lelia’s baby shower

Two weekends ago, we took a little road trip to attend Lelia’s baby shower. As a bonus surprise, my brother and sister-in-law, Kevin and Tori, flew to Virginia from Utah the night before the party. Kevin came out here for a job interview, but I’ll take any reason to spend time with my entire extended family.

I’m so glad that we could have all the sisters-in-law and our mom-in-law together at the shower! These are some truly amazing ladies. One of Lelia’s friends from church put this all together. The decorations were adorable and the games were truly fun. I even won the baby boy name race game (whoever can list a boy name for every letter of the alphabet the fastest wins… hello “Yusef!”, haha)! Everyone knows what Lelia likes pretty well: penguin jammies……a “this baby needs a pony” onesie in Hokie colors…
…and a lot of baby dinosaurs! (“Baby Dinosaur” was Lelia’s nickname when she lived with Michael and me for one semester of college, so it’s only appropriate that her little guy has some dinosaur outfits!) I’m so grateful that we could be there to celebrate Lelia and her sweet baby boy. I can’t wait to meet him in just about two months!

christmastown, cousins, and crazies

The Christmas posts just never seem to end around here, right? Thankfully, it’s because we had so many family members to visit and enjoy the season with this past holiday.

A few days after celebrating Christmas at home, we headed down to visit Michael’s side of the family! Kevin and Tori flew in from Utah- it had been about a year and a half since we last saw them! We had never met our nephew Jack before, so needless to say, we were pretty excited!

I instantly fell in love with Jack (sweet sweet baby boy!), and my girls really loved playing with him, too. It was so fun to finally see the cousins together! Of course, I also had to get pictures of everyone meeting Nella! 🙂
And yes, there were plenty of Grandma cuddles for her, too.Kaya enjoyed some snuggling with Auntie Lelia!There were some presents, of course… … including a rainbow hat made by Grandma!This was the first time the older girls have slept in the same bed. At first, we heard some complaints of “she’s touching me!” and “she’s taking my animals!”, but eventually, they settled down and slept soundly.On the second day of our visit, we headed to Busch Gardens Christmastown! The last time we were there, Kaya was just 3 months old! It’s crazy how quickly everything changes with kids.
We wore our new hats made by my mom-in-law!I always love admiring the decorations. It almost feels like a world away from this one, made entirely of glowing lights and Christmas spirit.Kaya was old enough to ride the mini roller coaster this year! She was so excited when they pulled out of the station, and I knew she’d return either completely petrified or absolutely elated. Thankfully, she had the time of her life and even asked to go on it again! Seeing her so happy was the highlight of the trip for me, although hearing Michael, Kevin, and Jeff screaming all through the ride was pretty fun, too.Kaelyn was too little to ride most of the attractions, so we let her walk around and explore the brightly-lit trees for a bit.She did get to join everyone on this mini Mach Tower ride! I wish I had a better photo, but it was so dark that I couldn’t get my camera to focus. Good picture or not, these kids had a blast.I feel like I haven’t been able to go on rides for forever (being pregnant with three babies in four years will do that to you!), so it was extra-fun for me to join Grandpa Skip and Kaya on the bumper cars and flying swings. When everyone else headed to the train, Dad and I went on my all-time favorite ride. Busch Gardens calls it “Le Catapult”, but I think it has other names at different parks.Of course, we went to the Festhaus to warm up, eat dinner, and nurse the baby. It’s always nice to get a little break from the cold.
The girls really enjoyed watching the performance inside!On our last afternoon together, we took a family picture. I love having everyone all together (and let’s face it, I really lucked out and got some amazing in-laws).When we got home, they wanted a brother picture…… which quickly turned into chaos…… and… sorority squats? What?!And apparently, it only takes one minute of me not paying attention for my relatives to steal my phone and fill it up with a million surprise photos before we left that evening. I love these crazies!

kevin and tori come to town

Kevin and Tori flew in from Utah last week! They spent the first half of their visit on the east coast, but they came to town on Thursday afternoon to spend a few days with us. We had a fantastic long weekend filled with family time, good food, and even a little sleeping in!

I was so super excited for them to meet Kaelyn for the first time! It’s safe to say that this baby just keeps stealing hearts._MG_6086 Grandpa snuck some cuddles in with his “petunia” (as he calls every baby) too!_MG_6088 Thursday night, we ordered pizza and played “Blurt!” (which is really more like “YELL!” when I’m playing it… whoops)! Michael and Lelia had to work on Friday, but the rest of us enjoyed Xbox (Kevin and Jeff), a Mario Kart tournament (Dad and me), and just plain old relaxing._MG_6099Dad and Jax had a couple of really intense wrestling matches. When he wasn’t playing, my lap dog was cuddling up to (and all over) everyone.
_MG_6102 Grandma had a lot of great snuggles, but Kaelyn still refused to nap for most of the weekend. Oh well._MG_6091 _MG_6096 Friday night, we went to Red Robin to celebrate Kevin’s birthday! Nothing like free dessert on your special day.Processed with VSCOcam with a10 preset Saturday was pretty relaxed. Grandma has some serious skills, balancing both babies on her lap while helping Kaya eat her yogurt!_MG_6108The final thing we did before everyone left was take a family picture! The last time we were all together was Thanksgiving of last year, so it was high time for a new one. It was a warm day compared to what we’ve endured lately, and luckily, the wind held off for a few moments. The light could not have been more perfect… and I think we all clean up pretty good! 🙂
_MG_6120 Everyone left to go home just before dinner time, and all the festivities (and lack of napping) finally caught up with my babies. Kaya passed out in her seat during dinner!Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetIf that’s not a sign of a good time, I don’t know what is. Hopefully we can all do it again real soon!


the time michael (almost) singed off his eyebrows…

… because apparently, using lighter fluid can be trickier than it seems. Somehow, the fire just exploded from the grill and blew him backwards and onto the ground.

I’m so glad I didn’t actually see any of it happen.

His hair and eyelashes are a little shorter, but luckily that’s all (and we still had some pretty tasty food, so everything’s good, right?)
_MG_1990We had some much-needed sibling time this weekend. Kevin and Tori were driving through on their way back from Utah, and they decided to spend a day with us! We hardly get to see them, so it was a real treat. The weather was perfect for a cookout, so that’s exactly what we did!_MG_1991I love seeing Kaya get to know her aunts and uncles better!_MG_1993We finished off the evening with some homemade cookie bars, which tasted a little extra-amazing after all our running and biking earlier in the day. Spring weather, family time, and good food make for some of the best weekends 🙂

kevin and tori’s wedding

So… you might as well wish Kevin and Tori a happy 3-month anniversary, because yes, these pictures are from August 2nd. I gave them their wedding DVD at the end of August, but honestly kind of forgot about the more personal photos I took that day. Better late than never, as they say! 🙂 (If you want to see the rest of the wedding go here!)

It was a perfect day for a wedding. The light was a photographer’s dream._MG_7991_MG_8174 Of course we all got a little crazy…_MG_8181 _MG_8179 Okay. A LOT crazy._MG_8176Michael took the photos of the girls, so he took the opportunity to leave this on my camera, too.
_MG_8203 Brothers 🙂_MG_8367 _MG_8360 _MG_8287 These next two crack me up:_MG_8321 _MG_8309 There’s nothing like a little girl and her grandpa. And yes, he let her stick her feet in the stream!_MG_8115

Love them._MG_8118 _MG_8127My best friends._MG_8429_MG_8397 Lelia and I’s corsages!_MG_8453 Pals!_MG_8466

pumpkin pickin’ 2013

Saturday was our day to go pumpkin picking! I was sooo super excited, because when I was a kid, this was a yearly tradition. I couldn’t wait to take Kaya and have fun as a family. (We did go last year, but Kaya was tiny and slept through the whole event!)

We tried a new farm this year and loved it! It was perfectly located in the beautiful, rolling Virginia hills, and it wasn’t overpriced like most places we’ve been.

Kevin and Tori were passing through town on their cross-country drive, so we were happy to have them join us. It’s not every day that all the Irwin siblings are together!
IMG_0119 We took a hayride to the pumpkin patch!_MG_0091Love these two with my whole heart (plus some…)
_MG_0094 _MG_0089 Of course, we got a little crazy (it wasn’t even a long ride… but apparently this is the only way we have fun!)_MG_0098 They had a corn maze. We all split up in different directions and still made it out alive! The pumpkin patch was right up the trail, so a-pickin’ we went!kayapumpkins20134Kaya’s excitement definitely didn’t disappoint. She LOVED the pumpkins and just couldn’t stop pointing at them, holding them, or trying to lift them.kayapumpkins20132

There was a tractor made out of hay bales, so naturally, we had to “drive” it. Kaya was really unsure of it._MG_0106We visited with some ewe lambs (chunky ones, at that).
_MG_0127 Kevin and Tori chucked some pumpkins!_MG_0122 And then I took waaaaay too many pictures of Kaya. But just look at that face! No mama could resist._MG_0137 kayapumpkins20131 Like I said, she loves pumpkins (I also wish I had a picture of what was going on behind me to get her to laugh… we have a crazy family!)kayapumpkins20133We paid for our pumpkins and browsed their tiny shop of homemade goodies… including some amazing fudge! We might just have to go back sometime soon 🙂

Happy Fall!