Happy 4th of July!

4july2017All the heart eyes for these two! Amelie is SO excited for fireworks again this year! I’m a wet blanket and could do without. I think fireworks are too loud. Too excessive. Too late. Too crowded. And also, the mosquitos (even in Colorado).

I’m no fun!

Stay safe and enjoy the summer sun and festivities.

A look back on my patriotic cuties on July 4 2016!

 

 

Happy Father’s Day

This man is a talented man in many ways. But the thing he excels at most is being a Daddy. I’m in awe.

Daddy

Happy Father’s Day to our kind-hearted, loving, patient, creative, goofy Daddy. We love you so much!

Throwback to his first Father’s Day and last year.

Apparently I missed documenting 2014 because I was deep in the throws of morning (I mean, ALL DAY) sickness while pregnant with Cade. Rest assured, he was an awesome Daddy then too. I, on the other hand, was a witch.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day 2017! I wanted the kids to sport red, white and blue so Amelie chose to wear her Elsa dress. Good enough, I say!

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Oh my goodness they are so cute. You must agree!

Also, a rare picture of us grownups:

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We had such a lovely day – starting with a park and coffee date in the morning and grilling at our house with friends and family in the evening. The weather and food were amazing and the company was even better:

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A look back on Memorial Day of yore: Look at my babies in 2016! I was sleep deprived for 2013-2015 and honestly, who knows what I did on those Memorial Days. But how about when I ran with a DSLR around my neck along with 50,000 other people in the largest road race in the country in 2012!

Or way way back? When I wore a wedding veil for an entire half marathon in 2009…

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My sincerest thanks to the service men and women and their families that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. I know we are fortunate and blessed and safe; a privilege that came at a price for so many. I do not take this for granted. <3

Amelie’s Preschool Valentines

Last year, I was SO into it. Preschool Valentines? Adorable! I’ll take any excuse to craft…

This year, I picked up blank red cards from Target Dollar Spot and had Amelie paint them with swirls of gold and glitter. She was enthusiastic at first but her attention span was short lived. I ended up painting the rest myself. In fact, I put together her Valentines myself and it was a lot of work, actually.

They turned out so cute though.

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I included Fun Dip because I loved this stuff as a kid:

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I cringe when I think about how much sugar and chemicals are loaded in it though. Next year, no candy! Stickers or temporary tattoos or something – anything – besides candy. It gets to be too much junk for the kiddies, you know?

Amelie only goes to preschool two half days per week and Valentine’s Day fell on a non-school day. We went to story time at Whole Foods and then delivered her valentines to preschool, including two chocolate roses for her teachers.

Amelie_preschoolvalentines

She’s wearing the same dress as last year. You would never know that tutu got caught on the lint trap in the dryer and ripped out a big chunk out from the back…

Hope your Valentine’s Day was lovely. Did you see my Valentine’s Day post? You didn’t. It’s probably because, just like this one, I wrote it in June but published it in February. I’m a cheat.

Christmas Decor

Are you ready for this or are you over it? Doesn’t really matter, actually. Let’s go!

This year, I finally did outside lights for the first time. Ever. You guys, this is a big deal. I was intimidated because I wasn’t sure how to plug them in since we don’t have an outdoor outlet (something I’d like to change eventually). I ended up snaking the extension cord underneath the gaping hole in our garage door flashing (something that I’d also like to change eventually). I even used a timer and felt very smug about it.

I copied a friend and wrapped lights around the posts and called it good enough.

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I know, it doesn’t look like much. But when I’d sneak out for my morning run in the dark, they made me so happy. Lights are magical! Plus, I scored the lights on mega clearance last year so that’s secretly thrilling to me. I don’t love the silver ball wreath around the light but I couldn’t figure out where else to put it and it’s actually gorgeous at night when the light is on, so I left it.

I’ve been perusing clearance Christmas trees to fill out the front step – wish me good deal finding luck!

