Archive | LIFE LATELY

HALLOWEEN 2017 RECAP

We all think it and say it and it definitely sounds cliche, but kids grow up way too fast and I don’t ever want to forget what Halloween was like at this stage of life. So here’s a little recap and some pictures we took prior to the sun going down yesterday and the real chaos beginning!

ON HALLOWEEN THIS YEAR WE…

Attended classroom parties.

Got to see Gigi and Papa.

Made last-minute adjustments to Tilly’s ghost costume (read: made Tilly’s costume, lol).

Dressed up as Pandas, Darth Vader, a super cute Ghost, and Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez.

Gigi and Papa joined in the costume fun — Gigi as the Cafe de Columbia guy and Papa as “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski (the resemblance was hilarious and worth seeing… I’ll try to share a pic on my Stories!).

Ate chili, quesadillas and apple slices for dinner.

Met up with our neighborhood friends and then ran around trick-or-treating.

Had a hard time keeping everyone together in one group (!!!) with the big kids in a hurry to fill their containers and the little ones straggling behind.

Carried a terrified Poppy around most of the night — she wasn’t a fan of the “creepy” costumes and “bad guys”.

Enjoyed all the decked out homes and vowed to get a little more creative next year on the big day!

Filled plastic pumpkins and pillow cases with candy.

And then snuck wayyyyy too many pieces (when does this not happen?).

Laughed. A lot.

Was so thankful it wasn’t raining.

Walked through EVERY pile of leaves.

Went to EVERY house in the neighborhood — although Poppy and I called it a night halfway through. Thank goodness for Daddies!

Ran out of candy (oops!) and had to pass out leftover knick-knacks from our “boo bags” for the last few groups of trick-or-treaters.

Celebrated mine and ozzie’s bday with candles, a “Happy Birthday” song and eclair cake (my traditional bday cake since I was little!).

Was up an hour past bedtime but fell asleep so fast and stayed asleep ALL night! (I was expecting lots of waking up with tummy aches or blood sugar crashes. :)

 

 

Oh, and I almost forgot! Made our 16-year-old dress up the day before for a picture because it will be too dark by the time he got home from football.

Woke up and was thankful for a late-start school day (school started at 10am this morning!).

Nursing our post Halloween hangover this morning with an hour of Mickey Mouse Club House, a trip to Home Depot for paint and lots of coffee.

Hope your Halloween was magic yesterday! How are you handling the hangover today?

xo, Rae

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2

HAPPY WEEKEND + MOM PRESSURE.

Happy Friday Friend! What’s happening in your world this weekend?  We’ve got two Birthday kids to celebrate, a bday party for Tilly, 4 different sporting events to spectate and I’m feeling that mom pressure to make everything run smoothly and be festive! Trying my best to keep in mind something my friend’s mom said to me the other day, “A good parent isn’t perfect, they’re just willing to make improvements.”

I know she wasn’t talking about weekend festivities, but it still takes the pressure off when you realize that perfection isn’t the goal and look at the big picture! Hope it helps relieve any parenting pressure you’re under right now too.

In other news, below are a few pics Johan took while on a fall walk with Poppy last week. The playground was too wet to play on so we occupied ourselves by collecting leaves and making a bouquet. Can’t get enough of that fall air but it is getting harder to find reasons to be outside… brrrr.

Have an amazing weekend… we’ll see you back here on Monday!!!!

xo, Rae

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2

KID DATE: SEATTLE CHILDREN’S THEATER

We are a sports family to the core and even though there is often music playing in the background like a soundtrack to our day, we haven’t done a very good job of exposing our kids to the arts. Unless of course craft time counts? LOL. I guess it’s better than nothing, but there are always those thoughts in the back of my mind — am I providing them with all the experiences they need to be a well rounded human being? (Prob. not) Should we sign then up for piano lessons? (Prob. yes) What if their heart and talents aren’t on a soccer/football/baseball field? (Hmmm) If they have a knack for, or interest in music, theater, dance or art, will I notice and be able to support them in it?! (Gosh I hope so!)

I know worrying and feeling guilty isn’t the answer and trust that if I pray about it and then do something productive, things will fall into place. Which takes the pressure off, !? Anyways, our schedules are a little too full at the moment to add another commitment so Johan and I have been talking about doing a better job of taking them to performances and museums, to get a sense of what they might be interested in trying themselves.

We’ve heard so many wonderful things about the Seattle Children’s Theater it seemed like the perfect place to start so we planned a little date with Espen and Griffin to see  Go, Dog go! and it did not disappoint! Here’s a little recap…

Of course, every good boy date starts with pizza! Zeeks on Queen Anne is a favorite and right up the hill from the Seattle Center where the children’s theater is.

