Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wounded Warrior Project Fundraising for Tough Mudder 2015

My husband started participating in the Tough Mudder in 2012.  It became a huge accomplishment and something that he really enjoyed.  Since then, he has been participating in it each year when it comes to Arizona.  The most important part of the Tough Mudder is the fact that they encourage you to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.  It is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides services and programs to wounded soldiers to help them rebuild their lives.

In 2012, we raised $160. Last year, we raised over $550 and Brandon’s team as a whole raised over $700.  We were in awe of the generosity of our friends and family to support this important organization.

He didn’t know how to top that.

Since friends and family raised the stakes with their generosity last year, Brandon will attempt to match those efforts in Tough Mudder 2015.  Brandon, with the help of his team, will carry a cinder block the length of the course on Saturday, March 14, 2015. He will carry his cinder block from home to work and (nearly) everywhere he goes. Last year, Tough Mudder HQ donated an extra $100 for each Mudder who carried a brick through the course.  After carrying this block the length of the 10+ miles and grueling obstacles, he will drop the block in the pile to have additional money donated.

We ask again for you to show your generosity and honor those who have given so much.

Please follow the link below to make a tax deductible donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas with Children

This year brings a whole new aspect to Christmas.  We have a child!  Children bring something so special to Christmas, but it also make the Christmas season more stressful!

We have several traditions every year that we couldn't break now that we have a daughter.  We made a strong promise to ourselves that our lives wouldn't change once we had Brooklyn. So far we've stuck to that – except that we're late more often than not nowadays (which is a big pet peeve of mine!).   Here are a list of all our traditions throughout the Christmas season (Dec 1 – 25).
  • ·         Christmas Tree (dinner and picking out/buying/decorating tree)
  • ·         Host a Christmas Party
  • ·         Boat Show Christmas Light display (dinner, boat show display, movie)
  • ·         Glendale Glitters (dinner downtown in the city of Glendale, AZ - they decorate the park with hundreds of thousands of lights)
  • ·         Drive around looking at light displays

Then this year, throw in seeing Santa, wrapping extra gifts, and Brooklyn’s baptism, and there seemed to be no time!  In another year or two we'll start riding the Polar Express annually on the Grand Canyon Railroad as well.

Having Santa is a lot of fun – but also a lot of work. We're having to figure out what type of traditions we want regarding Santa and Christmas Eve/Day.  But at the same time, it's special to see the innocence.  Even though Brooklyn doesn't understand what’s going on yet, preparing for years ahead when she does start understanding is so much fun.

We found ourselves wrapping presents until 11:00 pm last night. I was still creating handmade gifts Monday night. Somehow the season flew by…oh wait, I know how. I have a baby to take care of in the evenings now. Instead of working/buying presents and wrapping them, I was feeding and changing a baby. You lose so much time, and I hadn't planned on that.  So I was rushing to finish gifts and wrap all the presents – otherwise we would have had none under the tree!

We have only watched about 3 of the 10 movies we usually watch at Christmas time. Part of that is because we can’t sit at watch a movie when we get home because we have to make dinner and put Brooklyn to bed a 2 hours later.  So Christmas Eve (tonight) will be chalk full of movies!

Brooklyn was in awe of Santa. The first one we took her to see wasn't that great. But he was free and we didn't even stand in line!  But at our annual boat show event, there was a Santa who looked pretty good. They even had Mrs. Clause! While Mrs. Clause was holding her, she grabbed Santa’s finger and just stared at him (see the picture above). It was so cute. We have a couple pictures to always remember it by – I love it. Mrs. Clause told us that so many parents want them looking at the camera, but once they see these types of pictures, they love them. We will cherish this picture forever.

With it being Christmas Eve today, Santa comes tonight! I can’t wait. And that means we get to help her open her presents tomorrow morning.  Kids bring such a new meaning to Christmas. It was already my favorite holiday, but even more so now.  And that just means I need to plan my Christmas season a little more next year and years to come so it’s not as stressful as this year.
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