five on friday (06/16)

ONE. Without fail, nearly every time we venture out on a walk, someone says, “Wow, that’s a lot!”, referencing my stroller full of kids with a puppy tied to it. I rarely ever see another mom out in our neighborhood with three kids (or more), so around here, I guess this looks like a lot to handle. Yes, we are those crazy (and probably too loud) people walking through the neighborhood. Sometimes it’s hard to get where we’re going without a struggle or a meltdown, but I love getting outside with my babies. Most of the time, we’re having fun.

TWO. It’s no secret that I like blowing bubbles even more than my kids do. I always try to convince someone to run around and catch them as they float over the playground. Kaelyn usually takes some time to play with me, and I thought that this picture actually turned out pretty neat.

THREE. Nella’s been melting my heart since 2016… and now that she’s got two tiny teeth, it’s even easier! She’s still too little for everything at the playground except for the infant swing, but she’s just as content to sit with me and watch everything around her.

FOUR. I love hearing Michael practice the piano, and it’s even better when Kaelyn sits next to him and gently taps on the keys. She never slams on them or makes a ton of noise. She’s very careful and deliberate with her “piano playing”.

FIVE. This little girl… she absolutely cracks me up. She accidentally broke Daddy’s measuring tape a week or two ago, and she was so sad and remorseful over it for the rest of the day. I asked her about it again a couple of days ago, and she was so silly that I had to record her. She also talks about her birthday for the remaining two minutes of this video, which is equally adorable.

Happy Friday!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (06/02)

ONE. We kicked off our week with celebrating Memorial Day! It was so nice to have Michael home for an extra day, and although we didn’t do too much of anything, I enjoyed having a little more family time. Michael did some work on the house (still replacing shutters), and I took the girls out for a walk and to the playground. I think Michael was glad to have some uninterrupted time to get things done, and hey, I always love playing outside with my kids. I love when Kaya asks me to swing with her.
Her new trick is “twisting around” on the swing and going in all different directions!

TWO. On Tuesday, the library in a neighboring town held a special petting zoo event, so we headed out to see the animals. It was so insanely busy there that people were parking and walking to it from far up the street, which meant that there really wasn’t a lot of time for each child to pet the animals. Kaya was in love with this little goat though, and she loved feeding her some grass.

THREE. We have our own zoo at home! What is cuter than a baby in a hooded animal towel?

FOUR. We also went to our library to get some new books and do the craft of the month. The girls made paper rainbows!

FIVE. As luck would have it, on the way home from the library, a real rainbow appeared in the sky! Kaya has been obsessed with rainbows for the past two years, and I don’t see her love for them ending anytime soon. After a little more rain, we actually ended up with a double rainbow and a very pink sky, which was so fascinating to Kaya and Kaelyn.

Fun fact: I loved rainbows as a kid too, and even used to painstakingly write the dates of my journal entries in rainbow colors. I can’t wait to show those to Kaya someday!

Happy Friday!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

up on blueberry hill

Last week, on the most humid day of the year thus far, we headed up to the local blueberry patch. I’ve been looking forward to this activity for a couple of months now, and I was so excited that the fruit was finally ripe and ready for picking._MG_3137 Each of our girls carried their own bucket and received instructions from the farm owner on how to gently pull blueberries from the bushes._MG_3088 The berries were sweet and juicy, so there was a lot of taste-testing straight from the bush._MG_3090 The lighting up on this hill during the golden hour was pretty much a photographer’s dream. It was a little slice of heaven on earth, so I took as many pictures as my kids would allow. _MG_3092I love their berry-tasting faces._MG_3094 _MG_3102 Picking berries was serious business for Kaelyn… although she mostly ended up with tiny green ones in her bucket. She gets credit for all of her time and effort._MG_3103When she wasn’t pulling green ones off the bush, she was doing this…
_MG_3109 _MG_3112 _MG_3110 I love those little cheeks._MG_3113 Michael probably picked most of our gallon-sized haul on his own… obviously, since I was too busy taking pictures, and Kaelyn was too busy snacking on fruit._MG_3116 Kaya probably filled one quarter of her bucket, which I think is impressive for a 3-year old. She was definitely focused on her job._MG_3091Kitty had to come with us, and ended up riding along in Daddy’s pocket._MG_3115 I love this sweet, spunky little girl._MG_3118 Watching my family find joy in something so simple fills my heart to the brim. These little moments are the ones that will stay with me forever._MG_3121 Seriously… how adorable are they?_MG_3133Don’t worry, there’s an equal amount of crazy to go with that adorableness…
_MG_3134Summertime and these simple outings are some of my favorites.

