sister sister

My girls.

I’m not even sure there are words powerful enough to describe the way I love my two daughters. Sometimes, I feel a bit of writer’s block when it comes to transcribing my feelings for them.

It’s just hard to translate such raw, intense emotion into text.

Something that I continue to realize lately is how grateful I am that Kaya and Kaelyn have each other. A sibling is someone who can understand you (because you’ve got the same crazy upbringing), make you laugh your hardest, and always stands by you, no matter how hard things might get. Having a sibling is having a built-in best friend.

I’m so incredibly thankful that we could give our girls the gift of each other.
_MG_0008Sometimes they fight, and even at this young age, it seems like they already know exaclty what to do to irritate each other. There’s yelling, screaming, crying, hair-pulling, eye-poking, toy-stealing, and pushing.

But then there are hugs, kisses, cuddles, and the loudest laughter.

They teach each other patience, kindness, and sharing (even if that means being sad about sharing Daddy’s cuddles in the morning).

They protect each other, anticipate each other’s needs, and melt my heart with the way they love each other.

I hope each of my beautiful girls always takes care of her sister._MG_9962 (2)

five on friday (11/20)

ONE. Kaya had her last gymnastics class (for this 6-week course, anyway), and that meant that they got to play with the parachute! She was a little uncertain at first, but it turned out to be her favorite activity yet.

Overall, she ended up loving gymnastics. She became more confident around people she doesn’t know well, and is now more comfortable with learning new skills. I’m so glad we signed her up.

TWO. For the past few years, I’ve wanted to get an Angel from the Christmas Angel Tree program… and every year, I always seemed to miss it. Turns out, I never realized how early you have to go pick one off the tree. We were sure to get to the mall on time this year to choose a child, and I am so happy we finally did.

And you know, while you’re at the mall, you might as well get Chinese food for dinner.

THREE. I hosted our little preschool co-op group this week, and we learned the letter “L”! Naturally, we had to make some “lions”. I just love seeing what the kids create and how each one is unique. (Kaya’s is on the top left.)

FOUR. My littlest princess is getting four molars all at once… and it must have been hurting her so badly last night, because she wouldn’t stop screaming and crying, even when we were holding her. It reminded me so much of those unsoothable early newborn nights. My sweet husband rocked and snuggled her nearly all night long. I am blessed.

FIVE. It’s almost a joke to me how often things seem to break around here sometimes. This week, both the microwave and the oven stopped working. It’s like a personal record for me, or something. Hide all your appliances when I come over, because apparently I don’t have good luck… haha.

Happy weekend!


I feel like it’s been quiet on the blog recently. The only real reason is that our days have been packed full, and at the end of them, we’re just tired. Yep, I’m writing a blog post about being tired… because writing anything else would take more effort… and I’m just too tired 😉 Haha. Plus, I have too many cute pictures of my kids sleeping that are just begging to be posted.Michael’s had school projects and an exam; I’ve had a couple of photoshoots and have been working on quiet book pages to mail out by the end of the month. Add in regular church things, play dates, homeschool preschool, and trying to enjoy the last of the fall weather before the frigid temperatures hit… and it’s a crazy life.

A good kind of crazy life, though.

Coming home from church every week looks like this:

When your baby can’t hold her head up for more than 30 seconds because she’s really that tired…_MG_0022I’m enjoying these days because I know we’re just going to get busier and busier as our kids grow older and the years go on. Here’s to them still being little- at least we get some down time when they take naps :)

five on friday (11/13)

Happy Friday!!! :)

ONE. We’ve still been enjoying amazing weather here lately, and Kaya pleaded for me to let her ride her bike this week. The catch was that she also wanted to go to the playground, which meant that she’d be riding for over two miles. I wasn’t sure if she had enough stamina to go that far (or if I could help her on the hills while pushing the stroller), but I always try to give her opportunities to have fun, learn something, and get stronger… so I said yes. To my amazement, she rode for 2.25 miles, only fell once, and figured out how to walk her bike up the hills.

TWO. We had Karl and Kaitlyn over for a small (belated) birthday celebration on Wednesday night. There were tacos and Wii Party and brownies with ice cream. That’s pretty much the ultimate birthday shindig, am I right? I love my goofball brother. Happy 23rd, pal!_MG_0042THREE. We started our co-op preschool group this week, so for the first time ever, I dropped Kaya off and left. I was worried about how it would go, but she was just fine and had a great time.

Kaelyn and I then had some time to run errands all on our own… which really means that we ended up at the fabric store for forever because it was busier than I have ever seen it in my lifetime. Kaelyn loves these little “beanie boos” (beanie babies) and gets so excited anytime she sees them anywhere. Naturally, she had to cuddle them all (and tell each one “hi!” as she hugged them).

