Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Favorite Things

There are many things that make my life easier, more delicious, more enjoyable, ect.
It is in part because of my favorite items below.
So here are some of my favorite things of 2009!

Tate just got this for Christmas and it is such a great toy! It keeps him busy while I'm busy in the kitchen, so I love it as much as he does...or more! :)


Call me crazy...I don't care. The item below is a pickly grabber. Yes, that's right...a pickle grabber. And this gadget my friends, has made my life easier! We eat A LOT of pickles. It just so happens that we typically eat baby dills and those little boogers are a pain in the rear to get out of the jar! I guess I could use a fork, but even a fork doesn't do the trick like this handy dandy pickle grabber! Ours broke a couple of months ago and I am feeling lost without it. This is no joke...I love this thing!


Two words...BUY THIS! If you haven't used a Magic Eraser in the past, you are not complete! It is the most amazing cleaning item on the market...you NEED one. Trust me!


I was introduced to this fabulous toothpaste while at the Greater New York Dental Show that I attended in December for work. I LOVE it! You know the shaving cream that squirts out like a gel and then when you rub it, it turns into creamy white foam? That is exactly how this toothpaste works. It makes my mouth feel so fresh, plus it's a fun change from the traditional toothpaste...LOVE IT!


I just got this from Santa and I was thrilled! I cannot stand my bulky collander that is in my cupboard. It always gets in the way and just doesn't fit anywhere easily. I love my new collapsible collander!

This product isn't a new love. It's been a love of mine for a few years now and will probably continue to be forever! Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream! I don't know what it is about being in an office that is so much dryer than regular life, but I just feel like a dry raisin while at work. I apply this to my hands every day! It lasts and makes your hands feel moisturized through washing your hands a few times too! Also, it smells good, but isn't too strong and it makes your nails stronger!
I got the Aquage Defining Gel below a few months back and fell in love. If you want a nice gel for doing your hair curly...this is the stuff! It makes my curls defined and not fuzzy, but isn't crunchy or greasy. I like the smell too!


Oh Aldi...how I love you so! You have saved me more money on groceries than I ever knew possible. I still get butterflies of joy and awe when I hear my total in the check out line. It's amazing how much money you have saved me!

These are a few of my favorite things!

Fear

I am really at a loss of what to do about Tate's fear of everything. It's concerning. Aside from the fact that he has terrible nightmares and night terrors almost every night, he is genuinely scared when he goes to bed, so getting him to sleep is so difficult. He has a vivid imagination and will fear things that he claims are in his room...anything from a monster to a turtle. The thing is, he is really, genuinely scared. He says, I want to sleep somewhere else! I don't like my room! He will shake and cry and be so distraught that he can hardly verbalize what he's scared of and between his blubbery cries, if he can verbalize it, we're lucky to understand what he's saying. We have to make him take deep breaths and calm down before he tells us what's wrong. So he'll get calmed down and then when he tries to tell us what's scaring him, he starts to panic and cry again.

Last night was so sad. He was terrified of something in his closet and was literally shaking and when I tried to pick him up to carry him to the closet and show him nothing was in there, he didn't want to come to me because I was too close to the closet. When he finally did, I started to walk him over there and he completely freaked out. It was so sad. It breaks my heart and I don't know what to do. Aside from that, Sean and I are TIRED! When he wakes up in the night, if he's having a night terror, he will flail his body all over his bed and so we go in there to make sure he doesn't fall off of the bed. If he's having a nightmare, he will cry and cry and cry when he wakes up that he's scared. When he cries like that, it is blood curdling screams of fear and he will go on and on like that forever. We've tried to let him "cry it out", but he's just too scared. When we go in there, he will be shaking and terrified and it takes a long time sometimes to calm him down. The longer we let him cry, the longer it takes to calm him down and most times, if he cries too long, he won't go back to sleep...even if it's the middle of the night! He's been known to wake up at 3 or 4 am and be so scared and not go back to sleep at all. We've even been desperate and brought him in our bed and he still wouldn't go back to sleep.

He also is scared to go down our hallway towards his bedroom in the evenings if the light is off in the hallway. He'll start to walk down the hallway and then it's like fear overtakes him and he turns around and runs back to us and says, "I need the light on to go back there." Or he'll say to himself quietly, "there's no monsters in there" like he's trying to reassure himself that he shouldn't be scared.

He's scared of other little things too. Toys that are too noisy, many dogs that are more active, the vacuum, pretty much anything really noisy scares him. I can handle that stuff, but the issues he has at night are disturbing and break my heart! We talked to his doctor about it and there was no real answer from him. Pretty much that some kids just have night terrors and night mares and that we should just go in his room when they happen to make sure he doesn't hurt himself and to comfort him and that due to kids vivid imaginations at this age, it's not that uncommon. He just said that it will hopefully pass. I just think that Tate's case is more severe, but maybe not. I think it's hard to know unless you witness it and see the terror that goes through his whole body. It's just so disturbing and it's getting to the point that it happens about 6 out of 7 nights a week.

He is tired and so are we!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A new look...

...and a new title for a new year! It will change again in a few months probably! I am sure you've noticed that I can't keep the same blog header for long! :)

I'm still Mommy...

Tate called me "Mom" tonight. I am not ready for that! I made it clear to him that my name is Mommy, not Mom. :) He thought it was pretty funny. He'd say, "Your name is Mom and his name (pointing to Sean) is Daddy!" Then he'd giggle. About 10 minutes later he forgot about it and started calling me Mommy again. Whew!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

We have had such a wonderful last few days! My parents arrived on Wednesday afternoon and we relaxed for a while and then I made homemade pizzas and then we went to Jolly Holiday Lights. When we got home we watched 4 Christmases and laughed SO HARD! It was hilarious...we loved it! Then on Thursday Mom and I had a super fun time doing lots of last minute shopping before heading over to Baldersons for our traditional Christmas gathering. We had amazing food and played cards and hung out. Sean, Tate and I headed home to put Tate to bed and then prepare for Santa's arrival! :) Mom and Dad got home around midnight and then we hung out and chatted until after 1:30am!

This morning Tate was excited to see that Santa brought him a sled and bowling set along with some other fun goodies. I was too busy watching him enjoy his gifts and seeing what Santa brought me that I only took a few pictures!

After getting ready for the day, we headed back to Baldersons' for a super delicious lunch and some more card playing and hanging out. Mom and Dad left after eating to head back to Muscatine. It was sad to see them go! It was SO MUCH FUN hosting them at our home! We still have our Christmas gathering with them, my sister and brother and their families next week. We cannot wait for that!

We were so exhausted after eating that we came home too and took a "family nap" in Mommy and Daddy's bed while watching The Lion King that Santa brought Tate. We managed to watch about 15 minutes of it before falling asleep. It was nice to nap all together and snuggle with my boys. It was the best Christmas gift I received!!! It's my favorite thing to do...snuggle in bed with my 2 favorite boys!

We have spent the rest of the day playing and playing and playing with all of Tate's fun toys. He even unprompted, ran over to me and hugged me tight for a long time and said, "I love you, Mommy!" It was the best part of my day, week and maybe even month! Those of you who know Tate, know that this is not something he does much. He's not much of a hugger or snuggler. He was so happy today...he said it several times. "I'm so happy, Mommy!"

Tate got a guitar and microphone on Christmas Eve and he LOVED it!

He likes to sing in the microphone and has been all day...

And he is a pro at the guitar! :)

This was the only picture I got this morning that wasn't blurry. He was so excited to unwrap is gifts from Santa!

It's been such a wonderful few days and there are more to come!
Not only have I had amazing family time, but we've been blessed with a BEAUTIFUL white Christmas that we don't usually get! It's been perfect so far and we look forward to it even getting better. We will have a family day tomorrow as well as get to see Chris, Brenda and Bode for the first time in 5 months. The Peakin Christmas is on Sunday and then I have another 2 1/2 day work week before we go to Muscatine for a few days.

We hope everyone had as Merry of a Christmas as we have had so far!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bring it on!

The house is clean, the groceries are bought, the goodies are baked, we are all healthy. Bring on Christmas!

(and say a prayer for safe travels for my parents and ALL people traveling in the bad weather that's expected!)

Monday, December 21, 2009

slow day at work

Work was brutal today. I only have 1 1/2 more days this week and that even feels like too much! It was just so dead at work today which made for a boring and long day. All I could do was think about all of t he things I could be doing at home! We had a great supper of baked ziti tonight and another super productive evening. We are READY for Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Cookie Week - 3rd, 4th and 5th Batches

Batch #3 was another batch of the Coconut Butterscotch Fudge Cookies.

Batch #4 was the traditional chocolate chip cookie...

Batch #5 is Mouse Cookies
The cheese adds a little something...

And if you'd like to go a little more crazy...chocolate sprinkles as mouse turds! :)

This is how you make them...

3 cups Flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla

Mix flour, cocoa and salt together. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla and then the flour mixture until well blended. Cover and chill an hour or until firm. Heat oven to 350, have a non-greased cookie sheet ready.

Roll the dough into teardrop shape and use a toothpick to drill a hole in the mouse's rear end. Use peanuts for the ears and mini chocolate chips for the eyes. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 9 minutes (or until they are no longer shiny...they need to look kind of dry). Let the cookies cool for a few minutes and then put the pull and peel Twizzler in the hole.

So the Cookie Baking Extravaganza may not be over...I may do another batch this week. We'll see.

a busy Saturday

Tate slept until 10:45 Saturday morning! Of course, I was wide awake at 8:15 (which is sleeping in for me!). I wish I could have taken advantage of his sleepy morning and gotten a few extra ZZZZ's myself! And what did I do during that 2 1/2 hours that I could have been productive while he was sleeping? I sat on the couch, checked email, chatted with Sean, talked on the phone...pretty much did anything that wasn't productive. Oh well, it was SO NICE to be able to just relax in peace and quiet! AND, I did end up having a super productive day! Sunday is "Cookie Baking Extravaganza" and some little tasks to complete around the house and I am also going to squeeze in a last minute "client" who needs her hair done before Christmas! :) It will be a busy day...I should go to bed! With my luck, Tate will be up at 5:00am! Good night!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Busy Week

I haven't made my 3rd batch of cookies yet. I will be making batches 3, 4, 5 and maybe 6 this weekend. This week hasn't gone as I planned. Not that it's gone badly...it hasn't. It's just been BUSY! So this weekend will be even MORE busy! I will be a baking machine! :) Also, I plan to finish all of my Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts and also fit in some laundry and cleaning.

I work 2 1/2 days the next 2 weeks and I WELCOME the break! The holidays are always fun, but I always am exhausted when I go back to work because though I have several days off, they are always spent doing something...no rest and relaxation. Not this year! I am making a point to relax a bit and not have every moment full.

I love family time and I am so looking forward to seeing all of my amazing nieces and nephews! I will get to see Bode for the first time in 5 months! Before this, I had hardly gone a week or 2 without seeing Bode in his whole life! It will be so nice to see Chris and Brenda too. We are used to spending nearly every weekend with them and miss that so much!

Tate and I had an evening alone tonight. Sean is up in Ames watching the Ames Highschool basketball game with a friend. He needed a night away so I'm happy he got to go up and do that. I had big plans for a special Mommy/Son night and Tate was so excited. We played and talked and sang and added some more ornaments to the Christmas tree and listened to Christmas music and then he wanted to eat popcorn and watch a movie so I popped some popcorn and turned on The Incredibles. It wasn't a 1/2 hour into the movie and I looked at Tate and he was sound asleep around 7:15! He must have been TIRED! So I carried him to bed and picked up his toys in the living room and am now able to relax alone until Sean gets home. It's pretty nice! :)

I will post pictures of the rest of my batches of cookies when they're done. Thank goodness it's Friday in a few hours!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Cookie Week - 2nd Batch

Chocolate Snowballs

I was so proud of this batch of cookies as well and then I totally forgot to take a picture before I packed them up and put them in the freezer! Oops.

So you get the picture from the website.
They are again, DEEELICIOUS!
I am so excited that I've had such good luck with these cookies this year!

This is what you do...

I used a Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix.
With the mixed dough done per the directions on the package, add 1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa, 1 tsp almond extract. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds, but I didn't add those.
Wrap the dough around Hershey Kisses and bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 9 minutes at 375. Let cool for 5 minutes and then roll in powdered sugar and place on wax paper. Let cool for 15 more minutes and roll in powdered sugar again.

