Monday, December 21, 2009

Accentuate the Positive....

With the end of 2009 approaching, I cannot help but reflect on our many blessings and all the wonderful things to come. This year Liam started preschool, Kate entered Kindergarten, Nick and I celebrated eight years of marriage, and we got a dog! We got to travel quite a bit as Nick gave away his beautiful bride of a sister at her Las Vegas wedding, we took a family trip to the North Shore of Minnesota, vacationed without the kiddos in New Mexico, and concluded the year celebrating the marriage of my best friend in Longboat Key, FL. (It just occurred to me that this is the 'Cliffs Notes' version of our blog if you don't feel like scrolling through the last year). Kate is tearing through chapter books and stunning us with her constant joy and thoughtfulness and Liam is a ball of energy and delight who would be pleased to play with trucks and diggers 24/7. Nick's job keeps him traveling and busy, but he gets in good personal time. He still runs and shoots hoops and now also can boast a top position in the Twin Cities darts league. All this and he still remains the most active and engaged father I know. From Saturday morning pancake making with the kids to bedtime stories, he is always there for them. And for me! I have managed to come to the 3/4 mark of grad school, with the help of my entire family. I have a loving and supportive husband, helpful parents, understanding children, and fantastic babysitters. I continue to be involved in Ever After Gowns and Kappa Alpha Theta - both of which bring me so much personal joy and satisfaction. All in all, our blessings are abundant and far outweigh any daily stressors. It is darn hard to balance everything for sure, but gosh what a good problem to have! My Rheumatoid Arthritis remains in good check for the most part and we just continue to wake up every day so thankful for the love and blessings that we have. Most of all, we are always aware of all the wonderful people that touch our lives and bring us so much support and friendship. We look forward to 2010! I will have an intense first 5 months with the completion of my thesis and my graduation in May - - and by default Nick and the kids will have a bit of a ride as well. We strive to stop and reflect on the blessings as often as possible and be grateful always.

Best to you and yours as the new year approaches! Cheers to 2010!



Kate at one of the highlights of her year - her first Broadway Show experience! "Mary Poppins"!



If I had to describe Liam, this pic would do it. You cannot see his fingers, but if you could, you would see us securely wrapped around them! :)




Nick and Maggie at a wedding in Florida. Great way to cap off the year.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Where have I been?!

I know. The time between posts keeps getting loooonger and looonger. That is because life keeps getting more and more hectic! Whew! It is bonkers around here.

Let's see, what has happened in the past couple months? Aside from several work trips for both Nick and I, me working on my thesis, the kids being in school and all the room-mother, field trip, school programs, girl scouts, swim lessons, dance class, art class and such that go with that....not much. Oh! Except add a new puppy to that mix. I think that covers it in a nutshell!

In October, we rescued a puppy. We named her "Darby" which is gaelic for "freedom" which we thought appropriate as she was rescued from some a pretty scary situation (puppies being used as target practice on a reservation up north). She is darling and HUGE. She is a lab/german shepherd mix and is a gorgeous reddish color with enormous feet and tons of love. She is such a great addition to the family and we are loving it. She is absolutely perfect with the kids - which is a good thing because they love on her like crazy - and is totally in love with Nick. She is snuggled up next to me as I type.

The holidays are bound to be just as busy, if not more so, than the past months. In fact, I have a about 150 pages of reading to finish for homework, so I had better get back to that. The good news is, I still hold my 4.0 in school and the thesis is cranking along nicely. Life is terrifyingly busy, but wonderfully good. We certainly try to make the most of it, but take time regularly to slow down and enjoy all our blessings.

Here is a pic of our Darby girl and a fun video of Liam to check out from this weekend (we spent some time as a family at a warehouse full of bouncy houses....kiddo heaven).

Much love from the Harris crew. More to come - but I cannot promise that it will be soon! :)


video

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ever After Gowns

EVER+AFTER+GOWNS

Please check out this link above to learn more about my charity and how you can help! We are growing by leaps and bounds and are only able to do so - and to help so many deserving young women - through the help of generous souls.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Kate is a little bit excited!

Kate was beyond excited to receive this gift from her Auntie Erin and family. "It's a teacup pup, don't you know?"


video

Kate is SIX!!!!

How is it possible that we have a six year old?! She is so bright and beautiful and warm and funny and sweet. We could not be more proud. Happy Birthday, Kate!


Kate and her lovely bday cake! :)

The Birthday Girl with her Dad!


Yum! Red Velvet Cake!


Kate EXTREMELY excited about her bday gift from Uncle Pak and Miss Jillian - a barbie horse.

Kate and her Gramps.

Loretto Chapel - Santa Fe

This little chapel was beautiful! If you want to read the legend around the staircase, google the miraculous staircase of the Loretto Chapel. Neat!





Some fun around Santa Fe

Some more pics of our fun in Santa Fe

Enjoying yummy food at Coyote Cantina



Are we in PARIS or New Mexico?! We found a great little french place called "Clafoutis" and enjoyed crepes, baguettes, cafe, and more at a delicious decadent breakfast. Delish.

Nick enjoying cocktails at the WONDERFUL "Library Bar" at La Posada.

Standard fare for us on this trip. Guac, Chips, Salsa, and Margs. Happiness.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Reaching the Rio Grande

We did it! We hiked down to the edge of the Rio Grande in the middle of backcountry New Mexico. Love it!




More New Mexico Hiking


We came upon this on our hike. Something BIG had something BIG to eat! Ack!

Nick hiking through a wooded glen

Coming out of the wooded glen into the desert canyon

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More Hiking

More amazing hiking!!!! New Mexico Rocks!






Bandelier Hiking

Our 5+ mile hike into Bandelier Backcountry was astounding! We went from evergreen mountain cliffs to woodland glens to canyon floors and desert brush - all the way down to the Rio Grande, passing waterfalls and crossing streams along the way. It was hiking heaven!!!!!


The start of our hike

Loving the hike!

"Ford every streeeaaaam"

Pak, Jillian, and Nick checking out the peaceful beauty.

"Climb every mountaaaiiiiin"

Bandelier Dwellings

We headed out to Bandelier National Park to explore the cave dwellings there and to do some excellent hiking. Here are some pics from the dwelling loop, which we did first before our 5+mile hike into backcountry.


Petroglyph = amazing!

Here we are in a cave dwelling - had to climb a ladder to get inside

Nick peeking out of a cave

Monday, September 21, 2009

We Made It!

After over 4 miles of hiking, most uphill, we made it! Well worth it - stunning views.





Canyons

Traveling through the slot canyons was AMAZING!