Thursday, December 01, 2016

frankie's holiday

Stumbled across this video the other day, and I totally cried. Love it. I may have watched it a dozen times since then with the kiddos.
Literally, I get emotional every time I watch it.

Let's all be kind to one another.

http://www.apple.com/holiday-film/

Thursday, November 17, 2016

2 MONTHS UNTIL BABY!

If everything goes as planned, this sweet baby girl should make her grand appearance 2 months from today (possibly sooner)!
We are a little bit thrilled about that. And also a little bit like, holy crap, THREE KIDS?!
Two months seems just around the corner, and with Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Garrett's birthday in there....I'm afraid it might come too soon. (Who woulda thought I'd ever say that about my due date...hah!)

As far as pregnancy goes...it hurts, but we're surviving.
I feel like, last time, I was so shocked by all the pain I felt, and it kinda spun me into a panic/depression.
This time, I knew it was coming.
And now that it's here...well, life goes on.
Ya, my hips hurt 24/7 and my capabilities are vastly diminished.
But mentally, I feel like I got it all under control. Which has been such a help.
Actually, I just have to say, I think it's been our own little miracle. The other day during our bedtime prayers, Rae prayed that my hips wouldn't hurt anymore. At the end of her prayer, she looked up at me, so proud of herself, and said, "Mommy!!! Are your hips all better?!!"
I was heartbroken for half a second as I debated what to say....because no, my hips aren't all better. BUT! I firmly believe that her prayers have been answered in another way...slightly less obvious, but still as miraculous, if you ask me. I just feel so much more capable of enduring the pain. It is what it is. And for some reason, I smile AND wince as I hobble around each day.
With Johnny's pregnancy, I said over and over that his was for sure my last pregnancy. And I was so adamant. Because I just couldn't handle it. So this time, I keep evaluating....Could I do this again? Is this worth it? Will I sign up for all these preggo symptoms again?
And so far? The answer is yes.
I mean, who knows if 4 kids is in our future, but if it is, I think I can do it, physically at lease.

So truly, I'm enjoying this pregnancy. And I'm okay that we still have 2 months before the little miss makes her appearance.

As far as names go, I swear that we have no clue what this chick shall be named. It was easier when we didn't know gender, if you can believe it!
We've got a list a mile long of names that we like, but none that we love. So, we'll see. I'm literally afraid that she's going to be nameless for the first few months of her life.
Feel free to send name suggestions my way.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dallas (with NO kids)

Last Thursday I hopped on a plane [all by myself] and headed to Dallas for the weekend to see my parents and brothers! I just want to emphasize the ALL BY MYSELF part, because that, my friends, was pretty dang cool. Having literally not flown without children for the past 4.5 years, the whole thing felt like luxury. The flight was full, and I was stuck against the window, and I had to pee the whole time.....but I didn't care because I bought FOUR cookies and read my book and it was amazing.

I got in late, but was still welcomed with warm hugs from both my parents at the airport. The next morning was Friday, and Brian and Matt and my Dad all had work, and Kyle and Jade hadn't arrived yet....so my mom and headed out for a little morning date to WACO, TEXAS. We seriously drove an hour and 40 minutes each way to spend a total of 2 hours there...and it was still awesome. (Side note: lately, Garrett and I have been trying to step out of the 'easy' zone and do things that might take a little more effort and work, but are worth it for the experience and memories made! This fell right into that category, and I'm so glad that we made the drive, even just for a short time). Waco was like, this total po-dunk small town (at least what we saw of it), and the Silo's were definitely like this major attraction! About 3 blocks away we started seeing cars lining the streets and people walking in groups. There were SO many people there. And really, it's not a very large property. So, lots of people, and not a ton of room for all of them. We parked a block or two away by a little church, and the lady managing the lot said that it was this busy every. single. day.

The barn/store was so packed, you could hardly even walk through it. And the line to buy something wrapped around the whole store. They had some really darling things, of course, but I decided to skip the line and buy stuff online. The displays were killer though, so I'm really glad we got to go through it all. The grounds were equally as dreamy....big fields with footballs and jumprope and frisbee's, a massive plank-style swing set, and the most gorgeous walk-through garden with fairy houses and lattice walls and the most fragrant smells. The back of the property is lined with food trucks, and my mom and I got some amazing savory crepes filled with fresh spinach, avocado, tomato, turkey, and cilantro sauce. It was divine!
On our way home we had some excitement in the form of a shredded tire....in the middle of nowhere. It took about one second of me (and my pregnant belly) examining the situation before a few cowboys ran up to help out. It all felt very 'TEXAS' with the nice cowboy helping out, some country music blasting in the background, and the beautiful Texas scenery all around. I'm a fan of Texas, I think.

That night Kyle & Jade got into town and everyone met up at my parents for dinner! I got to meet Dylan and Wyatt for the first time ever, and it was so much fun. We played with the kids, ate delicious food, and chatted and laughed all night long. It was such a good night!
The next day, we woke up early and met at Top Golf for a little morning fun. Having literally never golfed before, I still thought it was a ton of fun! Again, lots of chatting and laughing and just enjoying our time together. Afterwards we went to Matt's work where he gave us a tour of all the American History artifacts.....armrests from the Titanic, Lincon's death mask, meteorites, Picasso originals, and fossilized dinosaur eggs....it's basically a museum. Then we got all competitive for a couple games of Pickle Ball. My parents are SO into pickle ball these days, and they were super excited to show us how it's done. It's not really an Enzler reunion without a little competition thrown in there somewhere.

The rest of the day was filled with the best BBQ eeeevvvveeeerrrr, a little visit to Matt's house to see Dara and meet little Oliva (only ONE week old), and then an amazing dinner at Brian's! We literally spent every second of the day together having fun, catching up, and loving on all the new babies! It was a perfect day, filled with some of my favorite people.
And then, early Sunday morning I hopped on a plane and came home. Super quick trip, but we packed so much fun in! I'm already trying to find a way to go back again soon!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

let it go update 1

A few months ago I wrote about my new years resolution to LET GO of all the things that were holding me back. This simple goal has affected dozens and dozens of different aspects of my life. Hopefully I'll be able to write about each of these as time passes (no promises), but today, for some reason I want to write about my homemaking skills, particularly meal times.

Ever since my pregnancy with Johnny got difficult, I put cooking on the back-burner. I actually enjoy cooking (somewhat...I'm no chef), but there just seemed to be more pressing things that I needed to do....laundry and cleaning and keeping Rae alive HAD to be done...we could get by with sub-par dinners. Actually, we bought a grill for this exact reason, and Garrett has become quite the grill master. Anyways, even after Johnboy was born, I still felt so overwhelmed with all my responsibilities, and I never quite picked cooking back up. We've had fine dinners for the past two years, but I wasn't making healthy, balanced, exciting meals on a regular basis like I used to.

So that was one aspect that I chose to focus on with this whole LET IT GO endeavor. Let go of the cravings for unhealthy, lazy meals, push past the desire to rest during nap time (and do dinner prep instead), make myself make up a weekly meal plan, and find ways to enjoy my time in the kitchen again.

Past that, I really wanted to revamp our meal times. We finally bought a big, gorgeous dining room table this year, but we seemed to keep some of our old habits from when we had a tiny table with hardly enough room to eat at. Somedays, for breakfast and lunch, the kids would eat at the table, and I'd eat the computer desk, getting stuff done. Or, if I did eat with them, I'd finish quickly and make my way to the couch to stare mindlessly at my phone. Also, because Rae can be so picky and sooooo slow while she eats, mealtimes were easily our biggest hurdles each day. So many battles. So pretty much, mealtimes were the worst over here. And then, a few weeks ago, I went to a girls night with a couple friends of mine, and one friend mentioned that with her last few children who aren't in school yet, she makes sure to sit at the table with them, and give them all her attention while she eats her meals. Ever since that, I've tried to do the same. No phones at the table, no eating at the computer desk, no finishing early and resigning to the couch. It has changed meal times for us. Things aren't perfect with Rae's eating habits (or Johnny's), but they are so much better. And I've found that I have way more patience to work through a tough meal with them. The table has become family time, three times a day, and I'll never go back to the way we used to do it.

Annnnyways, back to the actual meals! I've had tons of fun making some new meals. Some of them were not our favorites, but most of them have been really delicious!

A few favorite meals right now:

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken: So good you guys, so good! Add some oven roasted cauliflower as a side.

Chicken Enchiladas: Follow the recipe revisions/suggestions in the reviews....I followed the reviewer with the most likes.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps (PF Changs): Very good! Although I'd go lighter on the water chestnuts next time.

Cajun Chicken Pasta: This is great with broccoli mixed in, or peas, or red pepper. Sometimes we just use salt to season the sauce, no cajun seasoning. Not the healthiest dinner, but probably the yummiest!!

Honey Chicken Kabobs: These are our favorites. So easy and so good! We grill up veggie kabobs with it too....one of our favorite dinner party recipes!

THIS Steak Marinade: Just delicious!

Linguine with Shrimp Scampi: I'm a huge shrimp fan, and this definitely delivers. Don't forget those last touches of lemon and red pepper.

Zupa Toscana Soup: I always just wing this one....chicken broth, chopped red potatoes, kale, and ground sausage (1/2lb mild, 1/2lb hot....the perfect kick of spice!). Google it and I'm sure you'll find a great one. Such a good cold-weather treat!

White Chicken Chili: Another easy soup that warms the soul in chilly weather! You can do your own seasoning here, or just use the McCormick white chicken chili seasoning packet from walmart. Way easier, just as delicious! Throw chicken, beans, corn, etc in the crock pot and relax.

These meatballs: Whip them up with rice or mashed potatoes and then broccoli as sides. A fav of ours.

A few other things that have enhanced our meal times:
-Bountiful Baskets! Such a great day, and such an easy way to incorporate lots of freshness into every meal throughout our day. Plus, new veggies give me an excuse to try new recipes.
-Grocery Pickup- We go through our local fry's (same as smith's, kroger, and fred meyers). I meal plan on the weekend, and put everything in my online cart...then pick it up on Monday's. Really keeps me in budget, and also helps me remember everything I need to get, especially since I have the whole day to add to or edit my order. And with hips that hate being pregnant...it really makes my life easy.
-Blue Apron, or other meal delivery services (HelloFresh has a really yummy meal lineup for next week....google coupon codes and you can get 3 meals for $20). We've really had a fun time cooking new meals together in the kitchen. I don't think it's worth $60 a week, but that first week is discounted so it was fun to try. Plus, we got some fun new recipes that we're sure to repeat! We're making our way through all the delivery services to get all the first week discounts.


Anyways, I'm only a couple months in on the whole mealtime revamp, but I am LOVING the results!


Thursday, October 13, 2016

C A M P I N G

Last month we had our ward campout...and for 3 days leading up to it, I thought seriously about bailing. But we bought a tent and Garrett was in charge of the fireside. So, Friday afternoon, after G got home from work and we loaded up a million things in the car, we headed to the mountains!

One of the coolest things about Phoenix, is that while it may be 100+ degrees outside, you can always find cooler temperatures just a short drive away. We drove about an hour and a half and found ourselves in the prettiest little wooded meadow, complete with 70 degree temperatures and the most refreshing breeze.
We let the kids roam and explore and get all kinds of dirty while we set up camp and chatted with friends. We had chips and salsa, grilled up a delicious dinner, and took plenty of nature walks! That night we gathered round the fire with the rest of the ward for some spiritual enlightenment, followed by smores and more laughing and visiting.

Rae and Johnny were enthralled by every bit of it. The frogs croaking and the crickets chirping, the moonlight shining through the branches, casting the most curious shadows, and of course living out of a tent! It was all sorts of crazy from their point of view.
When they were both marshmallowed out, we went back to the tent to get settled for bed. Garrett was off helping someone with a little injury, but I so wish he had been there with us because it was literally one of my favorite moments (hours?) of my whole life. At first the kids bounced around on the air mattress and played all kind of flashlight games on the tent walls...and they laughed and laughed and laughed. But eventually, they both settled down and cuddled up to me, and I for real thought my heart might burst with happiness. It was some combination of all the cool, fresh air, being in nature, hearing the crickets sing, and cuddling up with my two littlest people.....I was literally ALLLLL THE HEART EYES for my family, including the tiny babe that I could feel kicking inside my belly. I'm not kidding, I could pretty much feel the endorphins being released in my brain. It was magical! I decided I had to document it, because it was just so great, and this is what we got. The flash did our eyes no favors, but I seriously love this picture so so much.
A short while later, Garrett came in and joined the slumber party. I woke up a few times that night to make sure everyone was warm, and every time I was just SO happy. Camping.....it's worth all the work!

The next morning the kids slept in much later than I thought (I was worried they'd be up with the sun), and we quickly resumed our nature exploring. We ate a delicious breakfast with the ward, and then the primary provided some really fun games and activities.
^ Lucy & Johnboy! ^
^all bundled up for the chilly morning ^
^ little explorers ^
I was truly so sad when it was time to go home that afternoon. We were literally seconds away from getting in the car to head home when we realized that that the kids had accidentally locked the car doors...with the keys inside. Literally everything we owned was packed up, so we had nothing. Actually, we had some chips and salsa, which definitely helped! But Johnny decided that would be a good time to poop and we didn't have anything to change him with...yikes! With the help of some good friends, we were eventually able to jimmy our way into the car, and we had a good laugh about it all!
Moral of the story? I decided that I love camping! I grew up going OFTEN, but I haven't been in years because, well, kids! But Garrett and I made a pact to just do the hard work and get out there and have fun, because gosh dang, it's so worth it! For sure we'll be going again soon!
^these people of mine, and a 17 week baby bump!^
^bringing her little potty was a last minute golden idea!!^

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