Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to take a break from the new toys, coffee, lounging around, scattered boxes & wrapping paper, leftover cookies, dirty dishes, and all the day after Christmas chaos to wish our family and friends a Merry Christmas. We hope you enjoyed the day loving your people and remembering the real reason for the season. We sure did! Love you all!!

 

 

Homer For The Fourth

This year we spent the 4th of July weekend in Homer. We’ve been to Homer a handful of times. Whenever we fish/camp/clam down that way we always do it out of Ninilchik and try to spend at least a day in Homer. We’ve never actually spent a significant amount of time there, so we were really looking forward to this trip.

Since it’s a pretty long drive, we decided it would be best to drive over halfway and spend the first night in Kasilof. We spent the night at Crooked Creek RV Park. It was late when we arrived. We quickly set up everything and then headed to bed. The next morning we woke up and went fishing along Crooked Creek, which was a short walk from the campground. As always, Lillian enjoyed playing in the water while everyone else fished.

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After not much luck in the fishing department, we loaded up and headed to Homer. It was a gorgeous day. We stopped at a lookout right before town and took some pictures. Hazel was napping, again, but I woke her up and forced her to be in the pictures with us. Mean mom right here.

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We made our way to the Homer Spit, a 4.5 mile strip of land jutting out into Kachemak Bay, and set up shop at Heritage RV Park. The rest of the day was spent walking up and down the boardwalk, going in and out of little shops, checking out boats in the harbor, and chasing birds. The girls and I ended each day with ice cream (Alaskans, Frosty Bear Ice Cream Parlor is where it’s at). Blake may or may not have ended each day with a Duck Fart in the Salty Dawg Saloon. ;) When in Rome…

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The next day was the 4th of July. We woke up (to rain) and dressed the girls in festive little outfits that had to be worn over animal print Cuddl Duds, because… Alaska. They looked ridiculous. We spent a lot of the day snuggling in the camper. Lillian and I headed to the beach while Hazel napped. After nap time we went fishing, then out for pizza on the boardwalk. Glamping at its finest.

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On Sunday we drove to town for breakfast. When we got back to The Spit it was time to pack up and head home. I panicked a little when I realized we were leaving and hadn’t taken Hazel down to put her feet in the sand. It was her first time on a beach at the ocean and these milestones shall not go undocumented. Also, it was a good opportunity for Lillian to run off some energy before the long ride home.

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We had a fun weekend. Camping right on The Spit was such a cool experience. But it was kinda weird spending the 4th of July with 5 layers of clothes on and no fireworks. Fireworks in July in Alaska are pretty pointless. We’ll just have to make up for it on New Year’s Eve.

Until Next Time,
Briana

Easter 2015

Easter is one of my favorite holidays. I have so many great childhood memories. Dyeing eggs with my family. Eating strawberry pie. Spending the day on my aunt and uncle’s farm. And who doesn’t love the song Jesus Christ is Risen Today!?

This year did not disappoint. Things are still pretty touch-and-go with Hazel, so we tried to keep our plans low-key and enjoy the holiday at home, for the most part.

On Saturday I took Lillian to an egg hunt. It was a special treat for just the two of us to get out of the house together again. We had a lot of fun.

We dyed Easter eggs when we got home. Lilly really enjoyed it. Her favorite part was sticking her hands in all of the cups 867 times. She also had fun decorating the eggs with stickers.

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Hazel slept through the festivities, so she had to take her picture with the finished product.

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On Sunday morning we headed downstairs right away to check out all the fresh snow what the Easter Bunny left for the girls. They both got some fun stuff. The highlights were bubbles, window clings (that I forgot to put in the baskets), and a couple new books. Lillian is obsessed with the book Little Blue Truck, so I was happy to learn that there is another book the series. I ran across it in Target one day and couldn’t grab that thing fast enough! I knew it’d be perfect for her basket. Judging by her reaction, I was right.

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After breakfast we headed to church, then back home for lunch and naps. We rounded out the day by FaceTiming family, blowing bubbles outside, eating jelly beans for supper, then running 10,000 circles around the living room.

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After we put the girls to bed that night, Blake and I made a vow to never give Lillian jelly beans ever again. Ever.

Hope everyone had a great Easter!

xo,
Briana

 

 

Easter Egg Hunt

Today I took Lillian to an Easter egg hunt. Blake offered to stay home with Hazel, so it was just the two of us.

