Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A New (Car) Addition to the Family

We've been in need of a new car for some time now.  Our newest car was 10 years old, and our usual family car had become unreliable and, therefore, very expensive!  It was time to trade it in for something much newer.  We, also, have wanted to get a new, larger 4-wheel drive vehicle.  We have loved Jason's Jeep Wrangler, and it is still really reliable (at 15 years old!).  But it is small and very difficult to get Sims in the back and in his seat.  It, also, has almost zero storage space inside.

So after looking around, doing research (Jason, not me), and lots of talking about it, we finally made a decision.  And we were so incredibly lucky to find a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Sahara with only 6000 miles on it at a price that we wanted to pay!  When I say we were lucky, I mean it!  The price of the car had been lowered the day we found it.  As Jason was test driving it, another couple, who had already seen it the weekend before, came to buy it.  If Jason had gotten there 15 minutes later, we would still be looking for a car!

So here it is:

It has everything Jason was looking for and then some.  This baby has navigation and satellite radio!  These were not things we were planning to have.  We were actually looking at the lower models because, well, this is a Wrangler!  It's not supposed to be overly fancy.  But, in the end, we are super excited to have a much larger (4 doors with tons more storage space inside), much upgraded Wrangler.  Plus, I can drive this one, too!  (The older Jeep is a manual, and I don't have those skills.)

In celebration, we booked a summer trip to Ocracoke.  And I plan on seeing some snow before this winter is over, so we may be going on a mountain trip soon, too.  These trips will be even better with our new Jeep!

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Year's Goals - 2013

I have seriously debated whether to even write about my goals for this year.  You see, I didn't do so well on last year's goals.  It's kind of embarrassing.  I accomplished the first part of my first goal, and part of my 7th goal.  Let's just forget about the ones in between.

So my goal this year is going to be much simpler: Be more creative.  There it is.  No specifics.  Just an intent to do more creative things and surround myself with more creativity.  This is actually a family goal and not just a personal one.

Considering that we now have Photoshop at home and a writing tablet to go with it, I think we have started the year right.  Not to mention our trip to the art museum yesterday.  This may actually be a goal I can accomplish.  There are 11 and a half more (long) months to go though...

As an aside note, it was so funny to hear what Sims said about the art we saw.  "What is this?  Art?," which is what he said about a piece of modern art.  "He has no clothes, and he has no clothes," he said when walking past a group of statues.  He pointed at each one as he said this very matter-of-factly.  "No clothes.  No clothes.  No clothes."  I think he got a lot out of the trip.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christmas Celebration

Here it is: the final Christmas post!  I've likely been dragging this out because I really love the Christmas season and I hate to see it end.  We didn't take down our Christmas decorations until Epiphany (which is appropriate, since that is the last day of the Christmas season), and we still have a few Christmas things lingering around our house, like the gingerbread house we made and Sims' art work.  I guess those will have to come down this weekend. 

I should have taken some pictures of the decorations in Sims' room.  I have always put a small tree in his room, but this year he went all out.  Mom was purging some of her old Christmas stuff, and Sims wanted a huge amount of it!  His room has filled with Santas.  There was a chef Santa, fishing Santa, golfing Santa, NC State Santa...  He was so sad to put them away, but he got to put some model airplanes in their place, which made him very happy!  (Thanks, Smith, for the airplanes!)

Well, on to our Christmas celebration.  Our celebration always starts on Christmas Eve.  Mom, Smith and Isla came over to help us decorate dozens and dozens of sugar cookies.  Both of the kiddos did a great job decorating without a lot of help.  Once they had the icing on the cookie, they spent a fair amount of time and creativity on each one.

Cookie decorating is a newish tradition for us.  We've only been doing it for a few years, and it is something that we all look forward to doing.  We made so many cookies though!  I think we may still have a couple left!

I, also, have to mention that this was our first Christmas with our new kitchen, and I just kept gushing about how much I love the kitchen.  And this was after days of baking and baking and more baking.

After our Christmas Eve dinner of shrimp and grits (perhaps the beginning of another tradition?), we headed out to church.  Once home, Sims chose some cookies to leave out for Santa, and we all got to bed early.

Surprisingly, Sims slept in on Christmas morning.  The first thing that he said when he woke up was "Did Santa come?"  He has so excited to see that Santa had visited our house, and he got exactly what he had asked Santa to bring him: a 3-wheeled scooter, a helmet and a trumpet.

Playing his trumpet while balancing on his new balance board that Jason and I gave him.  That takes some skill!
Showing off his chef's hat and apron

After a lazy morning opening and enjoying our gifts, we headed over to Mom and Smith's house.  Sims spent the afternoon mastering his scooter skills.

It didn't take him long to get the hang of turning and using the brake. 

Once Isla got there, the two of them had a grand 'ole time.

Those two love each other so much.  It is such a wonderful thing to see.

This was a special Christmas Day celebration because Neely's parents got to join us.  They are lots of fun, and we loved having them with us.  I hope they can join us every year.

The day after Christmas we left for Charlotte to visit with Jason's family.  We spent the rest of the week there, where I didn't take a single picture.  It's all or nothing when it comes to me taking pictures, I guess.  We spent our visit hanging out, eating, shopping, looking at art at the Mint Museum, and having a girls' night.  The girls' night consisted of dinner and a cute play called the Winter Wonderettes.  Girls' nights are always fun!

We came back home exhausted but happy.  We had a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Christmas Pageant

I know that the Christmas season is over, but before I can move on, I have a couple more posts.  I just had to share that Sims was in our church's Christmas Pageant again this year.  This was his second year, and this time he chose to be a cow.

Sims is the cow in the very front.
He did a great job, even with a large audience.  We were all really proud of him!

I'll be back soon with my last Christmas post, then I will be on to the New Year.  I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas!