Monday, January 16, 2012

a day at the park

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned Damian, the kids, and I spent the day at Hillsborough River State Park. We had the best day enjoying the great outdoors! The park has two playgrounds, a suspension bridge, nature trails that run along the river, canoeing, and picnic areas. We can't wait to go back and have a picnic lunch soon.

It started off pretty chilly in the morning and ended up being a beautiful day!

The kids had to start off with some fun on the playground...

Then we headed to the bridge!
What a view...

After going on a trail, we stopped at the other playground and the kids rode their bikes!

Damian set the camera on some rocks and we managed to get one pic of the four of us!

The kids (and Damian) loved this big tree trunk!

newest addition

Thursday, January 12th was a very eventful day for my family!! My little sis Brooke and her husband Sean welcomed their third child Lucas Albert into the world.

It was a very long day!! I spent most of the morning and afternoon with Emma and Max just waiting. Emma wasn't feeling very well and I took care of her little stomach bug and was on pins and needles throughout the rest of the day. After my dad got home from work we headed to dinner and then to the hospital. We figured we had a little time but didn't waste too much because my sister has a history of very fast deliveries! She progressed very well throughout the evening and after a very good epidural her water was broken around 8:30 p.m. or so. She really wanted to have him on the 12th and not Friday the 13th. She also liked the idea of 1-12-12 as his birthday. His big sister's birthday is 3-8-08!!

I was so honored that Brooke and Sean asked me if I would like to be present for Lucas' birth. Let me tell was the most amazing thing ever! I cannot even describe the excitement and energy in the room. It is something I will never forget. Having my own children were two of the best days of my life and watching my sister give birth simply took my breath away! It is so neat to truly witness a miracle!

Like I mentioned before, my sister was bound and determined to have that baby boy on January 12th. At around 11:30 p.m. we kind of figured it wasn't going to happen. But then, at 11:55 p.m. she called her awesome nurse, Joan to her room and told her she felt a lot of pressure. She checked her and called Dr. Hartman to come to the room. It was like a covert operation. I have never seen people move so fast in my life. At 11:57 p.m. Dr. Hartman said she was ready to push and at 11:59 p.m. Lucas Albert entered the world weighing in at 7 lbs. 1 oz and measuring 19.5 in. long. He had a full head of black hair and looked a lot like his daddy and big sister Allie! I got some amazing pics of right after he was born. (which I won't be sharing on here!!)

While the nurse was checking him out she noticed he was grunting. They decided to take him to the nursery for observation. Big brother Noah had to spend some time in the NICU because of his fast breathing and it looks like Lucas was following in his brother's footsteps. They did a chest x-ray and found that he also had a collapsed lung. I talked to my sis a few times yesterday and after last night's report Lucas is doing well. His lung is healed after receiving oxygen. He is still breathing fast but had some medication and is doing pretty well. It seems he is a fiesty little guy. We're all hoping he will be home in the next couple of days. He has a big sister and big brother who can't wait to love on him...not to mention his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins too!!

Here are just a few of my pics from the hospital:

I'm so excited sweet Lucas is part of our family! I just love being an aunt!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mommy and Me Monday

I had planned to have a pretty low key day at home, folding the laundry, reading another book on my nook, and letting the kids play with their toys and relaxing before we're back to the grind tomorrow. But, Damian surprised us and was able to get off work really early today. We wanted to enjoy the beautiful weather outside, so we decided to head to the Hillsborough River State Park. It's only about 15 minutes from our house and it was beautiful! I had the best day!!!

The kids loved walking on the nature trails, looking at the wildlife, walking across the bridge, playing on the playgrounds, and riding their bikes. I'm not really an outdoorsy person but I just loved it today!! It was really a perfect day with my family. I have a ton of great pictures but here are just a few with me and my cute kiddos.

More fun pics to come...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

We had a pretty low key New Years Eve... but it was perfect! This year we went over to our friends the Switzers for a bonfire. The kids had a blast running around, watching fireworks, eating, and doing sparklers.

