Thanksgiving 2015

We had the best Thanksgiving weekend up in South Dakota with my family. It was cold and there was lots of food and drinks to be had. My brothers, sister-in-law and niece and nephew were also there which made it even better. We don't get to all be together very often these days so we jump at any chance for us to all be under one roof.

We woke up Thanksgiving morning to fresh snow falling, which means we had to immediately bundle up and go play. For a few minutes, at least. G isn't quite use to 19 degree weather so we weren't outside for long, but it was enough to make a snow ball or two.

While we played in the snow, this little one was mastering her climbing skills. Grandma's house is good for that - lots of things to climb and not touch! ;)

Sisters in their Thanksgiving best. The tights lasted all of two minutes because they don't bode well for a slippery hardwood floor. But they sure looked cute.

Grandma offered to babysit on Friday afternoon so we loaded up to check out a local brewery in town. The beers were delish. And my family is slightly obsessed with board games so yes, we brought Trivial Pursuit to the taproom... #myteamwon

Friday night included Thanksgiving leftovers (yum!) and stories from the kids' great aunt and uncle. It was so fun watching G & L with their cousins. Running around, screaming, playing. It was loud and awesome.

Wildlife on Saturday morning. Gracyn was convinced it was a reindeer and watched her eat in the yard for a solid 15 minutes, always running back to the window to see if she was still there.

After watching the Huskers lose on Friday, we cheered the Sooners on to victory before heading home on Sunday. 

I'm already missing being home at my parent's house but there is also something nice about being in our own beds again. The Christmas decorations are up so we're gearing up for another busy couple of weeks before another hectic holiday!

Hope you all had a wonderful Turkey Day!


So incredibly thankful for my people.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Recipe :: Cheesy Brat Stew

I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a good cook. I don't really enjoy cooking and whenever I'm faced with making a meal for my family, I look for the easiest thing to make with the shortest ingredient list.

Since I don't really fancy cooking, I'm also NOT a food blogger. Case in point - I forgot to snag a pic of the finished product until we had devoured half the dish. And I took the pictures with my cell phone and couldn't decide what filter made the dinner look appetizing. The real food bloggers are cringing right now.

Anyway, this Cheesy Brat Stew recipe is easy and it tastes good. I got the recipe from my mama, who made it for us growing up, so I have no clue how the original recipe came to be. It's hearty, the ingredient list is manageable and the prep work is easy. It all cooks in one dish so clean-up is a breeze too.

I actually didn't even make it (the hubby did...) but if I had to cook it, I could, so it's a winner. It also holds up as leftovers, tasting just as good the next day. And the day after that. I feel like it would also be good with sausage, but we haven't tried it yet. And, Cheesy Sausage Stew doesn't sound great... ;)


5-6 Fully Cooked Brats
(cut into 1/2 inch pieces)

2 Medium Potatoes
cooked and cubed

1 Can Green Beans

1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 Small Onion

2-3 Quart Casserole Dish


Stir All Ingredients Together

Bake at 350 Degrees for 45 minutes
or until heated through

BOOM. Done.

Leighton :: Eleven Months Old

You guys. My baby's birthday is NEXT MONTH. Not possible, I tell you.

This little miss is such a joy to be around. She is so, so happy all of the time. She gets a tad fussy when it's time for a nap or when she's hangry, but other than that, she's a peach.

EAT | Girlfriend can pound some food. Still the best eater in the house, I swear. She eats anything and everything and has taken after Rufus in that she will still put everything into her mouth. She can't sit still long enough to finish a bottle so I don't think we'll have any issues transitioning to whole milk in a sippy cup in a few weeks. She shoves food into her mouth by the fistful at mealtimes and won't stop eating until we physically remove her from the highchair. You can tell she's an eater because the girl is solid. My back hurts by the end of the day but I love her so.

PLAY | The death trap that is the fireplace is her new favorite hang out. We repeatedly remove her from said death trap 107 times per day but she immediately returns to her perch looking pleased as punch. My favorite was when I had to literally dive headfirst across the room to stop her from diving headfirst onto the hard floor. She's not afraid and she does not care. She will climb and stand and scare mama half to death, smiling the whole time. Same with the stairs - she'll silently walk over and climb the stairs at warp speed. She'll get halfway to the top before we realize she's not in the room.

And yes, she started WALKING! She picked up on it so quickly and is basically a pro these days. She's so proud of herself, too. It's so fun to watch her run after Gracyn as she tries to keep up. We're in for it with these girls, I just know it.

SLEEP | Why it took me so long to realize this, I have no clue, but I know absolutely nothing about babies and sleep. Or toddlers and sleep for that matter, because BOTH of my children refuse to sleep through the night these days. I think I mentioned this last month but ever since we got home from vacation, LL has been waking up a couple of times throughout the night. Usually around midnight and then again at 3 or 4am. She usually needs her pacifier and her lovie and to be rocked for a bit and then it's back to sleep. We might have to try some sleep training tactics again to get her back on track. I think some days she's teething, others maybe she's just waking out of habit. Throw in a crying toddler who wakes up in between needing to go potty or because she wants to sleep in our bed and you've got yo'self a party. Or something. Who knows. Not me, because I know nothing. ;)

This picture of my girls gets me every time. I cannot handle how much they look alike. I've always thought they looked very different. Related, but different. I can see all of their similarities in this picture, though. Same eye shape, nose crinkle, smile. Ugh. I can't even.

Miss Leighton, you are the best. We love you so much. These last 11 months have gone by so quickly. You light up our world ever day and I couldn't imagine life without you.

Favorite Things Party

I really love being a part of the Kansas City Moms Blog team. In addition to being a contributor, I  help them out as their sales coordinator as well. Sarah & Tonya planned a pre-holiday brunch for our team and we ended up surprising them with a big 'ol bag of goodies from some of our favorite local Kansas City businesses. 

