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Blog, spring, st. louis

Strawberry Fields Forever

Last year, around this time, I was a little over halfway through my pregnancy with Clementine when I realized how badly I wanted to take the kids strawberry picking. The strawberry season was just about over at the time and there was no way anyone could convince my pregnant self to bend over, so I decided it could wait. Fast forward to last week when we went on the perfect 75 degree, overcast day.

We have been apple picking multiple times at the same orchard, Thierbach, about an hour away from us. But we’ve never done berry picking there. I was afraid Don would want to choose a farm closer to us instead of making the drive but I was pleasantly surprised that he wanted to go the same place. We have just loved our experience every time, so it makes the drive worth it.

Besides our family, there were maybe only one or two other small families there. We ended up having a huge section all to ourselves. We expected to spend quite a while picking strawberries, but when you have 5 kids picking at the same time, our box filled up pretty quickly. We ended up making up a few games for the kids (things like “who can find the biggest/smallest strawberry in 30 seconds”) just to spend more time there and make that 2 hour round trip drive worth it haha. Also, I may have gone on a picture overload.

I think out of everyone, Kingston enjoyed it the most. I wish I knew how many strawberries that kid ate. Every time I saw him, he was stuffing another one in his mouth. His face and hands were stained red.

We did have one certain child who just wanted to go back to sleep. He picked strawberries for a few minutes and spent the rest of the time wishing he was in bed. I had the nerve to wake him up at 8am that morning so we could get out the door by 9. Now he knows what it feels like haha (Says the mom of sweet baby, Clementine, who has not been a very good sleeper the past few nights.)

Speaking of Clem…

Did your heart just melt? Because mine did. There was a sweet woman who was picking berries close to us and asked if we wanted a family picture. I have laughed at it so many times because the kids look absolutely miserable. But besides Kai, they all really loved it. So we’ll continue on the quest for a normal family picture.

A few days before this, I had decided to try a braided crown on Evangeline to see if I could figure it out. I had tried before and failed but I was determined to do it this time. It was a sloppy success! She has asked a couple more times for the crown (and my guess is because I let her play games on my phone while I fix her hair and she has caught on that this hair style takes the longest, haha.) It’s nowhere near perfect but I was so proud to be able to pull off a decent braid! This was only my 2nd time so be kind and don’t judge ­čśë

 

We had such a fun time and I think it’ll be our new May tradition! And I think next year I’ll make sure I’m not on Whole 30 when we go because it’s pure torture not to be eating all kinds of strawberry desserts right now. I hope you’re having a good week!

(p.s. Don has been making short little “micro-vlogs” for his instagram stories and is compiling them for YouTube videos. There’s a short snippet from strawberry picking in this video ­čÖé )

spring, st. louis

Spring in the City

Have I mentioned how much I love spring? Because I do. And it’s probably because I don’t suffer from allergies, unlike my husband and a couple of my children. A couple of weeks ago, we needed to get out and take some pictures so we went to an abandoned church up in the city that is covered with vines. I assumed the kids would think it was cool for the first few minutes and then whine about being there. But to my surprise, they actually loved being there. Sometimes I underestimate them–which I guess is a good thing because they exceed my expectations.

I love these group shots that make it look like the kids all line up easily and sit still haha. There’s a certain toddler who likes to make things difficult–including, but not limited to–standing up, walking away, pointing out every bird in sight (or 2 miles away, not in sight,) and irritating his sisters. I can bribe the other kids to cooperate┬ábut he’s still a little young to understand…or care.

We also hit up a beautiful flower shop where the kids helped me pick out a couple of plants.

Because it was a pretty hot day, we went to the Citygarden that evening. We hadn’t been since last summer so we were really excited to go back.

If you’ve been around long enough, you know that we’re obsessed with this splash pad in downtown St. Louis. We only go in the evenings when the parking is free and the sun is close to setting. Usually by that time the crowds are gone and we pretty much have the whole place to ourselves. It is seriously one of the most relaxing outings we can take as a family. The kids are all in their happy place and I can just snap pictures the whole time.

Clem’s double chin has to be the cutest thing ever.

And Desmond, he loves to wave to every single person (or dog) that he sees..which of course brings a smile to their faces. I wish the whole world could be as friendly as Desmond. I think it would be a happier place.

I also wish the whole world could experience joy like Kingston. When he’s having a good time, he shows it. His joy is so contagious.

It was really fun to watch Evangeline this time. Last year she was quite a bit more timid about the splashing water everywhere. This year she had no reservations and loved it just as much as her brothers.

