Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A hiking we will go...

As most of you know, I'm not a huge fan of exercise. However, I am a huge fan of beautiful sunny days and fun times with my family. We headed out to Multnomah Falls and made the short trek to the top. I actually wished we could have hiked a little more, but with Carter asking "are we there yet?" and "how much longer to the top" about every 2.8 seconds, it was probably a good thing that it was only about 2.5 miles round trip. It felt great to be outside, enjoying our wonderful area on a gorgeous summer day. Kyle and I are both looking forward to a time where we can hike a bit longer without carrying either child. That'll be nice.
Carter was all about posing for the camera today and I got several cute smiles.
"Mom, take my picture in these rocks."

Kennedy rode in style. We attempted taking her out of the pack, but it was SLOW going. A little too slow for my taste, I'm afraid.

Nana and Carter snapping pics of the waterfall

the beautiful gorge behind beautiful kids

At the top and feeling good.

Carter and Nana

happy to be free of the backpack

This about sums up the end of the hike. Tired legs, sore feet and a boy who was happy to be done! Oh the drama.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Until next time...

I often find it difficult to put into words how much I love and appreciate my mom. And sadly, I'm afraid I don't always do the best job in showing her, either. BUT, we are so thankful for the time that my mom so willingly spends with us each summer. Some might shudder at the thought of having their mom/mother-in-law stay with them for 3 or 4 weeks, but Kyle and I are so appreciative of all that she does to help, and we're always sad to see her go. The kids seemed to grow even more attached during her stay this year. Kennedy can now say "nana" as clear as day and each of the kids were able to do special things with her on their own. I cherish this time, am so grateful for the help and love watching the kids enjoy their Nana. How blessed we are to have her!

In the 3 1/2 weeks that she spent with us this summer, we packed in a ton of fun things. Here is some photo documentation of our wonderful time together:

We LOVE Nana! Lots of time spent reading and playing,

fun trips to Oaks Park,

buying elephant ears at the zoo,

plenty of playtime at the park,

tea time at Cafe Sip n' Play,

celebrating birthdays and helping to make them special,

trying to snap photos of moving children,

babysitting so Kyle and I could enjoy a fabulous night out with friends,

tea parties,

second trip to Oaks Park,

lots of time for loving (especially thankful for mom getting up with the kids every morning!),

and hiking at Multnomah Falls on a beautiful morning!

Thank you Nana, we love you to the moon and back!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Our Little Lady is Two!

We celebrated Kennedy's second birthday with a ladybug party on Sunday. It was such a fun theme to work with and I loved putting it all together. I was running a bit behind schedule, but thankfully my mom and mother-in-law willingly helped and I had all the food on the table before all the guests had arrived. Kennedy seemed to enjoy the attention and celebration more this year and everyone (I think) had a good time.

Pictures are a little out of order, but there are so many that it was harder than usual. My apologies.

The favor table.
I set up this "sweets" table in the entry way and loaded up little bags for each of the kids as they left. I know candy isn't always the preferred gift to give a little one, but I figured parents could snack a little too.

Little Lady appetizers - I skipped the chive antennae, but I figured ladybugs don't even have antennae and I was running late!

chocolate lollipop topiary

Darling sugar cookies that I found on Etsy. They looked a little better than they tasted, but it was all about the theme and I figured I could certainly not do any better myself!

What a cake!

Yummy mini-Italian club sandwiches. Thank you Ali and Giada! They were a snap to make and tasted so good. Here's the recipe if you're interested: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/mini-italian-club-sandwiches-recipe/index.html

Kennedy and her Papa

Sometimes I can't get enough of that face.

She's definitely a daddy's girl. Looks a bit like him, too, don't you think?

Cake time

Trying desperately to get some good pictures with family - we were so thankful Nana was still here for Kennedy's party.


Her favorite toy of the day - a Little People Fairy Tree house

Enjoying their ladybug lollipops post party. I shutter to think about how much sugar they consumed this week, yikes!

Enjoying her new camping chair from Aunt Peg.

Now that's fashion. After a fun party and a good nap, Kennedy was ready to play! The weather was beautiful and sunny and we couldn't have asked for a better day. We love you, Kennedy, all the sweet and sass and spunk.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


My baby is 2! Although the day wasn't too extraordinary, we managed to have fun and celebrate Kennedy's 2nd birthday in a special way.
Dinner at Red Robin...

With the obligatory singing and free ice cream. She was in heaven, as she loves to eat, especially things that are sweet!

A table full of presents and two little ones who could hardly stand the suspense.

She definitely got into opening her gifts this year. Carter was a big help, though and would do most of the unwrapping and then ask, "do you want to open it Kennedy?" Good teamwork.

Oh this face, love it, double chin and all :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Part 2 - Auntie Val got married!

Auntie Val became Mrs. Valerie Claeys on July 3rd when she married Mark in a beautiful ceremony at St. Patrick's. The reception was a fantastic celebration at the Portland Art Museum. Everything about the day was beautiful and our prayer for Mark and Val is that they have years and years of happiness together.

Our little family

Family pictures before the ceremony, outside the church. The weather couldn't have been better, not too hot, not too cold, perfect for a July wedding!

Kyle and his sisters

Our little fashionista...Carter loved getting dressed up and felt so important in his suit and bow tie. He did a fantastic job walking down the aisle, too.

Kennedy was on a smile strike...the photographer tried so hard to squeeze out some happiness. Hope he got one at least.

My parents were in town to help celebrate and to help with the kids.

Bennett - 21 months
Kennedy - 23 months
Carter - 4 years
How cute is my mom? So hip for 60, isn't she? Love her.

Kyle and I got to enjoy a few hours of the reception kid free. We kicked up our heels a bit and took a few twirls on the dance floor. There was a great band, so it was a lot of fun.

Carter and his auntie

My super sweet, very sociable little nephew, Bennett. This kid can dance with the best of them and was certainly not ready to leave the party...

Kyle and the kids hitting the dance floor