Tuesday, June 19, 2018

No Plans + Lake + Father's Day

Hey there! Dan is out of town this week and he was out of town last week, so what you will witness here is basic survival mode.

On Monday I came home from work with no dance lessons, no swim lessons, no school activity, and no dinner to make, so we all swam.

I loved having nothing to do but splash in the water. So did Mira, whose grin could not be wiped off her face. We ate leftovers for dinner and cried our way through the first half of Up. Just adorable.

Tuesday and Wednesday looked about the same, except that we did cook dinner. With no activities taking up our evenings, all of my memories of them have blended together.

We have been working on the pool, which unfortunately has been a constant battle. Next summer when I tell you I think it would be more frugal to not hire a pool company and instead balance and clean everything myself, grab me squarely by the shoulders, look me directly in the eye, and tell me that the little pool time I have should be spent swimming with my children.

Thursday afternoon I closed my laptop a little early, checked Ina out of school, and grabbed the girls from Granny's to head to my aunt and uncle's lake house for a quick 24 hour visit. It was quick and exhausting, but we all had an absolute blast.

In 24 hours we went out to eat, watched two movies, did face masks, swam, went on a boat ride, and swam some more. Once Ina and Cora found the courage to jump off the dock they could not be stopped.

Mira initially wasn't a fan of the baby life jacket, but once she discovered its head support while floating, she decided she could tolerate it. I have very distinct memories of Cora feeling the exact same way about that thing.

As we were driving away Friday evening I asked Ina what her favorite part was and she dreamily sighed and said, "everything."

Danielle and I started off Saturday morning (and Sunday morning) with a walk. I just love peaceful morning walks. They are such a fantastic way to start the day, particularly when the days are squeezed full of everything.

Then I worked for a few hours, we swam for a few hours, and before I knew it, we were heading out the door to celebrate our friend Ryann's birthday.

Ryann is our new friend from church/small group and she might be the most popular person I have ever met based on the number of guests at her birthday party. The kids played with water toys outside, which is always a party plus and the swim suit made cleaning up potty training accidents that much easier. Win-win. (I should note that thanks for Miralax and lots of pep talks, Cora is doing so much better in this department! Yay!)

We finished up the night with more swimming which led to hungry stomachs, which our meal planning did not take into account. Dan and Kyle made the executive decision to put in a late night pizza delivery order.

Father's Day Sunday started out with an awesome sermon at church discussing father wounds and what we can do about them. Definitely worth a listen. The next few hours consisted of me starting to do something, then realizing I should be doing about ten other things, then starting something else, and then repeating that until my dad called to ask for my assistance in picking up Grandma June from the nursing home.

I guess I didn't realize this was "allowed" but I was so happy we made the extra effort to have her there. I think she and my grandpa enjoyed watching the kids play and when my grandpa asked if she was coming home and opened the car door to give her a kiss goodbye when he realized she wasn't, I nearly lost it.

My dad hosted our family's Father's Day celebration at the farm, where he had a taco bar spread all cooked in various crock pots, individual serving chip bags, and more lemonade than 10 kids could think about consuming. Add that to getting the farm ready, picking up my sister's kids because she was out of town, and picking up my grandparents and you will see he did a whole heck of a lot of work on Father's Day.

After we had more fun than we could handle we got home just in time for Ina to swim with Gunner and Gibson and Cora to mow down on some watermelon and Dan and I to talk to Kyle and Danielle's family even though we all needed showers and even though every single stinking Monday morning I swear we are going to bed earlier the next Sunday night. Even though we tried to stop it, another summer weekend ended.

Recipes from the week:

Chicken Shawarma - so fresh and good.

...and the rest of the week was spaghetti, other people cooking for me, and leftovers. Even Danielle made the recipe above. I chopped a few vegetables. Wait until next week - we will have a few good ones to share!

Online purchase of the week: a pair of Birkenstocks. So exciting!

I hope you have a great week!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Ina's First Dance Recital

This week can be summed up in two words: dance recital. Monday was Ina's normal dance lessons (1 hour), Thursday was her opening number practice (two hours), Friday was her dress rehearsal (4 hours) and Saturday was her recital (16,000 hours).

