Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 Goals

So now that I have looked at my year in review, I'm thinking ahead to next year.  I'm not big on "resolutions" & I don't believe you have to wait until Jan 1 to start something new or improved.  But I do think the new year is a good time to reevaluate where you are & make a few goals for the next 12 months.

One of the biggest things I will concentrate on this year is my health & fitness.  I'm so blessed to have a big group of friends & family who continue to support me on this journey, both in person & virtually.  The other day my friend Anne posted that she will be joining the "13 in 2013 Challenge."  Well I love races & I love a good challenge, so I'm in!  I will be finishing 13 different races this year.  I'll do a variety of lengths, mostly 5Ks with a few 10Ks & at least one 1/2 marathon throw in.  I will also be doing a few virtual races to fulfill this challenge.  Here is my schedule so far:

1/1 - First on the First 5K in Westerville
Jan - Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial 5K (virtual)
April - Restore the Shore Virtual Run - 5 miles
5/4 - Cap City Half Marathon
9/8 - New Albany Walking Classic

I will also be doing the 5 by the 5th Virtual Series from Jan-June.  My plan is to do a 5K each month, although I may go up to a 5 miler for May or June.  I also plan to do a beer run with Adrian again this year, March of Dimes & hopefully the Emerald City 1/4 marathon so that will give me 12 of the 13 races.  I'm sure I'll find at least one more to do, maybe more if the budget/schedule allows.  :)

In addition to exercising, I will be watching what I eat & will continue to count my calories using My Fitness Pal.  I hope to be under 200 lbs by my birthday, but after eating a ton this Christmas season that seems like a super lofty goal.  I will probably adjust it to be under 200 by the 1/2 on May 4th.  I'd really like to lose 2 lbs/week for the whole year, but we will see how the year goes.

My other big personal goal is to do some organizing in this house.  I had it pretty under control & then I think when I added the 3rd kid I kinda let it slip.  I'm going to take the first 3 months of the year to go room to room & declutter.  I will be getting rid of a lot of stuff!  This will hopefully make it easier to keep up with the house.  I'm a big fan of Flylady so after I go thru each room, I'll continue to follow her method to clean up the house.

I also have to get our pictures organized.  As you all have probably seen, I take a lot of pictures.  I have a bunch to put up on our walls, including one of Zak every month since he's been born.  I also have all of the 2012 pictures to label & organize.  And I have some artwork pictures and clothing pictures that I'd like to scrapbook.  I'm planning to meet up with friends at least once/month to work on this stuff.

These goals are of course in addition to all the stuff I do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.  Should make for a busy & interesting year.  I'm up for the challenge!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 in Review

I can not believe another year is almost over.  I've been looking back on this year & I think for our family the best way to sum up the year would be change.

The biggest change that happened this year was on Feb 8 when we became a family of 5.  Zachary Christopher joined us that morning at a whooping 10lbs 5 oz.  It was love at first site for the 4 of us existing Jones family members & we have been falling more in love every day.  He is such an amazing addition to our family & he completes the Jones Family of 5.

Me & Zak in the recovery room together

Another big change that happened this year was that AJ started Kindergarten and Daniel started preschool.  We have had to make adjustments a few times with this new schedule, but I think we finally found our groove...just in time for Christmas break to mess it up!  ;)  Both boys are doing really well in school & I couldn't be prouder of them. 

Our extended family also grew this year as we added my newest niece Isabelle in Feb and then my brother Carl married his long time girlfriend Sarah in Oct.  I was also thrilled when Sarah got a job here in Ohio & they moved to Gahanna this summer.  It has been SO long since I've had family this close by & I'm loving it.
Latacz family - 2012
We were lucky enough to take two big trips this year:  we went to NJ for spring break in March & then to Disney World in Sept.  We really enjoyed both trips!  We're hoping for repeat trips in 2013 (more on that in the goals blog coming soon.)  We also had lots of family visit us this year.  My uncle & cousins made their annual trip out here in August.  My parents visited 3 different times.  My brother Jon & his family came in Oct for the wedding as did my grandparents.  I feel very blessed that my boys got to spend so much time with their extended family this year.

