Tuesday, May 5, 2015

cousin bbq.

the last time we hosted a cousin bbq was two years ago, which i can hardly believe. you can read about it here. the group has definitely expanded since then, and i love it! it's been nice to be in homes that we are able to host this crew and hopefully when we buy a home of our own we can continue to do the same.

saturday around 4, everyone started showing up. brooklyn gave tours of the house, while james and i finished setting up. everyone came with food in hand we had plenty to feed everyone. we grilled hot dogs, had hoagies, salads, chips, and all sorts of dessert!

kenz and i were thinking alike and showed up in white shirts trimmed with neon colors. funny enough, the next day at my parents we wore the same dress. it's the dark hair i tell ya!

we had yard games set up on 'ruesch field' as james and i have keenly named it. hayden brought a fun frisbee game that everyone got into. 

it really was fun to just sit and chat the evening away with my cousins. we've definitely grown in the kid department too. it's crazy that there are so many of them now!

we tried getting a group picture of the next generation and this is as good as we got. so funny!

the weather turned out to be just right and everyone was able to stay until it was so dark we literally couldn't see our hand in front of our face. so many good memories!

brooklyn loved having everyone at our house. she is such a social girl. she kept wanting to count the cars in the driveway she was so excited! which, i actually did count for her and i think we ended up with 11 plus landon's truck and trailer out on the street complete with a bull in the back.

i'm so lucky to have such great people to grow up with. we always have fun when we're together and it's always sad to say goodbye. luckily, we'll all be together again in just over a month at our family reunion at spring haven.

the cousin crew.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

happy list.

this post started out being about how completely exhausted i am and how i have no energy to do anything. we've been sleep training kendall for almost two weeks now and i am so tired. her room shares a wall with us so when she's crying, i'm awake. i definitely am the epitome of mombie these days. 

but this post quickly turned 'love list' as i started thinking more on the positive side of things. you know i love a good list, and coming up with it made me so happy it almost brought me out of my mombie state. almost.

1. these girls.

every day they try my patience, they push me to my limits, but man do they love me. and i love them back even more. i read somewhere once that as a mother of young children, we will never be more needed and loved in our lifetime. i feel this on a daily basis. the way their faces light up when i walk into the room. the way they snuggle up to me (or let's be honest, right on top of me) whenever i sit down to take a break. i love being loved. 

2. GNO (girls night out).

i have been blessed to make some of the most genuinely awesome friends in the last couple of months and i really don't know what i would do without them. since february, we have planned to have a girls' night once a month and they have been something that i look forward to literally all month. last night our girls night consisted of sweats, yummy treats, a movie, chatting, sparkly toes, super cheesy personalized sparkly cups provided by yours truly, and hanging out until almost midnight. i needed this refresher more than i thought i did. it always seems to be that way. i can't wait until next month!

3. salads.

this one might surprise those closest to me because i've never been a huge salad lover, especially as a main course. but lately, i can't get enough. for dinner last night i made a caribbean one of sorts and it totally hit the spot. that avocado and pico de gallo mixed... mmm!

4. kendall's growing independence. 

which also brings out more and more of her personality every day. she fits into our family perfectly and we couldn't imagine life without her. she is a character and oh so sweet. she has a temper that fires quickly, but she melts us with her squishy faced smile. and even though it breaks my heart that she's growing up so fast, i can't help but love every second of it.

i have a hand full of other things that totally make this list, but like i said, i'm tired. hopefully i can get a nap today and maaaaybe finish this list later. 

h a p p y  almost  f r i d a y  !

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

rainy weekend + fhe

the weekend was a rainy cold one. brooklyn was sad that park dates were not an option. however, daddy saved the day on friday evening. we went as a family down to the legacy trail for a little run. after multiple attempts by keni kate to bail out of the stroller, he turned around and headed for the nearest playground. we didn't get rained on, not one drop. on our way there and on our way home it poured. we lucked out. the girls loved the playground and got out a lot of pent up energy.

that night, we ordered in and hung out with the jeremy ruesch clan. nice and relaxing. saturday morning, james took brooklyn to the church for a ward activity, and i went house shopping with jeremy and chels. after that, it was too rainy to do much else. we relaxed, i organized a few spaces in our house that needed it desperately, and by six, we were tired, hungry, and ready to just relax.

instead of the usual sourdough pancakes we've been doing on sunday mornings, we switched it up for some french toast sticks. even though brooklyn has had these multiple times in her life, she thought they were greatest thing ever. kendall tried a bite and wasn't a fan. of course.

the girls (+james) were obsessed with watching worms, birds eating worms, and the like due to all the rain we got. here are the girls watching a huge gross worm slither around in the covered patio.

church was good. it was the usual. it was also my last sunday without a calling. i'll be teaching the thirteen year olds in the ward from here on out. it's a calling i'm excited about and little intimidated over. i think it'll be fun. definitely a good learning experience.

