these days when…

Whenever I go somewhere with all three kids, someone almost always remarks, “You have your hands full!”

Wrangling three kids out in public isn’t always easy, but generally, my girls are well-behaved, so in response I usually quip, “Yes, but it’s fun and we love it!”

Last week, when we were out for a family walk (puppy included), a middle-aged woman and her three teenage kids were all sitting out on their deck. She saw us puttering along down the walking path, and asked the ages of our daughters. When we told her, she said, “My kids all have the same age gaps as yours, and we got a lab puppy when our youngest was a baby, too”, and then, gesturing to her three nearly-grown children, she said, “Take a look, this is your future!”

I’m excited to watch my girls grow up together and become wonderful, amazing young women, but for now, I’m holding on, as tightly as I can, to these days of their childhood. I’m relishing all the small moments that bring us all so much joy, and trying hard to remember to let them be little.

These are the days when…

… we can make the morning fun just by going to the grocery store and letting them push their own carts around. They love to feel like “big helpers”, and getting some teddy bear graham crackers is one of the most exciting surprises.

… Kaelyn loves to pretend to put on makeup (and she calls my makeup brushes “mommies and babies”, all depending on their sizes).

… sharing Twizzlers on a road trip and sitting up front with mommy during a rest stop is special.

… driving the car is just pretend, and having a permanent faux-hawk hairdo is totally in style.

… it’s completely adorable to sleep in your puppy costume…

… and it’s still acceptable to go out in public while wearing it.

… being a sister means being best friends.

… your puppy is still small enough to fit in your lap.… and sticking your tongue out is the best way to smile.

“Let them be little, cause they’re only that way for a while.
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love, everyday.
Let ’em cry, let ’em giggle, let them sleep in the middle.
Oh just let them be little.”  -Billy Dean

little moments make it all worth it

I always say how grateful I am to be able to stay home with my kids, teach them, and watch them grow- but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy and fun.

Although they are generally well-behaved, my girls will still fight over the same hair bow on Sunday morning, refuse to eat their dinner, scream and squabble over toys, or end up in time-out several times in one day. It’s enough to wear down anyone’s patience and sense of accomplishment, and that’s when it really does me good to recognize and cherish the small moments in the every day.

Time isn’t going any slower, and even though I usually feel like I couldn’t be any more tired than I am now, I know that these are some of the very best days of my life.

These days, I love…

…knowing that they are best friends and will forever have each other._MG_3593

…watching their wonder and amazement at a big thunderstorm rolling through the neighborhood.IMG_20160727_161527

…a little baby who never seems to stop wiggling in my belly.

…finding surprising new flowers budding in my yard._MG_4188

forehead kisses from my best friend.

…early-morning sleepy hugs in the last few moments before Daddy heads off to work._MG_4182

handcrafted bracelets, gifted to me with the tightest around-the-neck hug that it almost takes my breath away.

…impromptu hilarious moments._MG_4238

… how she always has an armful of her favorite stuffed animals, and blurry pictures of her real smile.IMG_20160803_112852

… a classic George Strait song that speaks right to my soul and has me imagining what my babies might be like when they’re grown.

… pretend tiny tea parties with my littlest._MG_4248

…that Kaelyn answers every single question we ask her with a resounding “NOOOO!”, followed by a giant laugh.

…when Kaya randomly says “I’m so happy that we’re having another baby”. I know that as soon as they see her for the first time, they will forever protect her and love her._MG_4099

five on friday (07/01)

ONE. We’ve had gorgeous weather and a whole lot of outside playtime this week! Kaya has asked to ride her bike nearly every afternoon.

Sadly, her old tricycle was broken when we moved, and we haven’t had any luck finding the replacement part we need. Grandpa Peter just sent her a “new” tricycle, similar to the old one, and she has been loving it. This is one happy girl!_MG_3410 TWO. When big sister is out with Daddy, Mommy and little sister will make cookie dough! Kaya is always my helper in the kitchen, so while she was gone, I eagerly gave Kaelyn the opportunity to pour, stir, and even hold the mixer. She was so excited about everything (especially licking the dough off the beaters)!_MG_3444 THREE. I picked up these dry-erase pockets for $1 at Target last week, and we’ve used them every day that we’ve done preschool this week. The girls love them, and I love that I don’t have to laminate everything that I want them to practice doing multiple times. Totally worth $1!_MG_3413

FOUR. You know you hit the jackpot as far as husbands go when he brings you your favorite bakery brownie after you go to the dentist… Mmmm.

