Insta March!

Can you believe today is the last day of March?!?! 
Here is a look back at some of the things we have been up to this month!

The girls school had their Auction earlier this month. So much fun! Love their school and the families we have met:
My older sister went to Ghana, Africa a few weeks ago with World Vision. 
She sponsors 2 girls in Africa, one with Kate's birthday and one with Claire's.
While she was there, she got to meet Matilda, one of her sponsored children (who is Claire's age) How awesome is that? We sponsor 3 kids through Compassion, I would LOVE to meet them one day.
It's on my bucket list to go to Africa.
 My younger sister Rebecca is due in 7 weeks with a sweet baby girl. I am throwing her a shower....Here is a sneak peek at the invite I made...Can you guess the theme? ;)
  Springtime in California is absoultely gorgeous....this is the field of mustard behind my parents house. Love it!
The girls went swimming for the first time this year on March 13th. It was 80 degrees that weekend. Crazy!!
 On Pi Day 3.14 we had a math in service and got to check out new textbooks.  
I was a like a kid in a Candy Store. I am a total math nerd :)
 One of the other math teachers made Pi Jello Jigglers. Love it!
 2 weeks ago was the CRAZIEST week. It was conference week for my school and the girls school. Kate had softball and swimming. Both girls were in the Talent Show, so there was rehearsal and the show. Plus, my mother in law was out of town (and she watches my kids 2 days while I am at work) It was such a busy crazy week that I literally had to list out by the hour what I was doing so I didn't forget to pick anyone up or miss an event.
One of the girls on my Rodan + Fields team lives in San Fran and her house has an AMAZING location & view. Since R+F corporate is in San Fran, we had an event at her house that our VP of North America came to. Such a fun night.
Here are the views from her balcony:
 That is the Golden Gate bridge on the left:
For the Talent Show, the girls acted out "Do you want to build a Snowman" from Frozen with 4 of their friends. It was adorable.
 Crazy weeks mean In-n-Out for dinner...we only have it every 2 months or so. YUM!
 Softball season is in full swing...no more T-Ball....they get pitched to. Kate got a hit her first at bat. Proud of her!
 We are officially a Swim Team family....good bye lazy summer mornings. Gulp. Wish me luck.
 My good sleeper has turned into a horrible sleeper. I feel like I have a newborn again. Luke's 2 year molars have been coming in for a few months and it has ruined his sleeping habits. Every night at 10, 11 or midnight he wakes up and won't go back to sleep for an hour or 2. #sotired
 Our winter was more like Spring..it was sunny and in the 60's & 70's from Christmas until mid-March. But, no rain. That means we are in a drought. So thankful that the past week we are getting some rain. We need it badly!!!
Our neighbor had a birthday party on Saturday night and we played Left-Right-Center...so much fun.
I won $20! Sweet!

Pin-Spired with me, Shay and Sheaffer is coming up!

The link up will be Wednesday April 2nd
 I am in full Spring Outfit mode!
Speaking of Spring outfits, I just ordered these since I had Nordstrom gift card burning a hole in my pocket!
Get them {HERE]

And, of course the most exciting thing about March....today is Opening Day for baseball!
This is what Claire picked out to wear to school today:
 Go Giants!

So there you have it. A sneak peek of our March via my iPhone!
Happy Monday!


"You Got Your Boy"

Without fail, for the past 19 months, if I am out & about with all 3 kids, strangers will come up to me, look at my 2 girls and then see Luke and say to me:
"Awwww. You got your boy"
The first few times I didn't think anything of it (I said things like that before I had kids) but after hearing this time and time again from strangers, it has started to bug me.
I kid you not, without fail, I hear things like this AT LEAST 2-3 times A WEEK.

"Your husband must be thrilled. He GOT his boy."
"Were you trying for a boy?"
"Are you done having kids now that you GOT your boy?"

