Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas 2011

Well I think it's fair to say we have had a full December.  We returned from California to finish packing up our beloved home in Clintonville and embarked on an even greater blessing in Powell.  Moving in brought out all of our great friends and family who helped us accomplish the large task and we were settled in nicely when Chris returned from more training in NY.  Then just one week later we started celebrating Christmas with family and friends and before we knew it we were ringing in the New Year....what a difference a month can make!

I can whole heartily say that God has blessed this family and we are truly and deeply thankful and grateful.

A few pictorial highlights from the past month...I'm not even sure where to start.

I have to admit, I loved every minute of driving this baby...28 feet long and she cruised the highway like a champ.  Looking back I wished I looked a little bit cuter doing it but this woman on a mission was not worried about hair or makeup.

Christmas Day at Grandpa and GranDanna's

Christmas Day at our house...

The two coolest gifts from Shayden and Quinton's GAL (Great Aunt Linda) - a sibling trike and a forklift.  These two were over the moon!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Deep Breathing in Progress

and relax....

Whew, it has been a crazy last few weeks and I have been remiss in my blogging duties.  I know you all forgive me, those faithful few who still check this blog.  :)

We have been TRAVELING, and by we I mean the whole family but not in the same directions. Chris has started a new position which is AWESOME and took him to New York for 2 weeks so the boys and I packed up and shacked up with his parents in California.  It was a wonderful two weeks and helped the time fly while we were apart.

Highlights from my trip...
Being in Palm Springs where the weather was fabulous
Feeding a giraffe (Shayden was so into it and got in line 3 times)
Getting to experience Disneyland for the 1st time
Spending the weekend with John and Marilee (my Arizona parents)
Working out with my mother-in-law
Long walks, messy meals and days filled with entertaining two little boys
We had a blast!

And now the Disneyland Pics...I should preface these by saying Chris thinks I had the most fun there, and he might be partly correct, but Shayden and Quinton were captivated as well.  All in all it was a wonderful surprise from Grandpa and GranDanna and I will always remember the boys faces that day.  Especially when Shayden "saw" Buzz Lightyear - priceless!

Thank you Grandpa and GranDanna for taking us on a wonderful adventure while Chris was away.  We love you!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Trick or Treat

What Fun!!!  I have to say that I love little children in costumes and the process of cheerfully taking all your neighbors generous sugar handouts.  We had another blast trick or treating this year and the boys kept us smiling and laughing throughout the entire evening.  
Shayden of course is a seasoned pro at 3 and needed no encouragement to hit the streets.  Quinton was much too young last year to enjoy the entire process but caught on very quickly this year.  He loved the "pick and drop" process and wasn't bashful at all climbing stairs and trotting up to perfect strangers.  
All in all a great evening with family and friends.

Our little lion

worker man

getting ready to head out

treasured time with Daddy

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Charlotte Jane

I am one proud Aunt tonight as I introduce my newest niece, Miss Charlotte Jane.
My brother Sam and SIL Jen welcomed little Charley into their family just 1 week ago and we are smitten.  
Welcome Home Charley!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Zoo day with Daddy

I love Zoo days and I love them even more when Daddy is there to lend a helping hand!  We had a great day last week when Chris was able to slip in some time between appointments to join us at the zoo with our play group.  It was a beautiful fall day and we soaked up the sun, cool breezes and animal encounters.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Shayden's 3rd Birthday

*Warning - Construction Site Ahead*

This weekend we celebrated Shayden's 3rd Birthday Construction style.  Yes, that would be two years in a row for the same theme, but what can I say he knows what he likes!
We were super excited that Uncle Tom and Aunt Beth were willing to host us at their farm so we could create a real job site for the party.  It was amazing and Uncle Tom outdid himself with the equipment, rock pile, caution cones and all the tools.  
We let Shayden skip his nap on Sunday so he could help us set up for the party and it was definitely a highlight time for him.  He dug in the rocks for a long time and even helped Uncle Tom drive the bobcat...his favorite part of the whole day!
A cool project, that Uncle Tom came up with, was mixing cement for the kids and letting them make hand prints.  The boys especially were total concentration when the cement mixer fired up and I am pretty sure you could have waved an ice cream cone in front of them and they would not have moved a muscle.
Dinner, for the kids, came in a brown bag complete with Twinkies and chips (I mean come on, have you ever seen a construction worker pull out a caeser salad on the job site, I don't think so).  You should have seen all the kids faces when they opened those up...sheer joy.
The evening topped off with a delicious cake and singing happy birthday to not only Shayden but his GG (Great Grandma Lilian) who turned 92 and his Aunt Nancy who flew all the way from Grand Caymen to celebrate.  All in all it was a great celebration.  We had so many family and friends join us, the weather was a total gift from God (after DAYS of rain and freezing cold) and we are so thankful for the blessing of Shayden that God has given us.
Happy Birthday Shayden - we love you so much, Mommy and Daddy

Monday, September 26, 2011

Flashback Photo

I jumped on Chris' computer tonight to do a little vaca research and found our Europe photos from 2004.  Had to post a pic of the two of us, pre move to AZ, pre engagement, pre wedding...but so in love! 

