Being Brickner : 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

Our New Home // Before Pictures

It's been a little over two weeks since we closed on our new house and even though we are very still much in the trenches of renovations (and won't even be moving in for at least a couple more weeks), we are finally starting to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel and it feels sooooooo good!  I thought I would share some before pictures, I did a really bad job documenting the progress we made on our last house and want to be able to remember how far we come this time around!

First some background on our house search, which started back in October and lasted SEVEN MONTHS, until we made the offer on our house mid-March!  The entire reason that we started looking for a new home was for a better school district, we had just done a ton of work on our house and honestly loved it more than ever, but our priority was getting our girls to some of the best schools in the area (which especially as a teacher, is so important to me!).  This narrowed our options way down, some other things that I really wanted in a house were natural light, hardwood floors, four bedrooms, and if possible, a house that was unique & had some charm.  Especially after looking at so many houses, they all started to look alike to me and I hated that!  My husband's non-negotiable was a garage, and we both agreed that we wanted a big yard for the kids and somewhere that we could make our own, that needed some work but not too much work, if that makes sense.  We both love old homes and the idea of making them beautiful again, but we also didn't have the time to do a complete gut job with three kids.

Turns out those requirements were a lot to ask for.  We walked in house after house and almost every one we knew pretty much immediately, it just didn't feel like home.  We came across a lot of houses that had recently been flipped by investors (which we hated the idea of!), some houses that we knew the layout would never work, and other houses that were in neighborhoods that we just didn't love.  Right around Christmas, we found a major fixer upper in a really good neighborhood, made an offer and it was accepted, and then decided to decline the following week after finding out it was way more work than we thought.  We were so discouraged at this point, especially after selling our house and realizing we would be homeless within a couple months.  But also knew we did not want to settle on anything we didn't love, so we planned to look for a little bit longer and then find a rental until the perfect house came along.

And thankfully, just a few days later, it did!  Funny enough, the house had been listed for a while and we never went to see it because it was a little more than we wanted to spend and also because it only had a one-car garage (my husband really wanted a bigger one).  But after we finally decided to go and  saw it in person, we both immediately could envision making it our own and how much potential it had.  The house is definitely a fixer upper, which is kind of crazy starting back at square one after we just finished our other one, but we love the bones and are so, so excited about the neighborhood, school district, and huge yard for our little girls to grow up in!

A few before pictures taken right after we closed, so everything is pictured how we bought it, including paint and floors -- things look completely different now!  We have hit quite a few road blocks, which has been stressful and we still have a long ways to go, BUT we know it's all going to be worth it!  I am already dreaming of summer days here with the big girls, with most of the big work behind us and doing all the nesting for their baby sister on the way.

And the progress pictures, taken late last week, after we uncovered this brick wall (best surprise!) and knocked two walls down to open up the downstairs.  Cannot wait to share more soon!

Happy weekend! XO

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Gender Reveal Dinner

A little overdue, but I have been wanting to share about the night that we that told our family & closest friends that we were expecting a little GIRL!!  This was also the last time that we hosted anything at our house before we moved, and ironically looking back now, it was also the exact day that we found and went to see our new house for the first time.  Such a special night to remember forever!

A little bit about how my husband & I found out earlier that week.  We both agreed that we wanted to find out on our own this time, just the two of us.  With Waverly, we had the big gender reveal party and then with Avalon we went to a 4D ultrasound place to find out early, and Waverly came with us.  Both experiences were perfect in their own way, each so different which I really liked, and I can still remember every little detail about both and exactly how I felt each time.  I wanted this to be different too, and also for whatever reason I was probably most anxious and nervous to find out this time around, so being with Joe and no one else, and then soaking it in all on our own for a few days afterwards, just felt right.

Since we did the blood test, I was literally waiting for an email, which came right in the middle of teaching my seventh bell one Monday.  I was dying.  I knew I could press the button to find out immediately and it was taking EVERYTHING in me not to, but I knew it would be worth it to wait (and also chose not to since I texted him after I got it and asked if he would rather me find out and surprise him, and got a big hell no!).  After school, I took the girls to my parents and then met Joe for an early dinner to open the email!  We sat on the same side of the booth and clicked the button to "find out the sex of your baby" and there it was, it's a girl.  A completely healthy little girl!  It's still so surreal to think about it and feels like such a dream.

We waited to tell anyone (especially Waverly & Avalon, who would have told everyone immediately), until that weekend.  I am the worst secret keeper ever, so it was hard, but I was excited to share the news in a fun way.  We decided to go with silly string, which was SO MUCH FUN, also a huge mess, but the timing worked out well since we were getting ready to start packing and live in chaos for a little while anyways.  I got a bunch of pink silly string from Party City and wrapped them so no one could tell before we started spraying, super easy and the kids really got into it.  It would also make for such fun pictures, which we got zero of with all the craziness and also because we were planning on doing confetti ones later that week!  We did take a video and I will love it forever, I can't wait to share it with her one day!

Both the girls thought it was a boy from day one, right up until the confetti came out of the cans, so I was excited to see their faces when they saw pink instead.  They are both so happy about a little sister, probably Waverly way more than Avalon since she just gets it more.  The next day after the dinner she wore head to toe pink to school and also carried a post-it with a stick figure colored pink to "make sure everyone knew it was a girl".  Sweetest ever, I just cannot wait to see the three of them together!

PS -- I LOVE reading old wives tales for gender, and did this religiously for a solid three weeks before we found out.  Most of them were right for me this time, as well as the other two times before!  The Chinese Gender Calendar said girl all three times (so crazy to me!!), I had really hard first trimesters as well as the same exact cravings & aversions all three times, and all three little girls had high heartrates (this one being the highest, 172).  My mom intuition for gender is waaay off though, if you would have asked me before finding out with any of the three, I would have totally said boy, and my husband guessed right all three times!!!!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Roman Numeral Necklace // Sincerely Silver

Happiest Friday!!!  I'm stopping in to share one of my favorite new necklaces, I am all about having fun with accessories these days as with my growing bump, my wardrobe is getting smaller & smaller!!  Sincerely Silver reached out about sending over this roman numeral bar necklace, and I love the idea of picking a special date to have close around your neck everyday.  I chose our anniversary, and am excited to wear it along with my favorite necklace with both my girls names on it (that will have to be updated with another name soon!!).  

It's dainty enough to wear everyday, but still makes a fun statement, especially when layered or paired with other pieces.  My other necklace is gold and I love the combination of the mixed metals together, but also love it equally all on it's own!  

You can see all the pieces from Sincerely Silver here, any of these would make such a fun gift for Mother's Day coming up!!!  Happy shopping & HAPPY weekend, friends! XO

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Easter 2018

After a few weeks of non-stop packing and cleaning and all the things that come with moving, I was so ready for a weekend with lots of family time!  I just love Easter and all the excitement that comes with it, the florals and the pretty colors and the weather finalllly warming up after a long winter!!

I will always remember this Easter as the one where we were between homes and were technically homeless, but thankfully had family who were sweet enough to take our entire circus in.  The girls bunny pajamas were packed far away in a storage unit and instead were replaced with mismatched tees & pants from a tote box, but of course they never knew they difference and thought the fact that the Easter bunny found us at Glamma's house was about the coolest thing ever.  I will always remember this Easter as the one when after each egg hunt, Waverly divided up her eggs by color and saved most everything for later, and Avalon ate every single piece of candy from her eggs within three minutes.  And then tried to take Waverly's.  And of course, I will always remember this Easter as the one where our third baby girl was in my belly, I cannot believe she will be crawling around for all the fun at this time next year.

Girls Dresses -- Girls Shoes
Hope you had the most wonderful Easter! XO

PS -- My dress is from Mia Tango Maternity, I have been wearing their pieces this pregnancy and am loving them all!  Use the code ASHLEY10 to get 10% off your order. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Goodbye to Our First Home!

