Thursday, February 26, 2015

Finishing Up 2014

It is way past time to finish up with 2014 happenings.  Here is just a quick recap of the end of December.

Christmas in Arkansas
When I was younger, my parents would each take a day off of work while we were at school and do as much Christmas shopping as they could.  They always looked forward to that day of spending time together and getting some things done.  Nick and I have decided to carry on that tradition and it was so fun!  We got to have a whole day date and I loved it.  We had lunch at Chuy's, which was delicious!  Plus, we got a ton of Christmas shopping accomplished.

We made our traditional cinnamon rolls to deliver around the neighborhood and around town.  I think we ended up with around 18-ish pans.  Nick and I stay up way late one night during the Christmas season and get these all rolled, baked and iced into the wee hours of the morning.  :)  It is truly a team effort!


We celebrated Christmas in Arkansas with our little family of four.  Both Nick and I had to work the day after Christmas, so we stayed in town.  We always enjoy going to Christmas eve service at church and for the past two years, Nick and two of the Butler boys sing a song together.  Always so beautifully done.  This year they sang Hallelujah Christmas by Cloverton and it is probably one of my top favorite Christmas songs.  It is a powerful telling of Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection.  We woke up Christmas morning and read Luke 2, opened gifts and ate the traditional monkey bread.  Caleb got to shoot his new bb gun.

Christmas PJs

Our church all decorated for Christmas.  This was at the Christmas Eve service.

Our Christmas lights!!  We have red, white and green.  Reminds me of a gingerbread house.  :)

We each get to open one gift on Christmas Eve.

Christmas eve family movie.

Nick and I got to go on a date for our anniversary, which was December 28th.  6 years of marriage!  We had talked about going to see a movie, but decided we would rather spend the time talking to each other than staring at a screen.  We saw the lights in Fayetteville and used some gift cards for some yummy treats of Starbucks and Cold Stone Creamery!

Christmas in Missouri
Every year, the Braschlers celebrate Christmas all together the weekend around New Year's.  We headed up to Springfield and got to spend time with Nick's family, Mamaw, and we stayed at Nick's aunt and uncle's house which was so much fun!  They were such sweet hosts - left little toys for Caleb on his bed and had amazing meals ready for breakfast for us.  It was fun staying up late to hang out with them too.  We were also had a wonderful treat that Tyler & Robyn and the kids were able to come!  We finally got to meet our niece, Charlotte.  She is a cutie.  Nana and Papa were sure glad to finally have all of their kids and grandkids together.  We had our little family Christmas Saturday morning and then headed to the traditional big Braschler get together of delicious food, singing, and a gift exchange.  It was a great time!
Meeting Charlotte

Nana and her granddaughters

Braschler get together

The boys were so glad to be reunited.  Caleb has missed Jack a lot!

They fell asleep holding hands on the way home.  So sweet.

Goodbye girls
Just before Christmas, Nick decided to sell the chickens.  He put an ad on craigslist and actually got quite a few calls!  I think once he got his cows and the chickens weren't laying because of the cold, he was ready to move on.  But the biggest reason was that the family who let us keep our bottle calves in their barn raise chickens for a living and we didn't want any chance at all of contaminating their flock.


Grad school
Nick finished up his first year of grad school!  One year down and one to go!  I am so proud of all of his hard work and am pleased to say that he finished this first year with a 4.0!

Ok, whew - we got that posted before the end of February.  haha.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

They've come a long weigh

My parents have been working so hard the past six months.  Over the years, they have done a great job at losing weight during periods of their lives.  They would have an event coming up (like a wedding or a cruise or something) and set their minds to losing weight and go all out, losing a bunch of weight and exercising, but starving themselves in the process and once the event happened, it was easy to go right back to the habits they had before they tried to lose the weight.  This has been the process for a long time and they will be the first to tell you that.

Last year, they saw a family friend who was working with a consultant/trainer, post updates on facebook about a twelve week journey to a healthy lifestyle.  They decided to contact Kira, from Rock Your Life Fitness (who has lost 85 lbs in her journey) about helping them make a lifestyle change.  Kira met with them and helped them map out goals, workout plans that are a good fit for them (they didn't want to join a gym, so they've done all of this outside at the park or at their house), meal plans, and gain a better understanding of making better choices when it comes to eating (including not starving themselves), while still making sure to exercise several times a week.  The eating part of the plan consists of eating several times a day rather than starving themselves, but watching what they eat and how much they eat.  They still get some splurges which is helpful to satisfy their cravings.  At the end of that twelve week period, they had seen significant results and decided to commit to another twelve week period.  Here are their results from the 24 weeks working with Kira: they have lost a combined total of 118 pounds!!!  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Amazing, right??!!  They got to buy all new clothes in smaller sizes and are discovering some clothes in the back of their closets and drawers that haven't been worn in awhile.  I am so proud of them and their hard work!!!  They are doing another 12 weeks with Kira to help keep them accountable.  There are some other couples that have signed up also because of Mom and Dad's success.  They have done an awesome job and have inspired so many people!!  Way to go Mom and Dad!!  Keep up the good work!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Caitlyn Belle 9 months

Our sweet girl is already nine months old!  Here are some 9 month stats:
29 3/4 inches long (97th percentile)
18 lbs 15 oz (70th percentile)
Big girl!  She has poked a hole through the toes of a nine month sleeper! 

Caitlyn is crawling everywhere.  She crawls army-style, using only her left arm and right leg.  She has a rug burn/scab on her left elbow.  She loves to clap and will sometimes wave, but it takes some convincing.  Vegetables are her favorite food, although she likes fruits too - but not a fan of avocado yet.  She will also eat puffs and drink some apple juice, but only sometimes.

When Caleb walks into the room, he is genuinely extremely excited to see her and the feeling is mutual.  Caitlyn's teacher said she has never seen a brother so excited to see his baby sister as Caleb.  They are so sweet.  She does only like to crawl to his toys though even though she has plenty of her own to choose from, so we'll see how that goes.  So far he mostly just laughs and keeps scooting them away.

Caitlyn loves to give big kisses and hugs and is happy to cuddle.  She is in 9 month and 12 month clothes, although 9 months won't last too much longer.  She wears size 3 diapers.  Right now, there are two prominent bottom teeth with some top teeth very close.  Caitlyn hates having her nose wiped, loves to chew on anything and everything, is a expert at taking off her socks and chewing them and can go from crawling to sitting.  She is such a joy and everyone who meets her comments on how happy and content she is all the time!  We are so very grateful for this sweet girl and can't believe she is growing so fast!!