He's ONE

A lot of changes in one year:
 He would not stay still or look at me at all
When my kids turn one, it is more of a celebration for me! I am so happy to be done with that first year. It is so hard for me--and especially for Jared. Lack of sleep + loud screaming baby=depression, exhaustion, constant guilt and a lot of crankiness. So YAY!! We have three kids that have made it past one.

Cole has just figured out walking and he is ready to RUN. He almost has his first two teeth popping through--yes that is correct--first teeth. He loves every kind of food I give him and he doesn't even have teeth to chew it. He is obsessed with balls--and squeals with delight when he sees round produce at the grocery store that could be used as a ball. He can spot them a mile away! He also really loves to shred up and eat tissue, toilet paper, paper, etc. especially ones in the trash can that have probably been used. Ugh. He love, love, loves his big brother and big sister. He giggles and squeals whenever he hears their voices.

Poor third child--we may have celebrated his first birthday with Elise's rainbow party. At least I didn't put pink frosting on his cupcake. He wasn't quite sure what to do with the singing and as you can see went for the lit candle toward the end.
Cole was not enthusiastic about the chocolate cupcake. This kid will eat anything, so I am a little surprised. Must have been the pressure.

Right after I took this picture, he started chucking chocolate cupcake all over the floor for the dogs.

Wow I love this boy. I am so lucky to be his mother and so thankful to have him in our little family. Happy Birthday sweet baby Cole train.


Three Little Munchkins


1. Wake up to a room filled with streamers, balloons and the traditional birthday banner
2. Race to the kitchen table to find birthday presents and more decorations
3. Fend off Greyden who struggles all day with the lack of attention
4. Spend the day dancing in new ballet shoes, playing and going swimming
5. Have grandparents over for pizza, more presents, singing and the requested rainbow cake
6. Practice on your new scooter from grandma laura & grandpa dave
7. Wake up the next day for ANOTHER celebration--
a backyard splash party with friends
I love birthdays!!!

Birthday Princess Elise

My little Elise is three. Elise requested her birthday tiara for days before and after her actual birthday.
Yesterday she kept asking if she was turning three and I told her that now she is already three. Her face lit up, she jumped up and down and exclaimed, "I am?!! That is so exciting!!" I adore this sweet girl's love for life. When she is not getting her feelings hurt by her big brother, she is the happiest girl with a smile that will light up the room and your heart. She has a personality and then some--as evidenced in the photos. She is not afraid to tell me no--and I absolutely cannot figure out how to get her to listen. I have caught her cutting her own hair & doll's hair, coloring on walls, floors, her stomach, toys and I often find her sneaking gum or snacks when she thinks I am not looking.
I am heartbroken to be sending Grey off to kindergarten, but looking forward to my Elise time. I love doing her hair, painting fingernails together and talking about princesses and babies.

This is her first year for the birthday interview:

What is your favorite food?
cake and pizza

What is your favorite vegetable?

What is your favorite fruit?
pineapple and apples

What is your favorite thing to do?
I like playing, going to Sweet Tomatoes and going swimming

What are your favorite things to play with?

What is your favorite color?

Who are your best friends?
Addie, Ella and Sabrina

What do you like to wear?
clothes, jewelry and my princess crown

What is your favorite sport?
tennis (not convinced she knows what it is)

What do you want to be when you grow up?
a princess

What are you really good at doing?
playing and taking care of babies

What is something that is hard for you to do?
swimming-but I went on my tummy down the big red slide last year

What makes you sad?
going on the condo water slide on my tummy or when Grey hits me

What makes you happy?
going on bikes

What makes you mad?
rainbow birthday parties (the one she is having tomorrow.hmmm.)

What is your favorite TV show?
God's Little Princess

What is your favorite book?
princess books

What is your favorite game?

What is your favorite animal?

