Thursday, March 26, 2020

Indoor swimming and big slides with Daddy!

The indoor pool in our neighboring town does a tot swim hour in the winter on Monday and Friday mornings, which is awesome, but we could only go a few mornings this year when Norah didn't have preschool because otherwise it was during the time we would have to pick her up. It was super fun when we could go, because this was the first season I felt it was manageable to take them to the pool by myself! (And by take them by myself, I mean that they all wore life jackets when I was the only adult and the kid pool is a gradual entry and they can all touch throughout it.) The girls had been asking several different times to go with Kley so they could go down the big slide (they have a bigger water slide, but I told them we couldn't do it when I was the only adult because I can only take one at a time and I couldn't leave the other two at the bottom alone). My sister, Kayla, also came with us, which made it even more fun! And super nice to have an adult per kid! :) It was special to have Kayla with us, because she goes to college in our town, but they closed it down for the rest of the year and are doing online classes because of coronavirus, so this was the last time we got to do something together before she went home. We also went to Pizza Ranch for supper, which everyone loves and is a treat!

Group pictures are one of my most favorite things ever. :)

Norah thought this picture was quite funny. (She was doing this on purpose to be silly.)

Love my sweet girls!

Practicing jumping in in the deep end.

I also really love waterslide pictures. Their faces at the bottom are priceless! What a fun night!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Back on the swings and it feels so good!

When we were in Minneapolis recently visiting Karlie and Zack (my sister/BIL), and some friends, we hit up the park because the weather was so nice. Can you tell how happy the girls are? :) We are thankful spring is coming and to be getting outside more!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Minneapolis weekend.

We had a super fun weekend in Minneapolis! Overall it went very well. We had great weather, the girls slept well for traveling, and we got to see lots of people we love! When we got there on Friday we had supper with David and Jacquie (and their adorable son Soren), who we went to Bethel with, and then headed to Zack and Karlie's (my sister/BIL), who live there and we stayed with them. Saturday morning we headed to Eagles Nest Indoor Playground, which the girls loved. We don't have places like this close to where we live, so it's a big treat!

The girls had a great time playing!

In the afternoon we headed to Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, which is one of my favorite places in all of the Twin Cities. We went their fairly often when we were in college, and it's special to take the girls there now too. (And free? Amazing!) There weren't tons of animals out, as it was early in the season, but the girls enjoyed it anyways. 

The conservatory is always so beautiful! I love seeing it each time. When we left, they were setting up for a wedding in there!

We all love Zack and Karlie! :)

We went for a scooter ride after the zoo and had some Dairy Queen for a snack. (Is that the greatest afternoon treat ever? Probably so. So fun for a special occasion!) Saturday night Karlie and Zack babysat the girls (so nice!) and Kley and I went out for supper with Kley's cousin Pieter and his wife Bailey. Kley and Pieter went to a concert after too, but I headed back to put the girls to bed. The girls had a great time having Frozen 2 macaroni and cheese, making a Frozen 2 sticker page, and watching Frozen 2. :)

Sunday we went to a park and also met up with some more college friends- Joe, Jackie, and their kids Daniel, Noelle, and Thomas- for lunch before we headed home. What a fun weekend- so many neat activities and so thankful we could see lots of friends and family!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Recent reads.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens- It's been a long time since I have heard so many people talk about a book. I felt like everyone was reading this and I saw it popping up everywhere! It really made me want to check it out since it was SO talked about. It was incredibly interesting and hard to even summarize. It flips back and forth in time following a girl named Kya, who grew up alone in the North Carolina marsh, and a murder investigation about a man from the community named Chase Andrews. Kya was the youngest sibling, so all her older siblings grew up and left, and her mom left because her dad was abusive, and she lived alone with her dad for a brief time, until her dad left and never came back, so she grew up in almost complete isolation. Her story is fascinating of how she lived and what she did all alone, and how the two timelines intersect is so intriguing. I can't really say much about that without giving too much away. I finished this two months ago and I still don't know what I think about the ending. So wild, but you should read it.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi- This was one that had been on my list for awhile, and I really enjoyed it. It was sad in that it was written by a man who is now past away (he died in 2015), but it's an autobiography about his life and illness. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer during his final year of neurosurgical residency. While he doesn't talk a lot about Christianity, he does say that he was raised in a Christian home, turned away for awhile, and then came back to Christianity later in life. I enjoyed that this was more of an autobiography than just talking about his final days, though he does do that as well. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would; it's one of my favorite books written by someone with a terminal illness that I've read.

