five on friday! (11/15)

We’re halfway through November already. I really can’t believe it! I’m trying my best to get caught up on here before the holidays start.

ONE. Our beloved Kangaroo Kids class has officially ended until next year. I have just as much fun as the girls do, and I really could make a whole post out of it, but I’ll just keep it to the highlights here.They loved this new inflatable pizza.Kaya and Kaelyn ask about these hopper balls nearly every week. These were one of my favorite things in my elementary school gym class, too.Bubble time is Evie’s favorite! She is also obsessed with the bounce house now that she screams when we get out of it!Eve is also now a pro basketball player. Her little ponytail and headband made this even more adorable!

Michael got to come with us to an evening class (unusual for us, but it was a make-up class), so I had extra time to bounce around with the girls. This is one of my favorite things for sure.

TWO. Michael went to a conference at Cornell University last week. He even had the opportunity to present! I’m so proud of him for all the amazing presentations he does and how well he represents his team at work.He got to enjoy some snow, but thankfully, it didn’t affect his flight home at all.So pretty! I love seeing other university campuses.The girls had a very hard time with him gone, which meant they were constantly waking up at night and crying. It was rough. We did do quite a bit of Facetiming with Daddy (and when you have four little girls, it’s totally normal to have a unicorn on your head)!Kaya sent Daddy this text, and I thought it was just the sweetest representation of how much she loves him.We’re happy to have him home!

THREE. Our children’s museum closed at the beginning of the year in order to renovate a new space and move! We really missed going, and it seemed like forever until it was finally done, but it opened last week! We went for the first time and had so much fun with all the new play areas.The girls loved the vet clinic and had to play there first, of course.Eve loves guinea pigs, so this piggy was her best friend for the rest of the day. (Also, those fuzzy boots on her just melt me!)Daddy had just as much fun building tall towers and knocking them over.Kaya became a builder!They had these benches that you could decorate with markers. Kaelyn surprised me by writing this on the bench, and I hope they never paint over it.Kaya made a cat, of course!FOUR. This one was from a few weeks ago, but I love time with our friends so much that I had to put it in here. We had a few play dates with Aaliyah and Talyah at the playground before it got so cold. The girls play together so well, and I am grateful for friends.FIVE. After a rough week with Michael being gone, and then the girls taking turns being sick, everything felt hard. Sometimes, I feel like I’m doing this whole motherhood thing wrong, and I get discouraged. Without ever knowing how much this means to me, Nella took the special sticker she got at Kangaroo Kids (hearts are her very favorite), put it on a paper, and added some yellow scribbles. She gave it to me and said, “I luh you”. My heart melted.These precious little moments are what get me through the hard days.Happy Friday!

five on friday! (10/18)

Happy Friday! I have a lot of small things to share that have brought me so much joy this week, so I’m glad to squeeze this post in just before Friday ends. Little things really are my favorite.

ONE. I have to start with these adorable matching sisters! I know I’m biased, but come on… that ear-to-ear grin on Nella and Eve’s insanely-blue eyes? They are really becoming little buddies with a perfect sibling relationship, meaning that sometimes they play and hug, and other times, they push each other and fight over toys. I really love seeing them interact, and having them wear the same shirts that Kaya and Kaelyn wore four years ago just completely melts my heart. They’re my next inseparable duo, just like their oldest sisters. TWO. Kangaroo Kids started up again, and these girls could not be happier. I love seeing them jump, climb, balance, and pretend. Nella has started asking, “Go Bim Bam” when she wants to go to our class, because at the end, we usually sing a few songs, including this one called Razzama Tazzama. Watching her have fun is just the greatest.Eve is all over the place now, walking and climbing on everything. She really wants to keep up with her sisters.THREE. Kaya and Kaelyn have been making some pretty fun art lately. Kaya started this one out as a galaxy, but it somehow turned into a rainbow, as most of her creations do!

Kaelyn made this card for Kaya. It says, “Kaya, I hope you like this card. I love you Kaya.” She even made a little “frame” for it (they learned how to do that from Mr. Rogers), and attached a cute turtle at the bottom. She’s so thoughtful.

