Hello again!

Wow, it's been over a year since I last posted. I'd say I can't believe it but I really can. It's been an incredibly busy and full year. I'm hoping to pick up posting again with some regularity but before I jump into that, I thought I'd give a little recap of what our life has looked like over the last year.

  1. The kids are now five and three. Elia started kindergarten this week and Wells starts preschool after Labor Day. They are growing up so fast, which I'll say from now until forever.
  2. We moved into our house last May. A year in, we absolutely love our neighborhood and our house really feels like home to us. We are so happy we made the move.
  3. I have been traveling like crazy over the last year. Since posting last, between work and play, I've been to Honduras four times, Denver, Texas twice, Atlanta, Florida, and we also went on our annual trips to Mackinac Island and this year, Todd and I snuck in a few days alone in the Upper Peninsula. It's been bananas but thankfully, I love to travel and Todd has graciously taken my work travel in stride and the kids have done great when I've been gone. I hope to share more about some of those trips in future posts, particularly the Florida trip I surprised Elia with for her spring break in April. 
  4. We've enjoyed lots of fun with our extended families, in particular when we acquired a sister-in-law/aunt who we love when Todd's brother got married last October, when his brothers and their families came to visit for Fourth of July, over the holidays, and with my brother, his wife, and our nephew being here for an extended visit this summer. It's so great for our kids to be able to spend time with their cousins, who all live far away, and we love that time, too.
  5. This summer has gone so quickly! We are soaking up what's left of it but ready to get into new fall routines.
That's a quick glimpse of what's been most notable in our lives over the last year plus. I'm looking forward to sharing more soon!


Wells is Two!

Wells turned 2 on June 3. Life has been so busy lately that I'm just getting around to posting it. I wrote the post below during his birthday week - some of his favorite things as a freshly minted two-year-old. It's amazing to me that some of things these have changed in such a short period of time.

We moved just 3 days before his birthday but decided that wouldn't keep us from partying it up. We hosted a small group of family and friends for his big day and I'll pepper those photos throughout.


Plow trucks
Doing "gigas" (Basically tackling mommy.)
Music class
Singing (So much that it warrants a list of his favorite songs. See below.)
Lucy Dog + Wilbur Dog ("I love Wibur dog." "I love Lucy dog." "Where Lucy dog go?")

Favorite songs:

Hello, Everybody
Goodbye, So Long, Farewell
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


Funny Sayings:
"Eek! There's a mouse in Mr. Newhof's plow truck."
"Eek! There's a mouse in Mr. Newhof's car."

Rocket ship, rocket ship, to the moon - fly! On mommy's legs.
Driving his Fisher Price car with his bike helmet on.


Pack packs
Waffle toast

Wells continues to be such a source of joy. He is sensitive, sweet, joyful, and charming. We couldn't love him more if we tried. Happy belated, sweet boy, we love you oh so much!


The Big 0-4

Yesterday my first baby, Elia, turned four.

I normally say that I can't believe (enter offspring's name here) is (enter said offspring's age here) but four I saw coming.

Elia has grown so much in the last year. I think it's in large part to her starting preschool in the fall. She knows all of her letters, can read maybe a dozen familiar words, has picked up little phrases and mannerisms (for better or worse) from kids at school, and has become more confident since the fall. Honestly, it has felt like she was four for a while now.

Regardless, we were so excited to celebrate the big 0-4 this weekend. We hosted a painting party for her and some of her classmates at the Grand Rapids Art Museum on Saturday. The party was great and included a tour, story, time to paint, and of course, we had time set aside for cake and gifts.

I was so impressed by how nice and well-behaved these kids were. It was so much fun to watch Elia play with kids she spends time with every day.

She was over the moon about the party and it seemed like all of our guests had a nice time too.

After the party, I took Elia to an Easter egg hunt while Todd took Wells home to nap.

We followed up her big party day with Easter Sunday. A combination birthday/Easter weekend is kind of loco guys. We had Easter baskets and bunny pancakes before church followed by Easter brunch with both sets of grandparents. Followed by cake and gifts.

It was SO MUCH FUN AND EXCITEMENT for the kids.

Seriously, so much celebration. How lucky are we? And we're not even to her actual birthday day yet.

Since her birthday fell on a Monday, it wasn't the most celebratory day of the multi-day celebration but we did presents before school and she got to wear her "It's My Birthday' t-shirt to school, which was a hit.

Yesterday was also the first day of a cooking class she and I are taking for the next few weeks so e grabbed a quick dinner at Donkey and then headed to class. We had a great time and are looking forward to the next class.

All in all, it was a fantastic birthday for Elia.

I cannot wait to see how she grows and changes this year. I wrote a sappy Facebook post about how wonderful this little peanut is and I'm going to conclude the longest birthday recap post of all time with a large portion of it:

"My girl is a thoughtful, careful, creative, inquisitive, gentle and caring child. She has the memory of ten elephants. She loves singing, playing school, drawing, practicing her letters, and cutting with scissors. She made me a mom and helps me learn how to be a better one every day. She asks the most amazing questions that make me think about things in new ways. She is growing more independent every day but still needs me (which is good for a mother's heart). I can hardly remember life without her. Elia Grey, my love for you is fierce and deep and I pray your year is one of both joy and growth. Happy birthday, my little love."


Spring Break - Kiawah Island

If you follow me on Instagram you know that we just spent the most wonderful week in South Carolina. This was Elia's very first spring break so we decided to take advantage of her time off from school and join friends and their families in renting a house on Kiawah Island.

Kiawah Island is about 35-40 minutes outside of Charleston. Todd and I have planned to visit Charleston multiple times over the last few years and just haven't actually made it for one reason or another. We were thrilled when friends proposed renting a house so close to Charleston so we could finally explore the area.


Indoor Play - Shaving Paint

The gross cold bug that's been going around has made its way to our household. Actually, it's more like it moved in here around Christmas and decided to stay a while. I've been sick for almost two weeks now and finally went to the doctor yesterday and I officially have a sinus infection and a mild ear infection. Yuck. I'm the last of us to get truly sick this season. Every single one of us have been prescribed antibiotics in 2017. This fact is, to quote my dear husband, "Crazy. And gross."


I am all about silver linings and I have two for this bout of ick.

1) I hate being sick but love sick days. And I'm taking one right now. After filling up my entire work trash can with tissues (so gross) and seeing the doctor, I decided it was time to take one full day of rest. So here I am, in my quiet house. Resting. And hopefully healing. (Antibiotics, werk!)

2) This sick day has given me time to update the blog with all of the indoor fun we've been having.

So without further ado, I give you shaving paint.

Here's what you do:

1. Gather materials. You'll need:

  • Shaving cream
  • 2 colors of paint
  • A large zip top bag
  • Masking tape
  • Postage tape

2. Squirt two different colors of paint into the corners of the bag, one color on each side.
3. Squirt the shaving cream into the bag.
4. Seal the bag.
5. Tape the top for an extra secure close - I used masking tape followed by postage tape but duct tape would work too.
6. Let your kids go to town.

This activity allows kids to experiment with color mixing and completely eliminates the risk of getting paint everywhere. No mess, no problem.

This is what we started with. One bag for each kid.

And this is what they did with them.