Category Archives: Family Time

Hubby, Son, Daughter and Dog

Run or Dye

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I was able to easily convince Kyle to do the Run or Dye 5k this year!  He had injured his calf so it was an easy sell when I told him we’d only be walking so we could take the kids in the wagon.  I was sure teh kids would have a blast, especially Reece because what three year-old wouldn’t want to throw colored powder at everyone and get messy himself.

 

So this morning we loaded the kids in our Radio Flyer wagon and took part in the Run or Dye 5k!

It was so much fun.  Both kids had a great time and so did we.  Kylee missed a nap because of the race so towards the end, she was over it.  Reece got out of the wagon a few times and ran with Kyle or I which was so much fun.  I absolutely love getting active with my little family; we’re definitely making memories I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Here are some pictures from the race (walk).

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Kylee’s 1st Bee-day party.

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Kylee’s party was a success!  This is the first party we’ve thrown that wasn’t mostly family.  Before the party, Kyle and I had run all over town getting food, supplies, and décor and cleaned every square inch of the house but it was all worth it for how great the party was.  Friends of mine from MOPS, the neighbors, and my mom all helped us celebrate Kylee turning 1!

We did a bee themed party.  Our little girl wore a yellow onesie with a black and yellow striped tutu that I made and bee antennae.  After dinner she smashed a bee-hive honey cake then daddy took her upstairs for a bath and outfit change.  The kids played while the birthday girl was getting freshened up then when she returned we opened gifts.  We are so thankful for everyone who was able to join us and can only wish we could celebrate with all of our friends and family from all over the world.

Here are a few pictures from the party.

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Don’t blink, they grow up too fast

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I am the most accurate definition of a Facebook stalker.  Mostly stalking my close friends and family but every once in a while going off the beaten path and check in on an old friend.  I will click through picture after picture until my eyes hurt and it is way past my bedtime.  I love it.  I’m not trying to be a creeper I am just truly enjoying each and every picture.

But as much fun as I have looking at other people’s photos I find myself constantly stalking myself.  I love going back and reliving each picture.  The kids giggling, sleeping, throwing a fit, and being sweet just melt my heart.  Even though I took most of those pictures it still pulls me in as I click through each album.  My favorite thing to do is start at the first picture and progress through to the most recent.  Watching the kids grow up again frame by frame; it’s awesome.

I did it again last night as I looked for a picture to print for Kylee’s birthday party.  She was so little with such a big personality.  I spent well over an hour just looking at the pictures, forgetting what I actually sat down to do.  I next opened up my big hard drive and looked through so many pictures, from Reece’s arrival to a recent trip to the splash pad.  I can’t believe how much they’ve grown and changed but also seeing the little things that are still the same.  Reece still makes the same faces and Kylee leans her head into my face as a way of cuddling.

It is so crazy to me how fast my babies are growing up.  It seems that it was last week that I was doing jumping jacks after a two mile walk to ‘encourage’ Kylee to be born.  Or even worse, it feels like not that long ago I was crying to Kyle before Reece was born, when the doctors agreed to induce me, asking if we were ready to be parents.

So here were are preparing for Kylee’s first birthday and although I can’t truly explain the feeling I can admit that my mind is blown.  She is turning 1!  When did this happen?  I have to catch myself, when someone asks how old she is, not to say six months.  She is my baby girl but for how much longer?!

I don’t know where to take this post from here.  To be honest, my mind is so blown by realization that my babies are no longer babies that I don’t know what else to say.  Kylee is turning 1!  Reece is almost 3!  I know it is very cliché but I wasn’t prepared for how true it is that they grow up in a blink of an eye.  I guess I am going to post this then head back to Facebook to click through pictures and watch my babies grow up.

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Reece-nt anxieties

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Last week when I told Reece we were going to the airport to pick up daddy he didn’t seem to believe me.  Even the night before I said to him, “In the morning we get to go get Daddy!” to which he shrugged it off and said “okay, goodnight mommy.”  It was a bit sad but I figured when he saw Kyle his whole demeanor would change.  Thank goodness it did.

Glued to daddy

Glued to daddy

We brought daddy home and Reece was glued to him like flies on a garbage can.  There was no peeling him away.  Reece wanted to show daddy this and that and wanted to involve him in EVERY move he made the rest of the day.  Luckily Kyle had the following day off of work so Reece got to spend even more time with his hero.

