Saturday, January 17, 2015

2014 In One Long Blog Post

2014 has come and gone and this Blog has been completed neglected. Overall, it was a great year. Ryan and Luke are growing up fast - they finished the 2nd Grade in May and are now thriving in 3rd Grade. There is no way to sufficiently post my memories of the past year. Fortunately, pictures help.

To begin the year, we started off with a little home improvement project and remodeled our kitchen. Everything went pretty smooth, but it was a hassle to live in a construction zone and be without a kitchen for about 4 weeks.  In the end, it was totally worth it.



We enjoyed a fairly mild winter. It seemed that most of the snow storms hit on the weekend, so we never did have a Snow Day. Total bummer, I love those unexpected days off. But we did get time outside sledding at a nearby part and heading to the mountains to ski a couple of times.

The boys love to ski. It the one activity that they can agree on as their favorite. We made it up twice last year. They made huge improvements the second time up and we finally got off the beginner lift at Copper Mountain and made it to various greens around the mountain. 

My sweet Nanny passed away in March. We celebrated her 90th birthday the previous May and had some family pictures taken with her at the time. She will be greatly missed and remembered.

Ryan played soccer in the Spring. Luke opted out - he has said that sports are not his thing. Greg thought he would be bored having to sit through Ryan's practices and games and would want to play. Luke was completely content to read a book the whole time on the sidelines and had to be coaxed to look up and even see what was going on the game.

We stayed home for Spring Break, which was really nice. The boys and I had various outings each day, including 1 day at a painting class. They were by far the youngest people there, but they did great and kept up with the instructions. We now have our canvases proudly displayed in our basement.

Between the various snow storms,we had long stretches of warm weather. I believe it snowed the weekend after this picture was taken and the boys built a snowman. But on this day, they felt that they should create their own beach and read in the backyard. I didn't even think to put sunscreen on them and they ended up with a fairly nice sunburn.

In April we headed over to a local garden and took some pictures of the 4 Denver cousins together.

Crazy how fast they grow up.

During some of our warmer days in the Spring, the boys enjoyed water gun fights and shooting the water hose at each other. They also enjoyed time in the hammock. Ryan really enjoys reading outside.

Last day of 2nd Grade. It was a great year, but we weren't sad it to see it go.

Happy 8th Birthday. Like almost every 8 year old boy in the country, Ryan and Luke are super into Minecraft. So I made them their own Minecraft birthday cake this year.

Instead of a birthday party, we opted for a family trip to Glenwood Springs. Ryan was a bit confused by this arrangement and still kept expecting a party. Luke was fine with it. I loved not having to mess with a party.
We went White Water Rafting on the Colorado River. It was really fun. The water was quite high and fast this year due to the heavy Spring snow in the mountains. We had a great time and we all loved it.

We also spent a day at the Glenwood Hot Springs. I love this place. 

We hiked up to Hanging Lake. Greg and I made this hike over 15 years ago when we were dating. I had flown in from Texas the day before and I thought I was going to die the whole way up. I was glad to know now for sure that that was due more to the change in elevation rather than my extreme out-of-shapeness. It is still a tough hike, but much more doable when you can breath. 

Ryan and Luke spent another summer on our neighborhood swim team. It was a good season for them. They worked hard and really improved over last year. They now know and can proficiently swim all 4 strokes. Ryan's favorite is the breaststroke and Luke's favorite is the butterfly. The above picture is from the day they completed the Mile Swim. They swam 64 lengths of the pool in an hour. It was very impressive - this year they couldn't take any breaks or use a kickboard.

Annual 4th of July Fireworks in our backyard. I don't think we could do this last year due to the fire danger. This year, Greg went all out. He completed the evening with an illegal one he bought in Wyoming. It was quite huge and it sent me and the boys running into the house as fast as we could so we would not be caught by the neighbors. Luke was very concerned that Daddy was going to end up arrested.

Many days were spent at the pool this summer.

We also visited Tim and Stephanie and had a great time on their boat.

