life last week

This has been the least amount of blogging I’ve done in many months, and my guilty conscience automatically starts to apologize as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard again. But then I remember that my main reason for writing this blog is so my kids will have it when they’re grown, and I realize that I don’t have to be sorry. I think when they finally read this in 10 or 20 or 30 years, they’ll be glad that their mom was sometimes a little too busy to blog because she was playing outside with them, helping them with crafts, and putting together their birthday parties. Whenever there’s a lot to write about, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to actually blog about it, because we’re busy living it. And in a way, I’m okay with that.

We’ve been spending a lot of time outside and at the playground. These two love “rock climbing” together!Kaya is becoming a little more bold and has started practicing hanging from the monkey bars. She isn’t able to grab onto the next one and keep going yet, but I am proud of her for going out on a limb (a.k.a. monkey bar) and trying something new.
This little monkey is also trying to climb more… …while the littlest monkey isn’t monkeying at all. When you’re the third baby, you sometimes have to nap on the go! On a recent walk, a lady told me that I need more kids in my stroller. I told her that if there were any more, I might not be able to push it up the hill! Really though, I love having all these seats full (and this stroller is still one of the best things ever)!
If you were worried that the girls have just cardio at the playground as their only exercise, fear not- strength training happens via morning push-ups with Daddy!The girls worked on painting these suncatchers one afternoon. They are both pretty meticulous artists now, so they take their time, and I love seeing what they come up with at the end! They also made about a million perler-bead animals, so my iron lived on the kitchen counter for a few days so we could finish all of their creations ASAP. Waiting to melt those beads together inevitably leads to having them spill, which makes for some very sad little girls (and a crazy puppy who tries to eat any bead she discovers on the floor)! We went shopping for baking supplies for Kaelyn’s birthday cake, and Nella sat in the front seat of the shopping cart for the first time ever. As evidenced by her silly little grin, she loved it! She’s had a few more rides since last week, and she kicks her legs and smiles happily every time. Someone was excited to pick up her birthday balloons… … and someone else was excited to show off her cute little teeth! These are the days, and I’m glad I’m living them, even if I’m not writing about every detail.

five on friday (07/29)

It’s the final Friday of July… Seriously, where has summer gone?

ONE. We had our last day at the pool this past Friday! As it turns out, management leased our old apartment, and we didn’t find out until we tried to sign into the pool and weren’t on the VIP list, haha! It was a little bittersweet- we love the pool, but we’ll be happy to get a refund check for half of the month’s rent in the mail soon.

TWO. Michael came up with the idea to wash the car for family night on Monday. Any activity that you can do in your swimsuit is an automatic hit- these girls loved it! Kaya was a great helper and loved spraying the car… and herself… and Kaelyn’s face… and me… 🙂_MG_4167 Soapy hands!_MG_4177 Kaelyn mostly played with the water table while Daddy and Kaya worked!_MG_4176

She could not have been more excited when it was finally her turn to try the hose!

THREE. Kaelyn sported her very first pigtails this week! She was delighted when she looked in the mirror and saw how she looked, and has wanted to wear her hair this way every day since._MG_4196_MG_4192

FOUR. My girls have really developed a love for the library this summer, and this week, we brought Daddy along with us! He helped them build this T-Rex puzzle (only to discover that the middle piece was nowhere to be found)! I love these simple family outings.

FIVE. I took the kids with me to my doctor appointment this week, and they were on their best behavior. I’m really thankful (and amazed) that they are generally so quiet and well-mannered in public.

We finished my appointment pretty quickly, so we stopped at the dollar store for some preschool supplies on the way home. I thought maybe there would be a fun treat for the girls there, and we lucked out- we found some Webkinz stuffed animals for $1! I spoiled them and let them each pick two (they have no idea that there’s an online game, but they are good-quality plushes, so we all like them)! We even splurged on some Ring Pops, and I think I chauffeured the two happiest girls in the world home. Every once in a while, it’s fun to “spoil” them and just enjoy their happiness.