Why do people assume that we wanted a boy rather than a girl?
I would have been TOTALLY thrilled with another girl.
I grew up in a family of 3 girls, it was (and is!) awesome!

Before I had kids, I was one of those strangers who would make comments to strangers like that & say "Oh, you got your girl or Yay! You got your boy" if they had 2 or 3 of one gender and then their final baby was the different gender. 
Or, I would say things like "Since you have 2 girls are you trying for a boy?"
Or, "Do you wish you had a girl? "You need a girl"
I was totally that person who would make those oblivious comments.
I am sure some of you reading have heard comments like this as well.

But, since having kids I don't say that anymore.
After I got pregnant with Kate after 2 miscarriages, I realized that I didn't care if I had a boy or a girl. 
I just wanted a baby.

We didn't find out gender with any of our pregnancies.
I am a TOTAL planner, but this is the one thing I wanted to have be a true surprise.
Not finding out the gender is hard...it's not for everyone, but we just loved not knowing.
In fact, when after Luke was born...when our family came into the hospital room, I was the one who announced what the baby was.
I didn't say "It's a Boy"
When everyone walked in, I said, "It's Luke!"
We didn't just get a boy...we got our Luke.
We got a truck loving & ball obsessed Luke who is also the sweetest, happiest guy there is.

We thought we were done having kids after Claire.
We were totally fine being a 2 kid family...a 2 girl family at that.
Life was good and we were feeling very content.
Then, God threw us curve ball & I was unexpectedly pregnant with #3.

People were completely shocked that we didn't find out gender with Luke.
People thought since we had 2 girls, then we would for sure find out with our 3rd.
We really, truly, did not care if we were having a girl or a boy.
People would ask what I wanted and I couldn't choose.
I loved growing up with all sisters, so I know 3 girls is SO fun!
But, on the other hand, I thought it might be fun to experience having a boy since I had sisters and 2 girls. 
But, really....I truly, truly, truly didn't care. And, neither did Kevin. 
We knew that boy or girl, God had a plan for our family.
He knew what we needed.
Turns out, His plan was for us to have our sweet Luke.
Yes, a lot of people do try for a boy or a girl....and that is totally fine! 
I have friends who desperately want a girl because they have all boys and I have friends who desperately want a boy because they have all girls. 
That is totally normal to have those feelings & desires.

I just know that from personal experience after hearing "You Got Your Boy" weekly from strangers for the past 19 months, that I will never say that to anyone again. 
 I feel like it puts unnecessary pressure & expectations on people who have all of the same gender.

Kids are gifts...Boy or Girl.
Even though I have 2 girls, they are TOTALLY different. 
And, Luke is also totally different as well.
They all have 3 unique personalities and traits.
Yes, I may have 2 girls and 1 boy, but really, I have....a Kate, a Claire & a Luke.

So, to the strangers who am I sure will continue to comment to me & say
"You got your Boy", 
I will continue to nod & smile when they say this to me.
 But what I really want to say is:
"No, random stranger in line at Target.  I didn't 'Get my boy'. 
What I got was so much more... I got a 3rd child....my sweet, happy, smiley & easy going Luke who has captured our hearts and completed our family. Oh, and he just happens to be a boy."


Chili Cheese Dip + A Busted Bracket

We spent the majority of our weekend watching March Madness (while the girls watched Frozen)
We actually had the girls fill out brackets this year and we are also doing a Family bracket competition. Winner gets to choose which Frozen Yogurt place we get to go.
(We all like different Frozen Yogurt shops, so whoever's bracket wins gets to choose where to get Fro Yo. The girls are totally into it. It's cute)

Whenever we watch sports (which is often) I always like to make yummy snacks.
Sine yesterday was National Chip and Dip Day & we were watching Basketball all day, I knew I needed to make a yummy dip.
It is easy & delicious!
 Here is what you need:
- Can of Hormel Chili with beans (or without beans if you prefer)
- Block of Cream Cheese (I use 1/3 Less Fat. Don't use Fat Free, it won't melt correctly & the dip texture will be ruined!)
- 12-16 oz Jar of Salsa (I use Chi-Chi's meduim salsa)
- Bag of Chips (I use Scoops so that I can get more dip in there!)

Put the chili, cream cheese & salsa in a pot:
 Heat on low/medium heat and stir until cream cheese is melted.
 When everything is melted through, put it in a bowl & serve it!
***Or, you can keep it warm on your stove and serve it from there. OR if you have a mini crock pot, that would be perfect to serve it out of)
I like a little more kick to this dip and I LOVE jalapeno's, so I always add some sliced jalapeno's to this dip. You can add as many as you want. I add about 1/4 cup & stir them in and then add a few for the garnish on top.
Grab a chip & dig in!
 This dip is a total crowd pleaser and it perfect for watching Football or Basketball!

Here is my busted bracket. I am in the bottom 5 for my work bracket.
I have never done this poorly!

What really hurt me is I had Colorado going to the Sweet 16...they didn't even win in the 1st Round. 
Whenever they are in the tourney, I always take them farther than I should.
It's so hard for me to separate my head from my heart when I fill out my bracket.
I keep hoping that one of these years Colorado will be the Cinderella story of the tournament.

I also had Kansas winning the entire thing (just like last year) and they lost in the 2nd round. 
So bummed!
I'm going to go eat some dip & cry about my bracket.
How is your bracket doing? Is it as busted as mine is?


40 Bags in 40 Days 2014 {Update #1}

It has been 2 weeks since 40 bags in 40 days started, so I wanted to check in and see how everyone is doing as well as give an update on all the junk we have gotten rid of!
So far, I have gotten rid of 15 bags!
Here is a run down:
The first room we tackled was Claire's room.
Like I have mentioned before, she is a hoarder when it comes to clothes & stuffed animals.
She has a really hard time getting rid of clothes, even if they don't fit.
We had a come to Jesus meeting with her and it was a hard afternoon, but a good afternoon.
We got rid of SO many of her old clothes.
And, she gave away over 15 stuffed animals. That is huge for her. 
I am so proud of her....and she is proud of herself.
The week after we cleaned out her room, she said that she could finally relax in her room and she wanted to invite all her friends over so they could see how clean her room was. 
She was proud that she donated bags of clothes for kids who didn't have clothes.
  Here is a before of her closet:
 And, after:
I cleaned out the bookshelves in all 3 kids rooms & this is the bin of books I was able to get rid of and donate:
 We also cleaned out Kevin's closet....I mean a MAJOR cleanout. Kevin hates shopping, so we only get him clothes every 5 years. Let's just say, it had been 5 years and he needed a major overhaul....I honestly got rid of 85% of his clothes. 

 We also cleaned out the kids toys. 
We did it at night & then hid them in the shed since used white bags instead of black bags.
Here are 2 bags of toys & 2 bags of Kevin's clothes bagged up:
 Last week we had our first donation curb side pick up for Hope Services.
Here was our donation:
This week I tackled my clothes.
I have too many clothes & shoes. 
Here is the Before side 1 of my closet:
So embarrassing. Gah!

Side 2 Before:
SOOOO unorganized. I didn't even have room for all my clothes.

And, the After (Side 1)
 After (Side 2):
 Here are all the clothes I got rid of :
These are just the Skirts, Pants & Jeans:
 An entire bag of Shoes to giveaway:
All my clothes bagged up:
Yep. That is 4 bags of just my clothes. And, I still have a whole closet full.
I am honestly a little disgusted at myself. I didn't realize how many clothes I actually owned. 
Next year, I should give up shopping for Lent.

It felt so good to donate & get rid of all those clothes. 
I am dropping them off at Goodwill tomorrow.

So, there is my first 40 Bags in 40 Days update for 2014.
I am 18 days in and have gotten rid of 15 bags. 
That feels good!