This one is from Kaelyn, to me. She drew me outside with flowers and a butterfly!Kaya has also been really into making these bubble/block letters. She sometimes writes notes on the magnadoodle board and leaves them for me to find.FOUR. I got to do a photo session for a family Michael knows through work this week, and we had a lot of fun. Michael met up with me on location so he could take the kids, but they ended up staying and playing with the other family’s little girl, which was a blast. We all went to dinner afterward, and I’m still excited about the dreamy lighting we had.Those little arms reaching around Daddy for a hug… ahhhh my heart!FIVE. Kaya came down with a cold on Thursday, so she’s done quite a bit of sleeping, and we’ve had modified school lessons. We even counted watching The Magic School Bus as science, which everyone really really loved!In between sleeping, she’s read over 100 pages of Because of Winn-Dixie. I’m so proud of my avid reader! She can’t wait to see the movie when she’s finished.Happy weekend!

a dinosaur in san francisco (dockercon 2019)

Immediately after my half marathon, we dropped Michael off to catch his flight to San Francisco for DockerCon 2019! While he was flying, we did some chores, and then mostly tried to take it easy after my big run. We even napped and watched some shows!

Michael had the opportunity to bike around San Francisco on his first day there, which he said was actually surprisingly hilly and challenging. He even saw (and biked across) the Golden Gate Bridge!Seriously so beautiful!  He enjoyed about 27 miles that morning.I really liked his picture of the Port of San Francisco. It’s a beautiful building!Michael was asked to do both a talk and a workshop. He certainly was busy, but he loves all of this. (If you want to read his slides, go here!)He also spent some time running around in his T-Rex suit (it’s kind of a joke in the Docker community, referencing “Dino Apps”)! Dino selfie!
The best talks are repeated for a second session, and Michael’s was chosen this time! He decided to make a hilarious appearance in his dinosaur costume.His grand entrance!

It would have been pretty challenging to give his entire talk wearing that, so he turned back into a normal person. I’m really proud of him and how much he’s accomplished.Meanwhile, we were back home having a lot of fun, too! We spent the first few days on our own, and then Grandma Gina got to come up and help us. We went to Kangaroo Kids!Grandma and Kaya played “tennis” almost the entire time!Evie has always loved the bubble machine.We also spent some time at the library!Who is this big kid standing up like this?Nels got to visit the Hokie Bird when Grandma took them out for ice cream! She is obsessed with him these days, and I love it.Mmmmm!Later in the week, Grandma also took us to Chinese! Eve had her first tastes of sweet and sour chicken and also orange jello. She loved it all!Nella became an orange jello monster!!!Seriously, it was everywhere. At least she had fun!Michael arrived home very late on Friday night, so these little girls were definitely excited to wake up on Saturday and see him!

five favorites (05/19)

Happy Monday!!! I’m still making an effort to make these posts simpler so that I’ll write them more often. Here are a few fun recent moments!

ONE. We have been studying plants for the last few weeks and just wrapped up today! I decided to do something different than using a regular textbook for this unit, so I bought this set of lessons, labs, and powerpoints. It’s been a whole lot of fun for all of us! The girls are growing some lima beans in a bag, have learned about the plant life cycle, and are fascinated by carnivorous plants. They also really loved doing this pollination lab, where their fingers were insects, the juice box was nectar, and the cheese puff residue was the pollen.
The life cycle of a plant, according to Kaya. Notice the seeds dropping off on the last plant!TWO. We had our final Kangaroo Kids class last week. I’m always so sad to see it end for the summer! No one else in our class showed up, so we had the whole place to ourselves. Kaya built this little “ice cream shop”, and served her sisters (and me!) desserts for nearly the entire time. The balls were the scoops of ice cream. The green bucket was even “dairy free”, special for me. I just love her creativity.Kaya even built this little “seating area” you could go to after getting your ice cream. Nella was having a good time!THREE. The pink castle tent usually stays in the basement, but it’s been back in the living room for the past couple of weeks, so there’s been a whole lot of playing “house” and just generally hanging out in there. Even Evie loves it! Nella and Eve have been doing a lot more together lately, so I loved seeing them having a little party together in there.Nella is always taking care of a baby doll!FOUR. When you’re the size of a baby doll, you might just get a (nice, slow) ride in a doll stroller… Being the littlest sister seems to be the most fun!

