Thursday, June 30, 2016

Life Lately

This week is flying by for us! Tomorrow is already Friday and the start of a long weekend for Matt, so the four of us (Tal included) will be doing our happy dance come tomorrow afternoon!

Here's a quick look at what we've been up to this week:

This little miss posed for me for a 4th of July baby photo contest that a friend of mine was holding on the Mom's on Call Facebook page. And when I say "posed," I mean I laid her on top of a table at the pool for 3 seconds and snapped this pic before jumping in with her and Ryan. Love her quick, little-tongue-out smiles. ...I'm not sure who the winner is yet, but surely we can all agree it should be Natalie, right?! ...Kidding. Kind of of. ;)

Summer playing is hard work. And Tal is ready to take full advantage when that spoon falls out of Ryan's sleepy hand.

Oh these two! Her knight in shining armor carrying a sword in one hand and rescuing her paci with the other. 

Sometimes I look at him and love that he still looks little. ...Walking around with his teddy bear and a special treat mint that makes his day when he gets one. Sweet buddy.

I didn't want to forget this little moment where Ryan jumped in the pool, swam over to a good of kids and said, "Hi friends! Nice to see you!" I asked him to look at me and give me a thumbs up. :)

Girlfriend wearing #123 of her #136 bathing suits. ;)

On Saturday, Natalie and I went to a baby shower for a friend of mine while Matt and his mom took Ryan to Touch-a-Truck
Caught in the back of a police car with Mimi!

PEEK! This little lady learned how to roll over this week!

Pool day with Nonna and Papa! Ryan had a blast jumping off of the diving board.
Nonna and Nah-ni* :)
*Ryan's name for Natalie (and now what we all call her)

He must have jumped off of that board a hundred times!

My view on our walks :)

Talking with the ducks on our morning outing

Natalie also sat in the bumbo for the first time this week and Ryan (despite the look of confusion in this pic- hah) thought it was the coolest thing that he got to sit next to her. So much so that when we went to visit a friend's house, he asked to bring Nah-ni's seat with us!

In this moment, one was practicing juggling, one was practicing rolling, and one was practicing not eating all the toys.

Matt took a trip to Marshall's this week to get some little surprises for Ryan's upcoming birthday and wanted to give him one of them- a Finding Nemo puzzle- early. Ryan was SO excited! Here he is talking all about "Doe-wee" (Dory) and Ma-win (Marlin) and Memo (always with an "M") :)

We visited Andrea earlier this week and this sweet guy helped give Natalie her bottle! Love the look on his face. And Natalie's, haha.

This sweetness. Ryan loves helping with Natalie's baths. As I said when I posted this picture on Instagram this week, if he was allowed to pick her up, I'm pretty sure he would ask to do this without me every night. Love the way he loves her!


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sun-dried Tomato & Parmesan Couscous

I typically choose a rice or pasta over couscous, but since we were out of rice, I decided to make up something new for dinner last night. And we all ended up really liking it- even Ryan, who is not quite two! I believe his words were, "I YIKE it, Mommy!"

Try it for yourselves and see what you think!

1 box Near East Parmesan Couscous
2T butter
1lb chicken, chunked
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes from the jar (looks like this)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream

Melt butter in pan. Add chicken and brown on both sides, cooking until it is almost completely cooked through (5-7 minutes on medium heat). Add tomatoes and garlic and simmer for another minute, stirring so the garlic doesn't burn. Add parmesan package from couscous box, wine and cream. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 3-4 more minutes. Add couscous, mix, remove pan from heat, and cover with a lid for 5 minutes. Mix again before serving.


Monday, June 27, 2016


Travel is one of my love languages. I love, love, love exploring new cities and making memories in a new place.

Before having kids, Matt and I got to experience almost 7 years of traveling together. You can see recaps of most of our adventures here. Once Ryan was born, we knew we wanted to continue seeing new places with him (and now with Natalie too!) and just plan our trips a little differently than we did when it was just the two of us.