Happy Friday!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (07/08)

A couple of these things are from last week, but they’re too cute to just leave off the blog! Some weeks, it seems like I have way more than just five things to share on Friday, and others, it seems like nothing too interesting happened all week. So, I’m just balancing it all out today! 🙂

ONE. This little girl has fallen head over heels for her Daddy. She’ll cuddle him, with her whole body wrapped around his arm and her head on his shoulder, when she first wakes up in the morning, when he gets home from work, and just before going to bed again. I love how sweet and tender she is._MG_3568

TWO. Over the past month, I’ve gotten some good deals using Amazon’s “subscribe and save” option. Well, all those things didn’t ship until a much later date than I bought them, and then I also happened to order guinea pig food and bedding around the same time, so one day, we came home to a HUGE stack of boxes at our door! I was pretty impressed that the mail-lady could stack them so high. Too bad it was mostly boring toilet paper and other things that we actually needed. 😉

THREE. I let these crazy girls have ice cream after dinner one night this week, and you’d think it was the best day of their lives. They aren’t strangers to sweets, but they don’t get dessert often (on less than a weekly basis), so this really was a thrilling treat for them. They say that your kids will like eating whatever you ate during your pregnancy… so this really should be no surprise to anyone! 😉IMG_20160707_220914FOUR. We found this awesome Melissa and Doug puzzle at the thrift store this week for 99 cents! I think I get some kind of adrenaline rush from scoring a good deal, but the girls were equally excited about this find. Needless to say, we’ve heard a whole lot of elephants, penguins, and zebras in our house this week._MG_3582FIVE. We’ve had a TON of rain this week, so there hasn’t been a whole lot of playing outside for us, but this video is from all our fun last week. I love summertime and evenings outside with my family.

Happy weekend!

Linking up here!


The weather on Friday evening was perfectly cool, so we started our weekend off with some outdoor playtime and daddy-daughter snuggles in the hammock. Sometimes, you smile so big that you just can’t keep your eyes open…_MG_3034Of course, they had to do a silly pose for me, too.
_MG_3035 Saturday morning was the hottest we’ve seen of this season so far. I got in a 6.5-mile run, and Michael went out to work in the yard and also help a new family at church with moving. While he was out, Kaya pleaded with me to “do preschool”, so yes, we did some “math” on a Saturday. We played this game and she loved it!_MG_3043

On Saturday night, Michael was the pianist for a baptism, and then we had a family date to Red Robin. Kaya was so excited and kept exclaiming “family date! family date!” all while we were out. I’m so glad she loves spending time together.

We ran some errands at Walmart, Home Depot, and Target, and I picked up some paint chip samples to take home. I really wish we would have gotten some actual sample paint to test out on the walls… but it was already late and we still had a couple of stops to make, so hopefully we can take care of that one night this week.

Sunday morning came too early for all of us. In fact, I randomly woke up at 5:45 to find Michael still asleep next to me, when he was supposed to be ready to head to bishopric meetings at 6 am. Luckily, he’s quick to get ready, so he was still on time.We miraculously arrived at church about 5 minutes earlier than we usually do! I gave a talk in sacrament meeting on “the importance of a living prophet”. I was very nervous and basically just ended up reading from my notes, but I received some positive comments afterward, so it must not have been all that bad! 😉

Kaya drew this picture in her sunbeam class! I have been so impressed to see how her art has evolved from just circles and random scribbles into recognizable forms.06122016 We ended the weekend with lots of book-reading and even more snuggles. This little princess is becoming a real daddy’s girl._MG_3046

five on friday (06/03)

Happy Friday!!! It’s been a whirlwind of a week, with doctor appointments, photoshoots, and lots of quality family time. I’m hoping we get to relax a little this weekend, but we always have a pretty big to-do list, so we’ll see if that actually happens. 🙂

ONE. We kicked off the week in the best way possible- church, followed by naps! I think Michael uses the girls as his secret weapon for waking me up… because who could be upset about waking up to those precious little faces? They love to snuggle lately, and I’ll gladly take any chance to cuddle up with them that I can.TWO. We’ve had fantastic weather this week, and have played outside just about every day. Kaya was excited to introduce Daddy to the merry-go-round! I think this might be her  new favorite place.They love going through this tunnel, too!
IMG_20160603_102320IMG_20160603_101722THREE. This wouldn’t be a Five on Friday post without a cheesy video, right? Haha. This turned out really cute… and blowing bubbles is one of our favorite things to do (truthfully, I think I like it as much as the kids do)!

FOUR. Kaya helped me make some strawberry freezer jam this week! We had leftover strawberries, so what better thing to do than make a strawberry slushie? Both girls LOVED this drink (just pureed strawberries and crushed ice); it disappeared in no time!_MG_2778

FIVE. I did it… I bought my three (!) girls their first matching clothes! I saw these fruity-themed leggings on clearance at Target this week, and just couldn’t pass them up for next summer. I’m sure this is the first of many matching outfits to come. I cannot wait to see them all wearing these next year. 🙂

And now I’m craving all the fruit…

Happy weekend!

