What's Up Wednesday!

I'm on a roll--three months in a row with my What's Up Wednesday posts!! I'm linking up with The Larson Lingo, Mix & Match Mama, & Sheaffer Told Me To today to let you know what's up with us! :)

What we're eating this week...
It's all about the leftovers here! Monday we had leftovers of pasta with homemade pesto & grilled chicken along with a salad & last night was leftover taco soup. Tonight we're having the girls' favorite dinner, which we try to do once a week or once every other week--hot dogs, Kraft mac & cheese, and a veggie. Tomorrow I'm making chicken enchilada casserole & rice, and we'll do the leftovers of that on Friday night.

What I'm reminiscing about...

With Spring Break right around the corner, I've been reminiscing about our Spring Break trip last year! I was pregnant with Brady & I wanted to let the girls have one last hoorah at Grammy & Grampy's house b/c I had a feeling it would be a while before we could make the trek back to GA after having a baby & moving cross-country over the summer. ;)

Also, this popped up on my TimeHop yesterday...I just can't even! Where did the past six years go?!?!

What I'm loving....
Shelby came home with the novel The Secret Garden to read from her reading group this week. It's been so fun snuggling up with her as she reads it aloud to me! One of my fondest memories of childhood was reading aloud one of my favorite novels--Shiloh--to my mom as we drove to soccer practice in the evenings. Both of the girls love reading, and I hope they cherish their memories of reading with Derek & me when they're older!


What we've been up to....
We've been busy keeping our eye on this little guy! He is all over the place & pulling up on anything and everything! It's a fun & busy stage!!

What I'm dreading...
The drive to San Diego for Spring Break. I have never been a fan of long car trips, but long car trips with a baby in tow? Definitely not my idea of fun. But thankfully it will be a short 4 hour drive!

What I'm working on...
Aside from the usual laundry & chores, not much! We did buy three new file totes recently to store each kiddos' special art work/writing from each school year in, but I haven't actually done anything with the totes yet. I need to get on that! I've also been researching a few new churches. We tried maybe 5 churches or so right after Brady was born. We found one that we liked, but we didn't/don't love it. We decided to settle for that church at the time b/c we were too overwhelmed with life in a new city/life with a new baby/life with a new job/etc to keep trying a new church every single week, but now that life has settled down I've been more motivated to rekindle the search. The girls both seem to enjoy our current church, but I'm hoping we'll find a place that we all love. Moving is hard!!!

What I'm excited about...
I just filled out paperwork for Hadley to be entered into the Pre-K "lottery" at Shelby's school. I'm so excited about the prospect of both girls being at the same school next year! After five years of a 15+ minute drive to and from preschool for drop-off and pick-up, it will be GLORIOUS to have both girls at the same school that we can walk to right across the street from our house.

What I'm watching/reading....
I just recently finished Glennon Doyle Melton's Love Warrior & now I'm reading The Nest.

What I'm listening to...
Trolls, Trolls, Trolls!
 And we've also been listing to the Sing soundtrack lately, too!

What I'm wearing...

What I'm wearing right now {yoga pants & a long sleeve T-shirt} isn't exciting at all, so let's talk about what this little guy is wearing! He wore "real clothes" and cute little baby "boat shoes" this weekend b/c we went to visit the Easter Bunny & then ate an early dinner at Cheesecake Factory. Is he not the cutest thing you've ever seen?!?!?

What I'm doing this weekend...
We haven't ironed out our weekend plans just yet, but we know we want to do something more low-key/local after our big trip to Death Valley this past weekend and a long drive over Spring Break on the horizon. We're thinking about heading up to Floyd Lamb Park to let the girls try out their fishing rods! They've been practicing in our pool this week, and they've had so much fun!!

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Our Spring Break trip to San Diego and Brady's first Easter!!

What else is new...
Not much else is new! 


Death Valley

Today we ventured out to Death Valley National Park--the lowest & driest place on North America & the HOTTEST place on Earth! Here we are at Badwater Basin, which is 282 feet below sea level.

The temps had gotten pretty warm here in Las Vegas recently, but then we had a wind storm come through last week and the temps cooled off considerably. The high in Las Vegas was only in the upper 60s today, so it was perfect weather for Death Valley! It gets up to the 130s there in the summer, which is just unreal! So we wanted to go know while the temps were still bearable! ;)  At Badwater Basin, it was only in the 80s today..but it definitely felt much hotter! Here are a few pics from our day!

Our first stop was at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, which was almost 2 hours exactly from our house.

