Friday, December 16, 2016

Visit With Santa

Somewhere, 6 years from now, when I'm not expecting it I'll stumble on the absurdly expensive pictures that we paid for during this session. Instead, for now, we have this awkward angled and slightly out of focus version. 
Charlotte insisted on wearing her Santa Clause hat for the occasion and Grace was just skeptical all around but eventually made her way to the edge of the chair. 

Charlotte asked for a locket. Grace asked to "get down". 

Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Night in the City

We packed one bag and stuffed a night's worth of clothes for all of us and headed into the city to spend the night with our good friends.
The girls were thrilled to have a sleepover.  The adults we're excited to have a night in the city. Win-win.

Love visiting these two and watching the way that they dote on the girls. A wonderful night and I'm sure some quiet time after our departure was enjoyed by our good friends.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Tearing Up the Old Floors

We found out about 6 months after we moved into our new house that the floors would need to be repaired. In part due to the lack of support from the original beam (replaced with an Metal I-beam in June) causing warping of the boards but also due to gaps between the boards which we suspect was caused from an old boiler that used to heat the house.

After a lot of convincing (not an easy task for Troy) I gave in and agreed that getting new floors was the best way to go. Work started this week.

This is a huge project, and one that we didn't have the time to take on ourselves so we've hired help. They started by removing all of the flooring. Using a saw they pulled it up in sections. Next they removed the sub-flooring where needed and began the leveling process.

Worth noting that the biggest surprise by far was a large hole under a corner section of the kitchen. It's walled off, not accessible from the basement leaving  one's imagination to wander....we're perplexed to say the least. In the hole was an old bicycle tire, a game piece from an old Sorry board game, and bits and pieces of trash. We'll likely be scratching our heads for a while on this one.

I'm standing in the "hole" in the picture further down. When the subfloor was taken up we discovered that the support loads under this area 1.) were in bad shape and 2.) were higher than the other support loads throughout the main level which would cause a leveling nightmare. The mister and I pulled nearly an all-nighter correcting the issue so the flooring guys wouldn't lose any time. Right about 2am, standing in the non-insulated "hole" next to the door  I was really cursing us for choosing to do this project in December.

But, things are coming along and I'm excited to get this box checked off.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Getting Ready

Setting up the first Christmas tree of the year.
While in Iowa for Thanksgiving we make sure to get a in the Christmas spirit by getting first Grandma's decorations out: snow globes, nativity set, angels, and of course the tree. Then we do the same at Oma's house. The girls like looking at all of Oma's old ornaments: baby pictures of me, old art projects, and salt dough shaped like hearts that 30 years later somehow smell just as strongly of cinnamon as the day I made them in Kindergarten.

We're getting ready for Christmas in Iowa...

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Back in Iowa giving thanks surrounded by those we're thankful for.
We spent the day with Oma, Grandma and Julie relaxing and catching up. The girls just love it here. I completely understand why.
We had a great trip with good food, a bit of pumpkin decorating and lots of giggles.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


Midwest fall at its finest. Our first fall in the new house and the leaves did not disappoint.

We scooped them into 2 big piles which the girls promptly destroyed. A few neighbors also came over to join in. At one point I think a tunnel had been constructed. 

Orange, red, yellow, purple, brown and green filled the air and clung to the girls' hair as they rolled around in the piles.  The scent of fall, and earth, and childhood all colliding into a single happy memory. Feeling grateful for the beautiful fall season, a yard that caters to our outdoor adventures and our new leaf blower which has earned it's keep this year.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Visit From Texas

We had two special guests from Texas for the weekend. Nothing fancy planned, just time spent hanging out, playing at the park and of course a movie night with ice cream. We love these two and were happy we could host them for a couple days!

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Took a few moments to capture the four of us together today. It's a rare occasion seeing that one of us is usually behind the lens, and those two sweet girls usually steal the spotlight. They're cuter than us anyways. I'm not jealous.

My heart is full. We are beyond blessed to have everything that we have.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Bedtime With Dad

Amazing to think how much love fits in this small space. One of my favorite things to be a part of each night. Bedtime is my favorite.

Monday, October 31, 2016


The weather was good this year and our new neighborhood really embraces the Halloween spirit. Two things that made for a great evening visiting neighbors and collecting candy. Too much candy, but we'll figure out what to do with it. 

