Sunday, December 30, 2012

State of the Blog

Hello faithful readers (whoever you are). This blog space has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. Mostly, I've been conflicted over whether or not I should keep up with it. I've been at the blog game for a long time (in one way or another) and it has evolved into something I hardly recognize. In the beginning, it seemed like it was mostly people like me - just personal stories... an online journal/diary, a place to share or work out something on your mind.

Now it seems like everyone has a blog. Every company, everyone's mom. I know that isn't really true - but it seems that way. For awhile, that wasn't so terrible. It was cool to me for K-Mart to have a blog, and K's Mommy to also have a blog. Yet, somewhere along the way it turned in to K-Mart sponsoring posts about K-Mart's crap on K's Mommy blog. For awhile I just started skipping past those sponsored posts, and now I feel like there are more sponsored posts than real true life happening in the blogs I used to love. Hey, it's cool - I can appreciate that people need to make a living. But the whole reason I started a blog was a place to document things for my family that they could then enjoy decades from now. Part of what kept me coming back to write more was being inspired by great stories of others. Now? Not so much.

You hear a lot of complaining around the holidays that they've all become too commercialized. I feel that way about blogging. I'm sick of all the commercial interruptions. I feel like there isn't a place for me in blogging anymore. Surprisingly - the few blogs that I still enjoy reading (aside from the blogs of friends) are the blogs of small business owners promoting their own brands. For me, I suppose it is like reading a magazine online in those instances.

Anyway, I'm not trying to get all high and mighty on everyone. The only reason I even said anything was because I always wonder what happens to folks after they stop blogging for months. Everything is ok - I'm just taking my blogging back into to pen and paper :)

It has been one day and I already miss it. Damn.

I just can't quit you, blog!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


With 2013 just a few days away, I thought I would mention my goals for the new year!

1) Faith! It is time. J and I need to find a church and get our kiddo's to Sunday School on a regular basis! The last (almost) 30 years of my life, it seems like every step I took forward, I have taken two steps back with my faith. In the ultimate act of rebellion (when one has an atheist parent) I'm ready to stop worrying so much about what other's think, and start nurturing mine and my families relationship with Christ!

2) Home! I've been reading Home Comforts and Martha Stewarts Homekeeping Handbook, and I'm totally in love with making a cozy, comforting nest for my sweet babies and handsome man. I grew up in an environment where taking care of a home and the things inside a home weren't exactly championed. In fact, I'm embarrassed to admit that by the time Josh found me, I didn't even know how to load a dishwasher (but I did know my way around a washing machine!). I grew up in a disaster, and I make it an effort not to repeat the cycle (though I do fail on many days). I'm so excited to continue making a loving home for my family!

3) Health! Two weeks ago, J and I walked away from artificial sweeteners  and so far, we haven't looked back! I'm looking forward to doing the same with grains and sugar before the new year starts. Ancestral eating is something we have long believed in (much like we have believed that artificial sweeteners can cause a myriad of health issues), and we are ready to embrace it and start reaping the health benefits!

4) Family! J and I are kind of in to the idea of throwing some more babies into the mix. Mikey has informed me several times that he needs a little sister, and I finally shrugged my shoulders and said "hey, Mommy might have another baby, but I can't promise that it will be a girl!"

5) (because 4 seems like an odd number, even though it isn't) Work! I seriously love the work I've been doing the last few months, and I'm so excited to learn more. I've always been a person to "whistle while I work," but I can easily say that what I'm doing now is by far the coolest thing I've ever done! I love it, and I am so excited to keep at it in 2013!

I just looked back at my goals post for 2012, and even though those were sort of BIG goals, J and I accomplished all 3 of them! So stoked for the New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, 2012

We had the sweetest Christmas this year. The thoughtfulness of my family always amazes me, but this year it was definitely all about the babies! J and I had so much fun picking out gifts to give our littles, and it was worth every dollar spent to see the smiles and excitement on their faces all morning. As I was putting them to sleep on Christmas Eve, I was flooded with memories of anticipation, and of not being able to sleep.

