Celebrating Mother’s Day at Home: A few ways to make it magical for Mom!

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This Mother’s Day, many of us mother’s share something extra in common. Many of us will be celebrating at home with our families and with no plans to go anywhere else. I’ll be honest with you, I miss my friends and thrifting and coffee shop dates and game nights, but there is also no other place I would like to be than at home and with our family. Being a mother is the most incredible thing I have ever known! But it doesn’t come without lots of sacrifice and exhaustion. I am hopeful this will inspire you to cozy up and celebrate that special mom you are home with a little extra this year! 

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I don’t believe all mothers are built alike, so I want to also to emphasize that when you plan to celebrate that special mom, be sure to celebrate her in the ways that SHE wants to be celebrated. If she doesn’t like wine and sushi, don’t get her wine and sushi. If she hates waking up early, don’t surprise her with an early breakfast in bed. If she’s asked you to stop spending money, don’t buy her expensive jewelry. There have been times where a friend’s husband will share with me the surprise or gift he is getting for his lady and I’m like, “NOOOOOO! She will not like that!” On any occasion where you’re celebrating someone else, try your very best to make the gifts or surprises about THEM and something THEY will like!  Just because you saw a commercial or have heard it’s a tradition, doesn’t mean it will celebrate that mom the way she wants to be celebrated.  So, here are some ideas that will hopefully spark some ideas and some simple and special ways to celebrate the special Mother’s in your lives at home this year. 

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Breakfast in Bed: When I think cozy, I think of warm linen bedding, cozy slippers, my soft robe, warm coffee, and all of the snuggles I can get! I am already dreaming of waking up to my favorite record on, the sounds of the coffee grinder, the giggles and pitter patter of little feet, the sounds of dishes clinking and clanking as our daughters and my husband work on preparing a special “surprise” breakfast in bed for me☺️  

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I can smell my favorite smell of fresh coffee brewing! I can imagine the pretty little flowers and weeds from the yard that the girls gathered and put in old thrifted cups that they surprise me with so often!

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Some of the most precious memories I hold are the unexpected breakfasts I have been served in bed. While I’ve learned to look forward to this on special occasions, it still never get old!  It doesn’t matter what the food is… It is the incredible intention, excitement, and love the girls pour into all of it all that makes it so special!

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Maybe breakfast in bed is too early for some families.  You can always give mom the gift of sleeping in and a surprise her with a picnic in the living room or yard. Maybe a little brunch or evening charcuterie shared on a quilt in the living room is more her style❤️

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Homemade Gifts: I don’t think there is a ‘one size fits all’ gift for mom. We’re all different and all feel loved in different ways. But homemade cards and sweet little homemade gifts from our daughters are my absolute favorite!!!  There’s something so simple about a folded piece of paper filled with words that I taught our girls to spell. Letters and colors that I first showed them and taught them how to make pictures and words with. Pure magic, I tell ya!

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The best thing about homemade gifts, is you don’t need to go anywhere for supplies!  All you need is paper and writing utensils. A coloring sheet or maybe some scrap paper. Even craft paper left over from holiday wrapping works! Our oldest has started finding old pictures of me and my husband and glueing them to the insides of homemade cards and it’s the coolest thing to me! If you have an old frame lying around, frame their work so mom can keep it on her bedside table or display it somewhere special:D

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If your littles are too young to create cards themselves, trace their hands or give them some finger paints to smear on paper. My husband still has the piece of paper covered in a six month old’s first scribbles framed from his first Father’s Day! Google, ‘homemade Mother’s Day crafts’ and have your mind blown! There are so many awesome ideas out there!

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Movies at Home: One of the most special things my husband has done for me, was rent my favorite movie and surprise me with some of my favorite snacks and beverages. He didn’t tell me until the end of the day, right as we were getting the girls ready for bed. He was so exited and I was so excited that he had done this for me. Again, it was something so simple, but so sweet and fun. If you have a projector and a sheet, maybe you can set up a mini theatre in your living room or yard to make it a little extra or consider drinking a little extra coffee and stay up late binging her favorite show together!

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The gift of time and relaxation: What a beautiful, beautiful thing! Take the kids to collect flowers and play outside while mom takes a cozy and silent bath inside! You can maybe even make her a simple salt bath with epsom salt & her favorite essential oil. Lay out her favorite book, have a candle lit, maybe some music playing… make it an extra special bath for her!

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A fun scavenger hunt: Our daughters love scavenger hunts! You can get creative with you children and make a  sweet scavenger hunt for mom, leading her to a cup of fresh coffee or the homemade gifts or breakfast you’ve prepared for her!

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Leave notes throughout the home: A simple love note or love notes left in different places around the house sharing your favorite things about your wife or mother is another fun way to show mom you see her! Maybe a ‘Thanks for cleaning me so much’ note left on the toilet. Get funny and be comical if that’s your guy’s love language! Humor is special to me, so finding funny notes with sweet intentions in unexpected places for me is gold! Write special messages on mirrors or chalkboards in your home!

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Help: Maybe that special mom in your life has a project she’s been so hopeful to finish!  A bathroom that needs finished painting, maybe a drawer she’s wanted fixed. Maybe she has a cast iron sink sitting sitting on her dining room floor that she’s really excited to use!:D Surprise her with finishing, or helping her finish a project or make her a special note assuring her you guys will finish that special project when you can frequent hardware stores again.

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Serve her favorite food: Being that we can’t dine in anywhere, maybe consider having her favorite meal from her favorite restaurant delivered!

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Music: Sometimes showing love is as simple as playing her favorite music throughout the day. The girls will often go put one of my records on just to see my smile! Have her favorite music playing when she wakes up and add to the layers of special.

 

Whatever you do this Mother’s Day, do your best to let that special mom know that you love her! That you know this is a weird season and that you see how difficult it is sometimes. And to the mothers with essential jobs still working, THANK YOU! To the mothers who have been thrown into the world of home education, THANK YOU! To the mothers who find themselves a little more overwhelmed or maybe a little more grateful, THANK YOU! To all of the mothers, THANK YOU for your many sacrifices and for making us the Mother’s we get to be today! 

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Disclaimer: A special thanks to our friends at GarnetHill for helping make this post possible. While GarnetHill has gifted us pieces for this blog piece, all opinions expressed are our very own.

At Home with Kaley From Kansas

It occurred to me, as we are confined to our homes, that I never shared our home session with the very talented KaleyfromKansas. My favorite place to be is within these walls and with these people… I used to be a serious extrovert and, while my love for being around people and meeting new people has not changed, I love being home more than anywhere. Chris was home this past Holiday break and it was the most magical thing to me. The girls and I went about our homeschooling, Chris got to see what our days at home looked like, he helped me more with meals and laundry and dishes and all the things…We would all stay up late in the evenings, talking and playing games for hours. Chris and I began dating one another from home in the coolest ways! We slept in, made big breakfasts together, and the world slowed down for us so much. I remember thinking, this is all I want…I want a slow, simple life, surrounded by loved ones… And with many new emotions added to the mix, we have that again.

