What we love about summer

This summer has been a lot of fun so far. Life is about to change for us in a major way, so here are the treats we're savoring...

1) Water! The girls love the water this summer. Whether it's the three-ring pool in our backyard, the Monon Center, friend's neighborhood pools, the McCord family barn, or the spray parks. It's fun fun fun in the sun.

2) Food! Summer has also opened the door to some fun summer treats. Popsicles are a new one. We had them on Father's Day and then again yesterday at the McCord's party barn. These were tropical flavored and mommy was stealing a taste any chance she got!

3) Friends! I've had lots of fun with my friends and the girls with theirs... but two I have to give a shout out to are Jaime and Shannon! These girls have helped me tremendously as I juggle two toddlers and my ever-growing belly. I swear they've been my sanity. They've kept me going by planning lots of fun activities and are always willing to lend a hand when they see me hitting the wall (figuritively).

4) Naps! I realize that adding a new baby is going to totally disrupt the beautiful schedule I have in life right now. Naps have been awesome - especially after the water activities! I shower and sometimes nap, too. I'm trying to take full advantage of it while I can :)

5) Tan lines! With all this outdoor fun, I'm actually getting a tan for the first summer in years!

Shutter makeover

Our great friends, the Blands, came over this week and we had pizza and strawberry shortcake and the boys painted the shutters.

Their son Lucus is just a month or so younger than the girls and they all seem to get along nicely. He's a super-cutey.

It's amazing what a little paint can do. It turned out so nicely.

Thanks Blands, for being such good friends. We'll come paint your shutters next! (Or your kitchen! Whatever you want!).

All the kiddos looking at their daddies out the window.

The top is the "before" and the bottom shutters are the "after."

Lauren had fun pretending with the roller brush.


My talented hubby!

My husband has a pretty great job and he's pretty great AT his job, so it's a double win. He just had his two year review and they still love him :)

Just thought I'd brag about him for a second...

Several months ago, some of the big dogs wanted a logo designed to comemmorate the opening of Lucas Oil Stadium, that they could use in a variety of ways, but mainly on the uniforms during their first game. Several designers were commissioned from inside and outside the organization. And Andy's design was selected.

You'll see it on all the player's uniforms on the nationally televised season openner, but here it is on the side of a truck...
And on this poster, being signed by the players...

He also designed this logo that is traveling with the team for their "Fan Fest." The team travels and gets people excited about the season and signs autographs, etc...

He also recently designed some ads for AT&T that have been posted online not only on Colts.com, but ESPN.com, Yahoo, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News...


Stop complaining

Yesterday Andy came home and told me he read about a woman in North Carolina who gave birth to twins, who had a combined weight of more than 23lbs!! I about wet myself!! (Don't believe me?)

And, get this, that's not even the record holder. I guess the record was set in 1927, by a woman whose twins were a combined weight of 23lb 12oz.

As I near the end of this pregnancy, I have a lot of people asking how this pregnancy has compared to the last and I just have to say... there is no comparison!

I had a combined total of 14lb 4oz of baby in me last time, not to mention two bags of fluid, two placentas, etc. I couldn't even sit up to eat at the table. I lived on the couch and not by choice. I remember simple tasks like flipping my head over to blow dry my hair and wiping, for goodness sake, became a major struggle.

I couldn't eat. My body wouldn't tolerate any kind of greasy food. I ate so many Quizno's salads that now I can hardly stomach to look at them sometimes.

I spent the last 10 weeks of that pregnancy sleeping on the couch, because the only comfortable position was slightly sitting up at a 45 degree angle.

And my legs... please, do I even have to mention my legs. I put on 14lbs of fluid weight in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy - No exaggeration.

Compared to this pregnancy...

I'm still in my bed (comfortable), still eating, still meeting my basic grooming needs, no swelling
and no major complaints.

Yes, I still have my days of saying I'm ready to not be pregnant, my back hurts, I'm so limited .... blah blah blah. But, then I read about this lady and I think about where I was just a couple of years ago and I say, you think you're uncomfortable?? No. No you're not.

This was my last official outing before the girls came at Hill Fest 2006, I was about 36 weeks. I don't look nearly as miserable as I felt this day.


I'm 37 weeks today and feeling great. Yes, this is the same outfit I was wearing in my last prego pic, but I'm running out of options and I have washed it a couple times since then.

New chairs

My sisters-in-law had a fabulous baby shower for me over the weekend (read and see pics here and here). I was "showered" with gift cards to Target and had a blast the very next day when I went and spent them all!

I got necessities, like crib sheets and sun visors for the car windows - but I have had my eye on these cute bean bag chairs for the girls and just HAD to get them (big sisters should get presents, too, right?).

Anyway, they love them and look adorable sitting on them. Yesterday morning after breakfast, the first thing they both did was sit on them and read books. I love it!


I had a true moment of mommy shame the other day and have decided to share it with my bloggy community. Only because I'm sure there are other moms out there who can relate and will help me deal with these horrible feelings.

OK - so I've set this up pretty good, so here it goes...
The other day, I'm driving in Fishers, down SR37 with the girls in the backseat, when we pass the "Golden Arches" and totally unprevoked, Lauren says "French fries."

What?! You are not even 2 years old and you already associate the McDonald's sign with french fries??

Two years ago, when my babies were merely in my womb, I had dreams of being an organic mommy. Breastfeeding, making their baby food, obsessing over their sugar and sodium intake (which I still do a little). Swearing they wouldn't see a french fry until after their second birthday.

But, it's happened. On occassion, my kids eat McDonald's, because on occassion, mommy wants McDonald's. And french fries may not come in their nuggets meal with apples, but they come with mommy's value meal and they insist that I share.

I guess it's not so much a moment of shame as a moment of truth. A confession if you will.

Any moms out there had moments like this?? I'd love to hear your stories.


Father's Day 2008

We had a nice Father's Day yesterday celebrating all things dad. We started the day with homemade biscuits and sausage gravy and let Andy open his gift - new shoes!

Jillian wanted to "dance" with daddy on his new shoes!

Lauren wanted to play in the shoe box.

Then, we had a nice lunch at my parents house and enjoyed the kids, opened presents and visited.
Here's me, my dad and my brother, Ryan.

These are of the girls with their cousin, Emily - who they totally adore. They love babies and talk about Emily all the time.

Next, we were off to Andy's parents for a relaxing evening of food, games, presents and fun with the kids.

I was getting tired, so I didn't do as great of job at getting pictures here, but the highlight was when the girls (little girls, anyway) stripped down to their diapers and enjoyed popsicles in the backyard.

Instead of getting dressed again, they just played outside in their diapers and enjoyed the bubbles, the slide and the new playhouse that Grammy and Grandpa just got for them.

Here's nakey Lauren, enjoying the great outdoors!

We're very lucky to have such great daddies in our lives. I am so thankful to have so many great men in our lives, who adore our girls. The example and the security they provide them will do wonders for their confidence as young women and the health of their future relationships. What an immeasurable gift!

We love you Papaw (Steve), Grandpa (Duane), Uncle Ryan, Uncle Jason, Uncle Mikey and especially our Daddy, Andy!

First trip to the zoo

Last week, we went to the zoo for the first time with the girls. The last time Andy and I had been to the zoo was about 9 years ago on one of our first dates.

It was a little ambitious, since we had just gotten back to town from our trip in Michigan. The girls were exhausted from their fun weekend with all the grandparents, it was a scorching 86 degrees and I was 35 weeks pregnant.

The pictures are all from the first exhibit we walked through (indoors and air-conditioned). After that it was a lot of hot and not a lot of smiles... therefore, not a lot of picture taking.

I'm glad we gave it a shot and we'll definitely try it again another time. The girls are really into animals right now (naming them and making their sounds), so I know under different circumstances, they would really enjoy themselves.

I like this picture, because it shows the girls new trick of holding mommy's hand and holding each other's hand. This has made it possible for me to run quick errands, without having to pull out the double stroller.


Looking at the polar bear!

I think the penguins were their favorite!


Menu Monday - Ode to Saugutuck

This is a cute little recipe I saw in one of the tour books we had on our anniversary trip. I've not tried it, but it seemed like a winner.

Now that strawberries are back in season, this sounded extra yummy for spreading on breakfast breads, bagels or any other carb you can think of.

Strawberry Butter

1 pint strawberries (stems trimmed)
1 c butter (soft)
1/2 c confectioners sugar

Throw it all in a food processor to blend.

I'm almost 100% sure it said 1/2 c confectioners sugar, but you may need to experiment. It was either 1/2 c or 1 c... better to start with 1/2 c and add sugar to taste :)

There were farm market stands plastered all along West Michigan, so I figure these people know a thing or two to do with fresh produce.

I picked up about 3lbs of fresh asparagus while we were there. They swear it's the best asparagus ever... I'll let you know if I come up with any exciting ways to prepare it.

Happy Anniversary in Saugutuck!

Andy and I had an awesome weekend away to celebrate six wonderful years of marriage. It was the perfect get-away and I would highly recommend it. We went to Saugutuck, Michigan.

We stayed in a cute bed and breakfast, called Twin Oaks Inn. Breakfast was served on fancy china every morning and it was delicious.