Here are a couple of pics before we left the house. I could barely get them to sit still they were so excited. They stayed up until about 11 pm...way late for them. They had a hard time waking up this morning.

We started our new year off right by going to mass and then lunch at Cracker Barrel. It has been a nice, relaxing day and we still have one more day off until back to our routine of school, work, and everything else! I've enjoyed the break!

and this pic is just for fun!!
Happy 2012!!

Our top 11 Memories from 2011...

It's hard to believe another year has come and gone. It's been filled with happy moments and also very sad and stressful ones, too. It's a good thing I've taken so many pictures or else I would have forgotten all the fun we had this year. I've seen a couple blogs do their top 11 in 2011 memories and thought that was a great idea. I tried to go through my thousands of pics and pick out just eleven...that was tough.(and of course found some different ones after I uploaded a couple of these-oh, well!) When I was looking through the pictures it was amazing to me how quickly my kids are growing up. I need it to s.l.o.w. down!

We began with spending time bowling with friends and going places like the Strawberry Festival. We also celebrated birthdays and baptisms. Damian and I were honored to be Noah's godparents in January. (pictures are on my old laptop)

In our family--with so many kids, we are always celebrating a birthday or a baptism it seems!!

Here are some of the Hillen's Highlights:

1. Max played soccer for the YMCA this year. It was a little much for this 3 year old, but he gave it a try. This year he wants to play t-ball. I think that he will love it. He also continues to play golf at his daddy's course! He absolutely LOVES being outside and would play outside all day if I let him!

2. In March, Emma broke her arm on the playground at school. It's a memory I hope to NEVER repeat. It was just awful. It was a very long 9 weeks and 3 casts! But thankfully, her arm healed beautifully and she is once again a cart wheeling machine.

3. We celebrated Easter with both families and I just love when we can get a group shot!
This is one of my fav pics and the outfit Max is wearing is my all-time favorite!!

4. Emma had her very first loose tooth and has since lost her two bottom teeth and has another loose one on top!

5. In May, my Grandma Goldie went to be with the Lord. She lived a good, long life and is so very precious to me. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her. The funeral home put together a slide show of family pictures and it puts a smile on my face and a tear in my eye every time I look at those pictures(which is pretty often). She loved her family and was so proud of each and every one of us. I only hope I can be as good of a wife, mother, and even grandmother someday. She was a true blessing to me!

6. We took a much needed family vacation to Tradewinds at St. Pete Beach. It was a fabulous vacation!!

7. My parent's celebrated 35 years of marriage in July and the whole Robbins gang headed to Hammock Beach Resort for an amazing vacation!! This summer was full of sun, sand, and good times with family!

8. After a simply wonderful summer, we began a new school year.

Max started VPK/Pre-K4. Which means this August he will be in Kindergarten...I cannot even think about that yet!! Oh, my baby is really growing up!

and Emma is a first grader at Pleasant Hill Elementary!! She loves first grade and is doing an outstanding job!! I am so very proud of her!

9. Max turned 4 with a pirate themed party at the park.

10. We welcomed our first pet to the family...Emma's hamster Cocoa Nutella. She's a little cutie! (I just realized you can't really see her in this pic...oops!)

11. Emma turned 7!! (How is that even possible?!?)

These are just a few of our highlights from this year.

Damian and I also turned 34, celebrated 9 years of marriage and we shared so many fun times with family and friends. Emma continued to dance ballet and had her big recital in June. We spent some time at the Disney parks, and of couse Emma was transformed into a Disney Princess at Bippidi Boppidi Boutique. (still need to share those pics) We also went to the beach, the park, splash park, and golf course. It really was a good year! I could have probably done 2,011 highlights from this year!!! I have a feeling that 2012 will be even better! We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our newest nephew, Lucas...ANY DAY NOW!! We also know there will be some more blessings in our family this year and maybe even some surprises! While we may not know everything that this year holds, my only hope is that it is a year filled with peace, love, and joy for everyone!