Tuesday, March 29, 2016


February! Here are a few day-to-day pictures from our February...
 Tate loooooves turning on and off the light switches and lamps. He will climb on anything he can to reach the lights! Little rascal!
 Mya is my little buddy during the day and she's pretty great :)
 Tate is so funny "reading" to himself and talking gibberish. 
The snow finally melted and we can finally play outside! Woohoo! The ultimate torture for Tate is watching someone else outside when he is stuck inside.
 Mya dresses herself every single day. She's pretty adamant about it. Sometimes I have to use some pretty good negotiating skills to get her into a normal outfit, but if we aren't going anywhere important then I let her do her thing and it's pretty funny.
Mya has spent too much time around Bryn because she doesn't do a normal smile or pose anymore. It's always something silly or dramatic.

 More dress-up outfits
 Bryn is still joined at the hip with her Bitty Baby and it's pretty cute how well she takes care of her. "She's not a doll, she's a real baby". And sometimes she does hip hop dancing.
 Mealtime is Tate's favorite time of day. He is my child!
Bryn takes her playdoh creations very seriously.
 Tate is the cutest little boy in the world. ...Even on Sundays when he's a rascal at church. 
Josh has been gone every other Sunday for ward conferences in other cities, so I've been learning to handle the kids on my own in our ward. I know so many other women have mastered this, but it's been new territory for me. The girls have been great, but Mr. Tate is at the busy, busy, busy stage. The countdown to nursery is on!
 Playdates with cute little friends.
Something really cracks me up about seeing Tate with a little buddy. 
I love these girls!
 Bryn's school class celebrated the 100th day of school and each child had to make a poster with 100 items on it. Bryn's poster was really sweet. She chose to make a birthday cake for her great-grandma Tueller with 100 candles on it. My Grandma Tueller passed away last year and it has been hard on Bryn! She asks about Grandma all the time and has not forgotten about her. Bryn finished her poster and said "Grandma would have loved this cake if she lived to one hundred. Maybe she can have this cake in heaven." 
Open gym is heaven for Tate.
 I love going on walks with my kids, but Mya has finally grown out of the stroller stage. I tried to keep her in there for as long as I could, so it could be more of an exercise walk for me. But now Miss Mya insists on walking beside me and pushing the stroller. We don't go very fast and I never break a sweat anymore, but it's cute walking beside Mya and hearing her little chit chat the whole way.
And the last thing to report is that Tate has joined the ranks of Hawkins family artist and loves to tap his little crayons on the paper. Cute cute cute.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

NYC Girls Trip

I had the best time in NYC with two of my very favorite people. Kristi and Megan were my counselors when I was a Young Women president in California a few years ago. I loved serving with these amazing women and they became some of my very closest friends. They're the best of the best! Kristi is moving back east soon and came out to Connecticut a few weeks ago to find housing for her family. She decided to bring Megan with her and to tack on a few days in NYC to the end of her house-hunting trip. I was so thrilled to join them in NYC! It was so, so good to catch up! 
All three of us have spent time in NYC doing the touristy stuff, so this trip was pretty low-key, just lots of walking around the city, talking, laughing, and taking advantage of all the good food in NYC :)
Walking through Central Park, burning off our Shake Shack lunch!
We went to the Manhatten temple and it was so neat to do temple work and to sit in the gorgeous celestial room together. It brought back memories of doing temple trips with our old young women!
That first night we had delicious pizza at Patsy's on the Upper West Side.
 Followed by dessert at Amy's Bread. Yum.
 The next morning we began our day in the chilly line at the TKTS booth in Time Square. It was worth the wait because we scored wonderful seats to Finding Neverland for 50% off. Afterwards, we warmed up with brunch at Sarabeth's and it was so, so good. 
(I've since heard that the lemon ricotta pancakes at Sarabeth's are amazing, so I am dying to go back and try them out). 
 We did a bit of shopping after brunch and then headed to the Lunt-Fontanne Theater for the broadway musical Finding Neverland. I loved it! It was a really fun show with great music. The main actor Tony Yazbeck was excellent. He really sold the show for me. And the 7th row tickets were the closest I've ever been for a broadway show, so that was a plus!
 Getting some NYC treats at the M&M store for Megan's kids. 
We had fun walking around Eataly and getting dinner at one of the restaurants. 
 I loved my pasta: housemade ravioli with spinach and ricotta, in a lemon butter and pistachio sauce. So good! This was actually my first trip to Eataly and I thought it was such a fun atmosphere with delicious food. 
The very best hot chocolate ever at City Bakery. It's so rich and creamy that all you need is the "shot glass" size. 
Kristi and Megan stayed through Sunday, but I took the 10 pm train back to New Jersey on Saturday night after two wonderful days in New York. Oh, I love these ladies so much! They are such good women, such good moms, such good friends. I felt so recharged and inspired after 48 hours with them.
P.S. Yes, Josh is amazing to happily take a day off of work and watch the kids Friday and Saturday. Even when Mya and Bryn got a 24-hour food poisoning spell while I was gone. Oh boy! Husband of the year!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Valentine's Fun

Here are a few pictures from our Valentine's activities in February...
 I have felt Valentine's envelopes for the kids that hang on our kitchen chairs and Josh and I had fun sending the girls love notes throughout the month. The girls also send notes to each other, which was really sweet. On February 1st the girls got these matching heart shirts in their envelopes to kick off the month of LOVE.
 They are so excited every time they get matching clothes! 
 Bryn's school class didn't allow candy Valentine's, so she made these valentine's with mazes: "Valentine, you're a-MAZE-ing!"
One of Mya's very favorite things is baking and cooking with me, so she was thrilled to help me make sugar cookies. 
The Friday before Valentine's Day we had a fun play date with Bryn's cute little friend Jane. She came over after school and the girls frosted cookies, played V-day tic-tac-toe, and made Valentine's. 
Mya working hard.
 That's a whole lot of pink and sugar!
Bryn and Jane love doing secret service, so they made plates of cookies for six families in our town and wrote them secret love notes. 
 Getting crafty
 Some of the valentine's they made
 Masked Jane and Bryn, delivering their cookies and cards. They were giggling the whole time. They got caught at a few of the houses, but their masks may have saved them :)
My friend Tessa planned the cutest Valentine's Day party for all the little kids from church. Mya had such a fun time frosting cupcakes, making valentine's, and playing with her cute little friends. Thanks for the perfect party, Tessa!
 One of the best Valentine's activities this year was a special afternoon with our friends the Kochs and the Ures. Laura Koch is a talented baker and chocolate maker and she was nice enough to share her secrets with us! The girls had fun decorating cupcakes and learning how to make gourmet chocolates. Yum!
 This was such a fun afternoon and the chocolates were such a treat. What a fun Valentine's tradition, right!? Someday I want to get all the chocolate molds and everything needed to make this an annual tradition. 
 Bryn and Jane, packaging the chocolates into cute little gift boxes that Laura had. 
Thank you, Laura!!
Lastly, here is our first attempt at a heart-shaped pizza. It doesn't look very pretty (and that old cookie sheet isn't helping), but it was yummy and the girls always get so excited about things like this. So I'm counting it as a win :)
I've said it before - Holidays really are so much fun with little kids! 

Thursday, March 17, 2016


 Josh and I have made an effort to be more consistent in our dating in 2015. On the weekends where we haven't had a babysitter we've tried to plan something fun at home. One of the weekends in January it was my turn to plan the at-home date, so we did a mini art lesson! Josh was a trooper to jump right in and paint with me. 
 He did great!
Such a fun night! 
Another painting I did in January was this watercolor of my Tueller grandparents. My aunt commissioned the painting and it was a really special project. My sweet grandma passed away last year, and this painting shows the legacy that she left for me. Devotion to her husband, and devotion to God, through her service at the Provo temple, LDS missions to Indonesia and Spain, and teaching at the Missionary Training Center. 
And it looks like Bryn may follow in my footsteps??
She had "career day" at school in January and was so cute to choose an artist as her dream job :)