Battle of the tacos

Every month or so, a group of our friends get together with a food theme pre-planned, and we battle out our culinary skills to see whose will be voted the best. The kids have even started participating, which has turned out to be a lot of fun for all of us. Although, you should see the tension rise as the four of us are trying to maneuver in our kitchen, hahaa! It's getting easier though. I love that at 11 and 5, Alyx and Kate are pretty much fearless when it comes to thinking up a creative dish and deciding the can most certainly do it. They've learned, however, that it takes a little research and planning to properly execute a (sometimes) unique dish, but that hasn't hindered them at all.

I've been sharing these images each month on Facebook, so you can see previous cook off photos there. From breakfast, japanese, pizza, and tacos - we're challenging ourselves in the best ways! It's been fun, and so good to maintain our social life with our kids. I love that they hang with the adults and fit right in! I hope our kids find as good of friends as we have, because it's been a pretty big blessing in our lives to have people there to laugh with, cook with, and make memories with as the years go by.

Until next time...

Not quite goodbye

Some of our dear friends have accepted a once in a lifetime offer, a sweet offer that moves their entire family from the beautiful Pacific Northwest to the midwest. In less than a month, they will be gone. In all honesty, aside from being the awesome people they are, they are our only friends with kids even close to our kids age. It's not just us losing our friends, it's our whole family.

It's always hard watching those you love leave, but we know they are doing what's best for them, and we have to support them. Plus, it really only means bigger and better road trips to visit them! We are all pretty darn excited for that part!

So as you would expect, we are spending AS MUCH possible time with them as we can. This was just the first of two days spent with them over the long weekend. It's really been the best ever! They are leaving their adorable little country house in the city, and I really wanted to capture some of it, as well as moments of our kids together.

It's these sweet moments we live for ya know. I've come to realize lately, that while we had great friendships early on in life (and some people get to keep those going), it's the ones later on, the ones that really grow with you - that make you cherish those around you. And I couldn't cherish these people more.

Best wishes on Memorial day and always. 

p.s., if you've never made homemade ice cream, the kind you shake in a bag + it only takes 5 minutes, you HAVE to try it!

Kate's 4th Birthday

My sweet girl turned four this past weekend. It's wildly bittersweet. I think the majority of that is simply because she isn't a typical toddler to me, she's worldly and wise, and far beyond her years. She is certainly not a baby anymore. I've loved watching her grow into the fierce and wild girl she is, it's a powerful experience to say the least.

I'm equally thankful that our closest and dearest friends came through for our girl and showered her with love, along with things she loves. It was all simple and nice, which seems to be what we all needed. I think at this point in our lives, we are soaking all of these milestones in. As our friends have babies, are pregnant, own their homes now, and continue doing life with us... We feel this is really what it's all about.

Happy birthday my sweet Kate.


Shortly after publishing my last post, my husband came home to discover his truck had been broken into. It had been completely ransacked. He had been storing the gifts he'd been ordering for me in there, and since his truck is lifted, has tinted windows, and is in front of so many houses, we'd never had a problem. It was an ignorant choice to leave valuables in there, but there's no point in placing blame. It happened.

So for the next three days, he eagerly ran around trying to replace those things for me. It was all I was receiving for Christmas, and I knew his heart had been broken. I'm going to be honest, I didn't want him to. I didn't want those things. I knew that it was going to strain our Christmas budget. I knew stress would go up, and well, I just didn't want stuff. He outdid himself and did get a couple things that are now irreplaceable, that are so thoughtful, I was truly left stunned and speechless.

For days I was bitter. It wasn't just the gifts, but personal items my husband left that had been taken. Things that are more than just 'things,' that are irreplaceable. How heartless those thieves had been. I hoped in the end, they needed those things more than we did. I pray someone was more grateful than I could have been. I'm not sure, but I needed to see a silver lining.

We spent the holidays with our family. A couple of friends surprised us on Christmas Eve with incredibly thoughtful gifts for the kids, not knowing what had been stolen. And so many people who got gifts for them, kept our wishes in mind. I was so humbled. Blessed. Grateful. The rest of Christmas Eve left our minds at peace, maintaining our tradition with a dear friend who accepted all of my family around a bonfire, it was just what we needed. I always know, but it was over this Christmas I realized that we do have truly great people surrounding us in our lives - and really, what more is there? To be with others. To be thought of, remembered, loved... That's all we need.

I'm already thinking of next Christmas and how to continue on our path of less things. How to completely change the face of how we approach gift giving and how exactly to offer experiences with those we love, including our own kids.

So it's now a New Year! Cheers to all the life and love and memories coming in 2015. I am beyond excited for a full year ahead. My mind has been reeling with all the things I want to approach, I look forward it all. Happy 2015 my friends!

Washington State Fair

Washington State Fair | September 2014

It was really cold this particular morning. We anticipated rain, but none came. As soon as we got to the fair, the clouds parted and the sun shone brightly. It became warm, like really warm! We don't always get these kinds of days in the Northwest, but summer is often pretty generous. It really was great.

Before we missed the fair (we came close), we braved the crowds of people and made sure we squeezed in just enough fun to be satisfied. Although, the scone line was literally a mile long, so we missed out on that, boo! I can totally make scones though, Fisher's got nothing on me!

If I'm being honest, the fair isn't really my thing, although I like trying different foods (hold the fried butter, please) and seeing all the vendors, but that's really it. Crowds... I can live without that. My senses get overwhelmed and I feel very protective over my children. BUT... The kids talked about our fair experience for days, and that was all I really needed. I'll do it any day for them.