advent 2014

We always do an advent calendar and we try to fill it with experiences instead of toys/candy. Here is a post from 2011 (with links to previous years) and 2013 here and the craziness that was 2012. This year I’ve planned a bit and have it ready to go (read: not pregnant. no new baby. not moving) and here it is:

Sun 30 – put up Christmas tree
Mon 1 – make an elf house
Tues 2 – make paper snowflakes
Wed 3 – write a letter to santa
Thur 4 – make teachers Christmas cards
Fri 5 – put out shoes for St. Nicholas
Sat 6 – St. Nicholas day – learn about his life
Sun 7 – go bowling as a family
Mon 8 – buy something for the Advent wreath at church & donate
Tues 9 – christmas music sing & dance
Wed 10 – play with play dough
Thur 11 – color & read The Nativity Story
Fri 12 – family pizza & movie night
Sat 13 – go see a movie in the theater
Sun 14 – Nutcracker with Grandma
Mon 15 – family game night
Tues 16 – coloring sheet
Wed 17 – read The Nativity Story
Thur 18 – daddy ice skating night
Fri 19 – family pizza & movie night
Sat 20 – paint toenails and fingernails
Sun 21 – make gingerbread houses
Mon 22 – make cookies with Grandma Deb
Tues 23 – drive around to look at Christmas lights
Wed 24 – Christmas Eve Mass & early present
Thur 25 – Christmas!


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last week in photos

it’s been cold. and ice & snow is (was) covering everything. but going for that run I really don’t want to go for makes me happier in the end.

18 months Luisa
18 month check up for Luisa!

this tea from TJ’s is so very good.

KJ birthday
out to lunch with Kelly for his birthday.


carrot cake
and carrot cake. which was soooo good but had lumpy frosting. but you know what? nobody cared because it still tasted wonderful.

whiskey carrots.

playing instead of napping.

makes for a tired baby at night. she fell asleep nursing which she never ever does anymore.

and sleeping Luisa. little sweet thing.


two minutes of playing together/sharing.

disney on ice
I took Cora to Disney on Ice on Saturday.

GOTR kelly and cora 5k
Kelly did a girls on the run 5k with Cora on Sunday.

disney on ice
and my mom took Della to Disney on Ice.

not napping
while I stayed home with the little two. Ada fought the nap.

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monday: best of last week

:: living with kids ::

:: dark nights ::

:: apple cider moscow mules ::

:: maybe unmedicated childbirth isn’t for me ::

:: thankfulSo many seasons, all of them wonderful in their own unique way and we just need to appreciate them for what they are, acknowledge the challenges and find the goodness in them.” ::

:: Cinderella ::


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Please – any good recipes to share?

For Kelly’s birthday dinner he requested ribs. I got a yummy rib recipe from a friend of mine and after he inspected it he said I need to use one that has a dry rub. A what? So after some google time I found this one on the website. And I of course used their bbq sauce and dry rub recipes too. And now I am well versed in dry rubs, something I had never known anything about before.

In addition to the ribs I made Pioneer Woman’s Whiskey Glazed Carrots which are just so dang good. The carrots were delicious.

Then I “made” a box of cornbread and opened (and heated) up a can of baked beans. And my mom’s carrot cake recipe. Which is his favorite dessert in the whole wide world. With cream cheese frosting.


And in non-birthday related cooking. I don’t remember where I found the recipe for best chocolate chip cookie bars (pinterest probably). They really are so very good though. I ate almost all of them though so they will only be made when some can be given away.

And oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip scones are always a hit around here. I made them for a baby shower last weekend with dairy/soy free margarine and almond milk (with vinegar in it to replace the buttermilk) and they were just as good as with real buttermilk and butter. I don’t add peanuts to the peanut butter though, I just use creamy.

I puffy heart puffs was another baby shower food item. And while they weren’t a huge hit at the shower, my husband and children loved these. I made half with the cream cheese/whipped cream filling (and a strawberry on top) and the other half I filled with lemon curd (Trader Joe’s) and put a raspberry on top. These are very tasty and easy and cute.

Also – Shauna Niequists’s White Chicken Chili – easy and tasty.

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happy birthday!

To My Dear Husband, The world is better because you are here. Our family is better because you are here. I’ve known you for 15 years and I don’t remember life before you. I don’t want to think of life before you. There are five girls (plus Lola) in this family that adore you and thank you for all you do for us. You are the best father, husband, companion, and friend. And I thank you for being you.

visit with Santa

Happy (34th) Birthday Kelly Jay!

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last week in photos

making scones and cupcake toppers.

it got really, really cold. Lola and I were not impressed.

reading this and liking it a lot.

so much focus and determination.

old paint
finally (two years later) got the husband to paint the bathroom. this green is before.

new paint
and this is after. though I think this picture makes it look tan and it’s more grey.

a better shot of the grey (because apparently I’m obsessed with my bathroom, sorry).

she put jeans on last week and she looked so big to me – she never wears jeans.

new favorite – stacking and knocking down.

they begged to read one chapter before school and he did.

visit with Santa
everyone was really good at mass so we went to the mall for lunch. we realized while we were eating that Santa was there so decided to go visit him (and yes I know it’s before Thanksgiving and I don’t really care. I’m not taking my kids to the mall in December). they wouldn’t let us take pictures though! they wanted us to buy their packages that start at $20. #toocheapforthat

sunday night relaxing
just relaxing on the pillows. not tired….

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monday: best of last week

:: Science Says Lasting Relationships Come Down to 2 Basic Traits (thanks Erin) ::

:: Planning Thanksgiving with a yummy looking brussels sprouts & apple salad recipe ::

:: how to fake amazing brows ::

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