The Mazzola's

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Settling Into Florida Life

Dear Family and Friends,
We hope you all are well and enjoying fall wherever you are.  I have to say I do miss seeing the leaves change color in North Carolina and the cool football weather but when I wake up each day and look out at the beautiful lake we live on and see the palm trees it's not so bad!
I have to say it's been an insanely busy couple of months since our last post.  The kiddos started school and are doing amazing and loving their teachers and making lots of new friends.  Joe and I could not have asked for a better transition for them.  I'm still getting used to the grading system here but I think with time I will adjust to the school system. 
Emilia is still doing gymnastics two nights a week and has piano once a week.  She and her piano took a month or so to get used to one another but now they are really having fun together now.  Chase started soccer and lives for his Monday night practices and Saturday games.  He is quite good and we love watching him play!  I've been staying busy with work, we have a lot going on right now, so I am staying busy each day until I go get the kids from school.
Joe has been traveling A LOT for work, almost twice a month since the beginning of September and has two more trips in November.  We thought he only had one more but they just threw another on the calendar the week before Thanksgiving.  He's ready to hang his suitcase up for a while.  Between traveling and moving it has taken a toll on him over the last month.
Speaking of moving, we moved at the end of September and I am SO glad it's over.  I don't know how people move every few years, it's so stressful and exhausting.  The kids were troopers while we got settled in and I think in the last week or two the house finally feels like home.  It was tough to say good bye to our rental house being that it was so close to the ocean but now that we are here and settled, it feels comfortable. 
We have had lots visitors over the past couple of months, which has been so much fun and helps when we start to miss family and friends.
Joe's parents came to visit in late August and then again in mid-September while Joe and I went to Chicago for Sean and Amy's wedding.  They took the kids to Disney World for the weekend and had an absolute blast.  We had a wonderful weekend away in Chicago.  It was so nice to have time just the two of us and to catch up with some of our oldest and dearest friends.
My parents and Anna came during labor day weekend and we spent all weekend pretending we were on vacation with them.  It was so relaxing and so much fun to have them here.  We ate lots of yummy food, had a picnic on the beach, snorkeled for sand dollars and took a nice boat cruise in the gulf while drooling over the ridiculous houses on the water.
Ginny, Jack and Leo (Jack's dog) came and stayed with us right before we went to Chicago.  We had a nice visit with them and went out to a delicious seafood dinner the night they were here.
Fitz and Leo loved playing together, they were sad to say goodbye to one another.  I made a surprise visit home to see my Mom for her birthday in October.  It was nice to be home for a couple of days but it was even nicer to surprise my mom and be with her on her birthday weekend.  As hard as it was to say goodbye to everyone, I knew in less than two weeks, Steph, Matt and Holden were coming to visit us.  They were just here this past weekend and we had beautiful weather.  We spent time playing at the beach, shopping and eating yummy food!  Emilia and Chase LOVED seeing Holden, they all had so much fun together. 
We still have lots of settling into our new house to do and furniture to buy.  It's a work in progress but we are making it our own.  We are looking forward to the holidays, seeing family and friends.  How can it already be November?
I hope you all have a fun Halloween weekend!  Sending sunshine your way from the sunshine state!
We love and miss you all!
Les, Joe, Chase, E and Fitz xoxo