Venice, Italy

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hired Help

Shayden experienced the joys of being paid for his work recently and boy did he love it!  Our neighbors, who are incredible with the boys, love to have them come over and help.  So when John asked if Shayden could help pick up his trimmings and work a little I was more than happy to hand him over the fence.  Once he completed all his work John rewarded him with a whole dollar!!! His smile was priceless...

His dollar is proudly displayed on the refrigerator and I am contemplating framing it for him...over the top?  I haven't decided yet.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Costello Vaca 2011

One week ago we embarked upon another Costello Family Vacation to the Outerbanks of North Carolina.  Now you might be asking, 'hey wasn't there a hurricane?', and yes you would be correct but that didn't stop my family of 27 people from hitting the road and praying for the best.  And we were blessed, we were able to enter our beach house on Tuesday with no damage except piles of sand on the decks and pool.  The weather was incredible, the kids had a blast and once again my parents pulled off an incredible week for our entire family.
This was an especially enjoyable vacation for me as it was my first in 4 years that I was not pregnant, breastfeeding or had an infant to care for...hello, it was awesome!  The boys LOVED the sand and played so well at the beach.  Shayden was a digging machine with his boy cousins and Quinton dabbled in just about everything including his favorite - running straight for the ocean with no fear!  I think one of our favorite highlights was taking Shayden crab hunting on the beach one night...watching he and his cousins Eli and Maddie shriek with delight was something I will always remember.

Enjoy a few of my favorite thankful I didn't burden you with all 384.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Shock Wave

Pay close attention to the end of the video and you will see the "shock wave".

Monday, August 08, 2011

Shayden's 1st Camping Trip

This weekend marked the 2nd Annual Sibling Camping Trip for my family and I was not going to miss it for anything.  Last year we had just welcomed Quinton to the family and while I was tempted to take him my rational side said, 'maybe I should wait a year'.  Just days before the big night I told Shayden a little of what we would be doing and he was thrilled.  I think the major point of pure joy came when I showed him the headlamp he could use (just like his cousin Eli).  So with tent, sleeping bag (we only have 1), swimsuits and all our wannebe camping gear we hit the Delaware State Park with my 5 siblings, their spouses and all 13 kids.  It was AWESOME!!!  Now, not everyone stayed the night...some little ones and those not fond of camping (Chris being the first on that list), but all in all we had a great time.

A few things I learned...
- 2 yr olds will not sleep in a sleeping bag, but will sleep on top of you and your single blanket.
- 4 inches of rain in one night will find its way inside your tent and you will wake up wet.
- When the State Park you are camping in holds a street fair - GO.  It will be so hill billy you will be glad you didn't miss it.
- Unless you have a head of hair equal to a goddess - bring a hat.  I believe my SIL Jen's comment was 'I have never seen your hair so big'...a little heat and humidity can do that.
- No matter how late your toddler gets to bed, they will wake up at roughly 6:20am as the sun peaks through the trees.
- Bring a bottle of wine!  When you are trying to fall asleep on the ground with a tree root in your lower back its best to be VERY ready for bed.

Taken just moments before Chris and Quinton headed home.

Maddie, Eli, Shayden and Abby waiting to do Smores.

Good morning Mom!  (and yes, I put him in his sleeping bag for this shot)

Shayden, I loved getting to spend your first night in a tent with you.  Seeing you so excited for a new adventure and wanting to learn all you can made my heart so happy.  A few moments I won't swimming at the beach, you took on the waves like a champ and laughed for more.  Getting to show you how to take a camping shower was a riot.  Trying to make it to the bathroom when you decided you really had to go - very hard.  Seeing you dance at the street fair and play with your cousins, priceless.  And wrapping you up in you sleeping bag with your headlamp was awesome.  I can't wait for next year and more memories.  I love you, Mommy

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summertime Shades

Shayden 2009         -         Quinton 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Downtown Weekend

Well we checked out downtown Columbus this weekend with the boys and I have to say I am impressed.  I feel as though coming back to this city as an adult after living somewhere else has made it more difficult to fall in love but more and more I love what our city is doing.  We hit two places this weekend that are brand new, Columbus Commons and The Scioto Mile and both are great, especially for the kiddos.
Enjoy the pics!

