Happy Hallo-Giving & Fall Frolics

It’s hard to blog with pictures when you phone becomes a victim to Iowa football tailgating and “water” damage, but I did manage to save some.

Let’s start with Halloween…It’s only appropriate to dress up as the hottest toy right now..Shopkins.  In fact our neighborhood girls could have made up a 5 pack with so many of them.  As the girls are getting bigger, Beggars Night is just complete chaos, they took off and there was no catching up with them as they sprinted from house to house.

Peyton lost not only her first tooth, but her second on the same day!  We were laying in bed and she all of sudden jumps up screaming with excitement she had lost her tooth.  It wasn’t only a few hours later, she comes running in from outside playing with her second one gone.

Speaking of the Iowa Football game, the adults got to sneak away for the day/night and watch one of THEY best Iowa games with a last minute field goal to beat Michigan which ended with us storming the field.  I think we were all reminded quickly the next morning that we are no longer in our 20s.

Not all was happy this fall.  We sadly had to put down our fur baby Jackson.  He was 11 years old and in the few weeks prior his health all of sudden significantly declined. Jake and I had gotten him before our senior year in college (much to our parent’s dismay).  He was the most loving puppy and the reason we choose him was because of his endless kisses.  He may have gotten demoted as the girls came along, barked too much when he was excited, and shed ALL over which drove me nuts but he made us “us” before it was official, and there is a quiet void in our home without him.

Thanksgiving is a time that is full of fun traditions and things to do (though they all seem to revolve around Christmas).  We spend our long 4 day holiday weekend doing the Festival of Trees, exploring downtown Des Moines which included a DART bus ride, saw Disney on Ice, ate Thanksgiving food until I miserable, caught the newest Dinsney movie Moana.

A new yearly tradition started this holiday season, Mom KC shopping weekend. For years we have talked about getting out of town, doing a shit ton of shopping and visiting Ikea, drinking wine all day, and laughing all night.  Well folks it happened!  What we envisioned the trip to be was that and so much more (including a pizza delivery at 1:00am to the hotel).  I love these girls and they are so much more than friends.


Girls trip and birthday fun!

We hit the road to Kansas City to celebrate some October birthdays (Peyton and moms). I have YouTube to thank for introducing American Girls to Peyton and that is all she wanted for her birthday so why not make it a birthday weekend getaway. The last hour of the drive, all I heard from the backseat was “how much longer?” “Are we there yet?” It was all worth it to see the pure joy and excitement as we walked through the doors. She knew exactly what doll she wanted and ran and grabbed it. Her doll got the full treatment of new outfits, accessories, new hair style, and ears pierced. And she went everywhere with us the rest of the day including IKEA! 

While in KC we hit up this amazing farmstead, Deanna Rose Farmstead. Turn of the century farm, animal feeding and rides, play areas, it was awesome. 

Birthday week continued for P with lunch with mom at school and friends party at sky zone. 

A letter to my 6 year old- Peyton



Today you are six.  I knew this day would come but it’s here quicker than I ever imagined.  That happens with most moments in this life – especially the good ones.  You’re one of the great ones.

You’re growing up to be such a loving, kind, beautiful and funny girl.  Gosh you make me laugh. You don’t let everyone see your silly side but it’s one of the things that I love about you. Laughter will take you far in this life.  You’re sensitive, too and cry easily when you are nervous, have to do something new, or when feelings get hurt.  You drive me crazy when you’re sassy or whiney.  I think we share that trait, too.

I cherish our late night talks because that is when you will finally talk and tell me stories.  It’s such a treat to lie beside you in your messy bedroom (yes I see the collection under the bed) and talk about the day’s events.  It used to be me reading you books but now you will read me books.  I hope these talks and nights snuggling together never end.

You love to play softball (and you got aggressive this past year going after those ground balls), tumbled your way to a first play in the gymnastic meet and can now swim the length of the pool.  Your training wheels are off of your bike and you speed around the cul-de-sac on your scooter.  We practically have to drag you in the house grumbling each night as you love playing with your neighborhood friends.  My phone camera roll is filled to the max with selfies you have taken and videos you have made.  You recently told me that you want your own youtube channel.  I have stepped on too many Shopkins to which you know each and every one of their names.  I have endless amounts of envelops filled with letters and pictures you have written and drawn for me.  After watching your little sister get her ears pierced you marched into Claire’s and wanted your done too.  Though we never see them as your hair is always down as you refuse to wear a ponytail!

Peyton, my love for you has no boundaries.  It is limitless and grows stronger each day.  You are a blessing to me now and forever.  As you grow, I hope you’ll know just how honored I am to be your Mom.

For Peyton as you start Kindergarten


The first day of Kindergarten, August 23rd, 2016. Your backpack was packed, your new lunch box is set to go, your orange circle around your neck with Ms. Bruening’s name and your bus number, and your About Me Star homework in your folder ready to be turned in.   In a way, it feels like it took forever for this day to get here, but in another, I can’t believe you  are starting school.

