Saturday, June 13, 2020

12 Years Staycation

Good morning and Happy Weekend!

We are making the mad rush out of the house to go to the lake and you know we will forget everything. Here's hoping all the kids have a matching pair of shoes...

The last time we talked Dan and I were getting ready to celebrate our 12 year anniversary with a kid free stay-cation. Thanks to Grandma Frankie, who graciously agreed to keep our three hooligans. 




Just look at those well rested faces. After reading What Alice Forgot, I have wondered what 2008-Racheal would think about 2020-Racheal's life. While I think she would be surprised about the road it took to get here, I think she would be pleased. :)
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After I dropped the girls off on Friday night, I picked up Dan and we headed to Somerset Winery Tasting Room to meet our friends Ryann and Kevin.


Yes, the patio really was that beautiful. 


We have tried to arrange a kid free double date with them for years and we finally pulled it off without a kid being sick. We adore them and had a fantastic evening eating amazing food truck food (<- get the paella),


sipping on delicious hard cider (not too sweet!), and listening to live music. When Dan sweat through his shirt we decided to head back to our house for a night swim. 

Saturday morning Lola and I enjoyed a leisurely long walk, 


I worked a little, and then Dan and I did what any kid free married couple would do - headed to Academy to shop for pool floats. We stopped by for Greek on our way home - delicious.


After relaxing in the pool the rest of the afternoon, Dan and I showered and met our friends Brad and Chessa for another delicious dinner out. 

Brad and Chessa were both in our wedding, so celebrating our anniversary with them seemed fitting.


We woke up on Sunday terribly missing the kids, so while I went grocery shopping for the week Dan drove to pick them up and we were all swimming together by lunch time. 

(Notice the new floats.)


It should be noted that in those 2 days without kids I curled my hair and went out to eat more than I had the entire 2 months before. I'd say we came out of quarantine with a bang. 

We spent the rest of Sunday in the pool, swimming with various friends, which is how we have spent the rest of this week.

The girls play and swim all day at camp and them come home to play and swim some more.  Ina had dance twice. We hosted a small-ish small group swim party. Our door continues to open with friends smiling on the other side, which makes me so happy.



We are making a very quick trip to the lake this weekend and coming back home in time for the re-gathering of our church on Sunday! We are so excited.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Recipes to share: 

Eggroll in a bowl. Every time I make this recipe I wish I made it more.
Crack dip - not ever a little bit healthy but oh so perfect for a pool party, particularly when paired with Aldi's street corn chips.
Sheet pan tandori chicken and cauliflower with cucumber and onion salad - another perfect quick dinner. 



Friday, June 5, 2020

Frog Jumping into Summer Camp

Hello and Happy Friday! 

Although that first sentence may sound and look cheerful, my heart is heavy with what is (has) happening (happened) in our country this week (centuries). I will admit that my natural response to any conflict is to bury my head in the sand, but I understand that is not helpful to anyone. I am making an effort to listen and learn and be uncomfortable. Thank you for reading here and letting me continue to document my precious bubble of a life, which I have recognized as such more and more with every day. 

Monday was Ina and Cora's first day of summer camp. This was the same camp I worked for in high school and college, so I was a little giddy dropping them off the first day. True to their natures, Ina gave me the peace sign and went to join her friends while Cora hesitantly clung to my leg until I convinced her she would have fun without me there.


I picked them up after work and learned they had gained a few more freckles and a few more friends. Cora reported that she has a 'new BFF' whose name she couldn't quite recollect and Ina told me she traded the pretzels I packed for Spicy Doritos, that her favorite counselor was a guy named Vince because he was the most 'instructive' and that she was brave enough to go down the big slide at the pool. 

Something I didn't anticipate was Mira waking up and yelling, "We're going to summer camp! I can't wait to go summer camping!" Poor girl has a few more years until she is old enough. Until then she gets to pick strawberries with Nonnie. 


I have a feeling our new summer routine is set - dinner, swimming, listening to Harry Potter. 


Lola has yet to jump in the pool, but she has come close a few times. Really, it is just a matter of time before it happens. 

Tuesday I again picked up two red faced, tired, and very hungry campers. We came home, turned on the AC and a movie, and I cooked dinner for a few friends to celebrate Valerie's birthday. We ate cookie cake and watched the kids swim until the sun started going down. 



We didn't even make it through an entire chapter of Harry Potter we were so tired.

On Wednesday I squeezed in a long overdue hair cut and eyebrow wax before picking the girls up from camp, quickly chopping a salad, and heading to small group, which the Thomas Family graciously volunteered to host to celebrate Graham's retirement from the marine corps. 


As we left Cora picked up a frog on the sidewalk. Nothing delights her more than holding a frog, and likewise, nothing upsets her more than losing a frog. Bless her heart, she lost that frog no less than 10 times in the van on the way home. I made the mistake of letting her keep the frog in a makeshift aquarium overnight, but after researching how to take care for the creature, the internet strongly suggested we let the wild frog free.


Cora was not happy with this at all and her heart broke into a million little pieces when she had to watch "Polly" hop away without following after it. She cried so hard through my patient explanation of how Polly was better off on his/her own. The only thing that stopped Cora from spending the day in tears was me mentioning the possibility of going to the pet store and getting a pet frog. A pet frog? Who am I? HALP.

Thursday night some neighbor friends came over to swim, we had steak and my favorite salad, and Ina had dance. When I picked her up she strutted to the car and confidently announced, "We have our dance DOWN. Miss Donna says we are professionals!" I think the extra socialization gave her a new found energy, because when it was time to go to bed she kept on saying, "My body is exhausted, but my mouth is energized! I have so much I want to talk about!" as she told me about wondering what goes through others' minds and asked me if I had any boyfriends before Daddy. 

Whew! The girls are going to their Grandma's for the weekend and Dan and I are going to enjoy a little anniversary stay-cation. We have been married 12 years on Sunday! I am so looking forward to the next 48 hours.

Have a great weekend!

Recipes: 

Korean beef bowls - seriously love this recipe
Grilled chicken with Peruvian green sauce - another Kendrick family staple
Kale Cesar salad with this dressing recipe and roasted chickpeas 

Monday, June 1, 2020

Matching Tie Dye

Hello and Happy Monday!


I came home from the gym, watered the tomatoes, started a load of laundry, and am typing away until the girls wake up.
 
Friday Dan and I rode together to pick up the girls from Danielle's, which of course led to chatting, and the Kendricks staying way longer than we needed to.

When the fridge broke, the chorizo in the freezer defrosted, which forced us to make huevos con chorizo. Darn. Brooke and the kids came over and Dan pushed us out the door while he made dinner. The pool looked so inviting but is still so cold, so this was another night of getting all of the swim suits located and donned, finding the puddle jumpers and putting them on, and then sitting on the deck staring at the water and wishing it was warmer. 

Brooke and I went on another short run on Saturday morning. If you count Murph, that is three runs in one week - who am I? 


After a few hours of me working, Dan making a homemade pool heater, me re-planting my kale sprouts, and the little girls crumbling styrofoam all over our yard and and garage (seriously), we loaded up and headed out to Dan's dad's camper open house.

Dan's dad sells the coolest light weight campers and this is an event we look forward to every year. We ate great food, talked with friends and family, and explored all sorts of 'camping things' as the girls like to call them. 



I saw this trip out in public as the perfect opportunity to wear our matching tie dye shirts. The girls insisted that each needed a picture on my shoulders. If they grow any more, I will need to start increasing my weight at the gym. 


We got home just in time for some swimming with the Champs. We ordered pizza and wings, I made a quick kale salad, and we watched the kids swim. Then some more friends stopped by, and we ended with another unintentional Saturday night party where everyone was up way later than we needed to be.

Because the girls and I don't have the ability to sleep in, staying up late is never a good idea, and even though I loved the time with our friends, I regretted the decision most of the day on Sunday when everyone was in less than favorable moods. 

Ina, Dan, and I played Five Crowns, Dan mowed, I did laundry, and we sat around most of the morning, swam in the afternoon, ate an early dinner, listened to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and went to bed before 8 PM, just the way I like it. 

Some good news from Sunday - Mira has started to tell us when she needs to go use the bathroom! This girl potty trained like a rock star and even though potty training with the pool leads to so many logistical issues, I am so thankful we figured this all out within a week! 

The big girls start summer camp today, so I emptied out backpacks, filled water bottles, and packed snacks. I am so excited for them and beyond thankful the community is opening up this opportunity with certain restrictions in place. My girls need some activity in their lives!

I hope you have a great week! <3

Recipes:

Energy Balls - I made a batch of these for the girls to take to camp.


Easy Kale Salad - I didn't have the mangos, but I wish I did!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Interacting Laughing Gas

Hello there and Happy Friday! I am home from the gym and typing up this post before I put my mom and scientists hats on. I hope you have a good weekend!

Memorial Day was a decent mix of rest and work. We sat around most of the morning, but then decided this was the day to power wash the pool deck, which of course led to three straight hours of power washing - the concrete patio, the side of the house, the pergola, the lawn mower, and the Barbie Jeep. Even the Traeger was sparkling clean by the end. Somewhere mid-wash, Ina crept away to her friend London's house, which is a block away. A few hours later, Cora joined her there.


When bath time rolled around, I stuck Mira in the stroller and put a leash on Lola and set off to pick them up. I arrived to Ina crying because she had fallen and opened up a scab on her knee and blood was dripping down her leg. Of course she 'couldn't walk', so I put her on my back. Cora also 'couldn't walk' so she sat on the front of the stroller. The three kids who were playing with Ina and Cora decided to escort us home.

This is how I walked by my neighbors' front porch happy hour - carrying a 7 year old on my back with the blood from her leg now smeared all down my side, pushing two kids in a single stroller, pulling a large dog, who is otherwise perfect but picked this moment to get out of her collar, with three other kids following behind. I am sure they enjoyed the parade.

Before bed, Mira lifted a booger covered finger to me and asked, "Here you go mom. Will you please put this in your nose?"

I barely made it to the gym on Tuesday because I had turned my weekday alarm off for the holiday and woke up on my own 3 minutes after I was supposed to be there. I rolled in caffeine deficient and hair a complete mess, and while my effort was not 100%, I was there and did better than if I would have stayed in bed.

Late Tuesday afternoon Ina's appointment to have her cavities filled finally was rescheduled and we tagged Mira's first check up to the end of it. Miraculously, I have never had a cavity, so I had no idea how invasive the process was. Thankfully, the dentist picked up on Ina's anxiety and gave her some nitrous oxide. Listening to Ina, who normally has little to no filter, blab on and on when the dentist kept asking her to stop moving her mouth was hilarious. She kept yelling at me to come "feel her tooth! It feels like rubber" and every once and a while would ask, 'When is this laughing gas going to start interacting?'

While Ina was in the chair, I was mostly wrangling Cora and Mira still(ish), so I was happy to take Mira in the other exam room to have her teeth counted. On a scale of 1 to 10- 1 being growling/biting and 10 being sitting like an angel, Mira was a solid 5. After a lot of coaxing and toy bribing, she finally agreed to sit on my lap in the chair, but what really won her over was getting to use the water gun. I remember Cora's first appointment and how she bucked like a wild animal, which gives me hope for Mira yet. Ha!

I am just now realizing that despite three different attempts, I didn't get a picture of Mira in front of the dentist height measuring wall. That poor third child.

Tuesday night I met Aunt Jenny to pick up our 1/4 cow! I also purchased a whole pig through Jenny, so now my freezer is full of high quality meat. Purchasing whole animals (or portions thereof) is something I have been considering for years, but finally decided to do. I love that we have so many choices for dinner and meat from questionable places is one less thing I need to worry about picking up at the grocery store. (Of course typing that on Thursday morning caused the refrigerator in our kitchen to stop working, which for us is a near tragedy. The pain of not making my weekly grocery run is nearly unspeakable, but I will survive. Ha!)

Wednesday we hosted yet another perfectly unperfect but amazing small group. The kids played, the adults had life changing discussions, and we ate some delicious food - see links below. 

Thursday Ina had her first in person, at the studio, optional mask wearing dance class. When she hopped in the van afterwards with a smile on her face she said, "Wow mom. I didn't realize how much I missed in person class until I came back." Girl, I hear you.

Then, at the time I would normally go to bed, Brooke asked if I wanted to go for a jog. Even though I had already been to the gym that morning, planned to go again the following morning, and had a glass of wine in me, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to run with a friend on such a beautiful evening.

See - proof I still occasionally run.

This weekend looks like a mostly chill one, but we do have one get together to look forward to. If you are interested in purchasing/renting a small camper, you should join us at the open house for Missouri Teardrops

Links to share: 
Recipes:
Greek chicken burritos/rice bowls/salads - what we fed our "small" group of 30 people, if you count kids. I love this recipe because it is so customizable and everyone walks away happy. I make the pickled onions and chicken as the recipe suggested, but bought the tzatziki sauce. I added a big pot of rice, kalmata olives, hummus, roasted cauliflower, and a few bags of chips. 

Curried garbage stir-fry: such a flavorful, fast, and healthy dinner. A great go-to for us!

Books:

Online purchases:
- These sunglasses are adorable and seem very durable.
- All of the sunscreen. WalMart's brand seems to do the trick, and will the pool open and summer camp starting next week, we need some in every corner.

Interesting Reads:



Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day Weekend 2020

Hello! Happy Memorial Day!

Blogging in almost real time here!

After work on Friday I picked up the girls at Danielle's where Mira had a 100% successful potty training report (yay!) and the girls were giddy post golf-cart ride. Danielle and I sat on her beautiful patio and chatted while the kids jumped on the trampoline.

After dinner, Ina and I were sitting outside. I was sitting on the picnic table and she was laying with her long blonde hair in my lap. She looked up at our tree and asked if the berries on it were poisonous. I told her I didn't know. She looked thoughtful for a minute and said, "I think what I need to do is find a berry I know for sure is poisonous and a berry I know for sure is not poisonous. Then I will compare the data between the two berries. Then, I can take that data and compare to all the other berries to find out if they are poisonous or not."


I proudly sat there in awed silence with my little scientist and she said, "I don't know. It might just make me famous."

Poor Mira's perfect track record did not continue for the rest of Friday, but that could have been a little bit my fault for being distracted with dinner, cleaning, Marco Polo-ing, etc. BUT, the rest of the weekend up until now (as I am typing this while watching Descendants 3 late Monday morning) she hasn't had one single accident...unless you count when we were swimming and she looked at me with an ornery smile on her face and said, "Momma, I am NOT peeing in the pool right now."


Thank God for chlorine. One week of potty training and I can now send her into the bathroom on her own! She has been the easiest to train out of the three, and I think this was because I waited for obvious signs that she was ready.

Saturday morning I worked and shortly after my sister and her kids came over for lunch and swimming.


She brought some tie-dye, which was a huge success with my craft-loving girls.


I am slightly obsessed with my red, white, and blue tank.


For the rest of the afternoon and evening, friends trickled in for swimming, tacos, and games.





We stayed up waaaayyy past our bedtime and had an absolute blast with our non-party Memorial Day party. The cousins stayed the night and after my Sunday morning walk I brought home donuts to a still sleeping house.


Once everyone woke up it didn't take long before we were sitting in front of the pool again, which we did until Brooke invited us to her mom's pool. One would think that it wouldn't make sense for us to leave our pool to go to another pool...but Brooke's mom pool is heated, has a water slide, and is not positioned next to my house, which has the habit of beckoning me with pesky chores and responsibilities. I was able to mostly sit and relax at Brooke's mom's house, which the occasional sunscreen application or goggle adjustment.



We came home to even more swimming, frog catching, and card playing with Dan's boss (who just happens to also live down the street from us) and his amazing family.


The girls have been catching frogs all weekend and Cora is simply precious holding these slimy creatures. She giggles every time they hop out of her hand and then she patiently follows them around until she can scoop one into her hands again.



This morning started with a modified Murph at the gym - I did TRX rows instead of pull-ups and most of the push-ups were from my knees and it still kicked my butt.


After a late breakfast we are watching a movie and online shopping (swimsuits at primary are 50% off right now!). Ina is still wearing her swimsuit from yesterday, so things are moving pretty slow around here.

Recipes from the weekend:

I accidentally purchased grapefruits instead of oranges last week at the store, which I only discovered after I had peeled and separated three 'oranges' the girls refused to eat. So, I took this opportunity to create this grapefruit margarita on Friday. 

Friday: Vietnamese lettuce cups with roasted carrots- my current favorite weeknight dinner. I add coconut aminos (or soy sauce) for more salt/flavor.
Saturday dinner: taco bar (with double-decker making potential) with Mexican watermelon salad and slaw. Three different people texted me afterwards to ask for the watermelon salad recipe.
Saturday lunch: Grilled Asian Chicken
We had leftovers yesterday and tonight we are having burgers, roasted fries, and cucumber salad

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Emerging Back into Life

Hi there!
Potty training can wear a girl out!

I am catching my breath after a whirlwind of the past few days. I am continuing to work from home, with the girls mostly at Nonnie's house (Danielle's on Fridays) during the day. I have always thought that if I were to go 100% home based with work, my house and life would be a little more put together. Unfortunately, this has not been the case - my laundry pile remains high, my sink almost always has dirty dishes in it, and my closet is in desperate need of a clean out. Memorial Day project? Perhaps. Maybe now I can drop the unrealistic fantasy of ever having my house together. It just isn't in the cards for the Kendricks. Ha!

I found out my job is moving to permanently home based, which is not surprising. Then, the next day, my friend Ryann gave me her beautiful desk that was too big for her office. I know I said I was putting the paint away for the summer, but I am now motivated to paint those red and brown walls even more and I might actually purchase something to hang on the wall (versus accept whatever random picture Dan has brought home).


We have slowly branched out socially. I had happy hour at Danielle's on Friday. We went to Ryann and Kevin's house for dinner on Saturday. I am going to the gym every morning (and they are kicking my booty). We have also started in person, at our house, small group again. I know and acknowledge the risk of the virus, but I also know and have personally experienced the impact of social isolation, particularly on my marriage and my faith. Of course we are being careful and washing our hands constantly. When our door opened with guests for the first time in weeks, my heart soared. Our church continues to host services online, but some of the best small group meetings of my life have been over the past few weeks. I think we are all ready to make the most of our time together.

Mira woke up on Monday morning and told me she wanted to wear panties. Over the weekend she told me she "didn't want to pee in her diaper." The combination of the two led to the quick decision of starting potty training, even though I really wanted to wait until I was 100% sure she was absolutely ready before putting an ounce more energy into the endeavor. Nothing frustrates me more than working hard at something without success. Day 1 led to many tears and too many accidents to count, but Day 2 and 3 only had two accidents!

So thankful for Nonnie and her assistance in potty training!

Similar to Cora (<-- I was potty training two years ago on Memorial Day!), I think this is a control issue. She knows this is something she can still control and she doesn't want to give into me telling her what to do. She told me many times when I forced her to sit on the potty that "I am not the boss of her" and that I was "hurting her feelings" when I made her sit on the potty, but I held a stern face and didn't budge from her glares. I think she is starting to realize this is just the way it is. Prayers for the rest of the week and making #2 work itself out.

I am so thankful for the nicer weather and being able to tell the girls to go run around outside. We leave the back door and front door wide open and you never know what kid or creature is going to come inside. Yesterday the girls were flipping big rocks over just to discover what was living underneath. It started with rollie pollies, and then soon progressed to a newt and a large toad.


I so enjoyed watching them, fearless and strong, as they flipped rock after rock, even after I warned them that they might find a snake.

Ina continues to "distance learn" from home for the next month. I took Cora to her school to pick up her stuff and drop off her library books. She was so excited to see her teachers, but did not understand why she couldn't get out of the car and hug them. That girl is a snuggler through and through.


The pool should open up today and I am getting a much needed hair trim. We have a three day weekend coming up with the potential for nice swimming weather. So many things to look forward to!

Recipes to share:
Breakfast salad of kale massaged with olive oil, sea salt, and lemon juice, fried eggs, and pickled carrots.

Spaghetti squash pizza bake: I forgot how delicious this is- all of the kids, Dan, and even some unexpected guests loved it.

Braised kale and carrots- my current favorite side to grilled meat.

Sweet and salty broccoli salad - we brought this to a friends' house over the weekend and I think it will be a repeat pot luck accompaniment.

We have also had nachos, grilled chicken and pork chops, and kaula pig on the regular.

Have a good weekend! <3
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