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​.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!

happy birthday to me! (29)

On my birthday, I woke up to the sweetest surprise from my best friend- flowers and my favorite candy! These, vibrant, beautiful flowers ended up lasting for about two weeks, which is quite possibly the longest I’ve ever had anything green stay alive in my house.

The girls were so very excited to surprise me, and now that Kaelyn is using sentences, she repeatedly told me “happy burtday mama!” Her soft, sincere little voice melts my heart.
My birthday was on a Sunday this year, which meant that there wouldn’t be much time for celebrating, since we have church pretty much all day long. In addition to our regular schedule, we had our special New Beginnings program for the Young Women later that night. I love church, but I honestly was feeling a little disappointed that we wouldn’t have time to do anything special together as a family.
However, my heart immediately changed when I arrived at church and saw our Young Women, all excitedly shouting “happy birthday!” After all my previous feelings of disappointment, I realized that being with these amazing young ladies was right where I wanted (and probably needed) to spend my birthday. I made cinnamon rolls to bring to New Beginnings that evening, and we had a fun and uplifting day.
Later in the week, my mom came up to throw a belated mini birthday party for me. She read the girls all the books they asked her to and even played some games with them. No one can resist kissing these cheeks!And no one wants to nap when grandparents come to visit… until this happens:
My mom brought me a cookies and cream cake with fluffy, whipped frosting!My girls were so excited to have a tiny party for their mommy. I really can’t believe that all three of these little sweethearts are mine.
My mom gets all the credit for putting this birthday together! We’ve got some crazy blowing-out-the-candles faces, that’s for sure. My mom spoiled me with some potholders, kitchen utensils, and a shirt. The kids were so into helping me open everything that it almost turned into a race!

That’s the end of the birthday shenanigans. Here’s to making the last year of my twenties amazing!

nella’s blessing day

Our little Nella Joy received her baby blessing a few weeks ago! I had a really hard time narrowing down which photos to post… but that’s not really a problem when your baby is just so sweet and perfect, right?

Grandma Gina crocheted this gorgeous dress and headband. I’m lucky to have such a talented mother-in-law! The blanket and her booties were made by her Great-Grandma Teerlink. Great-Grandma crocheted and stored away a plethora of baby items for all of her future great-grandbabies, including those born after she passed away. I’m so grateful that even though she isn’t here on earth anymore, Nella still has these special gifts from her.
I’m so overwhelmed with love for this sweet angel.
Kaya and Kaelyn were so excited for Nella’s special day, too! Grandpa Skip, Grandma Gina, and Grandma Debbie all came up to be there for her blessing. We love having family visit, especially for memorable days like these. Michael gave her the most beautiful blessing. I always cry during our babies’ blessings, so it was no surprise that tears welled up in my eyes when he carried her up to the front of the chapel. I had a sense of just how precious our youngest daughter truly is, and I’m so grateful she came to our family.

We sure do love you, Nella Joy!

christmas day 2016

I’m writing about our Christmas day about 3.5 weeks after the fact, but hey, this way, I get to relive our special family moments over again. Christmas morning seems to become more fun each year as our kids grow older. Their excitement seems to multiply exponentially with age, and I truly wish this trend could continue forever.

As usual, Michael and I stayed up far too late on Christmas Eve (it was nearly 3 am when we finally crawled into bed), cleaning the house and wrapping gifts. It just seems like there’s always so much to do in preparation for a holiday.

