Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Friday Favorites: Sisters

There is something so amazing about the bond between these two.

I remember after Molly was born, and thinking about the fact that we might be done having kids. There was a sadness that I couldn't explain, until I realized it's because she might never have a sister.
In my own life, my sister has been one of the most significant people, and I desperately wanted Molly to have that experience.
Fast forward to 18 months later, and the day I gave birth to Brylie. Molly's sister. I can't explain the feeling, but my heart felt so full and complete. I'm a firm believer that God gives each family exactly what they need, and obviously there are many girls out there without sisters who end up with close relationships with their moms and/or other friends. And there are plenty of girls out there who don't have close relationships with their sisters. But, I was so thankful that God decided these two needed each other, for now.
They have a life-long bond that I pray will never be broken. I'm sure they will go through periods of ups and downs, times where they are close and distant, but a sisterhood is something that can withstand the test of time.
I'm already seeing this start to develop when I see Molly picking up her little sister, carry her across the room, brush her hair out of her eyes, read her stories on her bed, giggle together under the covers, or play chase in the grass. It's like watching one of the greatest stories unfold.
And, of course, I tried to take a couple cute pictures of them the other day and Brylie wanted NOTHING to do with it! Typical. But Molly was more than willing to put on quite the sass and pose. These two. Every day, they challenge me, defy me, tire me, encourage me and teach me. I love being a mom to these two sisters.

And, no, I have no idea where my big girl got her sass. She was happy to pose allllll day!
Thank you, God, for sisters, or the women in our life who are like sisters to us. One of life's greatest blessings, for sure!!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

20 things you never knew you wanted to know about me....

I saw this on a blog and thought it would be fun to share! Here are 25 questions, with my responses. If you want to play along, answer these questions and post them to your blog!! XOXO
And how is everyone doing on the #40bagsin40days challenge?? I've been posting my daily pictures to Instagram and will do a one week update, tomorrow! I love seeing all the pictures and tags on IG and Facebook. Social media can be SO motivating!!!
20 Questions:
 If I remember correctly, there was someone named Kelly that my parents liked and it was "their name" before I was even a thought. My middle name is Anne and that's derived from Diane (my mom and grandma's middle name).

 I can't remember specifically, but I'm sure I cried this past weekend as we navigated around a taped off kitchen. It's been a bit challenging (and hopefully worth it)!!!

 I like my print, but my cursive is terrible. I like my signature, but beyond that, nope! Which leads me to ask...why do kids need to learn cursive? I honestly don't know if I've ever had to use it in my life, after school. I think having a nice signature is important, but it seems that we could be using our time better, instead of teaching cursive. Am I alone in this??

 I'm not a huge lunch meat person...even at Subway, I'll order the veggie sub. If I had to choose, it would be a smoked turkey.

Four on Earth and two in heaven.

 Nope. I had them removed when I was 9.

 Hmmm....I love Oatmeal Squares, Kix and Honey Bunches of Oats.

 Moose Tracks

 Physically? Nose 
Emotionally? My sensitivity. I'm working on that whole thick skin thing.

 My grandparents. I was really close with them and I would love to have them spend time with their great grandkids.


 pretty much any seafood....specifically crab, lobster, shrimp and clams

 happy endings, for sure!

 Horrible Bosses. It was dumb. Don't bother.

 Leopard print fleece pajamas. 

 Summer! I'm a teacher, married to a teacher. Need I say more??

 I'm not much of a dessert girl. Can I choose a bag of skittles?

 I'm a runner at heart, so I really love cardio. I need to get better at strength's one of my fitness goals this year.

 The Orphan Train


Okay, your turn!

Linkups: Joey, Kristin, Annie, Natalie

Monday, February 23, 2015

Oh, Target, how I love thee

I can't be the only one with a deep love for Target. It's one of my very favorite places to shop....and if you told me I could go anywhere, by myself for one hour, it would be my choice--hands down.

