The Best of 2015

Dimitri and I have this theory that odd-numbered years are hard. For some reason, since we’ve been married, this has held true.  2015 has been challenging, not going to lie. However,  as I am looking back through the photos from the year – it doesn’t seem so bad after-all.   Perhaps the best part of this time between Christmas and New Year’s is that of reflection. As I put together this little collection of “Best of” moments,  I gained some much-needed perspective on this challenging year of 2015.  Instead of hardships and challenges, I see growth, courage, fun, and love out of this family of mine and that makes me very happy.

With that I give you the Bests of 2015:

Best impromptu dance ending UntitledBest Spider-girl It's snowing! Happy Wednesday! #missz #dontask

Best vacationOne of my favorite 6 person selfies!Untitled

Best photo bomb:#scenesfromthedinnertable #missz #photobomb @dimitri_bostinelosBest celebrity dinner guest:Look who joined us for dinner tonight! Abraham Lincoln ! #owenchristoper #scenesfromthedinnertable

Best squishy face:
Squishy face #owenchristopher


Best princess:  



Best trip to the hotel water park:They are SO happy right now #bostinelosbrosBest tiny dancer:  


Best bunny ears:Poor Lucy #owenchristopher

Best kazoo band:IMG_0478

Best use of color:


Best sunset:IMG_9990

Best stuntman IMG_0173

Best recorder soloistRecorder time #myethanBest game night:Game night. Game 1

Best cat-napCat nap.Best cuddles:Sometimes 10 year olds need to cuddle too. #myethan @dimitri_bostinelos

Best pout:Miss Z wants to be the line leaderBest cat handler:I don't think Lucy is as happy to be held as Ethan is to hold her. #lucylou #myethan

Best mustache:TGIF!!!

Best 38th Birthday:For my birthday I asked for one good family pic! #happybirthdaytome #38

Best eskimo kissEskimo kisses #misszBest souvenir:Ethan found new pet in Kansas. We proudly introduce you to Alfred the turtle #myethan #alfredturtle

Best smile:IMG_0113Best graduate:


Best Sugar dog:Sugar enjoying fresh breezes by the front door #sugardog

Best time meeting 90’s band members (Gin Blossoms) :The one time when we met the Gin Blossoms #awesome #90sforever

Best tap dancing elephantsIMG_1444

Best laugh:IMG_1207

Best bike ride:We made it to South Dakota! #tristatetrailstourBest one rocking the Irish-Greek thing:The one that looks most Greek out of my three is wearing a Irish shirt to Greekfest #irishgreek #funny #owenchristoper

Best time getting soaked at an outdoor concert:It's all fun and games until a thunderstorm hits and we are soaked down to our underwear running to the car. I so wanted to hear them play If I had Million Dollars! 😢Best attitude:IMG_1880

Best slumber party:From last night. Monday was exhausting #latergram

Best lake creature Owen of the lake #owenchristoper #summer2015

Best lake family selfie:One from yesterday! The kids are exhausted and we are unpacking the car! #summer2015 #arnoldspark #partyof5 #latergramBest tilt-a-whirl ride:IMG_2595

Best photo bomb by Yia Yia:Photo bombed by Yia Yia ! #paradetime #summer2015Best snow cone:I would like one snow cone as big as my head please! #sitpfest

Best nine year old:Happy 9th Birthday Owen!!! #owenchristoper

Best 20 year High School Reunion:Love my girls! #nhs95

Best zoo trip:Zoo day!Best pool day:Oh my #bostinelostrio

Best 37 year old:Happy Birthday Dimitri!!! @dimitri_bostinelosBest five year old:  


Best new member of the family:Meet the newest family member.. MiMi

Best kayaker:Right before Mimi jumped in @dimitri_bostinelos #Mimidog  Best napper:Mimi has been with us one week! I think we wore her out! Being a Bostinelos is hard work! #MimidogBest camping friends:Total we have 8 kids with us right now! Don't we look relaxed !Best first day of school:IMG_8072

Best trip to the dog park:IMG_7436Best lake day:IMG_7332

Best 11 year old:


Best look alike:

If she would only nap. #missz

Best Craigslist buyHome sweet camper   Best last weekend of summer:IMG_9141

Best Little Mermaid impersonation: IMG_9226

Best rival:

House divided #gocyclones #gohawks

Best concert:Great show @bryanadams !!  Best pumpkin patch selfie: Family selfie!