The Pahls Family

Such a simple moment, but something I will miss all too soon. Almost every time we go down the stairs, Frankie reaches for me to carry her down. When she first started talking and walking, she would lift her arms up and say, “can I hold you” or the sweetest little “weeach”. I think I’ll cry when the day comes that she no longer asks me to do this…

We have found ourselves in a really weird place. I remember when I was pregnant with our second daughter, Charlie. My best friend found out she was also pregnant. We were so excited and it was amazing and then a few days later…she miscarried and lost her baby. It changed my pregnancy with Charlie so much. I was so happy and grateful, but I also carried a heavy sadness, a deep grief, and honestly a tremendous amount of guilt. I hurt for my friend so much. Her suffering didn’t mean I wasn’t experiencing great joy, but it greatly altered the way I felt it or could express it. This is similar to what I am feeling now….

The Pahls Family

I am so grateful that we are home and well and have jobs that allow us to keep doing what we were doing from home. Chris is a college professor and while his days look different, he is still able to connect with his students and teach and grow, and learn along side them. I am so fortunate to bring home a little income through sharing our days and partnering with wonderful companies. I feel so weird in this. I look around and see so much chaos, but all I feel is peace. I find peace in knowing we are all experiencing this together, that we aren’t in control, that tomorrow is not promised.. and then I feel weird, and almost guilty, for feeling peace in these things. I feel what I felt with Charlie. I would look down and see my belly and feel her kick and my heart would swell… and then it would sink… I am so happy for what our family is getting to experience. The peace, the joy, the stillness…But then I look around and am met with mourning.. and I have to mourn with those who are mourning…I don’t know how not to. I am hurting so badly for our friends and family and all of those who are being affected negatively by this strange virus and this new normal. I don’t want people to be sick or full of fear.  I don’t want people to have to suffer. I am aware of my privilege more than I ever have been. I have gained many new perspectives that grieve my heart. But, even in the mourning, I can’t help but see so much hope. I see the rainbows painted on windows and bears on porches and I can’t help but feel so much hope.

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I went to the grocery store and saw the empty shelves.  I went to the Post Office to find barricades made of boxes and plastic sheeting to separate customers from employees. I feel the weirdness. That, ‘is this really real life?!’ feeling… BUT, my friends and I are fasting and praying with one another and texting deep stuff along with the best memes of our lives.  I am feeling a deep love and appreciation for my friends in a whole new way; a deepening love for their spouses and children and my spouse and our children. Our family feels more glued together than it ever has been… What strange emotions to process…

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I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t want to or need to know. For now, I am choosing to focus on right now. I am choosing gratefulness and joy and trying to be the peace amongst the chaos. I am enjoying every moment with Chris home and this stillness we get to have with the girls. Life seems to be on pause, or in slow motion at least… I know life is weird, friends… Like, this is real, real weird. Have I mentioned how weird this is… But for real, I hope you find yourself full of so much peace and hope right now. We are all in this together, friends!   With that being said, here are some moments that I am so grateful to have been captured. Thank you so much, Kaley! Little reminders of the beauty that lives in the simple moments at home, whether we’re quarantined or not.

The Pahls Family

Just as Ada grew out of the coloring on walls stage, Frankie joined in. I’ve painted our hallway 3 times since living here because of it. And I’m totally ok with it. In fact, we gave Frankie a yellow colored pencil to color away because I genuinely don’t want to forget these sweet creative installations that have filled our home through the years…

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Kaley did such an incredible job capturing us in an organic way. She prompted us and I was happy to go with any of her creative idea because, if you’ve seen Kaley’s work, you know you can trust her to create magic!!

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The Pahls Family

I don’t ever want to forget the sound of their feet running up and down these stairs. The giggles as we chase on another or play hide and seek… Those sounds are so special to me!

The Pahls Family

The Pahls Family

We have a balcony off of our bedroom. The girls have always thought it was the coolest thing. Sometimes, the magic and glory seems to sometimes become less as we age.. But the girls have brought so much magic back into our lives! I never would have thought to do photos our here, but I am so glad Kaley did!

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The Pahls Family

I look at this photo and want to scream the word, REDEMPTION! There are so many parts of my past that I thought would define me and prevent me from having the dream of a loving husband or family or any of this… Man, grace and healing and forgiveness and redemption are words with so much meaning for me!

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Dance parties are a huge deal in this family! We have them several times a week and we can get pretty into it. Kaley put on the new Aladdin soundtrack and we just did our thing. The sun shining on us, dancing in the breeze… It was magic!

The Pahls Family

The Pahls Family

Frankie and Ada loves pretending to be puppies. Recently I’ve joined their puppy crew. Frankie pulls on my belts and belt loops and says, “come here mommy puppy”. More magic.

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The Pahls Family

Did you guys know I was told I most likely wouldn’t be able to have children? I went through a season where I felt devastated at the thought of this. We have 4 incredible promises reminding me of God’s goodness and faithfulness.

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The Pahls Family

Chris’ sister made the girls the most incredible food for their kitchen play set. She is one of the best gift givers and most talented people I have ever known! She is such a blessing and blesses these little ladies with absolute treasures!

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The Pahls Family

When Norah and Charlie were younger, we had picnics and snacks out here several times a week. We actually locked ourselves out one day and I yelled at a neighbor, whom I had never met, and asked her to come walk into our home, make her way to our bedroom and let us in. She kindly did and I am grateful for a neighbor like her.

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Thumb wars are a new favorite game in this home!

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The Pahls Family

Find you a man who plays with your kids… Like builds blocks with them and reads books, and has dance parties, and jumps with them on the trampoline… Not because they feel obligated… but because they love their children and are happy to be with them in their element.

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The Pahls Family

This wardrobe is SO special! Like, the story of getting it literally changed my life and faith. I will share about it in detail later, but it is another reminder of God’s faithfulness in my life.

The Pahls Family

The day I weened Frankie I had to leave the house. Weening was so hard for me this last time emotionally. I didn’t want to but knew I needed to. Ada and I went to the thrift store and on our way out, after not finding anything, she said, “mom, can I please have that toy?” I looked over and saw this beautiful buggy that instantly reminded me of being her age living in Germany… and $3 later she was ours! It’s so special to us!

The Pahls Family

The Pahls Family

Oldest and youngest. The moment Norah and Charlie learned to read, they became better teacher than me I think.

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The Pahls Family

I went through a stage where I thought bonnets were hideous. Man, I was SO, SO, SO, SO SO, SO, SO, SO, SO, SO wrong!!!!

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The Pahls Family

Be right back… this photo makes me need to go kiss this guy.

The Pahls Family

The Pahls Family

This is going to sound super dramatic but… I had been wanting photos done with Kaley for a long time.. but it just never felt right. I had a few larger collabs happen so we had a little extra monies and Chris asked what I wanted to do with it. We could use the money and celebrate, maybe buy something special, or even invest it…  I feel like like we did all of that. These photos were a bit of a celebration for me. I had just lost 60 lbs and for the first time in a long time I felt like myself. These photos feel like a major investment in something so very special. 

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The Pahls Family

The way Kaley captured small details of the girls and our home….. SO GOOD!!!

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The Pahls Family

baby thighs and tippy toes… 

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Clothing Resources

Tights: RyleeandCru

Norah, Charlie, Ada’s dresses + Frankie’s Romper: TheSimpleFolkCo

Ada’s Dress + Frankie’s Bloomers: Minimom

My Sweater:Sezane

My Jeans: Madewell 

Charlies Bows: ShopAcre 

Frankie’s Bows: KDBird

 

Something for everybody; a little holiday gifting guide

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Hey guys! We recently had the honor of sharing a little gifting guide with our friends @finandvince. You can find that post here, but I decided to share a little more detailed gifting guide here. I’ll share what we like to gift the girls, one another and loved ones.

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We have 4 lovely little ladies under age 7. We want Christmas to be magical for them, but not be strictly about stuff. We practice the giving manger in our home and look at December as a beautiful month to remember how to serve one another well. I love spending December baking more, making more crafts together, and finding fun ways to love people. Along with this, when we do gift, we want to try and gift things that are both pretty and practical. My husband emphasizes things should have form and function. Our older girls are developing new, and rather strong opinions, as they grow and we want to respect their personal styles & interests as we gift. We really like the the idea of gifting a want, a need, something to read, and wear. Here are some gifts that meet this criteria,  have been a success in the past, and that will be gifted this year!

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For the savvy…. Do not be afraid to thrift toys for gifts. Some of our most treasured toys have been thrifted and are being so well loved. That baby carriage was $3!!! Thrift stores are magical places where you can find so much unique goodness! Plus you can thrift throughout the year and gift it at Christmas. Almost every piece of the girl’s Christmas set we gifted them last year was thrifted and so beautiful! I think the most expensive thing I got was $.29 so you can really make magic happen when you thrift for the goods!

The Pahls Family

For the artist: Amazon has some seriously amazing art supplies. We have some favorite shops that also sell wool roving and beeswax crayons and molding sets. I’m going to come back and add some links to our favorite shops a little later:D We go through so many crayons and paint that Christmas is a great time to restock those supplies!

The Pahls Family

The girls love matching with one another! We’ve adopted a tradition that came from my husband’s childhood of gifting them new jammies every Christmas Eve. They get to open them and then wear them all day Christmas! We spend our Christmas Day serving and enjoying one another. We make everyone whatever they want for breakfast, enjoy this big ol’ feast and open presents and play and I just love it so much!

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These photos are like a year old already! HOW?!

Pajamas kind of meet a need, a wear, and a want, so they’re a great gift! We have gifted them sets from @happyhannahs, @finandvince, @thesimplefolkco,  @chasingwindmillkids, @shoparq @jamiekay and this year we’re gifting them hot pink butterfly thermal sets from @garnethillpics and extra little thermals for the two littlest who want to live in pajamas lately. Fin& Vince thermals are so nice and cute enough that we can throw on a coat and boots and leave the house in them!

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Because our girls are so close together in age, we like to invest in quality gifts that can be enjoyed and passed down to one another. I don’t want to collect a bunch of little plastic things that will break easily but want to invest in well-made, heirloom quality toys that will be enjoyed for years. Some of our favorite toys are wooden stackers, puzzles and blocks. @woodenstory @grimms and @thewoodenwagon are some of our favorite shops for these! Wooden toys hold up really well and, let’s be real.. they’re beautiful😊  Even when their room is destroyed, somehow wooden toys thrown all about are still lovely!

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Books!! We love gifting books! Personalized books, i-spy books, and book series make for really fun gifts. Something I have learned in a family of book lovers is that books can be expensive! I enjoy thrifting books and using thriftbooks.com because you can find gently pre-loved books for incredible prices!

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We also want to gift memories, so games that we can play together as a family are a great investment! We love gathering around a table and playing Uno, pass the pigs, go fish and lots and lots of memory games! My ideal evening is pizza, lots of pillows and blankets, cuddled around our ottoman, playing games together. The girls have learned to talk some pretty serious smack and it’s just one of my favorite ways to spend time together.

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Something fun this year will be special slippers. The girls have been asking for slippers for quite some time but I couldn’t find any that I liked as much as they did. But! We recently found some really fun boiled wool slippersfrom @garnethillthat are cute little animals and such a fun addition to their matching jammies! This might sound lame, but we always gift the girls a fun new toothbrush. Honestly, they’re usually more excited about this than any of their other gifts ☺️

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When gifting to our friends and family, Chris and I love making one-of-a-kind gifts in large batches so we can spread the love as much as we can. We’ve made salsas, breads, body scrubs, bath salts, lip balm, hair balm, boot balm, bears balm, body balm… basically all the balms😂 we love gifting items that we have handcrafted with love and it’s so fun collaborating with my husband for these little projects. I don’t have any pretty pictures of stuff we’ve gifted.. so you just have to trust me:D 

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Chris and I have mixed feelings about gifting things to one another for the holidays. We both always tell each other we don’t want anything, then surprise each other with something sweet and sappy, and then each year say we’re really not doing anything for each other, and then decide we want the girls to see us gifting to one another, and so the cycle continues:D

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This year, I’m gifting the girls and a few friends some extra little goodies that our friends @beekman1802 sent plus over two try. A few face care products for mom and some  fun body butters to share! The girls are very much into body care items and doing whatever I do lately.  I’m gifting them and some of my lady friends the fragrance free pure goat milk body butters. Things like these make such fun stocking stuffers and sweet little gifts.

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Welp! I hope this was a helpful gifting guide and that everyone has a lovely holiday season full of peace, rest, and joy for you and your family! ❤️  Gifts are cool my friends… But people are so much better! Love your people well and have so much fun!!!!

(Disclosure: Some of the items featured in the post have been gifted and/or sponsored, but all opinions expressed are my own. )

Photography featured in this post from @amandapahls, @kaleyfromkansas and @megganharrisonphotography.

 

A few things I don’t want to forget about right now

One of my friends, MegganHarrisonPhotography asked if she could come over and try out her new camera lens in our home. I’ll be honest. I totally forgot about it, definitely didn’t bathe, the house wasn’t clean or put together and I didn’t have any expectations about what she might capture… But man, I am seriously so grateful for these captures. This stage of motherhood has been so interesting to me. I’m learning so much about myself and who I am as a mother and home educator and friend and wife and all the things. I am so grateful that I get to be home with these girls and very grateful for these little moments that might seem mundane, but are truly so full of magic! 