Easy.
Delicious.
Batch #2 down...2 (or more) to go!

a surprise from Grandma and Grandpa

Though Tate appears less than enthused here, he was actually SO ecstatic to get a gift in the mail from Grandpa and Grandma Shingledecker! Remember, he refuses to be prompted to smile, so even though he may be SO HAPPY, he will intentionally wipe the smile off of his face for pictures.

Anyway, he got the most amazing Handy Manny ornament!
It is so intricate and he was SO EXCITED!
He couldn't get it out of the box fast enough and was thrilled to choose the perfect spot for the ornament.
It's actually 2 ornaments...Manny and one with his tools, the tool box is so tiny and all the tools are in it and it is so detailed.
Grandpa and Grandma somehow manage to find all of the cool Handy Manny stuff!

Here Tate is pointing at the special spot he chose to hang the tools...

He also got some M&M's and a really fun talking card. He had that card in hand ALL NIGHT LONG! It was almost his favorite part of the package!

Thank you Grandpa and Grandma for such a fun surprise!
Tate was so happy, I wish you could have seen how excited he was about everything!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Cookie Week - 1st Batch

I have decided that I am going to spend this week making several different Christmas cookies.
I'm trying a couple of new recipes.
I plan to freeze them so I have several to bring to our Christmas gatherings.
Today's cookies were a new recipe.
Batch 1 are Coconut-Butterscotch-Fudge Cookies
Or as Sean calls them "Super Addictive Bites of Deliciousness"
And I would have to agree...they are amazing!

So here's what you do:

Mix up your favorite sugar cookie dough.
Roll 1 inch balls of cookie dough in coconut.
Place on cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
While still warm, drizzle with butterscotch topping.
Spread hot fudge on top.
Easy and SUPER GOOD!


I don't even like butterscotch and I love these!
They could be great with caramel instead of the butterscotch topping.
Sean loves butterscotch, so that's why I used it.

Please, NOOOOO!!!!

Don't let tomorrow be Monday! I NEED 1 more day...I'm not ready for Monday. This weekend flew by faster than any weekend has for months!

It was a good and productive weekend though. I made cookies, chili, chicken enchiladas, did 4 peoples' hair, got my groceries bought, bought a few Christmas gifts and still found time to soak up some family time and play in the snow. Tonight we went to Tammie and Derek's house (Sean's cousin and her husband...who are also our friends!) so that the kids could play and the adults could chat and hang out and have dinner. Tate and Sophie played HARD! As soon as Tate walked in the door and spotted Sophie, he ran up to her and they hugged. It was the cutest thing ever! They have so much fun together and miss seeing each other every day at daycare. They played and played and played. The first half hour or so, they played in the snow, the rest of the time they played inside. They ran all over the place screaming and giggling. Tate had a complete melt down when we told him we had to go.

It was a good, but FAST weekend!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

fun in the snow

The Peakin Family...

We had SO MUCH FUN in the snow tonight! It was so nice out! 35 degrees and the snow was perfect snowball/snowman making snow. :)

Sean had about as much, if not more fun than Tate did. He was pretty proud of his snow angel...

Next, Tate decided to try and make a snow angel...

He truly LOVED the snow and as you can see, he was amazed!



And then we told him that it was time to go inside.
He was NOT HAPPY...

And I know, his coat is WAY too small, his sleeves are about 4 inches too short. He is getting a new coat. It is to arrive in a week or so. Until then, we will have to survive with this one. Good thing it was so toasty outside! :)

Resemblence

Colt McCoy was a nominee for the Heisman Trophy. He was on TV and Tate was standing on his chairs next to the TV. I got a side by side shot. Colt McCoy is kind of hard to see on the TV, but I think that the definitely do resemble one another like many of my family thinks. I see it more here.

He builds guns...

We don't let Tate play with toy guns.
He doesn't have any.
So he builds them.
It's actually kind of impressive.
And scary.
How does he know how to build guns?!?!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Find My Family

Have you seen the show? Well I can barely see it through tears because I am such a blubbering mess when I watch it. I have so many thoughts and feelings, but one main thing I think of is that I am SO happy that we have an open adoption. Truly, these people who are looking for their birth families on this show many times know NOTHING about where they came from. We have had so many questions since we started the adoption process...so many people wonder why we chose an open adoption. Watch Find My Family...you'll know why.

