January 12, 2015

A Look Back on 2014


I started on a post the week after Christmas and never got back to it so I thought I'd start over and try to finish this time! :)
2014 was a very.... adventurous year for us.
We started out 2014 with a birthday for Gregg in which I surprised him! We took a trip to New Orleans, LA to watch Alabama play in the Sugar Bowl. I have never been that far west before so it was exciting for me. :) Never imagined I'd take the road trip of a lifetime in the same year.


The end of January we got a little bit of snow, just enough to sprinkle the ground a little bit, but I called my mom and Opp got a pretty good layer of it so we set out to make the hour drive (that ended up being 2 hours after closed roads in to cities and taking detours on icy county roads). It was well worth the drive after the fun our kids had.
Our yard in Dothan
Road Conditions on the way to Opp
Pop and Nana's Yard in Opp
 
My 3 Snowbunnies

Gregg took Kaidi out on a date for Valentine's day. She asked me to roll her hair and put makeup on her and she made a sweet little card for him. He picked her up, bringing flowers and a heart box of chocolate and they went out to dinner to Chili's. She thoroughly enjoyed it and still talks about her date with her daddy.



We took the kids to Landmark Park for their 2014 Spring Farm Day. We really enjoyed this family day and ended up becoming members of Landmark Park.




In April, we took a trip to the beach



Then we had a great Easter weekend


The end of April, the kids enjoyed a wonderful day of MUD.. I love letting my kids be kids.. and get nasty and have a great time doing it.. it's nothing a little soap and water can't take care of..




In May, Gregg and I went to a Kirk Cameron marriage conference in Fairhope and had a great weekend getaway and a refresher for our marriage. We had found out earlier in the week that Gregg's position with the bank was being eliminated and he had 60 days left with his job. This was very stressful for us but we were positive and knew that things were going to be ok.

We survived another birthday of the twins without them. They would have been 7.

We took a trip to the beach for Mother's Day and had a wonderful time with the kids. It's my absolute favorite place to be.


We went and visited my brother and his family for memorial weekend and enjoyed spending time with them and also were able to take the kids to a hot air balloon festival. It was a great family day.





Kaidi got to experience her first ever rodeo. It was so much fun getting to watch her. She participated in 3 events. She was going to do mutton busting, but changed her mind right before getting on the sheep.. She was cute all decked out in the gear, though! :)


June started out kinda slow.. not much going on... Gregg and I went on a small deep sea fishing adventure.. boy was it an adventure!! We went out with a guy that worked with BB&T and had his own boat. His niece and nephew came along to help and then it was Gregg, another guy and myself. It wasn't supposed to be a very long trip and about... after we fished for bait (which gregg really enjoyed) we headed out to deep waters.. MILES from shore.. the water was pretty rough.. the boat was pretty small and when we stopped to start fishing... poor Gregg.. he was SOOO sick...he was sick the ENTIRE time!! I, on the other hand, had a BLAST!! I got the first bite and reeled in a shark... then turned around and got a beautiful red snapper.. Gregg tried to fish.. managed to catch a snapper.. and then laid right back down on the seat... where he pretty much stayed the rest of the trip.... As we were coming back in to shore, the water was so bad, we took on a huge wave and the entire front end of the boat was covered in water.. we were all grabbing buckets and throwing water over like crazy.. it was so scary.. We prepared ourselves to jump high side at any moment.. thankfully we could see land and it wasn't too far away.. when we finally got to a dock, gregg and i got off and he paid a lady $20 for her to take him to his truck and he came back and got me... there was NO way we were getting back in that boat! lol
This was before we went out to deep waters
first snapper of the day
The only pic I got of him fishing


a little later in June, Atlas's teeth met the window sill and there was blood everywhere and he was crying, I was crying, Kaidi was crying... it was rough stuff.. I couldn't get a hold of Gregg or my mom... and I am typically a pretty calm person in these type situations... Not so much on this day..





this happened 2 days before he turned 2. :( His teeth are still up in his gums. I'm hoping they will be ok once he loses them and his permanent teeth come in. Those middle two are pretty damaged and nasty looking now.