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Our first born. I can hardly believe she’s this grown already.

 

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We got a record player and there’s just something magical about it. Norah puts on a different record almost daily and it’s become a fun family thing. When we travel, we try and find a good record store and pick something out together. Chris and the girls often come home from coffee shop dates and it’s just something that’s become very special in our home.

Norah’s taking 7 very seriously. 

Norah asked me the other day if I thought she would look like me when she grew up. Before answering, I asked what she thought about maybe looking more like me when she was older. She took a deep breath in, pulled her hair to the side, looked in the mirror, breathed out, looked at me and said, “that would be so great.”😭😭😭😍😍😍I’ve never felt more beautiful in my whole life😭

We were driving as a family a few weeks ago and Norah asked me what my name meant. I told her ‘worthy of love’. They asked Chris what his name meant and he said virile. Norah then proceeded to tell me that her name meant napkin, Charlie’s meant towel, Ada name meant tissue and Frankie was “scrunchin, wait scroungey.. OH! squeegee!”  I laughed out loud and asked Chris where they came up with such a thing. He let me know that he’s been telling them these are what their names mean for a few months😂😂😂 #winning😂😂😂

The girls all still love wearing their favorite colors: Pink, blue, orange and grey. These colors make me so happy now.

Frankie and Ada are in love with dresses with pockets. They request to wear a pocket dress daily:D

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I joke that Norah is like a little mommy, but she truly loves us all so well and has such a beautiful heart. I love seeing the creative ways they serve and love others.

 

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We went to get blood work for my whole October fiasco a few weeks ago and decided a stop at Red Robin would be a good idea. We don’t go often, but when we do, they each get a balloon and these things stay inflated for weeks!

We’re still having lots of dance parties, doing funny workout videos together and Chris and I love getting to introduce the girls to new music. They’re favorite songs/ bands right now are , Aladdin soundtrack, zombie from the cranberries, John mark McMillan, what does the fox say, Allen stone, thunder from imagine dragons, gummi bear, señorita, BABY SHARK, bird machine, oldies, bird is the word, bombaleo, look what you made me do- and Frankie singing this is one of the funniest things I’ve ver known. She repeats the lyrics but delayed and totally monotoned. its so funny!

Charlie and Norah have been what I will call sassy. They have grown up so much the last few months.

Frankie is in the repeat stage and the things she chooses to repeat and her timing brings us so much joy.

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So many times during the day, the girls ask for a hug or for me to pick them up. I try to always do it. something so simple, but memories I will hold so dear.

Frankie’s favorite song, ‘5 little monkeys jumping on the bed’. When it comes on she’s screams, “This is my tadert song!”

A few weeks ago Chris and I were putting Frankie to sleep and she kept doing monkey impressions. She would almost be asleep and then she would say, “Monkeys do dis” and shake her little body and make little monkey noises and make a monkey face. Chris and I couldn’t stop giggling. 

Norah and Charlie surprise me with breakfast in bed every couple of weeks. It’s so precious. They always include their sisters and make their breakfasts when they do this.

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Ada sneezed this a few week ago and Frankie said, bess you😍 it melted all of us! Frabkie, “I lub my bading soup” on repeat and now asks, you love my bading soup? Her bathing suit. Her and Ada put their suits on most days. Ada and Frankie change their outfits at least 4 time a day. 

When Frankie says basket it most definitely does not sound like the word basket. Ie: I want my batshit.:D 

I weened Frankie on her birthday, September 20th. I nursed her for her morning & afternoon nap and then told her we were done. My heart hurts a little still and she’s still asking to nurse daily. She still asks me if she can come in when I hold her and that means she wants me to wrap her all up in my shirt. This is the longest I haven’t breastfed since 2012.

MHP_3981MHP_3986Frankie started saying dangit and growls at everyone at the table for meals because she knows it will make her sisters laugh real good. She loves making them laugh. 

Frankie has mastered responding to my favorite question: What comes before part B?! PART A!!!! When I ask it all the girls yell, “PART AAAA”, and it assures me I’ve at least taught them something:D

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We were driving to get pick up our favorite Italian take out and Ada started singing that song, “Up down funk you up” and totally nailed the f word every time. Chris and I laughed pretty good. That song will always make me smile now.

Frankie started saying “iontknow” when we ask her questions with the funniest little attitude 😂😂😂  It’s one of the best things I’ve ever heard.

The way Frankie crawls up onto our bench to get into her bed. Something about it melts me.

I made the girls little lavender pillows and they’re all still sleeping with them.

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Frankie says “heh heh” just like a Simpsons character when something funny happens.

Charlie will quietly sneak away while we’re watching a movie or playing games and come back with a glass full of ice and water and the biggest smile on her face. It’s her way of saying, “I love you” right now and it’s so sweet. 

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Frankie talks more than any two year old I’ve ever known. She repeats us often and her voice is so dang cute. She has a little cold right now and it’s even cuter than normal. She’s super cuddly and loves snuggling but has never liked her legs covered.

Charlie gave Ada a haircut that required her getting bangs to “fix” the situation. She was made to have bangs I think. Ada loves her having bangs and tells people her friend Hannah made them for her.

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Our dear friend Hannah gifted the girls with kinder eggs and these were the little toys inside. They’ve all been wearing them as earrings since.

Right around 7pm every night, Frankie gets this second wind and gets super hyper and so funny! That usually tells us it’s time to dance or play tag or hide and seek. We’re really into hide and seek right now and it’s so fun!

Ada has started making up songs and parody’s and recently sang a song with the lyrics, “1,23, it’s time to sh&t”😂😂😂😂😂Chris and I laughed so hard! 

Frankie has started coming up to us, randomly hugging us, and saying,” I wuv you. I wuv you iso much, mommy. You wuv me?!”  😭  It melts me every time!

Ada and Frankie want to be sung to every night. We have a handful of songs they request every night. ‘Jesus loves me’, ‘Apples and bananas’, ‘God is so good’, ‘I like bananas’, ‘Twinkle twinkle’, ‘Abc’s’, often a remix of the last two, ‘He’s got the whole world in His hands’, and ‘Jesus loves the little children’ but we had to add the color orange to make the lyrics, “orange, red, yellow, black, and white” per Ada’s request. We often have to add pink, blue, and grey as well:D

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I’ve noticed I have less and less photos of Charlie lately. She loves spending time alone, creating art, making sculptures out of found goods, and collecting treasures to store in special places in her room. When you walk by her room, she’s usually creating something. She loves putting on puppet shows, telling stories, and is truly so creative. She really enjoys ‘I Spy’ books. I ordered her a bunch and surprised her with them and she was so stoked! School comes super easy to her lately and her sweet little 5 year old self is excelling past a 3rd grade reading level. I just love getting to know her more.

