five on friday (02/26)

Happy Friday! My in-laws are coming into town tonight, so we’re looking forward to a fun-filled weekend. This is my attempt to finish a blog post before getting this place cleaned up for their arrival! Anyway…

ONE. I admit that we had two big cardboard boxes sitting in our living room for half of the week. The girls absolutely loved playing in them for days… and Kaya begged me not to throw them away. Sometimes I think we could just replace all the toys with a big box fort and everyone would be just as happy!_MG_1038 “Uh-oh, where’s Peeky?” is what I heard often this week, muffled by the walls of the box._MG_1040 Peekaboo Peekabird!_MG_1043TWO. Kaya has started to climb into the pack and play with Kaelyn when nap time is over. They play together happily for at least thirty minutes, giggling like fools. They both love this time of the day, and I wouldn’t trade their happy laughter for anything._MG_1055 THREE. Everyone loves to pretend to “do some work” on the laptop, just like Daddy. This Fisher Price computer came out of rotation this week, and each girl wants it for herself all the time._MG_1057 FOUR. It’s almost spring… time for some Easter window clings! We went to the dollar store this week to see what they had for Easter baskets and the preschool Easter party here in a few weeks. The girls love these stickers and amuse themselves for quite a while with them.PhotoGrid_1456510559932 FIVE. I read this talk this week and loved it. It contains so many great quotes and wonderful reminders of our Heavenly Father’s love for us. If you need to feel uplifted, this is for you.PhotoGrid_1456511900140

Happy weekend! 🙂

Linking up here!


I’ve never written one of these posts before… but I saw this link-up, and thought it looked like fun! Why not? Here we go…PhotoGrid_1456369059524

I confess… that when I drop Kaya off for her weekly preschool co-op, I don’t always know what to do with just one kid. I think I’m afraid of missing her, so most of the time, I distract myself by scrubbing the bathrooms and mopping. At least it’s a productive distraction!

I confess… that I’ve been checking every single day to see if there are any new listings in our town. I’m excited and nervous to hopefully find the perfect home for us here in the next few months!

I confess… that I’m pretty terrible at finishing projects that I start. Unless there’s a deadline, I’m slow as molasses at getting things done. I’m still working on crocheting the same baby blanket that I started months ago, and there are projects that have been sitting undone on my sewing table for quite a while now. I want to make Easter dresses for the girls, but I’m trying to make myself finish some of these other crafts first.

I confess… that I have always wanted western boots and totally fell in love with these yesterday when they were 50% off… but I had some self-control and didn’t buy them!

I confess… that Kaya openly proclaims Old Dominion’s “Break Up with Him” as her favorite song. She heard it on the radio once and it’s been her number one hit ever since. Whenever it comes on in the car, she’ll beg me to play it over and over again, but she doesn’t quite understand yet that I can’t control what they play on the radio.

I’ll stop there. I think five confessions is plenty for one day! 😉

turtles and basketball (weekend)

Grandma Debbie came up for a visit this weekend! Kaya was so excited and just couldn’t wait for her to arrive. Grandma brought lots of hugs and surprises for everyone, including Valentine’s candy, Beanie Baby turtles for the girls, and a steamer stock pot for me. Because of spoiling us, she always has much fewer things to pack up when she leaves. We’re just helping lighten her load, right?
_MG_1007We spent a lot of time just relaxing and playing at home. Kaya loved pretending to tuck us in for a nap on the couch.

After Michael got off work on Friday night, we all went to look at another house. It was beautiful and in a great neighborhood… but there was a line of clients to get in and see it! Crazy! We waited in the car for quite a while before it was our turn.

We knew it would sell quickly, and I wasn’t ready to jump into anything yet, so we didn’t make an offer. It was sold by the next morning, after being on the market for only one day!

After seeing the house, we took my mom out to our favorite Chinese place for her first time ever. Kaya hid behind Michael for this picture and Kaelyn was too busy with her cup to turn around! Haha.

On Saturday morning, Michael headed off to a stake basketball tournament. It lasted about 4 hours, and his team made it to the championship! He was sore for days afterward, and sadly, there are no pictures from this event.

Since he was gone, I took Kaya to her gymnastics class. She is getting so comfortable with most of the activities and even told me that she loves her teachers!

Later, we decided to decorate some sugar cookies with Grandma._MG_1014 Michael decorated two cookies. And he ate two cookies. And that was all for him!_MG_1013 _MG_1012 “Cookie decorating” is actually code for “cookie eating”._MG_1018 _MG_1021 _MG_1023 Kaya got a little excited about covering her entire cookie with candy and sprinkles. She made this bunny on the top right, and she was worried because she “missed a spot”. Hahaha._MG_1026 I got a little snowman-happy._MG_1028

We also enjoyed time with Karl and Kaitlyn, although I somehow didn’t get any pictures of their visit. We had church on Sunday, and finally took naps, after not having our regular nap routine for a few days. We were wiped out! Grandma left on Monday morning, and now, we are looking forward to our other set of grandparents visiting next weekend!

five on friday (02/19)

Happy Friday!!!

ONE. This girl has just been cracking me up nonstop lately. She does things just because she knows she’ll get a laugh out of us. My little goofball looks like she’s ready for the beach! Me too, Kaelyn, me too._MG_0989

Cutest little Hokie baby (Daddy might have instigated this one)!

TWO. Speaking of adorable, Kaya had her first-ever bun in her hair this week! Of course, it lasted about 5 minutes before she pulled the hood up on her jacket and messed it up, but hey, it’s exciting to know she has enough hair for this now!

THREE. We’ve been going to the children’s museum once a week every week since we joined, and my girls still get so excited for this special outing. Building with magnetic blocks is one of Kaya’s favorite activities.

Kaelyn was way too excited to “drive” the firetruck there!

FOUR. Every night before bed, these two cuddle up, read a book, and then play a few minutes of “Crossy Road” (just imagine “Frogger” on your phone) together. I don’t let Kaya play games or watch shows normally, so she really looks forward to this special time with Daddy._MG_0991

FIVE. I guess you could say that we are officially house hunting! We’ve been researching and looking into what we’re interested in buying for a while now, and we went to see our first property this week. It turned out to be a disappointment, but I’m still pretty excited that we’ve started the process.

Happy weekend! 🙂

Linking up here!

valentine’s day and getting snowed in again

Our Valentine’s Day was pretty low-key. Michael had church meetings at 6:30 am, so it was a normal day as far as Sundays go. I was dying to surprise him with my now-traditional homemade treat, but it just had to wait until after church.

We never do anything big for Valentine’s Day, but I love any excuse to surprise my family with gifts or sweets, so I secretly whipped up this giant “Reese’s” peanut butter cup for Michael (using this recipe)._MG_0956 He loves anything I ever make for him._MG_0958I wanted to do something fun for the girls, too, so I got them each a Valentine book (we didn’t have any in our collection… crazy!) and a $1 box of chocolate hearts.
_MG_0963 They needed naps almost as soon as we came home from church, so surprises just had to wait until afterward. I did keep reminding Kaya throughout the day that if she was good, she might get a Valentine surprise after nap time. Every time, she’d reply, “Oh, I’m a good girl!”_MG_0965 Give her anything with a cat on it and she’ll love you forever._MG_0966 Kaelyn loves anything that she doesn’t have to share with her sister. Haha._MG_0969 _MG_0971 My little bookworms._MG_0973 We ended the day with some serious goofing off and silly shenanigans. Seeing these three play together and laugh almost incessantly just melts my heart. I love this picture because it is completely real. Their true smiles and pure joy radiate from it. I feel so blessed in these little moments._MG_0976

On Sunday night, it snowed (again)! We ended up with about 8 inches of snow and an inch of ice, which was enough to close the University… again! We love it when Daddy gets to stay home with us.

We did manage to sneak out into the snow to deliver cookies to our sweet neighbor for her birthday. Kaya even helped make them, and she was so excited to shout “Happy Birthday!”, although I think her shyness got the best of her after we actually knocked on the door.

What better thing to do on a snowy day than play Xbox with Daddy? Kaelyn put this extra headset on all on her own! She has been cracking me up nonstop lately._MG_0982

my birthday: post-it notes and minions

It always seems like I’m counting down until my birthday for forever… and then it’s here and over in the blink of an eye. It’s hard to believe that Kaelyn’s birthday is next in our little family. I guess I better start planning because it’ll be here before we know it!

My birthday started out with my favorite activity: running! I managed to get in 5 miles, and it felt even more refreshing than usual because it had been too cold (we’re talking severe wind chills and “real feels” in the negatives) to go outside for most of the week.

I came home from exercising and found that my mirrors had been attacked by post-it notes! Michael wrote my favorite “Happy, Happy Birthday” song on them and put them up in the shape of a heart. Sorry, but you totally get a bathroom-mirror selfie for this. How else was I supposed to get a picture of it? (and yes, I never went to BYU-I, but I’m wearing their shirt because my brother and sister-in-law sent it to me, and it’s pretty much the most comfortable tee ever.)

Michael put even more post-it notes on our bedroom mirror. This time, he wrote down some of the most significant things I’ve done for our family in this past year. It was pretty neat to see the influence I’ve had as a wife and mom through so many small actions.Other than that, we had a pretty normal day at home. We did a lot of laundry and cleaning up. Kaya spent a good part of the day singing “happy birthday” to me (and anyone else she could think of). She also warned me that I couldn’t stay in the (nice, warm) shower “all day” because then I would “miss my party”. Haha. Luckily for her, my shower didn’t last 10 hours.

I watched a friend’s kids for about an hour in the afternoon, and she surprised me with cupcakes from Bubblecakes! I’ve been dying to try these, and they definitely lived up to the hype.

Michael came home from work, and then he took Kaya out to pick up pizza and a cake for me. She was looking forward to this all day. She chose the perfect cookie cake, and even carried it all through Kroger.

Kaelyn and I stayed home, and while we were waiting, Katherine dropped by with a hug and a sweet surprise! I have some fantastic friends.

Kaelyn was tired of waiting for pizza, so she busted out the snack container I keep in the diaper bag and started chowing down. I tried to get her to make the same expression as me for a photo… I guess we were a little bored, because we made so many attempts that Google Photos automatically created this collage for me. Haha.

Nailed it.

Michael and Kaya returned home close to 7 pm, and it was finally time to party! I love cookies much more than cake, so this was perfect for me._MG_0942 I wanted my babies to help me blow out the candles again this year. Can we just take a moment to remember how little they were last year? (seriously, Kaelyn’s chubby cheeks. I just can’t handle the cuteness!)_MG_0945 It took a few tries, but we finally did it together!_MG_0951We ended the evening by renting “Minions” (Kaya’s choice) and snuggling up on the couch together. My arms were full, and so is my heart. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday.

8 for 28

It’s my birthday! Year 27 flew on by… and I can’t believe I only have one more birthday left of my 20s after this. I’m not sad to be getting older, because I can honestly say that my heart just keeps feeling more and more full as the years go on.

Last year, I listed out a bunch of random facts about myself… and I kind of like that tradition, so here we go again!

1. Folding clean laundry is my least favorite chore. I usually do at least one load per day, so we usually don’t have many (or any) dirty clothes. It’s just that they all sit in the clean basket for far too long.

2. I have this weirdly awesome memory for numbers. I memorize people’s birthdays easily and can usually tell you on the spot the specific date that something happened.

3. Country music is my jam. I like some modern songs, but give me some classic Alan Jackson or Randy Travis anytime.

4. I never planned on getting married or having kids, but our babies have brought us more joy than I could have ever imagined. Now I think it could be fun to have a pretty big family.

5. I studied abroad in Europe 7 years ago, and sometimes I still daydream about what it’d be like to go back. One day…

6. I don’t like peanut butter (shocking, I know), and chocolate mixed with peanut butter is even more unappealing to me. I think Michael likes not having to share his Reese’s, though! 🙂

7. I’ve kept a consistent journal since I was 11 years old. I’ve written almost every day since early 2009.

8. I think now that I’m out of school, a lot of people don’t know- I’m a linguist. I have a BA in French and studied a total of 7 years of French, 2 years of Spanish, and 1 year of Italian. I miss having language classes and being immersed in it all day long!

Happy Friday! 🙂

fish, beads, and treats

Last week, there was just the tiniest hint of spring in the air. The snow melted, and the sun was beating down, warm on our faces. The birds were joyously chirping in the mornings. Even Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring.

Now, last night, we endured a “real feel” of negative 4 degrees. Welcome back, winter! 😉

We took advantage of the glorious weather while we had the chance. 40 degrees means you need to get on your coats and hightail it to the nearest playground! I’m not sure my kids have ever been so excited to see a slide as they were on this first day out after our big storm. Most of the ground was still covered with old snow, but they didn’t care one bit.

There’s nothing like the great outdoors (and a mouthful of fruit snacks…)
I hosted our co-op preschool last week, so for the letter F, we had to make some “fish”, of course. I love how they were all so unique (left to right: Kaya, Mia, Bennett).

The girls have started spending the majority of the day playing together, not just side by side. Kaya is definitely the leader, and can sometimes direct Kaelyn around a little too much, but overall, they truly enjoy being together.

Doctor Kaya (notice her name tag), now offers (pretend) hair cuts as well as medical services. I guess this is what it takes to have a competitive business these days._MG_0889 Kaya loves to help with anything and everything we’ll allow her to. Lately, I’ve put her to work washing windows and scrubbing potatoes. This is a truly happy kid!_MG_0896

She’s also really gotten into her perler bead kit, and made her first project all by herself- a turtle! She somehow convinced Daddy to make her a horse, too._MG_0923We’ve done a little Valentine crafting this week. Kaya really liked pompom painting this heart._MG_0930She also helped me put together her Valentine treats for her preschool friends. She loved mixing and scooping all the ingredients into the bags, and frequently asked “where’s mine?” We got the idea for “s’mores” bags (animal crackers, marshmallows, and m&ms) from here, and printed the tags from here. Easy, tasty, and adorable._MG_0932Also tasty… the dessert we got at the mall on Friday night. Fudgiest. brownie. EVER.

Also adorable… the way that Kaelyn so fervently waves “bye!!” to Daddy when he leaves for work, and how she rushes over to hug him when he returns home. I love her sweet, pure love for her family.
_MG_0936She also adores it when he plays “airplane” with her. They have frequent tickle fights. It gets kind of crazy, but she obviously loves it.
_MG_0935 Kaya is almost getting too big for this… but she had to have a turn too, of course!_MG_0937

And that’s what we’ve been up to lately. One day until my birthday!

a visit to the children’s museum

We had our first-ever visit to the children’s museum on Friday! I think we might’ve been the very last people in town to finally go check it out… so when a friend offered us some free day passes, we definitely had to go.

As expected, my girls absolutely loved everything there. They have so many different stations for imaginative play, and despite being there for over 3 hours, we still didn’t try everything out. I think they spent the most time “grocery shopping” and pretending to cook food.

I have to admit, it was nice to play with my girls away from home, where I usually am constantly trying to clean or get something else done. I loved being able to just focus on them.

Kaya absolutely adored this little fort filled with books.

And, of course, she made friends with a giant teddy bear. She won’t stop talking about going back to see him. Kaelyn is such a goofball sometimes, pretending to lie down and go to sleep…

I loved seeing them explore new situations and figure out how to complete different tasks.We stayed well past lunchtime and into the beginning of nap time, so when we made it home, we hurried to get lunch ready, and then we all promptly passed out.

We had such a good time that we ended up buying a family membership for year. I think it’s going to be well worth it!

currently (feb 2016)

Daydreaming… about the beach! It’s always right around this time of year that I just can’t seem to stop thinking about the sand, waves, and salty sea air. Although we’ve had an extremely mild winter here (it’s 42 degrees right now), I still find myself craving that special family time and the slow-paced life near the sea. I booked our (seemingly traditional) family trip last week for this summer, and I am already imagining the joy on my girls’ faces when we get there._MG_7589Reading… The Book Thief. I just started this one, but I usually get really into historical fiction, so I’m hoping it’s a good one. I also snagged a free one-year subscription to Parents magazine and I’m hooked (and admitting that totally makes me feel like an actual, bona fide mom now…)

Watching… Malcolm in the Middle. Yes, again. Michael and I have practically made it our nightly ritual to watch one episode while having dessert after the kids go to bed. It’s so simple, but I look forward to that 20-ish minutes of laughing with my best buddy all day. We watched the series a few years back (either right before or right after Kaya was born), but now that we’re a tiny bit more seasoned as parents, I think the show is even more hilarious than from a kid’s point of view.

Counting down… until my birthday (8 days) and Valentine’s Day! Having the two so close together makes for a pretty good excuse to bake and have treats all week, right? I’m also really excited about surprising the girls with something small, and hopefully making Valentine’s sugar cookies. Mmm. I made Michael some homemade peanut butter cups last year, but this candy bark is pretty enticing for this year:

Sleeping… on the couch way too much lately. We’ve been going to bed late, and I admit, if I sit down on the couch during naptime, I sometimes pass out… and then my whole afternoon is gone. Basically, if you want to be productive, never sit on the couch. Ever. And now you know what I’m doing instead of blogging most of the time.

Thinking… about what we’re going to do for preschool next year for Kaya. If I want to sign her up for a program, I need to do it soon. I am having such a good time just with our homeschool preschool, and I know Kaya loves it too, so I mostly just want to keep going with it. She does only have one more school year before kindergarten though, so I feel like we really need to make it count, whatever it is we choose.

Right now, my whole Pinterest account is has practically been run over by preschool plans. Haha!