Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013 was great.  We were able to spend the entire weekend doing Christmas activities.  It really got everyone in to the spirit.

We started the weekend off by decorating cookies and exchanging gifts with our friends.

On Saturday we had the Westerhold Christmas party.  We always go to Scott's sister's (Debbie) house.  Everyone brings appetizers and we play games and exchange presents.

Sunday we moved on over to my parents' house and my side of the family.

We had a very exciting Christmas Eve.  We took Gracie to pick out her first American Girl doll as her "big" gift.  I She had so much fun even though it was a bit overwhelming.  

In the end, she chose Marie-Grace.
We headed to church and then dinner afterwards with our family.  Back home and the kids said good-bye to our elf, Chuckie, and waited on Santa Claus to visit. 

When the kids woke up on Christmas morning, they saw that Santa came overnight and both Chuckie and Santa had left a note.

The boys both enjoyed their "big" gifts this year, too.  These awesome planes that we found on Toys R Us online.  Scott was as excited about the boys getting these as they were to get them.  I have to admit, they are really cool!

Gaga loved his new watch, it was a surprise, and his new Darius Rucker hat.

As for me, I love my new Fitbit Flex.  Most of all, though, I'm loving these three.  Hope you all had as great a Christmas season as we did.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Gracie's Winter Party 2013

Gracie's Christmas party was held the last day of school.  I love going to the parties for the younger kids.  They are always so excited to play the games, make the crafts, and most importantly to eat the snacks.

There was a game of throw the "snow balls" (cotton balls).

She balanced a bow on her head during a relay race.

She also played ring toss with a wreath.

For the craft, Gracie made a reindeer ornament.

Gracie especially loved the snack.  The kids made a wreath out of a Krispy Kreme donut, frosting, and M&M's.  Talk about a sugar high!

We ended the party by giving her teacher, Mrs. Tripamer, a scarf and some pretty smelling lotion.  She loved it and we love her!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Finish the Sentence Christmas Link-Up

It has been SO long since I did any kind of link-up but when I saw my real-life friend, Holly, was co-hosting I thought "what the heck?".  If you'd like to link-up, just go to Holly's page.


1.  My favorite Christmas was . . .what a HARD question!  I love all Christmases (yes, that is correct . . .look it up) but I guess the most memorable was the year that I got engaged, 2005.  Scott and I had been dating for about a year and a half and I was beyond ready to "get this show on the road".  All the way to his sister's house I was giving him the loud "hints" about wanting a ring.  Little did I know that he had a ring in his pocket the whole time.  He had gone through the trouble of creating a scrapbook of our entire life together and the last page had a page with a ring that said, "Will you marry me?" and then, of course, he was down on his knee.  Needless to say, I was a wreck.

2. The worst Christmas I had was . . .2008.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, Scott and I had to hurry up and move out of our rental.  We found, bought, and moved in to our current house within 45 days.  I was 4 months pregnant with Caleb in December and when we moved on December 23, it was very stressful.  I already had our rental house decorated for Christmas so we just packed up our Christmas tree with the lights and ornaments already on it and loaded it on the moving van.  I ended up so depleted that I caught the flu and woke up on Christmas Day with the full-on flu.  It was so bad and I was so dehydrated that I ended up in the hospital for about 48 hours.  I woke up and watched the kids open their presents, in between puking, and then had Scott drive me to the hospital.  I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemey.

3. The one gift that made me scratch my head and say hmmm . . .this is a stumper, too.  I can't remember any gift that I didn't appreciate.  There have been some gifts where I thought, "Ok, that wasn't very exciting" but, at the same time, I understood why I was receiving them . . .because they were things that I wanted and would never have bought myself.

4. One year I  . . .re-gifted some gifts that the kids had received for birthdays.  They were things that the kids had received double of and I just never took them back to the store.  My kids never played with these toys an they were brand new but I just didn't go out and buy them.  

5. I think the worst gift to give is. . . gift cards.  Let me be clear, I love to receive gift cards but I always feel like giving them is taking the easy way out.  Having said that, I have given them before because I just didn't know what else to give or I didn't know what toys the kids already had so I have given gift cards.

6. At Christmastime I typically. . .freak out because I have so much to do.  I usually focus on the small things like what outfits the kids are going to wear, which Santa Claus we are going to see, when are we going to decorate Christmas cookies, what in the world am I going to get Scott!!!  The list goes on and on . . .

7. Typically, family Christmas. . . is so much fun!  I love family Christmas weekend.

8. If I could change one thing about the Holiday season . . .it would be that it passes too quickly.  

9. It is so hard to buy for . . .Scott!  I honestly rack my brain all year long trying to think of cool things to get for him.  Usually, though, if he wants something and it is within reason then he will get it for himself.  I can't tell you how many times I have had to tell him, "Don't buy that!" 

10. My favorite Christmas tradition is . . .after spending all weekend with family opening presents and just having fun, I love going to church on Christmas Eve then coming home and waiting for Santa Claus.  I love that on Christmas morning the kids come downstairs and we spend all morning with just the 5 of us opening presents and I make breakfast.  Then, at noon, we meet family and friends for a huge Christmas brunch/lunch and then we come back home to play with our gifts.  Typically, my parents will come over to see what the kids got and then later on Christmas night we go over to our neighbors' house.  I love it!
11.  Santa, baby, bring me . . .workout clothes, a punching bag, clothes, set of white dishes, jewelry, a gold watch . . .I'm happy with anything.

