Sisters, friends, blessed.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kenzie Love

Nathan & Heidi took two month old, Kenzie, on her first out-of-state trip this weekend... to our house!  The girls danced in anticpation of their arrival, and then it was nothing but Kenzie lovin' after that.  Hadley could truly not get enough of her; wanted to hold her ALL the time, snuggle with her, talk to her, smile at her, and touch her uber soft head over and over and over again.  
Can you just see the delight in Hadley's face!

When they couldn't oogle over Kenzie, they did manage to get in some good Uncle Nathan (& Auntie Heidi) love too. They even talked Uncle Nathan into stuffing his feet into my boots and going sledding with them!  Kyle happily borrowed him a Packer hat. Now, where are the pictures of that?
Had to get in a snuggle before church on Sunday!  Look at the delight in Kenzie's face this time!

Nathan snapped this photo of Piper on the other end of the couch, were she could decide just how close she wanted to be to that baby :) To her credit, she is the first to tell other people just how cute Kenzie was.

My turn finally!  I could have held her forever.  She is such a beautiful baby, and so very, very sweet. 

Our, sort of pathetic, attempt at a group shot before they left.  Note the direction of Hadley's concerned eyes (Kenzie was super hungry, as she hardly ever had a sour face the entire weekend!). 

What darling little parents they are!  So in touch with all of Kenzie's needs already, and this beautiful new parent glow about both of them!  It was such a pleasure to have all 3 of them here, and be a part of their little family for a weekend. Thanks for making the trip guys, we loved it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Sweet Scent of a Nap

I realized today, as I secretly breathed in as much of her sweet and sweaty 'after-nap scent' as I possibly could, that I had not documented Hadley's nap wake up with a photo in a long time.  Years, infact.  One of those incredibly endearing things that happens nearly daily (and I obviously take for granted!), but one day very soon will suddenly be gone.  Gone will be the long and carefree naps of childhood, gone will be the sweet sweaty scent of a little girl waking up from her nap, gone will be her immediate need to find Mom for a snuggle, and gone will be her awesome 'after nap hair'!  This was today...

And this was August of 2007, Hadley was 9 months...

Monday, March 14, 2011

One Last Snow?

Much to our disbelief, it seemed the further and further we drove North this weekend to visit Kyle's family, the drifts of snow got progressively smaller?  Not to worry, however, we awoke Saturday morning to an array of glittering snow covered trees and several heavy wet inches of snow on the ground!  And while the girls had a blast sledding and hiking through the woods behind Grandma & Grandpa A's house with their cousins, we are hopeful that it was the very last snowfall of the season!

Piper & Sydney hiking up hand in hand. Isn't the snow beautiful!

Sydney & Hadley working on some snow angels.

Ava (in the ski mask, due to a cold) & Hayden too.

Plenty of time spent inside playing & reading as well.

Even found some time to snuggle up with Auntie Kara & a good book.

It was a great weekend spent with Kyle's family.  It was especially nice to have a chance to visit with Jim's brother, Ron, who was here from Colorado for the weekend.  Let's just hope that the next time we visit the snow is truly gone!

Monday, March 7, 2011

102B Girls

I got to spend a much needed, much anticipated night out with my 3 best college girlfriends on Friday!  Our ever crazy and ever lovin' friendship began back in the fall of 1998 when we moved into an apartment (#102B) together on the UMD campus. We have seen each other through it all, and while we all live in different cities, states, and even countries (Desi is a Norwegian citizen now!) everything just seems to fall right back into place when we do finally converge in one location.  The last time we were all together was the summer of 2007.  We each have more kids now (7, and still counting), more crazy motherhood stories, and seemingly even more in common than ever before.  I am SO thankful for their friendship and presence in my life.  Love you guys!

