Archive | LIFE LATELY

SCENES FROM OUR WINTER WEEKEND (SO FAR) + A FAMILY UPDATE

(serious dad skills ^^^)

Yay Presidents day! Happy to say we still have a couple days left of the weekend (woot!) but I wanted to stop in with a little family update and a few random pics from Saturday morning. I’ve been doing my best to get the camera out even when the lighting isn’t good (which is most of november to march in Seattle) so these aren’t the best quality pics, but I still treasure them! Here’s what everyone’s been up to…

(Poppy’s leo is from here. Also, we chopped her hair and now it’s super wavy in the back and she wakes up with the most amazing bedhead. It’s the cutest.)

Ozzie | Has been enjoying an off-season from sports but still finds ways to be around sporting events by cheering on his friends (and sibs). He spent Saturday at his bff’s state wrestling meet. So proud of Oz for the kind of buddy and big brother he is. There are few things more important in life than giving others your time and encouragement Oz, so keep it up!

Espen | Got straight A’s on his first middle school report card. I cried when I opened it and yelled to Johan to come peek but then he pointed out that it’s not considered straight A’s if there are A minuses sprinkled in. Can you tell which one of us was an A sudent and which one wasn’t? In other Espen news, he laughs every time someone says “balls” so you know middle school humor is still alive and well regardless of GPA.

Tilly | is currently organizing and producing (aka being a bit bossy about) a youtube channel for her and Griffin. Johan made them promise that they won’t use annoying baby voices in their videos, ha! (anyone else over youtube kids?) Needless to say it’s been an adventure already… get ready for some slime videos coming your way!

Griffin | Lost one of his front teeth (so many heart eyes!) and is working on his other one. He’s also very excited about the youtube channel but is mostly focused on the potential to make money with advertisements, lol.

Poppy | Has grown to love being in the snow, hallelujah! Remember these sledding pics? Well, after our big snow storm and being able to play in the snow 8 days (almost) in a row helped so much. Guess I forget that Poppy (in particular) needs time to adjust and warmup to anything new. We’re celebrating her breakthrough with a family ski day later this week and I cannnnnot wait!

(see that front gap!? ahhhhh, too cute.)

Johan | has been bringing donuts home on Saturday and Sunday mornings after shifts lately so we decided to make it an official tradition. He’s also been making lots of batches of guacamole lately so basically he’s my favorite person eva.

Rae | Gosh, it’s hard thinking of something for myself! I’m mostly looking forward to skiing on Tuesday. Oh and I also recently started taking vitamins (with iron!) regularly and have been sleeping better and feeling better and am blown away at the difference. I’ll definitely be sticking to it through winter and spring!

What’s new with you? Have any habits or projects you’ve started or want to start?

xo, Rae

PS — Sorry for anyone waiting for a meal plan! Since it’s kind of a weird week I decided to skip and just stock the kitchen with our go-to’s. I’ll try and post a running list on Stories tomorrow. Or scroll down for past plans.

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THINGS WE LOVE: SUNDAYS SPENT AT HOME + ANIMAL CHAT BY BRIGHTER FUN

Hoping you’re not over all our food and kitchen related posts and images, lol. Guess it’s where and how we spend most of our time during the colder months… working on our winter bods of course! As I’ve mentioned, we’ve been enjoying alllllll the snow days for the last week or so. This past Sunday after Johan came home from the fire station, we whipped up a french toast breakfast (he makes the toast + I prep the toppings!) and played a fun new animal chat game by my friend Betsy with these two while Ozzie and his friends slept in and Espen and Tilly were at a sleepover. Love opportunities to spend Q.T. with one or two of the kids and am thankful that Johan grabbed the camera to snap a few pics. Always impossible to narrow down my favorites!

V. IMPORTANT: Griffin lost a front baby tooth and it’s just too cute to handle. I’m hoping it’s replacement doesn’t come in before his other front tooth wiggles it’s way out!

Aren’t these illustrated cards adorable!? I want to frame them… or request that Betsy makes a big poster that includes all of them!

Here’s the down-low on Animal Chat: it’s a playful game that helps build better understanding of emotions and feelings created by Betsy and her husband who is an educator (yay! love husband-wife teams!). There are three ways to play – or you can create your own directions!

Find tons more info and different ways to purchase on their Kickstarter page (I just purchased another set for a gift)! You can also head here to sign up for emails.

