December 31, 2011

Looking Back on 2011

I started 2011 very, very pregnant.

A decided to join us on January 17 - just one day before his due date. He totally changed my life, in the best way possible.

I still can't believe how quickly he stole my heart...and how he continues to do so every day.

This year has been a whirlwind of firsts. From birth to running in less than a year. One of my favorite "firsts" was his first smile...

His first trip to a winery (and first St. Patrick's day!)

All of the sudden he was sitting, then crawling, walking, running...what's next?

I should mention that it was also a very exciting year for me in terms of visiting National Parks. I went to Channel Islands, Mt. Rainier and Yosemite. It pays off to know lots of cool people in the National Park service!

We finally got to experience SoCal sports...A got to go to his first Major league baseball game...I'm sure grandpa hopes there are many more in his future.

We started exploring the world around us more that A is here. He loves plants, so botanic gardens, parks and hiking were things we tried to do this year...

The lost art of just playing re-entered my life. This year I had to learn to NOT be productive (in the traditional sense). That just playing with my little guy is both fun and productive. He is awesome at playing. I have much to learn from him.

This year I go to take swimming lessons again, and watch how much A enjoys the water. I have a feeling there will be a lot of swimming in my future....

I loved the opportunity to start our own family traditions, taking the best from our families and making some of our own!

I can't believe how much life has changed. I look forward to all the new and even more exciting changes that are ours to experience in 2012. Though I can't imagine what can top 2011!

My Top Ten Most Popular Posts of 2011

I'm stealing this idea from some of my favorite Mommy bloggers, Nancy at The Chancy FamilyKayse at Finding Hope and Kelli at The How To Mommy. I thought it would be neat to see look back at what my top 10 most popular posts according to Blogger.

I started this blog to keep my friends and family that don't have facebook (gasp) up to date on A's life. Then I realized how much I loved writing...and now I can't stop :) I also have met some other amazing mommy bloggers on the journey and I feel so lucky to be part of their community! 

I really enjoy blogging A's life and sharing them with my friends and family. I hope you enjoy it too!

Top 10 posts of 2011!
I hope everyone had as wonderful a 2011 as I wishes for an even better 2012!

December 30, 2011

End of Year Giving

Generally I don't wait until the last minute to make sure and donate to worthy organizations, but somehow this year just flew by. There is only one day left to make sure and donate this year. I would love to give more, but want to make sure and give something.

So here is a reminder to make sure and donate a little to a group that is doing something that you believe in. A little goes a long still have a whole day left for 2011!

Some organizations I give to:

1. Galapagos Conservancy - My husband and I were lucky enough to be able to visit the Galapagos, an amazing place that definitely needs conserving!
2. World Wildlife Fund - an organization that strives to save wildlife around the globe

Children in Need
3. Childfund - supporting children with the highest needs around the world
4. Smile Train - supporting doctors who donate their time for cleft palate surgeries in underserved countries.

Cancer Research
5. Hockey Fights Cancer - The NHL partners with the players to fight cancer
6. Melanoma Research Foundation - trying to find ways to educate and cure skin cancer
7. American Cancer Society - Sponsor of the Relay for Life event, a great community fundraiser inthe fight against cancer

Hunger & Health
8. Give a Meal - Right now your donation is being matched 3:1, so $15 means 120 meals
9. Partners in Health - Helping the poor find health care
10. Nothing but Nets - Buying nets for those that need them to combat malaria


11. Hosparus - supporting dignity in end of life
12. Peace Corps Panama - donating to local peace corps projects
13. KCLU - Have to support my local NPS station, as I listen every day!

New Year, New Followers {Follower Fest}

So for the New Year some of my awesome mommy blogger friends thought it would be fun to do a major blog hop with lots of hosts! Hopefully everyone can get some new followers, and find some new awesome blogs to follow ourselves!

This blog hop is hosted by the amazing blogs below:

Army Wife Style

Chasing Fireflies
So the rules are:

* Visit each host, and any of the people linked up that you find interesting. The more you follow, the more followers you get in return, leave a comment telling them you found them from the New Years New Followers Fest!

* Link to your favorite blog post of 2011. Do not just link directly to your blog. We want to see your favorite post!

* Write a post about this blog hop on steroids and include the button in your post. Spread the word!

New Year Follow Fest

Retro Christmas

It's amazing how quickly time flies over the holidays...I can't believe it's already December 30th!

Before the year ends, I will fill you in on some of my favorite Christmas gifts that A recieved...ones that remind me of my childhood :)

We love Fievel!
...and one of my favorites...the popper :)


Playing with wooden puzzles with Aunt L!

Looking retro :)

December 24, 2011

Wishing Everyone a Merry Christmas!

We're going to be busy with family and all will be quiet on the blog front for a few days.

Enjoy your holidays...I hope to have some nice pictures to share of A's first Christmas.

December 22, 2011

Getting ready for Christmas!

I can't believe A's first Christmas is almost here! 
A is texting someone about the strange reindeer in our living room.

A's first gift - he loves it!

My fridge is full - Christmas must be near!

They are ready for Christmas!

December 19, 2011

Our Awesome House :)

My awesome husband made the house look great this year!

December 18, 2011

Fillmore Fun

We unexpectedly ran across some Christmas fun this past weekend. We went to Fillmore to see the trains and to drink wine (they have the strangest winery). 

