Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Recent reads.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware- The main character, Lo, is a travel journalist who gets to embark on a small cruise ship's maiden voyage to write about it. While on board, she witnesses someone being thrown overboard, but no one believes her due to some personal issues she's going through that make her not seem credible. All evidence seems to have been wiped away. What follows is a suspenseful story of how she tries to prove that what she saw was true and how she keeps herself safe. I thought it was entertaining!

The Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living by Emily Ley- This was a fun read if you are into simplifying, planning, and organizing. She offers practical tips and tools for making space for what matters most. Each chapter is about a different topic, like meal planning or finances, and how to make that process easier. I don't feel like I personally learned a ton, because I am an organized and planned person by nature, but this would be a great read for someone looking for tips.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman- This story is about Nina, who loves books and prefers to be alone. She grew up with a single mom who was gone a lot, and learns as a young adult that her father that she never knew has passed away and finds out she has siblings and nieces/nephews. She starts to learn to let people in- both her family and a love interest. I didn't love this book, but it was good enough to finish.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Back at the park!

We had our first 2021 park visit and it was glorious! The weather is amazing that week in the beginning of March (50s) and it feels so good after winter! What a fun morning and looking forward to many more this year.

I remember when all three girls were itty bitty and couldn't even walk yet. We would come to the park just for these swings and they loved them. Now they look huge! Their legs look crazy long and they barely fit. Time flies- so thankful I get to be in the front seat watching them grow!

Cousin Will got to come too! :)

How we love the park!

Monday, March 15, 2021

Lucy and Ellory's 4th birthday- De Jong celebration.

And we rounded out Lucy and Ellory's birthday celebrations with the De Jongs! I'm so thankful for both sides of our families and that they celebrate our girls along with us. Having invested grandparents, aunts/uncles, and cousins is a treasure I don't take for granted. One of our biggest blessings! Birthdays are such a special time to remember the joys of the past year and how wonderful each of our girls really are!

 Many rounds of happy birthday sung- what fun!

The sweetest cakes and cookies Jana (my MIL) had made for them!

Flower cookies for Lucy and Paw Patrol for Ellory.

Pin the badge on Chase. Look at how sweetly they are helping each other! :)

Family photos are my absolute favorite!

Happiest of birthdays to you, Lucy and Ellory. We pray you have a great year being four!

Monday, March 8, 2021

Lucy and Ellory's 4th birthday- Schut celebration.

We got to go to Des Moines to my parent's house to celebrate Lucy and Ellory's 4th birthday! Everyone except Rose (my SIL) was there because she was visiting her sister in TX, but so wonderful to have almost everyone together! We hadn't all been together since Christmas. We got to see our newest niece, Averie, again too, which was so fun. Babies change so fast- what a cutie! It's so fun to watch the girls with Jorie and Murphy too, as they are getting older and able to interact more with them.

My mom makes special cakes for the grandkids birthdays, so fun! 

Love family pictures! So fun to compare over the years and see the family grow- the biggest blessing!

Six cousins! :)

It was 54 degrees there on Saturday- felt incredible! The girls really love playing outside and it's amazing!

Averie is so cute! I had a cold, so I couldn't hold her this time unfortunately, but admired from afar. Next time I will be scooping her up for sure!

Usually, my family comes to our house for their birthday, but due to COVID reasons it was easier for everyone to meet in Des Moines instead, which was okay because I'm just happy we could get together! Lucy and Ellory, celebrating you is a joy! Happy 4th birthday!

Friday, March 5, 2021

Lucy and Ellory's 4th birthday- family celebration.

One of my favorite family traditions is our family birthday celebration! We let the girls choose where they want to go eat and what activity they want to do on the night of their birthday (or very close to, if for some reason it doesn't work to go on the actual birthday). When Lucy and Ellory get older, we will let them choose their own night if they want something different, but at this age, basically anything is super fun and they quickly decided together on McDonald's and swimming! Unfortunately the McDonald's dining room was closed for supper, so we went to Culver's instead, but thankfully they didn't mind since they could still get chicken nuggets, fries, and ice cream there too. :) They were so excited the whole day that it was their birthday and it was so special. Their excitement is so unfiltered and beautiful and it's so joyful to watch. Earlier in the day, they got to bring treats to preschool and get their birthday hat and sticker, we went out for lunch with the De Jongs, and played outside in the snow. They were very into the fact that it was their REAL birthday and they were REALLY four now. 

Everyone had fun at the pool! My sister Kayla got to come too, since she goes to college in our town, which was a treat! They thought it was great to be able to do the deep end, diving board, and big slides since we had three adults there to help! (When it's just me taking them to swim, we have to stay in the shallow kid area, which is still fun, but it's special when we can do everything!) 

Lucy was super brave and willingly went off the board all by herself (with Kley catching her) several times! Wow! Ellory didn't want to  jump, so she was swimming with Aunt Kayla.

Norah went several times too. She's becoming such a good swimmer!

Slide pictures are some of my favorites!

Happy happy birthday, Lucy and Ellory! Being your mom is my absolute favorite. You are true blessings!

What a special day celebrating our four year olds! I will bottle up these sweet memories in my mind forever.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Lucy and Ellory's 4th birthday- Paw Patrol/flower friend party.

Our sweet babies are four! Lucy and Ellory had their first friend party! Lots of work, but absolutely worth it to see them enjoy it. I actually really like party planning and think it's fun, so it was special to do it together! Lucy wanted a flower party and Ellory wanted Paw Patrol, so they each picked their own plates, napkins, and balloons. We got some flowers as centerpieces, had a flower and Paw Patrol banner, and it was cute and pretty easy! They chose to have noodles, chicken nuggets, carrots, and grapes for supper. We invited their preschool class and a few friends from Sunday school class. It was a full house, but everyone had a good time! No tears from anyone at all the entire party- impressive!

Happy birthday and candle blowing!

Lucy and Ellory, you are the best and this age is so fun!

Making a birthday board every year is one of my favorite things. I love looking back at pictures over the year! So special. 

I am by no means a professional, but last year I made a 9x13 cake and cut it in half, and this year I got two round cake pans and it looks SO much better. I'm pretty proud. :) Trying to frost an already cut cake is very hard and didn't look good. Here's my attempt at a Paw Patrol and flower cake! (I've read from multiple sets of adult twins that they really appreciated having their own cake and birthday song, and I love that! A neat, easy way to individualize their shared day.)

I also ordered them a flower and Paw Patrol shirt, which they loved!

Happy birthday, sweet girls! We ate supper, sang and had cake, free played, played pin the tail on Skye (a Paw Patrol character), colored a picture, and Kley led a sing along guitar session!