Goodbye 2012!

January 11th, 2013 . by Melissa

We are totally lame and didn’t do a Christmas card this year. Boo, I know. I just couldn’t find the time. So, thank you to everyone who sent us a Christmas card. I loved them all. Getting Christmas cards in the mail is one my favorite Christmas traditions. Here’s a  little review of our 2012!


January – I REALLY thought I was going to have a baby this month. I was convinced she would come 2 weeks early like Jack, but it never happened. Last January was a long month of waiting for me!


February – Our lives were forever changed when a spunky, little girl joined our family in February. She was born one hour before her due date and came to this world in such a hurry!

5 minutes old.

March – We adjusted to being a family of four and had a special visitor, Auntie Kim. We had fun celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Chi Town.

Aunt Dim and Jack on the ferris wheel.

April – We blessed Cadence on Easter. Jason turned 29! And Grandma Newman came to visit!



May – We headed to Fort Lauderdale and met up with some of Jason’s friends. We loved playing on the beach with our kiddos and took a tour of the Everglades!



June – We had special visits from Grandpa Bernie and from Grandma Peggy and Terry. Jason and I went to an Iron and Wine concert in Chicago!

                                                                   Look! We are on a date, it's a miracle!

July – We visited my family in Southern Indiana and celebrated the 4th with them!

Jack and Great Granny.


August – We said goodbye to our dear friends, the Taylors. :( It still makes me sad. Miss you guys!


September – We visited the most magical place on earth, Disney World! And we also made a quick trip to Utah.


October – I turned 27! And Mom and Terry got married!


November – Jack turned 3 years old!!


December – We went on a special ChristmaCruise with the Newman Family and visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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Jack Chat

January 11th, 2013 . by Melissa

 Conversation 1: While getting ready in the morning. 

Jack: Daddy, why can’t you stay and play with me.

Jason: Because, I have to go to work.

Jack: Why do you have to go to work?

Jason: To make money.

Jack: Why do you need to make money?

Jason: To pay for our house and to buy food.

Jack: Well, Grandpa has a house. And in his basement he has a bed for Mommy and Daddy and for me, too. AND he has food!

 Look out Dad! Jack’s trying to move in with you!


Conversation 2: The 10th potty break during bed time. 

Me: Jack, you should be finished by now, it’s been over 5 minutes.

Jack: But I have to poo!

Me: Jack, if the poo hasn’t come out yet, it’s not coming out tonight. Maybe you should try again tomorrow.

Jack: (In a high-pitched voice.) But I don’t want to come out tomorrow, I want to come out right now!

Me: Did you just speak for your poo?

Jack: Yes. I did.


ChrismaCruise Days 10-11

January 10th, 2013 . by Melissa

Day 10 – We said our goodbyes to the Carnival Liberty and then jumped in the car and drove 3.5 hours from Miami to Orlando. That evening everyone else went to see Les Mis, while we (and Jason’s mom) took the kids to Downtown Disney. It was insanely crowded and there was basically no parking. However, we managed to find our way to the Lego store and Jack was in heaven. Grandma let him pick out one thing at the store. He went RIGHT to this Cars set and wouldn’t let go of the box.

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Day 11 – Let me preface this blurb by saying: I have never read the Harry Potter Series. I have never seen the movies (though I have seen the previews!)  Today we visited Harry Potter Land, excuse me, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And though I was stuck right in the middle of an inside joke that I wasn’t in on, it was still very cool! Universal did a great job of theming the place with the shops and rides. Everything looked awesome and was really well done. Trent was picked by Olivander (did I spell that right?) to be matched up with his perfect wand. This is a really big deal to Harry Potter fans.  The only downside, the whole park was packed with people. At moments you couldn’t move down the walkways because there were people jams, sometimes lasting 3 minutes or more. There were 15 minute lines to go the bathroom. Sheesh!

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Day 12 – On our last day of vacation we slept in, ate a big breakfast, played mini-golf and then said our goodbyes. The goodbyes were really sad.


We had so much fun spending good quality time with family!!!!

ChrismaCruise Days 7-9

January 10th, 2013 . by Melissa

Day 7 – We arrived at our next port, San Juan, Puerto Rico. This was my favorite port! All of the buildings and shops reminded me of (and made me nostalgic for) Europe.  We toured the ruins of 2 old forts and took some really fun pictures.

