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one of the things i’ve always been impressed with when it comes to seeing my husband as a papa, is the way he’s always encouraging our kids to pause and explore… or wear that knight in shining armour costume outside… or splash in that puddle… from a very early age! basically, he’s just down with letting them be kids! which ironically enough, can sometimes be hard to do as a parent. i don’t think i would have necessarily embraced that sort of idea of parenting as readily if it weren’t for witnessing how successful that approach could be in the moment for both them and us. i mean, obviously there are times you don’t want them to splash in the puddle and get soaked for the day, but if time allows, or you know you’re on the way home, what’s a bit of water really going to hurt? those moments where you just let them jump up and down in the puddle they so desperately want to jump up and down in, can be magical.

last summer, our family biked to a playground together inside riverside park, and all of the sudden, this crazy rain storm just came out of nowhere! we decided to embrace it and bike home in the rain, especially since it was warm rain which felt amazing on a hot summer day, and we...

i found a folder on my desktop with these photos in it from way back in january last night that i had completely forgotten to post! i think the pregnancy brain thing people talk about really is a real thing! or in my case, it is! a few nights ago, i walked into the kitchen to get a cup of water to take my iron with, and ended up coming back into the bedroom without any water…. when i went back into the kitchen to try again, i pulled open the freezer to fill my cup with ice, and i realized i had put my bottle of iron pills in the ice bucket on my first trip into the kitchen a few minutes prior. so currently, it’s safe to say i’m not very on top of life at the moment!

i wanted to share a few stories of things that are happening in my life lately. mostly, little moments of service i don’t want to forget because they have been so sweet while i’m trying to get through one of the hardest things i’ve experienced mentally and physically in my life.

the first was this morning at about 6AM, when my sweet mister samson showed up at my bedside where i was still trying to sleep. josh was at the gym, and i’d been...

i just got an alert on my phone about a flood warning today in the city. and the rain banging on the outside of my air conditioner in my bedroom window as i type this sounds like someone is spilling bags of raw rice on to it. it’s LOUD. and slightly aggressive. the irony is that while this storm brought a wind chill that feels crazy cold, we were blessed with 48 hours of nothing but pure 70 degree sunshine prior to it all. i’m not even mad that the sunshine didn’t last longer, because it was such a special snippet of what’s right around the corner, and that was enough for me.

this city becomes so alive as the warm weather hits with the parks crowded once again full of hundreds of bodies soaking up some vitamin D, smiles on strangers’ faces as you pass by them in the crosswalk, and an energy everywhere you turn that i haven’t been able to find elsewhere. it’s one of the very top reasons i love new york. and i’m just so glad we’re inching our way towards a steady amount of those glorious days to enjoy together in the coming months.

my sister, rebekah, has been living in berlin the last several months and detoured to boston (to see our other sister, rachel!) before detouring...

i have so enjoyed putting together different looks each day around this twin baby bump (that is, when i’m feeling up for giving my pajamas a bit of a break!) as well as the adventure of getting dressed these days. for my past pregnancies, i have always loved making my own regular wardrobe work with the bump for as long as possible, but i think a combination of this being my fourth ginormous baby bump, and the fact that i have doubled in size far faster this round thanks to those two baby girls, i embraced several maternity pieces much earlier on this time around. and i have to tell you, while i often think pajamas might be the most comfortable bet, i feel so much better about myself and my day (and i’m shockingly more productive) when i do put in the effort to get dressed.

i am so excited to partner with hatch collection today, to share two maternity looks i put together from their beautiful new spring collection. i have actually had several pieces from hatch in my wardrobe throughout the years since they first launched, about six years ago, when i was pregnant with samson and eleanor was almost one! one of the things i love about them is how timeless each piece can feel, and how they...

i have found myself in the most intense nesting mode i’ve ever experienced with any of my other pregnancies this past month or so. i think a lot of it has to do with the fact that you read and hear a lot of...

i hope everyone had a wonderful easter weekend! we are currently up in boston visiting my sister and her husband and their new baby boy, which will surely go down as the biggest highlight of conrad’s month over here! he won’t leave his new cousin’s side, and on the car ride up to boston yesterday he sang over and over again a little song he made up all about his new baby cousin! holding a newborn is something i haven’t done in a really long time, and it makes me part so excited for the twins arrival next month but also really puts into perspective just how crazy it will be to try to hold two babies, or feed two babies, or do anything with two babies during that super fragile stage where they are so new and you can’t really just scoop them up with one hand and throw them on a hip! LOL. life is gonna get interesting soon! i am so so excited about everything in store.

i wanted to share a few photos from our easter sunday back in new york before we left for boston. we had such a great day together at home. we started it off with crepes, which has become a general conference tradition in our family, and since general conference just happened...