Throw in our last swim lessons of the season, Dan working long hours, continuing to potty train Cora, a CRAWLING BABY, and this was a pretty eventful week.

However, seeing Ina in her sequined leotard and pink tutu determined to find her exact spot on center stage and beam at her onlookers was all worth it. Should couldn't stop dancing the rest of the night.

I will say that this whole dance mom thing is a world I knew nothing about. The patience it requires to put mascara on a 5 year old alone should be rewarded on national television.

And the tights.

Can we all just agree that tights are no longer a thing? They are impossible to put on, constantly riding up or down, and have five stains on them within minutes of Ina putting them on. There was a point when I was in charge of taking three leotard and tutu clad girls to the bathroom and Ina COMPLETELY de-robed (tights and all) in the stall and I didn't know if I would make it through.

Ina was so happy to see so many family members there, which is a pretty big deal, considering the 3+ hour time commitment. Also, her cousin Hallaway's recital was the same day, so everyone in my family sat through TWO recitals in one day. Bless.

She also received three bouquets of flowers which she has combined and incessantly watered.

Other notables from the week:

A post shared by Racheal (@runningwithrach) on

Mira started crawling! (Poor third baby- five years ago I would have dedicated three blog posts to this topic alone.) She is still new to the whole skill, but she knows she can now get to anything she wants to put in her mouth, which has recently included legos, sticks, leaves, and paper. Thankfully, she knows not to swallow anything, but does seem awfully offended when I dare to remove them from her mouth.

Cora is still having a difficult time with the second part of potty training and is clearly constipated. Hopefully things will start to consistently move in the next few days or I might call her doctor. On a funny note, she has started to repeatedly say, "Mom, we don't say 'look at that freak.' That's a bad word. We don't say that. We say, 'Oooh La La!'" and then erupts into giggles and I can't help but laugh.

I was also told she sat through Ina's recital like a doll. I was so proud of her!

Danielle and I are one week into T25 alpha and have lived to tell about it. On Saturday morning both of our families sat on the couch and watched us with brief participation from the kids and the commentary was hilarious. I overheard Ina telling Gunner, "I feel so sorry for my mom. She looks miserable."

We visited my grandma in the nursing home during dinner time with no snacks which was a major mom fail. Cora and Ina jealously watched all the residents being served ice cream and things kind of went downhill from there.

On Sunday we wrapped up our spring/summer small group study with communion and a Mexican inspired potluck and swimming. I love our small group with all my heart and we had such a good time eating, playing, talking, and swimming.


Sausage and spinach pasta bake with salad - this one is a keeper.

Cheeseburger salad - I told you it would be on the menu again soon!

Grilled chicken with kale salad and corn on the cob. The makings of a perfect summer dinner.

Carnitas - Danielle made them but I share the recipe because I love you.

Have a lovely week! <3

Monday, June 4, 2018

When Daddy's Away We Potty Train

Warning...lots of potty training talk ahead because this is what is consuming my life. If you aren't into that, go ahead and skip this post.

This was the first week that Dan was out of town all week for work. Although parts of this were difficult, I did have the Champs at home most of the time to provide an extra set of hands when needed (like when Cora needs to potty, I am feeding the baby, Ina is asking for a snack and my neighbor texts me that the dog is out of the backyard. Why can't I be in more than one place at a time?).

Bedtime has been the one huge challenge. Typically I am in charge of Mira and Dan lays with the older girls until they fall asleep. Apparently I don't make a good "Daddy substitute" because both Ina and Cora have taken so, so long to go to sleep each night.

Saturday couldn't come soon enough...

Monda...er...Tuesday morning started off with kissing Dan goodbye for the week and Ina's first ever bus ride. There is a brother (5th grade)-sister (Kindergarten) duo at her bus stop who were more than welcoming and her bus driver was so friendly.

I picked her up after work and she sprinted off the bus all ready to tell me about her day and her new best friend and play dates and so much more. Whew.

Before I picked Ina up from the bus, I picked the younger girls up from Granny's and had the report of a not so successful day of potty training. She had one accident and otherwise held it the rest of the day. I told Cora that she couldn't go to swim lessons unless she used the potty and after a lot of crying, she decided to take me seriously and used the potty at the school. I know so many people say that ultimatums don't work, but they seem to work for her.

We came home from lessons to BBQ leftovers for dinner and part of The Greatest Showman, which motivated me to put Ina's dances for her recital on the TV for practicing. I might have them memorized by next week.

After a much better potty training report (she used the potty! no accidents!) on Wednesday, I picked Cora up to take her to Costco for a little reward date. Mira stayed with Granny and Danielle picked Ina up from the bus. We met Chessa there to help her purchase some items she needed for an upcoming BBQ.

It didn't occur to me until I was almost to Costco that I was taking a 2 year old in the middle of potty training to a gigantic store with one bathroom that isn't easily accessible, but Cora did great. I rarely have time with her by herself, but when I do she always makes me laugh. Maybe she is always this cute and funny and I just don't notice?

We returned home to Mira needing fed, Ina dripping wet from the pool, and Cora needing to use the bathroom. My mom had also texted me and 45 minutes later Danielle realized that I never took the groceries out of the van. I 100% believe if not for her I would have left them there until the next morning.

After an amazing dinner (see below), I think Cora crossed a potty training hurdle and realized that she CAN control when she potties and when she gets treats (along with the rest of the kids in the house, who of course are all cheering her on). We even had to sneak downstairs in our PJs to get a treat and Cora went back to bed saying she needed to use the potty again (anything to get out of bedtime!). She has since used the potty immediately if I put her on it, while giving me the cutest side eyed grin/smirk and says, "I'm peeing!"

Thursday was a very typical day with work - pick up- dinner - pool, but a few things do stand out to me. I went to the pool store three times - once to get the water tested, a second time because the first water sample wasn't drawn deep enough, and a third time because the chlorine from Costco is stabilized and apparently I have over stabilized my pool. I did way too well in chemistry for balancing pool chemicals to be this hard.

Also, something else I should have known from pharmacy school- don't give a potty training kid prunes and then go about making dinner without watching said kid like a hawk. Lesson learned.

I spent most of Friday trying to get Cora to go #2 on the potty. She never did and even though I was only with the girls for 3 hours after work and we had leftovers for dinner, I went to bed emotionally exhausted. BUT, I did start reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I think reading Shakespeare in high school was the last time I read a play and I am loving it.

But of course, I love anything Harry Potter and the fact that I have taken this long to read it just goes to show you how far motherhood has drug me away from the real world.

Saturday was a frustrating day all around. Cora needed to go to the bathroom but wouldn't and even though Dan was gone all week, we just couldn't get along. But, you know what helps that? Five year olds and their wisdom, food trucks that serve gyros, cheap leather earrings, and fireworks.

Cora was wearing her Easter dress, which matched her cotton candy perfectly. She was walking around looking more adorable than words can describe and I couldn't get a good picture. Oh well, mental memory...

Sunday we celebrated our church turning 21 years old with an ice cream truck after the service.

I just love that place.

We came home to have the Nybergs over for lunch, then quickly (and I do mean quickly) cleaned the house for small group, and then a couple from our group stayed for dinner after. But, the highlight of the evening was Cora FINALLY fully using the toilet.


After holding it for 36 hours, a few prunes, and just having her sit on the toilet with my phone watching cartoons, it worked. The whole house cheered and then breathed a collective sigh of relief.

There is no good transition from there and if you are still reading, God bless you.

My workouts for the week were finishing up May The Hook from MommaStrong. I really liked the 15 minute duration of workouts, but maybe want something a little longer for when I have no choice but to workout home. Danielle and I started T25 today!

A few must make summer recipes:

Cheeseburger salad (used the dressing from this recipe) with baked fries - so amazingly good and perfect for summer. The kids had the meat sloppy-joe style on sandwich thins. We already put it on the menu for next week.

Greek chicken bowls: a summer staple - so good! The kids used pita bread and the adults had it bowl-style with rice and a slight modification to this tahini dressing recipe (added maple syrup, garlic, and apple cider vinegar).  The pickled onions are my favorite part. I could put them on everything.

Korean beef lettuce wraps with roasted broccoli and marinated cucumbers. One of my favorites - I just love the crunch of the lettuce.