Linking up here!

five on friday: christmas edition

We’ve been doing a lot of little things to get ready for Christmas over these past few weeks… so I thought I’d combine them all into a nice, neat list for Friday. I can’t believe Christmas is only one week away now!

ONE. Kaya had her preschool Christmas party this week! She made so many fun things, including a snowman, a Santa ornament shaped from her hand, and rice krispies Christmas trees! She had such a fun time.

(Kaya’s is on the far right)

TWO. Kaya’s been doing several fun Christmas-themed crafts this month! My favorites were this Santa ornament and this paper-plate tree 🙂_MG_0348 _MG_0349

THREE. We had our ward Christmas party a few weekends ago… and I never wrote anything about it because I took about two photos from the whole thing. Kaya was SO excited that the table centerpiece was a jar of candy canes. She also was given the foil-covered cardboard star from the nativity play to take home… and her night was made.

FOUR. Kaya attended another free Lowe’s Build and Grow activity on Saturday, and made her very own holiday train! She’s getting really good at these building projects- Michael said she drove most of the nails in herself this time (with close supervision, of course)!

FIVE. It seems like we’ve spent a lot of time at the grocery store, stocking up on baking supplies for Christmas treats and ingredients for our holiday dinner. My little reindeer babies just love riding in the special car cart.

At Food Lion, Kaya even got to push her very own kid-sized cart for the first time. Of course, Kitty (or “Meowy”, as he’s known lately), had to ride in the cart, along with all our bags of chocolate chips. And yes, we really bought that many.

7 more days!

five on friday (11/13)

Happy Friday!!! 🙂

ONE. We’ve still been enjoying amazing weather here lately, and Kaya pleaded for me to let her ride her bike this week. The catch was that she also wanted to go to the playground, which meant that she’d be riding for over two miles. I wasn’t sure if she had enough stamina to go that far (or if I could help her on the hills while pushing the stroller), but I always try to give her opportunities to have fun, learn something, and get stronger… so I said yes. To my amazement, she rode for 2.25 miles, only fell once, and figured out how to walk her bike up the hills.

TWO. We had Karl and Kaitlyn over for a small (belated) birthday celebration on Wednesday night. There were tacos and Wii Party and brownies with ice cream. That’s pretty much the ultimate birthday shindig, am I right? I love my goofball brother. Happy 23rd, pal!_MG_0042THREE. We started our co-op preschool group this week, so for the first time ever, I dropped Kaya off and left. I was worried about how it would go, but she was just fine and had a great time.

Kaelyn and I then had some time to run errands all on our own… which really means that we ended up at the fabric store for forever because it was busier than I have ever seen it in my lifetime. Kaelyn loves these little “beanie boos” (beanie babies) and gets so excited anytime she sees them anywhere. Naturally, she had to cuddle them all (and tell each one “hi!” as she hugged them).

Aaaaand we might’ve come home with one… because my kids are only going to be little once, and sometimes it’s fun to give them a surprise gift for no reason. “Blue Kitty” hasn’t left her side all week. 🙂_MG_0035Of course, we brought home a surprise for Kaya, too- a baby dragon!collage11102015FOUR. That moment when you’re folding and hanging laundry, and look over to see your baby wearing underwear on her head… Hahaha. She has another pair halfway up her leg because she wants to be just like her big sister and wear undies (only over her diaper, of course. No way are we ready for potty training again)!_MG_0009

FIVE. #awkwardselfie award. I won’t tell you how many of these are on my phone, just from today (maybe because there are too many to count… haha)!

Linking up here today!

how to be the worst online shopper ever

1. Find something cute that you really want to buy.
2. Spend copious amounts of time making price comparisons with other websites.
3. Decide that the deal isn’t going to get any better than it already is, and add the item to your cart.
4. Spend more time to thoroughly make sure that there aren’t any coupon codes you could use.
5. If you’re paying for shipping (AKA you didn’t find a code for free shipping in step #4), spend even more time contemplating if there’s anything else you need to buy from the same website. If you’re already paying to send something to your house, you might as well make it worth it, right?
6. Remember how much you really hate to spend money.
7. Stare at your shopping cart for a while before deciding to just go ahead with the purchase.
8. Click “checkout”, only to find that your super-cute item is now sold out. WHOOPS!