Best soccer player:


Best flag football player:IMG_9365Best trick-or-treating at the campsite:IMG_2890

Best dressed in orange:Today was Orange day. She told me she won 🎃 #misszBest brothers:Brothers... They gotta hug. #owenchristopher #myethan

Best cone-head:Mimi's incision from being spayed is infected 😬 and now she has to wear the cone of shame . #poorpuppy #coneofshame #mimidogBest family halloween photo:Happy Halloween from the Bostinelos family .. In the car on our way to a Halloween party!

Best trick-or-treaters:IMG_5941Best pumpkin carving party:IMG_5702

Best Friday the 13th Face:When I am waiting in front of the federal building in downtown Des Moines and I can't get a hold of my friend to come pick me up in my car. And when I finally do track her down I hear my car is dead. Always an adventure on our girl weekends!! Lol @sarahkl  Best double date:Double date! @sarahkleber @thomaskleber1969 @dimitri_bostinelos #avettbrothers Best gifts:

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Best cookie stealer:

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Best Moment:



Best Sunday morning:


Best bakers:

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Best us:

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Best gingerbread houses:



Best Christmas shirt:


Best candle blowout:



Best christmas tree hunters:


Best use of the skywalk:

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Best time at the movies:


Best Creeper:



Best use of headwear:




Best 4 out of 5:


The best carpet nap:



The best toy:



The best hat:



The best boys:



The best hug:



The best use of antlers:



Best Kiss:



The best Thanksgiving hosts:



The best puppy hugs:



2015 was the year of growth and learning. So instead of kicking this challenging year out the door, I will wave it goodbye and thank it for everything it has taught me, pushed me and help me grow.  I am ready to welcome 2016 in with open arms and a “let’s do this” attitude.

Here are a few quotes I’ve been collecting on Pinterest as I’ve been reflecting on 2015 and gearing up for 2016:

Here are some of my Bests from previous years: 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014

Not sure I will post again before the New Year!  I hope your 2015 ends in peace and happiness and your 2016 is full of wonder and excitement.





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12.26.15 | Christmas Wrap-Up

Here is a wrap-up of our Christmas…via some Project Life pages.

Below is from the Downtown Holiday Parade…which was awhile ago— I just hadn’t shared the photos.


And our annual trip to see Santa!



And then Santa sent the kids an email to follow-up.  Turns out they are all on the nice list! One of them was worried that they wouldn’t make it on to the nice list! (eek!)

23358746463_b4d707593f_o And a few photos from the days leading up to Christmas.  A get together with my book club. The kids had a few festive dress-up days at school. And our puppy, Mimi, isn’t looking like such a pup anymore!

23985569495_9d504147c6_o And then Christmas…which this year came so fast!  I was still getting things ready up until the last second, including picking up a few gifts,  impatiently waiting for one gift to show up in the mail (it never came!),  and wrapping presents with Dimitri on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.   Somehow, even with the missing gift, every thing turned out great and we spent two days with lots of family and lots of fun.  (click on pages to view larger – or you can see them on my flickr page




Things to remember:

  • Me in panic about gift wrapping and finding Dimitri wrapping away at the air hockey table on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.
  • Zooey getting her first American Girl Doll from Yia Yia and Pappou and being very excited
  • Having both my brother & sister home with all the nieces and nephews.
  • Owen holding every gift up above his head like he just scored the best present ever
  • Ethan walking around in his new squid hat and fart blaster
  • Owen’s Creeper from Minecraft hoodie he got from his Nouno (godfather) 
  • Laughing really hard at the selfie stick my parents got for me as a gag gift.
  • Yia Yia trying on her new fuzzy wuzzy vest
  • My Dad trying his new Google Cardboard
  • Playing on our new indoor basketball game with Zooey
  • Owen waking us up at 2:30, 5:30 and 6:30 am to open presents from Santa
  • Going to see Star Wars (again) on Christmas Day
  • Lots of cuddling, lounging and spending time together

This weekend – we have more plans with family and friends, but enjoying some downtime in between.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Posted in All about Owen, All About Zooey, All Three of Them, Around the House, Canon 60D, canon60D, Christmas, Dimitri, Ethan, everyday life, Family, Friends, From my phone, gifts, Grandparents, Holidays, Michelle, My Kids, Oh Brother, Pets, Pictures, Project Life, TOMS, winter | Leave a comment

12.21.15 | Hello Monday

Trying to get back into the swing of blogging…how about a Hello Monday to start the week?


