Monday, December 31, 2018

2018: Year in Review

It's that time of year again. Another year lived, it's time to look back on the good, bad and the ugly.  Ok, there wasn't too much ugly but the good was good and we survived the bad.  I achieved several goals, several fell by the wayside.  But I'm proud of what I accomplished and I'm planning to work hard to achieve the things that are important to me in 2019.  But first a look back.
January-  We rang in the new year with friends at the beautiful Alabama Theatre.  We don't usually do anything special for NYE but last year we did and it was so much fun!  Alabama won another National Championship in an overtime thriller against Georgia. I started reading through my one year bible.  One of my goals was to read through the entire bible and I enjoyed reading with this plan. 
February- We celebrated AveryAnn's second birthday and went to the JKS Character show.  
March- Barrett started his first season of coach pitch baseball.  We loved our team and coach.  We only won one game but we had the best time.   We celebrated Easter and our 10th Anniversary!
April- April was a bit of a blur!  We watched our friends Matt and Jennifer get married!  We registered Barrett for Kindergarten.  Brooks was born.  Barrett got his first hit in baseball, we were all so excited!  We got to enjoy the Magnolia Festival as a family.  Patrick and I got to getaway to Punta Cana to celebrate our 10th Anniversary!  It was a highlight of the year for sure! 
May-  Ally turned 10, the Royal Wedding, and baseball were early highlights.  Barrett graduated 4K!  It was the sweetest ceremony.  We celebrated Mother's Day.
June- We kicked off the summer with a trip to the Birmingham Barons game.  We made a Summer bucket list!  We enjoyed weekly lunches at the library and a fun lake day with my family!  That lake day was so special and perfect!  I'll remember it forever!
July- We celebrated the Fourth of July all week long!  We went to Alabama Adventure with our friends.  My mom, sister and I enjoyed a fun day going to see Mama Mia!.  I took the kids to see THe Lion King at the Alabama Theatre.  Barrett had his last day at CEC and we ended the summer reading program!
August- This was a big month!  We had our second annual Back to School Shrimp Boil with our friends!  Barrett started kindergarten and AveryAnn started 2K! Baby Jonah was born!  We got to see Ava play in the trumpet in the Rocket band!
September-  We watched more Rocket football!  I got to go to the Sidewalk Film Festival with my sister on her 30th birthday!   Barrett was Star Student of the week in his class!  I had a bit of a hair disaster and ended up having to have my hair professionally colored.  I got to go on a fun, quick girls trip to Nashville.  We started Fall baseball.  
October-  I lost my job and became a small business owner.  Barrett went on his first kindergarten field trip to the MJ pep rally! It was so cute and so much fun.  That same day we headed to the beach for a fun Framily getaway with the Moore's and the Stokley's.  It was a bit of a train wreck but we had so much fun!  Barrett and I made our annual trip to the UA homecoming game!  We went to our first Bryan Fall Festival.  Also I may have overcommitted this month.  We wrapped up the month trick-or-treating with friends.
November-  We went on a hike on the GUTS trail.  I went to a UAB football with Brittany, it was freezing but they won in overtime.  We went to Turkey Creek twice, once with my sister and once with our friends.  We enjoyed Thanksgiving with our families and Alabama won the Iron Bowl!
Elizabeth and I went to the book release party for one of our favorite podcasters.
December-  We saw Santa!  We went to Coley & Alex's wedding. We had school parties and field trips.  The Squad had our Christmas party.  We enjoyed Christmas and Barrett turned 6 years old!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

Christmas Eve we spent the day at my Grandmothers house.  We don't spend nearly enough time with her but it's nice when we do.  We always end up outside playing something in the yard.  My Uncle gave Barrett this yard game set.  It had props for sack races, three legged races, and egg race.  We all played with that for a while.  We had to leave there and head home to freshen up for "Midnight" Mass at 4:30.  I love Christmas Eve Mass each year.  It always feels like it's the first time I get to slow down for the season.  
We get dressed up and celebrate reason for the season.  The boys wore their new suits and looked so handsome.  After Mass we went to my parents house for drinks and appetizers (and pictures). 
Love these sweet babies!  I can't believe how big they're getting.

