Monday, September 29, 2014

NYC for the Day

On Saturday we spent the day in NYC. We had been wanting to go into the city as a family ever since we moved here two months ago, but our Saturdays have been either busy or rainy days. We woke up Saturday morning to a clear, beautiful day and decided - somewhat last minute - to head to NYC! We had so much fun!
 It's quicker to drive into the city, but the girls really wanted to take the train and see how Josh gets into work each day. I had thrown together a bag of snacks and activities to keep them busy on the train, but we didn't need any of it because the girls were just so excited to look out the window and see where we were headed.
Calm, little Mya is the perfect traveller! She was so sweet and content all day! 
(In our rush to get out the door Mya somehow snuck her blankie with her. I'm pretty sure that blanket is now full of diseases after a day in NYC!)
 Josh usually takes a 40 minute express train into NYC, but we took a regular train into Penn Station and then hopped on the subway for a few stops to get up to the Natural History Museum. It took us about an hour. Bryn loved the subway even more than the train because she could stand up and hold on to the bar. 
 The Natural History Museum. 
Josh and I had been there last fall and were really excited to come back with the kids this time.
 The museum is gigantic and even though we were there for two hours we didn't even cover as much as Josh and I saw before. We mostly just went to all the animal and dinosaur rooms and then the Native American section. 

The monkeys were some of our favorites :)
 Bryn also went nuts for the dinosaur hall

For lunch we went right across the street to the Shake Shack, which was every bit as delicious as I had remembered it. I'm not even a big burger person, but these are so good!
 This was the girls' first experience with Shake Shack and they were easily converted!
 After lunch we walked around Central Park and the girls had fun getting some energy out. 
Bryn (and Josh) enjoyed climbing on the huge rocks throughout the park. 

 One happy pregnant lady with a hot Levain cookie in hand!

After Central Park we took the subway to the New York Public Library - somewhere none of us had been before. 
We had actually hoped to see the Sesame Street exhibit that has been advertised lately, but we hadn't realized that the exhibit was at the library's Performing Arts extension building which was way back by the Natural History Museum. Bummer! We didn't want to make the trek back up there, so we'll have to see it another time.
The library was a really beautiful building and we loved the art and architecture throughout the whole thing. 
 After the library we walked over to Broadway to see Time Square and for Josh to show us where he works. Mya had fallen asleep in the stroller by this point, but Bryn was in awe of all the lights and signs and people. 
 There is still a lot that we'd love to see and do in NYC as a family, but I'm glad we could fit in at least one NYC trip before the baby gets here and things get crazier. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dresser Project

The baby's room had become the resting place for most of our unpacked boxes and random items from the move. Finally, we cleared out the room and it's actually looking like a nursery now.... which is good because we've only got 7 more weeks until my due date! I've been busy working on some projects for the room and I thought I'd share this dresser project since it felt like quite an accomplishment for a tired lady with a big pregnant belly :)
The baby's room is really small, so we didn't want to take up the whole room with a big dresser or changing table. Instead we decided to use this skinny little dresser that we found by a dumpster for free. I painted it blue (it's so fun to decorate with boy colors after having two girls!) and then replaced the knobs with some $2 knobs I found at Hobby Lobby. 
 The dresser was in good shape, but some of the drawers were stained and I didn't want to put cute little baby things on thfele dirty drawers, so I lined the drawers. I've never lined my drawers before, so it felt like a pretty fancy project for me! I just used wrapping paper with clear contact paper on top, then stuck the paper down with double sided tape. 
The best part was filling the dresser with a few little boy things we have so far :)

Turtle Back Zoo

 The Bronx Zoo is the closest big zoo to us, but there's also a smaller zoo about 20 minutes away called Turtle Back Zoo. We had fun checking it out the other day after school with my cousin Cara and her girls.
 Mya was still in post-nap mode at this point :)
Looking at the llamas, emus, tortoises, and capybaras. 
 The girls loved the parakeet center. 
Fun afternoon! 

Mya's Birthday Date...a little late!

Mya turned two at the end of June, but it was a bit of a crazy summer so she and Josh didn't go on their birthday date until the beginning of Setptember! (Better late than never...)
Mya was so excited about her special date. She still talks about it all the time and asks "Maybe today Mya and Dad can go on a birthday date? Just Mya and Dad." 
 Josh is the best dad and our girls are sure lucky to have him!
 As per tradition, the birthday date was a special trip to the bookstore where Josh and Mya read books and Mya got to choose one book to take home. She chose the book "Ten Apples Up On Top", a Dr. Suess book that she has read over and over with her cousin Leah. 
 Josh said Mya was giddy and cute the whole night. 
She sure came home with a big smile on her face!

Monday, September 8, 2014


Brynlee started kindergarten last week! She had been counting down the days forever and she was so thrilled to finally start. She's doing afternoon kindergarten and her teacher this year is Ms. Valerio, who seems wonderful. Bryn has loved school so far and it's been so fun to hear all her stories after school each day.  
 Brynlee and Abby, a cute little friend she met at kindergarten orientation. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Back to School Banquet

With Brynlee starting Kindergarten this year it was our first year of "real" school so we celebrated with a Back to School Banquet. It was such a fun night as a family and this will definitely be an annual tradition for us. 
I had fun making a lot of little decorations and trying to make it a special night.
The table runner and fabric bunting were things I sewed earlier this year and the vase of fabric flowers was an old craft from a few years ago.
Josh and I decided to focus on kindness as our back to school theme. To go along with the theme I made this painting with one of my favorite quotes from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. It's from a wonderful talk on kindness that he gave in General Conference in 2005. We're going to hang this painting in our home as a reminder this year to be more kind at school, at work, with our friends, and in our home.
While I had my watercolors out I made a little cake topper as one more reminder to be kind :)
 I also painted some simple name cards for the table.
(Sometimes I try to put my art degree to good use! Ha ha!)
 After a yummy dinner we watched a Mormon Messages video on kindness ("Lessons I Learned as a Boy" by President Hinckley) and then Josh shared a great message with us about looking outward and finding ways to help and serve those around us. 
 I am notoriously bad at making cakes, so it was somewhat of a miracle that I made a cake and frosting from scratch and it actually turned out fine! The back to school miracle!
As a side note, that will be the last time we eat dinner with a big chocolate cake right on the dinner table. When Mya noticed the cake she wanted nothing to do with her dinner! She just kept chanting "Time for cake! I need chocolate cake now!"
After dessert Josh gave Bryn a beautiful back to school blessing that encouraged her to work hard in school and be a good friend. Mya sat by for moral support and she wanted a back to school blessing herself, but that didn't happen :)
 We don't do big things like this all the time, but it was pretty fun to plan this fun night and to have such a great time with Josh and our girls. I love being a mom!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Cute Girls in August

 Bryn and Mya are at such cute stages right now. Bryn didn't start school til after Labor day, so we had a fun August with the three of us home together all day. Josh had long hours and was gone much of the month with work travel so the three of us girls really got to know each other well :)
 Mya needs a purse (and a sippy cup) with her at all times.
 Sunday best
 Bryn is busy every day working on some sort of project. This one cracked me up so much. I helped her cut out the holes in the bag and then she made it into a "fancy lady costume". (I think the bangs are particularly fancy!)
 This is Bryn. Bryn has been in the dress-up phase for a good four years and she's still going strong!
 "Popcorn on the Porch" is an important ritual over here.
 There's a little stream and bridge to the side of our house and the girls love it. For some reason it's so much more fun to ride your bike across a bridge (again and again) than just riding it on the pavement.
 Our little cautious child has been watching her big sister and becoming more adventurous. We may need to rearrange the front room because Mya has been caught a few times in this spot, trying to reach the books on the top shelf. 
 She is such a book worm, but the best part is how she sets up the pillows in a particular way and says "there we go!" before she starts her reading :)
 Purse on the arm for a morning of errands.
 A rare sighting of Josh! (Juuuuust kidding).
Josh rides this scooter to the train station every morning because it's cheaper and more convenient than dealing with car parking. Oh ya, and we only have one car so he had no choice but to find another means of transportation! 
The girls get so giddy when Josh "rides bikes" with them. And I think it's just about the cutest thing ever to watch those three ride around. Josh is such a fun dad.
 Mya's dress-up outfits are always interesting... taking after her big sis!
 Mya got this little scooter for her birthday and just barely started figuring it out. It's hilarious to see her scoot along. 
 Bryn learned about caracals (a type of wild cat) from her Zoobooks magazines and it's now her favorite animal. She talks about caracals every day and occasionally dresses the part.
 A fun playdate with Olivia
(Our basement definitely isn't pretty, but it's nice to have a big area for playing and running around!) 
One last costume from Bryn. I love this silly girl so much!