To celebrate the coming new year, I thought I’d share with you my Top 12 Pictures from 2011 - one from each month and a little recap of all the things 2011 brought us. It’s been a crazy year!
January started with a trip to Dan’s office for our annual family photo extravaganza. When I wasn’t crafting with the kids or playing in the snow, I participated in the L.M. Montgomery reading challenge and fell ridiculously in love with the Anne of Green Gables series. MM started going to the Y with daddy to learn how to swim and did awesome!
February was all about Valentines Day! MM was fascinated by the whole idea and spent a lot of time writing Valentines to everyone he could think of, but mostly me. No complaints here. February also brought a LOT of snow, a little sick and some sweet memories. Dan and I made a pretty homemade doll for little BB that has miraculously survived the year in our house. Not bad!
In March MM began swim lessons at the Y and continued to do really well. I took on several major cleaning & organizing projects with Simple Mom’s Project Simplify. We took down BB’s booster seat and began using just a kaboost to make her chair a little taller and MM had his kindergarten screening and made his momma super proud!
In April we bought our first house!!!! The day after MM’s 5th birthday!!!! It was crazy!!!! Before the big move, we kept our nerves at bay by taking lots of nightly walks together. After getting settled in we threw MM a dinosaur race car pizza party to celebrate his birthday. He also got a pet dragon. That’s going to be tough to beat. Oh and there was that thing with the toilet and the giant holes in our kitchen ceiling…
The month of May brought grilling and playing outside, baking and coloring inside, pretty flowers and finding the perfect park! For Mother’s Day I got a great photo mug from Dan with cute pics of the kids on it. At the end of the month Dan’s family came to visit and we got to show off the new house!
In June we had a picnic at the park, played in the sprinkler and flew homemade kites. I read The Help and was just as blown away by it as everyone else who’s raved before me. I spent an entire week offline and lived to tell the tale. We played a few games of Hallway Hopscotch and went camping in Baraboo.
July was all about the barbecue! We threw a cookout on the 3rd with friends and had such a great time – it was one of those perfect parties where everything just came together and went how I’d envisioned it. When does that happen? We spent the 4th at the beach which turned out to be a bit of a let down but got ice cream afterwards and salvaged the day. We watched fireworks from our backyard, played outside some more, discovered Picnic Point, participated in our library’s summer reading program, went to the company picnic and celebrated BB’s 2nd birthday with a tea party with friends!
In August we beat the heat with water gun fights. Dan and I celebrated our 5th anniversary with a trip to The Melting Pot (a first for both of us and a new OMG favorite). We gave some friends a tour of Dan’s office before they moved back to the West Coast. BB got her first tricycle and I took her to the zoo.
September was all kinds of monumental as MM started kindergarten! As predicted, he absolutely adored school from the beginning and was thrilled with the whole thing. BB and I kept busy apple picking, taking walks with friends, lingering at the bus stop together in the afternoons and discovering my new favorite place: The Olbrich Botanical Gardens. I had several arguments with my computer and even used Windows 7 for awhile! ::shudders:: Oh and we painted the side of the house. And by we, I mean I took pictures.
October was unseasonably warm and I wasn’t complaining! Dan and I had another wonderful date night with dinner at a really nice little restaurant and a movie at one of those theaters that only grown ups go to (score!). BB and I took more walks with friends who were very patient with silly Jen and her constantly clicking camera. I fell in love with some tiny kittens at Schusters Playtime Farm and we almost adopted some cats, but then didn’t because yes I’m still allergic. Oh and we took down BB’s crib!! And did I mention Schusters and corn mazes and OMG? We seriously love this place. MM started getting homework and our Team Trivia group won their first game! Oh, and Halloween happened, too! BB was a pretty kitty and MM was Woody from Toy Story!
In November I switched back to wordpress.com after a random snafu with my self-hosted blog made me realize it just wasn’t worth it any more to be self hosted. Still very happy with that decision. MM and Daddy went to one of the Home Depot Kids Workshops together and the boys fell in love with being handy builders together. The weather could not make up its mind. A neighbor we barely know gave BB a pair of rain boots one day and we were just blown away by the kindness of strangers. MM wrote a letter to Santa asking for a Sid the Science Kid coloring book, a toy car and 3 socks. MM and Daddy raked leaves together. We celebrated daddy’s birthday and Thanksgiving and then pretty much immediately leaped into the Christmas spirit, trimming the tree, making a holiday Mix CD and crafting an Advent Activity Box (which went over really well BTW).
In December I made a vague attempt at vowing to losing some weight. Ok it was slightly less than vauge – but also slightly less than successful. Still, if it weren’t for my feeble efforts, I might have gained more weight. I took a photography class for three weeks that wasn’t entirely what I hoped, but also not a complete wash. I took a ton of bokeh pictures of the Christmas tree. We made our own papier mache star for our Christmas tree. I got really into beading my own jewelry. We took the kids to see Santa and to see the train exhibit at Olbrich Gardens. I baked way too many cookies and had MM make Christmas cards for his teacher. And then we all got the stomach bug while celebrating Christmas. But other than that, Christmas was awesome – great gifts, my parents came to visit and it was just a nice, small Christmas. Take out the stomach bug and pink eye and it would have been awesome. Oh yeah, and I had a birthday.
It was really hard narrowing it down to just 12 pictures as I took so many that I just adore. Our 2011 photo book should be chock full of beautiful, amazing memories. Here’s hoping 2012 brings more of the same!