Sunday, December 22, 2013

I've been keeping a secret...

My lack of posts have not been on purpose...I've just had a little something that's been preoccupying my time/energy...

Wanna know my secret?? I'll let Madden show you: read that right!! Our little family is growing by one sweet little babe in June 2014!! We are beyond excited and feel incredibly blessed that God has finally answered our prayers. 

I will be back next week with more details about our journey to get to this point after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season dies down!

Love to each and every one of you, from the bottom of my heart...and Merry Christmas to you all!!

Until next time...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Our Family Christmas Traditions

Man, oh man have I missed blogging.  It just feels so, so good to be back!  But you want to know what one of my most favorite things about blogging is?  A good 'ol link-up!  So, when my girl Holly announced this fun, festive link up, I just knew that I had to join in.

My immediate family (Mom, Dad, Sister and Brother) always had the same traditions every. single. year when we were growing up, and I loved every second of it.  As I've said before, both sides of my family (Mom's three siblings, their kids and parents and Dad's three siblings, their kids and parents), all lived/live within 15 miles of each other, so we always got together to celebrate Christmas with both sides.  Christmas Eve was always spent going to church, then heading to Grandma and Grandpa Rodehorst's (My Mom's side) eating, singing Christmas Carols, and opening presents before heading home to get some shut eye before Santa came that night.

Then, Christmas morning, us 3 kids were always up at the crack of dawn, (sometimes all sleeping in the same room just so we would all wake up at the same time) before running into Mom and Dad's room waking them up before we headed into the living room to see what Santa had left us.  We would spend the morning opening gifts, eating breakfast, watching Christmas movies that we got in our stockings and playing with whatever new toys/gadgets we had gotten.  Then, later that night, we would all head to Grandma and Grandpa Went's (My Dad's side) to eat supper, open presents, and hang out until we couldn't stay awake any longer.  

Those years bring back soooo many wonderful memories and for some reason, as I typed that out, I couldn't control the tears streaming down my face.  I loved every single minute of the Christmas season, and I want those same feelings to be passed down to my own little family.  Aaron and I have tried really hard to come up with some fun, family traditions that can be carried on from year to year.  Madden is at the age where he is really starting to understand what is going on, so this Christmas is probably going to be my favorite one yet.  His innocence is so amazing, I just can't wait to experience this season with him this year.  Here's a peek into what our "new" Christmas traditions look like:
I am kind of a freak when it comes to decorating our home for Christmas.  It takes a lot of work to get everything set up to just enjoy it for a couple weeks, so I typically set up the decorations the week before Thanksgiving so we actually can enjoy the blood, sweat and tears beauty of it all!  We blast Christmas music on the stereo, and dance around while trimming the tree.
Then, all season long, Madden sleeps in Christmas jammies, we read Christmas stories every night before bed and be sure to watch at least a couple Christmas movies a week.  Some of our favorites being "Elf", "The Santa Clause", and "Home Alone".  Just this year, we introduced the Elf of the Shelf concept into our house.  It has seriously been sooo much fun watching Madden come down the stairs every morning to see what "Randy" has been up to the night before.  It's definitely a tradition that will be carried on from year to year!
Christmas Eve is spent heading back to my parent's house late morning, where we eat dinner, open presents, and hang out before heading to church as an entire family that night.  Then, we still head to my Grandma's house to spend that evening the way we always have for the past 27 years of my life; eating, singing Christmas carols and now watching the great grandkids open up the gifts!

Now, call us crazy, but Aaron and I pack Madden up and head back to our house that night, usually not getting home until after 11 at night.  But we made the decision right before Madden's first Christmas that we want him to wake up in his own bed on Christmas morning.  And we have never regretted that decision!

Christmas morning is spent seeing what Santa left Madden, opening up gifts from Mommy and Daddy, eating breakfast (usually a crockpot breakfast casserole) before getting dressed and ready to head back to Columbus.

Ever since Aaron and I started dating, clear back in 2002, I have spent my Christmas Day with his family.  This is a tradition that is still ongoing as we get there late morning, eat monkey bread, divvy up the mountains of presents, sit in a circle and one by one, we each open up our gifts.  We usually let the kids (all six of them) go first, we take a break to eat lunch, then we continue on with the adults.  After that all day event, we just hang out, snack, and play games until we turn around and head back home that night.  

