five on friday (7/21)

This week has felt jam-packed (in the best way possible), so I feel like this is the longest Five on Friday I’ve written in a while! We’re having fun and getting all we can out of summertime, which makes my heart so full.

ONE. The weather is finally feeling like summertime should… HOT! We’ve had plenty of fun outside! We’ve all been enjoying the hammock, although the kids don’t quite understand that it’s meant for resting and relaxing, and not swinging as fast as you can in it. Ha! We had a “picnic” with friends, Aaliyah and Talyah! I love how making kids this age happy is as easy as putting a blanket out on the deck and eating outside.  Scout loves being out on the deck too!

TWO. We’ve found several little friends outside this week. This woolly bear caterpillar was walking across our driveway one evening, and Kaya was eager to pet it and hold it in her hand. She insisted on keeping it, so we made a little house out of an empty milk carton, and Kaya picked some leaves and flowers for it to eat.

Kaya declared it a girl, and named her “Caterpillary”, with a nickname of “Fuzzy” and a last name of “Wuzzy”. Caterpillary “Fuzzy” Wuzzy. We’ve had a lot of fun learning all about this type of caterpillar, and it’s provided several hours of entertainment for Kaya already.

We (or should I say, Scout) also found this little baby bird out in the yard this morning. It looked like a Mockingbird fledgling, most likely working on learning to fly. The girls were so excited to say hello to this little guy, but we made it a quick visit so we wouldn’t disturb it or its mama bird too much.

THREE. When Kaya styles your hair, you might end up with four bows in it all at once… … but still look as cute as ever!

All three of these ladies together… breaking my heart with a cuteness overload! Kaelyn’s working on her “smolder” face, obviously (and she hasn’t even seen Tangled yet)!

FOUR. Nella’s been having some form of dinner every night this week. We tried apple-prune puree, as well as strawberry Greek yogurt. The latter has been her favorite so far!

FIVE. Last, but definitely not least, I guess we’ve “officially” started our homeschool kindergarten curriculum! We’ve been nonchalantly doing schoolwork through the summer, but this week was sort of my test run to see how well we could stick to a more structured schedule.

Kaya is absolutely loving her new math book, and if she keeps working at the pace she’s going, we might be done with kindergarten math by Thanksgiving. I love that we can go quickly over what she already knows, and spend greater time on units she needs more practice in. Kaelyn has been using some preschool books from the dollar store, and is just as eager to learn! I’ll probably be writing more about our homeschooling adventures, but for today, I’m just excited to say we’ve started!

Happy weekend!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday: farewells, footwear, and fuzzy cuddles

We’re here at the end of another week… the last in July! I know the rest of summer is going to be over in the blink of an eye, and it’ll be Fall before we know it. Here’s our top five for the week:

ONE. This last week brought our very last play date as a full group before Brittany moves away and Katherine headed off to visit family for a while.  I knew this day was coming, but it seems like it came and went all too quickly.

We’ve shared so many good times together and watched our children grow alongside each other. These ladies have been there through thick and thin for me, and I am so grateful. There’s nothing like knowing that somebody’s got your back._MG_8831Aaliyah wasn’t too excited for a picture. Real life, you guys. I love it._MG_8832Talyah, Luke, Kaelyn, and Caroline!_MG_8834TWO. We made it to the pool a grand total of one time this week! Kaya is getting more comfortable with swimming in her puddle jumper (with support from Daddy, of course), and really loved kicking her way from the middle of the pool to the edge. I love these two goofballs.

THREE. After 3.5 years of running in barefoot shoes, I wanted to switch to something with a little more support. I went to a local running store, and a knowledgeable clerk set me up with these. They’re a great median between barefoot and traditional shoes, and he suggested that I can switch between these and my barefoots as needed. I’m loving them so far!

_MG_8885FOUR. This little girl still loves her baths. Is there anything cuter than a giggly baby with shampoo in her hair?

FIVE. There’s nothing like a girl and her Panda…

… or a girl and her Piggy. We’ve got a couple of regular stuffed animal lovers over here.

Happy weekend!

Linking up with April today!

friday favorites (10/10)

Happy Friday! As usual, here are some of the best moments from our crazy little family this week! 🙂

This sweet girl will always make my favorites list. Of course! How could she not, with that gummy smile and her bright eyes? All of a sudden, her cheeks seem a lot chubbier and her tummy pokes out (which makes it even more tempting to tickle her)!kaelyncollage10102014 - CopyIt’s been cooling off and feeling a little more like fall, and cuddling up with my baby and taking a nap has happened a couple times this week. I’ll snuggle this sweet face to sleep any day.Processed with VSCOcam with a4 preset