Little did we know that A would get to experience his first ride - the Carousel. He loved the fake Santa more than the real one last week. The bouncy house was NOT a hit...but he looked adorable in his conductor's hat - of course :)

Running into the ground

Quite literally.

We have our first running injury, poor guy. he looks like Rudolph.

December 14, 2011

Taking time

I have to remind myself to take a breath and take time for myself.

I have to remember that somethings are worth putting off.

Reading a book, spending time writing, enjoying a cup of tea. These are things I need to find time to do.

It is so hard to balance work, home, and me. I have had so much work lately, and the little guy needs me as well. But I need to remember to give time back to myself. I will be a much better mother, wife, park ranger and just a better person.

I have so many wonderful things in my life, it's hard to remember that I am part of my wonderful life ;)

Santa Claus

I wonder what he asked for?

December 12, 2011

Looking back at last year...

...and I'm getting all nostalgic!

For your viewing pleasure...One year ago today :)

December 9, 2011

Long week - and inspiration

I've been absent this week. Lots of work and a sick baby made it very hard to find time to blog. As I was wallowing in self pity over my horrible week, I realized it wasn't that bad.

The turn-around came from an unlikely source. Work. It had been the cause of most of my stress this week, but it was also the source of my "re-inspiration."

I work with amazing, dedicated, talented, sincere, smart, giving, thoughtful, inspiring people. How lucky am I? Sometimes it just takes a little reflection on the bigger picture to take away the stress of today.

Thanks everybody for making me feel better :)

Some of my awesome current co-workers - and ones I will get to work with soon!

December 5, 2011


A sick baby is a horrible thing. Poor little guy has a stomach virus.

Babies can't tell you what's wrong. If it's a lot of pain, or a little. If it's been going on for awhile or if it's new. They can't tell you where it hurts or when.

As a mom, I imagine the worst. I want to make his pain go away. I want to believe it's a little stomach virus and nothing else. So why does my brain only start imagining the worst? The doctor didn't seem worried, so I shouldn't either...but I can't help it.

As my husband said today, it's my job to worry. It's not an easy job.

December 4, 2011

Holiday Season Fun!

So Days 1-4 of our Holiday adventures have so far been mostly a success!

We introduced A to Christmas trees, but still haven't found the perfect wreath (any ideas?)

We went to Arctic Lights at the local Zoo school. A touched his first snow...he wasn't sure about it...

but he loved the hat, and the other kids :)

He saw his first animal show...and waved at the coati...

My Christmas card order went through from Tiny Prints...I can't wait to see them!

And the lights in the yard are to come soon! I have the most awesome husband, he did the lights without any help from me at all :)

December 3, 2011

Let the Holiday season begin

We love the holidays here at Crazy Casa K, so when I saw this December daily Advent Calendar over at one of my favorite mommy blogs, Hello Jack, I immediately decided to try for myself! So for the countdown to Christmas, I will try to plan a Christmas related event every day. Wish me luck!

December 1 Christmas Lights in the yard (well, supporting my awesome husband as he does this!)
December 2 Ordering Christmas Cards
December 3 Going to Arctic Lights (yes, in California)
December 4 Heading to the local tree farm to smell Christmas trees and buy a wreath
December 5 Decorating the wreath
December 6 Holiday Trivia
December 7 Making treats for work

December 8 Work Holiday Celebration!
December 9 Taking A to get his picture taken with Santa
December 10 Baking Christmas cookies
December 11 Santa to Sea 5k
December 12 Mailing our Christmas Cards
December 13 Seeing the neighborhood Christmas lights 

December 14 Christmas Shopping
December 15 Starting to wrap gifts
December 16 Going to the Parade of Lights
December 17 Snow Day Fun Day
December 18 Taking the traditional picture of Moose in his Antlers!

December 19 Making Donations for the Holidays
December 20 Finishing any last minute Christmas shopping & wrapping
December 21 Drinking hot cocoa by our fireplace
December 22 Relaxing at home with my family
December 23 Packing for Grandma and Grandpa's house!
December 24 Christmas Eve dinner at my parent's home with our favorite friends!
December 25 Christmas morning with my parent's and sisters :)

We are so excited about experiencing the holiday season with A for the first time. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please let me know :)

December 1, 2011

Tasty Thursday: 180 lunches

I seem to be unable to find the time to really cook, but I am occasionally inspired by other bloggers to try new things!

One of the best side-effects of blogging is that I get to know other bloggers and read their amazing blogs. So I decided I would share their awesomeness with you. The first blog I want to mention is a recent find from a friend that I met in college. She is an amazing writer with two awesome kids and now I come to find out, impressive lunch making skills.

Her blog, 180 lunches, chronicles her quest to provide healthy, appealing lunches for her kids. 180 is the number of days that lunch must be packed for the school aged wee ones. She has taken on the challenge of providing plenty of creative, healthful lunch recipes and ideas, and inspiring us to come up with some of our own. 

I decided to try some of the much maligned vegetable, the brussel sprout. Her Bacon and Maple Syrup Brussel Sprouts were delicious! While mine didn't turn out as beautiful as hers (did I mention she is a very talented photographer as well?), they were super tasty. 

Final product (photo


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