From the Visitor Center, we drove out about 15 more minutes to Badwater Basin where we had a picnic lunch on the side of the mountain (the only spot we could find shade!) & then did a bit of exploring.

{the view from our picnic blanket}

As much as we miss living near home, we are grateful for this crazy life the Air Force has given us. If the military wouldn't have made us move out here, this is something we probably never would have even thought about visiting! It was so surreal to this in person. From our cross-country drive when we were moving out to Las Vegas to visiting the Hoover Dam to seeing the mountains outside our kitchen window every day to walking across the lowest elevation on this continent that was an ocean at one point--the terrain & topography is just unlike anything we've ever seen. I know our kids are young, so it's hard for them to really appreciate everything we're seeing. But it's really something to think about how much of this country the girls have already experienced at the ripe ages of 6 and 4!


Hadley is FOUR!

Hadley turned FOUR years old yesterday, and we had the best time celebrating her over the weekend!! On Saturday, I took Hadley for her birthday trip to Barnes & Noble. She loved every minute of this!

Zupa's recently opened up a location right by our house, so we decided to go there on Saturday evening for dinner for the first time. We liked it! Then we went to Cold Stone for dessert b/c nothing says birthday weekend like Cold Stone!

And then we put this girl to bed for the last time as a three year old!!! I love this picture of her! Snuggled up on her "H pillow" & cuddling with her beloved Bear & Smitten.


And Sunday was the big day!!! We started off the day with brthday donuts. But almost as exciting as birthday donuts was the fact that Hadley was promoted to two vitamins/day! We get the girls princess gummy vitamins, and the directions say to take one per day or two per day for ages 4 & up....Hadley has been waiting & waiting to get 2 vitamins like Shelby, and the day finally came!!

Also, I feel like it is important to note why my children are already fully dressed complete with hair bows for a Saturday morning breakfast. ;)  There used to be a time where we strolled into the donut shop in PJs, but Hadley now likes to get dressed as soon as her feet hit the floor in the morning. Shelby would ordinarily still be in PJs though except for the fact that she WOKE UP AT 4:15 IN THE MORNING b/c she was too excited to sleep since it was Hadley's birthday. I guess when you're up at 4:15, you've got plenty of time to get dressed before breakfast. ;)  Thankfully Shelby entertained herself quietly in her room until the rest of the family woke up. :)

After Hadley's yummy birthday breakfast, we opened up presents!! Hadley was so funny all week whenever she received a birthday card of package in the mail, she insisted upon waiting until her actual birthday to open them. Even on Saturday when I took her to Barnes & Noble and got her a cupcake, she said we needed to take it home & save it for her birthday, ha! All of that to say, she had a lot to open on her birthday between Mommy & Daddy's gifts and everything she'd received in the mail that week.

After presents & an early lunch, we headed to Chuck E. Cheese for some birthday fun! Leading up to Hadley's birthday, we kept asking her what special thing she wanted us to do on her birthday. She narrowed it down to Build A Bear or Chuck E. Cheese, but ultimately decided on Chuck E. Cheese. We kept trying to convince her to do Build A Bear b/c we knew that would be more fun for her, but it was to no avail. Hadley loves the idea of Chuck E. Cheese, but she doesn't really enjoy the games. But she loves the necklace & ring she got with her tickets, so she was happy in the end!

 {You can see the girls' faces on the screen above their ride..Hadley's face says it all!}

{This was a 100% fake smile, I have no idea why but even the mini carousel caused her anxiety at Chuck E. Cheese. I literally pulled her off mid-ride b/c she was almost in tears 2 seconds after this picture was taken.}

{All smiles with her new jewelry from Chuck E. Cheese!}

After Chuck E. Cheese, we came home for Brady to nap & got started on Hadley's birthday cupcakes! The birthday girl requested chocolate cupcakes with blue icing & blue sprinkles. Baking is the girl's thing, so she loved helping to make them!

For Hadley's birthday dinner, she requested all of her favorite dinner foods: steak, corn on the cob, & Kraft macaroni and cheese. After dinner we let the girls ride their scooters to the park b/c it was a gorgeous evening. I didn't get any pictures, but it was the perfect end to our weekend! We had so much fun being together this weekend & celebrating our four year old!!!

Two other things that I want to remember about Hadley's fourth birthday--whenever anyone said "Happy Birthday" to her, she would say "Happy Birthday" back to them. ;)  And when I was tucking Hadley in for bed on the night of her birthday, I said: "Happy Birthday, Hadley. I'm so thankful God gave you to us." She grabbed my cheeks after I said that, and in the sweetest, most sincere voice replied: "And I'm so glad we're all alive."