The booths are roomy with tall benches so we weren’t worried about bothering our neighbors when the boys got a little rowdy and loud. A dream come true when eating out with kids! Another dream come true? Delicious personal sized pizzas for only $6 (during happy hour)! No negotiating over toppings :)

Next we hopped in the car for a quick drive down to the theater which is right next to the Space Needle. It’s not often we are in this area at night so it felt like an extra treat to see it all lit up!

A few pics before the show! Cameras and phones weren’t allowed once the show started… I may or may not have gotten in trouble for trying to add a few moments to my Instagram Stories (oops!). It was just so hard to resist!

So you get a good idea of the look of the play, I grabbed a couple pics from their site:

It was definitely geared towards ages 3 to 6 or 7, but both of the kids  L O V E D  it and asked when we can go back to see another play! If you are in the area we highly recommend it. Very kid friendly and there is a family area at the top of the theater if things get a little too loud or squirmy.

You can find more info on the Seattle Children’s Theater site, facebook and youtube.

Wish we had all the kids with us, but individual time is so sweet too!

Thinking we’ll probably take the girl’s to something festive over the Holiday season and have been thinking about adding a piano to our family Christmas wishlist.

How do you guys keep things balanced (or not!) when it comes to activities, sports and art for your kids?!

xo, Rae

2

GOOD THINGS: HALLOWEEN AROUND OUR HOUSE

October is flying by you guys! In an effort to take it all in and freeze time for just a little bit I got my camera out a few different times over the weekend to document a few of my favorite things around our house right now. Most of which have something to do with Halloween of course but all of them are little details I don’t ever want to forget…

… Like handmade holiday decorations on the kids’ doors. It’s become an unspoken tradition that changes with each season and makes our hallway feel fun and festive to walk down. It really is the little things isn’t it!?…

BOOKS | Kitten’s First Full Moon (on sale!), B is for Boo (hands down favorite Halloween book!), How to Make Friends with a Ghost (best illustrations!)

… The constant scattering of vampire fangs, candy wrappers, Halloween books and other festive knick-knacks…

Boo bags all packed and ready to deliver!…

… Less real clothes and more jammies! Between soccer and church our weekend mornings aren’t always as long and lazy as I would like but at the same time, no one is in a hurry to get up and outside these days so pj’s stay on a little longer and get put on a little earlier than the summer months!

Pumpkins, balloons and silly decorations!

Halloween gets kind of a bad wrap for being dark and creepy (and it certainly can be) but I think the whimsical design, loads of pumpkins and easy playfulness, more than make up for it!

What little details are you loving around your home right now?

xo, Rae

4

5 WAYS TO TURN AROUND A BAD DAY

I mentioned in my email blast last week (if you didn’t get it, click here to sign up!) that we’ve had some sick kids at home and with it, a few Doctor visits (can home visits become a thing again, please!?), sleepless nights and exhausting days. On top of the sickies and the usual family life grind, I was also juggling graphic design projects for clients, Johan was getting our rental home ready for new tenants, it’s Birthday month for Ozzie, Tilly and me (!!!) and we’ve been in the middle of an extended family situation that’s not necessarily bad but takes up our time and energy.

Added stress or not, a normal day with kids can turn into a s*it show in a hurry. Thankfully there are always ways to turn things around and I’ve been getting a lot of practice lately using them! Haha! Thought I’d share a quick list with you guys and hope they help in someway!

10 EASY WAYS TO TURN AROUND A BAD DAY:

  1. Switch up your routine — pack up the kids after school/naps so you can all enjoy snack and homework time (for the bigs) or books and puzzles (for the littles) somewhere other than the kitchen counter. Another couple examples: 1. Do tubbies and pj’s before dinner and have a pajama party while you eat 2. Bundle up and read bedtime stories on the front porch or in front of the fire place instead of your usual spot.
  2. Break a rule — that’s what they are for anyways, right?! My kids would say, “Dad always breaks the rules, but he says only the dumb ones!” haha! Anyway, we’re pretty strict on everyone sitting down to eat dinner together (or at least whoever is at home) without tech or the TV, but after a particularly insane day last week I had the kids get their jammies on before dinner, we put blankets down on the family room floor and then we all sat and ate pizza and applesauce while watching a Halloween movie that was on Disney. Nothing all that original or special but it sure felt extra fun and put everyone in a good mood.
  3. Make a silly rule  this get’s everyone distracted! A few ideas: 1. no utensils allowed at dinner 2. you have to sing or whisper everything you say 3. do 5 jumping jacks every time you hear the word _________ (then say that word often!) 4. Give everyone their own balloon and tell them they have to keep it in the air or stuck between their knees (so they waddle like a penguin) 5. No walking allowed! Try “figure skating” instead. Give each kid two dryer sheets or dry washcloths to glide around on.
  4. Adjust expectations — This just goes with the territory!
  5. Do something the easy way — Grab pizza instead of cooking dinner, skip story time for a show on the iPad, ask for help, pick your battles, etc.
  6. Ask everyone what they are grateful for — Gratitude changes the conversation and perspective. Another good question to ask is, “How do you want to feel at the end of the day?”
  7. Change the atmosphere — dim the lights, light a candle, get out the essential oils if you have them, play some music, practice mindfulness with some yoga poses or a guided meditation (checkout Cosmic Kids Yoga or GoNoodle), etc.
  8. Dance parties are always a good idea!
  9. Get some fresh air and go for a walk.
  10. Get out of the house — head to the Target dollar isle, a friend’s house, the park or just out for a drive!

I hope these help in some way. Motherhood is the best thing ever but also so hard and exhausting and the thing I love most about the motherhood community is knowing I’m not alone in the good, bad and ugly that comes with it :)

Happy Monday! Feeling especially thankful for a fresh new week and healthier kids!

xo, Rae

PS – my side striped pants are on sale at J.Crew for $32. They’re kind of a mix between joggers and leggings (i.e. not the best fitting), but are perfect for around the house or running errands and I love them! Thinking about getting the navy pair too.

 

5

A GRILLED CHEESE FRIDAY AT PIKE PLACE MARKET

When a cute new company, based on comfort food and a Friday tradition, reached out to see about sending us some of their tees, I jumped at the chance for 2 reasons, 1.) because I loved their designs and knew my kids would too and B.) because the name of the company alone gave us the perfect excuse to plan a trip to Pike Place Market for our favorite Beecher’s grilled cheese. Our outing didn’t quite go as planned, but we had more than enough fun to make up for it, lots of cute pics to remind us of our day and are currently working on a very yummy plan “B”.

I’ll explain more below but first I want to make sure you don’t miss the link to Grilled Cheese Friday so you can checkout their goodies and maybe snag a couple tees for back to school… I love the “grilled cheese friday” ones for the kids to wear on Fridays, but they are all really cute. Get 20% off your order with coupon code: GRILLEDCHEESE

Now for a ridiculous amount of pics because I love Seattle so much in the summer!

Instead of fighting traffic to get to the middle of Seattle and try to find reasonably priced parking, we headed to West Seattle, parked on the street and took the 6:15 water taxi from Alki Beach to Pike Place. A quick 15 minute ride that was both low stress and a lot of fun!

The jaunt from the pier to the market was a good 20 minutes (with kids anyway) and full of good people watching (did you spot captain america!?) and pretty sight seeing if you count the Great Wheel, water front, and these stairs decorated with lights and flowers along the way.

Our first attempt at a tourist pic of the market sign, wasn’t too successful. Realizing that the kids were probably starving as it’s now 7pm, we decided to head to Beecher’s for some gooey grilled cheeses…

… but it was closed. Noooooooo!

I had never personally visited Pike Place in the evening and it hadn’t occurred to me to check and see what time it closes beforehand, but now I know that things start shutting down at 6pm and Beecher’s closes at 7. :)

Starving, annoyed and a little whiny (and not just the kids) we crossed the street and grabbed our go to bistro boxes and juices from Starbucks. While we snacked, the kids shared their highs and lows from the day… their low being the obvious lack of grilled cheese… and decided we’d make up for it by trying some new grilled cheese recipes at home. Hoping to have something share-worthy for you guys next week!

Now with full bellies we attempted to take more Pike Place pics before heading back to the water taxi.

Outtakes are forever my favorite. Just look at how helpful Espen is being… Poppy loved the tickles he was dishing out and Griffin was super excited about being picked up and carried into frame, LOL. :)

Johan and I kept chatting about how comfortable Griffin looked as he walked around the city. A far cry from his anxious and OCD 4 year old self. A stage that he spent the last year growing out of. I’ll take Griffin anyway we can get him, but love seeing him so confident!

We also couldn’t help but notice how much fun Tilly was having taking pictures with my old iPhone. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

All that chatting and noticing had us loosing track of time tho, an easy thing to do on summer nights regardless, and we ended up having a home alone moment as we raced to catch the water taxi. By this time the kids were getting cold, Poppy was getting tired and we would have had to wait another hour for the next taxi, so running seemed like the only reasonable thing to do and it paid off!

