Friday, January 27, 2012


I CAN'T BELIEVE HE DID IT!!! My amazingly sweet and wonderful husband threw me a surprise 40th birthday party. Early in the month I wondered if he would try and I was totally convinced that if he did I would know it, so I looked for signs. Well, all I got were signs that made it seem like there was no way. I wasn't disappointed that he wasn't throwing me a surprise party because that is such a huge undertaking. Besides my girlfriends and I got to have an awesome birthday breakfast that morning, then pedis and shopping at Kohls. It was a perfect day1

He had a friend talk me into doing a mini session around 3:00 that day. She was smooth because somehow she got me to do a mini session, with a puppy, in not the best light! It turned out to be an awesome session. I called a friend (who had left me a message on my phone) on the way home and as I was talking to her I pulled onto my street and saw her in my driveway. I had my suspicions, but she had a good cover (she had dropped by to give me a card) and I didn't want to let myself get excited that there was a surprise party after all and at that point walk in a be disappointed. I walked in to the house to a house FULL of my sweet friends and family. I was so overwhelmed in that moment that I turned right around and walked back out! It took two tries for me to get up the nerve to walk back in and then the tears flowed freely, especially when I realized that two of the people most dear to me had come. Jennifer drove in from Austin and Jan flew in from California. I can't even describe the emotions I felt. All of the anxiety that I was trying not to feel over turning forty melted away and I felt nothing but intense gratitude for the blessings God has given me!! It was one of those defining moments when you catch a glimpse of just how much God truly does love us!!!

* smart, smart hubby to not put 40 candles on my cake!

* beautiful Jennifer

* I LOVED the "FB wall" Matt made for me. He had people write me a note and post it on my "wall". Soooo fun!!

* precious Jan

Friday, January 20, 2012

3 of 35 is the last day of my 30s. I have gone back and forth about how I feel about that, but the absolute truth is I can look back on the last 40 years and be so thankful of all that our gracious God has taught me and done for me. My life couldn't be any fuller and so I will chose to celebrate with a grateful heart!!
I am tickled that my sweet Abby doesn't think of me as old (yet). She is definitely a defender of justice!! Love her!!

January is slow enough that I can enjoy a lunch now and then with my precious cuties!!

Thanks to Pinterest the kids enjoyed glow-in-the-dark baths this week! Very fun!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2 of 52...

We celebrated Madison's birthday on the 7th with a Mystery Clue Birthday Party. Each guest received an invitation to their "character" letting them know that they were a suspect and summoning them to the Boddy mansion to get to the bottom of what happened on the night of January 3rd. They also received a newspaper article about the apparent crime committed at the mansion and a side article about this amazing swimmer named Madison Koceich. The character names were all colors (i.e. Madison Magenta, Hannah Honey-Mustard etc.) and they came dressed in their color.

Matt was "James" the butler and Detective Matt. When the guests arrived their mug shot was taken and we had a formal dinner and then got down to the business of finding out who committed the crime.

Each guest was given a clipboard with directions for finding clues (completing tasks in each of the rooms), a map of the mansion and a chart to check off people, weapons and rooms as they discovered they were not involved in the crime (this was a process of elimination game). We then put them into groups of 3 or 4 with a deputy working with each group and making sure they completed their tasks correctly before giving them clues...

* the crime scene tape had some of my dad's neighbors in a tizzy...LOL!

* the guests received character quirk cards during dinner. The card had a character trait that each girl was to take on (such as saying the word "like" a lot, or itching their nose a lot). At the dinner everyone had to guess what each character's quirk was

* fancey mashed potatoes

* James even got a tip

* Mystery cupcakes in the shape of a question mark

* getting ready to search for clues to solve the case

* the evidence

* to receive their clues in the hall the guests had to each bounce a ping pong ball off of the floor and into a bowl 3 times.

* in the lounge they had to complete a crossword puzzle with clues from the summons, newspaper article and other game related questions

* on the patio each team had to make 5 baskets

* in the formal dining room was a 24 piece puzzle to solve

* and in the sitting room a game of concentration

* in the theater the teams wrote a birthday song to Madison to the tune of the Itsy Bitsy spider. They then video taped it for our end of the party enjoyment

* in the kitchen they had to guess the food taped to their back by asking their team mates yes or no questions only

* poor Sam was sick, but he was a trouper

* the teams received a nice chocolate cash reward as they solved the case

* in the end we discovered it was Emma Emerald in the lounge with the candlestick

* Each guest took home a set of Clue cards personalized with our guests, weapons and rooms

* now to start planning for next year... ;) (just kidding...sort of!)

1 of 52...

I so love looking back the 52 weeks of 2011 so I am very excited to embark on another year of 52 weeks in the life of the Koceich family!! Sometimes I can't even comprehend my blessings!! Here we go...

* enjoyed a family birthday dinner for 12-year-old Madison! Love my precious angel!!

* Abby, all on her own, lead a family bible study at dinner. She talked to us about how the donkey carried the Messiah on his back and how, even today, donkey's have the sign of the cross on their back. Best bible study I have ever attended! :)

* got a little help from a beautiful brown-eyed boy doing laundry

* enjoyed celebrating Ethiopia Christmas with some crock pot Doro Wot and injera! Although I will cut the spice in half, I'm glad to say my family met their water drinking quota that day and then some! :)