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Our Big Adventure

Our Big Adventure Begins…

We hope you all are having a wonderful summer and staying cool.  We’ve had a great past 6 months, there have been lots of memories, tears, goodbyes, love and new beginnings.  Right after my last post I was lucky enough to take an amazing trip to Paris and Amsterdam to visit Anna for her 21st birthday.  My parents arrived to Europe a few hours before Steph and I arrived and we surprised Anna!  It was an incredible trip filled with lots of laughter, fun, sightseeing and memories.  Between my trip to Europe and Joe’s birthday be traveled down to Florida with the kids for Spring break.  We took them to Sea World and Lego Land, which was a lot of fun.  We were actually here for Emilia’s birthday and we also got to watch Duke win the National Championship in our hotel.  The kids thought that was fun but I think Joe would have rather been partying on Duke’s campus.  Joe celebrated his 38th birthday in May and we had a nice date night together.  We spent the last few months of the school year working hard in school, going to gymnastics meets and soccer games as well as getting our house ready to go on the market. I traveled to Denver with my dad for our annual conference, which was great and I took a wonderful trip to Nashville CMA’s in June with Becca and some of her buddies.  It was great to meet new people, who were lots of fun and watch good looking country singers perform for 4 days.  We took one last trip to Oak Island to see Joe’s parents in mid June.  It was very relaxing and wonderful to be with his parents. The rest of our time was spent planning the biggest move of our lives and spending as much quality time with our family and friends as possible.

We were blessed enough to sell our house in a few hours , literally and got more than asking price, which was awesome!  Our last couple of months in NC were great!  I transitioned into my sisters position at work, which is finally going well.  Both kids went to all kinds of camps from, art, pottery, soccer, safety town, camp Bebia and spent time with their grandparents and Aunt Anna.  Aunt Anna babysat Chase this summer and they got to bond, which was so cute!  After we closed on our house at the end of June we moved in with my parents for a few weeks.  I drove Joe and Fitz down to Naples the weekend of the 4th of July and flew back to NC until July 19th.  It was so much fun living with my parents, grandma and Anna.  I felt like it was a gift that I got to spend that much time with my family before leaving them for a while.  They had a wonderful going away party for us with family and that same week I got to have a girls night/sleepover with Carolina, Heba and Laura.  We remienised all night, looking at hilarious pictures from college and laughing all night long.  Emilia had her 3 bff’s over to sleepover at my Mom’s.  They made cookie pizza’s, had hot tub time, watched a movie and stayed up giggling until midnight.  They were so cute and it made me realize how big Emilia is getting.  The teen years are not far away… eeek!  Saying goodbye to everyone was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.  The kids and I flew down on July 19th, Joe and Fitz were so happy to see us!  The first week was a tough adjustment trying to get my office but as all transitions have bumps in the road, everything is running smoothly now.  We are loving our rental house and the location.  We are about ¾ mile from the beach, so we can walk or ride our bikes to the beach.  Chase has been loving riding his bike as often as he can and Emilia is loving the pool.  We have to practically pull her out of the pool each day.  Chase is taking swim lessons and is finally making strides in the pool.  He and Emilia love catching lizards, Chase picks them up and carries them around and tries to put them on me.  Fitz tries to catch them too but they are too fast for him.  Fitz is adjusting nicely to the hot, humid weather too!  They don’t allow dogs on the beach here, which stinks but he enjoys his walks and our backyard.  He doesn’t like it when we are all in the swimming pool without him.  He barks at us and tries to walk on the water, it’s pretty funny.  Both kids have gone to the YMCA for soccer camp and day camp.  The beach here is beautiful and the sunsets are absolutely amazing.  We try to get down to the beach a few nights a week for the sunset.  Last week I took the kids for a picnic dinner to the beach, it was so peaceful.  Joe’s parents came last week and visited for five days.  It was so fun having them here, it felt like we were on vacation.  Some days, especially on the weekends it’s hard to live in reality when the beach is so close and having a pool in our backyard.  Emilia has started gymnastics and piano and we sign Chase up for soccer next weekend.  The kids start school on the 17th and I can’t wait for them to start meeting friends.  I know they are tired of being with me and each other all of the time.  We found a house that we are under contract with and it’s in a great neighborhood in the North part of town.  We are hoping to meet lots of fun people our age and kids!  We close on September 15th but we have our rental until Oct. 31st.  It will be nice to take our time moving in, however I am dreading the move part.  All in all we are all adjusting well.  I certainly have my days where I miss family and friends sooo much but if I can get to the ocean it helps a little.  We hope you all are doing well and staying cool.  As soon as we close on our new house I will send out our new address. 

