Caroline in April

I miss taking photos of my kids and sharing them here. I may get back to it because it makes me so happy. Especially to look back at the months speeding by.

But for now here’s Caroline today, April 20, 2015.

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She is funny and spunky and loving and Andrew told me last week that he doesn’t remember what it was like when it was just him and Daddy and me in our family.

Here’s a look at April 2014. They’re lots bigger than that now.

May and then June

May // Andrew + Caroline

Looking back over the last two or three years, the blog always goes pretty silent this time of year.

It must be the weather. I’m trying to soak up every last day of warm, comfortable temperatures before the blazing heat rolls in. This time of year also brings the end of school craziness and laziness and I just want to sit on the back patio with a glass of cool white wine and watch the kiddos run around and not hurt each other.

Caroline // May

Well, now that it’s June it’s hotter than hot outside, and I don’t want to go out there for even a minute. So I guess I can come back to the blog. Ha!

What have we been up to?

Andrew graduated from Pre-K and I held back tears for days. I’m just so very proud of him. It sure is a good thing Caroline is still at our little school because otherwise I would have been a sad, sad mama.

These are their last day of school photos.

I LOVE them. The kids and the photos.

May // Andrew

I’ve been really lousy at picking up the camera since I bailed on my 365 Project, but these photos reminded me of why I started in the first place. (I may get back to it after this little break.)

May // Caroline

Here’s a bold statement:

I’ve decided that this is the summer I’m going to teach myself to cook.

Which means I’m spending hours and hours in the kitchen. I’ve been really motivated lately to feed myself and my family wholesome, nutrient filled foods rather than so much of the junk that is readily available to us these days. While it’s a whole lot easier to pop some Tyson chicken nuggets in the oven than it is to dice up my own chicken, dredge it in whole wheat breadcrumbs and olive oil and bake it, I know exactly what I’m cooking when I do that. And it’s delicious!

I’ve found that the key to the cooking is planning (and confidence, but I think that takes time). I’m becoming a meal planner! Finally, after all this time I think it’s going to stick.

I’m also keeping real stock of what’s in my refrigerator. All this produce and meat really eats up the budget, and I’ve been much better than I used to be about making sure we actually eat the foods we buy.

But I have to be realistic too. I’m not going to cook gourmet, healthy meals seven nights a week even as much fun as I’m having learning new recipes. So I’m cutting myself some slack and penciling in one day for leftovers and one day for takeout. I can’t go overboard and burnout!

Also my kids are still picky-ish, especially Caroline, and they just flat out refuse to eat so many things. I can’t get too fancy around here! Ha!

I’ve been inspired by lots of lovely ladies to clean up our meals and do more cooking at home. Instigram is full of foodie accounts, but I really enjoy Andrea at @GwynethMadeMeDoIt. She’s so real and cooks for her family, and isn’t super restrictive or preachy. She just cooks good, healthy foods and encourages us along the way. I also get lots of great tidbits from Madeline at @MadelineNutrition. She’s a certified nutrition consultant and shares helpful tips and recipes on all kinds of products and foods.

So if I’m not around here, you can probably find me in my kitchen, dicing and chopping and sauteing and making vegetables taste really, really good. :)

Caroline // May

Time for Us

Spending Time at Home

I took the kids to get haircuts yesterday.

I took them out to dinner on my own tonight.

I really, really missed them while Brian and I were out of town two weeks ago and couldn’t wait to hear Caroline’s silly stories when we got back.

Tonight at bedtime Andrew asked if he could rub my back and give me pats because he knew I was tired.

I feel like we’re in a sweet spot.

Summer

It won’t last long. Caroline’s mood changes with the wind. So she could wake up grumpy tomorrow and stay that way for two weeks. But hopefully she won’t. And we’re going to have to potty train soon. I’m really not looking forward to that.

Andrew starts Kindergarten in the fall and he’s going to change and grow and learn new things and make new friends. He’s so excited and ready for it!

But I want this summer to be a summer about us.

I’ve been hesitant to put the kids in team sports. They’re still so little, but lately I’ve been feeling really guilty that Andrew’s not in soccer yet – just tennis and swimming once a week each. This afternoon he begged not to go to swimming. He just wanted to go home and play at home he said, with me and Caroline too.

Kids need to be at home. They crave it. They need downtime just like we do. 

Almost every night at bedtime Caroline reminds me that her family is all here. Mama and Daddy and Andrew and Caroline and my dog Fenway she says. This is our house.

One of the most important jobs we have as mothers is to teach them that we are their family. They’re safe with us and will always be there no matter what the season or struggle. And so this summer, our last before Andrew spends the bulk of his days away from us, I will soak us all up, this amazing little family of mine.