Aaaaand we might’ve come home with one… because my kids are only going to be little once, and sometimes it’s fun to give them a surprise gift for no reason. “Blue Kitty” hasn’t left her side all week. :)_MG_0035Of course, we brought home a surprise for Kaya, too- a baby dragon!collage11102015FOUR. That moment when you’re folding and hanging laundry, and look over to see your baby wearing underwear on her head… Hahaha. She has another pair halfway up her leg because she wants to be just like her big sister and wear undies (only over her diaper, of course. No way are we ready for potty training again)!_MG_0009

FIVE. #awkwardselfie award. I won’t tell you how many of these are on my phone, just from today (maybe because there are too many to count… haha)!

Linking up here today!

november 2015 goals

I’m a little late to the game (we’re a third of the way through November!)… but I have some things I absolutely need to get done this month, and I’m hoping that writing it on this little space of mine will help keep me accountable…Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

1. Finish one skein of yarn for my first-ever crochet project- a baby blanket!

2. Complete 12 quiet book pages for the quiet book co-op I joined.

3. Sew Christmas stockings.

4. Complete two value experiences for Personal Progress.

5. Be more prepared for our little “homeschool preschool” by planning a whole week’s worth of activities at a time.

they like to move it move it

I feel like we’ve been on the move constantly for the past week and a half, and by the end of the day, we’re all exhausted. I’m all about taking any opportunity I can to exercise my kids and wear them out.

I brought the slide out for the first time in a few weeks (it’s been out of rotation), and Kaelyn is finally big enough to climb up all on her own! She instantly fell in love and wanted to do it over and over again. (she definitely said “cheese” for this picture, by the way!)_MG_9966 The sliding party immediately continued the next morning when she woke up. :)11062015collage1Kaya has really started coming out of her shell at gymnastics, and she even allows the teachers to help her now. That’s pretty big progress for my shy girl. I’m so proud of her for gaining confidence and skills. (and of course… cue the corny video made by Google…)

We’ve had some oddly-warm-for-November weather lately, so we’ve also been out on a lot of walks and have spent many mornings on the playground.

Kaya finally climbed all the way up this huge ladder on her own! I think it took her about 30 minutes the first time, and then after that, she was racing up that thing in mere seconds, over and over again.

Goofy, proud-of-herself grin.

Kaya always loved playing on this part of the playground when she was was about Kaelyn’s age… and I feel like it was just yesterday that I would sit up there with her while Kaelyn rolled around in my belly. Now my baby is this big kid goofing off at the top of the playground. Crazy how time goes so fast!
I love that my kids love to play outside… and as a bonus, I somehow ended up with enough steps to win our “cousin Fitbit challenge” last week! I’ve definitely had weeks with a whole lot more steps, but hey, I’ll take the win anyway.Screenshot_20151108-171019~01

trick-or-treat at the mall 2015

Late Halloween afternoon, we took the kids to the mall to do some easy trick-or-treating! I always have a really hard time getting decent pictures in the mall with the way the lighting is (and I totally grabbed the wrong camera lens too, whoops)… but here are the few photos I did take. :)

We met up with Karl and Kaitlyn and had a good time goofing off while walking around getting candy. No matter how old I get… I don’t think picking on my little brother ever will get old. We are kind of obnoxiously goofy together._MG_9819 Our kids were pretty tired (due to a shortened nap/no nap), so they just rode in the stroller the whole time. This made the event go a whole lot faster and easier, and I was surprised when I realized we had been through the whole mall in about 30 minutes._MG_9814 _MG_9816 Kaelyn had never had a lollipop… but she sure figured out how you’re supposed to eat them! She just missed that one very important step… taking the wrapper off! I finally let her try one for real, and not long afterward, we noticed that she had a completely different flavor pop in her hand, and the first one we had given her was nowhere to be found. Our little Lollipop Bandit pulled this trick a few times before we wised up and confiscated her candy bucket.

Sneaking candy on Halloween… she learns fast! 😉_MG_9821This is my last Halloween post for this year… sad! I can’t believe our first holiday of the season is already over and we’re less than three weeks away from Thanksgiving!

trunk or treat 2015

Two days before Halloween, our church put on a trunk-or-treat activity. Kaya had chosen her costume over a month prior, and she was so ready to finally wear it! We still had the elephant costume that Kaya wore two years ago, so we went with a zoo theme this year. I’d say we’ve definitely gotten good use out that $3 elephant suit! 😉

Sometimes, I still can’t believe how blessed I am to call these two precious spirits mine.
_MG_9752 There might have been bribery involved to get this smile out of Kaya…_MG_9759 Tall and kind of quiet… a giraffe costume really was the perfect choice for her._MG_9761 The other cutest little elephant you ever did see. 😉_MG_9745 Surprisingly, Kaelyn actually loved her costume. She’s old enough now to grasp the excitement of what was going on, and she enjoyed choosing her own candy from the bag/bowl when they went around trick-or-treating._MG_9740 We had  practiced saying “trick or treat”, but Kaya was still a bit apprehensive when it came time to say it during the activity. With candy as a reward, she eventually got the hang of it. She was begging us to let her eat all her candy immediately afterward. Ha._MG_9742 Add a Daddy Fox and a Mommy Cheetah and we had our own little zoo._MG_9769 There were carnival games inside (run by our awesome Young Women), but Kaya wasn’t too interested in most of them. Both girls did really like the storytime room, though._MG_9784