 Love you all!  Les, Joe, E and Chase (and Fitz)


Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Happy 2015!

Happy 2015 Family and Friends!
Wow, I'm so embarrassed that I  have not updated our blog since the end of August.  Guess we've been a little busy having fun and enjoying life! 
If I wrote all the details of our lives over the past 6 months we would be here for a while so I will fill you in on the big events and fun times we've had as a family and with our family and friends.  Both kids are at St. Michael together and doing great! I have to say I love that I only have one drop off and pick up each day.  Emilia is so cute, she carries Chase's backpack for him everyday when they get out of the car.  What a great big sister!  It's also nice because their classrooms are across the hall from one another.  Chase adapted to Pre-K like a champ and loves his new teachers and friends.  Emilia loves school but had a rough start to 3rd grade with adjusting to a new teacher who is very tough on the kids.  We found ways of helping her through the challenges and anxiety but after a month or so she was in her groove and doing very well.  Her grades are super and she enjoys doing school work.  I hope this is something that will continue but I doubt it as puberty starts to take over.  Chase is obsessed with football and played soccer in the fall at an indoor soccer place near our house.  He's getting ready to start on a team through St. Michael's this spring and is looking forward to playing some real games and hopefully having some of his buddies from school on his team.  He's ALL boy and school is on the bottom of his list.  Emilia is on a gymnastics team and LOVES it so much.  She works so hard, as she does with everything and it's been fun to see her progress over the past 6 months.  I even got to do it with her one night and thought I was going to die. They do conditioning for about an hour of their practice and work on their routines for the other hour.  It's amazing how much her strength has improved and it's crazy how much she likes the conditioning.  She is still playing the piano and her new teacher is wonderful!  She had her first real piano recital around Thanksgiving and did great.  She's getting quite good and it's not such a battle to get her to practice anymore, yay!  Joe and Emilia are continuing their YGuides together and Emilia loves the volunteering in the community.  Her favorite thing they did this fall was the Brown Bag Ministry, which is where they make sandwiches for homeless people and the church takes the sandwiches downtown to distribute to those less fortunate.  They just did a park clean up and made it into a treasure hunt, which she really enjoyed as well. We had season tickets to Duke Football, which the kids and Joe enjoyed.  I had fun too but was there just to hang out with them.
Joe and I got to go away on a couple of excursions together in September, one was to Florida and the other was to NYC.  We went to NYC with Becca and Trent, our travel buddies and best friends.  We had a blast that weekend and it took us a week to recover.  After that trip Joe spent a lot of October and November on the road traveling.  I have learned over the past 6 months that having a traveling husband, being a mom, wife and working full time is not easy.  The kids have a tough time when he leaves for the whole week, so we look forward to the short trips that are only for a night or two.  In October Joe was gone a lot so one weekend the four of us met in Ohio at Day Day and Grandma's house and had a wonderful weekend together.  November and December flew by with the holidays, Joe traveling and all of the kids performances at school.  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at the beach with Joe's family and spent Christmas together in Chapel Hill with my family.  We were lucky enough to have Silly Uncle Matty and Corrie with us on Christmas Eve and night again this year.  I think we have started a tradition.  In the midst of holiday madness, Joe and I decided it was time to start a big home improvement project.  At the beginning of December we started finishing our 3rd floor so that it will now be a guest quarters instead of an attic.  The project is almost finished, thank goodness but it will be nice for our guests to have a place to stay when they visit.
Joe is still loving his job and his counterparts continuously give him more projects and responsibility which is a nice compliment to Joe.  Homewatch is still growing and keeping me busy as well! 
So far 2015 has been good to us and I can't believe it's already February! We have a busy couple of months ahead with gymnastics meets, soccer starting and some fun trips planned.  Life is good!
We hope you all are healthy and happy!