Whew!  If you are still reading this, I applaud you for hanging on through that all!  Our traditions may have changed a tiny bit throughout the years, but the traditions are still there, none the less!  I can't wait to celebrate this season with the ones I love.  And remembering now, more than ever, that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
Until next time...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Peek into our Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving was one for the record books...we had five Thanksgiving meals in a week's time.  Yes, you read that right: Five Thanksgivings.  And no, neither the hubs nor I come from separated families.  Both of our parents have been married for 30 and 38 years...this is just what you get when all, and I mean ALL of your extended family (except for us) lives within 15 miles of each other...My husband hates every minute of it, but I, on the other hand, love it!  After all, that is what this time of year is all about: giving thanks for what you have and family being one of the most important.

The festivities began the Sunday before Thanksgiving when we got together with two of our closest friends for our first annual "Friendsgiving."  And just because it was a gathering of friends, does not mean we skimped on the feast.  We had everything from a 17lb turkey, to mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, dressing, rolls, spaghetti corn, salad, cranberry sauce, and a butterfinger dessert.  It was out of control, but we had so much fun and left there feeling exactly like that turkey on the table: stuffed.

Wednesday was a whirlwind.  Madden's Montessori had a Parent's day, where we were invited to come and do crafts with him, eat lunch, and then have him show us all that he has been working on this semester.  After that, we headed east back to our hometown for our first family Thanksgiving.  We got together with the 50 some family members on my Mom's side, stuffed our faces, and then turned around and drove the hour and a half back to our house that night.

Thursday was my husband's dream holiday.  It was just the three of us, with absolutely no plans, so this is what our day looked like:  I woke up early, burned off some turkey and mashed potatoes from the night before, then whipped up a breakfast of waffles, bacon and eggs for my main men.  Then, we loaded up and went to the movie "Frozen" had popcorn for lunch and then home for nap time.  During that time, while my guys were sleeping, I slaved away in the kitchen on my homemade cranberry sauce (first ever time making it) spiral ham, and homemade scalloped potatoes, per my husband's request.  We ate an early dinner around 4:30, so we could head out for some black Friday shopping.  We honestly had so much fun that day, and it is definitlely a Thanksgiving we won't ever forget.
We started the Elf on the Shelf tradition this year, by letting Madden open him up the night of Thanksgiving..."Randy" has already gotten into some mischief ;)
Later that night, after the boys went to sleep, my Mom and sister got into town around 10:30, where we proceeded to do more black Friday shopping until about 2 am, came back to our house, took a six hour nap, and then headed back out around 9 the next morning!  Crazy??  Maybe, but I got ALL of my Christmas shopping done!  Now all that's left is to wrap the hundreds of presents...any volunteers??

Saturday morning we loaded up the car, once again, this time bags packed, and headed back east for our final two Thanksgivings.  We spent the day on Saturday with Aaron's family, just hanging out, letting the kids play, while the ladies shopped online, and the guys watched football...then the hubs, Madden and I snuck up to my parents for a couple hours that night to spend some one on one time with them, since we wouldn't get the chance to do that during that crazy weekend!

Sunday morning, I got dressed up to head to a craft fair with my Mother and Sister in-laws for more shopping!  I scored some pretty cute door hangers for super cheap!  A snowman and a birthday cupcake...the husband just shook his head when I came home with just don't get it, do they??

Then Sunday noon was spent at my Dad's parent's house with about 30 others for our last and final feast.  We left Grandma and Grandpa's around 2:30, to get home just in time to unpack and lounge the rest of the night before preparing for the week ahead!

It was a whirlwind week, and I will be trying to burn off the lbs of potatoes, stuffing, pie and turkey for the next month!  But it was so worth it.  We had a great time, made lots of memories and realized just how thankful we really are for what we have been blessed with.  I hope you all had just as much fun this Thanksgiving!

What about you?  Did you travel far?  How many Thanksgivings did you have?

Until next time...

Monday, December 2, 2013

My Apologies...

Ok y'all...I don't know what to say except these two words: I'm sorry.  There is no way around it.  I have been absent for the last month and as hard as it was to be away from all of blog world friends, I found it necessary at the same time.

It wasn't your fault.  It was nothing that any of you did.  That's what made it so hard to be away without even a moment's notice.  It was rude on my part, and I only hope that you can find it in your hearts to forgive me.

After receiving a few emails from some of my readers in the past couple weeks, I knew that I owed it to all of you to explain my absence.  So, without going into deep, messy details, I will give you the jist of it...

So, you all know that I haven't ever gone public with this little ol blog, but I've also never made this place of mine private either.  So, that said, pretty much anyone could find me if they looked for in point: if you type my name into Google, the first thing that comes up is "Jenna Rae Everyday Blogspot."  It's not hidden, so everybody and their dog could find me.  And I knew that, but I just figured that nobody that I knew would actually be stalkerish enough to actually google me!  Ha!  Boy, was I wrong!

Rewind, to my sister's wedding a month and a half ago...a few of my "friends" were invited and many comments were made by said "friends" to other guests of the wedding, some of which included my family members...cousins and a couple aunts.  Comments such as: "did you know that Jenna has a blog?  How bored, desperate and conceited is she that she feels the need to be pitied and gain "friends" via online?"  Mind you, these "friends" didn't know that who they were talking to were related to me, and they were a little "tuned in" so the words were just flowing like vomit with no filter what so ever.

I didn't come to find out about this until after my last post...and right then and there I immediately became sick to my stomach.  I was pissed.  I was furious.  I wanted to track them down and punch them square in the face.  But I was also sad.  And most of all, I was hurt.

You see, as I've mentioned before, I am not a person who likes confrontation.  It is one of my biggest fears.  I also really hate it when people don't like me.  So, I do my best to make everyone happy and I try to please people even when I know that I shouldn't.  It's just who I am.  How I was made, and I don't know if I will ever get over that.

Therefore, instead of facing my fears, I just hid from them.  I didn't say anything.  I just decided to take a break from spilling my thoughts on here for any and all to see.  But the sad thing is, it hurt me to be away from you.  The people that are actually here to support me.  To cheer me up, lift me up and to be my friends when my real life "friends" aren't who they appeared to be.

So I'm back.  I hated being away, but I felt it necessary to clear my mind, get over my frustrations and just spend my free time focusing on my family.  And you know what, it is actually just what I needed.  I have never felt more refreshed, rejuvenated and more ready to share with y'all what is going on in my life!  I've missed you a lot!
These two have been my rocks.  I don't know what I would do without them!
So I hope that you can forgive my absence.  And I thank each and every single one of you (whether you reached out to me or not) for supporting me and checking in on me in a time when I needed it the most.  It just goes to prove that y'all are some of my best/closest friends that I've never even met.  And I am grateful for each and every one of you!

Here's to a new month.  A new chapter.  And a new look into my everyday life.

Until next time...  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I'm a few days late...

On this little thing called the "weekend recap!"  With the middle of the week officially upon us, I figured there was no better time than the present to do a little weekend run-down...I mean it is only 3 days past the weekend, but whatevs!  Haha!  I just had to include this weekend rewind post because this past weekend, although crazy, was one full of family memories that I never want to forget...

That said, let's get to it.
Friday night we had a mini date night, the hubs and I and some friends, and we did the whole haunted house thing...let's just put it this way...I'm not a person who likes to be scared, let alone pay someone to scare me, but our friends invited us, so I couldn't say no.  This is me "pre getting the crap scared out of me" scared face.  All in all, it wasn't that bad...I may have just pottied in my pants a teeny bit...
Saturday was spent cleaning my disaster of a house, watching football and whipping up this super simple, super yummy pumpkin turtle dessert.  We had some friends over for a game night, and I wanted to have something sweet, yet fallish for us to nibble on while playing.  It was the bomb.  Like for real.  Super easy too.  Check it out here.
Sunday morning was spent doing this, as I mentioned yesterday...and I just want to thank you all for all of your sweet comments on them!  I loved reading each and every one!  
Then, after lunch, during naptime, I whipped up these yummy chewy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies to take with us that evening.  Might be my best batch of cookies yet.  So good.
Then, after nap, we headed to the local pumpkin patch that is a huge deal here in Omaha.  This place is ginormous and soooo much fun!  We started going with Madden last year, and have decided it will be a yearly tradition.  He loved every single minute of it!  First stop at the patch was, of course, a picture with Mickey.
The Frankenstines and their ghost baby.
This is an annual must.  But he wasn't too thrilled about posing for this one.
He could have slid down that slide all day if we would have let him.
Madden loved these family style pedal vehicles...Mommy and Daddy on the other  hand got a really good workout in! 
My Mom even came to town to enjoy all of the fun with us!  So sad my Dad got stuck back on the farm, but we had a great time with "Grammy!"
Love this picture of us three.  My mom and her oldest daughter and oldest (and only) grandchild!

This kid is a natural cowboy...I mean look at those roping skills!
Another annual family photo...I just love comparing how much we have all grown and changed in the past year!!
Thank you for letting me bombard your computer screen with all of those photos...