five on friday (06/10)

ONE. We made a new friend at the playground this week- this little kitty! He comes looking for us every time we’re there. Basically, he’s the friendliest cat ever. My girls adore him, and Kaya now refers to him as “my favorite cat” whenever she’s talking about him.

He reminds me so much of the cat I had growing up, so I don’t mind him hanging around.

This photo has some awful sun flare going on, but it was too cute not to include.
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TWO. My kids have turned into total monkeys! Kaya saw that cat jump up on a rock, so of course, she wanted to try it, too.

Kaelyn is trying to be a big kid before she even turns two! My heart is probably palpitating the entire time she’s on this very tall, very steep ladder, but she can do it, all on her own, so I try to let her have her freedom.Of course, I’m usually right underneath her, ready to attempt to catch her if she slips!

THREE. Flowers are blooming in our yard! It’s been a fun surprise to see what the old owners had growing here._MG_3026 _MG_3028

FOUR. We did some preschool work on the letter M this week! Kaya loved decorating the letter with marshmallows. I think I have finally found a way to plan out our activities that works for me, too. I was thinking of sharing some of our “lesson plans” in some kind of preschool series here on the blog… but we’ll see if I actually get to it!
_MG_2990FIVE. Little moments, like seeing my girls sitting on the back steps together, watching their Daddy work on the house, completely melt my heart. I love these two little goofballs (and this is the smile I get when I tell Kaelyn to say “cheese”… she takes instructions very seriously)._MG_3020

Happy weekend!!! 🙂

hiking the cascades

Michael took some vacation time last week, and on his first day off, we decided to hike the Cascades! It was our very first hike with kids (I can’t believe we haven’t gone since before Kaya was born), and overall, it went really well.
IMG_20150817_095244 IMG_20150817_095200 Kaya was a trooper and hiked about 1.5 miles of the 4-mile trail. That is no small feat, especially since there were a lot of rocks and somewhat steep slopes.IMG_20150817_095919 IMG_20150817_095935Both girls loved watching the water move down the river. I loved watching them enjoy nature. IMG_20150817_100027 IMG_20150817_100051After about an hour and a half, we reached the amazing waterfall at the top.IMG_20150817_113709 IMG_20150817_114514 We let Kaya take her shoes and socks off to feel the icy cold water with her toes.IMG_20150817_114410 She loved it.IMG_20150817_114543 I’m so grateful for this little family of mine and these beautiful places to explore together.IMG_20150817_115515 We made our way back down, which almost seemed more difficult for Kaya to navigate than the way up. I will admit, there were some slippery parts of the trail that I was nervous about traversing while wearing Kaelyn. We might wait until they are a bit older to do this particular hike again.IMG_20150817_120307 Both kids were so exausted that they fell asleep before we even reached the bottom of the trail.IMG_20150817_124153These simple memories together are some of the sweetest.

michael’s birthday weekend

Usually, we have a pretty big party for Michael’s birthday, but this year, we kept it simple. I missed having a bunch of friends over, but I think he enjoyed just having a relaxing evening at home.

We had cookie bars and ice cream!
_MG_9135 michaelbday2013And Kaya helped Daddy open a few presents._MG_9124 This was the first Saturday in a long time that actually felt like a Saturday! We had no place to be and nothing scheduled, so we slept in, exercised, and then relaxed._MG_9142 We decided to walk around the pond in the early evening. I’m going to miss this gorgeous weather (especially since Michael told me last night that the farmer’s almanac predicts a bitter cold winter… sooo not ready for that)!08242013photogrid1

(waving at a puppy!)_MG_9157 _MG_9187 _MG_9218 08142013photogrid2Hope your weekend was as restful as ours was! 🙂

friday favorites

With warmer temperatures and less rain, we spent a whole lot more time outside this week (and inside, we finally turned on the air conditioning)!

