rest in peace, grandma teerlink

Michael’s grandma passed away earlier this week.

Thankfully, we were able to go see her one last time this past weekend. She was so sick, and it was so hard to see her in so much pain. I’m grateful to know that she is now at peace.

Grandma and Grandpa Teerlink welcomed me into the family with open, loving arms. From the moment I met both of them, I felt instantly accepted. That meant so much to me.

She used her talents to bless and help others. She made baby blankets for everyone, and in the past year, even crocheted dresses for baby blessings (like Kaelyn’s). Those things will surely be keepsakes for years to come.

There was always the most delicious homemade bread and jam anytime we stopped at her house. We would even frequently plan our roadtrips so that we’d just happen to be passing through town right around ice cream time on Sunday evenings.

She is the matriarch of a close-knit family and a righteous posterity. Her love, influence, and testimony has truly created a legacy, and I am so grateful to be able to witness it first hand.

We love you Grandma! We know that families are forever and we will see you again someday.




This little girl knows all the ways to melt my heart. Seeing how much joy she gets just from the simplest of things, like playing outside in the sunshine and blowing bubbles, warms my heart and refreshes my perspective.

She is all about blowing bubbles lately… anywhere and everywhere she can (even while she rides in the stroller)!
_MG_7434 I told her to say “Mickey Mouse!” instead of “cheese!” for this one. She’s never watched him on television, but his picture is on her toothbrush. She always so excitedly points him out to us every night! I love this little grin._MG_7437I’m so thankful for this happy little girl who brightens up my days.

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five on friday: cinnamon buns, sunhats and lemons

What a WEEK! We’ve been busy and had so many great moments these past few days. Here we go:

ONE. Monday was Michael’s last day of seminary! I am having a hard time believing that we already completed a whole school year. Seminary is a HUGE time commitment and definitely requires sacrifice, but Michael handled it so well. I know he’d do it again in a heartbeat (and hey, he most likely will be doing it again next year)! He loves his students and was sad to see them walk away for the last time as they caught the bus to school.

I made cinnamon buns for the first seminary breakfast, so I did it again for the final one. My mom-in-law’s recipe is the absolute best!

TWO. We did some shopping for our upcoming beach trip… which included getting some sunhats! Don’t be fooled by Kaelyn’s giant grin… she tries to rip this thing off every few seconds!

THREE. We had our playdate this week outside in the sunshine! It was much windier than any of us thought it would be, though, so we ended up running back home for some jackets. Katherine snapped this photo. I just love seeing these two little BFFs together!

FOUR. Two years ago, when my Maggie passed away, two of our dear friends brought me this little stuffed guinea pig. Now, this is the only stuffed animal Kaelyn will cuddle with! She holds her every night and it just melts my heart. (also, if you can’t tell, she loves to sleep up against the crib bars! she’s like this almost every time I check on her!)

FIVE. Kaya asked to try a lemon… so we let her, and it resulted in the cutest little sour face you ever did see. I think she changed her mind!

A video posted by Tara (@tarairwin) on

Happy Friday!!!

(linking up with April!)

time and change

Working on getting all my photos backed up sure has a way of making me all sentimental. I was going through pictures of Kaya’s room from last year… back before Kaelyn was born and it became “the girls’ room”. Seeing that tiny space, the simple nursery that I spent so much time dreaming up and preparing for our sweet baby girl, gives me a pang of longing in my heart.

It’s not a longing for things to be as they once were, because we all know that I am so in love with my little family just as it is now.

It’s more of a yearning for all that time that’s gone by. All those special moments that have already passed, which we can only relive through our memories.

_MG_1381Six years ago, we were engaged and counting down the days until I’d come home from Europe! We were planning to go to the temple and make those sacred marriage covenants with each other. We were anxious and intimidated, but we knew we were meant to be together. We thought we loved each other then, but that was nothing compared to how we feel now.

We filled our tiny, one-bedroom apartment with old furniture, wedding photos, and our furry babies, Maggie and Juni.

Three years ago, we were getting ready to be first-time parents. We had no idea what a wild ride we were in for. We were excited and terrified and wondered every day if we’d be ready for this. Little did we know how much our hearts were about to explode with the greatest love we’ve ever felt.

We had moved to a bigger apartment, and there was room for a nursery. I planned and pinned ideas on Pinterest, shopped, sewed, and hot-glued. Michael put together a crib and a dresser and we hung things on the walls._MG_1389

One year ago, we knew our family was going to change forever, because we three were about to become four. We were counting down the days, making the most of our one-on-one time with Kaya, and daydreaming about meeting our second precious baby girl. Our hearts would grow yet again.

That same tiny room changed once more- we gave Kaya a “big-girl” bed, and the crib moved to the other wall. The rocking chair moved to our room, and it felt like we had more furniture than we had space at first.

But oh, that sweet, tiny, newborn baby._MG_3335

Watching that little room evolve over time is just a physical reminder of how much our family has grown over these past few years… and how much we’ve grown, too. It truly is something amazing.

I don’t know where we’ll be or what we’ll be doing one year from now. Or three years. Or six.

