Wednesday, August 13, 2014


We officially have a school boy on our hands- Cameron started his first day of Kindergarten yesterday! He has been ready to go to Kindergarten for so long and now the time has come!

Although I love having him at home with me, I love that he gets to go to school too. And, for another year I get the best of both worlds since he's just doing half day K.

This summer, while we had SO much fun, I often struggled organizing things for him to do. Because of the daily crafts he got to do in Pre-K, he pretty much expected a daily craft at home too. Even though I browsed Pinterest for the latest and greatest crafts and experiments, I came up short toward the end of summer- and Cameron told me I was a "bad craft mom", ha! That sure gave me a good laugh, but it was then that I realized it was time for him to be in school again!

The first day went great- and he says he wants to go to school every day except Sundays. I am anxious for him to make new friends and learn new things!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Farewell, Summer.

Believe it or not, I used to despise summer. For starters, I really hate the intense, never ending heat. And when my kids were younger, it was such a chore to get them out of the house only to sweat through whatever it was that we decided to do. And swimming with two young toddlers who didn't know how to swim was far more trouble than it was worth.

This summer has been a complete game changer for me. Since we were so busy last year with school, Bible Study and other commitments, a laid back summer has been such a welcome change. We have spent a lot of time swimming and both kids have become pretty darn good swimmers. We've been busy, we've been lazy. We traveled across the United States and yet there were a few days we didn't even step foot outside the house.

With Cameron headed to Kindergarten I am realizing that the summer season truly does have a beginning and an end date- making these fun, carefree months seem incredibly short, and I'm coming to realize, incredibly special. My days at home with them are definitely numbered! Here's a glimpse of what we've been up to this summer.


One of our first memorable adventures this summer was picking strawberries at the strawberry patch. The kids loved this so much. We came home with about 5 quarts (some with little Kylie sized bites out of them) that we have used all summer. Its important to me to teach my kids exactly where food comes from (how and where it grows) so they don't assume it just all magically comes from the grocery store! They have asked to go back many times so I'm pretty sure this will become an annual tradition.

The kids both had a session of swim lessons (Kylie's first) this summer too. It is amazing to me how far they have come! Both can swim independently on their own now. Kylie has no fear in the water and has much more skill at 3 years old than Cameron did at that age. We will definitely keep swimming over the fall and winter. 

An evening of Riverfest fireworks, a Wingnuts baseball game, and WAY too many food court concessions. I love this picture- even though it's just a quick cell phone shot! 

Father's Day!

Summer shenanigans... I'm not quite sure what Kylie is doing here! Silly kid.

Cameron and Jon have done quite a bit of fishing this summer. Cameron has caught some impressive fish right from our backyard, and even caught sharks on vacation! We went on a shark fishing excursion and collectively we caught 22 sharks. 

 And speaking of our vacation, we went to Hilton Head Island, SC. We had so much fun there two years ago that we decided to go again. We were there over 4th of July and had a blast!

 We went on boat rides, kayaked, the kids rode horses, ate ice cream (nightly), rode bikes, and of course, spent a ton of time at the beach.

It has been an incredible summer and if I'm honest, I'm not ready for it to end! I always look forward to fall but I'm absolutely savoring the last 7 days of summer before we send Cameron off to school.  

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Life Lately

Hello! I suppose it's about time for an update, huh? It's so hard to believe that it's May already! Now that I have school aged kids, time seems to go even faster. Cameron has 2 weeks left of school and then he is done with Pre-Kindergarden. And then, in just 3 and a half months, he'll start kindergarden! Schools around here start in the middle of August and I know that it will be here in no time at all. Typically I dread summer (the heat, mostly) but this year I'm looking forward to it making the most fun memories with my kids! We have lots of swimming ahead, a beach vacation, and other fun things planned that are sure to make summer fly. 
 Easter Sunday

We've been having a great time this spring, spending as much time as we can outdoors. We visited the Tanganyika Wildlife park in town a few weeks ago, and its such a special treat to be up close and personal with all the animals. It's also a great learning experience as every area has a knowledgeable staff member telling you all about the unique animals.

The kangaroos- probably my favorite. It's so neat to see the little joeys nursing or sleeping in their mommas pouches. 

One of the things keeping us busy outdoors at home is our new vegetable beds we built. We've had some onions and carrots in the ground for some time, and we'll soon get several varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers and broccoli in. Cameron has been helping me water almost daily but we are ready to see the fruits of our labor!

Random: I've mastered french braiding Kylie's hair! 

My niece got married and Kylie was the flower girl. She did perfect and looked so cute!

Seriously, is he not the most handsome boy?!

Cameron had his Pre-K singing program the other evening and it was a western theme. All the kids sure were cute! I am so proud of the kind, sweet boy he is. It really makes me so happy when all of his teachers tell me what a joy he is! I still can't believe I'll be walking him to his Kindergarden class in about 3 months.
Thanks for reading, and I'll be back before too long. =)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Kitchen Updates (and new flooring)!

A couple of weeks ago, we completed a few long awaited updates to our home! We have always wanted a home with hardwood flooring. It was a desire of ours even while living at our old home (and knowing that it wasn't the place to do it) so when we started looking for new homes, we knew that hardwoods would definitely be a part of it. Our current home was very much everything we were looking for, it just needed some changes to make it less cookie cutter and more "ours". We've been at our home how for 2 1/2 years, and have lived with the tile floor and basic carpeting it came with up until this point, knowing that we had other priorities to take care of first (namely, basement finishing). The time finally came and we are so happy with how it turned out!