It was held at one of the churches in town. The main event was the egg hunt, but they also had food trucks, bounce houses, a Krispy Kreme booth (whoop whoop), and the Easter Bunny.

Thousands of eggs were dropped from a helicopter, which made it a little more exciting than your average egg hunt. Lillian was fascinated.

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IMG_7514Once the eggs were dropped, the kids took off to retrieve them. Lillian caught on pretty quickly and had a great time finding the eggs. I think every single one cracked once they hit the ground, so she pretty much just went around and picked up broken plastic. She didn’t know any better and really enjoyed it.

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After the egg hunt we went to see the Easter Bunny, and then played in the straw. I think this was her favorite part. She collected armfuls and made a big pile to jump in. She loved it.

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On our walk back to the car she dumped her pail to see what she collected. Broken eggs, candy wrappers, a Beanie Baby, some straw, a Tootsie Roll, and a Crunch bar. Good stuff.

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And then we took a window selfie. ↓

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Happy Easter everyone! We don’t have anything too exciting planned for tomorrow. We’ll check out what the Easter Bunny left for the girls, go to church, have lunch, and if it’s nice we might go for a hike or to the playground. Hope everyone has a great holiday.

Briana

Merriest Christmas

This year we decided to spend Christmas at home. We have about a month left as a family of three, so all I really wanted for Christmas was a long weekend together at home. It was nice to keep everything low-key. We were able to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

On Christmas Eve we ordered takeout Chinese and baked cookies for Santa. Cookie baking with Lillian can be broken down into 4 stages.

Stage 1) We’re having so much fun. Maybe this can be a new Christmas Eve tradition?! She’s so excited and so cute!

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Stage 2) Ok, this is getting a little messy. I feel like I might be losing control of the situation. She’s had a lot of sugar. Should I be worried about her sugar/flour/raw egg intake?!

Stage 3) Holy sh*t did 20 bags of flour just explode in my kitchen?? She’s out of control. She won’t stop eating the dough and she’s ruining my cutouts faster than I can get them on the baking sheet!!

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Stage 4) Two presentable cookies make it on the baking sheet. I’ve lost my mind. Worst. Idea. Ever. I’m putting her to bed. I will finish said new tradition alone.

Good times. Moving on.

Blake and I woke up early on Christmas morning like two little kids. We couldn’t wait to start the day! When Lillian finally woke up, we headed downstairs to see what Santa left for her. She got a new sled and some fun stocking stuffers. I was really hoping Santa would leave me TUMS, but no such luck.

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We had caramel rolls and an egg bake for breakfast, then headed off to church. After church we opened presents. Lillian wasn’t that into it. She got bored easily and was distracted by the wrapping paper, boxes, and gifts that were already open. She did enjoy seeing what was in each package though. Whenever she opened a present containing stickers, which was a lot, she would get super excited and scream STICKERS, then jump up and down or run around the room with them.

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On my side of the family it’s tradition to have prime rib on Christmas. It’s something we all look forward to every year. Blake decided to keep the tradition alive and cook one for us. He did a great job. It turned out AMAZING!!

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We spent the evening relaxing, enjoying our new gifts, and eating homemade ice cream. Mmmm!

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Friday was a little boring. Blake had to work, so Lillian and I organized the house and played with all her new toys.

On Saturday we took Lillian’s sled out for a cruise around the neighborhood. She loved it. I knew she would because the girl LOVES to be outside. (for those always wondering about the winter darkness, these photos were taken around noon)

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We worked in the garage the rest of the day, mounting Blake’s caribou and moose.

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Sunday was a day of rest.

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It’s always hard being so far away from family during the holidays, but it’s also nice to start our own family traditions and make new memories together. We definitely had a very merry Christmas!

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An Alaskan Style Pumpkin Patch

In October we did what all young families do in the fall… we visited a pumpkin patch. And by pumpkin patch, what I really mean is a reindeer farm with a handful of pumpkins scattered around a field. An Alaskan style pumpkin patch! It turns out we decided to go on the busiest day of the month, so by the time we arrived there were literally 10 pumpkins left in the field. But that was ok because we were really there for the reindeer anyway.

We visited this same pumpkin patch last year and had a blast.

I was looking forward to heading back with Lillian, knowing she was at an age where she could enjoy it more. She had a fun time picking out a pumpkin, checking out the reindeer and elk, and running around the farm. She had a bit of a meltdown in the hay maze (after getting trampled by big kids!!), but it was nothing her dad and a few Crunchies couldn’t fix.