FIVE. This sweet girl… I can’t get enough of her. I managed to get in a couple of good naps for myself this week (all I want to do lately is sleep), and after Kaya woke up and used the bathroom one afternoon, she said “I don’t want to go back in my bed, I just want to cuddle with you. You want some cuddles from me?”

My heart melted… I will always want cuddles from you, Kaya. She tucked me in with her favorite cat blanket and even scratched my back. She’s going to make a fabulous mommy herself, someday.

Linking up here!

little moments I live for

As time keeps rushing right on by, I’m realizing more often that it’s the small moments that matter most in life. One day, when I’m older, and I think back on these years, I don’t want to just remember the big things, like getting married, getting jobs, having kids or even buying a house.

These little memories are the most important to me, so I’m writing them here so I never forget.

These days, I live for…

… when Kaya says “let’s hold hands”, just because she wants to, and not because we’re crossing a busy street or parking lot.

… that first moment when Kaelyn sees me again after nursery at church. The way she clings to me and gladly gives me a kiss helps me know how much she still needs me.

… the way Kaya hugs my legs so tightly (and repeatedly) when I pick her up from preschool.

… hearing that Tim McGraw song on the radio that takes me back to when I felt a little younger and a little more free.

… feeling the warm sun on my face for the first time this year, and how I’d love to sit and soak it in for as long as I can.

… when sleeping babies make everything become quiet and still in the afternoon.

running as the sun comes up and seeing the sky look more beautiful than a vibrant painting.

… seeing the outfits Kaelyn comes up with when she gets into the dress-up clothes. A leopard wearing pink sunglasses? She always comes up with the best costumes.

… the way Kaya yells “surprise!!!” when she and Daddy bring home donuts (and how all her favorite kinds of donuts are the same as mine).

… posed, cheesy-looking kisses.

little moments lately

Every week seems to go by faster than the last, and sometimes I feel like I’m just rushing from one item on my to-do list to the next. Despite all the craziness, I really try to pause and take in these precious moments with my babies- their sweet smell, precious smiles, and contagious laughter.

Just a few recent moments that I don’t want to forget…

… Kaya watching Frozen while cuddling her Lambie (and laughing SO hard when Anna and Elsa simultaneously say “choooocolate!”)_MG_5034

…car seat naps (generally the only way she’ll nap without being in my arms!)_MG_5218

… being so excited to start wearing Christmas jammies!

(like I said… SO EXCITED!)_MG_5117

… reading to her ginormous panda!
_MG_5221… and taking every pillow and stuffed animal off of her bed to make a pile in the middle of the floor and read every book she owns! (she’s also figured out that the step stool gives her access to countertops, lightswitches, etc.,  so it goes pretty much everywhere with her!)_MG_5184 _MG_5185

… having a free morning when we didn’t have to rush anywhere and could just cuddle and goof off!Processed with VSCOcam with a7 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset … all her funny faces!Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

… puppy cuddles!Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset … my chocolate-chip muffin monster!_MG_5194… how much they love cuddling up in my bed (and how often Kaya pretends she’s asleep)!
_MG_4990… afternoon snuggles/naps with my littlest love.Processed with VSCOcam with a7 preset… sitting up in the stroller like a big girl!Processed with VSCOcam … just being together. I love these two sweeties, no matter how little sleep they let me have. They are more than worth it!Processed with VSCOcam with lv02 preset


Lately (and especially since I’ve become a mom), I’ve found that indescribable joy can come from the very smallest of moments. It’s these little things that I think I’ll miss the most one day.

I never knew how beautiful a few tiny blonde curls of baby hair could be.

I love the way cuddles and nursing can calm her in a way nothing else can.IMG_20130527_230115

Seeing her smile and rock in my lap while listening to the “Little Duck” song takes me back to when I learned that song for my own preschool graduation. She loves it at least as much as I did.

I love her utter goofiness (like smashing her face up against the playpen and licking/biting it)._MG_6095

I never knew that a few silent moments in a hot shower could feel like an hour.

Even getting caught in a torrential downpour during a family walk is a memory I want to keep. We ran home as fast as we could, dog galloping with his mouth wide open and tongue hanging out, and Kaya giggling as raindrops pelted her in the face. I couldn’t keep myself from laughing right along with her.IMG_20130523_215812