Welcome 2017

2016 is almost in the books already, and I can’t believe it. This has been an incredible year of ups and downs for my family. We had some amazing moments, like my oldest graduating high school, our trip to DC in February when he got to see snow for the first time,  my youngest getting his learner’s permit, and my husband and I opening a business. Of course, we had some not-so-great moments too, that included health issues, financial issues, and a period of time where it seemed like everything around us, cars, dishwashers, pool pumps etc. broke all at once.

However, looking back, it’s not the struggles I remember, it’s the special moments we had together, and that’s what I want to continue focusing on in 2017. Now that my boys are older, I realize just how fleeting my time with them is. In just another year, my oldest will be off to a university to finish his degree, and then starting his own life with his brother soon to follow. While that excites me and makes me very proud, it also fills me with a sort of wistfulness. A wish that I could slow time down or back it up just a little bit. Of course I know that’s not possible, but if I could, I probably would.

So, my plan for this next year is simple: be in the present with my family every day. Let go of my plans and savor the moments God gives us. Forget about timetables and worrying about everything that seems to have to be done right now, because in reality, I spend a lot of time stressing out over things I think are really really important, that turn out to be small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. I want to be able to be more flexible next year, and allow more time for spontaneous adventures when the opportunity arises. Mostly, I just want to pour as much as I can into my boys to get them as ready for their next step as possible, and and enjoy this time I have with them. Happy New Year everybody! I wish you all the best.

 

 

Holiday Traditions

This December has been a little, well, crazy at my house. We’ve had a lot of stuff going on, most of it difficult. So, I’ve had to take a little step back from blogging to focus on my family. However, with Christmas only two days away, I wanted to take a minute to talk about our holiday traditions. To me, a tradition is something that brings back happy memories. Like for me, the Christmas season always meant making perogies with my nana. To this day, whenever I see a perogi, I automatically think about those times and it makes me smile.

We have a few, simple, traditions in our family. Our Christmas tree is always topped with a light up star. The story behind the star is that my husband and I got it from Walmart for about $10 for our very first Christmas together. That was almost 20 years ago, and it’s still shining. Looking at it takes me back to our early years together in our little apartment when we first dreaming up life together.

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Another tradition we have is our Advent house. My mom used to work at Cracker Barrel and she’s given me a ton of Christmas decorations from there over the years. This one is cool, it has 24 little doors for the countdown to Christmas, and when you open them, it lights up and plays Christmas carols. Since my boys were little, they’ve loved doing the “Christmas door”. Every year they switch off for who opens the even days and who opens the odd days. We fill the doors with mini-ornaments my mother in law got them to go on tiny trees they put in their room. It’s a nice way to celebrate the build up to Christmas day.

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My kids also look forward to the annual trek to my in-laws to celebrate Christmas. My hubby’s job (being a firefighter) usually means that he works either Christmas Eve or Christmas day. So, we don’t travel on the actual holiday. Instead, we usually head up the week before on a couple days when he is off. While we’re there we play board games and build gingerbread houses. It doesn’t matter how they come out, it’s really just about spending time together.

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These are just a few of our traditions, how does your family enjoy celebrating the season? I want to wish you and all of yours a Merry Christmas!

Menu Plan Monday 12/12/16

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Ah, December. A time of great joy and fun festivities, and lots of work. Also, the wrong time to be ill. I have been under the weather this month, and thus, have not gotten anything done so far. Sigh…But, I still have about 2 weeks left or so, that’s enough time right?? I’m going to convince myself it is. In the meantime, now that I’m back to (almost) regular cooking, here’s our menu for this week:

Monday: Chicken Lime Soup

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: French Dip Sandwiches

Thursday: Pork and Pepper Stir Fry

Friday: neighborhood Christmas party

So, I hope you are in the middle of a peaceful holiday season. Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday!