Monday, January 26, 2015

2014 Recap

Last January I decided to start a fun family tradition which I happened to come across on Pinterest.  I bought an extra large mason jar and every time something good happened in our family, I wrote it on a piece of paper, folded it up and put it in the jar.  The plan was to open the jar on New Year's Eve and read all the notes as a remembrance of the year we were saying good bye to.  Since Kolt was on a deployment over New Year's, we opened our jar a little late, but it was still fun none the less.  While at the dinner table one evening, Brinleigh pulled the notes out one at a time and Kolt read them.  I can't wait until Brinleigh is old enough to understand and participate a little more.  Or add her own random happy notes.

So, I figured I would share our families happy moments of 2014 for all of you...
~ Kolt received orders to Clearwater, Fl which was our #1 pick of duty stations! (January 2014)
~Kolt made flight mech!  One of his top goals when he joined the Coast Guard.  (February 2014)
~ Brinleigh got sick for the first time and passed it to Mommy and Daddy.  The whole house was miserable for about three weeks.  **Not necessarily a happy moment, but memorable none the less. (April 2014)
~ Lexi found an interest in working out and fell in love with Les Mills classes at re:fresh fitness studio.  It helped to get me motivated to get healthy and in shape.  I also started running.  (May 2014)
~ Started to accomplish monthly goals: Reading to Brinleigh every night before she went to bed, brushing Brinleigh's teeth twice a day, waking up earlier and getting on a routine daily schedule.  Eating meals at the same time every day and sitting down together at the dinner table.
~Lexi found a new hobby with crafting, especially for holidays.  I also started to enjoy entertaining at our house and having people over for BBQ's, holidays and parties.
~We found out that Rayne and Kenny are pregnant!!! (July 2, 2014)
~ Took our first family road trip, with stops to see family and friends, while moving across the country from Alaska to Florida. On this trip we visited Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon for the first time. (Aug 2014)
~ Lexi got a job at Target.  Yaaayyyyy for an employee discount!!! (November 2014)
~Kolt took the November service wide and was the #3 test!!!!!  (November 2014)
~ We moved into a beautiful house, that we absolutely love! (December 2014)  

Surely, there were many more happy moments over the year but these were the ones on paper in our jar.

And now... on to 2015.  Our jar is already filling up quickly so we have a good feeling that this is going to be a great year for our family.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Happy New Year

 Better late than never, right?
Well, we survived Kolt's first two week deployment. He left the day after Christmas for an Island in the Southern Bahamas.  His schedule down there was duty, work, off & on the days he did work they were usually only half days. So he spent his time off spear fishing with some of the guys he was deployed with.  He used some Christmas money to buy some new spear fishing stuff before he left and his plan was to eat a lot of fish while he was down there. They have to bring all of their own food so he thought this might cut down on cost and the amount of food he had to buy and pack. He speared a few lobsters and some mutten snapper, tiger grouper, and trigger fish. Any time he wasn't working or swimming in the ocean was spent in his "hooch" watching movies because the Mosquito's were so bad that it was absolutely miserable going outside.  They all ran out of bug spray within the first week and Kolt said the island itself was really ugly and run down.  He didn't have any cell phone service but they have wifi so he could only text (iMessage) people with iPhones and he could only call me through Skype calling. A couple days before he came home he ended up getting sick and found out he had Ciguatera fish poisoning.  So now he is on light duty at work and can't fly at all and is supposed to be deploying to another island in the Bahamas at the end of the month.  

Brinleigh and I stayed busy and the time flew by for us.  When Kolt left there wasn't anything hung on the walls and none of the rooms were really decorated or fully put together.  So I made it a goal to do at least one thing every single day to start decorating the new house.  It is slowly coming along but it's taking me a lot longer because I've decided to really start learning about interior decorating and my style and taste has changed so I'm not so quick to just put things up right now.  I'm kinda working room by room, scouring Pinterest and researching ideas and tips.  
Other than trying to decorate the house, Brinleigh and I didn't do much else outside of our normal routine.  The Ringling Brothers Circus came to Tampa the first week of January so I took Brinleigh to that.  I hadn't been in years and it was a pretty good time.  She seemed entertained during some parts and bored during others.  

 Other exciting news in the Foreman household..... 
The cuts came out today for the November service wide test that Kolt took to promote to second class.  He did excellent on the test, placing #3 on the list of all the AET3's that tested.  So we have been crossing our fingers and hoping and praying that they would promote at least three of the AET3's.  It's never guaranteed that they will promote a certain amount of people if any and each rate is different.  We found out today that they promoted 11 AET's to second class, which means..... KOLT IS PROMOTING!!!!!  This is a huge relief for us for several reasons.  First and foremost, Kolt HAS to promote by a certain date in order to stay in the Coast Guard, so this promotion wasn't only wanted but he needed it to keep his job and he only had a couple more chances since they only test twice a year.  And second, it's a big pay raise, which we really really need right now.  So we were super excited when we got that news today.

Less exciting news...
When I was hired at Target it was for a seasonal team member position and last week they asked me to stay on permanently.  So I don't have to worry about getting let go anymore now that the holidays are over and I have a permanent part time job!  My hours have been cut drastically but that works out perfect for me since I only want to work a couple days a week now anyways.  

