Kenny’s b-day week

Last week we celebrated Kenny’s birthday. I’m a firm believer in making birthdays last at LEAST a week long (I have a high success rate for making mine last a full month) so we had lots of fun in store. I wasn’t great at taking pictures of everything, but here’s the week in a nutshell…

Monday – Kenny came home from work and we gave him a note saying that since he’s our “favorite” guy we would be giving him some of his “favorites” all week. Then the girls sent him on a treasure hunt to find a basket of his favorite treats. Chocolate chip cookies were one of the treats and Addison was so excited when he found them that she immediately grabbed them and started shoveling them in Kenny’s mouth. He was mumbling “thank you so much!” and trying to eat them at lightning speed. Pretty amusing. :)

Oh – and since I know you’re DYING to know my recipe for mouth watering chocolate chip cookies I guess I’ll share it:

Nestle Toll House.

Tuesday – It’s a “favorite” for Kenny to have a clean car. In fact, he’s a bit obsessive about taking the family car to get it cleaned inside and out every weekend. I don’t get it. Is it because of all the polly pockets and their tiny clothes hiding in every seat corner? Or maybe it’s the assortment of cracker crumbs covering the floor? Could it be because of all the beach sand that finds a way into every crack and crevice? Mystery. Anyway, we washed it for him so he could take the weekend off. Actually, I paid someone to wash it for me and the girls scrubbed the mats.

Actually, Addison scrubbed the mats while Ellie rode Addison’s bike.

Wednesday - we sent Kenny on a treasure hunt around the house to find a gift card to one of his favorite restaurants for lunch.

Thursday - another treasure hunt to find a new beach umbrella since hanging out with the girls at the beach is another favorite.

Friday - Kenny woke up to a note on the bathroom mirror that said to come home from work by 6:00 because the girls’ favorite babysitter was coming so we could enjoy dinner with some of our favorite friends. He was excited and we had a great date night!

Saturday - August 28th – Kenny’s actual birthday. We woke him up singing happy birthday and gave him two gifts. (I couldn’t wait! Had to give them to him first thing.) One present was from Kole – a mini Chargers outfit so he will be ready for the Fall. Bring on football with daddy! The other gift was from me and our families. We all went in on an iPad for him. It was SO HARD hiding this purchase from Kenny because he handles our finances and nothing gets past him. I had to get pretty creative at stashing cash. Luckily, I’ve had years of training from a highly skilled expert on how to hide money from your husband. {Thanks mom for the life lesson you taught me that has come in handy time and time again. ;) } He was so excited and surprised. Loved it! Now he can play with his new toy at night and when he’s at work all day…you know…I’ll take good care of it for him. I’m nice like that.

The girls wanted to make daddy a cake all by themselves. So after the baking took place, I handed them the icing and let them have at it.

Mmmmmm. Good stuff.

I know. Your mouth is totally watering right now. Mine too. Lucky for Kenny I had one more surprise for him that included another birthday cake (although truthfully I think he liked the girls’ cake best).

Our ward (church group) was having a party at the beach Saturday night so I sent around an e-mail to everyone asking them if they would help me surprise Kenny.


I brought out the cake and a huge group of people we love sang happy birthday to him.

He was so surprised — had no clue that was coming. Mission accomplished. :)

Thanks to my cute friend Ann who brought the cake to the beach for me so Kenny wouldn’t see it.

Also thanks to my cute friend Ann for taking this ever so lovely picture of me highlighting my post baby belly. I know. That’s what friends are for, right? (not about to make this picture large)

I cut the cake for everyone (my girls were first in line) and we had a great night celebrating Kenny’s special day with friends.

Happy birthday babe! It was a blast celebrating with you all week. And don’t worry about making it up to me… you have plenty of time to make plans for all of next March. You know. Just in case you want to get started on that… no pressure or anything…. but it will be here before you know it….

Love you most. :)

Tips for getting and staying organized

Hi! I’m Erin from Sunny Side Up and I’m so excited to be a guest on Kami’s blog! I live in San Diego with my husband and three little ones, Ellie (6), Addison (4), and the newest love of my life Kole (5 months). Some of my other loves include decorating, pre-cooked chicken, Bobbi Brown eye concealer, dutch oven potatoes, scrapbooking, reading No Biggie, and organization. I just LOVE to organize! Organizing is great therapy for me and if you stopped by my house to say hello, chances are you’ll find me organizing something. Today I’m sharing a few organization tips I’ve learned along the way…

1) Don’t let organizing your home overwhelm you. The thought of organizing your whole house can be so overwhelming. Don’t let it be. Start small. Pick one drawer or area that’s really bothering you and start there. One way of tackling your house is to walk around and make a list. (I just love lists, don’t you?) Write down the spaces in each room that need to be organized and then pick one space/cupboard/drawer to work on whenever you have a minute. (I often organize while making phone calls.) Don’t start a new project until that space is finished. Just having a list will take some of the overwhelmed feeling away. Now your goals are written down and you have a place to start.

(to do list)

2) Use your space wisely. I store a lot of my holiday decor in high spots above closets because I only get them out once a year. On the other hand, my children’s most often used toys and games are stored low where it’s easy to get to them.

game drawer

baskets for toys (both pics)

3) Give everything in your house a home. If you have created a specific place for everything in your home it’s much easier to put things away where they belong. Here are some ideas…

scrapbook room stuff

pantry sticky shelf

make up drawer

nail polish

4) Organize things in a way that makes sense for your family and the way you live. For example, for a long time I had all of our baking supplies (flour, sugar, etc.) on the main shelf in my pantry. I also had a whole shelf dedicated to cook books. Cook books that had a layer of dust on them. I’ll be honest, I don’t love to cook and with my kids around, we are reaching for the crackers and cereal more than anything else in our pantry. It makes sense for us to have those items on the easy to reach middle shelf in the pantry and the baking goods up higher for the once in a while time that I actually use them. (Cook books I tossed except one or two that are stored in a drawer.) For someone who loves to cook and bakes a lot, their pantry would be organized another way. Websites and magazine articles are great places to get organization ideas, but don’t just “copy” what someone else is doing. Organize in a way that is functional for the way you live and it will be much easier to keep things organized.
(show pantry picture)

5) The most important thing to remember when organizing: If you want to be organized, you have to be able to let things go. Get rid of it! Seriously. You’ve maybe heard “when in doubt, don’t.” Well my motto with organizing is “when in doubt…DO!” If you’re not sure about whether or not you can part with something, trust me, you can. You might think “what if I need this someday?” Chances are you won’t, but what if you did? Would it be so awful if you got some flowers and needed that vase you’d been storing for three years and then trashed? Could you put the flowers in something else you had on hand? What about your closet? Are you saving clothes for when you lose weight? If you lose weight you’re going to buy new jeans, not wear the ones you’ve been saving for four years since you had a baby. Get rid of it! When keeping things for “sentimental value,” be smart. Do you really need to save every drawing your kindergartner comes home with? Would one or two be enough to remind you of her year in school…or even better, a picture of several of her drawings for her scrapbook? Do you really need all the clay pots you made in highschool to remind you of that certain boy you were dating at the time who later became your husband? Or would one small clay pot remind you of that time in your life just as well without taking up a whole closet shelf? :) Being able to let things go is so invigorating! It’s just stuff. And we’re always buying new stuff. Less really is more. Use the space in your house to keep only the things that you use or love.

{Keeping things organized}

Ok – you’ve organized your little heart out. Now the tricky part is keeping everything organized. You have to break bad habits that lead to clutter.

1) Teach your family the importance of having a clean, organized home. If your family isn’t on board, forget about it! There is only one you and you will never be able to keep things organized on your own. Show them how to put things away in the place you’ve created for them. My girls know that when it’s clean up time there is a select place for their barbies, books, dress-ups, etc. Time and time again I have gone over where we keep their things so that now it is second nature for them to put things where they belong. (Getting them to do this without being asked? Don’t have an answer for that one. :) Assign clear responsibilities for keeping the house clean and give consequences when they’re not accomplished. (with my girls, their toys get taken away if they aren’t put back where they belong)

books

toy bins

2) Don’t procrastinate! Keeping something organized takes constant work and upkeep. Once you’ve organized and made a place for something, put things away in that place! How many time do we set somthing down and think, “I’ll just put that here for now.” Resist the urge! It usually takes only a few seconds longer to put something away it its place vs. just setting it somewhere it doesn’t belong. Take the initiative to put things away where they go every time and teach your family to do the same. Also take a minute to straighten up your organized space the second it starts looking messy. My fridge, for the most part, stays clean and organized. That is because every time I buy groceries, I do a “mini cleaning”. I pull out things that are getting old, wipe off a shelf or two, put new groceries in their designated spot, etc. When Kenny comes in with the mail I immediately go through it, throw out the junk mail and file everything else – or I bug Kenny until he does it. (Being a great organizer sometimes means being a great nagger ;) Not procrastinating and putting things away where they belong every time will lead to a clean, organized home.

green file folder

Keeping things organized is a daily choice we make. It’s just like choosing what to eat. If you want to be healthy, you have to change the way you eat. You have to consistantly make healthy food choices. Just like you can’t participate in a one time diet and expect to always stay thin, you can’t organize a closet and then pat yourself on the back and expect it to magically stay that way. (I know this because I’ve tried.) You have to consistantly put things away where they go and take that extra minute to keep everything organized.

Simplifying your house will bring so much peace. When your home is organized everthing runs smoother and you have more time and energy for the things you love. ???

scrapbook room

Morning routine

Getting ready for pre-school…

6 outfit changes.
5 different pairs of mom’s shoes.
4 different colors of lip gloss.
3 disagreements (at least)
2 different hairstyles.
1 VERY tired mommy.
All to get Miss Addison out the door for pre-school.

And she’s only 4….
Lots to look forward to. :)

Tuesday Randomness and a Retreat!

Hi everyone! Hope you’re having a lovely Tuesday. We’re having a good day so far, but I can’t deny…I am SO EXCITED for school to start on Monday! It has been really fun having Ellie home with me, but I’m starting to feel like we have done the pool, beach, playdate, reading, craft, lemonade stand, tea party, in and out of the house, snacks ALL DAY LONG thing for long enough. I’m craving more of a schedule and to be honest, I think she is too. Summer always seems to be just the right amount of time. Just long enough for everyone to enjoy, but just short enough for everyone to avoid going completely crazy. Kole seems to be thoroughly enjoying summer. He is always just along for the ride and ready to flash his adorable smile at anyone interested in looking his way. Here we are on his first trip to the beach..

He loved it. Wanted to surf SO bad. I said, “no way buddy! You need to be a lot older. We’ll give it a go next summer.”

I have to say I’m in the best mood today! I put on this pair of skinny jeans that I haven’t been able to wear for about a year now and they fit! Well…kinda. I look like a sausage spilling out over them and I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing them in them in public yet. BUT…I was able to zip them up and THAT is making me really happy.

Another thing making me really happy is the possibility of an upcoming trip. I wanted to let you all know about the Power of Mom’s Retreat next month in Southern California. Have you heard about these retreats? They sound amazing! This one is called “Get Organized” — become the mother you want to be. (I heard the title and was sold) :) It’s part “professional development” in the field of motherhood and part slumber party. The retreat is being held at an amazing resort on the beach in Dana Point on Friday, September 17th – 18th. The last retreat was held in my hometown of sunny St. George, UT, but I couldn’t make it because it was so soon after my surgery. This next retreat is close to my now home of sunny San Diego and it sounds like so much fun! I’m trying to work out details so that I can attend… and by details I mean “honey, can you please take work off on Friday, Sept. 17th and give me some money so that I can go stay in a sweet hotel on the beach with other moms to laugh and learn and generally just have an amazing experience that I’ll never forget while you stay home and watch ‘Max and Ruby’ with the kids???” Then I’ll bat my eyelashes that will be unusually long and flash him my sweetest smile. Just need some time to work out those details…

If you’re interested in attending this retreat you have to act quickly because this is the last week to register. Click here to read more about the Power of Moms Retreats and here to learn more about the upcoming retreat “Get Organized” located in Southern California. AND because you are one of my beloved readers, if you decide to go you can register here to get $20.00 off!

So. I’m thinking you work out the “details” at your house, I’ll work out the “details” at mine and if all goes as planned I’ll see you there. :)