Have a fantastic week! <3

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Memorial Weekend 2018: Summer So Hard


In one weekend we hosted three different groups of people, went to a BBQ outside our house, built a deck, went through a Costco sized lot of sunscreen, exercised everyday and oh, also potty trained a 2 year old red head.

Kind of.

Over Tuesday morning coffee the adults in the house decided that we were thankful the weekend was over so we could finally get some rest. Ha!

The weekend actually started out pretty chill. Dan had to work late and the Champs were gone, so the girls and I just hung out. I had marinated some chicken before I left for work, so dinner making consisted of firing up the Traeger and opening a bag of arugula.

Summer food, please don't ever leave me.

After putting Mira to sleep I did get the chance to swim with the older girls for a few minutes and soaked in the time with them.

Saturday morning Danielle and I went on a fast 3 mile run and then I worked for a few hours while Dan and Mr. Kyle started their big weekend project - a deck on the back of the pool. I feel like it is important to note that this deck is being built 100% from scrap wood that Dan has brought home from work over the years, which I have always been unhappy about until this weekend.

The rest of the afternoon was spent swimming, potty training/negotiating, and making food for dinner.

My sister's family came over for some pool action and we had so much fun swimming and playing and talking and laughing and drinking our new favorite drink of the summer (see recipes below). I love them and wish I could see them more often.

Sunday morning Danielle and I went on our Sunday morning coffee walk (this might be my favorite part of the week) and then we all got ready for church. After an amazing church service (our youth pastor rapped -seriously) we came home and did the swim/cook/potty train/work on deck thing until it was time to visit Grandma Frankie's house for a BBQ.

The girls always love going to her house, and this time was no exception. At one point I walked up to see my girls literally digging their fingers into an otherwise flawless and uncut ice cream cake and proceeded to yell and flail my arms and ask, "what made you think you could do that?" to which all the other adults sitting around said, "we told them they could."

Well, okay then.

At another point an older gentleman told Dan and I we were the luckiest people in the world to have three healthy beautiful daughters and I was so thankful for that reminder.

We returned home to Danielle's family visiting our house and joined them for a swim after I put the two youngest to bed after a very trying potty training day.

My strategy has pretty much been to have Cora sit on the potty every thirty minutes for as long as it takes me to read her a book. Although she sometimes puts up a fight, she does eventually sit there, but rarely will go potty. I have offered her all sorts of rewards and she did earn quite a few of them this weekend. She has also had a few accidents, which is of course to be expected, but she mostly just holds it until she is in a pull up for nap or bed time, which isn't healthy or ideal. I am hoping this is just part of the process and if we keep on with our system, it will eventually work.

Monday Danielle got up early to make cinnamon rolls and I mostly stood there watching for moral support. Then we walked down to the gym to complete Murph with some of my favorite people.

I can't do a pull-up, so we did ring rows instead, and the majority of the push-ups were from my knees, and I am still sore today. Oof.

We walked home to the Nybergs already at the house ready to swim and the cinnamon rolls hot out of the oven.

I wish I could say that I enjoyed their visit, but I spent most of it trying to get Cora to go to the bathroom so she could get in the pool, but she was just hysterical. After a few hours of nothing but tears and frustration from everyone she took an early nap.

Brad did help Dan and Mr. Kyle with the deck and Chessa did help by bringing over mimosas, lunch, and holding Mira while I was in the throws of potty training, so I was so thankful they were there.

After they left I did get the chance to lay horizontal on a floatie in the pool for a few minutes while the two younger girls were asleep and Ina was swimming around me.

Through the sheer power of teamwork the men were able to finish the floor phase of the deck, which of course called for many cannon balls. I did one and hit the bottom of the pool so hard I decided one was enough for me.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with some more potty training frustrations and a few successes and a very early bath and bedtime.

I have survived potty training once and I know I will again.

Here are some recipes we used over the weekend:

Epic brownies - Danielle makes these, because when I do they turn out more like cake.

A great chicken marinade served with arugula salad and grilled corn on the cob.

Beergarita- a beer topped with a few splashes of flavored margarita mix. So delicious.

