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Friday, September 30, 2016

packing tips

So far today I'm on my 6th load of laundry, my house is a mess and Milly and I have eaten goldfish and puppy chow for lunch all because I'm packing for our big trip to Cali! I have to say I have come a long way packing for this family of 5 for big trips and it's all because of a few handy tips.

While I realize there are many that think this post is ridiculously boring on of the main reasons I have this blog is for myself :) This is just to document for me and possibly help out a few people in the process!

First thing I always do when packing is get all the gear out
This is mainly so I can see what I'm working with. For this particular trip, we are taking public transportation once we get to SF, so the goal is to go with as few bags as we can. I decided (after a trial and error period) to go with the far left green, big blue on the right and the 2 Vera Bradley bags. Y'all, if you need a good travel bag these are the best! The big one we are checking (even though we have carried on and it works) and the smaller one we are carrying on to carry snacks, hoodies and entertainment for little miss. I bought them on clearance, saved a ton and now they are my fav bags!

Next I lay out all the clothes as outfits. That way there is NO way to over pack (which has a been a big problem of mine in the past). Sadly I just learned this trick when Cam and I went to LA since we were only carrying on. It was amazing by laying out the clothes how much space I saved and guess what...I wasn't missing anything! Also the less choices you have when you get there the better in my opinion.

Packing this trip was a little tricky. San Francisco is suppose to be sunny but in the 60's during the day and 50's at night. Anaheim is going to be in the 80's during the day and 50's at night. So we are going with layers for SF and shorts for LA.

Me

Aiden

Asher

Amelia

Cam gets to pack his own clothes ;) I can only do so much!

My fav trick I've learned is to buy souvenier shirts before you go. That way they are WAY cheaper and you can wear them while you are there. 

I'm super excited about our trip but still have TONS to do before we leave tomorrow. See you on the flip side!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

dear younger me

A few weeks ago I heard the Mercy Me song "Dear Younger Me" in the car as I drove home from taking Milly to preschool. I've heard it before but this time, being alone in a quite car, it really hit me. It spoke to me. I even got a little teary eyed thinking about my younger self. Since hearing the song I have gone over and over in my head what I would say to my younger self and for some reason the words just are not there. 

"Dear younger me, where do I start
If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far then you could be
One step ahead
Of all the painful memories still running thru my head
I wonder how much different things would be
Dear younger me,"

Yes I have definitely been through things that I wish I hadn't, made choices I wish that I would have thought longer about but all of that got me here, right? All of the trials in life cannot be for nothing. They are all moments of growth no matter how hard they may seem. So I'm not sure I wouldn't have told myself to change any of that...

"Dear younger me, I cannot decide
do I give some speech about how to get the most out of your life
Or do I go deep and try to change
The choices that you'll make cuz they're choices that made me
Even though I love this crazy life
Sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride
Dear younger me,"

If I had to choose any moment to change, it would have been when I strayed from my faith as a young college student. When I needed God the most I relied on him the least. I will be forever thankful for a Heavenly Father that is always welcoming us back with open arms. 

"If I knew then what I know now 
Condemnation would've had no power
My joy my pain wouldn't never been my worth
If I knew then what I know now
Wouldn't not been hard to figure out
What I would've changed if I had heard

Dear younger me
It's not your fault
You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross..."

I would tell myself that..."you were never meant to carry this beyond the cross." That verse left me sitting in my car with tears. Years of guilt that have weighed on my shoulders being lifted. "It's not your fault." We are only human...we are only capable of so much and sin will always be part of that. We are sinners needing forgiveness. Embrace that and never ever forget it. That's what I would tell myself.



Dear younger me,

Love this life! Love every.single.second because it goes by way to fast. Kiss your family, snuggle on the couch for no reason at all. Squeeze the people you love a little more tighter every time you see them. 

