Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Having fun...

I've been having so much fun lately with Natalie and Maddie. They are both super goofballs who love to dance and pretend. Kate and CJ are lots of fun too, of course, but they aren't here as much as the two littlest girls, so they don't get into as many photos. With the weather warming we've been outside a lot too which makes EVERYBODY much happier! Also, everyone in our house (with the exception of Matt) is growing out their hair which makes for fun hairstyles each morning. NOTE: The hairstyles don't last long which is evidenced in these photos. Ha! I love these girls!

We make tiaras, bracelets, necklaces, and garlands with Natalie's "special beads." I also step on countless "special beads" which doesn't feel too good but they are at least fun to play with. Lots of creativity happens when these beads are pulled out of the closet (or from under the bed, dresser, etc.)

Clothing is optional. Diapers are not.


Nacho, our pet cat, went to the vet overnight to get fixed, get shots, and declawed! Poor thing. The girls were missing her something fierce. The day she was set to return, CJ made Nacho a banner at school and we set up a "kitty buffet" to welcome her home. I sent this picture to Matt and he responded, "Is CJ eating cat food? Why is Maddie naked? And is Natalie drunk?!" I laughed, and laughed, and laughed. This is our crazy house day in day out.


Barbies, barbies everywhere, everyday! Natalie loves Barbies!

I cleaned up so we could actually play with the Barbies. Natalie promptly left. Apparently it is more fun to play with Barbies strewn everywhere. Oh, kids.


And here is a random photo from January when we went to one of the local bouncy house places with our neighbor friends. We've gone bouncing quite a bit this winter. The kids burn off SO much energy!

What fun days...most of the time. I'm looking forward to summer with excitement and mild anxiety. It will be busy and exhausting, and hopefully, filled with lots of laughs!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Truth and tired...

Each time I open my blog and reread old posts, I get nostalgic. I also get grumpy with myself. I'm not documenting the days of Natalie and Maddie being little squirts like I did with the older two girls. As if I need any more pressure on myself to do more, and yet, I do just that. I'm not gonna lie, four girls is major work. Four kids is major work. I'm nearly forty. Ack, how did that happen? People tell me regularly things like, "You look tired!" or "Your teeth look yellow." or "Losing baby weight is hard, huh?" Thanks all! Add to my aging body the fact I can't run because of my stinkin' hip, that's right, this old lady has a hip injury, and it's not exactly easy to stay in shape. I'm trying to take care of myself but apparently 39 isn't treating me well. 


Little girl laundry...


Maddie is a bundle of happiness that climbs like a mountain goat and explores like a burglar in a diamond store. Does that make sense? She likes to destroy. I have a hard time keeping up with her. But dang, she is adorable.

My brother and sister when they were little...


That's me on the right. I thought I looked so good in that coat. And my hair! I probably spent a solid 30 minutes perfecting that coif. Now I barely spend three minutes on my hair.

My mom and dad a few years back... Look at my mom's mane. So beautiful!

That's me raiding my grandma's refrigerator. Maddie and I could be twins!


Maddie's twin (me) again...
That outfit. Love it!

What's the point of this post? I don't know. I barely documented anything of importance related to my children but maybe one day I will look back and think, "I tried. Even though I often was tired, and apparently didn't look my best, I at least tried."  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

JOY!

Joy is contagious and there is no one better than your child to remind you of that.
My Natalie can change emotions faster than sound travels but when she is joyful- we all feel it.
Love, love, love it!


To watch your babe enjoy sweet corn for the first time? JOY!
(Yep, old picture, but still worth sharing.)


Giant block tower built by my curly haired CJ. JOY!


And Kate's giant personality? JOY, JOY, JOY!


I love these girls!
They bring me so much JOY!


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Countdown 2016...

Missed a few days in my Christmas countdown. Eh, I'm cool with it.


We've been enjoying holiday cartoons on television.
We have also enjoyed stealing mom's phone and taking random photos.


This morning Maddie decided she needed to get up at 3. She cried for awhile in her bed until I finally got her up for the day at 4:15. First thing I did was make myself some coffee and make her clock in for work. She refilled K cups, read some books, watched some Mr. Ed (not much on at this time of day), and dragged the cat around by the neck. (Maddie's not gentle with Nacho.) Needless to say, I'm feeling ready for bed. 


So many random photos...


Three more days until Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Countdown 2016...

A few weeks back we made our annual visit to a Christmas tree farm to chop down our tree. It is always a serious debate on which tree is best and this year we picked a doozie! She is tall and gorgeous; Amazonian-like except that you wouldn't find our Christmas tree in the rain forest. Only 12 more days until Christmas and it feels more like deep, dark January out there with 3 degrees and frozen, solid snow on the ground. Today we watch Scooby Doo instead of playing outside and I will warm my hands with a mug of coffee and frothy milk. I started my baking today. I've got Kringla and cinnamon roll dough waiting for me. Maddie sat in her high chair for an HOUR eating cereal while I mixed and spilled and cleaned. That right there is a Christmas miracle. And now I type with Nacho on my lap and Scooby Doo on TV. These ramblings may seem unnecessary now but I find it fun to look back on what life was like. Sometimes the days spent with only two girls instead of four seem like a far-off dream. I thought things were challenging then. Now I laugh in the face of my former self. I'm working hard to be intentional about everything around here. If I don't keep these sweet, little tornadoes on the right path then I loose my head, and frankly they loose their's. These are days I will never get back and I don't want to waste them being angry with everyone. Cheers to simple days. Cheers to little faces and fingers. Cheers to nap time. Cheers to Christmas lights and cozy blankets. 

