Monday, January 25, 2016

Our Winter Hike

Being outside in the winter is not my favorite. The layers we have to wear, the cold, and the fact that everything looks dead are such downers to me. 

None of those are reasons to keep us away from the woods though. Also, I'm trying to find some silver lining to it all. It's hard, but I'm making a list: it's quiet, the grey textured bark is cool, and we've never met an adventure we don't like. 

To be completely honest the real adventure was getting out the door. Once we got there we found out that the park closed in 45 minutes our balloons were deflated a little. We hurried and had as much fun as we could. 

Winter hikes...doing what we have to do, and counting the days to shorts and tank tops!

Monday, January 11, 2016

My Boys & Their Vegetables

I'm currently obsessed with how much Burl and Ridge look alike. My favorite thing to do is use Ridge to recreate some of Burl's baby pictures (obviously I have some extra time on my hands).

Burl at four months:

Ridge at 5 months:

The photo session was cut short because 5 months old is too old to sit calmly in the Bumbo. 

My hope is that Ridge loves vegetables as much as Burl. My second hope is that I can keep these big boys fed once they hit their teenage years-they're going to be biggins.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

New Year's 2016

This New Year's, I put on heels, I borrowed my mom's red lipstick, and John wore a suit. We haven't dressed up this much since our wedding day, and we decided that we liked how each other looked all gussied up. 

I fast-danced with my girls friends and slow-danced with John. 

We had fun ringing in 2016.
Happy New Year!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Two Wheels, Big Deal

Over the weekend, we took the kids to a favorite local park so they could have more sidewalk to ride their new scooters. (Our hallway has seen some action over the break.) Burl and Fern picked the "honeycomb park" where there are several bug-themed playgrounds.

The park reaches all the way to the river, so we love stopping to throw rocks. We always get the "do sharks/whales/dolphins live in this water" questions. 

Two sweet milestones happened while we were there:

Fern went into her shell and was determined that pushing her scooter on the sidewalk was too hard. There were tears, and I ended up carrying the scooter for a while. After we played, she found her confidence and worked hard. She strolled and laughed and enjoyed herself. Overcoming her mental blocks is not always easy (and I often can't help her), but I get beyond excited when she conquers the hurdles. 

The other milestone was that Burl learned to ride his bike without training wheels. There are a lot of jokes and stories about potty training or eating vegetables, but I haven't seen anything about teaching kids to ride a bike. Sprinting hunched over, holding a toddler on a bike is REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY HARD. My brother who helps train professional runners even had a hard time when he helped a few weeks ago. (We're also re-thinking balance bikes for the next kids we teach.)

More than potty training, teaching Burl to ride his bike without training wheels was very exciting. It was a huge milestone for us. He worked hard and we all exercised as much patience with each other, and it paid off. 

He was proud and excited, and it was thrilling for each of us!

These days of teaching and growing and firsts are such a joy!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Christmas Morning, 2015

Our Christmas break is coming to an end. I cried to John tonight about how sad I am that he's returning to work and Burl to school. "If I'm this lonely feeling now, what is going to feel like when ALL the kids are leaving the house after Christmas break?" Obviously, I'm not one of those "take it a day at a time/cross that bridge when it gets here" type of people. I quickly came up with a plan: girls trip to somewhere warm. Now that I have my future worries taken care of, I can get back to this year's Christmases.

Having kids makes Christmas mornings exhilarating. Burl and Fern were drunk with eagerness on Christmas Eve. In the picture above, they've fallen down in fits of laughter. 

Seeing their excitement reminds me of how I felt Christmas morning. I love that they're getting that rush-it's adorable and sweet. 

Ridge's first Christmas was typical for a baby his age: all about those boxes. He was especially captivated with the strings (and never noticed the mittens I put on his hands).

Christmas morning was full of raging through presents, fun treats (like sparkling grape juice), and more fits of laughter. 

This particular Christmas had record highs and some extreme rain that we loved watching.

The next day and a half were full of family and an obscene amount of presents. 

Burl scored his own handheld electronic (a little on the old school style) and, in my opinion  it's precious how much he's already played.

The rest of our break was relaxing, but those two days were full of presents and excitement. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Trending Yesteryear: Quinoa

I know I'm on the tail end of the quinoa trend, so excuse me for not being current. Isn't it a healthy grain, or something that I don't have to feel guilty about eating? Good, that's what I thought.  I'm making a quinoa enchilada casserole (that food blog looks amazing) for dinner tonight, and I've been enjoying this salad lately. 

Have a good quinoa dish? Please share!