five on friday (03/10)

ONE. Michael is my knight in shining armor. Actually, I’m certain he was made for his role as such a tender-hearted, patient husband and father of daughters. I started the week off being sick (again, which is typically unusual for me), and he came home early from work just to take care of us. All four of us adore him, and I’m so grateful for this guy who gives us his all one hundred percent of the time.

TWO. The “March comes in like a lion” expression has certainly been true around here lately, with our area experiencing everything from extreme gusts of wind, to snow, to rainstorms, to 60-degree days. Kaya was beyond excited about the random snow we had, and although none of it stuck around, she loved catching the flakes and twirling outside in it.

THREE. Two of Kaya and Kaelyn’s favorite things: jammies and baby dolls! These little girls play “babies” together nearly all day everyday. Kaya’s baby, Alice, was apparently born and celebrated her 3rd birthday party all in the same week. Kaelyn’s baby, Doll, learned to walk today. These are very busy babies!FOUR. I’ve made some major strides (haha, running humor) in my pace in these past few weeks. Doing speed work has really been paying off, and although it might not look like much to some, I’m so happy to see improvement. I’ve never been a very fast runner, but getting back to where I was pre-Nella is encouraging.

FIVE. When I’m nursing the baby, the girls love to make a “tunnel” under my legs between the ottoman and the chair. Kaelyn thought it’d be fun to hide and then surprise me… I think this little .GIF is pretty hilarious (and oh so representative of her personality)!  

Happy Friday!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

first snow (2017)

We had our first (and only, thus far) real snowstorm of the year early in January. My girls get excited about the tiniest flurries and always immediately ask to go outside and play. When they saw actual snow accumulated in the yard, over the street, and atop our car, they were absolutely ecstatic.  Kaelyn started shouting “No no no! Ton!” (her way of saying “Snow, snow, snow! A ton!”) as soon as she looked out the window in the morning. Of course, Nella had to see her first snow! We bundled her up, brought her out for a picture, and took her right back inside. The real feel temperature was below 10 degrees, so her first encounter with the snow was definitely a quick one! The previous homeowners left this old sled in the garage, so we put it to use! I’m not sure how much longer it’ll last, but it provided plenty of entertainment for our girls this time. Kaelyn is big enough to sled down the hill for real this year! Last year, she was wary of anything to do with sledding or the snow. I love these happy little faces. I had a good 3-mile run over the snow. It seemed like our whole world had been covered with a fresh powder, making it look completely new. I love how snow has the ability to transform everything!

winter storm jonas

Snow has a sort of magic about it. It has the power to stop all our busyness and schedules. Nature’s white, tranquil blanket envelopes us all, creating a shining, peaceful world._MG_0828 The best part of being snowed in was definitely all the extra family time we were able to have. The university actually announced on Thursday afternoon that it would be closed on Friday, which is an incredibly rare event. This meant that Michael ended up having two long weekends in a row! Knowing that the school was shutting down preemptively, I felt a little nervous about how big this storm would actually be.

Kaya could not have been more excited to play in the snow. She has been waiting for winter weather so eagerly for months now, and in her mind, snow absolutely had to come after Christmastime._MG_0830 Our neighbor gave us their old sled! We were so excited for some good sledding… and then we cracked the plastic seat after only three runs down the hill. I’m thinking the plastic must’ve been a bit weak if we broke it so easily, but it was fun while it lasted._MG_0833These next three photos happened in succession. I love how Kaya almost completely disappears in the snow at the end!
_MG_0838 _MG_0839 _MG_0840 Happy happy little girl. 🙂_MG_0843 We thought maybe she could still use the sled on her own, even after we cracked it, since she doesn’t weigh all that much. Turns out, she isn’t heavy enough to even get it to move down the hill on her own!_MG_0844 _MG_0845 Kaelyn missed all the fun on the first day of snow because she was napping, so on the second day (Saturday), I finally bundled her up and brought her out for her first snow experience (we didn’t take her out in any last year).

I don’t know if she was upset because her snowsuit was uncomfortable or just because she wasn’t sure of what was going on… but our little marshmallow was quite unhappy at first._MG_0851Michael ended up pulling the kids along in the broken sled, since it no longer worked going down the hill. Kaelyn didn’t cheer up when we first tried to give her a ride…
_MG_0857 After a while, she started to like being out there, and even pouted when it wasn’t her turn to “sled”!_MG_0860 This is our parking lot!_MG_0861I loved seeing both my babies riding in the sled together. Sometimes, I still can’t believe that they’re mine. They’ve grown so fast, and these kinds of activities just get more and more fun as they get older.

All our church meetings were canceled on Sunday, and in total, I think we ended up with about 15 inches.

The snow has mostly melted now, and our first snowstorm of the season seems to have come and gone so quickly.

five on friday (1/08)

I think I just keep pretending we’re still on vacation… so I know I still haven’t posted any photos from our Christmas day yet (maybe because I took too many and still haven’t gone through them all… ha), but we had a good week, and I couldn’t let it go undocumented.

These small, seemingly-mundane posts usually turn out to be some of my favorites when I go back and read them later.

ONE. Winter has finally arrived on our little hillside- we had our first snow! It didn’t really accumulate, but it came down in big, fluffy flakes, so I’m counting it. The girls were quite excited… especially Kaelyn, since she is too young to remember the many blizzards we had last year!

TWO. What better food to eat during the cold weather than warm, gooey pancakes? Kaya and Kaelyn have had pancakes for breakfast every single day this week. My mom gave me a griddle for Christmas, so I put it to good use by making a double batch of these and freezing them._MG_0687

THREE. We also tried a couple of new recipes this week, including these buffalo chicken wings and these cheesy potatoes. Both were keepers!FOUR. We did get back on track with our homeschool preschool this week, after taking a couple weeks off for the holidays. Kaya has been SO excited and asks me to “do school” almost as soon as she wakes up every morning. We did the letter “D” and so of course, we had to make a “dog” craft.


FIVE. We had some fun times with Karl (and Kaitlyn) this week! Mario Kart Wii and Apples to Apples Pictures will never get old. I also love that Karl loves my guinea pigs as much as I do!_MG_0684Happy weekend! Keep warm (like Freyja)! 🙂_MG_0708

five on friday: cabin fever, awesome runs, and a photography workshop

We’ve had a bit of cabin fever over here all week… even getting out to go to the grocery store this morning seemed like so much fun! So today, I’m counting all the small blessings we’ve had this week:

ONE. Lelia and Jeff got to spend most of Sunday with us! It’s been so cold that a pipe burst at our chapel, so there were no church meetings. We had a relaxing family day. Have I mentioned how much I love seeing my babies love their aunts and uncles?

TWO. I taught a (very basic) photography workshop for our Young Women on Tuesday night and had so much fun doing it! I am usually so nervous to stand up in front of a group and talk, but teaching about my passion comes so easily to me. I’m glad I was able share a little of what I love with our girls! At the end, I gave them a photo scavenger hunt to complete, which resulted in a whole lot of craziness and laughter.photoworkshopslide

THREE. We had a few more inches of snow Wednesday night into Thursday morning, so there was no rush to leave the house… which meant that I could snuggle my littlest cutie in bed and just enjoy her. I love our one-on-one time. Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset

FOUR. I am so grateful for clear(er) roads and running paths this week! It was hard to not go out due to the weather last week, so I appreciated my runs even more this week. I also had a couple of fast (for me) runs, which made me feel great!run02272015

FIVE. Kaya’s had her big-girl bed for about a year now, and most nights, she still climbs out and sleeps by the baby gate. Her bed has to be more comfortable than the floor! Also, how cute is her little hand holding “Panda”? I love her love for her stuffed animals.Processed with VSCOcam

Linking up with Christina and friends today!

five on friday: the snowed-in edition

Happy Friday! It hardly even feels like the weekend, since we’ve been snowed in and/or avoiding frigid temperatures all week long. We’ve been relaxing, doing fun crafts and activities, and just taking it easy in general.

A few highlights from our week:

ONE. The one day we left the house this week (before the negative temperatures hit), we somehow found ourselves in the Valentine’s clearance aisle at the grocery store. Kaya scooped up this little purple bear, hugged him to her chest, and never let go for the rest of our shopping trip. She just beamed while cuddling him, and my heart was melting into one giant puddle (cleanup on aisle 4)!