Aaaahhh, it's our very last day in our very first home!  My husband & I were talking the other night about what a weird feeling it is, in just a couple of days another young family will be putting their groceries away in the pantry (that was our girls favorite hiding spot!) and soap in the bathroom we worked so hard on just a few months back.   Their little ones will be running across the squeaky hardwood floors and through the sliding back door to the backyard, the one that is fenced in after a long summer of my husband doing it entirely by hand.

We bought our house four & a half years ago, after searching for what felt like forever, I still remember the day I drove over with my mom to see it and called my husband at work immediately to tell him I just knew it was the one.  We bought it as a foreclosure, so it needed a ton of work, but we knew we could make it our own and honestly were just so excited to have a ton of space and actually own our own home that we didn't care about the kind of shape it was in.  Waverly was about to turn one at the time, her & I spent the first couple of months living at my parents house while my husband lived at our new house doing renovations and getting it to the point where we could actually live there.  Which he did, the three of us finally got to move in (best day ever!) and since then have put many long hours of work and SO MUCH love into every single room, hallway, and corner of space we had.  All of it took a lot longer than we had ever planned, our girls were still taking baths in their avocado green bathroom until a few months ago, but ironically I am already positive that it's that same green bathroom I will look back on and smile about forever.

Our first home will always hold so many of our greatest memories.  It's where Waverly officially learned to walk & we found out she was going to be a big sister, where we brought a newborn Avalon Elle home from the hospital, and where we celebrated endless birthdays and holidays and game nights and everything in between.  It's where we really learned to be parents, the good parts and the bad, where we watched our babies grow literally before our eyes, and where most recently, we shared with our family & friends that we were expecting our third baby girl with a bunch of hot pink silly string all over our living room floor.

A photo of the girls in that living room from this week, everything is pretty empty from packing and we've had a couple nights of eating dinner on storage totes and blankets.  They think it's all pretty fun and are super excited to have "sleepovers" at their grandparents house over the next few weeks until our new house is ready.

The biggest thank you to so many of our family and friends who have taken time the past couple of weeks to come over and help us pack, or take the girls for a few hours so we could, or for bringing their own kids over so our kids could play in the backyard with them while we filled storage boxes (and goodwill totes!) with their toys.  It truly takes a village and we are forever thankful for ours!!!  Goodbye, first house, it's time for a new adventure but we will remember you forever!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Easter Week

I cannot even believe Easter is less than one week away!!  This year will look a lot different for us, Saturday is our last day in our current home and the girls & I will be moving in with my parents for a few weeks while my husband stays at our new house for some renovations.  We had to let go of some of our favorite traditions (like our annual Easter Egg Hunt which made me so sad!!), but keep reminding ourselves of how much it will be worth it when we are hunting in our NEW HOME next year!!

My grandparents were so sweet to dye eggs with the girls while I was packing last weekend, I made a rather pathetic attempt at Easter cookies yesterday when I realized all our cookie cutters were packed and already in storage, and also worth noting, we have walked by the Easter bunny at the mall at least three times the past few weeks and waved from a far distance, both my five & two year old are still pretty terrified of him.  We cannot wait to celebrate this weekend with a couple egg hunts and brunch with our families, feeling very thankful that we live near them so even if we don't currently have a house to go to, we have plenty of places that still feel like it!

Also sharing the girls Easter baskets, I plan to add some bath bombs, spring-colored chalk, and stickers before the bunny makes his way to my parents house Sunday morning.  With the exception of the book, both girls baskets are identical (even all the colors!), I learned that lesson the hard way last year!

Bathing Suit -- Shoes -- Book

Sending love from our family to yours during this special holiday! XO

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Baby Girl Three!

Our sweet surprise baby on the way is a GIRL!!!!!!!!  A baby SISTER!  We are over the moon excited and already counting down the days to meeting her.

We found out a few weeks ago after the results came back from our blood test, but it honestly doesn't even feel real yet.  When I was younger, I was pretty convinced that we would end up with a bunch of boys, I'm not even sure why I thought that and know it would have been incredibly amazing in it's own way, but here I am, 16 weeks pregnant with my third baby girl and feeling overwhelmed with joy and so very thankful.  I just keep thinking of what a magical childhood 
our girls will have growing up together, and maybe even more special, the sisterhood that they will share for their entire lives.  Since we've shared our news, I've had so many people message me or comment on how they are one of three sisters and it was their favorite, or how they knew a family with all girls and how special it was to see them together, and all of that just makes me smile so much.  I am soooo happy for them and already get butterflies thinking of seeing our THREE sissies together for the first time!

