Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas tree hunting & decorating

The annual Christmas tree hunt is one of my very favorite traditions.  We headed up to the cabin again this year for our tree.  We made sure to get a family photo before we started hiking.

This year's hunt was actually pretty intense because there was so much snow.  The kiddos couldn't walk at all since the snow was so deep, so we were huffing and puffing and pulling them on sleds!

With all the work I was doing, I didn't take any more pictures.  Picture this: we searched, we found, we cut, we hauled. :-)

Decorating was quite fun this year, since the kids were really into it.

Here she is:

Sunday, November 29, 2015



watching it fall,

running through it,

laying in it,

watching the crazy dude lay in it,

We like it!

cozy at-home day

We had a really sweet week - bundled up outside to play in the snow, and then cozied up inside enjoying some relaxation.

Collin has a better idea of what getting cozy looks like, while Lauren's too busy to sit for longer than a minute..

Saturday, November 28, 2015

out & in

Collin's already outside working in the snow, 

and Lauren's still inside getting bundled, because "mah do!"  (She can do it herself!)


Step #1 of Christmas season:  put up lights!

Outing #1:  watch a light parade!

(waiting in the Jeep for the parade to start - it was cooooold out!)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Lauren Kate :: 27 months

This beautiful ray of sunshine is 27 months!

Lady love is right on the line where she bounces back and forth between baby and big girl.  She likes to cuddle and still loves her blankie, but she's also so independent and smart.  When I ask if she's a baby, she quickly says, "No!  Big!" because she's a big girl.

Big girl is almost completely potty-trained!  We're still ironing out a few details, but it's been a smooth process and we're very impressed by how well she's doing.

Lauren continues to be a rockstar sleeper, always sleeping through the night and taking good naps every day.  She's been falling asleep a little later at night, but she's content to play in her crib until she's ready to sleep.  She calls her crib "night night" and says "night night no" every single night to let us know she doesn't want to go to bed!

Communication has come a really long way this month and the new words Lauren has picked up are too numerous to count, but I especially like when she says "nuff" and gestures to show she has enough.  She's putting 3-word phrases together, like "more milk please."  Her syntax is funny, with "yes" and "no" at the end to explain what she means.  When looking around the dinner table to see who had milk, she said "Bubba milk?  Yeah!  Daddy milk?  Yeah!  Ya-ya milk?  Yeah!  Mommy milk?  No."  She says her name is "Ya-ya," her pronunciation of "La-la," which we suggested as an easier way for her to start learning to say her own name.  Lauren is a pretty tricky name to say!  My favorite of her phrases is "yuh you" for "love you," and my very favorite thing she said this month was when closing Collin's door at naptime - "Yuh you Bubba!"

Lauren is an excellent listener and understands everything she hears.  She's always paying attention to the details of conversations around her.  She answers questions well, generally with "yep" or "nope."  She likes to tell stories, like "Bubba. Down. Owie. Knee."

Books, babies, singing, and coloring take up most of Lauren's free time.  "Book?  Reeee please!" is a very common phrase because she loves to be read to.  She loves to snuggle her babies, buckle them in the stroller for walks, and change their poopy diapers (you wouldn't believe how often Lauren's babies poop!).  Lauren's coloring style is very tidy and accurate - always small squiggles.  Lauren knows the tune of the ABCs, Amazing Grace, and Ten in the Bed.  Ten in the Bed is the song she knows the most words to, and it's sweet to listen to her sing it:  "Roh over, roh over.  Hmm-hm-hmm-hm-hmm OUT!"  She really loves doing action songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider ("Bitty?  Please?"), Skinnamarink, and 5 Little Monkeys.

Sweet girl is super silly and loves to laugh.  She likes to make people happy - like pretending to tip over because it's so funny someone laughed.  She has a really precious giggle and her silliness is such a fun addition to our family.  She's super brave, jumping and climbing and diving in ways that are beyond her skill level.  Her trust in our protection is extreme, so we definitely have to be watching out for her!

It's been such a fun month with our passionate and tender-hearted girl!  We love you, Lauren Kate!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Baby girl loves to "wee!"  Anytime she sees a swingset, she wants on it ASAP.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

easy to excite

When we hear the trash truck coming up our street, the kids love to run outside to watch the action.

Life is really all about the simple pleasures.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Lauren reads to her baby

Reading to babies is a lot of work!

bean bag toss

We found the bean bags and Lauren had a blast.  We love to see her reaction as we recreate activities that were so fun with 2-year-old Collin.

silly bedtime

It started as a fake laugh, then turned real.  Lauren's saying "my toot" to tell us she did it.

Kids giggling?  It's a precious way to end the day!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Collin the worship leader

He's getting good at playing and singing at the same time!  Can't wait to get this little mister into some music lessons!!

better together

The last time I downloaded pictures off my phone, almost all of them were of Collin and Lauren together.  This week has been so precious in the development of their relationship - they're learning to communicate, share, and balance each other.  It's sweet!

(He's her baby, laying on his bed.  She climbs up to rub his back and tell him, "Shh, shh.  I know, baby.")

Collin has this new thing where he starts laughing so that Lauren will smile or laugh for the picture...

Sweet life.


What's that white stuff falling out of the sky?!