Thursday, December 29, 2016

Resolutions: January

I feel like making a new years resolution can become such a dreaded, expected and failed exercise we feel guilted into every year. So many people, including myself, choose resolutions that will impress others and not so much ourselves. 

Mike and I sat up one night earlier this week talking about our lives. How we spend our time with the kids, how we spend time with each other, how we wish we spent time with the kids and each other. Our lives are busy without us even realizing it. We talked about what we would like to improve about ourselves, what we could be better at in our everyday routines. There’s a lot because we are imperfect people and we know we need to reach for goals that help us become better parents, spouses, children and friends.


I didn't want to pick a resolution that I know will be too difficult to keep up with in our busy day to day chaos. Earlier this year a friend shared how she focuses on one good habit each month. In order to perfect a habit it usually takes about three weeks. It makes sense, I know for me, when I begin a new workout series it takes me until the third week to actually feel like I’m not getting my butt kicked and the exercise is enjoyable.

This year I’m going to try just that. Start with one good habit and with each new month choose a new habit to improve while keeping up with the previous months’ habits. For starters Mike and I decided we need to be better about dating each other. We are terrible about carving out time each week for one another. It’s busy with three babes and everything else we’re involved in, so we’re starting January with dating. Setting up a date, one day, every week. We’ll swap every other week so we both have to take the initiative and it can’t include a house project...Lord help us!
This is going to be fun and creative! I’m excited to share our dates on here as well, but I’d love to hear some of your favorite dates ideas...Share them in the comments below!

xo

\\ Photos by Marla Lynna Photography \\

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas 2016

We had one of our best Christmases to date! We were fortunate to be able to stay home this holiday season instead of driving back to Nebraska. We definitely missed family, but it was so relaxing to just stay home, lounge in our pajamas all day and do our own thing.


Our church had a Christmas service earlier in the week which left Christmas Eve wide open for us. We snacked on cheese and crackers for lunch and had some friends over in the evening for fettuccine and soup. All the kids played into the night and when everyone went home, the babes and I cuddled on the sofa reading Christmas books together before bed. Kensi was so sweet and chose to sing 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'  before saying goodnight. I got it on video and it’s something we’ll cherish forever!



Kensi told us she was going to wake up super early and wanted to be the first one up just so she could run and wake us up. She wasn’t kidding. Mike set his alarm early to sneak downstairs and place her baby doll crib from Santa under the tree after drying in the garage all night from being painted. Minutes after he came back up she was running down the hall. Whew!

The best part of Christmas morning was watching Kensi’s and Finn’s excitement. They crawled down the stairs and when their eyes met the gifts under the tree their faces just lit up! Finn was so excited about his lion rocker and Kensi immediately ran to her doll crib. They adored their gifts so much! We let them open their stockings first. Finn received dinosaurs, Little People cars for his track and a play tape measure; which was the biggest hit. Kensi got nail polish, slippers and Little People Princesses. They would have been perfectly happy with just their stockings.




We went ahead and made breakfast before opening the rest of the gifts which worked out great. They had time to play with some new toys and we could all enjoy eating breakfast together. Kensi was constantly asking how much longer breakfast would take because he little heart was so excited to see what we gave her.

When we were ready, we sorted everyone’s gifts and had Kensi and Finn take turns opening each one. Kensi’s latest craze is Disney’s Little Kingdom princess sets. They have interchangeable outfits and accessories a.k.a a bazillion little pieces. They really are cute and remind me of the original Polly Pocket. Finn opened a basketball hoop and we couldn’t get it put together quick enough for him. We’ve all been playing since Sunday in the living room, it’s been so much fun!



The kids spent the rest of the afternoon snacking and playing while Mike and I prepared dinner. Mike and I started making bets for when we thought Finn would crash out. We didn’t enforce naps and he played hard. He finally crashed around four o’clock on the playroom floor. Luckily he woke up in time for dinner, which by the way, that beef tenderloin recipe I shared for our Christmas menu was ABSOLUTELY DIVNE and will be made again, and again, and again.


To wrap our night up we shared bowls of Cinnamon Caramel Bread Pudding, sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and had a campout in the living room watching movies. The entire day was filled with magic that I wish I could have captured in a bottle. Luckily, I caught a lot of it on video! We hope you all had the Merriest of Christmases!
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Saturday, December 24, 2016

cookies + making messes


We've been baking up different cookies the last couple days. We've definitely made a fun mess in the kitchen with flour, powdered sugar and sprinkles. I know I'll be finding sprinkles throughout the house for the next six months, but it's all worth it to make these fun memories with Kensi and Finn. 
If you follow me on instagram you may have seen some of our fun on the instastories. Baking together may look stressful, but it's absolutely hilarious. Kensi can be so serious and a little Grinch-y when Finn is screaming at the top of his little lungs trying to help by placing cookie cutters all over the freshly rolled out dough and hogging all the room. I look forward to adding Olivia to our beautiful mess in the kitchen!

video

Kids are so truthfully blunt and honest by the way. I experienced much of their honesty when I taught preschool, but it's so different when it's your own kids. I tried explaining to Kensi the significance of our Cinnamon Star recipe. That her Great-Great-Grandma Mary is the one who made these special cookies and she taught Grandma Walz and Grandma taught me and now I'm teaching Kensi. She's only four and I know she won't completely understand, but the poor girl is confused by the thought of having more than one great-grandmother, which both are named Mary. Long story short, Kensi refers to her Great-Great-Grandma as the one who died, not the one who lives in Iowa. So sorry Grandma! I'm guessing she's probably laughing on my struggle trying to explain her to Kensi.




When baking cookies around here we have to work around Finn’s afternoon nap. We started by rolling the dough out and cutting each cookie before nap. During nap we did clean up and prepared our icing colors. I used a combination of regular and neon food coloring for more playful kid colors. Once Finn woke up we were ready to decorate! We placed each icing color in a bag, snipped the tip and helped the kids as needed. Finn especially loved decorating with sprinkles. His entire work space was covered with every sprinkle I laid out for them. And there in the middle of his sprinkle masterpiece, lay a small sugar cookie, with a little icing and just a pinch of sprinkles on it! 
We vacuumed up so many sprinkles it sounded like beads trapped in the canister spinning around.  I really don’t care about the mess, Kensi and Finn have so much fun playing and learning in the kitchen. We all had so much fun. Mike actually got really into his decorating, I think I may have to invest in some swankier decorating tools for him next year!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Menu + Table Decor

Over the weekend I made up our meal plan for the next two weeks and I'm so excited to plan Christmas weekend! Aside from indulging in the dozens and dozens of cookies we're baking, we actually have some healthier fair planned to enjoy. Alright, there are some pretty incredible desserts coming too. 
When it comes to Christmas Eve we are totally basic and follow suit to The Holiday. We make Christmas Fettuccine and to go with it we also make italian wedding soup. Mike and I started making it together on Christmas Eve in 2006 which so happened to be the night he proposed. It's very special to us and has been a part of our Christmas tradition each year. Of course we binge watch Christmas movies all afternoon and into the night while we wrap and put together the last few gifts for the babes.

This is our first year to celebrate Christmas completely on our own. We’ve always traveled back to Nebraska or had family come visit. We’re actually very excited since we don’t have to travel anywhere and we can have our first Christmas with just our little family. We love our family and friends back home, but we also need to be able to start and create our own little family traditions. 
Growing up our families did things differently. Mike grew up opening gifts first thing in the morning. At my house we were only allowed to open stockings in the morning and had to wait until mid afternoon once everyone arrived to open the gifts under the tree. Personally I prefer waiting a little bit to open gifts because it drags out the anticipation. Once everything happens first thing in the morning, it’s all of a sudden...over. It makes me a little sad. So we’re trying to come up with a balance and compromise. 




One thing we definitely don’t need to compromise on is food. We love trying new recipes for holidays and although we try to stay on track with traditional food, we enjoy mixing things up a bit. We always have some kind of red meat for Christmas dinner. This year Mike came across a beef tenderloin recipe he called dibs on. For sides, we have to work around the babes. Kensi currently doesn’t like mashed potatoes, but loves rice. Finn loves mashed potatoes and broccoli. I’m always the one trying to get spinach on the table and Mike has learned to eat whatever, which wasn’t always the case, he’s come such a long way! Our final menu plan will include something everyone will love and I can’t wait for us to make it!

Main Course

Sides
Creamed Winter Greens
Mashed Potatoes
Wild Rice Pilaf
Roasted Carrots + Broccoli
Buttered Rosemary Dinner Rolls

Desserts
Choice of the dozens of Cookies

As for our table decor, I like to keep it very simple with fresh flowers. Trader Joe’s is my usual go to store not only because they carry gorgeous blooms year round, but they are very affordable and last around two weeks. For Christmas I chose to mix white roses with winter greenery. For a little more texture I also added a few pinecones.
A few years ago I purchased the red chargers after Christmas and scored big. I paid $0.50 per charger! It definitely pays to stop by the big box stores for items like these in the days leading up to Christmas because everything begins to get marked down. I’ll also add my favorite acrylic hobnail drinkware I found from the Pottery Barn Outlet over the summer ( I also used them at Thanksgiving).  Kensi gets so excited when she gets to set them out for dinner because she thinks they’re fancy.
Our table isn’t over the top for Christmas. It’s simple, but elegant and it creates a magical place for our family at Christmas.

\\ Sources \\
Runner - Target (two years ago, but similar HERE)
Chargers - Target (last year)
Dinner Plates - Pottery Barn 
Flowers + Greenery - Trader Joe’s Grocery

Monday, December 19, 2016

festive weekend

Happy Christmas Week!!! Kensi has been asking to decorate cookies with a friend the last few weeks. It's been hard to schedule plans since everyone has different things going on and we're smack dab in the middle of Christmas season. Luckily, we were able to set something up with a couple friends for both Kensi and Finn. 


I don't often have time to myself without the kids so I was up late Thursday night rolling out our gingerbread dough and cutting the pieces for gingerbread houses. I tried something new this time and ever so lightly pressed the imprint of a star cookie cutter (and drew windows with a toothpick) into front piece of the houses. They baked and left these sweet little imprints on the cookie. So cute! 


I kept things simple and used this template for the house, whipped up some basic royal icing and put out a few decorating candies for the kids. I have a tendency to grab everything to decorate and then it ends up being a total chaotic wreck. To keep myself in check we had mini marshmallows, peppermint candies, sixlets + dots for color. The kids had fun decorating and eating; there was definitely more eating than decorating going on. 


We kicked Saturday off by making and delivering our cinnamon rolls to friends and neighbors. IT’s one our most favorite things to do during Christmas season. This year Kensi helped throughout the process. Her favorite part was sprinkling the cinnamon and sugar mixture. I was a little exhausted just from constantly asking her to wash her hands. She loves to help, but gets distracted easily and went to play between the steps. After a few times she said she was tired of washing her hands and was done helping. Haha! 



Mike had the bright idea of doing the last of our Christmas shopping Saturday afternoon. It was pure crazy since technically I believe Saturday was 'Super Saturday'?!!? I guess we're a little out of the loop because neither of us knew this was a thing. Regardless, we were able to grab our last few gifts and spent the rest of the night visiting with friends who popped into town for a quick trip. 
Sunday, officially one week until Christmas, and it seemed as if a switch had flipped. Our kids were bouncing off the walls. We had tantrums, fighting, sass, attitude....the works going on. In hopes of injecting some calmness we decided to go for a ride and check out the Christmas lights. Kensi kept falling asleep, Finn actually fell asleep and the lights were terrible. The plan was a dud and we're hoping to try again later this week. Aye, aye, aye let’s hope this week is a little more calm and we can enjoy this magical time!




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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

stocking stuffers ‘16

With less than two weeks until Christmas we’re busy wrapping up our Christmas gifts for the kids. This year they were so much fun to shop for, but also difficult. We are really lacking in the storage department in the house, but especially in the playroom. Shopping for toys was a little bit of an annoyance because we don’t have anywhere to put them! Needless to say, the playroom will be our next project room to tackle after the new year.
When it comes to shopping for toys we like to find toys that spark their imagination and creativity. We don’t have many toys with buttons or noise for that reason and to keep our sanity. We have a lot of blocks, Legos, art supplies and Little People. 

This year Kensi has asked for a baby doll crib. She actually has mine from when I was little (here), but has asked for another since she has two baby dolls she loves dearly. She came across two she liked and luckily Mike and I found plans from Ana White to build just like we did with the high chair last year. 

Finn doesn’t have a huge vocabulary and kind of roared/growled/screamed when we asked him what he would like. We’re taking on our own interpretation of his language and getting him a lion rocker. He loves animals, dinosaurs, super heroes and building blocks. This also doubles as decor since we are also designing his room this upcoming year. (We’re totally lacking in all the bedroom decor department).

Olivia has so much that’s been saved and handed down from Kensi and Finn. She has a couple gifts under the tree, but most of her Christmas will be in her stocking. However, we will be building a fun little play gym for her to play under with her play mat. We just need to buy a set of toys to hang and I”m kind of digging this super cute tool rattle set. It’s fitting right?


Aside from a few fun toys to put inside their stockings the kids are also getting sets of toothbrushes, bows, socks, tights and sippy cups. We like mixing practical and fun in their stockings in order to avoid a bunch of junk that ends up getting thrown away in a couple months. Which also reminds me I need to get the kids to help organize and purge toys in our playroom before Christmas arrives!

xo

Sunday, December 11, 2016

kitchen cabinet update


I’m so excited to share an update on our kitchen cabinets today! We’ve been working on our upper cabinets and adding new trim, but took a good week off during Thanksgiving. On Friday night Mike and I stayed up late sanding + caulking the cabinet boxes. We have to make time to work on these house projects when there are three littles running around. I love our late night projects together, drinking coffee and wine in shifts and watching our favorite movies will always have a special place in my heart.
Building the cabinet box for the refridgerator was simple, but our biggest challenge was dealing with uneven walls. If you didn’t catch our last post about this project, we used THIS TUTORIAL to pull the cabinet off the wall and create a built-in fridge box. Luckily, we built this piece with the help of my in-laws which is always a lifesaver!




We also added trim to the bottom of the upper cabinets. We used a 1x2 and a piece of MDF trim to create our finished chunky trim. Adding the trim to the bottoms cost less than $20 and has drastically changed the appearance of the cabs.


Once we had all our add-ins in place, filled holes and imperfections with wood filler and caulked every seam, we painted everything with KILZ primer and very lightly sanded with 220 grit. After cleaning all the surfaces with a tact cloth, we were ready for our first coat of paint. We used the same type of paint we used in the kids’ bathroom vanity upstairs, Benjamin Moore Advance in a satin finish. This paint is water based and it works great for cabinets. We decided to use Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace color for our cabinets. I’ll be perfectly honest....there were several whites we were deciding over and we went with this one in particular because I liked the name! 
To paint the boxes I used a 2 inch brush and foam roller and painted by hand. While lightly sanding and cleaning between coats, I did a total of three coats of paint on the cabinet boxes. This process was easy and necessary since we were painting inside and have babes in the house. 


However, we took the cabinet doors out to the garage and created a little spraying station and sprayed all our doors using a spray gun, and allowed each coat a full day to dry. This means we sprayed the fronts, let them dry one day, flipped them over, sprayed the backs, let them dry one day. Yes, one day per side, per coat to dry. DO NOT RUSH THIS! Since we used the spray gun instead of hand brushing/rolling we only did one coat on the backs (because it covered well and it’s the back) and two coats on the fronts. This was our first time using a spray gun and we ran into a couple different things. 1) Since we did each door one by one, we had to lay a new clean surface underneath each door before spraying or else it would sit in extra paint from the previous door. We cut pieces of cardboard and swapped it after each door.
2) We could only spray 3 out of 4 edges. We made sure to get the unsprayed edge painted on the second coat and because the spray gun has such great coverage it ended up being just fine.

This is after one coat using the spray gun! 

The spray gun takes a little practice, but it becomes easy and it gives a very smooth coat of paint. It’s much quicker than painting by hand because sanding would be required between coats. The downfalls with a spray gun is the excess paint used. There’s quite a bit of overspray, so we went through more paint. It’s also a pain in boo-tay to clean. It must be cleaned after painting every time and there a a million small parts. However, for us, the results are totally worth it.

Once everything is completely dry we will hang the cabinets doors back up and add our hardware. Then it’s on to the lower cabinets.. We decided to paint the entire side of the kitchen white and paint the peninsula a dark charcoal gray. I can’t wait to share more updates as we finished each step in this kitchen makeover.

xo

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

gingerbread 10 different ways

I absolutely adore the flavor of gingerbread and will try to get my hands on every variation that comes my way. Gingerbread is a major part of our holiday celebrations; from eating gingerbread to reading our favorite gingerbread books.
Do you remember hunting for the gingerbread man in kindergarten? As a class we made a large gingerbread man and took him down to Marsha and Kay (our loving cooks) in the school cafeteria to bake. While we waited we read the book and discovered our very own gingerbread man was trying to run away. I remember how much fun it was to hunt for our tasty creation by searching through the halls, different offices, the gym and finally ending up back in our own classroom just to discover him waiting for us to return. That memory is very nostalgic for me and I believe it was what induced me into a gingerbread frenzy my entire life. Those experiences are incredibly special, but often forgotten.

