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!