Thursday, December 22, 2011

A year in review

2011 has been quite the year for us…let’s take a look back!


This was a pretty major month as I went back to work, which felt like a kid on their first day of school. The kids also started daycare. Everyone managed, but I wouldn’t say it was my most favorite transition ever. We also got a lot of snow, and I spent a lot of time driving on snowy roads. We welcomed new nephew #1 as well.


Our little man turned TWO. Bring it on ‘terrible twos.’ Bring. It. On. Of course he was sick on his birthday with a fever and an ear infection, and of course I had to go to class that day as well….so, let’s just not focus on this birthday okay? I was learning was a 65 hour work week felt like (and for the record, not as bad as you would think). Mike went camping in the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area) and the temperature got to -30 (NEGATIVE 30) one night. I spent the next 2 days wondering if he froze to death (no cell towers up there). He was fine. Whew.


I did 123 individual tax returns in about 2.5 weeks. Thankyouverymuch. Towards the end of the month I didn’t have to work Saturdays, which was a major win. It snowed a lot, which is completely annoying in MARCH. I applied to take the CPA exam, and began the 8 week waiting period to see if they would approve me or not. Mike moved Jamba Juice stores, from an obnoxious mall, to fantastic Whole Foods.


On April 1st we made an offer on a house in Burnsville, MN. Short sale, so sit back and wait. On April 15th, I found out that the firm wasn’t hiring until the summer, so no concrete job offer for me. We also found out that Jamba Juice was being franchised, and on April 15th (bad day for us) found out that insurance premiums would skyrocket to $700 PER.PAYCHECK. So now we elected out of insurance.


I got approved to take the CPA exams. I applied for a million jobs. I studied. I hated paying for daycare when I wasn’t making any money.


Still studying. Interviewed with the State Revenue Department and Target. Mike interviewed with Valley Natural Foods. He got a job offer mid-June. On June 30th, I got an offer from Target. Woohoo.


Mike’s brother and his family came up on their way to moving to Perth, Australia. I turned 28. I took CPA exam #1, Mike started his job on July 18th, and I also started my job on July 18th. BUSY MONTH.


Mike turned the big 3-0. We celebrated 5 years of being married. We welcomed my brother and sister in law’s new baby (New nephew #2), on August 24th. Remember the short sale house from APRIL? It was getting close.


House went through!! We moved out of our current place on the 15th, and stayed at a friend’s townhouse for a week while they were in Hawaii on their honeymoon. We were very displaced. Closed on the 26th!! Yay for home ownership! This was 4 short days before my next CPA exam, and 5 days before Mike’s marathon…


I took BEC on October 1st. Mike ran his marathon the next day. Our little girl turned 4!! We spent the entire month painting. Literally. We rounded out the month with trick or treating in our new neighborhood!


Kids started a new daycare on November 1st, and it’s going well. Started REG studies, had some hiccups with the software and our computer, that made it a little obnoxious. Enjoyed a non-mall Black Friday (in the past Mike had put in a 14 hour day). Loved that there is no snow.


We made it! I want to sit down and do nothing for about 7 weeks, but since that’s not an option, I will just take a deep breath and smile! We have been totally blessed, and I am so grateful for the ups and downs that this year has taught us, and everything that God has brought us through! There were times we felt totally lost, but looking back everything has worked together so well. Oh and we welcomed a new nephew #3 last night as well J

Looking into 2012…

I really hope that I can get these CPA exams behind me once and for all. We are also planning on giving my student loans a big kick in the rear end! Let’s go!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I am dreaming of a Brown Christmas!

Winter is not so bad this year. This is seriously what I thought while driving home the other day in 15 degree weather. But you know what? The roads were dry, the snow is extremely minimal (…”I’m dreaming of a brown Christmas…”), and the sun was out. I’ll take it. Basically, every day that it doesn’t snow shortens our winter by that many days. Last year we got hit with our first snow storm on November 9th. I remember it very distinctly because it was a Saturday and I was going to class (Audit, actually). However that day we were having a speaker from the Minnesota Society of CPA’s come and speak during our class, and she was late, along with a lot of other students. The snow came out of nowhere and when you try to drive in 8 inches of snow that hasn’t been plowed, you need something more than a little front wheel drive car. The snow never melted after that first storm. We got hit with another 8 inches the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and then on December 11th, Minneapolis got absolutely nailed with a 17 in Blizzard. Our Christmas was SO WHITE last year it was ridiculous. The snow didn’t stop then, and we just kept getting hit over and over and over again all through January, all through February, and well into March and even a little in April. Three months of winter, reared its ugly head for 6 entire months last year.

All this to say that we just passed our 1 year 17 inch blizzard anniversary with hardly an inch of snow on the ground and I LOVE it. Actually, the temperature was almost 40 degrees yesterday and the snow has pretty much melted. We’ve already cheated winter by a month, and each day that we can shorten the annoying snowy icy drives is okay in my book. It’s not that I am this bitter person who things winter is absolutely horrifying, but I honestly do not enjoy any winter activities (unless sipping hot chocolate counts as an activity…). Okay, actually I lie, because I like sledding, but really, who does that? I am terrible at ice skating and skiing/snowboarding, no interest in cross country skiing, and running on icy sidewalks sounds about as pleasant as getting a root canal. Plus with the dark setting in at 4:30, there isn’t much I can do after work. At least safely.

So call me bitter, say it’s annoying, do whatever you wish. But I truly am dreaming of a brown Christmas, and even if I don’t get my wish I am still very grateful that we’ve cheated winter this far! And I am very grateful that tomorrow the forecast calls for rain, not snow!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mama needs a drink

Or at least a break, because it has been one of those days! Mike has been at work since 6 am this morning and was due home over an hour ago. I actually made one of those desperate phone calls to him...the ones you make when you have a newborn..."Mike, I don't know where you are, but if you don't get home soon, I'm going to lose it on these kids."

They are just little terrors today. Yes, I think it's okay that I say that, because that is reality. Kids are sometimes terrible. I always feel like I'm flip flopping between who is the tough one and who is the "easy" one. Right now, Miles is TWO going on THREE. And if you know anything two is like a "haha, that was easy" joke compared to what a three year old is like. I've already been through it. Now Miles is definitely showing his 3-year old self. It's driving me crazy. Four is so much better so far!

It's definitely one of those days when I have no regrets about my work out of home decision because Lord knows that it keeps me sane if nothing else.

Neither has had a nap. It goes from giggles, to whines, to screams, to crashes, as things break, and to be honest, I am so far past the end of my rope that it isn't even funny. Actually, it is kind of funny, but it's not you know?

Lacey is crying upstairs and Miles just walked up to me crying. I asked him what happened and he said that Lacey pinched him...Why is Lacey crying...Well according to Miles, he hit her. Yep, see what I've been dealing with all day?

Today wasn't ALL bad, we did go out and sled in our backyard, I even took a spin down the hill. It was a lot of fun! We have a built in sledding hill...that's a bonus!

Okay...Mike just called. Hallelujah, he must have seen my 14 missed calls. Hehe. He'll be home soon, let's hope we all make it til then...