When I found out I was pregnant with Kensi, Jan Brett was coming to our area for a book signing. Mike and I had purchased a set of our favorite books written by her and had her sign The Gingerbread Baby for our growing family. I was so excited to share my fondest memories of such a festive season with our new little baby. Today, now five years later, it's one of the first holiday books we read together.



Today, the kids and I made gingerbread biscotti cookies (recipe is linked below). Our kitchen is covered in a dust of flour and powdered sugar right now. While mixing up our dry ingredients the kids got a little excited with the flour and it turned into a full on sensory activity. Using measuring spoons and cups, they poured, scooped and dumped flour into everything. They were literally covered in flour from head to toe and I used the vacuum to clean them up.
Once the biscotti cookies were done, Finn had the responsibility of sprinkling extra powdered sugar. He interpreted it as licking all the powdered sugar instead. Being able to share these experiences with them is truly amazing. I love watching their excitement and cherish moments like these because they are seriously growing up so fast. Time needs to slow down!

There are so many ways to make gingerbread and we have tried nearly all of these recipes below. I can’t wait to share more with our kids in the next few weeks. I hope you try a couple of them too and cherish the moments they create for your family, like they do for mine.

\\ Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes \\ 
It just isn’t Christmas without Mike making these. It’s a must have for our friends’ gatherings.

\\ Gingerbread Brownies \\
I wish I had a bake sale I could make these for, instead I may just have to settle on gifting them to neighbors so I eat the entire pan!

\\ Gingerbread Lattes \\ 
This (& the Holiday Spice Flat White) is my favorite holiday drink from the coffee shop.

\\ Gingerbread Houses \\ 
This is our go to recipe; it holds well and tastes delicious. I’m so excited to try a city scene this year!

\\ Gingerbread Doughnut Waffles \\
What can be better than waffles and donuts combined? We are definitely making these for our Saturday morning breakfast this week. 

\\ Gingerbread Diffuser Blend \\ 
To make the entire house smell like gingerbread without doing all the baking just make this simple diffuser blend. 
3 drops Ginger + 3 drops Cinnamon Bark + 2 drops Clove + 1 drop Nutmeg

\\ Gingerbread Biscotti \\
 Perfect pairing with coffee in the morning, or at night if you’re anything like Mike and I.

\\ Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Truffles \\ 
I love baking and cooking with our Young Living Essential Oils. This is a great recipe to try for the festive season and for bringing to a party.

\\ Soft Gingerbread Cookies \\
 One of my all time favorites all year round. I can never resist a good ginger cookie. My favorite is from Paradise Bakery, but we don’t have one close so I make this copy cat recipe and always dust them with powdered sugar.

\\ Gingerbread Pancakes \\ 
I’ve shared these on Instagram and they are a total must for the Christmas season.

Happy Memory Making!
xo


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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

birthday boy giggles

Over the weekend we celebrated Finn’s second birthday with a visit to Santa, new toys and yummy coconut cake. I can hardly believe he’s already two. He is quite the little nugget of the family. He is constantly making us laugh with his craziness and cuteness. He still isn’t talking much, as him and Kensi have proven to be late talkers, but he has his own crazy jibberish language of his own. The few sayings he has down are Hi There, Mom, More, Mine, Kensi, and Dada. He’s great at saying 'no' which is usually accompanied by a scream and says ‘yes' by opening and closing his mouth quickly. It’s his form of nodding and it cracks us up every single time. He has the sweetest heart for a little boy. He constantly asks for hugs, kisses and snuggles throughout the day and blows kisses to grandmas and grandpas on FaceTime.

Finn loves playing with trucks, legos and play kitchen. He is always whipping something up in the kitchen and enjoys playing shop with Kensi. He’s a great customer and loves filling up the grocery cart or stroller with all sorts of quirky things. We can’t even count how many times we’ve tripped over his trail of toys that scatters from the playroom, living room and kitchen. He often goes into destroy mode as we call it.


