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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Leaves

I think one of the greatest joys of being a mother is watching your babies discover things for the first time. Like leaves, for instance. Such a basic, ordinary occurrence of life is a novelty for these babies who know only those things Russ and I have exposed them to. But boy, did they love leaves!

We drove up to the American Fork canyon today for a picnic and scenic drive. I love living here in Utah where the mountains are a short drive away. I feel so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by such beauty every day. The babies love being in the mountains. Every time we have gone they get so excited and just liven up. 

They were so excited, in fact, that it was pretty much near impossible to get them both to look away from those leaves! :)


I love, love, LOVE Max's face in this picture. 

My handsome boy! He looks like a kid. SOMEONE STOP TIME PLEASE!

And my beautiful, sweet and sassy girl! Those eyes kill me every time.

"Hi, mom!" 

I kind of have a thing for "throwing pictures." Luckily both of them love to be thrown! 


 We made sure to stay until both Max and Clara were nice and dirty.

 ... and sufficiently wet. No one can keep Max away from water!

Little Mill campground seriously was amazing! Look at those yellow leaves and that gorgeous river. 


And then we continued our drive through the other side of the canyon. Breathtaking is the only way to describe it! 

The quaking aspens...

... and an array of fall colors. 

And that was our day. I can't wait till our next "mini adventure" with the babies! They bring so much renewed excitement to life. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Necessary Update on Life and Such

Thanks for all of the nice comments regarding my last post. It's really helpful to just get some of those "real" thoughts out into the world, and I know I always appreciate hearing that fellow moms have rough times here and there. 

With that said, these last few months have been so busy! I thought it was high time that I did a general update of what's been goin' on! And here begins a picture overload:

Splash pads are a hit with these babes. I will be sad when the cold weather comes and I can't just sit my babies in puddles and let them splash around to their hearts' content. :)

Bucket seat swings. It really is the simple things in life.

We have gone on a few small hikes. One thing we love about living in Utah is how close we are to the mountains! We were at this particular trailhead in about 15 minutes. Max and Clara loved the waterfall and river!

We have been to a lot of concerts this last month or so! We saw Elton John with my family (always amazing), Blake Shelton with Russ's siblings (not as good, sadly. We left early actually!), and last week we went to a free Fictionist/Neon Trees concert. It was amazing.

Watching Fictionist. I really love concerts. And Russ. :)

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been running a lot lately and am actually doing a half marathon in a few weeks. I love how running gets me outside and let's me see sights such as this. God has created such a beautiful world!

I got to reconnect with some of my really good friends from college! It's so fun to see all of us with babies running around (and on the way! Both girls on the ends were pregnant in this picture. So many babies!)

Meal times take up so much of my day. Three times a day we are sitting at these high chairs, sometimes for over an hour at a time. I would be lying if I said it didn't get tedious at times, but I know this is just a phase! Max is particularly picky and painstakingly slow, but he makes for some great pictures. :) He will refuse so many foods, and than randomly love tomato basil soup? 

This slide is in our neighborhood and is meant for twins, obviously! ;)

We still love bath time. It's pretty great.

This last weekend we watched general conference for our church. It is always so inspiring and makes me want to me a better person. And plus, I love the excuse it provides to be lazy and lay around all weekend as a family. 

This picture was also during general conference. These babies sure love their daddy. Moments like this make my heart feel like they are going to burst!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Let's Be Real.


I try really hard to keep up with this blog, because I know that someday in the future I will be grateful for the updates and documentation. I've been slacking lately, mostly because I didn't feel like I had anything "post-worthy." But that's the thing - my blog is about life in general, so I am going to talk about life. I will not be offended if you stop reading! 

I'm just going to keep it real on this post. No sugar-coating. Just to make sure it's clear, this is not a "feel bad for me" post. I'm really not looking for pity, mostly just a sounding board for some of my recent thoughts and struggles. Hear me out. 

Max and Clara will be 1 in less than two weeks! What?!? Totally crazy. When I was pregnant with two babies at one time, I received a lot of advice that "it get's easier" or "make it through the first year and you are good!" Right now I want to find those people who said those things (I actually cannot remember), grab them by the shoulders and say "why did you lie to me!?" Quite honestly, I feel like I'm drowning. The twins are harder now than they have ever been even though we are mere weeks away from that "blessed first birthday." 

We are in the crawling phase, which means they are into everything (X2). Yet they can't do anything by themselves. For instance, if we want to get some fresh air and go outside it's not just "walk outside and get fresh air." I carry one baby out, set them in the grass and hurry to go inside to get the other. That first baby usually cries because they think I am abandoning them outside, meanwhile I have anxiety that they will crawl into the street or something crazy. I run inside, get the second baby, walk back out to the grass and set that baby down. Great, now what? Toys. I need toys. I run back inside, grab a blanket, toys, spatulas, whatever I can for them to be entertained. We sit outside, there is usually some grabbing of the face or poking of eyes, stealing toys, desperately trying to keep them separate yet happy. Whew. Ok, time for lunch. Carry one baby inside, set them down (tears), run back out and get the second baby, set them in the high chair. Oh yeah, all the toys/blankets. Get both babies in high chairs, make them happy with some puffs, and go retrieve all of the toys that I took outside that didn't really serve any purpose. 

Was that worth it?!? Blech.

Anyway, that is just a blip of a 20 minute phase of my day. I think it will be better once I can say "let's go play outside! Run outside!" Haha. Oh the things I look forward to. 

And then naps. Naps rule my life. I have 4 naps I am working around, so any plans I make to meet people or be somewhere at a certain time usually go out the window. People say I need to ask for help. I really do try, but usually naps get in the way. Like today for instance. I had arranged with my mom for me to drop them off for an hour so I could run some errands baby-free. I got Max down at our usual nap time, then Clara fought that second nap for over an hour until she finally crashed. 30 minutes after she crashed Max woke up. It was already 3:30. Clara didn't wake up until 4:30, so by the time I loaded two babies in the car and got to my mom's it was almost 5. I furiously ran 1 1/2 errand until I went to get the babies to meet Russ for a quick bite to eat (making dinner?! ha! Not today!). Because everything was thrown off, by the time we got to the restaurant both babies were past hunger and just plain fussy. Scarf food, speed home, get both babies in bed after much crying and screaming. I tried, I really tried. 

And I must mention the exhaustion. Pure exhaustion. I'm so tired in so many ways. And that, sadly, will probably never go away. 

Ok, I think my point has been made. It's been tough, and I'm just trying to "hang in there." I am trying to do things for myself - I'm actually running a 1/2 marathon in a few weeks and running makes me feel better. I know this is a phase and some day I will look back and think "wow, I got through that!" 

And now it's time for bed. Mr. Max likes to wake up in the 5 o' clock hour which makes for some early mornings in this household! Again, I hope no one feels this is a pity post. Just keepin' it real. 


Thanks for reading. It feels good to get those feelings out there.


I sure love my little babies. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

On the Move!

Life has hit a whole new level of crazy these days. We have two crawlers on our hands! Clara started crawling about a month ago, but Max and no interest to move. He preferred sitting :) ... until this last week, that is. He finally figured it out, and now life is crazy x2!! Right now the twins are so much fun, but are more physically demanding than ever before. They still can't really move anywhere by themselves (ie: into the car, out of car, up the stairs, down the stairs, etc.) but I'm constantly chasing after them to keep them out of trouble. We all end the day tuckered out! It's a good thing they are so dang cute :) 


Silly me for thinking I could get two crawlers to sit still for their 11-month photo shoot! Even though I didn't get the shot I wanted, I kind of love this blurry picture I captured. Just a glimpse into life with 11-month twins. :)

We're finding babies under tables, chairs, and anything else you can imagine.

.... case in point. But how can you resist a cute face like this?

or this? 

And I will end this post with one of my favorite pictures yet. The babies love bath time, especially in a sink. I just love this "moment in time." 

Now if only time would slow down...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

White and Bright Kitchen!


The final big house update we've recently finished is taking our kitchen cabinets from dark, dark brown to bright white! Oh, how I love it! When we were house shopping I had to accept that a white kitchen simply did not exist in my price range! I didn't necessarily hate the dark, espresso brown cabinets, but white kitchens have, and will forever be, my favorite. 

Well 3 years later it finally came to life! I have my good friend, Kali, to thank. She paints cabinets as a side business and does such a good job at it. She was able to spray our kitchen while we were in San Diego in July and coming home to a white kitchen was the best welcome-home-present ever! I had read and researched painting cabinets for a long time, but was so scared to actually attempt it. I just didn't feel like I could have made them look professional! Kali used a lacquer paint (which gives it the smoothest, professional feel) and a matte finish. I'm so glad we deferred to someone who knew paint a lot more than I did. And quite honestly, our floor project about did us in! We were not in the mood to attempt another huge overhaul project. 

Needless to say, I'm in love! It's so bright and cheery and ties the island we added into the original cabinets so much better than before. It's like a whole new house! I can now honestly tell Russ that we are "DONE" with the kitchen. (Those are words he has been wanting to hear for a long time!)

From the back door

As I mentioned earlier, I think painting the rest of the cabinets white really helps the island look more original to the kitchen!