Send letters to those far away just so they know you are thinking about them

Love your Lord more then you think you could possibly love anyone. Even that will only be a fraction of how much he loves you. Start to listen to the little voice in your head. It's from a higher being and will be the best guide in your life. 

Most importantly, when you start to doubt this life you have chosen remember the most important thing...you did not chose it. It was chosen just for you. Understanding why isn't up to you. Living it to the fullest potential is.

Love,
Your older and wiser self




Sunday, September 25, 2016

kirchoff's sunday best

"The Lord will work out His plans for my life; for Your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever."
~Psalm 138:8

Statue of St. Francis

Saturday both boys attended Alter Server training. It's mandatory for current and new servers. Asher was VERY apprehensive about being an alter server but I just encouraged him to try it. After the practice he ran up to me and asked if he was serving at that evenings mass ;) He's super pumped and ready to go now which thrills me! I cannot wait to see both my boys serving :)


And today was my second RE class! I only had 4 students because they found a teacher to teach the 4th and 5th graders. Our Priest Father Will stopped by to meet the students and helped along with the class for a bit. It was nice to have him there especially since we were talking about the sacraments. After class I found my boys laughing so hard and when I asked what was so funny they said that Father Will had just called Aiden, Joshua. They got the biggest kick out of that! Ha!

Happy Sunday :) 


Friday, September 23, 2016

leaving on a jet plane...

Next Friday...after school...our fall break begins! The boys get a week off every year the first week of October and I.CANNOT.WAIT!!!!! 2 years ago we took this time to go to Disney World, last year we did nothing so this year I wanted to make sure to plan a fun trip. We are headed to

SAN FRANCISCO 

for a few days then flying into LA and spending a few days at

DISNEYLAND

We are all VERY ready to get away together. This trip came together kind of crazy to be honest. While I love planning vacations actually deciding on the places can be challenging. We always try to find a place that everyone will enjoy. Disneyland was a last minute addition to the trip. We were going to head over to Big Sur after SF but I think Milly is a little too young for all the hiking and camping we wanted to do. Plus she has been BEGGING us to take her to see Mickey. We have a Disney credit card with enough Disney Dollars to pay for our tickets in the parks. So after a little research on flights (they are SO cheap) I convinced Cam to make the trip to Disneyland and I am so excited! I love Disney :) 
There are many many things we want to see and do in our week long vacation so planning ahead is necessary. After I post this blog I am going to concentrate on planning a daily itinerary to stick by. I've done this for all our trips and it's so helpful and we always see everything that we want to by following it.

Things we want to see in SF:

*Go to a Giants baseball game
*Alcatraz
*Fisherman's Wharf
*Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory
*Golden Gate Bridge and Park
*The Walt Disney Family Museum
*Full House house
*Lombardi Street
*Ride in a trolley car
*Chinatown
*Eat in Little Italy
*Find an old Catholic Church to attend mass
*California Academy of Science Museum
*The 1st playground in the USA

With only 3 1/2 days in SF we are really going to have to cram it all in! Thankfully that's something we are good at ;) After all that fun we are hopping a plane to LA. 

Once we are at Disneyland we will: 

*Have Breakfast with Mickey and his Friends
*Attend the 
Mickey Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
*Spend a day at both Disneyland 
and California Adventure
*Have lunch at Ariel's Grotto with all the Princesses

Our last day there our plane leaves LA really late so we are hoping to stop by a few places that Cam and  I didn't have the chance to when we were there earlier this year. We want to go to Pasadena and see the Rose Bowl for sure! We also might run the boys by the Hollywood sign and stop somewhere along the ocean so they can see how cold it is!

Of course I have already been working on proper travel attire
I feel like I hit the jackpot with these cute California shirts for the boys.
And since it's Halloween at Disney I thought these Halloween shirts would be perfect! Milly is going to wear her Rapunzel dress to the Halloween party :)

Here's to surviving the last week of school before vaca!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

all the happenings

Because I haven't been super diligent on the blog I'm going to do one big post to catch up on all the happenings in our life!

