friday favorites: christmas edition

These are a few of my favorite [Christmas-y] things…

… sitting by the Christmas tree at night (and of course, taking a bokeh picture. #photographynerdalert)!
Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset … festive sprinkles on cupcakes for the church Christmas party!Processed with VSCOcam with kk1 preset … how this little girl watched and waited all day long while I made the cupcakes. She was so happy when she finally got her treat at the party!Processed with VSCOcam with a9 preset… my two peas in a pod, enjoying some “Feliz Navidad”-themed dinner.
Processed with VSCOcam with a9 preset … the giant Christmas tree at the mall!Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset … decorating gingerbread cookies! I am so completely obsessed with gingerbread this year and my sweet tooth has been making that extremely obvious.Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetgingerbread playdough! Seriously. It smells heavenly and was so much fun to play with!_MG_5767 … two cute baby friends in matching polkadot reindeer pajamas!_MG_57566 more days!

meeting santa claus

We took the girls to meet Santa last week! As expected, it took longer to get them into their dresses, get to the location, and wait in line than the amount of time we actually got to spend visiting with Santa. But hey, it’s tradition, so we do it anyway!

I wasn’t sure what kind of reaction to expect from Kaelyn. She isn’t quite at the “stranger danger” phase, but she definitely recognizes when she’s being held by someone new. Luckily, she didn’t cry!
_MG_5634 She just sat there, happy as a clam. It was a lot like the first time Kaya went to see Santa!_MG_5635This year, Kaya didn’t want to get anywhere near him. Santa even gave her a cookie, and she still didn’t warm up to him at all!_MG_5636 _MG_5637_MG_5638Oh well. I’m totally expecting both girls to cry next year!

christmas parade 2014

Last weekend was our town Christmas parade! The weather was a little more appropriate than last year’s 60-something degrees, so all four of us bundled up and headed downtown.

I forgot my camera flash… and there were crazy streetlights and flashing police car lights on top of that, so these pictures are really not the greatest.

Baby Kaelyn slept through a lot of her very first parade! She woke up when the firetrucks and ambulances drove by, but surprisingly, she didn’t even cry (poor Kaya did though)!
_MG_5593 This was Kaya’s 3rd parade! I can’t believe how fast the years are going by._MG_5588She was so much more interested in what was going on this year (especially when some of the floats threw lollipops to her! Notice her “pop” collection in the cup holder)!_MG_5597 _MG_5598I always have the same favorite floats: All the lit-up jeeps…
_MG_5600… the horses!
_MG_5609 … and SANTA!_MG_56069 more days until he comes to visit!

santa baby

What’s cuter than a baby in a Santa hat?_MG_5519Well, you’re going to have to answer that one for yourself, because I don’t know. This is pretty adorable!
12112014collage1 - CopyLess than two weeks are left until Christmas, and we’re getting excited over here!_MG_5513

putting up the tree

Last year, our tree was only half decorated. I did the lights, but there were no ornaments (which is so disappointing, I know). I wasn’t sure if Kaya would try to knock all of them off the tree, but the real reason we didn’t even finish decorating was because I was just too exhausted and dealing with morning sickness. Now you know! I still feel like it wasn’t a very good reason (and come on, I had done the lights already… that’s the hardest part)!_MG_5523

So this year, I was even more excited to carry on our true tree-decorating tradition. We had the Michael Buble Holiday radio station on, and Kaya was actually old enough to help! She helped hang a lot of the snowflakes and bells (all Dollar Tree ornaments from our first married Christmas)!_MG_5524 Sadly, Kaelyn was already in bed when we got started, so it was a party for just the three of us. I’m looking forward to her helping next year (and yes, it’s totally crazy to think about her being that big)!_MG_5526 I love colorful lights so much._MG_5549(and Kaya loves this singing Snoopy so much!)_MG_5533The next day (when Kaelyn was awake), we took the most crooked family photo ever. Oh well. Jax also walked right in front of the camera when it was going off, so at least there isn’t a dog bum in your face. See, the photo seems pretty good after all!_MG_5558

