Meet the Sullivans: 2018

December 28, 2018

Christmas 2018

Happy Christmas! We're days out from the holiday and we're all in that weird place between Christmas and New Years where we don't quite know what to do with ourselves. We've been keeping busy though, with all the boys new toys and lots of cleaning, and of course beginning to pack up the Christmas decorations. Before we move on to 2019, here is a little bit of our Christmas 2018 memories...

This Christmas was one of the best ones I've ever had. The boys were so into all the magic and fun, and now that Luke is starting to understand it all a bit he's enjoying himself more.

On Christmas Eve we hung out at home and did a little more baking. Luke "helped" me make sugar cookies (this is the recipe I always use) and we finished up the Cracker Toffee Bars (also known as Christmas Crack).

These were 100% amazing and I will totally make them again for Christmas!

Our Christmas card this year! I slacked on getting family photos taken this year, but still wanted to send a card, so I took the pictures myself. I wish I had tried to get pictures of the boys outside, because it was hard to get anything good inside. I think the card still turned out pretty adorable though! Oh, and our cards were from Costco and only cost around $34 for 50. What a deal!

We made it to church this year but only lasted until the gospel because Luke wanted to climb over the pew in front of us. Hoping next year we'll make it a little longer, but thankful we got to be there at all this year. We had a nice dinner at Keith's mom's house with all his brothers and sisters and all our nieces and nephews!

On Christmas morning Owen woke up first and Keith and I tried for a while to stall him with a game of Monopoly until Luke woke up. When Luke came down we finished up the game and moved on the gifts.

Owen ripped through his gifts pretty quickly and seemed to be really excited about his new black series storm troopers, but the harmonica from Santa has proved to be his real favorite, as he takes it everywhere and loves to play it all day long. Luke is dying to get his hands on it too.

Luke took his time with opening his gifts. It can be really overwhelming for little kids to open everything all at once. He really really loves his new car garage from Santa! They got so many new cool toys, and we're just enjoying working our way through all of them!

We had a nice slow morning with gifts, breakfast and coffee and mimosas! Keith and I gave the boys scooters this year so we headed out to the park for a bit before nap time.

After nap time we headed over to my grandpa's house for Christmas with my side of the family. Honestly, both sides of our family are "my/our family" but it's easier to describe it this way. You get it.

Lukey was pleased to see all the gifts under the tree! In the days leading up to Christmas, as I put more and more wrapped gifts under the tree, Luke became totally in love with the presents. He loves talking about them, looking at them and discussing them with anyone he could get to sit with him by the tree. He didn't try to open them, but asked again and again when he could. 

 I tried to get more photos this year than I have in the last few years and I just love this one of my grandpa (can you believe he's 92, almost 93?) and the boys together. Sometimes I barely take any pictures because I get caught up in them looking just right, but then I feel bummed later when I look back and only have one or two. Next year (just a few days away!) I'm focusing on taking, and probably sharing, more photos even if they aren't the prettiest.

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas with the people you love!

Christmases past: | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 |

July 6, 2018

Goodbye, Kindergarten!

Well, that went by quickly. I know it's cliche, but this school year went by so fast for us. There we a few end-of-the-year activities keeping us busy in the last few weeks and then BAM it was promotion day. Even Owen was surprised and a little sad to leave kindergarten!

You can't tell by these pictures, but Owen has grown SO much this school year. The shirt and sweatshirt he wore on the first day of school are too short and a little snug now. Clothes and shoes seem to be the best indicator of growth these days since he is growing right before my eyes.

The truest of all Owen's loves / likes on his chalkboard is definitely his love of playing tag! He probably played tag at school 3x a day including recess and after school etc. and then usually with Keith and I at the park after dinner. He loves tag!

The kindergartners entertained the parents and families with a few cute songs and a dance to Dynamite by Taio Cruz. We caught Owen requesting the song on our Alexa a few times to practice his moves, but he always asked us to forget we saw anything. He was so proud to finally show off his moves on the special day!

I can't believe that in a few years I'll have both my kiddos at the same school! I'm sure Luke will feel like an old pro making his way around the campus by then.

