I have so much to be thankful for in life. I almost feel like it would be a tragedy to not mention it at all. And since there won't be any posts on the beautiful table I decorated for Thanksgiving (we had it at the in laws) or the amazing food I made (I may not have made thanksgiving dinner, but I rocked at the side dish I did make!) or any cute family photos (just a total fail on my part), I really just want everyone to know how thankful I am for this life I have. There truly are many things I am thankful for. So here you go:

My husband, who I think is pretty dang amazing

My children, who are full of life and for that I am grateful

My health and my family's health

Parents (and in laws) who are married

That we can afford to put good food on our table


Friends - old friends and new friends that I am making

Staying out with said friends until 1:30am on Tuesday...I had so much fun CRAFTING into the night

Taco Bell...yep, I am totally thankful for Taco Bell!

A car with seat warmers...I haven't had one for years and to have these again, it keeps my butt warm. What more can I say?!

Working plumbing...remember last year in my home?

Preschool art to decorate my home with

Coffee...and coffee tumblers so I can have my coffee on the go!

A washer and dryer

I'll stop before I start telling you about my socks (that keep my feet warm), the feeling of the sun on my back on a cold day and babysitting (to enjoy a kid free dinner with the hubby). But I really am thankful for this life of mine. It isn't always a walk in the park (hello public tantrums), but it is all appreciated (I have been given the opportunity to have kids). I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Oh the Mind of a Preschooler

So this was the craft that Connor brought home from school yesterday. I really didn't look at it until I strapped the kids in the car and got in myself. And I was perplexed.

"Thank you for the blue shirt Connor".

Um, what? I now realize I was reading it wrong. I was reading it like a thank you note and couldn't for the life of me figure out why someone was thanking Connor for a blue shirt. Just then I jumped out of my car and asked another mom what her daughter's craft said and her's said she was thankful for her cousin. Then it struck me...aww, thankful, not thank you! But thankful for a blue shirt? So as I was backing up, I asked Connor what he was talking about. He said he was thankful for the little boy's blue shirt. And then, seconds later, a little boy (in a blue shirt) from his class goes walking by and Connor points at him and excitedly says "That little boy mama. I am thankful for his blue shirt." Why Connor is thankful for that little boy's shirt, I am unsure. But most days I am unsure of the thought process of a 4 year old.

So what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

My Best Friend

Over the weekend, I had the privilege of taking pictures of my best friend and her family. I'm not going to lie, I was a bit nervous. I am a momographer, not a professional photographer. Though I have gotten pretty good with my camera, I know nothing about posing people. So I went armed with a list of pose ideas and went to town. I am happy with the results. But, besides showing the pictures, I want to talk about my best friend.

I met Chandra just after I started dating Ian. I had just turned 18. She didn't like me. But, lucky for her, our mutual friend invited me on a trip with them. I found out later, Chandra wasn't happy I was coming along. But guess what? That trip was the start to an amazing friendship.

I can remember getting home at 1am after hanging out with Ian and chatting with her for hours into the night. Saturday mornings were a breakfast tradition for us. And they really bonded us together.

Then I went away to school. And we talked...all the time. We both got engaged. Chandra got married three months before I did. After she got married, I remember realizing how weird it was that I could no longer call her at all hours of the night to talk. But we still managed to talk...a lot.

Not much longer later, Chandra had a baby...then another one quickly after that. I would talk to her over the screams of her kids. I moved to Scotland. I can remember counting down the hours during the day (there's an 8 hour time difference), just waiting to call her when she was headed to work.

Then I moved home. The first time we had lived by each other for 10 years. Our breakfast tradition restarted (though stopped once taking my two kids to breakfast became too crazy). Our talking on the phone still happens...though less than it used to. We text more these days.

Chandra and I have walked through a lot together. And there is still more ahead for us. Her girls are practically teenagers and already think we are uncool...I know, right?! Have they never met us? We ARE COOL! But, in a seriousness, I feel privileged to call Chandra my friend.


There is just something about playing at the park on crisp, cool, sunny days. It's kind of the best. 

This week:

  • Connor went to the dentist and did AMAZING! The dentist told me she couldn't believe how different he was this time around. 
  • I started getting organized about my Christmas shopping. I really don't like going out in the chaos and want to be as organized as be able to shop online as much as possible. 
  • Am I the only person who finds PERFECT Chritsmas presents for myself when looking for others?! I almost ordered myself this the other day...instead I showed the hubby and told him I thought it was great. 
  • After going weeks without climbing out of her crib, we found Isla asleep on the floor during her nap. She had obviously played with quite a few toys before falling asleep as well. Time to take her out of a crib? I'm still not sure. 

I can hardly believe it is November, let alone that Thanksgiving is this week! But, I am looking forward to a short work week for the hubby, our friends coming into town to visit for Thanksgiving and taking the kids and my nephew for their annual cousin photo. What are you looking forward to?

Rain Play

It really is no secret that I love rain. I tell everyone I meet. Ok, maybe not everyone. It started raining Tuesday night and I thought "Just my luck. Rain at night and none during the day." Then I was surprised yesterday afternoon when it started pouring down rain. YEA!

Connor, who probably likes rain even more than I do, asked "What's that sound mama?" I told him to go look out the window, that the sound was rain. He then asked if we could go out in it, because, of course, he is my child. So we did. 

I don't even know why I try keeping Connor dry. He purposely gets himself all wet. I may as well send him out in a bathing suit! But really, there is almost nothing cuter than a kid in ran boots and a rain jacket. So I'll keep doing it, even if it doesn't make sense. Plus, this is Connor's third year wearing that same jacket. Sadly, I think it will be his last. But, we have had some good memories with that jacket. I know, I can't believe I am saying that about a piece of clothing either! 

Most of the time Connor actually wanted me out in the rain with him. So we spent a lot of time jumping in puddles together and kicking water up at each other. A few of my neighbors drove past and waved. I'm pretty sure they all were jealous that they too weren't playing in the rain...or they thought I was totally crazy. One or the other.

It's things like this that I really love about having children. You can totally be a kid again yourself and when people think you are crazy you just blame it on the kids!!!

But seriously, it was fun. And I love the rain.

Oh, and if you are wondering where Isla was, she was napping. She always misses out on the nap time fun. But really I think a nap sounds pretty dang great too!

Bath Time

I considered calling this post "Bath Time is Crack Time". I have never done crack (or any drugs for that matter) before, but the amount of enjoyment my children get from bath time makes me equate it to drugs. You just say "bath time" and they both go running to the tub. It's kind of funny.

Lately I have mostly been bathing the kids separately. I find it easier. Less fighting and less water all over my bathroom floor. Ian enjoys the chaos that comes with bathing them together. I personally enjoy watching them each stretch out the length of the bath on their tummies. They both do it when they are alone in the tub.

And Isla especially loves the bubbles. When she is alone, she takes more time to play with them. She literally took an entire bath the other night without toys. Just played with the bubbles. It was pretty dang amazing. And she played until I felt the water and realized it was totally cold. Its been a while since anyone has stayed in the bath that long around here. Though Connor used to do it as a toddler as well.

Talk about the simple things in life! My kids enjoy sitting in a tub of their own filth, dumping water on their rubber duckies and playing with bubbles. The only way I enjoy a bath these days is when the water is steaming hot (which it never stays that way for long), with a good magazine and a good glass of wine within arms reach. I guess the simple things aren't so simple for me anymore!

Two Things

1. In young adulthood (i.e. early 20's) I worked with a girl who really shaped a lot of me. I can remember being in Chicago for work and her stopping at every panhandler we passed and giving them money. I asked her why since they were probably just going to use it on alcohol or drugs. And she told me something that changed me. She said it isn't up to us to determine the place of someone's heart, but for us to help. That changed my view of the homeless and panhandlers. From then on, I have helped. I don't help every one I see because without sounding weird, I feel drawn to help some and not others. Now to my story...

On Saturday I was out and about with my mom when we passed a panhandler. I felt that nudging in my soul to help, so we drove back by him to give him some money. As I pulled up to him, he seemed almost skittish and kind of hid. When he realized I was ok, he walked up to my car and chatted with us for a few minutes. Apparently earlier someone threw a can of cat food at him. CAT FOOD. Really?! He even said, "They could have at least thrown crackers." This man was nice. Down on his luck. But I was glad to have spent a couple minutes and a couple dollars helping him.