Desi, Me, Katie, & Sara

Friday, March 4, 2011

Monkey See,

Monkey do!  Kyle trampled down this fantastic little sledding hill right behind our house last weekend, and the girls have been just itching to get out and use it every day this week.  Hadley got brave and tried out the hill on her own Sunday night, and what big sister can do... so can little sis.  Come Monday afternoon, Piper was begging to fly down in her sled solo as well. Its hard to see her at the top, but note her little arms held proudly in the air and you can't miss her shrieks of joy!  
Hadley followed shortly there after.  Note her patented arm push (that Kyle says looks just like a seal) at the top, arms raised high then, but somehow she got going a little too crazy and much to her glee ended up riding it out on her back! 
Not to worry, I did make a comment similar to Piper's a few weeks back when Mike & family were sledding with us.  I might need to be more careful with my comments, huh!  Hadley has been interested lately in learning to take pictures (a girl after my own heart); she took this one of Pipey and me. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


We turned off our TV one year ago today.  Not just turned it off, but actually discontinued our cable service.  In other words, if you turned on our TV today you'd get nothing but a blank screen. We simply finished out the Vancouver Olympics in style last February (staying up into the wee hours of the morning with Apollo Ohno & Shaun White fever), and then had the cable yanked. 

It was a decision rooted in a couple different areas.  First, we, like so many others, were trying to cut down on our budget, and for people who don't watch a lot of TV to begin with (except maybe the hunting channel...), it seemed like a good place to start snipping.  Secondly, while the girls never really have watched much TV (and consequently don't know any better) we didn't want them wasting their childhood in front of it.  Having personally seen too many kids who struggle with language & social interaction difficulites, quite possibly from too much time watching Baby Einstein or Pokemon and not enough time actually talking to their families, I was quick to not want that for my kids.  And Kyle has seen far too many kids who lack physical exercise and therefore overall health due to too much time in front of the TV and/or video games as well. 

Now, don't get us wrong, Kyle and I indulge in some good movie watching together via Blockbuster.com once the girls go to bed on many nights, and I keep up online with two of my current favorite indulgent shows (Grey's & Parenthood).  But we have spent SO many more nights reading a good book, devouring a hunting magazine, having a bonfire at sunset in our own backyard, and actually having meaningful conversations past the dinner table.  No more flicking, no more falling asleep on the couch while something meaningless plays on the TV, no more half-ast conversations put on hold until the next commerical, no more rearranging our schedule or even putting something on hold to watch a show, no more commercials making me feel like I need the latest and greatest, no more negative and alarmist newscasters putting the fear of the next swine flu into my day, and no more exorbitant cable bills. 

I cannot begin to tell you how nice it feels.  How freeing it is.  How liberating.  How many real conversations I've had with my husband in the last year.  How many more quiet moments I've had to spend with God.  How great it feels to have met the challenge and know that we want to go for another TV-free year, or maybe even until the 2012 Summer Olympics (we are sort of obsessed with the Olympics, so missing it would be out of the question)! Kyle will admit to having a bit of a hard time hanging in there during basketball's March Madness, but he is able to catch quite a few games online after the girls are in bed.   

And how many incredible books I've read this year; some 40+!  Everything from hilarious parenting books ( No Wonder My Parents Drank, by Jay Mohr), to classics (Jane Austen's, Pride and Prejudice), new authors (The Wednesday Sisters, by Meg Waite Clayton), my favorite indulgent reads (aka; Nicolas Sparks books, The Lucky One, and The Last Song), thinking books (Mindset, by Carol Dweck), survival books (Adrift, by Steven Callahan), appreciative books (The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch), and even self-help books (The First Born Advantage, by Kevin Leman). 

The benefits my kids have without TV as an option are endless.  Most importantly, they know how to play.  They get to be kids when they are just that, kids.   Without creative constraints on their imagination, and without interruption.  We are realistic and know that someday, television will certainly have a role in their lives, but hope that allowing them to be themselves now without the interference of media will allow them to build a firm base upon with which to grow and mature. 

I challenge you to try it.  Even for a week.  Try it and see.  See where a quiet house leads you.