Columbus Commons:
Fridays are all about the kids with free carousel rides, bounce houses, music and bubbles.

Scioto Mile/Bicentennial Park:

Oh yeah..."Look everyone I'm walking".

Monday, July 11, 2011

Quinton's Birthday Celebration

I am in the midst of uploading all the pics and video from last nights party but wanted to put up my top photo.  It makes my heart happy.

Birthday boys include Quinton, Uncle Sam and Grandpa

(note Shayden, he just can't help himself)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Quinton's First Year in Photos

Happy 1st Birthday Quinton

To my sweet little Quinton,
You are an amazing child of God and we feel so blessed to have you in our family.  From the moment you arrived you have added pure joy to our home.  I love how you light up when you see us (especially Shayden) and your loving nature is contagious.  Your hugs are amazing and watching the wind blow through your hair while you smile is a seared image in my mind. I hope you always know our intense and everlasting love for you and that you continue to grow to be the man God has called you to be.
All my love,

A birthday breakfast - with a hint of syrup, a first.

Birthday smiles.

First present of the day...our amazing neighbors John and Jean bought Quinton his very own lawn mower so he and Shayden can 'cut the grass' together.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gearing up for the big day

We are just weeks away from celebrating Quinton's 1st birthday (sniff, sniff) and with that comes many changes, some great and some sad, but today the UPS driver brought a fun upgrade that comes with turning 1 year....a new car seat!  That brown truck couldn't have pulled up at any better time.  The boys had just gotten up from their afternoon naps and were super pumped to have a big box at the front door.  Needless to say it didn't take long to have everything unpacked and the box ready for their use.  I am pretty sure it was a hiding spot, a space shuttle, a food truck and a sleeping spot before they turned in for the night.  Here are a few pics from the day.  

Hey, what am I so excited for?

Riding in style

Boys in a box

Final trip in the space shuttle before bed
(side note: this is Quinton's new "cheese" smile, hilarious)

Thanks Grandma and Papa for my early Birthday present...I can't wait to ride in it. Love, Q

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Much Needed

After almost a year of not seeing my BFF Andrea she came to Ohio for a visit and her sister's graduation, so it was with great excitement that she came to Columbus for 2 days to see ME (oh, and her sister...but really ME - just teasing Natalie).  Along with getting to see Andrea it was my first time getting to meet her new little boy Lincoln (10 months old) and spending some quality time with her oldest Noah. 
 We hit the Zoo in 95 degree heat and I have to say the kids did really well considering how awful it was outside.

Together Again

The crew (Lincoln, Noah, Jaxson, Quinton and Shayden)

Tiger Demonstration and we arrived at the perfect was incredible.

The following day I was able to slide away from the kiddos for a few hours and get some coffee with Andrea and some shopping therapy.

We had a great time together but it was much too short.  Thanks for coming Andrea and taking the time away from your large family to see us.  Miss you already!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Amish Country Day Trip

Really this blog post should be entitled "Only the Strong Survive".  This past week our play group decided to take a day trip to Holmes County, OH for a visit to Amish Country.  Four brave moms strapped in 8 toddlers for a 4 hour round trip car ride and a whole lot of excitement in between.  
Our big stop was a working Amish farm where the kids were steeped in a history lesson (which only the moms absorbed), played in a barn with all the baby animals, took a ride in an Amish buggy and toured a school house.  While they totally enjoyed the whole adventure I think the real highlights were the Noah's ark playground on the farm, the animals and the buggy ride.  All other interesting facts and amazing views were lost on them.

A tour of the farm house.

Enjoying some baked goods in the shade.

Checking out the baby bunnies that were born the night before.

The buggy ride was awesome!  There is something to be said for open air travel.

Up close and personal in the school house.

I think some of my most surprising moments were how well everyone did under the circumstances.  The little babies didn't get morning naps, it was SO hot all day, the house tour was 45 minutes of talking and walking, the school house tour was 15 minutes of talking and even some didn't nap on the way home.  Through all of it I was so glad we made the leap and plunged in.  These are the experiences I want my children to have, whether they can grasp every aspect or not I believe it will affect them and shape them in some way or another for their future.  And for me it was a day of full appreciation for my modern conveniences and the reminder to slow down and treasure what I have around me, my family and friends.