I feel like it’s been quiet on the blog recently. The only real reason is that our days have been packed full, and at the end of them, we’re just tired. Yep, I’m writing a blog post about being tired… because writing anything else would take more effort… and I’m just too tired 😉 Haha. Plus, I have too many cute pictures of my kids sleeping that are just begging to be posted.Michael’s had school projects and an exam; I’ve had a couple of photoshoots and have been working on quiet book pages to mail out by the end of the month. Add in regular church things, play dates, homeschool preschool, and trying to enjoy the last of the fall weather before the frigid temperatures hit… and it’s a crazy life.

A good kind of crazy life, though.

Coming home from church every week looks like this:

When your baby can’t hold her head up for more than 30 seconds because she’s really that tired…_MG_0022I’m enjoying these days because I know we’re just going to get busier and busier as our kids grow older and the years go on. Here’s to them still being little- at least we get some down time when they take naps 🙂

a time for learning

Last week, we attended Grandma Teerlink’s funeral.

I won’t deny that it was an emotional time. It was also, however, a learning experience.

Hearing all the ways that she touched the lives of others inspires me to do more. You’re not going to get anywhere in life if you don’t make the effort.

Witnessing the expressions of love between her and her beloved husband inspires me to be more intentional in my exchange of words and actions with my husband.

Seeing her commitment to living the gospel and creating a strong, close-knit family reminds me that that is my ultimate goal and most divine purpose here on earth.

There were so many touching personal anecdotes that were shared. I’m so very grateful for the opportunity to learn from them.

Afterward, a bunch of us went to Willy’s, a small local ice cream shop. Michael remembers going there often as a kid with his grandparents. We loved having this mini family reunion!


five on friday: dishes, cupcakes, and a bus ride

Happy first day of SPRING! (although we’re totally having a gross, rainy, chilly day here!)

ONE. Kaya has had a lot of fun “washing dishes” this week! Our dishwasher broke and maintenance had to order a part for it, so it took until today to get it back in working order. Kaya definitely didn’t mind playing with the soap bubbles and pouring water into a couple of bowls I gave her to use._MG_6807 TWO. We had a couple of warm days this week, so naturally, we made the most of our time outside. I ran around the playground like a wild woman with my girls on Tuesday… and then they took the longest naps. Four hours for Kaya and three for Kaelyn. I even had a nap. It was magical. Seriously._MG_6801 THREE. Last night was our church Relief Society birthday dinner. I brought some cupcakes (bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?)! What better theme to decorate them around than SPRING! I used a different buttercream recipe that didn’t hold its shape quite as well as my usual one, so I really don’t think these are my best work… but hey, at least they were colorful (and quite delicious)!_MG_6815FOUR. Kaya had her first-ever ride on the BUS this week! Michael has been talking about taking her on one for ages now, so he finally just did it! The highlight of their ride? Finding leaves on the sidewalk when they got off. I love my crazy girl.Processed with VSCOcam with s1 presetFIVE. I forgot to include this photo in Tuesday’s post, and it’s just too cute to leave out! Daddy, daughter, and cookies. There aren’t many things better than that!_MG_6778Happy weekend!

Linking up with Christina and friends today!

a whole lot of lately

We haven’t been up to anything too crazy lately, other than trying to survive these dog days of winter. We’ve been making the most of our small family activities, which helps the dreary days go by a little more smoothly! I keep daydreaming about spring, taking walks, and playing on the playground… but we still have a little while before then!

Last week, we had a family date to Dairy Queen… one of our favorite places for sure! We tried the new Birthday Cake Oreo blizzard, and I’m telling you, it tasted just like eating a can of frosting. A delicious, amazing, dreamy can of frosting. #yesIjustreferredtofrostingasdreamyProcessed with VSCOcam with j6 preset We’ve made more whole wheat waffles (with a cup of chocolate chips added to the batter) in the past two weeks than we probably have in the past two years. I have to give Michael credit for making a few batches (and adding sprinkles or M&Ms to make these even more fun)!_MG_6048 - Copy Kaelyn has been blowing “raspberries” at us nonstop lately…_MG_6068And the rest of the time, we’ve just been super sleepyheads. Last Wednesday, both girls took a very long morning nap… which is so out of the ordinary, especially for Kaya! My only guess is that there may be some growth spurts going on. Nevertheless, it was nice to have a few quiet morning hours!01142015collageMichael came home on Wednesday night and passed out on the floor. Kaya tucked him in with her Olaf blanket, and then proceeded to lay down on top of him!_MG_6079We ended the week with this incredible Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread I made for seminary breakfast on Friday! It was just like a coffee cake, but so much easier! I doubled it and baked it in a 9×13 pan.Processed with VSCOcam with a5 presetWhat’s your favorite thing to bake in winter?


back to reality/weekend

We enjoyed an entire week and a half of Daddy being off work and staying home with us over the holidays, but today he went back to work, so we’re back to normal daily life! Kaya had a hard time watching him gather his things to go this morning, but she did help him pack up his backpack (which was heartrendingly adorable) and wave to him at the door. We miss him for sure, but it is nice to start getting these little girls back into their normal routine.