Hello to putting a Project Life page together just hours after the event! I’ve been such a slacker this year.

Hello to a quick 24 hour trip away for Dimitri and I to Des Moines.

Hello to staying in a historic hotel downtown (love).

Hello to the Big 4 Classic and watching U of Iowa and Iowa State play basketball.

Hello to changing my shirt from Iowa to ISU in between the 1st and 2nd game. (because that’s how I roll)

Hello to going to a very late night showing of Star Wars, which was very good, but I was very tired, and should probably see it again just for good measure.

Hello to my mission to find coffee in the hotel on Sunday morning, which led to us eating breakfast at the hotel restaurant where we were the only customers.

Hello to enjoying an hour or so of peace on Sunday morning before hitting the road home.


Hello to making it home just in time to make gingerbread houses with the kiddos.

Hello to tag teaming the event with my parents who had to get going to their own holiday event just after we arrived.

Hello to three little kids who ate a lot of candy while decorating their houses.

Hello to three cute little finished gingerbread houses, which only one survived the ride home.


Untitled Hello to celebrating Mary Kay’s (my grandmother’s 1st cousin)  91st Birthday at my parents house on Sunday night.

Hello to pizza and cake. 

Hello to Art (another cousin) who dared put on an ISU hat so I had to take a photo and share it with everyone on Facebook (of course!).

Hello to silly conversations at the table with my funny family.   

Hello Monday. 

Posted in All Three of Them, Dimitri, everyday life, Family, Far Away, From my phone, Grandparents, Hello Monday, Michelle, Project Life, Together Forever, Us, winter | Leave a comment

12.19.15 | Currently

PicMonkey Collage Continue reading

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Christmas Tree Hunt 2015

Our annual visit to the Christmas Tree farm with the Peterson’s.  This year…a little bit of snow and a lot of mud.

A few iPhone photos first:

Have I mentioned that Dimitri is my personal selfie stick. The man is tall with long arms!
The gang is all here! #christmastreehuntingBecause Lisa and I must have cute Christmas boots while searching for the perfect tree. Christmas Boots!

Mandatory husband and wife selfie.
Mandatory selfie #christmastreehuntingAnd one with Lisa and I…her glasses match my coat. (not planned) Her glasses match my coat. #christmastreehunting @lisaannpeterson

Look at my man carry that tree..dang!Our tree! #christmastreehuntingSanta!Santa! #christmastreehunting #missz

And a few I stole from Lisa’s camera because they are cute, funny and weird…. in that order.

12309610_10153717181393965_2210909284388182841_o12304403_10153717181208965_8390295678023961888_o12291981_10153717182168965_8923768667926323394_oAnd finally..the ones from my big camera (Canon 60D) The boys fell asleep on the way there…Zooey may look tired her, but she was a non-stop talking machine the entire 30 minute drive to the tree farm.IMG_7103Owen checking out Santa. That hat used to be Dimitri’s when he was a kid. It’s now Owen’s favorite hat.


A little playground time before heading out to find our tree.IMG_7134IMG_7158-2IMG_7167

Brothers .




Looking for the perfect tree.IMG_7227IMG_7230IMG_7233

Zooey thought it would be fun to put snow on her head.IMG_7237IMG_7241

Still looking…the kids weren’t much help this year. They were lacking focus. IMG_7252


IMG_7255 IMG_7258 IMG_7262

Dimitri and I found “the one”..



Our muddy way back to the main area for some hot chocolate and cookies.


What a sport…this is his ” Stop taking photos of me smile” of course he doesn’t say that. But I can see it in that fake smile. Ha!



Zooey and I exploring around a bit…she was looking for chickens, don’t ask.

IMG_7276 IMG_7287

We are still working on the tree decorating part (aka..more photos to come). But overall a successful tree hunting trip! Even a good family photo! Yeah!


Love this time of year! Now I need to get shopping!

Posted in All about Owen, All About Zooey, All Three of Them, Canon 60D, canon60D, Christmas, Dimitri, Ethan, Friends, From my phone, My Kids, Oh Brother, Pictures, Together Forever, Us | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving 2015

This year’s Thanksgiving…

We had snow!