But I do know I’m going to hold on and cherish these moments, because soon they’ll just be a part of the time that’s already gone by, like all the memories we already have.

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mother’s day 2015

We didn’t really do anything on Mother’s Day this year… but we did take a picture, and that is worth posting!_MG_7426I could write a whole post about everything these two have taught me… the way they love me and test me, fill up my heart and then try my patience. I could list out all my favorite moments or tell you how much it means to me to be a mom to these special spirits.

But today I want to just keep it simple.

I love these two little princesses with my whole being. I usually don’t feel like I even deserve them because they really are that amazing.

I feel blessed, and I’m so grateful for this sacred calling. Even on the tough days, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Hope you all had a great Mom’s Day :)

five on friday (5/8)

Happy Friday!

ONE. This little princess sported her first-ever side ponytail today! How does my baby already have enough hair for this? It took Kaya two years to have enough for the tiniest ponytail!_MG_7392Cutest.tiny.pony.ever.
_MG_7410 TWO. We tried this recipe for burrito bowls this week, and let me tell you… if you like Mexican food, you need to make these! Easy, cheap, and it tastes like something from a restaurant. Mmm. (One batch also made a TON of food… we ate it for three days straight and there were no complaints!)_MG_7379THREE. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. When you put the time and effort into real prayer and scripture study, exercising your faith, it is amazing how close Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ really are. They aren’t some obscure beings far away in the middle of outer space… They are so much nearer to us than we realize, and I know They are willing and wanting to help us with whatever trial we may be facing. Reach out to Them with a willing heart and They will give you peace.11161349_10153185080206550_6718020554254106757_n(via

FOUR. My kids are totally wild and crazy, and I couldn’t imagine life any other way. I love these two sweeties with my whole heart. (And I keep accidentally dressing us in color-coordinating outfits, haha!)
IMG_20150506_170539FIVE. Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the women out there… whether you have babies here on earth or not. You don’t have to give birth to nurture, love, and essentially mother someone else… and I know so many of you do just that! Thank you for being you.

Happy weekend!!!

(Linking up with April today!)

may 2015 goals

I still feel like working on my goals has been a complete struggle, and I don’t know exactly why… although the weather has been sooo gorgeous, so I could just blame it on wanting to play outside all the time instead of check off my to-do list, right? Haha.

Here’s how I did for April:

1. Complete two books. (the one I didn’t finish from last month plus one more.) 

2. Abs as always.

3. Export 50% of the 2014 photos. I am over 25% of the way through. It isn’t as much as I was hoping to have done, but it’s something!

4. Sew something!

5. Organize 5 more areas. I did two and halfway finished a third (the girls’ closet… which is a huge project).

6. Crochet. …seriously, I need to get going on this.

7. Complete 4 value experiences for Personal Progress. 50%- I did 2 value experiences… I need Michael to help me with one of them, but he’s been busy. Also, I have been working on my faith project, so that’s good. Slowly getting there.may2015goals

1. Abs three times per week.

2. Plan family photos.

3. Get 50% of my 2014 photos exported.

4. Organize 3 areas.

5. Complete 4 value experiences for Personal Progress.

6. Finish my Personal Progress faith value project.

7. Crochet or sew something.

Here’s to hoping I do better this month!

kaelyn: 10 months

Double-digit months! I can’t believe my baby is so big!_MG_7343

Height: 28 inches
16 pounds 12.8 ounces
Clothing size: 6-9 month things fit just fine, but I’m about to bust out all her 9-12 month stuff for summer!
Baby blue._MG_7307 Teeth: FINALLY! I’m so excited that she has her two bottom front teeth now! She was a little cranky when they were coming in, but it was nothing unbearable. She’s still as sweet as can be, even when I’m certain her gums were in pain.
She nurses every 3-4 hours now, although I still have the idea stuck in my head that she’s a tiny baby who needs to eat every two hours. Usually, I try to feed her more often than she’d like, and when she refuses, I remember that my baby is growing up for real.

We have still been super slow about solid food. Most days, it’ll be bedtime and I’ll realize that she has had only breastmilk all day. Oops! We’re busy, eating real food is messy, and I’m pretty scatterbrained these days… so those are my excuses. I’ve been trying to give her one Gerber puree at dinnertime when I remember. She loves any of the fruit ones we’ve tried, and thinks sweet potatoes and squash are okay. Veggies are not her favorite!
Favorite things:
Splashing in the bath, dancing, going upside down, and being tickled. She loves dancing to music (especially the “Sherlock” theme song)! She loves any wooden toys (although I’ve been trying to not let her chew on them with her new teeth), and she loves snuggling with her stuffed animals. She really loves her plush Simba the most!_MG_7332 Dislikes: Getting dressed/undressed, and Kaya taking her toys.
We start getting her ready for bed around 7 pm, and she usually nurses for quite a while until she passes out. She usually wakes up once or twice between then and 6 am. She’s up for the day around 6:30 am, and doesn’t like to take a real nap in the morning, so between 10 and 11 am, I’ll let her take a “nursing nap” on me for about 30 minutes. If we’re in the car or taking a walk, she power naps on the go. Her real nap is around 1:30 pm and lasts until 3:30 or 4 pm. Nicknames: Baba, Baba Grace, Baba Gracie, Snaggletooth (haha).
Milestones, etc.:
-Everyone loves to ask me if she’s crawling yet… and the answer is still no! BUT I will be shocked if she doesn’t crawl here in the next couple weeks. She’s started to realize that she can’t always reach what she wants, and she stretches so far to try to get whatever it is… she wants to MOVE but she’s not quite sure how to do it yet! She can rotate 360 degrees on her bum though, so she might just be scootin’ her booty across the floor soon instead of crawling for real.

