Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 In Review

Every new year brings excitement at the idea of a fresh start. New goals, new dreams, and new experiences make us all eager to count down to the new year. I can honestly say, though, I am not sure if 2015 will be able to top 2014. Every month this year brought new excitement and experiences, and I am bidding farewell to 2014 knowing that it is a year I changed more, grew more, and loved more than I ever have. I am recapping highlights from each of the past twelve months, enjoy!

I enjoyed lots of morning sickness all of January, all while beginning my first semester of grad school. Pregnant, working full time, and grad school. I should have had a cape, I was practically a super hero. A super hero who took a LOT of naps.

We revealed our big news to the world on Valentines Day! Those cookies were the best. This picture makes me smile every time I see it.

I started up my night class in Maple Grove, which meant one very long drive to the Twin Cities each week. I was determined to stay on track with graduation and not being postponed due to maternity leave; this was necessary and honestly, not too bad. I got in a little shopping at Arbor Lakes, and used the Snap Fitness down there before class.
**i literally have zero pictures from the month of March. It did snow every single day, so maybe it was just a month I don't care to remember?***

We found out baby Stang was a baby boy! I also went on a business trip to Nashville and my mama came along. It was a great weekend and I was so happy to have her there with me!
Moments before we sliced that baby open and everyone screamed bloody murder.

My brother may have scooped up nearly all of the M&M's that fell out of that cake.

Lunch on one of my breaks. We love the Opryland Hotel!

We went up to the lake with Mike's family for Memorial Weekend. I got in some fantastic trail runs, we ate lots of food, and got our traditional coffee drink and taffy at the cutest candy shop in Perham. And after one night we happily headed home so this pregnant lady could sleep in a real bed :-)
26 weeks pregnant

We painted Mr. Baby Man's room! I had so much fun designing his nautical nursery. I can also say I knew my future baby because now we rock in the rocking chair and he coos and babbles and giggles at the lifesaver and anchor on the wall. Baby boy likes my style :-)

On a more somber note, my dad also had open heart surgery in June. I took lots of long lunch breaks that week hopping up to visit. He did so incredibly well, and I will never forget when we first went into see him after, thinking he would be intubated and out, and the tube was already out and he was waking up. He saw my mom and smiled like a school boy, and told the doctors 'aint she a peach'.

I have always known my dad was crazy about my mom, but when his first reaction after waking up from open heart surgery was to smile at the sight of her face..every other person might as well have not been in the room. I will never, ever forget it. My parents have a beautiful relationship, and I am so thankful that I have both of them here with me.

I went up to the lake with my sister for a nice, long 4th of July weekend. We got lots of sun, went into town for the parade, and got in a little one on one time with my grandparents, which was nice!
Of note: I also decided to start my blog! I haven't been able to blog quite as much as I would like, but it is so fun to look at posts and remember events, written while everything is still fresh and new!

My first (and last) bunp post!

Nothing too exciting, just had a baby, 4 weeks early, who happens to be perfect and the best thing to ever happen to me...

I really never knew my heart could feel like it was going to burst. This little boy is the ultimate blessing.

Went for walks. Reintroduced coffee (and the occasional hard lemonade) to my diet. Watched daytime television. Have I ever said how much I absolutely love maternity leave? I may already be counting down to the next time I get to do it!
miss these walks and sweet moments

yes, I coordinate or outfits. no shame.

I die.

look at that precious baby smile! he was soo little
Our precious boy was baptized. Dinner at my parents followed. It was a special day with both of our families, and we got to witness our perfect boy join a new family and have his sins forgiven. Pretty powerful experience.

Oh, and I went back to work. Yay.

Our little man celebrated his first real holiday. we also settled into a new routine of me and baby running errands together early in the morning. Nothing warms my heart more than cruising through target with my smiley. He LOVED checking out the Christmas lights!
this boy LOVES chatting and giggling with mama while we walk through Target. Kid loves grocery shopping. My son, for sure.

Jackson's first Christmas. And the completion of my first semester back to school.
World's cutest homework buddy?

We are very blessed, and I fall more in love with my new little family every single day!

I hope you all had a fantastic year and are able to reflect and remember all that has happened! I have some resolutions I am planning to share later this week, so check back :-)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas this year was an experience, to say the least! It was filled with family, food, and fun. It was also filled with sickness and an angry baby, but we will get to that...

The week started off with Mike being off of work, lucky guy. I worked Monday and half of Tuesday, and finally we both were on our nice long weekend. We baked some cookies, played with our adorable little man, and prepped the good stuff for the following day (read: lots of gift wrapping and some food making).

On Christmas Eve, we headed over to Mike's parents, where we enjoyed some appetizers and played games. And opened presents, obviously. I am really blessed with some great in-laws, and it is always great to spend time with them.
could he be more handsome!?

grandma snuggles

matching hats for the boys.

daddy and me posing (daddy loves to rock the hat mom made him, by the way!)

the boys.

intriguing conversations with uncle jeffy!

 As the night carried on, our little man decided he was over the noise and commotion. I have been to Christmas Eve service every year of my life, but we decided our little guy (and us and our 8pm bedtime) just wouldn't make the 10pm service this year. Good call, because sure enough, around 8:00 Jackson was done. Pack 'er up, time to go. It really is amazing, the way a baby can dictate every second of your day!

Christmas morning we were up at the crack of dawn; actually before, the short days combined with Jackson's 5am parties means a good chunk of the mornings are spent in the dark.
Merry Christmas..I think?
 Santa came with a few gifts, but we postponed opening a bit because someone crashed for a nap pretty early. 7:30am naps are normal, right? Of course, I might pass out right there in my jumparoo after all of that bouncing, too.

Once prince charming woke up we opened our gifts/stockings, I whipped up some muffins for breakfast, and we just relaxed. And hit me *cue Jaws music* a stuffy nose/sore throat/fever. I had a fever, and I NEVER get fevers. (ok, it was like 99.8, but this girl is a reliable 98.7, 99% of the time). So I chugged some Dayquil, disguised my red nose with some makeup, and we headed over to my parents.
casually posing under the tree.

 gift time with mama

classic face.

me and my ninja turtle gear.


side parts for everyone!

grandma and her favorite person

Gift opening. Food. Hot buttered rum. Good day.

I got my dad some moose mugs like those on Christmas Vacation. I think I nailed it.

Sissy enthusiastically asking me if I made this. Not going to lie, I wanted to keep the scarf I made her.

Andddd all the kids chipped in and got mom her KitchenAid mixer she has been talking about getting for a year. win.

We finished the night off with our annual seafood dinner, doing it for the first time on Christmas night. It is one of my favorite traditions!

On Saturday, we went to Mike's other side's Christmas, where Jackson once again decided he wasn't down for the party. We were in and out in about two hours, at which point we brought our cranky baby home, where he instantly smiled as if he knew what he had done. Our child, indeed. Couldn't love him more.

The rest of the weekend, I was nice and sick. My little man was there to provide lots of snuggles and share some naps with me, until he inevitably came down with the same funk on Sunday in combination with teething. Poor baby boy.
chilling in my new ride from grandma and grandpa

sleepy boy

anddd more naps..

sick cuddles

just sleeping the day away!

Overall, Christmas was busy, hectic, stressful, and wonderful. I am always sad to see it end, but am also already giddy thinking about how next year we will have a little boy who is excited by the holiday and will open his own presents. In the words of my husband (and Gloria Estefan), we want to see Christmas through your eyes, Smiley!
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