Archive | LIFE LATELY

BLUEBERRY PICKING AT THE RUSTY PLOW

We may be going back to school shopping today and tomorrow, but there are still 3 weeks left of summer so we’re also still checking things off that sweet summer bucket list. Feels a bit like a conflict of interest but I’m just not ready to start switching gears yet. Why does summer have to go so fast!?

These pics are from a few weeks ago when we went blueberry picking at a place called the Rusty Plow in Enumclaw, WA. The kids ate as much as they picked and the blueberries were so, so good. There’s something extra sweet and delicious about eating food right off the branch while watching the kids run around a farm. Makes me wish I was good at (slash enjoyed) gardening. Maybe one day!? For now we’ll just enjoy visiting and eating produce from someone else’s garden!

Kinda want to get one of those dancing tube guys to set outside the house before the kids get home from school so they know just how excited I am to see them, ha! He’s also very good at photo bombing… do you see him a few pics up and the one right above?

Definitely something that happens often in our kitchen around snack time or happy hour is throwing food up to catch in our mouths. Usually we’re trying to throw it into the other person’s mouth and it’s always fun and good for a few laughs. Playing in the middle of blueberry bushes was also fun but the clean up was way easier :)

Griffey (below), pre-haircut. Love it trimmed but also love my boys a little shaggy. There’s something carefree and playful about it — two things that I’ve always wanted for their childhood years… that is obviously not dependent on their hairstyle, (LOL) just symbolic to me when I see it. They’ll have their entire adulthood to be clean cut!

A little tangent, if you’ll humor me — Someone (an adult) came up to me the other day while I was holding a very tired and worn out version of Griffin and proceeded to give him a hard time and tease him about “needing his mommy”.  I honestly wanted to smack this particular person. Instead I decided to walk away but then spent the entire next couple of days rethinking the situation, how I would respond next time this happened, why my mothering choice seemed to bother them so much and how people like that just remind me of how important our words are. I bring this story up because had the same person made the same comment to me as a less seasoned mom, say with Ozzie, Espen or even Tilly, I would have really taken it to heart and worked overtime to gain their approval of my parenting choices. Motherhood can be such a vulnerable thing, especially outside of your home — certain people will have critical opinions and will be impossible to please. So don’t let them make you second guess how you love, care for, or discipline your kids. Sure it’s important to seek out wisdom and always be growing as a human let alone a parent, but people like that aren’t mentors. They are haters and haters gonna hate.

So, play on player and do you boo, boo! HA! Whatever reminds you that you’re doing good and on the right track!!! Okay!!!?

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming ;)

Johan had started a conversation with the farm owners about the process of planting, growing and pruning the bushes and the number of people that pick blueberries each week so we had some free time to plat tag and do superman’s….

Sometimes the sweetest part of an outing happens on the way home – when everyones bonded a little and things are winding down. I love these kids… and the two guys that aren’t pictured, so much.

Also definitely think we found a new favorite place to pick blueberries, enough to make it a full family tradition every summer.

Did you adopt any new traditions this summer? Or maybe my story about the grownup that teases my kids resonates with you? Either way, let me know in the comments!

XO, Rae

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GRIFFIN IS 7 + A Q+A

You guys!!!! Griffin turns 7 today. It seems impossible that he’s another year older and as much as I would like to keep him 6 and do kindergarten all over, he’s grown up so much this year that he’s really earned the age upgrade. Remember how much fun it was to be another year older!??? Last night he insisted on sleeping in the clothes he wanted to wear on his Birthday day. Boyfriend knows what he wants sometimes and other times he’s so worried about missing out that making up his mind seems impossible (he get’s that from me)!

We put together this little interview video to celebrate his b-day and I think it really shows his personality! I’ve probably watched it a million times since Johan finished editing.

Griffin William, every minute I spend with you I fall a little more in love with you. So curious to see what you will do with your brains and humor and energy and hardworking attitude and attention to detail and attentiveness for people and sweetness in general. Daddy and I predict entrepreneur or surgeon (hello fine-motor skills), but whatever you end up doing we know you’ll do your very best and always love on people in the process. The world is better with you in it! We love you so much.

Shared a few Birthday moments on Instagram Stories this morning and are currently headed to Whidbey Island to party all day on the beach. Hope you guys are having an amazing Saturday and finding a million reasons (big and small) to celebrate!

XO, Rae

P.S. – Remember Tilly’s interview video?

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HOW I WEAR WIDE LEG PANTS + OUR STAY AT A BED AND BREAKFAST

Just me, in my wide leg jeans and straw hat, trying to look all casual like I’m in my element walking through grape vines, but really just hoping the deers we saw earlier snacking on the grapes, don’t return and beat me up. From a distance, I’ll be the first to admire any wild animal, but otherwise they really freak me out!

Anyways, you might be wondering why I’m walking through grapevines??? Well, Monday night Johan and I dropped the kids off at my parents house and headed down the road to a B+B and winery for the night. It was a very different experience than I’d ever had, but fun to try something new. We chatted our innkeeper Bob’s, ear off and asked LOTS of random questions during the wine tasting, ate a delicious breakfast while chatting more with Bob (HA!) and enjoyed the pretty grounds. We also left the winery to visit friends in Kirkland and eat a yummy dinner out (just the two of us) too. If you haven’t been to a B+B before, it’s worth the experience and the place we stayed was great… sweet people and delicious food and snacks and some of the best wine I’ve tasted at very normal prices. Not sure it will be a regular thing for us but I would love to hear if you’ve been to a B+B and if it’s something you would do more of!?

The weather seemed to be a little unpredictable for our stay so I threw these wide leg jeans in my suitcase. They’re perfect for cooler days but breezy enough for warm days too which is why I totally recommend adding a pair (if you haven’t already) to your wardrobe. After posting this pic on Instagram last week, I got asked on DM, how else I like to style mine. So thought I’d share my answer here in case anyone else is wondering…? I like to wear a fitted top or tee I can tuck in all the way or a cropped-boxy  top I can front tuck. It’s really all about balancing out the wide bottom with whatever is on top and making sure I still have a waist. A peasant top that doesn’t have too much fabric and can be tucked in would be really cute too!

Let’s chat about these bracelets because they’re inexpensive and receive lots of compliments. Both are sold out from Madewell, but you can find similar HERE… love the friendship bracelet options!

When you’re in front of a camera and have no little ones hanging on you or grabbing your hand and no coffee to hold, you do weird things with your hat ;)

OUTFIT DETAILS: hat from Nordstrom, striped tee (on sale) from J.Crew, jeans are old from Madewell (but I love these even more), huarache sandals are old from Madewell (similar)

Thanks to my sweet husband for the fun date!!!

XO, Rae

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SEATTLE CITY GUIDE: ALKI BEACH WITH KIDS

TRUTH: There are five activities my kids will always be up for 1. playdates with friends 2. sleepovers 3. Disneyland 4. swimming 5. making (and eating) treats. Anything outside of this short list and chances are at least one of them will gripe, lay on the floor in protest and whine about how awful their day is going to be. They can be a little dramatic and I don’t mention it to complain or throw my kids under the bus, but because it’s exactly how our day started when we let the kids know we were headed up to Alki Beach after church. I also wanted to let you know because pictures have away of making things look easy and effortless and  despite how much fun we have once we we’re out, making our plan, getting everyone on the same page and following though doesn’t always look so pretty.

Now that you have a little bit of the BTS info (always want to be transparent with you guys!), here’s a photodump of our skyline looking, beach running, scooter riding outing to Alki Beach… It’s one of my favorite places to visit!

(I’ve been sharing fit pics on Instagram Stories if you’re interested! Tap the “#ootd” highlight button.)

You really can’t beat the beach town vibe of West Seattle paired with the skyline of the city. As small as Seattle is, it looks relatively big from across the puget sound. Hop on the water taxi and you’ll be at waterfront park, Seattle aquarium, the Great Wheel and Pike Place market!

If you’re visiting Seattle and would like tour guides, Espen and I are up for the job!!! Ha!

These pics of my babes! Oz met up with us later… just in time to get money for tacos as we were leaving, ha! JK, he and his girlfriend tried to meet up with us earlier but we kept missing them on our walk. Guess we’ll have to go back sooner than later (not mad about it).

The weather’s been in the upper 60’s to low 70’s and I know some of you would gladly trade us but I can’t wait til’ it’s hot enough to be in swimmers and jumping in the water… at least for me because I’m such a wimp about getting cold. The kids could care less of course!

How is she getting this big and independent!? Guess it means we’re doing our job though :)

Marination Ma Kai is the best place to grab street style tacos, but since we packed lunches this time we opted for shave ice instead and it did not disappoint. A very different treat compared to the kind you get at a concession stand or farmers market. In other words next time you stop in for tacos, stay for shave ice!

Back to the beginning of this post, and it might sound obvious but one of the best parenting lessons I’ve ever learned is to not let the kids call the shots. Especially not in the moment, because those moments are driven by how they feel and if how they feel is tired, comfortable, lazy or just “anti-everything”, those feelings will change once they start moving, seeing, and playing. Sure, we make adjustments based on our kids needs and likes – and sometimes we’ll call it a day earlier or stay closer to home to accommodate friend time, but there is always a greater purpose for getting out and exploring with our kids and I try to never lose sight of that for the sake of doing what is easy.

Do you know what happened when we got home from the beach (and after most outings)? ALL of the kids raved about how much fun they had. How much they loved riding scooters and playing on the beach and eating shave ice and spending time together.

It’s true what they say… parents know best. You’d think my kids would catch on by now, LOL.

How are your kids about going on outings!? Are they homebodies or do they love being out and about?

XO, Rae

P.S. – You can see other visits to Alki Beach here and here too.

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HOW TO WEAR OVERALLS (WITHOUT FEELING LIKE A KID)

Laughing at the title of this post a little because in the pic I kinda look like one of the kids (HA!). We had just finished attending Griffin’s Kindergarten graduation celebration and decided to grab lunch and head to the park for some playtime. Can’t beat overalls for their ability to be comfortable and playful but also special enough to dress up for a daytime event.

Which is one of the many reasons why overalls are one of my favorite wardrobe staples and go-to choice on days that I just really don’t know what to wear. However, not everyone feels the same. If that’s you, today I’m going to try and change your mind by sharing a few styling tips… (you know that friend that is obsessed with something and won’t stop bugging you about it until you try it? That’s me. Try to not get too annoyed, mmmkay? ;)

Sooooo, whether you’re not sure if you can “pull them off” (btw, you totally can), or you would love some ideas for styling the overalls that are already hanging in your closet, here are my 3 tips for wearing overalls while also feeling like a grownup:

  1. Pair them with a softer/pretty/feminine blouse or button up instead of a t-shirt. If you really want to keep things grown-up-ish, add strapy sandals (or heeled espadrilles in the evening) and a straw hat and basket bag.
  2. Stay monochromatic… black and white always make things look a little more sophisticated, so a black or white tee with black accessories (think shoes, sunnies + purse) is an easy win!
  3. Remember that there’s more than one kind of overall… Opt for a dress overall like this one or this one that will look so cute in the early fall with a sweater and booties too. Or wide-leg overalls like these that have more of a pinafore look to them. A denim jumpsuit is also an option! Love this one and this one.

Of course cute slides or sneakers and a striped t-shirt are always an option and usually how I wear overalls. Actually, it’s how I wear most things, lol.

Outfit details are linked below as well as a few tid-bits about what we were up to in our outfits, too!

A giant playground with climbing toys, swings, slides, etc. but the drinking fountain and bicycle rack are an obvious choice.

Griffin took this pic of Poppy… gah! Every time we get the camera out lately, he asks for a turn and i love to see what he ends up shooting. There are always a few gems and a few funny captures. Also, Poppy is looking very comfortable in front of a camera, LOL. Love them both mucho.

Happy to have Daddy with us for Griffin’s graduation and festivities afterward. He’s also always the best choice for something to climb or play on :)

We asked these two what they wanted for lunch and/or treat after the graduation and they both insisted on happy meals! It was so surprising and hilarious to Johan and me since it’s not a normal request or food option for our fam. We later realized (when they didn’t eat their food) that they were in it for the toys. Now I just need to figure out where they saw the advertisement for the happy meal toys, lol. But really it was kind of a fun flashback to growing up in the 90’s.

Now back to the overall discussion… did I convince you?

You guys are the best!

xo, Rae

RAE | overalls are old from madewell but THESE are very similar from topshop, top from urban outfitters — wearing a small but could have sized up, birkenstocks are old from J.Crew but these are similar

POPPY | top and skirt by alice + ames, shoes from target

GRIFFIN | rocket polo from rockets of awesome, dock shorts from J.Crew and are a summer staple for the two younger boys

 

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THINGS WE LOVE: DANCE PARTIES + DONUTS

RECIPE FOR A HAPPY MONDAY:

  1. pump up music
  2. booty shaking
  3. donuts. 

Press play and see if you can spot Griffin’s fortnite dance move, paper-rock-scissors for the maple with chocolate chips donut, the hair flip, Tilly’s cute bestie Londan, Johan trying to spin Poppy and then Espen, and my embarrassing solo (hashtag mom-moves)!? HA!

