Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Spring Snow

Spring snow storms are my favorite!
They dump a ton of snow, but then the sun quickly comes out and melts it away.

On this day, we played outside in the snow for hours...with no coats.

{throwing snowballs}

{building snowcastles}

{collecting water}

Post Library

It's so quiet!
It's a beautiful thing.


Alice had an awesome year in Sparks!

Awards ceremony:

{Checking out her end-of-the-year loot from Ms. Keri, the best leader ever!}

Phelan Gardens

I love when I text a friend,
"We're going to Phelan Gardens right now. Want to join us?"
and she says yes!

It's one of our favorite places and it's extra fun with friends. :)

Family Day!

This morning, we celebrated Ben's mom's birthday with brunch at The Flying Horse.

I found these little dresses at Goodwill last week.
I wish I recorded the moment she opened her little dress 
and saw it matched the one Alice was wearing. 
She wanted to wear it right way. :)

I'm so thankful for the family I received when I married Ben!
We're looking forward to the next time we're ALL together.
We miss the Spears!


Our little yellow house will have a new owner next week.
It is bittersweet.

In this house:
Ben proposed to me.
We learned how to be married.
We adopted Jack.
We told our small group we were pregnant.
Alice spent her first year.
...and so much more.

Even pre-me, it was Ben and his buddies.
If those walls could talk!

But now, it's time for a new owner.

So long, 322!
You were so good to us!

Saying Goodbye

I hate goodbyes.
They are the absolute worst.

So, so, so many wonderful memories with Carey and her family.
They will be missed terribly!

Let's do this, Summer!

We are READY!!!

Music Camp!

We were blessed to get to attend my friend, Kelly's, music camp last week!

It was SO fun to see her in her element,
teaching and engaging a large group of mixed-aged children like it was no big deal.

My girls had a BLAST!!!
They learned so much and were very sad when it ended.

Thank you, Mandy, for the water raffle!
Thank you, Kelly, for the super fun week!
Thank you, Cathy, for inviting us to join you!


Sometimes these readers are so ridiculous.

Do not be fooled, Kim.
Mom doesn't have a vitamin.
She needs actual nutrition just like you and Dad.
Mom also needs about 4 cups of coffee.



I love meeting my friend, Marcia, and her kids at Ikea.
It's a good {almost} 1/2 way meeting spot for us.
I hope my kids always love this errand. :)

Ballet poses on the cart escalator, naturally. 

While the big kids got to play in Small Land, the littles had to stay with us.
These two were so cute hanging out in the cart together. 

Shopping, lunch, and catching up with friends.

Dear Chairs,

There you are,
covered in high school angst.
Oh, the glue.
Like bad tattoos on the elderly.

I will buy you.
Clean you.
Sand you.
Stain you.
Seal you.
And call you mine.

I've never loved chairs as much as I love you.
Welcome home.

Love, Melissa

Estes Park!

I went on a fun girls trip a few weeks ago!
The original intention was to go to Vintage Market Days in Estes Park.
Then, it became so much more. 
I met new friends, had time to relax, and laughed a whole lot.

Homeschool for Clementine...kind of

One of the {many} things I've been trying to figure out this year
is how to involve Clementine in homeschooling. 
As a former preschool teacher and director, I LOVE preschool...
and yet I'm finding I have to be very intentional about doing preschool activities at home.
(The jury is still out about if we'll be sending her to a part-time preschool program next year, or not.)

It was fun to look back through some pictures and see how much she loves learning.

Alice and I did the vinegar/salt deal to clean coins.
Then, Clementine put them into a bank for some fun fine motor practice.

This one was challenging, but she got SO excited when she got it!
{button work}

Painting with toddlers is not my favorite,
but each time we do it gets easier and easier.

A couple days ago, she completely shocked me!
"Look, Mama! Dis is my family...Mommy...Daddy..."
She went from typical toddler scribbles to drawing people!
They have heads, eyes, noses, mouths, and legs.
It's looking like she'll enjoy art like her big sister does!

The Trumpet of the Swan

One of our favorite things to do lately is to listen to books on CD in the car.
First, it was The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White.

After listening to the story twice, we decided to find real swans.
Thank you, Broadmoor!

I loved hearing Alice talk about what she learned about swans from the book:
"I wonder which one is the cob."
"Let's try to find their nest. It has to be very big, so maybe we'll find it."
"Do you think they have cygnets?"
"Look at their powerful wings! That's one of their defenses."

Time for your checkup, time for your checkup!

We have the sweetest pediatrician!

She examined "Hoppa" before Clementine.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Beach!! (6, 7, and 8)

On Thursday, we rented bikes and road to Seaside.
First stop: coffee and lemonade!

Then, lunch!

And $4 popsicles:

Then, we rode back to the house.
17+ miles total!
Our hineys were sore.

Back to the beach!

A storm rolled in Friday morning, so we spent the morning being lazy at the house.
As soon as it passed, we were back out.

My sister, Aunt Kiki to the girls, is the BEST!!
She, unlike me, likes to be in the water and was so sweet to go in with Alice.
Alice absolutely loved it and still mentions this day as a trip highlight. 

Last day.
We went out to say goodbye to the ocean before another long day of travel.

We loved every minute of this trip!
I'm so incredibly thankful we had the opportunity to go!
We hope to go back again soon!