Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy December!

Hello all! I know it's been a really long time since I've had anything up, but thank you for being patient. We've done so much in the past year, and it will be basically impossible to catch you up. But, I will try to hit the high notes for you, so that even if we haven't been part of your life for the last year, you can feel like you know what's going on with the Zwickls of Parker...

That's right - of PARKER. Yeah! Read on for more.

Our PA Adventure Comes to an End

When we knew we were moving to PA, we had originally said, "Okay... Let's give it 5 years." Then we got there, and Andrew ended up thinking that maybe the job wasn't so great. And so he started looking. Our goal was really anywhere closer to "home" - or, family. And amazingly, he ended up with offers in both Phoenix, AZ (where his parents and a significant number of Zwickls live) and Parker, CO (where we'd litterally just left). After the chips fell where the fell, and all the pros and cons of the jobs and locations, we ended up moving our journey back to where it began - Colorado. And while we were a little sad to be leaving the east coast after such a short experience - and all the plans we'd made unfulfilled - we were super happy to be moving back to where we wanted our children to be raised. So, we made yet another cross country move, and hopefully, the last one.

While Andrew and I looked for a house, we lived with my parents, who graciously allowed the four of us to invade them. And while it was nice to be close to family, we really missed having our own space. So around the middle of March, we started seriously looking at houses with our realtor (of course, after Andrew and I drove all around the area stopping at open houses and model homes!). Long story short, we found basically our dream home in the middle of April. Four bedrooms, three and a half baths, full basement (with part of it finished), a great family room, upstairs laundry (which our realtor thought I'd have to give up), and a nice big backyard. Corner lot. A bunch of mature trees (which now, after having "swept" a ton of them, I'm not sure I love anymore). We made an offer, and after a somewhat unusual "rent back", we moved in June 1st. And we've been getting settled ever since.


So now that I've caught you up on the biggest thing, let's go back over the year's high notes in what is really the best way... pictures!! :)


Saying Good-bye to the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium
We enjoyed making the most our of our membership.

 We loved taking pictures by this as a growth rate -
kinda sad this is the last one we'll have!


Our Road Trip Home


Colorado said, "Welcome home - here's some snow."

Ethan at 5 Months Old...

 His first taste of peas...
My Dad's Birthday - Bowling!!

 Daddy helping Connor throw that ball.

 Connor took this picture of Shannon - kinda artsy, huh? :)
 Celebrating his bowling style.
Only one of them needed to have thier eyes opened, I guess.


Ethan's 6 Month Photo Shoot


I went back to work at Intensive Marketing, and I could bring Ethan with me, so we needed to get Connor in some sort of daycare. Maria was taking care of him when she could, but Andrew and I both wanted Connor to have some regular playtime with other kids - so he started Kindercare. His first day, he was so excited, and barely even noticed when I finally left! I cried, of course, and couldn't wait to get him. Then next few days, he kind of started to understand what was going on, and then he cried when I'd leave, or when we'd be in the car. I'm happy to say that he's fully adjusted now, and talks about his friends "at school" all the time now. This was right before his very first day.

Connor takes his "pack pack" with him every day! :)
A change of clothes and a picture in case he gets lonely.


 I'm sure you're aware of how I feel about inequity of boys clothes to girls clothes when it comes to holiday or special occasion clothing... Ugh! I get so annoyed there's never anything cute in the boys section. Good thing my kids are cute enough to make up for it!! :)
We got the kids a bouncy castle, since Connor LOVES playing in them, and Toys R Us was having a really good sale and we had a coupon. The kids have had a blast with it.
 I love this picture of Connor!
He just looks so big and still a baby at the same time!
Hello Girls Trip to Vegas!!
 Breakfast was delicious!!
 I didn't know I was supposed to wear makeup for our pool day!
 We rented a cabana in the "adults" section - it was so great! We just hung out all day in the cabana, or in the shallow pool, and talked. It was one of the best days ever.
 Solving crimes. Look out!
We had a blast in Vegas, and we missed those of you who couldn't make it with us. We saw the Jabberwockies, which were awesome. And had an awesome hanging out with each other. I really can't wait to go again - even though there was a lot of time spent in the room - I had to pump several times a day since I was still nursing Ethan (pumping and dumping, of course), and I loved sleeping the whole night. Or reading a book. Without children. It was a great long weekend, but I was so happy to get back to my little guys! I missed them. And Andrew was glad to have me back!
It's become a tradition for us to go to a Rockies game for my birthday, and we managed to make it again this year! Unfortunately, though Todd Helton hit a grand slam home run, we were not able to notch a victory for our side. But we still had fun!
 Best Friends!

