these days


Our mornings start around 6 am these days. The little girls wander into our room in their matching floral pajamas and climb up into our bed... Violet will pull back the covers and snuggle in between us and then giggle and yell "yay! did it!" like she's accomplished her life goal of getting into our bed. It's pretty much the sweetest thing ever. I'm not much of a morning person (gross understatement right there) and even though our nights have been long and tedious this past month, there is something about waking up to smiling babies that warms my heart. Our days and rhythms change over the years, but I never get tired of mornings. The slow and peaceful, playful, lazy, drawn out times of sipping coffee in bed while the little ones watch cartoons, or getting our favorite donuts before Mass on Sundays, or watching them play with play dough for hours on end. How Henry bounds into our room in the morning with a million animal facts rolling off his tongue and Naomi loves to snuggle the baby when she first wakes up. 

These are things I want to remember. 

The crying and laughing and swirl of little voices that has become our soundtrack of sorts, on the rare occasion I'm alone, I even find myself missing the constant noise (ok so I enjoy the peace for about an hour, then I don't know what to do with myself anymore). 

Being a family of 7 still catches me off guard most of the time (like what?! we have how many kids?)  but you know, it never ceases to amaze me how natural it all feels. I have this theory that our struggles to become parents and rough pregnancies along the road have shaped us into people who parent with the glass half full. A way of looking at the long nights and drains clogged with toy soldiers (true story) and bandaids stuck all over the house and taking it in stride, knowing at the end of the day, it's all worth it. When I look at our babies, I see the most perfect combination of us in them... my nose, his eyes, their gorgeous shades of skin that fall somewhere between Japanese and Norwegian. It's a beautiful thing. And I sure am glad we get to do this. 

So that is life these days. Messy, happy, and full of love. 

self portraits


The kids made self portraits as a little afternoon project recently and they turned out super cute! It was so fun getting to see how they saw themselves... like how dark Henry thinks his skin is, and how he wishes he had green hair! (also that thing on his head is a little picture of a tropical bird he wants as a pet!) This was a pretty simple project and even Akemi did one all on her own. I love how the girls did accessories too, so fun!

Self Portraits

you will need:
different shades of paper
child-safe scissors
glue sticks 
elmers glue (we used glitter glue we had on hand)
assortment of buttons
shades of embroidery thread

what you need to cut out: 
head shapes in various skin tone colors
circles in reds, oranges, & pinks for cheeks
mouth/lip shapes in reds, oranges, & pinks 
white circles & almond shapes for the eyes

Let the kids choose their faces and glue away!

movie night


We've always loved having movie nights over here. Before we had kids, it was one of our favorite past times together and once the babies came along, we let them in on our little tradition. We love showing them the classics (Star Wars! Sound of Music! Indiana Jones!) and there is just something about summer nights that beg you to be spontaneous and stay up late! It seems so often a little visit with friends will turn into an impromptu movie night, so I like having some refreshments on the pantry shelves that we can pull out last minute. Some snacks for the kids, drinks... maybe a little treat or two. Here are some of our favorites for hosting a last-minute movie night!
Drinks: natural soda like henry weinhard's vanilla cream and trader joe's strawberry lemonade for the kids | full sail amber ale for the adults

Treats: red vines, trader joe's mini chocolate chip cookies, jelly beans

Snacks: angie's sweet & salty popcorn, snyder's mini pretzels, trader joe's honey roasted peanuts (sooo good)