Monday, December 29, 2008

End of the year wrap-up

**WARNING! Long post ahead!
Well, the end of the year is here much quicker than anticipated. I can’t believe how fast this past year went – but I guess we always say that right? There was so much we wanted to get done in the month of December but it just didn’t work out –the biggest thing being our Christmas cards. Yes, we were actually going to do cards this year. We even bought some. We were also going to get a family picture to put in them but that didn’t happen either. Sorry to all our friends and family! So instead this quick letter will have to suffice. But please know that we were thinking of you during this holiday and that we love you all!

This year has been a busy and productive one for all of us! Brayden started pre-kindergarten and is loving it. He has learned so much, some good and some bad. He seems to be a 21 year old stuck in a 4 year old body! He is very intent on doing everything his own way, doesn’t ever take advice, and loves to tell us all how smart he is and how he wishes that mommy and daddy were as smart as him. He has a very fun personality and loves to joke around and play but can also be quite serious too. His new favorite saying is “Don’t you realize I can do it myself” or “Gosh, you just don’t understand me!” We have a lot of fun with this sweet little boy and maybe someday he will get us raised the way he wants us.

Tarell is in 3rd grade, turned 8 years old, and getting smarter everyday! He gets to be with us every weekend too! He moved to Scottsdale with his mom, which is about 30 miles closer to us so that makes the weekly drive much better. Tarell got to play football earlier in the year and had so much fun with that. He continues to develop a sweet personality and is so helpful around the house. He definitely enjoys being the older brother and likes to teach Brayden all kinds of things. Tarell is pretty sure that he will be the one to teach Brayden to read – it’s too cute!

Erin graduated from nursing school in December and is so excited! She is studying for the state boards and will hopefully take those in January. Then she can get a job and start contributing! Just kidding! We are so proud of everything she has accomplished and she definitely deserves a little break. During her break, in addition to the studying, she has decided to repaint the downstairs and catch up on all the laundry that has accumulated. Maybe by next year all that will be finished.

Mark has had a busy year at work! In addition to his regular work he started a telemarketing department that is going strong! He now has 6 telemarketers that keep him busy so they can keep the rest of the company busy. His hard work has been paying off too – the company has been able to cut down on their marketing mailers while continuing to obtain new customers. We are so proud of him! He works so hard for our family – we love him!

Our Christmas was wonderful, filled with love and happiness. We spent it with family, all the while missing those not with us. We hope all our far away friends and family had a wonderful holiday also.

We have been so blessed this year and are so thankful for everything we have. We are also very thankful for the support and love of our family and friends – we couldn’t do it without you all! We are all looking forward to what the coming year has in store for all of us – it promises to be great. We love you all!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today is my wonderful hubby's birthday. I promised I wouldn't publish his age but he is now in his mid-30's and as awesome as ever! Here are a few of my favorite things (but not the whole list because that would go on FOREVER!!) about the most wonderful man!
  • He is the hardest worker and always made sure to do whatever it took to help me get through nursing school

  • He NEVER complains!!

  • He is the best dad - always playing with and taking care of the boys

  • Mark is a "whatever it takes" kind of guy

  • He is always happy - this works well to counteract my moodiness!

  • Mark is always making our lives more exciting, fun, and happy

  • He can be a little bit silly and always makes me laugh! (See the picture) ----------------->

  • He loves me no matter what (That's what he tells me!!)

  • He is so supporting all the time

I am so thankful to have the most wonderful husband in the world! I love you Mark and hope you have a fabulous birthday!

Friday, December 19, 2008

New title

Well, I did it! As of today I am an RN!! Can you believe it?? I still don't - maybe tomorrow it will seem real...maybe next week, we'll see!

But I graduated. I'm a nurse - yay for me!! (Can't you just see me doing a happy dance??) Merry Christmas to me!

Erin Mariano, RN

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Visit with Santa

Today we went to the mall for our traditional Santa picture. The boys were so excited - they love to see Santa - and they looked so handsome!
Last year we discovered that Fiesta Mall has a great activity around Christmas. On certain nights (Schedule) Mrs. Claus reads a story, it snows, and the kids can dance to Christmas Carols. We didn't do it tonight but we will be there for it in a couple weeks. The boys loved it last year. Maybe we will see you there too??

Friday, December 5, 2008

Catching up...

I have been meaning to post for several days now but better late than never! The Wednesday before Thanksgiving Brayden had a "Feast" for his class. Mark and I were both able to be there and it was so cute. All the kids sang a few songs for us before we ate. Preschoolers are so cute! They got so shy doing their performance but they looked so cute with their little turkey hats.

Thanksgiving was great. It was very small for our family but still fun. For some reason we didn't get any pictures.

Then, on Dec. 3rd, I took the biggest and scariest test ever - up to this point anyway. This test is the one that determines if I am able to graduate from nursing school and take the state boards. It is considered a predictor test for the state boards and was 40% of our final grade. I was SO NERVOUS! It was 160 really tough questions and I finished after about an hour - way too soon! When I got to #160, I chose my answer and then sat and stared at the computer screen for about 10 minutes, not wanting to submit the test - I didn't want to find out my score. I thought for sure I would cry if I didn't pass...oh, the agony! So, I finally submitted the test and got my score - I PASSED! With flying colors! I did awesome! And I am still on cloud 9 over it. Ahhh, 2 years of hard work and I am essentially done. I go back to school on the 16th and will officially be done on the 19th. Then I get to study for my boards, which I will hopefully take in January. Until then, I look for a job. I am so excited!

Tonite we decorated our Christmas tree - well, the boys did most of it. It's really cute! We got a smaller tree this year, you know, cutting back. I had visions of making this beautiful tree, you know, like a department store tree. Well, ours doesn't look like that at all but I love it. The boys did a GREAT job - it is beautiful! I love my family. I love my house. I love my life! Things are FABULOUS!!