Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Life lately...

we enjoyed food, family, and football at my parents' for our annual super bowl party.

i've been making a lot of this soup. james loves it, and i love it, so we'll just keep at it!

january was crazy busy for me with young women's. good thing we have lots of goodies at meetings and awesome ladies to work with!

we've been back to our weekly story time at the library. we even got to have judson come with us!

whit and chuck's pigs were a highlight as well. my girls loved seeing the babies!

brooklyn's highlight of the month was celebrating her half birthday at preschool. she chose to bring capri suns and half donuts for everyone. so healthy. but they gobbled it right up!

we are getting so excited for valentine's day and fun surprise trip to california (DISNEYLAND!) coming up in the next few weeks! lots of get ready and wrap our brains around before we take off. we're also planning our family valentine's dinner that we'll probably have saturday night instead of sunday on the actual holiday. we need our cheesecake factory!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Kendall 19 months

18 month (though technically 19 month) stats

21.8 lbs
30 inches tall

kendall is at such a fun stage right now. she talks, responds, and understands so well! with that being said, she's also the hardest she's ever been. super sassy, major attitude, loves the word no... need i say more? she can hold her own and makes brooklyn cry on a daily basis. but seriously, we can't get enough of her! she wears me out by noon, and by dang i miss her when she's asleep. everything she does is dramatic. the way she walks, talks, eats, everything!

look at that face. pure drama and cuteness all rolled into one.

and she loves her big sister something fierce. she wants to be doing what she's doing, wearing what she's wearing, eating what she's eating, and copying her every move. it's adorable to watch. luckily, brooklyn is pretty patient with her. she shares her dress-ups, dolls, and food pretty willingly. i'm so grateful for that.

recently, keni's been obsessed with the seven dwarfs and snow white. we have the little people set and after being told which dwarf was which, she started making their faces. she watched the movie and is now constantly doing this. she always starts with grumpy, which then leads to happy, and the rest are in random order. it cracks us up every time. brooklyn taught her that doc pushes up his glasses so that's what she's doing in that picture. sleepy, sneezy, and dopey are impossible to get pictures of sadly. 

probably my favorite thing she does right now is yelling for brooklyn when she's not in the same room as her. it. is. the. cutest. she yells with conviction and tries really hard to convince brooklyn she needs her. we have it recorded, but every time she does it i worry it'll be the last. the way she says it is just too cute for words. i can't describe it.

my least favorite thing right now is how picky she's become with her food. she was my good eater! i'm hoping it's a phase. but probably not.

she is very motherly right now. she carries around babies or stuffed animals and always has a blanket for them (usually a wash cloth) and puts them to sleep, feeds them, and rocks them. she also loves to tell me that she's their mama. then immediately points to me and says mama. it melts my heart.

here they are playing in a box. this lasted a good thirty minutes. i was very grateful.

oh this little girl seriously has her mom's heart. she makes me as happy as she does angry. i kiss her a million times a day and can't believe in a few months she won't be my baby anymore. just my sassy toddler sandwiched between two sisters. most of my pictures of her are blurry these days and as much as i want regular good ones, i guess they are the best to showcase that huge personality that fits into her tiny little body.

 keni kate, i love you more than you'll ever know. you make my life so good. i've learned so much from you and continue to every day. you are such a ray of sunshine and i hope you always stay as bubbly and sassy as you are right now at nineteen months old. i love love love you!

another proof of a blurred kendall in a picture. she does not enjoy these weekly pictures.

Monday, January 25, 2016

a new year, a new vehicle, and a new...

this past week, we sold this...

(it sold in 4 hours on ksl!)

and bought this...

because we're adding this...

or should i say HER...

to our family at the end of MAY! though my official due date is june 1st.

i would say we're more than excited and feel extremely blessed to get to add another little one to our family. if you had told me five years ago that this is where we'd be right now i wouldn't believe it. it has been a long rough road, definitely less rough than others have had it, but rough nonetheless. i feel so grateful and humble to be given another choice spirit daughter of my Heavenly Father. i am overwhelmed with the thought of raising righteous daughters, but i guarantee you i am up to the task. we will add more pink, and princesses, and sparkle, and tutus with open and willing arms. i am giddy about my girls having each other and i pray daily that they will be best friends. 

