Home for the Holidays

Blake and I were lucky enough to spend the holidays with our families this year! However before I get to our holiday travels I want to share that we continued our tradition of cutting down a tree for our house in Missouri.

meets our criteria, taller than me!

meets our criteria, taller than me!

the tree stayed on the roof of my car all the way home!

the tree stayed on the roof of my car all the way home!

 

We spent Thanksgiving in Colorado with the Hood family and had a blast!

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one half of the table

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the other half of the table

Then only a few weeks later we headed north to Wisconsin to spend Christmas with the Russell family.

using the timer on the camera - success!

using the timer on the camera – success!

Both trips were so much fun and went by so fast, hanging out with family is the best! Our tree lasted until Jan. 5th  without drying out at all!

2014 is going to be a big year for the Hoods! Blake will find out about residency match in February, we are both headed to Guatemala on a mission trip in March, Blake graduates medical school in May and we will be moving somewhere [mystery to be solved in Feb] this summer!

Catch Up – Fall 2013

Fall started with a new challenge for me, a new classroom and a change of schedule! Instead of teaching full day pre-school I now teach 2 half day classes and so far I am loving it! I have 20 children in my morning class and 20 children in my afternoon class and the classroom is a dream room! There is so much space and I work with a great staff of assistant teachers so overall I am having a great fall!

Blake has been busy with audition rotations for residency match, which will happen in February 2014.  He was gone for a while traveling to and from each rotation location and got to see some good friends and family along the way! Another huge thank you to all of the wonderful people who hosted Blake over the past few months!

While Blake was gone I was staying busy teaching, running and going on mini vacations!

My big brother Tim got married to an awesome girl, Katie and I had a blast celebrating with them!

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Sibling toast at the rehearsal dinner! Lots of Laughs

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One more night until we get another sister!

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Looking very dapper guys!

P1150059Mom with her boys

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Married!! Yay another Russell!!

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Russell kids looking GOOD!

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Escorts – we behaved ourselves during church, for the most part  :)

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Russell ladies displaying our SWEET dance moves!

There are so many more fun pictures, it was hard to only post a few! A few weeks after the wedding I ran the trail half marathon that my friend Marci and I had been training for all summer long.  We both had a lot of fun and did well  – she took 2nd female overall, I took 7th female overall and I was only about a minute off of my goal time (2:01)! We are now in the middle of trying to choose a spring race to train for!

marci and jackie trail half kville 2013

So I went to a wedding, I ran a half marathon and Blake is still gone so of course I plan another mini vacation to visit my sister at St. Mary’s College and cheer on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish!

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Tailgating sisters!

reilly kate jackie peter ND vs USC 2013

Catching up with cousins!

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GOOOOOO IRISH!!!

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We brought home a WINNER and I checked off a bucket list item – Cheer on the Irish from the student section!

DSC07365Of course a visit to ND is not complete until you get a picture with the Golden Dome!

So far this fall has been busy and fun and Blake is back home so life is GOOD🙂 I just finished my Monster’s unit with my classes at school and I am about to start one of my favorite months of teaching!! I LOVE November because I get to teach all about THANKSGIVING, one of the BEST holidays out there!

Catch up – Summer 2013

Last post it was March and I was making Shamrock brownies and had just run a 5k.  A lot has happened since then! I finished another year of teaching and Blake started his final year of medical school!

We started our summer with a week long trip across a few states to see a lot of family members from both my and Blake’s families! We started the week celebrating my cousin MaryKate’s wedding in Chicago, IL

blake & jackie mk wedding

 

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DSC07074We had so much fun and are so excited for MK and Joe!

From Chicago we headed to Philadelphia for Blake to take a Practical Board exam and from there we headed to Maryland! We made a pit stop to see another cousin, Bailey!

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So much fun catching up!! From her house we continued on to Ocean City Maryland for a family reunion of Blake’s family! We had a wonderful weekend hanging out and catching up with everyone!!

DSC07121Everybody!

DSC07119Grandchildren picture

DSC07122Great View

DSC07129Brothers on a Beach!

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Overall it was a great week to start off our summer.  The rest of the summer Blake studied and I taught summer school and started running, A LOT with a good friend whose husband is in Blake’s class.  We ran a few 5Ks over the summer and started training for the trail half-marathon here in Kirksville.  It was a hot, humid (typical Missouri) summer and before I knew it school was starting up again in August and Blake set off traveling the mid-west completing audition rotations for residency!