Troy and I had so much fun watching both of the girls greet neighbors and run into friends they know through school. Lots of fun.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Eve

The day ahead of Halloween we had the girls get dressed in their halloween costumes so I could snap some pictures. It's hard to get them halloween night because they don't want to stop for photos between running from house to house for candy. Can't say that I blame them!

There are some woods and a creek that run through our neighborhood so we went exploring in the late afternoon/evening.

Charlotte wanted to be a Maleficent this year. Then quickly changed her mind to a vampire. She found a dress to wear and fake teeth. She wore them to the neighborhood halloween party but then the eve of her school party she changed her mind and wanted to be a bumble bee.....but she still wanted to wear the teeth. I put my foot down on driving around town to find a costume last minute and instead told her we'd see what we could make out of stuff at home. With a little imagination, pipe cleaners and electrical tape we had a vampire bumble bee.

Grace, the second that Charlotte opted out of Maleficent scooped up the idea. A pair of giant horns and a black dress and she was set.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

House Update 2016

We've been busy finishing up the main level bath and we're getting close. This weekend we worked on the vanity. The Mister completed the base for the vanity a couple weeks ago and we've been figuring out the plan for the top. 

We decided to give concrete a try. We'll see in a couple weeks how it works out. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Morning at the Park

Just a Saturday morning at the park. Lots of climbing.
We may or may not still have pajamas on.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Fun Run and Visit With Friends

A great weekend with a visit from Iowa friends and very little on the agenda.

We stayed around the house on Saturday doing absolutely nothing and it was exactly what we all needed. Lots of rest, lots of relaxation, lots of cuddles with the littles.
More often than not we tend to over schedule trying to cram in as much as possible to a weekend.
Saturday was wonderful. Lesson learned for he next time.

On Sunday we wrapped the weekend with a fun run at the arboretum. The girls even did a kids run with bibs and all. Beautiful fall weather and a great ending to our weekend.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Those Freckles

Each summer she adds a few more freckles to the collection. They are slowly forming a beautiful passage from one side of her face to the other up over her nose. Scarcely speed out under her eyes and more heavily clustered on the bridge of her nose. She's proud of them if you ask her. And she should be, they suit her perfectly. A little bit quirky, laid back, imperfect, and beautiful.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Austin Trip

It goes without saying that we have the best friends out there.
Hands down.

For four days we chose friendship over work, we chose the pool over the office. We cooked and sat down for communal meals of whatever had been made up. We had a few too many cocktails, laughed until our cheeks hurt, and made far too many inside jokes taking us back over the years.

At the end of each day, with fingers that looked more like prunes, and cheeks still warm from the sun I looked around to see us surrounded by the most amazing people. Sixteen years I've had the opportunity to know this group as a second family. We've all met this next chapter in our lives head on with careers, pets, weddings, children, and loss. We've supported from afar, and since leaving a small town in KS many years ago, we've mostly stayed in touch with the help of modern technology.  But no matter the distance, or the time between visits being around this group simply feels like being home. Love these guys. So incredibly happy to have them on this adventure.

A huge thank you to Oma for stepping into and taking over our hectic life for 5 days so that we could recharge. Feeling grateful in all sorts of ways as I take a moment to reflect at the end of this week. Life is good.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Cousin Time

Growing up we didn't live near most of our family. In fact, to this day I still have cousins which I've never met. I guess a symptom of a family that was ahead of its time, spread out across the US during a time when most families still stayed within close proximity of one another. A good excuse for traveling, but for a number of reasons we rarely did.

My aunt Hazel's family lived close by though, maybe an hour or so by car. I remember visiting quite a bit. Weather we did or not I don't know as memories and time seem to get distorted the older I get. My aunt Hazel had 3 grandkids, of whom my cousin Brent was the youngest born just a year after me.

When I think back to time we spent together growing up I see it more like a slideshow without moving parts. I see snapshots of roller blades, hide and sneak, giant swing sets, and cinnamon rolls. I remember running up to the top of the stairs in the old farm house to sneak cookies, and playing hide and seek while the adults huddled around a table playing pitch.
I remember Brent, his heart and his boyish smile. A smile that hasn't changed a bit over the years, and a heart that is even bigger than when he was a boy.

Brent got married this past weekend in what was a beautiful ceremony under the stars. Plenty of smiles, memories and music to be had, and a wonderful reason to see family who live near and far.