We had such a low-key week that we barely even left home, except for running! I have been loving the GPS watch Michael gave me for Christmas, and it’s had a lot of good use so far. One of the best perks of Michael being off work is that I could exercise whenever I wanted, for however long I wished. Having the watch makes it even more fun because I can change up my routes!
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe had Jeff and Lelia over to play some games Friday night (and I didn’t take any pictures)! We also switched back to the afternoon schedule for church on Sunday (we swap mornings & afternoons with the neighboring town every year, since we share a chapel), which went pretty well, especially considering it was right during these girls’ nap times! It is still going to take some adjusting, though!
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetHappy Monday from my (still toothless) little baby!

happy 2015!

Happy New Year! I can honestly say that 2014 was one of the fastest years of my life… and also one of the very best. I’m almost a little sad to see the year end, because I can’t imagine how this next one can be any better.

I probably say something similar every year, but it really does just keep getting more and more fun.

Some of my favorite moments from 2014:

… announcing last January we’d be adding a second sweet baby to our family!_MG_1081… finding out on my birthday that we were having a baby GIRL!_MG_1363… our trip to Myrtle Beach (day 1, day 2, day 3, days 4 & 5)!_MG_2588… celebrating our 5-year wedding anniversary! 🙂_MG_2610

… meeting our tiny princess, Kaelyn Grace! (and having the amazing natural birth I hoped for: part one; part two)wpid-wp-1403926565011.jpeg

… Michael becoming an early-morning (very early-morning) seminary teacher!_MG_3684… watching my first baby blossom into a sweet, spunky two-year old!_MG_4346… dressing up as 101 Dalmatians for Halloween!2014-10-28_214317-2 - Copy… and celebrating our first Christmas as a family of 4!_MG_5890

Here’s to a great 2015!

2013 in review

I know that most people write their “year in review” posts around New Year’s day… but I really wanted to include Baby #2 in this, and since we just announced a couple weeks ago, it had to wait till now!


-Kaya played in the snow for the very first time.
-She learned to roll over!
-Jeff and Lelia moved back to town and we had a lot of crazy fun with them and Karl!



-Kaya had her first ever play date with Mia!


-I celebrated my 25th birthday and was surprised with my 5D Mark II 🙂


-Kaya made the cutest Valentine’s Day card ever for her daddy.
-I started my cake decorating classes!
-Lelia and I made our first-ever quilt without any “adult supervision” 🙂


-We had some fun visits with some out of town friends (the Cooks and Laura)!
-We met baby Liam for the first time ever!_MG_3099


-We picnicked with friends!
-We visited with my mom.
-Michael completed 100 miles for the Tour de Cure!
-I went to Utah for the first time ever!


-I said goodbye to my sweet guinea pig, Maggie.
-I celebrated my first Mother’s Day 🙂
-We enjoyed the spring weather on the swings!
-We celebrated our 4-year anniversary… and adopted Jax the same day! 🙂IMG_8776June

-Kaya went swimming for the first time ever!
-My mom came up to visit (and get baby cuddles)!
-Kaya finally started eating solid food!
-Michael celebrated his first Father’s Day.
-Jax went to the dog park for the first time and met his cousin, Fallon!
-We enjoyed some time down on the river with the Irwins!


-We cooked out with friends and saw some gorgeous fireworks on the 4th!
-We enjoyed more pool time, celebrated Pioneer Day and Lelia and Brittany’s birthdays.
-All three of us went out to Utah this time!



-Kevin and Tori got married!
-We visited Temple Square and Hogle Zoo before coming home from Utah!
-I shared my very favorite whole-wheat chocolate-chip muffin recipe.
-Michael celebrated his 26th birthday!daddybday2013


-Kaya finger-painted for the first time.
-We soaked up the last of the warm weather and had one final cookout with friends!
-I took Kaya’s one-year photos!
-We celebrated her first birthday!_MG_9469October

-We enjoyed General Conference with friends!
-Lelia and I made pumpkin bread and cookies a million times.
-I told you some awesome facts about Michael!
-We went pumpkin picking when Kevin and Tori came out to visit!
-We trick-or-treated a lot with our little elephant 🙂
-Lelia and I hosted an awesome Halloween party!_MG_0137November

Juni passed away.
-Kaya had her first “real” sickness.
-We found out we were pregnant with baby #2!
-We enjoyed a ton of delicious food with all our family at Thanksgiving!