(Pic of Johan and me by Griffin)

A tired and very salty Poppy by the time we made it off the boat, but even with the grilled cheese set back and missing Ozzie who had baseball, a perfect summer night.

I’m still very much in the “summer forever” mindset, but if there is anything that can get me excited for fall it’s comfort food and more specifically grilled cheese sandwiches!

Don’t forget to head to Grilled Cheese Friday and snag a couple tees at 20% off with coupon code: GRILLEDCHEESE

And if you’re feeling inspired by Poppy’s pretzel tee, here’s our favorite recipe to make some at home!

Happy (grilled cheese) Friday friends!

xo, Rae

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9

SUNDAY AT GREEN LAKE, SEATTLE

A few years ago some girlfriends and I rented paddle boards in this cute little neighborhood in Seattle called Green Lake. It ended up not being the best day to be on the water — cold and windy and to top it off, I fell in! Ha! But we laughed a lot, had a great time together and fell in love with the area. It just doesn’t get better than being near water with recreational options, a paved trail for walking, running, or scooting around, and places to eat within walking distance. Ever since that girl date, I’ve been thinking, “Gosh I need to take Johan and the kids there!” and last week I finally got around to it!

The kids swam a little in the lake but we mostly hung out at the wading pool and walked along the trail. It was the the perfect end to a rather hectic weekend. A few pics from our outing…

Always on the hunt for a cold treat.

Always finding one.

Look at Espey jumping off the high dive!!!! And a proud sister sharing some love below.

Love the vibe of this beach with the old school dock and diving boards and lifeguard sign and chairs. Earlier in the day they even had lifeguards rowing around the swim area making sure the kids were safe as they jumped off the diving boards. Places and scenes like this always remind me of the retreat area where Dirty Dancing was filmed. Not sure why it took us so long to plan a visit!?

Are there any places close to home that you’ve been wanting to visit?

Happy Monday Friends!!!

Oh and I wanted to remind you to checkout my meal plan HERE if you’re into that and missed it on Friday?! Personally looking forward to what’s on the menu tonight :) Hope it helps get your week started!

xo, Rae

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2

LIFE LATELY: OUR 4th OF JULY, 2017

Johan and I spent sometime over our anniversary date a couple weeks ago, chatting about our favorite memories as a couple and family. Most of the things we discussed involved some sort of tradition, trip or outing. At the top of the list was our annual 4th of July celebration at my parent’s lake house. I shared a bit about it HERE last summer so I may be repeating myself, but the day kicks off with neighborhood festivities starting with a fishing derby that leads to relay races and a potluck that included cotton candy.

After that we meet up with friends at the house, play in the lake and eat too much food until it get’s dark enough for fireworks. It’s pretty much the best.

A few snaps from our 4th of July!

A couple photo-ops before heading to the neighborhood lodge where the games are played… and where Johan and I got married!

The sun came out for the games which is amazing but makes taking pictures tricky so please excuse the bad light and editing. Still trying to figure out the best way to deal with harsh light! (Feel free to share tips if you have any!?)

Also, if you’ve ever left or read through the comments on this blog you may have noticed some notes from “papa” (my dad). Well, that’s him to the right of me in the picture above. He’s a professional skydiver, rides a motorcycle, and since retiring almost full-time has added long hair, playing the piano and kick-boxing to his resume. He’s ridiculous and really cool and I think it’s always fun putting a face to a name. Wishing I managed to snap a pic of my mom too who is equally as cool and busy. They make a cute couple.

Heading back to my parent’s after eating our weight in hot dogs and sweets! By this time of the day we’re all a little hyper and scattered and ready to do whatever is next. Like get our swimmers on…

… and guess what? This year I managed to get all three of the boys into the same trunks! Even crazier is that it took zero begging or bribing the older two to make it happen. Just found these great swim shorts in men and mini sizes from Kortni Jeane (my go-to shop for swim suits this season) and the boys were all in!

*For size reference, Oz is in a men’s medium, Espen is in a mini boys 10/11 and Griffin is in a mini boys 4/5 — the younger 2 boys are really skinny so I love that the drawstring works in these shorts and keeps them up.

Look at that bunch of cute kids!  Sad that I didn’t try to snap this earlier when the teenagers and a couple other families were around with their little ones, but it’s still a pretty accurate depiction of the fun that took place later in the day. Thankful for all these munchkins (and the ones not pictured) and their parents… Love them all to pieces.

