Kev got his GoPro for christmas a few years ago, we love it but seem to only really use it on vacations. We should change that though because it’s always such a treat to load the pictures onto the computer after using it. It’s always a big surprise what the photos/videos are going to look like. I stayed up waaaay tooo late last night looking through all the pictures from our recent trip to Florida. Here were my favorites…
Guys! Today was awesome. Like really, really awesome. Life has felt a little (ok, ok a lot) chaotic since Orion was born. He’s seriously the greatest baby alive but I’ve felt like 3 has really tipped the scales for a lot of things in life. haha. Being out numbered is tough! Anyway, I guess since he’s been born we haven’t really been going out a lot to do things together as a family. It always seems to be divide and conquer over things that need to get done. Sort of a “you take the girls and do this and I’ll take the baby and get this done” sort of deal on the weekends. We go here and there together but have missed out on bigger day trips and such. I hadn’t really noticed it being a big deal till today. This morning we headed to North Adams for a day at Mass Moca and it was just so refreshing and lovely. I love, love, love being out, doing fun things as a family!! It’s the wind to my sail! I realized just how much I’ve missed being adventurous all together. Just seeing the girls faces and excitement and getting to share in new experiences…. aaaahhhh! So, so good! Mass Moca is such a wonderful museum. Lots to explore and great programs for the kids to participate in. Not to mention the beautiful building it’s in. If you’re ever passing through the Berkshires make sure you take a trip there!
^^made out of socks!
^^Rowan brought her camera too. Fun watching what she thinks is “picture worthy”!
So I will be the first to admit that I kinda hate winter. Why we live in the Northeast is questioned daily when the temperatures drop and we are forced to spend waaaaaay more time than I’d like indoors. Every year I try my darnedest to get us outside as much as possible. The key I’ve found is to find fun activities to do while you’re out there. It helps take your mind off how cold you are, plus is makes really fun memories! Things like building snowmen, tubing (especially at those tubing places that have chair lifts and tracks!), skiing and snowboarding (getting Rowan in lessons this year!) and of course ice skating!! Growing up in Canada, learning to skate was like a rite of passage. We used to go skating every weekend after church. We’ve been making it a point so far this season to do the same with the girls. They really look forward to it! Rowan is getting pretty good too- she whips around the ice pretty fast. This past Sunday we headed down to Empire Plaza in Albany to skate outside on the little rink they have there. It can be pretty magical feeling when all the lights turn on at night. Love this family tradition we are starting! Can’t wait to get Orion on a pair of hockey skates!!
One of our favorite things to do when we come in from the cold is to make warm soup! I’ve always hated most pre-made soup, they’re loaded with ingredients I can’t even pronounce and frankly just don’t taste that good. Needless to say, I was super excited when I heard that our already beloved Annie’s just launched a new line of organic soups. They have simple ingredients, no preservatives, artificial flavors, or synthetic colors. How awesome is that? Helps save time and the kids are in love with them. Finley’s favorite is the Creamy Tomato Soup with Bunny Pasta (Hello! 1/2 cup of veggies per serving!). She’s asked for it for lunch for like the past week. The cherry on top for little Miss Fin is getting to put Cheddar Bunnies in the soup! I love coming in from cold with red roses cheeks, sitting around the table and creating more winter memories as we sharing a warm meal together!!
Do you guys remember this post about our christmas tree mishap? Like seriously! we are doomed every year with bad Christmas tree experiences. EVERY YEAR! Hahahah. Well last year we ended up deciding to forgo the “cutting of the tree” and just go to a lot. It worked out. I mean how much trouble can you get into in a 15 mins max christmas tree getting experience? Since I felt like we sort of broke the curse last year, this year I wanted to try a farm again. This time with no expectations! It’s hard though, I mean you are getting your christmas tree! How do you not have expectations for this annual holiday tradition? I seem to instantly picture cute dressed, well behaved children skipping and holding hands, joking and telling me how much they love me for bringing them to do something so fun and magical. There is of course christmas music playing and hot chocolate, and reindeer to pet, and definitely no one is whiney, or has to go to the potty when you get the furthest point away from any potty and no one is complaining they’re cold and best thing of all… you get that one perfect christmas card photo to capture such a joyous occasion. That can happen right? Well I tried my hardest to push those thoughts away and let the day happen how it may. We did dress cute and we were actually trying to get a photo (which could have gone sooo wrong) but if it wasn’t working I wasn’t going to force it. And guess what guys? It almost, almost all happened! It was like the Christmas stars aligned for us that day. Hip, hip hooray!
There of course was whining about being cold and having to walk so far and you better believe that there was a peeing out in the bushes incident because doh! of course someone had to go when we were about as far as one could have gotten from the potty. But other than that- we did it! We had a really fun time getting our christmas tree! Even little Miss Fin looks happy in most of them, that in and of itself is an accomplishment. Hallelujah!
We teamed up with Abercrombie and Abercrombie Kids to pick outfits for our Christmas card photo this year. Did you know they extended their kids sizes down to 3T now? Let me tell you that Finley in that little puffer vest is about too cute for words. Loved how all the outfits came together. I am not one for matchy, matchy in family photos so I really appreciated all the great options they had for everyone in the family. Kev is looking pretty darn handsome if I do say so myself. And a long flannel tunic top that is loose, soft and comfy is this 8 week postpartum, nursing mama’s best friend!
also don’t get me started on Rowan’s leggings. Love them!
also best way to make sure there isn’t just one person with a silly face in the picture (because of course there will be with small children) is to just all go for the silly face.
also this is like my new favorite picture! How am I the Mom to these 3 kids? Blows my mind.
and since our Christmas stars aligned I was able to get like a billion photos which I couldn’t narrow down because I just love this gang so dang much!
This was the best year for Halloween! The girls were at the perfect age for trick or treating. Rowan was so excited she basically ran from house to house the entire night. I love our sweet little neighborhood! On Friday night we went to a Trunk or Treat at a church in the area and then went out for the real deal on Saturday night. We took the girls to see the Wizard of Oz for the first time this past summer at a Movie In the Park sort of deal. It was the most magical summer night watching such a movie classic under the stars. They even had the characters there to meet and greet the kids. Needless to say, Rowan fell in love with the movie and has been talking about being all the characters for Halloween since. She didn’t have to twist my arm that’s for sure. I LOVE family halloween costumes. I hope they want to dress up together forever (I know, I know. It’s not going to happen but I can dream right?).
We always try to make the most of the Halloween season. It can seem a little silly to make a big deal over a costume you’re only going to wear for a few short hours on one particular night. I try to find all the fun Halloween activities in the area and let the kids dress up as much as they’d like. The weekend before Halloween we found a Trick or Treat event at the Omi International Arts Center. I’d never been there but I am always up for exploring a new museum. Out in their huge sculpture field, volunteers dressed up and stood at each sculpture passing out candy. Good way to enjoy halloween but also get some culture in there as well. Our real Halloween costumes weren’t quite ready yet so the girls picked out something from the dress up closet. They went as a bumble bee and a Snow White. There was also a great halloween party for the kids- food, drinks and crafts. The kids had a great time! We will definitely be back next year.
Rowan turned 5 on Saturday! What a big girl she is! For the past year, almost daily, she’s talked about what theme she’s wanted to have for her birthday. Her ideas changed every few days depending on what we did that day or what movie she just watched. She’s had a lot of ideas over the past 365 days! A few weeks ago we really started to think about her party and narrow down what she wanted to do. She’s been soooo into art lately so we sat at the computer one day and looked up artist themed birthdays on pinterest (get ready for all the rainbow colors if you do that). Anyway, she was hooked! she loved the idea of everyone having their own canvas and easel and getting to paint a picture they could take home. All in all it was a super easy and fun party to plan for (hello amazon prime!)- I didn’t go over the top or spend tons and tons of money. It was fun to let her be a part of the decorating and have a hand in her own party. We had a lot of fun! There are A LOT of ideas out there in pinterestland for artist themed bday parties. I wasn’t for all the primary/rainbow colored party ideas but I did find this post as my inspiration and then made the party fit us and our own ideas. I really, really love decorating for the girls birthday parties. It brings me a lot of joy!
Rowan made all the placemats for the table with watercolors and lots of splatters! We’ve since cut them all up and used them to make the thank you cards for her friends who came. Dual purpose!! Heck yeah! We ordered canvas boards, easels, paint brushes, aprons, paper cups and palettes from amazon (links below). I already had the craft paint. I just lined it all up for the girls to pick out the colors they wanted for their paintings. I kept the food simple. I made sugar cookies (from a box!) in shapes of 5’s and artist palettes (made with a heart cookie cutter). I made some individual fruit cups with all fresh berries, veggies cups with hummus and then the girls got a palette filled with lots of sprinkles and an undecorated cupcake that they got to go to town on decorating. You know, keeping with the artist theme and all. The girls had a blast and I loved the ease of it all. I made a few watercolor buntings with some painted papers. Just cut the shapes you want and run them all through the sewing machine. Super easy!
What a fun afternoon celebrating our little artist!