I'm thankful for this wild and crazy life. 


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas Countdown 2016...

The other day I made a list of Christmas prep to-dos and then I freaked out.
And then I had a cup of coffee and did everything but work on my to-dos.
This past week instead of accomplishing tasks we have...broken eyeglasses, made impromptu cookies, watched silly television shows from the 90's (or was it the 00's?), scooped bowls of ice cream, played in the snow, and pretty much anything other than work on those to-dos. Oh, and we also found Darth Vader in the aisles of Target. I guess future Sarah will worry about that list. I love future Sarah. 17 days until Christmas!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Summer dreams on Sanibel...

I was going to continue my Christmas Countdown posts and then I remembered I never blogged about Sanibel so let me squeeze a little warm sunshine into your afternoon.

Each year my parents visit Florida for a week and this time around Natalie and I were a couple of super duper lucky ducks because we got to tag along! If you have just met me then you probably need to know that I have sand, sun, beach on my brain roughly 21 out of 24 hours a day. It's the best. Pretty certain heaven is comprised of beaches, pools, and the sound of crashing waves. (And maybe the occasional cold beer? Maybe.)



My dad really needed to check his phone, I guess.

Natalie and I were at the beach every day. One day we were there from 9:30 a.m. til 3:30 p.m. Natalie spent her time building sand castles and "camp fires" out of sea beans and shells. We built, we played, we jumped waves in the ocean, and most importantly, we were mermaids in the sea. When I grow up I want to be a mermaid. -That's me talking, not Natalie. Although I'm pretty sure she'd be cool with mermaiding with me.

Natalie and I found a heart made from shells. Whoever made this- we're feeling your vibe.


I love this view. 

We also kayaked and paddle boarded. I tried taking Natalie out with me. It went...okay. She was happier out of the canal. If I won the lottery and lived in Florida I would kayak or paddle board every day for exercise. The canal manatees, dolphins, and I would be a on first name basis.



We found a couple of wild animals in Florida.




One morning we drove to Marco and spent the day there. Our first stop was fishing with Captain Bill. Captain Bill is our regular captain and he is the best. Super patient with kids, and he always puts the shrimp on the hook for us because live shrimp look nothing like the ones sold at Hy-Vee.

Previous years when we fish we've caught sheepshead, drum fish, and bonnet heard sharks. But this proved to be an unusual year. We still caught catfish, sheepshead, and drum fish but this year we also caught a couple of starfish. We threw them back, of course.

Natalie was not a super fan of posing next to our catches and after this one flopped fishy sea water all over her she squealed. It gave us a good laugh. And I didn't get a photo but I have to share this story...

Natalie wasn't super thrilled with fishing but she was a patient little girl and sat in the boat watching us for hours. At one point a dolphin popped up. We were thrilled with the attention. Captain Bill told us that doesn't happen too often but what a nice treat. A moment later the dolphin popped up again. Natalie runs to the side of the boat and watches...the dolphin again pops up. At this point Captain Bill's as amazed as the rest of us. He said dolphin will make an appearance but they always mosey on. This dolphin however wanted to play with Natalie and I'm not even joking. He swam back and forth along the boat and wherever Natalie moved to, that is where the dolphin would come back up for air. It was incredible. Natalie was in love. What a special moment for her to hold onto.


My mom caught a 10 pound, 28 inch black drum fish. FYI- drum fish get there name from the sounds they make. They honestly sound like a drum. It's pretty unusual. I caught an 8 pound, 26.5 inch red drum fish. I think they were cousins. 

Afterward Captain Bill cleaned all our fish for us and we took them to the Tiki Bar for a big, delicious lunch.

While in Marco we visited our favorite playground.

I forgot her swimsuit but that didn't stop Natalie from playing in the splash pad.

We love those Marco sunsets.

This umbrella makes me so happy. 
Rainbows at the beach! How could anyone have a bad day after that?

And napping under a rainbow umbrella at the beach? True love.



I wish that swimsuit came in my size.

On our last day I wanted to get a good picture of Natalie walking to the beach. I kept making her pose or I would lag behind until she got fed up with me. I really wanted to get to the beach but I didn't want it to be our last beach trip. I really didn't want that day to be the last day of warm sun and sand. The beach is my bae. Can I use that term? Has it now jumped the shark?? Happy, warm, sunny = me.





But the last day did come. And we enjoyed our last views of the waves and the last feel of sand in our toes. And I felt a little bummed. I was missing my family but man alive, I love the beach.

Thanks Mom and Dad for letting us tag along. Thanks Matt for giving Natalie and I the chance to take this adventure. Thanks LeAnn and Mike for helping with all of our other little girls. I promise we made every moment count.

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