At the end of the summer we went on a family vacation to San Diego.

Sunset at the beach was great.

We also a had a great day hanging out with the locals on the beach.

We rented a boogie board for the boys - Ryan liked it but Luke really loved it.

The highlight of the trip for Ryan and Luke was a visit to Legoland. They loved it-it was a dream come true.  Ryan was so excited that while we were waiting in line for the gates to open, he turned to me and said "Mama, thank you for bringing us here."

We visited the USS Midway - crazy how 5000 sailors lived on that ship at one time.

We also had a lot of great food. One of our favorite places was called Soda and Swine. All they served were various meatballs, sauces and soda floats - it was amazing.The best thing we had the whole trip was Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream - I still have dreams about that.

Overall, it was a great trip - but a full week in a hotel room or car with 2 fighting boys can be a bit much. It was nice to come home.

First day of 3rd Grade.

The biggest surprise for us this year was discovering that I was pregnant in June. It is a much wanted pregnancy, but we hadn't thought it would take 8 years for it to happen again.  We waited until August to tell the boys. We showed them this picture of my ultrasound - they at first asked if it was a picture of them - when I told them that there would be 2 babies there if it was therm. they asked if it was a picture of me. Then Ryan said, "Wait, are you pregnant?" And then he shouted "Woo-Hoo" and Luke said "Awesome." They were shocked but very  excited. Ryan has been asking about another baby for a long time - he immediately spread the word to his whole school.

Due to my "advanced maternal age" I was able to take an early screening test - the purpose of the test is determine genetic issues, but I was more interested in discovering the gender at 12 weeks.  The boys are very very excited to have a baby sister.

Other fall highlights:
The boys successfully rode their bikes for "Bike to School Day." I drove along beside them the whole way there to make sure they'd make it. It isn't far, but it is the farthest bike ride they have done-especially on their own.
We visited the Chihuly Sculptures at the Botanical Gardens one day. We had thought it would be less crowded during a Bronco game-apparently everyone else in Denver had the same idea.

This year we headed to Fort Worth for our 3rd Annual TCU v. Texas Tech game with my parents and my sister's family. TCU has lost a close one the last 2 years. This year we won 82-20something. I don't think my dad and brother-in-law were too pleased. It was a great game for us.

I love taking my boys to TCU's campus.

The boys all carved their pumpkins this year. Greg even carved one for the baby. Apparently, Daisy was invited into this picture.

Halloween costumes this year: Ryan wanted to be an Enderman from Minecraft and Luke wanted to be an Engerdragon from Minecraft. It took a bit of creating on my part to make it happen, but the boys were pleased in the end.

I found this one morning when I came downstairs. Luke's Bucket List.
Go to Greece, Go to Rome, See Parthenon, Have Kids, Help People

Make all Countries Free, Help the Poor
 Have a Blog, Live to be 98, Be Cool!  
I love it - and he has since started his own blog.

For Thanksgiving, we spent most of the week in Lubbock. We had made very quick trips there for the last 2 years, never spending more than 2 or 3 days at the most. It was nice for the boys, in particular, to have a decent amount of time hanging out at their grandparent's house and playing with their cousins.
Nana is always ready to keep everyone busy. There was a craft day with Grandad.
And a cupcake decorating day with Nana.

When we got home the boys decorated their own gingerbread houses. They've gotten pretty good at the decorating part.

The first snowman for this year is the best they've made by far.  I was pretty impressed.

Hayride with Santa.
We made and decorated mini gingerbread men cakes this year for Santa.

Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day. Luke asked Santa for an atlas. Ryan asked Santa for a Star Trek Tricorder.

Nana and Grandad came to visit after Christmas. Grandad worked on getting the baby's room ready and Nana made some blankets and other cute things. Ryan was very fascinated with the sewing machine and loved that Nana taught him how to use it.

Christmas Evening.
Happy New Year!  Here's to hoping I can stay on top of things more this year. I may change the name of the blog to reflect our growing family or create a new one altogether - I'll figure that out in the next few weeks.