Thursday, June 22, 2017



Here is what I noted this week when attempting to look at the bright side of things:

  1. A night with nothing to do but swim and eat an easy dinner.
  2. Having friends and family who are willing to help my mother in law move. We are so blessed.
  3. A toddler nose that easily crinkles. 

  1. No gestational diabetes! As Cora was such a big baby (9 pounds; 4 oz.) I was a little worried that perhaps I just went un-diagnosed with her, but am thankful for the good results of the test.
  2. Our town's pool store and their willingness to test our pool water often. I actually told the girl working there that I loved her when she told me she would test it for free once a week. I keep telling myself that I have taken enough chemistry classes to figure all this stuff out. Also, if a high school boy can maintain a pool, then so can I. (Ask me if I still think this at the end of the summer.)
  3. Little goggles and the big joy they bring my girls.

  1. A good family friend bought Ina a light up wand at her cousin's dance recital. She asked for one and I told her no (partly because I had left my wallet in the car, partly because I am trying to teach her she can't have everything she wants/asks for, and partly because we don't need any more toys), and she was upset at first, but was able to pull it together. On our way out the door he walked by and handed her one. So sweet. 
  2. The people sitting behind us at the outdoor wedding were amused instead of appalled when I used the bag of candy I had grabbed out of the pantry earlier to entertain Ina and Cora during the ceremony. What I didn't think about was that the bag only contained chocolate and it pretty hot out. Cora and Ina also sort of get competitive when they see a limited amount of something they both want. This all resulted in Cora attempting to shove as much in her mouth at once, and chocolate all over her face, then all over her hands, then all over my hands, hair, and dress. Also thankful for the very short ceremony and baby wipes.
  3. Watching our community's fireworks show from the bedroom widow and listening to Ina and Cora both squeal at the beautiful colors. Cora heard Ina say, "Awesome!" and then she quickly repeated it with every explosion. Ten minutes to remember indeed.


  1. All the wonderful fathers I am blessed with in my life. 
  2. Apple fritters. 
  3. A pond full of unlimited fish, which helped my impatient 4 year old at the time, but only fed her unrealistic expectations of what her fishing success would be elsewhere.

  1. Purplish-pink flowers blooming by my back door.
  2. Chore charts and the positive reinforcement, hard work, and money lessons they produce.
  3. A beautiful, beautiful, beautiful double rainbow at Ina's t-ball game. 
  1. A very small baby tomato on Ina's tomato plant.
  2. .Swimming + grilled food + t-ball game + more swimming = SUMMER (and wet swimsuits, which aren't the most fun to put on).
  3. Water aerobics and the endorphins that follow an elevated heart rate. Oh how I have missed those.
  1. Reading a fiction book! I checked out The Shack from the library, and am enjoying it so much I had a hard time listening to my bedtime of 9:30. However, the massive amount of pool time has helped me sleep. I keep telling myself that I won't let myself read fiction books if I don't get a proper amount of sleep. Rules are rules. Ha!
  2. My one year ago self that made a huge batch of Mexican beans and froze the leftovers - they were perfect for a quick cheesy bean and rice burrito before t-ball and had zero taste of being left in the freezer for a year. 
  3. After three nights in a row of games, we were still all in one piece and only had a few minor melt downs. Ina asked why we had three games scheduled back to back and I told her that "they" were really trying to test our commitment to sports. I think that we failed the test, particularly after being disappointed that the past two games have lasted over an hour instead of the promised 45 minutes. In 4-year-old world, those 15 minutes matter. 
What are you thankful for? 

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Good morning! I hope you have had a fantastic week! <3 We have so many things to be thankful for:

  1. There is a tiny human growing inside my belly. She started out as two half cells and is now over two pounds! The design of the human body amazes me. 
  2. We had an incredibly laid back evening but still managed to get a lot of stuff in. Dan mowed while I played outside with the girls. We weeded our small garden area and planted Ina's tomato plants while Dan cooked dinner. After dinner we sat on the couch and watched some Batman together before the girls took a bath and red books until bed. Why do some evenings feel so rushed and others go so smoothly? I need to start keeping a log of the extremes. 
  3. The construction next door and the entertainment it brings. We are sad to report that the empty lot next to us is quickly being filled with two houses. However, watching the machine that is this construction crew is very interesting. Would it be creepy if I just pulled up a lawn chair?

  1. The girls went to Deanna Rose farm with Danielle and fed baby goats. Just looking at the pictures she sent makes me want one in our backyard. 
  2. My nephew Kauffman turned seven! Seven! He was my first baby love and will always hold a special place in my heart. We celebrated at my sister's house and even though only half the family could attend (Cora had a fever) it was a good time.
  3. My mother-in-law's house sold! We have been praying for such good news, and were surprised it happened so fast!
  1. My pharmacy school girls...and their patience with me showing up 20 minutes late because I went to the wrong restaurant. Forehead slap.
  2. Watching Ina fearlessly run through the sprinkler and pretending for a few minutes that I wasn't seven months pregnant and it didn't hurt to stand/jump/run so I could have some fun with my squealing daughter.
  3. Getting a small area of the garage cleaned out for more optimal storage. Baby steps...
  1. After rocking a fever for two days, Cora is all better! 
  2. Danielle's husband Kyle started playing the drums at church. We brought the girls into the service for the last song and they were so excited to see him up there on stage. Cora kept on pointing to him and squealing, "KYLE!" and then looking at me to make sure that I realized who was up there as well. 
  3. Having a house full of people I love.
  1. Really close third trimester parking at my office. 
  2. Danielle made Indian food on Saturday and gave me some leftovers which I took for lunch. She made butter chicken and paneer saag - and even made her own paneer. It was so, so delicious!
  3. Popsicles in summer.

  1. A morning of making muffins with Cora while Ina slept in. I used to always include Ina in whatever I was doing in the kitchen, but with two of them it is often easier to just let them play while I cook. However, it was fun to re-live the days of teaching those baby hands how to measure, crack an egg, stir, and (of course) taste test the chocolate chips. 
  2. Ina decided to walk home from daycare, which is almost a mile, so I creepily drove beside her the entire time, which prompted many concerned citizens to make sure I wasn't a creepy person trying to pick up a cute four year old girl. While I felt bad about this I was thankful there are so many protective people out there. 
  3. We have (very cold) water in the pool! We have been spending a lot of our free time prepping and putting together an above ground pool in our backyard. With all the steps required, it has been hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even with water in it, there are still many steps to complete before the project is final, which I am sure is an indicator of the maintenance work that is yet to come. Ha!


  1. 79 cent ice cream cones from the gas station. I needed gas and had been craving a cone all day. When I saw the sign I knew it was meant to be!
  2. So many old friends at t-ball games! With our kids all the same age, sometimes they feel like high school reunions. 
  3. Grabbing dinner on the way home from Ina's scorcher of a t-ball game, quickly changing into our swim suits, and playing in the pool until bedtime. After a day at the zoo, the girls were more than happy to go to sleep, which made the bedtime routine a breeze. We love summer already!
Have a good end to your week! <3

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Good morning friends!

This week has flown by, but I was happy to document three things I was thankful for every day.


  1. The book, One Thousand Gifts, which inspired me to re-start these lists and so, so much more. The book literally haunts me and is the most honest, beautiful, thought provoking, gut wrenching, and convicting book I have read. I want to send a copy to everyone I know.
  2. The library summer reading program and Danielle for keeping track of the girls' progress. Oh, and Gunner for reading to Ina. Bless their hearts. 
  3. Our CSA for yet another beautiful bunch of veggies. But I wonder, what do I do with a green tomato other than fry it? 
  1. My mother in law for driving all the way up to our house to give Dan and I a few hours to ourselves.
  2. Wrapping up a challenging analysis at work and the fulfilling sense of purpose it brings.
  3. Our church - not only the work that has been done for the past 20 years, but the bright future ahead and what that means for my family. God is doing things there and I am so excited to be a tiny part of it.

  1. Family coming to Ina's first t-ball game! Side note: on Ina's first game - she was the first to bat and therefore the first to score a run which of course resulted in many cheers. She stood on home plate wearing a huge grin and taking in all the praise for a solid minute before the coach had to usher her away because the next kid had to bat. 
  2. Dinner with friends who not only bring dessert, but also get their hands dirty when our project work was not complete when the dinner bell rang.
  3. Working with Dan as a team to build something and put tiny pieces together before they are spread across the back yard by little fingers.

  1. Morning cuddles with Cora before the rest of the family was awake. That child would lay completely still in my arms as long as I would let her. 
  2. Ice cream trucks at church that lead to chocolate covered kisses and sticky, sticky fingers.
  3. Hearing Cora and Ina squeal together as they chase each other around the house.

  1. Corn on the cob.
  2. Strawberry juice dripping down Cora's chin, because despite her determination, she can't fit an entire strawberry in her mouth at once.
  3. I walked into Auto Zone fully prepared to fork over some cash for a new car battery, only to find out the old one was still under warranty. 

  1. The ability to work from home. My selection of work appropriate clothes that fit is dwindling. 

  2. T-ball friends and their families. Sitting at Ina's t-ball game, I really did get a sense of being a part of a "village" raising children. Everyone cheered for everyone's kids. Cora enjoyed lots of snacks that other moms/aunts/grandmas brought. We saw three families from our small group and some stopped to watch Ina play as they were leaving. I could get used to this.
  3. Progress on our outdoor project - she's coming along!

  1. Coming home to a sparkling clean house. I finally hired a nice woman to help me out, because while God gave me plenty of gifts, cleaning showers isn't one of them. I can scrub on that thing for hours and it still looks like it did when I started. Now that the house is clean, how long do you think I can keep the kids outside? 
  2. Our friends Brad and Chessa for volunteering to watch the girls while Dan and I celebrated our anniversary. We dropped them off hungry and ready to play and came back to them playing games and reading in their pajamas. 
  3. Nine years of marriage. Wowza. The road has been bumpy and windy, but we are still on it together!

Have a good end to your week and weekend! <3

Friday, June 2, 2017

A Few Friday Favorites (Plus a Giveaway!)

Happy Friday to you!

I hope your work week was short and sweet and you are ready to knock out the weekend! This weekend is our church's 20 (TWENTY!!!) year anniversary, so we are celebrating with an event tonight and ice cream and outdoor baptisms at church on Sunday.

Ina also has her first official t-ball game and we have a birthday party and small group after church on Sunday, so this weekend is looking great.

A few favorites from the week:

- Lake time!

The girls and I crept off to the lake to visit my aunt and uncle. We enjoyed a boat ride, fishing, swimming in some extra cold water, and soaking in the view of the lake. I just love being near water.

How to Find Your Food Prep Focus <-- such fantastic advice! I thought I was decent at food prep, but after reading that article, I discovered I made way too big of a deal out of it. Simplicity for the win!

- This Grapefruit Lime Spritzer recipe looks delicious. I have been mixing a splash of juice into my soda water to give it some pizzazz. Also drinking a daily glass of iced tea, as coffee sounds absolutely disgusting after 6:30 am. Who am I?

- Bringing back the cash envelopes! Although most of our budget is done electronically in Google Docs, there are a few categories that tend to go negative every.single.month. While retaking FPU, Dan and I realized that we might need to go old school and pay with cash for a few things like groceries, entertainment, and restaurants.

Larkburger! I was so lucky to get a chance to try out the new-to-KC (well, really Overland Park) restaurant. I received the email invite and happily replied yes while I pictured myself eating at a restaurant without a child on my lap and keeping all of my food for myself.

I had a blast trying delicious food and talking to local food bloggers and IG-ers. A few things I loved:
  • The food, obviously. The burgers were on point, the truffle fries were out of this world, and the crispy jalapeƱos on the chicken burger were amazing. I am looking forward to trying the tuna burger (best served rare) after September. 
  • They have a fantastic sustainability mission. Almost everything is recycled. 
  • Kids eat free on Monday nights - Little Larks Night Out. We will be back.
  • All menu items can be customized to be gluten free
KC friends: you can enter to win a few burgers if you like my Instagram post here. 

I hope you have a fantastic weekend! <3

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