The kids had a blast looking at the cards, acting out their feelings and asking/answering questions. There aren’t any strict rules or keeping track of points so it really is a game that feels more like free-play. Definitely a good time and lots of laughing.

I especially appreciated the range of cards and emotions — mischievous, content, cool, grouchy and goofy were a few of my favorites! Lord knows there are a lot of feelings happening in our home at any given time… how helpful would it be if our kids (and adults!) were able to sort out how they feel beyond happy or mad?!

Griffin’s silly half face expression made me laugh so had to include :)

How did you spend your weekend?

More importantly, after making a sweet treat do you go for the bowl or whisk/spoon?

As friends I’m feeling like this is something I should know. I’m definitely a bowl girl — especially if I’m the one in charge of scraping out the goods as I always leave a little extra!

xo, Rae

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OOTW: IN MY FEELINGS + DAD JEANS

5 THINGS LATELY:

  1. I rarely feel clever or witty or creative enough to write blog posts (or instagram captions for that matter). As a result I have a huge backlog of content to share and I’m realizing just how much I let my feelings get in the way. How annoying is that, ha!? Like wanting to get healthy but not feeling like drinking a green smoothie or running those stadium stairs, ya know? Going to work on not being in my feelings!
  2. Wearing these 90’s dad jeans from Agolde and this turtleneck (wearing a small) on repeat. Have you guys ventured away from skinny jeans (which are still very much in style) or are they your go-to? I’ve found a few really great non-skinny denim options for under $100 that I’ll try to share next week if you guys are interested?!
  3. The power of a really cute pair of shoes to take a basic/lazy outfit to an effortless one will never cease to amaze me!
  4. Cup-O-Noodles also never cease to amaze me. My kids discovered them this past football season when we wouldn’t allow them to get candy at the concession stand and have been obsessed ever since. Every once in awhile I grab a few to surprise them with as an after school snack and can’t resist eating one myself… you guys they are as good (maybe better?) than I remember them being!
  5. I talked about Botox earlier this week on Stories after a consultation at a spa and must have received 40 messages. Almost everyone who has done it says, “it’s the best!” and the other half of people that messaged said it’s not for them (for varying reasons) and then there were a handful of undecided people (that’s me too!). My appointment was made regarding some sunspots I have on my cheeks but quickly escalated to the specialist talking about alllllll my skin flaws (ha!) and how much younger I’d look with fillers and botox, lol. What a crazy time we live in! So many options out there it’s hard to know what to do and not do. Kinda fun talking about it with you guys.

What’s been on your mind lately?

XO, Rae

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THAT TIME WE WENT SLEDDING


Not sure Poppy would agree with me (plenty of photo evidence below), but there are few things more magical than a snow day. Since there wasn’t any in the forecast this month or last, we decided to drive up to the mountains and I’m so glad we did!

Getting ready is the hardest part, ha! Also notice how often Poppy is missing a glove (or both). Johan and I had a long conversation on the drive home about how kids need gloves and boots that are attached to their snow gear because once things come off and get wet, it’s all over! Thankful that Hanna Andersson carries cozy one piece snowsuits in her size (4T). Couldn’t find either of them on the site, but Griffin’s star overalls and Tilly’s star jacket are on sale!


The rest of the crew did awesome in the snow… they usually do. We practically had to drag them off the sledding hill!

More tears from Poppy below… 4 has definitely been a hard age for her (emo to the max!)! It’s like it’s always the youngest kids job to make sure we don’t think we’ve figured out this whole parenting thing. Ha!

Thankful for her sweet and patient siblings. And Chardonnay.

These faces! I love them so much!

Can’t wait for a real snow day (the canceled school kind!) closer to home but luckily, living in the PNW, we don’t have to travel too far to find mountains and snow.

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A QUICK CHRISTMAS BREAK RECAP

OMGeee, it’s been way too long since the last time we chatted on the blog. I missed it. I missed you. And even thought it’s been a slow start to the new year around here it was a nice break. Plus our theme for Winter Break this year was “UNPLUGGED” which is way more easy to enforce with the kids when I’m not distracted by my own computer and smartphone :)

The kids were supposed to start school again today, but a storm and power outages means we get one last day hunkered down together at home… or actually the Y where we’ve been hanging out most of today playing with the kids, charging our phones and taking advantage of the wifi (and heat!)!

