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… 😉Our 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 (04/28)

It’s the final Friday of April… what?! We’re already moving past spring into summer, and I can’t believe how the time is flying by.

ONE. We’ve had a tremendous amount of rain here for the past week and half, so when the sun finally came out again, we were more than willing to run outside! This little princess is the calmest baby. She’s happy to just sit in the stroller and watch everyone else play or work. That little tongue!

TWO. Between Michael being out of town and then all the rain, there wasn’t an ideal time to cut the grass this week, so our yard was starting to look a bit like a jungle. Michael was working late on Wednesday night, so I decided to mow the lawn as a surprise for him. This was my first time ever mowing the whole thing on my own, and I won’t tell you how long it actually took me to finish… but Michael was so happy and I felt pretty accomplished for getting it done. Plus, this totally counts as cross-training for my half marathon, right? Kaya took the picture- she’s getting good!

THREE. Speaking of my half marathon… Overall, I’m still feeling really pumped up and excited about it, and training is going well. I ran nine miles this morning, which is my furthest-ever distance. Running greater distances makes me want to nap more, and my appetite is a lot larger, too. #runallthemiles #takeallthenaps #eatallthefood

Needless to say, I was pretty happy when we all went out for Chinese after my long run last week! We’ve been trying to have one “family date” out for dinner each month, and it’s really been fun for all of us.

Don’t be fooled by all that chicken on her plate… Kaelyn pretty much gorges herself on Jello every time. Good thing she’s still only two and free!

FOUR. Anytime we go anywhere, Kaelyn loves pretending to drive… …and if you can’t drive the real car, a pretend one is a good substitute! Both girls love getting this grocery cart at Kroger. I’ll admit, it makes running errands a lot more fun!

FIVE. When your dog starts to shake off in the middle of you snapping a photo… haha!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. 🙂

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!

tall towers and pizza bigger than my face

My in-laws came up to visit this past weekend! As always, we had a really great time with them. They arrived late on Friday night, after the kids were already in bed (disclaimer: just because they were in bed does not mean they were sleeping…)

Mom went with Michael and Kaya to her final gymnastics class on Saturday morning. After running, I made a new batch of muffins for Dad- they’re his favorite, and he eats them for breakfast and lunch when he visits.

After everyone came home, had eaten, and got cleaned up, we headed out to the children’s museum. Grandpa was really into the jumbo-sized blocks.

They built the tallest towers together (and had fun knocking them down of course)!

Shopping with Grandma! Kaelyn wasn’t quite her peppy self (we thought maybe she was teething, but it might have actually been the start of a cold…).

We came home, and the kids took much-needed naps while Dad and I played some Wii! At dinnertime, they insisted that we take advantage of their offer to babysit and go on a date (we only ever seem to go out on our own when they’re here to watch the kids)!

We ended up driving around for about 20 minutes before we could make a decision on where to go! We ended up at this little locally-owned Italian place that we had gone to once before Kaya was born, and then forgotten about. It turned out to be the perfect choice, and since we never really go out as just the two of us, we totally splurged. Mozzarella sticks for appetizers! 

And then I ordered two slices of pizza and they turned out to be bigger than my face. I seriously ate this pizza for three meals… and it was consistently delicious!02272016collage2

We saved room for this triple chocolate cake. Best cake ever. I’d order a whole cake for every one of my future birthdays if I could.

We returned home to find a crazy game of “hide and seek” going on. And then Grandpa taught Kaya how to “lose” her thumb while sucking it, and then blow on it to get it to reappear. This girl was cracking up.collage02272016We enjoyed going to church together on Sunday, and after lunch, they headed home. We can’t wait to see them again in a few weeks!

five on friday: driving, swimming, dating

Another week has come and gone! I will never cease to be amazed at how fast time goes once you become a mom.

ONE. My babies have actually started playing together. Everyone told me about how magical it would be… and they were right, it’s true! Kaya has been giving Kaelyn nearly-endless rides in the cozy coupe this week and they are both loving it. I’m loving how happy they are and that they can entertain themselves for short periods of time (total honesty here)!_MG_8549TWO. Kaya’s mantra this week: “I’m so excited!” She’s been saying it in anticipation of so many things, but the best time had to be when we were at the pool and she was dancing around! They just built a new wading pool over there, and it’s perfect for both my babies to play in.

THREE. We went on a date this week, just the two of us! I know that this shouldn’t be something monumental… but we can count the number of dates we’ve gone on sans kids on one hand since Kaya was born. Ridiculous, I know. At least we’re making the effort now!

We went to Buffalo Wild Wings (only after finding out that my favorite Greek restaurant was closed) and shared what they call the “sampler”. Mmmmm.

FOUR. We finished up our guinea pig sitting yesterday! We had such a fun time looking after these two sweet girls. Kaya already misses visiting them and has even asked me for our own guinea pigs. All I have to say is… we’ll have to see 🙂FIVE. Sometimes it’s rough being a big sister._MG_8568Happy FRIDAY! 🙂

Linking up with April today!

first date and a woodland adventure

My in-laws came up for Easter weekend and camped nearby, which meant that we got to have a whole lot of fun, do a little bit of hiking, and take advantage of some free babysitting! All that pretty much equals a perfect weekend.