 I remember one Christmas morning when we all woke up WAY too early, but not too early for my grandmother June, and she herded us all into Mari & I's room for a round of "I Spy," to pass the time. I remember the year my sister and I were gifted the ultimate barbie mansion (3 stories, complete with an elevator that was later used to torture our small rodents who tried to climb out of their sweet ride to the pent house between floors). There was the year when we didn't receive much at all, which I'm sure killed my mother (she always tried to make sure we had enough). Another year we came out to find all the presents perfectly organized in stacks by sibling thanks to my older brother, Jonathan, who I assume had snuck out to the living room in the middle of the night to see what the deal with the loot was. Then came the year when my mother cancelled Christmas in favor of Yule, and we all decorated "Yule Logs." The year after my Mom left for New York, I attempted a Christmas Revival at the Van Noy house, and we hung lights for the first time ever, maybe. Those lights might still be up on the house, lol.

Every Christmas between then and now is kind of a jumble of memories, but I think I will always recall this one vividly. The year of celebrating CHRISTmas instead of Xmas (much to the disapproval of my mom... sorry, I can't help but love Jesus, I hope we can just keep on loving each other anyway, lol) and of anticipating the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and not just the day of lights and pretty wrapping paper. I read The Nativity Story to Mikey most nights (he was pretty determined that we bake a cake for Baby Jesus, but maybe next year, lol!). We tried to work hard on Mikey have a grateful heart, and we will definitely need to go through our toys to and find some that we aren't playing with as much to donate.

This year, we decked the halls (much more than we have in recent years), we celebrated with family, and genuinely enjoyed each other's company. My sweet sister-in-law was nice enough to talk Jesus with me, and I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with her in the next two weeks (I've seriously been hurting for "girl time" for the last year - I'm sure Sarah will be completely sick of me by the time she leaves!).

I hope all of my extended and long distance family had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish all the best for you all in 2013!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Eve of Christmas Eve.

I can't remember anticipating Christmas this much in a very long time. I've been mindful of the traditions I want my boys to look forward to at this time each year, and so far they have been exposed to plenty of sweet Christmas movies, music, and cartoons. We've been hiding the elf every evening before we go to sleep, and it is the very first thing the boys look for in the morning.

Besides that, we paid (literally) a visit to Santa, and have been discussing on a regular basis what they hoped to find under the tree on Christmas morning. Johnny has consistently been mentioning Elmo when asked what Santa was bringing him for Christmas, and Mikey's list is so long it was hard to pick only a few things from the list.

J & I are choosing not to Exchange gifts again this year - we both wanted to focus more on our boys and family. Maybe next year!

Things that I didn't get my act together in time for that I want do next year include an advent calendar, a bigger light display on our home, and more decorating with greenery and live holiday plants. But, for once, I feel like I put in a fairly decent effort, and overall I'm pleased. The only other wish I had was to attend a Christmas service at a local church, but the stars didn't align due to G-ma being sick.

Looking forward to our much anticipated Christmas with our sweet little family. Merry Christmas Eve, Eve!

Friday, December 21, 2012

2012: A year in Review!

I've been away from the blog for a little bit. All sorts of sad things happened between the 10th and now, and I've found myself reading the bible a lot, and just trying to make sense of how innocent children can suffer. Heart breaking, and awful, and I just didn't want to write for days, and I'm still not ready to throw myself back into the new year, except for maybe a post about what our plans for 2013 are, and this post here, about our 2012...

-We arrived in SC just a few days before Christmas last year. We spent our "winter break" exploring the area, trying not to get lost, and enjoying the cooler weather! The boys loved being with G-Ma and Papa for Christmas, and it was kind of neat to wake up every morning to a full house and try to warm our tooshes by the fire. We celebrated Mikey's 3rd birthday with his Aunt Sarah still in town on the 29th, and our futures looked bright and promising!

-January and February were spent hunting for jobs. I found one first - right in the beginning o f January, with a crappy company, that only lasted 3 days. We celebrated Johnny's 1st birthday on the 29th of January. J's cousin Lara and her husband brought their little girl Colbie down for a visit. Then J found a job in February, which was so rad, because it allowed us to get our own place!

