October 17, 2017

Pumpkin Painting Party

 When I made our fall bucket list a pumpkin painting party was at the top of my list. I started painting pumpkins with Kona, when I was pregnant with Kai, for a easy but fun craft. He loved it so much, that now we paint several every year. This year we decided to have our favorite neighbor girls over for a little party. I couldn't wait to introduce Kai to our yearly tradition, I just knew he was going to love it! So, on Friday afternoon, we got our painting on.

I grabbed 4 smaller pumpkins when we went to the pumpkin patch last week, laid out newspaper on our outdoor table, got some stickers, washable paint and goodies. For snacks I made pumpkin cookies, popcorn and chocolate chip teddy grahams. I not sure how many cookie Kai had, but I know it was over 5 (enter monkey covering his eyes emoji here). Every time I turned around he was grabbing another one. Talk about a sugar high, aka crazy man! 
The kids had a blast and Kai loved slathering his pumpkin with as much paint as possible. :) After they were done painting pumpkins a fake water fight broke out. They all had a water gun and were chasing each other around the yard pretending to spray each other. I'm not sure who started it, but I'm pretty sure it was my husband. He was right along with them, chasing them and encouraging the craziness. It was a sugar high at it's finest! :) Thank goodness for husbands though, because Kery and I got to sit down and talk while nobody bothered us! It was a magical afternoon!
Our 4 cuties with their painted pumpkin. They are the sweetest friends and I love watching their friendship grow. We are in so much trouble when they all hit the teen years around the same time!
I hope everybody has a wonderful day! I'm off to Hobby Lobby to pick up circus party supplies because someone special is turning two!

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October 12, 2017

Family Themed Halloween Costumes

If there is one thing I love, it's family themed Halloween costumes. I seriously get so excited and can't wait to start planning our costumes every year. I start scouring Pinterest in August and wish we could have multiple costumes every Halloween. There are so many adorable themes to pick from! My Dad's birthday is on Halloween, so growing up Halloween was more of a birthday party than a spooky night of crazy fun. Now that I'm older I love living vicariously through my kids and torturing my husband with costumes. 😉 I think he secretly loves it! If you are looking for any costume ideas or inspiration here is a little throwback.

For Kona's first Halloween he was Fred Flintstone! This was the only year we didn't do a family themed costume and I'm a little bummed we didn't. Since we didn't go trick-or-treating I didn't even think about dressing up. Oh well, this little cutie stole the show! To make his costume I took a white onesie and dyed it until I got the orange I wanted. I then cut out the spots and tie from felt and hot glued them on his onesie. I can't get over his little bald head and big brown eyes. They get me every time!

The next year Kona dressed up as Peter Pan and J.D. and I were pirates. I really wanted to be Tinkerbell, but couldn't find a costume I loved for a reasonable price. I'm glad now we both went as pirates because I love how our costumes turned out. J.D.'s high school mascot was a Pirate so he wore one of his old jerseys from football along with an eye patch, ridiculously huge hat and hook. It was so fun and my husband thought of it all himself! I make Kona's costume again my dying a long sleeve shirt and a pair of girls leggings dark green. I then cut the bottom of the shirt and sleeves to give it the same look as Peter Pan. The hat was a little tricky, but it turned out really cute. I just took felt, cut out two sides, hot glued them together, folded up the bottom and glued it as well. I then attached the feather, also made out of felt, and a brown stretchy strap to go under his chin.

Sorry about the grainy picture! It's the only one I have of the three of us.

I loved our costumes in 2015 and it all stemmed from Kona's obsession with elephants. He use to love elephants so much and I knew he would flip when he got to dress up as one. The day his costume came in the mail, I had him try it on make sure it fit and he wouldn't take it off. J.D. had to take him to the bank in his costume. Kai was a little over a week old so he went as a peanut, I was a tiger and J.D. was the ring master. I was so excited to go trick or treating I could hardly handle it. After we took these pictures we jumped in the car to head to my Dad's neighborhood and Kona threw up all over himself. After he threw up he was fine, but his costume was ruined. #momlife I have to admit I was bummed, and nobody but our neighbor got to see our costumes. We still had a great night watching Casper and handing out candy. Thank goodness we took pictures before we left for my Dad's!

Last year our costumes came from Kona's obsession with Dinosaurs. Do you see a theme here?! I loved our costumes so much and especially loved having bone earrings and a huge bone in my hair. Oh the things we do for our kids! Kona smiled ear to ear all night and had the best time trick-or-treating. Since we didn't get to go the year before he didn't have any memories of it. He couldn't believe he got handfuls of candy from every house he walked up to. I'm sure he thought his parents had lost their minds!

I can't wait for this year's family themed costume. All the costumes are planned out and spoiler alert, it's once again something Kona is in love with. Next year it will be Kai's turn to pick, I promise!
I would love to hear what your favorite costume is you've ever worn!
The countdown is on, Halloween is in 19 days!

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October 11, 2017

Pumpkin Patch Maternity Pictures

Two years ago we were anxiously awaiting our sweet boys arrival and I was trying my best to not panic. I was beyond excited, but scared to death about taking care of a newborn and a two year old. Looking at these pictures takes me right back and floods me with emotions. What I would give to go back in time and feel Kai kicking while snuggling two year old Kona. I'm so happy we have these moments in time captured to look back on and remember this amazing time in our life.  
If you are pregnant I can't recommend maternity pictures enough. You might not feel your best or feel up to getting ready and taking pictures, but you will be so happy you did. Having my big belly, that was the size of a pumpkin, captured are some of my favorite pictures ever. I hope these pictures gave you some inspiration for your fall maternity pictures!
A huge thank you to my girl Amber, for taking these amazing photos. We are still completely in love with them and will cherish them forever.

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October 6, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy first Friday in October! I'm so excited my favorite time of year is here and I'm already panicking a little that it's the 6th. Does anybody else do that? I don't want October to end. We have so many fun things planned this month and I want to soak in every crisp, pumpkin filled moment. I blogged about our fall bucket list last week and I'm determined to check off every item, and trust me there's a lot!
I wanted to take a minute to send all of my love to those families affected by the violence in Los Vegas. My heart hurts for everyone who lost their loved ones. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I urge everyone to do something out of love and kindness this weekend. Taking cookies to neighbors, visiting a nursing home, sending a letter to a loved one, taking food to the food bank. If we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. Love one another and remember that love will always win.

As always I'm linking up with Andrea, AprilApril, Lauren and Katie to share our Friday favorites. Let's get this party started!

I know I have mentioned before how much I love our neighbors and this week my love for them grew even more. At the beginning of the week our dryer decided to quit and my sweet neighbor let me bring over my wet laundry to dry them at her house. She seriously is the best and totally saved the day!  When our dryer broke I was surprisingly okay with it. I mean a few days of not doing laundry sounded amazing! And it was amazing until we went and got a new dryer yesterday. Now I'm hating the fact that I didn't do laundry because our pile is huge. How do 4 people have so much?! On the flip side of things, laundry has been way more fun with a new dryer! Well see how long my enthusiasm lasts. :)
I can only image what my neighbors thought, as I was carrying a basket full of wet laundry with a drink on top down the street. I figured a White Claw was the perfect thank you gift. :)

Kona and I have been getting our craft on in the afternoons while Kai is napping. It's one of my favorite times of day and I look forward to some one-on-one time with my sweet boy. Both crafts were super easy to make and didn't take much time. If you are looking for a fall craft give them a shot. I also have tons of fall crafts on my fall Pinterest board.

I did a little shopping this week at Old Navy and got these pants and this flannel shirt. They are both really comfy and flattering. I love the flannel shirt because it can be worn a ton of different ways. I know they will both be on repeat all season long!

I finally got a massage yesterday and it was amazing. I haven't had one since I was pregnant with Kai and it reminded me that I need to make them more of a priority. I have been getting headaches everyday for weeks now and it's because my shoulders are so tight. I'm hoping that getting all the knots worked out will help. If you haven't had a massage lately make an appointment! You won't regret it!

I need some major help figuring out a color for our kitchen cabinets. Since we moved in I haven't been in love with the cabinets or counters, but redoing them isn't in the budget right now. I was thinking about using chalk paint and painting the cabinets, but I'm loss at what color to pick.
I took these pictures last night and the wall color looks way darker than they really are. The real color is a very light gray. Based on how dark the floors and counters are, what color should I paint the cabinets?
 Here are some of my ideas.
Blue Gray | Blue | Green | Gray | Sage Green
I really like them all and need help narrowing it down. I'm not set on any of these colors though so if you have something else in mind I would love to hear it! So which one is your favorite? Help!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful October weekend!

In case you missed it, this week I posted about:

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October 5, 2017

Our Favorite Halloween Books

My favorite season is upon us and I couldn't be more excited! I seriously get giddy during this time of year and love celebrating any way we can. Think lots of pumpkins, baking, activities, walks, and crafts. I just can't get enough! The house is decked out in fall and Halloween decorations and the boys' room is no exception. Bats, books, and pumpkin lights give their rooms the perfect festive touch. We love reading Halloween books all month long, and I secretly look forward to reading The Room On The Broom all year. It's one of my all time favorite children's books. I wanted to share all of our favorites because these books are too good not to share!

Top Shelf
Bottom Shelf
Goodnight Goon ~ Room on the Broom ~ Boo Bat

Our absolute favorites are Room on the Broom, Halloween Hustle, Ten Little Pumpkins, Goodnight Goon and The Night Before Halloween. We have had them for years and I still love reading them. That alone is a major win! Kona picked out The Too-Scary Story, It's Raining Bats & Frogs & Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn this year and they are really cute with the best illustrations.

 These books plus Hocus Pocus help us get excited for Halloween all month long. Because in this house we celebrate as much as we can! :) I hope this list helped you find something to add to your collection. What are you reading this fall? I'm always looking to grow our little library!

Check out our fall bucket list to see all the festive fun we have planned!
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October 3, 2017

The Seasons Of Motherhood

Have you ever had one of those days where you need a time out? You feel weary, exhausted and your heart feels a little heavy. You keep spinning your wheels and feel like you aren't getting anywhere. I certainly have those days, and some weeks I have them more than I would like to admit. My Husband's crazy work schedule, plus having two little boys close in age, can leave me feeling run down. Motherhood is hard and those who say otherwise aren't telling the truth. Giving all of yourself 100% of the time is not easy. Some days I want to cry when there is one more mess to clean up at 7:00pm, or my boys aren't listening for the 100th time. We all have our own ways of dealing with the exhaustion, but one thing I tell myself is, this season of motherhood will not last forever.
I remember how difficult it was as a new mom and in the early stages of having two boys. I couldn't help but wonder if I would ever sleep again or shower without Kai crying. The first time I took both boys to the zoo, which was my first major outing by myself, I cried before we even left the house. I was so overwhelmed with feedings, trying to get us all ready and sticking to a schedule, that I broke down crying when I couldn't find Kona's shoes. That season of Motherhood has come and gone, as well as many others. Just as this season will change and morph into the next.
There is the season of sleepless nights, adjusting as a new family, not showering as often as we should or eating a warm meal. The season of terrible two's and all the frustration that comes with your child wanting to be more independent. The season of school aged children and wondering how they grew up before your eyes. There is the season of wondering if we are doing this motherhood gig the right way, crying because we have be driven to our breaking point, and losing our patience sometimes more often than we would like to admit. Above all this, motherhood is the season of pure love, happiness, joy and giving all of ourselves to our children. Motherhood is the most rewarding thing I have even done and I don't want to spend my time wishing this season away, even on the hardest days.
We don't know what the next season of Motherhood holds. We can look forward and guess what the joys and hardships will be, but we won't know until we get there. One thing is for sure, there will never be a season of Motherhood without trails. This season of motherhood may be difficult, but it is important to embrace it and find joys in the little things. Remember that it will not last forever, no matter how difficult it may be. Milk spilled for the 10th time, kids fighting, a huge pile of laundry, and kids hanging on your legs while you try to cook dinner will all pass. And when it does, you might look back and wish for it back.

“Learning to be a Life- Giving Mom without regrets requires embracing the season you are in. You have to let go of the past and live in the present as you lay hold of the future. At each transition you will likely shed some tears as you realize that you can’t go back and re-live the past. You must move forward, facing the imperfections of your present, hoping for the future.”  
Sue Detweiler

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September 29, 2017

Fall Bucket List

Fall is underway & I couldn't be more excited! I have always loved Fall and go a little nuts during this time of year. There is so much to do and I want to do it all. Making seasonal bucket lists is one of my favorite things to do. And now that Kona is able to help come up with ideas it's even more fun. We talked about all the fun things we did last year and we both got super excited for this year. He is already asking me every night before bed if tomorrow is Halloween. He get's it from his Mama! :) We are patiently waiting to go to the pumpkin patch, or two, or three and carve pumpkins. Since I was a little girl it's always been one of my favorite nights of the year!

Not only do I love Fall for the sweaters, booties, pumpkin everything, and traditions, but it does something to my soul. I feel re-energized and inspired by the crisp air, gorgeous colors and leaves falling all around. I savor the moments a little bit more and thank God for all we have. I love this season so much and hope to make it our favorite fall yet!
"Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul"
-Peggy Toney Horton

Go apple picking.
Celebrate J.D. and Kai's birthday's. 
Decorate the house.
Fill the front porch with mums and pumpkins. 
Visit the farmer's market.
Make caramel apples.
Have a bonfire and make s'mores.  
Have a picnic in the park.
Plant bulbs.
Go on a nature scavenger hunt.
Paint pumpkins.
Drive through the country and enjoy the Fall colors.
Jump into a pile of leaves.
Make pumpkin butter.
Have fun bowling with pumpkins.
Make pumpkin spice lattes. 
Watch Hocus Pocus and Casper on repeat.
Road trip to watch our favorite college football team.
Make Halloween footprint art.
Make a festive breakfast.
Go on a hayride.
Donate to the food bank.
Have soup Sunday every Sunday.
Bake as many pumpkin treats as possible.
Visit a pumpkin patch, or two, or three.
Carve pumpkins.
Go Trick-or-Treating.
Count our blessings.
A few pics from last year!
I wasn't lying when I said I want to do it all. :) Hopefully we can check all these times off our list and make many, many memories along the way. I would love to hear what's on your bucket list!!

To see all of our fall festivities make sure to follow us on Instagram!
Check out my Pinterest boards for more Fall fun!
Everything Fall & Halloween
Fall Birthday Parties
Fall Fashion
Pumpkin Spice

September 26, 2017

My Reverse Bucket List

While I was in college, and feeling like life was a little out of control, I sat down one sunny afternoon and wrote out my bucket list. I listed anything and everything I wanted to do in my life. I remember thinking at the time, that the stage of life I was in wasn't all that fun. 15+ credits in college, 40+ hour work week, internships and everything else that life holds was extremely stressful. I remember sitting at our kitchen table one too many times crying, wondering how I would do it all and feeling like I was drowning. I made a vow to myself that life would never be like that again. I would take time to stop and enjoy the simple things in life. I didn't want to ever feel like that again. I love to make lists and when it came to making a list for my life, I went a little crazy. I'm so glad I wrote down every thing I want to do. I feel inspired when I look at it, and it reaffirms that there is much more to life than dishes and laundry (which I feel far too often). Life is about adventure and not getting stuck in the everydayness of life. Today I'm linking up with Andrea over at Momfessionals to share my reverse bucket list. My hope is that this list inspires you to create a bucket list and celebrate the everyday events in life.

Graduate from college.
May 2010
I graduated with a degree in Human Services. 

Buy a house.
September 2009 & June 2014
I bought my first house in 2009 and J.D. and I bought our house in 2014.

Get married.

September 2011
6 years ago I married my best friend, and promised to walk hand in hand together through life. You can see all the details of our white chapel wedding here.

Have children.
June 2013 & October 2015
I could go on and on about these two nuggets, but I think 3 words sum it up beautifully.

Visit every state.
This is ongoing, but so far I have visited.
South Dakota
I have drove through many more states, but I don't want to count those. I want to experience something the state is known for before I check it off my list!  

Buy a stranger dinner without them knowing.
When Kona was a few months old J.D's parents took us out to dinner. While we were waiting for our food a World War II veteran came over to us and was in love with Kona. He was the sweetest man and really touched me with the admiration he showed for Kona and our new family. He gave us some great words of wisdom that I continue to carry close to my heart. After we were done eating we paid for their meal and never let him or his family know. I will never forget this gentleman and the impact he had on my life, even though I only spoke to him for a short period of time.

Make wine.
December 2011
For my bridal shower a few girls went in and got me a wine making kit. I made my first batch of wine that December and bottled it on New Year's Eve. We had some friends over that evening for appetizers, wine and to watch the ball drop. It was so much fun and one of my favorite New Year's.