What about y'all?  Any fall traditions that your family does?

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Family Pictures Sneak Peek...

Hey all!!  This weekend was crazy.  Like non-stop, go, go go every day until Monday morning.  We packed a lot into those few short days, but it was the perfect fall weekend (weather wise and activity wise) to be out and about!  And I don't know why, but I have been using Mondays to recover from all of our activities...I promise I will start being a better blogger and posting on Mondays again soon, but for now, let's just pretend that today is Monday, so I don't feel so bad about myself, ok?!

Anyway, I promise I will share what our weekend looked like in my post tomorrow, but for now you are getting a little treat.  I am sooooo excited to be sharing a little sneak peek into our family picture session that we did on Sunday morning!

Now, if you are a mom, you understand the anxiety that I had before we took these photos.  First of all, our regular photographer that we've used since I was pregnant with Madden, moved to Utah in the middle of the summer, so we were left hanging to find someone new.  With that lingering over my head, that was the first thing I needed to get taken care of.  Well, luckily my stud of a little brother started dating this amazing girl this summer who just happens to be a photographer!  Well, ding, ding, ding!!  We found ourselves a winner!  Once she was booked, I then had the task of finding the right color scheme, the right outfits, the right date, and lastly, the right's always so stressful for us mamas, am I right??

We were taking a really big risk scheduling our pictures on the 27th of October in Nebraska, where it has been known to have snowed at least a few feet inches already, but God could not have given us a more perfect day.  It was sunny, no wind, and 63 degrees.  It was ideal!  I am still knocking on wood that things went as smoothly as they did.  Because trying to keep a two year old entertained and focused for at least an hour is next to impossible, but Madden did amazing.  I think it helped that he really likes my brother's girlfriend, so that made it easy for him to feel comfortable and for her to capture the most "natural and real" smiles possible!

Well, without further adieux, I give you a tiny sneak peek into our family pictures for 2013.  I cannot wait to see the rest...enjoy!!
This might be my favorite family picture so far...
I just can't control my love for this one.  I envision a large canvas of this one in our bedroom or living room!
I really like this one too...I just can't decide if I like this one in black and white or the next one...

What do y'all think?  Which one is your favorite so far?  Black and white or color for the last one?

Until next time...

Friday, October 25, 2013

My Friday Faves

My little dragon...Madden has patiently waited to wear his costume and when I finally agreed to let him put it on the other day, he was on cloud nine!  This kid did not want to take it off!  He kept walking around going "Mama, I a dragon...but not a mean dragon, a nice dragon...rooooaaarrrr!!"  I think Halloween will be really fun this year!
Remember how I told you yesterday that I love my crockpot this time of year?  Well here is my latest recipe that the good 'ol crockpot cooked up for me.  This crock pot tater tot casserole was delish!!  It might not have looked the prettiest, but it was like warm heaven on a plate.  And a bonus, for the hubby who hates casseroles, he devoured this one and even got seconds!  I'd take that as a sign that it was a hit!
And just to show you how much I will be using that bad boy this Fall and Winter, here is a recipe that I am whipping up for tonight!  Buffalo Chicken Crock Pot Soup.  I love an easy soup, with just a few ingredients and I plan on serving this with a big 'pl slab of garlic bread to dip in it...mmmmmmm....
Family pictures are on Sunday and after much deliberation, (mainly because of the hubby's indecisive ways) we finally decided upon the color scheme of red and navy.  The pictures are outside in a beautiful arboretum so I'm just hoping these colors pop when paired with the colors of fall.  As soon as I have some sneak peeks, I will be sure to share them with you!! 
I so badly want to find a really cute pair of leg warmers to wear under my boots this Fall and Winter...but I just haven't found any that really float my boat...where would y'all suggest I look?  I am loving these and this look, but I can't seem to find similar ones that don't cost an arm and a leg!  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

Well, that's all for me for today!!  Have a great weekend, y'all!

Until next time...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thankful Thursday

As another Thursday rolls around, I can hardly believe just how fast this month is flying by!  How is it possible that one week from today is Halloween and then it's November!  And as with every Thursday, I take the time to be thankful.  But for some reason this week I am just feeling very, very thankful...

So with that, let's get to it.  And if you would like to, please link up with us and tell us what you are thankful for.  We all have things in our life that we are grateful for and there is no better place than here to share what those things are!

