February *sigh*

Monday, February 27, 2017
Note to self: February is kind of boring.  I literally only have pictures of home décor changes on my phone from this month...meaning nothing overly exciting has occurred.  Of course, there have been two unbelievable things: we had a string of almost 60 degree days in February and I turned 40.  Unimaginable, right?

Actually, I had a great time ringing in the new decade.  It included some nice surprises like a visit from my BFF and a trip up to Jamie and Steve's -- Rich and I had a fancy dinner out and we all spent the night at their house!  Feeling very full and complete with this birthday!
Such a fun way to celebrate!  Can't thank her enough!

Jacob learning all things Snapchat from Paige

A little crafting

We brought Milo with us to the Fox's, but that's not him.  That "dog" strangely resembles Jacob.

Movie Time!

Next, the weather.  Oh, how everyone marveled at the reprieve we had from winter.  Bikes were brought out, all sports balls, and the motorcycle.  There were dirty bare feet and sweaty ball caps.  It was awesome.  Even today is a mild 50 degrees.  But with this cold I have and 30s in the forecast, I'm well aware winter is still upon us.  But here are some pictures of us living it up while we could!
Cole and Jacob enjoying a swing!

Jacob in charge of Milo (Bubba) at the park

Cole getting some early test runs in on his new bike received for Christmas.  He'll be getting places much faster this summer!

We are keenly aware that we are in the 1-month countdown until spring break.  We are more than ready!

January Re-Cap

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
It has been a quiet start to 2017...just the way I like it.  This gives me time to catch up on those annoying "to-do's" and allows us to take stock.  Lately, taking stock has just functioned as a vivid reminder of how fast time is flying.  For example, last week Paige and I went to a freshmen orientation night at the high school.  We requested classes for her freshmen year yesterday.
this is happening
Of course, another reminder is the new, more mature smile Paige has now that her braces of 2 years are off.  (Had a picture, but lost it in cyber space.  See Tech grade below)

Then, seeing her band perform in an impressive concert in Peoria last week was yet another reminder of time flying...

Thankfully, we had a little step back in time and went to the Paramount to watch an amazing presentation of The Little Mermaid!  It was a great girls' day.

And mid-January, the kids received their report cards which were fantastic.  So, I thought maybe it was time for a Kelly Family progress report.  Here we go!

Weather = D:With the most cloudy January since the late 80s, it hasn't been the most uplifting.  Doesn't receive a full 'F' because we have avoided doing too much snow removal.

Technology = F: After being hacked, cell phone bills being wrong, connections that should be happening not happening, etc.  I'm really hoping for a smoother tech-February.

Leisure Time = A: We have spring break planned and bought a new curved TV (reworking our entertainment center) and are enjoying new games from the holidays.

Kids = A-: (tough time to measure as Cole is currently throwing a fit because for the first time math isn't coming easily)  I have said this before and will say it again, we are in a sweet spot for the kids' ages.  Here are the additional comments for this grade...

We aren't that heavy into college-prep talk with Paige nor do we have to worry about her being behind the wheel.  Sure, sometimes she pushes the social calendar envelope a bit and dabbles in fake nails and wants piercings, but overall, she is super enjoyable to be around and sports a positive attitude almost everyday.

Will is in a super easy phase right now.  (See that?  I've been a parent long enough to know phases happen, and what has become mainstay now may change.  Like, tomorrow).  He has become more aware of self presentation, is SUPER verbal with his thankfulness for all things I do.  Yesterday, he straightened and semi-cleaned their bathroom UNSOLICITED!  He remains a home body.  He just truly enjoys being the master of his own schedule. 

Lastly, Cole is still our sporty ball of talking energy.  Thankfully, this is tempered by his extreme love of our reading / snuggle time before bed.  I cherish this.  Of course, maturity has given him a sense of know-it-all-ness and entitlement that we work daily to curtail. But his little love-notes to me on my bedside table and thoughtfulness to his brother and sister reveals his true heart.

Bring on February!

Ringing in the New Year

Wednesday, January 11, 2017
This year we kept with the same New Year's Eve plan of a family party involving a friendly challenge.  This is one of my favorite holidays - no real pressure of a certain specific tradition, no real formal meal expectation, just gathering and fun!

Sarah and Paige



Cottonball Clean up (across counter into cup - harder than it looks)

Ball drop tradition

Skill at work

Group shot! (Minus my dad who went home sick - a theme during the holidays)

Happy 2017 From Us!

So 2017 has great potential!  We have a spring break trip in Hawaii to look forward to, more camping, a couple weddings. This year we also have the start of High School for Paige and the last year with any kid's age in the single digits.  When I look at the pictures that scroll across my computer screen of the kids only waist-high to us doing things I can remember like yesterday, I feel like time is going by so quickly.  But then when I think about all they can do now, have done, and have the potential to do, it's just exciting.  And I say if you can say you're excited as another year passes,  you're living a good pretty good life!


It was a great holiday season with plenty of family time and gatherings! 

First, a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' garage café again!

Great Grandma serenading with her harmonica

Post-meal snuggles

Then came Christmas!

Christmas parties with games

Christmas decorating

Christmas baking

Christmas morning surprises

Phone for the tweener

Big bike!  His first very-own bike.  Perfect for keeping up!

Family Christmas

Christmas surprise FACES

Then came Christmas with the Kelly side - a fun gathering the day after Christmas...