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2014 Summer Recap

We had an awesome and fast summer! Our intent was to have a summer planned with only minimal activities and that allowed the exciting spontaneity that is life with a toddler. While we did have several weekends where we flew by the seat of our pants, we ended up with a packed and fun-filled summer. This is by no means a complaint, but more a reflection as I look back on the quick few months that flew by.  I sometimes wonder if we jam pack our summers because in Wyoming, it seems like we really only get a good three or four months. But, then I remember we like to take advantage of fun times with family and friends and I realize that busy summers would be a part of our lives no matter where we lived. Home improvements, family vacations, pool trips and much more filled our summer! Anyway, here is a quick little glimpse at some of the highlights! Continue reading

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Jelly Bean Journals 2014 Reader Survey

Hello friends!

This is a link to our first reader survey! And, boy, are we excited to hear from you! We hope to do 1-2 surveys a year to make sure we are providing content you find interesting and relevant, to learn more about you, to measure growth and changes from one survey to the next, and to do our best to connect with you! We have created the survey with you and your time in mind. It includes 10 mostly multiple choice questions and should seriously take you less than three minutes.

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VIBES: Where A Kid Can Be A Kid & Learn

I have a quick share today about an outstanding program our family recently became involved in. It’s important to my husband and me that our son has access to activities that engage him emotionally, mentally and physically. Last year we enrolled him in an infant and toddler tumbling class with Kerstin and N. We loved this class but tried something new over the summer. I have a short series of pictures to share today along with the reasons we love VIBES, our new fine and performing arts studio.

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Saying Goodbye to Grandpa John

I lost my Grandpa John last week and have been engulfed in navigating life with a grieving family and funeral arrangements. My family allowed me to write and present his eulogy during the funeral service we held for him in his hometown. I am grateful for the bond and love I shared with my grandpa and I would like to share his eulogy with you today.

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The Easiest, Tastiest Ice Cream Pie Ever!

I owe my mom for this recipe. This has been one of her go-tos for parties for years. And it is always one of my favorites. I can remember eating these pies when I was just a bit older than N! We went to a friend’s BaByQ last weekend and were asked to contribute a treat. I decided to whip these easy and tasty treats up to share with our friends. Continue reading

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I’ll Choose You & The Floor Everytime

There are a lot of things I need to work on as a parent. But there are also a lot of things I do well and am proud of. While I still sometimes struggle with my decision to be a working mom, I have dedicated myself to being an active and engaged mom in the time I have with N. I consciously and proactively take steps to make sure my personal needs and our home’s needs are taken care of during N’s naps or after bedtime, to the best of my ability, and I take full advantage of lunch hours and my fairly flexible work schedule so that I can maximize the connection and experiences N and I share. But I am always looking for ways and ideas to be more engaged and a better mom.

I am currently reading the book Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford. I am only about 30 percent of my way through the book but, already, I have had “aha” moments as well as feelings of extreme pride as I realize I have implemented some of the suggested tactics both consciously and without even knowing it. As I was reading the other night, I noticed the author was pounding the message about the importance of connecting with our kids. I began to think about the moments that I really, really connect with N and the choices that I make to assist in these times of connection. One of the first things I realized was: almost every time I am in the same room with N, I choose to sit on the floor. Continue reading

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A Union & Celebration To Remember

It’s nearing time to celebrate another year of marriage with my wonderful hubby. My, how time flies! Do you remember reading Hello! Chelse Here when we first launched our blog? I had eluded to the day I got married in that post by writing, ”our wedding was ridiculously fun and I have asked him on a couple of different occasions to remarry me so that we can do it all over again! He is good at all of the things I am not and we make an awesome team.” Well, as I already shared earlier this week in Hi, Teacher! Welcome Back!, Daddy D and I are getting ready to celebrate our 4th year anniversary and these sentiments are still accurate for us.

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In reflecting on our wedding I cannot help but pull out the pictures our professional wedding photographer, Shannon Miller with Special Moments Photography, took. She captured over 2,000 wedding images for us! I don’t think I have ever shared the entire electronic album with anyone but my immediate family. When I look through these pictures they are filled with some of the people we love very most. They traveled from near and far. It was incredibly special to have them in one place at one time for one huge celebration. Because of this, I’m going to share around 140 photos from our wedding. (These do not include the images from our reception once everyone really cut loose.) They are beautiful and special to me, however, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you and those who were there to celebrate on that special day with us. Continue reading

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Hi, Teacher! Welcome Back!

Daddy D and I are preparing to celebrate our 4 year anniversary (you’ll remember reading about our engagement in Happily Ever After). Although this February we will have been together for 10 years, the past 4 seem to have been our most trying…and rewarding. Most recently, welcoming Baby A into our family has been a top highlight while learning to navigate as married, working parents has been challenging. Through everything I have a partner and teammate. I sometimes expect too much and other times ask for too little. But, most importantly to me, I am blessed with someone who loves me through my worst and stands proudly beside me at my best.

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A Day In The Life – August 2014

As you can read in Our Story, one of the reasons we started this blog was to document. I have said it 1,000 times but time goes SO fast. I think I forget things and moments on a daily basis. So, this is my new little series, which I will probably post every 6 months or so, describing what a day in our life looks like at the current time.

To start, I’m picking an at-home Saturday in the summer. Continue reading

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The Great Toddler Swap

First, I must say I am so excited to be sharing my own voice and thoughts with you again this week. We were so honored to have such an amazing group of guest bloggers in July and then to share our “Happy, Healthy, & Loved” series with all of you a couple of weeks ago. But man, did I miss writing and did I miss this little community!

Anyway, last weekend, we needed some help with N. We were preparing for a garage sale and solely taking advantage of nap time wasn’t going to give us enough time. Seano’s parents are usually first on our list to call for babysitting but they had N twice during the week for various reasons so I didn’t want to ask again. So, I called Chelse and asked if they could take N for a few hours on Saturday and then, in turn, we would take A on Sunday. Continue reading