I watched you get on that school bus that first day and while though you had jitters and were very nervous before hand the second the bus pulled up your smile came through and you ran and skipped your way onto the bus.  I was anxious all day to wait for you to get off the bus for that first day and hear all about your day!

First day of school breakfast was a tradition my Dad (Papa) did with me from kindergarten through my senior year in college and something that I wanted to pass along.  This meal is one of my best memories of my childhood.  While the first day nervous tummy made you loose your appetite, day 2 of kindergarten was just as great of a day to enjoy some extra large chocolate chip pancakes at HyVee!

Peyton, as you start school I hope your excitement doesn’t wane. Your curiosity is going to get you so far and help you move past things that may seem scary. I just hope you continue to meet new friends, feel comfortable,and grow your confidence. You are a smart, smiley, friendly, and bright girl, so go dream big little girl!

Blog….let’s try this relationship again

Dear Blog…Let me introduce myself.  I’m Erin your editor who took a 5 month breakup from you.  But I am willing to give this blogging relationship another try.  So where did we leave off oh yes it was Easter.

Since March this is what has happened….

Both girls got their ears pierced.  Kendall had been begging us for weeks to do it and we thought she was just going to drop it but she never did so one night into Claire’s we went.  It wasn’t a matter of only a few days later that Peyton wanted to get hers done so back in we went.  Can someone please tell me when ear piercing got so expensive…over $50/kid!

Both girls tumbled their little hearts out at the Adel Tumbling Meet.  It was Kendall’s first time and she was the youngest one there doing her flips and Peyton took home a first place trophy in her age group.

There were running races and crossfit competitions

Diploma’s and goodbyes at preschool graduation.

Homerun hits

Swimsuits was ice cream mouths were the fashion styles of the summer.

Red White and Booze celebration

A trip to Omaha…..


and the lake with friends



So life happens and you forget to blog.  So here is a look back in pictures of the past 2 months and my vow to be better at this blogging thing!  Here are some highlights:

Daddy Daughter Dance- Jake had a special double date and took both girls to the Daddy Daughter Dance.  The girls looked absolutely adorable and they spent the night dancing away with their Daddy and friends.

Peppa Pig- The Peppa pig obsession for Kendall continues and for Christmas Santa brought her Peppa Pig Live tickets.  Her and I had a special mommy and Kendall night out to see it first hand in person decked out in her Peppa shirt and undies.

Easter- Lots of egg hunts and TONS of candy.  We had egg hunts with our neighborhood crew, the Waukee city egg hunt, and cousins.

Sleeping- The sleeping arrangements in our house have been “non-conventional”.  Kendall has decided that she like to sleep with Jake and I and everyday around 2-4am she comes crawling in, most times I don’t even realize she is in bed with us until the morning. She is quite the cuddle bug and when I come home from the gym and see her and Jake cudding together it does melt my heart.  Peyton has come up with some creative sleeping ideas…see below!




Daddy you look pretty


My crossfit cheerleaders




pretty girl



The daddy with their girls


While the daddy and daughters dance…the mommy’s drink




Painting party


chalk art


peppa pig


date night with the little


Peppa’s here


birthday with friends


my girls


Easter bunny


dying eggs


Bring on the hunt


look at all of that candy


The court annual easter egg hunt



I hope she always smiles


easter bunny art work


bed head


She own bedtime creation


cuddle buddies


pizza haus


our house


umm….which one should i pick

Party like it’s my 3rd birthday

Turning 3 doesn’t come without a party with your friends and family!  For weeks Kendall leading up to February 1st, Kendall had been asking if she was 3 just about every day.  And each day we told her that she has so many weeks or days left.  She was so excited about turning the big 3!  And of course as it got closer she would ask “Is it my birthday party yet?”  We spent what seemed like an hour at the Costco Bakery section deciding on what she wanted on her cake, finally she decided on the colorful caterpillar.

For her birthday party we invited our close friends and family to Rainbow Play Systems for 2 hours of kids running around swing, sliding, climbing, and jumping on all of the outdoor play sets they have.  After a short break of too many presents in which half which included a common theme of Peppa Pig (Kendall loves her some British pig!), loaded the kids back up with sugar, and let them continue to play and giggle.


The weekend birthday festivities continued as Kendall shares her birthday with 2 special guys in her life, her Papa and cousin Wyatt.  So there was much more cake, singing happy birthday, and celebrating happening the rest of the weekend.


Finally on Monday, February 1st, Kendall was officially 3!  We started the morning off with some sprinkle pancakes, I went and ate lunch with her at school which was super fun and she was so excited for me to sit and eat with her, and then some more happy birthday, pizza (her favorite food), and cake that night.  With turning 3, Kendall now gets to participate in tumbling.  For a year she has sat in the waiting room with me while Peyton got to go in.  I had always said when you turn 3 it’s your turn.  A few days later, on tumbling night she picked out her leotard and ran into the room letting the teachers and everyone else know that she was 3!




A letter to my 3 year old-Kendall


Happy Birthday to one of my favorite little girls in the world.  I blinked and you somehow turned 3.  I am not ready for you to grow up so quickly.  You will forever be my baby no matter how old you get.  I will still rock you and hold you like a baby as long as you let me.