Sent the kids off to school for the last Monday of the year and it feels so good to be almost done (last day is Thursday!).

Hope you’re having a good Monday but if not, follow the recipe above :)

XO, Rae

PS – if you aren’t already following us on youtube, CLICK HERE! 

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FRESH PRODUCE + FRESH BUTTON DOWNS FOR SUMMER

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but my no. 1 mom tip for getting out of any kind of rut is to simply mix things up a bit…  So when league play for baseball ended last week, after a long rut-inducing 3 months, I decided to take my own advice and add a few new things to make our daily grind less grind-ish and more fun.

We started with a trip to the produce stand by our house where we spent $17 for a fridge full of local and organic produce!? This part always blows my mind and is a good enough reason to add it to our errands when possible. I also managed to throw on a button down (or is it button-up?) instead of a t-shirt and try two new dinner recipes! Feeling way less blah-ish as a result so am going to leave this post right here to remind myself of how simple it is… Lord knows I’m going to need it about halfway through summer when the kids start bickering and I’m tired of picking up alllllllll the wet towels and swimmers.

A few more pics from the produce stand and outfit details below. Oh, and I saved the new recipes to my “eat” highlight on Instagram if you’re interested!

Does this not make you want a giant fridge with glass doors so you can write where everything goes? And little notes like “don’t touch the whip cream!” or “but first, veggies!” or “save room for tacos”. And then also have enough room for ALL the drink options too?

A girl can dream. But then I should also dream of hiring someone that can keep it fully stocked and organized, LOL. It would be a full time job in our house!

Quick question. Mini carts… God-send or help me Jesus?

The strawberries were tiny but sooooo tasty!

  MY OUTFIT | top from J.Crew (on sale and comes in pink too), jeans (similar fit or similar wash), hat from Nordstrom, shoes are old but similar from urban outfitters

POPPY OUTFIT | top and shorts from J.Crew (she would live in this t-shirt), shoes from Target (they’re comfy too… no sore ankles of heels!)

How do you guys like to mix things up!?

I love turning pizza nights into picnics and adding yoga/mindfulness into our bedtime routine.

XO, Rae

PS – If there is anything that you need to stock up on for summer or vacay, everything at J.Crew is 30% off right now!

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TILLY LATELY AND A Q&A

I always tell Tilly she was my best surprise ever, and it’s true. Since we didn’t find out gender while I was pregnant with her, I had very similar pregnancies with my two boys, and always felt like I’d be a boy mama, I assumed she would be a boy and boy, was I wrong. It was a magical moment when the Dr. yelled out, “It’s a girl!” and laid her on my chest. I’m learning more and more everyday, how to be a girl mom to such an incredible human… She is fiercely independent, a total overachiever, super helpful when she wants to be, makes life exciting, loves crafting and making, and has the biggest sweet tooth… you’ll see more about that in the video.

I had the best time listening to her answers and hope it’s entertaining for you too… press play!

Her “special thing”, HA! She tends to need a few minutes to cool off when she’s upset,  but when we’d ask her to go to her room until she’s ready to chat, she would throw a fit on her way up. Then one day about a year ago she quietly walked up to her room without a fuss when we asked. I was shocked so followed her up a minute later and saw her snacking on a small handful of m&m’s. When I asked her about it the next day she spilled the beans and said a little bit of sugar made her feel better, LOL. Mostly amazed at how self aware she is but also realize that I’m raising an emotional eater — kinda figure that we’re all emotional eaters on some level and hope that as long as we workout the problems it won’t get out of hand!

Excited to do a Q&A video with the rest of the kids… next up will be Griffin I think :)

Happy Monday you guys!

xo, Rae

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MOTHER’S DAY RECAP VIDEO + PHOTOS

Finally getting around to sharing a Mother’s Day recap with you! Although, I still feel like I’m celebrating over here, lol. Anyone else? So thankful for this family of mine… Motherhood (and being a wife, too!) is probably the one thing I’ve never questioned myself about. It hasn’t always looked how I imagined, my house and car are more often than not a mess, the laundry is overflowing, I’m usually tired and running behind, but it’s exactly what I’ve always wanted. These are THE DAYS and I love them. At least until 9 o’clock when I’m ready for a little break.

