Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Birthday Weekend

Hello there!

Mira and I both recently celebrated our birthdays, but before that, a few highlights from the week:

I moved my weights to the basement, so my morning workouts look a little different. 

My morning walks are looking a little different too - darker and more fall-like.

On Friday the girls went to the circus with their aunt and cousins, so Dan and I got to work experimenting with some recipes.

For months now, when I would ask Mira what she wants for her birthday, her only response would be "chocolate cake". So, I searched for a perfect cake recipe, ordered special sprinkles, and woke up at 3:30 am to make her a (leaning) cake.

Her icing lick for the photo was the only bite of the cake she has eaten to date. That stinker decided she only wanted chocolate ice-cream. Oh well, more for me.

We spent the morning of her birthday preparing to have family over for dinner and then headed to our town's fall festival. 

(That is the same hat Ina wore on her first birthday. Mira found it in the dress-up bin and has been saving it for this weekend).

Mira was pretty excited to find out that her parents had ordered her a bounce house,

petting zoo,

pony rides,

and face painting for her birthday. 

After less than 2 hours, which felt like 20, Dan and I were ready to head home. We celebrated our new favorite four year old with family and good food.

The next day we went to church, did the weekly cleaning, and settled down with my sister and her kids to watch the pull out a last minute win. 

Monday was my birthday! Ina sang me happy birthday, Dan brought me sourdough in bed (after I had already been awake for almost 3 hours, worked out, walked, and showered), and Cora and Mira gave me excellent snuggles.

I took a leisurely pace to work, responding to nice calls, social media messages/posts, and texts. Then after work my mom came over to hang out with Cora, Nonnie took Mira to swim lessons, and Dan took Ina to kids small group, so I could go shopping. 

Ryann and I went to Athleta where I found many things I couldn't live without, and then we met McKenzie and Brooke at North to eat some really delicious food. 

What a great day. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Labor Day Work Week 2021

One truth that has remained the same despite my phase in life - the Monday after a weekend trip is rough.

That is all I have to say about Monday.

I wrote the above two sentences on Tuesday morning and as I sit here typing two weeks later, not much has changed.

Work was exceptionally busy this week, which left me feeling so purposeful and efficient, but also with tired eyes and a slightly shorter fuse. With the exception of my morning walks, I went from Sunday afternoon to Thursday evening without leaving my house. 

Other than staring at my computer, the week did have a few high points:

Ina had a fever on Monday evening (I swear she gets sick more than any other kid I know), but thankfully, unlike her usual week long fevers, it was less than a day before she was back to her usually chipper self.

The sun is rising later and later, which means the time I get to the lake near my house is getting closer to sunrise, and the colors are getting prettier.

This week's book was Soundtracks by Jon Acuff. No only was this a fantastic message regarding overthinking, it was absolutely hilarious. I laughed out loud multiple times. Recommend. 

We also watched Fantastic Beasts and The Crimes of Grindelwald, which was crazy because we are just getting to the point in the last Harry Potter book that introduces Grindelwald. It is so cool to see the story come together from both sides of (made up) time. 

We are preparing for hard wood floor installation in the next few weeks, so while the girls were spending the night at grandma's Dan and I completed a huge sweep of the main level, trying to reduce the moving that will be required the day before. 


After (Evidence that hard wood floors are a need, not a want.):

We had to break a few times for food - so why not sushi?

We enjoyed sushi twice in less than 24 hours. Once at a restaurant, once at Sam's club. Both were delicious. 

We also went through all 3 of the girls' rooms and made sure only their current size was in their closets and drawers as opposed to only socks that don't have a mate, shirts with holes and/or stains, and pants that no longer fit anyone. It was a big weekend. Ina has 5 articles of clothing left in her room.

On Sunday we went to church and due to a shortness of workers, I had the treat of working in the 3 and 4 year old room. Watching them play was an absolute blast and although I missed my nursery babies, I liked the structure of a lesson and craft activity.

We came home to hang around the house and eventually joined our friends for a get together.

We spent the Labor Day holiday continuing our closet clean out and matching every single spare sock in the house. I chose not to take any pictures. 

I will be back soon for a Mira birthday recap!

Monday, August 30, 2021

Last Summer Trip

We had another adventurous weekend!  

But, before that, let's pick up where we last left off, shall we? The second day of school went swimmingly for the girls. 

While they were away, I finally solved the problem with the switch I had purchased to make my screens/mouse/headset/keyboard switch back and forth between the two computers I need for work. 

Me. I was the problem, because apparently I thought two of the cords were optional. After spending more time than I care to admit googling solutions, I looked at the hardware again and 8 cords later I can check both email accounts without sitting on the floor. This was a big win people. 

That night the girls had their first art class and play practice, which went well and we came home to quickly make dinner - Asian glazed chicken thighs, rice, and a quick cucumber and onion salad. 

The next day began like every other - bible study/prayer time, a little computer time, then a LexiJ workout (lower body!) and a 3(ish) mile walk. After years of my mornings being a mess, I finally have a morning routine I love. 

That walking view doesn't hurt. 

(I finished also finished The Midnight Library. I heard mixed reviews on this book, and although I can't say I loved the first half, the second half was quite beautiful and I am thankful to have stuck with it.)

I spent Wednesday evening packing for our trip, baking cookies, and then unsuccessfully putting the girls to bed. Dan usually lays with them until they fall asleep, but he wasn't home, and I don't lay still well. 

We left for Branson on Thursday evening as soon as the girls finished their play practice/auditions. Ina auditioned for a singing role and even though she didn't get the part I was so proud of her for practicing the song all on her own and auditioning with confidence around girls and teachers she doesn't know very well. Side note: we made the incredibly difficult decision to stop competitive dance. Although we loved the teachers, the girls, and the studio, we decided to prioritize our family's resources differently. I know some might consider this decision minor, but it might be the most difficult one I have made as a parent to date. 

End side note.

We arrived to our pitch black condo (at Stillwater Resort <--recommend) with one cart full of bags, two coolers, three children, up four floors...only to realize we went to the wrong building. The second time, however, was a success and we were excited to meet with our friends. 

I woke up bright and early Friday morning to work from the balcony of our condo the next day, so I could shut my laptop around 2 and join everyone at the pool. 

We hung around there until dinner time and hit the food trucks for some shrimp tacos and s'mores. 

We came back to the room to celebrate our friend Keely's birthday and then finished the night watching football and playing Phase 10. 

Ina has quickly earned the nickname "Card Shark" around here. I have no idea where she gets it from...

The next morning I was the first to wake up, so I did some meal planning, then Ryann and McKenzie joined me for a walk that included a nature trail, which is really just a fancy way of saying "lots of spider webs." We then headed down to the lake where we spent the majority of the day.

We paddle boarded,




jet-skied, and water-biked (?) our way through the day. 

This little cove was part of the resort (everything was free) and just perfect for families of elementary aged children. It is relatively small, but large enough to have fun and feel adventurous. Watching the kids try new things on their own was just the coolest. 

We had a brief intermission for lunch, and Dan and I came back to the pool near our room to start dinner. Just in case you are trying to feed a large crowd on the go, may I recommend fajitas? 

We made the rice and beans at home and heated them up in the oven while Dan cooked the shrimp, chicken, chorizo, and veggies on the grill. 

We ended the evening playing Catch Phrase and laughing way too loudly for a hotel room. 

We packed up yesterday morning and drove home to unpack, throw laundry all over the house, draft a fantasy football team, and watch a movie. 

What a weekend! What a summer! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day all three of our girls went to school. 

(Plus our bonus daughter Kayleigh who hangs out with us before school!)

Also, for the first time, Dan and I were able to take the girls to school and pick them up from school together, which was such a great family memory. Dan stopped working his previous job a few months ago and has stated a food prep business. You better believe I am slightly (not slightly?) jealous, but tamper that feeling by assisting in the planning aspects. 

This change in Dan's schedule has been LIFE CHANGING for me, because I have help in the mornings, which were previously the most stressful time of my day. Now, Dan makes the signs. (The best part is "Leave mom alone. Ask Dad for everything in the morning." While this doesn't completely happen, it is so nice to be able to focus on work when I need to.)

Never mind that only 1/3 of our daughters can read. He points to the sign and they do what it says. 

Back to the first day of school - 

Ina is now in 3rd grade and started the day with the same high level of confidence and excitement that bursts from her body every other day of the year.

When I asked her how her day went she was excited to tell us about who was in her class and what order her specials were in. 

Cora started kindergarten with just as many sparkles as one body could handle. 

She has Ina's previous kindergarten teacher, who sweetly sent me a few pictures of Cora during the day, as parents weren't able to go into the school. 

Cora hopped in the van and quickly reported that she saw two kids slapping each other, so she had to "slap them both" in order to make them stop. After suppressing a giggle we had a talk about when to get a teacher for help and to keep your hands to yourself. 

Mira started a new in-home preschool and absolutely loved it. As soon as we walked down to the classroom, all of the girls wanted to stay and play.

The teacher sent me updates and pictures throughout the day, which was reassuring to know what she was up to. 

When we asked Mira if she wanted to go back tomorrow she told me no...which worried me...but then she said, "I want to stay there today. I don't want to leave!" Ha! 

After we had a van full of Kendricks we decided to grab ice cream in celebration of a great first day before heading home to finish up work and cook dinner. 

I think this is a wise first day of school tradition.

While we were cooking dinner Ina read to Cora and Mira did a puzzle - academics are in the air!

Now I am off to scroll through FB and look at everyone else's kids smiling for their first of school. It is the best!

Have a great rest of the week!

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