See a Broadway play. 
August 2017
Sandy and I saw The Lion King during our trip to New York. You can read all about my thoughts on the Broadway play here.

Learn to knit.
One of my coworkers at my last job was an amazing quilter and knitter. The pieces that she would make were beautiful. I asked her one day if she would teach me how to knit and out of the goodness of her heart she taught 3 of us during her lunch break. Now we weren't the best knitters, but I had the best time learning and spending time with these ladies. I have knitted hats, scarves and baby booties. I did get pretty good at making baby booties and made them for all of my pregnant friends.  

Host Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Many, many times.
I LOVE hosing Thanksgiving and Christmas. Planning, prepping, decorating, and spending time with family gets me so excited. It truly is the best time of the year!

Volunteer at Hospice.
September 2009
While I was in college I volunteered for Hospice. I would sit with patients in the hospice house or nursing home, who didn't have any family close by to be with them during their final days. I urge everybody to volunteer for Hospice. Your life will be enriched in ways you can't imagine. 

Try vegetarianism for 30 days.
Before I got pregnant with Kona, I decided I would try vegetarianism for 30 days. I had done a lot of research and read several books about being vegetarian and wanted to try it for myself. I went into it with an open mind, but didn't know how much I would love it. The 30 days was surprisingly easy for me (I figured it would be difficult since I had grown up eating meat) and while I don't fully have this lifestyle anymore (it's a little difficult with kids) I still try to eat as many vegetarian meals as I can, and cook them for my family. Maybe after my kids have gown, I will adopt this lifestyle once again.

Buy a stranger a drink.
August 2017
While in New York Sandy and I went a stood on the plaza for the Today Show. The sweetest couple standing next to us announced their pregnancy with a sign they were holding. It was really cute and their excitement radiated off of them. I felt so lucky to be standing next to them as they shared their big news. After the show was over several of us headed over to Starbucks and they were in line right behind me. I wanted to do something for them to say congratulations and a coffee did just the trick!  

Truly experience a sunrise.
November 2015
When I wrote this one down on my bucket list I had this vision of sitting on a beach or mountain top, in silence, watching the sky go from black to gorgeous swirling colors. But the truth is, the sunrises I truly experienced were while sitting on my couch nursing Kai. Even though I was extremely sleep deprived (Kai never slept) I secretly looked forward to these mornings. Watching the sun rise over the trees, while sitting on my couch in silence, and nursing Kai are some of the best morning's of my life.

Truly experience a sunset.
Seeing a sunset through Kona's eyes and having him tell me, "Wow, that is beautiful" is the best sunset I've ever seen.

Go to a pro baseball game.
August 2017
Sandy and I also went to a Yankees game during our trip to New York. We had a blast and I loved my first experience at a pro game.

Write a blog.
February 2017
When I put this on my bucket list way back in the day I had no idea what I would write about. I was reading a few blogs at the time and loved that it was their journal and a way to express themselves. Fast forward several years, and I'm incredibly happy I took the plunge and started this dream of mine. I can't thank you all enough for reading, commenting and making me feel comfortable to share some personal and heart felt posts. I love to blog and I hope you love it here too. 
You can read more about why I finally started a blog and my hope for this space here.

I would love to hear what you have on your bucket list! What all have you checked off?

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September 22, 2017

Our White Chapel Wedding

6 years ago I said "I do" and married the man I have always dreamed about. He's my best friend, and the person I love walking, hand in hand, through life with.

Here is how our special day unfolded.

The dress and shoes.
The flowers
Getting ready.
The girls.
The guys.
The sweetest flower girls you ever did see.
The sweetest ring bearer who was not so excited.
The ceremony.

My Dad giving his little girl away.
The tears.
The vows.
The "I do's"
The kiss.
Our ride.
The pictures.

The patio for cocktail hour.
Mad Libs during cocktail hour.
The favors.
Signing the quilt squares that were turned into a quilt.
The tables.
The toasts.
Our first dance.
Father-Daughter dance.
Mother-Son dance.
Cutting the cake.
Grooms cake, mints & hand stamped napkins.
 The ice cream bar.
The bouquet toss.
The garter toss.
My Dad playing with the band.

It's time to party.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
                                  i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
E.E. Cummings 


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Pictures were taken by the super talented Jennifer Kahm.

Please do not pin images of the kids. Thank you!