White House Easter Egg Roll 2015

Clearly, I have not been great at keeping up with this blog! But I am going to try to start posting again. I actually have a few posts in the draft folder. I didn’t write anything but I did at least put some pictures in. So I figure I will start with those and hopefully the momentum will carry me forward!

So here is my post about the White House Easter Egg Roll, 2015. 

We were very fortunate to get tickets to the White House Easter Egg Roll. They have a lottery every year, which we applied to but didn’t win. Luckily, Ben’s office got some tickets and we were able to snag those.

The kids and I took the metro downtown and met Ben there.

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There was a LOT of waiting! I don’t remember so much waiting the first time we went!

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Cuties at the White House!

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Campbell rolling her egg!

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We ran into our friends, which made it even more fun!

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What an exhausting and fun day!

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Campbell’s Third Birthday Farm Party

Wow! It has been a long time since my last post! I actually had this post in the Drafts folder but never published it, probably because I never added any captions to the pictures. But I am just going to let the pictures speak for themselves. Here is Campbell’s 3rd birthday party!

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California and Disney Land

For Spring Break this year we headed out to Southern Califorinia to visit Grandma Judi, Grandpa Char, and Auntie Becca. We had so much fun! We got to spend a super fun day at Disney Land California Adventure and even sold our house while we were away (more on that soon!).

Cool view of LA from the top of city hall:

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Fun on the beach!:
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Love being at Grandma and Grandpa’s house!
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Disney Land California Adventure:

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IMG_20150330_182324779Minnie Campbell!:
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Ben and I got our own shell on Ariel’s ride. How romantic!:

 

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We had lunch at Ariel’s Grotto which was our first time to do character dining. Neither kid would pose with Ariel when we first walked in. Then several characters came around while we were eating and it took the kids some time to warm up to the idea!

Cinderella is clearly a pro. Got a picture with or without the children’s consent/knowledge:

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Next came Belle. Sam had warmed up by then but Campbell was still a no-go:

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Finally it was Minnie’s turn and both kids were hooked! Campbell and Minnie bonded over their love of bows:

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Campbell told Minnie she has a Minnie Baby doll at home and Minnie pantomimed that she has a Campbell baby doll! Haha!

 

 

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Side note: is there anything Disney doesn’t do right?

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Fun on the rides!:

 

 

 

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And one last picture from our trip that I love. Three generations of Miller men 🙂
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ATX

Part 2 of our Winter Escape plan was a family trip to Austin in February. My mom and Jerry are moving to San Diego soon so this was our last chance to visit them in Austin. As with our first Winter Escape trip, we had grand plans but they didn’t go quite as smoothly as I would have hoped. For starters, the flight out was canceled due to some snow squalls and so we got started on our short trip about 12 hours late. Oh and Sam contracted a stomach bug somewhere along the way and both kids were puking by that evening. Woohoo! We were at least able to get out and enjoy some sunshine and tex-mex, but needless to say it wasn’t our best trip ever. And of course, getting to visit with Nana and Grandpa Jerry made it all worthwhile!

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Welcome to Miami

This year I decided that in order to survive winter, we would need to get out of town in January, February, and March. I can deal with the cold weather in November and December because it seems appropriate with the holidays. But after that I am DONE with winter. Unfortunately, in DC winter is really just beginning. For our January trip, we decided to take a kid-free trip to Miami. Grandma Judi agreed to come out and watch the kids and we booked a stay at the Surfcomber (a Kimpton hotel). Sounds great, right?
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Not so fast. The day before we left I came down with the worst case of strep EVER. I literally couldn’t get myself out of bed. I did manage to make it to the doctor and got an antibiotic. By the next morning I was feeling marginally better…well enough to get on a plane. However, the antibiotic wasn’t strong enough to knock out the strep throat completely and I had the most painful sore throat for our entire trip. By the end of our trip, I was starting to feel as bad as that first day of strep again. Miserable! To make matters worse, our flight home was canceled and we ended up having to drive to palm beach, fly to philly and then drive back home. Fun!

But I guess I can’t complain too much…at least we were warm!

 

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Sam at 5

Sam turned FIVE in October. I still can’t believe we have a 5 year old!! It seems like he was just born! Sam’s birthday is right after the Kindergarten cut-off date in Virginia (September 30) and although I feel fairly confident that he’d be doing just fine in Kindergarten, I am pretty glad that we get to have a preschooler for an extra year.

Here is what our little five year old guy is up to these days.

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  • Weight: 42 lbs (58th percentile)
  • Height: 45.5″ (89th percentile)
  • Vision: This year they gave Sam a vision test at his checkup and he has great vision. Must have gotten that from his dad! (L: 20/20 R: 20/16)

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  • Behavior: So far 5 has been a very good age. Sam’s always a great kid, but he can be a little stubborn and likes to play rough, so earlier years have seen some interesting challenges. (Nothing too unusual but can be hard as a parent.) However, we have noticed that Sam really matured almost exactly on his fifth birthday. He has much more self-control, communicates at a really high level, and he is quick to apologize when he does something wrong. One thing we are still working on is being gentler with Campbell, and we are working on how to deal with frustration and anger in a non-physical way.

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  • School: Sam really loves school and it has been so fun to see him grow academically and socially. He loves all of his friends at school and is pretty good about telling us all the things they did that day when I go to pick him up. I wasn’t sure whether we should sign him up for 4 or 5 days but I am really glad we went with 5 days. He has such a good time there and I still get to spend plenty of time with him in the afternoons.

