A family guitar lesson

Ryan’s been traveling for work and we’ve missed him so much. Last night, he got back with only three hours to spare before we needed to leave for church. As I was getting the diaper bag packed, I noticed (and heard!) the kids and Ryan on the couch; Ryan was teaching them how to play guitar. I just sat back and watched for a few minutes. It’s little moments like this, amongst the hustle and bustle of every day life, that makes my heart explode with gratitude. God is good, isn’t He?

many hats of a mom blogger

many hats of a mom blogger

many hats of a mom blogger

Desert Camping for Spring Break

For Kelsey’s spring break we decided to go camping. Since we have a 6-month old baby we couldn’t go far. Instead, I had an idea (an idea that sounded good at the time) for Kelsey & Ryan to camp in the backyard. Fun, right? We got the tent out, I bought snacks and Ryan even brought down her mattress so she would be comfortable.

As I was kissing her goodnight inside of the tent, she turned to me and demanded, “Mom! I DO NOT want to wake up inside the mouth of a wolf. Got it?” I was dying laughing. Then we played the “what if” game for about 20 minutes. “What if the wolf gets over the fence? What if the wolf opens the tent zipper with his teeth. What if …” I reminded her that we live in the suburbs and wolves don’t hang out here. After that didn’t work, I finally said, wolves can’t get past daddy. You’re safe.

Colton wanted to spend the night with me inside the house so I gladly accepted his request. The reason this sounded like a good idea (but wasn’t actually a good one) was because of baby Nolan. He is teething and was awake every two hours. At about 2am, I came downstairs to get Tylenol and a bottle and I peeked outside to see my husband snoozing away … as I walked upstairs like a zombie I thought, “Great idea, Steph.”

phoenix mom blog

 

The Spring Carnival

We try to go to our local carnival every year (here is 2012 and 2014). It’s pretty much the fastest way to spend $60, but it’s truly a lot of fun. This was our first year going as a family of five. It’s a pretty surreal feeling when I look back at those two blog posts and see how young everyone was (including us!).

Tonight was pretty awesome though. Besides the fact that Ryan took F O R E V E R in the ticket line trying to decide if a $30 (each) unlimited ride pass was a better value than the 40 tickets for $20. He kept looking at his phone to see “how much time we have left in the day to finish these rides.” Oh, Ryan. I can’t take this CPA anywhere.

In fact, today was monumental. Not only did we make it through the carnival with all of the kids in tact, but (are you ready for this?) we made it through with ZERO tantrums! That’s right. Not a single one. I’m speaking to you, Colton! Our spunky three-year-old was the product of perfection tonight. Ahhh … what a feeling!

mom blogger in phoenix

Here are some more pictures of our fun Sunday at a spring carnival.

mom blogger phoenix events 2

mom blogger phoenix events

mom blogger phoenix

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog
many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog
many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog
many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog

family

Lauren’s Bridal Shower at The Vig

phoenix bridal shower - mom blogger
I’m playing catch up a bit, but wanted to share with you some pictures from my sister-in-law’s bridal shower. I’m head-over-heels happy that she found such an awesome guy to spend the rest of her life with. Kelsey and I attended her bridal shower at The Vig Uptown … it was such a memorable day and a great way to kick off the wedding festivities. In one month, she’ll be a bride!

phoenix bridal shower - mom blogger

phoenix bridal shower - mom blogger

phoenix bridal shower - mom blogger

Little tid bit: Years ago (before us kids), my father-in-law sold his ’57 Chevy to buy my mother-in-law this turquoise necklace. Aaaaand, she rarely wears it (doh!) so Lauren decided to wear it at her bridal shower. What a statement piece! Don’t you think? It’s beautiful and she looked great wearing it.

phoenix bridal shower - mom blogger

I wrote about how to make these little succulent party favors here.

phoenix bridal shower - mom blogger

mom blog
phoenix bridal shower - mom blogger

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phoenix bridal shower - mom blogger

phoenix bridal shower - mom blogger

mom blog

phoenix bridal shower - mom blogger

the vig uptown
phoenix bridal shower - mom blogger

One more month! I can’t wait for their wedding.

Underwood Family Photos

With the cutest little baby girl you ever did see (and one on the way!), I had a great time photographing the Underwood family and Grace’s personality. We talked about baby names and tried to keep up with little Grace as she explored the entire ranch we were on. Here are just a few of the photos from our day!

phoenix photography family holiday photos

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family photographer arizona

phoenix photography family holiday photos

phoenix photography family holiday photos

Sunday at The Phoenix Zoo

the phoenix zoo - many hats of a mom blogger

Ryan and I took our three little monkeys to the Phoenix Zoo this weekend. The weather was A-MAZING and is was so great to get out of the house and do something as a familyI put on my running shoes for the first time in forever and off we went.

We got into the Zoo one hour before it opened and it felt like we had the entire park to ourselves. Literally, we only saw about 10 people until about 9am. Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, I saw a Starbucks sign! You guys, the Zoo finally offers Starbucks brewed coffee. The “Jungle Java” shop opens at 8:30am so I patiently waited. Dear Zoo – don’t make a girl wait 30 minutes. Start selling coffee right when you open. Kthx.

Baby Nolan was perfect. He slept for the first hour then got up to eat, then went back down. I’m telling you … he’s a dream. We spent 3 hours at this place and he didn’t even fuss once. All of the kids did great. Funny story: As Ryan and Kelsey were walking towards the petting zoo area they ended up about 20 feet in front of us. Colton shouted, “Hey guys. Wait for us. WE ARE FAMILY!” It was hilarious. Where do these kids pick up these things?

Kelsey only pouted one time (she’s my child, after all) but, unlike me as a child, her pouting sessions only last about 5 minutes and then she’s over it. Seeing the lions was a huge hit for the kids (and us too!). It was like every animal was out and about on this morning.

Here are some pictures from our day.

the phoenix zoo - many hats of a mom blogger

the phoenix zoo - many hats of a mom blogger

phoenix zoo mom blogger

phoenix zoo mom blogger

the phoenix zoo mom blogger

The cutest little farmer I ever did see.

the phoenix zoo mom blogger

the phoenix zoo mom blogger

the phoenix zoo mom blogger

It took all of Ryan and my willpower not to devour this pretzel. The kids were eating it so slowly, it was torture! We survived though – however, I’m still thinking about it … and that cheese.

phoenix zoo

the phoenix zoo mom blogger

Starbucks for the win!

phoenix zoo many hats of a mom blog

The Phoenix Zoo - Many Hats of a Mom Blog

phoenix zoo mom blogger

phoenix zoo mom blogger

Six weeks old and such a snuggler.

phoenix zoo many hats of a mom blog

This moment was so cute. Ryan was coming back with my coffee when suddenly Colton shouted, “Monster!” and took off running towards Ryan with this stick.

phoenix zoo many hats of a mom blog

Kelsey was bummed that she didn’t have a stroller so Ryan carried her like this for a bit. This man of mine is everything.

And that’s a wrap!

My First Time Taking Three Kids Out

I was feeling adventurous this morning and so, while my husband planted winter grass (yes, that’s a thing in Arizona), I took my kids (all of them!) to the Farmer’s Market. That’s right. I took three kids, by myself, for an outing. To my surprise, the kids were awesome. No tantrums. No running off. No accidents. Nada. Just an awesome morning at the market. With coffee as my fuel, we even hit up the park afterwards. I came home expecting a gold medal but Ryan was still mowing the yard. Perhaps my medal will show up later.

Here are some pictures from the market.

sunday farmers market - many hats of a mom blog
sunday farmers market - many hats of a mom blog

Colton ran behind Kelsey to tickle her so she would smile at the camera (his idea) – it was the cutest thing. See how his arm barely reaches around her. Ha.

Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog

Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog

Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog

Farmers Market Mom Blogger

Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog
Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog

Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog

Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog

Nolan’s back there in the stroller. Colton is not amused in this photo but I just had to have proof that I officially took three kids out. It’s one of those mommy milestones that you have to document. When Kelsey & Colton get old enough to read this blog, I just want to thank them for making this a great morning for me. Let’s face it: I’m a rookie at taking three kids anywhere so this could have been disastrous. We hope you’re having a great Sunday too.

mommy blog

Photos of my tribe

I know this stay-at-home-with-your-child gig is really hard; it’s tiring and draining and some days I feel like shouting, “What about me!!” And for those moms out there where this is your full-time job, props to you! For goodness sake, your day revolves around a child 24/7 – and you’re never alone – buuuuuut I’m not at work. I don’t have to meet deadlines, drive top line revenue, give presentations, or engage in back to back conference calls.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. Love. But, without work stuff in my life, I’m actually really stress free. I needed this maternity leave to bond with my son, recover from labor and to unwind from the daily duties of my corporate job. All of which I am so grateful for. Anyway. That was just something that was on my mind.

Here are a few pics of my family from this week.

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We have been reading machines over here. We always read at night, but now Kelsey wants to go the library and read a new book every week. I’m not kidding. Every week = a new book from the library. We love how much she is reading – she’s sounding out her words and really getting the hang of it. You go, little lady.

mom blog many hats of a mom

Ryan and I went and saw Wicked. He’s so dang cute, don’t you think. This is Ryan during intermission. I snapped a picture when he was talking. I’m sly like that. We thought we were being sneaky and found these two empty chairs off to the side. Then out of nowhere we were surrounded by people. So many people! We looked up and noticed we were sitting right outside of the bathroom doors. Fail.

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Oh, and this is me at Postinos. We went to this local wine bar right after the show. We had 45 minutes before we had to get home and release my mother-in-law from babysitting duties so we literally speed walked to our car and ordered the minute we sat down. For the record, I did my nails in the car and threw my hair in a horribly messy bun. Bet you couldn’t tell I got ready in under 5 minutes. Ha.

mom blog many hats of a mom

This is Nolan at the doctor’s office this morning. We had his one month checkup. He’s 12lbs, 12 ounces and 24 inches! For the record, that’s pretty large. He’s our little beanstalk. This kid … I could just eat him up.

mom blog many hats of a mom

Colton Cross – what a charmer! The other morning, he just had to mow the grass before school. He’s been waking up really early lately. As in 4:30am early. It’s a real joy – considering I am just crawling back in bed after waking up and feeding the baby. But, that’s what these years are all about. We signed up for this. No sleep. No privacy. No alone time. But more love than our hearts can hold.

These are the days we remember. Or, if you’re me … you’ve lost all memory, so instead these are the days you blog about, so you will remember later.