Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Funny Faces

Couldn't pass it up:

Take a few moments to appreciate the diaper changing pad on Daddy's head.

A new fashion trend?

I "mustache" you a question!

Love, love, love!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Summer Starts!

May is always a crazy month at our house.  We kicked off the fun with a Mother's Day breakfast (muffins and juice) at Second Friends, hosted by Hadley's class.  It was so special.

Hadley's bookmark said "I love Mommy because.....she helps me figure out all my stuff."

A special gift
We also celebrate Brandon's birthday on May 11th...we enjoyed a nice evening out with dinner at Ruth's Chris, our absolute favorite steak place.  It is rare for both of us to look even remotely decent in the same picture, so I had to post this:

I got a good picture with Connor, too, before we headed out:

May also means we begin to explore our summer fun destinations.  We bought a season pass to the Kansas City Zoo for the first time this year along with passes to Worlds and Oceans of Fun.  Hooray!

Zoo fun:

We took an afternoon away from school to play at the Zoo with Grandma Carlson.  The kids thought this was top notch!

Two cuties in front of the Zoo entrance

Worlds of Fun:

The end of the school year was bittersweet for us.  We were all definitely ready for summer to begin, but we had some good-byes to say first.  Kylee's teacher, Mrs. Graber, retired, so the class had a retirement celebration for her on the last day of school.  

Kylee with Mrs. Graber

Summer also meant saying "good-bye" to our neighbors of 9 years.  They moved back to Nebraska, which is home for them.  Our kids have grown up together and so many fun hours were spent with each other.  We will miss them....A LOT.  Here they are right before the neighbors loaded up in the car to leave:

A new family moved in next door and Connor is especially excited that there are two boys to play with.  Although they are quite a bit younger, it is good to have new faces around.

We were so glad for lazy days and summer nights!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Family Time

One of my absolute favorite things to do is to be together as a family and do something simple, like going to the park.  It is in the simplicity of these activities that I realize in a new way how absolutely blessed we are.  I give thanks for our three healthy children, an amazing husband, supportive friends and family, time away from work, and for our surroundings....with cool breezes and warm sunshine.  As those of you who know me well know, it is not often that I am overly impressed by being outdoors, but when I'm watching my kids play, I love it.

We headed out to Stocksdale Park one Sunday afternoon and it was awesome to watch the kids.  I love their innocence, curiosity, and pure joy that is apparent in their expressions when they tackle something they might have initially been afraid of (like a tall slide).

These are some pictures I wanted to share because they capture the essence of each kiddo.  I also enjoy sharing these because I know it won't be long before we don't share as many of these types of moments together as kids grow older and the playground loses its luster.

As a chronic multi-tasker, it is hard for me to separate all the noise in life from these moments.  I try to be deliberate about putting my phone away and tuning my thoughts into what is in front of me, which is many times easier said than done.   Time with our kids is an absolute treasure to me and reminds me of what is truly important in life....these little souls. I am grateful.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

April 7, 2013: Welcome, Olivia!

The day after Kylee's dance recital, our niece, Olivia Senora McKinney, made her debut.  After months of eagerly anticipating her arrival, we were SO EXCITED to get to meet her.  

Daddy was in love from moment one!

A few minutes Mommy's arms.

There is something absolutely amazing about watching my baby brother be a Daddy.  It's in moments like these that I really, really miss my Mom.  

Jordan and Mandy are amazing parents to this precious baby girl (who appears to have red hair, by the way).  I know my Mom is watching over this new family with lots of love (and amusement....Olivia is a little girl with big opinions). ;)

We love you, Olivia!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Spring Activities

Spring is a blast!

Connor played another spring season with his flag football team, The Packers.  This season, Brandon had the opportunity to step in and do some coaching for the team, which was very cool.  Connor loved having his Daddy as one of his coaches.

With Coach Jason at the end of Season Banquet
Kylee started a Hip-Hop/Jazz dance class in January.  She was excited to be able to join a class that a few of her friends were also dancing in.  Their recital was in April and it was so neat to see the group perform.  They were the best of the bunch!

Part of the preparation for the recital was putting a TON of makeup on our girl. Yikes.  Aunt Mandy, an experienced dance alumnus, came to our rescue and helped get Kylee ready for her dress rehearsal.

She looked great on recital day!

Dad and Mom

With Grandpa and Grandma McKinney

With Uncle Jordan and Aunt Mandy (and Olivia)

Sibling Love
Hadley had some fun spring happenings of her own going on.  A field trip to the Fire Station (can you tell how much she loved the group photo op?) and a special solar system creation were highlights.  Love it!

What a riot!

Truly....our little sunshine.

TERRIBLE idea, Mom.  Terrible.

Friday, August 23, 2013

From Sunshine to Snowfall | Easter 2013

Easter brought Easter eggs.....and SNOW!  It was hilarious watching the kids hunt for Easter goodies in the middle of a blizzard. The McKinney family Easter gathering has become a yearly tradition, with the egg hunt being a huge highlight.  Grandpa and Grandma McKinney (er, I mean, the Easter Bunny) always has fun treats just waiting to be discovered.  As you can see from the smiles, the snow didn't dampen the enthusiasm level at all!

Ready to hunt!

Since we had just been to Disney and we'd had a special egg hunt and Grandpa and Grandma McKinney's, Brandon and I thought that perhaps we could scale back our own personal family Easter celebration.  We bought tickets to go see STOMP, thinking this would be a good activity that would replace our usual Easter baskets for the kids.  We were just sure the kids would understand why the Easter bunny didn't come through to deliver Easter baskets.  

Little did we know just how ill-fated this plan was.  Kylee, in particular, was DEVASTATED that the Easter Bunny didn't come.  I mean...CRUSHED.  Wrote in her journal at school about how the Easter Bunny forgot her (real winner of a parent moment there).  Despite me telling her that the Easter Bunny wasn't even real, she could not get over it.  Being fearful that she might actually be permanently scarred by this, we that could we finally admitted defeat and I went and scoured the aisles of Target for Easter goodies on the day after Easter.  Bonus...this was much less expensive for us as most things were on clearance!  The Easter Bunny wrote Kylee a note explaining his tardiness.  She teared up reading it because she was so relieved.  I have to just admire this girl's spirit.  So, a day late and a dollar short, we celebrated with Easter goodies.

Hadley celebrated Easter at her school, too, with some fun activities and an Easter egg hunt.  Traditionally held at William Jewell, they moved the hunt indoors due to weather (which created just as much chaos as you might imagine).  She created her own Easter basket.  Super cute.