Monday, January 28, 2013


I really haven't done an update on my precious Julianna lately.

I know I have said this before, but we are so blessed to have such a great kid.   She brings so much joy to our lives and I fall more in love with her everyday. 

She is thriving in First grade and loving everything that she is learning. 

She LOVES to read and I just can't believe how much she takes in and what she is able to read.  She amazes us each day with some new thing that she has learned. 

She has made lots of new friends this year and is enjoying getting to know new people.  She has worked really hard on overcoming her shyness and even offers a handshake if she meets you for the first time. 

She started Girl Scouts last fall and really loves it.  It is a committment from all of us, but it has really been worth it.  She had her first cookie sales earlier this month and set a goal to sell 100 boxes.  She turned in her form with over 150 boxes sold!  She was really proud of herself!

She is growing like a weed.  Last week her Dr. measured her at 4 feet 3 inches.  She is going to be tall like her Daddy!

He would love to see her more passionate about basketball, but the only sport she has interest in right now is......wait for it.....BOWLING!  :)  She just cracks me up!

She is obsessed with art and creating.  For Christmas, she got an art easel with paints, and lots of canvases.  She has had a blast painting and creating new art for our home.  Just last week Drew was talking to her about how math was his favorite subject and she told him - "I don't really care for Math.  Art is the only thing that speaks to me."  Ha!  I love it!

She love, love, loves Jesus.  She talks to Him each day and is always asking him how Grandpa Tonsi is doing.  She also talks to Grandpa Tonsi everyday.  She misses him so much, but knows that he is watching over her and helping to guide her in her daily walk.  Her faith is so adorable and so pure, I just marvel in it and I learn a lot from her.  :) 

Right now we are focusing on her helping out with more chores around the house.  She does a great job of doing anything that we ask, even if it takes a few gentle reminders.  She is GREAT at helping out if one of us isn't feeling well.  She has a nurturing heart and always wants to try and make you feel better.  And she has a wit that I have never seen in another 6 year old.  She just gets stuff and has an opinion about everything.  And she isn't afraid to voice it.  Don't watch a cooking show with her, she will tell you everything the chef is doing wrong and how her Daddy can do it so much better. 

She makes me laugh daily and makes me so grateful to be her mom.  I could go on and on about her, but I will leave it at she is doing great, she has adapted well to living here and seems to be having the time of her life right now. 

I look forward to watching her continue to grow and develop into an amazing person.  Again, we are so blessed! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The 12 Days of Christmas for my Husband

I always love to do cute little things for Drew throughout the year.  When we first met, I would send him random cards in the mail, just to put a smile on his face.  Now that we are married it seems like we get so worried about doing things for Julianna and everyone else that we forget about each other at times.

So this year, I came up with something fun to do for him at Christmastime.

For the 12 days leading up to Christmas, I surprised him with a gift each morning.  The gifts had to go along with the number for that day.  It got a little tricky for a couple of the days, but he loved every gift and the thought that went into them.

On the FIRST Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to me.....
.....A Cafe Americano!

A $5.00 giftcard to Starbucks for his favorite coffee drink

 On the SECOND Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to me.....
......Two Family Movie Nights!

2 boxes of his favorite candy.  2 packages of popcorn. And 2 movies.  One for us to watch with Jules and one for just the two of us.  :)

 Here is how it all looked packaged together and waiting to surprise him in his car!

On the THIRD Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to me.....
.....Three movie passes!

A gift card to our favorite movie place!

On the FOURTH Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to me.....
.....A four-pack of Coca-Cola!!

Might seem cheesy, but Drew LOVES Coke in a bottle.  Brings back some great childhood memories of sipping on one on his front porch with all of his neighborhood friends on a hot summer day.  Found this awesome 4-pack at Walmart and knew he would LOVE it!   

On the FIFTH Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to me.....

We have a place here that makes the most amazing Ooey-Gooey Butter cookies.  They are seriously to die for.  They literally melt in your mouth and our family loves them. They are a rare and special treat, so he was really excited to find them in this bag!! 

On the SIXTH Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to me.....
....A Six-Pack of of New Castle!

One of his favorite beers.  I was disappointed when the day after I bought this six-pack I saw that New Castle had a winter brew.  Would have been perfect!  So....I just added a six-pack of the Winter Brew to his stocking.  Am I the best wife ever, or what?!?  :)

On the SEVENTH Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to me.....
.....Seven Lottery Tickets!

My husband loves a good scratcher ticket.  We even won off of one of these!!!!  

On the EIGHTH Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to me.....
.....Eight lovey-lovey/racy texts.  

Yes, I was stretching for this one.  What comes in a series/set of eight?  Nothing I tell you!  Nothing.  So I reached out for some help on this one and my good friend Rochelle reminded me that we had been married for 8 years and something about our love and marriage would be good.  Since we text off and on throughout the day, I thought he would enjoy a few that don't involve grocery lists, Julianna or random rants about our day.  I won't tell you what they all said, but let's just say he was a little more in love with me by the end of the day........ ;)  

On the NINTH Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to me.....
....Nine Christmas Eve Treats!

Again, I was struggling for ideas for this day.  So when I found a great snack set with nine different snacks that I knew he would love in it, I went for it.  
It was  BIG hit!  He loved it all and it came in handy when we were putting together that Barbie Dream House!  

