3.13.16 | Busy Being Happy

Always busy around here… tis the season of our life right now.  But this week I think we did a good job with the happy too.  Here is a look at what we were up to.

Things to remember:

  • Sunday dinner with friends
  • New blue sandals for Miss Z and her wanting to wear them to dance class and for me to take a photo of them in the parking lot.
  • I need a Starbucks intervention
  • Week night dinners with the family including a spontaneous family selfie
  • My Greek Husband in his St. Patrick’s day shirt!
  • Me, exhausted after a day of traveling, hiding in my hoodie
  • Owen watching his tablet in his bed (probably you tube videos)
  • Ethan lost 2 teeth this week!
  • Stealing moments in the kitchen when we are supposed to be doing dishes
  • Yia Yia bringing Mimi bones with Miss Z bouncing on the couch in the background
  • A family road trip adventure to Kansas City
  • Funny kids in the backseat
  • Hanging out with family including CJ the dog
  • Going to the Crown Center and lunch at the Crayola Cafe with one of my best friends (+ family) who happened to be in town as well.
  • Finally getting my hands on the cutest baby!
  • Going to Sea Life and Lego Land in one day!

Happy Sunday! I hope you have a great week!

Posted in All about Owen, All About Zooey, All Three of Them, Dimitri, Ethan, everyday life, Friends, From my phone, Grandparents, Michelle, My Kids, Spring, Together Forever, Us, Videos | Leave a comment

3.6.16| Around Here

A little video of what we’ve been up to the last couple of weeks! This might be my go-to way of documenting for 2016.

Things to remember:

    • Dimitri taking the kids to see box turtles at the nature center
    • Celebrating my Dad’s Birthday
    • Mimi in the bed – she won’t get out!
    • Finished reading:  Choose Joy and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
    • On the road for work a lot these days
    • Silly kids, always
    • Zooey heartbroken when her brother wouldn’t share his clay with her.
    • A fun little journal that Dimitri and I are doing together
    • Fuller House! We watched all the episodes starting Friday night and finished Saturday morning.
    • The days are getting longer and warmer and the sunsets are amazing. So ready for spring!
    • Mimi loves Dimitri
    • Finding funny things around the house by Miss Z. Including her play puppy Go-Go dressed up into something I can’t even explain.
    • Wearing my shamrock shirt more times than I can count. It makes me happy.
    • Watching the big snow pile in front of our house melt each day.
    • Game night (for adults)! Exploding Kittens was a big hit. And always Cards Against Humanity. Dimitri walked away as the big winner for the night.
    • Lazy Sundays are the best
    • Zooey practicing spelling her last name in noodles during dinner
    • LEAP DAY ice cream
    • Zooey all dance all the time.
    • Iowa State basketball…let the March Madness begin.
    • Haircuts for the boys
    • Working on Us
    • Giving the turtle a bath
    • Dog on the kitchen table!! WHAT??!!!!
    • Food, wine and friends – always a good way to spend a Friday
    • Kids at the park!  “I’m the Queen of the World!!”
    • A night out with the parents which included margaritas and camo hats.
    • Two movies watched… The Intern and Brooklyn.  Both of them get 2 thumbs up from me.
    • The Irish-Greek princess out on her bike and playing with Mimi in the yard

Have a great week!

Posted in All about Owen, All About Zooey, All Three of Them, Around Town, Dimitri, Ethan, Family, From my phone, Grandparents, me and my sister, Michelle, My Kids, Oh Brother, Pets, Pictures, Spring, Together Forever, Us, Videos | Leave a comment

2.28.16 | The time I crashed and burned

Today is about cleaning up the house. Putting away winter decorations, opening a few Windows for fresh air and putting on my new shamrock shirt. I am ready for spring!
The original intent of this blog has always been to capture the memories of my crazy family.  I admit that over the past 9 years of my blogging (yes, its been 9 years!), I’ve often wandered away from just noting the adventures of my family… sometimes I share my latest obsessions, things I like, things I want, shopping, photography, scrapbooking, etc. The truth is, this season of our life is really busy and really full, and now that the kids aren’t babies it seems harder and harder to find the time to blog! Our family is evolving and changing. There are less naps (OK no naps are happening – sad!) nor early bed times.  We always seem to be on the go! Hello, kids activities… 3 kids with school activities, sports, friends, birthday parties, homework, etc.  – it’s time-consuming.  AND my job ( my real 8-5 office job – not photography, which is another topic for another day) has me very busy with lots of traveling and night meetings.  Dimitri and I also do our best to keep up with our friends and time with each other, which to us, is very important and not the easiest to schedule.  While I am not complaining, these days the calendar is booked! When we do have a free moment to breathe,  I find myself wanting to curl up on the couch with Netflix or a good book instead of the behind the computer screen.  Thus the lack of blogging over the last several months.

While I haven’t spent a lot of time pouring words out here on the blog,  memory keeping hasn’t gone away for me. I am still scrapbooking! I’ve gone the route of digital Project Life through the Project Life app.  Unlike in the past, I am not keeping up with that on a weekly basis anymore (see reasons above) but instead using a few scrapbooking weekends a year to work on it… I am about 1/2 way through scrapbooking 2015 right now.  I do however, still take at least one photo everyday. These days my iPhone is my go-to camera.  Basically, I’ve taken everything down a few 100 notches.

You might be thinking….So she isn’t superwomen? She can’t do it all?  

Turns out,  I can’t. 

Yes, yes – it’s true. I crashed and I burned.  I once was THAT annoying gal that kept a full time job, balanced three young children, a husband, a house, a side photography business, volunteered, had a social life, blogged every day, and kept an up-to-date scrapbook.  And then I got really tired, and really stressed and decided that I just couldn’t keep up with it all. And so I didn’t.

The last year or so has been one of self discovery, and not the easiest one.  No longer are we this young family with young kids at home…we are evolving.  This might seem strange, but I note the end of the an era when our pets Emma, Sugar and Lucy all passed away.  I know strange, but follow me here.  Dimitri adopted Emma the cat when we first started dating,  Lucy the cat came not long after our engagement, and Sugar was adopted right when we got married.  Soon after we were married, we had Ethan…22 months later, there was Owen and 4 years later was our Zooey.  Our existence for many years was bottles, diapers and going to work on 3 to 4 hours of sleep.   I can remember times when everyone was sick, the house was a mess and we were going on little sleep, it seemed so hard! I often referred to us on survival mode during this time.   As long as everyone was clean, dressed and fed nothing else mattered – those were the big goals of the day. We finally mastered the whole baby/toddler thing and time kept moving by, the kids got older and our pets got older.  Last month, we said our good-bye to Lucy the cat. And while just a cat, her passing was significant because it represented the end to that era, one that had been gradually winding down for the past year or so, whether I was ready or not.

So here we are,  a new puppy, no babies, no toddlers, but instead school aged kids. We have changed and grown professionally, and we are approaching the big 4.0 soon.  And suddenly I find myself in a time and place without a baby on my hip.  (Which does not mean I want another one!)  But, it’s odd –  I’ve reached another side of life and I’m looking around and thinking, now what?  Am I having a mid-life crisis and is that possible at age 38? The stresses we faced as a young couple with young kids are gone, but now there are all these really big grown-up stresses happening.  We now have to worry who might be a bad influence on our kids at school, and what internet sites they visit, and how is it possible that one is going into middle school and we haven’t even discussed the big things like the birds and the bees and not to do drugs?!?!  We worry about our parents, watching them get older and worrying about their health.  We worry about our careers as we take on more and more responsibility and how to keep growing professionally while still trying to balance it all.  And it’s hard.  Suddenly daily blogging, scrapbooking and sharing my latest Amazon wish list, doesn’t seem so crucial anymore.

So where does that leave all of this?  I don’t really know. I just know that when things get complicated sometimes the best thing to do is to step back. For me that is going back to the basics and back to figuring it all out.  I am going to be pulling back the layers and figuring out what works and what doesn’t work.  I am going to be kind and gentle with myself.  I am going to move forward with grace and intention.  I am going to stop rushing and stop trying to do it all. I am going to ask for forgiveness when I mess up. I am going to ask for help when I needed it. I am going to surround myself with people that are good for me and nurture important relationships. I am going to rest and read inspiring books.  I am going to stop, think, and breath.

