Friday, May 26, 2017

Thankful

Good morning and Happy Friday!



Today is my Saturday as I am taking a rare day off work to just, well, not work and spend time with the girls. We are hoping to visit my grandparents today and then maybe make it back home in time for a pizza night in. I am so thankful for a 4 day weekend!

Other things I am thankful for:

- My friend Hannah is helping me refinance our house. I think the third child has cemented our decision to stay in our current house for fear that it is the only one that will fit our growing family. Ha! We also recently received a letter from the nice country assessor man letting us know that our property value went up, which really means that we get to pay more in taxes. This was the kick in the pants I needed to refinance to a 15 year loan and get rid of PMI. So, to cut to the chase, we are taking about 10 years off our loan and keeping our payment almost the same! Woo hoo!

- Our parents as teachers teacher. She is just fantastic, but let us know that she won't be returning next school year. While I am super happy for her opportunity to get to spend more time with her children, I am still sad we won't see her anymore. Maybe at the grocery store...

- Speaking of teachers, I am so thankful for Danielle. Starting in the fall Ina will start preschool and Cora (and the new baby, eventually) will start to spend most of the week with Dan's mom. While I am grateful for these new opportunities and the time the girls get with their Granny, I am also sad that that girls will only see Danielle one day a week. I started crying the other day just thinking about not seeing her every morning. I mean, she taught Ina how to make bar graphs.


It just doesn't get any better than that, does it?

- Our new CSA. I am always, always thankful for fresh veggies and this summer a garden wasn't happening. I found a local farm that delivers to our house! This week we received eggs, strawberries, lettuce, radishes, broccoli, and new potatoes. YUM.


I used last week's strawberries to make my grandma's strawberry shortcake. Ina finished her bowl in about 5 seconds, slammed it down, and proclaimed, "There isn't one thing I don't like about that!"


-Dan's continued work on our new addition. After he works all day he comes home to work a little more each night while I mostly sit and make sure the girls don't touch anything they aren't supposed to.


- My new bedtime routine. Ina is still successfully sleeping in her own room, so I have found that there are an extra 30 minutes or so I get to myself. I now actually wash my face, apply lotion, and change into real pajamas, as opposed to falling into bed in whatever clothes I am wearing. I also have started reading consistently before bed instead of scrolling through social media. Here is what I have from the library this week:


I have already finished Essentialism (recommend) and am now reading Love Does (also, strongly, strongly recommend). I am hoping Dan and I can read Smart Money, Smart Kids together a few pages at a time. I find that reading helpful, non-fiction books is satisfying, yet I can put them down after 30 minutes or so. Unfortunately, my personality is such that if I read fiction books before bed I stay awake until I finish the book. I will have to save those for vacation.

- This enchilada sauce. I used leftover pulled pork and some other random stuff from the fridge to put dinner together last night. Dan kissed me three times while we were eating, Cora kept on saying, "mmmm..." and Ina finished her plate. That is a win.


I hope you have a fantastic holiday weekend! <3

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Weekend Review

Good morning!


I hope you had a great weekend/start to your week!

Friday night the girls and I ventured off to my sister's house for our first LuLaRoe party. The clothes were super cute and I was tempted to buy almost everything, but due to my pregnant belly and our current clothing budget, I stuck to a few pairs of leggings for Ina and one ridiculously neon pair for me. I mean, if you are going to be pregnant and in leggings, you might as well go all out.

I am not really a fan of parties that sell things, but I have to make an exception for this. Watching all the ladies try on clothes was so fun and the girls loved playing with the other kids, although the night ended with Cora's first blood related injury. They were bouncing on the bed and she somehow bit her lip pretty deep. This would upset any kid, but particularly so with Cora because she sucks on her bottom lip for comfort. So you can imagine her dilemma when she was in pain, needed comfort, and the thing that provides the comfort was also causing the pain. Not to worry, her belly button (her other comfort provider) was easily accessible. Yes, my kids are weird.

Saturday I worked for a few hours while the girls and Dan lounged around the house due to Ina's cancelled t-ball practice. Then we loaded up the van and headed to our friends' house for a little brunch party. I spent the afternoon eating delicious food and catching up with my best friends from pharmacy school.


We headed home and lounged the rest of the evening and Dan made breakfast for dinner.

Sunday we made it to the early church service, and then Dan stayed home to do some yard work while the girls and I celebrated our friend Paisley's 2nd birthday.

The party was Mickey Mouse themed and super cute, but, I am not going to lie, this party was a challenge. Cora was in particularly rare form and had a few full on tantrums while Ina was trying her best but somehow still had a few slip ups (like "accidentally" dumping the bubbles into the ball pit). I was very tempted to leave almost as soon as we arrived, but after some great party food and present opening, everything calmed down.

We came home just in time to put Cora down for a much, much needed nap and tidy up the house a bit before small group. We are on Week 4 of FPU, which is the "Dumping Debt" lesson. Even though we are non-mortgage debt free, listening to Dave scream his head off was highly motivating and just the kick in the pants I needed to re-evaluate our mortgage situation as well as decrease a few of our spending habits (our grocery budget is a little out of control). Gazelle intense baby!


After small group we pulled a few leftover containers out of the fridge and Dan made some delicious fried rice.

Monday we did the work and daycare thing, came home and chopped up a quick dinner of roasted potatoes, sausage, and peppers before t-ball practice. Ina is almost to the game portion of her season, and what she lacks in skills she makes up in enthusiasm. Sometimes. Dan had to bribe her with candy so she wouldn't sit down for most of the practice.

I get it, it's tough being four.

This is a short week for me, and the only other major thing we have going on is our last swim lesson of the season. I am getting to the point of my pregnancy that when 6 o'clock hits, my body is done with being upright and by 8 o'clock during bath time I want to lie down on the bathroom floor, so I am looking forward to the extra down time.

Have a good week! <3

Friday, May 19, 2017

Our Mother's Day + Other Stuff

Hey there! I hope you all have had a fantastic week.


(Cora thought her apple slices were way more important than taking a picture.)

Since we last talked:

- We celebrated my brother in law's 30th birthday kid-free at Kauffman stadium. We had fun chatting with friends and enjoyed watching my sister give her husband a TRUCK for his birthday. A truck! I hope Dan didn't notice that I failed to give him anything for his birthday this year because he was in India. Oh wait, maybe I can count that trip as a present? I will check and get back with you...

Because I am lame, we didn't actually go to the baseball game and instead opted to drive home and go to bed once everyone else went into the stadium. This year I decided I was going to own my 8 o'clock bedtime and not be ashamed.

- I volunteered at the Running with the Cows race.
My friends from the gym coordinate this race and it was beyond impressive. I worked the Udder Grit Challenge (so cute and fun!) and had a blast making sure that all the participants had correct push-up form while cheering the runners into the finish line. This is sadly the first time I have ever volunteered at a race and it was such an inspiring experience watching people cross the finish line.

Next year I hope to run!

-We celebrated my niece Hallaway's birthday with a family get together at my sister's house. The kids had a blast.

-Mother's Day was so lovely. We went to church and then took our moms out to brunch. We spent the afternoon hanging around the house, doing some outdoor chores, and throwing water balloons. So simple, yet perfect. That morning Dan told Ina that it was Mother's Day and that meant that they had to do what I wanted all day. Ina responded with, "Well Dad, I guess that means you can't take a nap."


I didn't even have to pay her to say that.

-We were in charge of snacks at Ina's t-ball practice, which of course made her all kinds of proud. She kept on saying we were "popular" and made sure that everyone on the team knew that her parents would be the ones handing out snacks after practice was over.

-Last night we went out to eat, without kids, on a week night. We even hired a babysitter (we love Miss Emily!). We took Danielle and Kyle out for their first Indian Food experience and once I finished my cup of chai I pretty much had to be rolled out the door.

-I went to the gym twice this week! Tuesday and Friday. Both workouts were intense, but were easily modifiable to my 6 month pregnant status. (Example - I held plank instead of doing plank jacks.)

Plus, a few recipes we have made lately:

-A roast for small group (Kim's recipe): 2 large roasts (seasoned with S and P and seared to begin), 2 bags of carrots, a whole lot of potatoes, and a few onions, peeled and chopped, along with 2 packages each of Italian dressing mix, Ranch dressing mix, and brown gravy mix and some water all cooked in the roasting pan all day with a salad mix and Aldi's brown and serve rolls (the kid's favorite)

-poached cod in tomato sauce with noodles, roasted Brussels sprouts, and garlic bread

-picadillo, brown rice, and greens (<----Dan has requested for me to make those daily. The extended simmer time is more than worth it!)

-mango curry chicken this was pretty good, but both Ina suffered through eating her's and Cora wouldn't take a second bite, so I don't know if I will make it again.

Lots of grilled meat (chicken thighs are our current fave), salads, and roasted vegetables.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend! I have a midwife appointment today and tonight we are heading to my sister's house for my first LuLaRoe party.

<3

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Hello!

I thought I would pop in and give some Mother's Day gift ideas for those of you who just realized it is this weekend. All the ideas below are Amazon Prime eligible or something that can still be picked up last minute. Yay for two day free shipping!

I already have my gift - the whole family went out to lunch last week and then stopped by my current favorite jewelry store, which was so nice, as we typically don't buy real gifts for such occasions.

The bigger gift: on Sunday we are going to church and then brunch and then doing nothing.

Nothing.

Of course, having the honor of being a mom to these two (and a half) wild girls is a way better gift than anything listed below, but in case you wanted something material, here are a few ideas:


- Graphic tee/tank: I LOVE my Momma Bear shirt and just recently ordered this Don't Eat Watermelon Seeds tank top for exercising/lounging/growing a baby in summer.

- Detail her car or give her a gift certificate for a car detailing. Nothing beats having a clean car. Wait, do they charge more for mini-vans? Don't answer that...

- CSA membership, wine club, etc. The gift that keeps on giving! I just signed up for a local CSA and am super excited about all the fresh new goodies that will be delivered to my house once per week.

-Sandals. May is the start of sandal season and it is way more fun to put on a brand new pair.

- Kendra Scott ear rings or necklace. I am currently obsessed.

- Yeti (love that robin's egg blue color!) or Hydro Flask- us moms need to stay hydrated and typically don't get the chance to drink the water until a few hours after we filled the glass, which is why the long cooling time is even better.

- Books! You know I have a major girl crush on Shauna Niequist and would think that any mom would love Bread and Wine, Savor, or Present Over Perfect. A few other favorites: Redeeming Love and The Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers.

I hope this list helps! Have a good Thursday! <3

Related: What to do when your friend loses a baby (such fantastic advice about an incredibly heart wrenching and terrible topic)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lots of Baths Required

Good morning loves.

How was your weekend and Monday? Ours' seemed to fly by.

Friday night we celebrated Cino de Mayo in style with tacos carne asada (remind me to put that recipe on repeat) and a movie before a very early bedtime. I made myself a mocktail of grapefruit soda water with a splash of orange juice. It tasted nothing like a margarita, but was still delicious.


Saturday I worked for a few hours and then we spent the rest of the day working in the yard. Dan miraculously fixed the lawn mower and then we put in some more work on our new addition, which meant we shoveled, wheel barrowed, and spread 3 TONS of sand. By "we" I mean "Dan." I mostly watched and pretended to occasionally shovel, but maintain that the moral support I provided was essential.


Ina was in heaven and despite before bed baths, her bed (which she is still sleeping in!!!) has been full of sand the last two nights in a row. Cora napped through most of the sand moving process, so she awoke confused and wondering where all this stuff came from.

Kim brought us over dinner from Fazollis, which was delicious and so lovely not to cook dinner after working outside all day.

Sunday we woke up and prepped dinner for small group that evening and then ventured out to church. After a horrible grocery shopping experience (Cora just could not deal with the fact that her pregnant momma wouldn't hold her the entire time - lots of screaming was involved), we came home, ate pizza for lunch, and completed a few before company chores (like sweeping the piles of play-doh off the floor).

Before we knew it our living room was full of friends discussing hard things like money and our backyard was full of kids laughing, playing in sand, and throwing water balloons at each other. Shouldn't every weekend end that way? I will forever be grateful for the fantastic people in my life.

Last night Ina had t-ball practice. We had leftovers for dinner, so I thought we had the night pretty well controlled. However, minutes before we were leaving, Dan and I were still running all over the house, making sure we had everything we needed. Sunscreen, water bottle, glove, socks, pony-tail, Cora, etc. I know stand firm in my decision that each kid will get ONE activity per season. I don't know if we will even be able to handle that.

Because we had an early dinner (and because Cora constantly stands by the freezer and asks for ice cream? ice cream?) we stopped by Sonic for a treat on the way home.


There are few things cuter than a toddler marching around with an ice cream cone like she is the queen of the world.


After another bath - we are now requiring more than one a day - everyone hit the pillows hard.

Have a good day! <3

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Last 7 Days

Hello there! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Doing anything to celebrate? We are making tacos carne asada and sipping on some lime soda water while staring at the puddle that is our back yard and trying to come up with a game plan for tomorrow's yard work.

Summing up the past 7 days:


- Lots of rain, hence the back yard turned puddle.

- Harry Potter weekend marathon (which led to a delayed Harry Potter nightmare marathon. Ugh. I knew we should have stopped at the 3rd movie).

- Family lunch date at Chuy's to celebrate Dan's birthday. The whole family shared fajitas for two and it was the perfect amount of food.

- An early mother's day present for me. It was Dan's birthday month, so we took advantage of the 50% off discount.

- T-ball practice and swim lessons (we have a month overlap between the two, and having two weeknight activities is keeping us active)

- Family walks. OK, Just one family walk, but I have high hopes for more next week with more sunshine in the forecast.

- I went to the gym. Once. Must hit my goal of two to three times next week.

-I started a new book for me (Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg) and we are almost done with Ina's (very short) chapter book My Father's Dragon. So cute!

-I am feeling and looking very pregnant. Only 18 weeks to go. Ha!

Meals:

Saturday: Mac and cheese. From a box. Not organic. Yep.

Sunday: We didn't wrap up small group until late, so we ate microwaved popcorn while waiting for Dan to fry up some hash browns and eggs in the skillet at 8 PM. Just keeping it real.

Monday: Greek chicken wraps before t-ball. I manned the grill! These were so good, but the best part was the addition of the pickled onions. Cora ate the entire bowl that wasn't put on our wraps.

Tuesday: bone-in/skin on chicken thighs on the Traegar (so good!) with beets, sautéed garlic-y kale, and cottage cheese

Wednesday: baked salmon, roasted sweet potatoes, and roasted broccoli - it took three pans, but this was a nice set it and forget it type meal and super healthy. Ina finished her plate. Cora didn't touch her's.

Thursday: Korean beef bowls, cucumber salad, and greens (from our new CSA!!!) after swim lessons.

Other recipes I made and loved this week: paleo banana blender muffins, freezer coconut oil chocolate cups, and egg wraps.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend! <3

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