Mexi Mac and Cheese (and Maracas!)

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Themed meals and crafts are always fun! This week, the kids got to make maracas after one of our Stroller Strides classes, and boy, were they a hit! And a delicious new recipe to find its way to our kitchen is Mexi Mac and Cheese. The name says it all – it’s a cheesy pasta-y meaty Mexican bowl of goodness. I made a huge batch for us, and the leftovers did not last long. Try it for yourself! Continue reading

Weekend in Review

Last week, I took a little unplanned break from my blog and used my writing time to explore and read other blogs to get some new creative ideas and ways to organize and plan my own blog. One of those ideas that I’ve seen a lot of mom bloggers doing is a Weekend in Review post at the end of every weekend – and I’m starting that on mine now! So let’s get right to it… We had an amazing weekend! And of course, the beautiful weather was much appreciated… 🙂  Continue reading

Springtime in the Northwest

I am loving this weather we’re having! I know that it’s just a teaser right now, it happens every year, but I’m enjoying the teaser while it’s here. Rain is back in the forecast for this week, but until then, I’m dreaming of summer and soaking up this lovely sunshine.

Spring is actually my least favorite season, but I’ve started to really love and appreciate the gorgeousness of the bright colors and fresh air the last few years. Summer is obviously the best – the long sunny days, cold beer, dinners outside, and all of the fun outdoor activities like hiking, camping, boating, etc. Doesn’t get much better than summer. I do love winter too, because it’s holiday season, the snow brings a sense of peace and beauty to the world, and I do love cuddling indoors in front of a fire and enjoying warm comfort food. We got married in the winter, so it holds a special place in my heart. Fall comes in third because it’s a good transition between summer to winter, it’s the start of football season which is always fun, and if I have to put away my sundresses and flip flops, then I’m happy to get out my leg warmers and boots instead. And my birthday is in the fall, so there’s no complaints from me there. But then there’s spring. By the time winter is over, we need to just jump ahead to summer. We’re ready for the bright light again! Spring is the not-so-great transition from winter to summer, because it seems to go on forever when we’re just ready for the fun summer to start.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are lucky to have all four seasons. Our mountains and trees and lakes are gorgeous because of it, and I truly do enjoy our scenery. So I am learning to appreciate the springtime in my old age. 😉 I know the rain is coming and we will still have some “dark days” to get through, but I’m going to love the teaser weather until it’s here for the summer!

Case in point… this past week has been FULL of fun springtime goodness…  Continue reading

Road Tripping with a Toddler

A few days ago, Zara and I embarked on a mommy-daughter road trip to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We timed the trip for when Jeremy had to travel for work, so that he didn’t have to miss out on additional daddy-daughter time. CDA is a little more than 300 miles away, so it was Zara’s longest road trip yet. I’ve made the trip many times on my own and with friends, but this was my first time alone with a toddler. We had a lot of “greats” and just a few “gripes” on our journey… Continue reading

Easter Fun Week!

Wow, what a week! We were so busy with fun Easter activities with family and friends all week long, I barely had any time to sit down at my blog. So I’m combining all of our adventures in one big Easter post so I can catch up, because today is the start of a new blogging challenge that I’ve signed up for – more on that in the next post! 😉

This is the first holiday that Zara is old enough and mobile enough to really participate and play a role in the fun activities. And oh my goodness, what fun she (and we!) had! It is so much fun to be a parent and watch a small child experience holidays. Our Easter celebrations started last weekend and went strong all the way through yesterday, Easter Sunday…  Continue reading

Family Fun Center

This post is overdue, but I took a little break from writing while Hayden was here for spring break. So I’ve got a few stories to catch up on! One of Hayden’s requests for his birthday/spring break was to go to the Family Fun Center. So we actually went twice in one week! The first time was a Friday night and we had a few people join us – our friends the Grants, with their daughter Meghan, and my sister, her husband, and their kids, Dean and Emma. The place was packed, and it was the first time that we let Zara walk around with that many people in public. She looked so cute and tiny compared to all of those big (normal-sized) people! She loved it. We kept a close eye on her to make sure no one stepped on her or knocked her over, but she just cruised around like she was the same size as everyone else.  Continue reading

Zoo Day!

Today we went to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma. It was so much fun! We went with some friends of ours, and we all had a blast – despite a little bit of typical PNW rain. It only rained part of the day; otherwise, it was overcast and upper 50s… a wonderful day to walk around the zoo. I wish I had clocked the mileage we walked, but I didn’t, oh well!

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Happy Birthday, Hayden!!

Hayden is 12 today! Say what?! How did this guy get to be 12 years old already??

I met him in 2004, when he was 1 and I was 23. He was his first year into life and I was my first few years into adulthood. 🙂 I never knew Jeremy before Hayden was already in his life. And my life has been better with both of them in it.

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Some of my favorite memories with Hayden is seeing him and his dad together. Because they don’t live together full time, they make the most of the time they do get together, and it is really sweet to see.  Continue reading

Our Family Organization Wall

A few years ago, Jeremy and I started our shared electronic calendar. It mostly consisted of our upcoming trips and Hayden visits. With both of us working full-time, our weekdays were pretty routine due to our similar office hours. Now add in prenatal appointments, kid play dates, workout classes, school schedules, work trips, family dinner planning, band practice, and social commitments, and we have the need for a full Family Organization Wall to keep track of everything.

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Here’s a closer look at all the specifics that help keep our family organized…  Continue reading