In the Blink of an Eye…

firstlastJake firstlastTyIt is hard to believe it is already nearly JULY. And hard to see how quickly the days/months/years go by once the boys start school. Years are no longer measured solely by birthdays, but first and last days of school. In the blink of an eye…


Happy Halloween


First Day: Take Two

Jake’s first day of three-day preschool…those cheeks:

Sweet boy. Outfit only lasted about thirty second after the photo but I enjoyed the jean cuteness while it lasted. Neither of my boys are big fans of jeans…

And what happens when you ask him to say “cheese”…


End of the Year Teacher Gifts

It is hard to believe that this is Tyson’s LAST YEAR OF PRESCHOOL. As of tomorrow, I will officially have a kindergartener in the house. Sigh. We are extremely grateful to have found the school we did. The staff, the grounds, and the teachers have all provided Tyson with an introduction to school that is truly priceless. I wanted to do something special for all of the teachers as a small token of our gratitude. I ordered some hand stamped necklaces for the main teachers but they haven’t yet arrived. After a sleepless night and major anxiety, I found some really nice potted plant starter kits and cute little plant a tree gift boxes:

I found the free “Thank You for Helping Me Grow” printable here. I wrapped the “Plant a Tree” boxes in a corrugated take out box, hot glued a ribbon, and voila:

For the potted plants, I found a simple kraft box. Folded in the sides and tops, hot glued a ribbon around the edges, attached the printable, and done:

Tyson hand picked the paper airplane making book for his favorite teacher and wrote a handwritten note. We also gifted the school (and garden) an apple tree planting kit:

Running Magic

Sometimes you need a little EXTRA motivation to get those miles in. Sometimes new music works. Maybe a new piece of gear. At my favorite running spot, there is a magical view that motivates me every single time. As you round the corner of the last hill, hill FIVE, I have counted many, many times…

Getting closer…

You are gifted with this magical view. Even more magical on a 70+ degree day in FEBRUARY:

And the best part is sharing this with my littlest little man. Every Wednesday after we drop big brother off at school, I ask him what he’d like to do. The last two Wednesdays he wanted to walk and “expore”, so walk and explore we did:


Big Boy CAR Room Art

I made shadow boxes for the nursery before Tyson was born, they were easily transferable to Jake’s room when he was born. Now that there are two official big boys in the house, it was time to take down the sport’s themed nursery decor and put together two real big boy rooms. Step one: re-do the shadow boxes. Box one was super fun, Jake picked out some of his favorite cars. Now to decided what to do with box two…


Batman and Optimus Prime

Dinosaur Birthday for Two

The boys’ birthdays are two weeks apart. Two weeks after Christmas. Last year, we threw a joint birthday party for both boys and it seemed to be the perfect solution. We timed it the weekend following Jake’s actual birthday…which happened to be Superbowl Sunday. Oops. So, this year, I planned the party after Jake’s birthday and Superbowl Sunday. Putting the party almost a full month after Ty’s actual birthday. Not sure I’ll be doing this again. Not sure I’ll be able to get away with a joint party again either as Ty had a most definite opinion regarding his guest list this year. Both boys are on a major dinosaur loving kick. My mom offered to make the cake and/or cupcakes. And the cupcake toppers. She absolutely, one hundred and fifty percent outdid herself. LOVED the way everything came out and so did the boys. The toppers:
Tyson loved the googly eyes. And promptly recalled the names of each dinosaur:
The entire spread:

Dinosaur themed cupcakes complete with a volcano:

And lava:

Party table:

Birthday collages:

Tyson’s favorite part of the party place:

Jake had his air hockey:

Tyson tried to figure out the skeeball:

Rare “mommy and kiddo” photo moment:

Cupcake time. Ty tried to block out his brother, hence Jake’s face:

Blowing out the candle like a pro:

Blowing out the candle…with mouth closed. We’ll work on this:

Fun family photo. It only took about fifty attempts:

It was a really fun and special day. Loved seeing my boys surrounded by such love and support. We have the most awesome family and friends.

Photo Find Book: Homemade Goodness

One of my favorite blogs, No Time for Flashcards, recently featured a kid activity based on a series of books both of my boys LOVE: I Spy Books. They used many of the same basics I did but laminated the pages, punched holes, and binded them. I don’t have a laminating machine. But I do have a credit card and Shutterfly account. I used the pictures to make Jake a photobook. You can use sticker letters, foam letters, or write: Can You Find? on a piece of construction paper. This piece will be used with each layout and is the basis of the entire book. I also added a Thomas train in each page for Jake to find throughout the book. Cover page:
First page:
I shot this page first and then removed three to four items each time to be photographed on the “Can You Find” piece of paper:
I love that the book uses Jake’s favorite toys. He woke up from his nap early and caught sight of the pages being made. He was excitedly yelling out what each toy was. Can’t wait to see his reaction at the book…
Sneaking in a nod to my very special soon-to-be 2 year old. Heart him.
Both boys are on a serious dinosaur kick:
I have a lot of photo savvy friends and know that they could do so much more justice to this project. Like, get the white balance right. You could really do SO much with this project. So many possibilities. So fun.
Lots of train love in our house:
Working on one for Ty. Trying to make his more challenging which requires more little trinkets and more planning in the props.


No need to tell me. I know. Our boys are very spoiled. I did some shopping. The husband did some shopping. Tyson had a very Thomas Christmas:
Jake had a puzzle, Little People Christmas:
The aftermath… toy manufacturers take security precautions to the next level. Those dang wire twisty things are no joke. My fingers were numb and my nerves frayed after unwrapping/untangling all the toys:
Tyson LOVED his Thomas set. He had been wanting (read: asking a million times for the last month for Thumper, Rocky and the boulder):

Jake’s Christmas Morning favorite was a super cool hide and seek puzzle. You lift the doors of the puzzle and there are animal magnets under each one. He loved having me move them around and then asking him to find each one:

Tyson has always loved puzzles. This Thomas set was no exception:

Then we had to wrangle the kids out the door to make the drive to Nana’s and Papa’s House. Jake was excited to pack his new pak-pak. He picked his Buzz Lightyear (which had no off switch. The was made extra special with his musings: “The universe needs our help. Let’s go. Zooooooooom.”):

The whole.entire.rain.and.traffic.filled.THREE.HOUR drive:

Despite the long drive, we all had an amazing time visiting with family. The boys were entirely too spoiled. It was a two day Christmas extravaganza. Lots of love, family, and laughter. The boys are at the perfect age to make the holiday truly magical. Their excitement, their smiles, their laughter…priceless. Pure magic.