Thursday, June 20, 2013

A change from blogging to emailing...

A friend of mine recently suggested opening an email account for each of the kids. She said she was emailing hers whenever they did something funny or cute or interesting, instead of blogging about it. Given that I'm focusing my blogging efforts right now on my other blog, I thought this would be a good route to go. Trying to maintain two blogs was stressing me out and this was a great solution to take some of the pressure off myself, while still being able to capture the kids' childhood memories in a fun and unique way.

Someday, when they ask for their own email account, I'll hand over the username and password and will reminisce with them and we'll take a trip down memory lane.

I'm sad to let go of this blog. But fear not, you can still find tons of photos of our little munchins on my Instagram feed {with videos, too! as of today.}

And this doesn't mean I won't be checking up on my friends. ;)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Consignment sale fun

I love kids' consignment sales. Since I'm not able to attend my favorite local sale this year due to a retreat weekend in Seattle on the weekend it's scheduled, I headed out this morning to another one to see what deals I could find.

I got my number and went back to my car to read a book until 8am when the doors would open. The boys 5T section was completely picked over by the time I got there, but I did score a couple of great items. This was my favorite, by far:

My little fishy will look so cute at the pool this summer, won't she? :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My observer

Climbing out of the car this afternoon, Vivian went straight over to the rain spout to check out the water dripping out from the melting snow on our roof.

 My little observer. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Finally feeling better

Before bathtime snuggles are the BEST!

So are nights when Mommy lets us take baths in the big tub!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Not so lucky

Well, we weren't all so lucky after all. I caught Vivi's mystery bug on Wednesday night at 2am and was up puking until 4:30am. It SUCKED. Thank heavens for my incredible mother-in-law who dropped everything when I called at 7am saying I could barely get out of bed, let alone take the kids to Mom's Morning Out.

Grandma came over and played with the kids all day while I slept and tried to recover. I was only able to drink small amounts of apple juice and couldn't even try to eat until late that afternoon. I managed a piece of toast before Tish left for the day, and soon after, Ben came home early from work to take over kid-duty.

I was down for the count for two days and didn't start feeling better until Saturday. It amazed me how quickly Vivian was able to fight off whatever the heck virus we had contracted. Praying Ben, Owen & Tish don't get it.

Thank you Tish for being so wonderful!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gymnastics field trip

The Mom's Morning Out program that I have the kids enrolled in does awesome field trips once a month. This month was a local gymnastics center and both Owen & Vivian LOVED it.

Luckily, we've all escaped Vivian's mystery illness from Monday. Thank goodness!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sick baby

Vivi woke up in a puddle of puke this morning. :(

Poor baby was wiped out after a couple of hours of playing this morning, so she took a nap in the family room after breakfast. Owen kept me company in the dining room while she napped.

It must have been just a 12 or 24-hr bug since she didn't throw up again all day. Fingers crossed no one else in the house gets it.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!

We went out to dinner tonight at The V, while Curt & Tish babysat the kiddos for us. Kelly, Matt, Molly & Tim joined us and we had a blast celebrating together.

Happy Birthday, honey. I love you more than anything.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

1st pairs of ballet & taps shoes

came in the mail today. I can't believe it worked, but based on the pairs she borrowed at her first class, I guessed at her size and ordered these on Amazon. They fit perfectly, with a little room to grow.

They're so teeny-tiny to me. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vivian's first dance class

I had been waiting patiently for this day. I found the perfect little dance studio for Vivian's first dance classes and they were even running a Groupon promotion for 50% off a 12-week session since they are new. She also got a pair of tights and a tutu with the deal! Owen and I had so much fun watching her during her first class. It's a 45-minute class which includes 15 minutes of each: ballet, jazz and tap. At the end, on the way home, I asked her which was her favorite. "I like tappin' shoes, Mommy." was her response. :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Heading home

We had a few hours of a delay, so it was a bit of a challenge keeping the kids entertained at the airport. But lucky for us, there was a kiddie play area which they both enjoyed for awhile.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A celebration of her life

In my heart I know that she peacefully entered into heaven. I am absolutely positive she knew how much every member of her family loved her. I know that my husband’s grandfather and and his cousin Lark who both left this Earth before her were there to hold her hand. And I believe that Jesus wrapped his loving arms around her and told her he was so proud of her for a life well lived.
I was grateful for our last trip out to Wisconsin to see her this past May. At the time I remember being sad that I forgot to take a bunch of pictures, but I was so glad to have had the time together to make memories that would last longer than the pictures I would have taken.
The service was today. It was a beautiful celebration of her life. So many people from the community came to pay their respects, as Grandma was well-known having taught for so many years. Ben's dad and cousin Sarah both spoke and then I said a few words. I spoke about one of those memories we made during our last trip. It’s my favorite memory of Grandma. After dinner one night, I suggested we pile all the great grandkids onto the couch around Grandma (6 of the 10 great grandchildren were there) to take some pictures. It was silly and challenging to get all the kids smiling and looking at the camera, but we got some great pictures. The five boys toppled off the couch and resumed their play, while Baby Girl climbed over to sit right next to her Great Grandma.
What happened next was the highlight of my short eulogy. Baby Girl stood up and started patting her Great Grandma’s beautiful white perfectly curled hair, as if to say, “Pretty, Grandma! So pretty!”. Only our little lady wasn’t talking quite yet. So it was just an adorable exchange of giggles, smiles, and high-fives. Such a special moment that I did catch on camera. Although I didn’t even need the photo to remember the moment. It was that memorable.
Tonight the ladies of the family went through her (many) jewelry boxes to decide who would keep which pieces. We reminisced on the times we saw her wearing various bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. My little princess sat on my lap the entire time and would open up one of the wooden boxes, and then slip bracelet after bracelet on her tiny wrists. Everyone agreed that she should keep that bracelet box. Her brother later enjoyed “decorating himself” as he referred to it as he donned the baubles on his arms.
In the end I chose one simple necklace that reminds me of how dainty, elegant, and pretty my husband’s grandmother was. She was a gentle, loving woman who is now an angel who will always watch over her family from heaven.
Her necklace reminds me of angel’s wings. 
Rest in peace, Grandma.
We love you. You are deeply missed.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Grandma Marshall

Ben's Grandma passed away last night. She would have been 92 on February 26th. Grandma Marshall had the sweetest smile and the warmest hugs. We are so lucky that Owen and Vivian were able to spend time with her. She'll always have a special place in our hearts.

Today we made travel arrangements to be there to say goodbye.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

M&M Love

Had to run a little errand at Walgreens, and as I turned to pay the cashier, I looked back and saw these two monkeys kissing the M&M guy.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Preschool helper

Vivian loves to help her big brother organize his stuff when he gets to preschool. He has to hang up his coat under his name, hang up his backpack, put his folder in his cubby and put his snack in the snack bin.

She is a very, very good helper.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

SuperBowl Sunday

Kel and Matt hosted an awesome laid-back SuperBowl party. Everyone, including all the kids, had a blast.

Vivian made herself comfortable on the ottoman:

And of course, there was dancing on the ottoman when Mrs. Jay Z came on.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sticky elephant ears

Found part of Owen's class project stuck in a silly place. 

Love this kid's creativity.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Breakfast for dinner!

I surprised the kids with pancakes in the shape of their names tonight for dinner.

Just because.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Spring-like weather!

Since this was what our day looked like, we jumped in the double stroller and I got to push the kiddos to the library, the playground, the grocery store, and home. I got an awesome workout!

"Come on, Vivi! Let's make pineapple (pinecone) hamburgers for dinner!"

I LOVE days like these. Makes me even more excited for spring. Today was such a tease, but we took full advantage and made the most of the short-lived warmth. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Owen will still ride in the stroller come Spring. If not, our days of walking (30 minutes each way) to the playground may be over.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


is so fun with a buddy.

Owen just recently started staying within the lines with his coloring. Such a neat milestone to see develop.

The things he says

 Me: Owen, please pick up all of your train stuff. I can't walk in here!

Owen: "Mommy, I'm going to give you to another kid!"

Well if it were only that easy, my love. I'm afraid you're stuck with me. At least for the next 14 years anyway.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My healthy eaters

"Mommy! This broccoli is so good that I'm going to finish all of it!" said no kid ever. 

Except mine.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Snow day?

This afternoon as the kids were finishing lunch, I got a call from preschool saying they were cancelling school today due to the impending snow and also because Loudoun county had called an early (1-hr) dismissal.

I looked outside. There was no snow. But the forecast did say that it would be starting around 2pm.

Vivi took her nap as usual, and I had a deskmate keeping me company for the next 2 hours. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I love my Owen

Walking in to preschool Owen stopped and wrote his name in the snow using his finger.

So proud.

I go to pick them up at 1pm and we're rushing to get to the car because we need to be at Vivian's cardiologist appointment by 1:30pm and it's already 1:15. I'm buckling Vivi into her carseat when I notice that Owen has stopped to make a snow angel. 

He's not wearing snow pants.

I finish buckling Vivi in, race over to grab him and put him in the car. As I'm buckling his seat belt, I ask him in a frustrated, slightly annoyed tone: "Owen! You don't have snow pants on, and now your pants are going to be all wet. What were you thinking?!"

"I was thinking I wanted to make a snow angel, Mommy."

I love when he does/says stuff like this because it just makes me stop and smile.

I love this kid.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Our last day in Florida

was spent enjoying time at home with Grandma, Poppy and GiGi coloring, playing with toys, and practicing our putting on the course when it wasn't occupied with golfers passing through.

It was a gorgeous day to end our trip. Someone was worn out from all the activity and fell asleep on the way to the airport:

We had a pretty uneventful flight home and the Little Miss was fast asleep:

Looking forward to settling back into our old routine, but missing everyone already.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pool time!

Mike & Lindsey went back to work today, so after breakfast we headed over to meet Grandma at the pool. The kids had a blast swimming around with Ben and I, and we had the entire pool to ourselves. The lifeguard even gave them a huge box of toys to play with which made our water time even more fun.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Mike!

This morning we drove out {in our snazzy rental minivan!} to a farm that Mike & Lindsey like to visit. Owen went into the petting zoo and took pictures of the animals. We picked strawberries and green peppers and then headed home to feed the kids.

Ben made salsa and the boys watched some football while Lindsey and I gave ourselves manicures and the kids napped. Then we piled into the minivan to meet up with Mom, Dad and Grandma {and Uncle Rich and Fran who stopped by for a quick visit!} at The Salt Life Food Shack for Mike's birthday dinner.

We had cake {2 kinds! - both with chocolate} at Mike & Lindsey's house after dinner. Such a fun time celebrating another birthday with my family.

Love you, brother! 
Now we get to be twins for the next month.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The WOW Factory & belated Christmas

Today we went to Mike's new favorite hang-out, The WOW Factory. But before we even had breakfast, Owen was hard at work on this masterpiece:

Then it was off to P-L-A-Y!!!

The kids loved it (once Vivi was finally able to tune out the loud sounds of the ball blasters) and we totally wore them out for the Grandparent's big babysitting adventure.

After dropping off all 3 kiddos at Grandma & Poppy's house, we headed out to lunch and to the movies - the girls saw Les Mis and the guys saw Django. It was a nice treat since we hadn't been to the movies in years (literally).

On the way home we stopped at Pizza Heaven to bring home dinner to the hungry Grandparents and children waiting patiently at home. We all ate together outside at the big wooden table and then went back in to unwrap the presents that Santa had left behind. The kids were so cute tearing through all the gifts. Santa was so good to everyone. Probably the kids favorites were the real kiddie digital cameras, purple for Vivi and green for Owen. They couldn't wait to take pictures like Mommy. It was so cute to watch. Once we download their pictures I'll post some to the blog. Owen is quite the little photographer!

Thank you Mom, Dad, Lindsey and Mike for such a wonderful Christmas. The greatest gift of them all was having the week to spend time together. Grandma being there too was the icing on the cake. :)