2012 Year in Review

Blink. Here we are at the end of yet another year.
Wow. Un. Real. I think I’m gonna just start leaving our Christmas lights up all year…

2011 was full of many key moments as a family for us. It started with a bang as we were fortunate enough to take the kids on the family dream vacation to Disney World. Words and photos hardly do it justice but we hope you enjoyed some on our Christmas card this year. It was truly one of the most amazing trips ever. If you do anything for your family, do this one. Julie and I both still vividly remember our trips with our families when we were kids. To be able to do this for our family was an amazing blessing. We can’t wait to go back! Our annual trip to Galveston is always a great time of the year and it was this summer too, but nothing really compares to Disney!

The girls started kindergarten this fall! Big girls now! They love it and are learning so fast. They can basically read almost anything. It’s been fun watching them socially interact with new kids and friends. As identical twins some things just never change. They love being together all the time. We do have them in separate classes, but other than that they are inseparable. Even as parents I don’t think we will ever understand the identical twin thing. Sidney has become such a little mommy and a leader. Chloe remains comical and entertaining. Both are super sweet and just great, great kids. We could not be prouder.

Quinn is going to pre-K and he too has grown by leads and bounds. He even sings the girls school song! He catches on to things so fast. At 4 years old he acts like he is 6 in many ways. He’s all boy though, and for those of you with a boy, you know what we mean. He is a little class leader though and everyone loves little Quinn. He is the star attraction in his school, at church and really wherever he goes. People love him and kids want to be around him. We remain in awe of him and all that God has done to make our family complete.

Our lives are 100% about kids right now. We live in a cul-de-sac and it has become the hot spot for the kids each night. We literally will have a dozen or so out in the front playing, riding bikes or playing some type of sport. We sit out on the driveway catching up with friends on Facebook or playing Words with Friends. In this crazy world we live in, it is kind of nice to have some of those old “front porch” ways visit us from time to time. We are trying to enjoy every second because so many have expressed how fast it all goes. Our lives were so self-centered and selfish before we had kids. God has taught us so much about love, forgiveness and putting others first which is really what life is all about, isn’t it? It’s not easy, but there is nothing more rewarding.

Hey, how about our Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers huh?!?! Still cannot believe Dirk and the Mavs finally joined the other two Texas teams with rings! It was such a fun ride and the kids really got into Dirk madness! They would just laugh like crazy when we would hoot and holler at the TV during the playoffs. Same thing with the Rangers too. Probably our greatest times each year are being a “Rangers family”. We buy the JR Rangers package (highly recommend!) and go to 5-7 games a year or more. Kids love, love, love Rangers games. Some of my greatest memories are with my dad going to Astros games, so I am thrilled to do the same with my kiddos. Julie loves it too. We cheered them on like mad during their 2nd World Series appearance this year too. Such a heartbreak, but they should be good for a long, long time and in 2013 my Astros join their division! What about the Cowboys you ask? Well, nothing replaces football and it looks like the Cowboys might (and I say might) do something this year. Our fingers are crossed. But either way, the Mavs start up again soon, the Stars are looking pretty good and baseball is just around the corner. Yes, we are a sports family!

We have helped start an orphan ministry at our church this year called “Embrace” with another adoptive family we are friends with. We will officially kick things off in 2012 but we are excited about the chance to reach out to kids in need and help people adopt children. Every child deserves a family and our prayer is more Christians will step up to the plate. Please LIKE our Facebook page! www.facebook.com/wrbcembrace We will keep you posted on how you can help us help orphans!

Julie has been busy this year on two fronts. One, she started her own baking business this year making amazing “cake balls” and it is doing great. Our house always smells like cake! Needless to say, I have NOT lost any weight this year….those cake balls are so stinking good too! She also started a new jewelry business called “Crown Jewels” with my business partner’s wife, Rebecca Novinger. They do 2-3 “Gold Parties” each week and help people get cash for their old unwanted gold and silver. She loves it! We plan to expand in 2012 so if anyone wants to host a party and make some money just contact her! It’s easy and super fun.

No doubt about it our toughest challenge this year was losing our beloved 10 year old boxer Sam. We still miss him every day. He was just the greatest dog ever and his sudden death was so tough. But we knew the kids would have to experience a new puppy and after 10 years of having a play mate, our little dog Max needed another dog to help him stay young. Plus, once you have a Boxer, your family just isn’t right without one around. So we adopted little “Charlie” who is now about 5 months old. He has helped us tremendously and is one of the sweetest, loving dogs ever. Some nights he rotates sleeping in the bed with one of the kids (nearly pushing them out) or us and he loves, loves, loves the kids. He is a tall, lanky boxer with huge ears and a very wrinkly face. He is just great. His favorite toy? Any of the kids stuffed animals. He drags them out all over the place nearly every day and made one his own that we all call “kitty”. It is so funny. It has helped us all move on though our hearts will forever be tied to our Sammy too. I believe he may have had a hand in directing us to little Charlie!

We hope to hear from you as well. Send us your blog update, a letter or something! We wanna know and yes we actually read those we get!

God bless you in 2012 and may He shine His light of grace, mercy, abundance and love on you this next year!

Brady, Julie, Chloe, Sidney, Quinn, Max and Charlie!