Archive | A DAY IN THE LIFE

WHEN IN DOUBT, HEAD TO THE BEACH!

That is exactly what we did over the long weekend and it’s safe to say we played hard and had lots of fun! Johan had to be back at work on Monday so our weekend was cut short a bit, but Saturday and Sunday we packed up and spent time at my parent’s house and lake. Between our work schedules lately (yay for those hard working daddies!) and the boy’s baseball, two full days together felt like pure bliss!

A few pics from our time together…

Griffin rarely lets me out of his sight (a serious clinger) unless he has a friend around and then I’m NBD. Makes me appreciate more and more the time I have him all to myself. One day he’ll be taller and busier and it will be harder to steal kisses so you know what I’ll be doing in the meantime!

I know from experience… You’ll notice Oz isn’t in any pics. He and a friend were with us but taking pictures of  16 year old boys is hard if not impossible. Unless of course it’s a snapchat pic from their phones (sighhhh).  On the upside, teenage boys are highly entertaining and fun to be around!

I mentioned on Instagram that we haven’t quite mastered the art of family bike rides. However, my parent’s neighborhood is a really good place to practice. Everyone grabs something with wheels and we hit the road — abandoning ride-on toys, kissing scraped knees, and looking like a hot mess as we go.

It’s my favorite thing to hang back a bit and watch the beautiful mess of it all while kindly shouting every once in awhile for people to slow down, stay together, be careful, and don’t go past the…. Ha! Maybe I’m the reason our bike rides/walks feel so chaotic?! Either way, when it’s not stressing me out, it’s the best view.

Still in swimsuits at 8pm… What summer dreams are made of!

5th child ^^^ The FOMO is real.

There’s that view!

Day 2 looked a lot like day 1…

Tilly trying to persuade me to hop on a paddle board with her the second we arrive on the beach, while I try to convince her that sitting in the sun for a bit while taking it all in and sipping on a LaCroix before jumping in the water is where it’s at!

We compromised… I hopped on the paddle board with her and a LaCroix and she promised not to tip us over. :)

Waiting for my paddler.

*I would not ordinarily post a picture of myself in a swimsuit, but since it’s that time of year and most of us are looking for something cute and functional to wear while playing with the kids, I thought I would take one for the team and share one of the suits that works for me! The top is last season from Victoria’s Secret but my bottoms are from Kortni Jean. I have a top from her line and love how easy her pieces are to mix and match with other suits I have too. I’ll share links below!

I’ve also had my eyes on swimmers by Albion… has anyone purchased from them?

Watermelon break!

And some pineapple too…?

 Since Johan had to work Monday the kids and I hung-out at home. They caught up with friends while I caught up on laundry and spent a lot of time thinking about how this weekend probably feels and looks so different for those families who know personally the cost of our freedom. Those who might cringe a little when the word “happy” is placed before memorial day. If that’s you, and I’m not even sure that I have the words or understanding, but I do want you to know I was thinking of you. Thank you for everything you have and continue to sacrifice for me and my family and for our country. I do hope you felt extra honored and loved over the weekend.

XO, Rae

SWIMMERS | Rae, top + bottom from Kortni Jean  | Tilly, top + bottoms from Kortni Jean | Espen, old from Crewcuts | Griffin, trunks from Cat + Jack from Target (these are cute too) | Poppy, suit from Olivia + Ocean

*Leave a comment if you have any questions on sizing!

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HOW TO BE A HAPPIER MOM + LIFE LATELY

(Cookie eating + smoothie + coffee drinking at the park.)

With Mother’s Day just a week and a half away, my mind has been spinning with thoughts of motherhood. One of the quotes I read recently and can’t seem to get out of my head is, “In the end, I am the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life” by, Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard. So true, right? I’d add that it’s also one of the best gifts we can give our kids!

So, I started taking an inventory of the days I’m feeling happier and more myself and why I think that is. Excited to share what I found along with a pics from life lately!

I’M A HAPPIER MOM WHEN…

  1. I’m doing things to take care of myself on a regular basis (getting ready, working out, eating well, etc.)
  2. I’m in community and spending daily time with God (journaling, reading, praying) and people (playdates, coffee, walks, meals, chatting, etc.). Oh, and of course date nights with your hub or friends!
  3. I’m getting enough sleep. I read the other day that getting good sleep makes people more happy than making more money and I totally believe it! I’m so much more playful and fun when well rested. 7 or 8 hours per night is my happy place and allows a buffer for the nights I’m up late working or one of the kids is sick. This of course is tricky with a baby bump or newborn… and sometimes even toddlers, a “sleep walking” 5 year old that climbs into bed with you, or if you have FOMO (like me!) and can’t sleep in!
  4. I’m able to be present! Still need to be better at this because even when my body isn’t multitasking, my mind often is. Keeping a planner where I can jot down lists, ideas, to-do’s and a plan for our day is a huge help! Love these large agendas by Ban.do and this monthly organizational set by JDC. Getting out of the house for a bit each day helps too.
  5. My priorities, values and goals all lineup. If I find myself getting frustrated or losing my mind, it’s usually because one or more of these things are off. On the flip side, when all 3 line up it can be a huge mood booster. For instance, if my goal is to have the kids catch the bus at 8, my priority is to encourage independence, and my value is in my relationship with my kids then letting Tilly pick out her outfit is a no brainer! It saves both of us time and energy and helps our relationship too. Although, you know I’ll be throwing out some suggestions, ha! Just can’t help myself :)

(Yummy Starbucks cookie, but we made these big batch cookies a couple days ago too!)