My husband is just fine, I think it takes a very special man to be able to raise girls and he's got it down.  He can braid hair like a boss and helps put princess dresses on without blinking an eye, and of course our girls love all of that, but they also care about the stuff he is into just as much.  One of Waverly's favorite things is watching deer hunting videos and Avalon's favorite color is blue, she would rather play with a bunch of cars than dolls any day.  I love that he raises them to think (or know!) that they can do anything or be into anything that boys can, and I know he will do the same with our next little lady.

She is so very loved already!

The biggest thank you for sharing in our excitement this week, it truly mean so much! XO

All images by Shawna Bielat Photography.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Moving Time!

Just in case it didn't seem like we had enough going on over here with a new job for my husband and a third baby on the way, we decided to really make things fun and officially sell our house!  Honestly there's not much else I can do but laugh when I think about all these changes at once, I am really not that good of a multi-tasker and usually try to stick to one thing at a time, but this is how it worked out and obviously how it was meant to be.  Life is currently a little crazy but we are certainly feeling so grateful for what we have and also stronger together than ever.

When we bought our first house five years ago, we knew it wouldn't be our forever home but were super excited to start raising our family there while also doing some home improvements along the way.  There were (and still are!) a ton of things I love about it but I knew we would want to be in a different area eventually and also didn't really love the schools that we were zoned for.  At the time, we only had one kid, a baby Waverly who was less than a year and it felt like we had all the time in the world.  Then of course I blinked, it was this past fall and we had two little girls, one who was starting kindergarten and another who wasn't all that far behind.  A few weeks after Waverly started school this past September, it became pretty clear that getting the girls to the area that we would be in while they were growing up (and in schools that we really, REALLY loved!) was a priority to us.  Both my husband & I went to the same schools, with the same friends, throughout our 13 years and though I know that can't always happen for everyone, we really wanted to make that work for our kids if we could.  So we were determined to finish the projects around the house we knew we needed to in order to list it, and also spent our extra time on the weekends starting to look around at other houses to buy.

And then came late December, and we found out about a surprise baby on the way!  We couldn't have been happier about it, but it also made us really re-think the timing of moving and whether it was realistic and worth it, or if it would just stress us out.  We went back & forth about it forever, what seemed like the right decision one hour was the wrong one the next, and we really struggled with figuring out what the right move for all (five!) of us would be.  We ultimately decided to wait, at least until the baby was six months, Waverly was liking her school a lot more and there really weren't any houses on the market that we had fallen in love with anyways.  And then the very NEXT DAY two houses popped up, both that we loved but that we couldn't put offers on since we hadn't listed our house quite yet.  We 100% took it as a sign and decided to list our house the following week.

We had never sold a house and completely didn't know what to expect, I really thought it would sit on the market for a few months and we would maybe sell it, but if so we would have tons of time to think about it and could really think it through again if we needed to.  So we were SHOCKED when we had three full-price offers within 24 hours of listing it, and were under contract with one of those offers the following day.  Since then we've been through both the inspection and appraisal, both of which went through, and currently have two more weeks until closing when we have to be out of our first home!!!

So, allllll the feelings.  We are so excited about this new chapter, but it's also pretty bittersweet.  All of the girls memories are from this home, as well as most of ours as a young family, so many special moments with birthdays and holidays and just everyday things, and of course bringing Avalon home from the hospital.  We have started packing boxes and I know they don't really understand it, so that has been hard to explain.  Ultimately though, I know it's for the best and I am so happy for all of us!  Up until about a week ago, we had no idea where would be going (and were possibly going to rent month to month until we found "the" place for us), but are currently under contract for our new home and we LOVE IT so much!!!  I'm very superstitious so I'm going to wait to share about it until it's officially ours, but I hope to be sharing some pictures soon!  Until then, a photo of the girls in our house last year on Easter, I'm already a little sad thinking that we won't be there to celebrate one of our favorite holidays in a few weeks.  Our first home will always hold a special place in my heart and I already know how much it will be missed.