2. On Sunday I was running early so decided to go through the Starbucks drive thru before meeting Ian for church. I pulled up in line and another car pulled up to the side of the line. I decided to be nice and let them go in front of me (once the line started moving). What happened next is when the true story begins. This crazy lady in an suv decided she too wanted in front of me. So, she pulled up super close and revved her engine at me, yelled at me and flipped me off. Two things went through my mind 1. this lady wants coffee WAY MORE than I do 2. I really don't want this crazy lady behind me. So in front of me I let her go. When it was her turn to order, she was arguing with the person taking orders about the cost of the drinks. Really? As if they can do anything to change it! When she got to the window, she proceeded to be rude and even yell at the girl at the window. After she got her drinks, she floored (like literally floored) it out of the drive thru. It was all a very bazar encounter. When I pulled up to the window, I could tell the worker was flustered. I too remember getting flustered by crazy customers at Starbucks. So I decided to try to encourage her a little. Whether it helped or not, I don't know. But at least I got a smile out of her and I can only hope neither I or that poor Starbucks worker ever have to cross paths with that crazy lady again.



Just trying to get a little creative with my pictures here. Sure it isn't the best picture of the kids, but it's a pretty dang accurate one of life around here...Connor blowing raspberries on Isla's belly and her loving every second of it.

This week:

  • It felt like a week of parties that left me a little exhausted. Connor had three birthday parties. Yes, THREE. One at school, a friend's party and a family party. That's a lot of parties for a little boy who's mom originally wasn't planing any parties. 
  • It literally brought tears to my eyes when I realized Connor was singing along to "Our God" in the car. My greatest desire is for my children to be followers of Christ. 
  • We had family pictures yesterday and I got inspiration for my outfit outfit included a green sweater and mustard tights paired with a black striped dress. I can't wait to see how the pictures turned out! 
  • Isla scored some cute hair clips thanks to my cousin. And it's perfect timing given that I have kind of given up of pulling Isla's hair back and have started just clipping her bangs to the side...all because she just pulls out any pony or pigtails I put in her hair. 
  • I cleaned out my car and feel ready to conquer the watch out Monday...with a clean car and a cup of coffee, I am unstoppable! 

We have rain in our forecast for this week. I feel all giddy about it. Here's to a great week ahead (for you and me)! 

Connor {four}

Weight: 36 lbs
Height: 40.5 inches

recognizes his name when he sees it somewhere
knows what traffic lights mean...and tells you if he thinks you ran a red light!
can swing himself
can ride a scooter and his balance bike

teacher at preschool is Eileen
friend at preschool is Jessie
toy is legos and minions
food is all things cheese
jumping off of things

Four is a funny age. This little person is completely their own person, yet they still have this little dependence on you. And they aren't quite to the age where they don't want that dependence on you (which I am oh-so-glad about). Thus I still get those cuddles I want but Connor will take himself to the bathroom (for the most part). 

This kid is full of personality. He loves to talk. Literally any time we drive around, he talks the WHOLE time. For the most part I find it super cute. Especially when he is talking away (asking questions and all) and I respond and he says "I not talking to you mama. I talking to myself." I saw somewhere the other day that a four year old asks more than 300 questions a day. I would certainly say this is true with Connor. And I generally find it rather cute because I realize he is trying to learn everything about the world. What isn't cute is if I say didn't see a sign that he had a question about and it then leads to a meltdown because I can't properly answer his question. (Thankfully Connor meltdowns are nothing compared to Isla meltdowns!) I try to make sure and challenge Connor too by telling him to tell me the answer to a question he knows or asking him to count things for me. 

Connor is a very social little guy and would happily play with other kids all day. And I find it funny when he describes the kids he had fun playing with by what they were wearing. "the boy in the striped gray shirt." And slowly Connor is actually learning the kids names in his class and no longer describing them by their clothes. Except for the girls. He seems to have no interest in the girls. 

Food wise Connor seems to be all over the place. Sometimes he eats hardly anything, other times he eats everything and keeps asking for more. What he liked yesterday, he doesn't like today. But in general "he eats what we eat". Usually that looks like him eating the meat, pasta/rice and fruit on his plate and leaving the vegetables behind. Oh and the kid LOVES butter and bread. Love is almost an understatement. I think he would eat a stick of butter if I let him. Which this is funny to me because we never use butter at our house. 

Connor goes to sleep every night in his room. Thankfully he grew out of wanting his overhead light on and is fine with just a nightlight. He likes music playing...because of those pesky well. Ian usually puts him to bed and lays with him until he falls asleep. Most nights that is just a few minutes because he doesn't nap so he goes to sleep easily. Most nights Connor also finds his way to our bed. I never know when he does it because he literally doesn't cry or anything. He wakes up and crawls into our bed (almost always between Ian and I) all by himself. 

And because I figured another whole post on Connor's birthday party would be a little overkill, here are a couple pictures of him getting sung happy birthday to then blowing out his candle. 

Connor had a ton of fun running around and playing with his friends at his party.  And of course enjoyed his presents. He wanted to open and play with each present he unwrapped, but I kept him going. Of course, all afternoon he ran around playing with a balloon one of his friends bought him...see, its the little things in life! 

Happy birthday little man! I hope you felt special on your day!


Connor's Preschool Party

This little boy of mine is going to be four tomorrow. FOUR! On the one hand, I would like to wonder how that happened and say that time just flew by. But really, it didn't. We have packed a lot of life into these past four years. Really it's just that happy-sad emotion I am feeling that my little boy is turning another year older. I am happy because I love watching his personality develop and watching him change and grow. I am sad because I know eventually he won't be my little boy.

Today Connor had a little birthday party at preschool. We (Ian came along too) got there in the middle of show and tell. I actually really enjoyed watching that because I always wondered how show and tell went and what the kids said. I noticed Connor's birthday hat and one of the teachers informed me that Connor was super into his hat and refused to take it off for anything. We set up and they called the kids over to come eat.

The teachers had all the kids sing Connor happy birthday and he totally closed his eyes for the whole thing. And he just proved by doing that that he is TOTALLY my child. It made me laugh. On the way out Connor was given a birthday book. It contained drawings from each kid in Connor's class. Talk about cuteness overload. I totally loved it and hope he felt special today.

And well, since Connor's birthday isn't until tomorrow and he has another party then, be prepared for a Connor overload over the next few days. I still can't believe I am a mom to a FOUR year old!


This picture pretty much sums up the chaos around me lately. Sometimes I wonder how these two little people can have SO MUCH MORE energy than I do. They literally run circles around me. Thank God for coffee in the morning (or all day long) and wine at night. Seriously, thank you Jesus!

This (past) week:

  • I voted. I seriously love voting. It makes me feel so happy to be able to go to the poling station and vote. And Connor was full of questions about voting. Hopefully I will pass this passion on to him. 
  • I loved this blog post. It hit the nail on the head. People (especially in the parenting world) are always trying to squash other people's joy by letting them know "what lies ahead". Just enjoy the beautiful moments people!
  • Ian and I went on a breakfast date after Disneyland to one of my most favorite restaurants ever. If you ever find yourself in Hollywood, go there and thank me later. 
  • Connor was fascinated by a praying mantis in our yard and spent half an hour with his nose practically touching it, but wouldn't pick it up. But he thought it was so cool when I picked it up.  


So on the kids first* trip to Disneyland, I totally forgot to take a proper family photo. All we have is this one instagram photo of the four of us. Oops!

We had a great time. I was totally wiped by the end of the day. I'm sure some of that was due to the fact that I wore a 27lb toddler for the last 2 hours, but whatever.

We started out the day in California Adventure at Cars land. I loved how much it actually looked like Radiator Springs. Of course, we never watch that movie, so the kids weren't super impressed. But anytime they got to play with any of the characters, there were super into it. Both of them would walk around the cars and check them out. Mater even wished Connor a happy birthday!

 ^^ This tractor ride was so much fun. Both kids enjoyed themselves. This is Isla was her grandpa.

Another good stop was A Bugs Life. Again, the kids don't know the characters from the movie, but they enjoyed the rides. And it worked out well because Isla could actually go on most of the rides.

 ^^ Connor and his uncle Trevor

^^ We got a good laugh because the kids loved these tractor seat benches so much and I literally had to drag them away from them crying. It's always the simple things in life for the kiddos!

 ^^ Though smiling in this picture, on every ride both kids would get super serious for the whole ride.

^^ Donald Duck was the only character the kids met. Isla wouldn't even get close. Connor wouldn't leave poor Donald alone. He was very curious.

I really couldn't have asked for a better day at Disneyland. The weather was perfect and the kids did great. While everyone else went on a bigger ride, I plopped Isla in her stroller and she fell asleep within a couple minutes of me walking around...and she took a two hour nap! And she woke up in a good mood! Connor went and went all day. He was happy and enjoying himself. Of course, we were always having to drag him to the next thing because he didn't want to leave the last. At the end of the night, we put him in the stroller to walk over to go see the fireworks. On the 5 minute walk there, he fell asleep. He slept through the noisy fireworks, through being transferred to the car, then carried in the house and proceeded to sleep all night long. He was one tired boy!

When my mom asked Connor about Disneyland, he said, "I rode on the monorail and saw McDonalds." Apparently that was the best part of Disneyland! Again, it's always the small things!

* I consider this both kids first trip to Disneyland even though Connor got to go to Disneyland Paris when he was 5 months old.
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