Abby’s Mama Time Take 2

Abby Joy was anticipating her Mama Time every day since Evie had her 2nd turn. haha  FINALLY, it was her turn again and she was ready!!

We started our time by making an afternoon snack for her and Evie.  Abby got to use some leftover frosting in the fridge to frost some graham crackers (Graham crackers aren’t too amazing, but add some frosting on them and don’t underestimate!).  Then she used a random selection of sprinkles and mini chocolate chips to decorate the tops!

It was amazing how often she managed to “accidentally” get frosting on her fingers….  When she got to the point of basically licking it out of the container I had to tone her down a bit. hahaha

She was pretty proud of the finished product!  Both of the girls gave them a big thumbs up when they got to scarf them down later for snack. ha

Ever since Abby heard about Evie getting to have play-dough fun, she had it on her must do list, so we spent most of the rest of her time with that.  We made some silly people.  Mine is actually borderline creepy.  Abby’s has a hat on and she purposely made one eye bigger than the other for a goofy look. haha!  I love it!

We ran out of time to finish these together, but we started making scratch paper.  Abby finished hers during her Quiet Time the following day.  This is one of mine before coating it with black paint.

I had a wonderful time with my favorite 4 year old. ❤  Love you, Bigs! ❤

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Abby’s First Mama Time!

Abigail Joy got her much anticipated first “Mama Time” today!  She was on such an emotional high over it that when I took longer than she anticipated to call her out of her room, she broke down in tears thinking it wasn’t going to happen after all.  After consoling her, the fun began.  (Thankfully, Evie decided to make this a nap day.)

To start our time, I was gifted with a beaded necklace Abby had made for me.  Drop dead gorgeous, guys.

Abs had wanted to help me prepare afternoon snack, so I gave her a few options to choose from.  She was quick to pick the popsicles!  Wise choice for an extremely hot and humid day like today.  I think this was the hottest day this summer actually!  First, Abby washed some strawberries and attempted to cut them up with “a sharp knife!”  It was a little tricky for her, so she wanted me to finish.  She told me, “I’m still a yittle too yittle to do this part, so you better do it!”

While I finished the strawberries, Abby peeled and mushed up a couple bananas.

I think her favorite part of the process was spooning the mushed and cut up fruit into the popsicle molds.  She took it very seriously and was trying to make sure they were all nice and even.  I thought it was sweet how she kept chatting about how excited Evie was going to be when she woke up. ❤

I poured a tiny bit of 100% fruit juice (I think it was Strawberry Kiwi) into each section, Abs poked the handles in, and we popped them in the freezer for later!

After snack prep, it was craft time!  Abby was excited to do some q-tip paintings.  The idea is to use dots to make a picture but, as you can see, Abigail got a bit excited about just painting with them and her art went wild from there! haha  She was really excited about making a painting with a lot of blue (Evie’s favorite color) for Evelyn, but I’m not sure if she ever did end up giving it to her or not.

My non artsy self attempted to make a sunrise (or sunset, whatever really….) picture with mountains and Bear Lake where Caleb and I spent part of our honeymoon.  Oh ya.  Four kids later and the romance is still not dead over this way, people. ❤

I had a great time with my oldest daughter. ❤  Love spending time with her!!

Oh, also, in case you were wondering….. the popsicles were a decided hit all ’round!  Even Daddy had one when he got home from work and gave it a thumbs up! 🙂

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Abigail’s 4 1/2 Year Old Update

Abigail Joy is 4 1/2!  She weighs and is tall now (didn’t do these yet since I forgot.  I’ll try to remember soon!).  She wears 4 and 5T shirts and mostly 4T pants (very few of which actually stay up on her poor hiney).  Her favorite colors are pink, purple, blue, and “golden” (aka yellow).  She likes those because they are princess colors of course.

Our little miss is extremely thoughtful and careful.  She is ever observant and loves to learn.  She wants to know everything about everything!!  “What kind of tree is this?”  “After spring comes summer and after summer comes fall and after fall comes winter, right?!”  “Why do the leaves on our branches crinkle up and fall off?”  “How do people make clothes?”  “Why is it getting dark outside?”

Quotes from our big girl (the first few are imitated from me):

“It is what it is!”

“You get what you get and you don’t get uh-set!” – upset

“But it’s her choice.  It’s not my choice.  It’s her choice.  She can do whatever she wants to.  Either way.  Doesn’t matter.”

Your choice!  It’s your choice if you want to eat your food or leave it.  It’s not Mama’s choice” (She’s not trying to be disrespectful, but will use this if she knows it’s something I’m leaving up to them haha).

“Evie can do the top part of the buckle herself now, Mama!  Just so you are aware.”

“Look, Mama!  I have a twirl-twirl on!”

“Yittle” – Little

“That kind is gooder than the other ones.”

Caleb was going to make us eggs and Abby exclaimed, “Our daughters really like them, don’t they Daddy??!”

Hymns at church, “He will hold me past!” (fast) “All underground is sinking sand!” (other ground)  “I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but Holy God is Jesus’ name!” (but wholly lean on Jesus’ name)

Abigail has always been my personal quoter.  If I say it (EVER), she is sure to repeat it later.  She almost always will use phrases with perfect context, although humorous.  I have often calmed Abby down over a broken toy (usually done by Evie or friends) by reminding her, “Toys aren’t the most important thing.  You can’t take toys with you when you die.”  We’ve been looking for a house for quite a long time now.  We really have outgrown our rental and it would be nice to have a final place of our own.  However, I know I am prone to desiring this too much, and in many ways it has been good for me not to have it.  One day, I was out for a walk with the kids and I was talking excitedly about going to look at a house later.  Abs gave a quick shrug and didn’t miss a beat, “It’s fine if we do buy it and it’s fine if we don’t.  You can’t take it to heaven with you!”  I had to nod and smile.  I need to listen more when I speak…

I asked her if she’d like a chicken sandwich with cheese or without.  She goes, “I want my chicken on the side with cheese, so I can dip my bread in the apple dip.”  *pause*  “That’s what I would prefer.”  I think she added the last little part to sound more polite.  Plus it was hilarious as her first time using the word “prefer.” ha  Also…. who dips their bread in apple dip?!  Ew.

Baby Boy is physically quite slow, to put it nicely.  He is finally starting to figure out crawling, but is far from being able to get down the stairs independently/safely.  Every time we head out for anything, I have to cart him down the two short flights of steps.  I was in the process of lugging him and other necessary items down the stairs the other day and Abby cheerfully piped, “You get what you get!  We got a baby that can walk and a baby that can’t, but it doesn’t matter.  You get what you get!”  I couldn’t help laughing.

All of our kids enjoy books at times, but our Abby Joy has been an avid book lover forever.  This is such a typical scene to walk into when she’s back in her bedroom.  Books are the best!

Abs started really figuring out reading a few months back, but has been more and more excited about it as time goes on.  We’re borrowing a McGuffy reader from my mom and she is obsessed with it.  She is always begging us to help her read another story.  She has learned so many words with it and will proudly offer to read any story she knows to any visitors.  She will scour the pages in her other books and excitedly call out when she sees a word she knows.  It’s the cutest. 🙂 There is such excitement with learning to read!

Our tot learned to ride her “big girl bike” (no training wheels, and pedals!) at 3 1/2 years.  Since then, she has been working on outgrowing that bike.  When we were at my parents a few weeks ago, she figured out she could ride one of the girls’ old bikes and this was the smug expression that produced.  She has been unstoppable ever since! ha!

Biggin’ still has her love of bug collecting/observing.  She will spend tons of time with her bucket and her bugs, studying them and trying to provide good environments for them.   While it is definitely cute to watch her enjoy this hobby, I like to think it springs from her lack of an actual fun pet. haha  I still can’t wait until we can get a puppy! 😀  I also decided a while back that a sugar glider would be the perfect pet for our Abby.  Everything about them sounds like it would be her perfect fit.  So, if anyone wants to give us a friendly one for free….. we’re available.

Aside from bugs, Abigail and Evelyn both enjoy gathering”treasures” for their buckets.  Abs is always so excited when she finds a flower she can pick (our landladies spray our yard, so there aren’t usually too many available).  She is such a careful little body and flower picking has always fit her personality so perfectly.  She would be more than happy to spend a long afternoon in a field of wildflowers!

Feeling drop dead gorgeous in the grass jewelry her auntie Liz made for her.

I finally gave Abby her first haircut a few months back.  It was a long time coming, but I just couldn’t bear to cut it since it would curl so beautifully in the summer.  Her hair was just so uneven though and really needed it.

Abigail grew her bangs out quite a while ago.  A few months ago, she was thinking about wanting them back.  Then, I got bangs.  That was a little startling to the children and when I asked her, “Do you want to get bangs too, like I did?” she looked at me and then said, “Uh…. no thanks.  I don’t want bangs anymore.” hahahahah

After the initial shock wore off, she decided she did actually want bangs back, so being the professional hair cutter I am (FALSE!  Just cheap… haha!!) I gave her back some bangs.  The good news is, I’ve heard she looks much younger with them.  The first two are what I typically get when I ask Abs to smile cute for a picture…. *sigh* haha

I have to say, she was looking WAY too grown up with no bangs.

This girl has such a creative mind.  It’s so much fun to see what she will come up with next.  That is one thing about her that reminds me of myself as a child.  She makes all sorts of creations with her pipe cleaners and beads at Quiet Time.  That is often her favorite time to make stuff.  She has made horse halters/leashes, jewelry for her babies, jewelry for her sisters/me/herself, headbands (as pictured), and probably other things I can’t remember.

For a while, Abs was on a kick using her clothespins and notebook papers to make hats and other accessories for her dolls.  It was pretty sadly adorable because they were so hideous and impractical.  Awww. haha!  I love her so much.  Speaking of hats, she also had a hat business going for quite a while.

She was getting orders left and right from the relatives and could hardly keep up! haha!  Here she is showing off her Christmas model.

Legos are another perfect outlet for our creative little daughter.  She is always building interesting, unique creations.  One of my favorites was her Lego candy store she made.  She was wishing she was a Lego so she could pay her store a visit!  I kind of was too!

Drawing phases happen off and on around here.  We’re currently in a bit of a lull with it, but this snowman she drew this past winter is still one of my favorites.  It’s just too cute, although the eyes are pretty frightening.  Funny comment, but Caleb totally still makes all his drawing characters/animals with creepy eyes like that!!  Why?!

Abby is ever our constant chatterbox.  The girl never runs out of things to say.  You’d think she would, considering I am with her every waking second, every day, but nope!  If she’s slow on material, she just rewords things and says it again on the off chance I didn’t quite catch it the first (or second, or third, or fourth…) time around.  Gotta love it.

As our shy, super quiet girl in public, people always quizzically believe the previous paragraph.  She can’t even answer my question, “How old are you?” and you’re telling me she talks nonstop at home?  Yes, yes she really truly does!  I have videos to prove it!  Abby is very shy.  She continues to thrive on knowing (and talking out) everything possible before we do it.  She really likes to know what is coming so she can mentally prep herself beforehand.  The more familiar she is with people, the faster she is to loosen up around them.

Abigail can easily get emotional when she is stressed out.  She has known how to buckle herself for a while, but oh my goodness!  If she has a dress on or a bulkier jacket and she can’t get it, BWAAAAAH!!  The tears start rolling fast and furious as she goes into panic mode.  A missing piece from one of her Lego sets?  NOT okay!  If a visiting friend takes a toy from her or *gasp* breaks one of our toys that she is always so careful with, tears and sobs will occur.  Not optional.  “Will you throw it away?!”  Lately, she has been better about quickly tuning into the positives, “*Sniff!* Toys don’t matter anyways. *sob*”  Oh my little Abbins.

This can be kind of annoyingly funny when it follows a loss of privilege/toy consequence.  “Well, at least I can still have this one!  And that’s pretty good!  I don’t really mind too much!”

Someone was incredibly proud of the gingerbread house she helped make last winter.  My older brother made the mistake of teasing he was going to eat it and she about died.  I told her we would have to eat it at some point, but we could take a picture first to remember it.  That was key.

Winter in general was a pretty fun time.  Abby enjoyed being out in the snow more than the other tots.  Evie was okay with it sometimes, but was still at that “I can barely walk in all this stuff you bundled me in out in this slippery white crud and I keep slipping and getting stuck!” stage.

Abs really enjoyed building her snowman.  This was a much anticipated activity!

I got a kick out of this next picture…..  Her snowman had started melting and its eyes, nose, and arms fell off.  Abby fixed them herself.  It’s a little tricky with those big, chunky gloves on. haha!!

While Abby and Evie play together much more now, there’s something Abs loves about her independent play during Quiet Time.  It’s always good for her to take some time to quiet down and have a little space.  She usually comes out very refreshed and cheerful again.  She will often cycle between books, Legos, little rubber dollies, her baby dolls, and some kind of beads/buttons/paper crafting.  Her “Baby Rose” (gifted to her when Evie was born) is always her special favorite.  She made Baby Rose’s headband. 🙂

Daddy keeps his gamer girl gaming!  Playing a little Long Shot.  She always enjoys a game night with her Dad. ❤

My girl still likes a good puzzle too!  Here she is working on her 100 piece candy puzzle.  It’s a tricky one!

The girls enjoy playing “picnic” together.  It’s pretty cute when all three are playing together without fighting (rare).

These two can be such nutheads!

What is more fun that playing in the rain with umbrellas?!  These two have been dreaming of this for a long time and finally got their warm summer rain without lightning.  Hurray!

When Abby is in a pleasant mood, she can be the sweetest big sis!  I love listening to and watching her interact with her little sisters.

She was so thrilled when she realized she could pick Elly up and carry her around.  Elly went with it for a while and then decided she was way too big for that foolishness.

Abbins can be such a gentle helper with the other kids.

This is her, “Awww, look at little Toby (cousin) wanting to help me.  Isn’t that cute?” face.

These close ups are kinda funny, but this girl’s eyes!!  So big and beautiful! ❤

Free cone day at Dairy Queen!  Need I say more??

We always have lots of fun at the park!  While there is a park with swings we can walk to, it’s a little further away than our most frequented park.  Abby wishes we could go there more often though as she is really wanting to learn how to pump.  I know she’d get it if we ever spent consistent time near swings, but oh well.  It is what it is! 🙂

Swimming pool days are her fav.

These make me laugh so much and love my little girl to pieces. haha  She can be so awkward sometimes.  This is what I got when I asked her to smile cute for the camera and she was actually trying.  Awwww! haha!!

This is normally what I get when I ask for a cute picture…..  Intentional goofball followed by her laughing at herself.

Apples and Abby.  An apple a day!

Abby is inquisitive CONTINUALLY.  I hope you gathered all the emphasis I tried to place on “continually.”  I not only underlined it, but capitalized it, made it bold, and italicized it.  haha!  Seriously though…..  this girl loves to learn and loves to ask questions.  She genuinely wants to know about everything.  As an example, she already knows more driving rules than I did going into drivers ed.  I mean, it’s not even a contest.  She’ll talk them all through too as I’m driving around running errands.  “Why’d you have to stop on a green light, Mama?  Oh, it’s because it was red and then it turned green and so cars were already stopped in front of you.”  “Why can you go even when the light is red?  Oh, that’s because you were turning right.  So you have to stop and check and then you can go, right, Mama??”  If there’s ever something new that pops up, she is quick to ask for an explanation of what is going on.  The latest was, “Why did you turn left even on a red light?”  In case that confuses you, I was already committed.  Committing to the intersection is basically my bff in driving.  I’m not missing that light!

Bigs has two moods.  Super helpful, kind, obliging, sweet with the others, and teasing, lying, looking for trouble at every turn, sassy (this has just started happening.  I’ll tell her something to do and will be met with a snarky, “No!” or “I don’t want to!” if she thinks it was somehow optional), disobedient, and doing things halfheartedly.  We all like the first mood better.  When she’s in her super chipper mood, Caleb and I get a kick out of asking her to do things because she will respond with a super obedient, “Yes, Mommy!  Yes, Daddy!” as she races off eagerly to get it done.  It’s really not funny as it’s the epitome of self righteousness at work, but at the same time it kind of is.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss, but Daddy has been getting that quoted to him quite a bit lately (probably as a result of us quoting it to her haha).  “Daddy!  Why didn’t you put cashews on top of your Chinese??”  “Well…. I don’t think it’s my favorite really….”  “Put some on, Daddy!  Try them, try them and you may!  Try them and you may, I say!”  I get such a kick out of this.  He actually feels slightly guilty when she does this and has even tried a few new things. hahaha

The blank stare….  (aka, too many pics, Mama)

There were three in the tub! 🙂 🙂 🙂

My little goose.

This kid has always been the best sleeper.  She’s out like a light at bedtime and sleeps through till morning every time, unless she’s sick.  So grateful for this.  When she gets really sick, (usually with an ear infection – poor kid has had at least 30 in her lifetime) she will sometimes pass out on the couch.  Or, an even more rare occurrence, in my arms.  Although sick kids are tough, I kind of treasured that moment because there are so few chances I get to hold and rock my 4 year old “baby.”

The kids all had the actual barf flu for the first time this past winter.  It definitely made me thankful it had waited this long to strike!

I can’t even remember the last time Abs got to sit her hiney in a stroller, but trust me…. it has been a LONG time.  The kids all had the flu for days and we HAD to get out of the house, so we made it happen.  Daddy with a carrier and Abby in the umbrella stroller, me with the double stroller holding Bud and Evelyn.  It was a sight, but then again, we always are. haha!

Legos were our go-to when everyone started having enough energy to play for a few minutes at a time.

Abigail is a lover of fun, new adventures!  Especially with those she knows and loves well.  There is nothing she likes more than something new with her family all there to enjoy it with her. ❤  We took the girls paddle boating for the first time a couple weekends ago and her and I were in our element!  Water, outdoors, family, ahhhhhhhhh.

Posing in a cave we found while exploring Wildcat Den State Park!

Being outside is Abby’s favorite.

Getting the farm work done!

Although our girl learned how to ride her bike at a super young age, she isn’t exactly an all around athlete by nature.  This is one of her “tricks” that she thinks requires incredible talent.  It is exactly what it appears.  She puts her hands on the ground and lifts one leg in the air.  Watch out.  Future Olympic gymnast in the making, folks!

Usually, the rule at meal times is “Eat it or leave it.”  I got really sick of fighting with the kids to take “this” many bites before they were done.  Here’s the truth with my kids.  Some days they are growing like weeds and lick their plates clean, asking for seconds every meal!  Other days, they just don’t want or need it.  They eat a few bites and you wonder what they’re running on all day.  Once in a while, I’ll have a “You Choose” day.  This basically means, they get a choice. haha  Sometimes this will mean if we’re having spaghetti they can choose if they want sauce or no sauce, and cheese or no cheese.  Other times I’ll give them an entire meal choice.  Alfredo or pb & j?  “You Choose” days are Abby’s favorites. haha

I love what a helper this girl can be.  She is always excited to learn a new task or “help” me with any and everything I’m doing.  Her company makes life sweeter. ❤

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This picture sadly turned out blurry, because the girls were all moving almost nonstop (unlike it appears).  But I have to share it anyway because it’s still one of my favorites! ❤  I love these people so much!

I love all these girls of ours!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

I’m a sentimental mom soooo, here is a side by side of Abby just about 3 years ago and now (in the same hat of course).  Can you tell it’s the same girl?  She hasn’t grown up that much, has she?  It’s okay to say no!!

Oh, this girl!  My beautiful, sweet, sneaky, LOUD, talkative, quiet, creative, helpful, troublesome, bookworm, bug collecting, observant, smart, careful, adventurous, tree climbing, water loving, bike riding, thoughtful, oldest, big girl Abigail Joy.  How I love you, Sweets!  Even when you drive me crazy.  We are so thankful for what a blessing you are in our lives. ❤

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Abigail is Four!!!!

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*Disclaimer:  I know this is long and I did a horrible job narrowing down my picture selection, but it’s my blog and my extremely indecisive self had a really hard time cutting any….. so I guess I’ll do what I want.  Enjoy a million pictures of my favorite four year old!!  heehee

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Abigail Joy is four years old!  I’m not really sure where those last four years went, but here we are!  I don’t know what I’d do without my Abby each day.  She still wakes up chattering and asking questions – mostly questions – and doesn’t stop ’till she hits her pillow at night.  She’s getting so big – she weighs 32 pounds now and fits mostly 4T shirts.  She still wears quite a few 3T pants.

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She’s also very good at reporting everything.  This especially kills me when it’s a situation like the following:

I’m standing literally two feet from Caleb.  Abby is also in the near vicinity and asks, “Daddy, do you have to work tomorrow?”  Caleb answers, “Yes, I do.”  Abby turns to me, “Daddy has to go to work tomorrow.”  Sometimes I’m not even sure how to respond.  Does she want me to respond?  Does she think I somehow didn’t quite get it?  Gotta love it. haha

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Abs is our incessantly inquisitive tot.  She wants to know everything about everything.  The girls alternate each Friday for our, “Popcorn Movie Night!” who gets to pick the show.  Sometimes they will choose an old Mr. Rogers off youtube.  I always laugh with Cabz because when I was little I remember sort of zoning out for the informational video parts.  Bored out of my mind.  Abby, on the other hand, LOVES those segments.  She gets all focused and is SO interested to watch how towels are made in factories or how they package and ship off foods to stores.  She will talk about it afterwards and explain it all to me. haha

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Although our pool is currently leaned up against the wall in our garage, the girls used it almost daily when it was warmer out.  This was Abby’s face the first time we filled up the pool for the summer. haha

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The girls were always running around the backyard in their suits, jumping in the pool to cool off as needed.  They would hop right in with the icy water straight out of the hose, screaming and giggling!

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The theme of the later part of summer for Abby was BUGS.  My poor kids want a pet so stinkin’ bad.  (Me too, but we aren’t allowed one in the house we’re currently renting)  They want one so badly, that Abby spent day after day making pets of every bug she could find outside.  Wherever Abby was, there was sure to be a pet bug in a bucket nearby.

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She would study her bugs and try to figure out what they liked to climb on and eat.  Her bug buckets would often contain sticks, a little water, rocks, leaves, and bits of plants or grass.  They always were given names.  A few of her favorites were, Max, Ruby, Pebbles, and Sam.

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Some of Abby’s common catches were leatherwing (or soldier) beetles, boxelders, caterpillars, black beetles, and stink bugs.  Yes, stink bugs.  I got a little tired of their smell, but Abby would tell me, “I don’t mind it at all!  I just really like bugs!  They’re my favorite pets!”  She enjoyed learning all about her bugs from the internet.  Sometimes we would save up some questions for Daddy to look up when he got home from work.

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Animals usually like Abby quite a bit.  While Evie is your typical little kid, running arms outstretched and screeching towards animals (as they take off in the other direction), Abby tends to be very gentle, soft, and quiet with them.  Her approach is much more, I’ll sit here and they’ll come to me when they’re ready.  Evie is instantly hands on, while Abs might give a very light pat once in a while.  Kittens and baby goats are so much fun!

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Abigail enjoyed every bit of summer!!  Frisbee golf…

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Flying kites…

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Going to parks…

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Playing on our park at home…

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Enjoying the sandbox…

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Running a few one mile races…

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Our three day, two night, first ever family camping trip (I love her adventurous, outdoor spirit!  She loves what I love!)…

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And swinging!!  The park we usually walk to doesn’t have any swings, so we weren’t able to have Abby practice pumping very much.

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We did hang up a “baby” swing in our yard this year though.  While it isn’t too easy for the girls to pump this one, they did both figure out their own methods of getting it to swing.  Abby would kick off from the wooden edging around our tree area and get herself pretty high!  I was impressed with how much she grew to love our swing, because she has never been much for getting pushed.  In fact, she usually hates it.  She would panic and there were often tears involved.  It must be the feeling of being in control that helps her remain calm and enjoy the ride when she does it herself. haha

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One of her favorite activities, of course, was biking.  That girl biked, and biked, and biked!!  I’m surprised she didn’t wear through her tires! ha  She definitely had a blast with her bicycle.  Daddy got an evening jog/run almost every night during the warm months.

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Abs loved riding down our little grass hill onto the driveway.  She biked through summer….

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And into fall!  It took her awhile to enjoy pedaling through the grass – because it was trickier – but she was getting really into it by October.

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Once the leaves starting changing color and falling off the trees, the girls both enjoyed bringing their favorites home for Daddy to look up.  They wanted to know all about the different kinds of trees.

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Abby is always so excited about each new season.  Children are a great reminder that every season has something fun and beautiful to offer.

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Abby discovered that she could climb trees this year.  She was SO excited about that – to the point that I felt bad I hadn’t introduced her to it earlier. haha  It just never occurred to me that she would get such a kick out of it!  She liked it best when I would let her climb her tree and eat an apple up there.  LIVING. THE. GOOD. LIFE.  I tell ya….

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These are some of my favorite Abby poses and faces.  Love my big girl soooooooooooooo much!! ❤

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Although Abby had her bang phase and I had to trim them occasionally, I’ve never actually given her a hair cut.  I couldn’t even bring myself to even up the ends.  I’d think I was going to do it and then she’d have a curly hair day.  Seriously, the sweatier and dirtier her hair is, the prettier it looks.  Unfair.  She used to get these gorgeous ringlets all over, but they aren’t as prevalent with the length now.  People used to ask me all the time if I curled it.  Nope.  I still don’t even own any hair tools, other than a brush and comb.  I suppose I will give it a trim eventually.

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If helping me constantly was possible, this girl would sign up in a heartbeat.  She has always loved “helping” me cook.  The girls also both have so much fun cooking on their toy kitchen set!

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Our Abby Joy loves to build with Legos and Duplos.  She enjoys being creative and comes up with the best stuff.  She built a combine, inspired by her ride with uncle, Tim, and a castle, inspired by her birthday party theme this year (She had a princess party, and here’s the post on that!).  She is often building away during everyone’s Quiet Time.

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Abs has also been quite the artist lately.  She loves to practice drawing things.  The other day she brought this over and said, “I drew a helicopter.  It’s flying over the sea!”  I thought it was cute.  Also, funny tidbit and classic Abby…. sometimes she will draw a little girl for me and forget the arms.  I’ll say, “Aww, she’s cute!  But where are her arms?”  Abby is quick to reply, “Well, I’m not finished yet!” as she runs off to quickly add a couple arms. haha

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Quote Time!

“Cuz why??” – Pretty sure she brought this one back from a while ago, but we hear it after almost everything we say currently

“We’re gonna play Membory.  Me and Evie.  That’s OK if she ruins it!” – This was during one of her super obliging, get along perfectly with my sister moods.  I love those moments.  She was referring to the game, Memory.

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“They must have unblowed that one.” – In reference to some deflated, blow up Halloween decor.  You know the ones.  Nothing screams, HOLIDAY SEASON, like those big blow ups in your front yard. 😉

“Can I stay up early, Mama?” – Why, yes.  Yes you may.  Gotta love it when they mix up word meanings.

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“Cancakes” – Pancakes

“Yittle” – Little

“Wan” – Van

“Witamins” – Vitamins (She has a huge obsession with getting her “witamin” every day.  We literally hear it about it until it’s in her mouth)

“I have to go potty.  I do!  The big sister does.  Not Evie.” – Classic Abby, so much to say so little.

“Sometimes I just don’t want to say dat ‘cuz I’m so gassful!” – (That) refers to “excuse me.”  Sometimes we refer to her flatulence as “gas.”

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I had said something along the lines of, “Hi there, Little Princess!” to Elly.  The next day, Abby was talking to Baby Boy and I heard her say, “Well, hi there, Little King!”  She saw me watching and proceeded to explain that we could call girls queen or princess and boys could be prince or king.

Speaking of royalty, our oldest is the queen of spilling her milk.  We have her apologize and then clean it up herself with napkins.  One meal, she had dumped her milk everywhere as per.  She had been mopping the mess up with her first pile of napkins when Cabz handed her a second pile.  She burst out, “THANK you, Daddy!!”  Turning to me, “Daddy gave me more napkins!  Because mine were soaked!”  I guess it really is all about the little joys.

I ate scrambled eggs at the wrong time during my pregnancy with Elly.  Ever since I have to be in the right mood to enjoy them.  One Saturday morning, Cabz asked the girls if they’d like some scrambled eggs.  Abby’s response, “Mama doesn’t want any, but our daughters do!!”

The girls love when we have enough time on Wal-mart day to look through the Christmas aisles!  The first time we went, Abby and Evie were oohing and ahhing over everything.  Abby saw these decorative bells, scooped one up, and exclaimed, “Look, Mama!!  They even have these….. these… Christmas party hats?” – I love her innovative mind. hahaha

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We were driving somewhere and went by some weeping willow trees.  I instantly hear Abby, “Evie, those are weeping pillow trees!  Do you see them?  Those are weeping pillow trees!  I’m ‘splaining to Evie about those weeping pillow trees, Mama!  Do you hear me?  I’m teaching her about them so she knows what they’re called!”  I was sobbing silent laughing tears in the front as she went on and on and on, really TEACHING Evie what those trees were called by golly!!

Abby is constantly trying to teach things to Evie.  One of their favorites…. Abby gets a number or letter book and has Evie repeat the name of each.  “Can you say 14, Evie?”  “Fo-teen!”  “Mama!!  Evie knows really big numbers!  I’m teaching her really big numbers!  Do you hear her??”  Amazing, Abs.  Amazing.

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And this next one is probably my favorite quote to date.  Prior to Abby’s birthday, we kept telling her, “Don’t turn four!!  You can’t get grow up and leave us!”  She had been responding with things like, “I’ll just live here when I’m grown up.”  (Don’t I wish that sentiment would stay, Sweet One??)  On her birthday, she must have been thinking it over again, because she came over to me and said, “When I grow up I’ll never leave you!!  Never!!  When you go to Aldi Baldis, I’ll go to Aldi Baldis!!  People can’t stay yittle all the time.  I’ll never be that yittle again.  People just keep having birfdays until they die!”  – I love the Alidis reference.  That was the strongest way she could let me know she wasn’t going anywhere. haha  We are definitely grocery shopping buds. ❤

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We don’t watch movies very often at all, but once in a while we will attempt to let the girls see one.  Finding Dory finally made it to the Redbox, and we thought the girls might enjoy it.  Since our Abby Joy has quite a sensitive little heart, we try to pick low key movies and ones that don’t have overly intense action.  I try to talk through what is happening as we’re watching.  For this movie, I kept reminding her that the ending was going to be happy – that Dory was going to find her parents in the end.  Even so, the tears were flowing.  Every single scene where Dory remembered something from her childhood and the emotional music played, Abby was a puddle.  I asked her if she wanted to stop it or keep watching and she always sobbed that she wanted to keep watching.  Poor little tot. haha  I can totally relate to her pain.  Most people who have watched an action or suspenseful movie with me…. never will again.  I panic, I talk to the characters, I talk, I can’t be quiet, I wish I just knew the ending, I ask if anyone knows the ending….  It’s rough.  As a child, I loved reading the Trixie Belden mystery books, but I don’t think I ever made it through a book without skipping to the end as soon as it got suspenseful to make sure everything turned out okay.  Then, I could go back and read the book in peace.

