Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in Review

As Ben and I ate lunch today, he asked if I knew what I wanted my 2011 resolution to be yet. Honestly, I haven't given it much thought. I was doing really well with most of my 2010 resolutions until I started graduate school, at which point basically all of them bit the dust. I think that 2011 is going to be a plenty big year for our family, so maybe my resolution should just be to enjoy it with as minimal stress as possible. We invite you to come along for the ride with us! In the meantime, here's my final check-in on my 2010 resolutions:

1. Read the Bible.Incomplete. It's really too bad that the "Bible in one year" plans always start with the Old Testament.... I'll be trying a new reading plan in 2011.

2. Read at least one pleasure reading book per month.Almost complete. I did not read a book in October, but I did read a total of 28 pleasure-reading books for the year. I'm keeping this goal for 2011.

3. Join some kind of musical group (a band or choir) and perform with them.Complete. In addition to the concerts that I've already mentioned, I had one in November (on my birthday, no less) and two in December. We're now on a month-long break and will pick up again in February. I'm really enjoying being back in a band again!

4. Blog daily (at least a picture).Incomplete. Did really well until I started my two grad classes online, and then spending any more time at the computer than absolutely necessary started to sound really unappealing...

5. Get back down to (at least) my pre-pregnancy weight.
Complete. Back to pre-pregnancy weight, and then down a bonus 20 pounds!

6. Get involved with some kind of theatre group and help out with at least one production.Incomplete. I'd still really like to do this, but I just never found the time.

7. Teach Bryn to read.
Incomplete. She can read a lot more words than she could a year ago, but I think that's really just word recognition rather than true sounding-it-out reading. She still loves learning and reading though, and I think that's what's really important.

8. Potty-train Shay.Incomplete. My stubborn little girl absolutely refuses to finish up the process. She is fully capable of doing it, but it equally uninterested in doing so. And thus the process continues...

9. Finish up some of my murals.Somewhat complete. Did some as gifts and have progressed on some of our own. Still at work.

10. Frame our portraits.Complete. At least the ones that I was referring to when I made this goal are complete.... We've recently gotten some cute new portraits of the kids that I could stand to get framed too!

11. Paint the kids' bathroom.Incomplete. I actually gave up on this one. New plans.

12. Get Shay into her big girl room.Complete, way back in January.

13. Breastfeed this baby.Complete. Nearly 10 months later, I'm still pumping and giving Liam 100% breastmilk. No formula for my boy! Two more months to go, and then I can be done and he can move on to cow's milk.

I hope you've all had wonderful 2010s as well. Wishing you all the best in 2011!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

It's A Jungle Out There

A week and a half later, I'm just now getting around to posting pictures of the girls' birthday party.... This year was actually the first time that Shay was slated to have a birthday party, since the first time that we let Bryn have a party was when she turned 3, so we were playing fair and doing it that way with Shay too. So we were a bit hesitant when the girls told us that they wanted to have their party together, wondering if we should do something special for Shay since it would be her first party and all, but since it was what they wanted, okay. Since they're in preschool together this year, they have mostly the same friends, which will probably not be the case in the future. With two November birthdays (and a stressed-out mommy in end-of-semester grad school crunch time), a combined party seemed like a great way to save time and money. Thus, the Great Diego and Dora Adventure Party was born.

My pictures posted in backwards order, but you get the idea. Here's the highlight reel of the party...

Shay taking a swing at the Diego pinata. We actually had both Diego and Dora pinatas (compliments of Nana's resale shop), so all 16 kids (we invited 22--yikes!) got to hit several times, as well as take home a good bit of bounty:

Bryn and Billy (yes, THE Billy) "rescuing" some animals--those little tablets that you put in water and watch turn into various kinds of animals:

Snack time with orange kool-aid, popcorn, and gummy worms--all snacks chosen by little rescuers:

Shay as Baby Jaguar and Bryn as an elephant--all the kids got various animal masks, printed by my dad and cut out by me and my mom (with many resulting scissors blisters):

"Rescuing" animals from the sandbox:

Part of our front room, all "jungled" up for the party:

Delicious chocolate Diego cake, decorated largely freehand by Ben's mom:

Equally delicious yellow Dora cake, decorated with slight aid of a computer printout by Ben's mom:

Shay watching Nana decorate the cakes. Can't you just hear her thinking, "My hero!"