But the first day back to work was hard.  Kyle went to PT and came home just as the kids and I were eating breakfast.  Reece didn’t even know he had left.  Then Kyle showered, put on his uniform and eventually left.  Reece was a little unhappy with daddy walking out the door but I wasn’t prepared for how much he would ask for him throughout the day.  Every few minutes, “Daddy at work?”  which I would answer “yes” then, “Daddy’s not coming home.” And I would have to explain to him that it was a regular work day and in just a few hours daddy would be coming home.  I tried to set up a time for me to bring Reece to Kyle’s office so he could see daddy wasn’t away but his work day was so busy there just wasn’t any time.

I figured this was a little hurdle in an otherwise smooth TDY (Temporary Duty) and transition back to normal and so far it has been.  A few nights after Kyle got back we decided on pizza for dinner so I placed the order then grabbed my keys, shoes, and Kylee to pick it up.  Kyle was cutting the grass as Reece played outside so I figured I would leave them and Kylee and I would go on our own.  Reece saw what I was doing and said he wanted to go so without a thought I loaded him up into his seat, then Kylee.

Suddenly Reece started screaming for daddy!  When I asked him what was wrong he screamed/cried to me that we couldn’t leave daddy home.  Kyle wasn’t going to go (he was still cutting the grass) so I unbuckled Reece and told him I would be back soon.  That was too much for him too.  Kyle and I explained to him what was happening ten different ways but still he wanted both parents and his sister to ALL go together.

After five full minutes of crying and us explaining to him that I would be back if he stayed and that daddy would still be there when he returned if he went Kyle finally gave up and told me to just go.  I hopped in the driver’s seat and took off.  Kyle says he cried the entire time I was away saying “Mommy and Kylee left me!”

He has gotten a little better about one of us leaving but still gets noticeably concerned until we are all together again.  Kyle and I have decided that we can no longer call his TDYs “work” because it freaks Reece out that daddy is going to “work” on regular days; it confuses him.  We have started calling them “missions” in hopes that Reece will be able to prepare himself and know the difference when daddy is on a mission and when he is at work for a normal day.  We keep reassuring him that we will always be together and no matter how long daddy has to go away for he will come back.  This is turning out to be one of the biggest hardships of military life that we have had to face as a family.

Sadly, we are quickly preparing Reece for another mission that Kyle will be going on in the very near future.  We have started talking to him this afternoon about the upcoming trip and all the changes that comes with it.  We are looking for a global map so we can track where Kyle is going/has been, setting up a calendar so we can mark the days, filling a jar of Hershey Kisses for nightly kisses from daddy, and keeping up with his routine to make the transition as smooth as possible.  I can do my best when it comes to reassuring him (and soon Kylee) but there is only so much that I can do, they are going to feel what they are going to feel and all I can do is be there to comfort them.

Honey cupcakes for my Bumble Bee’s birthday!

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Miss Kylee has a handful of nicknames but since she was still in my belly we have called her “Bumble Bee”.  I would joke that she would buzz around my belly so the name stuck.  I have always kept an eye out for “bee” themed items for her and knew that for her first birthday we would throw her a ‘First Bee-Day” party.

I initially figured we wouldn’t be able to throw her an individual party because Kyle is going to be away again for her actual birthday.  We started planning a joint party for her and Reece but after a lot of thought and discussion on the matter we came up with a way to give her her own special day.  We are squeezing the party in to a short timeframe when Kyle is still in town and my mom is here (it is about a 12 hour overlap).

If you are familiar with our family you would know my mom is our resident “Cake Lady”.  She makes some amazing cakes and can decorate them as beautifully as the masters do.  I hoped she could make Kylee’s cupcakes and smash cake but we will literally be picking her up from the airport 90 minutes before the start of the party, not enough time for her special skill.  So it is up to me.

Pinterest saved me.  I found this amazing recipe for Honey cupcakes with a Honey & Cream Cheese frosting.  The original recipe is from The Cake Blog. I just made them as a test run and I can say for certain that these little cakes of amazing will be made time and time again.  I know our little Bumble Bee and her guests will love them!

Honey Cupcakes!

Honey Cupcakes!

For the cake:

1 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In medium bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  3. In small bowl mix together wet ingredients: buttermilk, honey and vanilla, set aside.
  4. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and sugar on medium speed until combined.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  6. Gradually add the dry and wet ingredients, alternating starting and ending with dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  7. Using ice cream scoop fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  9. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
  10. Once cupcakes are completely cool, ice with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting.