Each of the inn's six rooms had a theme, our's was an American theme.

We ate a lot. But, I'm pretty sure that's what you're supposed to do on vacation.

We saw a movie, went to the beach, took a boat ride...

...toured a winery...

...shopped and ate some more.

I know that now more than ever in my life, I can truly appreciate not having a schedule or agenda or any one needing anything from me morning, noon and night.
Hubby and I had great conversation, lots of laughs and much needed R & R. I was reminded again why I love this man so much and how lucky I am to have him in my life.

I love you, Andy. Marrying you was the smartest thing I've ever done. You are my best friend and I wouldn't want to do this with anyone else!

We love the water

So far, we've spent just a few days in the water this season, but the girls love it! It's going to be a fun summer outdoors.

We recently went to join our friends at their neighborhood pool and they had a perfect 1ft deep pool for the kids. I couldn't believe how well the girls did and how much fun they had.

All the girls anxiously waiting for Jaime coming up the sidewalk. More friends! Hooray!

The water was just a tad cold that day! The pool had opened just a week before and this one isn't heated! Yowsa!

The girls did so good at the pool and when we got home, they amazingly still wanted to play. We ate lunch outside and I spoiled them with a chocolate chip cookie (Jillian really enjoyed it... just look at that chocolate mouth!)

I also spoiled them my letting them drink the juice from a juice box for the first time. We don't do straight juice at the Keller's... it's more like a 75% water, 25% juice combo. So, this was obviously a real treat for them. Not to mention the fun straw!


That's so random!

My totally cool friend at DesignHER Momma tagged me to talk about what's most random in my life. This will take some serious thought, but here it goes...

1) Since we moved in February, we got rid of cable and I've been reading a lot more. I've resolved the last 2 or 3 years to read more and I never knew that my only obstacle was all the hours the television was sucking out of my life. Last week I read an entire 340 page novel (The Kite Runner, BTW - a GREAT book)... Me! A pregnant, twin-caring, part-time working, house-cleaning, play-date participating mommy found enough time each day to read about 50 pages of a novel. I'm going to start working on a list of books I want to read, because now, I find myself very sad when I finish a book and don't have another one lined up and ready to go.

2) My least favorite time of the day is 5p - 6p. This is the hour that goes on for an eternity, because it is the hour before my hubby gets home from work. Every day I rack my brain trying to figure out creative activities to do that will make the time go by... but for some reason, it feels like every day is a struggle. The other day, I was so desperate, I pulled the girls around the neighborhood in their two-seater wagon. I got about a quarter mile from home and started having contractions ... not smart.

3) I have really strange pregnancy cravings. Not food, thankfully. But smells. I LOVE the smell of a garage, a job fresh off the printer (our church worship programs smell awesome!), tires, etc. Seriously, I step into the garage and it's intoxicating to me. And only when I'm pregnant. My other pregnant craving is crunching ice. Andy was crunching his ice the other day and I almost felt like running to the freezer to get some of my own. Weird.

4) I have strange morning and evening grooming routines. The grooming isn't strange, but the fact that I must brush my teeth before my shower might be. I also must have my hair pulled back for bed. I can't go to bed without washing my face (or brushing my teeth). I think I'll stop with that. I'm feeling a little vulnerable.

5) I wish I could sing like Kelly Clarkson.

That's it for me. Now, I must tag a few of you to tell us the random parts of your life:

1) Little Mr. Bland
2) Ingraldi Family
3) The Reed Rag
4) Storrs Family
5) The Utzig Family

Menu Monday

I know, I'm REALLY behind on this... so for those of you who only read my blog for these yummy recipes - my sincere apologies.

This is the recipe that I referred to in a previous post that Jillian so graciously helped me with.

Layered Chile-Chicken Enchilada Casserole

2 c diced, cooked chicken
3 c shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese (12 oz)
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chilies, undrained
3/4 c sour cream
8 flour torillas for burritos
1 can (16 oz) refried beans
1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13x9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix chicken, 1 1/2 c of the cheese, green chiles and sour cream.

Layer 3 tortillas in baking dish, overlapping as necessary and placing slightly up sides of disk (cut thir tortilla in half). Spread about half of the beans over tortillas. Top with about half the chicken mixture and half the enchilada sauce. Layer 3 more tortillas and remaining beans and chicken mix. Place remaining 2 tortillas over chicken mix, overlapping slightly (do not place up sides of dish). Pour remaining enchilada sauce over top. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 c cheese. Cover with foil.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.

Garnish with your favorite toppings - chopped tomato, green onion, black olives, lettuce, etc.