happy easter weekend! we kicked ours off by making empty-tomb rolls, which are SO easy, take just a few minutes and are extra fun for the kids because they can do every step on their own! it’s basically a crescent roll wrapped around a large marshmallow with lots of butter and cinnamon and sugar. the marshmallow melts away once it’s baked so when you open your roll, it’s empty inside. the idea or symbolism behind them is in celebration of the resurrection of jesus christ, something our family celebrates over easter. we followed this recipe by the girl who ate everything, for those interested in making some this weekend. they were seriously so much fun to make, and while maybe messy (sugar everywhere towards the end there!), we had a lot of fun together in the kitchen making these and definitely recommend them.

lots of photos below!

first things first. unraveling the packaging of the crescent rolls and seeing the container pop was so funny to samson! he thought it was the most clever thing and it was so sweet to watch his reaction.

dear glimmers of warm sunshine on windy city sidewalks,
i see you. i feel you. i’m so incredibly thankful for you.

dear baby bangs,
still debating if you were a terrible idea. but fortunately you’re just hair, and with that trusty prenatal vitamin that makes hair grow like a weed, i feel okay about you.

dear easter weekend coming up,
i can already smell the cinnamon rolls and to put it calmly,  I.CANNOT.WAIT.

dear sleeping at night sitting up,
tried you for the first time last night. i don’t really have any other options at this point so can we be nice to each other and make this work?

i know i have already admitted a few times over here on this blog of mine that this twin pregnancy has made me feel like an entirely different person at times over the last several months. one of the harder parts of it all for me isn’t the physical pain or exhaustion i’m feeling regularly as much as the guilt that has found its way into my day to day as an already mother to three little ones. i feel like i physically and mentally haven’t been able to be the fully present and active mama my children deserve since basically october, and it hurts. i’ve been the mama in her freaking pajamas 80% of the day, who struggles to sit down on the floor with them and then stand again when i need to get up. who struggles to read a story to them because i feel out of breath mid-way and have to pause (how lame is that?)! i totally get that it’s pregnancy related and not forever, but it’s actually been a lot harder for me (possibly more so for my pride) to take than i ever expected.

i found myself crawling into bed one day last week after some morning meetings i had to go to with josh and sleeping until past 7PM (a miracle honestly because i sleep in 30- 40 minute increments...

from the very bottom of my heart, i can’t thank you enough for the kind words and feedback you have shared with us since we announced the launch of our family luggage collection at target earlier this week. thank you! thank you!!!! i tell josh all the time, that we truly have the best followers and readers in all the land, so many of you who feel like legit friends i could sit across the table from for hours, and i mean it! after working on a specific project for so long, and also having to keep it under wraps during that time, it just felt so good to finally say, “it’s here!” you never know how something may be received, and so to have felt that love from you straight away, it just meant everything.

i truly hope that those of you who bring a few of these luggage pieces along on your next adventures find them to be everything you hoped for.  and that they take away some of the little stresses traveling with kiddos sometimes entail so you can focus on the good stuff…. the making memories part, the having a new adventure part, the being with your people and exploring, discovering and trying new things part…. basically, all the parts that are meant to be focused on! and all...

i am so excited to share some big news with you today! josh and i (with lots of input from the kids!!) have been working on a family luggage collection line for almost a year now, and it just launched at target this past week! it’s being sold at all target stores nationwide as well as online for the next couple months and i still can’t believe it. so many of you have been sending me pictures this week from your local target stores of the collection as they’ve been stocking all the pieces in stores. getting your pictures and traveling with the final pieces during these past couple months, we are feeling really proud of this line and hope you love using these luggage pieces as you travel with your loved ones as much as we’ve loved putting it all together this past year.

i think you all know how much our family loves to travel, and i really take to heart the way it has bonded us as we have explored, discovered and tried new things together on different adventures. i know it can be intimidating at times to think about being on a plane with a little one, or on a long drive in a confined space with a tiny toddler, but i swear it’s always worth it.

a lot of you don’t...

perhaps this says a lot about the stage of life i’m in, when walking into an apartment with a washer and dryer feels like i hit the jackpot, but in all honesty, it truly did feel like i just won the lottery when we walked through this new york city apartment for the first time and saw those beautiful machines. having not had a washer or dryer in our last apartment for the past 5 YEARS (!!!) is probably why i’m still a little bit giddy every time i start a load of laundry, or pull fresh warm sheets out of the dryer. truth be told, i still hate folding laundry, and i still struggle with how in the world you’re supposed to fold a fitted sheet (please tell me i’m not alone here), but overall, i’m very grateful.

since daily laundry is a pretty new occurrence for our family, josh and i have been diligent about trying to learn and educate ourselves about what sorts of cleaning products are best for our home and family. we’ve been trying to be better at this in all aspects of our life, from cleaning products to anything food related we bring home, and laundry products was one we didn’t know much about at all. today, we’re partnering with Grove, a service we began using before this partnership, to share...

these photos are from several weeks ago, but i wanted to share them along with some of the things that i’ve found have eased my mind and body...

