* Sunshine Preschool Year End

I am in no way getting anything from this post, but wanted to share my project.
Each year I print off Avrie's Birthday events in an 8x8 hardcover shutterfly book- only catch is that I wait until they are free!

I made Avrie's 1st Birthday book and LOVED how it turned out and LOVE looking back on it, especially this time of year 'birthday week' ( and, i suppose, the week to follow ;) as well).

Last week I FINALLY got around to making her 2nd Birthday book- should show up sometime next week. and now tonight, I am making her 3rd Birthday book. Now... we didn't have a big ol' to-do last year, simply because we had a family wedding on Avrie's actually birth date- so we kept it simply as celebrating the morning of her birthday with the traditional bday pancakes, gifts from mom & dad then a day at the park & picking strawberries (see full post here)

Since I don't have much about her birthday for a 20 page book for year three, I thought it would be fun to no only include her birthday day in book 3 but also some other BIG event that occurred in year three for Avrie Jo! These events include Preschool (1st & last day), her 1st year of dance & our BIG move!

Seeing that I never did post about her last day of school and her preschool program, I will share that now- it was pretty fun & cute looking back at photos from that day.

It was a Tuesday, May 18th- it was COLD, WINDY & RAINY!! I remember clearly because... it was ALSO my birthday that day. It may not have been the best weather but it was the best day spent as a family- we had Avrie's school program a pot luck to follow and then our 20 week ultrasound to follow. It was a pretty darn good 33rd birthday- full of joy!

The program started at 10am- grandma Kay & Grandpa Sonnek drove up for the occasion, it was nice having them there and a fun surprise for Avrie. The kids were asked to wear red, white and blue- we have NO problems coming up with that! They sang patriotic songs with props- Avrie's performance facial expressions were nothing short of entertaining.

She sang & stood next to her classroom BFF, Whitney and at one point they were up there tickling one another- but remained on their best behavior for the entire show.

There was a year end slide show- to which I teared up, duh! SO cute! We were able to purchase the disk with a $5 church donation, such a fun & cute keepsake (among MANY) that the teachers spent time putting together.

After the program there was a potluck where there was time to chat with the parents and the kids to run around. We were able to say our final goodbyes to both teachers as we won't be back next year with our move. It was a great send off, an adorable celebration and I am sure that the memories & experiences of Sunshine Preschool will be something that will remain with Avrie for a long long time. They will also be something that I will treasure forever.

Shutterfly FREE code good thru 7/1/15 is SUNNYBOOK


* It's Birthday Week!

There's nothing more fun & or anxiety filled then planning your child's birthday party! hehe

We have a lot of fun things planned and at Avrie's request a Unicorn theme is coming together nicely (we're keeping it pretty simple)- the weather looks great and I am SO happy to be able to have a party for her this year since last year we skipped the party scene.

Here's to making it a MAGICAL week for everyone!! ;)

 [all pics via google images]


* Big Sister Alert!

We've been keeping a big big secret....

After 2 years of production, we are PROUD to share that Avrie has landed her 1st BIG leading role!

Our official due date is Oct 2nd - but based on our doc & clinic location we are opting for a c-section at 39 weeks which will make baby sonnek #2's due date being Friday Sept 25th!

I may post a few things here and there about this experience so far, but nothing detailed as far as a week by week "bump date". There's just too much going on with getting our house sold, settling into our new home and just enjoying another Summer but in our new home. Looking ahead we already have half of our Summer accounted for- it's going to FLY by!

SO far I have been feeling pretty much the same as I was with Avrie. Main differences being that I feel BIGGER... more TIRED... and my back is giving me a lot of trouble off and on- mainly sciatica. And as mentioned in the intro to my post, this was a long, stressful & tiring process to get us here. We had been trying for 2 years.

As of today, I am 21 weeks and 4 days so over HALF WAY THERE. We had our 20 weeks ultrasound last Monday and it was so fun & reassuring to see a growing baby being active and CUTE inside this big 'ol belly of mine.

And just like our first, we will NOT be finding out baby's gender, we like the surprise at delivery! We aren't set on any names quite yet and won't be sharing them until baby is here either. SOrrryyy.....

BUT if all goes planned for big sis Avrie, she will be having a " baby sister, named 'Sparkles' " ;)

Thank you for all your well wishes, we are SO excited and a bit anxious about having TWO kids by the end of this summer!


* Avrie's 1st year of Dance!

It's May which means BIG milestones for Avrie are coming to an end. The end of preschool... the end of being a 3 year old... and the end of her 1st year of dance!

