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!

library books

Kaya had her first-ever adventure at the library on Monday! I know it sounds a little crazy that she’s never been there before, but we have so many books at home that there really hasn’t been any rush to go.

She walked through the rows of books with wonder and excitement. There were so many books to choose from that she didn’t even know where to start! I picked out a few for her, and her enthusiasm only grew when we checked them out and brought them home.

This morning, my little buddies cuddled up on my bed (with my body pillow!) to read.

Kaya’s always saying “more books!” these days. I just love how much they enjoy reading._MG_6571

Kaelyn started crying, and Kaya helped her feel better by showing one of the books to her. She’s an amazing big sister.

I love having quiet mornings with these two. I’m a very blessed mama._MG_6577

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birthday weekend

It’s taken me over a week to write about my birthday, because my mom was originally planning to come up and celebrate with us this past weekend. However, due to 500 inches of snow (okay, okay, more like 14), she didn’t get to come. We missed her, but still had a great weekend!

Michael surprised me with these decorations (and donuts!) on the morning of my real birthday! With all the dreary winter days we’ve had here, these decorations have helped brighten everything up. I probably won’t take them down until the end of the month!
_MG_6419 My friend Brittany really surprised me when she made a cake and brought it to our institute class that evening! You have to love the hashtag! #obviouslythisisasocialmediathemedcakeProcessed with VSCOcam with a8 preset My sweethearts baked me a cake this past Saturday night! Kaya had so much fun helping in the kitchen._MG_6525 She’s a mini supervisor!_MG_6530 Too little to help, but too cute to leave out her picture._MG_6527 Dark chocolate cake with cookie dough frosting… as I requested. Mmmm! Also, we apparently didn’t have a “2” candle, so Michael turned a “5” backwards, haha! Having a homemade cake meant so much to me._MG_6532There’s no better gift on your birthday than being with the people you love most.
_MG_6534 We blew the candles out four or five times… Kaya’s getting a lot of practice for her next birthday cake!_MG_6539Here’s to 27!

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!

kaya’s first haircut

Kaya’s hair has been so unruly lately… and because it’s curly/wavy/frizzy, it’s been so hard to tame. Yesterday, I decided it was finally time to even out the back a little bit.

She was super cooperative while I took a few “before” photos…
_MG_6476 _MG_6477 And she sat so very still the entire time. When I was cutting close to her skin, I told her “freeze!”, and she did._MG_6478I’d love to let her hair grow out, but for now, we’re just waiting for the top pieces to catch up to the bottom.
_MG_6482 Bye-bye, mullet!kayafirsthaircut02172015 - Copykayafirsthaircut02172015_2 - CopyKaya really enjoyed the entire process. She turned into a puppy once we were finished! Who knew that grooming a little girl would transform her into a canine? Haha.
_MG_6492Love this sillyhead so much.
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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!

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mini cookie-decorating party

Valentine’s Day is a lot of my favorite things all rolled into one: sweets, treats, and PINK everywhere! So naturally, we had to put together a little play date for our friends. I made some sugar cookies and stocked up on all sorts of sprinkles and toppings!_MG_6371 Kaya got really into decorating this time and didn’t even want to stop to go play. She was enthusiastic about the chocolate chips…_MG_6375very enthusiastic._MG_6373 Everyone looked so cute in their little Valentine’s outfits! I just can’t get over how sweet Kaya and Mia are together. They really are such great buddies!_MG_6382 Brittany took this one of Kaelyn and Caroline. Cuties! (until they grabbed each other’s faces…)Processed with VSCOcam with s3 presetThe cookies turned out delicious… and adorable! I love doing things like this with my big girl.
_MG_6412And I just have to include a picture of this spunky monkey in one of her many festive outfits. You can’t go wrong with pink, puppies and hearts!
_MG_6403Happy Valentine’s Day!

7 facts for 27

No matter how old I get, I think I will always be so enthusiastic about my birthday! I can’t say this year is as exciting as the last (when we found out we’d be adding a sweet baby girl to our family, and then were snowed in by the biggest blizzard I’ve ever seen!), but 27 is looking pretty good so far.

Since it’s my birthday, I figured I get a free pass to talk about myself a little (instead of posting cute baby pictures, as always!), so here are a few fun facts:
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1. I got my first DSLR four years ago, and I’m definitely a photography nerd! I’m often asked if that’s what I went to school for… but the answer is no! I’m all self-taught!

2. I actually went to school for Animal Science and French (a dual degree). (And everyone always seems to make the same joke about me speaking to French animals… what?)

3. I never thought I wanted to be a mom, but I’m glad I took the plunge because I had no idea how much I would love motherhood and how much it would change me.Processed with VSCOcam with g1 preset

4. I love love love to run and I go out (in almost any weather, but not single-digit temperatures!) five days a week.

5. Blogging is a great outlet for me and I love how it can connect people in so many ways, but in real life, I’m actually pretty introverted.

6. I am definitely a morning person (married to a non-morning person… which is funny, because he’s the one that got called to be an early-morning seminary teacher)!

7. I’m also just kind of an all-around goofball (especially when I take test shots for photoshoots)!_MG_6117

a perfect hint of spring

Being a mom is my favorite “job” ever.

There are good days, frustrating days, fun days, and somewhat boring days.

And then, every so often, there’s a perfect day.

Monday was definitely one of those.
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It felt just like spring with temperatures in the low 50s. My lungs basked in the warm air on my morning run, and soon after I returned home, I hurried back out the door with my babies in tow. There was no way we were going to miss out on warm weather when we’ve been enduring single-digit and teen temperatures often this winter.

We walked 2.25 miles and made a stop at the playground. Kaya enjoyed running from the slide to the ride-on space shuttle, with a few stops on the swings in between. She just kept telling me “fun!”, and that made my heart soar pretty high. From time to time, she’d look over at me with the biggest grin on her face.kaya02092015collage Kaelyn took a mini-nap in the stroller, and then enjoyed snuggles with mommy and her first-ever ride in the baby swing! Kaya was so eager to help push her, and they were both all smiles.02092015collage2
We all went to bed happily tired that night. Having fun is the best way to wear yourselves out!

Sadie Sky Boutique

weekend (pre-birthday celebration!)

I’m all about dragging my birthday celebration out over the whole month of February, so even though my actual birthday isn’t until Thursday, we started the shenanigans this weekend when my in-laws came up! They always visit right around my birthday every year and take me out for lunch/dinner- I’m a lucky girl!

Kaya has been talking about Grandpa and his motorcycle for weeks… maybe even months. She was so excited when they walked through the door on Saturday morning!
_MG_6353Kaelyn got her grandma nap in… until I tried to take a picture and she started to crack her eyes open.
_MG_6352 Jeff came over in the afternoon. Both girls are suddenly in love with their uncle, which is utterly adorable… but also sad, since he’ll be moving away in a couple months!_MG_6342Lelia was out helping a friend shop for her wedding dress, but luckily, she was able to meet up with us for an early dinner at Cracker Barrel!
Processed with VSCOcam with m6 preset The servers sang “happy birthday” to me, and apparently I blushed… but hey, a little embarrassment from being the center of attention for a whole minute was worth this chocolate cake! Mmmmm. It was dark, moist, and delicious!Processed with VSCOcam with s3 presetMom and Dad Irwin had to leave that same night, but we had Jeff and Lelia over to play some games. We stayed up too late, but that didn’t stop me from waking up on Sunday morning and making these cinnamon rolls! They were pretty quick (and very delicious)!
_MG_6363Kaya spent most of the day working on her puzzles! Under the letter “I” is an insect, and she loves to cover him up and say “night night bug!”
_MG_6359I ended up coming home early from church for not feeling well. I felt guilty to leave early, but Kaelyn and I had a much-needed nap. We spent the night relaxing and went to bed at a decent time for once!

Happy Monday! 3 more days until my birthday!