i realized towards the end of my first trimester that i was for sure going to need to be in maternity clothing during this twin pregnancy. i always love all of the maternity clothing, but i’ve also loved the challenge with my three other pregnancies of trying to make my own regular wardrobe work for as long as i possibly could around the bump. i maybe have a distinct memory of being in line at trader joe’s with baby eleanor while pregnant with samson when my regular jeans button completely popped and flew across the aisle (embarrassing) but you know, nothing the old pony tail trick looped around a new button couldn’t fix for a few more months (do you guys know that one? a life saver!)

it’s been fun finding...

gosh, this trip to utah has been nothing short of wonderful. we flew in just as a big snowstorm hit and it has made our time here all the more magical to see the snow everywhere. i wanted to share some photos from our first day on the slopes. i admit i’m usually skeptical of how the day will go, especially in the morning when we’re getting everybody dressed and all the layers and bundling takes a year to complete because some little thing is bothering them and someone realizes they have to go potty again after they are fully dressed for the mountain, but somehow, at the end of the day, we’re always walking away being like, “that was so much fun!” i think we are one step closer to josh’s dream of having his family be a snowboarding family. :) and while these kiddos might be city kids, they are also all about the mountain. i’m just feeling a lot of proud feelings today that they wanted to keep going, even when they were falling or the snow was blowing in their face.

i didn’t get to see much of eleanor or samson on this first morning of snowboarding, because we set them up with a lesson while josh and i helped conrad. we decided to do this since i’m not able to be up on the mountain helping out this...

wanted to hop on here and share a bunch of photos from our first day in park city, utah! the kids have a long winter break from school around this time of year, and so we kept up with last year’s tradition and booked a trip to utah again for the break. this time around though, we’ve been really lucky to have incredible snow during our stay (dare i say, the greatest snow on earth?! ;), and it’s made everything extra beautiful and sparkly during our stay. been wonderful to see both sets of grandparents and get reacquainted with the slopes! can’t wait to share some snowboarding videos and pics later, because it’s been such a positive adventure this year for all three of them and it’s made me so happy to witness.

we’ve been at a hotel in park city that is right at the bottom of main street, so on our first morning, we walked up main street to have breakfast at one of josh’s favorite spots from when he visited park city as a kid (the eating establishment– i think he holds it dear more from all the memories he’s made there over the years growing up than for the food). the restaurant is almost to the very top of main street, so it felt like a hike in and of itself,...

one of my most frequently asked questions these days is around finding deals on airfare, especially since we are a family of 5 (and 5 tickets add up!!!!) but have gotten the hang of finding cheaper airfare to destinations around the world, which has honestly become one of josh’s and my favorite pastimes. of course, what one considers a cheap airline ticket will vary from one person to the next, and i think we have an advantage living in new york city which is a big hub for many international airlines, but i do think it’s possible to find cheap tickets no matter where you are and where you want to go.

i understand that travel isn’t for everyone, and it can feel like such a luxury for sure to be able to make a big trip to a new place happen, especially with little ones in tow. i am a true believer in giving experiences and adventures over tangible gifts whenever possible, but i don’t believe those have to be extravagant. i remember so many camping trips my family took near our home growing up when i was a little girl that created some of my favorite memories with my siblings. so while this post is focused on finding deals when it comes to airfare around the world, never let that stop you...

i’ve realized that while i don’t hate winter entirely, bright colors are what get me through these later months...

one of my favorite holidays is here! the one where we get to celebrate love by basically eating anything chocolate all day long! ;) i mean, how can this not be in anyone’s top 5 favorite days of the year to celebrate?!

on saturday, the kids and i made more chocolate covered strawberries than we knew what to do with, and i think it’s safe to say we are all a little bit over them at this point. that is what happens when you stuff yourself happy with one of your favorite treats for 24 hours straight. (we did give some to neighbors, but still! it appears we ate our weight in them, as well.)

things pretty high up there on my list of things i love…. my family (obviously), nyc and getting to call it home, a warm bath at the end of a long day while watching top chef, hugs and cuddles and kisses from my three little ones, and then all the love this baby bump has been receiving by the three of them as well. a really good work out and stretch afterwards, an ice cold mexican coke, a self performed solid bang trim that actually looks semi-okay, catching up with girlfriends and scrubbing my bathroom clean…finding an amazing travel deal online and being able to get a solid...

one last quick blog post to share the remaining photos and a few stories from eleanor’s and my girls trip to paris last week! still on such a high from this special one-on-one time we got to share together in one of our favorite places and thank you for allowing me to share some of these photos and words with you here!

you can see part I of this trip RIGHT HERE.

most definitely a favorite moment of the trip for both of us was being surrounded by monet’s water lilies at the musée de l’orangerie. i’ve taken eleanor to see the one at the MoMA here in NYC, but to be completely surrounded by them has always made me emotional and i was hopeful it would be a special experience for eleanor as well.  she is such a little artist and is constantly painting and drawing and creating throughout the day here at home. anyway, this was a trip highlight!