Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Our Christmas

We're just going to skip right past the fact that Christmas was a week ago and I am only now uploading the pictures. #Slacker_on_vacation_mode
Here's a picture from the beginning of December when I was on top of my game, taking photos and filling out Christmas cards like nobody's business. That lasted all of 20 minutes.
I accidentally on purpose only sent out 22 card this year. Normal years are upwards of 60. If you didn't get a card from us, obviously we don't like you anymore dropped the ball and maybe you'll get two cards next year. In a moment of ugly honesty I'm going to tell you that I'm tired of sending out cards of just Andrew, me, and Maddie.  Maddie is super adorbs, but until we have a fun announcement like another maltese joining our group or {fingers and toes crossed} a baby, I feel silly sending an updated picture that's really just the same year after year. Ugh, I want to delete this whole paragraph, but it is what it is, and even in the tough times there's a whole lot of good stuff.
So let's move onto the good stuff...
December 2013 was an important month in our family, especially the week before Christmas.
My middle sister, Kristie, and her husband, Tyler, went on their honeymoon cruise to Mexico.
They had a great time, and my sister will kill me for telling you this, but they had never been on a cruise before and didn't know that you have to pay for the pictures they take on the ship. For all you non-cruisers out there, each night there are fun photo ops set up on the different floors of the ship and the next day the pictures are displayed for purchase so you only have to buy the ones you like. In Kristie's defense, it isn't necessarily clear that you have to pay for them because they are just set out on display. So my sweet little sis made out like a bandit (completely unintentionally) and snagged all these great pictures! The bargain-hunter in me couldn't be prouder, but I imagine there will be heightened security on the next cruise :)
December 17, my dad retired, and December 18 he turned 50.
 My littlest sister, Melissa, turned 21 December 18. So there were "Congratulations" and "Happy Birthday" banners everywhere. All the dogs birthdays are December 28 and 29 and mine is in January, so we're just leaving the banners up for a while.  Our house looks like party central, which made it no surprise we got "Candy Caned" on Christmas Eve.
Getting Candy Caned is the Christmas equivalent of getting toilet papered. It was awesome! Candy canes everywhere: on our cars, the plants, the rain gutters, the palm tree prawns, the railings, the balcony; no surface was left un-caned.
 We got up early and did Christmas part one at the Hoags from 9:30-11:30.  Then we came back to my parents' and dad made delicious waffles (a Christmas tradition).
The doggies were as excited as the humans.


Uncle Chris, Aunt Vanesa, Ivory, Elias, and Beckett come over for breakfast and open presents with us.

After a couple hours of opening presents, we all head over to Grama and Grampa's.
Then we go back to the Hoags to watch Christmas movies and eat all the candy from our stockings.
The rest of Christmas week included some awesome shopping at the Coach outlet,
lots of afternoons at the beach and our favorite restaurant, Hoagies.
a lot of beach days (it's been 75 and sunny everyday since we've been home),
and catching up with friends.

Now we're figuring out whose house we're going to candy cane next year and getting ready to start 2014 off right, with yummy steak dinner and a New Year's party.
Hope your Christmas and New Year's are full of fun! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013 in pictures

2013 is coming to a close, and I feel like I say this every year, but it sure was a busy one!
We started off New Year's in Pismo Beach with family.
Obligatory silly pose.

 A couple days later we made our last big pilgrimage driving from California to Texas.
It was the 5th time in 2 years. That's too many times.

I celebrated my 29th Birthday with our friend, Jesse, who stayed with us
for a few days before moving to Austin.
 I bought a running watch hoping it would inspire me to run everyday and New Year's Resolutions and bla bla bla.
 I ran once. And never again. Maybe I need new running shoes to inspire me.

 In February we went to New Orleans for the weekend and ran into my Aunt and Uncle from CA!

 We ate beignets at CafĂ© du Monde everyday. It was glorious!


In March we took pictures with blue bonnets.

 I turned one of our spare rooms into a shoe room. It was fun while it lasted!
We saw the Shins concert in San Antonio.
Andrew's parents came to visit us and we went to Austin and Dallas.
 In April we spent a lot of time in the pool because Texas was already hitting 100 degrees.
We saw the Lumineers in Austin.
 We also saw the Airborne Toxic Event in Austin.
In April I shared openly about our struggle to start a family during National Infertility Awareness Week. I am still amazed at the outpouring of love, support, and prayers you gave us. Thank you!!! An update on the infertility front: still not pregnant, still taking a break from treatment,
and still praying for a miracle.
Moving on... let's focus on our cute little fur baby, shall we? :)
  In May Maddie got an awful hair cut. It took her most of the Summer to grow it back.
Andrew and I flew to Boston for an English conference. We turned it into a 5 states in 5 days tour.
Here we are in Maine
We also spent a weekend in South Padre Island. We had to put sunscreen on Maddie!
In June Andrew turned 30 and we went out to dinner at the Tower of the Americas downtown.
His big present was tickets to the Coachella music festival in April 2014.

Our friend, Will, returned from teaching in South Korea and we hung out in Houston with friends.
We had a blast in Houston at NASA.
We couldn't have done it without tons of help from my mom and dad. Thanks again!

 July and August are a total blur.
We spent a lot of time at the beach and had a couple bridal showers for my sister.
There were bonfires, house-sitting, and hikes with the Hoags.

The second week in August I got hired to administer California English Learners tests to students in Spring Valley and we literally had 12 hours to move from Pismo Beach to San Diego. Did I mention our apartment wasn't ready yet so we had to stay with friends for a week. Thank you Brian and Audrey!
I feel like most of 2013 was spent loading and unloading U-Hauls. Ugh.
A couple weeks later I interviewed for a full time teaching position at Bancroft Elementary School and

Don't be deceived by the 26 smiling faces you see. Since this photo was taken, I have gained 7, yes SEVEN, MORE students. Suffice to say, it's been a rocky start to this school year.

There was no time to set up our new apartment, I had to set up a classroom lickety split!
The next weekend we squeezed in a trip to Vegas with friends.
The next weekend was my sister's wedding (September 7).
Such a beautiful bride!
The rest of September was spent trying to regain some semblance of sanity as a first year teacher.
I blocked most of that month from memory.

October brought a much needed Fall Break.
We went camping.
Andrew made a poor decision called "Edward 40 hands" and barely lived to tell the tale.
We went out for Halloween as San Diego sailors.

In November we went home for Thanksgiving

My parents came to visit us in San Diego.


And so far December has been wonderful!
We went bowling with our friends last weekend. I am not going to share my score.
There is a bowling pin on top of the tree in the bowling alley for relevance.

 We celebrated Festivus and opened a very unusual white elephant gift.
We went to December Nights in Balboa Park and ate all the yummiest things.
We went to the Safari Park in Escondido with friends and saw the cutest giraffes.
I managed to drink hot cocoa every day so far this month and I don't regret it one single bit.
2013 went by way too fast. Aside from the school days the last 3 weeks that drag on and on. There were some surprises like a new job and fun trips. 2014 is starting off great with a cruise and my 30th birthday. I've failed to mention that I completely neglected my 30 before 30 list. I might have to go back and rewrite it to be all about shopping and food because, let's be honest, those are the only goals I can really achieve!
This weekend we are heading back up to Pismo to spend Christmas and New Year's with family again. Today is my dad's 50th Birthday (plus he retired yesterday!) and tomorrow is my little sister's 21st Birthday. We are going to Vegas next week to celebrate. The fun never ends!