-We went to the town Christmas parade!
-Kaya met (and was afraid of) Santa Claus.
-We saw Peanut on ultrasound for the first time at 11 weeks!
-We decorated gingerbread cookies!
-We traveled home to celebrate Christmas a few days early with our families.
-We delivered homemade goodies to friends!
-We celebrated our first Christmas at home, just the three of us.
_MG_0645I’m amazed at how much our family has grown and changed this past year! Here’s to a great 2014 🙂


life seasons

(written January 15th)

Right after the holidays ended, I’ll admit, I was a little bummed. We were having sub-zero temperatures, and there were no more family gatherings, holiday baking, or planned festivities to look forward to.

These dog days of winter can drag on forever. I’ve already had pangs of longing for summer.

This morning, I noticed the frost glistening on the grass. The whole world was sparkling as if it were covered in tiny diamonds.

It was a small reminder to me: winter can be dreary, but the beauty is there. We just need to look (even if looking means being up before the crack of dawn).maketodaybeautifulphotoshopprintable

The more time I spend on this earth, the more I’ve come to realize that this is true for life, too. We can choose to focus on the negative (whether it be temperatures or life circumstances), or we can find those sparkling gems in the darkness.

I’m filled with overwhelming gratitude for the gems in my life.

That first smile from Kaya in the morning.
Feeling Michael kiss my forehead after I’ve already fallen asleep.
Watching Kaya light up when she hears one of her favorite songs, eats her favorite snack, or gets her Kitty back after he’s been through the wash.
Afternoons spent with friends.
Praying for something so small that it seems like it shouldn’t matter to God, but having Him answer anyway.
A warm, cuddly puppy.

And a million other blessings. I could go on all day long.

I love the season we’re in right now.

hello 2014

Happy New Year everyone! I know I said 2012 was the best year of my life, but 2013 was full of even more amazing, wonderful moments. Each year seems to be better than the last, and for that, I am so grateful.

I watched my daughter grow from a tiny, squishy baby…

PHOTO_20130127_083229… into a smart and talented toddler!_MG_0729

I’m certain there wasn’t a day that went by this year that she didn’t make me smile.

I hope I’m a little better than I was a year ago. I found myself through motherhood, and I know that if I continue to try my best, I will only continue learning valuable lessons. In 2013, I tried harder to be the wife, mom, and friend I should be.

I feel so incredibly blessed to be where I am right now.

Happy 2014! 🙂

five on friday: santa baby and mrs. fix-it

ONE. We’re getting ready for Santa! Some of our decorations are up, but it has been slow-going over here. Having a toddler makes it a little harder (we just really want to relax after she goes to bed)! The tree is up and only partially lit, so hopefully we will finish that this weekend. IMG_20131205_102953 TWO. I’m not even sure how this happened… but Kaya and I got to sleep in until 9 am on Wednesday! I can’t even remember the last time we did that! Somehow, Michael got up and ready for work without making much noise. Kaya’s still been tired from our Thanksgiving traveling last week, so she’s been sleeping a few extra hours. It was pretty much heavenly.
THREE. I feel like an [unsuccessful] Mrs. Fix-It this week. Our dishwasher hasn’t been getting things clean… so I unscrewed the vent to clean it out and see if anything was causing a blockage. I found some gunk, a piece of plastic, and a dime! I’m not sure how the dime got in there (I’ll just blame the people who lived here before us)! Needless to say, it’s still not getting our dishes clean so the maintenance guy should be coming to fix it for real. We also tried to watch “Elf” this week… and the DVD didn’t work. The disc has a little wear, but I wouldn’t even really call it scratched. I tried window cleaner and then furniture polish on it (two tricks people claim to work)… and nothing. Sad day.
FOUR. I bought these bibs a few weeks ago and have been loving them! I was disgusted by the pile of dirty bibs I always had waiting to go in the wash (and they never seemed to come completely clean, either), so I wanted something I could wash in the sink right away after she wears it. So much less mess!pelicanbibs FIVE. Sometimes, I still see a little baby when I look at her. I wish she could keep these cheeks forever.IMG_20131206_132942Happy weekend! Linking up with Natasha, April, Christina, and Darci today!