Ain't no party like a Paulsen Party

In our last few years at BYU the Paulsen's lived a few doors down from us.  They were the awesome kind of neighbors that we'd drop in and end up staying for hours because we just really liked them a lot.  Now they live about an hour away so not only do we get to hang out with them again but we also get to watch our kids become friends.  

This past weekend they came to check out some Baltimore sites and spend the night with us.  Unfortunately there were protests in the city on Saturday so we didn't dare go down to the harbor liked we'd planned, but we did go to Fort McHenry (the location of the battle that Francis Scott Key witnessed which led him to write The Star Spangled Banner.)  It was a perfect place to learn some history but also had plenty of room for the kids to run around.  Other highlights of the weekend were burgers at Gino's, a shopping trip for Anna and me while all the kids stayed with the dads, church, a picnic in our backyard, and a Sunday walk at the park.  We were so, so lucky to have a full weekend with the Paulsen's.  

^ Cutest jailbirds I ever did see; during the Civil War Fort McHenry was used as a prison

^ these two were the cutest little frog watchers

As I type this our city has gone crazy.  We've been glued to the tv for 5 hours now and it's not getting better fast.  We're far enough out of the city to be perfectly safe, but it's so, so sad to watch.  Please say a prayer for Baltimore.



one- We've had a nice, slow week and I've really enjoyed a break from the rush rush rush.  I spent an afternoon sitting in the sunshine reading while my girls played in the van (I guess the fact that they're always buckled in makes it seem like the most fun place to play ever.)  Another day our neighbors had a shed delivered and we spent nearly an hour watching them take it off the trailer.  It's an exciting life we live.

two- Mattie is such a Daddy's girl.  She can hardly contain her excitement when he comes home from work, and saves her biggest hugs and kisses for him.  I snuck this picture of them playing together during church- real men have hands covered in Minnie Mouse stickers.

three- A few things I've been loving this week:  This miniseries is fantastic, we're on Episode 5 (of 7) and I'm already sad to be done.  I think I'm the very last person to use this app (I've actually had it on my phone for months but never actually did a workout til last week) but I really like it, and after the first day I was so sore I could barely move so I've got lots of work ahead of me.  This recipe is quick and easy, and everyone in my family gobbles it up.  I have to restrain myself from making it every single night.

four- My sister and Bryan's brother and sister-in-law are graduating from BYU today.  I wouldn't give up my life now for anything, but oh those were such fun and exciting times.  BYU will always be one of my very very favorite places.  Hooray for Jenn and Chad and Kylie, we wish we were in Provo celebrating with you!

five- Jilly's favorite thing these days is to play in the basement without adult supervision.  And you will never ever hear me complain about it because what else are basement playrooms for?  Jilly had a friend over and they played for hours down there.  But when they were done the basement looked like a hurricane + a tornado + a herd of elephants had gone through.  Luckily Jilly's a pretty good cleaner (when she has a little motivation in the form of a show when she's done.)

^ Yes, that is a bar with a fishbowl full of corks (with no contributions from us.)  We think our landlord was quite the partier when he lived here but now the bar is excellent toy storage for us.


here comes the sun

With the advent of nice weather (yay yay YAY!!) we've been spending every possible moment outside.  I had forgotten how good it feels to spend hours in the sunshine, how messy little girls can get, and how nice it is when they crash in bed at 7pm.

^ Mattie loves to push Jilly but she always steps too close to push then gets whacked when the swing comes back

^ Pretending she's a kitty cat while I try not to think of all the germs she's accumulating as she crawls on the playground.


girls' weekend

Bryan went camping last weekend and besides having a sleepover we did some other fun girly things while he was gone.  On Saturday morning I (finally!) took the girls to see Cinderella.  Jillian was dressed to the nines- dress, gloves, slippers, and purse.  I was a little nervous about Mattie lasting through the whole movie but she did great.  When Cinderella arrived at the ball Mattie stood up and clapped.  I really really loved the movie and maybe cried. twice. 

During Mattie's nap Jilly played with our neighbor for a little while then we painted our nails.  It was a gorgeous day so later in the afternoon we picked up a pizza (one of the best parts of B-More is that Papa John's gives 50% off when the Ravens/Orioles/Capitals(hockey) win so we've never paid full price for pizza) and had a picnic at the park.  I think my girls misheard when I said "we're going to the park" and thought I said "we're going to the Kentucky Derby." 

Bryan came home late Saturday night and we all enjoyed a lovely Spring Sunday together.  After church, post-church pictures, naps, and dinner we went to a park that had rows and rows and rows of daffodils.  As far as weekends go, this was one of the best.

^I do the music in Primary now so I came up with this outfit so the kids would actually pay attention to me. I think it worked and Jilly was totally jealous ;)


five fact friday

one- I was getting ready one morning and Mattie suddenly got very upset.  It took me a few minutes to realize she was saying "hair down! hair down!" I had put my hair in a pony tail and she did not approve.

two- Jilly is beginning to live up to her bossy older sister role and always has a specific plan for exactly how she wants Mattie to play with her.  I'm having to remind her over and over again that we have to let Mattie make her own choices.  

(this tree has three times as many blossoms now, it's the happiest thing right outside my kitchen window)

three- Mattie and Jilly were playing so well one afternoon I didn't realize how late it had gotten.  Instead of giving Mattie a late nap and then having her up all night I decided to just skip her nap that day.  Baaad, baaaad idea.  Naps for life.

four- Bryan is camping with the young men from church tonight so I made Jilly's life when I told her she could sleep in bed with me (for my protection, obviously.)  She turned into the darling dearest girl and even came out of bed just to tell me thank you and then went right back in.  Bryan may need to find a new sleeping quarters when he gets back.

five- Mattie has this new little queen wave where she keeps her fingers close together and barely rotates her wrist.  It's the best thing ever.  


friday five

one-  It is increasingly apparent that Mattie is nearing the terrible twos.  She's feisty and very opinionated and sometimes can be a real pill.  But she can also charm the pants off you when she wants to.  She hit Jillian this week and after time out I told her to say sorry.  She then spent the rest of the day saying "Sorry Gee-yen" at random.   Jilly accidentally bumped Mattie and right on cue Mattie said "Sorry Gee-yen."

two- Jillian and Mattie sometimes have a tumultuous relationship but this week was mostly up.  When Jilly came out of her ballet class Mattie was so excited to see her that she ran to Jilly and gave her a huge hug that made them both fall over.  Also, I hope these girls are prepared to wear matching dresses for the rest of their lives because I'm addicted.

three- I love watching Jillian grow up.  Sometimes her lazy mom can't get breakfast going fast enough so Jilly gets the waffles out of the freezer, toasts them, puts them on plates, and gets the syrup and PB out.  Also, since Easter is over Jilly is rearing for the next holiday so I told her about Mother's Day.  She calls it "Girls Day" and told me today "Daddy and I will get you a present, and you and Daddy can get me a present!"  Right-o.


five-  Our Primary President is moving so our whole presidency was released a couple weeks ago.  We wanted to go out one last time together so Shake Shack it was (for those counting, this was my third time in 6 days.)  These girls are the very best part of Baltimore, besides Shake Shack of course. ;)

five- It is finally feeling like Spring around here.  One day we were in the car and Jilly pointed to a tree and said, "What's that?  Is it snowing?"  I assured her it wasn't snowing then looked for the tree she was looking at and realized it wasn't snow, it was white blossoms she was seeing!  We're so happy to have flowers instead of snow on our trees.

Happy Weekend!


An Eggcellent Weekend

Easter Weekend is always exciting, but Easter + General Conference Weekend is extra special.  On Saturday morning we went down to the Inner Harbor where I may or may not have gone to Shake Shack for the second time in three days.  My excuse is that Bryan hadn't been yet, but really I just couldn't stop thinking about those shakes (and I'm about due for another one.)  It was fun to walk around for a while since we'd spend the rest of the day inside.  We dyed Easter eggs while listening to General Conference; Mattie cracked 3 eggs and Jilly dyed all of hers pink so... a success.  We also made cupcakes and chow mein noodle nests.  Jilly, who loves holidays just as much as her mama, had memorized our agenda for the day and kept me on task.  She also told me over and over "this is my best day!"  It was a good day, but I'm quickly learning that holiday hoopla with kids = exhaustion for parents.

On Easter morning the girls got a few little things in their baskets and we had an egg hunt at home.  Mattie is our resident chocaholic and had eaten her weight in candy before Jilly even had one piece.  After breakfast we drove to my sister's house where we had another egg hunt in her back yard.  We watched Conference and between sessions walked on a trail behind their house where we found a fun little tepee and Jillian went on the rope swing (so scary!)  We ate a fabulous Easter dinner; tonight when we had leftovers Jilly told me "This is a delicious dinner, you're a good cooker like Gigi."  Then Bryan had the nerve to tell her that Gigi actually had made this dinner- Traitor.  

Thanks to uplifting Conference messages, nice weather, time with family, and remembering our Savior I started this week in a great mood.


friday five

1. We recently got a Shake Shack in Baltimore so my friend Alli and I headed downtown to check it out.  It was just as delicious as I expected (the girls and I inhaled our concrete and my cheeseburger...yum.)  After eating we figured we had already made it and found parking downtown so we walked around the harbor for a while.  It was so fun to chat and enjoy the beautiful day.

2. I watched another friend's six-month-old twin boys this week.  My girls were in heaven- a baby for each of them!  I laid Mattie down for her nap while they were still over and when she woke up and they were gone she said, "The babies! Where they go?" and started crying.  As sweet as these little guys are I hope I never ever have twins- it was a very busy few hours!!

3.  Nothing says spring to me like the click clack of little jellies.  Jilly got some new ones this year (try saying Jilly's jellies 10 times fast) and they have strawberries on the bottom and smell like strawberries.  One day Mattie was sad about something and to cheer her up Jilly said, "hey Mattie, want to smell my shoes?"  I had to laugh.

4. The girls got new nightgowns this week from their Nana.  I'm afraid this is only going to feed Mattie's obsession with wearing pajamas.  At least she looks darn cute in them.  Nana also sent new "bop flops" as Mattie calls them.

5. With Spring-ish weather arriving (still kind of cold but we'll take it!) we've been walking to the park in our neighborhood as often as possible.  Bryan made up a new game where he stands on the edge of the bridge and bounces it while the girls sit in the middle laughing hysterically .  It's too bad he's such a boring dad.

Happy Easter and Happy General Conference!