moments matter challenge

Beginning January 1st, I took part in a photography challenge hosted by one of my favorite bloggers, called Moments Matter. Each day we were challenged with a photo prompt and were inspired to capture an everyday, meaningful moment, however we see fit within that prompt. It was such a fun month of capturing moments that I would never have otherwise, and it gave me a creative outlet, which I really miss as a designer!

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1. Routine :: Sunday morning meal planning and grocery list writing. I actually love this quiet moment in the morning where my OCD can come alive, I can peruse the Target ad and the cartwheel app (sometimes my highlighter even comes out) and I can plan out the weeks menu with a hot cup of coffee. Bonus if I get to go to the grocery store ALONE!

2. Cozy :: It’s the last day of holiday break so I’m taking advantage of all the snuggles. It feels like this break has been full of sickness in our house so jammies, slippers and blankets have been the norm around here for the last 11 days. Back to reality and routine tomorrow morning.

3. Favorite :: The feeling of another little one growing inside, the joy on my girls faces when we talk about Baby, the excitement for the future as a family of 5… all of my favorite things at the moment! We find out if Baby D #3 is a little boy or girl in just a few weeks – such an exciting time!

4. Mess :: The playroom. Where the girls can be creative & let their imaginations come alive. It is always a mess and I tend to not let it bother me as I walk past it, but it’s beginning to give this mama anxiety since all the STUFF needs to move to the basement when the room is converted into a nursery. But until then, it is the girl’s favorite spot in the house.

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5. View :: My view… my 6 year old on her first ride. Her view… the entire world at her fingertips as she flies through the sky. This summer we took the girls to an amusement park. It was their first time on big-girl rides and I continuously hear that it was one of their favorite days of the summer!

6. Home :: My favorite view as I come downstairs… the wall full of family memories (that desperately needs to be updated) and the girls working together at the kitchen table. Feels like home.

7. Color :: Organizing the girls too-small bin of clothes (that is NEVER ENDING) and always love how little kids can get away with such bright colors and fun patterns. Me? Show me all the neutrals!

8. Gratitude :: So incredibly blessed, thankful, GRATEFUL for this crazy crew. For my hubs who works so hard to support us, for one kiddo who keeps us constantly laughing with her silliness and the other for her sweet, thoughtful heart.

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9. To Do :: To do :: fill up the jar throughout the year with all the fun memories we create as a family. At the end of the year we’ll empty the jar and read about the amazing year we’ve had. I have a feeling this will be one of the best yet!

10. Hold on :: I watch her get on the bus every morning. And every morning I see her little hand waving excitedly to me out the window. I’m holding on to this sweet phase of childhood innocence when waving to your mom is still cool. What she doesn’t know is how much her mama needs this solace reminder every morning since she’s six going on sixteen.

11. Still :: “Mom, I want to feed the deer since there’s so much snow and they can’t find any food.” The stillness of the fresh fallen snow makes for a beautiful backdrop as she thoughtfully feeds the critters some breakfast before she eats her own.

12. Reflection :: This little one is a total reflection of her mama… she thrives on routine and a schedule, she’s very sensitive and can get her feelings hurt easily (working on that) and she loves to CLEAN (bonus, I have a mini cleaning helper at all times). Love having a mini-me!

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13. Together :: These two are so close in age that they are constantly together. Although their close ages scared me (to the point of tears) I wouldn’t change it for the world now. They are best buddies and total goofballs!

14. Sweet :: It’s never too early. A sweet treat to start the weekend.

15. Make :: Making time for some baking. Trying to take a step back and watch them stir, measure, spill and just have fun. Messes can be cleaned up, right?

16. Outdoors :: With a temp of 26° and getting up to 40° later this week, it feels like a heat wave in MN… but, I just don’t wanna.

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17. Sleep :: I love watching how her sleep position changes from the time she goes to bed to waking up. If only I could sleep like this…

18. Right now :: Two things… 1. This kid can sit in a bath all day, every day, until her fingers turn to raisins and the water is cold and 2. I maaaay need to start wearing maternity clothes full time right about now.

19. You :: You two. My girls. My world. You know me in a way no one ever has. You’ve opened me up to things I never knew existed. You drive me to insanity and push me to my depths. You are the beat of my heart and the energy in my soul. Even after the toughest of days, the morning comes and I’m excited for what’s to come with YOU.

20. Treasure :: I’ve started to feel you move, little one. I’m treasuring all the gentle movements and flutters before all the jabs, kicks and pokes begin as you grow bigger (which are just fine, too). We already can’t wait to meet you!

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21. Play :: It’s a sloppy, goopy mess outside and all the pretty snow from a few days ago is almost gone. The kiddos found some fun with the gigantic puddles and it kept them busy for a hot minute… before they complained they were wet and wanted to go home :-/

22. Need :: There’s a lot of what I need in this picture :: Target, Starbucks and some one-on-one time with my big girl. With her in school full time I rarely get to spend too much time alone with her so making even the most mundane task like grocery shopping fun for her is important and something we both need.

23. Remember :: Summertime. The warm air. The sounds of seagulls and waves at the beach. Sounds like paradise right now on this gloomy January day in MN. Just need to remember that it will be back, even if it is still 6 months away…

24. Slow :: My favorite time of the day… the slow pace of mid-morning when there’s a few hours to play & get things done before lunch, pre-school drop off, pick-ups, errands, activities and evening rituals ensue. My daily reminder to slow down and enjoy this time.

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25. Wish :: My wish for this girl is that she will continue to be her sweet, caring, thoughtful, cautious, considerate, (and goofy) self with the world and that she will be proud of who she is and becomes. It’s a tough world out there, but it’s nothing she can’t handle!

26. Treat :: Starting the day with my favorite treat: donuts and Starbucks!! I try to limit myself to a Starbucks trip once or twice a week (okay, no more than three times) to keep it a treat and donuts from the local bakery… I may be in a sugar coma afterward but yum-o!!

27. Light :: I love how the warm light shines through on a cold day, helping to make it a little less brutal. This dog loves being outside and going on nature walks. Annnd a little exercise for me doesn’t hurt either.

28. Here :: Every few months we measure the girls to see how much they’ve grown. Every few months they get so excited at how much they’ve grown since last time. And every few months I get a little sad that my babies are growing up so fast… the proof being literally right in front of my eyes. I keep telling myself and husband that we need to be “here” and make memories RIGHT NOW before their an inch taller.

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29. Learn :: Just a few more DAYS until we learn if Baby D #3 is a little boy or girl! We are all so excited and even have a fun little reveal party planned this time around.

30. Small :: She looks so small up there, but she told me she was on top of the world. She may only be six and a half, but her strong, feisty personality is anything but small.

30. Small (2) :: With both girls off of school today I’m accomplishing a very small amount, but chocolate chip banana bread was definitely on the to-do list.

31. Joy :: The perfect prompt to end this Moments Matter challenge :: JOY… nothing brings me more joy and feeling of significance than being a mama to my two kiddos, soon to be three!!

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I was proud of myself that I stuck with it through the month and was really sad when it was over! But, rumor has it that the challenge will be back next month… (Yay!) and I’m really looking forward to that!! You can follow me on Instagram to see all the photos from this challenge and many more from our crazy family!

 

 

it’s a…

Another GIRL!!

We had a small, fun gender reveal party where we opened a box full of pink balloons. It was a fun experience for the girls. Elliot had her heart set on a baby brother and was a little upset that she is having another sister… in fact, she ran up to her room crying when the pink balloons flew up. It took her a little while to come downstairs, but when she did she was all smiles. I asked her this morning how she felt about having another sister and she says, “I’m still a little mad, but mostly happy. I’m just happy to have another baby!” Well, that’ll have to do for now. I know she’ll come around when Baby arrives and she got so excited when I told her she could bring pink treats to school on Monday!

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We are so excited! I honestly couldn’t imagine anything other than another little girl… it seems to be our specialty! Now time to go through all the bins and pull out newborn girlie clothes again!!

If you have tips on raising a tribe of girls, send them my way :-)

Baby D #3 // 21 weeks

I can’t believe we’re already halfway there with Baby D #3. I found this journal that documents your pregnancy every few weeks and I thought it would be fun to do since this is Baby #3 and I’m so busy with the other two kiddos that its tough to really sit down and enjoy this pregnancy. Although, with Cora coming so soon after Elliot I almost have more time this time around to document, not so much to relax though. So here is my pregnancy journal at 21 weeks…

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How far along: 20 weeks // 6 days – due June 3
Gender: We don’t know yet – we find out February 3rd
Weight gain: 9 pounds

Last Doctor’s check-up: December 30 // 17 weeks 6 days

Maternity clothes: I’ve started wearing maternity clothes because even my “fat pants” are getting too snug. They will still fasten (with the helpful hairband through the button-whole trick) but maternity pants are sooooo much more comfy! Hello, stretchy goodness that goes over your belly and up to your chest!! I’m not quite sure my puffy winter coat will get me through the last couple months of MN temps since the snaps already shoot open the second I sit down. But, I’m determined not to buy any unnecessary clothes this time around so I may just be a walking puffball as I squish myself into my coat… just watch out for flying buttons.

Sleep: I sleep great. Up at least 3 times in the night because of my full bladder, though. It’s been a good year of not getting up with either of the girls so the new babe will be completely starting over in that department.

Miss anything: Alcohol. Of course, when I can’t have it I want it. A refreshing gin & tonic sounds so delicious. I just envision myself sipping one on the porch on an early spring day while holding my new little nugget and the girls are running around in the yard. Hey, I can dream, right?? Oh, and coffee. I had to cut back from my daily triple-espresso orders to just one cup of morning java. I bought decaf k-cups in bulk to try and trick my mind into my afternoon “pick-me-ups.” Also traveling. We had a girls vacation planned to Puerto Vallarta next month, but to be on the safe side with the zika virus going around my doctor recommended I don’t go, so I’m deciding to stay back. I will be missing the sun, ocean and company (and the all inclusive food), but the safety of my little one is definitely worth it!

