Friday, March 20

Monster Cookies

I have been a sweet kick lately and lets be honest, when am I not.  I swear every time I try to omit something, I end up craving it ten fold.  I have been trying to go the gym every day and eat a little more healthy.  We are headed to Florida in less than two months and trying to get this bod into swimsuit shape, has been all the motivation I need.  They say abs are made in the kitchen, so what better way than trying to eat a little healthier.  If you know me at all, this is a huge hurdle.  I eat terrible and crave anything but healthy foods.  The other day I couldn't get cookie dough out of my mind.  It happens often, but this day in particular it was coming on strong.  P loves helping me in the kitchen and insisted we bake and just like that, my craving was kicked.  

Now these cookies are anything but healthy, I however try to tell myself otherwise.  They have no flour and only one stick of butter, so for me that's enough to call them healthy.  These cookies are called Monster Cookies and they happen to be just that.  They are loaded with peanut butter, oatmeal and chocolate, pretty much all of my favorite things all crammed into one cookie.

My mom made P this adorable apron and a matching one for her bitty baby.  I decided to slip it onto Lucy and let's just say I about died.  I couldn't handle her chubs and the ruffles combined.
I swear my child gets dressed when we go out into public, however if we are home, you can bet she is wearing her pj's.  I was thinking with this heat change she would opt out, but I was wrong.  She still insists on wearing them 24/7.  Will see how long she keeps it up.
^^^ I can never hand out our cookies, because P ends up taste testing all the ingredients. ^^^
^^^ Pretty much Gigi's dream come true. ^^^
^^^ The same utensil that used to keep P occupied while I baked with her. ^^^
^^^ The dough is ridiculous and half the reason, if not the entire reason why I make these cookies. ^^^
^^^ Batter up. ^^^
^^^ This time around was P's first go at using the cookie scoop.  She was completely enthralled. ^^^
And without further adieu the recipe.

MONSTER COOKIES
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 
1 stick butter, softened

2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder

4 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use more)
1/2 cup M&M's (I also add more)

Cream eggs and sugars together.  Stir in vanilla, salt, butter and peanut butter.  Combine soda, baking powder and oats to mixture.  Add chocolate chips and M&M's.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!!!!  I am taking P to her first movie tonight.  Wish us luck!
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Wednesday, March 18

St. Patrick's Day

I knew St. Patrick's Day was just around the corner and had a few plans to make the day a little more special than the rest.  The day came quicker than I had anticipated, which left me with no such aspirations.  I thought I could whip up some rainbow pancakes and call it good, but again the time got away from us and before we knew it, it was time for dance class.  

P is still so young and doesn't have any expectations.  I took this year off and felt pretty good about it.  While scrolling through my Instagram feed, I saw happy kids with their bowl of Lucky Charms, green eggs and ham, green milk, green toilet bowls, corned beef and cabbage, gold candy and so much more.  I decided to not blink an eye and pat myself on the back for still be a good mama and knowing that my girls didn't mind either way.

Sometimes life can be so overwhelming, trying to keep up with others and their said pace.  We are all going at different speeds, just trying to make it to that end goal.  Some people are running, even sprinting, while others like myself, are just trying to put one foot in front of the other.  As this new year continues forward, I am trying every day to eliminate the things that are causing my load to seem heavy or that incline a little too steep for me to climb.  Most of the things that have caused this fatigue have been self induced.  Trying to find the balance has been the hardest part.  While I know we all need resistance at times to make us stronger, we also need to allow ourselves to come off that incline long enough to recoup and come back feeling energized ready to tackle that next hill ahead.

I decided to take a break from photography and while I wavered back and forth on the decision, I knew in my heart it was the right one.   I felt any free time that I had was spent with my eyes glued to the computer screen.  The amount of anxiety and heaven burden I felt was too much to bear anymore.  I started my photography business for a fun little hobby and it soon turned into me taking on too much too quickly.  I have the hardest time saying no.  I wanted to please everyone around me and was leaving no time for me.  I soon discovered that if mama isn't happy, no one is happy.  

I will still be taking on small sessions every once in awhile.  I don't want to say a set number, because last time I did that, I still got ahead of myself.  I have the tendency to put my entire heart into everything I do.  It's a good and bad thing.  More than anything it usually causes me to burn out.  It's all a learning game for me right now.

I'm hoping with some more free time I can spend it taking more pictures of my girls.  They are the reason I picked up a camera in the first place.  This time with them will go by so quickly and I don't want to miss a minute with them.  There is a time and season for all things and right now, with much prayer and many tears I know where I need to be.

I wasn't planning on going into all of that, but that's where I am right now.  Last night when Tyson got home from work we put the girls in their matching pj's and took them out back to enjoy this gorgeous spring weather.  I decided to pull out the water colors I had been saving for the special moment.  Last night felt right.  P was in heaven.  She has such a love for trying out new things.  I can't get enough of watching her light up each time she tries something new.  The enthusiasm for each color was unreal.  She is so meticulous in every stroke.
The best part was when she decided to kick back and just enjoy painting.  This little girl teaches me so much about life. 
 ^^^ Miss Lucy girl being as sweet as ever. ^^^
This little family of mine is so precious and I feel so blessed to be the mama of this crazy bunch.  I'm taking one day at a time and learning to let go and enjoy the ride.  Here's to more stress free days than not and lots more time with my family!

