Since we are quickly approaching the end of 2017, it is time to reflect on all those amazing memories. Of course there are those obvious memories that will be moments that no matter what happens you carry them with you always. For me in 2017 those moments are our daughter graduating high school, the adoption of our son and daughter and buying our new house, which we haven’t finalized on yet, but I still know it is going to be amazing (so that counts, right!?!)
Then there are those memories that are moments you cherish because of the people you created them with. In 2017 I have been lucky enough to have been surrounded by so many amazing people, and have created so many amazing memories, it is almost impossible to narrow it down to favorites.
I have done my best to live 2017 to the fullest, however as the end of the approaches it is a time to reflect and ask yourself, Did you do everything you wanted to? Did you say everything you wanted to? What will you do differently in the year to come?
You have to love those runs that are around just for fun. The ones that you ignore the time and just enjoy your surroundings and the people you are with. The Spirit of Giving is one of those runs. So we decided to make it the first 5k Run for our 4 and 5year olds.
Of course when you run with kids you have to make it fun…..Which means turning the Stroller into a sleigh dressing the kids all in fun costumes and of course if we dress up the kids, we need to play along too (I love what a good sport my husband is).
While we enjoy running competitive races where we can try to beat our own times, we also love that the kids have picked up our love of running and enjoy spending this time with us.
There is nothing like crossing that finishline for the first time. So proud of these kids.. Always making memories!!
Who doesn’t want to get up at 3am for an all day cheer competition? Sounds fun, right?! Seriously I wouldn’t have missed it.
My husband and I are big on having kids involved in sports and/or clubs. We believe the involvement helps shape them into functional adults. We have enjoyed our sideline seats for everyone of our children.
Today we got up at 3am to watch our daughter and her squad perform at the Jamz Slam City competition. Hundreds of squads who all put in countless hours practicing in hopes to secure themselves a spot at Nationals in Las Vegas. Being that our girls won first place at their last competition their spot in Nationals has already been secured, but why not compete anyways!?
With us selling our home and buying a new one things are a bit chaotic as you can probably imagine with 5 little kids. In the midst of us packing stuff up to move to storage we have contractors in and out getting our house ready for market. Things have been so busy that I didn’t even notice the sign on my front yard until this morning when I was looking out my favorite window as I do every morning .
Then it hit me Nostalgia. A sense of sadness realizing that this is the home our youngest daughter graduated high school in. The house we brought our kids home to and we became a family in. Although there have been so many times I have complained about feeling like sardines, we have made a lot of memories to take with us.
For our little children this house has been so much more than just memories. For some of them it has been their first stable place to call home. The first time they had running water, electricity, weren’t couch surfing or jumping from motel to motel. This is the first place they realized they were safe.
While we have told them we are moving. We have even made them a part of the process showed them the new house and their new rooms. Let them help us pack the boxes and truck we are preparing for storage.
We know they still don’t quite understand and it is going to be a huge adjustment for them. While I know this move of selling our home and buying a bigger place is good for us I still can’t help feeling that for our children it’s going to give them reason to feel unstable yet again in their short lives.
When we moved into our current home our son had left for the Army and our oldest daughter had moved out so it was just my husband, our youngest daughter and I. The house seemed perfect size. However now through foster care and adoption our house seems to have shrunk. Who knew 5 little kids would take up so much space?!? How have they accumulated so much stuff!!!
So now we house hunt. If you ever want to test your patience house hunt with 5 little kids. Super fun (sarcasm). We found out empty houses are perfect for echo noises, light switches are entertaining, but so is opening every cabinet we walk by, and nothing like going potty in every single toilet. Total blast let me tell you, but nothing was broken and we found a house so..SUCCESS!!!
Christmas as a kid is all about the presents they receive, who am I kidding adults like their gifts too. There is something to be said about someone giving you something wrapped in festive holiday wrapping with a pretty bow. Sometimes it’s not even about what is actually in the package you receive, but more about that feeling you get knowing someone thought about you enough to buy you something.
Throughout the year my husband and I like to do random acts of kindness for complete strangers. We find the gesture doesn’t have to be big to make a difference in someone’s life, it really could be anything from paying for the groceries for the person behind us in line to helping someone load something heavy in their car. We do these things because they really don’t take a lot of effort on our part, but can make someone else smile.
The act of giving to others is a value we like to instill in our children, even our young ones. During the holidays we have each one of them pick out a toy (they almost always pick out something they want themselves) and donate it to the Toys for Tots. At first getting them to understand they weren’t keeping the toy was tough, However the kids seem to find some joy in being able to put the toy they chose into the barrels.
When you run with little kids you have to adjust things to make it fun for them so they maintain their interest. Some of the things I have learned during my runs with our kids is:
1. Competition doesn’t exist. They just want to have fun.
2. Listen to them when they say they need a walk break. They aren’t in it for a PR and when you run with them neither are you.
3. Watch their steps because they don’t. Don’t forget to bring Band-aids!!!
4. Be creative, dress up. Costumes are fun!!!
5. Enjoy the scenery. Every flower, tree, cat, dog, etc. Don’t worry you won’t miss a thing!
6. Their word per day quota doesn’t pause during a run.
7. Incentives at the end of the run are a MUST!!! (I still enjoy them myself 🏅🎖). The kids incentives are pretty easy, after a morning run they just want some CoCo Pebbles (who wouldn’t ?!)
While I do enjoy running with the kids, some days are definitely easier to just lace up and run solo. Kids aren’t worried about a clock, chip time or placement medal. They are only interested in being free, having fun and enjoying our time together. So you just have to do it, go out and make memories with them.
I am extremely creative. I love doing crafts with the kids especially holiday crafts, however (as you can imagine) thinking of crafty things to do and actually doing them are two totally different things. With our kids ages I always have think of things they are capable of doing without a lot of time or effort otherwise there will be frustration (them and me).
The craft we chose to do with the kids today was perfect. It’s an oldie, but easy, quick and fun for them. The Candy Cane Reindeers will be added to our Christmas tree decor once all the eyes and noses dry. Of course sometimes you have to do something fun just for you 😉😁
When I first started running (which technically started as a walk) it was a struggle, but I was doing it with no real plans other than as a way to bring activity back to my life. Then a friend suggested I run a half marathon with her. Yeah I so did not know what I was getting into. It felt like it lasted forever, it hurt, I was ready to just lay down and quit halfway through. Who knew 13.1 miles was so far!!!!
Then we hit the finishline, people were cheering, they handed me a medal and I was hooked. Couldn’t wait for my next race.
My love for the sport started as I crossed that finishline. There is something about feeling so accomplished and learning how strong you really are. Many times I have doubted myself and my abilities, but I keep getting back up and pushing. The things my body can do are amazing.
Today as I run around the city I grew up in I feel that sense of accomplishment. I got up and ran a 5k before I even started my day. BAM… just like that I am already winning today.