Sunday, March 20, 2016

Weekend Recap

It was one of those rare weekends around here where we didn't actually have any set plans.  And, as I started looking over the next few weeks and into April, we really don't have a free weekend for awhile. 

{F R I D A Y}
On Friday, it was a little chilly and windy so, to beat the weather, we had my friend and her daughter come over to play after lunch. My boys. Oh, my sweet boys. I know they are young and maybe it was because there was only one friend and maybe it is the difference between boys and girls but goodness, my kids need a lesson on play dates! Not really, but that afternoon Hudson and Beau sure were tired and seemed a little over-emotional. Definitely had a good little talk about how we host our friends and let them choose what to play. Ha!

Friday night we ate in. I made some delicious lasagna.  Confession: I have NEVER made homemade lasagna. I know! Crazy! I made lasagna roll-ups (once) and it was SUCH. A. PROCESS!! But this recipe was so simple. Like 20 minutes to prep and then throw it all in the oven. I added egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and some parmesan cheese to the ricotta cheese mix. And to the pasta meat sauce, I added minced garlic and chopped onions and peppers. And, we served it with some garlic bread from the best little pasta place in town. My whole family ate it up!!

We played with the boys and introduced them to some Planet Earth which they DUG! Then after we put the boys to bed, Andrew and I indulged in a little Parenthood. I'm a bit obsessed and only slightly want to change my last name to Braverman. ;) 

{S A T U R D A Y}
Saturday we ALL slept in. It was so so nice!! I made the boys cinnamon rolls and myself a little shake before getting in a quick workout while Andrew went on a run. 

Did a total body circuit and Insanity Max 10 Minute Abs.

Since it was chilly again, I didn't want to spend all day at the house with not much to do. We decided to take a little day trip to Springfield to do a little shopping and grab lunch. I needed to run to Kohls. We went to some stores and looked at flooring. (I am so ready to start the remodel process!!) Then we grabbed lunch. 

This cutie cat napped on the way. Those hands behind his head?!!! Swoon!

With the boys being over-emotional Friday, I have to brag about how great they were at lunch. At lunch, we were seated and placed our order quickly. Forty minutes later, our waitress came to tell us the kitchen had lost our ticket so they were making our food. The boys waited a little over an hour and sat so good, never really complaining. 

After lunch we made one last stop. Hudson is all signed up for t-ball so we needed to get him a bag and glove. And of course, we needed to check all the hunting, fishing, camping, outdoorsy stuff before leaving! ;) 

The boys were wiped from the day. We had a late dinner and after baths, the boys went to bed. 

{S U N D A Y}
We woke up to SNOW this morning! I could not believe it! Only in the Midwest can it be snowing on the first day of spring! By the time we left for church, the sun was shining and it was already starting to melt. PTL!!! Bring on spring! 

The littles at church today got to come in and lead us all in a song for Palm Sunday. I started working in the preschool area recently and have loved seeing how the truths of God's word and his love are being taught each week to our kids. 

I stayed to help during second service while Andrew and the boys went to his parents to play. After lunch and playing the boys went down for a late nap. 

This weekend was simple, fun and flew by! This week will be packed full as we head into the Easter weekend: play dates, Easter toes, preschool party and a date night. 

Hope you all had a great weekend! 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring is in the Air

Aside from Monday, this week's weather has been beautiful. Nothing was better than an almost 75* day on Tuesday but nonetheless, it has been blue skies and sunshine and we've taken full advantage.

Since Monday wasn't the nicest, and since Hudson and Beau didn't feel super great Monday morning, I caught up on a little cleaning, laundry and food prep for the week.

Which left time for LOTS of outdoor play on Tuesday. We went outside around 10:30 Tuesday morning and basically didn't come in until bath time! {Breaking for lunch and dinner of course!!}I even did my work outside for a bit while the big two played and Gabe napped. And that night, I had the faintest of faint lines from my tank top. I mean, it was enough to make my heart squeal.

This photo cracks me up. The helmets while driving! HA! They had just been riding bikes and went to drive around Gabe. Bless!

Yesterday was nice but so windy!!! We played outside for about an hour after preschool and lunch but that wind was just too much! I had it was a "nap afternoon" for everyone just because I knew it would be a busy evening. 

Digging. Don't have a shovel?? Golf club or bat will do!

Last night, my friend was having a trunk show at her house.  Since fall, two new, local clothing boutiques have opened in our area and I am IN LOVE with their stuff! They ship anywhere. They have a website for easy ordering but also both offer trunk shows. So they set their merchandise up at your house and you and your friends shop, drink and be merry! Perfection, right??? Plus it supports small business and I am all about that being a small business myself! 

My friend, Jenny (who was having the show) lives a couple streets over so I invited her to send her crew down to my house for dinner and to play. My friend, Jill, was coming with me to shop so her husband brought their kids over and my backyard turned into daddy daycare!

8 kids. 5 boys, 3 girls. Ages 8 and under. 

I just have to brag on my sweet guy for a second. I came home two hours later and all the kids were playing in the basement (it had cooled off and was dark by the time Jill and I returned), happy as can be, and my entire kitchen was spotless. He even washed Jill's pan she brought over to help with dinner! Like, dad of the year. He is the best!!

I can't wait for the temps to really warm up so I can start wearing all the fun new looks I've been collecting. I will highlight a few things soon!

And today is another gorgeous day! I see a long walk and more playtime outside in our future!!

Oh, this guy got a little messy during breakfast this morning. #longhairdontcare? I see hair cuts in my boys futures too! ;) 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Parenthood is so hard. No one really prepares you for it. Probably because that is an impossible task.  How could anyone prepare you for a job that has so many roles wrapped up into it?

Andrew has been traveling a lot. Like 2-3 overnights a week on average. It can be tough. The joy of working from home is that I don't have to miss a moment. The tough part of working from home is that I don't miss a moment. The good and bad, the ugly, the tantrums, the whining, the fights and fits-I'm there for it all. And it is exhausting.

There are days where I feel like I aced the test of the day. The day to day items were taken care of but the whole day seemed to be sprinkled with fun, laughter, joy. Then there are days when I crawl into my bed and swallow giant sobs because I feel like I failed so miserably.

Talk about peaks and valleys.

.            .            .

Andrew and I got Netflix right around Christmastime (Get with the times, I know!!) and just a week or so ago got around to starting a new (to us) series, Parenthood. (Again, we are beyond behind. We know. Be kind.)

The very first episode I was hooked. Any show that can have me laughing out loud one minute and tearing up the next has me. Throw in the chaos of real life, family issues, and the raw honesty that can have you hating a sibling and then backing them up--you've got yourself a fan!!!

.             .            .

I was thinking how true to life that show is. No nice, neat bow to wrap up every episode. Some real messes. Some real trials. Some situations that not all families walk through together and come out on the other side in tact.

I think what draws me in to the show, besides the hilarity and emotion of it all, is that the show is one giant mess wrapped in love and grace.

Isn't it? And isn't that what we all want? To know that in this life, with this family we are given, that no matter the circumstance we will come out the other side in tact because at the end of the day, love and grace abounds,

.            .           .

I think of my boys. So close in age that it is beautiful and exhausting. Their personalities are developing so rapidly that it often causes clashes of their wills. But in the next minute, I see Beau comforting Gabe, Hudson giving up a toy, or body-shaking laughter among the three of them to some joke I am not privy to.

This parenting thing, being their mom, is hard.  I know it is only for a season. But I know every new season brings a new kind of hard. I can only pray that love and grace abounds from our home. That in all we do, it is the guiding force of our parenting, of our choices, of our words.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

This week...

It's March! How did that happen??!!

This week has definitely been a typical March week in the Midwest. Sunny one day, sleet the next! Sheesh! C'mon spring! We are pulling for you.

Monday was such a beautiful day. The sun was shining when we woke up! Who can be in a bad mood when the sun greets you? Andrew was so happy to see the sun he started his morning with a run!

I started a new fitness program that is HIIT cardio based and am practicing working out in a fasted state. So after I served my boys breakfast, I immediately got my workout in while they joined me played. After my workout, I joined in on the playing. Right now my boys go from playing well together like best buds to fighting over everything. It is the beast and the blessing of having three boys so close in age.

To take a break from all the fighting, we did a little food prep together. We cut and washed all the fruits and veggies. We made egg muffins and these delicious blueberry, banana oatmeal muffins. I roasted some brussel sprouts to pair with some lunches for me this week too.

We ate our lunch a little early because the weather was so beautiful. Blue skies, warm and breezy. We met one of my friends and her daughter for a walk. We loaded up the doubles and took the longest walk. There was a park along the way that we stopped to play at.

I marveled at how big my boys actually are. They were all so capable of the stairs and slides and swings. I kept thinking how this will be the first summer without a baby or a pregnancy; with just my boys and Gabe as a toddler. I am definitely excited for all the adventures.

Tuesday greeted us with gray skies. What a bummer! Fortunately, we had morning errands to keep us busy. It was my scheduled appointment with my brow gal and can I just sidetrack for a second. A good brow gal is a NECESSITY, ladies!!! It's been about a year and I am just so embarrassed at my old brows that were shapeless and too thin! Yikes! Bonus--I take my boys with me because she always gets me right in at my appointment and is so sweet as she chats with my and my littles.

We then had to make a grocery grab for a few items, swing by the bank and mail out a package to one of my coaches. Hudson and Beau really needed haircuts but the temperature had really dropped and Gabe was really over errands so we went home and I opened up "Salon Mom".

Tuesday night we tried a new recipe for dinner that every one ate. My boys don't always love fish and it didn't crisp quite the way I anticipated but it was pretty good overall. I am ready for grilling weather to come. All the recipes I want to try just scream summer and I can't take myself to make them when sleet is happening outside my window.

We've been reading the Little House on the Prairie series with our boys and are almost done with On the Banks of Plum Creek. No matter what the chapter is on, Hudson always has about 5-10 questions after. Why, what, how?? It is thrilling (and sometimes exhausting) to see how he is trying to wrap his mind around what he is hearing. I love the curiosity he has. We then read a story from the boys' Jesus Calling Bible. And both Beau and Hud have questions, request one more story. They are getting pretty gutsy in trying to stretch their bedtime routine out.

Wednesday was a whirlwind. Everyone seemed to wake up early. (PTL for the pre-made breakfasts we had!) Hudson's classmates were having a play date after preschool at the museum but I had SO MUCH to do. I have really been trying to instill a sense of responsibility in our big boys; helping them to understand that being a helper is valued. I made a deal if they helped me with some of the house cleaning before Hudson's preschool we could do the play date.

They were such good, cheerful helpers! I was so proud of their work! After drop-off, Beau and Gabe "helped" me finish the cleaning, I got my workout in, and we all got cleaned up before pick up time! Their hard work was rewarded with Jimmy John's lunch and play time at the museum.

Andrew is traveling this week and I had a small group meeting so my mom came over to watch the boys. I am so thankful for the people in my small group. I love doing life with them and sharing all the good, bad and hard.

Sometimes during the day, in the hustle of activity, household responsibilities and the trying time that is raising three littles, I can lose sight of how precious these days are. But I know how blessed I am to be able to be in their every moment.