What is your favorite song?
Popular (from Wicked)

What is your favorite thing about mommy?
that you clean and read books to me

What is your favorite thing about daddy?
I like when he throws me and tickles me

What do you want for your birthday?
pizza and eggs

What is the best part about being 3?
ME! and going to primary



Vegetarian Chickpea Stew

I am back on the recipe train--hopefully. Finding time to cook, get food on the table to hungry munchkins and take a picture is a little tough these days. The original recipe called for dried chickpeas, but I keep tons of cans in storage so I just used that. Also I used chicken broth that I had on hand--but I realize that makes it technically non-vegetarian. I changed the original recipe a little by adding more vegetables and using less oregano. My version is below.

This recipe was a hit! Everyone loved it and scarfed it down. I am always pleased when I find a filling, healthy vegetarian dish.

Vegetarian Chickpea Stew
(adapted from Family Circle)

1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano
1 15-oz can chickpeas (no salt added & rinse well)
2 small zucchini, sliced and quartered
1/4 head cauliflower, very roughly chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1/2-3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cooked brown rice or cooked quinoa
crumbled feta (optional)
avocado (optional)

Saute onion and dried oregano in a small amount of olive oil. When onions are soft, stir in tomatoes, chickpeas, zucchini, cauliflower, carrots and enough broth to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low-medium for about 20 minutes until vegetables are tender. Stir in salt and pepper just before serving. Serve over brown rice, quinoa or other grain. If desired, top with feta and/or avocado.

*Update: One day I went to make this and the feta was moldy. So I improvised and added some sharp cheddar and a dollop of sour cream. Mmmmmm. Comfort food at its finest!


Happy Birthday America!!

This was such a strange 4th of July for us. We have been looking forward to fireworks all year but with the recent fires, our favorite shows were all canceled. We still made the best out of it.

--A long family bike ride
--The Washington Park celebration with mounted police, a bike parade with cousins and ice cream
--Sweet Tomatoes for lunch
--A picnic and toasting marshmallows at Washington Park with friends
--throwing around some poppers in the street

All decorated and ready to go

Greyden, Ryan, Addie, Colin and Elise

 Grey was SO mad that he had to ride his bike slowly

This girl just melts my heart--she is too cute

 Ice cream & a sleeping Cole

Marshmallows for s'mores

Thank you to all those that have sacrificed and are sacrificing for our freedoms. We are so blessed to be in the USA!!

Quick Getaway

We just got back from a quick getaway to the mountains. It was very welcome after this heat wave we have had in Denver. We had a blast and did a ton of fun things, but I am pretty exhausted--Cole was quite difficult. He woke up between 5-6 am for the day after being up multiple times in the night and was so tired that he screamed and cried most of the days. Or he was terrorizing everything in the place. But we definitely made some fun memories and had some much-needed family quality time. And I didn't do my hair or put on makeup for four days. Those are the best kinds of vacations.

A kid-free bike ride to Frisco!!

Renting paddle boats in Keystone

 Feeding the fish & ducks

Swimming at the rec center & accidentally sending Elise down the slide head-first
She may never forgive us...

Two concerts in Dillon

Skipping stones at the lake

Hiking Mayflower Creek (4 miles --2 uphill-- and the kids did AWESOME!)
It ended at some fun mining ruins the kids liked exploring

And lastly renting a speedboat--the kids took driving very seriously

Celebration Weekend

My grandma & grandpa came to town to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary and my grandmother's 80th birthday. It was wonderful to be with family and to see them. We missed those that could not make it.

Friday evening we met at a delicious Italian restaurant in Castle Pines (kid free!!!). Colton's wife, Richelle sings there and surprised us with some beautiful serenades. She had my grandparents laughing more than I have seen in a long time. Especially when she sang "That don't impress me much" to my grandpa. We presented a book to them full of photos and letters written to them about their marriage. My mother put a lot of long hours into that book. It was beautiful!

Saturday and Sunday we hung out at my aunt's house eating, eating more and talking. I am unbelievably blessed to be a part of this wonderful family. I admire my grandparents so much for this family they have built.

Grandpa going for a walk through the garden with Elise

Feeding the fish in their pond

 Two of my most favorite women - my grandmother and mother

It was hot--so Grey got naked and ran through their yard

 Elise fortunately did not get naked

My grandparents with four of their five kids

Missing Heather.... :(