The end of 2013 was filled with tons of tedious, everyday tasks, but loads of amazing memories.
My hubby managed to surprise me for my birthday. Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't like surprises. I am the type of girl that shows my emotions very easily and I can't fake a smile. So, I don't like surprises, for fear of hurting someone's feelings. Well, this turned out to be fantastic! We had planned to go to the mountains for our anniversary in September, but we couldn't work it out with our work schedules, so we decided to go for my birthday! The kids couldn't miss school or their cousin's birthday, so we decided, for the first time EVER, to go without them. AHHH! I was a nervous wreck. So, we got up to Pigeon Forge/Galinburg, TN, found our adorable cabin and spent some time exploring, the day before my birthday. Colt and I had a blast! We rode go karts, went to a dinner show, and hung out in the hot tub. I didn't sleep well that night because I missed the kids so much. I woke up crying, having to spend my birthday without them. Colt planned for us to go white water rafting, despite his loathe for cold water. It was THE BEST TIME EVER, even though I ended up with poison sumac on 90% of my body! EEK! Afterwards, we were hanging out at the cabin, I was finishing schoolwork but getting really upset that I didn't get to see my kids. I was so ill. Colt wasn't spending much time with me, as he was on the phone and I was an emotion wreck, being totally ungrateful for all that we had gotten to do and experience. Well, it was getting late and Colt decided we should drive to look for bears!!! I agreed, although I really didn't feel like doing anything. On our search, we noticed MY PARENTS, MY KIDS, MY SISTER and MY NIECES AND NEPHEW in two cars searching for our cabin!!! All the time Colt wasn't spending with me, he was planning for them to meet us there to celebrate my birthday! I cried! Happy tears! It was the best surprise ever! My favorite sister carried a balloon and a cake for me! It was the best! We all made pallets on the floor and everywhere in the small cabin so they could all stay the night! I got to spend my birthday night with my BABIES! Hubby definitely got best husband/daddy award that night!
We woke up the next morning and all went horseback riding! It was the best! My sister and her kiddos left and then my parents left later that evening. The kids stayed an additional night and day with us at the cabin before we all traveled home. We enjoyed go karts, walking around the shops, Ripley's Aquarium, a gorgeous picnic in the national forest at a waterfall, and all of the sights of the Smokey Mountains. It was the best birthday ever! :)
Cohen slept the whole way out of the mountains, but Chyenne and I got out at several stops to see the view and to experience new ground. ;)
Cohen also got really sick this past year... having strep FOUR different times! EEK! He missed a big soccer game and was pretty sad having to spend his time at the hospital with daddy trying to get his 104+ fever down while sister and mommy were at soccer, so we surprised him with throwing his favorite stuffed animal, GIRAFFEY, a birthday. He had told me earlier in the day that it was Giraffey's birthday and he loved airplanes, so I went with that. ;)
Chyenne with her two best friends! They are in different classes this year, but they are still the cutest friends.
We were also incredibly busy with cheerleading for Chyenne. I wasn't too impressed with the overall experience. Chy looked adorable, Cohen developed a deeper love of football, and we all learned a lot. The football team she cheered for went to the championship and WON by 31-0! It was pretty fun. But, her name was spelled incorrectly on the banner. Then, the "banquet" was such a mess with no room to sit, so we left after getting her trophy and award, which BOTH had her name spelled incorrectly on it. UGH! She ended up with "most spirited" which is just about the best award a cheerleader can get. ;) I am already dreaded next cheerleading season, but I have promised Cohen he can play football when he is FIVE. How cute will it be for him to have his sister as his cheerleader?!
Sometime in November, Cohen received a Role Model award from the school. I am so proud of him! His teachers say that he is the absolute sweetest kid in the class, with the best manners. He follows directions perfectly and sets a great example for the other students! I love that he is a leader, especially when he is the youngest in his class. My boy is going places, for sure!
Also in November, we experienced great tragedy. Chyenne's kindergarten teacher delivered her son early just shy of 32 weeks gestation, but he passed away the next day due to several complications including Down Syndrome and heart defects. Thankfully, I was able to pass on great support to her from an incredible lady, Patti Rice, http://babynumber10.blogspot.com/, I emailed her and she wrote back immediately with the sweetest message and best information. Thank you so much Patti. I gave the information to Chy's teacher along with a gorgeous Willow Tree figurine, Angel's Embrace. Now, the hardest part of it all was explaining the situation to Chyenne, who had learned so much about the baby's development and had become to love the little boy so much. My girl has a very big heart with a great understanding, even though she is only five. She is probably one of the most empathetic people I have ever met. She cried, a lot. We prayed together. She drew pictures and wrote letters for her teacher. She is healing now. Fortunately, her teacher decided to return to school after Christmas. She calls Chyenne "her angel" for all that she has said to her. So special. :(
We celebrated Thanksgiving with too much food and lots of family.
We went to countless birthday parties for all sorts of friends and family, but Cohen loved the farm one the best. He really, really wants a pet hedgehog, pictured below. It's funny because we called him "Hedgehog" as a baby/toddler because of his spikey hair. Too bad they are illegal to own as pets in GA. He also really wants lizards. Maybe we'll go that route. ;)
We also had our first, and only snowfall of winter in November! It wasn't much, but we still managed to play. ;)
December was our busiest month, even though soccer and cheer were over. Work was hectic for both me and hubby. School was full of Christmas cheer. Chyenne was in her first school performance, and even got to be the mother in the play! There were only a handful of students in all of kindergarten (6 classes) that their very own part! She did great! Unfortunately, I had to miss both of the kids school parties due to work! BLAH!
We had our annual Christmas Pajama Party for the kids with an amazing turnout! I will blog about that and Christmas next!
2013 thank you for a great time.