Like every family we had trials & sadness this year and one of the hardest times for me was when my Grandma passed away in Jan.  She & I were very close & it was very hard to lose her.  But she has been sick for a while & I know she is in a better place & with my Grandpa now.  I miss her every day.  Christmas Eve was especially hard but I was blessed with a special gift from my aunt that made it easier.  She gave me 4 of my Grandma's Christmas ornaments for my tree. 

Finally one of the biggest changes for me personally has been the switch to a healthier lifestyle.  I started on this path last year, then I got pregnant & took a right turn off it.  Thankfully I didn't get too far off the path & came right back to it this year.  As soon as Zak was old enough, I started going back to the gym.  I also trained for & finished my first 1/2 marathon.  Adrian & I changed our eating habits & we have both lost a lot of weight & are feeling great.  We will continue to improve in 2013!

Well that's a brief look at my year.  Obviously another small change was that I started this blog.  I'm really enjoying writing it & I hope you all are enjoying reading it.  

I wish you all a very Happy New Year!!

Jones Family - 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thankful Thursday - SNOW!

Yes, I am thankful for snow!  I love living in an area that has all four seasons that we get to enjoy.  I don't love everything about snow, but I am thankful that we got some yesterday.

The boys have been begging asking for snow for over 2 years now.  They were so excited to see the light snow we got the weekend before Christmas & couldn't wait to get out to play in it.  Then they were thrilled to get more the day after Christmas.  So far this season they have had a few snowball fights, made a snowman & went sledding.

Another fun thing about the snow this week was that Adrian got a half day off of work.  He wasn't ready to go back to work after the holiday & we didn't really want him to go back so it was nice to have him home a few days early.  Thankful his boss puts their safety above work & sent him home before the roads got bad.

Thankful for the snow so far, hoping for more this winter so we can go play in it some more!!

AJ working on his snowman during the first snow

Daniel "Ka-booming" our fence with snow

AJ & the finished snowman

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Christmas Break

I am excited & thankful  for Christmas break for more than one reason. 

First off, after the tragedy in CT & the fact that AJ's school was broken into the same night, I'm just thankful to have my babies under my care for the 2 weeks.  My mind knows that they are safe at school,  but my Mommy heart seems to have different thoughts.

Second, school is hard.  Between being the bus, getting homework done, volunteering, etc.  It's exhausting.  I'm thankful that we can sleep as late as we want, don't have to leave the house if we don't want to & don't have any place that we "have to" be for the next 2 weeks.  I do love our routine & will probably be thankful to be back to it in 2 weeks, but for now I'm going to embrace the chaos.  I'm also thankful that Adrian gets some time off & we can spend some time as a family.

Finally, I'm thankful that Christmas break means Christmas time!  I'm SO excited to give the boys their gifts this year.  They are going to be so excited.  I'm thankful to have time with my family, I'm hosting both Christmas Eve & Christmas Day.

Hope you all enjoy your Christmas break as much as we plan to!  And if you want to get together during these 2 weeks off, let me know.  When I asked AJ what he wanted to do he said "play with friends."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day of Rememberance

Today I have so many emotions swirling around in my brain.  I'm sad, anxious, nervous, scared, angry, happy, proud, etc.  I don't even know that I can put what I'm feeling into words.

As I'm going through our normal Mon routine, trying to get everyone ready to get out the door on time, I'm mostly thankful.  I'm thankful that I am doing it, so many aren't.  I'm thankful that my kids have no idea what is going on, so many don't.  I'm thankful in just 3 short hours I'll have all 3 of my babies together & with me for another 24 hours, so many can't.

To all my friends who have to send their babies off to school today.  I'm right there with you.  It's going to by far be the hardest drop off I've done.  But we have to do it.  Give them an extra hug, kiss & I love you & trust that it will be OK.  Then call me & remind me the same thing.

To the educators, principals & support staff at schools across the country...THANK YOU!  It doesn't seem like enough but it's all I've got.