Yeah. It's a problem!
Target has cute clothes, cute home décor, great clearance items, fun stationary, a wide variety of toiletries, and lip gloss. Lots of lip gloss.
How is it that every single time I walk out of Target, I end up with a lip gloss! My girls and I have a (very loose) tradition of going to Target on Friday afternoons. It's fun to walk around and peruse the isles, and I love doing it with my girls because they share their same fondness for browsing. #raisingthemright
I'm really loving asymmetrical looks this year. Which is perfect for the Creative Closet linkup! I mean, this sweater is perfect!!
Click HERE to order
Or how about this stunning asymmetrical swim suit? Sometimes I struggle to find "mom" suits that are cute, but modest (especially when my students are the life guards in my kids' swim classes!). This is a great alternative and something I'd feel cute and comfortable in. And maybe her body would come with it?? ;-)
Click HERE to order
A couple cute throw pillows that I'd love to decorate our new space.

And how are these lamps???

And I can't leave Target without lip gloss, so here are a few of my favorites.

So there you have it. True confessions of my overwhelming love for Target. Tell me I'm not the only one???


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Weekend in review

I can't believe the weekend is over and we are already back to the grind! It was one of those weekends where we had a lot going on, and tackled so many projects, that it just whizzed by! We have been living in a partial kitchen all weekend, as our kitchen renovation is well underway. Monday morning, it will be completely sealed off and we won't have access to anything for the week. Wish me (us) luck!! We are super thankful for our neighbors who have offered to rescue us this week and will feed us, so we don't have to eat out every night!
Just a quick recap, as I didn't take a ton of pictures. Friday night was pretty special....our family friends flew out, from Minnesota, and we enjoyed dinner and great company at my parent's house. The only "people picture" that I got was of all these boys before they had to jet out for a football game. They missed the delicious crab feed, and instead feasted on pizza. ;-)
I'm not kidding, when my mom does dinner, it's always amazing. Always. One of our favorite Seattle restaurants is called "The Crab Pot" and my mom used that as inspiration for the evening. A ton of fresh seafood, just dumped out on the table. Everyone uses their fingers and gets a knife, fork and dipping butter. I'm pretty sure I consumed enough crab to feed an entire football team. My FAVORITE!

Saturday was the day to continue to tackle house projects. We picked out the crown molding for the top of our kitchen cabinets. This turned out to be a job much bigger than we could take on ourselves. After over 2 hours, and at least 30 cuts on wood, we realized the job would have to be handled by a professional! My dad is pretty amazing and gave it his best shot. It's definitely not as easy as it looks!!

Picking out kitchen hardware, was also on my to-do list.

It feels like we are living in the midst of chaos, as there are drop cloths, ladders, tapped floors, plastic celings and construction tools everywhere in our house!! I will be happy when we get to the finished project! Keeping two toddlers away from everything and confining them to small spaces is no easy task!

Here's our kitchen mid-progress. Cabinet fronts removed, countertops covered, the cabinet above our desk was removed (far right) and hardwoods covered. Since this picture, the molding was also removed and there is plastic wrap everywhere. Drawers are emptied and there is no more refrigerator. Sounds fun, huh.

We were invited over to a friends' house for pizza on Saturday afternoon and we had such a great time. I took just the younger three while Adam finished tasks around the house and Jake attended a birthday party.
Saturday nights are always baseball practice for Adam and Jake. This is a lazy night for me and the other three. It's turned into a fun tradition of baths and lots of reading. I love that Brett reads to Molly. Nothing better than to walk into this!

And when we are done getting the girls down, we pop popcorn and read. I just finished a book and am excited to start on the new one that my book club picked out for the month...The Orphan Train. Love to hear your thoughts on this book!

Sunday was filled with more football games, more projects and more corralling children. My dad worked on our molding while I attempted to keep my girls out of the way.

So then we went out to clean my car. This was my task for the #40bagsin40days challenge. I gave the girls wipes and had them wipe everything down, while I cleaned out the rest. They were happy to be my helpers.

We did, actually, take breaks to play outside and run around. I absolutely love our neighborhood. Jake spent about 2 hours riding bikes with some kids and then playing a neighborhood game of basketball. Brett spent the day on a 10-hour birthday excursion with Adam's mom, "Noni", and had the time of his life!

While the kids played, we attempted to stay busy and productive.