On Friday night, Michael and I headed out for our first date with just the two of us in two years. Crazy! I cannot believe how fast that time has gone by. We headed to Cracker Barrel and somehow ended our date by goofing off in the toy aisle at Walmart. We apparently don’t need to have the kids with us to still act like kids…
Processed with VSCOcam with a10 presetWe visited Mom and Dad at the campground, and enjoyed walking some of the trails. Kaya walked over a mile and a half all on her own, which is so far for such little legs! She also enjoyed riding on Grandpa’s shoulders. 🙂Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset I love the mountains, especially in spring.Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset Grandma made matching “Easter” hats for the girls. Seriously… how cute is my baby? I love everything about her happy little face!baba04042015We had a fantastic Easter Sunday too, but there are so many pictures that it’ll have to be another post! We definitely love our family time.

a whole lot of lately

We haven’t been up to anything too crazy lately, other than trying to survive these dog days of winter. We’ve been making the most of our small family activities, which helps the dreary days go by a little more smoothly! I keep daydreaming about spring, taking walks, and playing on the playground… but we still have a little while before then!

Last week, we had a family date to Dairy Queen… one of our favorite places for sure! We tried the new Birthday Cake Oreo blizzard, and I’m telling you, it tasted just like eating a can of frosting. A delicious, amazing, dreamy can of frosting. #yesIjustreferredtofrostingasdreamyProcessed with VSCOcam with j6 preset We’ve made more whole wheat waffles (with a cup of chocolate chips added to the batter) in the past two weeks than we probably have in the past two years. I have to give Michael credit for making a few batches (and adding sprinkles or M&Ms to make these even more fun)!_MG_6048 - Copy Kaelyn has been blowing “raspberries” at us nonstop lately…_MG_6068And the rest of the time, we’ve just been super sleepyheads. Last Wednesday, both girls took a very long morning nap… which is so out of the ordinary, especially for Kaya! My only guess is that there may be some growth spurts going on. Nevertheless, it was nice to have a few quiet morning hours!01142015collageMichael came home on Wednesday night and passed out on the floor. Kaya tucked him in with her Olaf blanket, and then proceeded to lay down on top of him!_MG_6079We ended the week with this incredible Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread I made for seminary breakfast on Friday! It was just like a coffee cake, but so much easier! I doubled it and baked it in a 9×13 pan.Processed with VSCOcam with a5 presetWhat’s your favorite thing to bake in winter?


five on friday: poptarts, snail mail and ice cream

Five great moments:

ONE. Because I can’t text without making a million typos… and we think poo jokes are hilarious (#yeswearefiveyearsold). I’m glad Michael has the same weird sense of humor I do.

IMG_20140407_140718TWO. Speaking of pootarts poptarts, someone had her first taste of them while we were all sick. If it comes down to eating poptarts or not eating anything… well… at least she (happily) got some calories._MG_1926 _MG_1928

THREE. Suddenly, the grass is green and spring is HERE! We’ve been playing outside every day and I don’t know what we ever did being cooped up inside for all six months of winter.

_MG_1974FOUR. Does anyone still get excited for snail mail these days? I’m super pumped because I used to get Better Homes and Gardens magazine, but never renewed… so they sent me a deal to renew for three years for under $10 total. If it gets cheaper than that, I haven’t seen it!

FIVE. Michael took us on a date to Coldstone, and our little sweets-monster just couldn’t wait to dig in!Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetHave a sweet weekend!

Linking up with Natasha, April, Christina, and Darci today!

my valentines

When I was a kid, Valentine’s Day was a day for the whole family to get treats and feel a little extra loved. While Michael and I have never really gone out of our way to celebrate it, it’s a day I’ve always enjoyed.

This year, it was even more fun with to share it with Kaya! My friend Amanda hosted a Valentine’s-themed play date for all our kids on Tuesday, and I baked some chocolate sugar cookie hearts to bring. It was my first time using royal icing to outline and fill the cookies, and I think it actually went pretty well!

_MG_1287 _MG_1289On Valentine’s Day itself, the snow finally melted a little, and the roads were finally clear enough to escape our house. Since Kaya has still been struggling to sleep, we decided to have a “driving date”. She passed out, and we might’ve had both Subway cookies and Dairy Queen…IMG_20140214_173957

SInce we were snowed in for my birthday, it felt great to get out and finally enjoy time together.
IMG_20140214_181400 (2)While we were out, Michael also surprised me with my birthday present- a Kindle Paperwhite! I’ve already done more “fun reading” in the past week than I have in the past couple years. I’m definitely going to love using it when I have a newborn to nurse around the clock in a few months 🙂

Next Valentine’s Day, Michael will have three princesses to spoil!

five on friday: ice, ice cream, baby

ONE. Obviously, our most exciting part of the week was announcing our pregnancy! We got a whole lot of love, both in real life and on social media. I’m feeling so blessed and excited to be able to share this special time with everyone.


TWO. I feel like I’ve been talking about the weather a lot on here lately, so forgive me… but how can I not, when I have a sheet of ice on the INSIDE of my sliding glass door? It’s become a game for me to keep opening the weather app to see if I can capture a screenshot with the lowest temperature (clearly, there must not be much to do here in the winter in the mountains…)


THREE. This is actually from last week… but it’s just too adorable to not post. We had a date to Dairy Queen, and after a few bites of sweet sugary goodness, Kaya performed the craziest little dance.

I love our family date nights.IMG_20140113_192833

FOUR. The weather may be dismal, but on the bright side, we’ve enjoyed cuddling up with blankets and Jax! Sometimes, he rests his head gently over my tummy, right where the baby is. I love it. I could not have asked for a sweeter dog.IMG_20140122_114245 FIVE. I’m also in love with this picture Michael quickly took of us on Monday. I’m trying really hard to get into pictures, because I know that one day our kids will look back and want to see them. These are precious moments 🙂_MG_1085

Happy weekend! 🙂

Linking up with Natasha, April, Christina, and Darci today!