Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: A Year in Review

January - March

  • A new house, duty station, job for husband
  • Steven's birthday
  • Declan playing in snow
  • Steven's cast came off
  • I got a new engagement/wedding ring
  • Steven participated in the St. Baldrick's fundraiser and raised over $750
  • Abigail turned 1
April - June
  • took a trip to the National Zoo with Gramps, Uncle, Aunt E, and Ellie
  • Abigail and I took part in the setting a Guiness World Record for the most people changing a cloth diaper at the same time
  • first Alwine Easter egg hunt
  • I got my Keurig :)
  • Declan and I discovered goldfish shaped bread
  • Abigail had her first hair cut
  • Declan started riding his tricycle
  • Abigail started walking
  • I ran 3 5ks (Earth Day 5k, Semper Fred 5k, Global Race for the Cure)
  • Sorensen family reunion
July - September
  • Alwine summer vacation - 4th of July in New Market and PA River trip
  • My birthday!
  • Declan turned 3
  • Billie & Mike's wedding and our trip to St. Louis
  • lots of summer bowling and pool trips
  • Alwine Beach Vacation in Nags Head
  • Declan started preschool
  • We got a dog .... Delilah
  • I ran the Tunnel To Towers 5k in NYC

October - December
  • trip to the dentist
  • Double Baptism
  • several pumpkin patch visits
  • Halloween and Trick or Treating
  • 4 more 5ks (Halloween, Give Thanks to Lebanon, Turkey Trot, Reindeer Run)
  • first Thanksgiving I've hosted - 15 people here!
  • family pictures
  • Christmas preparation
  • Santa pictures!
  • Holiday Army Ball
  • Christmas at our house
  • 5th Wedding Anniversary

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Eve - A New Tradition?

This year, our first year together as a family of four and the first in our Maryland house, we treid something new for Christmas Eve. We went to our church, a 4pm service and then headed down the street to a friend's for dinner. We had tacos, the kids played for hours while we waited for the best Ft Meade tradition yet, SANTA! Each Christmas eve after the sun sets, Santa is escorted down every single street of base housing by the Fire Department. It takes over 4 hours to see all the kids, but its well worth it! We are one of the last neighborhoods, so the kids saw Santa about 9pm.

We wrote a letter to Santa and filled his mug with coffee. We left some carrots for the reindeer and some Nutella fudge for Santa. Then quick into bed without a fight.

It was a wonderful way to start the Christmas celebrations and I do hope we can do it again next year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Baking

nutella fudge

Today I started my Christmas baking. Abigail baked in her kitchen while I was in mine and we both danced to Mannheim Steamrollers on Pandora. First up, I made Nutella Sea Salt fudge. These are AMAZING. Tomorrow morning I'm dividing them up, packaging them, and assigning them to people so I don't keep eating them.

Pinned ImageThen I made my own granola. I have grand plans of making more things from scratch and buying less things from the store, and overall be able to spend less time scrambling for meal ideas. Declan and Abigail eat their weight in yogurt each week, so I thought some granola would spice up the bowl a bit. I used this recipe, but only had enough oats for a quarter of the recipe. A good trial, I thought. It was wonderful! I may actually eat yogurt again!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Button Tree

Today I finished my Christmas Button Tree. I love it! I will absolutely be making more of these for each season/holiday that we celebrate.

Styrofoam cone
pins with the pearls on the end (I used white for this tree, but I'm thinking pastels would look cute for Easter)
buttons of various sizes and colors

Then push a pin through one of the holes in the buttons, taking care to leave very little, if any, of the cone showing. 

Overlap buttons if necessary, alternating the colors and sizes.

I'm still deciding what to put on the top. I'm toying between a star button or some ribbon. Thoughts?

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Pinteresting Day

Today was fueled by Pinterest. I had my friend's adorable little girl this morning and she joined in our craftiness. We made homemade ornaments! The girls made hand prints and Declan helped me make some with cookie cutters. As soon as we paint them, I'll post the pictures.

Then later this afternoon I made the cookie dough for these fantastic looking cookies. I have a cookie exchange on Friday and love that I can make this dough up to 3 days in advance! 

For dinner I took an idea from my friend Rachel (who got it from our other friend Karen) and switched it around. It was awesome! 
Here's the reciepe:
About 1 1/2 cups of shredded chicken
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 small tomatoes, diced
3/4 of a container of tomato basil cooking creme
Mix together and put inside crescent rolls and bake

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Race Report: Reindeer Run

A nice, brisk, sunny, winter day in Maryland. I was so excited to wake up and see the sun! The last race I ran on base was windy, rainy, and cold! I drove the race course last night and that was a huge mental help to me. I was able to see where I would need more energy and where I would be able to start pouring it on at the end. I started out well, paced myself decently down the hill and into the second half-mile. I loosely followed my normal run/walk ratio for the first 10 minutes or so and then buckled down into a run 4, walk 1:45 rotation until I hit the 2.75 mile mark. I knew I was a little off my goal pace but I felt strong and comfortable. When I turned the last corner, I picked up the pace and sprinted the last .1 mile. I finished in 42:29(ish- official results to come later) and was really disappointed with my time. But then I remembered that time isn't everything. I felt strong the whole race, I walked only when I was scheduled too and I finished strong. It was a great race to end 2011 and a wonderful way to head into the 2012 racing season.

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Traditions

This year marks our first Christmas as a family of four, spent together. Adding to that , we are in our own house and do not have to move this year! I am so very excited! Declan is over the moon about celebrating Christmas and we've taken the time to enjoy decorating/preparing with the kids this year. On Monday, Steven and Declan hung lights outside. Declan and Abigail race downstairs in the morning to move the present on the Advent Calendar and we've been enjoying crafts.

I have lots of Christmas decorating crafts planned, but today we did finger puppets. My friend Rachel made some with her kids and then sent them home with me for us to make some. We'll pass them along as well, here's the finished product.

Hopefully we'll be able to complete some more projects this weekend and be on our way to a nicely decorated house!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Let the Crafting Begin!

I've been bitten by the crafting bug, this time with a slight edge towards Christmas. Last night, I completed my first snowman wrap dress. I have made three of them and are hoping to sell them, since Abigail can't possibly wear 3 of the same dresses.

This morning I dug through a huge bag of "scraps' (that I bought for only $7!) and found the perfect material for an Abigail skirt. A few minor adjustments to my original measurements and its perfect. I'm so glad I remembered the elastic waistband trick from Aunt Sue. Its currently lacking a hem because Abigail is fighting a cold and is down for a nap.

I've got the kids working on ribbon paper, to make our own bows for wrapped presents this year. Its been an easy going, fun, and productive morning in the Alwine house. And this evening we get to see the Christmas Tree Lighting on base. The kids are so very excited!