09.29.15 | BEGINNINGS

two weeks ago tomorrow, landon started pre-k. he goes four days a week and absolutely loves it even if his response to any question i ask him about his day is "i don't know" or "i don't remember". we really lucked out because his teachers are amazing and three of our friends have little boys in his class too. built-in friends! c;

last year, i was completely against preschool/pre-k. i didn't want to pay someone else to teach my kid stuff that i had already taught him and i had total intentions on lesson-planning here at home for him. i even have a secret pinterest board where i've pinned A TON of homeschool stuff. as excited as i was to do homeschooling with him, i realized after a few different times of doing some workbook stuff and other activities, that i just wasn't cut out for it. i love the preparation of it all and researching everything but actually sitting down and working on everything with him was too much. apparently, i don't have the patience for it, go figure! i mean, we still sit down and do crafty stuff together and we work in his workbooks and puzzle books (highlights puzzle book club is awesome, btw!) but i'm very grateful for his teachers.

he seems to be doing well in school, which is great! we had his open house "back to school night" last night and it was so neat walking around his classroom, with him telling us all about what he does during school and seeing all of the different projects up on the walls with his name on them. i love opening up his backpack after picking him up at the end of his class and seeing all of the new things he worked on and brought home to show me, even if i have to guess what it is he actually did because he won't tell me anything! 

it's so much fun seeing him learn and use everything that he is learning on a day-to-day basis. i'm still unsure about public school next year (and i really don't like kindergarten being an all-day thing these days) but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it i guess. 

**sorry for the crappy layout, folks.
i'm trying to figure out how to re-code my blog when i get 
a free minute (which is hardly ever these days)
so bear with me! thanks.

09.28.15 | REST

we just got back from spending three days in vegas and boy do i love it there. justin asked me if i thought i'd love it as much as i do if we lived there and honestly, i'm not sure. i think what i like the most about it is how it's such a departure from my everyday. i mean, if we lived in vegas we obviously wouldn't live on the strip. i mean, how could you?! but we'd still be living there and it just wouldn't be the same. there'd be no point to staying at a fancy hotel because you're already living there and can just drive to those fancy restaurants/shopping centers for a bit and then head home. but really, who knows. maybe if we did move there i would love it just the same. 

we only spent two nights this time, which was one night shorter than i think i would have liked, but all in all it was a great trip. one day we spent about four to five hours at the pool alone! now that's what i call vacation. it's definitely how i'm spending my vacations from now on. no hustling around to get somewhere, sleeping in and lounging by the pool is my idea of perfection. 

the weather was PERFECT. sure it was hot, but i'd rather be hot than cold (i despise cold weather), and all the hotels are air conditioned so it's not like you're out in the heat all day. unless you're at the pool- but so long as you're in the water or get lucky and have a lounge chair in the shade then it's not bad. we ate some bomb-ass food, drank the perfect margarita, slept in and tried absinthe. 

this trip was amazing. and i can't wait for our next one.

08.10.15 | A FROZEN PARTY

for claire's second birthday, she requested a little mermaid theme. i couldn't bring myself to have three birthday parties in a row with an underwater theme. (claire's first was under the sea and landon's fourth was an octonauts party.) so, frozen it was! 

my favorite part of every party is definitely the dessert table! we usually use our sideboard to hold our desserts and since we still don't have anything up on that wall of the dining room i almost always fill that space with streamers of some sort. for every single party, it seems. (i think i'm starting to hate streamers?) anyway, this year i used streamers that i cut and hung at my sister's bridal shower (and then painstakingly folded them and saved them) and then taped up a few light blues one for a peek-a-boo effect. my mother-in-law let me borrow some of her christmas decorations so i used some snowflakes for the top of the streamers and then while shopping at hobby lobby, i noticed they had all of the christmas stuff out now too so i picked up a couple strands of sparkly bead garland to hang in there. and then i picked up some more silver snowflake glitter garland and laid that out on the food tables. i really love the way it turned out and have thought about how i could keep this in our house. one option i'm considering is to hang it up in my room, above my soon-to-be refurbished vanity. (it's still hanging in the dining room because there's nothing else to put there and i love the way it looks. c;) i found a frozen poster that i got for about $3 that we hung in the living room by the presents and even though it's still there (i'm lazy, alright!), we have plans to hang it in claire's room eventually. c;

i went a little crazy at jo-anne fabrics with all the frozen decorations. c: the cupcake stand, the little olaf candies on the cupcakes, and basically all of the toys in the gift bags were from there. i found the frozen themed table cloth at fred meter's, as well as all the plates, cupcakes and napkins. (if you can't find frozen stuff at your local stores, this site has some great options. i got all of landon's octonauts decor there.)

i decided to ask for help with the actual food of the party, that way all i had to focus on were the desserts. my mom brought potato salad, my mother-in-law brought chips and dips (three different kinds). we supplied the hot dogs, buns and condiments, as well as the drinks.