 On the TENTH Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to me.....
....Favorite socks to keep your 10-toes warm!

Completely cheesy.  But he LOVES these socks and they are not cheap, so he was thrilled with an extra pair.  He is on his feet  So he likes nice comfy socks to wear and these are perfect!

On the ELEVENTH Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to me.....
.....11 Reasons Why I Love My Daddy!

Now, this might have been his favorite gift.  Jules worked for days on writing the perfect list.  She would write and re-write.  She did it all by herself without any help from me.  So even though her spelling is off on a couple of words, I think it is one of the sweetest things I have ever seen.  And with tears in his eyes, Drew thought so too!  

 On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to me.....
....A 12-Cup Coffee Maker!!

Ours died a couple of weeks before Christmas.  I had originally planned to get him a 12-month subscription to a magazine, but thought this would be a better gift.  He was SO excited!  And so was I!  I NEED my coffee on the weekends and Drew always makes it for me, so this is the gift that keeps on giving!!!  

It was so much fun to do and Jules and I had a great time putting it together and sneaking the gifts out to his car each morning!

Next year, I think Drew and I are going to do it for her.  Should probably start planning it all out now.......   :)

Christmas Morning

Like I said in the previous post, Jules wasn't feeling too well in the night and ended up getting sick.  After a quick bath and PJ change, she was back in bed and slept soundly the rest of the night.  We actually had to wake her!  I know for a fact, my parents can never say that about me or my siblings growing up!  :)

We had a wonderful morning opening gifts and enjoyed being together as a family.  It was truly a blessed day.  We didn't leave the house all day and just sat and watched movies, played on the Wii, danced and ate until we couldn't eat anymore!  Have I ever mentioned what a fantastic chef my husband is?!?

Drew surprised me AGAIN with an awesome gift.  Something I have wanted for a while, but I will save that for another post.

It was a pretty perfect day and knowing that we all had the rest of the week off made it even better!  I love that Drew and I both work in education now and have these breaks off together.

Christmas Eve 2012

This was our second year staying home just the three of us for Christmas.  We had a great time, but we really did miss all of our family in Iowa.  I think they missed us too, so we will see what happens next year! 

We lazed around most of the day on Christmas Eve, but did manage to get out for a little bit and go to my friend Dawn's house for dinner.  Drew wasn't feeling the best and said he still had some wrapping to do, so he stayed home. 

When we got home from Dawn's he had a GREAT present waiting for me!  :) 

We spent the rest of the night baking brownies and getting the house ready for Santa's arrival.  I love that Jules is still young enough to believe in the magic of Christmas and enjoys every moment.  After opening a few gifts and reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas, we sent her off to bed and finished getting things ready.  Oh and built a Barbie Dream house. Have I ever mentioned what a good Daddy Drew is?!

Making Reindeer food!


 My surprise from Drew when we got home that night!!!! 

New Christmas PJ's.  You will notice in the next post that she does not have them on Christmas morning.  She had an episode of sickness in the middle of the night and she had to change.  Poor thing.  Or maybe we were lucky.  She didn't wake up until almost 9:30 Christmas morning, so we were all able to sleep in.  After staying up late to put together the Barbie Dream House, it was a bit of a blessing!! 

Her look of surprise is because she wanted this little puppy SO bad when we were at Cracker Barrel one night.  I told her she didn't need it, but snuck away and purchased it for her.  She was SO happy!  

Our Christmas Eve tradition for Jules is always a new pair of PJ's, one toy and a new movie. This year she received two movies - The Barbie Christmas Carol and The Flintstones Christmas Carol.  She watched them both and loved them!  :)  How can you not love the Flintstones?!?!

Getting everything ready for Santa and his Reindeer!

 Reindeer food was spread all over our back porch and gone by morning!  I think they loved it! ;)

 Our Stockings this year.  Still my favorite tradition!

All ready for Christmas Morning!  

Monday, January 7, 2013


I know, I know.  I never post on here anymore.  There are so many things I want to say and then when it comes time to type them, I am at a loss for words! 

We had a wonderful Christmas this year.  Another year of staying home and inside all day just the three of us.  It was great.  Though, we did feel the tug of missing our families this year.  We were not able to make it to Des Moines before Christmas, so we didn't get to share in the magic of watching everyone open the gifts we put so much thought and effort into and they didn't get that chance to watch us open ours.  It was different.  Hoping next year we will make it work to be in Des Moines or for others to come to our house!

I am still working on the pics of Christmas, so once I have those ready, I will post them.  Drew really surprised me this year with something that I have been wanting for years.  So I can't wait to post about that too!

We were very blessed to be able to have 11 days off together as a family.  I never take for granted the time we have together and I am so happy that we both have jobs in education and we are able to be off with Julianna during her breaks from school!  Such a wonderful blessing.

We slept, watched movies, made some great food, slept some more and vegged out most of the break.  Julianna wasn't feeling the best, so we laid low and got in some great rest and relaxation.  I am still not ready to be back to work, but only a couple more months until Spring Break!  :) 

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  I promise in 2013 I will try to post more and write more.  ;)