A few of my favorite pics Johan took of the kids while I finished getting ready for Christmas Eve service… they’re all pretty much the same but they’re also all my favorite for different reasons. Like the way Tilly is looking at Oz in the one below. Gah! Wish me luck picking one to frame!

  

I hope you guys had the most amazing Christmas break and New Year!!! So thankful for you and looking forward to doing life together this next year. SO MUCH FUN STUFF COMING UP!

Do you guys have a word, resolution or theme you’ve picked to focus on in 2019?

I’m decidedly undecided on anything and everything involving the new year ahead and have no idea what’s got me in this weird mood lately… Winter Blues maybe? Or just post Christmas Blues? I’m usually so ready and excited to kick things off! Over the weekend I even started looking into supplements that might help give me more energy and less of that blah feeling. If you have any recommendations, please share!

XO, Rae

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PHOTOS + A VIDEO FROM THE REINDEER FARM IN LEAVENWORTH

I’ve been to Leavenworth more times than I can count and most of the time I’m excited to eat, visit and do all the things at our usual spots but every once in awhile something new pops up that I can’t wait to try with Johan and the kids. This time it happened to be a Reindeer Farm and it was a huge hit. I’ll let the crazy amount of pictures and quick video below do all of the talking… we loved every minute!


I was taking pics of the kids in Santa’s sleigh when he snuck up behind me! Most of the kids thought it was hilarious. Poppy about lost her mind.

Once Santa was out of sight, someone offered to snap a family photo of us on the sleigh (love it when people do that!) and while you never quite know if it’ll turn out, I think this time we might just have a Christmas card photo!

The kids literally haven’t stopped talking about our new reindeer friends. Through all of our conversations, we all agreed that the reindeer in the movie The Santa Clause are the most accurate depiction of the very quirky and mischievous animals. Bet you can guess what’s showing next on our family movie night!?

Love when outings lead to conversations. Makes all the chaos worth it!

xo, Rae

PS – for all my local friends that might be planning a stay in Leavenworth, I’m going to share some of our favorite places to eat tomorrow. Is there anything else you’d like me to share.

PPS – sign up for emails so you don’t miss anything!

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THOSE FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS + A FAMILY UPDATE

We’ve been in a bit of a blissful post-sports-season lull around our home since last saturday and I’m not gonna lie, this mama that appreciates a packed calendar is LOVING the slowness and togetherness. Nothing like going from having multiple teams and sports happening 6 days a week to almost nothing except off season baseball practices with a few school events sprinkled in.

The perks include but not limited to… kids that have bathed almost every night (ironically since they probably need it less, lol), a more manageable laundry pile without all the layers of practice gear and uniforms, and a car that smells less and less like an old pair of soccer cleats by the day. In addition, all 5 kids ate after school snack together on wednesday and then yesterday they all went with Johan to target just for fun while I got dinner started. ALLLL OF THEM! Can you tell I’m in heaven?

Of course wrapping up a season is always a little bittersweet too. I miss seeing the kids play and be with their teammates but mostly missing our Friday nights watching Oz play high school football. He didn’t grow up playing peewee football or anything so I wouldn’t say we’re much of a football family, but there is seriously nothing like Friday Night Lights. Plus it always gave us something fun to look forward to and do with the family!

Found a few pictures from a small tailgate we did before a game earlier in October…. Take me back!

(Poppy’s cute salty pretzel tee from HERE!)

The jumping and the smiling face action shot — so much to love about this pic!

Gigi and Bestemor chatting in the pic below. Can you guess which one of them gave birth to me and which one to my 6ft 3inch husband? ;)

The colors below! I can hardly handle how pretty. Also when leaves double as entertainment for the kids.

Tailgating was one of the things on our fall bucket list and the weather was good enough in October we ended up doing it twice! Now we just have to figure out a new way to spend our Friday nights…

Speaking of calendars and bucket lists, I have a couple questions for ya:

  1. do you prefer when the calendar is full and busy or more flexible with lots of time to hunker down at home?
  2. have you been thinking about what to put on your Christmas, Holiday or Winter bucket list?

I just started jotting down ideas this week. Can’t believe we’ll be wrapping up our fall bucket list (even though fall doesn’t officially end until December 21st) with Thanksgiving next week!

Happy Weekend + Lots of Love!