Katherine hosted our play date this week, and she turned it into a Halloween cookie-decorating party for the kids! We had so much fun and actually made way less of a mess than I expected we would with little hands in frosting and sprinkles!
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetI did the frosting, and then Kaya put all the candies and marshmallows on by herself! I have to say, I’m impressed. I was also amazed that she didn’t eat any of the decorations while we were doing it!
Processed with VSCOcam with a5 presetSpeaking of eating, I made fajitas for the first time ever this week and they were so easy and amazing! Here’s the recipe if you want to try it (and believe me, you do).Processed with VSCOcam with a9 presetIt wouldn’t be a true Friday Favorites post without my dog doing something goofy… so here’s all 31 pounds of him, squished into a Build-a-Bear toy bed. There is nothing he won’t try to snuggle with!Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

Happy weekend!

five on friday: a bookworm, friends, and a confused dog

ONE. I’ve had a little bookworm on my hands this week! She carries these books all over the house, puts them into piles, and sits and “reads” them. I’m so glad she has such a love for books! I’m hoping to get her some French stories soon, too._MG_4020 _MG_4021 TWO. I am so blessed to have so many great friends! We’ve been talking about taking a picture all together for a while now, and this week, we finally did it. I’m so glad we did! Katherine and I started these play dates when Kaya and Mia were just tiny little things… and we’ve watched our group grow in numbers, grow as mothers, and even grow more pregnant bellies! _MG_4042 THREE. This baby. This BABY! Seriously. She gets more beautiful by the day. She’s also chatting us up like crazy lately and it is so easy to get a smile out of her._MG_4067 _MG_4068 Also, please notice all the drool! Call me crazy, but I keep feeling around her mouth for tooth buds- Kaya got her first tooth at barely three months old, so I’m on the lookout! She also hasn’t been sleeping very well and has been nursing a ton…_MG_4076 I know I already shared about five million pictures of her in this post alone, but I just couldn’t pass up showing you her gorgeous Sunday dress! 🙂_MG_3978 FOUR. I think we’re getting close to potty-training… and I’m honestly not sure I’m ready for all that it entails! Kaya sits on her toy makeup mirror and pretends it’s a potty (and apparently you have to pull your shirt up over your belly when you’re on the toilet?)! She’s showing some other pretty big signs of being ready, too… so we might just have to start trying soon._MG_4085 FIVE. My dog sleeps in a cat-like position. He also still sneaks crayons as a snack when we’re not looking. Weirdo._MG_4055Happy Friday!!!

five on friday: pepper in my water and riding a giant bumblebee

My top five moments this week are simple but oh-so-sweet:

ONE. My baby has the best smile…_MG_3953 … and some of the funniest silly faces!PhotoGrid_1409366558504 TWO. Kaya has been playing with her kitchen every single day. I ask her for a drink, and she’ll get “water” from the faucet and then usually add salt or pepper. Yum… not quite the chocolate milk I was hoping for._MG_3944

THREE. How awesome is it when you think of texting your friend that you’re going to be at the park, and then she texts you first? Kaya and Mia had an impromptu play date and had the best time. Riding a bumblebee is sure to make anyone happy!IMG_20140904_111412FOUR. Kaya said her first French word yesterday, and I couldn’t have been more proud! She’s obsessed with this song and after asking to watch it a million times, said “un croc[odile]” and went to bed singing “crocrocro”. It all but melted my heart when I heard it.

FIVE. I told you Kaelyn loves her mobile… well, I used Google’s Auto-Awesome feature to make a little GIF. This is pure happiness right here!kaelyn09042014Happy Friday!!!

friday favorites

Judging by how many pictures I took this week… we’ve been having a lot of fun!

This first photo describes our Sunday perfectly: Michael was exhausted, I couldn’t stop smiling and Kaya was being crazy and climbing all over us! On Monday, we had Lauren and Rory over for games and these chocolate dipped s’mores. Kaya fell asleep at breakfast on Tuesday (despite Taylor Swift playing in the background), and she sure loves cuddling with her orange kitty lately.
photgrid108162013 Kaya loves playing in the dog’s new crate/ We had a playdate with Mia, Aaliyah, Liam and James on Thursday!/ Kaya loves seeing Daddy at the end of the workday!photgrid208162013 _MG_8866She tried bananas this week and LOVED them (but maybe loved making a mess even more). I love this sleepy, happy grin.
_MG_8853 Someone else was a sleepyhead too, and slept in our bed all morning on Wednesday._MG_8871

The weather has been so perfect (although strangely cool for summer) that we’ve been trying to take advantage of it as much as we can, so we’ve gone for a couple of walks and spent time on the playground. I love playing as a family 🙂08162013collage3 _MG_8903 08162013collage208162013collage1 Static hair after Daddy took her down the slide!_MG_8940 _MG_8928 _MG_8942Happy weekend! 🙂

friday favorites

Apparently, last weekend didn’t rejuvenate Kaya at all, because she kicked off Monday morning by falling asleep in the high chair! (I even got her into the crib after this without waking her up… and I’m not the gentlest person, so that’s impressive!)IMG_20130722_091105 For family night, we went to the pool! We stayed long enough for Kaya to get the wrinkliest little baby toes.PicsArt_1374537969810 On Tuesday, I made a cake for the first time in months! It was chocolate with buttercream frosting (inspired by this). I know it’s far from perfect… I like to call it “shabby chic”. Emphasis on the shabby._MG_7570The cake was part of a surprise party for Brittany and Lelia after institute! I’m so glad we got to celebrate these two awesome girls (by the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Lelia TODAY)! This might’ve been one of the only times I didn’t bring any leftover cake home.PhotoGrid_1374629824097

