Saturday, December 21, 2013


Christmas time seems like the perfect opportunity to sit back and reflect on everything that has happened to our family over the past year.  Pictures say it better than words, so here is our 2013 as seen through our cameras!

Our little peanut, Hallie Joy, turned 1 at the end of March.  We celebrated by taking her to Disney on ice and having a little birthday party with family and close friends.  Her favorite part was the balloons!  Read more about her birthday here.

One of Hallie's favorite parts of the day continues to be BATHTIME! 

This summer one of Hallie's favorite things to was to be outside.  Whether she was swimming in her wading pool with her cousin, Kate, or going down the waterslide with Mommy at the Missouri Valley aquatic center, or playing with the chickens with her friend Rose, or getting messy in the mud or her sand table or watering the landscaping naked...she was in heaven and didn't want to be inside.



In late April/early May Nicole and Hallie joined Grandma and Grandpa Scearcy at their timeshare on Tablerock Lake.  We had wonderful weather and a wonderful time.  Read more about that here.

In June Cory built a chicken coop and we started enjoying our pasture raised, farm fresh eggs.  Hallie loved those chickens so much.  She was always running out to the coop and mingling with them.  Read more about that here.

Hallie and Mommy enjoyed biking together this spring, summer and fall.  We got this awesome bike seat and Hal seemed to love just cruising along and taking in the sights.  We took the bike along camping several times and also loved taking it on the Keystone Trail.

 On June 17 we unexpectedly said goodbye to our precious doggy, Finnley.  He was such a wonderful dog and he and Hallie had just begun to develop a special friendship.

We weren't ready to be a dog-less family, and we definitely wanted another schnauzer.  So we went on the hunt for a female schnauzer.  Nicole found a litter of sweet little 3 week old puppies owned by a lovely family in Council Bluffs.  We were the first to see them and got the pick of the litter.  We pick the teeny tiny runt and named her Lilly.  She is a full blown member of the family now and Hal and Lil have become close friends.  Lilly is extremely protective of Hallie and Hallie definitely loves her.  On days I would work, Hallie would be so excited to see Lilly when I picked her up from Aunt Carla's that she would insist that Lilly ride with her in her carseat on the way home!  These two girls will definitely share a special bond throughout their lives.  

Full grown at 6 months old!

In August we went on a family vacation to Calamus Reservoir with our good friends Tim & Lia and their daughter Rose.  We had a blast camping, swimming, sitting by the campfire and just relaxing.  Hallie and Rose had a great time together and it was fun for the parents to see the kiddos play.


photo credit: Lia Larson
photo credit: Lia Larson
photo credit: Lia Larson
photo credit: Lia Larson
We enjoyed our Calamus camping adventure so much that we decided to buy a camper of our own.  We bought a tiny 14' travel trailer in August and managed to take it out two times before the end of the season.  We camped at Mahoney State Park and Fremont State Lakes.  We loved the camping but realized the trailer was too small for our family.  We managed to sell it quickly on Craigslist and are currently looking for one that is just the right size for the Jensen family.

One of Hallie's favorite people in the whole world continues to be her "Papa."  She likes to facetime him at least once a day, watch tv snuggled on his lap, take care of the chickens with him, and just love on him in general.  She recently started saying "I love you, Papa" several times a day.  The feeling is mutual and I have never seen a daddy so enamored and involved with his daughter.
Hallie cheering Papa up after his first of two major back surgeries this year.
Hallie and I had a great year together and I so appreciate the opportunity to be at home with her most of the time.  We love reading books, being outside, getting pedicures and taking care of Papa.
Hallie has two good friends that she likes to spend time with - her cousin Kate and her friend Rose - both who are 2 months older than her.  Hallie and Kate got to spend about two days a week together when either Grandma or Aunt Carla watched them while I worked part time.  Rose and Hal usually got together for a play date a month.  Waterparks, pumpkin patches, the Zoo and the Children's Museum were some favorite spots for Hal and her pals.
photo credit: Lia Larson
photo credit: Lia Larson
In October we put our house on the market and it sold in 48 hours!  We are excited to move closer to Omaha and back into a neighborhood.  We loved the country, but realized it is probably best for people who are retired and have time to take care of five acres!  We are excited to move back to Bennington and have purchased a lot in the Ridgewood neighborhood there.  We plan to start construction once Cory heals from his latest back surgery.
Here's Hal on the beam during gymnastics.  She has just recently started and seems to love it.
Merry Christmas and no, Hallie is still not a fan of Santa ;)