Have a wonderful last week of May!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Lots of Pool Time + Ina's First Day of Summer School

Monday after work I made the rogue decision to swim with the kids and do water aerobics with Danielle in the 0.95 hour window I had between picking everyone up/getting snacks/nursing the baby and getting out of the pool/drying off/leaving for dance lessons.

Swimming was fun, but during the mad rush after there was one point when all three girls were crying at the same time (Mira because I think she is cutting a tooth, Cora because she was wet, cold, and wanted me to hold her, and Ina because I was trying to comb through her jungle hair to get it into a somewhat presentable bun for dance). Lots of deep breathing later Mira, Ina, and I were off to dance lessons. Cora stayed with Danielle who also cooked us dinner while we were gone (there is a special place in heaven for that woman).

Ina learned the dance to the opening number for her dance recital to the Gilligan's Island theme song. I loved watching every second and there is an adorable part during the lightning/thunder strike where the girls do a star jump and my 9 year old self wanted to join in.

After leaving dance, then turning around half way home when I realized I forgot a recital ticket for one family member, we came home to a delicious spaghetti dinner.

Tuesday morning my friend Hannah came over for coffee talk with Danielle and I, which is always such a great way to start the day. I worked from home, which usually makes the day more calm, but I had back to back meetings starting at 7 am. Granny picked the girls up around 8 and the day was non-stop until I closed my lap top at 4:15 to pick the girls up for swim lessons.

I was just getting the hang of taking all three kids to swim lessons by myself when Cora made sure to knock my confidence down a few notches. The logistics of swim diapers that don't collect liquid are complicated, which resulted in Cora screaming, "I pottied, I pottied" and me dragging her and a napping Mira in her thousand pound carseat to the bathroom, rinsing everything out, and politely asking for Clorox wipes at the front desk.

We came from from swim lessons to get in our pool, but I had to quickly exit because Cora filled her swim diaper again...which has never happened in the 2 years she has been swimming.

 Look forward to potty training updates v. soon.

Wednesday I spent a large part of the day freaking out about the chemicals in our pool after Danielle took some water to the pool store and they printed out a report detailing the billion steps we needed to take to fix the billion problems there were. I knew something was wrong when Danielle text me that she had a report. They have never given us a "report" before.

However, I stopped by the store after work and the wonderful people there talked me off the ledge and only $55 and some shortened instructions later, the pool is back in business.

Once that fire was put out, another quickly started because Mira had a 102 degree fever and Cora was crying complaining about her ear and chin hurting. Ina spent the night at Granny's and Dan worked late and the Champs were at a concert, so I spent the evening rocking two babies and medicating them back to a comfortable position.

Thursday both girls woke up in much, much better moods.  I worked from home. I love these mornings because the time I would normally use to get ready and pack up stuff for work I can instead use to meander around outside, water the plants, and smell the pool water.

This evening was the rare combination of no one in the house having any extra activities plus Dan getting home at a decent time from work, so we celebrated with all of us getting in the pool and eating a delicious dinner together. After dinner we quickly had bath time and bed time because Friday was Ina's first day of full day pre-kindergarten summer school!

She is starting at the school where she will be for the next seven years if all goes according to plan (I realize how big of an if that is, I promise). I drove her in for her first day, but she will be riding the bus from Granny's house from now on.

We were greeted by a very friendly principal and after directions from only a few different people, we finally found her classroom and new teacher. She immediately recognized a few kids from preschool and dance class and found her name and sat down to the task of coloring a picture.

It all seemed so normal that both of us forgot to cry when I told her bye and made my way to the office for some paperwork.

I have a good feeling about this school.

I hope you have a good week! A few recipes we made this week:

Pad Thai - this will forever have my heart as one of my favorite meals of all time.

Monterrey Chicken - so, so, so good.

A new to me snack - brown rice cake topped with peanut butter, berries, and cinnamon. Mmmm...

Have a good holiday weekend! If I don't post again it is because potty training a red-headed two year old can actually kill a person.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

BBQ + Baptisms + Birthday


I am going to start a new blogging rhythm. I loved finding 3 things to be thankful for everyday, but I want to post more than once a week. I also found myself "reporting" rather than being thankful, so I could squeeze certain things into a blog post. I am hoping to post every Monday(ish) and Friday(ish) and to continue to jot down three things to be thankful for in my planner, because that practice is fantastic.