Every time Charlie prays, she asks for God to heal all the people that are sick and hurting.

All of us ladies still fit in the bath together, but barely.

Ada and Frankie both call,”Cat in the hat’ ‘Hat in the Cat’.

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If I sit down with a drink or food , this is code for , ‘mom has drinks and treats for us’. 😀 This morning I made an egg and sat it down on my desk for it to cool while I ran up to find the girls’ coats… I came back downstairs to see Frankie covered in my egg and exclaiming, “mmm, you egg good, mom.” It never makes me mad.. just sometimes a little extra hungry.

Frankie calls the girls, “guysh” and is so in love with her older sisters!

The first thing the girls want to do when they put on anything new is show their dad.

When Frankie wants you to lay by her she says, “youwannlaywithme?” and taps the pillow next to her and says “hereygo”. She also started taking her diaper off whenever she fills it… so probably we’ll start potty training soon.

Norah wants her ears pierced and she’s in a making jewelry and fake nails stage:D She has been wearing a lot of my clothes and it makes me so happy.

Frankie likes to kick for fun and will randomly approach people with a “Hiya!” and a chubby little kick. She also hisses at the girls when they tell her no to something and its SO funny! They always start laughing and it’s just so cute!

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I’ve started making sure I always have a glass of water on our nightstand, as it never fails that 1, or all 4, will make it to our room asking for water during the night.

We watched Little Women for the first time while Chris was out of town recently and sobbed. I love being apart of this girl gang. We realized that the girls’ age gaps are the same as the girls in the story and that one of our best friends who we keep trying to get to move in with us shares the same name as the house help in the story. But seriously Hannah, the basement is ready for you. 

Frankie so concerned about owies, especially when others get hurt. “You k?!” she asks?

Chris learned how to fishtail braid from our local hair academy and is so much better than me. These girls don’t realize how good they have it.

We were cleaning up the girls’ rooms and Frankie found Norahs old pink flip flops. She put them off and didn’t take them off after that😂 Fipfop she calls them and is so proud of them! She sleeps in them she loved them so much!😂

We told the girls to put away their flip flops while cleaning and Ada replied in the saddest little voice, “I don’t have any flip flops”. Chris and I decided to change that. I took her to Old Navy and we found this lobster pair for $1 that she freaked out about. She wears them with socks and tights daily:D I told her once my dad wore socks with flip flops. She asked me if she looked like her Grandpa Ricky. Having her talk about my dad is incredibly special. They never met him, but I’m so grateful for the memories I get to share with them. She’s also been sporting the, ‘two different boots on the wrong feet’ a lot lately.

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This landing never isn’t covered in boots or coats or piles of random toys… It’s accidentally become a catch-all spot and while we probably need a better system, I still don’t want to forget this.

There’s a lot more. I try to take daily notes because I don’t want to forget these tiny details that make right now so special. I love being a mother. I hate that I can suck so badly at it sometimes. We’re all learning together.

Cozying up with Burrow

Chris and I have been super fortunate and have been given almost every single piece of furniture that we own as a hand-me-down. While this is so awesome, we have also recently learned that well worn in furniture sometimes doesn’t last so long and we also learned that the couch that once comfortably sat the two of us, could no longer sit all SIX of us. So, our hunt for the perfect sofa began.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetI wanted a couch that could comfortably fit all six of us. I wanted something grey or beige because you know how I do.  I wanted something that was easy to keep clean, could handle 4 little monkeys and all their jumping and wrestling, something that would fit our space, and let’s be real… One that would hold up to all of the netflix and chilling that goes on☺️☺️ Chris’ only requests were that the couch be midcentury, grey, tufted, that it could handle getting a little burrito or coffee on it, and he seconded the netflix and chill criteria.

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I remember scrolling through instagram and seeing someone with the beige sofa from Burrow and loving it! I checked out their website and as soon as I saw this sofa, I knew she was the one. It met all of our criteria, shipped in super-easy-to-assemble pieces, and I’m really happy we went with this one. We chose the King Sofa in Crushed Gravel with High Arm, Dark Wood Legs and paired it with a matching Ottoman. 74B49745-FAA0-4028-AA42-5F00DC266789Chris says this is the first couch that he’s been able to lay all the way down on, he’s 6’4 and has plenty of space!!🙌🙌We are so grateful that we can all cuddle up together! Oh! And it has a phone charger!! So you can do adult things like charge your phone while you veg out and neglect your other adulting responsibilities.

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As I type this, Norah, our 6 year old, is laying with me and I asked her what her thoughts on the couch were and quote her exact words. “The couch? It’s good. It’s beautiful. It’s comfy. It’s really good for pictures. It fitteds all of us. We can sit down on it. We can watch tv as a family…and do i pee on it? Yes.” Her words, friends:D And she ain’t lying:D. We pretty much can’t stop laughing now.

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Actually, the only thing that I might change about the sofa, as a mother of peeing babes is to have removable covers on the seat cushions. But, the covers are really easy to clean! I just spray the sofa with my homemade pee remover, sprinkle with baking soda, and she’s as good as new. Mostly, I’m just in the stage of life where I prefer anything that can be  peed on to be removable😂 Oh, and that reminds me. The top and bottom cushions are reversible so you can have the tufted look, a super clean, minimal look, or that let’s-just-flip-the-cushions-over-until-we-clean-that-coffee-stain-off look:D

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Anyway, if you’re on the hunt for a lovely sofa and your criteria is similar to ours,  please pay Burrow a little visit! We are enjoying this sofa so much!!

pillows || @maewoven & @theivorygull

photog || @megganharrisonphotography

(Disclosure: This post was made possible by Burrow, but all opinions expressed are my own honest opinions.)



 

A Barn Full of Memories: An Interview with Framebridge

A corner shot of a room with a wicker chair and flowers on the windowsill. A framed drawing of a red barn hangs on the wall in a gold frame.

Years ago, Amanda Pahls and her husband Chris were married in a big red barn. When Amanda rediscovered an art print of the barn that was given to the couple on their wedding day, she had to get it up right away. Here’s the story of the day the Pahls began their life together.

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Why did you decide to get married in this barn? 

Chris and I knew we wanted an outdoor wedding, but the barn just kind of happened. We wanted a large venue and we were fresh out of college with a very tight budget and the barn just kind of fell into place! We drove out to look at the barn together and it was just gorgeous!

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There were chickens running around, beautiful fields of wild flowers, lush greenery, a gorgeous homemade wooden swing hanging from one of the large trees, the most beautiful sky, and it just felt so right. 

 

How did you come by this art piece of the barn?