FIVE. We watched the new Christopher Robin movie a couple of weeks ago. The girls loved it, and I cried the whole way through it. It was really well done! I found this sign in the big girls’ room after nap one day, and I just thought it seemed like something right out of the movie. The girls kept asking me if Heffalumps were real for a few days afterward, although they said this sign was to keep sharks away.

five favorites (05/06)

It’s been almost two weeks since I logged on here, and I can’t believe how time is just flying by. We have had a whole lot going on around here (Conference weekend, Easter, two races I’ve run, Michael traveling), and I’m really hoping I can catch up on all of that soon, but for now, here’s a little bit of our lives lately!

ONE. Kaya and Kaelyn have been doing swim lessons this spring and are absolutely loving it. Kaya just completed her second session (and moved up to level 2), and Kaelyn finished her very first session and is doing awesome. They look forward to this all week!

TWO. We got a visit from Brittany and her THREE kids a couple Fridays ago! This was our first time meeting baby Henry, and he sure was sweet. Look at all these kids between the two of us now! We were also laughing about how Henry is vastly outnumbered. Alice and Nella hit it off almost right away and played together all day. Kaya, Kaelyn, and Caroline eventually warmed up and ended up building forts to play in. The only thing that could have made it more fun would have been having the rest of our original playdate group here, too! Blurry, but I still like this one, so here it is. I’m grateful for lifetime friends!

THREE. We had our very first visit to the nature center with Bianca and her kids! This is the kind of picture you get when it’s just too sunny: They were obsessed with the sandboxes and played in them almost the entire time.This topographic sandbox was awesome! I love hands-on things like this.Kaya loved this turtle named “Blueberry”.

FOUR. Would this even be a post without Kangaroo Kids in it? The girls enjoyed some hula-hoop fun!“Look, it’s Saturn!”I am kind of obsessed with putting Eve in every ball pit and taking her picture. Drumming in a pool of rainbow kickballs!Eve is really getting into all of it and having so much fun every time we go.

FIVE. We need a little more Nella in this post… so here she is! She is really into coloring and drawing scribble pictures lately. My office always looks like an explosion of art supplies… but I’m grateful the girls love creating and using their imaginations.Nothing beats this smile.

Happy Monday!

five favorites (04/08)

One of these days, I’ll get back to writing these posts on Fridays, but for now, I’m counting writing this at all as a win!

ONE. I maybe should have just titled this “all the silly things Nella does”, because believe me, there are a lot. This girl knows that we think almost anything she does is absolutely adorable (and she’s right)! She can make a “camera” out of blocks and get us to smile!

She can also get her sisters to carry her around in a box (props to Kaya, who was obviously doing the heavy lifting here). Speedy delivery!

TWO. Nella also graduated to sitting at the big table! She loves being treated like a big kid. She also loves that she can escape if we forget to buckle her in!

THREE. Kangaroo Kids will forever be one of my favorite memories with my girls… and it was extra special last week, because Evie got to join in on a tiny bit of fun! She went in the ball pit and had such a good time.Then Kaya completely surprised me by doing a flip all on her own (and then she asked to do it again so I could record it)! I think I need to get her back into gymnastics.

FOUR. Michael was so pumped about being a “waiter” for the Young Men & Young Women’s pre-dance formal dinner last weekend. He was eager to get all dressed up and even practiced his “waiter pose”. I think he was a little embarrassed for me to snap his picture, so he gave me a full 0.005 seconds to take it, but why not?

FIVE. Another month has come and gone (how?!), so I already have another 1 Second Everyday video for March. I just love these! I’m not sure they’ll ever get old.

Happy Monday!


five favorites (03/19)

I meant to post this on Friday, but I keep falling asleep on the couch and not finishing anything! I don’t say that to complain; it’s just the season of life I’m in right now, and I want to remember it.