So, we left off last Wednesday after we planted all of our glorious plants. I worked from home on Thursday and had the luxury of getting only one kid (who doesn't require shoes and therefore cannot lose them) out of the house as the older two girls were living it up at Grandma Frankie's.

Ina's parent teacher conference was cancelled, so I quickly changed from the dress I was wearing to my glow in the dark Star Wars shirt and lounge shorts and took Mira to the nursing home to visit my grandma.

Want to feel popular? Take an adorable baby to a nursing home.

I hope I didn't traumatize Mira by handing her off to a few of the residents, but holding her made them so, so happy.

We had to hurry home for an abnormally late work meeting for me with some co-workers in Australia and then Danielle and I drank a glass of rose while the kids played outside and we finished up dinner (see below).

Dan and the older girls arrived home around 9 PM unfed and unshowered, so we had an abnormally late night, but I loved hearing about all the adventures at Grandma Frankie's house. She is such a blessing to our family.

I went into the office on Friday and had a relatively busy day while the girls stayed home with Danielle. I came home to find Mira and Cora both still napping, dinner practically ready, and Ina in her swimsuit.

It was a wonderful spring/summer Friday night that consisted of swimming, grilled burgers, mayo heavy salads, wine, and card playing. The only thing that would have made it better...never mind...nothing would have made it better (even though I went set twice in cards).

I woke up Saturday morning to rain and being oh so excited that Dan didn't have to work. After I finished work the rain subsided enough for us to go swimming and Danielle and I to do water aerobics. The kids all joined in and by the end of the 20 minutes my arms and legs were sore.

The whole house cleaned up just in time to head to church for a couple in our small group's baptism. Ryann and Kevin are new to our group and church and we were so excited about and proud of their decision to follow Jesus.

Dan serves on the baptism team (cleaning up the water, handing out towels, etc.) on Sunday mornings, so when he asked if he could help out with this one too, our pastor answered with, "You can get in the tub!"

Dan told me this story later and confirmed that he completely broke down in tears at the opportunity to help baptize some of our friends. I don't know if anyone from our small group had a dry eye at the end of it. God is good.

Sunday morning was nice and slow, as we had been to church the night before. This was good because we were up late on Saturday and then Ina woke up in the middle of the night in a coughing fit so bad she was sick. Poor baby - after some nebulized albuterol she seemed to get better.

I roasted a huge pan of veggies for the week, read my bible for small group, and puttered around the house until it was time to leave for my niece Hallaway's birthday party.

Jessie had planned slime making and painting for activities. I don't know if Ina and Cora could have been more excited, as activities are their love language.

We had to leave the party early to get back home in time for small group, and having Cora put the paint brush down wasn't going so well, so when my brother-in-law offered to keep the older girls until the party was over, I barely even asked, "are you sure?" before grabbing Mira and running out the door.

We had an awesome small group discussion (we are studying Luke right now) and I was sad to see everyone leave.

Danielle and I finished up dinner and soon Jessie and Cody were back with the girls and their kids who joined the Champ boys and all played outside for the next hour while the adults chatted. I wish they could have stayed forever. Even though I objected, the weekend was determined to end.

I hope you have a good week! I will (hopefully) see you on Friday morning with a recap of our week.


The best carnitas with our favorite easy slaw and a boxed Mexican quinoa from Aldi jazzed up with roasted corn and a can each of tomatoes and black beans. Everyone (including all five kids) loved it.

Rainbow Potato salad- I strongly recommend this for your next BBQ contribution. Or possibly broccoli salad. Better yet, bring both.

Taco salad - nothing special, but I kind of forgot about how delicious and simple taco meat and all the fixings are on top of tortilla chips and lettuce.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thankful 5.17.18


1. Hummingbird! Danielle hung a feeder in our backyard and within days we had a beautiful visitor. I could get into this bird lady thing.

2. I visited Grandma June in the nursing home and she was so, so much better than the last time I had seen her. Yay for improvement.

