anniversary shenanigans (2017)

From the very beginning of my half marathon training, I told Michael that the first time I ran ten miles, we would be going to Red Robin for dinner. Well, that first 10-mile Saturday fell on our anniversary weekend, so we counted it as our family date for the month and headed out for a special meal.

I think we’ve only been on four dates without the kids since Kaya was born… so obviously, they came along. I like including them in celebrating our anniversary, anyway. According to Kaya, it’s our “family’s birthday!”

Kaya really looks forward to eating the broccoli there (although I don’t think it’s any different than the broccoli we make at home)!

We accomplished a lot of other things around the house that weekend- Michael started putting new shutters on the house, I cleaned, and Nella did what babies do best… ūüėČOur actual anniversary was that next Monday, and Michael surprised me with some flowers! I love getting potted plants- these should last for a long time (hopefully)!I had to run some errands that evening, and while I was gone, Michael and the girls made square shooter cookies……as well as a pretty big mess!Seriously, who couldn’t love a guy who bakes surprise cookies? I’m so grateful to have Michael in my life, and I love our simple anniversary celebration. ¬†Maybe once we get to ten years, we’ll do something a little more exciting, but for now, this weekend was perfect.

five on friday (03/17)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

ONE. Daylight Savings was so good to us on Sunday. Afternoon church is a big struggle with little kids who are missing their naps, but skipping ahead an hour and having a little “extra” sunshine (and lollipops) made everyone a little less cranky‚Äč.And yes, I love matching dresses with my baby.
TWO.¬†In honor of “Pi Day”, we made a chocolate chip cookie pie (with this crust) to bring to our youth mutual activity on Tuesday night. If you like gooey amazingness… this is the perfect pie.

Kaelyn actually rolled out the crust herself and did a great job (all while making the silliest faces)!THREE.¬†Once a month for¬†past few months, Michael has been holding training meetups for a company named Docker. There, he teaches some of the latest software development practices. Our girls are obsessed with their whale logo, and when Nella was born, they actually sent a onesie just for her. This baby looks so good in blue!Michael had his meeting this week, which coincided with Docker’s birthday. He needed to bring cupcakes, so naturally, the girls and I whipped some up. Yellow cake with chocolate buttercream might be my current favorite combination.

FOUR.¬†Michael has been painting our bedroom this week, and apparently reviewing the alphabet with Kaya at the same time! Haha. If you’re thinking that this blue looks the same as the color in the office, you’re right. I’m kind of obsessed with it, but I promise this is the last room in the house that’s going to be blue.

FIVE. Of course, we had to make some art for St. Patrick’s Day! The girls finger painted rainbows and we learned a little bit about the holiday and the mythological leprechauns.Kaelyn’s art was a little more abstract, but I still love it (and her silly faces)!

Happy weekend!

five on friday (02/24)

There hasn’t been a whole lot of blogging over here this week… Sad! Having three kids can be busy, so¬†if I don’t schedule¬†time for it, it doesn’t happen. The USB receiver for my keyboard and mouse also mysteriously turned up snapped in half this week, so my computer wasn’t even usable. Life with kids! You know I wouldn’t have it any other way, though.

ONE. This little baby is falling more in love with her daddy every single day, and he’s fallen head over heels for her, too. She’ll spot him from across the room, fix¬†her gaze on him, and smile until he notices her. Michael bonds with our babies the most once they start smiling and interacting with him (you know, after the first few months, when they’re essentially eating and pooping machines)! I’ve loved seeing them grow closer, and I look forward to seeing her light up for him when he comes home from work each day.

TWO. There’s nothing better than making cookies on a rainy day… unless they’re Hello Kitty cookies! I never ever buy cookie mix, but when I saw this, I knew how excited the girls would be, so I splurged. They loved putting the edible stickers on! I enjoy doing these little projects with them. THREE. Kaelyn has started tracing letters! I let her decide if she wants to participate when Kaya and I do school, and usually she does. This week, she got out her alphabet book and started matching the correct stickers to the letters and actually writing them. I get so excited to see her learning! FOUR. These kids are still crazy for the Kangaroo Kids program. They are on the go for the entire hour, but I did get them to sit still for one picture in this little boat ball pit.

FIVE. We’ve been having some amazingly warm weather here this week. We’ve been soaking up the sunshine (although, having summer-like temperatures in February does make me a little nervous about how hot the actual summer will be), going on walks, and enjoying time at the playground. I think I feel closest to my kids when we’re outside, playing and exploring together.Nella has loved riding in the stroller and being able to see the world! This means that Kaya is on foot now, but she’s a pretty good little runner and even likes to help push the stroller.

Happy weekend!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (01/13)

ONE. Michael gave me a KitchenAid stand mixer for Christmas (the best gift ever, second only to my DSLR, am I right?), so baking lately has been even more fun.

