We are a family of 5 humans & 1 canine. The Lang Family was officially established in 1998 when Mommy (Angela) met Daddy (Josh). We welcomed our first child, a daughter we named Caroline, in 2001. Two years later came our second little lady, Carmen. Benjamin, our son, blessed our lives in 2006. Jack is our furry family member.
Our family unit is now complete and on that phase of life where we begin to grow together, learn each other's flaws & perfections, make mistakes, build a home, create wonderful memories (and some not so wonderful memories) and make those critical decisions that will ultimately decide the course of the family's future (yeah, no pressure or anything).
This blog is a documentation of sorts from this point in time & on; the good, the bad, the pretty & the inevitable ugly.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Another Year Bites the Dust

Happy New Year to all of our friends & family! We entered the new year the same way we have for the past 14 years... together. "Together" has changed through time, starting at 2 and ending at 5; but it's together all the same and we wouldn't have it any other way. This year I wanted to start some new traditions but just like most things I do, I waited until the last minute (; I made a quick Dollar General run after work and found some birthday hats with balloons on them and some party noisemakers. I also grabbed a few white balloons to start a New Year's countdown. I had Josh grab 5 helium filled balloons at Giant Eagle earlier in the day... Here is how our night played out:

We wrote in sharpie on each white balloon the upcoming hour, starting at 6pm, & popped them accordingly. We all took turns doing the ceremonial stabbing (except me, I'm a picture taker, not a picture giver)...

- Six o'clock -

- Seven o'clock -

- Eight o'clock -

- Nine o'clock -

- Ten o'clock -

- Eleven o'clock -

Dad got to pop the last balloon since he has a height advantage (;

During dinner, we went through our Memory Jar that holds all the things we wrote down during the year that we didn't want to forget. LOTS OF LAUGHS! Those slips of paper get labeled by year and stored away & we get to start all over again (:

I also baked a Lucky Penny cake. I made sure to make a separate small cake that actually held the penny inside so that one of us would guarantee the find. I would hate to have to eat 3 pieces to find the coin & I surely would hate to see my kids' behavior after they ate their three pieces! So I served up the 5 potentially luck filled slices and we all dug in!

Benjamin found 2013's Lucky Penny! We all decided that he deserved it the most since he used his bare hands to tear his cake to pieces as opposed to using the fork like the rest of us normal folk.
Well done Ben, well done.

We played a few games of Crazy Eight & Headbandz (totally recommend this game to any family with kids, SO FUN!) to use up some more time before we moved on to the next tradition...

Our prayer balloons! This was something I saw on Pinterest but they were called wish balloons. We changed it up to better suit our family. We all scribbled our prayers for the year on the balloons then released them up to the heavens (: Caroline had lots of good ones, including letting the animals in shelters find homes & kids in adoption to find families. Carmen wants to have more patience and kindness, while Benjamin wants to see Guggies again and be a better athlete. Daddy had some surprising ones, including being a more romantic husband (hope God reads that one first!). I added my favorite prayers that I'll reveal in a different post, but one of them was for the Steelers to have a better season! (;
Hey, we're Pittsburgh'ers, what do yinz expect?!

When the final hour came, we made as much noise as we could with pots & wooden spoons... we actually lost a spoon on that fateful day thanks to Ben's enthusiasm (:
Even the furry Lang had some fun! He was a regular party animal!

It was one of the best New Years that I can remember so I'm
hoping it's a hint of things to come in 2013!


The best wrestlers win Young Guns (:

This weekend Ben entered his very first wrestling tournament!

It was North Allegheny Young Guns Novice Tournament and was only for kids with 0-2 year experience. Ben has 0 experience and we learned real quick that he was one of the few who entered without experience. This is his first year as a Charleroi wrestler. Needless to say, we were nervous for him. Especially after being told that kids train all year for this tournament! There came a point in time (right after losing his first match) that I thought it was unfair of us to put him into this tournament. I thought it would break his confidence. Another lesson learned... NEVER underestimate a Lang kid! His first match was gruesome. I actually had to turn away and cry. No lie. I hate to see his face in pain and anguish, it makes my stomach sick. I was almost ready to march down on that mat and yank him. But because of his love for the sport, I held my ground. All he has to do is say the words and he's done. When it's no longer fun & empowering, it's no longer needed. He got pinned in the 3rd round BUT was the only one to score a point against that kid (we called him "The Beast") all day until he was eliminated in the semi-finals with a pin! I was proud but still scared that we entered him into something over his head. This tournament was a 2 loss elimination so he had to lose one more to go home. He came off the mat tearful but ready for the next opponent, so Momma was ready too (: We gave him his secret weapon... a ziploc bag of pancakes. He LOVES them. Each Sunday, Josh will make 2 batches of pancakes, one to eat that morning and one to put in the fridge for Ben throughout the week. The kid loves them. Without syrup.
I don't get it, but who can understand the desires of a six year old boy, right?

We had awhile to wait for his next match since he was placed in the loser bracket. And by awhile, I mean 2 hours. The girls are troopers though. They bring their tablets & DS's and, for the most part, are complaint free. They're their brother's biggest fans and that means the world to me. We also kept busy by reading my Young House Love book I got from Santa. Yep, my girls are taking after me at a young age, we're DIY fanatics!

We also went and purchased Ben a t-shirt representing the tournament & it even had his name on it. In the back of my mind, I was hoping to bring a smile to his face after his next loss, which I assumed was going to be brutal again. I can admit that now.

Ben's number was FINALLY called and he went on the mat...


then he WON again...

and again!

Three in a row for my strong at heart son! I should have known better to lose hope in him. Experience has shown me that my kids will prove me wrong over & over, and always in a good way.

My zero-experienced wrestler made semi-finals!!!
I was beyond proud! When I say he won, I don't mean a 1-2-3 pin, I mean he wrestled 3 excruciating rounds for each match, pinned two & won one based on points. THEY WERE BATTLES!

Out of 17 wrestlers in his division, only 4 place. He had the largest division in the tournament, age 6 and under, 45 pounds. He fought hard and...


Celebrations were in order...

But, the celebration was over fast since this exhausted hero of mine slept the entire way home and then another hour at the house. So we had a low key celebration and ordered wings from Campy's when he woke up (;

He even gets placed on the state ranking website found here. It hasn't been updated yet, but we will keep checking (:

A rocky start but a fairytale ending... isn't that the making of all good stories?