Santa Cruz

This weekend we went to Santa Cruz to visit Bryan's brother Jeff and his girlfriend Laura.  I have never been very impressed with California beaches because every time we've gone it has been so, so cold.  But we finally timed it right and had a beautiful day!

Jillian hadn't been to the beach in 7 months but she is definitely still our beach baby.  She loved playing in the sand and easily fell asleep on a walk in her stroller.  Sadly, I left my camera in the car for part of the day so not too many pictures.

But, I was sure to document this occasion- I got in the Pacific Ocean!  That thing is cold cold cold and I've always called Bryan crazy for getting in.  But, it was such a nice day so I knew I'd be able to warm up after I got out, and Laura had a wetsuit I could borrow.

We paddle surfed which was so much fun.  You basically balance on a huge surfboard and then paddle yourself around.  We didn't get any pictures because Jeff and Laura were busy watching the Jilly monster, but I looked just like this-

After we'd had enough beach we went back to Laura's house and had a barbeque.  Jilly was in heaven

eating lots of chips and salsa- she'd dunk and then lick the salsa off and dunk again

playing with Leo

swimming in her little pool

After eating the boys went on a bike ride and the girls went on a walk then we headed home.  My biggest regret is that I never got a picture of Jilly with Jeff and Laura.  Oh well, guess we'll have to go back soon!


five on friday

1.  Due to a little girl who loves dirt and lots of visitors who required fresh towels and sheets I have done A LOT of laundry this month.  It made me realize that I love folding laundry.  Sometimes I watch tv or listen to a book, and sometimes I just sit in the quiet.  It's so relaxing to me.  Do you have a favorite chore?

2.  Jilly's latest favorite phrase is "Hi Baby."  She says it to everyone and everything.

3.  I have so many friends who have just had babies or are having them soon which means lots of birth stories!  I love a good birth story so thanks for sharing!

4.  Last Saturday we went for a run on a trail that's about a mile away and we saw a 4 foot rattle snake crossing the path in front of us- scared me to death.  Later in the week we ran again on the same trail (Yes, I went back, bravest thing I've done in my life) and we saw a wild turkey run across the path.  Who knew we lived in such a wild place?

5.  We've had a couple days of very summer-ish weather and we say "keep it coming!"



Every time I drop someone off at the airport it's raining.  I believe Sacramento is mourning the departure of yet another family member with me.  This week I was dropping off my sister Jenn who visited after finishing her freshman year at BYU.  This, of course, meant that my poor sister was subject to many, many unsolicited freshman year memories from Bryan and me.  Thanks for being patient with us Jenn!

Out of all our visitors this Spring, Jenn had the best weather, and we enjoyed playing outside a lot.  We also watched movies, shopped, and ate lots of ice cream

relaxing in the hammock after church

Old Sacramento


red velvet cake ice cream

walking around the temple

We also spent lots of time practicing jumping with Jilly.  


Dear Folsom Library,

Thank you for being our most favorite place.

Your automatic doors are so much fun to run through.

You obviously are full of books that we love to read- even lots of board books that are Jilly-proof.

You have an awesome play area with legos, puzzles, and- our favorite- poem activity tables

You have computers!  And they are computers that are old and durable and I don't have to pay for them so I'm a lot more willing to let Jilly explore.

You have self-checkout that pops out a receipt that Jilly can grab herself.

Outside you have fountains and rocks that a little girl can stare at and possibly get a little bit wet in.

You also have benches that a mom can sit on while telling her little girl to put the rocks back and not get too wet.

Just across the parking lot, you have a playground! And a zoo!

And, here's the clincher, you have an attached cafe that sells ice cream.

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Rachel & Jilly


five on friday

This is an all-Jilly edition of the Friday Five.

1.  I gave Jilly her first little ponytail this week and while it looked quite silly, she absolutely loved it.

2. Now that the weather is so delightful, we spend as much time as possible outside.  The problem is that Miss Jilly is 100% nature girl and insists on touching every single rock, stick, flower, etc.  By the end of the day it's hard to tell if there's a girl under all that dirt.

3. Jillian has gotten into my makeup before.  But this time I'm pretty sure Bryan was involved.

4. Jilly is starting to pick up on lots of things.  The other day she spilled some milk.  She immediately ran into the kitchen, grabbed a towel, and wiped it up- all on her own!  It was a moment of great pride for me.

5.  To make her laugh we fake sneeze and say, "ah ah ah choo!"  Jilly started to copy us but for a while all she got out was "ah ah ah."  What a teaser.  But this week she finally mastered the "choo!"



A couple weeks ago I came to the realization that I don't really like cereal.  I've always eaten it because it's easy, but really there are so many better things to have in the morning.  Like muffins.  I decided muffins were the perfect breakfast food because A. they can be made in advance and kept in the fridge/freezer, B. when I need a snack before lunchtime, I can pop another muffin and not feel too guilty, and C. there are so many delicious muffin options.

I've looked around and tried a few recipes, some better than others.  But this recipe has been the greatest success of my muffin trials.  I first found it on pinterest and when I clicked on the link it took me to a blog called "Sugar Free Mom."  I almost ditched the recipe right then because sugar free is obviously not my style.  But they looked completely delicious so I decided to give them a try.  Yum, yum, yum.

Baked Oatmeal Muffins
from Sugar-Free Mom

2 eggs
2 cups applesauce
5 cups oats
1 banana, mashed
2 3/4 cups milk
6 packets of Stevia or 3/4 cup honey (I've always used honey)
1 tbl cinnamon (I add a very heaping tablespoon)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana, and stevia/honey in a bowl.
3. Add oats, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and mix well.
4. Pour in milk and combine.
5. Spread batter (which will be very runny, don't worry) in muffin tin.  (I think it's best to use muffin liners and spray them with cooking spray, these are very sticky.)
6. Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Some extra notes:
- The recipe says you can add toppings like raisins, choc chips, and nuts.  We've never done this, but I'm sure it would be delicious.
- We've had these hot and cold, both are delicious
- The recipe says it makes 18 muffins, but I've always gotten 24.  I've also halved it to only make 12.
- The recipe also calls for 1/4 cup flaxseed meal but that is not an ingredient I have on hand so I've never added it and couldn't tell the difference.
- Beware, these are so delicious that Jilly insists on licking the muffin liner which always ends up disintegrating in her mouth which can't be healthy.


You Did It!

About a month ago Bryan's dad and Jilly were playing with a Jack in the Box.  Every time Jilly would wind the box he said, "You did it!" in a loud and funny voice.  Well, ever since then Jilly says "i did it"(pronounced "i didduh") all the time.  Cracks us up.

But this time Bryan did it.  He finished his P.E. Exam (*well, kind of- when he opened one portion of the test they had misprinted almost every single booklet so everyone has to take that portion sometime soon- super lame.)  After months and months of studying, we are so so glad to have him back.  Bryan came home to celebratory decorations, homemade pizza, and a redbox.



April 16, 2011 - I had forgotten how bald she was!
 April 14, 2012 - same trail
 But this time she was big enough to sit in trees!
 and do some hiking of her own!

Good grief, will someone please tell this child to slow down?!?!


California Adventure

We had a marvelous time with my family.  Here's the loooong recap.
day one-  haircut for Tyler, Folsom Zoo, dying Easter Eggs, Chicago Fire Pizza for dinner

day two- easter egg hunt, breakfast, church,  naps (the easter bunny had to stay up late!), playing outside, dinner, walk; Jilly was sick and miserable so I tried not to be too crazy about pictures. 

day three-  20 mile run with my dad and brother (we didn't actually measure but I'm sure it was something like that...), Del Taco picnic (we have a weird obsession with this place, mostly because we can all eat for $13), playing at a park, outlet shopping for girls/biking for boys, hot tub at night
Sadly, no pictures.

day four-  drive to bay area, Muir Woods, Muir Beach, Stinson Beach, Golden Gate Bridge, dinner at the most delicious restaurant Toast

 there may have been some rule-breaking
 first time touching the Pacific!
 it was very cold and rainy- just the weather you want for the beach
Tyler and Jilly were sick of pictures

day four- Alcatraz, Pier 39, clam chowder, Ghirardelli Square, Oakland Temple, saying goodbye :(


Roommate Reunion

We love having friends visit, especially these ones!  Lots of talking, eating, chasing babies, dancing, and not sleeping!  Our day and a half together in superlatives:

Best Mother- Lisa
Whoever was holding Blake also had to be holding Jilly (her rule.)  Blake loves his momma so Jilly loves Blake's momma

Best Dandelion Blower- Jilly

Most Lovely- Tie, Britney & Lisa

Biggest Stud- Blake

Best Walk

Best Action Shot of Yours Truly
I wasn't about to drop her, promise! She was attempting to get away from yet. another. picture.

Most Compact- Lisa (and Brit, but I didn't get a picture of her turn to sit between the car seats)