Mr. Elf couldn't wait to see Santa!

We put cookies out for Santa and reindeer food.  Then it was time to put Barrett to bed for the last time as a 5 year old.  The kids went to sleep surprisingly easy.  Then it was time for Santa to come!

He had to go pick up that beautiful house that was painted off site.  Then he stopped to visit a friend that was in town.  When he finally got to our house it was late, around midnight.  When he opened the back of my car he was greeted with a gallon of white paint pooled in the back of the car.  It was a disaster.  We started cleaning it up and it seemed to just be spreading.  We lost a pair of shoes, a jacket, six bath towels and Patrick's pjs.  But we got it cleaned up enough to get on with the night.  

We got in the bed around 3:00am and Barrett was awake before 7:00.  He was so excited. We woke AveryAnn up (which I regretted).  We were all exhausted.  At first AveryAnn didn't like her pink house because her new doll wouldn't fit in it.  But when she realized the back was open she was very excited.  Barrett got a big RC car and he was so excited about it. 

Patrick was trying to hatch and mini hatchimal and petting the dinosaur, just trying to keep his eyes open.

Ally Bama was so excited about her new bed and toy.

Proper Christmas morning hydration all the coffee and mimosas.

Outside playing with his new RC car.  Somehow I got very few pictures of Barrett Christmas morning!
Our 11th Christmas morning picture in front of the tree.  I say it every year but this is my favorite tradition!  I love seeing how much our family has grown and changed.

A Christmas miracle.  Everyone is looking and my kids aren't crying!

The original six!

The boys!  

One of my favorite gifts.  Whiskey with my name on it! Ha! 

We sang Happy Birthday to Barrett!
Then it was time to head to the next stop.  We went to the Horton's for dinner.  Per usual I took zero pictures.  The kids fell asleep in the car and AveryAnn slept through gift opening.  She was exhausted. (We all were).  We got home and unloaded the car and went straight to bed.  It was a beautiful day with family!  I love Christmas but the days after Christmas are my favorite.  I love the slow pace, lazy days.  Our tree stays up and we watch movies and play with all our new toys.  It's just the best!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Field Trips and Parties, Parties, Parties.

On Tuesday, the 18th, Barrett had a field trip and AveryAnn had her Christmas party.  Patrick took off work to go to AveryAnn's party and I went to the McWane center.  We'd never been and Barrett was so excited.  We had a great time but it was chaos and I was already exhausted and it was just a bit overwhelming. 

Barrett really enjoyed it though.   We're excited to go back, they got a family membership for Christmas so we're going to get to go a lot this year!
While we were at McWane, AveryAnn and Daddy were partying with the two year olds at school.  A lot of her friends were out sick.

They had a fun morning together!  

Then that night we went to the Horton's to celebrate Patrick's mom's birthday.

And this is how I was feeling.  I get this way every year.  The stress of the holidays gets to me every year.  I try and try to organize and plan and not get worked up, but it happens every single year.  

The kids stayed with my parents and AveryAnn added more decorations to the tree.
Friday, we had Barrett and Jackson's birthday playdate.  We were missing a lot of our friends but the boys still had a blast!  The girls had fun playing together too this year! 
Friday night, we had our annual gingerbread house competition.  Barrett was so excited to decorate his!   AveryAnn had fun too.

My mom put their houses together with hot glue and they got to decorate however they wanted!  It's always a fun night!  My kids spent the night with my parents so I could finish shopping Saturday morning.

Saturday night we went to my Aunt and Uncles house for the Slovensky family party.  Patrick had to work the bowl game so my parents rode with us.  We had a fun night.  This was the only picture both kids were looking at the camera and I look like a crazy person.  Which is about right.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Horton Family!