Are you doing 40 Bags in 40 Days?

If you haven't started yet, it's not too late! 
Just make your list and start cleaning out your house!
It's officially Spring, which always gives me the extra motivation to do Spring Cleaning.

It has felt so good to clean out these areas and get them organized.
More importantly, it has felt so good to get this STUFF out of my house!
Stuff can really wear you down. 
Your home should be a place of peace & relaxation.
I can get overwhelmed by all the stuff in our house and I know how much better & relaxed I feel when those spaces in my house are clean & organized.

If you don't know where to start & are overwhelmed with all your stuff, I encourage you to start with a small space. Like your purse. Clean out & organize your purse and wallet. 
Maybe start with your car. Clean it out and get that washed & organized.
(I added those areas to my list last week)
You will be amazed at how much better you feel if you even have small areas cleaned out.
My encouragement is this: 
Just Start.
If you are, be sure and check out my tips on this post {HERE}
It's okay if you don't finish by Easter.
 This is my 3rd year doing 40 Bags in 40 Days and I have never finished by Easter!

And, just a reminder, the Rodan + Fields March Madness Offer ends SUNDAY at midnight!
Read more details {HERE}

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 
I can't wait to watch more March Madness. 
My bracket is already busted, but we still love watching the games!


St. Patty's Day {2014}

Being that Kevin and I are both Irish, St. Patrick's Day is one of my favorite days.
Plus let's be honest...I love celebrating any type of holiday.
My girls are really into St. Patricks Day and are determined to catch a Leprechaun.
Here is how we celebrate the day....
 The Leprechaun leaves them Lucky Charms for breakfast which is a huge treat because it's a sugar cereal!
Their milk is also dyed green.
 Boulder's water is also turned green:
The Leperachuan causes some racous in our house...flips some picture frames upside down:

 Claire had to make a trap for school and I thought it was so creative. Kevin helped her with the design, but Kate & Claire mostly executed the entire thing!  
They wanted to trick the Lepechaun into thinking that it was a slide, so they took a slide from their doll house & made sign that said "Fun Slide"
 At the bottom of the slide was the "trap door".
 Inside the trap was some doll furniture, so that the Leperchaun would think that it wasn't a trap, but a cozy place to hang out.
 I thought it was so cute & well thought out. 
Too bad the Leperchaun didn't get trapped ;)
While the girls were at school, the Leprechaun was mischievous  and switched the girls quilts and name pillows.
 He also messed up Luke's name canvas by flipping it upside down:
 He also left a map for the girls to fin their treasure.
 Every year, he leaves a map with a trail of gold coins that leads them to a little gift.
This year the pot of gold was in the play structure.
It is so fun to see them so excited about the map & treasure.
Gold coins leading the way to the treasure:
The "treasure" is always something small.
 This year, it was a book for Luke and the girls each got some water colors & some rainbow loom bands. The Skittles are for me & Kevin :)
Confession: The water colors were leftover from Claire's Tangled Party and the rainbow loom rubber bands were supposed to be in their stockings at Christmas, but I forgot to put them in. Same with the book for Luke. Ha! Gotta love having random stuff stored in my gift closet ;)

Dinner was Guinness Stew, Smashed + Loaded Potatoes & Broccoli:
 And, of course, Green Beer:
For the kids, I made Green Rice Krispy Treats. Just make normal Rice Krispy Treats & add a few drops of green food coloring as you are melting the butter/marshmallows.
Kevin & I had Oreo Mint Chip Ice Cream Pie for Dessert {Recipe HERE}. YUM.
  Of course I wore my green jeans today. Love these pants!
It was a fun day doing little things to make memories for our kids.

In case you missed it yesterday, my Rodan + Fields Team has a March Madness Special going on this week. 
Check it out HERE.

Hope you had a fun St. Patrick's Day!
Do you do anything special to celebrate? 


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