Happiest weekend, friends, hope it's a good one! XO

Friday, March 9, 2018

Roll & Go Stroller // Babyroues

We have started collecting some fun things for baby number three, it's so crazy how many new and updated baby products there are now, just three years after I was pregnant with Avalon.  I'm trying to be better than I was the first time around (when I needed allllll the things), and really stick to what is essential and I know we can't live without.  That's seriously the one piece of advice I wish I could go back and give myself six years ago, when I was a first time expecting mama and registering for literally the entire Babies R Us store.

I have such a love/hate relationship with strollers.  It never fails, when I actually bring it out with us, the girls want nothing to do with it, and I end up pushing the huge stroller around with zero kids in it and instead, three packs of half empty goldfish and the one lone sippy cup that we didn't lose along the way.  When I don't bring it, I regret it, they complain that their legs hurt and I end up somehow carrying each of them plus my huge bag that I have no where to put, since I didn't bring a stroller.  Tell me I am not the only one. 

We currently have a double stroller, which is convenient and I am sure we will use with Avalon and the new baby, but I really wanted another option that was smaller, more lightweight and practical for just the baby.  Babyroues recently sent us their new Roll & Go stroller and I am SO EXCITED about how easy it is to use.  We have been testing it out with Avalon, it's lightweight but still full-sized, with enough room to hang my bag and carry anything else random in the bottom basket.

The feature I am most excited about, a pull handle that transforms the stroller into a luggage like carry-on.  This is so convenient for stairs, escalators, and especially for traveling.  We are planning to fly to Colorado not long after the baby is born for my little brother's wedding and this will be so helpful and take a lot of stress off!

If you are in the market for a new stroller, the Roll & Go can be purchased here.  Happy strolling! XO

This post was sponsored by Babyroues, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, February 26, 2018

First Trimester: Baby Three

Well, I am officially thirteen weeks pregnant and out of the first trimester!  In some ways these last couple of months have felt like a couple hundred, and in others it's flown by.  Either way, I'm heading into trimester two still feeling pretty nauseous and exhausted, but mainly so incredibly thankful to be growing a healthy baby.  I won't be doing weekly updates this time around, I just don't have the time, but it's still important to me to document this pregnancy.  I love looking back on the updates from each of the girls, and they (especially Waverly, now that she is older) LOVE to hear about and look at pictures of memories from when they were in my belly.  I want this sweet baby of ours to know that he or she is just as loved as our first two, things miiiight just be a little more chaotic now. ;)

This first trimester has probably been my hardest one yet.  All three times, I've felt pretty much exactly the same -- completely nauseous all day long, exhausted out of my mind, and starving but with tons of food aversions -- but this time around it's just felt way more brutal, maybe because I'm older, maybe because we've also had a lot going on with the house, or probably mostly, I also have two other kids to run after.  I just hate not having the energy that I normally do, especially when it comes to the girls, but I keep reminding myself that the beginning part is short-lived and SO WORTH IT.  My husband is a saint, the girls have been so sweet & understanding (my favorite part, getting their doctor's kit out to help all the time!), and I made it a conscience decision to really give myself some grace which made everything so much easier.  I really love being pregnant and both other times started to feel 100% better at this point, I am already turning a corner and definitely can't wait to really get there soon!

We have had three ultrasounds so far, I am actually a high risk pregnancy because of my age, I will be 35 TWO DAYS before my due date and apparently that's the cut-off.  So crazy, I definitely don't feel old enough to be considered "advanced age" but love the extra appointments and getting to see the baby more.  This most recent one, the baby was moving around like crazy, the side profile was beyond precious and reminded me so much of both Waverly & Avalon.  It's crazy, this may be our third baby but seeing that sweet little face and hearing the heartbeat is every bit as magical as the first time, maybe even more now that we know how much we have to look forward to!

