Sunday, September 25, 2016

My Sunday Best: The Last Three Weeks

It's been a few weeks and though I snapped a couple quick pictures, I didn't have time to blog, so I'll just give you a few pictures from the last few weeks of some Sunday style ideas.   Of course if you want MORE and better inspiration check out the #mysundaybest link-up with Rosie every week.  Here is this week's.  

Three weeks ago style (and 1 week old Kolbe)


Last week's outfit
 (though this picture was taken yesterday when I happened to be wearing the same outfit again when my parents were visiting)


And this week
(little guy is already 4 weeks!!)

Happy Sunday, friends!  Have a blessed day and as today's Psalm said, 
"Praise the Lord, O My Soul!"

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fun with Nana and Granddaddy

We had such a nice visit with my parents (Nana and Granddaddy to the kids) which I mentioned in yesterday's post.  But here are a few more pictures from today before they headed out on the long drive back to California.  

We love you, guys!  See you next time!

Friday, September 23, 2016

7QT Friday: Visitors, Anniversary, and Thankyous

Because all those things clearly go together right?

1. Breakfast guests

Last Saturday we had some dear friends (Chris' best man and his lovely wife) over for breakfast.  We broke out of the normal dinner guests, and it was a blast.  I made an egg casserole and a french toast casserole and Nic and Monica brought fruit and it was all yummy.  And then we just chatted and caught up on each other's lives and it was just wonderful.  

2. Thank Yous

(just a few photos of some of the sweet gifts we've received for little Kolbe)

I am slowly but surely working on actual thank yous to all the generous family members and friends who have poured love on us since Kolbe's birth.  We have received helpful household items, meals, diapers, wipes, and sweet little BOY clothes.  This is my official way of making sure that everyone gets thanked even if a thank you card somehow gets forgotten in the coming weeks.  We also had one sweet onesie ("Ladies, I have arrived!")  that came without a note, so we don't know who to thank.  So here is the blanket THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts in case we miss anyone.  You have all been so kind and supportive and generous as we transition to life with 5 kids.  

3. 8th Anniversary

We celebrated 8 years earlier this week, and for the second time in those 8 years we had babysitters on our actual anniversary.  Last year Chris' parents were in town and they watched the girls so we could go out and this year my parents were in town, so they watched the girls.  Kolbe was our third wheel/chaperone and what a sweet one.  He slept pretty much the entire time.   Chris found an amazing restaurant and we celebrated with delicious food and a wonderfully chosen bottle of wine. 

4. Nana and Granddaddy visit


My parents came into town for a few days to meet Kolbe.  Kayla, Elise, and Ava have been just about non-stop playing board games, reading books, and playing "hide the marble" around the house.  We've taken some lovely evening walks, gone to the nearby park and playground, and enjoyed s'mores at our fire pit tonight.  My mom helped out with cleaning and went shopping and picked up some helpful and useful household items for us.  The oldest 3 gals have gone to daily Mass with them each day and earlier today we all went to the library together to pick out new books.  My parents love reading as much as our kids do, so it was a pretty exciting excursion for everyone.  

5. Dinner guests

We invited the neighbor (who is recovering from a stroke) and her friend (who is visiting from New York) over for dinner yesterday.  It was so much fun and everyone had a really nice time.  My mom and our neighbor became fast friends and talked late into the night after we'd all gone to bed.  Kindred spirits, as Anne Shirley would put it.  

6. Ava's Early Birthday Celebration

Since my parents were here, and Ava rarely gets to celebrate her birthday with either set of grandparents, we decided to celebrate a little early.  Her 4th birthday is next Saturday, but we celebrated last night with my parents and Clare (our neighbor) and her friend (Carolyn).  Clare brought strawberry shortcake and we sang Happy Birthday, and Ava was in 7th heaven.  She told everyone excitedly the rest of the night that "I'm the BIRTHDAY girl!"

7. Four Weeks

Kolbe is 4 weeks old today, and we are loving his silly/cute faces, his amazing sleeping and napping abilities, and his hearty appetite.  He's a keeper.  ;)  

Link up with your 7 quicktakes over at This Ain't the Lyceum

Thursday, September 22, 2016

More Rocky Mountain NP beauty

Happy first day of Fall 2016!  
More pictures from our Rocky Mountain NP excursion--these are from Chris' phone. 

I just saw someone post a picture on Instagram with the words, "Fall is my love language".  Yes, yes, yes!  That is totally me.  Give me all the fall!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Rocky Mountain National Park 2016

We have a National Parks pass for the year which expires at the end of September.  We had hoped to get one more national park in this year (Rocky Mountain) so it was perfect that Kolbe was born a tad early so that I could be recovered enough to do a bit of short hiking and justify the trip up.  

The fall foliage was out in it's glory.  Fall is my favorite and in a place like Colorado there are bold, blazing fall colors to enhance the already breathtaking scenery.  It was just lovely.  


(the pictures above were all taken by Chris)

See?  I wasn't kidding about the amazing scenery and the stunning fall colors. 

Though the scenery was spectacular, the day was not all smiles and contentment.  In fact, there were parts of our Rocky Mountain day that were downright crappy.  To begin, we got up there and had to take a shuttle bus to the trailhead and Ava forgot her water cup in the car.  Not an actual problem because we had plenty of water to share, but it was THE END OF THE WORLD to her.  She cried for at least half of our hike because her water cup had been left behind in the car.  Additionally it was a windy day and Elise, who has some random and intense fears, was losing her marbles about that.  So for the first half of our 3/4 mile hike was a mess.  I felt like a horrible parent as we trudged along with crying children all the while trying to reason with each of them that it was NOT in fact the end of the world.  For either of them.  Eventually they came around and the rest of the hike was nice.  

 One of our happy hikers

The sad sacks.....                                                         Eventually they got happy too!

Told ya it was windy.  Look at that hair do!!

And then we had a nice time for a bit while we drove through some other sections of the park and enjoyed the beauty around us.  But as we were leaving the park, we started to have more meltdowns.  We had hoped that the girls would all take rests on the way home (during what would normally be nap time), but our two cranky girls from the early part of the day hit some kind of second wind and just laughed and giggled.  Doesn't sound bad....but then they were so riled up that when the true tiredness set in they started screaming at each other and hitting each other and yelling that the other was being too loud......and on and on.  And then they'd start giggling together again for a few minutes and then the hitting and yelling would return.  It was a roughly hour and a half long saga going back and forth and ALL of it drove the rest of the car completely bonkers.  By the time we arrived home, we were all totally frazzled and on the brink of meltdowns ourselves.  Elise and Ava went to bed about 2 1/2 hours early and the rest of the clan retired earlier than usual too because it has been a long day.  Sadly we ended on a "blah" note because overall the day was a very good one with lovely sights and some fun memories made together, the meltdowns at the beginning and especially at the end tainted the day a bit.  

But I won't leave you with the blah...
I've got a few more beautiful pictures for you and an encouraging verse.  

Romans 5:3-5 

"..we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."