Friday, January 20, 2017

Our Denver Trip!

Well, it's been over a month since we actually went to Denver, so this seems like the perfect time to finally post some photos.  ;)  We had a poor, sickie Evie Sis and not very much sleep, which always makes traveling extra fun, but seeing all the fam is always worth it!  Here are some pics!

- K

Our first stop was seeing our old condo (which is officially sold!), then we headed downtown for a carriage ride down the 16th Street Mall.  Ryan and I stopped at Wahoo's Fish Taco, one of our favorites in Denver that we would always walk to from our condo.  I ordered one shrimp taco for myself, and there were a variety of others for Ryan.  This is a picture of him eating MY taco.  Not bitter at all.  ;)

All the baby girls sure loved these horses and the Christmas lights!

Speaking of baby girls, there's another one in this family!  The baby you see in that belly is here, and she's beautiful!  So many girls, so little time.  :)

This is Grandma and Pop's cat, Fancy Pants.  She is ornery as hell and for some reason that makes the girls want her even more.  They've learned to tuck their hands in their sleeves before petting her though, so that's good...?

Resting B Face is real.  Even for cats.

Aunt Dodo surprised us with a visit while we were in town.  So fun!

This poor sickie had strep throat for the first time ever.  A paci, videos and mama were about the only things that didn't make her scream.

Lyla and Brailyn had so much fun together.  Brailyn loved playing with Lyla so much, it was adorable.  She also had a pretty stellar pout face whenever Lyla had to take a break from playing.  Ain't nobody got time for lunch when you've got a big, fun cousin to play with!

They were the cutest.

Bucking up for a quick horse ride!

This is Brailyn's dog, Peyton.  I'll spare you the details, but he had a pretty rough weekend.  Poor guy.  ;)

This horse is the coolest.  It actually rides across the floor, and the girls (all of them!) are obsessed.

Taking a quick break from that paci for a little ice cream.  Strep is not fun...for anyone involved.

Luckily, this girl was happy as ever!  My sweet little Lyla.

We had lunch with Grandma K, Auntie Sav and little Bane.  He is such a cutie pie!  So many good faces.

Lyla and Grandma K cuddles.  Love this picture  :)

Finally on some antibiotics and feeling a little better.  And sillier.

Exploring with a magnifying glass.  :)

A) I cannot get enough of this chick, strep and all.  And B) why is she getting so big?!? 
Stop. It. Time.

Lyla got to play with her friend, Jackson, again!  They are such little best buddies and they rarely see each other.  I love it.

The sillies played school and stamped each other's foreheads with "Very Good!" stamps.  :)

Lyla's favorite game at Papa's house is cat hunting.  I think the cats might feel differently. 
This seriously might be one of my favorite photos of all time!  That cat face.  Haha!

Papa took us girls on a winter sled dog adventure in Winter Park!  It had just snowed and was so beautiful.  Lyla and Evie loved every second, despite the 7 degree weather that froze my own toes.  They were total troopers!

If there's something that looks climbable, you can bet she'll be trying it.

Such a fun trip!!

Monday, January 16, 2017


There are a lot of things I hope to teach our kids.  I hope they learn to be hard workers.  I hope they learn the importance of honesty.  I hope they learn to be responsible with their finances.  But the thing I hope for most, the thing I'll truly measure my success as a mom against, is their kindness.

I'll be honest, it's been quite a while since I've really paid much attention to MLK day.  And that's not because I don't have respect for Martin Luther King Jr., he's been one of my historical heroes for as long as I can remember.  I think the reason it sort of became another "banker's holiday" to me is because in my mind the issue is settled.  Equality wins.  We aren't to be judged by what's on the outside, but what's in our hearts.  And WE aren't the ones here to judge anyways.  All we're called to do is love.  But unfortunately you turn on the TV and it's clear that this issue that feels like it should be yesterday's news is very much still today's news.