Dance was touch and go (for me) all year... mainly because I was NOT a fan of her studio and really wouldn't recommend this studio to anyone else. But I will stop right there and from here on out only share the fun we've had with Avrie experiencing her first year of dance class.

I begin with a flashback to a 4 week 'Mommy & Me" class that we took back in the fall of 2013, the year before she was old enough for the 3 year old "Creative Movement" beginners class. She was mostly all over the place being a free spirited self and then there were times where she just wasn't into it at all. See below...

After the 4 week session, we took a break from dance and when she turned 3 in June of 2014 I signed her up for class to begin that Fall, EKKKK! Despite her lack of enthusiasm the first time around, I was still pretty excited.


Her first night of dance! She was SO cute and ready to dance (even if the look on her face above says otherwise) and she had no problem figuring out those things called tap shoes! We came right now and tapped all around the garage and any patio block in the yard she could find.


All year long, I couldn't get enough of her darling dance leotards & dance outfits- rhinestones, tights, flowing skirts, tutus, ballet shoes, leg warmers and dance hair!

It's all so sweet!

For the Holidays the studio put on a Christmas show- it was a short version of what's to come in the Spring with a lot of the little kids doing fun Holiday songs and donning Santa hats. This was a great way to get a feel for how the little ones would handle stage time. Avrie did SO good. I was teary watching her, it brought back so many memories for myself AND I felt like the the luckiest mom with the cutest kid on stage! ;)

I danced at the age 3 to 18 years old at the same studio in West St Paul and LOVED it. Nancy Raddatz was and still is a non-competitive recreational dance studio that has been around since 1948!!! Being that we are now in the area, I might even look into Raddatz for Avrie's next year of dance. Then I'll REALLY get a blast from the past and I KNOW I'll love it there!

After Avrie's first show, I just had to buy her a flower- I always remember loving the after show flowers! Avrie made me so proud, she too needed a flower! She also made Grandma Ertle, Grandma Kay, Grandpa Ambrose and Kelly smile as they watched her dance to "Must Be Santa!" with bright red cherry lips! We celebrated with lunch at Blue Heron to follow.


Throughout the year, we danced our way through Winter and into the Spring. And with Spring time dance there comes a lot of the most anticipated & fun dance stuff!

Costumes! Dance Pictures! and the big finale- RECITAL!!

[i HAD to share Avrie's dance pics & my 1st year pic circa 1986! wow... i know... more like YICKS!]

Avrie had a dress rehearsal the week before recital. She had zero hesitations which helped me feel confident going into recital weekend knowing how excited Avrie was about being on "the stage!"

For the last few months, I have had multiple frantic dreams about the pressures of backstage during recital. Having been apart of the dance scene for so many years, I WAS feeling nervous!! but again SO excited. Excited for Avrie and excited to watch!

We made it to recital day on Saturday 5/9/15! That morning we woke up early to eat a good breakfast get ready for the day. Now with us living in our new house we had quite the drive ahead, traveling all the way from Hastings up to Lindstrom's Chisago Lakes High School- PAC.

We made a day of it and took Grandpa Billy & Auntie Jamie along with us. Grandma Ertle & Grandpa Paul met up with us to watch the big show as well. 2015 Recital - "Annie" was a tad long, clocking in at a little over 2 and a half hours, but fun to watch. Having the mix of both competition dancers & rec dancers kind of makes for a show that is all over the place, but still fun to see the different dance levels.

Backstage: I was a little skeptical of the 3 year olds being in a gymnasium for almost three hours, without mom or dad. After intermission when I ran back to help change Avrie into tap BUT she was already dressed and preoccupied with all the fun that she was having with her dance friends. One of the mom helpers gave me a thumbs up so I quickly sneaked out to return to the show before Avrie could spot me.

During the show: Avrie's class danced ballet to "Snuggle Puppy" where they had a little stuffed animal with them on stage- so perfect for Avrie. She would have LOVED to have Kangy up there but we somehow managed to have her use an alternate animal for just for dance.

I absolutely adored her HUGE ballet tutu- the colors were so pretty on her and she did SO good on stage. As good as any 3 year old would do- but she actually REALLY did some of her steps and didn't just stand in place and jump like she does in class!

For tap, Avrie's class danced to "S-M-I-L-E" in glittery, bright teal & hot pink stripe & polka dot costumes. It was ADORABLE and SO cute on all of the girls!

As I suspected, she was a little more distracted on stage for tap being that her feet made noise! She still did pretty good but being in the front row, she spent a lot of time turned around & watching the other girls.

At the close of the show & finale, I was able to go to the gymnasium and check Avrie out so that we could all congratulate her and give her high fives & hugs. This time around I bought her a ring pop for all of her good work!! She earned it and she loved that sweet treat WAY more than a flower.