From the beginning, most people we have told about this pregnancy have said two things.  First, "congrats!!!", and second, "are you hoping for a boy?".   Which honestly, after a while, can drive you CRAZY!!!  We would love to experience a boy, I've heard all the things about the special mother & son bond, have been hoarding boy clothes ideas for years, and also think the girls would be so sweet & adorable with a little brother.  With that being said, we happen to ADORE having little girls, adding another would be just as amazing and the idea of raising three little ladies gets me all sorts of excited.  Really, we are over the moon either way and just cannot wait to find out!!!  I took the blood test last week so we should know very soon and can't wait to share the news.

Thank you again for all your sweet comments, it means so much to us. I'm super excited to share our journey as we prepare to become a family of FIVE!!!!!!!!!!!  XO

Friday, February 16, 2018

Baby B THREE!!

Aaaaah, we are having another BABY!!!!!!!  Thank you so, so much for sharing in our excitement this week, your support and sweet comments mean so much to all of us.  I hate keeping secrets, especially one this big, so it's been so fun to finally share (and to not have to hide this baby three bump anymore!).

So, we found out CHRISTMAS morning, the best (and most SHOCKING!) present ever.  We have always known we wanted a big family, but just weren't sure of the timing.  I've never felt "ready" to even think about another baby until each of my girls were at least two, and when Avalon turned two early last summer, I knew I was closer to wrapping my head around it, but we also had a lot going on (with both work changes for my husband, house renovations, and getting ready to try to sell & buy another home).  So we decided to wait a while to try for baby three, we definitely planned and tried for both our first two kids, so I just assumed this time it would be no different -- we would wait until things calmed down and plan for it just like we did the first two times.  And then came Christmas morning.  I didn't feel pregnant at all, the thought of it being a possibility hadn't even popped into my head, so when my husband put the pregnancy test into my stocking (as a joke!), I thought he was ridiculous and lost his mind.  Yet it was there, so I took it, and never in a million years thought it would be positive, but two little lines popped up, both way more quickly and way darker than they did either of my first two pregnancies.

If you know me, you know I am SUCH a planner (to a fault), so this was such a different experience than with the girls.  I was shocked, so, so shocked, but really in the best kind of way.  Alllll the things were running through my head (I had no idea what we were going to do about the house, handling three kids while my husband was in a job change, when was the baby even due?!, three kids will never fit in my small SUV, we haven't even thought of names ...... ) -- but ultimately none of that mattered when I looked at my two little girls and realized that we got to have another one of these sweet lives to call our own!!!  It honestly was the best thing that could have happened to my over-planning personality, and this sweet baby will always be the greatest surprise of my life.  It's now a month and a half later and we still have none of those details worked out, not even close, but I am 100% certain we have a whole lot of love to give and if parenting has taught me anything, it's that when it comes down to it, that's all that matters.

The girls are soooo excited, Waverly of course just "gets it" this time around and is so into it, and Avalon pretty much copies everything she does, so she of course is really into it as well.  They love to kiss my belly and that's always the first thing they do when they see me after work, and we've also been using the our doppler the last couple of weeks so they can hear the baby's heartbeat.  I think the hardest part for them will be waiting so long, they are already waking up and asking if we can "open my belly to get the baby out today".  September first is our official due date (two days after my own birthday!), so the countdown starts now!!!!  Cannot WAIT!  Thank you again for being a part of our journey and for always being so supportive. XO

Friday, February 9, 2018

Waverly's Room Refresh

We have been knee deep in house projects since the start of the year over here, which is always super exciting and fun, and of course it also adds an entire new level of chaos to a life with little ones.  Thankfully we are finally done (!!!) with everything, just a couple months later than we had originally planned, we gutted and completely renovated our master bathroom in the month of January and now our house is officially ready to put on the market!  We are still going back & forth on what we may end up doing, for a few reasons, but for now are loving all the new improvements and just soaking them in while we are still at our current home.

We recently added some fun new details in Waverly's room that I wanted to share, each of the girls rooms are probably my favorite two in the house, decorating spaces for little people is just too much fun!  Wherever we end up, we will most likely put the girls together, this has been our plan forever  but Avalon is still content in her crib and I'm just not ready to give that up quite yet (second kid).