Oh, and just for effect, here is a before picture. This was after we installed the island, but you can see the white tile that was there before we redid the floors:

Finally, this is the view from coming in from the garage/laundry room

For more info on some of the details in the kitchen:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gallery Wall 3.0

While working on our floors I was getting antsy to change up our gallery wall (seen HERE). I like to change things up or move things around, just to keep it fresh. I took advantage of a huge frame sale from West Elm back in May and stocked up on some gold leaf frames and a few white gallery frames as well. After we had some family pictures taken, it was time to take everything down and re-organize that wall! Creating a gallery walls is like a puzzle. I arrange, rearrange, and do it all over a million times. I ended up with fewer and bigger frames to keep it cleaner.

  Another small change that made a huge difference was getting rid of our coffee table at a recent garage sale. Now that our surface area of carpet was significantly reduced with the wood floor, I didn't want a large table to take up all of that space. I'm loving how open the room has become. And, for the record, that bucket of toys is usually dispersed all over the rug. :)

Now all I need is a new light fixture to get rid of the final boob light left on our main floor! Hooray!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Floor Project

When we bought our house over 3 years ago, the very first thing I wanted to change about the house was the floors. The people who built the house had tile in the kitchen and really poor quality carpet in the entry way and living room (by the way, who puts carpet in the entry way?!). We very much disliked that carpet as it would roll, we would have it stretched, it would roll again, etc. It was matted down and had stains. Yep, we hated it. We finally got the courage to tackle this huge project around Memorial Day. Some called us crazy for doing this project with twins, and although it would have been easier to have done it before they were born, at least we got it done before they were moving around! 

Honestly, doing floors is totally doable - really, anyone could do it. The worst part, by far, was the demolition of the existing tile. I have never sanded so much in my life. It took about a week from start to finish, and I am just so in love with the final product. We found the laminate wood during some crazy 50% off sale at Lumber Liquidators, and doing the project ourselves saved a ton of money. It has made the house look so much bigger and more open.

Ok, now for some pictures.


Here is a poor quality BEFORE picture from the front door point of view. This was before a few winters had their effect on this carpet. 

A close-up of the floors. We went with a lighter wood after a lot of people told us to avoid super dark floors, especially with little kids. Apparently they are next to impossible to keep clean! Also, since we were used to a "lighter" floor with light tile and carpet, we were hesitant to all the sudden bring in really dark colors. It's definitely a "cooler" tone, but that works with the rest of my house. I'm totally in love.

View of the front door

And because I always love seeing a few "during" pictures, here they are. Like I said, the demo of the tile was the worst part of the project. We used a crazy drill to get the tile up, and then had to sand all of the grout away. Ugh! 

Laying the floors in our front room (sorry for the poor quality phone picture). Once we figured out how the system works, it went pretty fast. We definitely had to do some areas 2-3 times. Live and learn.

Finally, I just have to quickly mention our lovely, plush, oh-so-comfortable rug that I am in love with. We had a thin flat-weave rug there before that I knew would need to be replaced with something more plush for the babies to play on. I had seen a rug from one of my favorite bloggers that she had in her home and loved. Two years later I still couldn't get that rug out of my mind! Thanks to a Memorial Day sale at Rugs USA, that rug is now mine! We love it.


And I couldn't finish a post about our floor project without publicly thanking my dad for his incredible DIY wisdom and free time and Russ's dad for giving up so much of his Memorial Day weekend and helping us out. Oh, and my mom and Mother-in-law for helping watch the babies! Couldn't have done it without them! 

We have a few more house updates that I've been excited to share. So stay tuned!

Hello, We're 10 Months!

What?! My babies are getting so big! They have little individual personalities and quirks and are rearing to get moving. Clara figured out crawling about 3 days after these pictures were taken, and Max will be moving any day. Both Max and Clara have two little bottom teeth, and I can tell some top teeth are coming soon. We hear lots of baby talk and giggles between the two, as well as twice the amount of melt downs. :) But truly, they are really good babies who love sticking to their schedule. Sleep schedules are bittersweet - super sweet when you are able to stick to them, a little bitter when "life" gets in the way. 

I am loving each new month - it's so fun to get to hang out with my little buddies every day. They crack me up, and I could not love them any more! 

On a side note, my favorite sweatshirt for the last few years has been from Hello Apparel. So when I saw they were having a huge sale a few months ago I couldn't resist picking up some matching onesies. And now for a picture overload!



I wish Clara was in focus, because I totally love this picture. 

Baby feet. mmmm mmmm.

I love those two little teeth!

Her eyes melt me every time!

And pretty much every photo session ends up with one of them falling over. :)