Family Pictures 2015

I know I’ve said it over and over, but really Sdreeves Photography is amazing!!!  We have been truly blessed by their talents.   Here are some of my favorites from our most recent shoot with them in the fall. Let me know what you think!  And don’t hesitate to book Sdreeves for your next family photo session, they never disappoint!!

   
   
   

 The sisters 

    
   

  

Cherishing these 

  
 

 

 

  
 

And even a few of just us☺️ 

   

Lastly, a few pictures that sdreeves has taken of us through the years.   Wow, time flies!! 

    
    
 

Advertisements

F I V E and Fabulous!

On Friday our Liesel girl turned 5, 5!!! In five short years this girl has changed our world for the better and we could not be more in love with her!

At 8lbs 13oz and after 28 hours of labor our Liesel Cosette was born on June 26, 2010.

    

It’s amazing how I look at these pictures and I can instantly remember kissing her soft newborn head for the first time.  I can almost smell her sweet baby smell.   

This year has been absolutely fabulous!!  I think the word for her fifth year would be mature.   Liesel matured into a five year old preschool graduate who is reading and ready for kindergarten!  There were a lot of changes she endured, challenges she faced, and love she poured out to everyone.   

     

We had such a blast celebrating our big girl!  Liesel had a special early ballerina beach birthday party in Michigan, surrounded by family.   

        

Her actual birthday began with a pancake breakfast, followed by a special day with Mimi and Papa at the Zoo and Butterly gardens, and ended with a surprise ice cream date!  

             

Every year gets better and better!  I’m sad to say goodbye to our four year old but I’m excited for this next year!! Kindergarten here we come!

***************************************

Liesel’s 5th year interview…(4yr interview)

My favorite food is: Mac & Cheese (cringe)

When I grow up I want to be: a cheerleader, like Lydia

My favorite color is: rainbow color

The coolest person I know is: Drew B.

My favorite thing to do outside is: play in the pool

If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to: my cousins house

When I was little I used to: drink milk from a bottle

My best friend is: Evan

My favorite song is: Jesus loves me

My favorite thing to do with my sisters is: go to the park with them 

My favorite book is: Winnie the Pooh

My favorite movie is: Rapunzel 

What I’m most excited to do now that I’m 5: the monkey bars (hopefully without breaking her arm😉)


Love Day

I love valentines day! Maybe it’s because it eases my Christmas blues with lots of pink and new decor, maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for all things romantic, or maybe it’s because it gives me an excuse to indulge in Reese’s chocolate hearts…

IMG_0642

This year I celebrated the holiday with even more excitement. I had recently found out that valentines day was becoming obsolete in the public schools around here. Now referred to as friendship parties, kids are no longer allowed to pass out valentines or partake in fun parties filled with heart shaped everything. Waahh. Because of this I decided I really need to live up our preschool holidays!

Liesel and Moira school was filled with Heart crafts, valentine books and everything pink you could imagine!

Liesel and I had a blast making, creating and putting together her valentines. “Owl Be Your Valentine”

IMG_0593. Click here for instructions.

I also was in charge of the snacks for Liesel’s preschool party and had a blast creating a few! The first was heart shaped rice crispy treats, dipped in white chocolate, covered in sprinkles (artistically places by L &MJ) and placed on Popsicle stick. Easy, delish and fun to create!

IMG_0585

IMG_0587. I found some cute heart bags in the dollar section at target and placed the treats inside

IMG_0589. In an attempt to get something healthy in the kiddos amidst all the candy, I put together fruit kabobs. Heart-shaped strawberries and purple grapes. Easy and at $2.50 a carton for strawberries, it was budget friendly too.

IMG_0598

IMG_0605

For teacher gifts I put together a little gift bag full of tea. Wanting to show our appreciation for all they do! So thankful for Liesel’s teachers this year!

IMG_0597. They surely are “TEArrific”!

On the actual holiday itself, Eric and I had big plans of a family date day. Filled with exploring our children’s museum, and getting dressed up for dinner out! But illness struck and both Eric and Moira were not 100%. Instead we opted for a relaxing day at home. It was perfect! The day started with a yummy breakfast- equipped with heart shaped bacon

IMG_0609 and ended with a trip down memory lane. Talking to the girls about our favorite love story-our own! We decided to show our wedding video and the girls couldn’t have been more excited!