The boxwood wreath is from Trader Joes and it’s so fresh and pretty. I stuck a gold sparkly sprig in it and that was it.

wreath

I actually bought two more boxwood wreaths to hang on either side of the garage but the Command Hooks were out to get me so that didn’t happen. I felt defeated, I’m not going to lie. Come on inside, the Command Hooks got me in there too.

I like to decorate the hutch by mixing in a few holiday things among all of the white pieces:

hutch_full

Truthfully, I was going to clear out all of the toys for the picture but I thought maybe one day, I’ll want to remember what Christmas decorating with littles around is like. So, they stayed in all of their primary-colored messy glory.

The navy mercury tree was from last year when I lost my mind in the after Christmas sales. I scored it for cheap! I didn’t want it to happen but the Target Dollar Spot lured me once again this season. How cute are these ceramic houses and bottle brush trees!?

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You can even put tea lights in the houses, which I hope to do next year. I think they would be so sweet all aglow at night.

The left side:

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It’s a sparse, I should have crammed the bowl full of ornaments but I didn’t. Hey! Another sprig! I love that word, don’t you?

Moving over to the other side, Elf made her appearance again this year. She’s been with me for Christmas ever since I was a kid!

hutch

The couch finally -FINALLY- got new throw pillows.

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I’ve been hesitating to buy them because sticky fingers makes me think twice about buying anything to make the house look nice, you know?

I wanted to add some extra holiday cheer and this cozy bear and plaid throw seemed to fit right in:

holiday_pillow

Christmas pictures. I have a matching frame for Cade’s first Christmas but no picture printed yet. I need to do that. I need to do a lot of things but instead, I drink coffee.

xmas_pictures Also! “New” lamps that I intend to bore you with someday.

Moving to the kitchen. I strung our cards up here and added one of the rogue boxwoods that had no home. Two wreaths would have made this look much better. Maybe next year.

xmas_cardsNext year, I plan to do two strands for the card display. We got a big handful right before Christmas that sat in a pile on our table because I was zapped of motivation to hang them by then.

Of course, I plopped a few pretties in my tray on the kitchen table.

tray

I had two helpers with the tree this year. For the first time, Amelie was really into it.

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Last year, I did it by myself. Amelie was too crabby so I put her to bed and I did the rest one-handed, holding Cade who was naked from the waist down because of some bad diaper rash. A lot has changed in a year!

And, Ta Da!

tree

One new thing I added this year, a step button to turn on the tree lights. Like, duh. It’s so amazing. I also added one strand of twinkling lights (clearance score from last year) and that was a fun change-up.

Originally, I planned to drape layered garlands along the window but my Command Hooks were not cooperating and I just gave up. I did manage to get the wreath up that MamaP bought me last season, so there is that.

The rest of the house got a sprinkling of cheer, starting with our downstairs bath:

downstairs_bath

And my vanity, that I intend to tell you about someday too:

vanityIn Cade’s room, I thought the rustic mini tree would fit nicely since he has an “outdoorsy” inspired room:

cade_desk

(Hey, remember when this desk used to look like this?)

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I know. Even the drawers are organized. More on that someday…

Anyway, a closeup of that adorable fuzzy owl:

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I also added these glitter trees from Target Dollar Spot. That place! Is the best. Isn’t it?

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The glitter trees are actually supposed to be paired with bigger trees but Amelie wanted those for her room. She even adorned them with ornaments herself:

amelie_roomSo sweet, huh? If you zoom out though, this is what her room looks like at all times.

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She is very busy during her quiet time. She reads out loud. She changes clothes. She does puzzles, builds train tracks, turns lights on and off, shreds paper into bits. I can’t complain though because she stays up in her room the entire time. She is amazing!

Did I lose you in the mess? I hope not. I decided to cut to the end even though I had a few more things to show you – holiday sheets for our bed (that is rumpled and unmade) and the gold tree for the playroom that I never managed to get decorated. Oh well, right? I can see that you’re tired. Me too, my friend.

