Life Lately

It’s been awhile since I blogged about life in general. Consider this that moment! I’m writing simply to write and share about our life lately. I’ve included some pictures from Instagram, in case you’re not over there. I enjoy using Instagram and try to snap at least one picture every day so I can remember the little moments of life.

Mom and two Kids (under 2) on the airplane

The kids and I just returned from almost two weeks in Texas, spent with my parents. We drove down with Andy for his cousin’s wedding. He made the 18 hour drive back by himself and the kids and I stayed with my parents for another week and a half. We went for walks, played at the park, took naps, and went trick or treating. Nathan was ready to stop as soon as he got a sucker. We kept going a bit more for some chocolate! 🙂

It was good to see my parents. It was good to see my kids with their Barz grandparents. They get to see their Whirrett grandparents several times a week since we live in the same town so this time with my parents was important. It was fun to see them trick or treating together, too.

Nathan and Emma at Trunk and Treats with Grandpa and Grandma

Nathan is a character who keeps us on our toes. He still loves to read stories and cuddle but says things that make us laugh and also wonder how a two and a half year old knows as much as he does.

For instance, when we were driving down to Texas, Andy was driving and complaining about a truck who was trying to pass. Without looking up from his magnet board, Nathan said, “You tell that truck, Daddy!”

Our silly Nathan

We’ve started doing some homeschool preschool this year, after I read this excellent book. Basically, we do lots of reading as it applies to a specific theme. I add in some fine motor projects which Nathan loves. He asks to do projects on a regular basis now!

Emma is our happy little Mama’s girl. Now that she’s tried most of the baby food flavors, we’re moving onto table foods. She is almost 8 months, has 2 teeth and weighs 19 pounds. Her first word was “Mama” and that was fitting because she is indeed a mama’s girl. If I’m holding her, all is right with her world!

She loves to smile at other people and has learned to wave when people say “Hi.” I’m giving Grandma Barz credit for teaching her that one! She sits on her own and plays with her toys nicely. She is very tolerant of her sometimes overly enthusiastic big brother.

Our happy Emma

Piano lessons are moving right along and we’re starting Christmas music this week. I consolidated lessons to two afternoons a week while my kids go to Grandma’s. That was a good move! I’m continuing to do some social media work for the Indiana District here and there. And of course, I’m still blogging.

I feel like I’ve been in a bit of blog slump lately with finding the time and (honestly?) even the motivation to write. My page views took a huge hit this year and I seem stuck at half the page views where I was last year. Other bloggers are bemoaning the same fact so I’m not alone in that frustration. I’ve decided not to worry about page views and focus on sharing what I love. Hence the reason for this life lately update! 🙂

I’m working at diversifying my blog income but there are only so many hours in the day! Custom orders continue on occasion, so while that gives me something else to do, that has helped my blog income increase. I’m so thankful for the opportunities I have to be at home with my children and also earn extra income to support our family. It’s a blessing I don’t take for granted.

Thanksgiving is only three weeks away so I’m starting to plan for the holidays. My brother is coming up from St. Louis again, and Andy’s brother and wife are flying in from Nebraska. My mother-in-law cooks the turkey (thankfully) so I bring sides like my cheesy creamed corn and make ahead mashed potatoes. I do love slow cooker recipes!

Our sweet Emma at 7 months

That also means Christmas is just over 6 weeks away. Wow! I shop year around so now is the time when I sit down with my lists and see where we still need to fill in gifts. I’m also looking at simple things we can do with Nathan to make this Christmas meaningful – and keep it focused on Jesus birth. We don’t have a real Advent wreath yet and so I’m actively looking for one I love. Any recommendations? I want to get started on my holiday baking too. Perhaps get some homemade buckeyes in the freezer even before Thanksgiving?

I have been spending my evenings trying to finish up our 2015 photo album. Perhaps I can actually get the 2016 one started before the year ends? Ha. I have good intentions but like I said earlier, there are only so many hours in a day! I just signed up for Chatbooks and am REALLY excited about getting custom photo books created for me. If you share pictures on Instagram or Facebook, you need to look into Chatbooks without delay. It’s a great photo option and reasonably priced, too.

That’s a bit of life lately from me and my family! I hope you enjoyed catching up. Now tell me…what’s new with you?

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  1. I love hearing your life update! You’ve got your hands full just with the kids, not to mention the side gigs. Don’t stress the blog, it looks amazing, and sounds like you’re going just the right pace for your current stage. Our piano teacher (I’ve handed over the reins and am so glad to have done it!) pulled out Christmas books this week too and I am over-the-moon thrilled to hear lovely carols playing all morning and afternoon. Such a blessing that I didn’t expect when decided to teach our boys piano.

    1. Thanks, Janeen! Good for you for starting your kids on piano – and yet, knowing when to give up the teaching. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll teach Nathan or Emma…or for how long. We’ll play it by ear, too. And thank you! As you well know, balancing a blog with everything else is a fun challenge! 🙂

  2. Aww, such cute lil’ ones! Enjoyed the update of your family and the pics. Keep us posted on your Thanksgiving/Christmas progress!

    1. Thanks, Addy! I’m glad you enjoyed the update and the pictures. I hope to do more regular updates again in the future. And I will certainly keep you posted. Tomorrow’s post is actually all about holiday baking…already!

  3. Love the update and the kids are darling and so BIG already!

    I was trying to figure out where I got the cheesy creamed corn recipe that year, so thank you for posting! I had a request to repeat them.

    Blessing Kristen!

    1. Thanks, Christina! They are growing up too quickly. I’ve updated the recipe with an easy printable so hopefully that makes it easier for you, too. Cheesy creamed corn is so good! I’m glad you all liked it, too!

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