Hello! We are Phil and Kaitlyn! Thank you for looking at our profile. We are excited to tell you our story and a little bit about us as prospective parents.

We met towards the end of college and quickly became inseparable. Our personalities are exact opposites, but for us, it works. We have always brought out the best in each other and have encouraged each other to be better versions of ourselves, whether that be in our personal lives or our careers.

After a little over a year of dating, we knew we were meant for each other and married in 2011. We walked into our wedding reception to "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by the Proclaimers, which set the tone for our marriage and describes our lives perfectly.

We have always wanted to have three or four children. After struggling with infertility, we were blessed to have our daughter, Cecily, in 2018. She has been such a blessing in our lives, and we are excited to give her a sibling because we know she will be an amazing big sister.

We have grown so much in the past twelve years. Together we have experienced success and growth but also hardship, and because of this, we are evolving into the best versions of ourselves.

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Financial Support

Expectant mothers who choose to make an adoption plan may qualify for some level of financial assistance during their pregnancy. However, each person's situation and specific needs are different. Your adoption social worker can help you determine what level of assistance you qualify for and deserve. Many expectant mothers qualify for financial assistance to cover basic pregnancy and living expenses, including but not limited to - transportation reimbursement, utility assistance for phone, water, and electricity/gas, maternity clothing and supplements, etc.


Food & Groceries


Medical Expenses


Rent & Utilities


Household Items





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FAQ’s about placing a baby for Adoption

I'm considering giving my baby up for adoption. How much does that cost?

It won't cost you anything. If you choose to place your baby for adoption, all of your medical and legal fees will be covered and you may be eligible for financial assistance with other pregnancy-related expenses.

I'm experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and don't know who the birth father is. Can I still place my baby for adoption?

Yes. Even if you don’t know the identity of the birth father, you can still choose to make an adoption plan. However, every adoption situation is different. The adoption social worker you’re assigned to will get to know you and your story first, and then guide you through the process accordingly.

When is the right time to talk with an adoption professional?

You can make an adoption plan at any point in your pregnancy, even after the baby has been born. But, it's important to start the process as early in your pregnancy as possible. Connecting with those resources will allow you to gain access to important medical services, including prenatal care, to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.

When I create an adoption plan, will I get to choose who is in the room with me during delivery?

One aspect of your adoption plan is the "Hospital Plan" an outline of how you'd like your hospital stay and delivery to go. You can craft this on your own or with the help of your adoption social worker. But everything is up to you. You’ll be able to choose who comes to the hospital with you, who is in the room with you during delivery, and how much time you’d like to spend with the baby before signing the final papers.

How much contact will I have with the adoptive family after I place my baby with them?

As part of your adoption plan, you'll determine whether or not you’d like to have an open or closed adoption or something in between. Open adoptions may include phone calls, messaging (via social media, email, or text), and/or periodic visits each year. Closed adoptions may include no contact at all or annual updates provided to the birth parent(s) by the adoptive family. Each post-adoption relationship is different and can vary based on what an expectant mother chooses in her adoption plan.

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Our Blogs

We Have a Reader!


We have been very impressed with our school district.  Cecily loves her teacher and she has been doing an amazing job at school!  They recently started sending home books for us to read together, and we are blown away at how well she is doing.  I am not sure we are ready for her to start reading!  She is growing up way too fast.  

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Paw Patrol


We went to go see the new Paw Patrol movie and had such a great time!  Cecily insisted we get dressed up and wore her fanciest dress – the flower girl dress my sister made for her to wear to her wedding.  She loves any excuse to get dressed up, and this is hands down her favorite dress.  Thank you, Aunt Sarah! We don’t go to the movies often, but when we do, we like to go to one that serves dinner while you watch the movie.  It is such a fun treat and just makes the whole thing an awesome event.  The food was delicious, the staff was amazing, and the movie was awesome.  We loved it all. The rest of our weekend was crammed full of fun things, I just didn’t get any pictures.  Cecily has become close friends with a girl on the bus.  Well, her little sister and father were celebrating their birthdays and they invited us out to help celebrate.  We had so much fun getting to know them better and making new friends. The next day, one of Cecily’s classmates had her birthday party at a local park.  It was a little chilly, but...

