"I wish you could stay a thousand days"

We were so, so lucky to have a visit from Nana and Papa last week.  The weather was terribly uncooperative with all our outdoor plans but we still managed to have a great time.  When she was saying goodbye Jilly said, "I wish you could stay for a thousand days!" and we all agreed.

We picked them up Tuesday afternoon and gave them a taste of Baltimore rush hour traffic coming home from the airport.  We ate dinner and the girls loved giving them a tour of our new house.

On Wednesday Jilly and Nana went on a special date to the mall then Mattie got to stay home with Nana and Papa while I helped at Jilly's preschool.  That afternoon it stopped raining for a bit so we headed over to Weber's Farm.  Everything was super wet and soggy so the best parts of the farm were closed (the slides and hayride) but on the plus side they let us do all the other activities for free.  And we got a gallon of the most delicious apple cider there ever was.  

^ This was the funniest way to feed the goats.  They would all crowd around the chute and fight each other for a snack. 

^ Mattie LOVED the hay maze.  She ran and ran and giggled like crazy.  

Thursday was all about food.  We met Bryan for lunch at the Pennsylvania Dutch Market and got a taste of pretty much all they had to offer (stuffed pretzels, chicken pot pie, beef sandwiches and, of course, our favorite donuts.)  In the afternoon we baked sugar cookies and Papa taught Jilly a tricky way to fold a shirt.  And for dinner we feasted on Chesapeake blue crabs and crab cakes.  It was a delicious, fun, and very messy meal.

On Friday morning we decorated our Halloween sugar cookies while Bryan worked in the morning.  He came home at lunch then we all went downtown.  It was a miserably cold, windy, and rainy day so we didn't get to walk around the harbor at all but we went to the National Aquarium, which was amazing!  We bought a membership and I'm so glad we'll get to go back again and again this year.  And of course no trip downtown would be complete without Shake Shack (this is actually what Jilly was most excited to do with Nana and Papa.)

^ It took every ounce of bravery she could muster but Jilly touched a jelly! 

On Saturday morning we took the girls to Target to get some wiggles out while Bryan and his dad worked on some projects at home.  We spent the rest of the afternoon eating snacks and watching General Conference and were so lucky that there was a break in the rain between sessions so we could go for a walk around Loch Raven reservoir.  

That night during dinner the girls put on a show with their funniest faces.  Nana and Papa left early early Sunday morning and were missed immediately.  Come back soon!


RVA Weekend

A few months ago my friend Kelsey emailed saying that she and her husband were planning a trip to Richmond and she wanted to get together with us and our other friend Lindsay.  I was so, so, so excited.  Kelsey, Lindsay, and I were best friends in high school and we have not seen nearly enough of each other in the years since then. Kelsey's parents moved to ID while we were in college and Lindsay and I just haven't had a lot of luck with overlapping our visits home.  I figured it had been a full 9 years since the three of us were together.

We drove down to Richmond Friday night and were able to drop our kids off with my parents and get ice cream with Kelsey and Simon.  It was so fun to catch up (and be out sans kids!)  After ice cream I mentioned to Bryan that it was National Cheeseburger Day so we were off to Cook-Out at 11:30pm (a decision I surprisingly didn't regret.)

On Saturday we watched my brother's soccer game then met up with Kelsey and Lindsay and their families for lunch and a Fun Center.  We had a great time driving go-karts and playing in the arcade.

That night we left the kids home again and went out to dinner and had dessert at Lindsay's parents' house.  It was so, so fun to be back with these great friends.  I was surprised at how easy it was to be together and how much we'd stayed the same even though we're 10 years older.

I came home to this sweet sight- best babysitter ever!

We had to be home for church the next day so we left at 10:30pm and listened to the BYU vs. UCLA game on the way.  We got home a little after 1 and tossed the girls in bed then watched the sad ending of the game.  Sunday was quite a day for us- we both had a few church responsibilities and were running on very little sleep but we made it and ALL took a glorious 2 hour nap that afternoon.  Such a fun weekend.


Six on Saturday

ONE | This week has been extra busy to the tune of "Primary Program Prep" and "Rachel decided to empty out and paint the playroom" but we've still managed to squeeze in some fun.  

TWO |  I've noticed that Jilly is seeming extra tired ever since preschool started (we're in huge trouble for full day kindergarten next year.)  I've been trying to slow down our mornings before preschool so she's not running around all day.  We've had lots of morning playdates, which is a fun distraction for Mattie but not too exhausting for Jilly.

THREE | Sunday evening cookie delivery, dress code: as much pink as possible

FOUR | Bryan wanted to watch all the original Star Wars so we requested them from the library.  They all came together in a case so we have one week til they're all due back.  We're 2 down, 1 to go and I'm kind of reeling that Darth Vader doesn't actually say "Luke, I am your father."  

FIVE | Halloween is here!  It's never been my favorite holiday, but I must admit that I'm liking it a little more every year.  My girls have to see and try on all the costumes at all the stores.  They're still debating costume options and I'm reallyreallyreally hoping I can convince them to choose something from our extensive collection of dress-up.

SIX | Mattie caught a nasty cold this week so we mostly stayed home Tuesday and Wednesday, but it was the first day of Fall and we desperately needed some holiday cheer so we ran out to get some mums.  Mattie told me the whole way "I just so tired mommy" so I kind of felt like the worst mom ever but once we came home and she got a nice long nap Mattie was doing much better and our porch now makes me so happy.


friday five

My five favorite moments from this week 

1. On Saturday I went to back-to-back baby showers so Bryan and the girls got to hang together for the morning.  At Home Depot Bryan and Jilly noticed that Mattie was grabbing her diaper but they couldn't figure out why til whoops! her diaper fell right off and landed in the middle of the aisle while Mattie cried out "my bum bum, my bum bum!"  I think this story is terribly funny, especially when told by Jilly.  I'm always a little jealous of the adventures they have while I'm gone.

2. Mattie is notoriously unfriendly and sometimes quite grouchy to other people.  Her nursery teachers are an adorable older Filipino couple who are the nicest people on this planet.  It's taken her a looooong time to love nursery, but she has finally reached the point where she begs to go to "primary" (as she calls it) as soon as we walk through the doors.  Last Sunday we were walking into church and her teacher was coming from the other direction.  Mattie saw him, then shocked me by running to give him a big hug.  He picked her up and carried her right into church as my heart melted.  Oh, how I love sweet people who take such good care of my girls. 


3. It's a great time to be a BYU fan.  Last Saturday's game started at 10:30pm and I was doubtful that I'd be able to stay up for the whole thing.  I did sleep for most of the second quarter (which conveniently was the worst part of the game) but I woke up by half time and was so thrilled not to miss another exciting Cougar win.  

4.  September in Maryland can't be beat (except maybe by October.)  The weather has been absolutely perfect this week and we've taken full advantage.  Our neighbors gave us a playhouse their kids outgrew so we've spent lots of happy hours in the backyard playing "family" (Jilly's favorite game.)  And one day when we had Elsie and Bennett over all four of them ate lunch in the very crowded playhouse.  

5.  After a cancellation for heat last week and a day off Monday for Rosh Hashanah Jilly finally had her first day at school by herself on Wednesday.  She excitedly ran right in the door without looking back while Mattie bawled her eyes out, not because she missed her sister, but because "I want to go in there!"  After picking Jilly up I asked her how it was and she said, "We had teddy grahams for snack!"  So I'd say preschool is a success.


Little girls, little girls

Night and day I eat, sleep, and breathe them

Jilly: What are we doing tomorrow?
Rachel: Going on a hike
Jilly: So... what am I going to wear tomorrow?
Bryan: Oh brother

The girls were playing house underneath the dining room table and both bonked their heads within a few seconds of each other.
Mattie, through hysterical tears: we both crying, we both crying
Rachel: what else is new?

