Monday, August 31, 2015

Summer is FIVE

I can't believe this girl is turning FIVE today!  She is such a joy and our family just wouldn't be the same without her larger-than-life personality.  Here are five things I love about Summer:

1. She loves everyone, young and old, and everyone loves her right back.
2. Her giggles are contagious.  In fact, she gets me into trouble during family prayer on a regular basis...
3. She has an active imagination and can play independently for hours.
4. She isn't afraid to share her talents with others.  She will sing, dance, or draw for anyone who needs cheering up.
5. Her attitude.  I'm sure her teenage years are going to be about as enjoyable as indigestion, but right now I love how spirited she is.  She's true to herself and I love that.

Summer is such a sweetheart, and although she's growing up fast, I'm glad that she's still somewhat "little."  Between those chubby cheeks and her lisp, I'm completely smitten.  

Love you forever, Summies.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Photo Bomb

This guy suddenly loves to have his picture taken.  I can never seem to get pictures of the girls by themselves anymore because Jackson likes to hop in every picture.

It's a good thing he's so cute.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Settling In

We are officially moved into our new house and are absolutely LOVING it. We closed at the beginning of August but didn't load up the truck and move in until a week later.  During that week we painted two bedrooms, three closets, two entryways, the living room and kitchen.  It was exhausting but worth every effort.  {I'll post some "before" and "after" pictures when I have more time}.

When we weren't painting we were packing, cleaning, and working out the details for our move.  After awhile the kids didn't have much left to play with so they had to get creative.
The move went very smoothly thanks to many kind friends who helped load up our truck and/or watch kids.  They thought it was great having play dates almost everyday!

It's still hard to believe that we're here and we get to stay!  In every place we've lived there has always been an end date in sight.  But not this time, and I have to say that that feels really good.  We're having fun doing little things to make this house our home.
As if the chaos of moving wasn't keeping us busy enough, we also have begun a new school year!  To drown our sorrows celebrate we made the traditional rainbow pancakes.

I won't lie.  I was worried.  I so badly wanted Kylie to have a good experience on her first day.  Anytime we mentioned the move, she would melt into a puddle of tears because she was so terrified of starting over.  In fact, one day she tearfully said, "I like the house but I don't like the location."  Oh dear.

So I went to great lengths to prepare her as much as possible.  We checked out books from the library that talked all about moving.  Kylie helped pack her toys and label boxes in her own fancy lettering.  She met her teachers, familiarized herself with her classroom, and toured her school during the Ice Cream Social.  And even though we hadn't officially moved yet, I made sure that she was at her bus stop on the first day so she could get used to the new routine.

 We took a few pictures first, of course :)
 On her first day she was still a little nervous but she was determined to make new friends.  Bless her.

When the bus came, she gave me a kiss and hopped right on.  Truthfully, I was too busy packing and cleaning to worry too much about her during the day {probably a good thing} so before I knew it, it was time to pick her up.  As I saw the bus pull up at the corner, I waited anxiously in the driveway.  She was the first person off the bus and as soon as she spotted me, she started to run.  Worst case scenarios immediately pushed to the forefront of my mind: was her day really that awful that she can't even stand to walk home???

Thankfully, it was the opposite.  She had a great first day and could hardly wait to go back.  Phew!  The morning walk to the bus stop has now become a regular part of our routine and it's so fun to have these two tagging along.  They sure love their big sister.

I think we're going to like it here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


After 9 years of marriage and 10 moves {in 4 different states} we are finally ready to settle down!  We just bought this cute house and are SO excited to make it our home.

Our current town has been home to us for the last 4 years and we have loved it.  We have made such wonderful friends and we are truly sad to leave.  The good news is that- from doorstep to doorstep- our house is only about 8 miles away.  I'm glad I'll be able to keep in touch with the people who have been so welcoming and kind.
My dear friend organized a farewell for us and we were blown away by how many people came to wish us well. 

And the well-wishes just kept on coming.  The flowers and cards are from the Primary leaders and children in my ward.  I can't tell you how touched I was by that sweet gesture!  Some friends of ours surprised us later that evening when they stopped by with homemade cookies and a darling note from their son.

Although it is always a little scary to start over, we are excited for what the future holds.  We feel like this is where we're supposed to be and that it will be a great place to raise our family.  When we went to the house for the final walk through, we were shocked to find flowers and a "welcome home" packet from the previous homeowner.  I mean, who does that???  

Kylie has been a little nervous about the move so we're trying to point out all of the reasons why she should be excited.  One of those reasons is that her bedroom will no longer double as a playroom.  It will be a very girly space with new paint, bedding, and decor that she picked out.  The girls got to choose fabric and make their own pillowcases.  If that doesn't get the girls excited, I don't know what will!

I LOVE making a space feel like home. Here's a sneak peak at what we're doing to the boy's bedroom.  Bye bye, purple :)

It will be an ongoing process but we can't wait to make this house ours.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Out of towners

We were lucky enough to have my parents and younger brother visit us for a long weekend.  Attending the temple open house, soaking up the sunshine, and trying new foods were just a few of the activities we enjoyed while they were here.

Since the temple won't be dedicated until later this month, an open house is being held for all who wish to go inside.  This meant that our kids could come with us.  They were fascinated.  Kylie couldn't stop looking at the amazing artwork and Summer was entranced by all of the sparkling chandeliers.  But the best part was that we could explain the significance of that special place up close and personal.


The state tree in Indiana is the tulip tree.  The blossoms were incorporated into the tiniest details throughout the temple: the rugs, the lamps, even the doorknobs.

 Later we went to the pool.  It was the perfect day for it!

The great weather continued and so did the fun. 




 I'll give you one guess who Jackson chose to cling to all weekend...

That hat should say "Granddad" because those two were buds {whether granddad wanted to be or not :)

Kramer actually drove separately because of his work schedule.  It meant a lot that he was willing to make the trip, even if it meant that his time in Indiana would be short.  We made sure to soak up whatever time we could get with him!

Our down time was eventful too.  The girls baked cookies, had pedicures, and told knock-knock jokes while the guys talked sports.

We're so glad that these two came to visit!