Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sisters to Friends

Over the last few weeks I have really seen a shift in these two girls.  They have went from being simply sisters to being the greatest friends and it makes my heart sing.  To know that they have been given a great gift in each other.... a best friend, a play mate, a teacher, a confidante, a maid of honor, and so much more.... makes me look forward to the days and years ahead.

And then I remember that it won't be long and they will have another sister to add to the mix. What a blessing we have been given.... 3 girls, 3 sisters, 3 friends.... forever!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


 We made a mini trip to the state of Ohio over our spring break and definitely couldn't enter that state without seeing our favorite people.  Our first stops (and probably one of the best hours of my trip) was spent in Cincinnati with this boy!  It was a blast and oh how he is so lovable.  He calls me Auntie and insisted his Auntie cuddle him the whole time we were there.  Not much arm twisting on my part because I was soaking up my time with him.  Jossie and him are 11 months apart and in the next few years they are going to be best buds!  I can't wait to see them at the beach this summer!

We headed from Cincinnati on up to Columbus where we would spend the next few days!  This is what I learned......5 people in a hotel room is not for sissies!  Thankful for the pool and hot tub that the big girls loved so much and spent several hours at--- good for Mommy's sanity, their energy bursts, and some quiet time for baby who HATED the pool! (Good thing we have 2 months to work on that!)

I also learned that when someone is driving you bonkers focus on their high points.... so Tula Belle is the cuddliest of my children and she always will be.  She also trumps the Smorstad girls for being most flexible with her schedule, needs a nap.... takes a nap!  Those are two of my favorite Tula qualities and as for that.... it speaks for the way Tula's best qualities are not found cooped up in a hotel room!

One of our days was spent at COSI and our whole family had a so much fun exploring!  The Oceans exhibit was a family favorite.  The girls played in water, built water piping systems, and "rode" in a yellow submarine!

Then we headed up to the Children's area and Joss woke up from her nap to enjoy the fun!  We watched Rat Basketball (seriously, Rats playing basketball!), played on an indoor playground, and Ivy got to make crafts in the big kids section.  

Even California Pizza Kitchen had doll high chairs!!

The main reason we chose Columbus for our destination was the American Girl store.  It was a little girls dreamland but was a touch overwhelming at first.  Here's what worked for us- we went to the store 3 times before we shopped!  I know Ivy loves the detail of everything so I didn't want her to feel rushed.  The first time we did not even talk about what we might buy, she was just taking it all in.  Then we talked about a budget (both girls brought Christmas money that they saved and then Ivy had extra from chores that she had done and tooth fairy surprises).  The second time we went, it was just Ivy and I, and she would choose different items to think about how much money it would cost.  It was a great experience for her to learn about the value of money and that more items is not always best.  I've tried to teach her some about spending and saving money but the American Girl trip was definitely the time when she cared enough to listen! The third time we went to the store both girls got to shop and we were in and out in 15 minutes!!!

Enjoying the sunshine!
Mommies and sleeping babies!

Happy girls with their purchases, ready to go back to the hotel for some playtime!!

Our last adventure was eating at the American Girl Cafe.  It was the icing on the cake for ending our trip.  We got desserts because it was a 3:00 reservation.   The cupcake, cookie, and brownie plate that Ivy and Tula shared was adorable.  Everything was mini for their little fingers to pick right up!  The girls loved having their dolls join them and even get birthday stickers.  It was a great experience and am thankful that we got to add this to our family memories!