To Newtown CT, I am praying for you.  RIP all who were lost on Fri.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Shopping with Daniel

Daniel loves to shop!!  Food shopping, Target, etc, he loves it all!  I don't know where he gets that from...I hate to shop.  I only do it when I have to & even then I go in with my list, get what I need & get out.  But Daniel loves it & gets so excited when we go to the store.  He makes me laugh with some of his observations when we're shopping.  Here are a few of his recent ones.

D - Mom, can we please get these Oreos.  We have never had these special red Oreos before.
M - Fine, we can get them, put them in the cart.
D- Awesome!  I bet Santa made these & brought them to the store so we could buy them.  They are so awesome!

(in the bathroom)
D - Mom, I heard someone else come in.
M - Yeah sweetie, it's a public bathroom.  Someone else is using another stall.
D - Oh OK, is it another boy?
M - No D, it's a girl because we're in the girls' bathroom.
D - Oh, it must be a big girl because she got to come in here all by herself.  Look I see her feet!
(This woman was a Mom with older kids, she came out & thought he was so precious)

Daniel also knows the weekly Aldi list by heart.  And he recites it as we walk through the store, getting lots of smiles & laughs as he goes:  Cheetos, Fudge Stripped Cookies, Nanola (granola) Bars, Flower Flower (cauliflower), Bean Beans (green beans), Green Balls (avocados) & a pickle (cucumber).  Hmmm, maybe I need to switch up our list.  :)

The only down side to Daniel wanting to do all the shopping with me is that he wants to buy everything.  So this of course sometimes leads to a huge breakdown in the middle of the store, usually Target.  Seriously, our picture may be up in that store.  In the past month he has thrown huge fits over the fact that I wouldn't buy him the orange finger paint (I bought them other finger paint because we got more for less & it wasn't ColorWonder) & and a Tigger stocking (I already bought the stockings he wanted to decorate).

So I take the bad with the good and usually take him shopping with me.  Sometimes out of necessity, sometimes just because I'd like a buddy with me & he makes me & the other shoppers laugh & smile.

OK, where do the groceries go??

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Santa!

I'm really thankful that I'm getting to see Christmas through my kids eyes.  Each year they understand a little more about it, both the commercial side & the religious side.  It is so fun!

This year, AJ & Daniel have been all about Santa!  They wrote letters (AJ wrote his himself), we had breakfast with him, went to his workshop & went to see him at the mall.  AJ & Daniel have run right up to him & talked to him every time.  Zak is a little more hesitant, but we've got a few cute pictures with him.

The boys are super excited for Christmas Day & can't wait for Santa to come.  They love their candy countdown to Christmas & every day they remind me how many days until Christmas (I am not thankful for this, it is stressful.  Seriously stressful.  Where is that wine glass??)

Here are some of our super cute Santa pics from this year.

Santa at the mall.  AJ wanted to do a silly picture.

The 5 of us at breakfast with Santa

Westerville's Snowflake Castle

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Zachary - 10 months

Yikes!  I can't even believe another month has passed & my baby is 10 months old already.  This month has been chock full of fun for Zak.  He is growing so quickly & learning something new every day, or at least that's how it seems. We just had his 9 month well check (due to 2 cancellations we were very late) & he is growing like a champ!  He weighs 20 lbs 14.5 ozs (60%) & is 29 inches long (75%).  The doctor said everything looks great!!  And the nurse wondered why I needed the gym, I can just lift my not so little man.  :)

This month his big accomplishments have been learning how to climb up all of our stairs, getting up to a standing position unassisted, standing on his own for a few seconds & learning how to clap.  He is also babbling a ton & can say Momma & Dadda pretty clearly.

He continues to learn how to eat everything!  His current favorites are granola bars, chocolate chip pancakes & mac & cheese.  He also loves cantaloup & strawberries.  He loves to feed himself, he's pretty much off baby food now.

