Graduation + Beach Weekend

A couple weekends ago we went down to Richmond for Bethany's graduation.  We left Thursday morning and picked up Katie and Joe on the way down so Bryan and Neal could ride together after work.  We had a party car for sure.  Katie was a champ taking care of all the kids while I drove.  That night was graduation, hooray for another GHS grad in the family!  

On the way home a huge storm suddenly arrived.  It was super windy and raining so hard; we saw a tree fall down and nearly hit the car in front of us.  It blocked our way so we had to detour through another neighborhood to get home.  I called the babysitter who was home with my girls and she said the power was out, but the girls were peacefully asleep.  Once we made it home we spent the rest of the night talking and eating treats by candlelight.  Luckily my parents are amazingly prepared and we hardly missed a beat.  Their power didn't come back on until Sunday night but we all left for Virginia Beach on Friday afternoon.

^ the hotel front desk had a basket of lollipops and Mattie never passed by without grabbing one.  

^ Our first day was a bit chilly, Mattie was happy to snuggle with Grandma Rice

^ Jilly and Papa braving the ocean

^ At the beach I always make sure the girls get naps so they can stay up later than usual.  One night we went swimming after dinner and didn't leave the pool til 10pm!  

^ Joey was too cute in his sunglasses.  He's the first baby I've ever seen who never tried to pull his sunnies off.

^ The beach builders- they made an awesome Elsa's Palace then a little kid came and stomped on it!  So superdad Bryan consoled the girls by making Rapunzel's Tower complete with seaweed hair.  I can't believe I didn't take pictures of either finished creation.

^ It's so fun to go to the beach with Grandma and Grandpa Rice.  Some of my best childhood memories are at the beach with all the Rice family and I'm so glad my girls will have these memories too.

^ Both girls zonked out with a bag of chips in their hands just seconds after we started the drive home.  Sign of  a great weekend.


five on friday

1. For the most part Summer so far has been very, very good to us.  There are moments when I panic that we have a looooong, hot summer ahead with a lot of unscheduled together time.  But, I'm perfecting the art of wearing the girls out with fun in the morning so they either crash for a little afternoon rest or are totally ready for bedtime at 7pm.  I'm also passing along my love of lists.  In addition to our List of things to do this Summer, I printed off Janssen's list of 100 Picture Books to Read and we're making our way through.  Our library basket is overflowing, we've been loving our backyard, and we've had some fun days with friends this week.  

2. I took the girls to lunch one day and while we were eating our sandwiches a thug-ish looking man wearing a big gold chain necklace walked by.  Mattie said (very loudly) "Hey, boys don't wear necklaces!"  I told her that sometimes they do but even louder she replied, "No, boys should NOT wear necklaces."  I didn't dare turn around to see the man's reaction.  

3.  The girls convinced me to play sleepover with them- we had story time, singing time, and then snuggled into beds they had made.  I don't think they had expected me to really fall asleep though.

4.  Katie and Baby Joe came up to go to the aquarium with us.  We loved showing them all our favorite animals and even got to see the sharks being fed- scary!!

5.  You thought I was kidding about going to tcby every Wednesday for the rest of the summer?  We also made it out to Prigel Creamery this week for our first visit of the year.  


Welcome Summer!

I am so, so excited for this summer.  Lots of people have told me what a shame it is that I'll be pregnant all summer, but it really doesn't bother me (at least for now...) and I'd much rather be pregnant than have a newborn in the summer.  Our girls are at great ages for some little adventures and after moving two summers in a row we are so happy to be staying put.  We made a list of some of the things we want to do and are excited to chip away at it.

We went strawberry picking one morning.  I had never been and had low expectations but it was so fun and the strawberries were the most delicious I'd ever tasted.  We got three baskets then promptly ate one in the car on the way home, gave one away to a friend, and saved one more for dinner that night.  Mattie had told me all morning that she did NOT like strawberries.  I convinced her to just lick one and after that tiny taste she was hooked.  I wanted to make freezer jam so we went back a few days later to get four more baskets.  Nothing is prettier than fresh red strawberries.

Jillian's last day of Preschool
 I pulled up to the school and saw the Class of 2016 sign and lost it.  This preschool was a million times better than I ever imagined.  It was so fun to see Jilly learn and make friends and love school so much.  We adore Miss Tracy and Miss Leah and can't wait to go back when Mattie is four.  They had a little ceremony where the kids recited the pledge for us- "with liverty and justice for all" and sang some songs.   I am seriously not ready for Kindergarten but Jilly is totally ready so I guess it's coming!

The same day as Jilly's preschool graduation Jenn and Leslie and their boyfriends came to visit.  We all went to a Nationals game which was super fun thanks to great company and refillable soda cups.  Mattie had been telling anyone that would listen all day "we're going to a baseball game!"  I realized that we hadn't been to any baseball games the previous summer so she probably had no clue what it really was.  I asked her what she was excited for and she said "eating popcorn!"  Gigi bought her an enormous tub of popcorn and she was happy as can be. 

We spent the rest of the weekend down in Richmond.  We all fought over time with baby Joe, had a picnic at Maymont and actually made it through all the gardens, went to the pool, played some intense games of backyard baseball and ping pong around the world, and went to church.  Our family is getting bigger and it makes me sad that we're not all together as often as we'd like.

We came home Sunday night and went to our ward Memorial Day Picnic on Monday.  There was a 100% chance of rain but somehow miraculously the weather cleared and it was a perfect picnic day.  We had a great time with friends and the girls had their faces painted with butterflies.  After our busy weekend with family and the picnic both girls fell asleep in the car around 3pm.  Bryan and I were busy working on the house and suddenly realized it was 6:15 and the girls were still asleep!  We woke them up and it was an unusually late night for our family with dinner, family night, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. 

Other favorite summer activities-

We plan on logging lots of library time this summer.

While we've been working on Mattie's room we moved her into Jilly's room.  It hasn't been the most smooth transition- Jilly is adjusting to Mattie staying up late and Mattie is adjusting to Jilly waking up super early so neither girl has been getting enough sleep.  Hopefully they'll figure it out soon and stop waking each other up!  In the meantime it sure is cute to see them snuggled together (we moved Mattie's mattress in there until we get a new bed but she ends up in bed with Jilly almost every night.)

A friend let us in on the greatest news ever- TCBY does Waffle Cone Wednesday where waffle cones are only $1.  And this is where I plan on spending every Wednesday for the next 3 months.

Not all crafts are created equal, but this one lasted a while and required zero adult help so it was golden.  I really love that my girls are little crafters.

There are so many great parks around us.  We have a park day with our ward friends every Thursday and often end up at the park at least one other day a week.  The girls were cracking me up with their feet through these holes.  Also, one of their new favorite park games is collecting twigs to make a "campfire" that they can all sit around.    

And last, but certainly not least, we found out we're having another girl!!!  Mattie is thrilled and Jilly was a bit disappointed at first, but she's coming around and was pretty excited when I told her we could get out all her old baby clothes for this baby.  Hooray for a healthy baby and more pink and purple!


Seven on Sunday

1. Jillian has caught on to "Opposite Day."  So all my dinners are yucky and Mattie is mean and Daddy is not funny.  Hahahahaha.

2. Last Sunday before church my cardigan was wrinkled (I may or may not have pulled it out of the laundry basket) so I said "I'm just going to throw this baby in the dryer for a bit."  Mattie came to me in tears, "no Mommy, you can't put the baby in the dryer!"

3. On Friday we finally had a day when it didn't rain and it actually felt like summer might be coming.  We went with some friends to Rita's to celebrate.

4.  Mattie had a cough today so we didn't send her to nursery.  She spent second hour of church with Bryan but during third hour he had to teach so she sat in a big chair at the back of the primary room with her arms folded and her little legs crossed just watching me do singing time. Such a little lady.

5. Bryan spent most of Saturday taking down the wallpaper in Mattie's room (hooray!)  But before he took it all down we let the girls draw all over the walls with strict instructions that this was ONLY ever allowed on this flowered wallpaper.  This is just the beginning of their drawings, Jilly made a whole amusement park with a roller coaster, carousel, petting zoo, and garden.

6. I swallowed my pride and got out my maternity clothes.  I've never worn maternity jeans this early, but oh they are so much more comfortable than trying to squeeze into my regular jeans.  Also, I'm at the point where random people feel comfortable asking about my pregnancy.  Halfway this week!

7. Last night my old roommate Judi was in town so we met up with her and her husband for ice cream.  It's been 10 years since we lived together and 6 years since we had even seen each other, so it was really fun to catch up. 


First half of May

It's been a very dreary May with lots and lots of rain but at least we have cute umbrellas to brighten the gloom!

I love peeking in at my sleeping girls, Mattie especially is such a funny sleeper.

One morning Bryan and I were trying to buy a little more time in bed but our early birds were begging for breakfast.  I somehow convinced Jilly to get breakfast for us and she did an excellent job toasting waffles and setting the dining room table.  That girl is a gem.

I love this little painting Jilly did- it's an ocean full of fish

I taught Jilly how to vacuum and you better believe I'm going to capitalize on this time when she thinks it's really fun.

Mattie's cute new dress from Gigi for her birthday.  Thanks to hand-me-downs from Jilly and a few new things, Mattie has 12 church dresses and 21 play dresses in her closet.  And she still has a hard time choosing what to wear every day!

Bryan and the girls really spoiled me on Mother's Day.  They made breakfast and gave me cards, let me have a relaxing afternoon after church, and made dinner.  I asked Bryan to make a chocolate cheesecake for dessert, which was not very nice of me because we didn't get home from our trip to Natural Bridge until Saturday evening.  After 3 different trips to the store and a lot of work in the kitchen the cheesecake looked beautiful.  But when we took a bite, it tasted a little different than the last time we had it and Bryan realized he had forgotten to add the sugar!  Haha, better luck next time.

Mattie asked me to take a picture of her and never would I say no to a cute face like that.

This shows A. how many pink/purple/princessy things we own and B. the girls' new favorite activity- to collect all the cozy things in the house then play family, doctor, or just read books.  Oh, the messes they make!

Jilly's half birthday.  Don't worry, I gave her the other half of the donut too!

Ballet picture day

Jilly's ballet recital was last weekend and it was excellent.  She was so brave and went right out on stage and did a great job.  I hadn't been to a dance recital in years and was surprised at how much I enjoyed being back, and Mattie was mesmerized.  Bryan was a great sport, it was a 3+ hour recital and surely not his favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  And my mom and Bethany were so, so nice to come all the way up just to watch Jilly.  She loved having them there.