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Speaking of emotional, Abby can escalate quickly over the important things in life.  You know… if she thinks she lost an important Lego piece or one of their bath toys went down the drain.  A while ago, she broke a lamp we had and we ended up throwing it away.  She was pretty upset about it.  A couple weeks ago, the girls’ cd player broke (they use it every night at bedtime and Abby does during her Quiet Time) due to a lot of use.  Abs went into PANIC MODE.  She broke down sobbing, tears streaming everywhere, she raced out of the bedroom, stopped in front of me, and as dramatically as possible cried, “Mama, I BEG YOU!!  I BEG YOU WITH ALL MY LIFE can we please buy a new one????”  Of course we were planning to get another one right away, because the girls do so well with it as part of bedtime routine, but she broke down so fast we didn’t even have a chance to comfort her with that.  I have to say, this was one of those parenting moments where Cabz and I about lost it.  We were holding it back and then made eye contact and laughed just a little.  That obviously didn’t go well.  The good news is, Abby was relieved to find out we would be getting another one very soon.

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Baby Rose is still Abby’s favorite baby doll.  She loves to dress her, change her, take care of her, and mother her.

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I just want to give her squeezes all day!

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Cuddles in Big Sis’ bed in the morning is the best way to start your day!

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If I was a younger sister, I would hope my big sister would be like Abby.  She enjoys taking care of her younger siblings so much!

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Holding Elly is still such a treat.

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Evie and Abby are becoming better playmates all the time.  There is still a noticeable developmental gap due to age, but they work around it and get some pretty fun games going!  They definitely know how to be goofy together…

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All three of our girls are so wonderful!  Each one is already so unique and precious.  We love them all dearly!

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I love Abby’s eyes.  They’re so pretty!

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Abby has so many nicknames. haha  We call her Abigail, Abby, Abby Joy, Abs, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpernickel, Big Sis, Biggin, Sweet Pea, Sweet Cheeks, and probably some more I’m forgetting at the moment!  The other day she decided she would like us to call her, “Pomegranate” sometimes too. ha

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Oh ya, we also tell her she is Trouble #1.  Followed by our other children, Trouble #2, Trouble #3, and Trouble #4. haha

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Goofy Girl.

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Abs always whips her socks off so she can “Check for fuzzies!!”  She’s very OCD about getting those lint fuzzies out of her toes.

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Oh, my little barefoot baby!  Slow down a little for me, please. ❤

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I had never asked Abby to “show me your muscles” before, so I thought I’d try it.  Here’s what I got.  No idea where she learned this. ha

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Rockin’ her side ponytail and being a goof.

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I think my babies are so cute when they’re all bundled up in their winter gear!

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In stark contrast a couple months ago….. when you’re too cool for the heat, until Mama laughs at you.

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Turning into such a big girl. *sigh*

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We love you, Abby Joy!!  We pray you will grow up loving Jesus and loving others!  You are so special to us and such a beautiful part of our family.  I thank God for you all the time and can never be grateful enough for you!

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Abigail’s Princess Birthday Party

Trains… trucks…. the princess party is finally here!  I have waited long enough to have a more girly themed party. haha  Abby had actually been planning to have a princess party for her four year old birthday ever since last year.  She currently has the next two years’ themes picked out as well.  We’ll see if she changes her mind before then, but I kind of doubt it.  Here is one of the princess invitations I made, recreated from a version on Pinterest/Etsy. haha

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Abby was hoping I could make a “castle cake” for her party.  I found some inspiration off Pinterest and came up with this.  I could have made it a little more appealing by using two layers for each of my layers, but that would have required more time, frosting, and well… throw some candy on there and Abby was going to be excited regardless. haha

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I loved the idea of using sugar cones as the low maintenance castle towers.  I spread a light layer of frosting over each cone, and dropped sprinkles all around them until they were covered.  For each flag, I used half of a toothpick with a paper triangle taped on.  I was having some trouble getting them to stand upright on the cones, so I melted a little almond bark and drizzled it around the bottom of the toothpicks.  I had to do one at a time and hold them in place while they dried, but it went pretty fast.  I was worried they wouldn’t hold up, but they were actually stuck on pretty tightly when I went to break them off at dessert time.  I could have just used a glue gun for speed, but I didn’t want the kids getting glue in their food.  Ew.

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Tasty sugar cookies with purple frosting and light and dark purple sugar crystals sprinkled heavily on top.  I used this recipe from my mom.

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Decorating was so much fun!!  Abby picked out some princess colored rolls of tulle at Wal-mart, and I cut strips and knotted them around a string.  When it was long enough, I tied/taped it around our dining room table and voila!  A table fit for a princess!

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I created this princess banner.  My favorite part about it was how the princesses were “holding” it up.

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Oh my word.  My sweet, little four year old was inspired to create with all of my decorating going on.  I let her cut and glue with some of my scraps and I’m pretty sure she created a princess from my nightmares!  Awww! haha  She was so proud of it, and wanted to be sure we used it in our decorating!  Of course we had to find a prominent space on the fridge for it, but oh dear….. it is a bit frightening!

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The table spread, complete with necklaces and wands for all the royal guests, and princess napkins of course.  They were from Wal-mart and they were the coolest.  Seriously, they were like little princess booklets with a different princess on each “page!”

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In preparation for party time, we blew up some balloons and I painted the girls’ fingernails PINK!!  They were loving it.  Abs still gets uptight about me washing her hands, because she doesn’t want me to wash her polish off!  I told her we could repaint if needed.

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Getting her “princess shoes” on.

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She still needs her crown.

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Our little princess all decked out.