the girls all ready for church.

brooklyn took this next picture without me even knowing. i love it. keni hanging out in the office, at the window. she loves windows!

laundry was done today, and not much else. i had no energy. so, we did a lot of make believe, some tv watching, and a quick run to maverik for a free drink. a good day overall. i got dinner ready and then we waited for james to come home. we ate quickly and decided to hang out outside. it was a beautiful evening. i had to snap some quick pics, but i'm sad, they just don't do it justice.

james has said that he doesn't care if we end up having all girls, and i think he means it.

we waited outside until chels and ellie bean arrived. jeremy is out of town for work so i invited them to join us for fhe. i made sure to have coloring pages and a three minute lesson. we talked about being happy. a simple lesson, but an important one i think. the girls mostly colored and played with other toys, but i got a few responses out of them. and for our fhe treat, chelsea brough butterfinger drumsticks. delish! perfect for a night like tonight i'd say. 

i love the beginning of the week and i especially love starting it with fhe. it helps me get through mondays. i'm hoping to have some more energy tomorrow and the days that follow. we're having a big cousin get together saturday evening here and i have a lot to do. there's no time to waste. but i'm so looking forward to it!

 h a p p y  t u e s d a y 

Friday, April 24, 2015

on the daily.

we've nailed down a pretty good schedule these last couple months and it feels good. but i feel like when raising tiny people, that schedule is bound to change every four to six months. does anyone else feel like that? maybe it's just me. but we're in a groove and i'm really liking it. my girls are more happy and know what to expect during the day and they're also flexible which is a must. one of my favorite bloggers posts her daily schedule every so often and i think that's so smart. what a good reference! so that's what i'm doing today. i think my future self will appreciate it.

- kendall is my early riser. not compared to most babies, but compared to her sister she is. she's awake by 8 AM almost every day. because her big sister isn't awake until about 8:30, this gives keni and i some good one on one time.

- 8:30 breakfast. usually waffles+peanut butter/syrup, cereal, toast + eggs. something simple like that. while brooklyn finishes eating (she takes her time), i load the dishwasher or straighten up in the kitchen/butler's pantry area.

- 9AM shower. kendall sits in the bumbo and showers with brooklyn. they love this. i play the disney station on pandora and they sing and scrub away. while they are showering, i quickly make my bed. on days where i don't wash my hair, i usually hop in with them quickly before getting them out. then it's time lotion + getting dressed. if it is a hair washing day for me (wednesday or saturday), then i put the girls in kendall's crib to play together. i've found it's the best place for brooklyn to 'babysit' her baby sister and they love it. we brush teeth + do hair + i finish getting ready, and then we're out the door. except on mondays, laundry day. we usually don't leave the house on mondays for anything until after keni's morning nap.

- 10:30 errands or story time. story time is wednesdays and thursdays and that's usually where you'll find us, at least one of those days.

- 11 kendall's nap. we usually have a quick snap before, but if not, definitely after. i'm always starving this time of the day! while she naps brooklyn and i straighten up. brooklyn makes her bed or cleans her room, or helps me with other little chores. sometimes she does art during this time too. i also watch studio 5. love it!

- 12 lunch. brooklyn's favorite lunch lately, for like the last month, rotates between peanut butter + honey sandwiches and milk or rolled up turkey, apples, and some cheese. the latter is definitely her go to. kendall really won't eat much we give her anymore. any great advice or tips on this, i would love!

- 12:45 play time. this is either time i use to wear them out, so we play outside, or go to the park or i use it to finish laundry, unload the dishwasher, sweep, clean a bathroom, something like that. on wednesdays we grocery shop. probably my least favorite activity all week. trying to do that with two kids is not too fun.

- 2:30/3 ish is kendall's second nap. during this time, brooklyn and i read books, play games together, or i do art with her. we definitely use it as our on on one time together. i also make preparations for dinner during kendall's second nap and brooklyn loves to help with that. if i have a crockpot meal than i usually don't have to do much. but if i need veggies chopped or peeled, or i'm baking something, she gets to help. 

- 4PM kendall is almost always awake by this time. i give the girls a snack and we play together.

- 4:30/5 james calls and is headed home from work (unless it's tues/thurs and he has class). i throw things in the oven if i need to, or do some last minute dinner stuff and then we head outside to wait for him. the girls love seeing him pull into the driveway. there are squeals, lots of kisses, and then keni dives into the driver's side window onto her daddy's lap and gets to 'drive' into the garage. it's the best time of the day.

- 5:30PM  i've mentioned on here before that we're like old people and eat dinner pretty early. we almost never eat after 6. so we sit down and have a nice slow dinner usually and clean it up before we do anything else.

- the rest of the evening is pretty open to whatever we want it to be. james uses this time for homework if he has any, group conference calls for school, stuff like that. the girls and i will go for a walk or start a movie. something low key. and if i haven't gone to the gym in the morning before james leaves for work, then i usually go around 7 and james watches the girls.