It does scare me though. Tonight's episode said that all adopted children have a "primal wound". Is that true? I pray that Tate does not feel that way. I know he feels the intense love his birth father and birth grandparents have for him and we never forget to tell him how much his birth mother loves him and we pray that someday he will get to see that love first hand. The last thing a parent wants is for their children to feel incomplete, unloved or sad. Without his birth family in his life, it would have been inevitable that Tate would have felt at least one of those feelings at some point.

And that leads me to think about our next adoption and how we are likely going to adopt internationally. This will be a whole new and different journey than what we've had with Tate. I will admit...when we originally decided to adopt, we had no idea how it would break our hearts. It was about us. We wanted a child, we thought it would be completely wonderful and joyous and didn't ever consider the heartbreak we would feel. Heartbreak for Tate's birth family, heartbreak for Tate, the fear of us not being "enough" and us not being able to express to him how much his birth family loves him, the fear of him feeling incomplete or unloved some day. We were blessed to not have to use only our words to tell him how much his birth family loves him, they have been an active part of his life and he can see it himself. And it is such a huge blessing to us and to him that they are in his life. We have hope that more of his birth family will be a part of his life someday too. Still, I do wonder at times if he will feel incomplete or unloved ever in his life. I pray he never does. And our next child? We may take he or she from it's home, it's country, it's culture. That will be a whole new heartbreak.

I guess I just needed to ramble about it. It's been over 3 years since we adopted Tate. It's something that has made me change my thinking in so many more ways than I ever expected...it made us different people. I never realized that after having such an amazing experience with our adoption that I may fear adopting again because I don't want our next child to feel less loved than Tate because maybe it's birth parents won't or can't be in its life. I love that God chose us to be adoptive parents. I look forward to what the blessing of adoption will teach us the next time we take the journey.

Tate has discovered snow!

Though Tate doesn't seem thrilled in this picture, he is!
He discovered his love for snow tonight!
Is it bad that this his first time playing in the snow?
Well it definitely won't be his last!
He loved it!

He loved throwing snowballs!

And when we said it was time to go inside, he had a meltdown.
In this picture he's saying, "I don't want to go inside, I want to throw snowballs!!!"

We bought him snow boots tonight.
They will definitely come in handy!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Cozy at home...

And this is out our front door this morning.
There's probably about 18 inches to 2 feet of snow all the way up to our front door.
And in all honestly, I loved every second of this storm!
It was beautiful outside, everything was shut down, the roads were empty...it was a winter wonderland!
And inside we were all snuggled up in our pj's and slippers all day.
We snuggled on the couch with blankets and watched a movie, we napped, we ate a yummy hot meal.
Loved it!
There is NO WHERE else I would have rather been today!

Just look how happy he was today!

He LOVED looking out the window at all of the snow.
It was so amazing to him!


It's back to work tomorrow. :(

The first foot of snow...

Here is Sean shoveling last night for the 2nd time.

Tate loved watching him out the window in his room.
He wanted to go out and help him so bad!

It's a Christmas MIRACLE!!!

Wells Fargo is CLOSED today!!!
Thank goodness because we are snowed in!
Also thank goodness because Tate decided to wake up for the day at 3am!!!
Why?
Because he thought he saw a bug in his room.
And We tried for 2 hours to get him back to sleep.
He wasn't having it...not at all.
We brought him to bed with us, layed in bed with him, let him cry...everything!
He wouldn't go to sleep.
He is going back to bed shortly because he is WHINY!
Yay for a snow day!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

This is pretty crazy.

I just saw on the news that Des Moines is going to get more than the record amount of snow Des Moines has ever gotten in a 24 hour period.
The record was set in 1888 when we got a total of 17 inches.
Crazy.
And if my work doesn't close tomorrow...that would be crazy too.
It's BAD now and it's only supposed to get worse.
A blizzard warning until 6pm tomorrow night.
They have predicted 8 to 16 FOOT snow drifts!
We've already gotten well over a foot of snow and it is coming down like crazy still...collecting at 2 inches per hour!
The city of Des Moines is already closed tomorrow.
All but Wells Fargo apparently.
I still have hope that I won't have to attempt to make the trek in tomorrow.
Wells Fargo has a reputation of never closing...even if every other business is closed.
It will be a small miracle if we close.
Sean shoveled the first 10 or 12 inches of snow a few hours ago and you can't tell that he even shoveled.
He's out at it again.
He's a shoveling fool!
I'm going to bed now and praying for an unexpected day off of work tomorrow!