And we ended a fun/busy weekend with dinner out with the kids. Whew. I'm hoping to have more progress pictures in the coming week. Tomorrow, I'm going to show you all of the décor pieces I have picked out and/or am dreaming about. I need your help deciding what to put in our new spaces!!

Hope you had a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Friday Favorites: doTERRA

I had a lot of ideas for today's "Friday Favorites" post, but thought it was about time that I talked to you about a newish favorite of mine--doTERRA oils.
Let me start by telling you that I was a HUGE skeptic of these! I thought they were a fad, I thought they were a fraud and I thought they were expensive. Boy was I wrong. I bought a small intro kit with three oils (lavender, peppermint and lemon), from a friend of mine last spring. I hardly ever used it, and as a result, they mostly sat in a cabinet, collecting dust. See, I was a skeptic. I tried a few drops of lemon in my water and liked that, but certainly couldn't figure out how flavored water would be worth the cost.
And then I got invited to an oil class at my neighbor's house, and that's when things changed.
I learned so much more and felt empowered to use these oils on a regular basis. I learned different techniques, and I really loved putting together rollers for specific ailments. I felt like I had the knowledge to use them appropriately and you know what, they started making a difference for our family.
Ask anyone who knows me well, I am not a medicine person. I hardly ever give my kids medicine and I almost never take it (remember, I'm one of those crazy natural childbirth women, too?!). This was a perfect alternative to synthetic drugs and I didn't feel like I was harming my kids.
Since taking that class, I've hosted one at my house and am now starting to learn more about the teaching side. That's how great they've been!! I want to share this with the world! It's very important to remember that oils are potent and need to be treated with care, but when used correctly, they can make signigicant improvements/changes in your life. Even my husband is on board! I'm serious, when someone gets sick or hurt, the very first thing that will come out of his mouth, "what oil should we use?" He gets it.
Even Brylie, at 19 months, will request oils before nap and bed. She knows how to use the rollers and carefully rolls them on the bottom of her feet and her wrists. It's the cutest. Oils have become such a signicificant part of our life that we use them without even thinking. Tonight, Brett had a headache (I don't think he's ever had a headache before, so this was something new to him), so I treated it by rubbing Past Tense on his forehead and temples. Within 15 minutes, he said he was feeling significantly better and was back to wrestling his brother. Even the kids are on board!!
I could probably write pages and pages about these oils, but I don't want to bore you, so I'm going to share my top 5 favorite doTERRA products.
[ONE] aroma lite diffuser
I recently purchased the diffuser and I don't know what took me so long! It's almost like a humidifier, but you add 4-6 drops of an oil and it will run for up to 8 hours. It covers 1,000 square feet, so during the day, I keep it in our kitchen/great room area, and at night will move it into the room of whomever is sickest. Right now, Brylie's fighting a little cough/cold, so she gets it! I'm using 4 drops of "Breathe" (which smells amazing) and a few drops of On Guard...a protective blend that keeps the germs from spreading and prevents illness. Without the diffuser in her room, Brylie coughs all night. I'm not kidding, within minutes of her being in a room with Breathe diffusing, the cough 100% disappears. I know it sounds crazy, but you gotta try it!
[TWO] LLV pack of vitamins
This 3-pack of vitamins has been the most life-changing purchase that I've made from this company. I have more energy, less anxiety, and overall, feel like a better person. Adam made a comment the other day, that he's noticed a change it me and thinks it's related to the vitamins, as well. It's hard to explain how good I feel, but I've been functioning on less sleep than I've ever had, hello, mom to four, but somehow I'm managing to feel good all day!!
[THREE] on-guard beadlets

These tiny little beadlets can be taken each day to help prevent illness. Between Adam and the kids, we've had some sort of a cough/cold going around since December. I'm the ONLY person in the house not to have even a tiny symptom. Not a sneeze, runny nose, cough, nothing. And I'm the only one who is regularly ingesting these beadlets. I'm kissing on my babies and definitely wiping snot....and have managed to avoid all illness, unlike every other winter. I can't think of any other explanation.
[FOUR] clary calm
This is a game changer. If I could recommend a roller for moms, this would be it. I roll it across my mid-section every morning and afternoon and it helps to calm me. My Type A personality tends to stress more than I should. Clary Calm takes the edge off and gives me a clearer, more focused approach. The best way that I can describe it, is the way it feels after you've had a glass of wine. It's really weird how it works, but it does! I love using it, especially during PMS. No more edginess. It also helps me with cramps!
[FIVE] frankincense
This is the oil that I use (and LOVE) the most. I love it so much that I use two drops under my tongue each day. This is one of the gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus, it's not some made-up newfound discovery. There are so many amazing stories about the healing properties in Frankincense!! It's been shown to prohibit growth of cancer cells, heal injuries and help with a whole host of chronic diseases. I love the way it makes me feel, healthy and refreshed, each day! I'm not kidding, I'm like a new person with these oils. 
I didn't list it yet, because I haven't used it long enough, but I'm trying out the Verage Imortelle Hydrating Serum, and so far, so good! I took a picture of my face today and will take it again in 30 days to see if there is a noticeable difference. Good bye crows feet, dark circles and wrinkles!!


I know that's only a small portion of the zillions of pieces of information out there. If you want me to answer something specific for you, please let me know. I'm happy to meet up and chat with you, to share more specifics! And if you live far away, we can either chat on the phone or over email. I think everyone ought to give them a try! I have complete confidence in these products!
Please don't wait on this! Contact me, soon!
Linked up with so many great blogs today!! Andrea, Narci, Erika, Tiff, Farmer Bell, Christina, Liz and Amanda

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Photo dump

It's been awhile since I've done a random photo dump. I take 1491789 pictures a day, and often they just sit on my phone and then get transferred to my external hard drive. What better way to start your Thursday than taking a look at these completely random pictures. Or, not. ;-)
When a 3-year old declares she doesn't need a nap, this is what happens by 4pm. Oh, sis.

This might be one of my favorites. I was looking through my phone this evening, and went to open my "Notes", only to find this. A sweet note from my littlest boy....and a reminder that, despite the hard work, being a mom is the most rewarding job in the world.

These two, I tell you. They are going to be TROUBLE some day. I caught them in my bathroom, getting into my make-up. If you look closely, you can see the mascara all over Brylie's eyes. Ha!

We've been to a lot of basketball games this winter. Approximately 3 games per week. But, Jake loves it. It's his passion and there are few places he'd rather be, than a basketball court, a football field, or a baseball diamond. (He's #4)

Molly must have been worn out this weekend, because twice, she slept past 9am. And this girl goes to bed between 6:30-7pm. Growth spurt, maybe?!

Here's a favorite of my kids (and nephew) in my parent's backyard. I don't know if any of you have attempted a picture of Mt Rainier, but no matter how HUGE and majestic it looks to the human eye, as soon as you attempt a pic, it looks tiny. I can assure you that the mountain takes up this entire space and is one of the most incredible and breathtaking views around.

A sleepy little girl, still in a stare after waking up from her nap.

Molly really loves picking out her outfits. Most of the time, they involve a lot of pink and tutus. She's a totally girly girl. She loves to "help" me push the cart at the grocery store. And any of you who have a child that does this, realizes how un-helpful this really is.

Last week (or the week before), the kids celebrated their 100th day of school. Brett was pretty proud of his crown of 100 stars.

These two cousins were so cute in the bath together. Even though he's 10 months younger than her, they weigh the same! Ha! In not too long, it will probably be hard to tell them apart in age. I love that they are going to be best buddies!

Here's a funny one from a couple weeks ago. This girl has so much sass! Coming out of swim lessons, she was happy to strike a pose.

My hubby spent the weekend cleaning out our back garage. We use it as a rec room/exercise room and it was in dire need of a clean out! The boys have been playing hours of pop-a-shot. Wonder how long it will take until the novelty wears off? I'm telling you, this was some of the best money we ever spent about 5 years ago!!

And in other exciting news, I just signed up for Bloglovin. Am I the last blogger on the face of the Earth to know about this?? If you want to follow me on there, click here. HERE

And, as usual, click HERE for my Facebook page, HERE for Instagram, HERE for Pinterest and HERE for Twitter (although, I'm still learning that one!).

**Linkups: Joey, Annie, Kristin **