For the frosting:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 Tbsp honey
yellow food coloring (optional)
yellow sugar sprinkles

  1. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and cream cheese until combined.
  2. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar and continue to mixing scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Mix in honey.
  4. If desired add a few drops of yellow food coloring to slightly tint the icing.
  5. Place the icing in a piping bag fitted with a round decorating tip and swirl the frosting on top of the cupcake going in a circular motion.
  6. Add some yellow sugar sprinkles and enjoy!

To give credit where credit is due, recipe and image stolen from thecakeblog.com.  Go check that blog out for more cake inspiration!

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, and Beer Pancakes!

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There is nothing better than waking up on a lazy Sunday morning and making pancakes to enjoy with my family.  Usually, I buy Aunt Jemima and add some beer but I recently came across a recipe that inspired me to break free from boxed pancakes and make them from scratch.  I altered the recipe –because I can’t seem to follow directions- by adding beer and topping with chocolate chips.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, and Beer Pancakes

Ingredients 

There were a hit in our house!

There were a hit in our house!

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt (I like kosher)
2 eggs
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
1 ½ cup milk
½ cup beer*
Chocolate chips (optional)
Butter

*the beer you add is totally up to you.  You will get a hint of the flavor (yeast & hoppy-ness) so I suggest not using a fruity beer or a heavy stout.  Plus you can opt-out from using any beer at all, just substitute with more milk.

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In separate bowl combine eggs and peanut butter.  Once combined, mix in the milk.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix just until combined, you want the batter lumpy.
  4. Pour in the beer and gently stir to incorporate, still allowing it to remain lumpy.  (You can add more beer if the batter seems too think but add in small amounts as to not make the batter too liquidy). Allow batter to rest for five minutes
  5. On a hot griddle (just UNDER medium heat) drop a small dollop of butter letting it melt in the pan then pour batter right on top of it. You can do small coin-cakes or large pan cakes, whatever you are feeling.
  6. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the pancake shortly after you pour them so they have time to settle into the batter.
  7. After a few minutes, flip.
  8. Enjoy.

I love Sundays!

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Last night before going to bed Kyle and I discussed what our plan for today would be.  The conversation started with Kyle saying that even though it was the weekend, it would be like any other day of the week because we would still be waking up early with the kids.  I countered that argument with although we would be up early I would make breakfast and we could spend the day in our jammies watching movies; a typical lazy family Sunday.

We were awakened at 6:30 by Reece crawling into our bed asking for cartoons.  I knew we had a special hour-long Mickey saved in our DVR so I put that one on hoping to catch more Zzz’s.  He is the worst at sitting still so although I was in bed for that hour, I was anything but sleeping.  Around 7:30 Reece told me to get up so I did.

I went to the kitchen and started our Sunday morning breakfast; pancakes.  I make some pretty phenomenal pancakes using beer as a not-so-secret ingredient.  I had a Sam Adams Maple Pecan Porter so I used that for a flavor boost and I have to admit my pancakes were extra tasty today. Everyone enjoyed breakfast so I made an extra batch to freeze for the kids’ breakfast over the next week.

After breakfast we sat around on the couch catching up on the morning’s news, still in our jammies.  I couldn’t stay that way for long.  I needed to take Kylee to the store to get her her first pair of shoes and the weekend would be the best time to take her so Kyle could keep Reece.  So by 9 I was dressed and out the door.

My shopping partner in her NEW shoes!

My shopping partner in her NEW shoes!

Kylee and I made a date out of our time away from the boys.  We stopped at Ross and TJMaxx to do a little shopping for ourselves and the house.  We stopped at Payless and I picked out the cutest shoes.  I put them on her cute little feet and scooched away for her to take her first steps in shoes.  I almost cried.  She did cry.  She walked like a scooba diver on land before plopping down on her butt in frustration.  Sold!

On the drive home she kept on reaching for her feet.  She hated the shoes.  As soon as we came into the house I set her down so she could walk to daddy wearing her new shoes.  She wasn’t having it.  She plopped right back down on her butt and cried.   My little girl has grown accustomed to walking bare foot –standard for Hawaii- so making the switch will be a fight, I can already see.

But now I can switch back into the ‘lazy Sunday’ mode.  I am home for the day, don’t need anything from any store.  The kids are napping, Kyle is gaming, Mac is sleeping, and I have my feet up as I type.  I have some cleaning and laundry to do but that will get done sporadically throughout the rest of the day.  My plan is to put on some comfy clothes and read a book as I lay on the couch until the kids wake up and I am forced to move.  This is what Sundays are all about.

 

ps.  You can click that image to make it bigger to see Kylee in her stylish new shoes.