I just wanted to check in and let everyone know we are still here and doing good! I just finished sorting through photos and I have about 15 blog posts I need to do to get caught up: our summer vacation, back to school stuff, fall soccer, karate, Liv's 4th birthday, trips home, Halloween, work, Thanksgiving, Abby's 7th birthday...just to name a few! Sheesh! :)
Here is just a quick version of life around here...
*We spent almost a whole week at home for Thanksgiving and had a great time with family. It's always my favorite holiday because everyone is home, I get to see my sister and her family for longer than a day or 2, we always have a blast, the girls love playing with their cousins, we do our annual Black Friday shopping, etc.
*I am about to wrap up my first semester as a college instructor and collegiate cheerleading coach. It has been a wild, but really awesome and really fun semester. We have our Christmas dinner and Secret Santa gift exchange tonight after our game. Coaching college aged kids is a BIG change from the younger kids, and even the high school kids I am used to, but it has been a lot of fun and I am loving the change. I am still teaching tumbling about 6hrs a week at the gym here in town, too, and I love it now that my schedule is a little more managable. I cut a lot of hours to make more time for the cheerleading gig, so it has all worked out, and while it's very busy at times, I enjoy it.
*Abby turned SEVEN on Monday! :( I can not believe it. Nothing about seven sounds little and I don't like it one bit. Her party is Sunday. :)
*Liv has her first school Christmas program this Sunday, also. They have been practicing for what feels like months now! haha! She sings Christmas carols all. day. long. :) I love it and can't wait to see them perform.
*Scott is still working craptastic hours and shifts. Every month is a new shift. So, this past weekend was the first time he was home on a Saturday since September. He will have a few weekends off, but now he is working awful hours and we get to see him for, maybe, a few hours each day. I'm exhausted and I know he is, too, but it is what it is, right?! :)
*We got our house plans finalized a couple of months ago, and we currently waiting on bids back from two builders. Exciting. I think I told you all that we bought land here in the same neighborhood where we live now! ha! Yes, we are those people! ;) You can look out our back door now and see where our new house will be. We'll have a couple of acres, a little area of woods, a creek, etc. Not the 300 acres Scott would like, but a nice compromise until retirement! ha!
*Abby was promoted to Junior Black Belt in November but has decided to take some time off of karate to think about if it's something she really wants to continue (the junior black belt program is more of a time commitment, more serious, etc. so we are making her take it seriously and really think about it). She loves karate and is very good at it, so I hope she starts back up soon, but we will see.
*Both girls are heavy into gymnastics/tumbling still. (another reason why we are taking a karate break...Abby has had a renewed interest in tumbling and is wanting to spend more time on that.) Abby loves it, she takes classes with her BFF's, they have so much fun and I just love watching them together. She does a great job and when she works hard, she is fantastic. Her teacher told me that she is so funny to watch at recess because she will be over teaching 10 other girls a cheerleading or dance routine. ha! Her and her little friends even got in trouble the other day because they were stunting and tossing one another in the air. :/ They said they had to laugh, though, because while they couldn't allow them to do that at school, they knew Abby knew exactly what she was doing! ha!
And, I seriously hate even saying it because it sounds like I am just bragging because she is mine, but Liv is for real a super star. I have coached hundreds and hundreds of kids and she is one of the most naturally talented I have seen. It is so easy for her, and she is so good. And, it is all she wants to do...all day, every day. I usually have to tell her to stop and take a break, instead of urging her to practice! ha! She just turned 4 in Sept. and she is in classes with girls that are 3 and 4 years older than her. We are going to keep her in classes with me for a while longer to get all the basics taught and mastered and then if she is still so into it, we are going to look into moving her to a new gym where she can try out the beam, vault and bars...and I am turning her over to another coach! ha! :) It's so nice to have always been able to coach and teach the girls myself but at a certian point, I don't want to be the coach any more...just Mom. :)
*Abby is also doing Girl Scouts this year, and I can't say enough good stuff about that program. She loves it, too. :)
*It's crazy town around here, as always! ha! But, we are all doing good...everyone is happy and healthy, and there is nothing better than being able to report that! We are gearing up for Christmas. Lots of fun stuff planned for the next couple of weeks. We went to see real reindeer and lots of lights last weekend. And, Scott took me to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes for my birthday/anniversary! I was in heaven! ha! LOVE, LOVE, LOVED it! :) The girls have a few little parties coming up and programs at school/church. We always get angels from the angel tree and this year we got a 2yr old little girl so the girls really enjoyed shopping for her. I think it's so important that they know and understand how blessed and fortunate they are, and how very important it is to do for others every. Abby's school also collected toys, coats and food for a local charity. Their goal is to fill a whole bus and it makes me so proud that Abby comes home talking about that every day...how much they have, how much they still need, how she needs to bring more, etc.
We all have our moments, too...their has been plenty of naughtiness to go along with all of the good and exciting stuff! ha!...I was cracking up because we had our big tree up for 5min. before Abby cartwheeled into it, nearly knocking it over and breaking ornaments in the process, Liv wrote all over the couch with a red permanent marker a few weeks ago, the dog literally ate the girls trampoline (its nearly destroyed...it's been out back for months but for some reason he started chewing on it one day! grrrr...), and both girls got their first real 'grounding' for acting like fools while at the eye doctor with Scott. ha! They got TV and their V Readers taken away for 48hrs. But...I'm sure we will all squeak by on the good list again this year! :)
If I don't get around to posting all of the things I need to post before Christmas...Merry Christmas, from the Utley Crew! I hope you all have a blessed and happy holiday season! :)