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Abby’s “princess dress” was one of my old dance recital dresses.  I actually wore this one when I was seven, but it was the most princessy one, so I pinned it a bit in the back to help it fit and we went with it. 🙂

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Little sister, Evie, wanted to dress up like a princess too.  I’m not sure she ever realized this wasn’t her party…. ha

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I asked Abby to show me how old she was and she went with the ol’ 3 + 1 method.

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After a tasty supper of pizza and pink lemonade, Abby was ready for the long awaited CAKE TIME!!  Following a round of “Happy Birthday,” Abs finally got her long awaited ice cream and cake.

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Quick picture with the birthday girl before the faces were destroyed….

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Abby Joy loves to be prepared  and had picked out her two ice cream flavors (strawberry cheesecake and cotton candy – the real hot item) months ago.  Cotton Candy was a real success among the young guests.  Oh, and with my brother, Jake…. but, he is basically still a child. 😉

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The party was great, but I was left wondering….. Are you sure you can’t stay my little girl forever?? ❤

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Abigail’s party was a couple days before her actual birthday.  She was ready to enjoy another day by the time she really turned four though.  Evie and her were excited to start the morning off with some giant princess coloring pages!

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Although Abs had to wait for Daddy to get home before she could open her present from us, she got to open her tiny present “from Evie.”  I think Evie was just as curious as Abby was to see what was in there.

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It must have been pretty great, because Abby was excited to share her “Baby Rose” with Evie afterwards.

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This precious little girl really is four years old!

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Snack time = leftover castle towers!

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Daddy finally came home and Abby got to open her new Lego set!  She was pretty excited.

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For supper, Abby picked to have chicken wraps!  Excellent choice!  I just looked and I’m pretty sure I never posted the recipe I use, which is pretty tragic considering it is delicious!!  I’ll put it on my to-do list – yes, it’s actually real, also HUGE, and endless.

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Tug Fest Run

Around here there is a Tug Fest every year where two teams, the Iowa team and the Illinois team have a tug of war contest across the Mississippi.  There are a variety of activities surrounding this event.  The Tug Fest Run is one of those.  I’ve been trying to find more one mile races around, but most of them are kid centered because normal adults run 5K or longer. haha  Anyway, I decided to run this race along with a bunch of children just because, but our 3 year old really wanted to race with me.  Turns out, her excitement was too much for me and I decided to slow jog it with her instead.  She held my hand most of the time, but I did convince her to try running next to me for part of it.  She gets a little nervous in crowds and apparently didn’t trust me not to bolt and leave her in the dust.  Here we are before the race.

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I was pretty proud of her as she ran the whole way, stopping for a very quick sip of water at the halfway point.  She beat her last mile time by a little over a minute!  She ran right around a 12:30 mile.  She got a bit tired about 4/5 of the way through, but pushed through it and did awesome!  It looked like she was the youngest one out there, but she certainly wasn’t last! 🙂  After the race….

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All (children – boo) participants got a water bottle from Happy Joes filled with coupons, candy, a toy, and a running medal.  Abs was pretty excited about that, but gave me her goofy smirky prune face instead of a smile.  She’s been a twerp with pictures lately.  She wants to be in every one, but kind of forgot how to smile for the camera. ha!

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Some people have been wondering how my running is going.  I think it’s been successful since, after all, it is still going.  I have been running a mile every night (Friday is my night off and I look forward to it allllllll week).  My (runner) sister and her hubby helped me do some roll it out thing to stretch something that was causing me some pretty rough knee pain.  I know I’m being very descriptive here, but I can’t remember what they called it.  Regardless, it has helped a lot and my knees very rarely give me pain anymore!  That is great, but I still don’t like to run. haha  I do it for the workout, the good feeling afterwards, and mostly the weight loss.  I’m down 13 lb since I started running a few months ago.  It feels like slow progress to me, but I am glad it’s happening!  I’ve been feeling better about myself and am excited to lose 9 more pounds and hit my goal weight!  If that happens, I will start cutting out running if possible. hahaha!  I’ve only had my beloved ice cream on three occasions, helped eat one batch of brownies, and am trying to overall snack on fruits and eat less at meal times.  I also still drink my keifer and enjoy my bedtime bowl of popcorn (popcorn popper style – microwave tastes nasty, and I’m liking the non oily popper vs. stove kind).  If the pounds get harder to lose, I will probably have to be even more careful foodwise, but since it’s working for me now, I’ll stick with the current routine.

The Rustic Run!

I officially completed my first race since making the decision to take up (short distance) running.  The sad thing is, the last time I ran this one mile race (pre babies), I hadn’t trained at all and had a much better time.  The good thing is, I ran the entire mile and got my best postpartum time yet!  I finally broke 8 minutes (barely!!) with a time of 7:58.  That may not sound too amazing, but it was exciting for me!  I was the 2nd female in my age group (19-39) which means there wasn’t a whole lot of competition. haha!

Shout out to my 9 year old sister who ran the whole mile in 7 minutes 52 seconds!!  Future track star in the making!!  We ran some of our mile together which was pretty fun.  She was verbally encouraging me while I could barely manage to give her a thumbs up.  ha!

I was also pretty proud of our three year old, who steadily jogged the entire mile with Daddy.  Her time was 13:35.  She only stopped once for a quick water break.  She wasn’t tired a bit at the end, while I was ready to pass out.  Age…… haha!

Rustic Run!

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