I apparently take waaaay too long to make decisions, because the above scenario keeps. on. happening! I was hoping to get my girls some sunhats and flip-flops for their Easter baskets… but so far, I haven’t had any luck. It also seems like Kaya’s size is always sold out!

Anyway, we had a great, relaxing weekend (yeah, I’m totally blogging about the weekend on a Tuesday. That’s what all the cool kids are doing. (and by cool kids, I actually just mean me…)

I’ve been wanting a big breakfast for a couple weeks now, so I finally just went ahead and made one. Bacon, eggs, and this recipe for pancake squares. They tasted just the same and were SO much easier!


I also had a pretty great run. Maybe I’m not the fastest, but I’m so happy with a sub 9-minute average pace! It was a gorgeous, sunny day (with some wind), and I definitely enjoyed some time to myself (well, you know, with a crazy dog).03212015runstats 03212015runsplitsAll of us girls have either had seasonal allergies or a slight cold… so this little sweetie wasn’t quite as peppy as usual. You’d never know it from this picture though! That scrunchy-nosed grin is my favorite thing about my baby.
_MG_6822Happy Tuesday! We’re off to a great week so far! 🙂

kid tested, mom approved: the style file

I’m linking up with some awesome ladies today to talk about baby style!

For our family, it’s all about saving money while still looking cute, so I’m going to share a little of my experience on shopping without spending a fortune._MG_6839-2textCarter’s is definitely my number one favorite place to shop for Kaya. They really have a great variety of outfits, and their clothes seem to be the most true-to-size. They also last really well despite all the crawling, food spills and diaper leaks that tend to happen with a baby. The best part? Usually they have some sort of sale going on, and if you pair that with a coupon code, stuff is pretty cheap. I’ve bought brand new outfits for less than what you’d pay for them used.
IMG_20130726_132244We also love The Children’s PlaceEverything is of really good quality, and I’ve found a bunch of great things on clearance. $3 jammies, tops and dresses? You can hardly beat that! It’s good to plan in advance when you see a good sale- I have things saved away for her to wear next year!IMG_20130609_193452 _MG_5644-2

Also, don’t be afraid to buy used. There are some stores that specialize in buying and selling used kids’ clothing, so check if you have any in your area! I’ve found things that are brand-new there (like jammies and snowsuits) that cost so much less than if you bought them at the original retalier. Even clothes that were used can look new, since babies don’t wear anything for very long in the grand scheme of things. I especially like to buy Kaya’s more formal dresses there. The one she wore to Kevin’s wedding cost $6.50! (and I found the perfect pair of gold Old Navy sandals to match for 50 cents, but she hardly wore them all day, so no picture of those…)_MG_8118

friday favorites

With warmer temperatures and less rain, we spent a whole lot more time outside this week (and inside, we finally turned on the air conditioning)!

We met up with friends on both Tuesday and Thursday to play outside. There’s nothing like breaking a sweat, playing on the swings, and sitting on a blanket under a tree, then washing it all down with a gulp of cold water.

IMG_20130711_181252Kaya LOVED watching the ducks at the pond and even laughed at them. Who knew ducks could be so funny? She was so worn out that she fell asleep on the walk home.

Michael and I also took Kaya to the pool one evening after work. I love going as a family and swimming together. Our princess definitely loves the water!

I went out shopping to see if I could find a dress suitable for Kevin’s wedding without having to order it online… but didn’t have any luck. I did, however, find a bunch of other awesome things- a dress, a blouse, two tees, and two sweaters- for $22 total! I also found a Scrabble game for 95 cents. I love getting great deals.


 Kaya really mastered using her sippy cup (mostly) on her own this week.

_MG_7201 Seriously? It doesn’t get more precious than this!_MG_7220

And just when I think my heart is about to explode from loving her so much, she instantly becomes more adorable and forces me to fall even further in love._MG_7312

I won’t tell you that this cute face is hiding a diaper explosion…_MG_7314_MG_7294 I love all the adorable faces she makes (and how much she loves this squishy ball from the dollar store… which I later saw in the dog section at Target)!_MG_7349squishballbaby1Jax has had more than his fair share of cuddles this week (and may or may not have rolled himself right off the bed and onto the floor)!_MG_7230 Happy weekend, everyone! Here’s to a relaxing one 🙂_MG_7258