Sunday, March 19, 2017

Park Day and Meal Plan

Good morning and Happy Sunday!

I hope you have had a great weekend so far. Our's has been just about perfect. It started out Friday morning with a workout at Fitness Tiger KC.

Genius me decided to go back to the gym after a few weeks of rest on the day of the fitness test. Even so, it was good to see that I could still do all the moves (even though my back doesn't feel great and I am so, so sore). It was even better to see everyone in my gym family. I sure missed them.

I worked from home on Friday and was excited to shut my laptop and go pick the girls up from Danielle's. After some push pops and a few rides in the Barbie Jeep around the back yard, we headed back to Danielle and Kyle's to celebrate Danielle's birthday with pizza, veggie, salad, ice cream, and cake. The adults talked while the kids played. It was a fun night.

After a few hours of work on Saturday morning, we packed up the van and drove to a super fun park Dan had spotted in the city a few weeks before. I was proud of Ina and her braveness on the spider web climbing thing, and after a few trips with Dan and myself, she climbed up by herself over and over again!

Cora loved the swing and the slides and wanted to follow Ina everywhere. Next year, my sweet baby.

We worked up quite the appetite with all that climbing, and next visited a new to us restaurant close by - Aladdin Cafe. We had hummus (amazing) and gyros and walked down the street to a snow cone place for an extra treat.

Cora has been pretty fussy at night and had a fever off and on (yesterday morning it was 99.6) and we stopped by our friends' house on the way home because Chessa has an otoscope. Her ears were in the clear (whew), but it was still nice to stop by and chat with some friends for an hour.

After all the outside playing and adventure, we were ready for a relaxing evening. Dan and Ina dropped me and Cora off at the house and ran by Target to pick up Trolls and popcorn. We had the best night watching the movie and the girls dance their hearts out to that fantastic soundtrack.

Here is this week's meal plan. (What?!? The past few months the words "plan" and "meal" haven't gone in the same sentence at this house. However, now that I am solidly in the second trimester, and craving a consistent intake of normal food again, meal plans are back! Try not to hide your excitement.)

Also, I am going to be playing single mom for the next few weeks around dinner time, so a plan is completely necessary. Also know the odds of at least one of the meals below being replaced with "chicken nuggets and apples" are about 99%.
I hope you have a fantastic and relaxing Sunday. We have church and small group, but hope to get some outdoor play in there as well. <3

Thursday, March 16, 2017



How have things been on your side of the internet? We have been great over here, taking it easy, and enjoying spending time as a family.

The weather went from warm and sunny to cold and snowy, so we have spent most of our spare time inside in pajamas with the fire going.

Cora was sick Sunday and Monday, so my naturally cuddly girl was even more so, which means I have spent a lot of time either sitting down or standing with a toddler on my hip. Monday Dan stayed home with both girls and Tuesday I worked from home with both girls. Want to know how it went?

(Photographer credit: Ina)

Just picture me running up and down the stairs frantically going from conference call to change the Paw Patrol episode to conference call to getting Cora candy so she would sit down and be silent for 5 minutes while I had to explain something to a client, to conference call, to puzzle organizer. to email, to lunch chef. And somewhere in there I thought it would be a good idea to bake Irish soda bread.

I slept really well on Tuesday night.

We had a surprise visit from my grandparents on Tuesday evening and went with them to grab a quick bite to eat. After being kept mostly inside for four days in a row, Ina was bursting with excitement to see some guests in our house. She literally looked and acted like she might explode. The chocolate ice cream likely didn't dissipate that feeling much.

Seeing them was such a treat, I hope we get to do it again soon.

I still haven't been to the gym and our eating has been pretty sporadic. A bag of kale has sat in our crisper drawer untouched for two weeks, but I did make Zuppa Tuscana last night. I have single handedly eaten half a loaf of Irish soda bread in 24 hours. Being pregnant is hard. Things that have sounded good: eggs, hummus, smoothies, and iced tea.

Dan roasted four corned beef briskets in anticipation of small group dinner on Sunday night, which we later had to cancel because of Cora's infectiousness. We froze some, but still have been enjoying pieces here and there and made Rubens on Monday night.

Dan was in charge of the sandwiches, which were amazing, even Ina devoured her's. I was in charge of the brussel sprouts, which were burnt.

Another meal win - red curry from my office cafeteria. This was so yummy and re-inspired my love for Asian/Thai foods. The cucumbers were my favorite part! Ordering some curry paste from Amazon now...

Another extra exciting improvement to our house - I cleaned and organized the toy room.

You can actually see the carpet! All the legos are in the lego container, the doll clothes with the dolls, and kitchen supplies tucked into the kitchen. Cora hasn't left the room since I did this, as she is so enamored with all her "new" toys.

I am going to the gym tomorrow. Typing it now for accountability.

Have a good rest of your week! <3

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Hello there!

Things have been happening around here:

1. We found out on Friday that the baby is a girl! 💝

I opted for the $10 genetic blood test that just happens to also reveal the gender. I was on the fence about which gender I preferred more. A girl would make things easier in a lot of ways, but it also would be nice to have a boy.

Dan and Ina, however, were fully on the girl train and so, so excited with the news. (Ina had actually told Danielle that we were giving the baby to Kim if it was a boy. Ha!) Cora has absolutely no idea how her world is about to change. No idea.

2. We bought a mini van! Our family went on a mini-road trip (as the van was 1.5 hours away) last night to pick it up. We had a few minor hiccups at the bank (cashier's checks...ugh), but were able to drive away in soccer mom style.

The van has a lot of features and gizmos that I am not familiar with, so I have a date with the owner's manual this evening. Now we have the small task of selling my current vehicle...minor detail.

Other things we have been up to:

We have been enjoying some absolutely beautiful weather. Dan was able to fix his mom's Traeger grill that was damaged in her fire and we started it out right with some delicious steaks.

On Saturday Lucy's friend Ina invited her to "Lunch with Belle" at the local bible college. She had the best time.

The Catholic church down the street has a fish fry every Friday evening during Lent. They also have amazing baked fish. You know where to find us the next few weeks... We met some friends there last week, met some other friends for lunch on Saturday, and last night met Dan's sister and brother in law for dinner on the way home from buying the van. Yay for being social!

The gym: I haven't been going and I miss it terribly, but I am somehow getting even more tired. Not so much during the day, but I feel like I need 10+ hours of sleep each night. Maybe I need to start going to sleep at 6?

Things I have been thankful for lately:

  • Hearing the birds chirp in the morning. So refreshing!
  • Cora's language exploding. She has so many new words every day which is great, but she now expects me to always understand what she is saying, which sadly, isn't the case.
  • New maternity clothes! I put in a large order to Old Navy/Gap.
  • Small group - we started meeting again a few weeks ago and the discussions have been wonderful, along with some delicious meals afterwards. 
That's all for today! Have a good one! <3

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Round 3

Three children.

Can you believe it? 

I couldn’t when I was having random waves of nausea around Christmas and then checked the calendar to realize something wasn’t quite right. I didn’t believe the first test. The second test had me slightly convinced. However, by the third test I was staring in the mirror thinking I was having a dream and asking myself what in the world I was going to do. 

Three children.



Three children wasn’t exactly our plan. We planned on having two children. One per adult. One per hand. I sold all my baby stuff. I sold all my maternity clothes. I booked an adult only vacation to St. Thomas for my birthday in September.

I would be lying if I said the first few weeks of the year weren’t spent worrying. How are we going to afford a third child? How are we going to care for a third child? How are we going to sleep? How am I going to get them all in the car at the same time? The car! We will need a new car that will fit our family. And on and on and on.

Then, I put my big girl pants on and decided that if this is God’s plan and if other women can survive the life of having three (+!) children then so can I. We are perfectly capable of feeding, bathing, and clothing three children. We can buy a minivan (a minivan!). We can sleep…later.

And baby snuggles.

Being a mom again.

Having a love like I have for Ina and Cora...again.

Watching Ina be a big sister again.

Seeing Cora become a big sister.

Having a “big” family. 

All children are a blessing and this child will be as well. Our family is nothing but blessed to have this “surprise” extra member. I hate to admit that it took my Type A control freak brain some time to wrap around that concept.

Dan, on the other hand, was ecstatic from the moment I told him. Since Cora’s first birthday, he has been casually mentioning that maybe we shouldn’t be done having children, to which I would reply, “do you want to see me completely lose my mind?!?…” 

Now I have to prove myself wrong. I hate when that happens.

Here is how the past few months have gone:

4.5 Weeks: 

I feel completely normal, with the exception of a few random waves of nausea. So normal, in fact, that I often forget I am pregnant. Then Dan reminds me, which sends me into a mini-freakout, and then I have to remind myself that everything will be fine. It will be fine. Fine.

6 Weeks:

Still pretty normal. A few tiny waves of nausea and a few moments of feeling pretty tired, but moving helps with both! Speaking of moving, I have been keeping my workouts the same as normal, but holding back a little on the high intensity portions. I am trying hard to listen to my body and drink a lot of water. 

7 Weeks:

So. freaking. tired. One day it took all the willpower I had in my body to hold my head up and pretend I was looking at my computer screen. I cannot think about cooking or else I gag. I have to stop looking at Instagram because I follow so many people who post pictures of food. Cooked vegetables are not my favorite thing right now, but cold ones are great. On the plus side, my nails are growing and noticeably stronger. 

7.5 Weeks:

I saw the baby today via ultrasound. Darn it if I didn’t fall in love with that little peanut from the second I saw its tiny heart flashing. The ultrasound tech said that everything looks perfect. 

We told Ina today. She did not take it very well. She screamed, “No!!!” and told us that she wanted to give this baby up for adoption. She seemed very disappointed in us that we “asked for” another baby and told us she was sad that we would pay less attention to her. But, I think she got over the sadness just in time to tell everyone at the restaurant we went to for dinner. We may be paying less attention to her, but that doesn’t mean that others won’t give her more attention. Ha! That girl knows how to work things out for her good. 

9 Weeks:

Still so tired. Half the time we come home and I just sit on the couch and don’t get up until we head for bed around 7. We watch Batman until 8 and then go to sleep. Our new routine.

10 Weeks: 

My jeans don’t fit. Not even close. This is more likely from the non-stop carbohydrate intake than the lemon sized baby in my belly. Still nauseous. Still tired. Soul crushingly tired. I swear I can feel little kicks already, which is so exciting!

11 Weeks:

Hello fresh vegetables and energy! I am starting to feel like my old self again. Whoo hoo! Although, I still want a chocolate chip cookie or brownie as soon as I wake up in the morning. I am still worn slick by the end of the day, but the beginning and the middle are back to the way they used to be. It feels so, so good. 

12 Weeks:

I just conquered Disney World during my first trimester. Although I was tired, I don’t know how much of it was the pregnancy and how much of it was standing all day and walking 15 miles. 

13 Weeks:

I am enjoying days full of energy, but about every third day I still feel completely drained. I suppose I can’t just expect the third trimester to end and a lightbulb to go off saying, “Now you have energy again!!!” 

Maternity clothes are still too big and baggy. My normal clothes don’t fit. My decision to go places is solely based on if they allow stretchy pants. 

Thanks for following us on this journey. 

Again. <3

Monday, February 27, 2017

Big Sister Training

The girls are so excited to finally be able to share some news with you...

Although if you saw us in person Ina would blurt out, "my mom's pregnant!" and you would give me an awkward look that asked, is she telling the truth? should I say congratulations?

Discovering this way is much less weird.

Round 3, coming atcha in September.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Disney 2017

Hello there, remember me? 

I am recovering from an all out trip to Disney and dealing with a toddler who has decided to wake up at 5 am. However, I am determined to get this post written today before I forget everything that happened. 

This trip has been in the works ever since my oldest nephew Kauffman was born. My cousins are huge Disney fans, and because they are so generous, have wanted to take the kids to show them all the wonder and magic there is to offer. This was the last year where Kauffman could miss school and Ina was just old enough to maybe remember everything, or at least something, so we went. Cora and I were lucky enough to tag along. 

Tagging along was exactly what we did. I didn’t plan a thing, but very much enjoyed the benefits of every ride, fast pass, and show being planned for me. 

The night before our plane left, we spent the night at a hotel close to the airport so we could be there bright and early and ready for action. We had a layover, but the kids did great. My biggest memory from the flight experience was Ina crawling under a bench an unsuspecting woman was sitting on and poking her in the rear end. Thankfully, she thought it was hilarious, but Ina definitely learned her lesson.

After we landed we grabbed our rental cars, ran to the grocery store for some breakfast supplies and park snacks, and then checked into our first hotel at Animal Kingdom. We had a suite that was fantastic. The best part was seeing the animals (giraffes, zebras, long horns, ostriches, etc.) right outside our balcony! 

Soon it was time for our dinner at Chef Mickey's, a character buffet at The Contemporary Resort. The food was pretty good for buffet food, but of course the highlight was seeing the characters. Every single one gave each table a good one to two minutes of their undivided attention. There we say Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald. 

The kids were so excited to see the characters, and unlike the first time I took Ina to Disney and she cried next to the characters, this time everyone gave very big hugs. Cora even touched Minnie’s nose!

A large meal and a long day of travel meant an early bedtime for all of us.

Our first park day was early at Magic Kingdom.

We spent the morning checking off as many rides as possible before the crowds arrived: barn stormer, tea cups, Big Thunder, Dumbo, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan, 

the carousel,

and even had a character experience with Belle’s story (which Ina says was her favorite thing we did the whole time we were there!).

We had lunch at Cinderella’s castle, 

which was pretty fancy. Of course we were all exciting to get more one on one time with each princess.

After lunch we hit up more rides: The Magic Carpets of Alladin, It’s a Small World, Buzz Lighyear’s Space Ranger (twice), and Ariel’s Grotto. We also paused at three to watch the parade, which was absolutely fantastic and my favorite thing about Magic Kingdom, well, except for the fireworks. 

We chose to watch the fireworks from a distance, while enjoying some ice cream. This gave the girls a chance to don their princess dresses and dance like royalty under the light of the fireworks to Disney music. Ina was dancing with Kauffman and soon my uncle was dancing with Halllaway. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed a few tears. It was a pretty darn cool experience.

Friday morning we headed to Epcot bright and early. We immediately ran to Soarin’, which was one of the coolest rides of the week. At Epcot we also tasted the different sodas at Cool Factory, met some characters, 

tasted some food from around the world (empanadas, churros, and French ice cream), and road Test Track, another really, really cool ride.

But I have to say the highlight of Epcot was meeting Anna and Elsa and riding the Frozen ride, which was fantastic.
Even though the girls had met so many princesses already, it was obvious from their excitement that Anna and Elsa were different. They kept a full conversation with them for five minutes and I admit, a few tears came to my eyes (again) when I saw just how happy Ina was. 

After Epcot we headed back over to Magic Kingdom to finish up a few things we didn’t get to do the day before: meeting Tiana and Rapunzel, riding The Pirates of the Caribbean, and riding Buzz Lightyear and Ariel’s Under the Sea again. This was our latest night and by the time we got to our car I was so, so happy to sit down.

Saturday morning started at Hollywood Studios before the park opened to stand in line for Jedi Training, which was hands down my favorite part of the trip. The Star Wars attractions at Hollywood were absolutely fantastic-the ride was awesome, the shows were entertaining, meeting the characters was fun/scary, but the best was Jedi Training.

If your kids like Star Wars at all this is a must do. It starts with a “show” and the Master Jedi trains the kids. Then, danger is sensed and Darth Vader appears and each kid gets the opportunity to fight him. Then he retreats and they think that have won until Kylo Ren appears, who, at least in Ina’s eyes , is much scarier than Vader. The training Jedi fights him, but in the end it takes everyone using “The Force” to get him to retreat. Seriously fantastic.

Other fun things at Hollywood Studios included The Disney Junior Show, The Little Mermaid Show, Frozen Sing-along, and The Toy Story Ride. 

Our last day at the Parks was at Universal Studios, which mainly focused on Harry Potter World, which was also fantastic. Seeing the Harry Potter world come to life in front of me was an exciting experience for this HP fan. As soon as we entered Diagon Alley, our first order of business was tasting a butter beer. It was delicious and pretty much exactly how I expected it to taste. While we enjoyed our butter beers the kids munched on chocolate frogs.

Next we visited Olivander’s wand shop where the kids each selected an interactive wand. This wand allowed them to perform “magic” around the park, which they really enjoyed. Ina is still carrying her wand around at home.

We hopped on The Hogwart’s Express to Hogsmeade, where we at lunch at The Three Broomsticks. After lunch my aunt and I rode the Quidditch ride (my favorite ride of the week) and the kids rode Flight of the Hippogriff. 

After the rides we were pretty worn out, so we decided to call it an early night and go back to our hotel to swim, which was a great way to end the trip. 

 We had a fantastic time and are unbelievably thankful to get the opportunity to go on such a great trip! 

Some things I would recommend for Disney: using Magic Bands, getting the photo pass, bringing/renting strollers (even for bigger kids), packing lots of snacks, and wearing comfortable clothes and shoes. Also, if at all possible, bring more adults than children and have someone else plan your trip. Ha! :)

Until next time! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Catch Up

Hello! Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Doing anything fun? The girls and I plan to make some chocolate covered strawberries this morning, but past that we don’t have much planned.

My phone has been on a picture taking break, in preparation for the massive amount of pictures it will be taking in the days to come. The girls and I leave tomorrow for Disney World and we are so, so excited. (Dan is staying home. He isn’t much on Disney, which does not compute in my brain. Even so, we will miss him and will be sure to send him lots of mouse-eared pictures.)

I will be back next week with a full run down of our trip, but until then, how about we catch up? 

We have been up to our normal winter routine - gym-work-reading time-dinner-Batman episode, with a few exceptions:

- The girls stayed the night at Granny’s house on Friday night. Although I sometimes fantasize about a day without motherhood responsibilities, after about 12 hours without the girls I realized I missed them horribly. While they were gone I went shopping, had my hair cut and eyebrows waxed, watched a chick flick, worked, did all the laundry, read, knocked out a little yard work, and sat in silence in the back yard sipping on a lemon water and enjoying the sun beating down on my face.

When Dan brought them back home they were both asleep in his car, so I just stood by the window looking at them for longer than I should admit. 

That night we took them to get their hair cut and then to see The Batman Lego movie. Not my favorite, but apparently other people like it. I just went so Dan would have to see Beauty and The Beast when it comes out in March. Ha!

- I did our taxes! Always a relief to get that out of the way and exciting to get some $$$ back. 

- We started small group again. Although, due to the winter ickies, it was an extra small small group. It was still so nice to get back in the swing of opening up our doors and having people over to discuss God’s word.

- Cora somehow changed the programming on our baby monitor to not connect to the camera in her room anymore. Both Dan and I have tried to fix it without success, so I guess she is ready to sleep without supervision.

- I am reading the Savor daily devotional and LOVING it. I have a major girl crush on Shauna Niequist. 

That is all I have. Life has been restful and good

Have a great week! <3

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