Movement: I just felt it today! Sitting on the couch I felt a little movement so I put my hand on my tummy and sure enough it happened again – such an amazing feeling! I remember from my previous pregnancies that I have an anterior placenta so the baby has to kick through that before I can feel any movement and it wasn’t until around this point in the pregnancy that I remember feeling any kicks with the girls. I can’t wait until the girls can feel it though. They keep asking how big is baby and can’t believe that there is a “mango” in my tummy right now :)

Cravings: Toasted bagels with melted creamy peanut butter – Mmmm. Also, any and all fruit. And banana chips. And weirdly, celery. Not sure why, I’ve never really cared for celery, but I can’t get enough of it right now… especially dipped in creamy peanut butter!

Looking forward to: The ULTRASOUND!! I pray for a healthy little peanut, but I am so excited to find out the gender this time around. The girls ask me every day if they can have a brother and I know deep down Eric would love a son. As for me… I just don’t know what I would do with a little boy. We wouldn’t have to buy as much stuff… (we got rid of pretty much everything because we were done having babies so we still have to purchase/borrow a ton either way) but, it would be pretty fun to have a little man that the girls can watch over and protect. We’ll see soon – 2 weeks can’t come soon enough!

In the meantime, just going to enjoy this pregnancy and hope that it slows down some. But not too much, I already can’t wait to wrap my arms around my new little babe and snuggle it to pieces!!

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I’d love to hear what you think we’re having!

we have a secret to share!

A new little Daniels babe is on the way!

Estimated due date :: June 3, 2017. Here are a few pics of the girls sharing the news and just being cute.

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Here’s a fun video on how we told the girls that they’re going to be Big Sisters.

We are all so excited for Baby to arrive and June seems so far away!! But, it’s the second trimester already and I know Baby will be here eventually and the new little one will be completely smothered in love from our entire family, especially it’s two older sisters!

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back to school

And they’re back! The girls are so excited to be back in school! We’ve had an awesome summer, but I know they’re ready to get back into a routine and to see their real friends, not just momma. The day started off wet & rainy and in need of raincoats and umbrellas (all of which E forgot at school of course), but after hearing about her day, it sounded like it was nothing but sunshine and rainbows. She’s such an extrovert that I know she will come home with a million new friends this year.collage-2img_6071elliot-loves2collage-4img_6098img_6099img_6100And how did this little chick get so big?? It seems like she turned into a little lady over the summer! I mean, look at her sweet face. Cora’s more of an introvert (like her momma) so making new friends is a little more difficult for her. I knew she was a tad nervous about going, but as soon as I dropped her off at school one of her buddies gave her a huge hug, which made her feel reassured and excited to start the day.cora-lovescollage-3img_6128img_6121img_6129img_6133We’re looking forward to a GREAT year ahead! Go get ’em girls!!

summer 2016.

This summer has been crazy-fun, non-stop and absolutely perfect. We have loved every minute of it! It took a bit for the summer to get going with Elliot’s cast on for an extra few weeks than we thought, more about that here, but once her cast was off, so were we! From park hopping, farmers markets and splash pads, to a Winnipeg road-trip, Valleyfair, and lots and lots of swimming! Oh, and whats summer without a ton of ice cream in between?! Eric and I were even able to sneak in a few day-dates too! I’m so blessed to be able to have this time with my kiddos and we’ve had an absolute blast – here are some pics to show it!

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I want to remember the sounds and smells of this summer when looking at these pics :: water splashing, giggles, squeals, fresh grass, sunscreen, chlorine, sand in-between our toes, drippy-sticky ice cream on our hands, the snuggles, the I love yous and Goodnight Mamas.

School starts in 3 weeks and the girls are very excited, and I am excited for them, but honestly I don’t want this summer to end. The beautiful weather, the freedom that we’ve had with no schedule or places to be other than the next park on our list… We’ll see what the new [school] year brings, but in the meantime, I will be here, soaking up every day with my girls, saying YES as much as I can, and enjoying every ray of sunshine until summer bids us farewell as it always does…

kindergarten graduate!

We did it! First year of school is in the books for this little chickie. She has learned so much this year and we couldn’t be more proud of her! She has made A LOT of new friends [hello, birthday party almost every weekend!], has created so many memories, brought home so much paperwork showing how much she’s learned, and has really grown up since the beginning of the school year. I mean, look at this silly, sassy, spunky face ::

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We really can’t believe that the year is over and I’m sure I will hear “When do I go back to school?” sooner than I think, but until then, it is officially summer! I see lots of picnics and sunscreen in our future. Let the [warm] memory-making begin!!