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Thursday, April 26

the club

we decided to try out the fitness/social club in our neighborhood since the initiation fee was waived for new homes. 
still seems unnecessary & a bit excessive to me but it's sure been a blast. 
& austin goes almost every night.
 either i take the beans swimming or they go to the kid's cabin while i do my own thing.

hopefully we can do swim lessons this summer so maybe E can lose the floaties.

they absolutely love it & ask to go to the "glub" on the daily.
should make for some easy, fun summer days :)

Wednesday, April 25


most of the time when i go out with the beans i feel like i can physically usher them around & damper any upcoming tantrum. they usually do really well on errands.

but do you know what i hate?

i hate when my kids aren't necessarily misbehaving but they are just being a handful. you can't really discipline but it is just soo exhausting.

i was out running an errand with the girls & ellery had to go to the bathroom.
for the third time in 22 minutes.
girlfriend drinks water like nobody's business & i'm rarely willing to call her bluff when she says she has to go.

while carting squirmy toddlers around, it means rushing to the back of the store (when i always happen to be on the opposite side) & leaving your full cart outside the bathroom & hoping some employee doesn't take it & start re-shelving your items (which has happened to me 3-4 times), grabbing your purse, yanking the younger sib out of the cart seat, & sprinting in. now jellybean has been potty trained for almost 1.5 years but when she's wearing certain jeans, i have to help her get situated. balancing cossette on my hip (because she'd thrown her shoes into the cart earlier & i don't care to put her down barefoot in a public bathroom), i try & throw ellers on the seat & the kid doesn't bend! what is that?! she stayed upright & straight as a board & PLOP! her feet dunk right into the toilet water.

i splashed her out of there as fast as possible & then just stared at her in disbelief.

i proceeded to laugh for so long the girls didn't really know what to do. they kept glancing back & forth between each other like, 'dude, mom is nuts.' which only made me laugh harder. it was pretty frigid outside so i stalled, walking around the store until her little shoes & socks were dry enough that i thought they could handle a quick run to the car.

sometimes, man. sometimes.

Monday, April 23

the key to family harmony

i stumbled across this article that if you want to be happiest with your family life... have 2 daughters. hahaha

well, i'm sold. :)

Friday, April 20

mermaid-ing it

my little sister & i were 1 & 3 when the little mermaid came out. my girls are 1 & 3 (even though mine are technically a full year closer in age). by the time it came out on video it was stephanie's ultimate favorite. mine was beauty & the beast...

anyway so we had a giant boulder in the front yard that we would take turns "splashing" on. the other sister's job was to make the sound effects of water. haha oh my gosh, i'm dying.

all my mom could find were these gems when i asked her to try & find a pic of it:

i can totally hear her being like, "what are you doing? just sit normal on the rock. okay now cross your legs like a lady." haha!

 i took this in mexico in 2010. my seestor is better than your seestor.

so of course when they placed the perfect mermaid-ing boulder in the front of our yard last week, i just about died. and then forced allowed my kids to reenact so i could text a pic to stepher.
they play every type of pretend on all the huge rocks around the yard. one is a pirate ship, one is a look out point, one is a castle tower, one is a cliff, one is a a trampoline (not the smartest idea), etc. 

but then who will teach my girls to sit like ladies? may just have to be grandma. :)

Thursday, April 19

coors field

went to up to denver & hit the rockies/giants game with mike & brie! i still can't believe we have california friends now 45 minutes away. yayuh! even mike's cute mom was in town to play. :) they are always up for a good time even if brie & i were a little distracted by our draw something battle... if i was playing with you that night & you got some random pictures, i was giving the awesome drunk fan next to me a go at the game. hahaha.
while it was a sad day to be a giants fan, who has ever been to a 17-8 baseball game?!
my cousin's wife liz was our lifesaver that night!! they live in south denver as well & are rockstars! she put our beans down at her house (with her own 3 kids to wrangle, plus hubs out of town) while we enjoyed a high scoring (& therefore pretty lengthy) time at the ball park. seriously thank you liz!

on friday we had some people over for a little impromptu game night, on saturday we had fun at the car show with the whittingtons, then back up to mike & brie's place for a spectacular, gourmet dinner that night. tasty appetizers like the pesto stuffed baby cherry tomatoes that cossette would not stop eating; a yummy avocado blend with hard boiled eggs, & skewered caprese salad. then we had roasted red potatoes & veggies, herb rubbed chicken, & spinach/strawberry salad with chocolate balsamic vinegar over grilled pears & ice cream for dessert. mikus kept spoiling ellery with scoop after scoop of ice cream while coke chowed down on some wonderful mini lemon cheesecakes. i could talk about food all day, sorry. but it was seriously incredible!