1. Lots of firsts
The week of Labor Day Milly had her 1st day of school and 1st day of dance!

 Please take note that when she grows up she wants to be poo poo. I cannot WAIT to show her this when she is older ;)
 Both school and dance are going great! This year in dance she is doing ballet and tap which she is thrilled about!
After her first dance class we went and ate lunch at one of our fav restaurants by the studio. While we were waiting for our food she drew this picture of our family! So stinkin cute!

2. Picture Day!
Last week was picture day and man did my boys look  handsome!

3. My Harvest!
All of a sudden, just like that, my garden has been producing! Almost everyday I am picking tomatoes, okra and mint. Last week I picked all these eggplant and watermelon. 
I made the most delicious eggplant and okra saute. Friday I am going to say goodbye to my summer garden and pull up all the plants to prepare my soil for my winter garden. We will be traveling the first week of October for the kids fall break (more on that to come) so my goal is to get it all pulled up before we leave.

4. Milly's Fashion
This is so random and pretty much just an excuse to post these pictures so that I can look back on them but my little Milly girl and been looking oh so cute (and grown up) lately!

5. Got My Hair Did

And it was about time ;) All I'm gonna say about that! #hideallthegrays

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, September 19, 2016

that time i taught my first religion class...

"The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it."
St. Teresa of Calcutta


Yesterday was my first Religious Education class as a teacher. I was soooo nervous but very excited. We went to mass Saturday evening (because Aiden was serving) and because I wanted to make sure I wasn't rushed getting to my class Sunday morning. I went to my classroom, got the books out and looked at my class roster. We only had 3 kids! I was a little shocked but kind of excited because I knew that with only 3 kids we might really have a chance to teach these kids! I had bought folders for each child and printed out the Lord's Prayer in case they didn't know it. I prepared their folders and books and patiently waited for them to arrive. Right at 10:15 they all got there and seemed happy and excited. Then about 10 minutes later the RE director came in and informed me that there was no teacher for the 4th & 5th grade sacrament preparation class so we were going to get those kids as well...at least for now. So 3 more kids joined our class. Then 2 more showed up and then 1 more. So the class ended up being bigger then I originally planned but it was great! All the kids were so sweet and eager to participate. At the end of class I asked each of them to bring a picture of their baptism to the next class because that is what we will be talking about. 2 kids raised their hands and said they haven't been baptized yet. I was a little surprised because I had assumed since this was a first communion class that all the kids have been baptized. Now I am even more encouraged then ever to know that I will get to go through baptism with these  2 students. What an journey this year is going to be! After all the kids left I was so excited about this upcoming year. I feel really lucky to get to share my love of our faith with this group of children. I have a feeling being an RE teacher is going to more then I ever imagined it would be :)


Saturday, September 17, 2016

be still my heart

Yesterday morning I took little Milly to downtown Georgetown to take her 4 year old pictures. I love taking these yearly pictures with her. I bought her adroable dress from Zulily about a month ago and the headband from Lemons and Lace before it shut down shop.

As usual she didn't disappoint :)





These next 2 are my favorites!



And here are the years past pictures

 1 year old


2  years old


3 years old


One thing is for sure...my sweet little girl is growing up way too fast!


Thursday, September 15, 2016

my little 4 year old

Sunday our sweet Milly Moo turned 4 years old
I really find it hard to believe she is already 4. These past 4 years have flown by!
We celebrated her big birthday with family at our house. Cameron and I have been sick with an awful chest cold so we kept it low key. She requested a My Little Pony birthday :) She was the cutest thing. Everyone who came over she would run up to and say "Can you believe I am 4??!!" 
Opening her presents might seriously be one of my all time favorite moments. She was so enamored by everything! Let's just say if you got this girl a gift you wouldn't be disappointed with her reaction ;)
Happy Birthday Milly girl! You are truly a gift from God. He knew exactly what he was doing when he sent you to our family :)