Owen insisted on bringing a little end of the year gift to his classmates. He knew exactly what he wanted to give them (bouncy balls) and what the tags should day "have a BOUNCY summer". I tried to convince him to use "have a BALL this summer" but he was set on his idea, and it was his gift so I let him roll with it. 

I think he's really going to miss them this summer! I love the bond the kids make each year! 

The day before graduation we put together a little field day / party for all the kindergartners at school. They played games (dance party, potato sack, parachute, water balloons etc.), decorated their caps for their graduation and had a snack. They all seemed to have a LOT of fun!

How cute are these caps? I love the hand print and how colorful they all looked. Such a cute keepsake! 

We're already a few weeks into summer and since we're on a semi- year round schedule our summer is only 7 weeks long, so we go back to school mid-August.  First grade is truly right around the corner!

May 16, 2018

Mother's Day Weekend 2018

Oh, hey! It's been too long since I've blogged, and I have totally neglected to write about our trip to Disneyland, which I really wan to get to, but in the meantime I'm here to talk about Mother's Day weekend. 

The weekend always starts Friday morning, right? Luke and I go to Junior Gym on Friday mornings, followed by whatever errands need to be done before the weekend. On this Friday we needed to pick up some things for Owen's t-ball team snack, and Luke ended up getting a lollipop (a "pop", as he calls them) AND a balloon. He was thrilled!

We picked Owen up from school later and were happy to hear that the class butterflies had started hatching! It made Owen's day to see them coming out of their chrysalises.

Owen's teacher uses a "scouts" behavioral reward system in her classroom where each child gets a turn being the "scout" and their job for the day is to watch their classmates for good behavior. At the end of the day the "scout" gives out rewards to a handful of kids. The reward is always a piece of card stock with either a poem / visual / activity related to what they've been learning in class. Not to brag, but Owen almost always comes home with one. He's a really good kid at school and a great rule follower.

On Friday the scout award was how to make a volcano, which of course we HAD to try. It was fun for both of us!

He also made me a cute card. In preschool the parents and teachers in the classroom helped the kids make their cards, and I could totally tell that this year Owen made this card allll himself. It was a little crooked and bent, but all the more sweet because it was all his. He was so proud!

I've been sorting through our storage boxes of photos and memories etc. and found this little card I must have made for my own mom many, many Mother's Days ago. The funny thing is, I do not remember my mom being a stickler for keeping a clean room. She usually cleaned our rooms while we were at school (oops, sorry mom), but maybe I felt guilty. 

I made it to HIIT Saturday morning for the 4th weekend in a row! I love this class, but the day and time doesn't always work for me, so I'm always really happy when I get to go. It is a killer workout.

Saturday afternoon we celebrated Mother's Day with Keith's mom! I picked up cannoli and spumoni from Romolo's for dessert. We barbecued, played in the backyard and hung out with everyone. We gave Keith's mom a beautiful succulent arrangement, but I forgot to get a picture.

I told Keith and the boys that all I really wanted on Mother's Day was to sleep in a little and then drink my coffee in bed, and that's exactly what I got. It was awesome and I totally loved it! They also gave me a pretty necklace (still waiting for it to arrive in the mail) and let me take a nap in the afternoon. 

My mom and sister came over for brunch later in the morning. I made a breakfast casserole and we had mimosas, smoked salmon, bacon and mini cinnamon rolls.

After brunch we all went to Owen's final t-ball game of the season, and he even got a turn being catcher! He had quite the cheering section with Luke, me, both his grandmas, two aunts and his cousin. He was too cute buried beneath all that catchers gear.

We all loved the experience of his first baseball season, and he'll definitely be back again next year for more. 

It was a GREAT mother's day weekend and I even got a picture with my two favorite monkeys!

April 3, 2018

Easter Things 2018

Compared to last year, Easter 2018 was really good to us! The sun was shinning, and not one of us was sick. Last year we all had the stomach flu and Luke had a terrible ear infection, so it wasn't too hard to top all that this year.

We dyed Easter eggs last weekend, and next year I'll definitely be buying one of those egg coloring machines to make it all easier on myself, because it was a MESS. Owen is great, and doesn't try to make a mess, but once Luke hopped on the counter we had colored water and broken eggs all over the place. They both enjoyed themselves and I'd say some good memories were made, but it took me 2x as long to clean up.