We talk a lot about loving each other and being kind in this house, and it dawned on me today that the guy we're celebrating is one of the very best examples of that message.  It also occurred to me that I can't just hope my ideas on equality get transferred to my kids through osmosis or something, it's still a message that has to be taught.  So we went to Target (pretty much the only store I can make it to before needing to rush home for nap time or making dinner), but they had no MLK books!  So we settled for some YouTube videos of people reading books, and even found a video of his actual "I Have A Dream" speech. 

One of the coolest things about Lyla is that she's actually interested in history, and she sat and watched these videos patiently and enjoyed seeing real pictures and videos of the man we were talking about.  We talked about him more during dinner, and it turns out the whole message is a little hard to explain to an almost 5 year old that looks at you like you're an alien when you say that people couldn't eat in restaurants or use water fountains just because of the color of their skin.  But we fumbled through it the best we could, and if nothing else the foundation is there.  I look forward to how this new information will tumble out of her little mind at some future date, most likely in the most awkward way possible.  ;)

- K

Here's a couple pictures from the day!  (We also dyed hair pink and stopped for donuts! :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Hello 2017!

I tend to think every year is amazing, but 2016 feels particularly amazing as I look back at it.  Some of my dreams came true (becoming a stay at home mom, and a new car!!!), we went on some incredible family trips (Florida and Alaska!), Lyla started school, the girls grew into best little friends and playmates, and Ryan even got a big ol' fancy promotion at work.  Each one of those things took an awful lot of hard work to accomplish, plus a big huge dose of faith and following God's path for our family.  What a year!

2016 also held struggles and heartache, a lot of heartache.  I can appreciate the resounding excitement that is heard for a fresh start in 2017.  But a fresh start doesn't necessarily guarantee days filled with rainbows.  2017 will hold just as many struggles for just as many people - it's just the world we live in.  Nothing here will ever be perfect, but I heard once that life is only 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.  That sounds to me like perspective has a lot to do with how we get through life.

Some of the best people I know are going through some of life's hardest trials, and their perspectives are what amaze me every time.  They choose to look through the darkness and find the good that still surrounds them.  I think that's what perspective really is, a choice.  A choice to either be swallowed by the bad, or to be so aware of the good that the bad can't take your joy.  Not forever anyways.

So, here's to 2017!  A fresh start, a good perspective, and more joy and blessings than you can even bear.  Love to our friends and family!!

- K

Here's a little Christmas picture sesh I did with the girls this year!  :)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It really is the most wonderful time, isn't it?  Every year I just want to grab it and squeeze it and enjoy every last drop of Christmas goodness.  But somehow each year it slips right through my fingers and before I know it it's behind us.  This year I was particularly lazy, and I hoped that a slower schedule would maybe help slow down time and let us hold on a little bit longer.  It didn't work as well as I 'd have liked, but it was a beautiful month filled with candy and cookies and Santa and family.  The perfect kind of Christmas.

We spent a week of our time in Denver, and missed Lyla's Christmas program at school because of it.  Worst planning fail ever on my part, and I cried real tears about this.  Luckily Lyla's teachers are the best ever and (without even the slightest bit of coercing them, I swear) they offered to put on my own private show on their last day before Christmas break.  It was the cutest!

We also attended the Life Time Fitness breakfast with Santa, which is a favorite every year.  This one was particularly good.  It may have had something to do with the Christmas bunny that showed up.  ;)  I also took the girls to the Macy's Santaland in downtown Minneapolis.  We heard it's their last year, so we snuck down on a weekday to avoid the crowds.  It was a fun little trip downtown...until I made Sis take a picture, anyways. 

A few days before Christmas Grandma and Pop drove into town and were a major help in getting the last minute details completed.  (Read: I made them roll out, bake and decorate ALL of the cookies).  I caught some kind of bug which only lasted until Christmas Eve night, thankfully, but they were incredibly helpful in letting me rest and recuperate.  Having grandparents around to help during those times is such a rare treat, so it was extra appreciated!