It was so much fun! The girls were completely surprised and it made for such a fun morning catching up with these ladies.

Goodies included...

Socks from Sock 101
Tea Towel from Green Bee KC
Linobello Room Spray from Hotel Sorella
Kansas City Tote Bag from Frankly Basic
Wooden Vessel from Wind & Willow Home
Coffee Mug from Easy, Tiger
Cookware from VitaCraft
Protein Balls from t.Loft
Gorgeous Print from Carly Rae Studio

Everything is so awesome and each shop was so great to work with. Check them each out for holiday gift ideas, too! Christmas will be here before we know it!

Thank you all for spoiling the KCMB team!


Mark your calendars. Set a reminder.

This Saturday, Hanna Andersson is having a special retail event. From 10 AM - 12 PM, all customers can received 40% off ALL sleepwear for baby, girl and boy at your local Hanna store.

Time to stock up! I personally can't decide between these thermals or these wintery, holiday jams. Matching sets, obviously.

And! Now until January 3rd, Hanna is giving away a $100 gift card every week to customers that share their #hannajams moments on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. You can even load your picture here to be entered.

Happy Shopping! :)

Disclosure: I am a Hanna Andersson store ambassadors and occasionally receive special perks for sharing awesome information like this. No compensation was received for this post and all opinions are my own. And really, #hannajams are awesome.

Gracyn Says...

Model pose. Attitude for days.

After nap on a Thursday...
Gracyn: is it monday, mom?
Mackenzie: no...
Gracyn: oh, it's Sunday then.

After Justin's bad knock-knock joke...
Gracyn: daaaad. geez.

Getting L ready for bed in her bedroom...
Gracyn: hey, hey, hey. what's going on here?! #mrbelding

Randomly during dinner...
Gracyn: take off my pants, please.
Mackenzie: your pants?
Gracyn: yeah. my pants.
Mackenzie: why?
Gracyn: because I'm eating!

Likewise, during another random night around the dinner table...
Gracyn: aw man! I don't have pants on or a shirt on! whomp, whomp...

After nap one day...
Gracyn: mom, look! i got my backpack on
Mackenzie: where are you going?
Gracyn: to school. like i'm thirteen.

On a walk with grandma & papa as a boy rides his bike...
Gracyn: i could totally do that.

Slipping on the kitchen floor...
Gracyn: aw man. not again...

While I'm cooking dinner (and singing off key)...
Mackenzie: i can't feel my face when I'm with you
Gracyn: BUT I LOVE IT!

Marching up the stairs...
Gracyn: no more diapers, whaddaya say? no sir!

Out of nowhere...
Gracyn: i can't wait until i'm bigger and bigger and bigger!
Mackenzie: why?
Gracyn: just so i can have a knife.

Should I be concerned?! ;)

oh hey, friday!

Let's jump right in, shall we?


We went to the World Series Parade and every decision we made that day was the wrong one. SO MANY PEOPLE. We should have turned around after it took 2 hours to get from our house to the Plaza. The lines for the shuttles were absolutely insane and public transportation was running wayyy behind. There was no good way to get downtown but we finally arrived.

We could only get as far as Liberty Memorial, sat on a grassy patch for about 20 minutes and turned around to try and make it back to our car.

Some might say it was worth it but I think I beg to differ. At least they we did it. A few of my gal friends totally risked it to find off-street parking near the parade route but it paid off. They were actually able to see the players, unlike us who cheered from a mile away! ;)

The girls were good sports about the ordeal and were in very good spirits the whole day, which made it bearable, but I think I've hit my quota for crowds of 800,000 people for a lifetime.


This girl. Almost 11 months old and in 18 month clothing. Even some of our 24 month stuff fits but I am having the hardest time finding shoes for her chunky little feet! Boots, specifically, since she's almost walking and it's almost winter.

I hate spending a ton of money on their shoes because they grow out of them so quickly so I've picked up a pair from both Target and Walmart hoping they'll fit but they won't go over her little ankles. The ones from Target don't even zip over her calves! What's a girl to do!?

She has a pair of moccs that stay on well but she's quickly outgrowing them. I might have to snag another pair but I was hoping to also find something for colder weather. Do they make "wide" shoes for babies? I'll have to do some internet browsing, I think.


I found this shirt on clearance (UNDER $5!) at Target. I'm kind of obsessed but I think it's because it reminds me of a Royals shirt. I feel like I need to get a crown screenprinted on the front of it or something... #royalsonthebrain #allthetime


Five years late to the party, but I finally started watching Scandal on Netflix and OHHHH. EMMM. GEEEE.


I binge-watch during naptime and will stay up past midnight watching on my phone under the covers with my headphones so the light of Olivia Pope doesn't disturb a sleeping Justin next to me.

It's gooooood.


Ever since we went on vacation, Gracyn has been asking to go on a trip. We're trying to plan a "stay-cation" sometime before Thanksgiving. The weekends are filling up quickly so hopefully we can get it planned. Not quite sure what we're going to do but maybe get a hotel so we can go swimming and hang out a bit. We'll see!

Happy weekend, friends!

World Champs

Can you believe it!? The Royals are World Champions! It's so amazing and really such an exciting time to be in Kansas City. The city is alive, it's crazy.

So crazy, in fact, that we are ditching work on Tuesday to join approximately 200,000 other fans to celebrate the boys in blue at the city's parade and rally. It's going to be nuts.

So many shops and designers have posted graphics and new t-shirt designs that I totally l o v e and that I need in my life, stat. Some of my faves...

via Oh So Lovely Blog
via Hello Big Idea
via Be Wild & Free

...and possibly my favorite...

via Annie's Barn
Oh snap.