Lots of love,
Les, Joe, Emilia, Chase and Fitz

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Summer Fun, Starting A New School Year and a New Job!

Hello Family and Friends! 
I'm not sure where to begin for this one!  What I do know is that we had a fantastic summer and I can't believe it's already over. 
Emilia wrapped up school at the beginning of June and started her summer off with a sleepover at one of her best friends house.  She attended all kinds of camps from, drama, ceramics, gymnastics, jewelry making to vets in training and a social detective camp.  We had a little scare at the beginning of the summer when we thought she might have broken her foot at gymnastics camp but thankfully it was just a really bad sprain.  Lucky for her, the next day she got to go spend a week at the beach with Grandma Grandma and had a GREAT time.  She said her two favorite camps were Vets in Training and drama camp.  Chase had summer camp at his school as well, where he enjoyed water play days, Kona ice truck and plaster house.  Plaster house is where they paint ceramic things like motorcycles and dinosaurs.  Both kids have been taking swim lessons all summer and are doing awesome!  Emilia also continued with piano lessons, so that her fingers did not get rusty over the summer.  She will be starting with a new teacher in a couple weeks, which we are really looking forward to.  In mid June we were lucky enough to have the Jones family stay with us for a night on their way to the beach.  As always, it was wonderful to see them and catch up.  Following their visit Aunt Corrie and Uncle Matty came to visit for a night and then we all headed to Winston-Salem for their cousins wedding.  Emilia was the flower girl and was happy to do the job. 
We were able to spend a couple weekends at the beach with Joe's parents, which was wonderful. Joe and I decided to surprise the kids and took them to Great Wolf Lodge for a night, which was more fun than I thought it would be.  The kids had a blast and are already asking to go back.  In the midst of camps, beach getaways and visits from friends Joe was contacted by a former co-worker about a position his company had that he wanted Joe to interview for.  Long story short, Joe was down in Florida interviewing for the position a week and a half later and by mid-late June he had turned in his resignation.  He is now Field Operations Territory Manager for Arthrex, a company based out of Florida.  He is really enjoying the job and excited to be working for such a great company.  His new position requires him to travel  a couple times a month, sometimes more and when he's home he works from home, which is nice.  I'm so happy for him, he was really unhappy at his job that he started in January and he so deserves this opportunity! My Dad celebrated his 50th birthday at the end of July.  We surprised him at work with a party and my mom had a really nice party for him.  His best friends from when he was a child came in town for the party and then while he was away for the weekend with them celebrating, his Mom flew in from Georgia to surprise him.  It was so awesome!!! A few weeks later, we spent our last week of summer at the beach with 35 of my family members from NC, Kansas, Ohio and California.  It was a lot of fun and the kids had so much fun meeting all of their cousins.  You can see from the pictures that we had a blast!  We also just found out that my aunt, who has been battling cancer for the past 6 months is now cancer free.  This has been the best news of the summer! 
The other exciting news is that Chase is no longer in daycare, he started school with Emilia this week.  He and E are now in school together and it's wonderful!  Emilia started 3rd grade, which I can't believe and Chase is in Pre-K.  Their classrooms are right across the hall from one another so Emilia can walk him to his class room each morning, SO CUTE!  We are looking forward to fall, football and fun excursions that Joe and I have planned.
We hope you all are happy and healthy!
Lots of love,
Leslie, Joe, E and Chase