So he turned 2 and we had a little party at my mom and dad's house. It was very low key and enjoyable. Kids got into a food fight and it was fun watching them.




With Gregg's job ending June 30, we decided to post our house for lease on Craigslist and within 2 days we had a couple coming to look at it and wanted to move in July 1. This was the middle of June.. talk about packing in a hurry! We packed up everything and moved it to Opp and decided we would move in with my parents temporarily until we decided what we were going to do/ where we were going to go... We didn't want to rush in to any decisions and wanted to make sure we took our time and made the right one. We filled up 2 storage units and moved some stuff in my parent's house and said goodbye to Grove Park


We decided to take the kids on a canoe trip (daring, I know) but we had a WONDERFUL time and the kids did so good.



That last week of June, Gregg and I had kinda talked about just moving off.. heading to Colorado or Montana. Only thing is, how would we know if we even liked it out there.. we decided to take a road trip. This was the best opportunity for us. I didn't work, Gregg's job was ending and he had a severance pay, our kids weren't in school.. why not? So we woke up July 1, packed a suitcase or 2, filled up a tote, loaded the car up and headed North.

This was the trip of a lifetime. An adventure for our family and we made so many memories.. I am so thankful for this trip and seeing all that we saw. Covering 19 states in 20 days, traveling a total of 7,800 miles. Seeing family and even friends on the other side of the country. It was amazing. I can't even begin to share pics from the trip.

We celebrated our 8th anniversary on the road and Asher did turn the big 3 while we were on the trip and we were able to celebrate at a Chuck E. Cheese in California with Gregg's youngest brother and his family.



We got home from our trip (after driving 31 hours straight) on a Sunday and I had to get things ready for our annual B&K Remembered Blood Drive the following Friday. We had a wonderful turnout this year and I am so thankful for all the lives saved through our drive.

August started and honestly, the rest of the year just flew by. I'm not sure if it's because I filled in at the daycare for the rest of the year, or what, but it feels like we just got home from Arizona yesterday. lol

We enjoyed another trip to the beach for labor day and in October I enjoyed taking the kids to the lake for the Scarecrows in the Park that the trailmasters do every year.

Cousin Fun
My pretty girl
They sure love each other
I ran in my first 5k the middle of October. I was already planning to run in one the next week, but I randomly just decided to run in one that the Rotary Club in Opp has at the lake. I woke up and just did it. I was proud of myself for finishing the race without dying! lol and surprisingly got a medal for placing in my age division. lol don't get too excited for me, there were only a few of us! hehe


The zombie run the next weekend was a lot of fun! We were in a team of 5 and all started out with a certain number of flags.. as long as one member still had a flag, as a team, we survived.. I had all of my flags through the entire run and lost all of them in the last 20 seconds.. I was SO mad about that, lol but it was still a lot of fun. 

Halloween was the next week so my kids got to enjoy a fall festival at my parent's church and then Halloween later in the week. Kaidi wanted to be Dorothy and Asher wanted to be Batman, but we couldn't find one in time, so he was completely cool being a Ninja Turtle and Atlas was an army man. They were too cute and we had a good time taking them around to a few houses before settling in at home. 

In November, I took Kaidi to her first ever fair. It was a good Mommy/Daughter day and she really enjoyed seeing the animals and riding the kiddie roller coaster. 

On November 7.... :( ..... I turned 30..... :( ..... BUT I am not sad about it... I am happy and blessed to have lived these 30 years and I feel great being 30.. I feel like the best is yet to come.. :)
My selfie as a 30 year old
Gregg took me to the beach for the weekend



and Saturday night we went to Dave and Busters to watch Alabama vs LSU and SURPRISE my family were all there waiting for us... 
The kids were there for the meal and just a little after for some games and then I happily sent them on their merry little way with Pop and Nana so that I could play some games! :)
Meredith Ramer's photo.

Fun Night!
Thanksgiving came
Kaidi was so serious! lol
 and we ended up celebrating my side of the family thanksgiving dinner on Saturday which just happened to also be the Iron Bowl. I thought my family was pretty split on who they pull for, but it turns out the only Auburn fans are my parents and my brother, sister and brother in law. All the grandkids are smart.. they were all sporting their AL colors! :)

Love this picture!!
I tried on my niece's jersey.. she's 7. lol


December 1.. Kaidi turned 5... the night before we enjoyed making cupcakes and she thought it was really cool that i made one special for her. 

Her party was the following weekend.. I was so excited for her birthday.. We only let her invite 5 friends and we had it at my mom's church. It was a paint party and the kids enjoyed painting different things and then came the moment her daddy and I had been waiting for for months! We bought her a horse.. I think the end of September? and decided to wait until her bday for her to know it was hers. She had been riding Mikey, but never knew it was hers.. She loved him more than anything and we couldn't have picked a better horse for her. 



Time out for some Kaidi and Mikey Pics





The next week, we left for Pigeon Forge to celebrate Christmas with my family. My parents decided to get a cabin and take us all to the Dixie Stampede for our Christmas this year. We left early Thursday morning and got to the cabin late that afternoon. It had a beautiful view... we enjoyed the pool table and the air hockey table and decided that we were going to go see Cades Cove the next morning.. well we woke up , started down the drive way.. got on the main road and my van started shaking like crazy.. We had NO clue what was going on.. there were a few things that we thought might be wrong, but here we were away from home and all the tools and stuff the guys needed.. we ended up taking the van back to the cabin and moving the carseats over to my brother in law's truck and driving it. It really messed things up for us because we were supposed to be leaving first thing in the morning heading back home a day early to make it to Gregg's moms 50th birthday party. We went to the Dixie Stampede that night and the kids LOVED it.. especially Kaidi! She would barely even eat her food for fear of missing something!!






We shared our gifts when we got back from the show.. it was a LONG night! lol


The next day, the guys looked at the van and went in to town after some tools and ended up having to take the emergency brake off of my van. Was not a fun job, but thankful that they were able to do it on their own and us not have to put it in a shop up there or have it towed home. :(
We weren't planning to be their an extra night so we really didn't know what to do that evening.. Our bunch went in to Gatlinburg and walked up and down the streets looking for a particular shop.. no luck, but we decided to have Kaidi's ears pierced again.. she was excited and nervous all at the same time..


When we got back to the cabin that night, we decided to let the kids decorate little Christmas trees. They had a wonderful time with that.




Woke up the next morning and headed home. I decided to take a little nap just outside of Birmingham... well Gregg woke me up a little later... "Mere, I think I missed a turn somewhere?" I pull out my phone and hit the location button on my maps.. we were in TUSCALOOSA! Sooo we grabbed a late lunch there and finally made it home!! It was a VERY long ride home! lol

That next weekend, I took the kids over to Andalusia to see Santa Claus on the square. It was so cute how they had the square decorated with all the little cottages, each themed differently..





We had Christmas at my grandparents on Christmas Eve at lunch and then had Christmas with Gregg's family that night. The kids got lots of great things and it was hard to settle them down that night to get ready for Santa Claus to come!


Making cookies for Santa

As Christmas arrived, Kaidi changed her mind on what she wanted Santa Claus to bring her.. she had been wanting an Easy Bake Oven, for months.. well all of a sudden she wanted a doll house for her barbies (she had quite the collection between her birthday and christmas parties). So Santa got busy and in 3 days whipped up a wonderful doll house! :)






Christmas wore the boys out!!
Out Cold! :)
Pretty much wraps up 2014... It was a wonderful, adventurous year for us. I am looking forward to all that 2015 has in store for us!






Looking through all these pictures I have realized just how many there were of Atlas sick since we've been back.. :( Poor fella.. ear infections.. strep... bronchitis.. rsv.. hmv... just back to back sickness..

October 20. Strep, Bronchitis, HMV

November 12. Bronchitis and RSV
December 16. Strep, Double ear infection and Bronchitis
And since this picture, he has had strep again and after seeing the ENT this past Friday, his Tonsils are coming out this Thursday! His surgery will take place in Dothan and they will keep him overnight because of his age. Prayers appreciated! Hoping he recovers as well as Asher did when he had his removed in December 2013.  

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