As I’ve mentioned before, this blog has been a very important creative outlet for me for the past nine years.  I am not ready to say good-bye.  I plan on posting here – but maybe not everyday.  I want to go back to the basics…back to the original intent, which was to share my family’s adventures and to count my blessings.   And on occasion share a really cute pair of shoes that I found because I can’t help myself.

Tomorrow is Leap Day, an extra day out of the year – a bonus day! Which seems like a perfect day for new beginnings, fresh starts, living with intent and most definitely ice cream. Who’s with me?

Posted in Michelle | 1 Comment

2.24.16 | Ten Things

Old building love . #smalltowniowa #countycourthouse

  1.  Best tights ever:  SPANX Women’s Luxe Leg Tights.  It’s always this time of year that I am searching for new tights as mine are all sorry-looking.  I picked up these spanx tights on Amazon and I love them.  I might not ever buy another brand.
  2. I laughed really hard at this.  What is it with cats that make me laugh?
  3. How true is this Facebook post about today’s world vs the past?
  4.  Reading: Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.  Interesting not only due to the Iowa connection, but the passages are speaking to me as I am navigating through some of life’s bumps right now.  Lots of re-reading of sections and soaking it in.  What a great message: Choose Joy.  You should go get this book.
  5. Confession: one of our local grocery stores started a grocery delivery service. Dimitri and I have been utilizing it for a few months now and it is awesome! We put our order in online and the next day – groceries brought to our front door! As a working mom with 3 kids – this is the most wonderful service ever.
  6. Have you heard about the 1 Second Everyday app? I love this idea and totally trying it! I started recording my 1 second clips this week.
  7. Hosting an adult game night this weekend. Cards Against Humanity is always a good one but I as looking at this game, Exploding Kittens: NSFW Edition . Anyone every played it?
  8. I am looking forward to the new album by The Lumineers to come out in April!
  9. My Pinterest pins these days:  outfits, funnies,  and quotes
  10. Did you read this awesome post my hubby wrote?  Not sure what I did to deserve him, but he is a keeper!

Happy Wednesday!

Photo is the county courthouse in Monona County, Iowa.  I took it on my last visit there – because old buildings, especially in small towns, are awesome.

Posted in An official list | 1 Comment

My Best Friend

It’s not very often that I blog here.  Michelle and I started it some years ago with the intention of us throwing out random thoughts and historical documentation of our lives together.   I, most of the time don’t feel I have much to offer because she writes so well and notices the details of our lives that I sometimes glaze over.  Not that I dont think they are important, but because I get swept up in my day to days.    My goal for this year is to notice more, to stop and smell the roses as they say.   So I think that I’ll start here.  My best friend.
Some of you may know the story but for those who don’t, here goes.

In spring of 1999, I needed a change of scenery.  I could have gone back to Sioux City and worked or even stayed in Ames to do the same.   But fond summer memories of Camp Foster as a kid, flooded my head and I decided to take a stab at becoming counselor for the summer.  I was terrified, I had never been responsible for that many kids at one time.  I lacked confidence but gave it a whirl anyway.   I went through staff training getting to know almost everyone, those who would become my summer family.  One however, stood out to me.  We had skits that we would perform for camper and staff that would always get a chuckle out of everyone.  One day post lunch, it was skit time.  Out came this beautiful girl on roller skates, with crazy hair and acting silly, confident, and carefree.    Its cliche, I know, but my heart skipped a beat. I was in love.  Over the course of that summer, we dated, fell in love, and spent every chance we could get together.  Here I was, unsure of myself, couldn’t figure out why this wonderful woman wanted to be with me.  I was confident that as the summer came to and end, she would move on and this would have been just one of those camp romances that dies when the doors close at seasons end.  But it didn’t.