We’ve been having some fun around here amidst all the craziness:

ONE. These cute girls have loved our Kangaroo Kids class the past few weeks. They were especially excited to see these little hopper balls out to play with during one class. This is one of their very favorite things to do, and I think they hopped around for at least 30 minutes straight. Nella tried it out, too, but she hasn’t been very keen on having her picture taken lately. Bubble and parachute time is always a favorite! The bubbles are popped all over Kaelyn’s hair and jacket in this picture. We usually sing “Zoom zoom zoom, we’re going to the moon!” at the end of each class while playing with the parachute. I love seeing all the kids get so excited for this part.TWO. Nella is getting interested in coloring, finally! She really didn’t care for it at all until now. Now we just need to work on staying on the paper! Oops.THREE. We finished our standardized testing for Kaya’s first grade year, so we all went out to celebrate with frozen yogurt! These were some very happy girls. (Bonus: Nella was free because she’s under 3!)They have a giant chalkboard there, so of course, we all had to draw something. Kaelyn made this pig eating an ice cream cone. Adorable!Kaya made herself with a cat, with ice cream!FOUR. Nella is obsessed with helping me in the kitchen lately, whether it’s putting clean silverware away or baking. She loves putting the muffin cups into the pan… or just lining them up, putting chocolate chips in them, and eating them. Same thing, right? FIVE. I started using the 1 Second Everday app in February in order to encourage myself to take more videos. So far, it’s been a lot of fun! Here is last month’s little video collage. These types of things really help me see the beauty in everyday life.

Happy Tuesday!

five favorites (02/19)

I meant to post this last week, but, well, you already know what I’d probably say here. These pictures were too cute to pass up sharing, so I just had to take a few minutes to write this out!

ONE. We started back at Kangaroo Kids for the first time since before the holidays. These girls are always excited, and I don’t think it will ever get old. I love seeing them all climb into the ball pit together (Nella’s favorite thing is still trying to throw as many balls as she can out…)!Kaya and Kaelyn play together the entire hour. I’m so grateful that they’re best friends and truly love being with each other. I think maybe we should sign Kaya up for basketball for real… She is getting really good at shooting hoops (and there are much higher ones than this there, too). I also still think she’s going to end up pretty tall (although she doesn’t like to hear that for some unknown reason), so that might even give her an edge.Nella looks forward to the bubbles at the end! This might be her favorite part.

TWO. I bought a Cricut machine on super sale a while ago, and between having computer/software issues and just being intimidated by it, it took me a long time to actually use it. Well, I made my first project, and it was so much fun! Also, it was a lot easier than I thought it’d be. I put this Minnie Mouse on an old t-shirt of Kaelyn’s for practice.She was the happiest girl! And now I want to make all the things.

THREE. I didn’t make this camera onesie, but I’ve wanted one of these forever, so when my favorite kids’ clothing store (Carter’s) had a sale, I finally got one for Eve. Baby photographer!Everything about this just melts me.FOUR. When flower-print leggings were on sale… I just had to. It’s hard to find something they can all wear, so matching all four girls was extra fun. I love living in a haze of pink. (You should have seen all the crazy things I was doing to get these laughs out of them… Nella’s plush “Baby Beagle” was dancing on my head and making the funniest noises! Nella also insisted that her Tigey be in the photo!)

FIVE. There’s nothing like a little girl who regularly steals your boots.There was one morning where my little boot-loving girl came downstairs about 15 minutes before her sisters, so she and I got to have some quality time baking muffins together. It’s rare to have that precious time with only her, so I relished it. She put all the muffin cups in the pan, and I tried to teach her the colors as she did so.

five favorites (11/04)

Happy November! I’m going to try to do better with blogging this month, because I really do miss documenting more about our daily life and my kids’ shenanigans. We’re in the busiest season of our lives, though, so I’m trying to give myself some grace and understand that I just can’t do it all right now.

Here’s a little of what we’ve been up to!