You know you’ve had a great party when your elephant passes out in the backseat.

kaelyn: 16 months

_MG_9799Clothing size: 18-month-size everything (although some onesies are still a bit large as far as length). Size 4 sneakers, but she does fit in size 3 dress shoes. Tiny feet!
Eyecolor: Blue? There are still days where I’m not sure, and then there are times when they are undeniably blue. I’ve had some people tell me they look green… but personally, I have never ever seen green in her eyes at all.
Teeth: SIX! Her two top one-year molars came in this month. They are still working their way through her gums, but she’s been a champ through it and hasn’t even seemed cranky._MG_9802Eating: She has started eating a lot more this month. Daddy even thinks her legs are starting to chunk up a little! She loves grilled cheese, salad (with Italian dressing), yogurt, cooked carrots, shredded chicken, grapes, olives and cheese crackers. I let her try muffins and fruit snacks this month, and both are a big hit.

We’re nursing 3 times a day now (morning, before nap, and before bed), but I feel like my milk supply has definitely dropped a lot these past couple of weeks, so I’m not sure how much she is consistently getting. I had this same feeling when Kaya was this age, and she self-weaned at 16.5 months. I attributed low supply/self-weaning to being pregnant last time, but maybe I just stop producing a lot around this age regardless._MG_9611

New words: I continue to be amazed whenever she says a new word… and she’s started using at least one new word every week now. She says: hi, bye, please, cheese, thanks (sounds like “ssss”), hop, and she can roar like a dinosaur and bark like a puppy. She also loves to scream “mama mama ma” or “dada dada dada” when one of us makes her do something she doesn’t want to (i.e. get her diaper changed)… so if I’m changing her, she screams for Daddy. If he’s changing her, she screams for Mommy. Hilarious.

Favorite things: Piggy (her stuffed guinea pig), stuffed animals, the toy shopping cart and baby doll stroller, and the cozy coupe car. She is a girl on the move! I still give her baths in the kitchen sink, and she loves to hold a cup under the faucet and fill it up. She also loves to steal Daddy’s water bottle from his backpack the moment he gets home. Books are still a favorite, too._MG_9524Dislikes: Getting her face wiped and laying down for diaper changes.
She goes down around 8 pm and gets up around 6 or 6:30 am typically. Falling back to sleep and taking a power nap in the morning is becoming rare. Naptime is around 1:30 or 2 pm for about 3 hours.
Baba, Baba Grace.
Milestones, etc.:
-Walking, completely unassisted, anywhere and everywhere!

-She tries so hard to carry heavy objects (like a water bottle or a small pumpkin) while walking now.

-She’s started to “pretend” play now. We caught her tucking stuffed Daniel Tiger in for bed a couple of nights ago!

-She’s started climbing… just a bit here and there. I found her standing on the back of Kaya’s tricycle last week, and she’s also determined to go up the stairs at the playground on her own.

-She gestures to ask me for help/an object she wants, etc.

-She follows directions so well now! Her new favorite trick is putting things in the trash.

-She appropriately nods “yes” or “no” when you ask her a question about what she wants.

-Mini temper-tantrums have started. She lets out this awful “squawking’ sound anytime she doesn’t like something (usually it involves Kaya getting too close to whatever she’s playing with). Bleh.

Dear Kaelyn,

Little girl, you light up our world. Now that you are walking around and saying a few words, we’re really starting to see your personality come out. I just love that cheeky grin you flash me when you know you’re being silly._MG_9834

You are so much more independent than your big sister was at this age. I keep getting asked when you’ll start going to nursery at church… 2 more months! Seeing your outgoing personality has me wondering if you’ll even look back when we drop you off for the first time. I’m excited for you to do all the fun “big girl” things coming your way, but I’m definitely going to miss having you always next to me. You are my little sidekick._MG_9613

Love, Mommy

five on friday (10/30)

ONE. After a couple days of bad weather, we had a short break from the rain. We were anxious to get outside and play, even if the playground was all wet. Meet the newest little “crocodile hunters.” :)Never mind that we were poured on during the last 3/4 mile of our walk home.

TWO. We are going strong with our little “homeschool preschool” and Kaya is still loving it.  I’m thinking of putting together some blog posts to share some of my favorite resources so far (even just so I can remember what we did 2 years from now… when it’s Kaelyn’s turn)!

And hey, since she doesn’t have to leave the house, she can do it in her jammies. Why not?_MG_9732

THREE. We were invited to a little Halloween-themed book club/play date this morning, and Kaya decorated her own “pumpkin”! She was so enthused about this activity, and she even drew the face on it herself! I am so impressed with her fine motor skills.

FOUR. I got a thank-you card from the youth/seminary students at church for making them cinnamon rolls… and it just made my day. I love these kids. It’s the little things, you guys.

FIVE. Fashion alert: pretend fruit baskets are now acceptable headwear. Just ask Daniel(le) Boone here with her coonskin-cap lookalike._MG_9729

Happy Friday! :)