Thursday, June 05, 2014

First Communion, Field Trip and Finishing Another School Year

Hello Family and Friends,
What a fun 6 weeks it's been for our family!  It's hard to believe that in 3 days my little girl, who is turning into a young lady before my eyes is going to be a rising 3rd grader.  Emilia has enjoyed her last 6 weeks of school and has loved being a second grader.  She has really matured this year and I can't imagine how much she will change during her 3rd grade year.  We are very proud of her! 
Since our last post she had spring break, which was a nice long week off of school.  We went to the beach for a few days at Easter and then I took some time off work and the two of us just had girl time.  It was truly a joy to spend 3 days with just the two of us shopping, taking bike rides and bonding.  The next week my little friend Chase got very sick with strep throat and scarlet fever, which I prayed he would not pass on to Emilia since she had First Communion the next weekend.  He recovered quickly once we got his antibiotics in him but he was a pitiful little guy for a couple days.  Once we got Chase in good health we started prepping for Emilia's First Communion, which was the second weekend in May.  The day before communion, I was lucky enough to chaperone with her class to the zoo for their big field trip of the year.  It was a super fun day but man was I tired by the time the day was over.  Emilia got back from the zoo and I think we ran about 7 errands getting ready for the party we were having at our house.  The next day was First Communion, which was a memorable day and she looked absolutely beautiful!  I think she really embraced the day and took it very seriously, as did all of her classmates.  She even got a white rose from a little boy in her class after the ceremony, so sweet!  The next day was Joe's birthday and Mother's day.  He's always so sweet about sharing his birthday when it falls on Mother's Day.  Unfortunately, I woke up with the stomach bug the day after Emilia's communion so poor Joe did not have the best birthday.  I made it up to him later in the week with a nice dinner and dessert.  All of the excitement of field trips, spring break and first communion caught up to Emilia and she got sick the week before Memorial Day.  We thought she had a cold but after taking her to the doctor two times, they treated her for strep but thought she might have actually had Fifth's Disease.  Thankfully by the end of the week she was feeling much better and we were able to head to the beach for Memorial Day weekend.  The weather was amazing and we had a wonderful time with Day Day and Grandma.  Emilia has found a new love for scallops, so that is her new favorite things to have when we go to the beach.  Joe's mom taught her how she makes them over Easter.  We've really enjoyed the spring, planting our garden, spending lots of time outside on our porch and getting ready for summer break.  Chase finished basketball in early May and has been taking swim lessons.  He is doing great and was even letting me pull him around in the ocean on the boogie board last weekend.  Hopefully by the end of summer he will be comfortable in the water and love swimming.  Summer camp at his school is getting ready to start and he is psyched.  Emilia is taking a break from gymnastics for the summer and will swim instead.  I figured since I have her doing week long gymnastics camps ever couple of weeks there is no point to taking a class once a week.  She was begging to take swim so she is taking an endurance class that will help her to be strong and more confident swimmer. She is continuing to take piano and has been teaching herself how to play "Let It Go" from the movie, Frozen.
Joe is doing well, working hard as always.  He and I got to have a nice date night this past weekend while the kids spent the night with Bebia and Babua.  They had a blast riding the tractor, walking around the pond, going to Fearrington to seeing the cows and dipping their feet in the hot tub.  Our kids are so lucky to have such fun and loving grandparents.  I'm still keeping busy with my job and enjoying coming to work each day!  No complaints from me.  :)
We are looking forward to a fun summer, hoping to spend lots of time at the beach and relaxing. 
I will write again before the kids start back up at school.  We are so excited, Emilia and Chase will both be going to St. Michael next year.  My little buddy is going to be in Pre-K, crazy!  I hope you all have a fun, relaxing and healthy summer! 
Lots of love,
Leslie, Joe, Emilia, Chase & Fitz

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Chase and Emilia!