Michelle had started grad school at Iowa and I was at Iowa State.  We would go and see each other every weekend over the course of the next couple years.  We would go out with friends to the bars as college kids do, but some of my favorite moments were just laying around our apartments, with food delivery and watching old episodes of Frasier, Rosanne, etc.  Being next to her always felt right to me, no matter what we were doing.  We came to know and love each others families well.  We started making plans for our future, voicing dreams, and just being silly on the phone till the late hours.

She graduated at the end of the program and accepted a position as a planner in Janesville, WI.   This was a huge step in our relationship.  This is the moment where we became an us.   I bought Michelle a ring and my mother gifted me a diamond which she had treasured for decades.   I had all of the plans to make a huge proposal, fancy, romantic, all that.   Michelle and I were in Sioux City and at her folks’ house for the night.  My stomach was in knots.  I was so excited to propose, I couldn’t wait any longer.  I asked her dad earlier in the evening for his blessing.  (Old school)   Michelle was half asleep on the couch and I had the ring in my pocket.  I kept looking at her.  This beautiful, kind, loving woman.  I couldn’t imagine my life without her.  I woke her up, I kneeled in front of her and proposed.  I will never forget the look on her face. She had half asleep eyes with tears in them and she muttered out “shut up, shut up” in disbelief of what I was asking.  It wasn’t the most romantic moment, but I wanted her hand so badly, I wanted to spend every moment of my life with her.

We moved to Janesville and started our lives together as an engaged couple.  We were married in August 2002.  One of the greatest moments of my life.  I will never forget how beautiful she looked as she came down the aisle.  It is etched into my memory for eternity.  I could see the life that I had always wanted in her eyes and smile as she looked at me at the alter.

Shortly after we were settled in a new house in Wisconsin, we decided to start a family.  We had some struggles at first, which brought heart ache, tears, doubt, frustration and all of the things you can imagine.  But we got through it together, we didn’t give up and kept trying.  Then, came Ethan and in 2004 he emerged into this world.  The glow on Michelles face holding our baby boy was another one of the great moments I will never forget.  The child we had struggled to have was now here, healthy and beautiful.  Joy had filled our hearts.

After some time, we decided that we wanted to move back to Sioux City to be closer to family.  Both sets of grandparents were in town so it just made sense.

Not long after, Owen came around.  In 2006 he was born, another beautiful boy.  Again more, joy came into our lives.  Owen was born colicky which quickly became difficult.  Many sleepless nights.  He was so uncomfortable, we felt terrible and helpless as he cried throughout the day and night.  We were drained and frustrated, at our wits end and then we managed to find a miracle in a formula designed for colic.  Soon he was happy and content as were we.

A few years went by.  Michelle started to feel like she wanted to try for the 3rd child, with high hopes it was a girl.  I was less inclined, unsure if I could handle three children.  But I came to my senses and we tried for the 3rd.  In 2010 , Zooey was born.  and…..with colic.  However, this time, we were smarter and more prepared.  She has all of Michelle’s silliness, her blue eyes and wild hair.  I love it.  Our family finally felt complete.

It’s now 2016.  Michelle is at book club and I am watching the Good Dinosaur with the kids.  Looking over them, all bundled up in blankets in our bed, I realized how much I appreciated my life so far with Michelle.  It hasn’t been perfect.  We have had our disagreements over stupid things, big things, silly things.  We have been through rough patches with trying to conceive and not being able to.  We have had pets and lost pets.  We have had our house fall apart on us all at once and struggled to find how to pay for it.    While the road isn’t always smooth, the only person I would ever want to travel it with is Michelle.  She has been there for me through all of the tough times, moments where I was unsure of myself and has brought me happiness and clarity when I needed it most.  She is my best friend, my rock.  I probably dont say it enough.  I appreciate all of the years we have had so far and can’t wait to discover the mysteries ahead of us, together.