The owners of the barn were so kind to us for our wedding. It was so special. When we arrived for the ceremony, the owner Gloria gave us this lovely print of the barn as a wedding gift. We saved it but never framed it. On the back of the print was a card that gave us the history of the barn and print! The print is titled “Fall Harvest” and is a Prismacolor pencil drawing done by Cherylene Caver.

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The site was homesteaded by Karl W. and Augusta Martin in 1893 and the spacious barn constructed in 1916. The barn served as a safe haven for livestock during winter storms and has now been renovated to be able to host special events like our wedding. The print captures a moment that was photographed in the Fall of 1921 and depicts Karl and Augusta’s son, Carl, putting the fall hay crop up into the barn. It’s so cool having this special piece of history to warm up our home and to remind us of our wedding day!

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To be honest, I kind of forgot about it until I was moving some things around in our new home and found it! I knew I wanted Framebridge to frame this piece as soon as I found it, as we have a few other special pieces framed by them that we really enjoy.

A poster my husband designed for our family. My hand in his with the lyrics, “we are family, I got all sisters with me”, a song Chris sings to our daughters often.  

 

A family portrait painting from @lachlanandlenny and one of my favorite family photos taken by my friend @bethanymeysenburg framed in some of our favorite Framebridge frames.

 

What does having the framed piece in your home mean to you?

I look at this print and I remember the way everything felt on our wedding day. I remember the big ol’ white fluffy clouds that look like they were straight out of the Toy Story movie. I think about all of our friends and family from around the globe who joined us and made the day so special for us.

I remember my little brother walking me down the aisle and how strange this was. I had always imagined my father doing this, but our father and sister were killed in a tragic car accident a year before this special day. I remember my brother telling jokes as he walked me towards my almost husband and the incredible mix of emotions I was feeling, but how the joy of marrying my best friend was stronger than all the other emotions.

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To most people, this will just look like a photo of a barn, but when I look at it, I feel so much peace, love, and joy.

I look at this print and remember the life that led up to the day that we said “I do” and all of the life that we have shared together since and grateful is not nearly a strong enough word.

 

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(Disclosure: This post was made possible by Framebridge but all opinions expressed are my own.)

Operation Purty Mouth

3E3C464E-740E-48FD-9AE1-693F9CC93938.jpegOk, so recently I have felt this big urge to take better care of myself. I wouldn’t say that I have completely let myself go, but I have definitely neglected a few things that I don’t want to neglect any longer. I gained many a pound with Norah and right about the time I would get back into my pre-pregnancy pants, was right about the time that I found out I was pregnant, again and again and again:D But for real! I have said it several times, but I have been pregnant and breastfeeding without a break since late 2011. While I love this with every ounce of my being, those ounces, along with some other poor habits, have really added up, and I am ready to nourish my body in ways I just haven’t been doing well.

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I’ve started eating better, juicing again, working out a bit, celebrating the Sabbath with our family, am trying to incorporate several new habits and routines into our days at home and have even committed to taking better care of my teeth! Teeth you say?! Yep! Guys, my teeths be jacked up! A lot of it is due to poor habits, years of not taking better care of them, several weird teeth injuries and then they seemed to have actually gotten worse while pregnant and breastfeeding? Maybe that’s because I have chosen extra sleep over flossing too many times, but anyway, I’m ready to take much better care of and fix my mouth!

IMG_6476I don’t consider myself an insecure person, but as my teeth have continued to shift and their condition has deteriorated, I have found myself becoming insecure about my smile.  I tried finding recent photos of myself smiling confidently in the direction of the camera, and I couldn’t really find any. My go to poses are kiss a baby, look at a baby, laugh at a baby, and have a baby 🙂 I do genuinely enjoy candid photos more than posed ones, but I have definitely noticed that my being insecure about my smile has affected the way I interact with cameras.

With all of that being said, I am so excited to share that I have teamed up with a local dentist to commence ‘Operation Purty Mouth!” I’m not saying I don’t feel pretty or don’t like my mouth, I just think I will like it more with a full set of teeth that line up in a fancier fashion and match one another:D So, over the next few months, I will be sharing this super fun collaboration with you guys!

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Meet Dr. Guy Gross.  He’s the man behind ‘Operation Purty Mouth’. Dr. Guy  has been working on some really cool stuff that I had no idea even existed before visiting with him. He and his wife, Dr. Kate, started their family friendly practice, New Horizons together and they’re working really hard to take care of people and boost their confidence with a healthy smile.  Dr. Guy focuses almost exclusively on dental implants, restorative, cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry, along with educating other dentists so they can use these awesome new techniques and technologies to fix up them pearly whites! I’ve been to many dental practices and this was honestly one of the nicest I have ever been to! I was greeted by the friendliest ladies at the desk and one of the first things I saw when I walked in was the little coffee bar! Blessed be! There was plenty of stuff to keep the little ladies entertained and did I mention the coffee? Ok, before I talk any more dental jargon or share with you the details of my experience so far, let me introduce you to my mouth.

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To begin, I am missing a tooth that I had to get pulled recently because I most likely cracked it while wrestling Chris in college:D No, I’m not using an innuendo, I have legit broken my tailbone, had double whiplash, had both feet sprained and a had a tooth or several cracked and chipped while wrestling around with friends. So fun, but also maybe a bit costly. I should note, I’ve retired my wrestling career to ensure the safety of all my new teeth and the rest of my body parts. While I am sure that some people are super into missing teeth, I really miss her and am excited to have a new tooth moving in!

Second, I have a tooth we will call snaggletooth whom loves a fresh breeze and is slowly working her way out so she can better feel the full effects of the wind against her sideways self. Dr. Guy gave me several options to correct this tooth and after weighing some options, we decided caging her up with some discrete, comfortable and convenient Invisalign trays would be best to tame her curious and outgoing ways. She’s been a stubborn gal for a long time! You can see me back in my prime when we tried to tame snaggletooth’s wild ways a few years back:D So thankful for the technological advances in dentistry!

 

Last but not least, I’m getting a blue tooth upgrade! When I was a teenager I was being super cool and jumping on the trampoline with a hose. Smart! I was feeling so cool splashing around under the hot summer sun… That is until the metal end of the hose whipped up and broke one of my teeth in half. So lame, but made for a good laugh and a great tan! I had a root canal and a crown put on the broken tooth but over the years she has changed colors, been replaced and popped off many a time. Blue tooth has gone adventuring on her own while white water rafting, hiking, boogie boarding, simply biting into a delicious baked good and one of my all-time favorites, the time she jumped out of my mouth while I was just checking out at the grocery store:D Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds and you have to ask your cashier if they could kindly hand you your tooth:D Blue tooth and I know how to persevere!