Happy Spring, Family and Friends!
We are so thankful that the sun is shining and flowers are blooming.  I never thought that I would be so happy to see spring arrive.  We have had a super fun and busy few months, which is why I have not updated our blog.  :)
Despite all of the snow in January and February we still had fun and stayed busy.  Emilia had First Reconciliation in February, which was really exciting for her.  She took it very seriously!  Joe and I had a couple of nice date nights.  One where we went to a Gala that I helped to plan and chair for a non-profit that I'm involved in here in Raleigh.  We took a day trip to Winston-Salem to see Nana and some of Joe's other aunts and uncles.  It was a wonderful visit and so great to see his family since Chase and I had to miss out at Christmas. 
We kicked off March with a family outing to see The Harlem Globetrotters with Emilia and Joe's YGuides tribe.  It was a lot of fun and quite entertaining!  Chase LOVES basketball so he was in heaven!  Chase started basketball again and is really a pretty good dribbler.  We celebrated Chase's 4th birthday the next weekend!  He had a very small get together with a Spider Man cake.  He chose to have a small get together instead of a party because he wanted to go to the Monster Truck Jam in April.  What an experience that was!  The next weekend we took a trip to Charlotte to visit the Jones family.  It was a long overdue visit and we had an amazing time catching up.  We miss them so much but cherish the moments we are able to spend time together.  Joe and I also spent our weekends in March continuing to train for another half marathon.  Emilia and Chase closed out the month with a camp out at Camp Seagull in New Bern with their Yguides tribe.  Unfortunately it was super rainy but they made the best of it and had fun.  Joe and I celebrated our 11 year anniversary that same weekend.  Sometimes I still can't believe we've been married 11 years!  We have managed to sneak in a couple of date nights each month, which has been wonderful.  Joe's new job has kept in busy and working late a lot so the date nights and family dinners are moments I live for these days! 
That brings us to April and the excitement of celebrating another special birthday.  Emilia turned 8 on April 5th.  For some reason, her turning 8 has freaked me out a little.  She is really maturing and turning into such a young lady.  I think Joe and I are finally hitting the "sweet spot" with our kids, where you want to freeze time.  Emilia had her first slumber party for her birthday and it was so much fun!  The girls did gymnastics all afternoon, had a dance party, watched Frozen and I gave them all pedicures.  I think I had as much fun as they did!  Last weekend Joe and I ran in the Rock and Roll half marathon in Raleigh, which was a lot of fun.  I have had a back injury that I've been dealing with and thankfully we both felt good the morning of the race and did really well.  I think that may be my last half for a while but they are kind of addicting.  We are heading to the coast this weekend for Easter to be with the Mazzola's and are so excited to be getting away for the weekend.  Emilia starts spring break Friday so I will be taking a few days off to spend time with her.  I can't believe she is 6 weeks away from summer break.  I know Emilia will be ready for a break from school and to be honest I am looking forward to a break as well.  This year has been a big change from 1st grade.  She is doing amazing in school and still loves it!  Chase loves his new day care but is looking forward to going to school with Emilia in August.  Work is going well for me, always busy, which is good.  Joe is doing well, working hard in his new role and impressing his new bosses.  We hope you all are healthy and enjoying spring.  We have an exciting May coming up, lots to be thankful for!
Lots of Love,
Leslie, Joe, Emilia and Chase

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Paradise, Puppy, and New Beginnings

