Thursday, January 28, 2016

Preschool is the New Naptime

When Liam first started preschool back in August, I fantasized about all that I would do with my free time twice a week.  Running errands with only the baby in tow sounded like a breeze (and it is!).  I assumed my Tuesday & Thursday mornings would be full of grocery shopping, dry cleaning drop offs & pickup, meal prep, laundry, & any other projects that I felt like tackling.  And I started our strong; I really did.  I was amazed at all that I could accomplish during those three precious morning hours.  Sometimes I would even treat myself to some Starbucks and a little Nordstrom shopping.

So what do my precious preschool hours look like now?  They involve sleep.  The entire time.  Lots & lots of sleep.  Finn is usually ready for his morning nap the second we get home from dropping Liam off.  Now of course I could simply put Finn to sleep and then go about some household chores, because Lord knows there are always always things that need to be done.  But no.  Instead I stay in bed.  Sometimes I use that time to catch up on emails, news, blogs.  But more often than not, I sleep too!

When Liam was a baby, I often napped with him.  I always needed the extra sleep, and he always slept better with me anyways.  Win win.  But I don't often get those chances with Finn.  With a toddler in the house I am constantly trying to get Finn to sleep as quickly as possible (no easy task these days) and never get to spent those countless hours just snuggling in bed.  So this is how I spend my toddler free time now, and I don't feel one bit guilty.  Finn & I stay in bed until the last possible minute when I have to rush us both into the car to pick up Liam (which I have never been late for... impressive!)!  Perhaps when Finn drops the morning nap, I'll become productive again.  However, I am currently loving this little groove we are in.  God bless preschool.

And to end on a somewhat unrelated note... Liam insisted upon wearing a bowtie to school today.  He chose the short sleeved polo to go with it.  His fashion sense is so on point with being a trendy little prepster (hipster?).  Love him.  Love that dapper boy to pieces.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My Favorite Things: 3 Years Old

It has been a whole year since I have shared any of Liam's favorite things, so a little round up post was due.  I can honestly say that Liam loves each and every one of these things!  We spend much of our days out of the house, even in winter, so we don't have an overload of toys by any means.  I only like to keep things around that I know will get played with frequently.  Liam's imagination is really developing, so I love that many of these items help facilitate plenty of play.  Plus they are all Finn friendly too, except for the gondola...  He likes to yank if right off its track whenever he gets within reaching distance and there are some tiny choking hazards too.


1 . 2 .  3 .  4 .  5  . 6

Some of the highlights:  The trolley makes the most adorable ding.  The Magnatab (#3) is perfect for long car trips or airplane rides.  I'm currently eyeing the alphabet versions as well to help Liam with his letters (lower caseupper case).  The automobox (#6) completely comes apart and can be interchanged with different vehicles.  And I just happen to love that the icecream set is aesthetically pleasing!

What are your three year olds loving lately?

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Weekend Recap

Night Skiing.  Monster Truck Jam.  Sledding.  That was the quick and dirty version.  But since I have never been a woman of few words, let me elaborate.  This weekend was a busy one; I might even say a tad bit exhausting.  But it was good, oh so good.

Friday night we all drove up to Snowbird for some night skiing.  Liam's first time experiencing the slopes at night...  He was just as reckless as always!  The boy loves to ski, but he's all about speed.  Trying to get him to make a wedge (or pizza) is a struggle.  For now, we are fine with him just getting used to being on his skis for another  year.  But eventually he'll need to learn how to slow down.  And stop on his own.  Really just learn some control.  He is as confident as ever and practically fearless.  He also thinks that whenever he skis over a slight mound of snow that he is doing a jump.  We don't crush his spirit.  Liam put in 4 runs and a couple go's down the magic carpet by himself.  I was impressed with how long he lasted.  Both boys were asleep mere minutes after hitting their carseats.  A successful night!

Saturday was much anticipated... Finally, the day of Monster Truck Jam arrived!  Yes, this is a super redneck activity.  Yes, Conor & I may have been slightly embarrassed about buying tickets.  But we knew Liam would absolutely love it!  We also knew that it would be way too loud for Finn, so Conor was the lucky parent who got to attend.  I took a long winter's nap with Finn, and was treated to a few pictures & videos of the fun.  As soon as Liam walked in the door afterwards, he told me all about the jumps, and crushing cars, and doughnuts.  He was one excited little boy who couldn't believe how big & loud the trucks were.  

Sunday we woke up to a good 4-5 inches of new snow.  On mornings like these, it's straight into our snow gear and out to shovel.  The snow was heavier & wetter than we typically get in Utah, so it was perfect for snowman making.  Finally!  This may just be my favorite way to start the day, followed by a cozy fire and snuggles.  We couldn't keep Liam out of the snow, so that afternoon we went back to our favorite hill for some more sledding with the neighbors.  Finn absolutely loves it too!  And yes, we take him down the big one.  He always has a huge smile on his face and a throws out a couple coos.  And if we dare sled down without him, he kicks his little legs furiously making sure that the next sled down will be his!





There may not have been much rest over the past couple of days, but memories were made!  Now let's hope this next weekend comes along here real quickly; we're ready! 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Valentine Touches

Yes, I'm that girl.  I get excited about Valentine's Day and love everything heart shaped & pink.  There are so many festive things out right now, especially heart banners.  Wow, are those just everywhere?!  Did I purchase two...?  I may have.  Here are few things that have caught my eye lately.  A little pop of pink here or there is the perfect touch this time of year!  

1 .  2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6

While these would all be wonderful little goodies for yourself, they would also make for the perfect thoughtful gift.  Because who doesn't love a "just because" present?!


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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Stitch Fix #11

Stitch Fix time!  Except don't get too excited, because once again it was quite the disappointment (I didn't keep anything!).  But I'm going to take a little responsibility here...  It's not completely my stylist fault.  I've been not only pinning the looks I love and hope to receive in my fixes, but also my old fixes.  The thought was that my stylist could see how the clothes from previous fixes looked on me.  Well I think this has been messing up everything!!!  Because my last three fixes have all been terrible, and they have all been just a somewhat different assortment of the same styles.  So note to bloggers: do NOT pin your own fixes unless it was a piece you loved & kept!  So since I still love getting that sweet little package in the mail, I'm going to give Stitch Fix another shot!  I see all the amazing options on Pinterest; I just need to get my hands on them!  But since we all have different styles, here is my latest fix in case there is something you all love and want to pin:

Skies are Blue Talar Split Neck Top
This was the best of the bunch.  I liked the chambray look of this shirt, and I also love polka dots, but it was still pretty meh.  It was quite wide & a little on the short side.


41Hawthorn Danette Dress
I asked for casual dresses that I could wear with leggings.  This is not casual in my mind.  I'm not going to be sporting this while chasing my toddler down, nor can I nurse in it.  I also happen to hate the color and the pattern.


Karen Kane Evey Dress
Again, this is not casual in my opinion.  And again, I hate the color and the pattern.  But of course I had to give it the twirl test, and it has a nice little spin to it!


 Briton Ivy Sylvester Split Neck Blouse
I like a good blouse, but this one was really short.  Apparently Stitch Fix keeps forgetting about my long torso!  The mint color was pretty, so had it been longer, this may have actually made it into my closet.

Mystery Swindle Crochet Detail Open Drape Cardigan
Not a fan of the back nor the odd draping.  I didn't like how the chunkiness of the sweater didn't continue onto the arms either.  Really a bizarre piece!


