31 December 2012

2012 -- Year in Review


Like the others, this year just flew by. Each day, time seems to be picking up speed though. Something people always warn you about, and it's so true. It was a pretty good year for us, and felt incredible to be more settled in than the past year. I definitely embraced mainly being home better as the year went on. And besides the happiness and health of my family, it's the opportunity I am most thankful for. Here are some of the highlights of our 2012:

- Spending the first week of the year getting to see a lot of friends.
- Getting to see Monster Jam.
- Spending family time at the dojang.
- Mountain biking at Ray's.
- House guests from the OP.
- H turned 10.
- C ran the fastest mile in his grade.
- H was in his first play -- The Jungle Book.
- First time strawberry picking.
- Spending many summer days at the beach.
- Visitors from Germany who we haven't seen in years.
- Celebrating a 40th birthday in Oak Park.
- A road trip to Madison.
- Our 2-week RV Adventure with Nina, Papa, Christie, Tim, J & M to Yellowstone.
- We visited the EAA and the boys flew in an airplane.
- A perfect day at Harrington Beach State Park.
C turned 8.
- Brian & I celebrated our 13th anniversary (and me, a birthday).
- H took up a new hobby -- cooking!
- C is in 2nd grade, and H 5th grade (middle school!)
- A couple new babies.
- Trips to New York for the SRAM pART PROJECT (and working on something I love!)
- More visitors and overnight guests.
- Skiing!
- H started playing the baritone
- Celebrating a wedding with great friends. 
- Our first Green Bay Packers game.

Ok, so I guess it has been a busy one. But really, really great. Our little family will be spending the evening eating good food in our PJs and watching movies. Here's to wishing you a very happy, healthy 2013 full of peace, joy and laughter. 

30 December 2012



Brian was out for the count yesterday. Just a cold, but it's kind of worn him out. The boys and I went to tae kwon do classes, but otherwise, we just kind of hung around the house. It was what we all needed. Today we were ready to go again. H had a soccer game, and afterwards, we decided to go bowling. H won the first round, and I won the second -- although, none of us broke 100 that time. So much fun.

29 December 2012



We haven't made it skiing for a couple years now. But with some time off, it was the perfect time to go. Plus, Little Switzerland re-opened after being closed for the past five years -- and it's only 35 minutes away! We ran into three sets of people either I or the boys knew. It was the place to be, for sure. We decided to put the boys in ski school again. It's something we probably don't need to do in the future, but it's fun for them, and honestly, nice for us to get some ski time without them too. H is getting halfway decent though, so he just needs practice. C on the other hand ... I'm not sure what to say. He does fine and likes it, but my tough guy is happiest on the bunny hill. We made the mistake of trying to taking him down a larger hill later in the day, and we all kind of lost it. He was hysterical. I was mad. But the minute we brought him back to the bunny hill, he didn't want to leave. Note to self -- be a bit more patient, and just take turns with H, even if it means spending half the day on the bunny hill with C. Overall though, it was such a great day and all of us can't wait to go again.

27 December 2012

Ping Pong


My niece and nephew are in a tennis tournament for a couple days in our area, so spent the last couple nights with us. It rarely happens, and has been so great. After tennis was done for the day, we headed downtown and went to SPiN for a little ping pong action. Everyone, even a hesitant C, got in the mix. After building up some hunger, we took them for J & M's very first Conejito's Place dinner experience before hunkering down and watching Batman. Nice.

Alabama in the House


The last time I saw my friend Kari, she and Austin were engaged, with a wedding right around the corner. Since then, they've celebrated an anniversary, had a new (absolutely adorable) baby, and Austin has started his new pediatric dental practice. I'm so excited for them. Kari is one of my favorite people ever, and I wish we would see each other more often. But its not like Birmingham, Alabama is not right around the corner, unfortunately. I'm just lucky her family is kind of in the area! Although, I do really hope to make it down to their neck of the woods one of these days myself. The boys and E had a great time running around and eating gum balls (a Christmas gift) while I got to snuggle a baby and catch up with my friends. It was so great.

Christmas Day


The rule was not to stir until 7:00 am, but somehow, by 6:15 am we were all downstairs already opening presents under the tree. The boys were just too excited. Santa was really good to them. Both received the Legos sets they wanted, and H even got a cell phone which was #1 on his list. I can't believe it. Later in the afternoon, all of our family came over for Christmas dinner. Grandma, Aunt Pam, Uncle Matt, M & I, Nina, Papa, Aunt Christie, Uncle Tim, J & M, Justin, Amy, A, T & E. It was a full house, and really nice. Brian planned the dinner this year, making a bison roast, creamy leeks, potatoes dauphinoise and baby kale salad. He topped it off by making a delicious buche noël and I made a lemon mascarpone crepe cake. We went to sleep happy and full. Perfect.

24 December 2012

Christmas Eve.


We spent a super fun Christmas Eve. at Scott & Ali's house. Her parents were in town from Tennessee. Her sister from Amsterdam. Her aunt from Michigan. And our friends John and Terri were there too. So much fun. The evening even ended up with a pair of ripped pants. Poor Brian -- his favorites need some mending. Or be thrown in the trash.

Happy Holidays!


xoxo the PFour.

23 December 2012



What an awesome day. Timing wasn't so great, with the holidays coming up and all but it was worth it. The day started out with a 10:00 am league Futsal game for C. As soon as that was over, the team raced off to the U.S. Cellular Arena to participate in the Milwaukee Wave Futsal tournament, where they played four additional games then stayed to watch the Milwaukee Wave game. It really was set up cool, and the boys were in awe being out on the big field. Brian and H were able to watch a couple games, but then had to run off to H's Futsal game before coming back to watch the Milwaukee Wave game later. It was a long day. It took awhile for the boys to warm up, but they ended up coming in second place. They also got to be on the field as part of the Human Wave when the players came on the field, which was pretty exciting. I kept joking that it was such a shame none of the kids got along well -- they just were hysterical and had such a blast. I think the Fan Zone was pretty excited too, especially since the boys decided to sit behind them and cheer for a good part of the game.

21 December 2012

Winter Break



Holiday Concert


Today was C's annual holiday concert. He donned his suit and tie, and jeans with a hole in the knee (because every single one of his pants has them) to prepare for the day. It was super sweet.

Teacher Gifts


When coming up with teacher gifts, we always try to do something homemade (in addition to a gift cards -- this year they were amazon.com). Last year we made hot chocolate sticks. H unfortunately didn't get to do anything homemade this year, but I noticed this picture that C drew on our chalkboard wall awhile back, took a photo of it, and that turned into C's gift. Thank you cards! Each teacher received a set of 5, and seemed to love them based on the feedback I received today. The only thing they said is that it might be hard to actually use them since they were so cute.

18 December 2012



Finally! A little bit of snow. The boys jumped off the bus screaming with excitement. The minute they got in the house, they threw on their boots and snow pants and headed right back outside. H went sledding ... or should I say, standing up on the sled. C built a snowman. Happy boys.

16 December 2012

Making Cookies


This morning, the boys and I went to to my sister's house to bake cookies. It's something she suggested a few weeks ago, and I'm not sure why we never done this before (besides the fact that her kitchen was covered in flour by the end of the day). We each picked out a couple different varieties of cookies to make and split them up. It was so much fun. Even the boys were a big help.