Happy New Year!  We closed out 2013 with a lot of wonderful memories, celebrations, and new additions.
I think I wrote our last post just before Halloween.  Goodness, that seems like forever ago but the time sure has flown.  The kids had a fun Halloween this year.  Chase dressed up as a Super Hero and Emilia was Gabby Douglas, the Olympic gymnast.  I took Emilia trick or treating with her friends in the neighborhood next to ours, which was really fun.  It brought me back to being a kid and trick or treating with all my girl friends, running from house to house to see how many houses we could get candy from.  Joe took Chase trick or treating with Owen his buddy down the road.  I was lucky enough to take an impromptu trip to Asheville with my mom and sisters the day after Halloween. 
As always, we had a great time, relaxing, laughing A LOT and enjoying each other's company.  There's nothing like girl time with your Mom and sisters!  Just as it started to get cold around here we took off to paradise, St. John.  We left a couple weeks before Thanksgiving and headed down south to celebrate Matt and Corrie's wedding.  It was a beautiful occasion, one that none of us will ever forget.  Once wedding festivities settled down we spent the rest of the week relaxing on the beach or at the pool with Joe's parents, Aunt Gin and Uncle Jack.  I have to say it was the BEST vacation we've had in a long time.  The kids were amazing travelers and very adventurous.  After arriving home, Joe and I dropped our bags off and the kids off in Chapel Hill and hit the road for Tryon, NC where we picked up our newest family member, Fitz.  He's going to be a great dog but wow, it's sure taken some adjusting to.  I think having a puppy is worse than having a child but just like a baby it gets easier with time.  The kids LOVE him and enjoy playing with him, I think the feeling is mutual.  Fitz got to spend his first Thanksgiving at Bebia and Babua's house.  It was a GREAT day of food, family and fun!  We spent the next few weeks preparing for the holidays.  Emilia had a fun Christmas break spending time with Bebia and Jojo.  She also got to get her ears pierced, which I swore I would not let her do until she was 9.  She had begged us forever and we made her show us that she was responsible enough to have them pierced, which she did.  That child loves a challenge and will welcome one with a smile.  A couple weeks before Christmas Emilia had a couple of her good buddies from school over for a cookie bake and we also made some Christmas ornaments.  I think they had a really great time and so did I!  I hope to continue the tradition next year.  We also did our annual cookie bake at my Mom's.  Emilia participated but Chase and Holden being the boys that they are would rather play Babua's drums or drive Babu's remote control car.  Joe and I did our annual hockey game with some friends on Christmas Eve eve.  It's so fun to catch and see old friends. Matt and Corrie came to stay with us Christmas Eve and Emilia participated in the Christmas pageant and church again this year.  Chase was supposed to be in it but chickened out at the last minute.  We had a wonderful time with Corrie and Matt.  The kids loved having them here on Christmas morning.  Unfortunately Chase woke up with a fever on Christmas morning so he and I spent Christmas day together while Emilia, Joe, Matt and Corrie went to Nana's for Christmas in Winston-Salem.  It was definitely a quiet Christmas but we made the best of it!  I am hoping to go see Nana in February for her birthday since I missed her at Christmas.  Day Day and Grandma came to visit us  a couple days after Christmas, which was wonderful!  We rang in 2014 with Steph, Matt, Holden and Callie.  The kids had a great time and so did the adults!  It's so nice that our kids are getting old enough to play together and entertain one another.  Emilia loves to play with her cousin Callie and be Aunt Steph's big helper.  The best news of 2014 was that Joe got a new job.  He's been looking for a job for 4 or 5 months, which was VERY stressful on him.  His previous employer was making changes in their company and pretty much told Joe that he was going to be laid off at the end of March.  He is now working for a company called Riley Life Logistics, which is an order fulfillment provider.  It has been a very strange transition for him but one that definitely needed to happen.  We also moved Chase to a new daycare/preschool, which he loves and so do we.  It's been so nice starting 2014 with positive changes and new beginnings.  Homewatch is still growing and it keeps me very busy day in and day out! 
Emilia is doing great in school and works very hard.  She is still playing piano but complains about practicing each week.  She loves gymnastics and we are hoping once we get thru this year of craziness that next year she can join the team.  She is getting ready for First Reconciliation this weekend and then we will be getting her ready for First Communion in May.  How is she already getting ready to receive first communion??? 
Chase is growing like a weed and is all boy!  He wants to wrestle Fitz, play the drums, shoot hoops and drive his matchbox cars everywhere.  He loves to make us laugh but acting like a clown and making silly faces.  I think he is going to be our class clown once he is in school. 
It's already almost February and we are ready for Spring!  In fact, it's snowing as I type this blog.  It's been a cold winter for everyone this year.  We hope you all are happy and healthy and for those of you who we don't see often we miss you! 
Lots of Love,
Les, Joe, Emilia, Chase and Fitz