Clem’s opinion did not match the enthusiasm of her older siblings. She doesn’t even like baths so she was content to stay far from the water.

And Desmond’s enthusiasm matched Clementine’s. He sat happily with us for the majority of the time. I’m hoping that if we pull out a water table and kiddie pool at home that he will learn to love the water. Have I mentioned how fun it is to bathe this kid? The screams he lets out from even touching his feet in the bathtub makes me worried what the neighbors are thinking. But just look at that smile from seeing a dog! (He’s a faker though. He gets excited about dogs and then hysterically screams if one comes remotely close to him.)

Our favorite part about this splash pad is that the fountains light up after dark. It’s so fun and pretty!

And now I want to go back. For real. But this weekend (meaning Don’s weekend, tomorrow and Wednesday) we will be cleaning around the house/yard and gathering things for a garage sale because we have too much stuff! So it’s not quite as exciting as getting out and playing but I’ll admit, it’s pretty exciting to me.

And on an unrelated note, Don finally compiled our videos from our trip from San Francisco last year! It’s actually terribly painful for me to watch myself and hear my voice. We never actually planned to do anything with the videos. But now I love that we have something to remember the trip by. Anyway, hope you have a great week!

birthday, evangeline, spring, st. louis

Four is Fantastic

I’m afraid to even put it in writing but I think we have finally exited the season of sickness in our family! The past few months were rough but I am grateful that all the sicknesses were just minor and that we are all finally back to our “normal” selves.

I’m behind on my blogging but I have multiple posts lined up if I can ever find the time to sit, edit pictures, and write. But of course I had to start with Evangeline’s birthday. On May 5th, our little Cinco de Mayo baby turned 4 years old. Our baby girl, my best friend, our firstborn daughter. The girl I had been dreaming of for so many years. There were many days when I thought I would forever be a boy mom (and that would have been perfectly okay.) But I am so thankful that I have been blessed with, not one, but TWO precious girls.

At 4 years old, Evangeline loves all things pink and purple. She loves changing her outfits approximately 357 times a day. She loves princesses, fingernail polish, lipstick, and braids. She loves My Little Pony and all things girly.

But at age 4, she also loves playing with Legos with her brothers (what she is currently doing.) She loves playing in the dirt and racing with the boys until she eventually falls over and scrapes her knees–which then leads to the next 5 hours babying those scrapes. She loves Star Wars and Transformers and doing everything her brothers do.

If you ask her her name, she will give you one of a few different answers: Miss, Missy, Miss Evangeline, and rarely, she will let you know her name is Evangeline.

She spends most of her days sitting at the table, drawing and coloring pictures. And writing “miss” in her sweet handwriting.

She is the sweetest, outgoing child with a hidden switch somewhere that turns her into a shy, stubborn, sassy little girl (I’m still working to find that switch to make sure it gets permanently set to “sweet” haha) She loves all of her siblings so much and has such a special unique relationship with each of them.

We are so blessed to have this sweet girl in our house!

On her actual birthday, we went to the usual Mcdonald’s and came home for her choice of dessert, “a heart cake.” I know you all are currently in awe and praising my decorating skills on that cake but I have to just let you know, I charge a high price for cakes like that. (Can you read the sarcasm there?)

A few days before her birthday, we headed out to the zoo for the morning. Of course it was the first nice day we had had in quite a while. We had so much raining and flooding leading up to that day so I’m pretty sure everyone flocked to the zoo all at the same time.

We ended up at the park that evening, trying to find some photo locations for a project. We ended up not caring for any backgrounds but took a few shots of the kids while we were there.

Clem’s face makes me wish for the heart eyed emoji on here.

Actually, so does Desmond. Most pictures of him involve him pointing at the sky and saying “bird” so I’m glad Don caught a candid smile as Des was running towards him.

Okay, and one more time…this picture of both of them together. Des loves his baby sister with all of his heart–he even shares big bites of his food with her. Food that she doesn’t even know how to chew. That is love.

The past 4 years have zipped by so quickly. I can barely remember Evangeline as a baby..which is so sad. But I absolutely love having this sweet 4 year old.

also–a little throwback

Evangeline’s first birthday pictures and her first birthday party

Evangeline’s second birthday

Evangeline’s third birthday

I hope you all are having a great week! I (along with Don and 6 of our closest friends) are on day 7 of Whole 30. I was actually considering writing up a few posts about it. Not as an expert, but as an honest perspective from the pickiest eater in the world. So I’m hoping to recap the first week pretty soon! In the meantime, I hope you all are thoroughly enjoying cheese right now. Because I am not ­čśë Have a great day!