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Day 8 – Our last stop was Grand Turk, an Island in the Turks and Caicos ran by Carnival Cruise Lines. We played at the beach, walked around the shops, watched people attempt to surf on the FlowRider, and played by the pool.

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Day 9 – Our last day on the cruise was at sea. It was also our anniversary. We spent the day playing with the kids at the pool, teaching Jack mini-golf and eating. That evening Jason and I ate at the cruise ship’s steakhouse (sans kids!). They served escargot, lobster tail, tiramisu, and every other fancy delicacy you can think of.  I’m not a very adventurous eater but I loved the ambience of it all. I didn’t get a picture of us at dinner but Jase got a pic of me right before we left.

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ChrismaCruise, Days 4-6

January 2nd, 2013 . by Melissa

Day 4 – We made it to our first stop, Nassau, Bahamas. Jason and I have visited Nassau 3 times, now. We just love the Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island and dream of vacationing there someday. There wasn’t much time so we ended up heading to the beach, despite temps in the low 70’s. The storm we had pushed through the night before made its way to shore and sent huge waves up and down the beachside. There was a strong undertow grabbing swimmers. A little boy (about 8) was sucked in. His grandmother went in after him but she was being thrown around like a rag doll herself. An onlooker went in after the woman but the boy was still flailing in the water. Luckily, we had two Ironmen(women?)(people?) in our party. So, it was Wes and Jen to the rescue! Wes was able to grab the little boy and bring him to safety. His mother was VERY grateful. That night we celebrated with our first “elegant evening.”


Uncle T and J posing by the Liberty in Nassau. 

Ready for the beach!

J burying his legs in the sand. 

Daddy-daughter moment. 

The Johnson’s soaking up some rays, right before the big rescue.

J making his pirate face a little more piratey (?)

Fancy us!

The whole gang. 

J busting a move. LOVE this kid and all of his personality.  

Day 5 –We spent Christmas Eve at Sea. Jack and Auntie Kim decorated gingerbread men and read the story of the Gingerbread man. That evening we played a Kirk Newman classic, Festive Christmas Frivolity. It was the highlight of the evening!

Gingerbread men with Auntie Kim. 


Our view of the sea. 

Day 6 – We docked in St. Thomas, USVI for Christmas. Jen and Wes went on a kayaking excursion while the rest of us headed to the Sky Tram for a trip up to Paradise point. The view was amazing. Then, we were off to world famous, Magen’s Bay. We decided it was nice beach but not as great as some of our favorites in Hawaii. The kiddos really enjoyed playing in the sand. It was a bit surreal spending Christmas on a tropical island, but it was very relaxing!  That evening we ate Christmas dinner and played Indian No-Peekey (copyright of the Newman family).

Christmas morning on the ship!

What a happy girl!

View from Paradise Point. 

Our kids look so happy to be in paradise!

Little Miss cuddling with Grandpa at Magen’s Bay. 

ChrismaCruise, Days 1-3

January 2nd, 2013 . by Melissa

Day 1 – Went to work, blah. Then loaded up the car, kids and took off for the Schreiber’s. We made it about 20 minutes when we were met with standstill traffic on the interstate. BLAH. The fierce wind had overturned a semi-truck. With that delay we had to reroute straight for the airport, boo. In the meantime, some serious snow began to fall. We boarded the plane after parading through the airport with our convoy of baggage.  I hate flying. So at takeoff, when the plane swayed like a Florida palm, you can be sure I was white knuckled and deep in prayer. After 20 minutes of roller coaster quality belly dropping, it was back to smooth sailing. Whew. These little munchkins did great.  I was the problem child on this flight!


Day 2 – We met up with the rest of the Newman clan at the greatest hotel in all of Miami, the Epic (and boy, was it!) We had an awesome room on the 23rd floor with a partial-panoramic view of the city.  Too bad I’m afraid of heights, too. We did a little bit of shopping in downtown Miami, relaxed in a city park, and then ate dinner at a cute, boutique Italian restaurant.

Our Epic view!

 Cadence and Uncle T at the park. 

Day 3 – After quite the rigmarole of people and bag shuttling, we all made it to the cruise port and boarded the Carnival Liberty. Unfortunately, we met up with a storm just a few hours out of the port. Most of us were beyond seasick and didn’t enjoy that inaugural dinner much.

Ready to board!

Aboard the Liberty!

Aboard the Liberty…and feeling it. 

Our nightlife. 

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