- 8:45 kendall is in bed. we give brooklyn a little bit longer until she goes to bed around 9:30. it just works for her. she brushes her teeth, gets jammies on, and then james reads to her and prays with her. she loves it. having her daddy's full attention is her favorite.

-the rest of the evening is for blogging, catching up on e-mails, planning the next day, james and i can talk, all of that good stuff. i've also started reading the book of mormon again. i'm doing it really slowly this time because i'm using this awesome study guide! you should get it if you're like me and really need things broken down for you. it's great and i highly recommend it.  

- by 10:30/11 all is quiet and we're all in bed, ready to wake up and do it all over again. my life right now really is simple and sweet. it's not fancy or high paced. i'm doing what i love and i'm getting to spend my days with my favorite girls. i know that this stage of my life will pass by so quickly and on same days it feels like i'll be in it forever. so i'm trying to savor it all. every crying baby, food all over the floor, burnt rolls, skinned knees, chubby hands and cheeks, diapers, marker everywhere, just all of it. it is all so temporary and i never want it to end.

h a p p y  w e e k e n d i n g 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

little cinderella.

one of my sisters asked me why i hadn't blogged about my mom taking us to see the new cinderella movie. i replied with, i already did, you must have missed the post. so i went back to find it and low and behold she was right. who knows how i missed that! 

anyway, here it is...

brooklyn is a movie lover. she gets it from her dad. and the new cinderella movie was no exception. she was anticipating it for two weeks. i showed her the trailers over and over again, told her that grandma was coming with us, and that she could eat as much popcorn as she wanted. she couldn't wait.

we found a cute sunday dress at tjmaxx that looked cinderella-esque so we bought it and saved it to wear to the movie. she was so excited and decided to wear her tiara just to complete the ensemble. 

we hunkered down with lots of treats and dc and held our breath that kendall would be good. the frozen short at the beginning kept both their attention. brooklyn loved it and has asked since when we can watch it again. it really was so cute.

i loved the movie. i'm obsessed with it. i loved the original version as a little girl and this one just took it up a notch for me. the whole thing was good! it was so refreshing to leave a movie with a positive feeling too. the message was clear and speaks to women and girls of all ages. and honestly here, men and boys could be included. have courage and be kind. i love it. we have a similar saying hanging above our front door that says be happy. be kind. being kind is something that i've always known i wanted to instill in my own children, and this movie is a great reminder of it.

kendall made it until the ball scene and then she wanted to crawl up and down the stairs. luckily our theatre was pretty empty so my mom and i took turns with her. brooklyn's eyes stayed glued to the screen. i don't think she missed a second. it made me so happy to see her love a movie like that so much.

i wanted brooklyn to have something to remind her of that special message and special time with her grandma, so i had this cute print printed off to hang in her room. just waiting for a frame. 

if you haven't seen it. go! it really is so good. we will probably buy it and it can tide us over until the next disney princess movie, beauty and the beast! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

for family night.

we started the day with none other than, good ol' laundry. i'm telling you, if you don't already have a set day for laundry, DO IT! it has changed my life and i wished i had started doing it the day i got married. it really just makes my weeks so much better. anyway, i got all the laundry but one batch done and got the shopping bug.

shocking i know.

so i packed up the girls and we headed for city creek. the weather was beautiful. we spent most of our time watching the fountains, or splashing in the fountains. we only went to one store and were back home in less than an hour but it was the perfect little break. and can i just say how much i love being less than twenty minutes from downtown slc again? i love it!

back at home, brooklyn did some art/pretending and kendall did lots of chewing on things, playing with/getting in brooklyn's way. and i blogged, prepped dinner, made dinner, and then we waited for daddy to come. but not before i made him stop to pick up some texas roadhouse rolls to complete our dinner.

brooklyn has been so into dinner parties and dance parties. anything party really. so she set the table for our 'dinner party' complete with a table cloth, flowers, and decorations at everyone's place. she was proud.

for dinner we had something i saw on studio 5 and they turned out so good! meatloaf cupcakes with sweet potato frosting. fun huh?! the rolls were the perfect touch. and now i have leftovers to make sandwiches with for a few days. win-win.

after dinner, james gave our fhe lesson. i told him to choose a scripture story. i wasn't surprised when he chose one of his favorite book of mormon heroes, enos. brooklyn listened pretty well. kendall was just so happy to stand at the table and everyone in the same room. it was a good short little lesson. complete with singing 'i love to see the temple'. then james was off to do a group project and the girls and i went for a walk.

they love being able to sit side by side. kendall thinks she's just as big as brooklyn. it's so cute.

brooklyn helped me make peanut butter cookies for our fhe treat and we called it a night. kendall was in bed by 8:30, but before that starts to sound all wonderful. she was then awake at 9 and i made her cry for an hour and half until she fell back to sleep. it was rough. but she was a happy girl this morning and that's all i care about!