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signature look at a baby pose:D

I tell you all of this fun history so you can understand how truly grateful I am for this partnership! Let’s go back to where this partnership began. Have you guys ever done a smile virtual consult before? I hadn’t either but am glad I did. Dr. Guy had me submit a couple photos of my teeth to their website and share what I was hopeful to correct about my smile. He then got back to me a few days later with a video highlighting all of the options there were to fix these things; Different procedures, different timelines, different prices and shared some pros and cons of all of them. It was so nice to learn the specific options for my case from the comfort of my couch. Did I mention this was all free?! So cool! . If you’re needing some work done and are wanting to know your options, you have got to check this smile virtual consult out. From there, I made an appointment and went in to meet Dr. Guy. I was super impressed with their staff and facility! This place be fancy! Two words, massage chairs! We then decided what we would do to my mouth and that’s where the fun begins.

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A few weeks later, I came back in to begin the implant process. I got nestled into my massage chair, was given a cozy blanket and was just treated so well. Dr. Guy uses a pretty incredible technique that he has been fine crafting and I am super impressed! It’s a minimally invasive, super fast technique that makes for an almost instant recovery, very little pain, no bleeding, no stitches and overall a pretty pleasant experience. I maybe sort of watched him do my procedure via the reflection of an iPhone, and it was seriously so cool. The whole thing from start to finish lasted 6 minutes! And, I was barely sore afterwards. I’ve left wrestling matches feeling much worse. In all seriousness though, I was incredibly impressed with how easy and convenient this procedure was and with, Dr. Guy’s skills and with New Horizons as a whole.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetFor those of you who might be wondering what exactly an implant is, let me enlighten you. It’s a big ol’ metal post, titanium to be exact, which is what Captain America’s shield was made from. Don’t be silly, that was vibranium, and yes I totally just goggled that. Anyway, that post was literally implanted into my jaw bone where my former tooth used to be using some kind of magic because I saw no blood and felt no pain. Let me repeat, a big ol’ metal rod was implanted into my bones and it didn’t bleed or leave me feeling like I just had a metal rod inserted into my face! The bone will now grow around my new metal buddy and create a replacement “root”, providing a cozy new home for new tooth to go! Welcome home new tooth! This badboy should last a lifetime, and can help prevent further damage to the bone, tissue and other teeth surrounding the implantation site. Plus, ain’t nobody gonna know its fake… except for all of you:D I have been amazed at how many people have shared with me they need an implant since staring this process, so if you’re in need of an implant and have been hesitant because of fearing the process, you need to look into this. You can read more here.

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Now let’s move on to Invisalign ! I later met with Chelsea and Dr. Kate to discuss taming ol’ snaggletooth.

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I decided on Invisalign because there are two things my husband has asked me not to do since we got married; get bangs or metal braces. So, you’re welcome husband. These trays are for you and sweet snaggletooth. There were no weird gels or molds or alginate that I had to cram in my mouth, just a scan that makes a digital mold of my teeth. Technology is seriously so cool! Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

After getting scanned, Dr. Kate walked me through what the next few steps would look like. In my specific case, I need 13 trays to get my teeth where we want them. I’m almost 2 weeks in and very impressed to see that my teeth have already shifted! If you’re not very familiar with Invisalign, they’re pretty convenient. You wear each set of trays for about a week, take them out to eat and brush and leave them in the rest of the time. Ideally, the trays should be worn 22 hours a day and, I’ve found that’s pretty easy to manage. Today I’ll start my second round of trays and I kind of can’t belive that this process is so fast! Each case varies, but I’m just so impressed with this technology!

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If you are currently looking for a new dentists or are curious about your options, New Horizons has several practices you can choose from! New Horizons Dental Care belongs to New Horizons Dental Practice Management, with 6 other practices in Salina, Wichita, Tulsa, Rossville, Lenexa, Shawnee, Olathe and are continuing to grow.

Thank you so much Dr. Guy and the New Horizons team! We are so thankful to get to partner with you!

(Disclosure: This post was made possible thanks to Dr. Guy Gross and New Horizons Dental team, but all opinions expressed here are my honest opinions.)

 

 

 

Spring baking with Rough Linen

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If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know momma likes herself a baked good!

You know what I also like? Baking delicious baked goods with our daughters!

You know what else I like? Linen!

You know what I really like? Matching with the little ladies!

You know what I really, really like? Baking delicious goodness with our daughters while wearing “matchy matchy” linen pinafore aprons!!!

I am so grateful to get to partner with the lovely shop Rough Linen!  What is it about linen that is so perfect?! I can’t get enough of it! If I had to choose one kind of fabric to live in, it would be linen. I want to wear it, sleep in it, use it in the kitchen and dining room and bathroom and on my furniture and pretty much it is just the best ever!

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For real though, I absolutely love baking with the little ladies and I am so grateful to get to partner with such a beautiful company to make our baking sessions ever more enjoyable!

The girls love wearing aprons when we bake, but they love it even more now that they all have their own special pinafores!

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Tricia Rose, the owner of Rough Linen  says her company kind of started by accident. She used linen that was very special to her to make lovely things around her home and her friends started asking her to make the items she was making or herself and from that passion and sharing her gifts, Rough Linen was born.

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I have the Regular Natural Pinafore and it is absolutely perfect! The girls have both the Children’s Smooth Natural and the St. Barts Aqua.  And, if you know a mom and daughter crew who might love these, Rough Linen is currently offering a Pair of Pinnies Gift Set made up with a mom and daughter pinafore in the colors of your choosing! Seriosuly so adorable!

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Ada’s pinnie has been very well loved!

Since Spring time is among us, making lemon bars just felt right! I love lemon bars. Homemade lemon bars paired with a delicious cup of coffee is like one of my all time favorite pairings!  My husband’s too! So, I asked him if he would take some photos if I paid him in lemon bars and coffee and he kindly obliged. Thank you husband! You are awesome!

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Chris and I have been trying to eat much healthier, but we definitely splurged with these bad boys! We were inspired by a Paula Dean recipe, and man… she does not disappoint! I have to say inspired though because I promise the girls took some serious creative licensing with the proportions in this recipe. However, I’ve never enjoyed a lemon bar more, so good job ladies! Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

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While I absolutely love baking with the girls, things have also changed a bit since Ada has joined the girl club.  She is amazing and hilarious and the sweetest kind of sweet that exists… But, she’s also TWO!  So, as lovely as it is to bake together, you also need to know that I definitely lose my patience with the girls in this season of life too. We have a blast, but after the third prematurely cracked egg and fifth handful of flour in Ada’s hair, we also had to have a regroup, an explanation as to why mom is yelling and another cup of coffee:D Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

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sooo much flour in ada’s hair:D and the table and the floor and in the pockets of her apron and just errrryyywhere. #worthit!

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aaaaaaand, we still haven’t finished painting the kitchen:D we’ll get there!