The After:

We chose a 5" hand scraped maple, and while you cannot see it in the above photo, the planks are fairly distressed have quite a bit of natural wood dimpling. Having that characteristic in wood was really important to me so I didn't freak out every time Cameron dropped a hot wheel on the floor or came into the house with dirt covered roller blades. Jon actually dropped a wrench from a ladder the day we got the new floors in, and we couldn't even find the indention from the fall.

We also chose to change out our countertops to granite, and change the old backsplash (old pictures below). I've never been a big fan of granite as I generally tend to gravitate toward more "subtle" stone countertop patterns. Jon never really has much of an opinion when it comes to home decor, but really expressed his desire for granite in the kitchen. I ended up finding a beautiful granite slab I liked- not too busy or loud- and it looks incredible with our existing cabinets. 

We were able to use our old sink, and undermount it which has been awesome!
The Before (from move in day, hence the mess): Our kitchen came with laminate counters, and a tile backsplash and floor (also the same tile on the bar top there).

Another view of the "before"

I also had the chance to paint the entire living room and kitchen (what a project in itself!). Previously (see: The before) it was the paint color the builder had chosen, which was a beige with yellow-green undertones. I knew I wanted to lighten it up a bit (especially since we were bringing in dark flooring) so I chose 'Chocolate Froth' by Behr (a creamy white) for the majority of the main level and 'Mocha Accent' by Behr for the accent wall you can see above. LOVE those choices. I probably went through 15 paint samples before I landed on these.

Previously, the microwave had its home above the stove, but its been down for weeks and I LOVE not having it (and all its bulkiness) there. The plan is to tile up a bit further, and install a hood. A smaller microwave will go inside the pantry. Also, the floor reads pretty red in this picture, even though it's not. 

The dining nook. Oh, this table set has seen better days. It is really beat up but the size is so perfect for our family and the nook that it's in. I have been looking for a different table for many, many months, one that's the same size but has the capability of extending to seat more people. I have come up empty handed (bar height tables are hard to find!) so Ive decided to build a new table top with a leaf, and use the existing table base and install an extender. I scored some really sweet (and ridiculously cheap) new chairs from Restoration Hardware right before Christmas that will be a part of the new "set" once I'm done.

That's about it! The living room is pretty bare bones and I hope to share more later as I find a rug and some artwork to hang on the walls (that have largely remained blank!). Hope you enjoyed a tour of our updates! =) 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kylie turns 3!

Kylie is officially 3! I'm a little late with her birthday update (she turned 3 on the 10th) so I thought I'd better update before January was actually over! We had such a fun time spoiling her on her special day. On the evening before her birthday, we went to Chuck E. Cheese for a little fun with the family, and on her actual birthday we celebrated at one of our favorite hibachi restaurants for dinner.

Kylie is a little bit sassy and and is definitely more independent of the two. She doesn't crave or give affection quite like Cameron does, but she still shows her sweetness from time to time. She is much more adventurous than her brother, so open to trying new foods and other things. She is a coffee lover, and most mornings will ask for her own (little) cup of coffee. Last month when we were in Kansas City at The Great Wolf Lodge, we were doing a bit of shopping and Kylie was tired and on a short fuse. While we were inside a store Cameron was harassing her (as he often does) and she wasn't having it. All of a sudden she bursts into tears and screams "I JUST WANT COFFEE!! I JUST. WANT. COFFEE!!" It was a hilariously epic meltdown witnessed by many, and within seconds of exiting the store, she was asleep on my shoulder. Poor girl just wanted some coffee!
She is into everything girly- princesses, bows, jewelry... you name it! I love having a girl so much.

Kylie is definitely a daddy's girl, these two are just so sweet to each other. Jon even got her a bouquet of flowers for her birthday to put in her room. He's such a great dad and the relationship they have is so special!

I made Kylie an Ariel cake for her birthday and it turned out OK, especially for piping it all on (instead of cutting out shapes out of fondant). It took me forever though and I probably won't ever do anything quite that fancy ever again, ha! 
I don't think I will ever get over how incredibly blessed I feel to be her mom. Sometimes I look at her and can't believe that this life we live is indeed real, not just a dream. I just love her to death! 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Gone December

Hello dear friends and family! I hope that you all have had a wonderful holiday season! For us, it seems like the weeks that surround Christmas are just one, giant celebration- with Cameron's birthday, my birthday, and Kylie's birthday all crammed into a few weeks. It really is such a special time of year!

We started off December with Cameron's birthday. We had a party with a few of his cousins on his actual birthday, and a sleepover with some of his boy cousins that weekend.

We also took our annual trip to the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City. The kids had a great time as they always do. It's hard to believe that the first time we came, Kylie was a fresh little newborn- now, she's almost 3!

Carriage ride on the Kansas City Plaza. The lights were so pretty!

We take advantage of EACH and EVERY nice day there is in the winter time.

We crafted and made ornaments all month long! 

One of my sweet nieces, Brittney, got engaged right before Christmas! I had the incredible opportunity to be able to take pictures for them on such a beautiful, snowy day. In fact, the snow was falling as we were out taking pictures- it was so much fun. And the timing was perfect- the very next day it was so sunny and the snow melted instantly. I am so, so happy for her!

Christmas was truly wonderful. With the kids birthdays being so close to Christmas, we really scale down the amount of gifts we buy. Also, I don't ever want my kids to feel entitled to a bunch of gifts at Christmas. When we would talk about Christmas it was about the true Christmas story in Matthew (or Luke) and about the birth of a Savior. In our Bible study (BSF) that the kids and I attend, we have been studying Matthew so I think that really hit home with them.

I am so excited to share soon, some big updates to our house! We are in the process of selecting new floors on the main level and countertops in our kitchen. It's all happening so quick and hopefully it will be done over the next month. Until then! =)


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