Thursday, January 5, 2017

four years with kate brielle.

Today our sweet Kater Tot turns four years old!  She is so much fun.  Truly the "life of the party" always - we are so lucky she is ours!! The past few days whenever we have told her no about anything she will say, "But I'm the birthday gull!" She has seriously won herself some extra pieces of candy because of that line.

Some things about Kate at age four: Hilarious.  Cutest little voice.  Bossy.  Cute and she knows it.  As girly as they come.  Constantly in a princess dress.  If she's not in a dress and she gets to choose, she always puts on her donut tank top with random black and white polka dot pants.  I always ask "Does that match Kate?" and she says "Yep!  They both have white on them!"  

She thinks the biggest insult you can give a person is saying, "Your favorite color is BROWN! HAHAHA!"  She constantly tells this to Steve.  

Kate loves play doh, coloring, makeup, dressing up, the Just Dance video game, playing with her sisters, picking up Aubrey from school, baking with mom, chewy bars, going anywhere there are kids, and all things "fancy".  I can get her to do almost anything if I talk it up like it's real fancy "Kate!  Did you know Princess Aurora keeps her playroom clean??  Put on your crown and put those stuffed animals away!" Whatever works. 

Aubrey was a total daddy's girl at this age, but Kate is all about mom.  We are together 24/7 and I honestly love it.  She's the best helper, and loves to play with my hair and rub my feet with lotion.  What more could I want in a sidekick? ;)

Kate walks into a park and immediately best friends with all the kids there.  She is inclusive of everyone.  She might boss them around a bit - but she won't leave one person out of the fun!

She looks up to her big sis and adores her little sis.  She is such a good middle child.  It's not always easy for her watching Aubrey get to do all these fun, new things in kindergarten, go to birthday parties she's not invited to, etc. but she takes it all pretty well.  

Last night at the mall we walked by a large man with long curly black hair and Kate whispered (not so quietly) to Aubrey, "He looks like Moana!" and they giggled and giggled.  I felt I should discipline her somehow, but she was kind of right... and at least she tried to whisper!  I used one of my favorite parenting methods of pretending you didn't hear in awkward situations.  Works like a charm!

Still the pickiest eater in all the land.  If you ever wondered if kids can survive only on cereal, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, chicken nuggets, quesadillas, and fruit - no worries.  They totally can!  (I promise we sneak veggies in her sometimes, Mom..) I remember my smug pre children days when I swore I would have kids that ate organic meals with vegetables galore and they would just LOVE every bite.  Oh you silly fool, pre children Lisa.  You also thought your kids would never watch tv.  Lololol.  I have white-flour cracker eating, Disney movie watching girls and I'm pretty sure they are happier because of it. ;)

Kate can brighten just about anyone's day.  She truly has the best sense of humor and it's nearly impossible to be in a bad mood around her.  She fills up our home with sunshine and has since the day she was born.  We just LOVE her!

I had to post at least one outtake.  Heaven knows there's about 100 more of these kind of shots in the mix!

Happy birthday, beautiful girl.  You sure make our world a fun, happy place!


Friday, December 30, 2016

one big christmas post!

I won't lie, I may have overdone it this year on Christmas activities.  This year the girls are at especially magical ages - they believe in Santa, understand all that's going on, and I know this stage is so short!  So yeah, I planned about 23843984 activities.  I asked Aubrey out of everything we did in December - Disneyland, Polar Express, Nutcracker, etc, etc. what her favorite thing was.  She thought about it for a minute and said, "making gingerbread houses with my cousins at our house!"  I loved how out of everything we did, a simple family activity was her favorite.  Even though our schedule was overfilled, we still had lots of fun!  But will definitely plan less for next year. :)

The girls had their Winter dance show a few days after we got back from Disneyland. This year it was the "Grinch" and Kate was a Christmas tree and Aubrey was a stocking.  They both did wonderful and were darling in it.  As usual, we aren't allowed to take pictures in their costumes for the Winter show since they rent the costumes and put them on backstage. (I'm still bitter about no pictures after all these years of recitals...)  I did snap a quick shot before we left.  

The morning of their dance show, we went to "Breakfast with Santa" at Aubrey's school.  Needless to say it was a busy day!  Aubrey met Santa and told him what she wanted.  Kate was too scared, but Aubrey let Santa know what she wanted for her. (Makeup) I thought that was so sweet!

Our next Christmas festivity was the Polar Express.  We had never been but knew it would be good since it sells out so early each year.  I bought the tickets so far in advance we didn't realize Steve had somewhere important to be for work that night. You can't reschedule or get a refund - gulp!  We went with my family so I didn't brave it alone!  We missed Steve (and the $55.00 we ate for his ticket) but the girls loved it.  There was cookies, hot cocoa, the North Pole, and Santa, what more could a kid want?  Here are some grainy phone pics from the train ride.

First taste of cocoa!

That Saturday we did one of our favorite traditions - saw the Nutcracker Ballet with Grammy!  We skipped last year to wait until Kate was old enough to enjoy it.  She did think it was a bit long, but still loved watching the beautiful ballerinas dance.  We all decided we want to be ballerinas when we grow up! :)  

These girls!  So beautiful, inside and out.

Kate conked out in the last act.  

Next was Aubrey's favorite - gingerbread houses!  We made our family dinner one Sunday and took family pictures in my studio with everyone, (thanks to my dad's tripod!) and afterwards decorated gingerbread houses.

More fun pictures from our month: 

On Christmas Eve eve we always do our own little family's tradition: sibling gift exchange, new jammies, hot cocoa, new ornaments, and Christmas movie marathon.  During the gift exchange, Kate had gotten Aubrey a Star Wars play doh set that she loved.  Before we had the girls open the gifts, we told them no matter what it is to say thank you, give their sister a big hug, and act very excited about it no matter what the gift is.  Well, once it was Kate's turn to open Aubrey's gift, I think that advice was a little too much pressure for her because as soon as she unwrapped the gift and saw a plain cardboard box, she burst into tears!  It was hilarious (she didn't know what the gift was and thought it was just a box - in the box was an easel which she ended up loving.)  Anyway it was too funny!

Christmas Eve was spent at Steves parents and Christmas day was spent at my parents, as usual.  Lots of fun and memories made!  Here are a few phone snaps from Christmas morning.  Christmas fell on a Sunday this year so we had to wake the girls to open presents (they slept past 7:30!!) so they would have some time to play before church.  I have no idea how we got there on time with all of us ready - a true Christmas miracle!!

Christmas morning - best mess ever!!  This year's favorite gifts for the girls were a makeup/vanity set for Kate, and a Just Dance video game for Aubrey.  Ella was happy just playing with wrapping paper of course. :)  We got her her own little piano since she loves our big one so much.  

That was our Christmas season in a (long) nutshell!  We had lots on our plate, but had so much fun making memories and being together lots.  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

family photos + christmas cards

We had our annual family photos taken early this month by the amazing Fara Smith Photography.  She did such a great job capturing our family and especially each of the girls' personalities.  I was so excited to choose photos for our Christmas card, and loved how they all came together thanks to Tiny Prints.  Their designs are simply the best!  I'll be busy today addressing envelopes while Kate does my stuffing and stamp pressing. :)

Here are my favorites of our family photos - I love them all!