For his birthday we gave him a set of PJ Masks figurines and he also got the Toy Story Trio of Buzz, Woody and Zurg. He absolutely adores them to no end. All week long he’s been flying Buzz through the house and saying “Ooooooody!!!!” Cutest thing EVER! Poor Kensi is getting rather annoyed by the noise making toys since he insists on sleeping with them. She came downstairs the other night saying she couldn’t sleep because Finn kept playing with Woody and all she could hear was “There’s a snake in my boot!” Too funny!
We are so honored God chose us to be his parents. We are so thankful for our crazy little dude and can’t wait to see how grows in the next year. We love you so much Finnley! 

Monday, December 5, 2016

all wrapped up

Since the day we put the tree up, Kensi has been a broken record asking if there are any presents. Oh there are presents, hidden in my closet because we have sneaky eyes and I’m not sure if I’m ready to pull out my super mom energy for little fingers  picking the paper off each wrapped gift throughout the day. However, I know I’ll only be able to keep them hidden for a few more days solely based on my own excitement. 
For me, part of the fun is wrapping each present. When I was little I would set up an old orange table in front of my parents bedroom door and create a gift wrapping shop. I had different paper prints, tags, ribbons and bows. My mom would allow me to wrap everyone’s presents, but she always put them in a plain box, secured well with tape so I couldn’t peek. I loved setting up my shop each year, it was something I took pride in and always looked forward to. 

Kensi has also taken an interest in wrapping all on her own. She actually used part of her chore money to purchase her own princess Christmas wrapping paper. She goes around the house and finds different items to wrap up for her baby dolls. It’s quite hilarious because sometimes it’s as simple as a  book or oddly creative like our orange peeler stuck inside a straw to make a wand. Her creations are endless. 



To help her cultivate her inner wrapper we hit up Target for all the essentials and created her first ever gift wrap shop. We found all the fixings we needed including some super cute trimmings. I showed her how to address each gift and with a little help from me, we finish with a bow. She’s excited about it, but I’m so excited too! I know the gifts under our tree won’t be neatly wrapped. There will be wonky folds, torn paper and parts of the box trying to peek out, but that is what is going to make them perfect. It’s allowing our kids to be themselves and fall head over heels in love with the Christmas spirit and season year after year. I hope she loves her gift shop and this can be something she looks forward to each year with her brother and sister like I once did.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

dear santa


Today we made the trip to visit Santa. Kensi has been eagarly waiting to see him and discussing what she wanted to ask him for Christmas. In early November she drew up her list with pictures and her own words and included items for her baby dolls. She even tried coaching Finn on different things he could ask for. Now every time we ask him what he wants for Christmas he roars and Kensi believes he would like a lion! So a lion it will be. 
With so much excitement built up, when it finally became our turn to see Santa Kensi froze. She became scared and was like Scotch Tape on my leg. Finn was good up until Mike placed him on Santa’s knee and he totally lost it. We had the epic so-upset-can’t-breathe-now-let’s-release-a-blood-curdling-scream episode. We got our photo with all three kiddos and Santa and Mike grabbed Finn and we were cool. Kensi was finally at ease and asked for baby doll crib. This picture was taken after the freak out and everyone was happy! Of all three babes, Olivia kept her composure, hilariously looking at Finn like ‘Dude, what’s your deal?’ 
Poor baby boy. Maybe next year we’ll do a little bit better.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

thanksgiving 2016

We hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving spent with family and friends. We were so excited to host our first Thanksgiving with family as Mike’s parents and brother came to visit. Kensi and Finn loved having time with them since we don’t get to see them often living so far away from each other. They especially loved playing with their Uncle Matt, whom we’re pretty sure was a little overwhelmed by all their energy. He was such a trooper though and spent lots of time playing with them outside and giving should-back rides throughout the house. I know they’re remember their special time with him.

Kensi was able to bake Great Grandma Trumm’s famous sugar cookies. She enjoys baking in general, but she loves when she can use sprinkles. Her little fingers were red and green by the time they were done and we all ate way too many cookies, but they were worth every bite. 

We also took the fam to Airlie Gardens where it’s strung with beautiful Christmas lights throughout the stroll. It really couldn’t have been better with the cool crisp air, twinkle lights, wine and snow (machine). The kids had a hard time saying goodbye when the time came, but I know they’re so excited to see them again soon! 
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