Thanksgiving Week

Life just gets too busy around the holidays.

But, on Thanksgiving week with the kids off from school, we went up to our family cabin for a few days to relax. And then back to our house for a quiet Thanksgiving dinner.

When we got up to the cabin, it was chilly so to keep the kids occupied while the fire got started, Mike taught them Slap Jack. Needless to say, it was loud and entertaining. The next morning was filled with hunting for pine cones to take back to the house to make glittery ornaments (which we actually did!). We went to Big Bear for a little, and took the kids bowling and played arcade games.

The next day, we headed over to the local park then onto Lake Arrowhead for a few carnival rides by the water. Woofed down McDonald’s on the steps overlooking the docks and loud ducks. We almost stayed another night but decided to just go home to a very warm Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving was quiet and lazy which was kinda nice. The kids played in the backyard in their pjs for who knows how long. Brooke made mud pie soup on top of the cooler (a favorite thing to do nowadays) while Bryn collected the dirt. Blake played football with the neighbors next door (check out the proof on his knees below). And Ben.. always always smiling.

Halloween & Halloween Parade 2016

A few days before the actual spooooky night, the girls had their first Halloween Parade at school. You can tell which one loved the attention and which girly didn’t like parading around. So neat to see their personalities and how different they really are!

I wish I could say that every Halloween is simple and easy to host. The kids behave and wait patiently to put on their costumes. The chili is prepared ahead of time. The candy is perfectly placed on the front porch without anyone getting into it. BUT… this time it WAS pretty much really really easy. Aside from me frantically carving three pumpkins before everyone arrived (umm… left that one for the day-of and regretted it after the kids were over it halfway through. Seeds everywhere.) I hope Benny Boy had a great first Halloween as a cute little dalmatian!

Night at the beach

After many nights of restlessness, summerness, and just all around boredom (really?!), we decided to take a quick trip to the beach for dinner. We packed up Daddy’s new go-to grill and some meat and ended up on a perfect flat spot. Doheny/Capo Beach… we will be back for night time din-din’s.

The weird thing is–We go here about every other day. Why not dinner?! I need to think about spots like parks, beaches, pools, etc. that we normally do during the day. Ahhh… next summer there may be a plan in place!

Welcome Baby Ben!

For a long time before Baby Ben arrived, I wrestled with the feeling of taking on too much (am I really ready for another child? can I do it?) and a feeling of sadness knowing this is the last time I’m going to carry a baby. My Aunt Nancy always told me that her favorite part of being pregnant was feeling the little butterfly kicks. And, I’m right there with her.

As soon as I laid eyes on this little cutie pie, I was 100% in love. On March 7, we welcomed Benjamin into the world at 10:02 a.m. At an even eight pounds, he was healthy and hungry–something I could completely relate to. Ice chips after not eating for how long?! I’m exhausted and want a soup/salad combo with a pineapple shake!

He looks like Blake and Bryn but with a twist, and has long fingers that everyone seems to comment on. All of the nurses gushed over how adorable he was and I couldn’t agree more. That button nose and those eyes! My heart melts each time he’s awake!

Welcome to the family, Ben. We love you so much and can’t wait for the years ahead!

Before Baby Arrives

Over the past nine months, I’ve had a hard time documenting Baby #4’s arrival. But the one thing I have done (thankfully!) is take pictures. From eating healthy to practicing how to feed baby using an Anna doll from Frozen, to building a crib, to late night snuggles when I couldn’t move around anymore, to coloring pictures for the baby’s room, we have all been excited to welcome our new baby boy to the family!

Merry Christmas – 2015!

The morning started off a little rough with our alarm going off at 6 a.m. We wrapped gifts, made coffee, and watched the news by our Christmas tree. Then 8 a.m. rolled around and it was time for this mama to take a nap. A half hour later, the kids were up and ready to open!

Stockings were first, which were pretty good this year if I don’t say so myself. Filled with hot wheels, candy, toothbrushes, pencils, Play-doh, stickers, books, and balls for Bryn. Then came the big presents from Santa: two pink Radio Flyer tricycles and one blue Max Tow Truck that can tow up to 200 lbs. Out of everything, I think Blake has played the game Trouble about four times and the girls have played non-stop store/chef with the fake fruits and veggies. Funny how gifts from Santa are always so needed but the simplest things pretty much always win.

Once my second nap was done for the day, we got up and met some of our favorite people at the park. It’s been chilly here in California, so we stayed for an hour and got back into our cars. I now feel like a cold is coming on but thank goodness for a Twinkie party on the couch with the kids while watching Hook to make me better! Merry Christmas to you all!

It’s October!

Fall is by far my most favorite time of the year. I love baking, carving pumpkins, cooking Thanksgiving dinner, trick-or-treating with our babes, and finding time to go outside when the weather drops below 70 degrees. We recently took a little trip to this big open field not too far from where we live. The kids loved running around, kicking a deflated soccer ball, and climbing up this huge hill that made me freak out. Maybe it’s because MY balance is off since I’m belly-heavy with baby #4. Yes, that’s it.

Blog_ItsOctober_2015_2 Blog_ItsOctober_2015_3 Blog_ItsOctober_2015_4

No Extra Money

No problem.

I just paid a huge stack of bills, Mike’s at an interview, and I have to pick up our big guy from the pricey pre-school in a few minutes. So, two months ago, when we got the news that we’d be down to one income, I freaked out. How in the world are we going to survive?

We stuck together and had free (or really cheap) outings with the kids. We’ve explored new parks, like the one below in Laguna Beach, and got sandy at the beach the other day. A $1.99 pack of water balloons has been our best friend too!

We also redid a room for basically nothing to give it new life. The girls love it! And, made friends with Lizzy the Lizard in our backyard who always comes around when the kids are outside.

We read up on blogs, like Money Saving Mom, that offer great coupons and ways to save on just about everything (why am I obsessed with these free eBooks?).

And, we even went out on a date night to a Lakers/Clippers game because we bought the tickets awhile ago and decided to get away for a few hours. Note: Got on the Kiss Cam! (More for my memory than anything.)

I know that very soon this life of freaking out over pennies is almost over but I don’t want the things above to go away because of it. As Blake would say, “You get what you get.”

God It Feels Good To Be a Gangster

*The only reason why I titled this post the way I did is because “Fired” just seemed too harsh. At the very least, Office Space rings a bell.

We are in a weird spot of losing a job, probably putting the house up for sale, cutting coupons, and stressing about buying a Red Bull.

The great thing is–we have the BEST kiddies. I still have my job, that I’m learning to love again. We have the ability to sit back for a moment and figure out what we want to do with our lives. I recently was told (while being hugged by a friend) that, “This was meant to be. You will be better in the long run.”

With these kids, who wouldn’t be ok?