family weekend

We had a busy, family-filled weekend, which I think was just what we needed after the shock of this past week. Being surrounded by loved ones definitely helped take our minds off of what happened, at least temporarily.

My dad has been fixing up a tricycle for Kaya for a while now, and he recently finished it! My mom brought it up this weekend to surprise her. This little girl cannot stop talking about her “bike” and wants to ride it all the time. We’ve only been letting her practice in the house and on the porch until her head is healed up and she can wear a helmet again.

_MG_8174 Kaya also enjoyed plenty of bubble blowing this weekend…_MG_8182 On Friday night, we headed out to Mom and Dad Irwin’s campground. Karl and Kaitlyn met us there to visit for a while, since they would be working the next day during Kaelyn’s birthday party. We had a fun time hanging out, swapping stories, and making s’mores._MG_8185 Saturday was Kaelyn’s birthday party, which will be a whole separate post! I will give you a sneak peek of my cute little one-year-old though:_MG_8287

Sunday was church, followed by a mostly-failed attempt to take naps, and then more time at the campground. Mom Irwin made this amazing stew in the Dutch oven over the fire. Seriously… I need to go camping just so I can eat this again._MG_8303

Love spending time with this group._MG_8306 Kaelyn didn’t have any stew, but she did put down some apple-blueberry puree. Grandma loved feeding it to her!06282015collage1We had such a great time with family. I’m excited to share pictures from Kaelyn’s party later in the week! 🙂

happy 1st birthday kaelyn!

I’m sitting here writing this on her birthday eve, barely able to believe that Kaelyn came to join our family one whole year ago.

Having our second precious daughter has made time race by faster than I could have ever imagined. My tiny, 5 pound 10 ounce baby has grown to be a strong toddler. It’s hard to imagine that she ever wore preemie-sized clothing!


I said I wasn’t going to get emotional about my second baby’s first birthday. I’ve already done this once before, and I know that as she gets older, the good times keep getting better.

But I think becoming a mom pretty much means you agree to be emotional about all things concerning your kids, so here I am.

Kaelyn, you have taught me so much in this past year. Life doesn’t need to be quite so rushed. You’ve helped me to slow down and drink in all the small, precious moments. I already knew you’d grow up too fast, so I’ve tried to savor all the baby stages, even when there were obstacles to overcome._MG_8137You are the calm to the storm of every day life. You give me peace and reassurance that I’m doing okay at this whole motherhood gig every time you smile or hold onto me with your tiny fist.

I love the way you (almost) always greet me with a giant grin and try to follow me everywhere I go. You are my little buddy.

It’s been a year of little sleep, lots of cuddles, and too many scrunchy-faced grins to count.

I’m so excited to see who you’ll become over this next year. You are my sunshine, baby girl.

Happy 1st Birthday, Kaelyn Grace!

Love, Mommy

my dog bit my baby

Yesterday afternoon, my dog bit my baby.

It happened in an instant, with a dog everyone trusted.

I’m still in shock that this really occurred.

She has a bone-deep laceration on her forehead and multiple puncture wounds on her eyelid. He just barely missed her eye.

It could have been so much worse._MG_8124 My heart is broken for my sweet girl…and the dog. I think I’ve felt just about the whole spectrum of emotions this past day and a half, from guilt to sadness to anger… and I’m certain the emotional roller coaster isn’t over yet.
However, we’ve seen so many tender mercies and blessings from the Lord through this. We know He loves us. We’ve been surrounded by family and friends who truly love our family, too.

She is going to heal. She didn’t lose her eye. She is still here with us.

I am so grateful.

We are so blessed.

party weekend!

This weekend, a couple of our favorite crazy people came to town… Jeff and Lelia!_MG_8012 Don’t worry, we know how to take a serious picture too._MG_8011

They were here for a wedding, and we definitely enjoyed having them stay with us for a couple of nights! Kaya had so much fun dancing at the reception that she’s been asking to go to another “party” every day since. Anyone else feel like getting married?

We also enjoyed some time at the pool, and I ran errands in preparation for Kaelyn’s birthday party next weekend. I feel like I’m never completely ready for hosting events like these!

Sunday morning was Father’s Day, which obviously called for homemade donuts! I’m currently loving this recipe.