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp- Kley and I read this book together, and I'm really glad we did. It was amazing. I had heard good things about it beforehand, and it did not disappoint. It was a beautiful combination of challenging and encouraging, with so many good and relatable points. It's my favorite parenting book I've ever read. I would highly recommend it. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Lucy and Ellory are THREE!

What fun it was to celebrate Lucy and Ellory turning three! I feel like three is such a fun birthday because it's the first time they really understand it's their birthday and can look forward to it. It was so sweet to hear them talk about it and practice putting three fingers up. 

We celebrated earlier in the week with the De Jongs. We went out to eat at this local, somewhat hole in the wall Italian restaurant. Kley and I have only been there two times now, but it's amazing. We are in love. The chef is actually from Italy. The food is so good! Then we went back to Brad and Jana's to open a few presents.

Here's Norah and Will together. Our girls sure do love their cousins! So much fun to watch them together!

Happy birthday sweet girls! Notice their Anna and Elsa dress up shoes, a gift from cousin Will. They can hardly walk them, but they are thrilled.

I always prayed I could be a wife and mom one day, and I'm so thankful God granted that to me!

Our best attempt at a sister shot.

Opening a couple presents!

My side was able to come for the weekend so we could celebrate with them too and they could be there for their party. (Well, my brother and his family unfortunately had to miss, but most could join!) Lucy and Ellory had a Frozen party and were so excited. They talked about it for weeks. My mom got a bunch of decorations from a party store in Des Moines that was closing for 75% off, which was amazing. It was all Frozen 2, since that's what just came out, which Lucy and Ellory actually haven't even seen yet, but they didn't care at all and didn't even really notice. (We decided we weren't ready for a movie theatre experience yet, so they will watch it when it comes out on DVD.) It was so fun!

All three were Elsa for Halloween last year, so it worked perfectly to wear the dresses again!

Uncle Zack and Aunt Karlie.

Grandma and Grandpa! They were amazing help. So thankful for them, from everything to decorations, filling up balloons, baking, cleaning up, etc. 

I thought this table turned out so cute! For those interested, we had the party in our local library's basement. It's free to rent the room, which is so nice! Especially in the winter when we can't have any of their party outside, and we don't really have room in our house to fit as many as were there. When the girls are younger, we have had bigger parties where we invite lots of friends, and we decided that once our girls start preschool, we just do a little friend party and a family party for them (so their friend party isn't quite as big since it's not inviting the entire family). I also make a birthday board for our girls for each birthday of favorite pictures from the last year. One of my favorite traditions!

The party was in the morning, so we had mainly brunch foods. We also had a cute Olaf station where the kids could make a snowman with marshmallows, pretzel sticks for arms, mini chocolate chips for buttons and face, edible google eyes, and orange tic tacks for nose. So cute!

My SIL Rose drew these amazing posters!

Both of them didn't care to make Olaf, they just ate the marshmallows. :)

Norah and her friend, Ainsley. They've been friends since they were babies!

Lucy said her favorite part about the party was that Audrey and Will came. :) Audrey is a family friend's baby that we watch on Tuesdays. All the girls love her so much!

Family photos are one of my most favorite things. :) Thankful our grandparents could be there too! One of Kley's sets was there and one of mine. My other set lives in SD and wasn't able to make it, and Kley's other grandpa does live in town, but wasn't feeling well.

Our best attempt at a picture with Aunt Kayla. Missing Norah and no smiles, but it was the best of the bunch. You take what you can get sometimes. :)

Birthday cake and singing! We give each of the girls their own cake and sing to them individually. I read on an adult twin blog that many of them appreciated that a lot when they were younger. So fun to have twins, but want to try to do little things to celebrate their individuality too!

(Don't look too closely at the cakes. It was a quick "make it from the box and slap some frosting on" kind of attempt because we were busy with the party food from the morning. Thankfully they don't care!)

You can't see the front, but the other candle is a Frozen snowflake candle.

Opening a gift from my parents. 

We love you so much, Lucy and Ellory! Happy happy birthday.What a wonderful three years. You are so very special to us!

Norah wanted to join in too. :)