Friday afternoon after school I set up an Egg Scavenger Hunt for Owen and Luke in the house. I used these clues from the Melissa and Doug website. You could use the clue for any kind of indoor hunt, but to make them "Eastery" I put them in eggs. Owen had a lot of fun doing the activity and Luke just followed him around, and I'm pretty sure he though we were playing his favorite game, hide n' seek. At the end of the hunt they each got a prize, play dough and gummy snacks.

We also made Easter Bunny Munch earlier in the week just for fun. The recipe is from Liz's blog, Ellie & Addie. It's really dangerous having something like this laying around because it's so easy to grab a handful here and there. The kids loved it, and Owen liked getting some in his snack for school.

On Saturday Keith and I both took turns getting hair cuts (and a highlight for me). There's just something great about a fresh highlight that helps make you feel great! In addition to the highlight I also cut off 4 inches, and my hair feels so much healthier!

I spend so much money to have my hair highlighted that I try to go as long as I can in between coloring it and usually try to plan it around special events like holidays or celebrations. The last time I had it colored was for our family photos and now I'm going to try (try!!) to wait until my friend's wedding in October, but we'll see.

After haircuts and all that we took the boys out for a little hike and pizza! It's so nice that Luke is a little older now and beyond the toddling stage of toddler hood so he can keep up with us on a short hike, and enjoy his surroundings.

Saturday morning we had to be up bright and early to get Easter going so we could make it to Easter Sunday Mass at 8am. Owen was already rolling around in our bed, so we all went in to wake Luke up to see what EB had brought them. Luke was too groggy / sleepy to do any egg hunting, but Owen put some aside for him. Luke is so lucky to have such a thoughtful big brother like Owen.

After collecting eggs the boys dove into their baskets. I love filling their baskets with a combination of things they'll need or want in the spring and summer.

In Owen's basket: a Mickey Mouse t-shirt, magic tree house book, gardening gloves, bubble wand, sidewalk chalk, magnetic tic tac toe game set, kinetic sand, personalized smoothie cup and a digger shovel.

In Luke's basket: a Star Wars t-shirt, a few trains from Ikea, bubble wand, side walk chalk, gardening gloves, smoothie cup, ABC book, puppy dog pals and bath color drops.

The boys did so well during Mass, and we only had to spend a little bit of time chasing Luke around outside. Owen was bored, we didn't go to a children's service, but he was such a good boy! Afterward we went back to Keith's mom's for an egg hunt and breakfast.

Later in the day after Luke's nap we went to my grandpa's house for dinner and, you guessed it, egg hunt #3 of the day. We were swimming in the sugar at this point. I brought a Bacon Cheddar Ranch cheese ball as an appetizer - recipe below!

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheese Ball

2 8oz blocks of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
1 cup bacon, chopped
1 packet powdered ranch seasoning
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced

*parsley for garnish and crackers for serving

1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until evenly combined.
2. Using clean hands, form into a ball. If you want to cover your's in chopped pecans, crushed crackers or more chopped bacon, this is when you'd do that.
3. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until about 15 minutes before serving. Serve with crackers.

We managed to get a family photo, but neither of the boy's were in the mood for smiling nicely at the camera. I hope you had a lovely Easter with the people you love!

March 23, 2018

Friday Five: Perler Beads, Ikea and St. Patrick's Day

Happy Friday!

| O N E | We celebrated St. Patrick's Day last weekend with a big family dinner, and lots of good Irish food. I brought my usual Irish Soda Bread like I do each year. I made 4 loaves this year since our group was pretty big this year. What's pictured isn't even all of it, there were 1 1/2 loaves not pictured.

Owen worked on his leprechaun trap during the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day and we set it up in the kitchen the night before. Unfortunately, he did not catch a leprechaun again this year, but he wasn't too bummed because the sneaky guy left behind some chocolate gold coins instead. 

The leprechaun also left behind proof of his mischief in form of a green toy battle scene and green toilet water.

| T W O | My sister-in-law watches Luke for me on Wednesday mornings so I can help in Owen's classroom. I'm usually done helping early, so I'm left with a little time to run some errands. This week I went to Ikea with a list of items to aide in some spring organizing plans I have.

I picked up...

