easter bunnies, eggs, and baskets

We didn’t have a big Easter celebration this year, mostly because I really wanted to keep that Sunday truly focused on Christ and the real meaning of the holiday. We taught our girls some of the stories about Jesus during the last week of his life (I really liked using these lessons as a basis for ideas, and these Bible videos are a great supplement). They’ve loved hearing the lessons just as much as I’ve loved teaching them.

In an effort to keep things simple, I didn’t put together Easter baskets this year, but I did let them each choose a chocolate bunny at the store on the Monday after Easter (hello clearance)! Kaelyn was ready to eat as much of it as she could before I could say, “let’s put it away and save some for later”, but Kaya sobbed and sobbed that her bunny was going to disappear if she ate him. She’s a truly tender-hearted animal lover.  We did have a small Easter egg hunt for family night. They were both so good at finding the eggs that I think I’m going to have to make it a lot harder next year!Have you ever seen anyone so excited about jellybeans?Grandma Debbie also sent some Easter surprises!
Kaya always gets (and adores) cats… …and Kaelyn always receives puppies (who like to give pretend kisses, apparently)! PEEPS!Nella had no idea what was going on, but she did get a cute singing lightning bug, so she was happy. Happy first Easter, Nella!

spring birdhouses

Last year, around Easter time, we made these cute little graham cracker birdhouses as part of our craft/snack for our co-op preschool. I thought it would be so much fun to do it again, but as a family this time! This was our Monday-night activity this past week, and it was a big hit. How could anything that involves frosting and graham crackers not be popular with kids four and under? Kaelyn was pretty much obsessed with trying to sneakily eat the frosting.She wasn’t a little crazy from the sugar at all
Kaelyn and Daddy collaborated on the same birdhouse at first, since she’s still a little too small to really get it started on her own. This is real teamwork! She did add her own Peeps and some Cadbury eggs, and she was so happy with how her house turned out! Michael made his own later on, complete with a wreath over the entrance. Classy. Kaya needed a little help with getting the walls up, but this design was all her own. She looked at mine for basic inspiration and then added her own finishing touches. Kaya told me that her marshmallow Peeps had a lot of kids… as you can see, they didn’t all fit in the house! I love that Kaelyn added a half-unwrapped Starburst to hers… …and then we have Michael’s house, complete with chocolate “bird poop” next to the Peep, as described by him.

We’re all a little crazy, but I really love these simple family moments together.

easter dresses (2017)

I look at these photos and I just feel so blessed. I’m grateful for these amazing, beautiful baby girls. Their soft, flowy new dresses and shiny shoes made them giddy with excitement this year. Those bright eyes and happy smiles are everything to me.I won’t even tell you how many treats I bribed them with to get these photos taken, but it was totally worth it.The candid ones are always my favorites (although I obviously have a lot of favorites, since I clearly couldn’t narrow down which photos to post…)!
Kaya’s dress is from The Children’s Place… if only they made an adult version!
She is so stunning.
It’s nearly impossible to get Kaelyn to look at the camera (not much has changed since last year, I guess!), but even when she’s looking away, she’s a real beauty.
We love her sneaky little sideways smile… Kaelyn’s and Nella’s dresses are from Crazy8, and I bought them before Nella was even born. Sadly, Kaya’s size wasn’t available, so I settled for having two of them match.
This squishy-cheeked princess had no idea what we were doing, but she’s already a pro at smiling for the camera!
I tried so hard to get her to sit up for a couple of photos. Yes, I made her exercise even while wearing a nice dress!
Those cheeks and lips!

Happy Easter!

easter 2016 dresses

This post is mostly for myself to look back on and laugh… because I took probably 30 photos of them in their dresses, but I’ve got a toddler who won’t look at the camera, and a preschooler who just won’t stop jumping. It makes for some pretty hilarious pictures!

This one actually turned out pretty cute. I love when they hold hands. Sometimes, they run up and down the hallway, hand-in-hand, going as fast as they can without tripping. It’s like a game!_MG_1407I was cracking up when I was going through these, because most of them looked like this:
_MG_1392 She’s getting good at giving the stink-eye…_MG_1404 I love having two little girls so close in age. Matching ruffly dresses and patent leather shoes make my heart swoon a little._MG_1387 _MG_1382 Obviously, she has some serious things weighing on her mind._MG_1421CHEESE!

easter baskets 2016

I’m pretty much the slowest at finishing blogging about our Easter festivities… but better late than never! I love having all these details to look back on, so yes, I took about 30 pictures of my kids and their Easter baskets. Haha.

I am always so excited to put together any kind of gift for my kids, and Easter baskets are no exception. Here’s Kaelyn’s basket, which contained a stuffed bunny, a stuffed “Arlo” from The Good Dinosaur, finger puppets, flip-flops, two books, carrot bubbles, guinea pig stickers, a Minnie Mouse plate, a hopping chick, and of course, a chocolate bunny!_MG_1281 _MG_1286 _MG_1288 And it all fit in her bucket… amazingly._MG_1292 Kaya’s basket had Minion stickers, a stuffed bunny and Arlo, Calico Critters with their baby stroller, two books, carrot bubbles, a rainbow necklace, a matching/memory game, a hopping bunny, a Frozen cup, and a chocolate bunny._MG_1295 _MG_1301 _MG_1299 _MG_1311 We gave them their baskets on Saturday, after the Easter egg hunt. There just isn’t really time for it on Sunday with early church and then afternoon naps, so I thought we’d all enjoy it more if we did it a day early. I also thought it’d be nice not to worry about all the “wordly” things on a day that we should be more focused on our Savior.

We had some very excited girls._MG_1346 _MG_1348 _MG_1351

I think that Kaelyn had no idea what some of the things in her basket were… but she was still so excited to take everything out and examine it. This is her very first pair of flip-flops. We’re ready for summer now!_MG_1356 Frozen-themed anything is her favorite._MG_1357 Guinea pig stickers for my little piggy-lover…_MG_1358 Kaya has loved the minions ever since she saw the movie with us on my birthday. They are pretty hilarious. I love that she’s old enough to enjoy silly things like that with us now._MG_1362 Again… I’m not sure she knew what the finger puppets were for, but she’s figured it out and loves them now!_MG_1363Kaya’s favorite item was her Calico Critters bunny twin set. She practically hasn’t stopped playing with them all week. They sleep up on her bed and she pushes them in the miniature stroller all around the house.
_MG_1368 She insisted that I take a picture of them, too. I really love the little details on these guys._MG_1373I couldn’t resist also making Michael a basket. He got some candy (Sour Patch Kids, a bunny, and Whoppers), and this new Apples to Apples game. I can’t wait to play it, but we obviously need to have some friends over, since it doesn’t really work well with just two people. Anyone up for a game night? 😉_MG_1372A certain little girl begged me for her chocolate bunny almost immediately after the basket-opening was done. I was shocked when she ate 2/3 of it in one sitting… but it was a holiday, and so I let her enjoy it. She had the sweetest little smile and made the happiest lip-smacking sounds._MG_1374

Happy Friday everyone!

easter egg hunt 2016

We had a fantastic Easter weekend, and as usual, I took plenty of pictures, so I think I’ll be splitting them up over a few separate blog posts. This way, it’s quicker for me to write, and easier for you to read!

I kicked off my Saturday morning with a 6.3-mile run. The weather was chilly (I had all my winter gear on), but still beautiful. It was great practice for my first 10k in a couple of weeks! I returned home to a house full of sleepyheads, all still completely unaware that I had even left.

We hurried the girls through eating breakfast and getting washed up, and then headed to the church so Michael could practice a special musical number that he would perform on Sunday. Piano and flute together on “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” seriously might be one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever heard. I wish I would have recorded it so I could listen to it a million times over.

After his practice, we drove over to the park for the town’s annual Easter egg hunt. There was a bit of a wait for the 3-year-olds, but I took Kaelyn through the line for 2-year-olds pretty quickly.

There’s a little fenced-in area, filled with straw, where the eggs are hidden. Parents aren’t allowed to go in, and are required to watch from the side. Well, Kaelyn wasn’t having any of that, and wouldn’t even walk in there without me. Some of the volunteers handed her a few eggs out of pity, and she insisted on handing them back! Somehow, she ended up with three eggs and lost one before we made it back to the car. Better luck next year, sweetie.
_MG_1320 _MG_1319 Kaya, on the other hand, was more than ready to run in there and grab all the eggs she could!_MG_1325 _MG_1326 She found so many eggs that one of the volunteers actually had to stop her from picking up any more. She was beaming and so proud of herself._MG_1329 I can’t believe how much this beautiful little girl has grown in just a couple of short years._MG_1334 And when I see this face… I see her daddy and all the silly poses he does for photos._MG_1341 Neither of them wanted anything to do with the Easter Bunny himself (not that I really blame them… those giant furry rabbit costumes always seem more scary than cute)… But I did get them to at least stand in front of a giant Easter Egg. Kaelyn won’t look at the camera for all the candy bribery in the world these days…_MG_1342And that’s it- part one of our Easter celebrations! How was yours? 🙂

five on friday (03/25)

Happy Easter weekend! We’ve been so excited for this weekend and all the festivities coming up. Here’s to springtime and sunshine!

ONE. We had our preschool Easter party this week! It was my turn to host a party, and thankfully, it all went well. I always get a little nervous and really tried to make it a good time for the kids. I think I succeeded, because afterward, Kaya just kept telling me she wanted to do it all again with our friends.

We did several different activities, but I really loved these little “birdhouse” snacks we made._MG_1271Cute, easy, and delicious.
_MG_1265 TWO. Sometimes, this is what it looks like to be a “girl dad”. He’s the best (and those little toes are still my favorite…)_MG_1232

THREE. These cheeks were FULL of pickle slices! Kaelyn is so open to trying new foods lately, and I love that I can count on her to eat almost anything I make. Also… those baby blues. My other favorite thing!_MG_1221FOUR. We spent some time outside in the sunshine this week. There is nothing like exercise, fresh air, and a break from being at home with all the chores and other distractions. I love this time with my babies.

Kaya loved it until a fly landed on her hat… and then she was too frightened to play anymore. We’re working on tolerating bugs at the playground… 😉

FIVE. Now that Kaya can recognize the letters in the word “donut”, I’m calling all our homeschool preschool learning a success (or maybe we really have just had too many donuts lately). Seriously though, I am SO proud of her and happy to see that she is retaining information.

A video posted by Tara (@tarairwin) on

Happy Easter!
Linking up here!

easter baskets and brunch

Our Easter Sunday was filled with family, good food, and General Conference! We went to bed with our tummies and hearts so full… and isn’t that when you just know you’ve had one of the best days?

I was up earlier than everyone else to get started on some donuts for brunch later, so I was pretty excited while waiting for my girls to wake up and see their baskets. I was straightening up in the living room when Kaya leaned over the gate to her room and said “Hellooo. Clean up?” I probably rushed her out of her room too quickly because I was so happy to see her awake!

It was this little sweetie’s last “first” holiday! She loved the eggs and wrapping on the baskets.
_MG_6968 _MG_6971 Kaya wanted to make some ice cream cones right away!_MG_6975 … and then this happened. Haha.icecream04052015 Kaelyn mostly just loved playing with her basket and wouldn’t have cared if we never even opened it!_MG_6977 “Ooo… Owaf!”_MG_6982 _MG_6984 Kaelyn only wanted her sippy cup…_MG_6987 … and Kaya was ready to take all her toys (which is nothing out of the ordinary, anway)!_MG_6986 _MG_6990 We also surprised Michael with a basket! I gave it to Kaya, and she ran out of the den yelling “PRISE!!!” She was so happy to show Daddy what she had for him. 🙂_MG_6993 _MG_6996 These might not be the prettiest donuts, but they were delicious for sure. You don’t need a donut pan, and they’re baked, not fried! If you love cinnamon-sugar, give these a try (recipe here)._MG_7008 Jeff and Lelia brought waffles; Mom and Dad brought bacon and strawberries, and we had a feast! Everything was so delicious. Kaya probably ate a pound of strawberries!

_MG_6999 Grandma had some good cuddle time with the girls!_MG_7002 We tried to get a good picture of them in the matching skirts I made, but Kaya just wasn’t in the mood for it. We tried to bribe her with M&Ms, and Kaelyn was so anxious to try and get hold of some!_MG_7014Oh well. We all had such a great holiday together!
_MG_7016Hope you had a fantastic Easter!

Sadie Sky Boutique

five on friday: fauxhawks and easter eggs

ONE. We’ve been enjoying the sunshine so much this week! Nothing makes me happier than spending all morning outdoors with my babies and feeling the warmth on my skin. I love how much they both enjoy walks and connecting with nature. These are the days I long for all winter!Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset TWO. We had an Easter egg hunt with friends on Thursday! We hardly hid the eggs at all and mostly just threw them on the ground for the kids to pick up… but they LOVED it and had such a great time. Kaya loved opening the eggs and feeding most of the jelly beans to Mia! Haha.Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset THREE. This girl and her fauxhawk (and how ’bout them cheeks?)! She woke up like this, and her hair held its shape for most of the day._MG_6939I think she’s ready to rock and roll (well, she’s at least got the rolling part down…)_MG_6942 FOUR. Kaya really still needs to be strapped in for meals in order to avoid crumbs and sticky hands everywhere, so I figured it’d be useful to have a second seat where Kaelyn could join us at the table and eat her purees. I bought this one, originally intending for Kaelyn to use it, but Kaya thinks it’s the most fun thing ever to sit in “Baba’s seat”! When we take the tray off, it’s actually been a really great booster seat for Kaya to eat directly on the table. I love having everyone sitting together at mealtimes now!_MG_6936FIVE. Happy Easter! #BecauseHeLives

Linking up with Christina and friends today!

easter baskets 2015

I was so super excited to make Easter baskets for my babies this year! I contemplated what I wanted to do for a long time, because I definitely don’t want the focus of Easter to be on material things, and I definitely don’t want to overload my toddler with candy, either.

Easter is about Christ. We can live again because of all that He did! Kaya and I have been talking for a couple weeks now about Jesus and how Easter celebrates His Resurrection. It’s so important to me that she understands that!

Still, giving gifts is my love language, so I might have actually gotten too many things. Oops. They’re only little once though, and so I’m having fun with it while I can.

I decided to give them one “nicer” toy, a book, and then everything else was either something they needed anyway (like the sippy cup and plate) or from the dollar store or clearance.

_MG_6955 - Copy

1. Bright Starts Links
2. Sippy cup
3. Light-up bouncy ball (dollar store)
4. Hape Push and Pull Giraffe
5. Hair bows (Walmart clearance)
6. “Guess How Much I Love You” book
_MG_6947 - Copy1. Alphabet Sticker Book (dollar store)
2. Giant Coloring Book (dollar store)
3. Olaf and Sven plate
4. Sidewalk chalk eggs (dollar store)
5. Light-up bouncy ball (dollar store)
6. Hair bows (Walmart clearance)
7. Lego Duplo Creative Ice Cream (I was crazy and ordered it thinking it would be small enough to fit in her basket… whoops!)

I’m excited to see how surprised they are on Sunday morning! 🙂easter egg blog hop logo - the good life blog (1)