2013~Year In Review

There are a lot of gaps in my blog from last year.  I did an  OK job throughout the summer, but even then, there were still tons of things from the beginning of the year, that I just plain did not make the time to post about.  So before I begin posting anything about 2014, I’m going to live in the past for a bit, and make sure I at least have the highlights from 2013.  It’s a year worthy of highlighting.

January

*We kicked off the year with a trip for my birthday to McCall’s Winter Festival.  We watched the night light parade, caught the fireworks over the lake, and spent the following afternoon checking out the ice sculptures.  It was FREEZING, and poor Grace spent most of the night shivering, despite her gigantic snow suit, but it was a blast, nonetheless.

February
*With last year being Fenix’s last year in elementary school, he made his last Valentine’s Day box, and Ken and Fenix spared no expense:)

IMG_2823 2IMG_2837 2*I also managed to get my hair cute SUPER short this month and not on purpose.  I believe I asked for my hair to be cut to my shoulders with long layers.  Instead, I got this:
IMG_2828 2Sad day. Even Grace was a wee-bit freaked out by it.  Luckily, it grew out quickly and I have now learned my lesson about cheap hair cuts and hair dressers who immediately, while making hair dresser conversation, tell you they hate their job.  Not a good sign.

March 

* At some point this past spring we decided hiking was going to be our thing…although we really only went on two as a family.  Ken, on the other hand, spent quite a few weekends going on afternoon hikes with the kids. A co-worker of mine gave us a hiking backpack last year and Grace loves it!  Sadly, she is getting a bit too heavy for it, so it looks like this coming season she will have to carry her own weight.

We spent an afternoon last spring hiking  and playing up at the Bruneau Sand Dunes in March and another up and around Camel’s Back park in Boise.

Here are a few photo highlights of our trip to Brunuea.

(Grace LOVED sliding down the dunes on her bum.  She had SO, SO, SO much sand in her diaper when we were done. )

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March also marked the beginning of Grace sleeping in her own, big-girl bed (and by sleeping in her own bed, I mean her room containes a big girl bed that she occasionally sleeps in-you know, in between her spurts of sleeping smack dab in the middle of her dad and I).

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April

With April, came trips to the park, because the weather had finally warmed up,

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and Easter.

Easter was a joyous time in the Dietz household, which you can see in exhibits A. B, C, and D below.

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B.

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D.

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OK, so Easter really wasn’t as bad as the pictures above insinuate, in fact, Easter wasn’t bad at all.  Grace was just a tad emotional and didn’t quite grasp that when hunting for Easter baskets or eggs, you have to keep going.  You can’t drop everything and eat every piece of candy you see.  Eventually she got the hang out of it:)  We spent the Saturday before Easter at our town’s Easter Egg Hunt, the Easter Bunny left a few baskets for the kids on Easter morning, and then we headed to my Aunts to find more Easter eggs and eat dinner.

May

May brought with it Grace’s 2nd Birthday and the end of my school year-both of which I managed to write about (Go me!) here and here.

In addition, Grace was pretty cute this month.  We had ourselves many a dance party, she helped me do some spring cleaning, and she even helped with planting our garden.  Let’s hope this want to help with cleaning and gardening continues into the teen years.

June

In June, Fenix got all grown up on us and left the fifth grade and became a middle school student (click here, if you missed the details on that.)

 We gained a new addition to our family in June as well, a Jack-Rat terrier that Fenix named Ginger.  She has fit in quite nicely and does really well with Grace’s obsessive coddling.  Ginger even seeks Grace out during her naps, so that she can nap with her.  Grace likes to play hide n seek with Ginger, in which she shuts poor, patient Ginger into a closet until I can some rescue her, and yet the dog still comes back to play and cuddle.  She has been easy to train, which has been a blessing, and she loves to travel.  We did  quite a few camping trips with her this past summer.

We also hiked Camel’s Back Park,

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spent a day at Roaring Spring, celebrated Father’s Day, and celebrated Fenix’s 11th birthday, complete with a S’more bar.