I don't know if I agree...

Apparently many of my family members believe that Tate looks just like Colt McCoy.
I don't know if I agree, but I will say that they do have the same nose.
I think we'll just have to see when Tate gets older.I couldn't find a good picture to compare Tate with Colt, but this one does show their similar noses.
Colt is an attractive boy, so I'm okay with this comparison.
Hopefully Tate can get his football skills too! :)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Another productive weekend...

I haven't been to work in about 11 days...that is if you don't count my work trip to NYC. I mean, I haven't been into the office in 11 days. Is it bad that I still don't want to go in tomorrow? Ha. It's like the more time I have off, the more I want off. I'll survive. I'm sure I'll return to about 8000 voicemails and emails that will keep me busy for the week or more!

It doesn't help that it's snowing and is supposed to continue to do so until 2-4 inches have collected on the ground. Ugh. It is actually pretty out right now. You know, the snow is white and fluffy, there's no slush or dirt mixed in with it. The "pretty" snow doesn't last long though.

I did manage to get about 5 loads of laundry done this weekend and have deep cleaned my stove and kitchen floor. Made double chocolate muffins with Tate today and put a bunch of clothes in a bag for Goodwill. I also got a nap in today which was wonderful. :)

I am still planning on mopping the floor tonight and take a shower (you know, since I haven't gotten one today yet!) as well. Hopefully this week flies by. We have a free weekend ahead of us where I can hopefully get some more things done. I still keep thinking that we have something planned this weekend, but can't put my finger on what it might be. It's just hard to believe that I even have a single free weekend in December! That never happens! I'll take it though. :)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Letter Association

video



Tate can associate all of his letters with at least 1 or 2 words.
It is kind of amazing to us. We don't know where he learned many of these.
Occasionally (you'll see with the letter "Q" in the video) he will forget what word goes with which letters. And then sometimes he'll surprise us and pull out a word that we didn't even know he knew started with a certain letter!
Notice when he does the letter "R" that he points at the blocks in front of him on the floor. He had "built" a letter "R" with his blocks before I started taping this video.
I love it when he surprises us with things that we didn't know he knew how to do.
He really is so smart!
If only he could figure out using the potty!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Tate was Daddy's helper this year for setting up the Christmas tree...

He kept saying, "It's beautiful!"

He liked playing with all of the decorations. Here he is sporting the Santa hat. He wore it for about 5 seconds and he'd had enough of that...

He was so proud and wanted a high five every time he put an ornament on the tree...

Notice the bottom of the tree. Tate liked to put his ornaments all in the same area. He kept saying, "ummmm, I think I'll put it right here."

It was such a nice evening. We listened to Christmas music and made our house festive. I am officially in the Christmas spirit!!!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I'm home

I have tons of great memories from New York City!
I really didn't go crazy with taking pictures like I normally do, but here are a few.

Jenny and I in Times Square just outside of our hotel...


Central Park...

Jenny and I in Central Park...
Statue of Liberty...

We ended our trip with thousands and thousands of others in Rockefeller Center to see the tree...

It was such an unbelievable experience and I couldn't think of a better way to end a fantastic week!

It was such an amazing trip and I got to do/see so much!
I rode the subway, saw Central Park, saw the Empire State Building, saw the Statue of Liberty, spent tons of time in Times Square (our hotel was in Times Square), went to Rockefeller Center to see the tree, and more!
In the past couple of trips I've been on to New York City I didn't get to do any of those things!
We also had amazing meals and just had a great time exploring the city!

I am SO HAPPY to be home with my boys though. I missed them terribly and though being in NYC was completely incredible, nothing topped the moment when I came down the escalator and Tate ran towards me saying, "you're hear! you're hear! I love you mommy!" He ran into my arms, gave me a huge hug and kiss and was giddy! He said, "I missed you Mommy! I love you!" That was the absolute best part of the week by far!

I am so excited to spend a long weekend soaking up some family time!