 Peyton Manning!! We probably ended up with about
thirty pictures of him in various pose. No joke.
There was a bit of obsession in our area... :)



The first Saturday of the month, Home Depot does a free kids project. This was our first one - a planter. They gave us a tomato plant, which did really well for a few weeks, and then died a horrible death from too much water. Or something.

Connor, AJ and Exia
 Ethan at 8 Months!
Running the bases with the Rockies Kid Club... He was supposed to do it again in August, but the Rox were just doing so poorly that we didn't want to pay a bunch of money to sit through a game that they would probably lose... Call us fair weather fans, but it's gets disheartening after a while! Here's hoping for a MUCH better year next season.
 Connor did have a blast, though, running the bases. We'll
definitely sign him up again next year - and probably Ethan, too!

Memorial Day at Grandma Lorraines! The kids - obviously - have so much fun in the water. And it was really nice because Auntie Ellen was visiting, too! (Even if we didn't get a better picture of her!)

And the Count Down for Disney Begins!


We moved into our new home on June 1st! A great way to kick off the summer.
 Sleeping babies - tired from all the moving!
Connor, Ethan & Ella

 9 Months!
Half of their play set - the swings were put up after the pictures. But it probably took them like a week to get the whole thing up. Engineers were involved - so the ground had to be meticulously measured, and reflattened... But it looks amazing. And the kids LOVE it. :)

Cocktails & Canvas for Brittany's birthday - we did Red Rocks, which they wonderfully told us was one of the harder ones. We all had a lot of fun, once we got over the fear of making that first bold orange mark on the blank canvas!!

 My finished project - the best, of course!!
A trip to the Museum of Nature & Science - I LOVE taking the kids there. We got a membership since it's really worth it for as much fun as the kids have. They had an awesome dinosaur exhibit last year, and then a really cool live snake one this year. Right now it's Pompeii, and I've GOT to make it before it goes away!

Nana giving Connor a "shot" of chocolate mousse.

Don't they just look like a Cool Kids Club??? Love it.
They have a blast playing together.


 Practicing going under water and holding his breath - by
the end of the summer, Connor was doing it like a pro.
Hello summer Olympics of 2028!

The many faces of Connor James...

10 Months!

At Casa Bonita

Every summer, Andrew's Grandma 'Rain has a Fireman's picnic - the kids get to ride a fire truck and hang out at the fire station in Wash Park. We also played with Maria, Jamie and Reid.



We started off celebrating Reid's 1st Birthday at the Denver Aquarium. The kids had soo much fun with the fish.

 Ethan, playing with the light.

 The Birthday Boy!

 The Contemporary Resort
 Our First Monorail Ride!

Andrew - Tolerating us.

  Connor was so excited to see Woody and Jessie - but he was a little shy at first. He definitely got better with some of the characters the more we saw them.

 Can you tell how flipping hot it was?! Never again will we go in Ausust...
Unless we get another smokin' deal on the Contemporary!

Tuckered out after the first full day of Disney!
By the way - this was the BEST stoller rental in history.
Of course, now I want one so bad!
I was so excited to see Belle & Beast - too bad Ethan was sleeping!
We made it work.
We were in line to see Jasmine and Aladdin, and of course,
right when they finally get there, Connor has to go potty. Maybe next time.
Universal Studios - Day 3
I so wanted Harry Potter world to rock, but it was a little bit of a let down. Too crowded, not enough to do, and really small. We didn't get to ride any of the cool rides because wait times were too long - and their equivalent of the fast pass is something you have to spend more money on. But it was nice to see - maybe next time it'll be less crowded and they'll have added more stuff.

 Lunch at The Three Broomsticks

 Butterbeer - YUM!
Shannon with our Chocolate Frog - and not Dumbledore card.

 Connor had a ton of fun in the Jurassic Park Center -
which was great, since he was crushed he couldn't ride
the JP ride - he was like an inch short. Ugh!

Some pictures of Ethan... Having fun!

Our Character Breakfast

Day 6 - Typhoon Lagoon!
 I love this picture of Connor - he just looks cool. :)


 The castle at night. So pretty!

Mom wore this safety/neon green shirt. We had so much
fun giving her crap about how bright it was, but it really
helped when looking for her in the crowd!!
 Ahhh - I've run out of space for now... I'll finish my updates soon!! Hope this tides you over until then. :)