Yes, its true! Just like that, January is done, folks! I must say we’ve had a fun-filled first month, stomach bug included, yey us! If you have a few minutes, scroll down to find out what kind of madness we got into the first month of the year. Did we connect this month? If not, don’t be a stranger. I love to chat with a good cup of coffee….well, and a friend. 🙂
December 27, Sunday – Polar Express
Okay, so this is not technically January but it was the very last fun thing we did before the New Year so I decided to add it. This was the first time we did the Polar Express. It’s basically a Amtrak train dressed up as the train from the movie The Polar Express. I was a little skeptical about doing it as it’s not cheap and there are 5 of us now. They did offer a discount on the site and the Abuelos offered to pay for the children as a Christmas gift since they are in the Dominican Republic. (sniffle) We ordered online.
We arrived at Union Station and parked in underground parking. Hubby reserved this ahead of time which was pretty convenient. We walked 1 block into the train station and into the “Polar Express” ticketing station. Everyone had a uniform as the ticket agent did in the movie. The seats are reserved on the train as with the Amtrak, so there was no need to stand in line. The train was packed.
Once the line started moving, we stepped in the line and headed out to the train.
From singing, dancing and drinking hot chocolate, everything about the experience was magical. The actors selected for the roles were almost identical to those in the movie, specifically the conductor, the boy and the “angel.” Santa also looked pretty good.
The best feedback I got from my boys is that they felt like they were the only ones on the train because all of the actors stopped by to talk and hang out. That alone was totally worth it. I think my older boys may be on the older side for an event like this, but when my toddler gets bigger, I might do it again.
January 9, Saturday – Work New Year Kickoff Dinner
(at the boss’ house)
Totally excited to kickoff the year with my coworkers with dinner at my boss’ house! Hubby and I are ready to go. I’ve picked up the babysitter and we’re coming through the door when hubby tells me our oldest has just gotten sick. We wait it out a bit but there’s more racing to the bathroom. I decided to call it quits and I take the sitter back home. Thanks Kay! When I get back home, hubby tells me our oldest has tossed cookies again and that now HE feels queasy. It was the beginning of a long weekend for us so….nothing to see here!
January 16 – Natalie’s Bday Party / Anniversary Dinner
We had the pleasure of joining our special friends for their daughter’s birthday party at Pump It Up, a favorite ours. For anyone who wants in on the secret, this is the most fun-filled, no fuss way to have a birthday party. Two rooms with huge air-filled slides, bouncy houses and obstacle courses. When play time is done, you move into a room where places are set for pizza and drinks. The birthday guest sits on a throne while you watch pictures that the staff took while you were having fun.
On your way out, they bring you your cart full of birthday presents in a bag. They clean up behind you! You can’t ask for a better setup. Hope you had a fab time, Natalie!
Later that night….Anniversary Dinner
For our 17th anniversary the hubby and I decided to try a new middle eastern restaurant in the Logan Square area. The picture on the left is the very colorful ceiling you see when you enter. The appetizers were very good as was the meal. It’s got a small menu but I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to try something different. Happy anniversary babe and to many more!
January 23, Saturday – Audrey’s Superhero Bday Party / Double Date
The following week, we hung out with our cousin Audrey at a Super Heroes birthday party. Loved to see all the cute little superheroes running around with their little capes. Photo walls are the best too. Mycah actually tried to put his Iron Man mask on. I attempted to get a pic with Batman Mycah and two Super girls, but it was at the end of the party and they lost their fizzle to say ‘cheese’ but overall it was a great time. Happy birthday Audrey aka Batgirl!
Later that night….Double Date and Comedy Get Down
Our double date consisted of 4 hungry adults and a very delicious Italian restaurant, Club Lucky. We thought we might be late but thankfully, we made the reservation and I had the best alfredo in a long time. Lights are dim but the conversation was lively! It’s located in the middle of a neighborhood and the staff is very friendly. I would definitely come here again but maybe next time I won’t be in a rush to drink my coffee which was also very excellent.
We then proceeded to the United Center where we saw the Kings of Comedy. Had a good laugh.
January 29, Friday – Winter Jam!
This was by far the most exciting event for me this month. Winter Jam is a country-wide tour of popular Christian bands that you get to watch for only $10! This year the event took place at the Allstate Arena. Granted, seating is first-come, first-serve, once you get inside and your hands and feet are defrosted, get ready to be blown away! Our seats were perfect (thank you Rocio!) and the songs were even better. I heard 90% of the songs I love and rocked out to some of the coolest rappers. Will I do it again next year?….YES, YES and YES! Others not shown here: Nilsa, Abner, Luis, Izzy and a bunch of our youth.
Click here to see a clip of Matthew West and 4K&C live!
January 30, Saturday – Planning Retreat
Following Winter Jam and arriving at home at about 1:30 AM, I thought I would stick to my previously schedule day for 2016 Planning. Yep, I got up at about 7:30 AM, got some Dunkin’ Donuts, grabbed my sis and headed to Barnes & Noble for a day of, literally, planning. Planning goals for my health, my family, marriage, for spiritual growth and even blogging. By now, many people have forgotten what their New Year resolutions are, but I’m excited to say that I’m living into what I’ve committed to on paper.
As the saying goes, ‘If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.’ I’ve lived too many years of letting life happen to me. It’s time to shake out of that mentality and realize that I happen to life! Goal planning is an ongoing process, because as you achieve goals, you set others, so there will be other planning days. Now if only I could get all my boys on board!
January 31 – Tyrone’s Surprise Bday Party
January was not over until we celebrated one last birthday! Needless to say, there was no surprise except for his age…..just kidding! This year we’ve grown to know and love this special guy and his family. What can I say he’s easy-going, LOVES to play dominoes and cares so much about his family. Tyrone, may God bless you and keep you and grant you many more years to come!
I’ve been very blessed to have such an exciting month. I can only hope that this speaks to what is in store for me for the rest of the year. If you and I didn’t connect, hang out or get-together this month, make sure you find me in February! <3