There was a whole lot of playing this week (as usual)…_MG_7552 _MG_7537-2 _MG_7546 … some laughing over sandwich crumbs, and sleeping while running errands/shopping (what am I going to do when we upgrade her car seat and she falls asleep?)072613fridayfavs

Church put on a “Pioneer Day” activity on Wednesday, so we enjoyed some fun outfits, homemade butter, making yarn dolls, and gunny sack racing!
_MG_7601 The missionaries had the best getup._MG_7606And if you want a good laugh…

This morning, we had a playdate with Bianca and Aaliyah! The weather has been cooling down a whole lot lately, so we enjoyed being outside without sweating! (Kaya also wore SHOES for the first time ever… and what’s even better is that I got them yesterday for 50 cents 🙂 )IMG_20130726_132244

Also, I think someone has been watching the puppy a little too closely…

friday favorites

The top moment of the week definitely had to be that Kaya ate REAL food, of her own free will! She was actually opening her mouth and letting me feed her, which is a first. I’m so proud. She was so happy about eating!IMG_20130611_144231She tried blueberry and strawberry yogurt on Thursday, and loved both, so long as I let her hold the spoon herself. She made these happy little humming noises the whole time she was eating her breakfast. Melt my heart!_MG_6543 _MG_6545

Since she was so good at eating, I was inspired to make some homemade baby food- a mixed veggie puree, rice cereal, and oatmeal. I also froze some yogurt in individual servings, and I’ll be making her some peaches and sweet potatoes soon, too.

In other news, Kaya wants to play with all of Jax’s toys (as usual)… It’s a battle I don’t let her win, and she can get pretty unhappy about it._MG_6469

Kaya had a bath, and I guess Jax decided I didn’t do a good enough job, because he washed her himself afterward!_MG_6484Institute started up again this week! The class goes until 8:30 pm (waaaay past Kaya’s bedtime), but she was fine up until the last five minutes or so. Sometimes when she’s fussy, we’ll turn on the front-facing camera on our phones to distract her.


I also had a day this week where I wasn’t feeling so great, so for the first time in quite a while, I napped while Kaya did. It’s amazing how much better a nap can make you feel! I even had a cuddle buddy 🙂 (and no, of course he’s not laying on Michael’s pillow…)IMG_20130612_115630

Other highlights from the week (with no photos to prove they happened) were a HUGE thunderstorm (it even shook the windows!) and a play date with friends. The week has gone by so fast!

And… is there anything more precious than tiny baby toes?_MG_6462

kaya & mia

We had a fun playdate with our friends, Katherine and baby Mia, last week! They invited us to go to the park, and we enjoyed the opportunity to play out in the sunshine. I have a less-than-stellar habit of staying inside all day (besides going for my run in the morning), so any encouragement to get out of the house is great!image

Now that they are a little older, these girls love looking at each other and “sharing” toysimage

They laughed like crazy on the swings!image

So excited to see these cuties grow together!

friday favorites

As always, another week has just flown on by! Here are some of our highlights:

I’m so glad to have a little buddy to keep me company while I work on projects- I took my sewing machine out for the first time in a couple weeks. Hopefully Kaya will be modeling the finished project at church on Sunday!_MG_3129

These two together melt my heart. She is always so happy when daddy comes home! (Sorry you’re out of focus, buddy. Aperture fail!)_MG_3161

This little cutie is SO CLOSE to crawling. She just needs to learn to lift up her legs! Michael helped her a little last night, and she was starting to move. We might want to start baby-proofing…_MG_3163

There’s nothing like a peacefully sleeping baby (well, until I decided to be “that mom” and walked in there taking pictures. The shutter on a DSLR isn’t exactly quiet, you know. Lucky for me, she stayed asleep). She’s been waking up through the night a lot this week, so I am grateful for naps. We even had one that was three hours long, which was very out of the ordinary. I kept checking in on her! (I also love how infatuated she is with that little brown bear).
_MG_3170We also had a super-fun play date with two other cute girls and their mamas today! Kaya always loves seeing her baby friends.

I also might’ve eaten waaaay more cookie bars than I can admit count this week. My sweet tooth has been out the roof! I also just started leafing through a “cookie dough lover’s” cookbook my brother gave me… this could be bad. And by bad, I actually mean DELICIOUS.

Happy weekend everyone!