Normally, I don’t just buy her anything she falls in love with (because let’s face it, she loves any animal, real or plastic or stuffed), but this time, I let her take him home. Her week has been made by that little clearance bear who she decided, all on her own, to name “Panda”. I love this girl and her tender heart.
_MG_6504 TWO. Kaelyn doesn’t need any new toys because she’s more than happy to just play with every plastic measuring cup and kitchen utensil that I own (thanks to Kaya). Really, she was thrilled over these cups!_MG_6497THREE. This is the current weather as I’m typing this. YIKES!_20150219_212702 FOUR. It may be cold and miserable, but the snow is beautiful. Michael took this photo, and I don’t think it could be any more perfect!Processed with VSCOcam with s1 presetFIVE. Since it’s too cold for little hands to make snowmen outside, we made some playdough ones! Cyclops snowmen are in style, apparently (and all of them are named “Olaf”, of course)! The second one from the right is a puppy!_MG_6513Happy weekend! Here’s to 5 to 8 more inches of snow tomorrow!

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

valentine’s and getting snowed in

It’s Monday afternoon, and Michael is already home from work because outside currently looks like this: (and even more snow has fallen since I snapped this picture… we’re due for 8 to 14 inches)!Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

Which means that I went running looking like a ninja this morning… but this getup was SO warm!Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Luckily, today was the day we rotate our toys (something we started just before Christmas), so even if we’re stuck inside for a few days, it’s safe to say that our wildest family member will be well-entertained._MG_6467

How was your Valentine’s Day weekend? We surprised Michael with these delicious homemade peanut butter cups:

Of course, I had help in the kitchen from these little goobers._MG_6430

_MG_6427We ordered Chinese on Saturday night, which we haven’t done in forever! It was so, so good, and I think Kaya ate more sweet and sour chicken than I did!

Processed with VSCOcam with p2 presetBetween Friday and Sunday morning, all three of us girls ended up with goose eggs on our foreheads. I ran into a door, Kaelyn had a toy dropped on her by her sister (poor baby :(), and Kaya jumped off our bed. At least we all match! (Also, I love when they both want to snuggle with me at the same time!)Processed with VSCOcam with s1 presetHope everyone had a fabulous weekend!

Processed with VSCOcam with m6 preset

first snow

There’s something extra special about the first snow of the season._MG_5397

The air is quiet, and the world is still. Every creature watches the earth become transformed by soft, white powder. The tranquility is accompanied by the eager anticipation of building snowmen, sledding, and knowing that Christmas is fast approaching._MG_5395I love seeing her amazement at every small wonder of life.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

snow much fun

The snow started falling on my birthday. Michael had already surprised me by taking the rest of the day off after our ultrasound, and he said we could do anything I’d like. Kaya was looking pretty sleepy, so we decided that we’d go out for dinner later, after she’d had a nap.

The snowflakes started coming down in a hurry, and it was immediately obvious that we wouldn’t be going out that evening after all.

We woke up on Thursday morning to about 14.5 inches of a winter wonderland. By the time it stopped snowing later that day, we had accumulated about 21 inches. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much snow all at once in my entire life!
_MG_1298 Someone was obviously pretty excited!_MG_1306 Jax loved leaping and bounding through the soft piles._MG_1320He even developed a sort of “bunny hop” for getting around:

_MG_1325The neighbor kids were outside too, and they let us borrow their sled for a couple trips down the slope. Kaya looks terrified, but after they’d get to the bottom, she was always eager to do it again!
_MG_1334Being out there with my sweetheart, my precious baby girl, and my crazy dog filled my heart with gratitude. My family is amazing, and I’m so grateful to share every day with them.

five on friday: snow days and teething

Happy Friday!

ONE. Our furnace went out this week. Again! It has been working overtime with these insanely frigid temperatures, so I’m not too surprised (although it does seem like something is always breaking around here). Our maintenance guy came first thing in the morning, and we were warm again before too long.

We did have a surprise 3 inches of snow the night before though, so this pretty much sums up our Wednesday:


TWO. Kaya has been teething (times four) this week. Teething rings actually come in handy now, since she finally knows how to use them. Is this not the saddest face you ever did see? She breaks my heart!_MG_1214 THREE. When I walked into our bedroom and saw this, I cracked up. Apparently, Jax must look bored, so Kaya brought him a bunch of toys and snacks (and my wallet, just in case he wanted to do some online shopping, you know…)! He just kept sleeping._MG_1210FOUR. I love the crazy faces she makes when she “reads” to us. She’s been climbing up into her rocking chair lately, and seeing her sit there with a book just melts my heart._MG_1201

FIVE. I know this song is kind of old news… but I’ve listened to it probably five times a day every day this week. I’ve been doing Google surveys for a few weeks, which gives you money to use on apps or music. I’m finally getting so close to getting this album! 🙂

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