Sunday, November 30, 2014

November Happies

I kind of dropped the ball on November. I use the busy excuse a lot, and if it wasn't absolutely true, I promise I wouldn't use it. I'm finding that we are coming upon a completely new phase in our lives. Where we previously were in the busy stage of having young kids-the not being able to go anywhere without a sitter, early bedtimes, stricter routines, the end of the toddler years, etc-we now are in a stage where all of our kids are in school. Our oldest is a tween. She's starting to babysit. Our youngest is starting to read, and now we are at a whole new level of busy.

We've spent many many years talking about what we are going to do when our kids are in Sioux Center for activities more than they are home, and I can't say we've come to a consensus as to what we want to do. We still casually look at homes, but our heart is still here. Our friends are here. So for now, we are going with the flow, trusting that if Sioux Center is where God wants us, he will lead us there.

With that being said, we are in the middle of Jaedyn's basketball season and the boys have just started wrestling. When you toss in a few Christmas program practices, a band/choir concert, and various other things that pop up, I'm at my dad's more than I am at home. Hence, the lack of posting. I figured I'd end the month with some of my happies.

We are smack dab in the middle of the Grand Finale of 2014. It's a time I love immensely. I spend the first part of the month reflecting on all that I'm grateful for, reminding myself to slow down and soak in life at a time when it is easy to let it fly by. The last part of the month is when I have to refrain (with little success) from getting all Christmasy. It hasn't helped that Thanksgiving has come quite a bit later the last few years, and so I feel like it's only fair that I spend a few extra days celebrating both Thanksgiving AND Christmas.

Here are some of my happies for the month:

Athletic successes and School Spirit

We have some amazing kiddos playing sports this year. Both our volleyball and football teams made it to state with our football team coming in as 2A Runner up this year. We are so proud of these athletes, their determination and their attitude. They have represented the Warriors well!
We didn't make the trek down to state to watch our teams play, but luckily we were able to watch it on TV or catch it on the radio! Photo: courtesy of Allison Van Regenmorter

Photo cred: Gretchen Van de Poppe

Photo cred: Shelby Van Den Berg

Getting our family pictures back

Ashley Statema with Blusprout Photography does an AMAZING job! I just can't talk her up enough. I am in love with her photography, her presence, and she is just all around an amazing person. Check her out if you are close to Sioux Falls! (Excuse the poor quality. I grabbed them off of Facebook. They are phenomenal in person!)

Cuddling weather is BACK!

While I'm definitely not a fan of winter, it does come with a few perks. One being the amount of cuddle time I receive from my littles.

Cuddling up to watch the Warriors play their hearts out!

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Sunday afternoon lazies!

I can't even be mad when he hogs the bed and sleeps sideways. He's just too cute.
New living room finds

Hobby Lobby will be what puts us in bankruptcy. Of this I'm certain.

Girl Time

I never thought that getting a tattoo would ever be on my list of to-dos as I got older, but over the last few years I have warmed up to the idea as long as it was meaningful. Anyone who knows me knows how much I value my relationships, and this year this particular friendship has been steadfast. With so many changes and hardships that have been endured within this group this past year, we've realized that we are not just great friends, we've crossed the line into family. We've understood what it means to show up for one another day in and day out even when it's not easy or convenient. We've come to the conclusion that love isn't a feeling, but an action. It's something you do. So with that being said, we decided this past summer that we wanted something symbolic to remind us of the anchors we've been in each others lives. As anxious and scared as most of us were, I couldn't be happier to share this symbol of friendship/family with these girls. Thank you ladies for showing me what it means to love deeply. I am so blessed by you.

Thanksgiving break and days off of school

It's not often teachers get days off of school as well as students. It's been nice having a few extra days off in the month of November. Thanksgiving weekend means family time and traditions, and it's always the kick off to a great Christmas season!

Days off mean I sometimes get to pick up this lady from school. #niecelove

This is one of my favorite pieces of November mail.

We picked out a different kind of tree this year, a scotch pine. I'm liking it! It holds my ornaments a bit better. :)

Gotta have a picture in front of the fireplace every year. :)

Part of Thanksgiving traditions include watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Bonus points for your best friend sending you pictures while he is standing in the middle of the greatness. It is on my bucket list to be there over Thanksgiving, and someday it WILL happen!

Making memories with the Van clan

Holidays mean he comes home. I love when he comes home.

Watching Elf after Christmas decorating is finished is a family tradition. No sale on "Gray Thursday" could ever pull me away from this.

Thanksgiving family bonding at Horrible Bosses 2

With a new job this year, I lost Amy for Black Friday. Jae was an awesome fill in buddy. We had lots of fun just being together. Bonus points for getting a headstart on the Christmas shopping.

I love that my daughter takes an interest in learning how to crochet and sew. They are not my talents, and it makes me feel good to know that my mom can pass that down to my daughter.

My view on cozy winter nights.
All of the lights. All of the glitter. I love Christmas.

New ornaments!

Jada came home too! Snuck away from cleaning to enjoy some lunch with these two beauts. I love them.

Looking forward to December. We're going to try to keep the gratefulness theme going with an Random Acts of Kindness calendar that I found here. I'm excited to continue with traditions and bask in the loveliness that is Christmas time. See you later November! Until we meet again.