St. Patrick’s Day Fun

I have always loved St. Patrick’s Day and this year was no exception!! In the afternoon I ran a 5k with my good friend and we ROCKED it!! She took 2nd in our age group and I took third! I also ended up with a huge PR from my last year of races.  Overall it was a fun race even though it was pretty chilly.

making shamrock brownies after the race

making shamrock brownies after the race

Some of the things I miss most from living in Milwaukee over St. Patrick’s day include Irish Dancing and watching my FAVORITE Irish band, Gaelic Storm perform.  The cool thing about this year is that I got to do some dancing with my class and the Gaelic Storm concert was aired live on TV so I got to see it!!!

performing for my students (notice in the background we have transformed our igloo into a cave for our dinosaur unit!)

performing for my students
(notice in the background we have transformed our igloo into a cave for our dinosaur unit!)

teaching my class the beginner jig (which is why its so blurry)

teaching my class the beginner jig which was so much fun! The children were bouncing and jumping around all afternoon!

Oh winter

Along with most of the mid-west we got a ton of snow over the past few weeks, I ended up with 1 half day and 3 full snow days and Blake simply went to work!

Missouri is starting to feel a little like Wisconsin this year! Plenty of snow to go around.

Missouri is starting to feel a little like Wisconsin this year! Plenty of snow to go around.

shoveling makes for a good cross train workout!

shoveling makes for a good cross train workout!

The only other cool thing going on with us besides a lot of snow is……

I have short hair and Blake has nooooo hair!

I have short hair and Blake has nooooo hair!

It ended up a little blurry, however you can clearly see our short new styles!!

 

Igloos and Polar Bears

Winter in Missouri can be a little boring, its cold and there is not a whole lot going on however Blake and I are staying busy! He did an out rotation in Quincy for a month and I got a little crazy with a glue gun and about 400 gallon milk jugs building an igloo! This fall I found a great idea on Pinterest that I knew would be perfect for my arctic unit in January and thanks to the parents in my class I was able to make it happen!

back of igloo

back view of the igloo

it is taller than me!

it is taller than me!

It took a week to build, I worked on it after school and the children really seemed to enjoy watching it go up! It was a great addition to our Arctic unit that I teach every year.  Even though the unit is over it is still up in our room, the children will each get a turn to have their afternoon rest in the igloo and it makes our library center pretty cozy.

While January was busy with Blake in Quincy and I built an igloo, February is starting off equally busy.  Blake is back in town and working on a family medicine rotation while starting to set things up for audition rotations this summer.  Crazy that the residency adventure is starting already! I kicked off this month with my second Polar Bear Plunge! The Plunge is a fundraising effort for the Special Olympics in Missouri, when you raise your money you get to run into the lake in the warm, balmy month of February.  Thanks to some great family members I was able to raise more money than I did last year and I completed the plunge yesterday.

this picture is to show you the pile of ICE that they took off the lake, there is no snow right now...that pile is ice

this picture is to show you the pile of ICE that they took off the lake, there is no snow right now…that pile is ice

proof that I was in the water! I am the one on the far left

proof that I was in the water!

running to get my towel

running to get my towel

warm and dry, I survived!

warm and dry, I survived!

Thank you again to the people who sponsored my Plunge! I really appreciate it and its going to such a great cause!! Some may say I am crazy and while that might be true on Plunge day, I love being able to help support children in a different capacity than the classroom. Thank you for helping me make that happen!!

December updates

Early December was super busy for us:

We started off December with our annual tradition of cutting down our Christmas tree

found the perfect one

found the perfect one

 

Blake cuts it down

Blake cuts it down

 

we decorated it together and enjoyed it all month long

we decorated it together and enjoyed it all month long

We used our Advent wreath for the first time.  We received it last Christmas and I have been looking forward to using it!!

Sunday night dinner

Sunday night dinner

Blake got a day off when I still had school and he came to visit my class for the afternoon.

building with magnetic blocks on the light table

building with magnetic blocks on the light table

reading Olivia Helps with Christmas

reading Olivia Helps with Christmas

Once we both were on vacation we hopped on an overnight train to Denver Colorado.  Taking the train to CO was by far the most relaxing way we have ever traveled to visit Blake’s family.  As soon as we got in we were kept busy hanging out with his older brother Garrett and then I was treated to the Nutcracker Ballet with Blake’s mom.  The next day we both experienced Ikea for the first time, and it was awesome! Christmas day we got lots of great surprises and we spent the day with his immediate and extended family.  We headed back home to spend New Years Eve with good friends and savor our last few days of vacation.  2012 was a good year and we are looking forward to all that 2013 will bring!

Now its back to reality, me teaching 4 and 5 yr olds and Blake onto his next rotation.