And lastly (June was a busy month), Grace made her first trip to the Meridian Dairy Days.  We spent some time hanging out with the farm animals,

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played some games,

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and then Grace rode the rides.  She loved it.  I thought maybe there would be some hesitation or fear, but nope, she loved every single one.

July

July was equally busy, so you will have to bear with me.  I will try to keep it as short and sweet as can be.

July can be summarized as follows:

-Fourth of July -We were pretty low key.  We grilled at home and then walked down to the speedway to watch the fireworks-low key was good.

-Camping with my niece, Brooke-We took a short two night trip up to a campsite along the river, past Lucky Peak. Fenix was with his mom and so we had enough room to bring Byron-he was a mess the whole time, but we had fun.  Lots of card games and sitting with our feet in the cool river water.

-Toddler Soccer-Grace got her feet wet in organized soccer this month.  The first few classes were rough-not because Grace didn’t like the soccer part, but because she wasn’t used to the organized, follow direction part:)  But she got the hang of it and realized it was fun to follow directions!  In the end, it was a blast to watch her.  We’re looking forward to having her do it again when the time comes.

-Lastly, we took  a trip to Utah to camp with Ken’s family. We had a great spot on the lake and were far enough away from the other campsites, to feel like we had some privacy.  It was fun to see Ken’s side of the family.   Grace and Fenix loved the time with their aunt and uncle, as well as their grandpa.  If we can, we’d love to make it a tradition of sorts.

August

My school district starts school pretty early in August in comparison to other districts, and so our August felt short and as a result was short on pictures.  We spent most of our time enjoying the last days and evening of summer break that I had left.  We did lots of swimming and playing at the park.

Then when I started school, Grace started school as well.

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We also fit in one last camping trip at Banbury Hot Springs, AND Ken and I celebrated six years of marriage.  My niece spent the night with Grace, and Ken and I spent the evening in Boise.  We rented a hotel room downtown, hit the Saturday market, ate a fantastic meal, and then wound down with some nice wine.  It was a good way to celebrate.  We also enjoyed an entire night of sleeping without getting kicked by little, toddler feet-which was priceless.

September

September was a whirlwind of school activities with school being back in session for both Fenix and I.   However, we did manage to celebrate Ken’s birthday,

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we started soccer season, Grace tried to poison herself with smear her face with sunscreen,

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and Ken’s mom and step-dad came to visit.  We spent a lot of time just chatting and hanging out on the patio.  Ken’s mom and step-dad were able to catch one of Fenix’s soccer games and we spent an afternoon showing off Idaho’s own version of wine country.

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October and November

October and November were kind of a blur.  School was in full swing for everyone.  Grace was making lots of friends at her new pre-school.  Fenix was enjoying middle school and starting to feel like a middle school pro, Ken was busy with work and coaching, and I was balancing teaching and my masters.  I say all of this to give a weak excuse to why I took very few pictures these two months.

I did however manage to get the big stuff.

With it being October, we went all out celebrating Halloween.  We spent a day at the pumpkin patch with the kids,

had our annual Halloween party,

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and then rounded out the season with trick or treating.

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Fenix went around our neighborhood with his friends, and they were kind enough to not only let Grace tag along, but they really did a nice job of making her feel included.

In November Grace painted her own nails,

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I took some family photos of the kids at the Star Walk

and a few more of Grace in our yard-because she wasn’t exactly cooperating when we attempted pictures at the Star Walk.  She needed it to be done on her own time table.

Oh, yeah, and we celebrated Thanksgiving:)  Ken’s dad and sister came, which we loved, and we did Thanksgiving at our house this year.  This has been one of my favorite Thanksgivings at our house.  Once dinner was done and things were cleaned up, we headed outside and threw the football around.  I know that sounds a bit funny coming from me, but it actually was fun and I got to use all those football throwing skills I picked up from watching all five seasons of “Friday Night Lights” this summer:)

Sadly, this is one of the ONLY photos I have of Thanksgiving.

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December

And, finally, we have hit December, which for the most part, I already wrote about here.

A  billion pictures and scrolls down later, we are done!  With my blog being so outdated, I almost dreaded writing this, but I know I’ll be happy later, when I can look back it on it.  All in all, 2013 was a good year, and we are ready to see what’s in store for us in 2014.

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