Good Grief! I can't believe I haven't posted since LAST September. I think back then I swore it wouldn't happen again...in my defense...life has been INSANE in the MENBRANE! ;) Here's a quick recap:
Halloween: The little kids dressed up for school and trick or treating at the Trunk or Treat across the street at the church. I have been making scripture totes and aprons for Pioneer Party and they have been a hit. A friend of mine had patterns for Trick or Treat bags that she had given me and I'd made a few and taken them in...they sold in a minute and I made more...I made sure to make them for my kiddos too. I'll take pictures, they are pretty cute!
This year Addy was a Monster High doll...Frankie Stein
Camden and Cole were Kissing Booths
and Holden was Red Foo from LMFAO "I'm Sexy and I Know it"
We ended up with GOBS and GOBS of candy by the time we were done with grandma and grandpa's house and the Trunk or Treat! I think I took pictures...I'll find them...
Thanksgiving: was a blur...I think we ate at my mom's? Ugh. It was seriously a blur. We did! My sweet potatoes turned into sweet potato soup. :/
And right after that...Tyler turned 17! Seriously! 17! ACCCCCHHHHH!
We celebrated his birthday with the family and "death by chocolate" cake from Costco...you know, that 7 layer chocolate cake...yep, that's the one. Death by Chocolate.
He got...crap...I can't even remember what we got him for his birthday...nice.
CLOTHES! I remembered! CLOTHES! Jeans (I bought them too small...nice...and had to return them.) The kid has GROWN! A sweater and some button up shirts and t-shirts and a jacket. Such a teenager!
December: was insanity! In a crazy good way! Lots of things culminated in December...Shawn was able to retire from the Police Department which was AWESOME! And even though he didn't have anything lined up for the future, it was SOOOOO good! I don't think my eyes were ever dry in December. I was just so overwhelmed with Gratitude all month. His last official day was December 21. It was such a relief to be done with that hell hole. Sorry. Not many people knew how nightmarish the last 15 months had been for us. It was bad. There were a few times I was pretty sure if I went home I'd find a dead husband. Bless Karalee. She never hesitated when I'd call and say, "I can't get a hold of Shawn...will you go check?" She did. Every time. Knowing what I was worried about. Talk about love. That woman. I love her.
So, him getting out alive...SO GRATEFUL! Because, I love that man.
Amidst all the chaos of that...Pioneer Party made me a VENDOR rather than Consigner...basically they make orders for aprons and bags and pay me up front rather than when they sell. WHOO HOO! I was pretty excited and bought myself a nice new sewing machine! (I made 17 aprons and 10 bags in December)
Christmas: was incredible! We were so blessed. At one point I really felt like we had surely run out of blessings. But they just kept coming. We were spoiled. Our old Chief (the good one) was selling his Harley and because it was me buying it, gave me a KILLER deal...so that's what Shawn got for Christmas.
I got an Ipad...and I LOVE it!
Tyler got hunting stuff...he was happy! Though, there isn't room in his closet for clothes anymore. The kid is outfitted!
Holden got a long board...and so far so good...no broken bones! And an Ipod Touch.
Cole, Camden, and Addy each got Kindle Fires, covers and head phones!
Spoiled I know!
We got to spend the day with family...mine in the morning and Shawn's at night. And all was as it should be...except we missed our Youngs and Metcalfs...but we did get to face time with Tiff...so that was super. Though we realized we are retarded at facetime.
January brought a fabulous change for Shawn and I both...well, really it was right before Christmas, but we didn't get started until the new year. Shawn was pursued by Farmers Insurance and is now a Career Agent! The blessings continued to be poured...dumped...on our little family. He studied his heart out and passed both of his state licensing tests the FIRST time with an unheard of score! Apparently no one passes on their first time and then it is only by the skin of their teeth. Shawn is amazing...but I already knew that! He started in the office as a Reserve Agent about 6 weeks ago.
Most importantly though, Holden turned 14! GAH! He is such a joy...he really is. I can't complain one bit about my teenagers...they are super great! Holden tried out for Willow Creek Singers (the highest choir in Jr High) and made it...He sang, You Are My Sunshine. I hid in the bathroom and cried a little, cause I use to sing that to him when he would go to sleep...and he is doing Track this year too...and LOVES it! Plus! He started training with the Intramural Football team off and on and thinks he will do it next year. What a kid!
Also of note...after crying (yes for real) I accepted the challenge to design and create a float that will win our ward Sweepstakes again this year! AGH! The theme? 75 years of Kids, Country, and Fun.
Our float? A miniature of the Rodeo grounds/Arena! Set in 1937...the FIRST Annual Lehi Round Up Rodeo! We have an announcer, cowboy, rodeo queen, bull, clown, 4 concession stand sellers and 4 little girls ready to go to the rodeo on the float...6 cowboys pulling the float, 3 Rodeo Queen attendants carrying the signs, 2 concession stand boys selling RODEO BURGERS, "Thank you very much" being piped through the crowd, and a healthy following of 15 boys and girls ready to see the rodeo with stick horses, tickets, and money.
February: Shawn started officially at the office mid-month and trained with the District Manager for a few weeks then they let him loose. And he has FLOWN! He is blowing them all away! In order to become a career agent he had to sell 40 home and auto policies and 4 life policies. Usually this takes 3-4 months, though there are agents who are still not there after 8 months. Shawn becomes a Career Agent Wednesday...that's only 4 weeks after starting folks. He set a record in the district...AND...he is LEADING the District in new business. So...he may win an Ipad 2.
On top of all that good news...the best part is this...HE IS HAPPY! Happy like he hasn't been in 5 years. HAPPY!
And our family continues to be blessed. People have come out of the woodwork asking for quotes and bids and clammering...yes clammering...to sign up.
I think the most poignant sell though, was the one he didn't have to sell at all. One of his brothers and his wife told him that they didn't care if they had to pay more for insurance, they were switching to Shawn...because that's what family does. I still cry. Because after 15 months of feeling helplessly alone...we realized that we really aren't. And that was so great. And it meant so much to us both. More than they even know. Shawn was so glad that he was able to save them money...cause they would have switched anyway. :)
And, while this news isn't mine...I feel that I have been actively involved...with the regular hottub visits and all ;)...Shantel and Kyle are ENGAGED! And the denim quilt...well...it's pieces right now, but I'm on it!
March: I am realizing more and more that life just doesn't slow down...ever...Shawn is busy "slaving away" and loving it! I am busy sewing away and loving it! I've got 14 of my 17 dresses for the float done now and just have 4 newsboy hats, 6 concession stand hats, 12 vests, and 10 pair of trousers to make and I'm done... thank goodness for INCREDIBLE women who are taking care of the pom poms, crowns, sashes, burgers, horses, and every thing else imaginable! The kids are doing so well! We switched them to early birds in January so that Shawn can still take them to school in the morning and then they ride the bus to Karalee's who brings them home so they can play. I've become addicted to my crockpot! So we actually eat every night. :) We are getting use to the new schedules and figuring out how to organize life...
It's just soooooo good!