Made this fish taco with mango salsa recipe last Taco Tuesday and it was so yummy.

(Burning off some energy on the tennis court during Ozzie’s game last week.)

(Shoes on the wrong feet… gosh I’ll miss this stage when it’s over.)

(Weekday errands with daddy… one of the perks of being married to a firefighter :)

(The sun has been out off and on this week so it was time for us to stock our car caddy with a picnic mat, snacks, sidewalk chalk, and bubbles. Makes baseball games + park dates super easy!)

One last thought on being a happier mom… Raising good little humans is a big job. But that sense of purpose and value can often get buried under the mountain of laundry, to-dos, and tantrums and with it the joy too. So for all the mamas that could use a reminder or haven’t been told lately, you have a big, beautiful, important and hard job and your doing better than you think you are… we all are!

How do you keep your heart light and happy amid the demands of momming?

xo, Rae

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SPRING BREAK RECAP…

So, last week came in like a lamb and out like a lion which I guess is appropriate for Spring break :) We had lots of rainy days in the beginning so took it slow and had a lot of dance parties. But then the sun decided to join us so we were able to do some adventuring towards the end! Overall we ate yummy food, kept the kids up way past their bedtime and ignored the mountain of laundry so I would say it was a successful (and always needed) break from school and our normal routine.

A few pics from our week!

Lunch at a favorite spot in Tacoma, Shake Shake Shake. The best fries and shakes! The younger kids got corn dogs and the older ones ordered giant cheese burgers. Can’t remember the last time we all ate that much… I thought we would be rolling people out of there!

Ketchup art by Griffin but Tilly would like to take credit for inspiring the idea. She would like to take credit for this next shot too… :)

Espen will be 11 this year which totally and completely blows my mind! He’s the sweetest most helpful and positive person I know and I just can’t get enough of those freckles on his nose.

My favorite thing to do after eating way too much is get some fresh air and go for a walk so the fam bam obliged and we headed to Pointe Rustin to walk along the beach and play at the playground and then ultimately wound up searching for crabs. Washington beaches aren’t often sandy or sunbathing worthy, but they sure to occupy the kids and it’s always so fun to see their excitement!

Or total horror, LOL. Poppy spent most of the time deciding whether she liked the crabs or was scared of them. I don’t blame her one bit. The next pic is me feeling very proud of myself for holding a non-pinching baby crab, the size of an almond, in my hand. If any of our kids end up being total whimps I will be to blame for sure.

Feels so good to be outside without having to bundle up to stay warm and dry!

It wasn’t long before someone drove by in a golf cart and asked us not to throw rocks in the water. Oops. We tried really hard to follow these instructions but srsly, how do you keep 5 kids from throwing rocks in a body of water? Let’s just say, many reminders were needed.

Almost forgot! Ozzie’s High School team was able to play 3 games over break which must be some kinda early spring record! Griff was thrilled about it, obvi. I honestly think the hardest part about having various age kids playing sports is making sure the younger ones don’t get totally burnt out or resentful.

On one of the rainier days we decided to take a quick outing to visit the lake near our house, dream about summer days, and also get donuts. It was a couple hours very well spent.

As you can see, our spring break was kinda random and with all the bad weather, somedays didn’t feel as much like a break as I usually like. Luckily (if you saw this post on Instagram, then you already know), I messed up our calendar and booked our spring break vacay for later this month. We’ll be headed to the ocean in a couple weeks for a second (shorter) spring break! I felt terrible at first but think it will end up being a really good thing.

Have any spring travel plans?

xo, Rae

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A DAY IN THE LIFE (WINTER EDITION)

Having lots of kids at different ages and a husband who’s career is firefighting means that our schedule is always changing. However, we seem to be in a pretty predictable rhythm these days and it’s such a good feeling. Since I know one day I’ll wonder what life was like way back in 2017 and because I’m always so curious what other people’s routines are I thought I would follow up this day in the (summer) life post with a winter edition!

As I mentioned, our schedules are kinda all over the place depending on the kids’ activities and commitments and Johan’s work, but for the most part our mornings are the same so I’ll start there.

Oh, but before I do, if you are pregnant or have a newborn, ignore my morning routine — it looked so much more haphazard during the baby growing and nursing seasons in my life. My advice for those of you that are in it? Do whatever you need to feel human. That might look like getting extra sleep, making it to the gym, taking a shower, planning date nights or working on a business. You will never regret taking care of yourself so you can give the best to your little (and big!) ones. Just one of the things I’ve learned the hard way.