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  • Sleep: Sam has completely stopped napping but he still has “quiet time” every day where he can basically do whatever he wants as long as he does it on his own. That is my time to work and have some peace and quiet. Plus I think it is good for kids to learn how to entertain themselves. He goes to bed every night at around 8 and is usually asleep by 9. He wakes up most days at about 8. (The pic below is from this past summer when he fell asleep in the car and stayed asleep even after we moved him onto the couch. This is probably the only time that has happened since he was an infant.)

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  • Food: Sam is still a good eater. He certainly has his preferences but will try just about everything. I just asked him what his favorite foods are and he said “apples, pizza, district taco, and ice cream. Oh and macaroni and cheese and smoothies” 🙂

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  • Sibling relationships: although, as I just mentioned, Sam can be a little too rough with Campbell, overall they have a very sweet relationship! They really like to play together, which is mainly Sam coming up with elaborate plans and giving Campbell orders. It works for them! They are still sharing a room and it is so fun to listen to them after we have put them to bed for the night. Such hilarious conversations. The biggest problem in that arrangement is that Campbell likes to stay up later and wake up earlier (since she still naps). Sam does NOT like being woken up (and I don’t blame him!)

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  • Playing: Sam is a very active. When the weather is nice all he wants to do is play outside and run around. He is very imaginative and most of his inside games involve creating buildings and weapons with magnets or legos, and then acting out stories with them. He is not a big fan of arts activities (and his handwriting/fine motor skills are something we need to work on as a result) but he does like play-doh. He LOVES playing video games, but he can mainly only do that on the weekends. (I do occasionally let him play “learning games” on the tablet on week days).

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Sam, you have made the last 5 (plus) years a joy and an adventure. We love you so so much and feel so lucky to be your mommy and daddy! (Thanks to Tom Kise Photography for these great shots with our little guy)

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Resolutions for 2015

Happy new year! I can’t believe it is already 2015. This century is really flying by! (There’s a sentence I never though I’d say.) Something about the new year always gets me in a goal-setting, clutter-busting, organizing mood. So as you can imagine, I LOVE making resolutions for the new year. I don’t even care if I don’t fully accomplish every goal (although that is a bonus). I just like making goals and using that to motivate me. So here goes…

1. Lose 15 pounds. I feel like weight loss goals are so cliche, but what can I say? I am 15 pounds heavier than I would like to be, thanks to over eating the last few months of the year, and especially the last few weeks! I am going to use my favorite weight loss app, My Fitness Pal. Wish me luck!

2-Eat more fruits and vegetables. I think this was a goal of mine last year but it is still on here. A website I follow, 100 Days of Real Food, recommends trying to have two servings of fruits or vegetables at every meal and I am going to shoot for that. Plus extras for snacks.

3-More weight lifting. Thanks to one of last years resolutions, I decided to join a gym and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. How did I never do this before?? Campbell loves going to the childcare center (we usually go when Sam is in school) and I love working out in a climate controlled environment all year. Ideally I would like to do a mix of cardio and weights but a lot of time I get “lazy” and just do the treadmill for 30 minutes and leave. I really noticed a difference in the way I felt and looked when I was lifting weights so I would like to get back into that!

4-Scale back HBTM. I had a revelation recently: I am never going to make any money with Handmade By The Millers. And I like doing it, but not when I get so many orders that I don’t have time to do anything else. So if I am not making money, and it is stressing me out, why am I doing it again? So I know the timing is a little weird given that Ben just created an awesome website for me, but HBTM will be getting majorly scaled back. Not sure of all the details yet but I will be figuring that out soon.

5-Figure out how to get a bigger, beautiful house that we love. I love our house and I love our neighborhood but lately it has felt like the walls are closing in on us. So one of my goals for 2015 is to magically find a house that is in our budget, really big, in a nice neighborhood, not a dump, and not a two hour commute into DC. Yeah, this resolution might not be realized.

Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz

More catch up.

This Christmas we took our second annual trip to the Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz Buckhead. It is such a fun experience and I highly recommend it! (While we were at the tea, Gene, Ben, Asa, and Sam went out to play laser-tag, so don’t feel bad that we left them out).

Teddy bears everywhere!

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Cookie decorating station:

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Ella’s cookie:

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Campbell’s cookie (she is more of an “abstract” artist):

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Meeting the REAL Santa:

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Sweet cousin Ella and Auntie Nikki:

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Mrs. Claus came to our table:IMG_20141222_115456150

 

Sipping on cocoa:IMG_20141222_113559861Touring the Ritz after the tea with her new teddy bear:
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Pumpkin Patch

Way back in October, the kids and I took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch down the street. It is always good for some cute fall photos. Although Campbell was in kind of a weird mood and I had to work so hard to get any good photos. Oh well! They are still so cute!

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Bowling at the White House

Just realized I never posted about our awesome trip to the White House bowling alley. We did this in August–basically Ben’s friend there let us in because no one else was in town!

Cool view from INSIDE the gates:

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Helpful signage:

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Ben was pretty excited about the photos on the walls:IMG_20140814_132201090

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Action shot:
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BYOB:

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Sweet parting gifts:

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Thanks for having us Mr. and Mrs. Obama. We had a blast, just sorry we missed you.