We're wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed new year! 

I wanted to add a Christmas letter but I ran out of room.  Barrett started Kindergarten this year and is thriving.  He's learning to read and can't get his hands on enough books.  AveryAnn started preschool two days a week this Fall and it enjoying it.  She took a few months to warm up but she talks about her friends all the time now.  Her teacher said she's finally coming out of her shell. Patrick and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary March 28th.  We were able to go on trip just the two of us to Punta Cana to celebrate.  It was much needed and we had a wonderful time.  Ally Bama is 10 years old and I think she's tired of living with toddlers.  She still has to be touching me at all times.  Horton Electric has really taken off and Patrick has more work than he can do.  We're so thankful for his business during this time of growing my own business. Overall, 2018 has been very kind to us!  We're looking forward to all 2019 has in store.

Monday, December 17, 2018

We like to Party..

We've been staying busy, busy, busy lately.  Which I do not love.  But it's par for the course these days.  I feel like the harder I try to not over commit, the more I find myself signed up for.  I'm not sure how that happens.  I'm trying to make the most of it and not lost my sh*t but I'm not doing a great job.
This is the first year Barrett has been keeping up with our advent activity calendar.  This was baking cookies.  We've been having a great time.

Mr. Elf has been making things interesting.  I love hearing AveryAnn giggle every morning whens eh finds him.  It's the sweetest.  It's been giving Barrett something to look forward to finding him each morning.  

We went to the Gardendale Christmas parade.

No one would take a normal picture with me.

I made the banner that led the parade!

Barrett wearing his first suit.

We went to my cousin's wedding.  It's the first wedding we've taken the kids too and they did pretty good.  It was late and raining and cold but we made the most of it.  

Coley was beautiful!

Big Al came to the reception!  It was AveryAnn's first time to meet him and she was so cute.  She started waving at him from across the room when she saw him.  

Barrett and I did a little dancing.  He was mesmerized by the live band.  It was fun to watch him.  

The next day was the Christmas party at church.  Barrett insisted on wearing his suit.  

Santa came.  

It was raining again (for like the 6th day in a row) and it was cold.  After being out late the night before, Barrett put on his pajamas as soon as we got home from church, it was 2:20.  I couldn't help but laugh.

We went to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese.  The kids had a blast! 

We also had our Squad Christmas party!  It was a fun night with friends!

Love these girls!
Saturday night we had the Horton Electric Christmas Party.  I'd blocked this night off for us to do something fun as a family.  The weather was terrible once again so we got take out, and watched a movie at home in our matching pjs.  It was a fun night making memories with my little family!

Then Santa came to church again!  My kids have seen Santa a lot this year!

He said they were definitely on the nice list.

He was so sweet.  We've seen this Santa a few times and he's one of my favorites!  He has the best European accent and its magical.
Mama got her picture made too!  When I was getting up he leaned over and said "you're such a lucky Mama" It caught me off guard and kind of took my breath away.  He's so right.  It's so hard to remember it in the mundane of everyday life.

The kids stayed at my parents most of the day Sunday so I could get some things done and go to bunko (Patrick was working).  AveryAnn cried because she wanted to take this Santa home.  We finally gave in and let her take it and she insisted she sleep with it.  

Today we had Barrett's class Christmas party.  I was busy helping with the craft so this is the only picture I got.  He's got one more day and it's a field trip.  Then he's home for 2.5 weeks.  I'm excited and terrified.  

He's started bringing the garbage can up the driveway and he thinks he's so big.  I hope he always wants to be a helper.
I think that brings us up to date.  We're 7 days away from Christmas. I love this time of year but always having a meltdown this time each year wishing it to be over and wanting it to be Christmas time forever.  I've trying to remember how lucky I am to get to celebrate this time of year and to have people in my life to celebrate with.