ONE. We had a fun, memorable Halloween, but the girls enjoyed wearing several of their costumes from previous years for the entire week. They saved their “real” costumes for Halloween day (which will be another post). We had a lot of roaring and growling going on with a tiger and a dinosaur roaming around the house!
On another day, we had a quiet little giraffe in our midst.Kaya and Kaelyn also made some Halloween-themed art! They only asked me to spell “Halloween”, and they came up with the rest of this on their own. I just love these little ghosts. TWO. We’ve been having some fun at Kangaroo Kids the past few weeks! It’s been great to go back after an entire summer off, and the girls couldn’t have been more excited than they were on that first day we walked in. It’s also been really fun to watch Nella enjoying it more and more now that she’s a little older.Best friends. THREE. We went to the “Bug Fest” a couple of weekends ago, where we learned all about various types of insects (butterflies, honeybees, tarantulas, and cockroaches, to name a few). The girls were the very most excited about holding butterflies at the end of the event! I wasn’t so sure I wanted to hold one, but Michael encouraged me to, and it was actually pretty cool! Nella even held one for just a split second, which wasn’t long enough to get a picture.Butterfly buddies! (Eve was over it by this point!) Our other favorite station was learning about honeybees. We saw a real hive and even spotted the Queen!FOUR. The humidity has died down (finally!), and I’ve been enjoying some longer runs on the weekend! I’ve seen my running pace pick up drastically, and I’m already dreaming about maybe doing a half marathon next spring. This was my best postpartum run to date. It feels so good to feel more like my normal, non-pregnant running self again!FIVE. We enjoyed listening to General Conference at the beginning of October! Gaining inspiration and guidance for my daily life is something I will always hold dear. I participated in the social media fast recommended by President Nelson, and I learned a lot about myself, how and why I [should] use social media, as well as how it affects me day to day.

We brought back our old tradition of taking a group photo on Sunday morning!Of course we had to be silly.Michael might have taken multiple naps… but I’m still just grateful for this time with my family.Happy Sunday!

five on friday (05/11)

Happy Friday!!!

ONE. I’ve been working on making the girls each a special crocheted stuffed animal, and this week, I finally finished Kaelyn’s puppy! She’s been so patiently waiting for it to be done, and her giant smile was more than worth the time it took to make it.She named her dog “Rainbow Flower Irwin”, and they now go everywhere together.I actually finished Kaya’s cat (based off of this pattern) back in February, whom she named “Flower Rose”. She’s been in Kaya’s top 3 favorite stuffed animals ever since!Yes, she’s wearing her cat in the Ergo carrier here…Happy girls, happy mama.Rainbow Flower was based off of this pattern here.Kaya’s has started to get fuzzy… and I can see by looking at these pictures that her head has changed shape a bit from all the time Kaya has spent playing with her. I’m still really proud of how these turned out for my first “amigurumi” projects.TWO. We had our very last Kangaroo Kids class before the summer break… but I think it might have been the best one ever, because for the very first time, Daddy got to come! He took the afternoon off of work, arrived before us, and hid in this donut-shaped mat. When he popped out, the girls were ecstatic! He went in the bounce house, down the giant inflatable slide, and basically made all their dreams come true. He really is the best Daddy.We actually got to attend two classes this week, as a make-up for another week’s missed class. Nella is all about this ball pit. She loves finding the ducks that are hidden inside!THREE. My “ultra nesting” continues, and now I’ve got all the girls in on it, too. Today, they washed windows and cleaned baseboards for me. Kaya and Kaelyn are getting old enough to actually do well at these sorts of jobs!Nella, on the other hand…She might be the cutest little window washer, but her technique could use some work. She grabbed the extremely soapy sponge, dipped it in the dog’s water bowl, dripped suds all across the freshly-mopped floor, and went to wipe the windows that Kaya had just finished cleaning. She definitely gets points for effort and resourcefulness!FOUR. Kaya and Kaelyn have been very into perler beads again, and this week, they made some new critters to add to their ever-growing collection. Kaya free-handed the owl just by looking at a picture, and then made the smiling “Cheshire cat”. Kaelyn’s puppy was based mostly on a “green and white” color scheme.FIVE. I say it every week now, but there’s really no place I’d rather be than out in the sunshine with these girls. If you need me, I’ll probably be out here for the rest of the summer. This is my happy place.

Linking up herehere, and here today!