First Day of First Grade

Mom-Blog-School-DaysYou know the phrase, “In the blink of an eye?” I think that phrase was invented by a parent. I cannot comprehend the feeling that I was just bringing Kelsey home from the hospital, and now we are seeing her off on her first day of first grade.

As I was filling her new backpack with school supplies and packing her lunch for her first day (and yes, it includes a handwritten note telling her how proud her dad and I are of her), I started to cry. And not a pretty cry … I had a full-blown adult tantrum, hysterically crying over how big all my kids are getting.

Kelsey came up to me and gave me the biggest, tightest hug. I reassured her I wasn’t crazy and rather, I was just so proud and filled with such joy at how big she’s getting. She’s incredibly smart, nice, helpful and so kind. I know she is going to make a huge impact this year and I am so happy for her. But, she’s my little girl. My first-born baby that I cherish so much.

After I dried my tears and got it together, Kelsey and I spent 30 minutes going through old photos and blog posts of when she was little. She smiled. I cried some more. And we had some great laughs going down memory lane. She’s truly my best buddy and I am so incredibly proud of the girl she’s becoming. Here’s to another year and more school memories ahead.

I just love these two photos of her, you can really see how much she’s changed. I especially love seeing how her handwriting has evolved. See the ‘Y’ in both pictures? Last year’s was backwards and this years comes with a swirl. I love it.

Hanna Andersson Scottsdale Store Opening

The Hanna Andersson store is now open at Kierland Commons! We were fortunate enough to be invited to their pre-opening event last night. I wasn’t familiar with Hanna Andersson kid clothes prior to this event (just their pajamas) but apparently I’m the only mom who was in the dark because this private event was packed!. People go ga-ga over this clothing line … and now I can see why.

The quality of their clothing is top notch. The cotton is super soft (and thick too, if that makes sense). Very high quality clothes for kids. If you’re a local, visit the Hanna Andersson store at Kierland Commons on Friday – Sunday (11/6 – 11/8)  for exclusive offers. You’ll receive 30% off regular prices, except the sleepwear. But that’s only because all sleepwear is buy one, get one free!

We ended up buying 6 pairs of pajamas and a bunch of other things that we didn’t need (thank you, Kelsey) like earmuffs (Hellooooo … we live in Arizona!) and a gold kitty cat purse.

Here are a few pictures from our night.

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Kelsey and her cousin, Lexi, in Hanna Anderson dresses and boots (boots on Lexi) awaiting the opening of the new store.

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And that’s the crowd!

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hanna andersson scottsdale store opening

hanna andersson scottsdale store opening

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I loved this! Use hashtag #ilovemyhannas for a chance to – not only be featured in their social media channels – but printed, hanging up in one of their store window displays!

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Hanna Andersson
A few of my girlfriends also attended the event. Here is Heather with her adorable daughter, Ava. Heather and I were trying to catch up but ended up chasing two little girls around the store instead.

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This is her, “But, mom, I reeeeally need these earmuffs and this Jellycat stuffed animal” face. It worked. Dang it.

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Yes, please! Any excuse to wear Christmas pajamas in November and I am in. Maybe a little holiday music to set the mood? Too early?

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Thank you for the invitation, Hanna Andersson and for sponsoring this post. We wish you the best of luck and tons of store success in Scottsdale!

Desert Morning Walk. Think the liked it?

Instead of Saturday morning cartoons, I took the kids on a walk this morning. By the looks on their faces, I think they really enjoyed it. Then, we came home and got ready for swim, gym and soccer. Can you tell it’s going to be a great day in the Cross house?

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“Mom, do we have to do this?”

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“Fine, but I’m not smiling.”

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“And I’m only smiling because you promised me a doughnut.”

Happy Saturday, friends. 



Strike a pose, girlfriend


This is her new pose. She literally tilts her head the side, sticks out her leg, points one toe and then puts her hand on her hip. I have no idea where she gets this stuff, but it sure beats her pose last month – which was to stick out her tongue every time the camera was on her. This little diva child has so much personality, I hope she never loses that or tries to hide it. She is my beautiful ball of energy and I love her so.


Curious Colton and his Elsa doll

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Real Men like Frozen

Whenever I get back from a work trip, I like to just stare at my kids in the morning. I just admire their curiosity so much. I also love the way they look, touch and feel. They are the cuddliest little kids I ever did see. And they are all mine! I don’t get much time to admire them because as soon as we’re up Ryan makes us all breakfast and then we’re out the door to swim class, gym class and a day full of errands.

This weekend my aunt and Nana are in town so we’re having fun spending every evening with them. Plus, they bring toys when they come into town so these kids are getting more than their fair share of books, train stations, cars, and clothes. Colton’s favorite toy so far is still Kelsey’s Elsa doll. He walks around the house saying, “Elsa. Elsa.” when he can’t find her. I think he has a crush on her.

We took over the mall for a few hours



Family night out

It was an indulge-in-a-vanilla-shake-from-IN-and-Out-Burger, mixed with shopping at the Disney store kind of night. We took the mall by storm. No really, we kind of did. Have you seen how fast Colton can run? And for whatever reason, if there is a lot of people nearby and many breakable things around, he runs even faster.



Taking a spin

Before we left for the store, Kelsey emptied her piggy bank and picked out all of the quarters. She stuffed them into her purse so she could pay for things at the mall. It was the sweetest thing. We rode this merry-go-round with her quarters. She even paid for her little brother to ride it twice. I don’t know who was more proud in that moment …me, or her.




We found relief in Pottery Barn

Well, mostly I did. I love Pottery Barn so much and the fact that it’s all decked out in fall colors makes this mama one happy lady. While Ryan was trying to wrangle Colton from running into every shelf, corner and taking out every aisle, I was busy drooling over their new stuff. We made it through the entire store without any child knocking over anything and then I go and run right into a sign and nearly knock it over to the floor. Seriously, sometimes we worry so much about our kids and we are actually the clumsy ones.

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coltonMy people

There is nothing (nothing!) I love more than being around these people. It’s the silly things Kelsey will say, the crazy things Colton will do and the most special moments Ryan gives me just by allowing me into his heart every day. I don’t have enough lucky stars to thank for the blessings that I’ve been given. To know these three people has given me more fulfillment and joy than I could have ever asked for (I have God to thank for that).


Summer has been really good to us, lots of family memories are being made over here. Some of our favorite things about summer:

1. Pooltime!
2. Bright umbrellas, palm trees and blue skies
3. Nektar Juice bar every Saturday morning after swim class
4. Refreshing bowls of cherries
5. Sunday morning church (and trying to sneak in a photo)
6. Frozen (that one was for Kelsey)

We hope summer is treating you and your family well too. It’s hoooooot out here, but the kids are loving it.

Children Soothe the Soul

I’m convinced that no one can possibly be in a bad mood when swinging with children. The complete joy that comes from being around two of my favorite kids, while swinging outdoors in the summer sun … what could possibly beat it? Ryan and I are still trying to figure out a way to quit our jobs, still make money the same amount of money and do nothing all day except play with these two. So far, we can’t figure out how to swing that (bad pun alert). Meanwhile, these photos are from our summer vacation in the mountains.