Everything about Christmas was so, so good this year.  We are at the peak of Christmas magic with Lyla and Evie all wide eyed with wonder about that old Santa Claus.  We always talk a lot about the real reason behind Christmas, read the Christmas story and play with our nativity scenes to make sure we don't lose sight of the precious gift we were all given that very first Christmas day.  Lyla learned a lot about it in her school too, and would "read" the Christmas story book better than the actual printed words, so she was nominated to tell the Christmas story on Christmas Eve.  There's something so special about these babes and their love for Jesus.  But while focusing on the true spirit of the season, I can't help but hold a special place in my heart for the magic of Santa and his elves.  It just adds such a fun touch when you're laying in bed and talking about what he's doing and where he could be, and what he'll be bringing.  I can still remember driving home on a Christmas eve and keeping my eyes locked on the starry sky the whole ride home, hoping for a glimpse of santa.  I mean, I still kind of find myself wishing it all was real, so we'll be keeping it real over here for as long as we possibly can.

We hope you had the merriest Christmas, too, and that Santa treated you well!  ;) 

- K

Our little snow bunny and Lyla meeting Santa after a pancake breakfast!  (Which somehow mostly consisted of gummy worms.)

I think they buttered him up!

Lyla sent 3 letters to Santa this year, and even got one back!

That bag holds a snowman kit for both girls (hat, scarf, carrot nose, etc.)  I made a joke about the reindeer stealing their carrots, so Sis was on bag patrol.  She would not let that thing out of her grip!  :)

Wondering if she could sneak in a quick ride to the North Pole.  ;)

The next day we got some of our good ol' MN snow powder.  After making sure they could not actually build snowmen they decided to go ahead and just eat their carrots.

Another letter to Santa at Santaland!  She loves writing these days, and constantly asks me how to spell things so she can write it herself.

I decided that Evie can't always win when she doesn't want to take a picture and told Lyla to hold her still.  #bestmomever

Showing Grandma and Pop clips from Moana, the new favorite movie around here.

My little beauty, all dolled up for Christmas Eve church!

Sis warms up to the camera every once in a while.  ;)

I was so proud of us that night.  We were 30 min EARLY, even after taking a million pictures to try to get any decent ones.

The whole Chapman crew!

After church we had our traditional bagel and lox dinner and opened a few presents.  The girls both got handmade nightgowns from Grandma and they were in heaven!

Lyla is always our early bird, but our rule is she can't come out of her room until the first number on her clock is a 6 or 7.  Magically she almost appears right after that first number turns to a 6.  Christmas morning was no different.  :)

Evie was still a little slow to open presents, wanting to take each one out and play before getting to the next one.

Lyla, on the other hand, could hardly wait to open them all.  By the time she was done Evie still had a pile to open.  It was a hard lesson, letting her sister open her own presents without any help.  ;)

New cowgirl boots!  One of her most favorite presents.

We had to take a quick art break at some point, then resumed the present opening.  :)

This is my favorite picture series because my gift was a total shock and complete surprise from my sweet husband.  Crying happy tears here...

And BIG hugs, because...

he got us girls a new car!!  It's not exactly new, but a whole lot newer (and more beautiful) than I was ever hoping for!  Cheers to not needing to fill our antifreeze every 3 days and to having a little heat!!

Evie got a Sheriff Calie guitar, so had to get the whole ensemble on, complete with her new pink boots.  :)

Love them.

Our turkey ended up being rotten, but Ryan saved the day with some delicious grilled chicken, cordon bleu style!  Quite the man right there.

Lyla got her very own American Girl Doll, and is thrilled!

Playing with their new toys.  What a fun Christmas!

Grandma snuggles the day after Christmas.

We found a new (not rotten!) turkey!

Christmas feast #2!  Their favorite are the turkey legs.  :)