XO, Rae

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OOTW, THROWBACK TRAINERS + PLAYING WITH GRIFFIN

The best thing to happen to motherhood since baby carriers and wet wipes has got to be the sneakers with everything trend. I mean, the ability to wear most items in your closet AND also be able to chase after or play with a kid or two is brilliant. I’m a fan of the chunky (slash ugly) trainer and have had my eye on this pair (in all leather) but can never find them in my size and color preference so snagged these reeboks instead which are more of a throwback than chunky but also less expensive and I love them! And the best thing to happen to this plain t-shirt is for sure, this cute camisole. I tend to feel overdressed in a silk top but the two together strikes a perfect balance and feels special without being too stuffy for all the glamorous things I do all day (i.e. target runs, grocery shopping, picking all the things up off the floor, carpool + dishes). Even better, ditch the tee and add a leather jacket for date night! (just got this one for under $100)

(All blue, head to toe! GRIFFIN’S tee from j. crew, adidas sweatshirt from amazon, joggers from rockets of awesome and new balance shoes are from j.crew.)

Gah! I love this hand holding, high energy boy so much! Last week Johan and I picked him up a few minutes early from school to surprise him with a quick fro-yo date. On the way home Johan mentioned on the car ride that he only had one week left of soccer so I followed up with a question about playing next year to which he answered — “I’m kinda thinking I’ll play football instead” — it’s the best, most exciting but also stressful thing when they grow up and start making independent decisions like that!!! My reply was of course one I thought would make him think hard — “Do you think you’ll be able to hit and tackle other kids?”  — and he replied, “I tackle dad all the time!”

Ok. You win Griff. I will always try my best (with loads of wisdom of course) to support your ambitions and dreams. But I will also be praying that I get to see you play soccer next fall, lol.

When you have more than one kid, it’s easy to encourage them to play with each other outside while you do something productive (pick weeds, sweep the porch, clean out the car). But spending time playing with Griff and a soccer ball reminded me how productive it is for our relationship which carries over into our day and home and feels so good. My own dad was really good at playing outside with us. Lots of basketball, riding bikes and going for runs together so I speak from experience how powerful it can be… it’s just too easy to forget sometimes!

So, here’s my official NOTE TO SELF:

play more catch. play more tackle. play more tag.

Does playing come naturally to you or is it something that requires more intention?

Now that the weather is getting chilly, I for sure need to be more intentional about it. I’m always so cold! Sometimes my todo list gets the best of me too… adulting is hard!

XO, Rae

 

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THINGS EVERY FAMILY ROOM SHOULD HAVE

We’re in the process of painting a few walls and shuffling furniture around in our home. Mostly from the family room to the man cave slash playroom which has left us with a very empty room that’s going to need some refreshing! (YAY! Just a little excited about it.) When we redid the boys room over the summer, we made a list of everything a kids room should have in it and it was super helpful, so we started one for the family room too. A little surprised at how short the list is so I know we’re missing things, ha! Would love any and all input!

FAMILY ROOM MUST-HAVES:

  1. a stack of chat books for little walks down memory lane
  2. throw blankets + pillows
  3. a cozy couch
  4. a coffee table big enough to play games or color at.
  5. photos + art
  6. tv and a good sound bar!
  7. soft lighting (i.e. lamps)

I think the biggest challenge will be finding a couch we can afford (key word) that’s cozy to sit on and looks good but can also handle grubby fingers and a pile of people on family movie nights. If you know a good place to shop for one that checks all those boxes, please share!

I’ve also been on the hunt for inexpensive frames I can mix and match on a gallery wall in the family room and am having the hardest time finding some. Other than Ikea or the thrift store, where do you guys find them?!?

And don’t forget to share what your family room must-haves are!?

xo, Rae

(Photos by my brilliant husband, Johan.)

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PHOTOS FROM HALLOWEEN IN SEATTLE 2018

On Halloween We:

Dress up like — Darth Vader (Griffin), Planet of the Apes (Espen), A soccer player (Tilly), Minnie Mouse (Poppy), Mickey Mouse (Johan), and a Strawberry (Me)… Not pictured were Ozzie and his sweet girlfriend who dressed up like a baseball player and an angel for Angels in the Outfield (so cute!)

Make last minute costume changes — Poppy, who was 100% committed to being a strawberry (because in her own words, she luuuuuvs strawberries. she luuuuuv eating strawberries and she luuuuvs being a strawberry.), woke up from a nap 15 minutes before heading out to trick or treat and was repulsed by her strawberry costume. Like wouldn’t go within 10 feet of it. But luckily she was wearing a black dress and we had minnie mouse ears on hand from going to the kids’ classroom parties (costumes aren’t allowed but headbands don’t count, right?) so it all worked out.

