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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 but 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 😉 Have a great day!

apricot studio, spring, st. louis

City in Bloom

Happy Wednesday! We’re having a super gloomy day today, with severe storms heading our way shortly. So instead of getting out and playing outside, we are hanging out at home. I’ve just been scrolling through these pictures from a couple of weeks back and missing the gorgeous weather we had.

On Don’s weekends, we love to get out and do fun things in the city on at least one of the two days. We really enjoy Forest Park because it’s beautiful, free, and there are tons of places for the kids to run around and explore. I was so blessed to have been given the opportunity to take some photos for Lily Jade recently so we took advantage of the all the pretty blooms and I snuck in some photos of the kids as well.

The building in the background of these photos is called The Jewel Box. And nearly 10 years ago, on a day that was equally as rainy as today, Don and I got married in that building while it rained on our guests. Even though we haven’t actually taken the kids inside the building, it’s so special to revisit now with our children.

When the big kids saw this bench, they ran over to sit down on it. Desmond looked so cute walking over to them to join in. Seeing them all lined up like this was the sweetest sight so of course I immediately grabbed my phone and camera and snapped and snapped as fast as I could.

I was so excited when we found these pink trees. I cannot get over how gorgeous they are! And this is why spring is my favorite (along with the beginning of fall!)

Group shots are my favorite but definitely not the easiest. Desmond’s cooperation is hit or miss, even with a sucker in hand. So sometimes I have to resort to handing off Clementine to one of the two big boys and holding him myself. I’m telling you, when he’s in a good mood, I absolutely do not want him to get any older because he is so hilarious and fun. But when he’s in a bad mood, that’s another story. I’m working on not wishing the time away, in the good times and bad.

Clementine’s face in the picture below–I just can’t get over her cuteness. And of course Kai in my giant pink Willy Wonka sunglasses haha. 

The boy needs to work on his posture (much like his parents) but I love that I finally captured a genuine smile. A fun fact for those of you who don’t know, sometimes 5-8 year old boys don’t really have the best “camera smiles” so we usually have to resort to telling jokes for the real ones.

We get a lot of stares when we’re out with all the kids, along with many comments about having our hands full or “are they all yours?” (No, we just found them wandering at the zoo and figured they would want to join us.) But each adventure out is becoming more fun as a big family and it makes me really look forward to the years to come.

**photo credit for the last 3 pictures is Apricot Studio Photography.

And now I’m ready for another sunny day in the city! I hope you all are having a great day! And if you’re in the area, stay safe when the storm hits!