- an Algot drawer thing for Owen and Luke's closet
- some shelf risers for the kitchen
- bins for the pantry (they were on SALE for $4.50 and $2.79!)
- napkins because I always buy them when I go. I love their fun designs and low price!
- trains for Luke's Easter basket
- a set of mesh bags for luggage organization
- a plant and prints for a PTA Teacher Appreciation Day project
- Perler beads for Owen

I pretty much always buy napkins and straws when I go to Ikea, and it's always fun to see what new things they have.

| T H R E E |  The MVP purchase of my shopping trip was undoubtedly the Perler beads! Owen sat for over an hour and a half creating his designs. I have to admit, I'm pretty into them myself! Pinterest has some really cute design ideas.

| F O U R | My first Grove collaborative order arrived this week! Can you believe my whole order was $22.41? There is an offering going on (you can find it on Megan's blog, Honey We're Home) that will give you some free Mrs. Meyer's items with a purchase of $20 or more, so I jumped on it. I love the peony smell!

Get $10 off your first order by using my referral code!

| F I V E | My favorite snack this week, rice cakes with PB2, half a banana and a dash of cinnamon. Filling, a little sweet, the perfect snack with a cup of coffee in the afternoon!

Have any fun weekend plans? I just checked the weather and it looks like there is no longer rain being anticipated for the weekend, so we will probably be busy with t-ball practice and games as planned! Have a good one!

You can see where I'm linking up HERE!

March 19, 2018

Lately - T-ball, Trains and a Recipe

Where has time gone? I pulled these photos off my camera over a week ago to share here and now I feel like they're way old. A little this and that from what we've been up to lately.

Greek Burger Recipe. In an effort to eat a little healthier these days I've been trying to eat a high-protein, low-carb diet, not really a "diet" since I'm hoping to make it a norm. I'm not eating like this all the time, I still drink my International Delight coffee creamer every morning, and I still drink a glass of wine most nights, but otherwise I'm trying to keep my intake of empty calories low.

The dinner you see above, Greek Turkey Burgers, is one of my favorites right now. The burger has all sorts of good stuff in it with so much flavor! I top it with about 2 tbsps of homemade taziki or Good Foods Cucumber Feta dip.
Ballpark visit. We took the boys up to San Francisco on the train last weekend to visit the ballpark, eat lunch and ride the Coca-cola slide.  Owen started t-ball a few weeks ago, so we thought this would be a fun field trip for him. It's always neat seeing the ball park empty! We can't wait for baseball season!

Luke loved riding the train on the way up! Every time we stopped he would say "New choo-choo??", which means "more choo choo", but on the way back he was not as keen on it. On the way back he would get up at each stop and say "Allllll done!" He was pretty cute.

T-ball season is here! Owen's t-ball team had their first game last weekend! I thought Owen looked so handsome in his uniform and he really loved getting to play baseball with all the kids on his team. Keith is helping with the games and stays on the out field or dugout with the kids most of the game, which Owen loves. 

The snack parent for our first game really knocked it out of the park (get my joke?) with the snack! Each snack had a cute personalized tag, sunflower seeds, chocolate baseballs, a baseball toy, goldfish crackers and a cutie! I'm not sure I'll be able to top that when it's our turn! 

Soccer Camp. Speaking of sports, I'm signing Owen up for another week of Challenger Soccer camp this summer, since he loved it so much last year! Not only did he have a lot of fun, but it also got him moving in the summer and prepared for soccer season in the fall.

Here is a little more info about the camp: British Soccer Camps are the most popular soccer camp in the US. With an innovative curriculum that develops skills, speed and confidence in players ages 3-18, The British Soccer Camp provide boys and girls with the rare opportunity to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international expert's right in the heart of their own community. In addition to teaching new skills and improving game performance, each British Soccer Camp provides lessons in character development, cultural education and is the most fun your child can have learning the sport they love!

Enroll in the most popular soccer camp in North America! British Soccer Camps have programs for all ages and abilities and feature an innovative curriculum full of skills, drills, and thrills! Register now and you will not only get your free British Soccer game jersey (value $34.95) shipped to you for free immediately, but you will also get our brand new skill development App and 20 videos to help your child practice at home. Your soccer ball, T-shirt & poster will be given out at camp. USE CODE BSC18 at check out to get free shipping.

To Enroll: