A new & better year {and Toddlers' New Year Bash)

Despite the fact that my husband informed me today that I'm ALWAYS on the computer, this blog, my favorite online nook, has been reallocated to the lowest priority of my online time.  I have 4 active email accounts, 5 if you count facebook, 2 blogs, 2 seriously neglected writing gigs and a thriving new business.  So yes, I am often online, though not often posting.

In direct relation to the above, one of my two resolutions for this year is to UNPLUG and spend QUALITY TIME with my kids.  When we're home, it's so easy to attempt to multi-task and check emails while watching them wrestle play together.  However, as a novice Play Therapist, I know more acutely than most the importance of ENGAGED PLAY and meeting my kids where they are.  Just a few minutes a day will give them confidence, social skills, decision making skills, processing skills... need I go on?  The best part is, IT'S FUN!  When I'm not trying to simultaneously write/ read/ study/ cook/ clean, my kids are not nearly as...well, annoying ;)

My 2nd resolution (by the way, this is my first experience with making New Year's Resolutions!) is to be healthier.  I will be exercising AT LEAST 30 minutes, twice a week.  As you can see, I am realistic and setting the bar at an attainable height.  We joined the YMCA on Friday and have been there TWICE... granted, so far it's just been for pool time for the kids.  But starting tomorrow, I will begin exercising my jiggly rear off.  I've also completely cut-out caffeine from my diet and have taken great steps towards reducing my sugar intake.

2012 had a lot of great moments, but overall, I'm SO GLAD IT'S OVER!  2013, while an odd year and therefore not as like-able, will see many great things:  the end of diapers in my house;  major developmental steps & achievements in my girls; financial stability for Jake and I (don't ask any questions, we're in the exploring/wishing/hoping/praying stage); better HEALTH for my loved ones; bigger & more productive gardens at Medley Acres; and stronger relationships (within my marriage and new friendships from church & school).  And those are just the TIP OF THE ICEBERG things that I'm looking forward to in twenty-thirteen :)

Speaking of the NEW YEAR and FRIENDSHIPS, we are really blessed on that account!  My bro-in-law, Josh, who lives on our property, finally got his priorities straight and chose a girlfriend based her her compatibility with ME and MY LIFE (ok, that's probably not true, but it should be).  His mate lives near-by and has a daughter that's about 9 months older than Hazel.  They ADORE each other and for New Year's we enjoyed our first annual TODDLER NEW YEAR'S PARTY & SLEEPOVER!

What's that you ask?  That's when you celebrate New Year's whenever it's convenient for the kids... for us, that was about 7:42 :)

Step 1:  MATCHY-MATCHY Pajamas.  I simply love coordinating bambinos :)
Their friend "S" looks adorable in every pic.  This is as good as my nose pickers get.

Step 1.5:  In the spirit of Christmas, open some more presents.  This was my all-time favorite gift this year:

Step 2:  Review with the kids how to COUNT UP to 13.  At this age, counting in reverse is like brain surgery.

Step 3:  Blow up LOTS of balloons... and buy a house with a balcony ;) (you should probably do that before step 1)  This was our favorite part of the night and since we just had Jake shaking the balloons out of garbage bags, we could easily do it over and over and over and.... oh my.
My Grandma is in the foreground trying to figure out a confetti popper :)  SO FUN!

Look at the faces of those kids:  pure joy!  I LOVE Hazel's cackle :)

A lovely start to what is sure to be, another LOVELY YEAR for KoskersIdlewild :)