Sunday, April 3, 2016


March started off the very best way it could with a visit from my mom. She got lots of attention and lots of sunshine - our Texas hospitality special. It was a very low-key visit without a lot of sightseeing or traveling. It had been a crazy week in our house before she arrived, and we were all happy to just hang out in the backyard or on the guest bed and take it easy.

One night she and I got to go out to "celebrate" my birthday early. We tried a Chinese place I'd never been to and then did a little shopping nearby. 

Leah is the quintessential almost 2 year old. I'm wondering if she's holding out and will really blast us when she's 2 because right now she's mostly delightful. She is busy, and messy, and clingy, but SO cute and so sweet. She's stringing together some phrases like "I drank it all gone!" She likes frozen cherries, scrambled eggs, all types of noodles, and practically dances around the kitchen when she gets juice.  

She has really started to love the book "Goodnight Gorilla." She also loves "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom," anything Curious George, Little People open the flap books, and lots of others. She does not like shoes and really doesn't wear them much, not even at church. You can only put them on her so many times! She has been stealing every unripe strawberry from the garden that she can find and will happily gobble them down. When we get home from errands or any other car ride she loves to spend some time in the driver seat sitting on my lap.

All the kids have always been a big help with Leah, but Natalie has been a lifesaver lately. She plays will Leah a lot, and that is a total game changer for me. 

Leah was trying to dig in our little garden a lot, so we decided to create a sandbox in the back corner of the yard. It is well loved, and has solved the garden digging problem, but it is also becoming a neighborhood kitty litter box sadly. We are working on a solution, and right now my vote is for Nate to pee in a cup and sprinkle it around the perimeter every week. BOOM! Best idea ever.

Emmy is working hard at learning how to roller skate and has these two cute supporters to cheer her on.

I'm not sure what it is about puddles, but kids sure LOVE them. I cringe a little as I think of the small mud holes it's creating, the grass that will be stuck all over her feet, and the dirty splashes that will get all over her clothes, but I cannot say no to a little backyard puddle jumping. 

I can't remember who had the bright idea of playing ring toss with my head - it can't have been mine - but we got a few laughs out of it one afternoon.

We still like to go over to the middle school and play. Leah loves the bleachers, Emmy and Natalie love the sand, and Jansen loves the open football field.

It's a good way to tire everybody out.

Nate also introduced Jansen to wall ball. 

Our sweet friend broke her foot and her dog needed some exercise and entertainment. We were happy to have Cougar over for an afternoon.

Leah loves the swings and can now swing on them all by herself!

I'm realizing March was a really fantastic month. We also got a visit from our dear friends the Nelsons who decided to come to San Antonio for spring break. It was the highlight of OUR spring break to have them here for a couple nights. Emmy and Marlee are two peas in a pod.

Everybody has a buddy when we get together, so it makes it easy on us parents. 

Becca has fond memories of Bahama Buck's from her high school days so she suggested we head there one afternoon - which was an awesome idea.

It all went by way too quickly. I'm so grateful for good friends and good families who we can have fun with but also learn from, talk with, exchange parenting ideas and troubles with, etc. 

I happened to see $1.99 St Patrick's Day shirts with free shipping for the older girls, so we were sporting our green on March 17. 

And I can't even tell how fun this day was. On a Friday, Tasha mentioned to me that the BYU women's basketball team was playing the next day in Austin. I really wanted to go, and it was my birthday weekend, so I proposed the idea to Nate. Long story short, Mandy, Tasha, and I made a very last minute outing to Austin the next day. We stopped at Buc-ee's on the way to stock up on some treats for the road.

BYU lost the game, but I had a blast. Watching a game with friends is definitely one of my happy places. 

Even though it was a little late, we took a quick trip to Ikea that night after the game.

And then tried Torchy's tacos - which were so hot! Well, the one I ordered was. I took it home to Nate, and of course he said it was NOT that hot. The trip to Austin was about the best way I could ever imagine to celebrate my birthday. It truly blows my mind how young I feel even though my age keeps going up. 

The pinewood derby also happened in March. Jansen modeled his car after a Corvette Stingray. He didn't win, but he was happy with how his car did.

My friend Emylee gave me the little push I needed to host an adult egg hunt with her. I think it is the 5th or 6th one we have done, but it has been a couple years since the last one. It was an absolute blast of course.

Nate and Jason put some of the eggs in the pool, and thankfully we have friends who are awesome and crazy enough to dive in after them.

I wore Peeps earrings again. My friend's toddler came up to me and was looking at them with such curiosity, so I asked him if he wanted a bite. He didn't even hesitate! Nate took a bite out of the other one. 

The Saturday before Easter we participated in a neighborhood egg hunt and potluck. Leah was very unsure of that Easter bunny, but then called out for it all afternoon. "Bunny, where are you?"

I looked out the back door the other day and couldn't help but think how lucky I am. Seeing these four kids playing together in the backyard is exactly what I've always wanted in life. Our neighbors can attest that our kids have their share of screams, fights, and tears, but they love being together and I hope they always remember their happy Texas days in the backyard.

And the backyard got even better recently with the addition of a hammock Nate bought when he was on his mission in Venezuela.

We had a nice Easter Sunday, but pictures were comical as always. I honestly don't know where that face Leah is pulling came from or how I caught it on camera!

I love bedtime routine with this little bug. I know she won't need me forever, so I am trying to appreciate every book and song and snuggle. But yes, I also want to rip my eyeballs out after getting everyone to bed. Can those feelings coexist? They must, because I feel them every night.

I just adore Jansen's teacher. She has been SO good for him. There aren't words to express the appreciation a mom has for a great teacher who tried to understand her child. She created this certificate for Jansen after he spent a recess outside on a very windy day which was very hard for him.

Grandma Kim sent us a fun little package complete with dress up jewelry that the girls went gaga for. Natalie and Emmy wasted no time putting on the clip on earrings and adorning themselves with every ring, necklace, and bracelet they could.

I can finally pull Leah's hair into a little pigtail. I love the little curls she has on a humid day. 

Nate is truly a superstar dad. He came home late from work one night and the kids were all ready for bed. Jansen begged to go throw the football, so they did that until there wasn't any light left outside. Then it was Natalie's turn for some alone time with daddy. She decided to dress him up. He is certainly a good sport. You can see from the smile on her face that it's the little things like this that mean a lot to them.

Texas is beautiful in the spring, and we enjoying a lot of time outside creating, collecting, playing, and...yeah, I have no idea what Leah is trying to do to Emmy back there...