Merry Christmas to all the Giblogger readers from the Gibilisco's! Here's my best stab at a summary of our year....
This year has been all about change for us. We've changed houses, jobs, pets and the kids have most definitely changed!
The rapid changes began in April when we lost our family dog, Pierre, aka: Schnoodie Boy at only six years old. You might think it crazy that one little dog set our family in motion; but if you knew that little dog you could believe it!
In effort to keep our mind off of the dog, Mike and I went looking at open houses...mostly for fun although we had discussed moving in the near future.
We drove past a home that wasn't even open but did have a For Sale sign in the yard. We parked and walked around the yard. The neighbor came running over to tell us the agent lived next door and to knock and she'd let us in. A few days later we were putting in an offer on a total fixer! I'm not sure what sold us, the mint tile in the bathroom or the shuffle board in the basement but the offer was accepted and we miraculously sold our house in one week. I guess it was all meant to be, or at least that's what I keep telling myself in the middle of our updating projects!
After somewhat settling into our new house we made another crazy decision and drove to Rose Hill, IA to pick up Francois Gibilisco (aka: Frankie Boy). Frankie is a labradoodle and aside from chewing shoes, toy dinosaurs and his incessant need to be right next to you all the time, he's fitting right into our crazy life!
A month after getting Frankie we left on our much needed vacation to Monterey, California. We rented a house and stayed with the kids, my mom and Bob and Mike's parents Ross and Sandy. Angelo celebrated his third birthday on the trip! I can't believe how much my boy has grown. He was excited to see sharks and cars on his vacation! The trip was also to celebrate Ross's birthday and take him to the Monterey Auto Show. Mike and Ross are car lovers and we've been to many a car show with them, but this was the first time I've ever seen them almost lost for words about how many cars they saw and what they had seen!
Speaking of cars, while we were on our trip there was a nasty hail storm in Omaha...coincidentally the airport where my car was parked got baseball sized hail! We returned to find damage like I've never seen. Windows bashed in, water filling the inside of my car and large dents pretty much everywhere. The damage came to $16,000! Unfortunately the insurance company STATE FARM, decided that they were not totally the vehicle and it has been fixed. I received the car back two months after the storm and it's ok...haven't noticed major issues yet. So we'll just keep an eye on things since the value went down significantly with this line item added to it's car fax!
Shortly after our trip we celebrated Gia's first birthday at our new house with many friends and family! The day couldn't have been more perfect and it was so fun to see my beautiful girl have fun on her big day. She is changing daily.
The last change on our list for the year was Mike's new job. A few months ago he was hired as a Property Manager at Union Pacific. He has been really busy learning his new job but he's enjoying it and has already been on one trip to Arkansas.
I'm still working as the Marketing Manager at Central States Indemnity. I complain often about my job, because that's what you're suppose to do with jobs! But the truth is, I like my job and love the people I work with. I'm lucky to have such a flexible easy going company to work for while the kids are little.
Angelo is still attending Morning Star Preschool. Up until January he has been staying two days a week with his sister Gia at Grandma Sandy's. We made the decision to put him in Morning Star full-time in January to free up some of Sandy's time and because he loves it and learns so much there. If you ask Angelo where he goes to school he'll tell you, "Morning Star and Sunday School." I can't believe how much he's changed in the last year and I have to laugh at night when I read to him and he corrects my pronunciation of dinosaur names! Every night he sleeps with a plastic dinosaur, a change from a few months ago when he slept with a tiny matchbox car named Lightning McQueen each night.
Gia has perhaps changed the most in 2011, going from a little baby at the beginning of the year to a walking and sorta talking little person at the end of the year. Gia exudes personality and we can't wait to see her continue to grow. In March Gia will also join Angelo at Morning Star but will still stay two days at Sandy's as well. We want her to have a few years with just Grandma Sandy like Angelo had. We will miss Roxanne and Jerry where Gia has stayed up until this point but it will be much easier on Mike and I to have them at the same spot and I know Gia will love Morning Star as much as Angelo does.
We've enjoyed many fun times with family this year and without all of their help we couldn't keep up with all of the changes thrown our way this year. With our new move we are within walking distance of Grandma Cella's house and about five minutes away from Mike's parents. Being only children we're so close with our parents and I find that as we get older we only appreciate them more and more.
All the changes have made great memories, but I think it's the small things I remember about the year the most; seeing our cousins kids play with Angelo and Gia, watching Angelo sing at school and church, Gia feeding her baby doll part of a cookie, Angelo's requests to spend the night at his grandparent's house or seeing a movie for the first time, watching my dad push Gia around a park, singing karaoke with friends on my birthday and spending countless hours with my crazy husband dreaming about what to do with our 1950's ranch.
Thank you all for being a part of our 2011. We can't wait to see what 2012 brings our way!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!