It’s a lot of work to put up but there sure is a magic to it all, isn’t there?

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I’m keeping the tree up for a little longer. I can’t say goodbye just yet.

The Tour of Christmas’ past: 2010, 2011, 2012 (we moved on Dec. 20th that year!), 2013 (Amelie’s first), 2014 (Cade’s first; he didn’t care because he was sleeping) and 2015.

 

 

Merry Christmas!

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Picture perfect, am I right?

Amelie figured out which presents were hers pretty fast. “A-M-E-L-I-E spells Ah-mo-me!!!”

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“Elsa” had a very good Christmas and yes, we are full on in Frozen mode over here.

elsa_dress

Cade loved his books, garbage truck and tunnel from Grandma. He exclaimed “Oh my goodness!” as he opened presents. It was so adorable, I almost fainted.

cade_xmas

We set out our stockings for Santa. Oh and I plan to do a Christmas decor post but you know how well I get things done around here.

treeOur considerate Amelie/Elsa/Ice Princess set out the treats for Santa and his reindeer:

carrot_cookie

Santa “filled” their stockings (he was stingy because they don’t know any better) but also brought them a new-to-them train table!

train_table

Man, that thing is huge and hard to vacuum around. The kids love it!

Christmas 2016 was magical and sweet but also, as always, real life things crept in like a flat tire, crabby kids, a PMSing Mom, and overeating bloat. I tried to savor the magic and ignore the other stuff but I didn’t do a very good job. Ugh, huh?

I hope you had a love-filled holiday and that the bloat didn’t get you like it did me!

If you are feeling nostalgic like me, a look back on Christmas 2015.

Christmas Salsa

I have hardly done any Christmas baking or crafting this year (or any year since having babies?) but I did manage to whip up some cranberry salsa to hand out as gifts. Ok let’s be honest. I started making the salsa but was running short on time getting myself together so Zack had to finish it for me. I am one of those thoughtful but inept types. Didn’t they turn out cute though?

christmas_salsa

I’ve been hoarding these little jars leftover from my MIL’s jam for a long while now; they’ve been sitting quietly in this cabinet ready to go. This salsa is a really nice alternative to homemade sweets but still feels “seasonal” with the cranberries and oranges. It goes great topped on chicken and probably pork too!

Eat and be cran-merry!

(Ugh, that was the worst).

Happy Halloween!

ROAR! Can you spot two adorably fierce dinosaurs in the “wild”?

dinosaurs

Their tails wagged when they walked. The cuteness made my eyes cross!

In full disclosure, I thought I was being such a fun Mom when I surprised the kids with their costumes one day in the car. I had bought the dinosaur costume for Cade and I picked out a wolf ears/tail set for Amelie. But Amelie really wanted the dinosaur one instead so I let her “trade” with Cade. Cade lost his sh*t! So much crying! Rightfully so because he just got his costume stolen right out from underneath him.

I learned two lessons: Cade is not a baby anymore, he has opinions!! And secondly, everything needs to be the same. I thought that was a “twin thing” but it’s a general kid rule. I’m still learning this Mom stuff…

Before we headed out to trick or treat, I set out our candy for the neighborhood kids.

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It looked so cute all aglow after dusk! Let’s all be amazed by my geraniums that I planted months ago that are still going strong!

About to head out to trick or treat with friends. I love this wagon. I have put miles on this thing.

dinosaur_wagon

Amelie brought her bucket from McDonalds instead of the cute Halloween bag I bought her but you win some, you lose some…

The kids loved trick or treating. I wish I would have taken pictures of the entire group all dressed up. Next year! Once the sun set, all of the pictures I took turned out blurry and dark. But trust me, it was so sweet watching them. These are the moments I want to remember forever. <3

A look back:

2013 (Amelie’s first), 2014 (Pregnant with Cade), and 2015 (Cade thought this was all no fun and wanted to go home).