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Hispanic Heritage Month


Whew!  It has been a couple of weeks.  Sorry!  Fall has hit, and we have been incredibly busy.  It is Hispanic Heritage Month.  Our local taqueria planned a really fun event to celebrate that included a DJ, Karaoke, and a Corn Hole competition.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for the whole thing, but we enjoyed some delicious food and great music.  The DJ even made sure to play “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and “Un Poco Loco” for Cecily from some of her favorite movies.  She loved it!  They have supported us, and we wanted to make sure to support them!  

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Fall Crafting


Cecily and I have been in crafty mood.  We have made trees for our Trick or Treat village and are working on using some black walnuts from our back yard to make some fall decorations for the house.  We love decorating for the different season, and right now fall and Christmas are definitely our forte.  I hope to post some pictures of our decorations soon.  But, for now here is a picture of Cecily helping me make a wreath.  Also, while at the craft store, we found a new member for Grandma's flock.

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Spooky Season!


Sunday was October 1.  That can only mean one thing....Hocus Pocus watch party!  We love filling October move nights with Spooky-lite movies and the first one is always Hocus Pocus, one of my favorites from childhood.  We of course have to have fall themed treats at the same time.

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Sewing Together


My Mom always made our Halloween costumes growing up.  It has been one of my favorite things to do since becoming a mom myself.  So far, we have been a fire fighting princess (I actually did not make this one 🙁), an Snow Princess, and a butterfly.  This year is still a surprise - more to come later.  What is really fun this year is how much Cecily has been helping me.  She helped me cut the fabric and now she is helping me sew it together.  She loves sitting on my lap while I'm at the sewing machine.  Unfortunately, she is getting too big!  I don't think we will be able to do this much longer.  I guess I need to start looking for a kids sewing machine so she can start practicing on her own.   Of course, she did start getting a little bored after awhile, but she stayed with me in my office and kept me company.  Hopefully, we can get her costume done in time for all the Halloween events!  I think the next few weekends are full of them, and we would love to go to Zoo Boo!

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Johnny Appleseed


This weekend we made the trip up to my hometown to their annual Johnny Appleseed festival.  This is a really neat two day festival where everything is Civil War themed and celebrates the life of Johnny Appleseed (aka John Chapman).  Johnny Appleseed lived 1774-1845 and is pioneer known for planing apple orchards throughout Pennsyvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.  He is also described as being incredible generous to those in need. All the vendors and re-enactors dress up like it is the 1840's.  And it doesn't stop there.  Anyone selling food has to make it over an open fire and any craft vendors making items at the festival have to do it with tools from the 1840's.  Much of the food items have an apple theme.  It is just a really fun experience.  We were fortunate enough to be able to meet up with Aunt Beth (Kaitlyn's sister) and Uncle Jon while we were there.  We tried apple dumplings, chicken and dumplings, and quite a bit of candy while we walked around the different vendors and listened to story tellers and music.  We also got to make candles, explore hay mazes, and tackle obstacles courses.  We even went to see the...

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A Present for GiGi


Unfortunately, Phillip's grandma has been struggling with her health the last month or so.  Well, while Cecily and I were at the craft store this weekend we got inspired and decide to make her a present to help her feel a little better.  We got a canvas and a couple of paints (and then raided my craft supplies at home) and made her a beautiful picture complete with paint, glitter, stickers, and more.  GiGi loved it and we were  happy to be able to cheer her up a little.

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Soccer Game


Fall soccer has kicked off!  Pun intended.  This weekend was our first game of the fall season and we had so much fun.  Even Geema came to watch the game.  Cecily did an awesome job staying with the ball and staying engaged throughout the game. In fact, her whole team was very energetic and attentive.  They played great together, and she has improved so much since last season.  Of course, I think her favorite part was the donut she got after the game. We can’t wait until the next game!

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Labor Day Weekend


We certainly enjoyed our Labor Day weekend.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get very many pictures. On Saturday Phill and Papa John (Phil’s dad) worked outside.  They have been working on clearing a spot for us to build a barn and so far it looks amazing!  I’m excited to have a spot to plant some fruit trees and build a greenhouse as well.  While they worked clearing trees, Cecily and I picked tomatoes.  I think this next weekend is going to be filled with making salsa and tomato sauce.  There were so many!  Finally, we were all very happy to have Papa John stay for dinner and relax a little before heading home. On Sunday, we all went to visit my (Kaitlyn’s) parents.  We had so much fun picking raspberries, swimming in the pond, and chasing chickens.  It was nearly impossible to get Cecily out of the pond.  While we were there, my dad and I went through the barn and found so many vintage toys.  Some were mine and my sisters, while others belonged to my mom and uncle.  We had so much fun going through them and found Barbies, GI Joes, marbles, and more.  When we got back to the...