Another big womp womp.  But with a new Pinterest board, I'm feeling extremely hopeful about my next fix!  And if I haven't completely scared you away, and you are in fact interested in trying it out, do it!  If nothing else this is a fun service, and I have scored many a beautiful piece of clothing from Stitch Fix.  Please use my link, so I can send many many thanks your way!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Weekend Recap

I'm on the quite the recap roll, so why not fast forward to current day (hello mid January) and give you a little glimpse at our weekend.  Conor had been out of town on business travel for part of the week, so I was thrilled when he snuck out early on Friday and joined the boys & I for lunch.  We then took the littlest to the pediatrician...  He's had some pretty bad eczema for about two months now, so we believe he may have a dairy allergy.  Since I am breastfeeding, this affects me too.  So as of Saturday, I am officially dairy free.  It's going to be a very difficult transition for me.  Luckily, we make most of our meals from scratch, so I will be able to find substitutes and hopefully get in a good non-dairy groove.  Thanks to all for the kind thoughts and words of support on my Instagram post.  I would love to hear even more about recipes you love or good dairy substitutes.  Surely, I can use all the help & support I can get.  This change left me in a bit of a bad mood, which was no good coupled with the post holiday funk, which always seems to happen after long visits home.  Thankfully we had a pretty packed weekend that kept me in relatively high spirits.  

We had not one, but two birthdays parties to attend, so we divided & conquered on that front.  I took Liam to a tea party (even boy moms get invited too!) Saturday morning.  The host had goodies for everyone, which included a bowtie & suspenders!  I was able to get Liam on board with the bowtie, but not the latter.  However, come Easter, he most definitely will be sporting the suspenders.  Eek, I can't wait!  And then that same evening, Conor took Liam to soccer party where he ran around for 2 hours straight kicking the ball whenever he managed to get his little feet near it!  It was nice to have one-on-one time with each of the boys; I don't get that often enough!

Sunday was a true "funday"!  Conor took Liam up skiing early in the morning.  They had a little man date with another father-son duo.  I stayed home in my cozy bed with Finn, but I want to get up on the mountain Liam soon too!  They rushed back to catch the Seahawks playoff game, which if you saw was part massacre, part amazing comeback... But alas, they lost!  Then naps all around before an epic evening of sledding.  The sun was just starting to set as hit one of the fastest sledding hills I've ever been on!  I was terrified, yet completely exhilarated.  Liam never stopped smiling.  And Finn was perfectly content to hangout in his little sled, just taking in the sights.  We took him for a couple of spins down the hill whenever he would get antsy.   We were joined by friends and shared some fresh brewed hard cider at the top!  It was the perfect way to end our weekend!










Cheers to another, just like this one!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Winter Holiday: Montana Edition

Note:  I had tons of issues publishing this post.  Initially at least half the text was missing.  It has since been updated, but the words are never written as eloquently as they first were.

Because we are in the business of taking super long vacations, we stayed in the Northwest for another week.  New Years day we hit the road for Montana.  It's a four hour drive, and Finn was angry angry angry for the last 30 minutes.  Road tripping with young babies is no joke.   Aside from some crying, the drive was gorgeous; every tree was covered in snow and the mountains just glistened.  A week of slower paced Montana life was the perfect way to end our holiday.

Conor's parent's own a condo in downtown Bigfork, so we made that space home for the week.  It's on the main street and just a block away from the family restaurant.  Bigfork is the most picturesque little down during Christmas time.  The entire town is decorated, each & every storefront.  I loved being able to start my mornings with a walk to the local cafe.  Sometimes with Liam, sometimes solo.  A hot chai & fresh scone was my daily order, and I've been craving that ritual ever since we left!

Across the street from our condo, resides the town clock tower.  Every daylight hour it chimes, so we heard a lot of chiming during our stay; yet, every single time Liam was in awe.  Whenever it chimed when we walked by, Liam would ask the time and then we would count each ding.  It was simple & sweet moments like these, that slowed us down and brought smiles all around.  While I am a big city girl at heart, I enjoy a little break from the hustle & bustle.