Wednesday, April 18

the piano whisperer

i think i've talked about our piano before. my parents gave it to us & they got it as a wedding present from grandma & grandpa kelly 33 years ago. but oh my goodness. i don't think i can possibly describe the night we had on monday with the piano tuner. dorky, dry humored, hilarious dude. epic.

"i need to get to know her." (yup, speaking to the piano & caressing the top)
"i have a feeling she has lived on the coasts." (why yes she has, piano man.)
"there are valentine's decorations from the '90s in here eaten to shreds by the mice that used to live in your piano." (niiiiiice.)
"your home has more humidity than the one down the street. i can feel it on her." (pulls out his humidity reader.)
"let's help her voice." (let's!)
"i think that note is 36 'cents off." (gets out his machine that checks. it was 35.1.)
"you see that! is this man a genius or what?!" (talking about himself being .9 'cents off & shoving the machine in my face.)
"it is rather refreshing being around little ones because i don't have any. & this way it is so temporary!" (he  laughed for a long time here...)
>i would put quotes here but i zoned out while he & austin discussed frequencies & ratios. haha.
"i've only had one other couple watch me do a tuning. this is fun!" (no, you are impossible to stop watching.)
"now this is the defintion of instant gratification! with my ear & immense skill i can fix her & immediately hear it on her!" (don't think that's what most of us think of with instant gratification but i thought that was darling.)
"is that a hybrid creation of your own?" (when i said beautimous. he was very confused by it.)
"you have an impressive ear! but we know that i have an exceptional one. i mean i have to sleep with a white noise machine." (thanks?)
"they said i could just spend the night here." (when his wife called wondering where the heck he was.)
"if you love your job, you never work a day in your life!" (wise words piano man. wise words.)

he stayed for 3 and a half hours, past 10 o'clock. he will definitely be returning. he let me help with certain things & i actually learned a lot. plus let's not forget that he was late & cocky & happy & awkward & fabulous. oh & my piano does sound great. bonus.

Tuesday, April 17


our beans love when we sing!
we read about a thousand books before nap, but before bedtime we sing about a thousand songs. these are the ones that are part of the regular repertoire:

"baby mine" from dumbo, alison krauss, etc. i've always loved this song & it might be ellery's favorite.

"i am a child of God" primary song (this is the only one i don't sing with the kids):
I am a child of God,
                                                                                      And He has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with Him someday.

petite poule was a song i learned forever ago & had to search the cosmos of the interweb to find it again & found it on youtube paired with a bizarre, european-esque video. haha but it's a sweet little french lullaby about a hen laying eggs all over town & the children get to eat them hot. coco is one french word for egg (& is also a term of endearment for french little ones, une petite coco, a little egg).

"castle on a cloud" from les miserables, i struggle every night when i sing this. for those who aren't familiar, it's sung by a little orphan girl named cosette that dreams of a life far away from the one she has. gets me every. single. time.
There is a castle on a cloud
                                                                                    I like to go there in my sleep
Aren´t any floors for me to sweep

Not in my castle on a cloud
There is a room that´s full of toys
                                                                          There are my hundred boys and girls
Nobody shouts or talks too loud
Not in my castle on a cloud

There is a lady all in white
                                                                                   Holds me and sings a lullaby
She´s nice to see and she´s soft to touch
                                                                      She says: " Cosette, I love you very much."

I know a place where no one´s lost
                                                                              I know a place where no one cries
Crying at all is not allowed
Not in my castle on a cloud 

i usually repeat the last line of the 3rd verse with "she says: ellery, i love you very much." last week ellery was dancing around while i rocked cossette (& in my defense, it IS a lot of singing) so i skipped the repeat & cossette leaned up, stopped the song, grabbed my chin, & said "love ella-ree!" with her forehead all wrinkled with concern. i just melted; she is such a sweet thing.

"the rainbow fairies" my mom used to sing this to us & it has cute little actions:
Two little clouds, one summer's day,
Were flying through the sky;
They went so fast they bumped their heads,
And both began to cry.

Old Father Sun looked down and said:
'Never mind, my dears,
I'll send my little fairies down
To dry your falling tears.'

One fairy came in violet,
One in indigo;
In blue, green, yellow, orange, red,
They made a pretty row.

They wiped the cloud-tears all away,
And then flew up the sky,
And on the line the sunbeams made,
They hung their gowns to dry.

"mr. moon" daddy sings & "you are my sunshine" mommy sings. by ellers assignment.

& last but not least is actually a camp song:
we love you jellybean, oh yes we do!
we love you jellybean, and we'll be true!
when you're not with us, we're blue!
oh jellybean, we love you!

now cocobean! now daddy boy! now mommy bear! (yes, i have to sing a version for myself.)
"mommy, are you blue when you can't see us?" :)
there are countless people out there with a better trained voice than mine. but that's not who these sweet things want to hear. taking the time at the end of the day to talk to my little ladies & sing them off to sleep is one of my favorite things.

Monday, April 16

one-triple three-six

okay, okay i have been bullied into posting about this. with all the visitors & landscaping & meeting such fun neighbors, & general life busy-ness i wasn't finding the time to do the thorough post i wanted. a handful of these pictures i had to sift through to find because i'd taken them back in february. it looks pretty identical to how it did that first week with only a few exceptions like the white bar stools & the ceiling fan in the family room. obviously there are things that i still need to tweak & add to. & if you've ever been to my house (or my mom's) you'll see a lot of things have been recycled but for now, we're pretty happy with our new cozy home. that's actually ours. :)
 ¡moving day!
i love this shot! such a fun week.

so... here's a tour:
ranch level: porch, entryway, office where the beans love to wait for daddy on the window seat, laundry room, guest bath with all sorts of eclectic art from our travels.
 the main room is awesome because it's very, very open.
 as much as i love these floors i am seriously sweeping 4 times a day.
 we've enjoyed the large island in the kitchen & 10 foot ceilings give us plenty of vertical space.
the dining area is just the right size & we have these fantastic custom cordless fabric blinds that totally disappear when they're up (thanks g'pa!). i adore that there isn't a formal dining which was actually a struggle for us to find. i really wanted us to have full use of our living spaces. now i can happily say that we don't have a formal living room or dining. yay!
 the master is one of 2 bedrooms on the main level, but we use the other as the office.
 the bathroom is totally open to the bedroom & we particularly love the big ole tub. :)

lower level: beans bathroom (thanks gramvi!), guest bedroom, unfinished storage room that will eventually be another bedroom + a smaller storage space.
the bottom of the stairs goes straight into the basement living area. it's a great size so we've got it set up with the playroom on one side...
(notice the "letters" in the mailbox, their monogrammed aprons my mama made, their rarely organized toy closet under the stairs, & their little teal kitchen cabinet that took me a century to finish but i'm obsessed with!)

& a tv room on the other side with the mr.'s pride & joy; the mini fridge.

then there's the nursery. with blackout shades & plenty of room it is one of my favorite spaces in the house.
besides making the beds i didn't have to clean up much. it's super nice to have enough space that there is a spot for everything.

now that we also have a usable backyard, come visit us on the corner of cedarville!

Sunday, April 15

head, shoulders, knees, & toes

eyes, ears, mouth, & nose ~

austin felt pretty left out being the only one in our family that can't point with his feet to the body parts in this song.