-She started giving kisses this month… which means she pretty much eats your face! When she first figured it out, she was a kissing machine and wanted to slobber on mommy all the time. She doesn’t do it as often now but it’s still so cute.

-I don’t know how she does it, but she loves pulling individual threads out of the carpet. You’d think it’d be difficult to pull pieces out, but she is a pro and I always have to watch that she isn’t trying to eat them.

-She has her own dance move now… it involves bobbing her head up and down so quickly that her whole body sways with her. It’s definitely hilarious!

Dear Kaelyn,

You are the calm to my storm. I cherish the time I get to sit with you, hold you in my arms, and stare at your sweet face. You always give me the biggest, whole-face-scrunched-up grin._MG_7305Everyone loves you so much, princess. All the Young Women at church take turns holding you (there’s often a waiting list), and you’re so patient and happy all the while. You’re a pretty quiet gal, but when you want to be heard, your voice is shockingly loud!_MG_7291I’m excited to see you start moving around on your own and exploring! Hopefully, you’ll still love to cuddle with mommy once you’re all grown-up and mobile!

Love you, little sweetie!

Love, Mommykaelynmonth10collage

five on friday: my mini-photographer, flowers, and a date

Happy Friday!!!

ONE. I am apparently raising a mini-photographer! It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me well, but I just can’t get over how Kaya wants to take pictures all the time. She totally plays peek-a-boo and waves to get Kaelyn to look at the camera and it’s hilarious._MG_7303 TWO. When flowers are on sale, it’s totally cool to buy them for yourself, right? For $2.50, I couldn’t pass these up. I figured they’d last a day or two (since they were already on “manager’s special”, a.k.a. predestined to die soon), but they are still going strong after 5 days! Mmmm, this is definitely one of my favorite scents!_MG_7319

THREE. Kaya and I had our first-ever mommy-daughter date this week! I took her to Sweet Frog, bought her way too much ice cream, and just enjoyed having one-on-one time with my first baby. She was so excited to put m&ms, Reese’s Pieces, chocolate chips, and this giant gummy frog on her froyo… until we sat down to eat and she decided that the frog was now super scary. More gummy frogs for me!FOUR. I need some book suggestions! It seems like every book I choose lately takes a turn for the worse and has inappropriate romantic-like stuff in it… and I don’t want to read any of that, so I just quit and have to keep finding something new. What are some squeaky-clean fiction novels you love?

FIVE. Love this quote from our most recent general conference:20150501030650

Have a great weekend! :)

Linking up with April!

i’m on her friend list

This little girl and the way she melts my heart… she just.won’t.quit. And really, I hope she never does because I love every bit of her huge heart and tenderness. Now that she’s talking a whole lot more (4-word sentences, people!), she’s more fun than ever! I thought I’d jot down a few of the sweet things she’s done lately._MG_7283

(I like to quiz her while we’re driving in the car. This was last week…)
Me: Hey Peeky, who are your friends?
Kaya: Liyah (Aaliyah), Monny (Mia), Mommy…
Me: (thinking she said “Mia” twice, because the way she pronounces it sounds like “mommy” but with “n” instead of “m”): Who? Mia?
Kaya: No, Mommy!!!
Me (heart melting into a big puddle under the driver’s seat): Mommy? I’m your friend?
Kaya: YEAH!!!

(Kaelyn is playing with whatever it is Kaya wants. This happens pretty much all the time…)
Kaya: Heeey Baba Grace, tray (trade)? (Kaya then gives the baby a less-desirable item and takes the coveted toy… which often results in Kaelyn crying…)

(I was doing a different ab workout yesterday, which included lateral hip raises… my hips get sore really easily ever since I had Kaelyn, so I was hurting a little bit)
Kaya: (stops what she’s playing and comes over to me) OK, Mommy? (she puts her hand on my back and gently strokes my shoulder)

“Here ya go. More?” – She loooves to play in her kitchen and pretend to pour us drinks. I always ask for a milkshake or ice cream, and she always remembers to include an invisible pretend spoon with my cup. Haha.

(Kaelyn is putting something in her mouth that she shouldn’t… like my phone or Kaya’s toy cookies)
Kaya: Noooo Baba Grace! (takes phone from her). Eat phone again, room! (translation: If you eat the phone again, you’ll go to your room).
Kaelyn obviously puts the phone back in her mouth, since she doesn’t understand. And no, my baby doesn’t actually get timeouts in her room…
Kaya: Okay Baba Grace, ROOM! (and she tries to pick her up. this makes me laugh so hard every time…)

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