Monday, January 29, 2018

Half-ish!

A few days ago my girls had their "half" birthdays and because I blog about their .5 every year, I feel compelled to do it again even if a few days late.  I've said this before and I'll say it again, the purpose of this blog is for them to have a written collection of their memories as told by their mom so here it goes...

8.5
Gaby's half birthday was on the 16th and she actually reminded me of it.  She has this weird fascination with birthdays, especially hers, so I am almost certain that on the 16th of every month she has a little party in her head.. ha ha!
Gaby has quite the personality...not an easy one but definitely charming. She is very set in her ways and doesn't like people opining about her choices. She is skeptical about strangers but oh so loving and giving when it comes to people she knows well. 
She doesn't enjoy chores and will do anything to get away from even picking up her dirty clothes, which is a daily struggle and I'm ready for it to be worse when she's a teenager. 
She loves reading and can eat up a book in less than a day; she does well in school but isn't an overachiever like her sister. I know she's very smart but sometimes she needs that little extra push when it comes to caring for her grades although she gets very disappointed when she doesn't get straight A's.
She likes to wear animal ear headbands, loves to play games on her iPad, adores her baby brother, loves eating pasta and steak and is the most ingenious 8 year old I know. 
Her favorite animal is the cat, her favorite color is purple and her favorite mom is ME! ha!
I really love being around Gaby and I am soaking up her sweetness and cuddles as much as I can for as long as I can. I am so lucky to be her mother! Happy 8.5, Gaby! ;)


10.5
Olivia turned 10.5 on the 17th and even though she's not as fixated on her birthday as Gaby is, I'm sure she'll enjoy reading her .5 post down the road, so here it goes...
Olivia is quite the little lady and although I know raging hormones are inevitable at her age, she really does her best to keep her composure and finesse at all times. Unlike her sister Gaby, Olivia tends to be friendly from the get-go even with strangers; she's quite the social butterfly and such a talker. She enjoys drawing, taking pictures and traveling; she has asked that I please take her to Australia for her 15th birthday and has started to create an itinerary for her dream trip. 
As friendly as Olivia is, her biggest downfall is that she can't take a joke; because she's so incredibly sensitive she loses her cool when someone teases her and that tends to bring her a lot of trouble in some social situations...
She's really smart and gets the best grades in school because she's an overachiever when it comes to studying and I really love that about her...
Olivia loves to fix her hair, she loves music and dancing, is fascinated with her baby brother, loves eating sushi and seafood and is the sweetest 10 year old I know. 
Her favorite animal is the unicorn (she knows they're not real!), her favorite color is teal and her favorite family is her own. 
I really love Olivia's personality and her tenderness. I am enjoying having a 10 year old friend and I am cherishing every minute we spend together. Happy 10.5, Olivia! ;)


Monday, January 8, 2018

Bye 2017...welcome 2018!

I always takes me a week or so to formally welcome a new year.. I'm not sure why it takes so long for it to "sink in" but the beginning of the year always drags on for me. 
I will admit that I try to stay off social media during the last week of the year because I get tired of people posting about how "terrible" their year has been and how the new year will be "THE BEST" year.. I mean, does everyone have progressively bad years as time passes or are my friends really that negative? Of course it's not everyone but a vast majority of the people I'm "connected" with often post things along the lines of "I can't wait for this awful year to end" or things like "Good riddance 2017!". Maybe I'm just lucky or maybe I'm just really, really positive but I tend not to look at a year as a collective thing that defines me but rather as scattered moments (good and bad) that are part of this thing called life...or maybe I haven't really had a totally "awful" year of life yet.. who knows!
I guess the point is that while no year is ever perfect, I try to focus on the good instead of the bad. Yes we had some sadness, some loss, lots of frustration and so on but the good was always more than the bad and for that I am thankful...
With that said, 2017 was a kind year for our family, filled with wonderful moments and even more wonderful people. Here are some highlights. 

January- I got to see my dear friend Marianna...it's always fun being around her!


February- the birth of my niece Mariana was definitely the best thing of the month and the year...and this is my favorite picture of her as a newborn..


March- Olivia's hair donation and seeing my favorite Canadians. I loved March!


April- an unforgettable family trip to Europe where we got to spend time with loved ones and visited 4 countries and several cities.


..and of course Gaby's first communion..


May- wonderful times in Orlando and Mother's day with the family


June-  Mariana's baptism and a Trip to Dominican Republic where we got to see my dear aunt Laurita


July- fun summer memories.. too many to count...and lots of birthdays! ;)


August- more summer fun with fun friends


September- a little more Disney, an unexpected "hurrication" and Oliver's 2nd birthday..


October-  more Disney and lots of Halloween fun...


November- a solo trip to Europe that included a visit to one of my best friends and some of the most amazing experiences to date...


..and Olivia finally being a candidate for Honor Roll..she achieved Principal Honors on her first try! ;)


December- the kids' first time in the snow and a great family road trip


2017 was a wonderful year... it was also the year I failed miserably at many of my goals, including weight loss, decreasing screen time, waking up earlier and many others I didn't accomplish but hope to try again this year.  

We welcomed 2018 in Ohio with our family, experiencing the coldest weather we've ever felt; it was quite an experience.  We spent a few days in Washington DC and drove all the way to Ohio and back, which made for some great bonding time.. ha ha!
I am thankful to God for another year of life and experiences, accomplishments and lessons and I am looking forward to what 2018 has in store for us.  This year we are hoping to move into a bigger house, become better money savers, travel some more, be more organized, deepen our faith and give more of our time and talents to our wonderful community!
Bring it on 2018! We are ready!