{cousin fun!}

Last week, I headed home to WV with Will and Harper to visit my in-laws and my brother-in-law and his family, who were in from Kentucky for a few days. My husband had to work, so I made the close to 2 hour drive by myself (the first time I have driven home with both kiddos by myself-usually my hubby comes with me). It wasn’t a bad drive at all-we didn’t have to stop either way!

My mother-in-law (Mimi) wanted to get some professional pictures of her four grandchildren, so this was the perfect time! She wanted to do a red, white, and blue color theme since it was close to July 4th. I wasn’t sure what my nieces would be wearing so I brought an assortment of mostly white and blue clothes for Harper and Will (they don’t have many articles of clothing that are red!).

My nieces, V, who is six, and E, who is four, were dressed in the cutest skirts! They matched really well with Will and Harper’s outfits!

Luckily, the photo shoot took only ten minutes! Harper was not in the mood for pics after being in the car for almost two hours. The pics turned out cute-though they are studio pictures, which are not my cup of tea at all. I prefer more natural pictures outdoors and not so posed. Anyway, I will order a print of all four kiddos for my photo gallery wall at home.

This was after the photo shoot-I tried to snap a few pics of the cousins together.  The kids were all pictured-out but I got some fun shots of them playing.

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I’m able to get more photos of Harper since Will is constantly on the move-that child never stops!
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Eating lunch outside. IMG_6535

Taking a walk in the neighborhood.IMG_6539

Playing choo choo train and school bus while waiting on dinner to be ready. Poor Will is the only boy!IMG_6563

 Enjoying popsicles after a yummy dinner of grilled chicken and salad.  Mimi made blueberry cobbler, so the adults enjoyed cobbler a la mode while the kiddos had popsicles.

IMG_6594After dinner, I gave the kids a chance to play outside for a while. Then I gave them baths and we loaded up to head back home. Luckily, they slept most of the way and went right to bed at 9 when we arrived home.

We had a blast playing and visiting with our cousins:)

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My Little Girl // It’s the Little Things

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Hello! I’m linking up with Ashley and Jess for “It’s the Little Things.”  I love looking back at all the pictures I have taken of the kiddos and am amazed at how much they’ve changed and how fast time has flown by.  I literally have thousands of pictures of the kiddos and need to do a better job of sorting through them and deleting the not so good ones.  That’s one of my summer projects:)

Anyway, I came across this adorable picture of Harper from last summer (above, when she was one) climbing up the steps of the gym set.  Recently, I tried to get her in the exact same pose so I could see how much she’s changed and how big she’s gotten (though she’s still really small!).  So below are two pictures of her at two years old.  My sweet girl!  Cherish the small moments…time goes by way too fast.20140525-103554-38154554.jpg

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5 on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Christina and several others for 5 on Friday! We’re off enjoying our two days of spring break.  Since we had so many snow days this year, three of our spring break days were taken away. Despite that, I’m enjoying every moment with my kiddos and husband.

{one} Will had spring preschool pictures a few weeks ago.  He was so excited since it was a duck photo session and he was able to choose a duckling to hold.  He chose a little black duckling…so adorable! Even though I prefer to get digital copies of prints (the particular photographer they used only offered prints), I ordered a small package of prints to give to our family.

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{two} Spring clothes!  Pretty soon, Miss Harper will be too big to wear the adorable Carter’s baby/toddler clothing.  Carter’s makes some of my favorite baby outfits, so when I found these spring sets at Kohl’s, I just had to get them! I had a coupon, plus all Carter’s clothes were on sale.  Yay! (And yes, my 2 year old still fits into 24 month clothes…she’s very petite!)

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{three} Ramps! Any time I mention ramps, people give me a confused look.  Do you know what ramps are?  I grew up in Appalachia and my dad would go out in the woods in search of ramps each spring.  They are also called spring onions or wild leeks and are very strong tasting-kind of like a mixture between onions and garlic.  My mom sautés them up with a little olive oil.  Some people eat them raw, but they are way too strong that way.  Will and Harper took a bite but didn’t like them at all.

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{four} We took the kiddos to a new playground last week.  It’s just several minutes from our house and has two play areas for the kiddos.  Will and Harper loved it!

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{five} This picture is blurry, but I captured it the other evening in the car driving home. Harper was asleep and Will reached out to hold her hand.  Of course, he only held it for a minute and I had to rush to get this picture.  So sweet!  I love seeing how much they care for each other and love playing with each other.

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I hope you have a wonderful Friday:)

Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday:)

{one} I bought this cute gold polka dot binder at Target a few weeks ago. My plan is to create a home organizing binder with it, but I haven’t gotten very far, ha!  It’s on my to-do list, though.

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{two} I’m loving mason jars and all the things you can do with them! I’m even creating Harper’s 2nd birthday party around a mason jar theme.  I picked up these jars at Target (of course!) and have plans to fill them with different spices and herbs we buy in bulk. I’m also going to use them to store homemade taco season and dry ranch dressing mix (soon to come on one of my Pinterest project posts!).  Have you seen the beautiful blue and green mason jars?  So pretty!

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{three} While this is not a good picture, I made some lasagna soup from the blog, Carolina Charm, few days ago.   It’s a delicious soup with a creamy, spicy flavor! Though it turned out yummy, it’s definitely not a replacement for the vegetable lasagna I make. I highly recommend this taco soup recipe from Carolina Charm. I made it last week and it was so tasty!

lasagna soup

{four} Birthday party prep!  I created two Instagram photo banners displaying pictures of Miss Harper from the past year.  I made the clothespins from washi tape and mini clothespins.