Thankfully, the girls slept in until about 8 am. I’m sure they won’t always be willing to stay in bed so long on future Christmas mornings! I felt so grateful to have these three little girls of mine under the tree this year. Everyone was anxious to dive into opening gifts. Kaelyn instantly cuddled all of her new stuffed animals. Kaya received various Hello Kitty paraphernalia (a water bottle, a plush, and a jewelry box)…  Kitty Surprise! This Puppy Surprise was the only thing Kaelyn asked for for Christmas. She had talked about it every day for at least a month, and I was so excited to see her open it. Of course, we had to immediately count how many babies were in her tummy! This little girl was the puppy queen this Christmas.I just can’t get through a holiday without gifting something educational!Kaya had been asking for a “camper truck” for about 4 months. She loves to visit Grandma Gina and Grandpa Skip in their real camper when they come out to visit, so she wanted one for her little bunnies to drive around, too.The girls’ big combined gift was a Furreal Friends baby dragon! Her name is Torch, and they love taking care of her every day.This gift was Michael’s favorite- a STEM robot mouse. He’s already preparing their young minds for coding!
When you’re an adult, you get very excited about new slippers.I’d call this “the slipper Christmas”, since we all received new ones. I love those fuzzy little feet on each end.
We had our traditional snowmen donuts, but this was probably the fastest we’d ever eaten them, since we had to be on our way to church before long.
Church only lasted about 45 minutes, and then we returned home to play, nap, and cook a Christmas meal.My favorite gift this year goes without saying…
I love having a new baby at Christmastime, because it helps me remember our Savior’s birth even more often. This little angel had a wonderful first Christmas. I’m so grateful to have her.We really do love her so very much.
I made our traditional pot roast, mashed potatoes, veggies, and biscuits.I think Kaya and Kaelyn ate more M&Ms than anything else on Christmas day.We ended the evening with choco-mint freeze, cuddles, and my sweet Kaya telling me how happy she was. I love celebrating this most special day with my sweetheart and my babies.

weekend

The weather on Friday evening was perfectly cool, so we started our weekend off with some outdoor playtime and daddy-daughter snuggles in the hammock. Sometimes, you smile so big that you just can’t keep your eyes open…_MG_3034Of course, they had to do a silly pose for me, too.
_MG_3035 Saturday morning was the hottest we’ve seen of this season so far. I got in a 6.5-mile run, and Michael went out to work in the yard and also help a new family at church with moving. While he was out, Kaya pleaded with me to “do preschool”, so yes, we did some “math” on a Saturday. We played this game and she loved it!_MG_3043

On Saturday night, Michael was the pianist for a baptism, and then we had a family date to Red Robin. Kaya was so excited and kept exclaiming “family date! family date!” all while we were out. I’m so glad she loves spending time together.

We ran some errands at Walmart, Home Depot, and Target, and I picked up some paint chip samples to take home. I really wish we would have gotten some actual sample paint to test out on the walls… but it was already late and we still had a couple of stops to make, so hopefully we can take care of that one night this week.

Sunday morning came too early for all of us. In fact, I randomly woke up at 5:45 to find Michael still asleep next to me, when he was supposed to be ready to head to bishopric meetings at 6 am. Luckily, he’s quick to get ready, so he was still on time.We miraculously arrived at church about 5 minutes earlier than we usually do! I gave a talk in sacrament meeting on “the importance of a living prophet”. I was very nervous and basically just ended up reading from my notes, but I received some positive comments afterward, so it must not have been all that bad! 😉

Kaya drew this picture in her sunbeam class! I have been so impressed to see how her art has evolved from just circles and random scribbles into recognizable forms.06122016 We ended the weekend with lots of book-reading and even more snuggles. This little princess is becoming a real daddy’s girl._MG_3046

five on friday: christmas edition

We’ve been doing a lot of little things to get ready for Christmas over these past few weeks… so I thought I’d combine them all into a nice, neat list for Friday. I can’t believe Christmas is only one week away now!

ONE. Kaya had her preschool Christmas party this week! She made so many fun things, including a snowman, a Santa ornament shaped from her hand, and rice krispies Christmas trees! She had such a fun time.

(Kaya’s is on the far right)

TWO. Kaya’s been doing several fun Christmas-themed crafts this month! My favorites were this Santa ornament and this paper-plate tree 🙂_MG_0348 _MG_0349

THREE. We had our ward Christmas party a few weekends ago… and I never wrote anything about it because I took about two photos from the whole thing. Kaya was SO excited that the table centerpiece was a jar of candy canes. She also was given the foil-covered cardboard star from the nativity play to take home… and her night was made.

FOUR. Kaya attended another free Lowe’s Build and Grow activity on Saturday, and made her very own holiday train! She’s getting really good at these building projects- Michael said she drove most of the nails in herself this time (with close supervision, of course)!

FIVE. It seems like we’ve spent a lot of time at the grocery store, stocking up on baking supplies for Christmas treats and ingredients for our holiday dinner. My little reindeer babies just love riding in the special car cart.

At Food Lion, Kaya even got to push her very own kid-sized cart for the first time. Of course, Kitty (or “Meowy”, as he’s known lately), had to ride in the cart, along with all our bags of chocolate chips. And yes, we really bought that many.

7 more days!

conference weekend

We had a fantastic weekend, filled with plenty of family time… and RAIN! I had a nice, chilly run in the rain on Saturday morning, but I’m so glad the worst of the weather skipped over us.

Friday afternoon, we walked over to the grocery store, and I let Kaya pick out a mini pumpkin to paint. She asked to paint it all day long, but there just wasn’t time after we had naps and dinner. On Saturday morning, she was more than ready to get started! I have never seen anyone so excited to paint a pumpkin! 🙂_MG_9404 She really did a fantastic job, if you ask me._MG_9403We also enjoyed watching General Conference! I love hearing from our modern-day Prophet and apostles. There were so many inspiring quotes, but this was a favorite of mine:12108996_10153551990901550_540695057927460055_nMichael went to the priesthood session late on Saturday night. He came home with the brightest flowers I’ve ever seen in his hand- a surprise for me! He chose these for me because he felt they reflect my “colorful and energetic personality” and wanted to make me smile. Awww. _MG_9415 We all slept in on Sunday morning (that’s no small miracle around here), and I whipped up some donuts for a special breakfast. Kaya insisted on putting the sprinkles on by herself!_MG_9408 We enjoyed more of Conference cuddled up on the couch together. I love these crazy cuties._MG_9421Lest you think we’ve become too serious… _MG_9427 Grandma Gina and Grandpa Skip came into town late Sunday afternoon, and they had some birthday presents for Kaya. She was so excited for it to be “her birthday” again and is over-the-moon in love with this Baby Margaret (from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood)._MG_9447Kaya ended the weekend by making up her own song about brushing your teeth:

she made up her own teeth-brushing song! I'd say she has some talent 🙂 10.04.2015

A video posted by Tara (@tarairwin) on

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 lds.org)

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!)

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!

easter baskets and brunch

Our Easter Sunday was filled with family, good food, and General Conference! We went to bed with our tummies and hearts so full… and isn’t that when you just know you’ve had one of the best days?

I was up earlier than everyone else to get started on some donuts for brunch later, so I was pretty excited while waiting for my girls to wake up and see their baskets. I was straightening up in the living room when Kaya leaned over the gate to her room and said “Hellooo. Clean up?” I probably rushed her out of her room too quickly because I was so happy to see her awake!

It was this little sweetie’s last “first” holiday! She loved the eggs and wrapping on the baskets.
_MG_6968 _MG_6971 Kaya wanted to make some ice cream cones right away!_MG_6975 … and then this happened. Haha.icecream04052015 Kaelyn mostly just loved playing with her basket and wouldn’t have cared if we never even opened it!_MG_6977 “Ooo… Owaf!”_MG_6982 _MG_6984 Kaelyn only wanted her sippy cup…_MG_6987 … and Kaya was ready to take all her toys (which is nothing out of the ordinary, anway)!_MG_6986 _MG_6990 We also surprised Michael with a basket! I gave it to Kaya, and she ran out of the den yelling “PRISE!!!” She was so happy to show Daddy what she had for him. 🙂_MG_6993 _MG_6996 These might not be the prettiest donuts, but they were delicious for sure. You don’t need a donut pan, and they’re baked, not fried! If you love cinnamon-sugar, give these a try (recipe here)._MG_7008 Jeff and Lelia brought waffles; Mom and Dad brought bacon and strawberries, and we had a feast! Everything was so delicious. Kaya probably ate a pound of strawberries!

_MG_6999 Grandma had some good cuddle time with the girls!_MG_7002 We tried to get a good picture of them in the matching skirts I made, but Kaya just wasn’t in the mood for it. We tried to bribe her with M&Ms, and Kaelyn was so anxious to try and get hold of some!_MG_7014Oh well. We all had such a great holiday together!
_MG_7016Hope you had a fantastic Easter!

Sadie Sky Boutique