Finally, he continues to love to play with his brothers.  He will crawl all around the house looking for them & loves to be near them.  They seem to be enjoying him most of the time, unless he is "messing up their game."  I love watching the 3 of them play together!!
The 3 boys wrestling one morning

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Ignorance

Well, maybe I should rename this to "Thankful Whatever Day I get a Minute."  :)

Disclaimer - if your kids are not in school yet, you may not want to read this blog.  Live in ignorance for however much longer you have!

This Thursday was a rough morning for school drop off.  After I finally got everyone where they needed to be, I was driving to the gym & I was thinking back to about a year ago.  I was pregnant with Zak & thinking to myself "Next year won't be so bad.  AJ & Daniel will be in school.  It will be just me & the baby.  We'll have so much time together."  Yeah, right.  I was so naive!  Ignorance is truly bliss in this scenario.

School is a lot of work for everyone, the kids & the parents.  I have to make sure everyone is where they need to be with everything they need every day.  I also have to volunteer & help out for various things at the schools.  And I have to make sure homework gets done everyday.  And there is way more homework in Kindergarten than I ever though there would be.

Now you may be wondering where my thankfulness is in this post.  Here it is...I'm thankful for the naivety & ignorance I had before this started.  I'm thankful to all my friends who just shook their heads & agreed with me when I said how easy it would be.  And I am thankful that my life is as crazy as it is, I wouldn't trade this time with my little men for anything...including the time we are doing homework!!  :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monthly AJ Update

AJ got his interim report on Friday...I can't believe we're already 1/2 way through the 2nd quarter of the school year!  This year is flying!  He did really well & is meeting expectations or progressing in all areas.  His strengths are recognizing his letters, writing his letters, counting to 100(!) & identifying letter sounds.  He needs improvement on writing his numbers & sight words.

I continue to be amazed by how quickly he is learning.  He wrote out his list for Santa this year, copying the words from the wish books.  He can also read lots of short books & help us read the longer ones.  His speech is improving & he has finally made a friend in his class!  He also has been very cute with Zachary recently, trying to help me take care of him.  I am such a proud Mommy!!

Finally, an update on his busing situation...soon after I posted about it changing, it changed again.  His bus had another kid stop riding so now the bus comes a different direction which means AJ has to cross the street to get on it.  This has been a big change for him and for me.  I now have to walk him down the driveway & help him cross.  The good thing is this means I am up & dressed to my shoes early every morning.

And just as we're getting used to this, we have another change coming this week.  Since our levy didn't pass, our high school lost busing.  This means all the other routes will be earlier.  Now AJ will be picked up 10 minutes earlier each morning.  This is going to be a problem on Tues/Thurs when I have to drop Daniel off.  We will be getting back right around the same time as the bus is scheduled to pick AJ up.  Not sure how this is going to work.  I have a feeling I'll be doing express drop offs soon...and that line is super long every morning!  I really want no parts of it, that's why we do the bus in the first place!  We will see how this plays out...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Girlfriends

Wow, maybe I should let the kids take over this series, at least they got their post up on time.  ;)

I have had this post in my head for a while and Thursday I was reminded even more why I am so thankful for my girlfriends.  A little background for those who may not know me that well...I grew up in New Jersey, moved around quite a bit for like 10 years & finally settled in Ohio when Adrian & I got engaged (that's the very summarized story, maybe someday I'll blog a longer version).  When we moved here I knew no one.  Adrian grew up here & it felt like he knew everyone.  I was glad we weren't totally starting over, but I was also adamant that I really wanted to make my own friends.  Now more than 7 years later, I am SO thankful for all the women I have met who have become dear friends.

I have Mommy friends, friends from work, friends from church, friends from AJ's school friends, friends who are in a book club with me, friends who retreat twice a year with me, friends who scrapbook with me (even though I don't scrapbook), friends who laugh with me, friends who cry with me, friends who buy my Bon Jovi ticket for me so I can still go to the gym, friends who exercise with me, friends who keep me on track with my diet, friends who allow me to cheat on my diet, etc...

I could go on & on.  I hope you are all reading this & I hope you all know how important you are to me.  I have some great friends who I still keep in touch with from growing up & I'm thankful for them as well!  I am a truly blessed & loved lady & I love you all right back!