Saturday morning, the kids brought me breakfast in bed then we spent the rest of the day at Ozzie’s baseball games, cheering him on, chasing Poppy and Griffin around and snacking on picnic food (my favorite). Sunday, Johan had to work, but Oz and his sweet girlfriend surprised me with Starbucks and homemade cookies and then we all drove up to my parents house for some lake time and cheeseburgers. Looks like Father’s Day weekend will look very similar and I’m not mad about it one bit. Pics below…

Wish I could have 5 more of them!

Early in our marriage, when Johan and I would talk about how many kids we one day hoped to have, 5 seemed like such a big number and I know we are considered a “big family”, but I don’t feel like we are, even in pictures.

There are however,  two scenarios when I do get a bit of a reality check 1. anything travel related – packing bags, loading the car, booking tickets or planning housing and 2. mornings when everyone is in the car and we decide to grab Starbucks and our order is  a mile long!

A very fancy breakkie in bed and a donut monster below! Don’t worry though, she gave me a bite ;)

Handmade cards with little kid handwriting! Ah!

Take us out to the ballgame! Just make sure to pack all the snacks.

Sunday at my parents…

These two have the sweetens friendship.

The kids, plus one! The more the merrier.

This seems like the perfect one to end on because I love this moment between Oz and Tilly and then… Griffin’s face! Ha! He should be a professional photobomber.

I know that Mother’s Day looks different for all of us and that there are many without family to celebrate with or a baby to hold and still others that are in the trenches of motherhood and I want you to know that you’re seen, loved, capable, incredibly significant and you deserve the world!

Love you.

XO, Rae

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5 THINGS + WE’RE GOING TO AZ!

The countdown chain has been made, a to do list has been written and bags are starting to be packed — or should I say, piles are starting to be made — for our trip to Arizona over spring break and I would love suggestions for places to visit, eat and play! You guys always have the best ideas.

Here are a few other random things that have been happening around our abode.

  1. On the way to Ozzie’s baseball game on Monday Poppy yelled from the backseat of the car, “We for-totally-got bubble gum!” I about died. And in case you are wondering, we didn’t forget to pack the gum… gum and suckers are staples on game days!
  2. We went to the library on Tuesday and checked out a big stack of books including this cute one about a rainy day! Did you know you can checkout audio books using the app Libby now too? Anyways, it was a great way to kill an hour and the kids had fun so we’ll definitely be going back. Hopefully with a complete stack of the books we check-out last time. That kinda stresses me out, LOL. I hate late fees!
  3. Yesterday Johan and I recreated our first date! We split a burger and fries for lunch while watching a March Madness game. It was the perfect low-key date the first time (especially for a dude) and it was just as fun the second time… I forgot how much I love a mid-day date. Would you want to recreate your first date? What would it be!?
  4. Daylight savings. Yikes! I keep seeing and hearing comments about how hard it is to get kids back on schedule but truth be told, I’m the one that can’t seem to figure things out! Aside from the leftovers I served last night at 6:45, I haven’t managed to have dinner ready before 7 all week. Nor have I managed to get up early enough to workout before finishing a post and getting the kids up. Hopefully I’ll be able to make up for over the weekend!
  5. Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day! Kinda bummed that it’s not on a school day for the kids… Wearing green, getting pinched and classroom parties are the fun part! But there is still lots of fun to be had… Here’s a few ideas from the archive: lucky charms goodie bags with printables | if you need some fun snack ideas | or a sweet treat | don’t forget about this rainbow craft | a “kiss me” garland

I hope you guys all have a great weekend!

XO, Rae

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2018 HEART DAY RECAP

On Valentine’s Day we…

Eat emoji pancakes and homemade whip cream.

Wear pink hoodies (on sale!) and heart socks (Ozzie).

Run out of time to do our hair before heading to school (note Griffin’s bedhead).

Give neck hugs (Poppy).

Run calls at the fire station (sorry honey!)…. not sure when the last time was that Johan wasn’t working on the 14th of February. Not complaining tho! We make up for it on a much less busy night :)

Are beyond excited to handout our cards and treats to classmates.

Wish we could go back to elementary school, just for the day (me!).

Bail on the classroom parties to work, ensure a good nap for Poppy, and prep for the evening (also me).

Have friends come home on the bus and then run all over the house looking for clues in a scavenger hunt that lead to candy necklaces and silly string.

Have a silly string fight.

Eat soup and heart shaped quesadillas for dinner while sipping on the red gatorades our sweet friends brought over.

Consume wayyyy tooooo muuuuch sugar (all of us).

Fall asleep way past bedtimes (also all of us).

Hope you guys had the best v-day! What was your favorite part(s)?

xo, Rae

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