You are quite the diva and are so opinionated and independent, all we hear is “I Do it”. You like to push the boundaries and see how far you can go and yes that does mean running out of the store at the mall or behind the counter at HyVee.  You will pick on your big sister until she has had enoug.  You will sneak out of bed a million times a night just to get one last bedtime hug and kiss.  You like to pick out your clothes each morning and if I would let you, you would wear pajamas all day.


You love to be noisy, whether it’s your singing, yelling, or your beautiful humming you always make yourself present!  You will turn on the microphone full blast and sing 5 little monkeys, twinkle twinkle little star, and my favorite Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood and Wildest Dreams. You crack us up daily with your quirky dance moves, comical facial expressions and hilarious conversations.  Man…you can have some great conversations!


You are beginning to love school.  There were several months you would cry at drop off but you not go running in an find your friends. You talk about your friends all the time and constantly want to have them over for play dates especially Khloe.  You also want to be a teacher…you reenact your entire school day at home, doing circle time, giving everyone their jobs, and nap time with us.  You do a great impression of your teacher Miss Nina and will tell us the school rules “listen to your teacher!” “No touching your friends!”.

You are super duper sweet.  You are an amazing hugger.  I love at night time when we lay down together and you tell me to lay down and then you just wrap your little arm around my neck and pull me close so that our faces are touch, squeezing me as tight as you can.  It’s the perfect end to the day.  I also love when you grab my cheeks and pull me close and say “I love you so so much” and then plant a big ole kiss on my lips.  You know how to melt my heart.

Your favorite things right now are playing with your babies, especially changing their diapers, Peppa Pig, Dora, legos, playing board games, the iPad, tumbing, and crafts…all types of messy crafts (courtesy of Peyton).  You also really LOVE Peyton and I know the feeling is mutual.  You want to do whatever she is doing…you want to play whatever she is playing with.  Sometimes you guys play so well together and sometimes not so much.  And I get that.  I don’t expect you guys to get along perfectly all the time.  You need to give her some space and you need to learn to respect her stuff…that means he is not a fan when you her toys or craft and ruin it.  But when she gets mad at you for breaking her stuff, I love that you are always willing to try and fix it.  You want to please her and make her happy…..most of the time.


You can have quite the attitude from time to time.  I tend to say that I have my hands full with you, but I honestly can’t imagine it any other way.  You are absolutely perfect to me and I love your sass, your confidence, your compassion, your strong will, your imagination and your cuddle bug love.  You fully experience life.  You are all in.  You live each day to the absolute fullest.

I could not have dreamed the complete and utter joy I feel in having a second daughter. What a blessing and a complete gift you have been to our family.  I don’t know exactly how these things work; if you chose me or I chose you, or if it’s all simply chance, but I do know, whatever it was, it got things exactly right.  You were the perfect addition to this family.

I love you to the moon and back!

You turn 3 today!!!!  Go get ’em baby girl.  Show the world what you are all about.



Holiday Happenings

Did the holidays seem to come and go in a blur to everyone?  Well it did here and that is what I am going to blog about it…..2 months later!  Do you see a theme with me and blog posts…
We hosted Thanksgiving at our house with the entire family on both sides and thank you to HyVee for the fabulous catered Thanksgiving meal!  See Jake I were packing up to head to Mexico at 4am that next morning and the last thing I wanted was to be cooking and then the never ending task of cleaning.  We wanted to enjoy family time so as I do with all of my groceries I got on my computer ordered HyVee online, picked up the next day, reheated, and ate what was seriously an awesome meal.  Who doesn’t love HyVee?!?  It was exactly what Thanksgiving should be…spending time with family and being thankful for everything you have.  There were plenty of moments throughout the day I was able to sit back and take it all in.

Early the next morning the alarm went off and Jake and I were off to Mexico (not without some delays and flight switching due to weather) to celebrate Sharp’s wedding. We met a group of 10 other couples down that were all Ankeny boys and the wives and to sum it up it was Spring Break 30 year old style.  It was like groundhogs day for 5 days straight, wake up way to early, go to the pool, start drinking at 10 when the swim up bar opened, eat too much food at the buffet, and then go to bed by 8 drunk, full, and burnt. It was so much fun, so needed, and the wedding was beautiful!
I love Christmas and felt like we celebrated it for 2 weeks straight which was perfectly fine with me.  With switching to a new job I didn’t get to take off as much time as I would have liked but the time off and spent with Jake and the girls and family was fun.  The girls are at a fun age that they get it and are genuinely excited.  I love seeing the magic in and through their eyes. Every morning they would run down and find Susie and see what she had been up to the night before, there were ohhs and ahh as we passed Santa at the mall, and had to drive by every house that would have lights or blow ups on.  We would drive by this house in our neighborhood with a million lights and blow ups in the front yard and creep by driving 3mph on a daily basis.
We got to spend time with each side of the family, laughing, drinking, kids running everything and getting a million presents that I need to find a spot for.  I love sitting and taking it all in and think how blessed we are with a great life and family.  It truly is a magical time of the year.