Hope you had a HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!!
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Tuesday, March 17

Life Lately/Photo Dump

Holy smokes, I don't even know where to begin.  Life has been nothing short of a whirlwind over here.  I have been slacking on my blogging and it makes me kind of sad.  Honestly if I don't write it down, I have a hard time remembering things.  I love that I have this somewhat of a journal to record my families crazy outings and everything else in between.  I enjoy reflecting back on life and the lessons it has taught me thus far.  Now if only I could find the time to print out this here blog.  I had high hopes of printing off a new book every year, a sort of year book for my kiddos to have and look back through.  I am only fives years behind.  If you have any recommendations for where to have my blog printed, I will send you a huge hug across the universe.  

With that being said, here is a recap of the last few months in a nutshell. 
Tyson travels a lot for work, luckily it's not always over night and more often times than not, he brings back his girls some yummy treats.  Some clients of his introduced him to the most tasty cupcake bakery.  I seriously crave these cupcakes daily!
We have been going to Tyson's friend Austin's basketball games to support his team while he coaches.   P gets a kick out of watching the ball go back and forth all over the court.  During half time she enjoys getting her stretch on. 
 ^^^ Another bonus to a traveling husband. ^^^
 We were able to see Tyson's cousin marry his sweetheart in the Fresno Temple.  We took the girls and were able to walk the grounds with them.  It was also very special because Tyson's dad was the sealer.  
^^^ Another one of the many Sunday pics we take before church.  We may never make it through the doors in time, but I will cherish these pics for years to come. ^^^
 P has a thing for waffles and strawberries lately and likes her baby in matching pj's.
 ^^^ I have made this soup a ton over the past couple of months.  It's so so easy and delish.  If you want the recipe, check out my Instagram. ^^^
 Lucy stays entertained for long amounts of time if she has stuffed animals or dolls at the tips of her fingers. 
 P went with me to the orthodontist and had a blast trying on different wigs in the waiting room.  I got myself invisalign in hopes to repair my lazy nights of not wearing my retainer.  It's working and I have Dr. Freeman to thank!
 The only way we seem to manage to make our way through Target these days, is with a big bag of popcorn a drink and Lucy being carried in her Ergo carrier.  That thing is a lifesaver, I tell ya.
 P is still so in love with going to dance class.  It's the highlight to our week.  I am dying for the recital to get here.
 ^^^ Yet another Sunday photo.  These here heels about murdered my feet. It's no wonder I only wear them once a week. ^^^
^^^ P is learning her letters and I have this puzzle to thank.  The P is her favorite letter of course.  She holds it close to her heart and rocks it back and forth, like it is a baby.  She's such a drama queen and I love it.  She identifies each letter with a name or thing.  M is for mimi, L is for Lucy, A is for apple, B is for Brielle, J is for Jana and so forth.  It's so fun to watch her learn. ^^^
^^^ She loves playing dress up, especially in her Le Hipsqueaks headband. ^^^
 Lucy had her six month check up and is chunkier than ever.  Weight 82%, Height 50% and Head 74%.  We couldn't ask for a more perfect baby!
 Our friend Curtis celebrated his 31st birthday and I offered to make the cake.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I asked his wife what type of cake he likes and she said strawberry.  I decided to do this very last minute and had this grand plan to make a homemade strawberry frosting.  The picture speaks for itself and shows how that all turned out.  Between the amount of strawberries, sticks of butter and lost count of boxes of powdered sugar I had this lovely pile of cake.  It looked terrible but ended up tasting amazing.  I salvaged what I could and frosted the remaining cake.  If you are ever planning on adding fresh strawberries to your frosting, make sure to not add the milk.
 My sister-in-law Cara and I took the girls to Lululemon to get me some new sports bra's and did boy did Cara get a taste of motherhood.  We were one hot mess. P saw us trying things on, so she thought it necessary to take all of her clothes off.  She was running around the store naked opening other people's dressing rooms, Lucy was crying and I was trying my hardest to hurry and try my things on in between the mess.  It was bad!  We made it out without being banished from the store entirely.  We hit up a new restaurant in town called House of JuJu.  It was so tasty and have already been back since.
 Lucy's first Sunday pic.  She is usually sleeping when we get to church.
 ^^^ This sweet girl has the craziest hair. ^^^
 P couldn't decide whether or not she wanted to drink my sweet green monster.  Once she had a taste she drank it all up.
P was dying to try on my new running shoes.  They totally look like grandma shoes, but honestly they are so freaking comfy and now know why so many people swear by these shoes. 
Poor Lucy got diagnosed with RSV last weekend.  She has been such a trooper with a smile on her face the entire time.  I hated hearing the words RSV because it took me back to the nightmare of P being hospitalized for over a week.  Luckily for all of us, Lucy has been responding great to her treatments and has avoided the hospital.  I also swear by the oils we have been using on her and defusing through the air when she sleeps and those cool air humidifiers work wonders. 
 ^^^ P at church last Sunday rocking her un-ironed dress.  My mom gives me such a hard time about this.  There are just some things I refuse to do. ^^^
 I die over this bunny onsie.  I am a sucker for holidays and can't wait for Easter!
 Snuggles with my sweet P and proof that my retainer is working.
 And to wrap this forever long post up, a sweet picture of P.  I love this girl so much and enjoy discovering new things with her every day.
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