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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Goodbye 2014

It is Christmas Eve.  
One more week left of this year.
And I can honestly say I am ready for 2015.  

What has 2014 brought us:
Not one niece, but two adorable nieces to spoil.
I am godmother to one of those adorable nieces. 

I got to go to Nashville, TN with some of the best friends a girl could ask for.
I went to Nauvoo for Halloween.
I went to Chicago 15 times this year.  
3 long weekends with the family.  Countless trips alone.  A few with both kids.  
Twice without Xander and once without Serena.  
We saw the Mag Mile parade of lights. 
Celebrated Serena's 13th birthday there. 
I got to be there for my dad's birthday
Not to mention being able to be there every weekend before he passed for a month
I got to see my Naylor family a lot this year and I hope that continues.
I spent a couple weekends with the Harmans.

My dad lost his battle to his cancer.  
He fought hard but it really was his time to go.  
His battle lasted 18 months and a few weeks. 
He had countless surgeries.
Had a trach, a feeding tube and no tongue. 
His communication was down to a red and black dry erase marker with a white board.
Along with hand gestures (some good some bad), clapping and smacking things.
I miss him but glad his suffering is over.

Melanie introduced me to Zumba.
I liked it but quit going. 
I joined the gym and don't go near as much as I should
I have lost 8 pounds and 10 inches in 2 months.
I had another surgery this year because my gallbladder died and was becoming necrotic. 
I am one year post hysterectomy which I wouldn't change for anything. 
Except, I am now on Estrogen (weaning off).
I am Vitamin D deficient and on a weekly supplement
I have signs of osteoporosis
I take a multivitamin for women 50+
I take a Vitamin B complex 
So my hysterectomy solved one problem but I picked up a few more. 

I started a new job in May. 
Love it here.  
My time is flexible.  
I am 6 blocks from home.
I also took my IL Producers test for Life and Health insurance
and passed.

We now have a kindergartner and 7th grader. 
Xander is still full of spunk.
Serena has changed so much over the last year.  
Really over the last six months. 
We are very proud of her.
Serena raised over $2000 for Relay for Life.
Our fundraiser this year (mark your calendars) is March 14th.
We are doing a quarter auction.  

Merry Christmas!
And Happy New Year.
Here's to a better 2015. 

Friday, December 19, 2014


What is Christmas to you?
Aside from the obvious answer:  Christ.
What does it mean to you?
I love my family.
And I have a lot of family.  
I have blood family, step family, family by marriage and VERY close friends that are like family.
I love each and every one of them.  

I love getting to go to mom's on Christmas Eve to see my Aunt and cousins.

I cannot wait to give people their gifts.  
I only have a few to shop for and that's for gift cards 
(don't hate on me they requested giftcards)

I love getting to shop for presents.
I love doing Black Friday with my mom and sister. 
Then some shopping with Ryan
And finishing up with Jessica.  Though that has not happened this year (yet). 

I love getting to see my nieces and nephews open presents.
I love playing games (the Woltering side is huge on games)
I love the family time.
I love our inside jokes.  
Spilled Milk and Cookie Cutter is funny to no one....except us. 
Say it and we will seriously crack up.  
People probably think we are crazy (and we probably are to an extent...)

I absolutely cannot wait to see my kids open their presents.
Every year we get our kids the bigger, most expensive gift from us.
Because not every parent can afford to buy their kids the most expensive item 
and I don't want my kid to be the one to make another child feel bad 
because that kid's parents can't afford to have santa give their kid the most expensive toy.
May sound stupid or over the top but it's the truth.  
Be that kid'd understand.
or be that parent once....and you will understand.  

This weekend starts our family Christmas.  
A week of Christmases.  
5 of them!

Tomorrow we have Naylor Christmas.  
2nd one I have ever had with them.
First one without my dad. 
I have to do it alone.  
well with the kids. 
But without the support of the person I will probably need the most this weekend...
because his work schedule is crazy 
he is working every day of the week 
they are not accepting time off requests. 
I am very thankful he has a job and they are working. 
Just this timing blows.  
I need my husband.  
I am looking forward to Christmas. 
As much as I will miss Dad.  
We have to move forward.  
So instead we will set new traditions and do new things 
and do as much as we can with Dad's family when we can.  

Then Sunday we have Christmas with Connie. 
Which is going to be probably a bigger struggle.  

Wednesday we have Woltering Christmas. 
I am looking forward to this.  
Games. Food and Presents

Then Thursday we have Christmas with my parents and siblings. 
That's the hope anyway.  I cannot wait to see my niece.  
Her first Christmas.  
And my other niece is going to be over the top excited about her gifts I think.  
I know I am.  

Saturday is Christmas with my husband's dad and brothers. 
The last Christmas of the year.
And guess what.....
I get to do that one alone too.  
He has to work til 5.  
Good thing I love my in laws. 

Monday, December 8, 2014


13!  Yikes It's a scary number.  
Not because I am superstitious but 
because our oldest is now 13 in less than 24 hours.  
Where has the time gone.  
Earlier this year I did this for Xander's birthday.

I am going to take a stab at something similar for Serena. 

She has no real nicknames.  
Some friends use to call her SeSe.  
Her dad still calls her Bob.  
^That one just kind of stuck and is an inside joke. 

She wants to be an eye doctor when she gets bigger....
this has been her goal for going on about 5 years now.  
I am really curious to see if she sticks with that or decides something else.

Her favorite colors are blue, pink and purple. 
She loves fingernail polish, eyeshadow, lip gloss and body stuff.
She loves to do crafty things and draw. 

She has her father's brains, my gracefulness.  
She is a pretty good combination of both Voss and Naylor.  
Some days I am like..holy crap she is mine and not just on days she trips over her own feet. 
Then other days I see our niece Amanda or Ryan's cousin Valerie.   

Serena has a heart of gold.  She thinks of others. 
We are so proud of her involvement in Relay for Life.  
This is something that is near and dear to her heart
and let's face it there are far worse things for her to be involved in or care about. 

She is a special girl.  
She was the first grandchild in my family. 
She was the first baby in the group (and only for nearly 7 years).

This year has not worked out how we had planned.  
I missed her first concert but I was where I needed to be, 
and the best part, Serena understood that.  
Did she want me with her?  Of Course!
Did she complaint?  No. 
She made the best of it. 

Serena, we are proud of you.  
We are proud of your grades and honor roll.
Proud of your interest in band. 
Proud of your creativity. 
Proud of your heart. 
Proud of your willingness to give to something bigger than you. 
Proud that you tried something new. 

Xander can be mean to you but he loves you. 
One thing I hear from everybody is how much Xander adores his big sister. 
He can be mean but that's what brothers do.  
Trust me.  I pray that when you are older, you and your brother have a close relationship and are always there for each other. 

We love you!