IMG_6151The kids headed out in it while we were getting Thanksgiving dinner ready. Mimi loves the snow! She also loves to steal Zooey’s hat and run.IMG_6156IMG_6158IMG_6161


Owen explaining to me he needs new mittens.IMG_6177

Zooey got her hat back!IMG_6206

At least for a secondIMG_6208IMG_6215

I was a little worried how Mimi would do with all the people at our house for Thanksgiving. But she was very will behaved!IMG_6217


My mom, Sister-in-laws and my brother.IMG_6222

The momsIMG_6224The Dads watching a funny video on the iPhone.IMG_6226

Ethan and his GrandmaIMG_6229Serious kitchen discussions while the turkey cooks.IMG_6234

My Dad with my niece and nephew.IMG_6239IMG_6241

David loving his Momma

The kid’s table.IMG_6252

A few from the grown-up table. Not pictured is when I started to be the DJ and somehow ended up putting the most depressing music on and everyone started laughing, in my defense it was supposed to be “soft dinner music” but apparently that means “break-up songs”.  I then switched it up to Downtown from Macklemore, and there was dancing going on at the table while some were was trying to figure out the lyrics. We then played the classic Thanksgiving song from Adam Sandler. I think my Thanksgiving DJ license has been revoked for future years! IMG_6255IMG_6257

Dimitri is taking control of the music back there. HA!IMG_6258After dinner, hanging out at the house and then some cards. Oh and of course..pie! IMG_6263IMG_6271IMG_6278IMG_6287IMG_6292IMG_6294IMG_6296

Our tradition of hot dogs for lunch at George’s Hot Dog Shop on Friday afternoon.
IMG_6324IMG_6331IMG_6334Funny people making faces at the camera (don’t think I won’t post these)IMG_6325

Every once in a while I will hand over the camera so I get in the photos too!IMG_6335George explaining something very serious to the boys as he hands out candy!IMG_6339

Daddy’s girlIMG_6343Not giving up her sucker for the photo.IMG_6348

IMG_6352After lunch we headed downtown. My brother and sister-in-law asked me to take a few family photos of them. It was really cold and snowy, so they opted for skywalk/ inside downtown photos! More to come on my photo blog…but here are a couple sneak peeks. IMG_6363IMG_6532Of course I had to take some photos of the cousins together.IMG_6401IMG_6843And my silly ones. IMG_6433IMG_6472IMG_6892IMG_6944IMG_7002IMG_7005IMG_7009Zooey was afraid of the escalator at first. But then got the hang of it and when up and down it about 50 times.IMG_6581

So proud of herself.IMG_6612

The boys being extra silly as always.IMG_6645IMG_6654IMG_6702IMG_6706

And then there was a race down the hall, got to work off that turkey and hotdogs! IMG_6825IMG_6829


And a few from my iPhone from the weekend:Excited for cousins in town! #missz @itstheopus13Cousins are the best!Love this little cyclone. #missz #andmeThe thanksgiving breakfast crew.! #happythankgivingFour out of 5 isn't bad. #wheresowenGetting ready to host thanksgiving for 19! #happythankgivingShe wanted a photo with her parents #misszMimi's first thanksgiving! Dimitri is giving her the run down of what not to do when our guests show up. #mimidog @dimitri_bostinelos #happythanksgivingIt's a white thanksgiving #happythanksgivingTable one ready to go! #happythanksgivingGobble gobble! #happythanksgivingMother and son. #happythanksgiving @dimitri_bostinelosThe kid table!The grown up table!Thanksgiving selfie #happythanksgivingCousinsDinner for 19 complete. Time for a nap.The couch is full!Because we haven't had enough to eat. Hot dogs. @ksdelos wish you were here!This is lunch at the hot dog shopHere we are eating, again #wherearemystretchypantsI hope you had a great Thanksgiving too!

Posted in All about Owen, All About Zooey, All Three of Them, Around the House, Around Town, Canon 60D, canon60D, Dimitri, Ethan, Fall, Family, From my phone, Holidays, My Kids, Pictures, Together Forever, Us | Leave a comment

Halloween 2015

Catching up….Halloween happenings.