For whatever reason, planning this year's vacation has taken me for.ev.ER! Yes, I don't have quite as much free time on my hands (It's not even 5am yet as I write this, hah!), so that's certainly part of it, but I think the ages of our kids (Ryan will be 2 at the end of next month and Natalie just turned 4 months) took some extra consideration when we were planning what kind of trip we wanted to take.

In our marriage, I'm usually the one who starts the planning and narrows down the locations, and then Matt does the research, reads reviews, and helps make the final decision. He's also the voice of reason on things like why traveling to a place like Hawaii with a 9+ hour flight and a 6 hour time difference might not be the best idea for a toddler and a four month old who loves her sleep and routine. Maybe in a few years then. ;)

So considering the age of our kids, I started the planning process by making a list of cities we'd like to see, keeping in mind length of flight, cost, drive from the airport once we arrived, and time change:

After looking through these places and feeling like none were right for this year for various reasons, we started thinking about places we'd like to visit in the U.S.

We came across a number of family resorts and cities that are great to travel with kids and made a list of places we'd like to see when our kids are a bit older and can participate in all of the activities. A few of the places we found include:

San Diego- Lowes Coronado Bay

Bahamas- Atlantis

...and of course DISNEY!

So after weeks and weeks of research and planning, we are super excited about our decision to head to MAINE in mid-July!!

Give me all the light houses, bike rides, boat tours, town square shops and lobster please!

We'll be staying at The Harborside Hotel & Marina in Bar Harbor and plan to bike ride in Acadia National Park and eat lobster and ice cream every day. We cannot WAIT!

We told Ryan yesterday about our upcoming adventure and he was ready to head to the airport. Boy after my own heart. :) 

We'll head out later this month for our first flight and vacation as a family of four! Woohoo!

Have a great week, ya'll!



Friday, June 24, 2016

Life Lately

Ryan went for his 347th haircut last week ;) and then got a special treat from the treasure box there. ...confession: I've considered teaching Matt how to cut my hair to justify what we pay for this little man to get his hair cut- this little shop is so stinking cute though, and Mrs. Yaya (great name for a kids hairdresser, right?!) cuts his hair in 3 minutes, and I'm clearly a sucker.

We were introduced to this little duck pond in Smyrna and took Matt there last Friday night- Ryan got to feed the fish and turtles and see the baby ducks and then got to play on the little play ground there before heading home- such a fun little night!

Ryan asked if his "friends" from his crib could watch him take a bath the other night. The ideas little people come up with :)

Andrea and I met at Target to buy some supplies for a Father's Day craft (confession: my "craft" idea was having Ryan draw Matt a picture and I actually needed to take a trip to Target to stock up on drawing supplies... if you know me, this isn't all that surprising as I don't craft.) THANKFULLY, Andrea is way craftier than me and came up with a much cuter idea. And she also had the genius idea of piling 3/4 kids in one cart for a little Daniel Tiger viewing party while we grocery shopped. Free Target Wifi for the win!

Andrea's idea- so cute! And I might have been really impressed with myself on getting those pieces of tape on and off to make these letters. A rare crafting win for this mama. ;)

We love this new-to-us waterfall spot at The Roswell Mill! On Father's Day morning, we took a trip out there to start off the day- perks of having an early riser is enjoying views like this while the rest of Atlanta sleeps ;)

I swear Tally saw me grab my phone out to take a picture and ran in to join the shot. And then right as I went to take it decided to shake off all the water. Oh Tal!

We celebrated Father's Day at Matt's parents' house that night and we all UNINTENTIONALLY showed up in coordinating outfits like we were prepped for a family photo. Please note that Riley and Natalie are in the exact same outfit (as were Matt and his dad) and that everyone is wearing blue and coral- hysterical!

The next day we celebrated Father's Day and Noah's 11th Birthday (ELEVEN?!- so big!) at my sister's house.
Ryan's still working on his spacing and smiles in pictures. ;)


Matt's meeting us at the pool later today to kick off the weekend. Man I love summer.

If you missed this week's gnocchi recipe, you can check it out here!