Yummy donuts = happy daddy._MG_8003 He was delighted with his small surprises- a couple of candies/treats he likes, a card “signed” by Kaya, and a new photo collage poster for his cubicle at work. I feel like having personal photos really brightens up his space, and he says that people still stop and ask him about the ones he currently has hanging up!06222015collage2I didn’t get a picture of him with both his babies on Sunday… but these are two of my favorite recent ones. He loves his girls, and they definitely adore him! We could not imagine a better daddy.06222015collage1

pool babies

It was finally hot enough to go swimming last Friday, and we have been pool junkies ever since! Kaya has been asking to go every single day and never seems to get tired, even though we stay so long that we infringe on naptime. It’s so worth it to see her having fun, though!

Kaelyn figured out that if she throws her legs down really hard, the lounge chairs make them bounce back up. She might have had more fun doing this than actually swimming in the pool!

She makes this little scrunchy face on the left any time she’s really happy…collage06122015_1

Kaya had the time of her life on Friday night, because there was a little ice cream party going on. What could be better than swimming and dessert combined? She played in the water until she was shivering and still didn’t want to leave.

Kaelyn likes splashing around in the water, too, but is just as content to sit out on the chair with mommy. Her little grin gets me every time! While Daddy swam with Kaya, she read a magazine with me. It felt so good to relax!

Here’s to many more memories at the pool this summer!

Sadie Sky Boutique

dragon’s lair mini golf & the skywheel

On our last full day at the beach, we headed down to Broadway at the Beach to walk around for a bit. Mini golf was on our must-do list, so when we saw “Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Golf”, we knew we had to try it!_MG_7664Who wouldn’t want to golf inside a castle?_MG_7661 Kaya was SO excited about golfing (maybe she remembered last year?), and was big enough for her own club this time. She was persistent and made it through 14 of the 18 holes before she was just too tired to keep going._MG_7649 Cutest little putter I ever did see!_MG_7652 _MG_7651Kaelyn and Caroline were troopers in the heat and enjoyed just watching from the stroller!_MG_7658 Kaelyn’s entertainment was trying to take her hat off the entire time…_MG_7655 After naps and some more time at the beach, we headed down to the boardwalk to get some dinner. We passed a place called “New York Pizza” and stopped in. It reminded me of this little pizzeria we had in the town I grew up in, so I was hoping the pizza would be just as good. Well… it was amazing. And HUGE. And I didn’t take a picture of it because we were too busy stuffing it into our mouths…_MG_7667Afterward, we headed further down the boardwalk to ride the SkyWheel._MG_7669 Normally, I’m terrified of ferris wheels, since the cars usually seem rickety and about to fall off the hinges. The SkyWheel was all enclosed and didn’t rock at all, so I loved it. It was so beautiful to see the whole city from up there!_MG_7672Question: How many crazy people can you fit in one ferris wheel car?IMG_20150521_210253_1And that’s the last of the beach posts. It’s time to go back so I have something else interesting to write about, right?

on the beach

There’s just something magical about the beach that makes me never want to leave.

Hot sand on your toes, the clearest blue sky, and the swish-swish of the ocean current. The view of the pier, people laughing, and kids running up and down the beach.

Those things might have something to do with it._MG_7601 Hearing Kaya creep into our bed in the early hours of the morning, whispering “beach beach beach!” added a whole new level of excitement to our trip. There’s nothing like watching your children enjoy the experiences you’re providing for them._MG_7589 We spent our first morning (and second afternoon) on the beach. Poor Kaelyn started to cry the moment I put her in the sand. I definitely wasn’t expecting this reaction from my typically calm, easy-going baby!_MG_7579Baby Caroline was more than happy to just sit in the sand (and attempt to eat seashells)!
_MG_7591 Kaya definitely had the best time of anyone. She had some brand-new beach toys to try out, and everyone helped her build a little moat to play in. She was thrilled!_MG_7599 Kaya’s construction team 🙂 :_MG_7593Everyone took turns walking her down to the water to fill up her bucket…
_MG_7602 _MG_7587 _MG_7596Brittany and I sat our babies on our laps, right at the edge of the water. It was so fun to watch their reactions when the cool waves would wash over our legs!
_MG_7605 Someone was happier after some mommy cuddles and getting a turn to play with the bucket…_MG_7608 These are my favorite days._MG_7622

june 2015 goals

Well I totally dropped the ball on this. It’s halfway through the month! I think I procrastinate writing this post because I’m honestly kind of ashamed at how poorly I keep doing at checking off my goals. I either need to change my system here or make fewer goals, because every month I feel a little disappointed with how I did.