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Even though this took place way back in October, I still wanted to post about it and share the pictures. They kinda have a Christmasy vibe with the reindeer, right?!?!

I hope everyone is enjoying these last couple days of hustle and bustle before Christmas. Things are finally slowing down around here. We got all of our Christmas cards mailed, a few goodies baked, a tree chopped down and decorated, and last night we finally visited Santa. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Much love,
Briana

The Perfect Weekend

I can’t imagine my first Mother’s Day weekend being any more perfect. As I’ve mentioned 392 times, the weather has been amazing here. We spent all weekend outside enjoying it.

On Saturday we went to the lake. We had a nice time relaxing, playing games, eating, and tending to Lillian. Alaskan Vampire Baby does not love the sun. We made a shady area with a bunch of chairs to keep her happy. But she’d just crawl or walk out of the shade and scream because she was in the sun again. Funny how that works.

She loved playing with our friends’ dogs and playing in the dirt. She was the dirtiest she’s ever been, so obviously she had a good time.

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empty Stella bottle = favorite toy of the day

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there were bald eagles everywhere

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and she's out

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On Sunday I was pampered by Blake and Lillian. They got me a few gifts and made me brunch. One gift was lilies for our front yard. Blake and I planted them while our Lilly took her afternoon nap. I hope they grow here because they are so beautiful.

Later in the day we went on a hike. The weather was great and the scenery was amazing. You can’t beat a sunny day in Alaska!

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checking for salmon

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Relaxation. The outdoors. And my people. My first Mother’s Day was perfect. All week Blake and I have been mentioning how it was the best weekend we’ve had in a long time. It really was.

I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day weekend!

Much love,
Briana

Easter 2014

It was a great Easter weekend at our house!

We kicked things off with Mass on Thursday and Friday. I was a little nervous about taking Lillian to the long services, but she did great. We only had one little mishap. She decided to rip the cover off a song book right in front of our priest. Ughhhh. So embarrassing.

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On Saturday we did some chores around the house and then dyed Easter eggs!! Our neighbors and a few other friends came over to join in on the fun. I was sooo excited to start an egg dying tradition with Lillian. Well, she decided to take a 3 hour nap that afternoon (which has NEVER happened) and missed everything. As such, I only got one picture of her after we were done. Whomp whomp.

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On Sunday morning we woke up, gave Lillian her Easter basket, headed to Mass, and then to our friends’ house for Easter brunch. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… it’s so nice to have the friends we have here. We’ve shared lots of holidays/birthdays/milestones together. If we can’t be with family, they’re definitely the next best thing.

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I had so much fun putting together Lillian’s first Easter basket. I ordered her a basket and an embroidered liner from Pottery Barn. Her basket included a stuffed deer doll, a sippy cup and snack containers, two books, a pair of shorts, and eggs stuffed with hair bows and candy (for Blake and I). I think everything was a hit. She’s been carrying the eggs around and banging them together all week. We’ve read the books multiple times already. She loves snuggling the doll. Success!

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Is it just me or does she look like a 3 year old in that last picture?

I hope everyone had a great Easter!! Many thanks to all that sent Lillian a special little Easter treat. We really appreciate it!

Lots of love,
Briana

Be Mine, Valentine

If you know me well, you probably know that I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Honestly, I think it’s kind of stupid. Gasp. Blake and I don’t make it a big deal and I have never really gotten into it. Until now. Since having Lillian, I have turned into someone I do not recognize. So here I am… getting into Valentine’s Day. Kind of.

I didn’t get crazy but I did do two things to celebrate the holiday. Who am I?

1. I made some festive Valentine’s Day cupcakes (two weeks ago).

2. I sent out Valentine’s from Lillian. We did an at home photo shoot and created a card to send out to immediate family and some of her boyfriends. Lilly is usually the perfect little model. All I have to do is put a camera in front of her and say ‘cheeeeeese’ and she gives me a big gummy grin. Well, not for this. It was a hot mess. I tried to get a picture of her sitting up and smiling. That didn’t work. She kept trying to crawl away. Damn you, newfound crawling skill!

Here’s basically how it went down.

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I did manage to get one or two good shots. This is what the front of the card looked like.

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I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day! Tonight Blake and I will be celebrating by doing nothing and not mentioning it to one another. ;)

Lot’s of love,
Briana