Looking Back on January

It's hard to believe that January has come and gone already!  Ready or not, 2013 is off to a fast start.  Who knows if I can maintain this or not, but I'm hoping to do a better job of recording some the things we do on the blog.  After getting ready for my scrapbook retreat recently, I spent some time reading back through the blog and I remembered why I started this in the first place.  It was so fun to re-live some of our old memories and to hear my thoughts from years gone by.  So, I'm hoping to at least get some recap posts up every month this year, before these things are gone from my memory forever :) 
We left Iowa on New Year's Day after a great Christmas break with family.  
Aaannnd, this is the reality we came home to. I took this on the morning that Travis went back to work and I found myself at home with the kids, trying to dig out of the hole of Christmas gifts, packed bags, and laundry.  I'm pretty sure the house looked like this for at least a week!  Usually I kill myself to get it done immediately but this year?  Not so much :) 
I took the first few days of the year and indulged myself by participating in the Passion Conference via livestream.  It was SO great, I love kicking off the year with some of my favorite worship artists and an incredible line-up of speakers.  
It was so awesome to hear David Crowder leading again, although he totally looks like a cast member from Duck Dynasty!  I was so sad that he and his band stopped recording and touring.  We loved DCB!! 60,000 college students seeking the Lord and worshipping Him...what a fun thing to see!  Gives me hope for the future generations.  Of course, aside from a little feature from CNN, nothing in the mainstream news about it.  Amazing.  But we did get days of coverage on whether Beyonce sang live at the inauguration or not, so I guess I don't know what "real" news is. 
I have a funny memory of all of us dancing like fools while Lecrae performed on the last night, ha ha!  We LOVE him and he always brings out the inner dancer in all of us :) Carter especially!  
I did A LOT of baking this month :)  I've had some happy campers around here! 
We had some good family time in January.  Taking the kids out for a meal is getting easier...
...although it's still an event.  Sometimes it goes well, and sometimes it goes horribly wrong :) I've had some serious flashbacks to conversations between my parents that are now happening to us.  Like my Mom, I usually hesitate at the thought of going out with the kids, for a variety of reasons, but like my Dad, Travis always thinks it sounds like fun!  Ha ha!  We are making memories I suppose, right??  Ironically, the kids always have the best time!  
We were due for some new car seats and these two little passengers were happy about the upgrade!
We had some fun Christmas gift cards and enjoyed a sweet Friday night at a very quiet (who would have guessed) Mall of America.  The twinkling Christmas lights were still up, which made it seem especially magical.
Carter decided he was finally brave enough for the carousel after watching Ava.  He was so proud of himself and loved riding the "horsey" which was actually an Ostrich!
These two scored BIG at the Disney store, which was the real highlight of the night.  Thanks for the gift cards Aunt Katy!  The post-Christmas clearance sale was very kind to our kids.  They came home with some serious loot!  
January brought our first visits to the dentist, which was hilarious.  I had prepped them for awhile, but had no idea how they'd do.  Ava did great, she actually talked the hygienist's ear off!  I had to remind her to be quiet so she could clean her teeth :) She wanted to tell her all about her princesses and her castle. Classic!
Carter on the other hand, was not quite so cooperative.  He pretty much sat with his mouth clenched shut :) He did lick the toothpaste off the brush, but we decided 6 more months would be a good thing for him!  I couldn't blame him, what part of going to the dentist is fun??  No offense if you are a Dentist!  I really love ours, but I hate having my mouth worked on!   I spent some time there myself this month, getting a crown.  Oh, the fun!
Unfortunately, sickness hit our house this month and took us all down one by one.
Based on our symptoms, I'm going to say we got hit with the Norovirus that recently swept the nation.  We had all the symptoms to a tee and we spend a solid week and a half dealing with it.  

Thankfully, I was the last one to get sick and I recovered just in time to hear Travis preach.  He was scheduled to preach at the end of the month but had to move it up a week when our Pastor was dealing with pneumonia himself.  I was so grateful to be there, he did a great job and I loved being his cheerleader in the front row!  This was also the first time the kids got to see Daddy on stage in "big Church."  Ava sat with me for two services and did great and Carter got to see Daddy on all the monitors around our Church, which has thoroughly confused him now.  He expects to see Daddy every time now and likes to inform his nursery teachers that his Daddy is "on da TB in big Church!"   :) 
We've had a whole range of temperatures this month.  It is January, so it's been pretty typical.
We welcomed a precious new member of our family this month!  This is our sweet nephew, JT.  Is he darling or what??  Trav's sister Katy and her husband made us an Uncle and Aunt again!  We just love him!!
We FINALLY broke through our terrible stretch of bad haircut experiences with Carter!!  After bribing him with suckers and the promise of ice-cream, Carter sat mostly still without screaming and crying.  Victory!!
This little girl is always happy to get her hair cut, thankfully!
After the plans changed several times regarding when Trav was going to preach, my parents offered to take our kids for a long weekend and we took them up on it!  I drove half-way and met my Dad to make the swap.  The kids were so good and so excited about it!
While they were gone, we found ourselves in a suddenly free weekend, so Travis surprised me and booked a night at at Bed and Breakfast in a cute little town we love.
It was a sweet surprise and so fun to be away together in a cozy place.
We had a good laugh together, our B&B was a fun treat, but let's just say our room and the house in general was "exotic" and extremely unique!  We may have landed in a sort of pagan idol room, which is a funny place for a Pastor and his wife to stay :) It does make for a great story, however!  Ha ha!
I've felt like I was playing catch-up all month long and I have a feeling that was party due to being so behind in ordering my planner!  I don't know what my problem was this year, but it finally came and I just LOVE it!!
My love for all things erin condren continues!
While our kids were gone, we caught a high school hockey game to see my second cousin play.  We had fun, although wished they could have won in overtime.  High school sports are fun to us and to not have to bring kids or find a sitter??  Golden! 
The kids got an extra night at my parents after an Ice storm but we were oh so happy to have these little faces back!!  They had a blast, but one of the biggest developments since they've been home is that Carter has completely given up his paci, and totally without a fight.  It's almost as if he never had it, we can't believe it!  I guess he must have been ready or just old enough to not need it??  If I gave it to him, I think he'd take it, but he's bought into our song and dance about him being a big boy and not needing it anymore and HE even threw in a line about the garbage man "taking" it because he was big, which I haven't bothered to correct!  If he's ok with that, than so we are we!  

We finished January off with a plunge into the arctic!  We had some unbelievably cold days, but it just makes me all the more thankful for a cozy home and little ones who aren't "scheduled" yet.  We've just enjoyed being home and snuggling up together.  I know someday I will look back on these simple, early years and miss them.  But here's hoping February brings some warmer temps our way!  

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