Kaya and Kaelyn have been my little baking buddies from the days they were each old enough to stand¬†up at the counter on a step stool. I’m so glad they love to help combine ingredients, melt butter in the microwave (Kaya), and taste-test the batter. I cherish our time spent in the kitchen together.TWO. I go upstairs for a few minutes and come back to a girl who painted her face with ketchup! I’m pretty sure Daddy encouraged this one, but there’s no limit on¬†her art media¬†– Greek yogurt is also fantastic for making messy, fake mustaches. Who knew?THREE.¬†This girl makes a double chin look like the most adorable feature in the entire world…

FOUR. What better way is there to do school than in your pajamas? We had a very cold and snowy start to the week, so I let the girls stay comfy. Honestly, I think they’re both a little obsessed with their jammies and would stay in them all the time if they were allowed.

FIVE. Apparently, being tickled by your big sister is one of the funniest things! I adore¬†how much my big girls love taking care of Nella. They’re always concerned about her happiness, and they’re constantly teaching her new things. They already have this intense, unshakable bond between them, for which I am so grateful.

Happy Friday!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

gingerbread cookies 2016

I’m just going to keep talking about Christmas, partly because I still have a lot to document, and partly because I’m not completely ready to admit that the holiday season is over! Cookies, Christmas carols, and spending extra time together as a family are my favorite things.

Kaya was eager to help roll out the gingerbread dough this year. I thought she was still a little too young, but she actually did a great job for being just four years old.
Now Kaelyn is¬†old enough to help cut out cookies! They were both just a little excited. ūüėČSilicone baking mats will change your life… I didn’t break a single cookie this year!After they were all baked, we started decorating. Michael and the girls were only able to do a few before it was bedtime, so I ended up finishing most of them.
We ended up with exactly 60 gingerbread cookies, and we gave away all but 5 or so! Here were some of my favorites:Michael made that adorable little house on the left; Kaya did the multicolored bear, and it seems like it’s become some odd tradition that I make that blonde swimsuit girl. I really love seeing each of us express our¬†creativity so differently.

five on friday (10/21)

ONE. You’d never know it by looking at the dreary, windy weather today, but we’ve actually had a week filled with 80-degree temperatures and glorious sunshine. I really do enjoy the cooler fall days, but having it be a little warmer has helped us get outside and do a lot of walking.¬†_mg_6171TWO. Kaelyn loves to choose her own outfits, and this week, her fashion sense even extended into the realm of hair accessories. She insisted on wearing these huge, mismatched bows… but I honestly think she could make anything look adorable._mg_6105

THREE. Speaking of hair, if you forget to brush this little baby’s hair after a¬†bath, it turns itself into a spiky ‘do. She actually had a couple of curls when she was born, and seeing this almost makes me wonder¬†if she might become a curly girl¬†too as she gets a little older._mg_6091 _mg_6094

FOUR. I think we bake something just about every week lately (even if it is always just pumpkin muffins or cookie dough), and these two little girls love having that special time with me. I love how much they enjoy helping in the kitchen!_mg_6050

FIVE.¬†I have to end this¬†with more baby lips… because I just cannot resist this sweet face and snuggles on a rainy day.

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (10/14)

ONE. I guess everything pre-Nella is old news, but I never got to blog about our weekend just before she arrived. Michael and I were able to sneak away for one last date night while his parents watched our girls, and that’s worth writing about, because we don’t go out together nearly as often as we should!

He tagged along for a family photoshoot I had that evening, and then we enjoyed dinner and dessert together. I’m so grateful for those few special hours that we had, just the two of us, to really talk and be together before our sweet baby came.img_20161001_180411-01

TWO. We’ve been keeping it really laid-back over here, so we haven’t done any “official” school this week, but we did make some pumpkin stamp art! My girls love any kind of art project that has to do with paint._mg_6033Here’s Kaya’s little pumpkin patch. I love the super-smiley ones!kayapumpkinstampsTHREE. We made our favorite pumpkin bread into muffins this week! I cut out 1/2 cup of the sugar and substituted in more whole wheat flour than white, and they still turned out amazing.Kaelyn almost couldn’t wait until they cooled down to try one!
_mg_6020FOUR. Kaya is all about the alphabet lately. She reads letters everywhere we go, and will make them out of anything she can. On this day, she told me that her sandwich was the letter C!_mg_6045She also likes to make “smiles” out of her apple slices. ūüôā

FIVE. You didn’t think I’d get through a whole post without sharing a baby picture, did you? I’m pretty much obsessed with these lips and her warm, snuggly little body. In a way, I still can’t believe this precious little girl is all ours forever. We sure do love her.