Hope you all enjoyed a very fun (or relaxing) 4th of July with family and friends!

xo, Rae

2

PANTRY PARTY MIX, GRAPE (CATERPILLAR) KABOBS, A MEAL PLAN, + A FEW PICS FROM OUR WEEKEND

We spent the weekend in our old college town (WSU in Pullman, WA) watching Ozzie play baseball on the same field he used to run bases around along with the college players post-game, as a curly-headed toddler. It was the sweetest most sentimental thing to see him as a player with that same big head of curly hair. Gah! Time is a crazy (biznich) thing but I’ll stop right there before I start crying… :)

Anyway, aside from cheering on big brother, we had a blast swimming at the hotel pool, eating at a couple of our favorite spots, and walking around our old stomping ground. Knowing that we would be spending a majority of our time watching baseball or running around town, I threw a bunch of opened bags of snacks into a tote before we left and stopped by the store once we arrived for yogurt, deli meat and fruit so we weren’t eating out for all meals and snacks. Between all that and a bag of peanut butter m&m’s we threw together a fun snack mix and grape kabobs turned caterpillars that the kids loved. They don’t require a recipe (or much prep hallelujah!) and since snack and meal ideas are always helpful during the summer months, I thought I’d share more diy details and a meal plan below!

PANTRY SNACK MIX – Grab all the half-eaten boxes and bags of snack foods from the pantry (pirate booty, popcorn, pretzels, fish crackers, bunny crackers, etc.), nuts, seeds, and dried fruit and mix together. Divide into bowls or containers and top with something sweet like sprinkles, m&m’s, and/or chocolate chips.

CATERPILLAR GRAPE KABOBS – Slide grapes onto wood skewers and then use icing to add candy eyes! (I linked to amazon so you could see what I’m talking about but usually buy at Target… although those candy eyes look like a good deal!)

MONDAY | Something from Costco because unpacking, and husband at work and really, who wants to start the week with dishes? Ha!

TUESDAY | Turkey lettuce wraps

WEDNESDAYMexi-quinoa buddha bowls

THURSDAY | FIELD DAY at the elementary school so, pulled pork sandwiches in the crock pot with blue slaw and sweet potato fries will be a nice (and easy-ish) way to end the day!

FRIDAY | homemade mac and cheese… kid request!

SATURDAY | pizza picnic or dinner with friends

SUNDAY | Thai green coconut curry so good!  (I use coconut oil and omit the cuttlefish balls and fish sauce)

BREAKKIE, LUNCH + SNACK | It’s the last week of school and only break I’ll be getting from the kitchen for awhile so we will be eating hot lunches, cereal, apples and popcorn for all other meals :)

Always celebrating this hands-on and always entertaining daddy of their’s but especially on Father’s Day. Even though he was the one that brought me coffee in bed Sunday morning (oops!). I blame Poppy who was up at least 6 times the night before. You just never know who is and isn’t going to sleep when away from home!

I think her personality is growing as fast as her little body… I love you Poppy! (her shorts from childhoods and purse from swankaroo in size L, 6-8)

Proof of the sidewalk meltdown I mentioned on instagram yesterday… still have no idea what she was upset about but luckily she bounces back quickly! A friend pointed out that it might have something to do with being the 5th child? You either bounce back or you miss out on the action i guess!?

Also, tell me Espen doesn’t look like he would fit right in with the cast from Sandlot? And I mean that in the best way. He and Tilly are knee deep in that awkward stage that lasts through 6th or 7th grade (right?) and I can’t get enough of it. It reminds me of that newborn stage where they are just too scrumptious not to adore but haven’t totally grown into their features. Ha! I have mom-goggles for sure.

The very first time I met Johan was in this coffee shop. We had both stopped in to say “HI!” to my cousin Erin who worked there. I walked through the door with Oz in a stroller and couldn’t wait to give her a hug after being gone all summer and Johan was sitting at the counter trying to mooch a free peanut butter frost (which he of course did successfully). Erin introduced us but it was almost a year before out paths crossed again. After so many years of marriage, I love thinking about all the details of our relationship and what it took God to get us together!

THE GOOD LIFE ^^^ on the hunt for ice cream!

Of all the sports my kids play, I think the baseball dugout is my favorite part!

Griff patiently waited for the coach to leave the dugout so he could hang with his big brother. He and Poppy for sure treat Oz like a celebrity.

But seriously… I grew that big man-child in my belly 16 years ago when life was hard and scary and so uncertain. The craziness of how far we’ve come never escapes me. God is so good you guys.

Okay, enough of my rambling! Hope you guys have an amazing start to your week!

xo, Rae

P.S. – Thoughts on wide leg jeans? I’m a sucker for a new trend but after seeing them in photos, I can’t decide. Some angles aren’t that flattering, but they are really fun to wear… and breezy for the summer!

 

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7

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

10

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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