Monday, September 28, 2015


Hello and Happy Monday!

This week is extra exciting because the girls and I leave tomorrow on a plane to visit family in Houston. 

Yes, you read that right, Dan is staying home and I am taking a 2 year old and an infant on a plane by myself. If you remember, I would appreciate any extra prayers around 11 AM. 


Don’t get to feeling too sorry for Dan. He will be enjoying a few quiet days in the house by himself with a few meals and treats that I prepped for him and his brand new toy.

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I should say brand new to him. It is a 1979 Artistocraft and he couldn’t be more in love. The girls and I joined him on a trip to pick it up on Thursday.

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It requires a lot of work, so I estimate it will be lake ready for Summer 2020.

Other than that, things have been pretty chill around here because this was a work weekend for Dan. Lots of play dates both for Ina and myself.

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Saturday Cora and I met some of my friends at the plaza art fair, while Ina hung out with my dad. We had a good time (until Cora decided it was time to leave), 

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but it just wasn’t the same without Dan begging for another piece of art that I would label as a Halloween decoration (Exhibit A). Dan loves the plaza art fair, so hopefully he will be back in the game next year. 

Sunday we went to church, grocery shopped, ate lunch, napped, and had small group. Oh, and I chopped off my hair. Maybe I will post a picture when I am not wearing pajamas.

Have a good week!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thankful Thursday-Family Style

Good morning from the road!

We are on a family adventure to pick up a Dan Craig's List find. In true Kendrick fashion, we are an hour and a half late. 

Since we have some time to kill, here are some things we are all thankful for:

-My mommy and daddy and Cora
-Let's buy a camper! (Not what we are picking up today)
-A boat! (Maybe what we are picking up today)

-Presient Obama 
-The Iran Nuclear deal
(I told Dan I didn't want toM. E get political on my blog, so...)
-Ranch Pringles

-No more fever (she had one after her vaccines and didn't feel too hot yesterday)
-The baby swing that we borrowed from a friend (seriously a life saver)

-3.5 more weeks of maternity leave
-a healthy family 
-our small group- so excited it started again!

Have a great day! 
What are you thankful for? 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Groundhog's Day


How are things going? Things are pretty much the same over here. I feel like during my maternity leave all my posts will be the same. 

I played with the kids,

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made dinner,

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(BBQ, goat cheese, brussels sprout, and smoked chicken nachos - so, so, so good)


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and woke up the next morning to do it all over again. My friend who is also on maternity leave with a toddler and an infant and isn’t used to the SAHM life, much like me, told me she felt like she was living the same day over and over again - like Groundhog’s Day.

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Today was a little different because Cora had her 2 month check-up.

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She is long and lean at 11 pounds and 3 oz. and 24 inches long!

A few other updates: 

  • She has a head tilt, so I need to work on making her look to her left
  • She still has a clogged tear duct - more massaging
  • She has cradle cap, which apparently can be treated with dandruff shampoo
  • I need to continue to not eat dairy for a few more weeks, if not longer

Cora also had to get three shots, which weren’t fun at all, but she handled them like a champ. Three band-aides and one sticker for Ina later, we were out the door just in time to greet my friends who came over for lunch with Chipotle.

After some much needed catch up time and watching the kids play, we said goodbye and both girls are now taking a nap.

I prepped dinner for tonight and then stared at my silent, (mostly) picked up house wondering what I should do. I don’t handle free time well. Maybe I will balance my budget or something.

Have a good day!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

My Meal and Exercise Plan [9/20]

Good Sunday Morning to you!

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I hope you had an excellent weekend. Our’s has been great so far. Friday night Ina, Cora, and I went to my grandparents’ house and played Go Fish.

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Needless to say, despite Ina’s excellent show-your-cards-strategy, she did not win. 

Saturday Dan and I prepared our house for having 15 people over for dinner. And by prepared, I mean Dan smoked a lot of meat. 

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Ina woke up from her nap to find her sand box full of sand and cousins. 

We lit a fire, watched the Royals game, and made s’mores. 

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It was such a good night. 

Today our church small group starts again! Yay! We decided not to do dinners this semester, but I am making this black bean dip and having apples and caramel out for snacks.

We have a lot of leftover meat from yesterday, so I am going to try to incorporate that into our meals this week. Also, thanks to those of you who let me know that I need to eliminate dairy for at least 2, if not 3, weeks before it will completely leave my and Cora’s system. So, I am still on the no-dairy train. It is hard to tell if it is improving Cora’s mood (she still cries the majority of the time she is awake and not eating), but her skin has cleared up drastically. I am hoping that was just a coincidence? 

  • Sunday: leftovers
  • Monday: chicken fried rice with lots of veggies added in
  • Tuesday: pesto chicken pizza (with goat cheese for my pieces) with roasted brussels sprouts
  • Wednesday: shrimp pad thai
  • Thursday: Asian turkey meatballs with brown rice and roasted broccoli
  • Friday: out to eat
  • Saturday: Plaza art fair! Will likely eat something there

Snacks/breakfast: overnight apple pie slow cooker oatmeal, coconut oil chocolate, strawberry basil popsicles, pumpkin bars

I am in the middle of T25 week 2 and while I am not exactly rocking the moves, I am doing better. I signed up for a 5K in a month and I am hoping that T25 gives me the cardio endurance I need to finish it. Ha!

I hope you have an excellent week!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thankful Thursday

- I am thankful Cora has learned to nurse laying down. Now I only wake up once or twice a night, scoop her out of her rocker, nurse her, and then place her back, all without having to get out of bed. This is great, but will only work for a few more months. Once she outgrows her rocker we will have to come up with a different plan. But, she will be sleeping through the night by then, right? 

- I am thankful T25 videos are only 25 minutes long. One more minute and my heart might literally beat out of my chest.

- I am thankful for leftovers, because there was no way I was cooking dinner last night. Speaking of not cooking, our friends are having us over for dinner tonight. I am especially thankful for that, because cooking for me has become somewhat of a culinary challenge, as I can’t eat dairy or gluten.

- I am thankful for Amazon prime video, which provides some entertainment when my entire day looks like this:

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Cora must be going through a growth spurt, because she wanted to eat about every hour yesterday and then sleep in between.

- I am thankful our church small group starts up this weekend. I can’t wait. 

- I am thankful we finally sold the couch in the toy room on Craig’s List last night and the people who came to pick it up were very pleasant and efficient. Let the organizing begin!

What are you thankful for? 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Good morning!

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How are things going? We have been great over here and really enjoying this beautiful weather

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and playing with friends.

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On Monday afternoon Dan acquired a smoker.

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It is so funny how he has friends in the right place at the right time. That very morning we were browsing smokers on Craig’s List and then a few hours later he saw a friend who had one in the back of his truck he wasn’t using. Dan traded him a golf club he wasn’t using and we were in business. 

Of course, he hasn’t really moved from that spot since and is trying to throw everything in the smoker.

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As managing a smoker requires a lot of time outside, we have also been doing some work on the back yard (which desperately needed it). 

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We pulled weeds,

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put in a fire pit,

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and I even pruned my basil plants. 

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Nap time pesto making for the win. 

Something else that is on fire - my legs. I did the lower focus T25 workout yesterday and I cry every time I have to go up a flight of stairs. 

I hear someone calling my name, so I am out before she wakes up her sister. 

Have a great day!

Monday, September 14, 2015

31 Things in My 31st Year

Google knew it was my birthday. Seriously, they never stop blowing my mind.

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Yesterday was a pretty good day - I was spoiled with a marker manicure by Ina, went to church, watched some football, and then met my family at a Japanese steakhouse.

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Seriously, the perfect place to take kids. They cook the food fast and in front on you, so there is minimal running around the table.

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In true birthday fashion, here is a list of stuff I want to do before I turn 32. 

  1. Go on a family beach vacation. I really want to go to Hilton Head, but Dan is leaning towards a more remote island. Either way, I want to teach Ina to love the ocean waves as much as we do. 
  2. Try a new food from each food group. The rabbit in my freezer is calling my name and there are a few grains I have never tried. 
  3. Change my hair. The long do’s days are numbered, mostly because Cora grabs it and pulls. Hard.
  4. Buy a capsule wardrobe for fall / winter. I have some birthday money that is burning a hole in my pocket and I can’t wait to go shopping.
  5. Declutter my life. Every year I say this, but I really want to become a Craig’s List master. Maybe listing 3 things a week on CL or eBay would be a good goal?
  6. Stay at a bed and breakfast. Dan and I LOVE B&Bs. We will likely have to take the girls, but they would love it too!
  7. Organize, paint, decorate the toy room. Right now that room is a free for all, and I want to make it a place that the girls love to go to. I am thinking a “map” theme would be cool. 
  8. Volunteer as a family for something. Teaching Ina to serve is really important to us. 
  9. Top off our family emergency fund. We are about half way there, and assuming no unexpected expenses, we should be able to meet our goal amount by early 2016
  10. Create a Roth IRA for both Dan and myself. I feel so old and responsible typing that, but retirement is important people.
  11. Start a 529 college savings account for Ina and Cora. This might not happen until later in the year, because it is Baby Step #5, but I think that once we have an emergency fund, the retirement and college savings will easily fall into place.
  12. Get back to my pre-pregnancy size. Notice I said size, not weight. This might take all year and I am not in any hurry. I am trying to eat nutritiously, but the last thing I want to do is go back to work hungry all the time. 
  13. Take the family to a movie theater. Ina loved when we went on a family date and I want to do it again. Hopefully Cora won’t get us kicked out.
  14. Get family pictures taken and put them up on the wall in a timely manner. I am so bad at this. 
  15. Finish reading the entire bible. I am a little behind, but I hope to catch up soon.
  16. Take Ina to the Nelson Atkins Art Museum. We have been reading books about museums and she seems interested in them. 
  17. Complete T25 - alpha, beta, and gama. Each segment is 5 weeks, so this will take my workouts into the beginning of 2016. 
  18. Plant flowers. We have some bulbs I would like to put out and I also want to get some mums for our pots. 
  19. Teach Ina to swim. I keep having nightmares of her jumping in water without being able to swim, so this needs to change immediately. 
  20. Start saving for a boat. We sold the boat we had because I didn’t think owning one with little kids really worked. However, with Dan’s new work schedule, I think we would use a boat a lot more now. Also, we had the time of our life in Branson. 
  21. Go sledding. We have a huge hill in town that I haven’t been to in years.
  22. Make a photo book for Ina and Cora. I love the books I have made for Ina so far, but now I have double the work. It is nice that their birthdays are evenly spaced apart. 
  23. Go apple picking. Then make applesauce. 
  24. Move my herb pot inside and keep it alive. I have an herb pot that I absolutely love. Seriously, going outside and picking some fresh herbs to throw in whatever I am making for dinner brings me so much joy. I am hoping that I can keep them alive all winter long.
  25. Plant a garden that doesn’t grown more weeds than vegetables. For years Dan has been insisting we put newspaper down around the plants to keep the weeds away and I have resisted for aesthetic reasons, but after seeing the weeds this year I am giving in. Newspaper away babe.
  26. Teach Ina to play a few card games. She could probably handle Go Fish and War, right? 
  27. Make and freeze to-go breakfasts. My mornings are about to get crazy, so on Sundays I want to make our breakfasts for the week. I am thinking burritos, muffins, and healthy cookies.
  28. Go camping. Let’s be real, it will be more like glamping, because I am over the phase in my life when I sleep on the ground, but there will likely be s’mores involved. 
  29. Stop looking at my phone in the middle of the night. I am the worst at this, because we don’t have a clock in our room. The light really effects me and I can’t go back to sleep. So I suppose this should say, get a clock for our room.
  30. Recycle more. I really need to improve in this department.
  31. Keep doing what I am doing. Life is pretty good right now and I don’t want it to change too much.

Pasts lists:

30 Things in My Next 30 Years

29 Things in My 29th Year

28 Things in My 28th Year

Sunday, September 13, 2015

My [Dairy Free] Food and Fitness Plan [9/13]

Hello and Happy Sunday.

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Today is an extra special Sunday because it is also my birthday. Unfortunately, Dan had to work today, so I will mostly be doing the normal Sunday ‘thang.

But, we are still planning on going out to eat and hopefully celebrating with something special next weekend. 

A few things we have been up to since we last talked:

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- Lots of walks

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- Shoe shopping with my mom (she bought me the cutest pair of boots!)

- Not so many naps (hoping for a long one today)

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- Making cookies for a house warming party we went to yesterday (Note to self - don’t let Ina turn on the mixer, she likes it to go fast)

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- Cora’s doctors appointment. When I took Cora to the doctor on Thursday, her doctor didn’t really know exactly what was going on with her, but wanted to try a few things out. One of the things she wanted me to try was eliminating dairy from my diet and seeing if she improved. She thought Cora might not be tolerating it well, particularly because she has had some skin issues, first pretty bad baby acne and then some eczema. 

My plan is to go a full week without dairy, then add it back in, and see if it makes a difference. Already, I can see that her skin is getting better and my dairy loving heart hopes that is just a coincidence. 


Snacks: more granola bars (Dan is addicted)

Fitness: I am moving along the T25 train. My rest days are going to be Sundays and Wednesdays. I am determined to actually do the videos before the girls wake up, but every time I try to wake up early, I somehow convince myself that I will be able to do it later. 

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Hey sleepy Racheal, you won’t be able to do it later. Get up and do it now. 

Have a great week!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Good morning and Happy Thursday!

So many things to be thankful for today:

I am thankful for technology.

Yesterday Cora and I hit up Costco to pick up some light bulbs (and still somehow spent $100) and I had no idea which ones to get. Instead of texting Dan pictures or trying to read him the package on the phone, I used FaceTime. 

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It was like he was there with me. 

I am thankful that I am cleared to exercise again! 

Yesterday my midwife told me I was golden. Of course, I wasted no time in waiting to go for a run. Cora and I ran to pick Ina up from Danielle’s and then I pushed them both back home in the double BOB.

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When I first started, it felt awkward and jiggly. I was out of breath in no time and even though it was slow (for me) and short, that run felt so, so good. I was also in such a good mood for the rest of the night. I almost forgot what endorphins felt like. 

I am thankful that Cora is starting to feel better.

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Or at least not cry as much. I suppose all it took was for me to break down and call her doctor, because since then her symptoms have improved. However, I have also drastically cleaned up my eating the past few days, and we try to sit her up whenever we can (and sometimes she slowly falls down, as pictured above). Dan still wants me to take her today to talk about acid reflux, because she is still gagging and swallowing a lot and she still has many not happy moments, just not near as many as she was having. 

I am thankful for Dan’s grilling/smoking skills.

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We acquired 15 chickens from a local farmer and last night I spatchcocked the chicken, marinaded it in olive oil, vinegar, and some spices, and Dan put it on the grill while he mowed the yard.

Served with smashed potatoes and roasted okra, both of which I picked up at the Amish market, this meal was completely locally sourced and absolutely delicious. 

I am thankful for sisterly love. Last night Ina told Cora, “You’re my best friend ever!” I know that this mushy kindness isn’t always going to be the case, so I am soaking it up now while I can.

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What are you thankful for? 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

My Big Girl

A few people told me that when Cora was born, Ina would seem so much bigger. And she did. In an instant, she was so much physically bigger. She had much bigger cuddles, bigger pull-ups, and bigger tears. 

What I didn’t think about was how much older she would seem (or would become?) when her little sister came along.

Just a few examples the past few days of how big of a girl she is:

- Cora was crying (she does this - a lot - in fact, we have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday because I think she has acid reflux) and Ina was trying to calm her down. She said, “It’s OK Cora,” hugged her, and then starting singing a Frozen song to her, “I’m right here for you, just let me innnn…."

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That moment was priceless, but often when Cora is crying, Ina will comfort her in some way - a hug, a kiss, or pulling the music cord on her vibrating chair. 

- At the park yesterday Ina was staring at an older boy (she does this often and even though it is creepy I remember doing the same thing as a kid) on the monkey bars. He was beyond sweet and walked over to her and asked if she wanted to shoot a basketball with him. She giggled, said yes, and then followed him across the park to the basketball court. It wasn’t until she had the basketball in her hands that the thought of not being able to make it to the hoop even crossed her mind. 

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Then, of course, she ran back to me and asked me to help her, but I was so proud of her bravery.

- We went to the library for story time and there were a lot of older kids there, sitting on the mat, ready for action. Ina was super nervous and didn’t want to join them. I finally convinced her to sit on the edge, but when the librarian came out dressed as a farmer with a ukulele in hand, she scooted up a little bit, and by the time the books came out she was front and center. 

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I think she forgot I was there. 

It is easy to look at Ina as a two year old and think she has life pretty easy. But then, I look at Cora and see what Ina started out. In two years she has overcome so many challenges. She learned to walk, talk, negotiate, say her alphabet, count, use her manners, crack an egg, ride in her Barbie jeep, dig with her shovel, give kisses, pray, and so much more.

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She is my big (little) girl. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

My Meal Plan [9/7]

Happy Labor Day!

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Both girls are napping, so I just finished a blitz pick-up of the house and am taking a few minutes to plan our meals for the week. 

This weekend was pretty low key. We visited Dan’s parents who took us around to their favorite food stores near their house. This is an activity we have been planning for years, but have never got around to it. In one day we hit up a Mennonite store, an Amish market, and a super interesting butcher shop that sells rare meats and spices (hello alligator). Add that to the 15 free range chickens and 2 rabbits we acquired this weekend and our grocery budget is shot, but our freezers are full of potential meals. 

My favorite stop was the Amish market. I picked up fresh veggies (okra, eggplant, red potatoes, and peppers), local honey, hand made soap and chapstick, jelly, and some granola for $30!

Today Dan had to work and it rained, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time. We read books outside while listening to the rain, painted our nails, and then splashed in puddles. 


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I better get to prepping dinner tonight before I no longer have two free hands. 


Fitness: I have my mid-wife appointment on Wednesday and really hope to be cleared to exercise. Right now my plan is to do the T25 (alpha and the easiest modification) for the next 6 weeks and try to add in as many walks/jogs as possible with the babes. 

Have a lovely week!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Dan's Poetry

You know I am getting pretty desperate for something to post when I write about Dan’s writing…in elementary school. 

However, when my friend Ashely found Dan’s submission to his 5th grade poetry book in her parents’ basement (they were in the same class), I could not keep it to myself. So, I am sharing his genius with you.

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My personal favorite is the birthday card greeting. Do you think Hallmark is accepting applications? 

In all seriousness, Dan is a very good writer and has written me a few poems over the years.

In high school he wrote me a poem in Spanish and I remember going to the Spanish teacher and having her translate it for me. She just smiled and said, “this guy really likes you."


Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Good morning!

I am thankful for baby smiles.

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Miss Cora has been smiling like crazy and I can’t help but fall more and more in love with her every time she looks up at me and shoots me a grin. And then toots. And then grins more. 

I am thankful for the opportunity to take Ina to see Frozen on Ice. I wanted to go, but Dan had to work and I didn’t think I could handle both girls solo. So, (thankfully) I convinced my mom and sister to join us and we had a blast. 

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I sort of want to dress Ina up as Elsa everyday. 

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I am thankful that our friend Eric left his bobcat in our driveway over night.

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Ina asked Dan if she could drive it and this motivated Dan to remove a dead tree from our backyard, which I am also thankful for.

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However, while removing the tree, Dan hit the cord that connected our internet service to our house. So, I am also thankful to the AT&T employee who fixed it yesterday, after Dan tried to splice the (as it turns out, wrong) cord.

I am also thankful to my friend/neighbor Kim who let me borrow her internet on her front porch when I desperately needed it while our’s was out. 

And, while on the subject, let me just say that I am thankful for internet. What did we do without it?

I am thankful for Ina’s daycare, which she is still going to 2 days a week while I am on maternity leave. Not only does it give me some time to regroup, going to Danielle’s and playing with Gunner gives Ina some social interaction that she doesn’t get as much when she is home with me and Cora all day. 

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But, I sure do miss that blonde ponytail when she is gone!

I am thankful to Dan who watched both Cora and Ina by himself for a few hours this week. I had to get out of the house for a work thing, and I only called once! 

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I am thankful for kale! Danielle’s dad (Papa Fred) gave us a bag of it and I have been making each meal a little greener. 

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The kale plants I bought aren’t as tasty as this.

What are you thankful for? 

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