Friday, October 2, 2015

black island farms 2015

our annual trip to black island farms was as good as ever. we met up with the jeremy ruesch clan, as per tradition, and geared up for a fun evening. it's so fun that brooklyn remembers it now and looks forward to it. she was so excited all day! for kendall, this was her second time so she probably won't remember it until after next year. but it's definitely a tradition that's here to stay. we love it!

the only thing we really did differently this year was to head out on the pumpkin patch tractor ride very first. we usually wait, but then we deal with mosquitoes and chilly weather. but this time it was perfect. and we were all very happy with our pumpkin choices!

brooklyn was especially proud of hers and insisted on holding it on her lap the whole way back.

the best family picture we could get. the girls have become super difficult when it comes to getting good pictures!

after the pumpkins were loaded in the car, we headed out to the courtyard for all the activities. kendall loved the animals! brooklyn was very excited about the pig races and very sad that her pig lost this year. the slides were a hit and everything else in between.

i took my turn riding the train this year. james is just too big, and we didn't trust kendall in one by herself quite yet.

we were done with basically everything before the crowds came. that's the way to do it! we didn't wait in any lines and we basically had the place to ourselves. after that night every year, it officially feels like halloween season. i'm always giddy on the way home so excited for what's to come in the next few weeks. these traditions really are the best! 

h a p p y  w e e k e n d i n g !

past black island farm visits here, here, and here.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

a dinner party + a birthday

last friday night we had a long anticipated dinner party with friends. the weather was perfect, the food was so good, and the company was perfect. we really couldn't have asked for a better evening. my friends and i started planning this dinner months ago. we originally planned to do it at the end of august but then it just kept getting moved back, and for the best. the weather wasn't too hot and there was just a hint of fall in the air by the time we started eating.

the table decor was beautiful. i had no part in it. my friend's mom is the ultimate entertainer and provided us with an amazing fall tablescape.

we all pitched in and brought different food items. every single dish was delicious! 

on the menu:

summer salad in a parmesan bowl (how fancy is that?!)
french bread
artichoke dip
potatoes + carrots
pasta veggie salad
smoked brisket

after it was decided that it would be at our house, i decided to put together a playlist of songs to play in the background. i asked for everyone's suggestions and got some great suggestions from a few. the music set the tone. it really was fun.

james was a good sport and spend friday afternoon hanging the lights and mowing the lawn before the dinner. he's such a good one!

we coordinated to have a couple girls babysit for us and we had all the kids downstairs right there at the house. it worked out nicely. i was able to run in and put kendall to bed between dinner and dessert. 

it was nice to eat as just us adults, get to know each other better, and just enjoy some good food together. we've decided we'll be doing it again next year and i really don't think it can be topped. it really was such a fun night!

sadly, i dropped the ball and didn't get a good group picture before the night ended. but hopefully next year we can remember to do that.

the next morning we got up early to make james some birthday breakfast: french toast and bacon. brooklyn was so excited it was his birthday and she wanted to celebrate him and make him gifts all day long.

sadly, his cougars suffered a really bad loss and set kind of a downer mood for the rest of the day. we lunched at red robin and james got the biggest free burger of his life. we all enjoyed our meals and especially the fries + fry sauce. who doesn't love those?!

(showing off their matching chins!)

we relaxed back at home for awhile, where brooklyn took a bad tumble down the stairs. james and jeremy hit up boondocks as per their birthday tradition. i turned on the women's conference and was able to enjoy it while the girls played in the background.

when james got home we did presents and cake + ice cream. the girls loved it! they love their daddy and really get so excited when he's around. he's such a good dad who loves to read to them, play with them, and all the other good things dads are supposed to do. 

we love you james and are so glad you are the man in our lives!

p.s. he is in dallas for the night and we're missing him like crazy! also, i'm happy to report that not one ounce of t.v. has been watched. that's a miracle people!

Friday, September 25, 2015

hooray for fall!

it's faaaaaaaaall!

my favorite season is here. and while the leaves are changing and all that jazz, the weather has still just been way too hot. i can't wait for it to cool down just a little bit. all week we've been enjoying the smells and tastes of fall. i have candles lit whenever we're at home, i'm obsessed. i made chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, and one of our favorite pumpkin pasta dishes for dinner one night. a lot of pumpkin the first week of fall but i doubt we get sick of it. ever.

but let's rewind to about a week ago. before it was officially fall. last thursday, after i dropped brooklyn off at preschool, chels and i took advantage of being able to fit in one car and took ellie and kendall to city creek for a little lunch + play date. chels and i dined on the most delicious food from bocata. get the blt + egg. no joke, it's the best! then we let the girls play in the play area for awhile. it was a quick trip but just what we needed.

the next morning, i drove my three pirates to krispy kreme donuts for their annual pirate day. we were sad to not go with the gasu's like we usually do, but we were excited about our donuts nonetheless. james is such a good sport!

then, there was a quick costume change and we were off to meet BABY FITZ! oh he's so so tiny and so so sweet. the first grandson of the bunch. hopefully he'll be able to handle all these girls ahead of him. brooklyn was lucky enough to get to hold him and she loved it. they were even matching in their stripes!

all week i've dressed my girls in their halloween and fall clothes, and it's really been much too hot. luckily, i was thinking when i bought them short sleeved halloween shirts. they were both so excited to put them on. but probably not more excited than their mama. 

wednesday evening we went as a little family to a dinner put on by james' school. it was a dutch oven dinner and the girls both loved it. james and i topped it off with cobbler and ice cream while the girls just had ice cream. the weather was perfect. 

we are looking forward to a fun busy weekend. tonight we're having a dinner party with friends that's been in the works since, oh i think march. and then saturday we'll be celebrating james all day as he turns the big 2-9. sunday, james and i both have lessons to teach. it'll be a crazy couple of days but we'll embrace it and surely have lots of fun. 

and hopefully we'll get to sneak a drive up the canyon in to look at all the beautiful fall foliage that is out in full force right now!

h a p p y  w e e k e n d i n g  !