Much of our time was spent with Grandma & Grandpa at the restaurant.  Liam loved his time with them and helping out when & where he could.  He is especially fond of Grandpa's truck with the snow plow on the front.  While Liam has yet to develop that love for food that we have in this family, I took full advantage of all the fine dining we had each night while his parents worked.  When your family is in the hospitality industry, you know your stay is going to be good!

The weather was particularly frigid, so we weren't outside in the Montana beauty as much as I would have liked.  Instead we bowled (Liam's first time!), swam, & played hard with the cousins.  It's always a little bit of chaos when all the kids are together, so we make sure the wine is flowing!  And of course we made a little trip to Whitefish (my favorite Montana city) and stopped at Sweet Peaks (the family icecream shop).  Liam insists that everyone share, because duh... that way you can taste ALL the flavors!




One of the best and most important parts of our visit was the time with Conor's grandpa.  He's 93 years young, but unfortunately his health has declined in the last few months.  Conor joined him for breakfast nearly every morning, and we brought the boys by his house frequently too.  I know that Finn in particular brought a smile to his face.  His grandpa could not get over Finn's hair (nobody can!)).  These are the times that make living away from family extra difficult, so we were very thankful for our long stay.  We didn't feel rushed to do it all or see everyone.  Instead we enjoyed the slow days and the loved ones that surrounded us.


Oh Montana, you are always too good to me!
We will be back soon!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Winter Holiday: Spokane Edition

Let's just keep the Christmas fun rolling...  We made it to my parents house in time for cocktail hour and a fabulous Christmas dinner!  Prime rib with fresh horseradish has been the go to meal over the last few years.  My mom's cooking is some of the best in the land, so the whole dinner was a real treat!  Then it was quick to bed to celebrate Christmas all over again the next day with my parents as well as my brother and his family!

My mom has stockings for everyone.  All the kids, the spouses, and the grandkids.  My family loves tradition, so little has changed from the Christmas mornings of my own childhood.  I love the nostalgia of it.  Falling asleep back in my childhood bedroom, looking at the same houses across the street, decorated in the same manner they always are.  The familiarity of it brings a little magic with it.  I can remember anxiously waiting for Santa in that same bed!  That morning, we brunched and then exchanged gifts throughout the day.  Seeing my boys with their cousins was one of the highlights.  Liam & Hadley are only 2 months apart and the best of friends!  Minimal parenting is involved when these two are together.  We can sit back and sip our wine at a leisurely pace while the toddlers giggle with one another non stop.  There is something about being "home" (the original home) during the holidays.  And this Christmas was perfect!  


Instead of jetting off to the lake house like we typically do, we spent a few days in Spokane.  I had the opportunity to catch up with old friends, which rarely happens!  Many of them now have kids of their own, so the sheer amount of children made for a tad bit of pandemonium.  It's a whole new kind of happy hour; a whole new kind of fun!  Of course, we also had to take Liam on Spokane's gondola!  I don't think he was nearly as impressed with this small one as is he with the one at Snowbird.  However, just being on any gondola brought big smiles to his face.  I love how into them he is right now!  Any cities with gondolas....we are coming for you!




And then of course, we eventually made it out to the lake house for a few nights, because I cannot stay away!  I won't bore you all with another post about how wonderful my visits here are.  You all know that the lake house is my little slice of heaven, and that we are completely pampered during our stays.  This visit was just as incredible as any in the past, but with an extra splash of something special due to the holiday season!  Instead, I think these pictures capture so much... The love my boys have for their Nana & Pops (and vice versa).  The beautiful setting.  All the happiness.









This visit we discovered a particularly awesome sledding hill.  One that could send you right into the street if you picked up enough speed.  The steepness was intimidating, but the thrill incredible.  Liam loved it, even though his face was covered in icy snow after each sled down the hill.  We also rang in the new year here, simply snuggled up on the couch.  Champagne all around!  Except my boys decided it was nearly impossible to stay asleep, so I was in bed with one or the other before 11am.  'Tis the mom life!

Cheers to another wonderful stay.  
There is nothing better than being surrounded by family, especially during this time of year!

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