Posted in Dimitri | 5 Comments

2016 Thus Far

In an attempt to catch up with 2016 thus far…I made a quick flipagram video:

And  a few words to match the photos (in bullet point format):

  • A New Year’s Eve Wedding – the kids made it to midnight!
  • Putting away Christmas decorations
  • Watching the Iowa Hawkeyes get a beat down in the Rose Bowl
  • Always silly kids
  • Play-doh
  • Mimi Dog not looking much like a puppy these days
  • dark-colored nails and hot coffee – two of my favorite things
  • Silly 5-year-old antics (Miss Z)
  • Baby, it’s cold outside
  • Dressing like we are in the witness protection program – because we can
  • Sixth grade registration (middle school! )
  • Black and white obsession
  • Ethan and his creations
  • Always cuddles
  • And drawing hearts in the snow
  • Friends
  • Cozy nights at home
  • Comfort food
  • The never-ending painting project (mudroom, turned kitchen cabinets + trim)
  • Messy basement toy room
  • Church
  • Vasilpota cake and Owen finding the coin for many blessings
  • Tiny Dancer
  • Saying good-bye to our kitty, Lucy Lou :(
  • 3 state capitols in 3 weeks
  • Getting bulk paper products delivered via Amazon Prime
  • Polka dot socks and new things for the house
  • Dimitri taking out the shower in the master bathroom
  • Selfies!
  • Chocolate!
  • Running errands with Miss Z
  • Belly laughs
  • Afternoon naps
  • His and Her Coffee Mugs
  • Pajama days
  • Rock star
  • Lunch with co-workers
  • hoodies forever
  • rough mornings
  • Mimi the trouble maker
  • things you find in the shower
  • flowers – just because
  • silly faces
  • ice cream!
  • wine!
  • time together
  • dinner time entertainment
  • tacos!
  • snowflakes
  • game nights
  • straight hair vs curly hair – the struggle is real
  • 80’s party
  • Ally turtle
  • a blizzard!
  • Owen as Calvin Coolidge
  • my car stuck in the snow
  • breakfast for lunch
  • us
  • new wall art
  • girls gone wild…scrapbooking! (alcohol and holes in the wall)
  • ISU basketball
  • bath time
  • dinner time
  • love notes via text
  • making goo – just because
  • making valentines and leaving me to finish all of them
  • Valentines weekend road trip to Ames
  • Women’s leadership conference
  • Shamrock shake
  • big boxes make great toys
  • belly rubs always welcomed
  • After music program treats
  • Steins and Vines (beer and wine festival)
  • Sunday school art.

Of course you can always follow me on Instagram or on Flickr  to keep up with all our crazy, everyday adventures in real time!

Happy Sunday!

Posted in All about Owen, All About Zooey, All Three of Them, An official list, Around the House, Around Town, church, Dimitri, Ethan, everyday life, Family, Far Away, Friends, From my phone, Grandparents, Michelle, My Kids, Oh Brother, Pets, Pictures, Together Forever, Videos, winter | Leave a comment

2.20.16 | Ten Things

Proud mama and her boy #owenchristopher

My apologies for the silence on this blog during 2016.  Lots of changing and growing, and figuring things out these days.  I am hoping to get back into the habit because I do enjoy this little creative space of mine.  At some point I will catch up with all our 2016 adventures thus far…but for now, how about 10 things?

  1.  I am going to DC in April, and I was looking for black heels that I can be comfortable in..I think these should do the trick:   Merrell Women’s Veranda Pump
  2. Watching…re-runs of Parks and Recreation,  the Walking Dead,  the new X-files, Goldbergs, Modern Family.
  3. Pre-ordered St. Patrick’s Day shirts for the entire family from here
  4. The morning struggle is real as depicted so well from the Holderness Family. (this is everyday for us)
  5.  Planning summer adventures… so far a week at the lake and going to see Dave Matthews Band in concert.  Come on summer!
  6. Who knew Adele was so funny?
  7.  I am not 39 yet (this May)..but this article hit me.
  8. I am thinking about NOT doing my side photo biz this year.
  9. We went and saw the movie Deadpool last weekend…  besides sitting in the front row of the theater (notewe are too old to do that) – it was good, in a vulgar, action-packed type of way.
  10. Listening to the Dave Matthews Band Station on Pandora (which is my go to station these days) and while I type this,  a Blues Traveler song come on which reminds me, we have tickets to see them in April. And I realize I am at the point I can see all those favorite 90s bands either over again or for the first time.  I like it!
Posted in An official list | Leave a comment

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.





Posted in The Best | Leave a comment

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