Wednesday, September 30, 2020



Last night Dan went to a friend's house to watch the debate, so I was parenting solo and attempting to catch up on a week's worth of laundry after being out of town, which called for before-bed TV. I walked into my room to see them watching their favorite show all curled together and my heart warmed. They are sometimes so rude to each other, but can also be each other's best friends. 

Minutes later Cora climbed onto the top of a stack of laundry baskets and then toppled into the dresser and bloodied her nose, so I was thankful for the few moments of peace we had prior. 

Speaking of thankful, I am constantly remembering Jennie Allen's words, "Gratitude is a weapon that slays darkness." Finding habits and strategies to have a consistent attitude of thankfulness is a work in progress for me, but here are a few big thoughts from the past few days: 

  • Having people in my life to take over my responsibilities so I could go on vacation. Nonnie kept Cora and Mira. Brooke kept Ina AND took care of Lola. Someone covered for me at church. Someone else covered for me at work. Danielle and Hannah volunteered to cover for any gaps in childcare that I might have. These were all big favors and I am so thankful for these people. 
  • School is in session and continues to go well. The girls are THRIVING and I am so thankful for their teachers. Ina and Cora both come home and can't wait to tell me about their days. 
  • I am in a workout routine that I love and genuinely look forward to. This includes a shorter run plus LJW video on weekdays, a longer run on Saturday and a long walk on Sunday. 
  • I am still learning so much at work. I know the next few years will be a learning curve, but I am here for it and ready to eat this elephant one bite at a time. 
  • Jesus. Always. 

(Cora at school!)

(A random skillet lunch of everything in the fridge that was still good after 5 days out of town.)

I hope you have a good day! We have small group tonight, so I am putting in an order for Chipotle now. Speaking of food, we had Moroccan meatballs for dinner last night - one of my faves! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Myrtle Beach Recharge

 Good morning and Happy...umm...what day is it? 

That is the question I often asked myself the past few days. Dan and I went to Myrtle Beach with our friends Brad and Chessa for a long weekend getaway and it was...


We did nothing other than play cards, walk on the beach, sit in the hot tub, and eat amazing food. Spending the sunrise and sunset watching the waves crash onto the sand is my favorite thing in the world. 

Our days were basically the same every day. I woke up every morning and headed straight to the beach for a barefoot jog while watching the sunrise (after my coffee plus prayer time on the balcony).  

The guys made breakfast in the room (breakfast burritos, breakfast sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, and a breakfast hash) and we headed to the pool for most of the day to play cards, swim, and make new friends.

We then would come upstairs and either make dinner (fajitas and Greek wraps) or go out to eat. We had two meals out and they were both delicious (Bimini's and Sea Captain's House - strongly recommend). 

We ended the nights with a walk on the beach and more card playing.

While I needed this time to recharge, I will say that by Day 3 I started to jealously glance at the families at the resort, noticing the toddler squeals or the kid pool games. I was happy to come home to our crazy house and squeezed the girls as hard as I could when I saw them. 

Back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Sort of Packed

Good morning! 

Today is our last night of real life before Dan and I skip out of town to the beach for a few days. We are sort of packed. The girls' schedule is sort of set. The girls are sort of packed. It will all be fine. Fine.

Yesterday I sent my first deliverable to a client, which is an exciting work milestone. I am continuing to be mostly in learning mode, but it is so nice to be useful and productive when I can be.

After work I started dinner - instant pot Coq au Vin - delicious!  Then Brooke and Holland rode with me to take Ina to dance and we came home to Dan finishing up the mashed potatoes while Mira had changed into her dance tutu (that girl is desperate to start dance classes, but I have a feeling getting her to conform to a class structure/routine will and had somehow found ribbon and wrapped it multiple times around her neck. 

No pictures again today, unless you count this super flattering picture I accidentally took when trying to figure out why the automatic doors on my van (95% of the reason I own a van) weren't working. I shouldn't be surprised that when I let the battery of a vehicle die twice in one week, other things (like the side mirror always set straight down) are going to eventually happen. 

I am off for a quick run. I hope you have a great hump day! <3

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Butter Chicken

Good morning!

I have been awake since 2:30 with Ina, who had her flu shot yesterday and I think is having a little immune response. She doesn't have a fever, but is acting like she does because she can't get comfortable and is achy. Poor girl. I am hoping this is short lived. 

Yesterday I proved that I still struggle at adulting, because for the second time in one week I left my headlights on overnight and the battery of my van died, which I discovered five minutes before I needed to pick up the girls for their flu shots. I don't usually drive at after dark, so the habit of turning the lights off is something I will have to work on. 

Thankfully, Nonnie saved the day with her car. Soon we were in the doctor's office and all three of my ducklings were sitting on the exam table in age order, with masks on, trying to keep brave faces. Ina and Cora both sat on my lap and didn't even cry. Mira whimpered a little, but mostly out of fear than pain. They were adequately rewarded with ice cream after dinner.

Speaking of dinner, I made this amazing instant pot butter chicken and used the "pot in pot" method to cook the rice - so genius! Served with Cora's new favorite - roasted brussels sprouts. 

After dinner I was heating up my tea and told Dan and the girls we needed to pick up the toy room. Dan responded with, "Why don't you go upstairs and take a bath while the girls and I pick up?"

I didn't need to hear that twice, as I grabbed my tea and my book and relaxed for the next 30 minutes, not even caring that everything on the floor was likely shoved into a random cabinet. I came back downstairs to the girls giggling at cat videos on YouTube and we ended the night listening to the next chapter of our book in bed. 

Have a good one! <3

Monday, September 21, 2020

Harry Potter and Pumpkins

Friday started off with me rushing around to get out the door in time to take the little girls to Danielle's and back in time for Ina to make the bus, only to find out I had left the van lights on the night before and the battery was dead. Thankfully, our wonderful neighbor Mike smoothly saved the day by instantly handing over the keys to his car. Ina made the bus and I made my morning meeting. Whew - we continue to be the Hot Mess Express. 

That night we went to The Kellogs' house for dinner and fun. Steffanie spoiled us with another beautiful charcuterie board, a delicious wedge salad, and amazing lasagna. Of course the company was even better and we ended the night playing ping pong (I mostly watched and chatted) and eating some delicious desserts.

Homemade ice cream sandwiches and unicorn ice cream cones!

Saturday started with an early run (3 miles!) and then work, errands, and taking Ina to dance. That afternoon Dan and I went through new teacher training at church, because we have decided to serve in the children's ministry! I will be in the nursery and I can't wait to get my baby fix in. 

Then we came home and got ready to watch the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  The funniest thing - Cora gets the word "Azkaban" confused with everything. One day she was trying to figure out the link between Aladdin and Harry Potter because she through Agrabah - the city where Aladdin is based - was the same as Azkaban. Then yesterday, I told Dan I was taking Ina to her "Acro" class and Cora nearly threw a fit that we were going to Harry Potter World without her. Gosh I love her.

Anyways, our friends The Kellogs came over to our house and we made chicken pot pie, grilled cilantro lime chicken, a chopped salad, and...butterbeer shakes.  That recipe is delicious, but not exactly how I would imagine butter beer to taste. I am on a mission to find a better recipe for the next movie. 

The kids made a pallet on the floor, argued over bean bags, and shared many bags of popcorn. 

Sunday started with a long walk and then heading to church for worship and then serving in the nursery. Dan was in the elementary room and when I asked Ina how staying for two services was, she answered that she loved it, but didn't pay attention as well in the second service. Dan later informed me this meant she was busy chatting with her friends and had to be separated. Oops. 

We came home to leftovers for lunch and me doing all of the laundry and packing in preparation for the week ahead, plus our trip towards the end of the weekend. I finished just in time to put my feet up and watch the Chiefs game. 

Before the game was over we headed to the pumpkin patch for Holland's birthday party. Mira, who is trying to drop her nap, but if put in a car for longer than 5 minutes past 3 PM just can't hang. 

The girls had so much fun at the pumpkin patch, which might be Cora's favorite place on Earth. When we had to leave she just kept hysterically asking, "When will we be back?!?" I love birthday parties where just as many of my friends are in attendance as my kids'. 

This is going to be a short and crazy week, but we are giving it a try. Have a great one!

Friday, September 18, 2020

FIVE Servings

Thursdays are the evening when I run around from place to place (dance-HyVee-Aldi-home-dance-home-dance-home), but you know what? I kind of love it. 

I do miss hanging out with the girls, and the destruction in the path of our Mira-tornado is still very visible (she seems to need every single toy in the house when playing solo), but it feels good to get so much done in such a short period of time. Dan helped last night by making dinner AND doing the dishes so that each time I walked inside I was not overwhelmed by the tasks left in front of me. 

We had tacos with braised kale and carrots and sliced cucumbers. I know the cucumbers might sound weird, but the girls' yearly pediatrician appointment always reminds me they are expected to eat five, yes FIVE servings of vegetables per day. I was proud of getting them to eat a solid two, sometimes three servings per day, but now I feel like I need to bulk that up. So, random vegetable sides are going to be a thing around here. Oh, and lots of ranch dressing. 

I ate my taco meat on top of the braised kale and carrots with a healthy dash of balsamic vinegar on top and although Dan looked at me like I was crazy, I absolutely loved it. 

A few Friday recommendations, just in case you are looking for something to spend money on.

  • This sweet and spicy tea is amazing. I will be drinking this all fall and winter long. 
  • Dan convinced me to join the Black Rifle coffee club, and I have to admit their coffee is delicious. My favorite is the AK Espresso. I really like their cold brew pouches too. 
  • I ordered this shirt while listening to our family's nightly chapter of Harry Potter last night and I don't know if I have every spent $15 more wisely. 
  • I bought this running belt (phone/money/headphones) holder for walks with Lola, but I seriously use it all of the time. It is particularly useful when camping, going to the pool, waterpark, etc. when I don't want to carry anything, but want my phone with me. #momlife

I think that is enough for today. We are looking forward to a pretty chill weekend other than packing for our trip next week! 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

My Spicy One

 How many more blog posts that begin with my coffee maker woes will you tolerate? 

Let's push for one more. I think I broke my coffee maker when I forgot to put the filter in it yesterday, so last night's small group was sadly lacking caffeine, despite my three attempts at getting it to work. I then stayed up until 10:30 last night running vinegar through it and "de-scaling" the darn thing, whatever that means. 

BUT, the coffee I finally got to come out of it this morning was acceptable in color and taste (maybe a tad vinegary...), so I am moving on with my life. I really love this coffee maker, but have a feeling I will be on the phone with customer service later today. 

Speaking of small group, we had the chance to split into boys and girls for prayer-request time (we go to Mira's room) last night and I loved getting to catch up with some of my favorite ladies. I love these women with my whole heart.

Rewinding to the beginning of the day, we had another early morning because Cora and Mira had their yearly pediatrician appointments. During breakfast Ina told Cora she had to get a shot. Cora got scared, and then told Mira she had to get a shot. The whole drive there, Cora and Mira both cried about getting a shot. I convinced them that it would be no big deal and they would get a toy afterwards. They run into the pediatrician's office begging for a shot. The pediatrician's office does not have any flu shots. The girls are sad. Mira says she only wants to shoot bad guys (ha!). The office calls thirty minutes after I drop them off at Nonny's to tell me they have received flu shots. I make an appointment for Monday. 

Other than that, after the doctor spends five minutes telling her student about what an "easy" family we are and all of our girls are well behaved, eat well, etc., Mira slaps Cora across the face because she "tried to play with her." Deep sigh. The doctor said, "I think she is your spicy one." 

Yes she is, and I love her for it. 

I hope you have a great day! <3 

Oh, and dinner last night was burgers with steak seasoning (my fave), a big chopped salad, and tater tots. This might be a weekly before small group thing. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Hard Mornings

 Here is your daily reminder that I do not have my life together: I spent the first 10 minutes of my day cleaning up coffee grounds from my coffee pot, counter, and floor because I forgot the filter. Sometimes you just can't prepare enough to account for the chaos that follows you. BUT! Today is still going to be a good day! Cora and Mira have their yearly check ups at the doctor and we have small group tonight.

Yesterday I enjoyed a slightly longer run (fall morning runs are the absolute best), blazed through a workout video, and then hysterically attempted to get the me and the girls ready for work and school 45 minutes earlier than normal because I had a presentation at 8 am. 

After Mira was on her third princess dress that I told her she couldn't wear and she told me she didn't like me and I found Ina in her room playing with her microscope half way dressed and hair dripping when she was supposed to be putting her shoes on, I may have lost it. 

We all took deep breaths, prayed, and hugged it out. Whew, mornings are just hard. I helped Ina write out a checklist for today, hoping that if I stop micro-managing her morning, she can get the basics done on her own. 

After my presentation (which went great, minus an obvious typo in my slides) and work, Brooke had rented a slushee machine for work and made all the neighborhood kids an afternoon treat. The girls were so excited. 

Then Ina had dance and finished up the laundry and made dinner. We had this pecan honey mustard salmon (without the breadcrumbs - still amazing), roasted brussels sprouts, and baked sweet potatoes. Cora ate her salmon (which I told her was the pout pout fish) and asked for more of "the green things." Mira barely stayed in her seat and went to bed without eating anything. Ina had strawberries for dinner after dance. 

You can't win them all. I hope you have a great day! <3

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Monday Rally

 Yesterday was everything I could expect from a Monday after a quick weekend trip away. The kids didn't sleep well and were grumpy (I might also have been in that category). The laundry wasn't done and all of the things we needed were scattered across the house. My body was crashing from the pizza and cake I had eaten the day before (but were both so, so, so delicious). 

However, we rallied, put on our princess dresses and accessories, and got to work. 

(Mira is sporting all of her birthday presents.)

I spent the day working on a presentation I have this morning, plus a project that requires a lot of learning on my end, so the day flew by. Before I knew it, Ina was off the bus and in my office, pressing buttons on my printer while I was attempting to wrap up work.

Last night was the first night of kids small group since March. We were so excited to add this extra sense of "normalcy" back into our routine. 

Then Dan and I cooked dinner - ginger lime shrimp with roasted potatoes and roasted broccoli, I put a big dent in the laundry, and laid out clothes for the week. 

We finally finished the third Harry Potter book and are hoping to have a party watching the movie on Saturday. We started the fourth book, but I am slightly concerned it might be a little too scary for the girls. We might have to switch series for a few years. 

I am off to run plus do an arms + back workout. I hope you have a lovely Tuesday! <3

Monday, September 14, 2020

Two Birthdays, One Weekend

 Hello there Monday!

I woke up at 4:30 for some "alone time" only to be joined by a sleepy eyed Mira who picked a movie to watch that she has never seen before, so naturally she has 20 questions a minute to ask. If I randomly type, "I don't know" or seem extra grumpy to lose my single hour of quiet, you know why.

We had such a great weekend soaking in some family time while celebrating Mira's birthday on Friday and my birthday on Sunday.

On Friday morning I tried to sing Happy Birthday to Mira many times, and every time she would stop me and say, "No no no! Not yet!" We picked up some donuts to bring to Danielle's for the day and as I kissed her goodbye she yelled, "Wait, you have to tell me Happy Birthday! Sing it! With my donut."

Poor Danielle had to listen to my solo of Happy Birthday. 

That afternoon we threw some stuff in the car (and forgot many, many things), were on the road by 5 and after a few stops, we made it to Branson and were sliding head first into water by 8:30. 

That night we closed the water park down running from one fun thing to the next while trying to keep my eyes open. 

The next morning we hit up the breakfast buffet, then went to both the outdoor and indoor water park where Ina went down the big slides,

Cora loved the medium slides,

and Mira went from being petrified of the big bucket dumping out water to running there as soon as she heard the bell ring. 

I have mentioned before that I have a hard time "playing" with my kids, particularly when the demands of the house/life are right in front of me. However, even a stick in the mud like me can't help but have a good time, as a little hands drag me from one feature of spraying water to the next. 

We showered and then hit the town to ride the gigantic ferris wheel. Making sure to keep things interesting, Mira dropped her paint set that she somehow had in her hand (why?) from the tip top of the rotation and watching something fall that far would make any mom tell her kids to sit in the middle of the bench.

We then hit a few stores where the girls each picked out a toy (Ina- an intricate connect the dots book, Cora - a purse with a stuffed dog in it, and Mira - a princess wand and tiara). 

We had some amazing BBQ for dinner and then came back to the hotel for bumper cars. Ina and Cora were in the same group as 3 boys a few years older than Ina, but that didn't stop them from trying their hardest or having a blast. I was so proud of them. 

Sunday morning we squeezed out a little more fun with leftover BBQ for breakfast and one last trip to the pool and water park. 

We grabbed some pizza before we left and then stopped by my grandma's house where she and my mom spoiled both Mira and I with birthday gifts. Then we came home to a big surprise!

Brooke and her family, who had been watching Lola for us over the weekend, had decorated the house for my birthday! I walked in the door through streamers!

AND she brought my favorite - carrot cake! 

I cried when I read the sweet cards they wrote - such a nice thing to do to make a girl feel special. 

The laundry pile is high and I have no idea what we are having for dinner this week - but it was a good weekend indeed. 

Friday, September 11, 2020

Happy Birthday Mira!

 Today is a big day for the Kendrick house. For the first time in almost 8 years, we no longer have a "baby." 

I have strongly held the stance that as long as Mira was 2, I could still refer to her as "the baby" even when later people see her and then ask "I thought you had a baby?"

"She's only 2! I can still call her a baby!"

But as Mira is quick to point out when I use "baby girl" as a term of endearment, she is now a "big girl." Over the weekend she successfully buckled and unbuckled herself from her carseat, a feat that neither Ina nor Cora mastered before graduating to a booster, so I suppose I have to concede. 

Although of course, just like Ina and Cora, Mira will always be my baby and I can't picture a time when I won't pick anyone of them up in a big bear hug and breathe them in just like I did when they were born. 

Mira is so fierce and determined that she often has a scowl on her face, disappointed that things didn't go exactly how she expected them to. However, when that scowl disappears, the reward of her huge smile makes it even better. 

She will often tell me, "No, Mom, I'm nice now!" and she loves to laugh when others are laughing. She loves dresses and will change clothes at least 5 times a day if I allow it. 

Mira still says, "cheese poopy face!" every time I take a picture of her and she dances anytime music is turned on. 

She continues to be the most perfect addition to our family that we didn't know we needed. 

We are celebrating with a little family weekend getaway - although the odds of us actually "getting away" at a decent time are low as I have done nothing other than throw random clothes in a basket while I was doing laundry. 

I hope you have a lovely weekend! <3

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Lunch Trade

 Hi there! How is your morning going so far?

I just spent my monthly blow money on Athleta's Friends and Family sale, so I can't complain. 

Yesterday was filled with so many great things - I will bullet them out for you:

  • I started learning something new at work, in a group learning type atmosphere, which is how I learn best.
  • I traded Brooke a leftover grilled pork chop for a fruit and veggie packed smoothie during my lunch time walk with Lola. I clearly received the better end of that deal - yum!
  • My lovely friend Noelia, who I met in North Carolina, who currently lives in Australia, but is from Argentina (where I went to her wedding) called and hearing her voice warmed my heart in ways I can't even explain. I was so excited to talk to her I burnt the bacon I was cooking for BLTs in the oven.
  • Dan sold one of his "old crappy trucks" as the girls say. Now we only own one "old crappy truck." 
  • We had a great small group discussion while the kids ran outside screaming like their lives were ending. 

The rain is coming down, which likely means I won't be able to run (I need to fix my treadmill before winter gets here), but Lexi has a cardio bonus workout that I might try today instead. I am so excited for Chiefs football tonight and Mira's 3rd birthday tomorrow. How? Just How? 

Have a great day! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

So Many Questshins

 Good morning and Happy (unofficial) Fall!

Yesterday morning I ran outside comfortably in shorts and a tank top. I knew the weather was supposed to cool down, so I sent the girls to school in leggings and t-shirts (but no jacket!). The next time I stepped outside was for my lunch time walk, and brrrr! The jean shorts and t-shirt I wore left me very chilly. I immediately came home, changed into leggings, steeped some tea, and put on my slippers.

This is what the next 6 months of my work from home life will look like. I might invest in better slippers. Or perhaps even fur lined crocs. Yep, I am that cool.

I spent most of the day yesterday staring at and hashing out the details of FDA guidance documents, so my bleary eyes were relieved to see the clock turn to 5 PM. 

Ina put on a leotard (and a jacket!) for dance, Cora played at the neighbors', Dan grilled pork chops, I chopped a salad and made sweet potato fries. Mira, well, who knows what Mira was doing? I am constantly having to look for that child, making sure she didn't wander off somewhere or isn't putting something into an outlet. 

Dinner was so simple, but has quickly become our Tuesday night meal - grilled (or air fried) pork chops with cucumber and onion salad and roasted sweet potato fries. 

(I added a huge pile of sauerkraut after I took the picture). 

The lamp on our giant TV (that my dad gave us) went out again, so I am enjoying these completely TV free evenings. I did end up ordering a new one, because football. 

I will leave you with some of Ina's work from school. Her spelling make me smile from ear to ear. 

I, too, have "questshins". 

Have a great day! <3

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Labor Day Weekend 2020

Good morning!

I am sitting on the other side of one of the most relaxing weekends I have had in quite some time, recharged and ready to tackle this 4 day work week.

Friday night we went to our friends Brian and Steffanie's house for dinner and fun. We walked into a beautifully decorated home with an amazing charcuterie board for the adults and a bounce house and bubble machine for the kids. 

Dinner was amazing (burgers, corn on the cob, broccoli salad, watermelon and some amazing apple pie and ice cream for dessert) and afterwards the kids played outside while the adults played cards, and then came inside to watch a movie while the adults continued to play cards. While we were there Steffanie continued to meet every single one of the girls' hearts' desires - a painting kit? sure! Slime? Here you go! Chocolate syrup and sprinkles in a bowl? Of course! A puppy? Why not? 

We were all sad when we had to leave way past our bedtime and can't wait to hang out with them again. 

Saturday morning started with a 4 mile run/walk and then coming home to hang out around the house for a little bit. We were sad to say bye to Miss Tricia and Mr. Anthony and their boys who had been staying with us off and off this week while they moved into their new house, had it painted, etc. We all loved having them here - house guests are so fun. 

Then we spent the morning just hanging out. Dan and I taught Ina the game that we had played the night before - Nerts and she quickly became obsessed and by Monday she was beating us! 

Dan and the girls wrestled. I cleaned out Ina's art cabinet (sheesh). We swam in the pool. We had nachos/taco salad for dinner and Brooke and Holland came over for play more Nerts. Brooke surprised both Dan and I when we found out she grew up playing this game and she dominated us. 

I have no pictures from Sunday, but that only reflects how great of a day it was. I started with another 60 minute walk, with a little bit of running here and there. We then went to church, where we could talk to so many of our favorite people. We came home to hang out for a bit and swam as a family, and then headed out to Danielle and Kyle's house for cow tongue tacos. (I actually do have a picture of the cow tongue, but I will save your stomach this morning and keep that to myself.)

Our friends Hannah and Ryan were also there and we spent the afternoon/evening chatting while the kids played. Dinner was delicious (the cow tongue tasted like pulled pork!) but the company was even better.

Monday started with me adding things to my online shopping carts and then changing my mind and not purchasing anything (my favorite way to waste crazy amounts of time), and then a 2.5 mile run plus a HIIT workout that left me dripping. 

We then had another day of just hanging out. Dan and I cleaned out the grill, which we needed to do a few years ago.

I put away all of the laundry and there was a 5 minute time period where every article of clothing in our house was clean and put away. I set out the girls' outfits for the week. Ina had a friend over for a play date and they painted and swam. The Bollingers came over to join the kids in the pool. We ate dinner and were in bed before 8:30 in time to listen to Harry Potter.

As you can tell, we ate at others' houses this weekend, but I did make a few things.

We brought lava cakes to the Champs for dessert. (Funny story about that - when I was melting the chocolate and butter in the saucepan, the end of Danielle's spatula broke off into the pan, but when I pulled it out I thought it had melted off into the chocolate. We dumped the whole thing out and then saw the end of the spatula at the bottom of the pan. Sigh.)

I made this chicken thigh marinade with roasted carrots and green beans for dinner last night - so good! 

I hope you have a great week! <3

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