3. I was able to help my sister. Even though I am older, I feel like I am always asking her for help. This might be because she was a mom first, or because she is a nurse practitioner with the ability to write prescriptions, or because she is an all-around rock star at life. But today, I was able to re-pay a teensy tiny bit of help.


1. I have to be thankful that Friday was a slow day at work because I pulled into the office parking lot and realized that I left my laptop at home. I spent the next hour driving back home and then to the office again, only to realize an hour later that I packed non-matching pump parts. I took this as a sign that anything I did the rest of the day was doomed to fail and went home.

2. The girls and I visited my grandma at the nursing home and everyone had a great time. We ate goldfish, played checkers, pounded on the piano, and made a general mess of the area. All the residents loved seeing the girls which made me want to come back every single day. Ina even helped to push people back to their rooms after dinner.

The most hilarious thing was that grandma's food is pretty similar to baby food. While she didn't care for it much, Mira absolutely loved her dinner. I told Grandma to continue to save her food for Mira. Ha!

3. Ina helping me "paint" pizza. It never gets old. Well, except when it gets messy.


1. A fast (for me) 5K with Danielle before the rest of the house woke up. This is my favorite way to start a weekend.

2. Dan's dad's camper company had their new building grand opening. It was great to see some of our friends and family. We enjoyed some really good food - particularly the cast iron peach cobbler. The girls succeeded in their goal to push every button, open every cabinet, and go inside every bathroom of the 25+ campers he had on site. I hope I succeeded in my goal of wiping all the Cheeto dust off their hands before they did so.

3. We opened the pool! The whole process was a team effort. Mr. Kyle ran the electricity. I scooped the water off the cover with 5 gallon bucket and a ladder. Dan fit the pipes. Danielle made margaritas and made sure Mira wasn't crying. The water was beyond cold, but seeing the kids jump in the water over and over again was all worth it. At one point Gunner screamed, "I feel so ALIVE!" right before cannon balling off the ladder.

Sunday: Mother's Day

1. The most beautiful Mother's Day service at church. They sang the song Slow Down and had a picture slide show of a lot of the babies at church. Ina and Cora were on there a few times and you better believe I cried. So sweet.

2. A delicious Mother's Day brunch with my sister, sister-in-law, aunt, mom, and grandma. At first going without the kids seemed odd, but then when I started thinking about it more, I thought it was the perfect way to celebrate with my mom and also celebrate myself without trying to keep kids quiet and in place in a restaurant or cleaning my house. Win-win!

3. Dan was able to get the stuff together to build his mom a tiered strawberry planter. He is so handy sometimes.

1. I remembered I didn't pack my phone in one of the five bags I packed before I left city limits. Technically, that isn't forgetting, right?

2. Dan was home early enough for me to take Ina to dance solo. They handed out the recital costumes (so cute) and I recorded their routine so Ina could practice at home.

Now for something I never thought I would say: I need to buy some red lipstick.

3. The girls and I told stories before bed instead of reading. Their imaginations crack me up. I had to cut both of them off after five minutes because we would have never gone to sleep, but I really wanted to hear what happened to Cora's "giant puppy and the monster."


1. Costco sells pool supplies at a fraction of the price of Amazon. They work just as well, right? Right.

2. Wine night with a few friends that included TJ's fig and olive crackers. I need more of those in my life ASAP.

3. Dan made it home safely after driving to St. Louis and back in one day and working in between. Whew, it made me so tired just thinking about it.


1. All of my in-the-office meetings were cancelled, so I had an extra work from home (read: no makeup and messy bun) day.

2.Grandma Frankie picked up the older girls for a sleepover. I called to check on them and wasn't surprised to find they had already painted their faces and eaten ice cream cones.

3. Danielle and I planted flowers, tomatoes, jalapenos, kale, cucumbers, and herbs. We had so much fun going to the store to buy the plants and seeds and then digging in the dirt. I didn't know if we would be able to have any kind of garden this year, and although it is pretty darn small, I think we will really love and use the veggies we do harvest.


Greek chicken bowls using this recipe but swapping the tortillas for quinoa.

The rest of the days on my planner either say "pizza" (once made at home and once ordered in) or "leftovers" which is evidence that the busy summer time is here!

I hope you have a lovely end to your week!

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