This boy never ceases to amaze me.  Last night, after dinner, he looked at me and goes "Mama, fank you for making dinner for me and Daddy.  It was derishus."  I am thankful every single day for him and I am beyond grateful that God made me his Mama! 
You are probably wondering why on Earth I would be thankful for a screen shot of our local weather, huh??  While our weather right now is right on par with typical October in Nebraska, If you look at Sunday, I am especially grateful for that little number right there.  We have family pictures scheduled for that day outside and I would love nothing more than to have it sunny and 63!
These two.  I am over the moon thankful for that man in the cowboy hat right there.  He makes my sister happier than I have ever seen her and they make the perfect couple.  I could not be more thankful to have him as my new brother-in-law and for my baby sis to now be a Mrs.!
This girl right here...Stefanie from Stealing Sweet Kisses.  Y'all, I have 'met' a lot of you through this whole blogging process, and I am beyond grateful for each and every single one of you.  I consider y'all more of my friends than a lot of my real life friends and I will forever be thankful for blogging to bring us together!  But this girl is like my soul sister.  Again, I have never met her in real life, as she lives in Florida...but we talk almost daily via email and now texts and I honestly miss her if I haven't talked to her in more than a couple days.  She just gets me, and I do her.  She lifts me up when I am down, encourages me when I want to give up and celebrates with me in the joys.  She is an amazing woman, and I cannot thank her enough for being one of my best friends!  Love you Stefanie!!
My Crockpot.  Yes, I am thankful for this little guy right here.  This time of year is my absolute favorite for this bad boy.  There is nothing better than dumping a bunch of ingredients in there and just letting them stew and cook all day long...and then to walk in the house after it's been working all day to the yummy aroma that fills the house.  I'm finding that almost everything can be made in this little magic worker!
Now it's up to you...what are you thankful for?  You don't have to wait until Thanksgiving to give thanks!
Until next time...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wedding Wrap-Up in Pictures

Well, it's finally here.  I've finally done it.  I have compiled a hodge podge of the wedding festivities from this past weekend.  I have to fore warn you...there are a lot of pictures.  But the best way to tell a story is through pictures because it is true when they say that a picture is worth 1,000 in this post's case, it's worth like a million!  Haha!  Ok, not really, but these are the pictures of weekend.  Just like I promised y'all.
So, sit back, scroll through and enjoy...
Thursday afternoon was spent decorating the church
Here is one of the 14 candelabras.

Guest Book Table
Thursday night pampering with manis and pedis.
A glimpse of the 400+ pumpkins.
I whipped up these little canvases for each one of the seven different kinds of cupcakes; Pumpkin Maple, Salted Caramel Apple, Carrot, Red Velvet, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Vanilla Buttercream and Chocolate Chocolate.
Wedding Date Banner for the Gift Table
The beautiful ceiling work...there were four vintage chandeliers hanging from the center. 
A glimpse of the head table.
The archway to enter the reception area.
Random Christmas trees were sprayed gold and scattered throughout the hall.
Entry into the reception.
The "faux" wedding cake...the top layer was real for their cake cutting, but they served the cupcakes instead of wedding cake.
One of the 4 different centerpieces spaced throughout the 65 tables of 8 (if you are doing your math, there were over 600 people at the wedding) was vintage candelabras.
Another centerpiece was a grouping of the painted pumpkins.
And yet another were lanterns with pumpkins, candles and glittery fillers.  Each table also had mason jars filled with homemade snack mix for guests to enjoy during cocktail hour.
A gorgeous arrangement in the entry to the reception.
Baby sister and I the night of the rehearsal.
My Dad and this man!
The bride to be the morning of the wedding!
Gorgeous birdcage veil.
My little man getting dressed by his Daddy!
One of my favorite pictures of the two of us!
My Baby Brother and me...
The bridesmaid's gorgeous bouquets.

Jordan's Bouquet had pictures of our Grandpa and Wes's Grandpa hanging from the front so that they could partake in the day as well.  
Trying to get two toddlers to stand still for pictures is nearly impossible!!
Can't believe she is getting married!
During the ride to the reception...we were indeed inside a cattle trailer!  It was so much fun...and it was brand new so it had never been used!  No cow pies in this one!
The newly married couple!  Mr. & Mrs. Wetovick!
Last picture of the little man partied it up with the band until the very last song...his head didn't hit the pillow until 1:45 on Sunday morning...and he didn't wake up until Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.!  haha!
That's all I got for y'all!  I could have added probably 100 more, but I wanted to keep it respectable!  I hope you enjoyed!

Until next time...