MORNING ROUTINE | My goal is to be up at 5 for a garage workout with Johan (on mornings he is home) or to catch up/get ahead of work as well as a good 20 minutes or so of quiet time and a shower before the kids are up. Even as a non-morning person, this is my favorite and most productive time of day due to the lack of distraction and totally worth the early wakeup call. However, there are nights when kids are up sick or with bad dreams or Johan and I decide to catch up on a show, in which case,  getting an extra hour of sleep is way more valuable. When that happens, I’m up sometime between 6 and 6:30, hop in the shower and meet Ozzie downstairs for breakfast. The older he get’s, the fuller his calendar gets with homework, sports and friends so I cherish this time so much.

After he leaves around 7, I pour another cup of coffee and start round 2 with the other kids! I slowly wake them up and help pick out clothes, remind them to make their beds, etc., etc…. It’s usually a good time to throw in a load of laundry and maybe fold or put away a few things too, while they moan and groan, lol. Eventually we head downstairs for breakfast. They all eat and Espen and Tilly finish up their morning routine while I make lunches, empty the dishwasher and wipe spills and faces. Then around 8 it’s off to school for Espen and Tilly. Once they are gone Griffin, Poppy and I (but mostly I) tidy up the downstairs and kitchen… no matter how clean it is when we wake it’s always amazing to me how messy it gets by this time. Then I turn on a kid show for Griffin and Poppy while I do my hair and makeup. Somedays it holds their attention, other days they follow me into the bathroom to hang on me/rummage through bathroom drawers/drive me bonkers. #momlife

If Johan is getting off shift, then he arrives sometime around 8:30. We chat, hug and debrief about our last 24+ hours while Griffin and Poppy either climb all over us or get into mischief since mom + dad are preoccupied.

This is where things get less predictable, but for the most part our late morning and afternoons can be broken down into 3 parts — M+F, W, + TU+TH.

M +F | Griffin has Pre-K these mornings (and Wednesdays too). If Johan is home he usually takes drop-off duty while I squeeze in an hour of work. After that we either head out for an outing, run errands or work around the house until nap time.

W | Is a little crazy but also my absolute favorite. The three oldest kids have late start which means they get an extra hour and half before school starts. These mornings are more laid-back and conducive for a pancake breakfast. The kids do their normal routines and then we ALL :) leave the house around 9, drop Oz off first, then take Griffin to Pre-K, and finally zip through the Starbuck’s drive-thru on our way to drop Espen + Tilly off. It’s like a school carpool dream come true for me. I wish everyday was late start and what’s funny is I’m one of the only school age mom I know that likes Wednesdays… might have something to do with working from home instead of an office. Or maybe I just have a thing for lazier mornings.

T + TH | Are right up there with Wednesdays because Griffin is home! After the three big kids head off to school Griffin, Poppy and I (and Johan too when we are lucky!) find something fun to do until nap time. Sometimes we tryout a new coffee shop, or park. Other times we do something a little more familiar like meet up with friends, visit the children’s museum or wander around Target. Once Poppy is down, I tidy up again and then spend time with Griffin. It’s his last year home before starting Kindergarten (which is full-time here) so these days feel almost sacred and I do my best to keep this time work-free.  Every once in awhile tho, I spend an hour or less answering emails or taking pictures for a post while he plays legos.

Wow, that all feels like a lot of information and our afternoons are even more random so maybe I’ll stop there and cover our afternoon, evening and bedtime schedule in another post!? Let me know if you have any questions that I didn’t answer in this post about our mornings or anything you would like to know in a follow up post.

Oh, and two things that are worth mentioning…

1.) Once a week our totally amazing family friend comes and cleans our home. It was something Johan and I decided to splurge on during the end of my pregnancy with Poppy and only intended on continuing for the first few months after she was born but couldn’t bring ourselves to give-up! It’s seriously life changing and allows me to focus on other things like the laundry, inviting people over, and of course the kids!

2.) One morning a week while Johan is on shift and Griffin is at school, I have hired a friend’s daughter who is homeschooled to come play with Poppy for a couple hours while I work in my office. She’s only come 3 or 4 times so far but Poppy loves the big kid attention and adding an extra 2 hours to my 12 hour workweek has been such a relief. It’s a win-win!

Obviously most days don’t run quite as smoothly as it might look on “paper”. Negotiations, tantrums, spills and scavenger hunts for lost shoes/homework/library books are also a part of our mornings. What keeps me sane in a house full of kids though is not doing it all, all the time and remembering that a little bit of help might not solve all my problems but it does go a long way.

So, now I’m curious… If you could get help on a daily or weekly basis would you hire a nanny, cook, chauffeur, or house cleaner?

Can’t wait to read your answers!

XO, Rae

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