Anyway… for May:

1. Abs three times per week.

2. Plan family photos. I did this… and then we had awful weather for about a week and a half, and in that time frame I completely changed my mind about what we’re all wearing and when we’re taking these… so I need to do it again.

3. Get 50% of my 2014 photos exported. I kind of forgot about this goal…

4. Organize 3 areas. This included the girls’ closet… which should have counted as like 5 areas all on its own. So glad that’s done!

5. Complete 4 value experiences for Personal Progress. I thought I did some, but the ones I have checked off don’t have dates next to them. So maybe not. Oops.

6. Finish my Personal Progress faith value project. I am about 90% of the way there!

7. Crochet or sew something.

8. Read one book.
june2015goals1. Abs 3x’s per week.

2. Read one book.

3. Celebrate my baby girl with an awesome birthday party!

4. Make my baby an amazing cake.

5. Sew something.

6. Finish my Personal Progress faith value project.

7. Make a Shutterfly photobook.

sleepin’ on the rooftop

Or, you know, the 21st floor. Same thing, right?_MG_7564 We stayed on the 21st floor of the Oceans One Resort when we went down to Myrtle Beach! We had a spectacular view. Just don’t look directly down… you might start to get a bit of vertigo!_MG_7565Seriously… it was so wonderful to read a book out on the balcony and listen to the waves crashing below.
_MG_7566 _MG_7558We enjoyed our own room (and bathroom)! Michael and I took the bed, Kaya camped out on the floor (and didn’t mind one bit, probably because she still chooses to sleep on the floor at home!), and Kaelyn had the pack ‘n play. It was a giant room!_MG_7568We enjoyed some cable TV (mostly HGTV) 🙂 …_MG_7570 … lots of Apple Jacks cereal…_MG_7574 … and cute matching outfits!_MG_7639 Kaelyn enjoyed mostly just sitting around and taking lessons from Caroline on how to crawl._MG_7576 There were several pools and even a lazy river downstairs. Brittany and I got to enjoy some time there just by ourselves after the kids went to bed on the first night! Michael took Kaya through it the next afternoon. We all loved it!_MG_7629 Our view at night was incredible- we could even see the SkyWheel! We enjoyed the city lights and ice cream on the balcony._MG_7636

summer weekend

Summer weather is finally here, and we spent the whole weekend soaking it up. I’m behind on so many things I need to do (like blog all about our beach trip from 3 weeks ago now), but the sunshine, warmth, and whir of the window fans seem to inspire relaxation rather than productivity these days.

We kicked off the weekend with an afternoon of blowing bubbles out on the porch. I have never seen anyone get so excited about something so simple. I love her excitement over the littlest things!

On Saturday, we went to a baby shower for our neighbors! They had it down at Claytor Lake, and we had a prime, waterfront picnic spot. We got to paint onesies for the sweet new baby girl- I did a giraffe, and it turned out so cute! (I just won’t show you the heart onesie I did that looked more like blobs of paint instead of an actual design…) By the way, I can’t believe my babies ever fit in something this tiny!

We had some delicious food and some of the best lemon cupcakes!

We had one of our awesome Young Women from church over for dinner, a web coding lesson, milkshakes, and pictionary! We had a great time, and Kaya got to stay up waaay past her bedtime. Both girls ended up waking up a few times throughout the night, but thankfully, they slept in on Sunday morning. (Don’t be fooled, Kaya tucked herself in, pretended to sleep, and told me to take her picture after I told her this was cute. #definitelyaphotographerskid!)
_MG_7891Kaelyn cried a lot at church because she was so sleepy… but her cute smile and baby blue eyes make up for it, right?
_MG_7888 We ended the weekend the same way we started it… with more bubble blowing! Kaelyn caught a few and was thrilled!_MG_7893Happy Monday! 🙂