Happy weekend!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (09/30)

ONE. We made our very first pumpkin bread of the season this morning! Kaelyn was very excited to help (i.e. dump flour and spices out of the bowl and onto the counter), and it turned out tasting just as heavenly as ever. There’s just something about a rainy morning and the scent of warm pumpkin¬†that make it really feel like fall. This little sweetie couldn’t get enough of licking the batter!

TWO. Speaking of pumpkins, the girls have painted mini ones twice now. I saw some at Food Lion and decided to surprise them, and they eagerly decorated¬†them. We set them outside to dry… and then it rained, and all their hard work was erased. Luckily, they were excited that they had the chance to do it again, instead of being sad that their masterpieces were destroyed.

Can you tell what Kaelyn’s favorite color is?¬†_mg_5388

THREE. Sometimes, Michael will randomly snap a picture of the girls when he’s taking my weekly belly picture, and lately, I’ve been surprised with some really cute ones when I upload photos from my memory card. Kaya has been so excited to wear the new “button jacket” (denim jacket) that she got for her birthday!_mg_5407FOUR. My friend, Bianca, surprised Kaya with some kinetic sand for her birthday, and these girls love it. They’ve been making cookies and having invisible people over to come eat them. I love their imaginations, haha!_mg_5400

FIVE. We’ve had a couple of “picnics” (a.k.a. any time the girls eat their sandwiches anywhere other than home) this week! Kaya and Kaelyn love doing this, even though it’s the same old lunch that they always have. I had nearly back-to-back doctor appointments on Wednesday, and we had just enough time to stop at the park to eat.

Happy Friday!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (09/02)

I only have six more Fridays before my due date. SIX! With how quickly time is passing, this little baby will be here before we know it! Here’s our top five from the week:

ONE. We’ve done more baking this week than we have in the past few months combined (which honestly¬†isn’t a whole lot, due to my weird pregnancy aversions and nausea). I love to create in the kitchen, and I’m so glad my girls do too. Baking also makes for great impromptu “math” lessons! ūüôā_MG_4829 I’m just not sure how a third girl is going to fit at the counter in a couple of years…_MG_4833

TWO. We had a church chili cook-off last weekend, and everything tasted amazing. I think my girls missed out because they mostly just ate chips and cornbread! A couple days later, chili still sounded so good to me that we made more. We also tried out this cornbread recipe, and it was perfect!

THREE. We did the letter G for preschool this week, and the girls loved learning all about goats. These little “goats in grass” crafts turned out so cute!_MG_4836 FOUR. Kaelyn has been full of snuggles, hugs, and kisses more than ever lately. I think Michael’s expression also pretty accurately represents how we’ve all felt lately!_MG_4835 FIVE. We went shopping for Halloween costumes yesterday! Halloween seems so close (yet so far away), and I’m so glad we could check this to-do item off our list. Kaya loved trying on as many costumes as she could (even though she actually chose one pretty quickly)!IMG_20160901_155156 Kaelyn only wanted to try on the pink poodle and strawberry costumes. I had a hard time buying just one of them for her because seriously… does it get any cuter than this? She kept kissing and hugging the puppy costume and barking for the rest of the day!IMG_20160901_170442

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (08/26)

ONE. Our house has been in all sorts of disarray this week as we’ve gotten some serious painting done! The girls’ room is finished- I’m so excited and a little relieved! I picked out their bunk beds and a new dresser for them to share, so we’re just waiting for delivery on those. It’s all coming together!

Kaya is a painting enthusiast and insists on helping!_MG_4596

Painting buddies! ūüôā_MG_4598

TWO. To go right along with painting, one of the young men at church told me he’d help out with priming the basement in exchange for homemade cinnamon rolls. How could I say no to that deal? I haven’t made these in a long time, but they turned out just as delectable as ever. Kaya helped mix up the dough and was obsessed with having “cinnamons” for dessert and breakfast.

THREE. I know that summer is practically over, but we got the girls their own kiddie pool this week! I’ve been wanting to get one for a while, but just haven’t been out to Target, so when we were there this week, I squished this thing in the back of the car and brought it home. They were beyond excited!_MG_4806


Kaya wanted to continuously slide down into the water. I’m actually surprised that she loves doing this, because any other time, if even a drop of water touches her face, she panics. I guess the adrenaline rush is worth getting a little extra wet!_MG_4814

FOUR. Kaelyn has been all about this baby doll this week. She nurses her, puts real diapers on her, and brings her everywhere. I think this is great big sister training! (We’ve also skipped a couple of naps this week, hence her passing out on the couch!)_MG_4777

FIVE. We had a play date at the mall playground with some good friends, and afterward, my girls and I had a little indoor picnic. They think it’s so much fun to eat their sandwiches somewhere other than at home- and of course, I had to spoil each of them with a cookie from the bakery. It’s little things like this that make me wish they never had to get any older.08252016collageI also wish I had a never-ending supply of these brownies…

Happy Friday!!!

Linking up here, here, and here today!