We met up with friends on both Tuesday and Thursday to play outside. There’s nothing like breaking a sweat, playing on the swings, and sitting on a blanket under a tree, then washing it all down with a gulp of cold water.

IMG_20130711_181252Kaya LOVED watching the ducks at the pond and even laughed at them. Who knew ducks could be so funny? She was so worn out that she fell asleep on the walk home.
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Michael and I also took Kaya to the pool one evening after work. I love going as a family and swimming together. Our princess definitely loves the water!

I went out shopping to see if I could find a dress suitable for Kevin’s wedding without having to order it online… but didn’t have any luck. I did, however, find a bunch of other awesome things- a dress, a blouse, two tees, and two sweaters- for $22 total! I also found a Scrabble game for 95 cents. I love getting great deals.

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 Kaya really mastered using her sippy cup (mostly) on her own this week.

_MG_7201 Seriously? It doesn’t get more precious than this!_MG_7220

And just when I think my heart is about to explode from loving her so much, she instantly becomes more adorable and forces me to fall even further in love._MG_7312

I won’t tell you that this cute face is hiding a diaper explosion…_MG_7314_MG_7294 I love all the adorable faces she makes (and how much she loves this squishy ball from the dollar store… which I later saw in the dog section at Target)!_MG_7349squishballbaby1Jax has had more than his fair share of cuddles this week (and may or may not have rolled himself right off the bed and onto the floor)!_MG_7230 Happy weekend, everyone! Here’s to a relaxing one 🙂_MG_7258

maternity photo shoot

On Monday night, Michael and I went out to the park to take some photos together. I think we both wanted one last set of pictures to remember our “family of two” before we become three! We are really becoming skilled at using the tripod, and I am sooo pleased with how these turned out!

(Yes, I really did climb on top of a hay bale at 9.5 months pregnant…)

LOVE this one of us together.

This wouldn’t be a regular post without one goofy outtake photo, so here it is. While I set up the camera, Michael does the “YMCA” (although his C is backwards…)

(PS- We used my new pancake 40mm for these 🙂 )

lake moomaw

We went to meet Michael’s family at Lake Moomaw this weekend for a little fun! It was our first time going up there, and with a name like Moomaw, who knows what to expect!

It was a really beautiful place. The water was actually a crystal blue, and there were places for picnicking, boating, and swimming.

 We sure didn’t anticipate that the lake would be HUGE and we would end up confused and looking for the rest of the family for about 4 hours. I’m so glad we eventually found everyone!

All our turmoil from searching was worth it when Dad took me out for an easy ride on the jetski! It was my first time on one, and I loved it! It felt just like a motorcycle on water.

We swam around and just ate and visited with family afterward. Cousin Brianna was there!

Here’s our post-lake picture!

And next time, we’ll be able to have even more fun because we’ll know how to get there!

blackberry weekend

We had such a wonderful and BUSY weekend! It was only busy because it was filled with fun things though, and that’s the best kind of busy if you ask me. We had a dinner date out to a new-to-me Chinese buffet place (SO DELICIOUS!) and we even did our couponing at Target and ended up “saving” more than we spent- 60%!

On Saturday, we went to our friends’ birthday party for their little boy who just turned one! I won’t tell you how many pieces of cake Michael had… (hint: it starts with a “th” and ends in a “ree”)!

We also went blackberry picking! I really needed some berries to make jam, and we ended up getting just enough.

We wouldn’t have had even close to enough berries if Michael hadn’t been willing to be a wild man and climb into a lot of the taller brush.

And yes, it was as hot as these photos make it look, so once we were done, we went home and jumped straight in the swimming pool! Our little princess is always so wiggly after I get out of the pool (maybe because I drink a whole lot of ice water), but this time she even got hiccups while we were swimming. It felt so funny underwater!

I made my jam later that night, and it turned out soooo good. I think blackberry jam just might be my very favorite.