After the show we all went out to a late lunch where Avrie pretty much snuggled up against me and didn't even eat one bite of food. The second we were in the car headed back home she was out like a light. Such a long & exhausting day. SO much that we SKIPPED the Sunday show. It was just not in the cards for us on Mother's Day and with it being almost an hour and a half drive it would have made for a really REALLY long Sunday and a, I'm afraid, a terribly crabby 3 year old. #momknowsbest

And now we close the book on dance: year one! 

Hoping to find us a good fit for next year and to keep the fun & cuteness going!


*Where Oh Where Have I Been!?

It's no real news that we have been BUSY- but we're all busy right!? We all just define busy a little bit differently...

 [priorities: powerful words providing clarity, appreciating family & time spent with friends who understand]

For me, for us, busy is... taking pictures and looking back at them a week later [and saying] "awe, oh that was fun!" :D

Busy is... not being able to go to the movies, or go to the mall or getting my nails done [THAT is fun] but that can also wait. I DID however make time to get my hair done- those GREYS CANNOT wait... and I am NOT trendy enough to rock the newly, 'highly fashionable'!? greying hair look. It's cute... but not for me. :/

Busy is... running Avrie back and forth to school three days a week JUST to finish up the school year and not having to miss a day with her first year of school friends and her sweet & kind preschool teachers. Oh and dance... there has to be that dance factor in there.

Busy is... keeping in touch with friends that are ALSO busy- whether it be via a text, a snap, a group me message, an instagram [my life line], A PHONE CALL or an email [but way TOO BUSY too send out snail mail] BUT either way that little bit of contact each day, makes my day, so I thank you! :')

On that note, busy is... responding to friends texts hours and HOURS later because... I read your text and responded to it in my mind. Thank you for your patience ;)

Busy is... WORK! So much to do, NEVER EVER enough time or ever enough days in a week- but that's the case for everyone, so that's all I have to say about that.

Busy is... stopping what I'm doing to write down that one thing I JUST thought of so that I don't think of it at 2am and it keeps me awake for hours in the middle of the night. Wait, maybe that's just a MOM/OCD thing!?

Busy is... saying a million times over and over and over...  "just one second, mom has to finish this first." or taking a "break" to keep Avrie busy by playing legos on the floor and building lego girl, Mia's, pool, slide & radio [for the zillionth time]. a side note: Avrie is so much like her dad and I- she loves to have the company of others near her... to be by her... even if I am sorting papers or writing bills, as long as we are on the floor with her, she's cool with that.

Busy is... getting to the grocery store ONLY when there is NOTHING left to scrounge together to make a decent meal for my family. Only to end up buying anything and everything that sounds good... strawberries, Oreo's, "circle" cheese and lime-ade :P

Busy is... living amongst towering piles of boxes, house decor and personal belongings scattered EVERYWHERE because- we just can't do it all in one day.

Busy is... being late, everywhere, all of the time [but then again for ME that's normal] ;)

Busy is... not getting [an hour] out of town to visit with my BEST FRIEND in almost a YEAR!!!! Thank goodness we broke that streak last month. Thankfully Lana is like a sister to me and just get me, and TOTALLY understands. <3 br="">

Busy is... forgetting to eat a full meal [and using up all of those groceries that I just bought] it's usually a bite here or there- or lunch at about 3pm or cold pizza rolls [slightly burnt] that I took out of the oven over an hour ago [which by the way MIGHT be my new fav thing, yum!] 

Busy is... forgetting to mention the cookie dough that I bought on my last grocery run, popping them into the oven and then forgetting about them... the timer when off, Aaron was too busy to check on them, they burnt, I threw them away- but not before I ate one of those crispy things soaked in some milk! [not yummy] :Z

Busy is... running out the door in my slippers and NOT shoes!? YICKS... BUT catching myself before stepping into my car.

Busy is... paying bills at the VERY last second online, of course. :/

Busy is... reading 1-2 pages on my Nook before bed and waking up as the Nook crashes down onto my face- and not giving a care what. so. ever. ZZZzzzzzzz 

Busy is... starting a new TV show and only getting into the first 2-3 episodes.

Busy is... falling asleep in the WORST possible sleep position on the couch... watching approx 13 minutes if said variety of recorded DVR'd shows.

Busy is... thinking all about those blog posts that I WISH to someday get documented.

Busy is... not being able to stop at 'bou for an iced mint condition or campfire... WAIT... that's a LIE- never too busy for COFFEE!!!

Busy is... forgetting what it was that I was just about to write....