as for me, i feel great now. the pregnancy started out rough and i had to be down a lot. it was really hard on kendall and i counted on brooklyn a lot to be a big helper. and boy was she! i really don't know what i'll do when she goes to kindergarten in the fall every day. i feel bigger this time. i have a crazy appetite right now and almost anything and everything sounds delicious! i am still really tired, but so grateful to be in my second trimester and going strong. the weekly pictures that i've done with my previous pregnancies have not been as easy this time and are definitely more sporadic. but we're doing them! so i'll leave those with you to enjoy, and just remember, i'm tired, and bigger. ok?!

a few things i want to remember about this pregnancy (before my pregnant brain forgets it all!):

i found out i was pregnant the day we went to the pumpkin patch right before i went to my second yw's activity (as my new calling) 

i was only nauseated from week 4 to week 6, then it suddenly disappeared - i was scared

i cramped from week 5 to week 17

at my first ultrasound i didn't know for sure how far along i was and to my surprise, i was 10 weeks!

baby has measured right on at every ultrasound

brooklyn has been talking about what to name the baby since our first ultrasound 

i didn't feel her move as early as the others, but found out it's because she's behind the placenta

i first really felt her move at 16 weeks, but not really well until 19 weeks

pregnancy #8 has been a good one for the most part, and i don't think i'll ever be able to fully express how grateful-happy-anxious-humbled-excited i am about it!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

family pics + belated Christmas

my SIL and her boyfriend flew in last week and while they were here, we had some family pictures done. we donned ourselves in navy and burgundy and braved the cold + snow for some good family pictures. the kids did really well and we were done really fast.

before we went out to dinner that night (pizza pie cafe!) we took a few group shots at the house.

(kendall rubbing her ear - i'd find out days later she had a double ear infection) 

after dinner, tori did a belated Christmas with the grand kids, giving them all sorts of goodies from disney world where she's been working since july. the girls were ecstatic and were so excited to have Christmas again.

brooklyn got a jasmine wig that she loves, and she was nice enough to let kendall try it on. it was hilarious seeing that much hair on her and i tried to get a good picture of it but failed. so funny! 

the rest of the night was spent visiting, snuggling, and watching random youtube videos. the girls loved tori's boyfriend dave and were his shadow all week long. their visit wasn't long enough but we'll be seeing tori again soon in just a couple months.

and one more of the girls because kendall looks pleasant in this one. 

(also, that huge blank space on my mantel does have something there, it was just moved for a couple of the pictures.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

all the rest.

after Christmas, we spent the next few days in bountiful. our anniversary was on monday and james and i were able to go out to dinner (the mandarin, my favorite!) to celebrate. earlier that day we went as a family to city creek to do a little shopping/gift returning. kendall slept the whole time and brooklyn was a good little shopping buddy like always. 

that night, we (as in all of the ruesches) went to zoo lights. 

we headed back up to coalville to ring in the new year and celebrate my 30th birthday, complete with brownies, farr's peppermint ice cream, and hot fudge. new year's eve was a nice relaxing day with quite the eventful 'ringing in the new year'. we let the kids have a dance party with hats and blow horns around 9 and then settled them down with a movie. the adults stayed up and watched the ball drop and what happened right after that, was eventful.

luckily, those events aren't pictured: cutler puking all over whitney, himself, and a blanket. and james falling down every stair carrying brooklyn who was fast asleep. they literally happened within five minutes of each other, right after midnight. we figured it was a bad omen so we all went to bed immediately. luckily, since then, everything has been great. so fingers crossed!

the next day we came back to bountiful to enjoy some downtime spent with james' parents. james tied a sled to the back of the riding lawn mower and the girls loved it! my in laws made lots of yummy meals, the guys went and saw the new star wars, we visited, ran errands, and mostly just hung out all together. kendall woke up early and my in laws always let me sleep in and took care of her which was so nice! and i think she loved her special one on one time with them.

(kendall could breathe i promise! she just loved having her face covered and warm.)

chelsea also had us all play pie face one night and it was a riot. the girls weren't having anything to do with it and it gave the rest of us lots of good laughs!

kendall went to her first sunday of nursery and loved it! i was even told she shared her snacks which is a big deal for her. just like her mama, she doesn't share food very willingly. and brooklyn is no longer a sunbeam and proud to be in ctr 4. they are both growing up so fast and i can hardly believe it. i do love watching them learn and grow, but man it's hard!

we're so excited for this upcoming year and everything it brings!

goodbye 2015, you were a rough one, but a fun one. is that possible? 

Monday, January 11, 2016

christmas 2015

with the hustle and bustle of the holidays (not to mention throwing in a birthday and our anniversary in the same week), a post on our Christmas has been put on the back burner and i've been itching to get to it. i love looking back at the pictures and remembering such a treasured time of the year. the girls were both really fun and super into all of it. we spent 99% of our time with family and that is the most important of all!

we started the celebrations on the sunday before Christmas at james' grandma's party. there was a potato bar, soups, and desserts. the kids put on the nativity, where brooklyn dressed in a unicorn dress-up and was the donkey for the second year in a row. she takes her role very seriously. and afterwards, she volunteered to sing frosty the snowman for everyone. not scared one bit and it really was so sweet.

tuesday and wednesday was spent getting the house clean, wrapping one last Christmas gift, and packing for a few days to be spent in coalville. one of my angel young women invited brooklyn over to her home for a gingerbread house party on tuesday. if you know brooklyn, you know she was more than excited and she literally sat by the door until it was time to go. this allowed me to get sooo much done, with brooklyn gone for a few hours, and kendall napping for a couple hours, i got most of my to do list checked off. it was a Christmas miracle and i will never forget how grateful i felt for such a wonderful act of kindness. brooklyn came home elated and was so excited to show me her gingerbread house.

 on wednesday evening, we made it up to coalville, after a scary drive through major wind and snow, for the petersen family Christmas party. it was soups, crackers, meats & cheeses, desserts, and we were all spoiled by my grandparents. they always give us such thoughtful gifts and include their testimony and love for us in a letter. they are treasures to me. late that evening, the kids and dads swam and then it was home for bed. kind of. the adults stayed up way too late. i really am getting too old for it.

Christmas eve was spent in pajamas, eating crackers & cheese ball, football on in the background, sledding in the backyard, and dinner prep. it was a nice relaxing day and honestly my favorite day of the whole year!

the girls loved sledding, especially kendall. at one point, she was going down head first and backwards. she loved it!

dinner got started a tad late because we had to watch the raiders win in over time. such a good Christmas present for my dad. after we ate, we had pie and sang happy birthday to whitney and then opened pajamas.

once those are opened the excitement of santa sets in and since it was later than usual, our family picture ended up like this.

hopefully she's smiling next year.

Christmas morning finally came and brooklyn could hardly believe it was here. counting down the days was torture for her! i was so relieved the girls were excited about what they got. i'm happy to say they did not get spoiled and were thrilled with everything. as a mother, you want to give your children everything they've ever wanted plus some, but most of the time it is not possible. i went to bed just praying they'd be happy with their loot, and went to bed that night so grateful that they were.

after presents, my dad read the Christmas story and my mom had the kids hold up different pieces of the nativity. it was a great way to end opening presents and the kids loved it.

in the afternoon we were on our way back to bountiful to spend the rest of the day with james' parents who flew in from hawaii that morning. the girls were excited to see them and that evening we all gathered here at our house to open presents. 

the girls got princesses galore and couldn't have been happier about it. my mother in law had everything sent to our house and since there wasn't much time to wrap, she sewed these cute little bags in a hawaiian print with their gifts in them. those bags were not only great for that but now i'm using them to keep things organized! also, there are no pictures of this part of the day because my phone had died at that point and was upstairs charging. we do, however, have video of my mother in law opening her gift, but i doubt she'd appreciate that on here :) besides the gifts, brooklyn was just excited to have her nana and papa here, knowing that they'd be spending the night and staying here for awhile. she loves house guests!

it was a wonderful couple of days spent with those we love, eating too much delicious food, and staying up way too late, but man, that's what it's all about right? i feel blessed to be surrounded by so much goodness on such a special holiday. i'm grateful for my Savior, His birth, and His life. without Him i would not have my family forever and what is life without that? i truly feel blessed to be a daughter of God and have the blessings of the gospel in my life.