Try something new — We usually hangout in our neighborhood with a group of friends (who we love!) but this year decided to switch things up a bit so headed to Queen Anne for their trick or treating event and then walked to Johan’s sister and brother in laws place for dinner, candy eating and a movie.

Hold hands — probably my favorite part this year was that in between going into the shops and knocking on doors, there was always someone’s hand to hold… my favorite!

Count, sort, trade and then taste test the candy — always the first thing that happens once we’re indoors after trick or treating. Do your kids do the same?

Watch the nightmare before Christmas — or at least we did this year after getting back from trick or treating. Am I the only person that isn’t into this movie?

Listen to Christmas music — after the festivities, on the drive home of course, lol.

Carry around a pet ghost balloon — Just in case one of the kids got separated so they’d be able to look up and find us…. it was kind of annoying to drag around (mostly for the other people walking on the sidewalk, lol) but actually came in handy when Tilly wandered off. I’ll explain below!

Digging into poppy’s bucket after she said it was getting heavy, lol! Just doing my part to help a sister out!

Two pics above, everyone’s in the frame while Johan is figuring out settings for the camera so we can ask a stranger to snap a family pic. One pic above, Johan hopped in the frame but do you notice someone else missing? HA! Tilly somehow wandered across the street and we didn’t notice until we were finished with the pic and saw her standing on the other side of the crosswalk looking at us like, “where have you guys been!?” Sooooo glad she stayed put and didn’t keep wandering down the sidewalk… it’s my biggest fear on Halloween. Also the reason why I appreciate starting trick or treating before it get’s dark.

(might be the world’s worst at making a kissy face, hahahah!)

Our days of trick or treating are numbered so feeling extra thankful for our little halloween together, trying something new and having the best time. Hope you guys had the best Halloween yet!

Let me know what your favorite part was in the comments please… I love it when you share!

XO, Rae

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SWEATER WEATHER + HELLO CUPCAKE

Last Friday after a busy week and what felt like forever since Johan and I had a chance to chat or hangout for more than 5 minutes, we took Poppy out for a little date to Hello Cupcake in Tacoma. It was such a fun and needed break and as you can tell, I’m  a happy girl anytime there’s a coffee and cupcake (or 12) in my hands!

Also love that “sweater weather” means I get to add a cozy, textured layer to my usual jeans and a tee uniform. Bonus, every time I think or hear the word “cardigan”, I can’t help but sing, “Cardi-Cardi!” in my head. Ha! Add a bright color to the mix and it does wonders to brighten up tired eyes and a fading summer tan.

Linked outfit details and more pics from our outing below!

(I typically favor cozy quarters over a giant home, but dream of having a prep kitchen with a giant pantry and fridge hidden behind swinging doors with round windows like above. A little over the top but think of how amazing it would be!)

We ordered a dozen mini cupcakes to grub on and share with friends before Ozzie’s football game later that evening. Plus one to eat right away of course! Gotta love places that make their sweets in a tiny size for kids and adults to enjoy. No sugar rush (and invitable meltdown) for them or sugar crash for us.

As we walked down the street with our basically homemade cupcakes from a small shop and stared through the windows of other small shops and restaurants along the way, I thought about how much I love supporting small businesses and appreciate the people who put their heart, creativity and finances out there to make our communities thrive and our everyday lives feel extra special. It’s honestly heroic in it’s own way — even if it means paying $2 for one mini cupcake when you could buy twelve for $5 at target. The value is so much greater. And the lack of preservatives is pretty awesome too.

I’M WEARING | sweater also available here (I sized up 1 for a bigger fit), vintage tee, jeans (similar. also saving up for these), shoes

POPPY’S WEARING | leggings, sweatshirt, hat

Our little outing also made me wonder what kind of a shop I would open…? As much as I have dreamt about opening up a clothing or home goods store (for the obvious personal perks), I would for sure open up a bakery that also served ice cream and breakfast until 10pm (def. the reason I should never open a store, lol — way too hard to decide on a niche!)…. something about knowing my bakery slash cafe would be a great place for family and friends to gather or grab treats for an afternoon pick-me-up or special occasion would give me lyfe.

Do you guys ever daydream about what kind of a shop or small business you would open? Tell me bout it in the comments!

XO, Rae

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