IMG_0625. A few of my favorite quotes included : daddy can you dance with us like that?
Isn’t this great, Moira?
and can we watch that again, tomorrow? I really love that movie.

Heart exploded! Valentines Day 2015-you really were full of love!

5 1/2 Years

Today is a big day over here. It is the first day in five and a half years that I am neither pregnant, nor nursing!! That’s right. I have been either growing a baby inside, or nourishing a baby outside for 5 1/2 years- non stop.

I feel blessed to have been able to carry all three of my girls to term. Three healthy births. Three beautiful healthy girls that call me Mama. It’s an honor I feel unworthy of.

IMG_2828

IMG_2820

IMG_2826

Nursing was my only option. I never imagined any other way. Thankful that God honored my plea and I was able to nurse all of my girls for over a year. Liesel and Moira nursed until 15months and Emaline until nearly 14 months. I enjoyed my bonding time with each of them. Time to sit and be still and fall deeper in love with my three miracles.

IMG_2817

IMG_2819

IMG_2822

IMG_2824

IMG_2825

IMG_2827

But the time has come for a (much welcomed) break. We still talk and dream of a fourth. Will we be blessed with another? Only God knows the answer. For now, we are taking some time. Time to grow and mature as a family. Time for ourselves. And time to enjoy a glass of wine…or two😉

Sentimental Moment

Amidst all the craziness of having three little ones, there are some sentimental moments that get sprinkled throughout my days. Today one happened that made me smile and think, we must be doing something right. For preschool Liesel had to bring in something she was thankful for to show her class for show and tell. When I asked L what she would want to bring, I expected her to choose one of her beloved stuffies, a toy, a book… But without any hesitation at all she exclaimed (with Liesel excitement) “Moira, I want to bring Moira! I am thankful she is my sister!” Cue mommy tears. I loved that her first thought, when it came to thankfulness, wasn’t of useless “things”, but of a person-her cherished sister. Liesel settled for bringing in this picture of Moira Jane,

IMG_2144.JPG. How I wish I could have been a fly on the wall today during show and tell time at school!

This special moment made me look back on some of my previous posts of the girls, a budding friendship and sister love. Look at those babies!! It was so wonderful to see that their love was prevalent so early on and continues still today. They fight like all sisters do, yell at each other, and take each other’s things- but boy do they love each other!! What more could a parent want?! And although Emaline is the baby, she is loved by them and loves them dearly.

IMG_2146.JPG

IMG_2145.JPG Thank you God for these three little blessings in my life. And thank you also for giving me a moment today where I could smile and think- we are doing a good job as parents (cause Lord knows we all need those now and again!).

Date Nights “in”

With three kids three years and under, getting out on dates are rare. Eric and I have really tried to keep our date nights going by having them at home once the girls are in bed. It’s so easy to get into a rut of watching a movie or show ( currently loving Breaking Bad) and having little to no conversations in the evening. Lately we have been making our dates more meaningful and different. Playing a board game, having a nice dinner, reading a book out loud, are a few ways. A friend gave me a great idea a little while ago to have our own happy hour dates! We have been loving this idea, especially with the weather being such that we can sit outside and enjoy an appetizer and new drink of choice!

This past weekend we had a throwback to our Ann Arbor days happy hour! We enjoyed some homemade red sangria, to remind us of one of our favorite spots Dominick’s, and bruschetta, an appetizer we loved to get at Pizza House. We spent the evening reminiscing on old days, laughing about our current life and planning for our future house projects.

If you find yourself in a similar boat, stuck in due to kids or just wanting to save money/ not deal with the hustle and bustle of going out, then I recommend happy hour date nights! It’s a great way to connect with your honey. Here are our recipes from last night, enjoy!

Red Sangria
2 lg juice oranges
1 lemon
1 bottle of Red Wine, dry
1/4 cup Triple Sec
1/4 cup sugar

Wash and slice one orange and lemon. Place in bottom of your pitcher. In your food process grind sugar until super fine and pour over fruit. Crush slightly with a wooden spoon, just until juices start flowing then stir until sugar dissolves.

Next, juice your second orange and add to pitcher. Then add in wine and Triple Sec. Stir and refrigerate for 2-8hours.

20140413-161107.jpg best served in mason jars for true authentic, Dominick’s fashion😉

Bruschetta
1 baguette, sliced
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TB olive oil
1TB balsamic vinegar
3 basil leaves, chopped
Pinch of salt
8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced

Mix tomatoes through salt together in a bowl. Taste and alter accordingly. Honestly, I eyeball all of the ingredients adding a little more of this and that. So feel free to as well!

Butter both sides of baguette slices and toast on a griddle until just slightly browned. Add a heaping spoonful of tomato mixture on each piece and place a mozzarella slice on top. So easy and so delicious!

20140413-162154.jpg

Here’s our finished happy hour

20140413-162228.jpg

So great to reconnect with this man, my love!

20140413-162323.jpg

One week in

Well, we’ve survived our first week as a family of five!! It has been a crazy, emotional, wonderful and everything in between, one! I can honestly say it has gone as good as it could have. Especially with the busy-ness that surrounds Christmas.

Emaline Noel has made the transition easy ( one forgets the ease of a newborn- sleep-eat-poop-eyes peak open-repeat). She seems so laid back, but don’t all newborns? Time will tell. She has spoiled us with sleep giving us 4-5 hour stretches at night followed by an additional 3-4 hr stretch. Christmas eve night she even slept 6 hours!! I think we have her 9#14oz size to thank for this😊 Feedings have gone great. She eats about every 2.5-3 hrs during the day. It’s keeping her awake that’s tricky.

The older girls have also adapted this new routine/change incredibly well!! At the hospital Liesel could barely take her eyes off Emaline. She wanted to hold her desperately!

20131226-143119.jpg

20131226-143150.jpg At one point Liesel (unprompted) began singing you are my sunshine to her baby sister while she was fussing. Heart broke. Moira was a little more unsure at first. She gave her kisses in the hospital but was far more interested in every button, wire, and everything else a small hospital room has to offer😉 This changed the second day she visited and especially once we came home. MJ has been all about baby Emaline ( as she calls her). The kisses come by the hundreds.

20131226-143640.jpg

20131226-143700.jpg And there has been zero jealousy issues, not even a hint!!! I was concerned about this, especially with MJ. As long as Moira can see me she is fine. She could careless if I’m holding, feeding or attending to Emaline, she only wants me close by.

However, the person who has really made this transition go so easily is my husband! Guys, he has been a rock star! Not that I am shocked. Just truly blessed by this man day in and day out. With our other girls we had the luxury of having my mom here the first week. This eased so much of the work load while I was in resting state. Because of schedules we asked my mom to wait and come in January when L would be back to preschool and Eric’s work would be incredibly busy. I know it will be a time we will absolutely need a third person. That being said. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING fell on Eric’s shoulders. And because of Christmas and other peoples busy schedules with visitors etc we didn’t have much help not even many stop bys. Somehow the laundry, grocery shopping, dinner prep, girls needs+my needs were all met! Again, so blessed.

The hardest part of post-partum has been the restriction of stairs! My doctor and nurses were very strong on limiting my stair climb to once a day. This was the first time we’ve lived in a house with stairs and boy it’s been hard! I have felt so much more handicapped and trapped this time around. I am sure it was important for my healing but it did take a toll on my mental health.

Other than that everything has gone really well. My recovery has gone great. Slightly more painful then MJs but definitely easier than Ls. For the last few days I have felt almost completely normal! Just in time for Christmas ( thanks Emaline for allowing this to happen). I will post her 6 hr birth story soon. For now here is a quick glimpse at our first week in.

20131226-151024.jpg

20131226-151047.jpg

20131226-151105.jpg

20131226-151126.jpg

20131226-151145.jpg

20131226-151207.jpg

20131226-151234.jpg

20131226-151257.jpg
Heading home, after 24 hours to the minute, from the hospital.

20131226-151437.jpg

20131226-151505.jpg

20131226-151533.jpg

20131226-151604.jpg

20131226-151623.jpg

20131226-151656.jpg

20131226-151732.jpg

20131226-151954.jpg

20131226-152015.jpg