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{five} I love scarves!  This beautiful scarf was given to me by one of my husband’s co-workers.  She recently returned from a rotation in Afghanistan and brought this back for me from one of the local markets there.  It will join my other scarves in my closet, including another scarf from my husband’s co-worker. So pretty!

scarf love

Have a wonderful weekend!

Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for Five on Friday:)

{one} I’m so happy that it’s starting to seem more like spring! We got outside earlier this week and played.  I’m loving the 50-60 degree temps!  Our 14+ inches of snow has finally melted!  Now it’s off to stomp in the mud puddles:)

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{two} My friend made this taco soup from Carolina Charm (love this blog!) and I decided to try it. The soup turned out delicious, with wonderful flavors. It combines taco seasoning and a package of ranch dressing (which kind of sounds weird) but it was so yummy! My husband requested that I include this dish in our menu rotation.  I tend to make lots of new recipes and end up forgetting about them, ha! This will definitely be one I make again. It was also very easy:)

taco soup

{three} My friend and college roommate recently opened up an Etsy shop called “My Honey Bee Shop” and is selling natural lip balm. I bought some  and received it in the mail this week. It’s very nice lip balm-I like that it’s natural and made by someone I know. I love supporting sellers on Etsy, especially when I know them personally! I always dream about having my own Etsy shop–that would be so fun! (though I don’t know what I would sell, ha!).

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{four} I have been saying for months (maybe years) that I need to print some of the oodles of Instagram pictures I take, and I have finally gotten around to it!  I ordered 24 pictures from Prinstagram to use as a photo display of Miss Harper’s 2nd year (for her birthday party).  I tried to order a variety of pictures that shows how much she has grown in the past year! They turned out great!

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{five} Oh.my.goodness…go out and read this book, NOW! I love Jodi Picoult, and this was probably one of her best books ever! I started listening to it on CD in the car on my drive to and from work and finally finished it this week.  It’s about a young woman whose grandmother is a Holocaust survivor and becomes friends (not knowingly) with a Nazi SS guard.  The way Jodi Picoult intertwines the stories in this book is amazing, and listening to it on CD makes it even better with the different narrators.  I’m so sad that it’s over…I didn’t want the book to end.  Any recommendations on what to read next? My drive to and from work is now seeming really long since I don’t have a compelling novel to keep me entertained!

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Happy Friday:)

Capturing the Little Moments

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Happy Wednesday! I’m linking up with Ashley and Jess for their fun link-up! Since Will was born, one of my goals has been to take tons of pictures, capturing our everyday life.  It seems like I go through phases where I take a lot of pictures, then other weeks when I don’t take many at all. I’m trying to find a balance and want to capture the everyday moments.  Oftentimes, my camera is downstairs when I need it upstairs to snap a picture quickly. By the time I run down to get the camera, the kiddos have moved on and I’m not able to capture that moment.

I was able to get some random pics the other day as we were going through our morning routine.  Will decided he wanted to fix his hair and brush his teeth at the same time-multi-tasking at its finest, ha!

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Will and Harper have been obsessed with floss lately.  Every time I get out the floss, they each want some.  Harper just likes the taste of it! IMG_7409

Here’s one way to keep Miss Harper still-set her on the counter and snap away! I was standing right beside her the whole time, don’t worry:) She loves to brush her teeth but hates it when mommy and daddy help her.  Miss Independent!

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Do you have any good tips on capturing the everyday moments?

Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday:). I’m linking up with Darci for Five on Friday! Our computer isn’t working, so I’m unable to access my pics:(. It’s currently being worked on.. I’m hoping it is fixable. Below are a few pics from my iPhone but my camera on my phone has never worked well (and doesn’t work most of the time), so I added a few fun finds from Pinterest and Etsy:)

{1} I love snuggling with kiddos after baths! Will and Harper were enjoying a fun snack time together before bed the other evening. Each day, the two of them play more and more together. I love seeing their interactions and the love they show for each other…it’s so sweet!

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{2} Miss Harper stopped nursing the other day:(. I’m still sad about it, especially since we’re not having any more kiddos. She’s my baby:) It seems like I’ve been nursing forever. I started my nursing journey in May 2010 when Will was born. I have nursed straight through until now, with the exception of November 2011 (it got too uncomfortable being pregnant) through March 2012 when Harper was born. So that’s almost three and a half years, wowzers! Will would have kept on nursing but it was too difficult nursing him while pregnant with Harper, so I weaned him at 18 months.

After Will was born, I thought I would just nurse him until he turned one. However, he wanted to keep nursing and so did I (something I thought I would never say in those very early newborn weeks with him; it was pretty rough for the first 6 weeks). When Harper was born, it was so much easier to pick back up and continue nursing. I decided I would nurse her as long as she wanted (within reason…I was planning on stopping by age 2 if she hadn’t stopped before then). Miss H had different plans. She got sick last week and when she tried to nurse, she gagged and pulled away. For several days, I asked her if she wanted to nurse, but she would adamantly say, “No!” each time. I had been so accustomed to nursing and it had become second nature to me. I really do miss it but am glad I had such a great experience with it!

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{3} How cute are these lace boot cuffs from Etsy?! I first need to buy a pair of boots (please don’t judge me, but no, I don’t own any boots). Any recommendations?
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{4} It’s not too early to plan my daughter’s second birthday party, is it? She doesn’t turn two (gasp!) until March but I’ve been pinning some ideas already. Currently, I’m loving this “You Are My Sunshine” theme with gray, yellow, and navy blue. So cute!
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{5} It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is in less than a week! Where did the year go?! Each Thanksgiving, I like to try a new recipe, one that puts a spin on the traditional dishes. I’m considering these pumpkin pie parfaits, yummy!
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