Saturday, April 14

eastering & hunting

happy easter!
our neighborhood threw together a little egg hunt at one of our parks. cossette got a total of 1 egg (& you can see the pic of ellery guarding it so c can get it - darling), & ellery got a total of 2 eggs. better hold back those crazy kidlets of mine. :) oh speaking of which, it made national news that they cancelled the main colorado springs easter egg hunt due to the aggressive, cheating parents last year. yikes people.
cocobean checking out the easter bunny & showing me where his nose is. :)

the rest of that saturday we spent bike riding, going out to lunch with some friends, watching conference, shopping at the hardware store, driving the riding lawn mowers, & austin went to priesthood with todd.
the next weekend we had fun decorating eggs with stickers, clear crayon, & dye.
easter sunday was started with me being cranky & then crying when i thought something irreversible had happened to cossette's easter dress (gorgeous hand-me-down that is lena's that my mom spent forever making) after i fixed it, austin still had to reign me in. i seriously never cry & it worried the girls a lot. cute things just wanted me to be normal, happy mommy bear. after that it was a lovely morning searching for eggs & talking about what jesus did for us & how grateful we are.
 our easter best (minus my hair, as austin pointed out. hahaha)

Friday, April 13

the yard

in the beginning there was a big hill & a lot of dirt.
then i decided on 1 of the 11 landscapers i had come to the house & give us a bid. we also dabbled with the idea of doing it ourselves. with the size, the wall, the HOA, & the price we got this for - i swear it's the best money we ever spent! took about an hour and a half per company but meant that we really did pick the best guy for the job! beau & angel from masterpiece landscaping it is!
the morning after i called to confirm we'd go with them, fast freddy (the concrete guy) came. seriously. like 11 hours after calling beau. i didn't even know they were coming. whaa?? freddy jackhammered out the old while i quickly chose from the color wheel, framed, prepped, & poured the new, rounded the stairs, dusted the top for some cool dimension in the veins, textured it with huge leather patterns, let it dry & came back the next day to power wash the dusting off & seal it. seriously fast freddy earns his name!
 day one: friday (started at 7 & ended around 7:30 every full day!!!)
we had dump truck after dump truck unload on either side of our corner lot. we took up nearly both streets for the whole job. angel & his crew were exceptionally nice to the beans, who played outside with their sand toys throughout the process. we did nothing but watch them. check out the boulders delivered inside the top soil. they are seriously gigantic!
day 1.5: half day (on saturday!) chief checked every night to see if they left the keys to the deere. he really wanted to go joy riding! haha p.s. it was 82 degrees sunday when i took this picture... aust got a sunburn.
pause: monday - wednesday. big snow storm :( at first we were super bummed to take a break when things had been moving so quickly but it ended up showing us exactly where we wanted additional draining & we added a creek bed on one side of the house due to it. total blessing in disguise. p.s. it was 31 degrees on monday when i took these pictures...
day 2: thursday
quick progress, buried the downspouts, pick axed all the areas for the sprinkler system, our little friends came to watch the work, we watched as they trucked away over 100 tons of crappy dirt, & the beans got to sit in the tractor after the workers had gone home.

day 3-5: friday, 1/2 day saturday, & monday
7 trees & all the shrubs delivered, placed the timbers for my garden beds, finished edging, put fabric down where the rocks would be, finished the cobblestone creek, tweaked all the irrigation & sprinkler system, rototilled 40 yards of rich soil in with the bad, placed top soil, & started planting.

day 6: tuesday 1/2 day
finished planting, broke up the massive flagstone to make a utility path from the garage to the grass, hybrid blue grass/fescue sod was delivered & the turf farm crew installed it in record time (& with less than a square foot left over! yay! no waste!), & pike's peak nursery put our 2 trees in the front that the builders gave us.

yard is donezo!!!
we are so happy with the job they did & the fact that they literally were done in 6 work days! incredible!
still can't walk on it for 2 weeks but it's been raining & watering our grass for free so we're happy. told the beans that this is baby grass & we can't step on it until it's big & strong. "until it's big girl grass, like me?!" yes, ellery.
this is austin's favorite spot. his 2 pear trees & rainier cherry tree are here & he loves the flagstone. the kids love the fact that they have a river in their backyard. :) & yes every gutter is now painted, don't you lose sleep over that one...
the wall ended up being over 96 feet long. whew! since e & c can't walk on the grass yet they walk back & forth on this wall approximately 1,000 times a day.
 suuuper excited to try growing in my garden beds!
the side yard is a big chunk of our grassy area.