-March was all about striking out on our own, renting a house just a few doors down from G-Ma and Papa (yeah, quite adventurous of us, I know). I was also offered a job at TD bank right before my birthday, so things were really moving along nicely at that point. We celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary on the 4th,  and my 29th birthday on the 15th of March!

-April was sweet and spent enjoying our very first true spring as a family. Everything exploded with life - it was amazing, yet terrifying, as I narrowly escaped with my own life from all the bees and wasps. We celebrated Easter with an egg hunt at G-Ma's and Papa's, and spent a lot of time working on the yard of our rental home.




-May continued to be beautiful. We spent a lot of time outside, and a lot of time coveting a house down the street that we were hoping to buy. Renting wasn't the worst thing ever, but when a bird whispered in our ears that the home was possibly going to be going on the market, we tracked down the owners to meet with them. Aside from the home and all the beauty of the surrounding area, both Mikey and Johnny came down with some sort of plague, which involved a horrible rash for him! Yikes! Also, we celebrated Memorial Day with G-Ma, Papa and J's cousin Jess and her husband Shane. It was a great BBQ, and we all were stuffed silly!

-June was gorgeous. Gosh, I'm starting to notice a theme. I never really appreciated May/June in AZ because it was already so god awful hot by then. True, I was still absolutely terrified by the bugs, but the dream of the house down the street becoming ours was looking more and more likely. In the mean time, we enjoyed as much time as possible out on screened in porch of the home we were renting, and ate lots and lots of hot dogs & pickles!

-July was hot, folks! Super hot! And full of mosquito's, and a fun trip to the zoo, but also full of us closing on our new house and moving in! We celebrated the 4th of July uneventfully on the Deck of G-Ma and Papa, and didn't get to watch the fireworks that night, but that is ok, hopefully in 2013! We closed on the home on the 27th, and spent the last weekend of July moving out of the rental and into our new home. It was so great! We celebrated J's 33rd Birthday on the 30th of July, and went to sleep in our new house for the first time that night!

-We spent August getting cozy in our new home. It was the fastest unpacking in history with the help of G-Ma and Papa, and out super awesome neighbor Mrs. Ann! August was also crazy on the job front, because I was laid off by TD! Fortunately, I was offered a job in another department at TD, but ultimately ended up taking a 6 month contract doing reporting analyst work for GE Power and Water. It appears likely that I will at least have my contract extended another 6 months, but it is also possible that they will hire me permanently (keep your fingers crossed!). We also go the opportunity to see a minor league game at Fluor Field!

-September marked the start of me working from home, just in time to enjoy the first signs of fall. All of our leaves were brilliant shades of orange and yellow, and we spent a lot of time outside enjoying the slightly cooler weather. Outside of that, we also adopted a kitten! Meet Fitz!


-October was beautiful. The weather was amazing. I started baking pumpkin bread and pumpkin cookies. I even tried to make pumpkin pancakes (fail). I started pumping out beef stews and pot roasts faster than my family could eat them. We celebrated G-Ma's 63rd birthday on the 10th. We celebrated Halloween by carving pumpkins on the front porch and trick or treating in the neighborhood. Johnny was a dinosaur, and Mikey was a transformer! We bought entirely too much candy for the amount of trick or treaters in the neighborhood, so it all ended up going to J's office the next day.

-November was fantastic. The weather was getting nice and cool, and we had an early Thanksgiving to look forward to (and Aunt Sarah was going to fly in). The leaves started falling like crazy, which we tried to stay on top of, but eventually we just let the leaves win. We spent Thanksgiving with a crowd of family, and decided to end our evening early to avoid the boys staying up too late. I did zero shopping the day afterwards, which was even better! We spent a few more days with Aunt Sarah before she had to head home.

-December marks our 1 year anniversary of arriving in SC. We still have a lot left to see of our new home in the South East, and a lot of exploring to accomplish. We are getting ready for Christmas, and trying to get the boys excited for it every day by hiding the Elf in a new spot each evening, and watching lots of Christmas cartoons. I've been reading Christmas books to Mikey almost every night, and his favorite so far has been the Nativity Story. We are looking forward to a small celebration with G-Ma, Papa and of course, Aunt Sarah. Our year has been so amazing - we are truly blessed, and are looking forward to what the new year will bring us!