Well, it’s officially summer and the kids have been doing just about everything. From searching through a bowl of Lucky Charms for marshmallows to feed to your one-year-old brother to dressing up in a toilet paper gown to finding joy in doing dishes (YAY!), we’ve been trying to keep busy. It’s going to be an interesting sugar-filled, park-going, bath-loving summer!
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.
We moved a little bit ago to find ourselves on a little gem. The people are AMAZING. It’s quiet minus the summer party every Saturday night which I kinda don’t mind because it’s good music and makes me feel young. We also bring a lot of noise.
Here’s a glimpse of an everyday weekday summer night with the nicest kid next door. We love them. By the way…our weekly menu had breakfast for dinner. Yep.. homemade waffles, syrup, sausage, eggs, banana muffins, blueberries. Yum. Oh and icecream for the winners of the baseball homerun tournament in the back.
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!
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.
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.”
Sometimes, on these holidays, I stop and think, “I wonder how much longer Blake is going to believe in the Easter bunny.” He’s five. As a parent, you get so excited for your kids to experience these little things, like finding Easter eggs, and then it’s almost gone. I hate that. Life is moving by way too fast right now and I’m looking forward to the next chapter–simplicity (I know, I know… such a buzz word), family, and maybe a few seconds to sit and relax.
The pictures say a ton, but here’s a quick recap so I can remember five years from now what we did. We dyed eggs, of course, but Bryn didn’t participate because she passed out early (her sleeping schedule is killing us!), opened Easter baskets the next morning, and hunted for eggs at Tustin Sports Park with cousin Madilyn.
One of my favorite parts of the day was watching the kids fly their first kite. Pure joy! I also have a soft spot in my heart for these dyed Easter eggs. They just threw them into each color about 33 times and you got something seriously artistic!
Happily, emotionally drained from a fun day with our family. The twins are now TWO! How did that all happen so quickly?
Brooklyn has this amazing way of being the light in every room. So cheerful. Running each way, in every direction. Hazel eyes that say so much. A smile that makes you smile. She sleeps so sound. She took care of her new baby so well today. She’s going to be a great Mama. And I love that she loves Legos as much as me and her brother. Her new favorite word is Yep!
Bryn seems to always be thinking. Her blue eyes melt your heart. She is quietly (sometimes) demanding of her ways. Her love of fruit snacks is funny, while her hate for car seats is frustrating. But, I love that she knows what she wants. Even at two. She loves to count when we walk up the stairs and has the best giggle!
Happy Birthday Girls! It’s been so fun watching you both grow up with each other as little friends.
*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.”
It was a warm Thanksgiving again this year. The type of weather that just screams hot turkey dinner, right? Uncle Ronnie and Aunt Jenny came over with Madilyn and we played basketball in the backyard and ran around in tank tops and shorts.
When we finally sat down for dinner, I think I got one bite in and had to get up to tend to one of the girls. Then Blake fell off his chair while singing Little Drummer Boy. Then food was thrown all over the rug. The guys woofed down their meals and got the kids back outside so Jenny and I could eat. The usual chaotic end result to slaving over the stove for over half the day. It’s the best though.
We ended the day at the park, in the dark, and tired. I treasure these little family moments.
*Blake took a ton of these pics with my camera while I was busy in the kitchen. Pure talent!