Nearly 90% of our conversations are about birthdays- birthday party plans and birthday cakes and birthday wish lists.  The other day Jilly realized something
J: Mom, you're going to have to remember what I want for my birthday because I won't be able to remind you, okay?
R: Okay, I got it
Clearly she didn't trust me because now she quizzes me on her wish list.

Their favorite game of late is to yell "Crocadile!!!" and run away from an imaginary predator.  Happily I've convinced them that our couch is a boat that will keep us safe so I can stay on my lazy perch.  Both girls have nightmares about crocodiles, and they've finally gotten to me; I had a crocodile dream of my own the other night.

After nearly 2 months in this house we finally bought Mattie a new dresser (her clothes had been in a box in her room.)  We loaded the dresser in the car then started buckling the girls in their seats when Mattie burst into tears.
Mattie: Where's my dresser?  Where's my dresser?
And that's when I realized she thought dresser meant a new dress.

We finally have a good system in the mornings.  Jilly wakes up who-knows-how-early but she's good about making a little bed for herself in my room or quietly looking at books for a while (one morning I had Design Mom: How to live with Kids on my nightstand and she looked through the whole book before I woke up and was excited to show me her favorite pages.)  Bryan and Mattie take turns waking up first, usually sometime between 6:30 and 7.  Mattie will often call to me from her crib and the other day I woke up to a little voice calling "Rachel, Rachel, I'm awake Rachel!"



After much anticipation, Jilly finally started preschool this week.  There was supposed to be a parents' meeting Tuesday night but all schools were closed early because of the high heat and humidity (some schools don't have A/C.)  So, no parents meeting.  On Wednesday we were supposed to have a modified class that was only an hour and parents were invited, but again, schools were closed early and since Jilly's class is in the afternoon that meant it was canceled again.  I was anticipating this since it was just as hot and humid on Wednesday as Tuesday, but we still had gotten ready and taken pictures just in case she did get to go to preschool.  Jilly was bummed, but took it well.  

So today (Friday) we finally got to go to preschool!  Parents were invited and I loved getting to see Jilly's amazing teachers, classroom, and all the cute kids in her class.  The classroom has quite an impressive collection of dress-up and of course that's all Jilly can talk about.  I'm really excited for this year and all the great things it will bring.  

Mattie played at a friend's house and when we picked her up she ran to me for a hug while Jilly was running to Mattie for a hug so of course they collided and both ended up in confusion and tears.  I was laughing so hard.  We stopped for a celebratory treat from Sonic and everyone ended up happy.  Happy first day of preschool sweet Jilly!

^ Yesterday at JoAnns we found this cute fabric and Jilly convinced me to make a little skirt and bow for her.  I wish my clothes were as cute and easy to make! 


Labor Day Weekend

I love Labor Day weekend because we often don't plan a whole lot and just see what happens and usually some great things happen.  This past Labor Day was no exception.  On Saturday morning Bryan and I took turns going for runs and did some projects around the house then in the afternoon we met up with my family at Katie and Neal's house.  We had dinner and watched the BYU game together.  It was so, so, so exciting; I'm really glad we were all together.  And my favorite part of all was when the BYU player hugged the ref who called the final touchdown.  

Sunday was busy with church, naps, and having a friend over for dinner.  Then on Monday morning we went on a little hike to Kilgore Falls.  And when I say little I mean Mattie walked pretty much the whole thing, albeit at a v e r y s l o w pace.  But we made it, and enjoyed playing in the cold water and eating our snacks.

During Mattie's nap I took Jilly to Old Navy.  I got her some cute new dresses for school (which she later said was the best part of the whole day.)  All clearance items were an additional 30% off so we came home with a few steals. 

On our way back from shopping some friends called to invite us to play on their slip n slide.  We picked up Bryan and Mattie and went to play.  It's always so much more fun when dads are around.

To finish off the night we had a little back to school feast.  I had lots of plans and decorating ideas that didn't all happen, but we did have flowers and use our fancy china and, because we're so original, we reminded the girls to "have courage and be kind."  Bryan gave Jilly a father's blessing and it was off to bed to start our first ever week of (pre)school.