Man I cannot believe it's been almost a month since Christmas! This last three weeks has FLOWN by!! Right after New Years, Daddy and I took a trip to Austin, just the two of us, for a work trip and had a fantastic time! It was just the rejuvenating couple days we needed! We stayed in a super-swanky hotel in downtown, had dinner with good friends and spent the trip re-connecting. Of course, we were VERY ready to get back home to our baby boy, but couple time is ALWAYS a good thing! Oh, and no, I didn't take any pictures. I just wanted to live for those 48 hours!!
I will update with Christmas pictures soon (I hope) so you can see all the fun we had!!! This was the first Christmas that Malachi seemed to understand even a little bit of what was going on so it was pretty fun opening gifts with him!! He is STILL asking about that big green Christmas tree, but the questions are coming fewer and farther between! Hopefully he'll either (a) forget about it or (b) finally figure out that he'll see it again next year! (I'm thinking the former is much more likely than the latter...although ask me in June - he may still be asking by then!)
We're figuring out that Malachi has a mind like a freaking steel trap! The boy doesn't forget ANYTHING! He can hear a song once and have it down (ask me about Bushel and a Peck...CUTEST THING EVER) - he remembers details from things that happened WEEKS ago that even WE have to struggle to remember! However, the greatest thing that he has done since Christmas is to memorize John 3:16! Christmas night before bed he wanted to read his Calendar (Advent Calendar...see video post below this)! Unfortunately we tried to explain to him that our Calendar was finished - finally, the idea popped into my head to go get my Bible and read John 3:16 to him. In 2 weeks, he had it down! Now, when he's paying attention, he can recite it with very little help from Thomas or I! I don't think there's anything else I'd rather be filling my sweet boy's head with than Bible verses! If you have any ideas about what other verses are special to you, let me know. Next, I think we're moving on to Psalm 27:1!!
The other major news in the Allen family right now is that we are all working hard to lose weight/tone up. Thomas started on CHRISTMAS DAY...talk about dedication! He had a salad while the rest of us pigged out on enchiladas, beans, rice, chips, hot sauce and queso! And, in less than a month, he's lost 15.4 pounds!!!! I'm not really watching my weight, but more what I am putting into my body and whether or not it's good for me. I've lost like 3 pounds, but I'm pretty much at my ideal weight now so I want to TONE! We are borrowing my parents' WII (to make sure we'll use it before we invest in it) and we're working out with the Biggest Loser Challenge. Thomas is doing a lot of high-energy routines and circuit training. And believe me when I tell you, it's kicking his butt! Bob and Jillian are hard-core even when they're animated!!! I, on the other hand, am sticking to Yoga and very low-impact exercises. My knees are in terrible shape, so much so that our family doctor recommended that I keep an eye on it and go to an orthopedist if they start hurting. It sounds like Rice Krispies every time I bend my right knee!!! However, the Yoga is pretty intense. I'm doing it for about an hour a day and I LOVE it. It's enough to get your heart-rate going and get you sweating AND keep you sore the next day!!! So, we're buying low-calorie foods, stocking up on fruits and veggies (which is a MAJOR shift if you know me at all) and overall just eating more healthy! Some combination of dried fruit/granola bars/yogurt makes up our breakfast routine and neither of us have eaten beef in about 3 weeks! For this steak and potatoes girl, it's been a committment! But, we're enjoying our turkey, string cheese, tuna and other food items and trying to remember that food is for fuel...not for enjoyment!!! (At least not all the time - I've still splurged on ice cream 2 or 3 times...but you can't deny yourself completely or you'll get demovativated VERY quickly!!)
Finally, we are continuing our debt snowball and should be out of debt (except for student loans) no later than March or April of this year! We paid off about $2,600.00 this month, but added about $300 for Thomas' plane ticket to Austin with me so our totals are a bit off! Right now we have $5,900 in our first snowball, approximately $42,000 in student loans and then we'll be done! We will be getting a little out of line as far as the "baby steps" are concerned because we're going to delay paying off our student loans in order to beef up our Fully Funded Emergency Fund since HOPEFULLY we'll have a new Allen in 2011! Thomas and I continue to talk that 2011 is going to be our year! Getting out of consumer debt, funding our emergency fund, MAYBE moving and adding another sweet baby to our home are on tap among MANY other exciting developments this year! I pray that you are as excited about this year as we are and that 2011 will be a blessing for us all!
Oh, and next time, pictures, I promise!
Antonio & Isabella: Happy Birthday USA!
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