I teamed up with Opal & Olive on these wooden signs and they are the sweetest, most darling little additions to her room!!  They are super high quality and she has a ton of other options as well, the "tiny girl gang" was my favorite and I love the idea of it when the girls share a room.

We also upgraded to a new comforter, we worked with Beddy's on this and if you have never heard of them, you MUST check them out!  Their bedding is made for kids, with zippers on both sides, so it fits on like a bedsheet.  This has been a total game-changer for mornings at our house, especially during the week, Waverly can make her bed all on her own and she loves to do it!  The inside is also super soft and cozy, she loves to get "zipped" up in it at night so much (as do I because, bedtime!).

See below for links for everything pictured in this post, hope you guys had the best week!!! XO

Signs -- Knobs (Similar) -- Dress-up Mask -- Tutu -- Necklaces -- Bedding -- Doll 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Our Ladies Lately

Once again I blinked and my girls are halfway through another year, we are going to celebrate their half-birthdays this weekend with our annual half of a cake and birthday song!  It's also been forever since I have done an update on each of them, so it seemed like perfect timing.

Waverly Maye, age five & a half, she was officially halfway to SIX on the 26th. 
 Kindergarten has been both wonderful and an adjustment.  She loves her friends SO MUCH, loves PE, loves lunch, loves getting all dressed up for the day (with all the accessories) and loves learning in general.  Going from three half-days a week in preschool to full-day, everyday kindergarten leaves her pretty tired though, and sometimes the afternoons can be challenging since she has tons of energy saved up and also is just plain exhausted.  We have moved up bedtime a bit and I absolutely love reading stories and cuddling with her at the end of the day, which is also the time that she will really tell me all about what happened in school or about how she is feeling.  Losing our dog at Christmas was really hard on her, maybe even more than anyone in the house.  She still talks about him daily, we've written him a "letter in heaven", and she always just wants to make sure he is doing alright up there.  It shows what a big heart she has, she really loves so hard and feels even harder.  When she comes up with an idea she is going to do it, 110%, which will always be one of my favorite things about her.  She is the girliest of girls, loves jewelry, all things princess, performing, and wants to play "mommy and baby" with Avalon (her very best friend in the whole wide world) at least once a day.  She still reminds me a lot of myself and is forever the one who made me a mama.  Goodness I love her so.

Avalon Elle, age two & a half, her birthday is June 6th so she is officially closer to THREE than two.
Forever as sweet and silly as they come.  She's really grown into her personality lately, she loves to make anyone laugh and once she knows it's working, will do it forever.  Her little voice is my FAVORITE, the way she pronounces "Waver-wee" and says "here am I" when she walks into a room, I wish it would stay forever!  We are officially in that independent stage, she is determined to do everything herself, we went through the same thing with Waverly but I am pretty sure it's at a much higher level this time around since she wants to be JUST LIKE her big sister.  She loves preschool, is a little obsessed with the boys there (so funny!), and always loves to tell us about her "boyfriend" when she gets home.  Her favorite color is currently blue, she loves balls and anything with wheels, and doesn't go a day without requesting Peppa Pig.  She still has the sweetest demeanor in the world, can make anyone fall in love with her, and is the worst eater in the history of EVER (would literally only eat cookies three meals a day if we let her).  She's just the best, still looks so much like my husband and reminds me of him too, which is the sweetest thing ever to me.

People always said that once your babies aren't technically "babies" anymore that it gets way easier, but I'm just going to go ahead and call it like it is (at least at our house), and that's certainly not the case.  The challenges are way different, but still definitely there, and some days by the time bedtime rolls around goodness I am READY.  The highs and heart-melting joys are still very real though too.  It never fails, just when I feel mom guilt or wonder if we even come close to know what we are doing raising these little people into good humans, they do something amazing and my heart swells with pride and I just can't even believe that they are ours.  They will always be so much more than worth it.

Dresses c/o Colored Organics
Wishing you the happiest FEBRUARY, one of our favorite months of the year!!!!!! XO