chicago.  One thing Serena wants more than anything is to be able to show a friend Chicago.  So this weekend we are heading north with one of her friends. She does not know this.  We have a weekend of fun planned at the Pier, the Bean, the German Christmas market, the zoo, some awesome dinner with awesome friends.  She is going to be surprised.

We are still having cake and ice cream with my parents and Roger on her birthday after Xander's Christmas concert but not having everyone and their brother over.  I messaged the people interested and we are doing 13 days of Serena.  It started on Thanksgiving and she will get her 13th and final gift from us.

People have asked why we're doing this.  Some have said it's cool.  Others seem confused .  Here's why.  Over the next 13 days Serena will either get something or get to do something with some of the top people in her life.  It doesn't have to be extravagant.  Just something special.  I don't want her birthday to be all about people just giving her a gift.  I think she will enjoy the time spent with people just as much as getting a gift from them.  Plus she's a pretty spectacular kid so I thought this was a cool way to recognize her over the next two weeks.

So far, day one included a heart cookie from Grandma and Grandpa Wellen telling her that she will get surprises over the next 13 days.  Day 2 she was allowed to go Black Friday shopping for the first time ever.  Day 3 she got a crossbody purse from her Godmother.  Did I mention its purple chevron.  Over the next 10 days she is getting a movie and dinner with her dad, shopping and dinner with her godfather (good luck Uncle Scott you get to see what you have to look forward to in 12-14 years.), a surprise from Grandma Connie, a surprise from Aunt Sandy, a surprise from a very good friend, a gift from us, a special dinner, a special delivery from her Aunt Tanya and then a final gift from us, plus cake and ice cream with grandparents.  I am beyond excited and I hope she is too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sister Weekend Recap

First, I realized I never came here and gave my review on the sister's weekend festivities.  First, the Toy and Game Fair was eh.  Okay probably at best.  Glad it was a groupon and we didn't pay full price.  Saw some new toys but mainly ones that were already popular and known.  And now my son wants Hexbugs (remote control ones) added to his list and he tested positive for Flu within a day of being at the germ fest, I mean toy fair (not smart planning on this mom's part).  Oops.

The hotel we stayed at was AMAZING.  We stayed at the Millennium Knickerbocker hotel (hotwire deal) and for being a very nice hotel and more upscale than the holiday inns I typically go for, EVERYBODY was very nice and welcoming to the kids from the bell hop, to concierge and front desk.  They were so accommodating and just nice.  So I do recommend them.

The parade was great again.  However, PSA to parents.  If YOU wants YOUR kid to have a front row seat then YOU need to stand out there an hour before and get them a good visual.  It's not my responsibility to make sure your kid can see the parade.  Now before people get their panties in a twist, I am all for kids getting to see the parade.  However, when I stand out there with my kids for an hour beforehand and you walk up 10 min or even 30 min before, it's not my job to make sure your kid can see.  Don't tell me it's for the kids and it's all about the kids.  I know.  I was here an hour early to make sure my kids can see.  The last time we waited over an hour for the same spot, we were nice and let a kid come up and then that kid's mother felt the need to invite every kid up and my kids were squished out of their front row seats.  So I apologize that your kid cannot see.  However I mad sure my kid could see.

We ended up getting take out pizza from Lou Malnati's (by the way the one at State and Rush, the person who answered the phone needs an attitude adjustment--Rude!).  Had pizza, chips and Oreos (with milk) in our hotel room.  The kids played Disney Headbands and had fun.  So overall it was a great weekend.  Hope we get to do something like this again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Holy Batman...where has the year gone.

It is November.  
Usually by now I have done the whole thankful days.  
This year it has gotten away from me.  

We have had our share of ups and downs.

In the last year, Ryan had surgery.  
His gallbladder tried to explode.  
I had surgery (shocker huh). 
My gallbladder died.
because of a cyst (another shocker)

We've gained two nieces. 
One on my side and one on Ryan's side.

I changed jobs.  
This was the highlight of my year.  
I have more time at home.  
I had more time with my dad.  
I come home happy.  

Was captain of our first ever Relay for Life team. 
Had a successful fundraiser.  Raised over $600 at a skate party.
By the end of the Relay for Life, we raised nearly $2000. 
This was a good experience for Serena. 

I lost a parent.  
This was hard.  
Harder than I could ever imagine.  
Nothing can prepare you for that loss.  
I don't think it matters whether you get to see the person every day, every week or 
every month or whether they were there 100% of the time.  
It's still a relationship that is gone.  
I miss him more than I could have ever prepared myself.   

Passed my insurance producer's exam. 
This was hard.  
But I am glad that I pushed myself to get over this hurdle.  
I was so nervous the day of.  
Worried how stupid I would look if I failed the Life exam.  
I didn't want to fail either one but at least health is not something 
I have been doing for the last several months. 

The rest of the year is packed.  

I have 3 more Chicago trips planned.  
Festival of Lights and attending a Toy & Game Fair
Winter Wonderfest, Christkindl Market, Zoo Lights
Family time.  Fun times ahead.