Monday, July 28, 2014



Five years ago the midwife placed the most beautiful blond-haired baby girl into our arms and all was right with our world.  I can barely remember some parts of our lives then--we lived in a different state, Jonathan had a different job, we had a relatively "small" family.  But that little girl changed a lot of things for us, all for good.

Today, Carrigan Grace is sweet and spunky and still a one-of-a-kind.  Throughout the day I am surprised with a strong hug around my legs and it's always her  She wakes up early (with her sister Mali) and is ready to take on the day, as long as it doesn't require getting dressed, putting away her clothes, or carrying over her breakfast dishes.  She just *might* have a stubborn streak in her, but that's a good thing too.  This summer she's made huge strides in swimming and is days away from being able to ride her bike without training wheels.  Way younger than her sisters.  She's a tough worker when she sets her mind to it.

School was good for her this year.  She grew in skills and for the first time reached out to other playmates and planned playdates and adventures. But she'd still probably prefer to be home with her sisters, or reading a Katie Kazoo or Little House on the Prairie book.  She plays really well with them usually, and her independent play fascinates me.

Our Peach still loves fruit (minus bananas), salads, cheeseburgers, pierogies, vinegar, brussel sprouts, and a few other random treats. She could take or leave carbs, and dairy is NOT her thing. They all have some different tastes!  She's an outdoor girl with love for both the sun and the snow. One of our favorite things this winter was to walk around the block so she could make footprints in the snow.  She was the perfect age for that to delight her.

Carrigan Grace, you are the middle of our family and the middle of all of our hearts. We love your enthusiasm, your sweetness, your sensitivity, and your tenacity.  You are truly and independent spirit and we can all learn from that.  We are so very blessed that God gave us you for our family.  We love you, Blondie-Blond!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pirates Girls!

Even cuter...their baby cousin has a matching Cubs onesie.  Thanks to Aunt Kara (and Etsy) for all of this adorable-ness.

Scenes from an Eight-Year-Old's Birthday

It started on her birthday-eve with a trip to the mall with a good friend. For the first time ever we didn't stop at the play area, but rather went to Claire's for mood-BFF necklaces.  We topped off that trip with some delish Pittsburgh Popcorn and Orange Julius's. The next day was filled with birthday eating (crepes, sushi, split pea soup, and ice cream sundaes), card and present opening, Chuck E. Cheese's, and a visit from Grandpa and Grandma Sandy.  Her gift from us was a karaoke machine--a huge hit with both her and her sisters!  As if that wasn't entertainment enough, Uncle Josh, Aunt Kara, and Jules came the next day and Mali's wish for a water balloon fight was fulfilled.  Our big girl knows how to celebrate!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fall Creek Falls

When Jonathan was eight years old, his mom discovered Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee as part of a family vacation.  They loved it so much that they went back the following year.  And now we have an eight year old, so it was time that all of us went on a vacation there together. The location did not disappoint!  The gorges, the outlooks, the hiking trails, the cascades, and the all-around beauty were spectacular.  Grandma Deni was a trooper with having an injured foot and had to sit out on most active outings but we still managed to accompany her to her favorite place on earth, Buzzard's Roost.  The hotel pool and playground were huge hits too, especially when Carrigan found her swimming groove there.  The weather was exactly what we were hoping for with plenty of sunshine but yet mild temperatures. A very special trip that we hope to do again someday!