Parties and a costume parade at school:

Carving pumpkins with the grandparents..our annual tradition. IMG_5702IMG_5710UntitledIMG_5740IMG_5746IMG_5748IMG_5751IMG_5754IMG_5762IMG_5764IMG_5781IMG_5789IMG_5795  

And then there was a Halloween party… IMG_5811IMG_5817IMG_5828IMG_5835IMG_5852IMG_5860IMG_5862IMG_5866

And finally some trick-or-treating…. IMG_5875IMG_5887IMG_5900IMG_5914IMG_5922IMG_5939IMG_5941IMG_5961IMG_5975IMG_5982IMG_5992IMG_5994IMG_6016IMG_6020IMG_6037IMG_6044IMG_6048IMG_6074And a few from my iPhone..including ones from our grown-up party after trick-or-treating! Silly Ethan #myethanPumpkin games #owenchristopherStrange visitor at my office today.School party!! #missz @dimitri_bostinelosPizza before pumpkin carvingThis is my pumpkin costumeOur mouths are full of pizza #missz #andmeHappy Halloween from the Bostinelos family .. In the car on our way to a Halloween party!Happy Halloween from the Cat in the Hat and Waldo !Cat in the hat and the pimps.@lisaannpeterson

So much fun! Love Halloween!!

Posted in All about Owen, All About Zooey, Canon 60D, canon60D, Dimitri, Ethan, Fall, Friends, From my phone, Grandparents, My Kids, Oh Brother, Party, Pictures, Together Forever, Us | Leave a comment

10.23.15 | White + Blue + Grey

Do you ever look at your Pinterest Boards and start to see a theme arise?  Pinning home interior images is one of my favorite things to pin! Usually after the first of the year I am ready to dig into a home improvement project, even if that just means painting.  Based on my Pinterest board I am pretty sure my project will include some white, some blue and some grey.

Here is what I have been pinning:

Blue doors, white trim, grey siding. Yes please!

Big grey comfy couch.



So much to love about this room.


I love this bed with the white, grey and blacks!

This rug:


What color combo have you’ve been drawn to lately?

You can see all my home interior pins over here.

Happy Friday!


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Halloween at Hillview

Last year we checked out an event called Halloween at Hillview.  Hillview is a county park not far away from us.  For the last camping weekend of the season they put on event where kids can dress up and trick-or-treat around the campground.  You can see my photos from last year here.

We had so much fun last year, we decided to go again this year, but this year we also camped and handed out candy! Our friend’s the Peterson’s joined us for the trick-or-treating.  Here are some photos.

IMG_2878IMG_2901IMG_2935Some of the camp sites really go all-out with the decorating!IMG_3008IMG_2885


That’s my Ethan behind that mask!IMG_2912IMG_2919IMG_2921IMG_2924IMG_2934IMG_2940IMG_2944IMG_2950IMG_2954IMG_2963IMG_2969IMG_2980IMG_2982IMG_2987IMG_2998IMG_3010IMG_3014IMG_3020IMG_3023IMG_3030IMG_3035

The kids are geared up for trick-or-treating on Halloween night! They told me that this was just a warm up for the real thing!

Love this time of year!

Happy Haunting!

Posted in All about Owen, All About Zooey, All Three of Them, Around Town, Canon 60D, canon60D, Ethan, Fall, Friends, My Kids, Together Forever | Leave a comment

The Pumpkin Patch

Our annual visit to the pumpkin patch! This year we ran into friends from school/church which made the visit even better!





My hunky husband chillin’ out on the bench while the kids play.

I love that all three of them are still really into the pumpkin patch. I know that these years are limited and I am soaking it all in.


Although with Ethan…I see the pre-teen attitude creeping out here and there. But he is a good boy, even if he won’t smile for my photos.IMG_2710IMG_2717IMG_2723IMG_2732IMG_2737IMG_2743IMG_2749IMG_2753IMG_2757IMG_2771IMG_2773IMG_2780IMG_2786IMG_2791IMG_2797IMG_2801IMG_2814

The corn maze! The boys were moving fast…and Zooey was interested in the corn.



And another year of the pumpkin patch done!


A few from my iPhone:

PicMonkey Collage PUmpkin patch 2015Here are some photos from past years: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Happy Pumpkin Patching!

Posted in All about Owen, All About Zooey, All Three of Them, Around Town, Canon 60D, canon60D, Dimitri, Ethan, Fall, Friends, From my phone, Michelle, My Kids, Pictures, Together Forever, Us | Leave a comment