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Kendall 15 Months

i've been writing this post in my head for a couple of weeks. i really wanted to paint the most accurate picture of kendall that i could. but last night, as i lay awake thinking about it, i realized i couldn't possibly do that. i can get close, but i could never put into words how cute her little personality is, or how much i love her. so, below are just some things i want to remember about my sassy little keni.

we joke that she is a wolf in sheep's clothing. we kind of joke. it's mostly true. to an outsider, or anyone who doesn't live in our home, she seems like the happiest most easy going child with a wave for everyone. not the case. she definitely has her sweet moments when i just want to kiss her little face off, but she is full of sass to the max.

- any time a song that she recognizes comes on, she's dancing, even in her seat. her favorite right now though is cheerleader by omi. she clicks her tongue, squeals, and dances with her whole body when she hears it come on.

- she is a pretty dang good eater. way less picky than brooklyn. she lives and dies for ice cream and corn on the cob though. 

- she puts herself to sleep for naps and bedtime. she was weaned from nursing exactly two days after her fifteen month mark. i still can't hardly talk about it. i loved nursing her!

- i kind of already mentioned the waving. it's her favorite trick. she waves to any stranger she sees and has taken to especially loving the elderly lately. it melts their hearts when she gives them her cute little wave.

- whenever i ask her, "what do you have?" or "what's in your mouth?", she takes off running as fast as she can. she keeps me on my toes!

- she wants to be doing whatever her big sister is doing. she loves to even just follow her around while brooklyn is in her own world make believing whatever it is that day. brooklyn can make her laugh harder than anyone else too. 

- with that being said, keni loves to cheap shot brooklyn. yank on her hair without stopping, kick her in the face if she's laying down, hit her with hard objects. sometimes i laugh, but seriously, who is this kid? i'm not sure why she does that to the person she looks up to more than anyone else in the world. but, sisters will be sisters i guess.

- she loves to 'wash herself up' in the tub. i squirt a little bit of soap into her hands and gets to work, grinning, and rubbing the soap all over her cute little chubby body. 

- she has a mouth full of teeth with two more molars coming in as i type this.

- she's taken a huge interest in books in the last couple of months. she loves to look at them by herself or have me read them to her. she especially loves books with animals in them.

- she is not super interested in talking. she says mama, dada, num num, and what sounds like tickle tickle tickle. 

- she loves any kind of animal. she squeals when she hears a dog barking down the street, and just about jumps out of her skin with excitement if she sees we're getting close to any kind of animal. birds are also a favorite. she loves to point them out in the sky.

- she has a very tender heart. her heart can be broken easily, but she gets over it quickly. unless it's her dad that's broken her heart. she seems to punish him longer than the rest of us. 

- she gives good slobbery open mouth kisses.

there are so many things i know i'm forgetting, so i'll probably come back and add them when i think of more. she is such a fun little person to have around. i just get the biggest kick out of her. she's determined very much like her sister, but james and i have decided she's a lot more stubborn. we'll be in trouble come the teen years. 

but oh i just love her. she has made room in my heart with such ease and i really couldn't love her more. i love spending every day with her and watching her learn and grow. heavenly father gave her to me to teach me so many things, including patience. i thank him every day for her. she is the perfect addition to our family and there's no one else i'd rather share an ice cream sandwich with.

i love you my kenikale!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

fairytale festival.

on saturday morning, we got to have ellie over while j & c went to the temple. we had waffles + eggs for breakfast and the girls had fun getting in the tub and playing together. i love that my girls live close to cousins and that they get to play with them often.

later that afternoon, james and i took the girls to check out the fairytale festival in centerville. we went not knowing much about it, but figured the girls would love it no matter what. it was a stifling hot afternoon and the heat nearly drove us away, but we braved it and we're so glad we did. we dressed the girls in their fluffiest fluffies and fairy wings and they fit right in.

brooklyn was a little nervous about getting too close to the princesses but kendall was willing to pose. it was so cute!

they did short storytimes where different characters would do monologues with positive messages. the characters did a really good job and it kept the kids entertained. it was in a decorated room with air conditioning that felt so good and made it my favorite part. we met up with ellie and having her there made brooklyn a little more brave to pose with the characters for pictures.

there were tons of fun booths set up, and we only chose to go to a couple. next year we'll be more prepared! the cutest one was a glass slipper fitting. brooklyn was in heaven! they had a 'prince' and everything. and afterwards, she got a cute little glass slipper to take home.

doing these kind of activities with my girls make me so happy. i know how much they love this stuff and when it's right in our backyard i can't help but go! brooklyn is already talking about next year and i can't wait for kendall to be a little older to really get into it.

james and i stayed up way too late that night, even way after the byu game had ended, but he took the girls the next morning and let me sleep in. i needed it! it was a fun filled weekend that ended with a nice relaxing sunday. we're looking forward to james' birthday, a new baby cousin, and pirate day at krispie kreme all in the next week. fall is in full swing and we're loving it!