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Christmas 2014

Christmas this year was quick and easy and not a big production what so ever.  It was actually kinda sad to be honest.  My work hours increased every week as we got closer to Christmas and I work opposite hours from Kolt so we didn't get a lot of family time over the last month.  Not to mention we moved into a new house the first week of December and in between my responsibilities at home and working at night, I haven't had time to do anything.  I barely got any shopping done and most of it was done online.  We weren't able to get family photos done or send out Christmas cards which I was super sad about, but maybe we can make up for it in the next few months.

We somehow managed to squeeze in a few holiday festivities before Christmas.  We went to a Christmas street fair type event that our town had one night.  They were playing the movie Frozen in a park area, they had carriage rides, food vendors and the stores were open.  Throughout the streets there were little "snow" stations where bubbles fell as if it was snowing.  They also had a boat parade in the bay that Brinleigh seemed fairly entertained by.  The highlight of the night though was when a Dance company with a group of little girls, all dressed up as Minnie Mouse, performed in the street.  Brinleigh absolutely loved it! Kolt put her on his shoulders so she could see and she was loving every minute of it.  At one point Kolt put her down and she started to walk into the group of girls because she wanted to go dance with them.

The following morning we went to down town Tarpon Springs to watch the Christmas parade.  These get more and more fun as Brinleigh gets older.  She loves to people watch and it's so funny watching her excitement over things.  However, I will say that I wasn't really impressed with the parade at all.  It was the equivalent to a Sitka parade just a lot longer.  What happened to making floats for parades?  I feel like it's all about riding in cars now which is nowhere near as exciting.  But it was still fun and the weather was a little cooler making it feel more like Christmas. 

A few days before Christmas we went to the zoo for the "Winter Wonderland" event that they had going on throughout the month.  It was basically all Christmas lights, some of the animals were out, they had little areas set up with Christmas displays that you could walk thru.  Santa was there but we didn't want to wait in line and had already planned to go see him at the mall the following day.  We rode the carousel and Brinleigh sat on her own animal that went up and down and she squealed with excitement the entire time.  

We decided to go see Santa on a weekday hoping that we wouldn't have to wait in such a long line and I think it paid off.  We went the day before Christmas Eve at about 11am and we stood in line for about 30 minutes I would say.  We kinda took turns, Kolt stood in line while I took Brinleigh to the bathroom to change her diaper and then we got in line and Kolt took off to get a coffee and some munchkins from Dunkin Donuts.  Brinleigh had a little doughnut snack and we cleaned her up just in time to visit with Santa.  It was quick and painless and we were surprisingly pleased with how it went.  We had tried for a couple weeks before Christmas to prepare Brinleigh to meet Santa.  We would point him out any time that we saw him, read books and talked about how he brought presents.  I think it worked fairly well and when it was our turn to visit with him she wasn't as hesitant.... at first.  She waved to him and said hi and Kolt took her to sit on his lap while I stood behind the photographer waving and squealing like a crazy lady trying to get her attention and keep her distracted.  As Kolt ran off to come stand next to me Brinleigh started to freak out a little, but once she saw where we were and we got her attention she calmed down and we got a really cute picture.  Complete opposite from last years picture with Santa.  

Christmas Eve day, Kolt had to run some errands to prepare for his deployment since he was leaving the day after Christmas and I went out and did some last minute shopping.  We had a nice relaxing night in with lasagna for dinner, which has become our traditional Christmas Eve dinner.  After Brinleigh went to bed we skyped with some of my family while they exchanged gifts at my Grandparents house, a Christmas Eve Tradition from the time I was a baby.  At the end of the night, Kolt and I each exchanged a gift which has been something we have done with each other ever since we got married.

Christmas Day we slept in a little bit and then opened our stockings first thing after waking up.  Brinleigh got some Minnie Mouse crayons and markers so she colored while Kolt cooked us breakfast.  After we finished eating, we started opening Christmas presents.  We are taking full advantage of these years before Brinleigh starts waking up at the crack of dawn to see what Santa brought by stretching our Christmas days out, especially since we don't have to go anywhere or visit any family.  Just about everything that we bought Brinleigh was Minnie Mouse which I am thankful for now since all of her gifts from our family were Frozen themed.  I think some of her favorite gifts were an Elsa doll from Kolt's Grandma Patti, Minnie Mouse Playdoh, and some little people Disney Princesses that sing their theme songs when she puts them into the Little People castle that she got for Christmas last year.

Later in the afternoon, our friends Kate and Cooper came over for dinner with Kate's mom who was in town visiting.  We had ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, Chinese cole slaw, and marshmallow fruit salad and I made chocolate fudge and some white chocolate covered pretzels and Kate made an assortment of cookies.  We exchanged gifts and stocking with each other, just like we did last year in Sitka.  It was overall a very quiet and relaxing Holiday.  Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

And of course, true to Foreman fashion, I completely spaced taking any pictures of Christmas dinner, to include family pictures.  So late night selfies are gonna have to do for this year.  (Note: 2015 New Years goal~ Take family pictures on Holidays!)