thanksgiving 2014

We spent Thanksgiving weekend with my side of the family this year. It was the first time in a while that we didn’t run back and forth between both families’ homes, and while we definitely missed having more time with Michael’s family, it was nice to stay in one place. _MG_5418 These goobers weren’t really interested in having their pictures taken…_MG_5421 … but at least they humored me for a decent mommy-daughters photo.
_MG_5429 This was the biggest dinner I think my parents have ever hosted. The picture doesn’t even show how long it really was, but there are two tables combined under those tablecloths!
_MG_5446 My dad always always always carves the turkey.
_MG_5434 Karl brought his girlfriend, Kaitlyn, who put up with all our shenanigans (and Karl’s loudness!) for the duration of the weekend.
_MG_5438_MG_5435_MG_5442_MG_5439 Kaya only wanted to eat her utensils. I don’t think she even took a bite of her Thanksgiving dinner. She ended up having a yogurt, and if you know her very well, you’re probably laughing, because that’s what she eats every single day. Why have turkey when you can have the usual?
_MG_5448 Kaelyn just enjoyed her toys.
_MG_5444My mom was the only person that could really hold her (and at times, even look at her), without making her upset. I think she was just sleep-deprived and a little unsure of all the chaos. I felt a little disappointed that my family didn’t even get to enjoy Kaelyn as the happy baby she always is!_MG_5454_MG_5455Kaya didn’t have any good naps, so she was a bit tired too._MG_5458_MG_5432On Friday, we headed up to the temple with Michael’s family. It was the first time we’ve gone in over a year. It felt so amazing to just be there with my best friend and feel the quiet and peace the temple offers.
wpid-wp-1418102365850.jpegWe had such a great weekend surrounded by our family.

a blessing, not a burden


I’ve spent most of this week sick (for the second time within the past two weeks), which is normally a rare occurrence for me. I’m finally starting to feel like my normal self again (just in time for some Christmas festivities this weekend)!

Honestly though… It’s not easy being mom and feeling awful all at the same time. Your body just begs you to sleep and rest, but you’ve got mouths to feed, bums to wipe, and two-year-old mood swings to handle.

It’d be so easy to see all this as a burden (especially when you don’t get that nap you so desperately need)…

… but I’d count having my babies with me on a sick day as a blessing.

How couldn’t I feel a little better at the sight of their smiles? Having Kaya play kitchen with me was also a pretty good distraction, and I had the best little snuggle buddy in the world to keep me company.
I’d spend any day with them. I’m so grateful for my little sidekicks and honestly wish they didn’t have to grow up and leave home.

(Let it also be noted: Michael is equally amazing. He finished my laundry, let me go to bed early, and even did my grocery shopping!)

I am one lucky gal.

kaelyn: 5 months

_MG_5484Height: 26 inches
13 pounds 14.4 ounces
Clothing size: Both 0-3 month and 3-6 month onesies, but all 3-6 month pants.We’re mostly in 3-6 month jammies, too._MG_5498 Eyecolor: Blue-gray.
Nursing: Every 2.5 hours!
Favorite things: Snuggling, warm baths, being tickled, watching Kaya, and when we fly her over our heads like an airplane! Her favorite toys are her laughing butterfly rattle and Valentine’s beanie baby puppy._MG_5373Dislikes: Getting buckled into the car seat!
Sleep: Still not great. Bedtime is between 7 and 7:30 pm, and then she’s usually up around 11:30 pm, 3 am, and 5 or 6 am. Naps don’t happen unless I’m holding her or she’s so tired that she just passes out.

She’s still sleeping in our room, but I’m planning to transition her to the crib before this month is over. It might be crazy with two girls in one room, but I’m ready to just make the change.
Nicknames: Baba, Peanut, and FuzzHead!_MG_5493
Milestones, etc.: -She is SO great at grabbing what she wants and holding on to it. It’s really hard to take anything out of her little iron fist!
-She doesn’t just babble, she yells and shrieks with happiness! She actually has a very shrill little voice.
-She can sit up pretty well if she has the boppy pillow behind her. I’ve tried to get her to sit on her own, but it doesn’t last for more than half a second!
-I’ve been working on getting her to “stand” (assisted, obviously) on her legs for forever, and now, she finally does it! For a long time, she’d just avoid putting any weight on her legs at all, so I’m glad we’re making some progress.
-She still hasn’t rolled over yet… and to be honest, it’s probably my fault- she doesn’t get nearly as much floor time as Kaya did at this age. We’re so much more on the go these days, and when we’re home, I’m either holding her or she’s in her little seat next to me while I’m getting something done.

Dear Kaelyn,

Do you have to grow so fast? I just want to keep you tiny and snuggly. You really still seem so little to me, but I honestly can’t believe you’ve been here with us for 5 whole months.

You are the perfect blend of sweet…
…and crazy! You just emanate joy and contentment, and everyone notices. It’s definitely my favorite thing about you!
I’m so proud of how big and strong you’re becoming. You started out so tiny, but no one could ever tell by looking at you now.

I love you Kaelyn Grace. Thank you for choosing our family!

Love, Mommy

first snow

There’s something extra special about the first snow of the season._MG_5397

The air is quiet, and the world is still. Every creature watches the earth become transformed by soft, white powder. The tranquility is accompanied by the eager anticipation of building snowmen, sledding, and knowing that Christmas is fast approaching._MG_5395I love seeing her amazement at every small wonder of life.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset