Friday, June 16, 2017

Beach Party!

Last week the local lake threw a beach party so the girls and I packed up for a little fun in the sun!  I'll be honest, waddling around the beach in the heat is not exactly my favorite thing at 8+ months pregnant, but I'm trying to sneak in as many fun outings as we can before this baby comes and we're in home lockdown mode.  And we did have fun!  I was ill prepared in the beach toy department, but the girls were surprisingly content with their mini rugby balls I brought and pretending to run away from crocodiles and sharks.

Loving every moment of this summer break so far!  Here are some photos from the "beach"!  :)

- K

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Nursery Design

I have to give my husband some major love for his help with all these bedroom projects I've signed us up for.  I seem to have an allergy to keeping anything simple and rather than just setup a nursery I decided we just had to completely redecorate all three of the kids' rooms.  I mean, we have so much spare time and all.
The big debate once we got pregnant again was do we have the girls share a room, freeing up a room for baby and keeping the extra bedroom a play room OR do we let them keep their space and turn the play room into the nursery.  I was envisioning bunk beds in the girls' shared room, but that eventually turned into visions of Lyla jumping from the top bunk and attempting to swing from her chandelier...and the bunk beds were nixed.  It's not often I can be proactive enough to anticipate her wild antics, but I feel like I saved us from a real catastrophe with that one.
So, for the past couple of months we've been working non-stop on updating the rooms, starting with Lyla's.  What do you mean by updating, you ask??  Maybe some paint?  Maybe a couple new decorations?  Nope.  I'm talking wallpaper, paint, painting trim, building new storage units.  The whole shebang.  And while I've questioned my own sanity at times, and wanted to quit at other times, my lovely dear of a husband hasn't complained a single darn time.  Even when he's gotten up at 3AM to fly home from a work trip on a Saturday and has to come home to immediately paint complaints.  Every once in a while the man is a real saint.  ;)
I should also give a big huge shout out to Goan, our wonder nanny, do-it-yourself expert, emergency save-the-day-er, friend, and adopted family member.  Mary Poppins ain't got nothing on that lady.
The girls' rooms are SO CLOSE to being done, and the boy's room is finally underway and n the next couple of weeks we'll finally be able to share some pics of the transformations!  In the meantime I wanted to share these photos of a nursery I designed for some friends from church when they had their third boy.  It was the first boy space I ever got to do, and I had so much fun!  Decorating in general is probably my favorite hobby, but doing kids' rooms is the ultimate.  It's so fun to be able to get a little more whimsical and add pops of color you wouldn't do in other spaces in your home.
For this particular family, the dad was from Texas and the boys' names were Ranger and Duke, with baby Boone getting his nursery updated.  They let me surprise them with the look, which was a little daunting, but making any space feel personal is so important to me and with those names I knew immediately we had to go for a Western theme.  When the dad showed me his painting of a cow he wanted to have incorporated, the theme was solidified.
Over the next couple of months I had a blast researching and collecting fun, unique pieces to add to the nursery.  I was lucky the room had good bones, with a neutral wall color, white trim, and hardwood floors.  Everything else just came together perfectly.
Here are the photos!
- K
I bought those curtains from Ikea and dip-dyed them myself for a pop of color.

The rocking chair was theirs already, and it fit in perfectly.  And how cute is that tiny hide?!  One of my favorite things for sure.

I was able to find these vintage Western comic books and the plaster skull with bright green horns on Etsy.  Love the pops of color and uniqueness!

I used books they already had at home - luckily their were plenty with a Western theme.  :)

Had to incorporate this book for little Boone.  ;)

Probably my favorite part of the whole nursery!

There's the cow painting!  The dad had painted it years earlier and added the barnwood frame for this project.  It turned out perfectly!

OK, another favorite find.  How COOL is this mobile?!

That pillow cover was another Ikea find that I added some pom poms to for a fun accent.

One of my favorite verses, and just perfect for a baby's room!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Play Dates!

Between a new MBA program, more travel for work and redecorating three bedrooms (why couldn't I just stick with decorating a nursery???), things have been pretty crazy around here.  Baby D Day is less than a month away now, and I'm starting to feel acutely aware of the fact that this will actually (somehow) be the least busy we are for.... well, ever.

One of the things I remember most from the last time we welcomed a new baby is how unbelievably tiny that new baby seemed, how big Lyla suddenly was, and how hard it was to learn to share myself.  A good friend put it to me that way once, shortly after having Evie, and it hit the nail on the head.  I was prepared for the difficulties my only child would potentially face with becoming a sister and having to share me, or at least I expected it.  What I hadn't realized is how hard it would be for me to learn to share myself.  Or how much guilt and other emotions came along with that learning curve. 

This time around I know more of what to expect - the unfathomable tininess of our new addition, the girls suddenly feeling like teenagers, and a brand new sharing learning curve...but I'm not sure the expectation is going to make any of it any easier.  So, as busy as we are, I've been trying to be intentional with balancing the crazy and stress with some fun and play dates for the girls, before we're outnumbered. 

We recently had two fun play dates with friends - our first outing of the year to the horse races and our first ever visit to the Arboretum.  Both girls loved running around with their friends.  They couldn't get enough of the horses (Evie is currently in negotiations with Grandma and Pop for a horse with a yellow saddle) and the ice creams and lemonades at the races, or the fun exploring through the creeks and trees and gardens at the Arboretum.  Both days were so fun with beautiful weather and great friends.  Just what the doctor ordered!

- K

Cookies and cream is Evie's fave.  :)

The funny thing is I didn't even notice all the fancy accessories until I actually looked back at these pics.  Who wants to bet how long baby boy makes it before getting adorned with his first princess crown??

Lyla's friend, Duke, from preschool.  How funny is their pose?!  Future prom dates, I'm thinking.  ;)

Can we just focus on those little hands wrapped around Lyla's waist??  And how much she's loving it?!  Dyingggggg.

Evie working on her lemonade modeling.

She didn't fully understand why she couldn't ride a racehorse herself.

Running through the Arboretum!

Evie is not always into friends as much as Lyla is, but these twins were cut from the same cloth as Lyla, so I think she feels right at home with them.  :)

Lyla and the twins.  They could seriously be triplets - same size, same personalities!

"Painting" the playhouse with water.  Such a fun time!  We'll definitely be back.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wisconsin and a Wedding!

Over the weekend we got to take a little family road trip out to Madison, WI for my cousin's wedding.  I had my 34 week appointment (how did we get so far along already?!) that morning, and then we all packed up and headed East for the rehearsal dinner.  We pulled up to the event venue with just enough time to change into something a little nicer and have the girls practice their flower girl debut. 

Lyla couldn't wait to be involved, but Evie didn't quite understand the idea of a rehearsal or why she didn't get to wear her fancy dress that night.  The first time down the aisle went great, but the second time saw tears and hysterics from Miss Evie.  I kept my fingers crossed she'd hold it together on Sunday since she only had to do it once that day.  Afterwards we headed to dinner with the group and had probably the best lasagna known to man, followed by some sort of pudding concoction made of rainbows and dreams.  It was SO GOOD.  Before dessert was served Ryan and I had followed the girls onto the balcony to watch them play, then Evie disappeared inside for a second.  She ran back out to us as fast as she could, face covered in whipped cream, eyes as big as silver dollars, yelling "THEY HAVE 'ZERT!!!!!"  That dessert, I'm pretty sure, was the high point of Evie's little life so far.

The next day my fam was mostly getting ready for the wedding on Sunday so we did our own kid inspired Madison tour, which included the hotel pool, Ella's Deli and the zoo.  Ella's Deli drew us in with the full size carousel outside the restaurant, but we had no idea what was in store.  The entire thing is decked out from top to bottom with old vintage toys and displays, almost all of them moving in one way or another.  They also had a massive deli menu and a full ice cream parlor.  I didn't take enough pictures to give the full effect, but it was basically like having lunch on the It's A Small World ride.  So if you ever want to take the kids to Disney, but don't want to spend all the money or time - just head to Ella's.

The next day was wedding day!  We took the girls to the pool again that morning, then made sure naps were had before checking out of the hotel.  We headed straight to my cousin's place to get the girl's hair done with all the other ladies, which was a dream come true for Lyla and a little intimidating for Sis.  It's always a little interesting juggling an extreme extrovert with a sensitive little introvert (who also happens to be stubborn and occasionally defiant as hell).  But their hair got done eventually, and we headed to the venue with the rest of the party.  The girls got their dresses on and pranced around like little princesses for a while, but by ceremony time my conundrum wrapped in a riddle 3 yr old was already tired, and not wanting to have anything to do with anything except sitting on my lap and cuddling.  I managed to coerce her into giving it a try, and as she rounded the corner I thought she'd actually made it...until I heard my Uncle Mike say "Oh, here she comes" and saw a white streak heading for a corner of the room.  I'd like to think the whole thing was endearing.  ;)

The rest of the wedding was seamless.  Seriously, a smash hit.  The bride was gorgeous, the entire thing was elegant and the food and drinks were great.  The music was phenomenal and every single person was out on the dance floor.  Lyla had the best time meeting so much of her family, mostly for the first time, or since she was very little, and stole the show on the dance floor.  If I ever couldn't find her it was because she was surrounded by a new group of people, dancing with every one of them.  We packed up after dancing and drove back to the cities to get Ryan back for his work meeting the next day.  Lyla cried as we left, not wanting to leave all her "new friends".  We started talking about all the fun things we'd done, which got her emotional again, and with tears in her eyes she said "I'll NEVER forget all the things I did when I was five."  That girl...all the heart eyes for her.

It was such a fun weekend, and the perfect reprieve from all the work we have going on at home right now.  I always forget how much fun I have traveling with these kids.  It's never as relaxing as a pool bar with just my husband, but man those memories just cannot be beat.

So much love to all of our Cali family that we got to see!  We'll make it out to the West Coast one of these days!!

- K

Evie livin' up that road trip life.

Look at that hunk!  :)

Madison is so pretty, their downtown set right between two big lakes.  We had a great view from the restaurant at the rehearsal dinner.

Sis practiced her hopscotch skills.  She hasn't quit mastered the two feet to one foot jump, but I like her technique.  ;)

Ella's Deli!

Mighty Mouse was flying back and forth above us the whole meal.

Ryan tried out a popular WI beer...

I went for a greasy sandwich...

And a rootbeer float.  ;)

Our cute tour guide!

The Capitol Building!

We saw lots of animals at the zoo, but there were also splinters and various fits to be had, so I somehow missed taking any pictures of them.

One word.  Thighs.  :)

An animal!  Giraffes (and horses) are Evie's favorite animal.

It's not going to be so easy to carry both of them in just over a month.

Little best friends heading back to the hotel after dinner.

And a little hotel bed slamfest.

Naps before the wedding on Sunday!

Excited to get her hair done!

The gorgeous bride!

Evie spent the next while mostly like this.

Lyla snuck out to the car for a treat after a job well done.

Roaming around during the cocktail hour.

Dancing with daddy.

And with mommy!

Pretty much all we saw of Lyla after the music started.

It was so much fun, and so hard to leave!  We got a later start than we expected and didn't pull into our garage until after 2 AM, but it was totally worth it.