claire requested a pink chocolate cake for her birthday. i didn't know how i was going to manage that so i made cupcakes instead. so, i made strawberry cupcakes with a blue vanilla frosting (the BEST store-bought frosting ever) and tie-dye cupcakes (best box-mix cake ever) with a chocolate frosting. when my in-laws visited california earlier this year they made a stop at the jelly belly factory and ended up bringing us home the frozen set of jelly beans. they're so cute! i found some frozen blue sixlets somewhere (i think hobby lobby or jo-anne's but i'm not sure. i got them a loooooong time ago.) then my sister (she's the best party helper c:) came over the night before and helped me put together the snowmen, which are marshmallows held together with pretzel sticks, mini chocolate chips for the eyes and buttons and some of those orange slice gummies for noses. it's kind of hard to tell in the picture but the jello is actually two different jello flavors layered on top of each other, to mimic ice. i found the recipe here, on pinterest obviously. since then, i've made that same combo twice and then just last week, i made a lime-cherry combo because that's what i had on hand and my kids loooooove jello.

the week before, justin and i had taken the kids up to OMSI (we recently purchased a family year-pass) and while there, they had some flubber stations set up. i took a picture of the recipe and then my sister made it for me while i was making the jello. we colored it frozen blue and added some white glitter to it, hoping it would look sparkly but you couldn't see the glitter and it just got stuck on you. i forgot about it (like i always seem to do at parties - forget the activities that i actually have planned for the kids!) until justin remembered it right at the end. the kids that were still there seemed to really enjoy it and my kids loved playing with it every day after, until it got to the recommended time of keeping it. i also made some snowballs out of really fluffly, soft, white yarn and set up some baskets with pictures of olaf, sven, and the trolls on them for the kids to throw the snowballs into. i had planned on making it a contest but then completely spaced getting prizes so i just had it out if they wanted to play with it. i got the baskets at hobby lobby in their spring section where everything was 60% off so i ended up only paying about $10 for three really nice baskets that claire now stores her stuffed animals in and we keep all the octonauts/paw patrol characters in the other. 

we didn't really get any good pictures of the birthday girl, unfortunately. she looked super cute in her elsa gown. sorry all i've got pictures of are the decorations, and not even all of them, at that. justin always hangs streamers from the ceiling and he has definitely mastered the art! 

i think i still haven't shared anything from landon's party in april so i really need to get on that! thanks to everyone that came and shared in celebrating our baby girl - we love you all!

07.16.15 | TWO YEARS

this little turkey turned two yesterday. TWO. can you believe it?! yeah, me neither. we had a pretty great day, eating donuts for breakfast, spending some time at the play are in the mall, doing some shopping, meeting daddy for lunch and then having pizza for dinner. which, by the way, is one of her favorite things. she'll almost never turn down pizza. oh, and the birthday fairies came last night to decorate her door, just like big brother's earlier this year. c;

i started to upload these pictures yesterday and had plans of writing a really awesome, lengthy little diddy about my baby girl. and then life got in the way (read: landon and him refusing to use the restroom when he was told) and i just never got around to doing anything with it. 

so, i finished choosing some pictures today and i don't know, i guess i just don't feel the need to write a big long post today? i mean, we all know how precious and darling and smart and talkative and cute and cheeky and ornery this little lady can be, so why do i need to write a blog post about that, too? 

anyway, we sure do love her and feel blessed to have her in our lives every day. it's been a pretty great two years, baby girl. her's to many, many more.
and in case you forgot just how small she was two years ago:
all the heart-eyes guys, all the heart-eyes. 

06.25.15 | STILL HERE

don't worry, we're still alive. still doing the same 'ole thing. living life to the fullest!

we're totally enjoying the AMAZING WEATHER OREGON HAS BEEN HAVING. i know some people like living in oregon because of the mild summers but goodness gracious, i live for these long, hot days. truth be told, i'd be fine with cooler days as well, so long as the sun was out to play. i really just need the sun, that's all. and oregon kinda isn't the best place for that soooooo, yeah.

the kids really enjoy the hot weather tho. we bought a little splash pad thingy for the summer and it's awesome. we've been getting up early, spending a lot of time outside and the eating of popsicles has started (landon's obsessed). 

we're looking forward to fourth of july plans with friends, claire turns two in just a couple of weeks (ACK! i haven't planned anything really, and that's kinda stressing me out), we've got a little getaway to bend coming up in august, justin's been taking on some extra work stuff lately, landon starts preschool in september as well as justin and i taking off for a couple of nights to our favorite place: vegas! sippin' drinks poolside is my jam, people. this summer sure started off right, and it's looking like it's gonna end right, too. 

now to get back to my regular scheduled day, which is currently making food for kids that a). don't appreciate the effort/time i put into it, b). complain that they don't get to have a popsicle/candy/fruit snacks with lunch, c). never stay seated at the table , and d). fight over their cups/plates/silverware choices. it's FUN being a parent, right?!