I won't win for funniest answers but it was fun to join in this week.  If you want to join, just click on the icon above!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Kanin Turns 10

Even though this is about a month late, I still can't believe that my Kanin Bomb is 10 years old!!  Where did the last 10 years go??

In the past we have had all kinds of birthday parties but this year Kanin really just wanted a couple of friends to go to "Pizza Street, Orange Leaf, stay the night and do boy stuff"  so that is what we did!

Even though he is in 4th grade this was Kanin's first friend sleepover so he was very excited.

The day began, of course, with our annual birthday picture.

Because I didn't want to put pics of his friends on here, we will just skip to the family party.  Needless to say, I had a house full of loud, rowdy boys that ended up going to sleep sometime between 1:00-3:00am.  haha

Next, we had a family party for Kanin.  We just had our family over to our house for some hearty appetizers, cakes, and ice cream

For some reason, Nerf guns were high on his list this year.

Kanin doesn't really like birthday cake so we ended up just getting a couple of different kinds of cakes and put some candles on one of them.

We were so thankful to be able to have Kanin's friends over, as well as, our family. 

Tag Team Throwdown

When I started at CrossFit O'Fallon back in July 2011, it never entered my mind that I would someday enter in to a CrossFit competition.  In fact, I didn't even know that CF competitions, throwdowns, Garage Games, or CrossFit Games even existed.  I had never heard of any of them.

Over the past 17 months, though, I have grown to love CrossFit and it has become a part of my life that I don't even question anymore.  It's not something that I do, it is something that I am . . .as corny as that might sound.

When my CF coach, Josh, mentioned that he was going to be hosting a Tag Team competition back in September, the thought actually entered my mind, "That might be fun to try." Even back then I had no lofty ideas of winning, placing, or even finishing in the top 10 or 20.  I just thought it would be fun to compete and to be around other people who love this stuff as much as I do.  I ended up pairing up with an awesome firecracker, Jesse, and we set out to go in and do the best that we could do.

Fast forward until the day before Thanksgiving, 1 1/2 weeks before the competition, and I ended up falling down my stairs at home.  In this fall, I re-injured an old tailbone fracture and it caused my lower back muscles to really contract and inflame.  I was so upset not only for myself but also because I had a partner who was depending on me.  For the past week I have taken more Ibuprofen than I have in my entire life, stayed off my feet, sat on a donut, and kept going back to my chiropractor, Dr. Matt.  We made the decision on Wednesday that I could compete, knowing that I wouldn't be 100%, but at least there was no danger of hurting myself any farther.  It would be painful but I could make it through.

So, that's exactly what I did.  I must say that I am paying the price for it today but the experience was amazing.  It was so inspiring to see so many people giving it everything they had in them.  People of all shapes, sizes who, just like me, had no expectations of winning but just wanted to be a part of it. 

The Tag Team Throwdown was held at the St. Louis Rams Training facility.

My partner, Jesse, is awesome!  Our team name was "Meet Me at the Bar"  (you can order shirts from my friend, Rob, HERE)

The day consisted of 3 WODs (Workout of the Day).  The first was strictly strength and the last two were strength and cardio combined.  I'm not going to lie, it was hard especially since I hadn't worked out in a week and a half.  We had such a great time, though.

12 Minutes for 1 partner to establish a 1 rep max snatch and 1 partner to establish a 1 rep max clean and jerk

13 Minutes to complete the following:
-Partner 1 rows 800 meters
-100 35lbs kettle bell swings to be divided up any way you want, does not have to be 50/50 per partner
-100 over-the-boxes (20 inches) to be divided up any way you want.  While one partner works, the other partner holds the 35lb kettle bell.  If the KB touches the ground, the team will be assessed a 5 burpee penalty.
-Partner 2 rows 800 meters

15 minutes to complete the following:
Teams can break up the work any way they choose.
-50 115lb dead lift, 20 pull-ups, 15 over-the-bar burpees
-50 85lb power snatches, 20 pull-ups, 15 over-the-bar burpees
-50 65lb snatches, 20 pull-ups, 15 over-the bar burpees

Here are some pics of me snatching.  I ended up snatching 80lbs, no new PR but still glad to have it that.

Jesse hit a new PR with a 115lb clean and jerk!  (sorry for the blurriness)

Jesse rowing out that 800 meters.

35lbs kettle bell swings

Over the box

Because of the whole tailbone issue, I was "dying" on the 800 meter row.  I just closed my eyes and tried to get through it.  Oh, how I wished that I could have taped my donut to that seat.

Overall, I'm happy with how we did.  We ended up finishing 27 out 42 scaled teams.  I would have loved to have made it in to the top 20 but there were a lot of strong women's teams and by the third WOD, I was in serious pain.

I will definitely compete in another competition.  Of course, I want to do better. . . isn't that the point?    I can't say enough, though, about the sense of community in CrossFit.  Even though we were in competition with each other, if you weren't busy with the WOD then you were cheering on other teams.  It is one of the strangest but yet best aspects of this CrossFit world . . .yes, I want to beat you but I also want you to do the best that you possibly can do. 

Now . . .on to more Ibuprofen, a hot bath, and rest!