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The crust was the most delicious thick buttery shortbread and the lemon filling was moist but almost more like a cake brownie than your normal “gel like” filling. The edges were super chewy and caramelized and I don’t know what the girls did, but I definitely wish I would have been taking notes!

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Paula Dean Inspired Lemon Bars

Here is the Paula Dean recipe we used, but like I mentioned above, the girls got pretty creative:D

Ingredients

  • 2 cups for crust, plus 6 tablespoons for filling all purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus more for dusting confectioner’s sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 sticks at room temperature, plus more for greasing butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
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Directions

Preheat that oven to 350 °F. Lightly grease 9x13x2-inch pan.

Make the scrumptious crust by combining 2 cups flour, confectioner’s sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter to make a crumbly mixture or have toddlers smash it up in their hands for a more spa-like experience. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and by press, I mean let your toddlers punch it in the pan for 15 minutes. You may need to dip your fingers into a little flour or confectioner’s sugar to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers. We’ve also found that dolloping heaps of flour into the crust and everywhere else works great! Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, mix the eggs, granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons flour and lemon juice. We’ve found that it’s more more time efficient to crack the eggs into a bowl. Pour this over the well- beaten and baked crust and bake for 25 minutes longer. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and try your best to practice that self-control!

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you ever just look at your babies and want to cry the most grateful tears

 

 

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don’t be fooled. they were actually fighting over the stool:)

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she doesn’t look 12. she doesn’t look 12. she doesn’t look 12. why does she look 12?!!

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Thank you so much Rough Linen for helping make our baking even more exciting!

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(Disclosure: This post was made possible thanks to Rough Linen but all opinions expressed here are my honest and genuine opinions.)

Baby, It’s cold outside…

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Back in December, which literally feels like yesterday, we had the privilege to meet up with a super sweet and local photographer, Meggan Harrison, and warm up in one of our favorite local coffee shops as a family of SIX! Still not over saying that:D  We used to take Norah and Charlie to this coffee shop most weekends and now with 4 it’s gotten a bit tougher… But we have such sweet memories in this place and enjoy making new ones! Coffee shops with my loves will always be one of my favorite things! Here are a few of my favorite photos from our visit with Meggan.

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Ada’s first time having whipped cream and she was so happy about it:D

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I love watching the girls grow in independence, but I also already miss them needing me to put on and take off their coats and all of the little things I will only get to do fro them for so long…

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I love watching them order for themselves these days.

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Records have become a new fun family hobby and this guy loves taking his little ladies to find new records in new shops.  There is something so fun about putting on a record and having a dance party! 

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Why does she look 12?!

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I think about the ladies and who they will be and look forward to the many things we will share with one another over our favorite coffee drinks.

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I HAVE FOUR DAUGHTERS!!!!!:D

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I mean…

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Oh sweet Frankie… She’s already changed so much since then….

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These ladies are so blessed to get to call this dude their dad. He’s seriously the best!

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Chris taught me how to play chess in this coffee shop. We used to have late night coffee & chess dates and he beat me every time.

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Ada is definitely a daddy’s girl and watching them together gives me feels beyond feels.

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Oh Charlie! She

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They kind of flipped out when they found Star Wars:D

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Their daddy got them hooked on Star Wars and I’m totally ok with it!

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But seriously!

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Watching their imaginations and relationships with one another grow is one of my all time favorite things right now!

So many memories in a sweet little coffee shop that I just don’t ever want to forget. Thank you so much Meggan!

 

Norah and Charlie’s dresses and tights are from IraLovesMae

The Girls’ bows are from SewLovedCo

Ada’s dress is from SheLovesHerMama

Frankie’s romper from PetiteCoo

Momma’s Ring Sling from Kanthabae

Dress from DwellandSlumber

Leggings from LalabuLalabu

It’s Cutie Time

We are very grateful to have partnered with Cuties and their 100 Days of Sunshine campaign to share with you our love of kindness and delicious little clementines, of course! Cuties has launched this campaign in the hopes that these little clementines will be a reminder to spread the light and to motivate us to brighten the lives of those around us through kindness. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Did you know that February 16 is Random Acts of Kindness Day? I did not, but now that I do, we want to celebrate by making something we can share with our friends. The little ladies and I decided that making up a sweet little care package for some friends who have recently had babies would be a fun way to spread some of that sunshine and Cuties love! A handful of Cuties, a few cute baby items and a little something made with love from the ladies and I!

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We could eat a bag of Cuties a week, and sometimes we do, so I asked the girls to start saving their peels in a jar for me instead of throwing them away.  Luckily, Cuties are easy to peel so the older girls can help themselves.

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I share with the girls that we would be making something special with the peels, an all-natural, clementine cleaner, safe enough for the little ladies to help me clean with and one we feel good about gifting to our new momma friends! Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

So, now that Cuties are back in stores, go grab a bag, eat as many as you want, try this cleaner out and share it with your friends!

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All-Natural, All-Purpose Cuties Cleaner

Ingredients

Cuties peels (enough to fill most of the jar of your choosing)

White vinegar (enough to fill up your jar and cover them peels)

Equipment

1 large canning jar with a fitted lid
Strainer
Big ol’ bowl
Spray bottle

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Save your Cuties peels: As you use are saving these, you can share with your children that a lot of things we often throw away can be repurposed and used again and discuss the beauty of recycling and repurposing and see if they can come up with some creative repurposing ideas!

Add that vinegar: Once your jar is halfway full to all the way full, pour vinegar over the peels until it fills the jar. Cover your jar with a lid, and allow it to hang out in a dark place for two weeks. This turns one of my least favorite smells into one of my favorite smells! You can talk to your jar or play music for it, but I couldn’t find any evidence that this would make your cleaner any better:D You know I love me some mom jokes:D

Strain it: After two weeks, strain your Cuties cleaner using a fine strainer and catch that liquid goodness in your bowl. Now you can throw away your peels or add them to your compost or maybe make some fermented Cuties earrings.. Totally joking. Don’t make fermented anything earrings, please.

Pour you Cuties Clean into a bottle: Add your Cuties cleaner to a spray bottle, use it as you would any other all purpose cleaner and gift away! Oh, and if you want it to be extra hip, print off a cute label and give your cleaner a fun name!  We stuck with, Cuties Clean, but I bet you could get creative and name your cleaner something awesome!

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThe girls and I had a lot of fun making this and had fun conversation in the process. We ate Cuties together, counted Cuties, maybe even tried to juggle Cuties, and learned that we should probably just stick more to the eating and counting part.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetAnyway, I hope that you will join us in blessing someone with a random act of kindness, not just on February 16th, but whenever you think to do it. And as silly as it may seem, let those sweet little Cuties act as a reminder to be the sunshine and spread it around as much as you can!Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

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(Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Cuties by all opinions stated are my honest opinions.)