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Chuck E Cheese!


This weekend we had a family friend turn 5.  We had so much fun celebrating with her at Chuck E Cheese!  I couldn’t even tell you how long it has been since either of us have been to a Chuck E Cheese, but it was so much different from what I remembered.  I was actually a little sad they didn’t still have the animatronic band.  Regardless, we still had a ton of fun. Cecily loved playing the space invaders game and Sponge Bob.

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Street Festival


This weekend was our town’s annual street festival.  Our town has been growing a lot over the past few years and so has this festival.  Imagine a giant block party in the middle of downtown and everyone is invited!  It was such a great time.  We enjoyed seeing friends, petting the ewes and the donkey, playing in the bounce house, and getting scares in the haunted tent. It was also a great time to see all the fun stuff the town has planned in the coming months.  There will be a local performance of the Nutcracker Suite which we are excited to see.  The haunted tent was advertising the Haunted Trail happening in the park just before Halloween.  Cecily wanted to do it twice – and hung on to me in fear both times!  It should be a fun Halloween. We also enjoyed seeing our friends playing live music and had some amazing local food.  The pastelitos were delicious and 5 year old approved.  Cecily asked for some more for breakfast this morning.  She was upset when I told her we ate them all and is now demanding I learn how to cook them myself.  For desert we had Nutella...

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True Community


Our community is the best.  This past winter, a Taqueria opened in town.  Their food is amazing and we stop in often for tacos.  Well, the owners noticed we were going through a hard time last month.  Well, while we were in town this weekend for the street festival they gave us a card – just to let us know they were thinking of us.  I am not ashamed to say I cried when I read the card.  I have said it before and I will say it again – we live in a very special place and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  It is amazing to be a part of something as special as this.

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Crafting Together


Cecily has been asking for several weeks to try and make Barbie clothes.  Well, we finally had some down time so we went through some of my fabric stash and gave it shot.  I think our Barbie-sized circle skirt came out pretty good, but I was at a complete loss as to how to make a tiny top.  It doesn't really matter, Cecily loved spending time making the skirt and I had a blast watching a movie and working on a craft with her.  Now she is excited to make more projects with my sewing machine. I guess it is time for me to start looking up some Barbie sewing patterns.  Turns out, it is a great way to use up some fabric scraps!

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Morning Visitors


We love were we live.  We are super close to the city and all the amazing amenities it has to offer, but we are in a more rural area where we can enjoy nature and a close-knit community.  This morning, I had some visitors join me for coffee.  We have two little baby deer living in our woods and they stopped by for a morning snack.  I love it when they stop by.  Deer are so pretty and graceful and we will often see a herd of 8-10 pass through.  It was really an idyllic morning.

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Fun at the Zoo!


We had such a fun weekend!  When we went to King’s Island, we were planning on going to the Cincinnati Zoo before coming home.  But, after two days of walking around the park, we decided we needed a break and would go to our local zoo instead – and it did not disappoint.  I hadn’t realized all the new exhibits they put in for this year. We started by walking through the entrance to all of these beautiful gardens.  We saw a water garden, knot gardens, and local plants.  There were more we didn’t even walk through because we were so excited to see the new butterfly conservatory!  I have never seen so many butterflies in one place.  They were all over the place and it was truly magical to see. Once we walked into the main part of the zoo we were lucky enough to see the sea lions during feeding time.  We all enjoyed watching them show off and snacking on some fish.  We then walked through all the different habitats including forests, plains, deserts, and oceans!  My favorite animals to see at the zoo have always been the Zebras and the flamingos.  Phil always enjoyed the elephants. ...

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Back to School


It is hard to believe, but it is already time to go back to school! This week, Cecily had her first day of Kindergarten!  It was also her first time to ride the bus.  She was a little nervous about it, but handled it like a champ.  When she came home she was raving about her teacher and how nice and funny she was.  We went to an open house the night before where we could walk around the school and meet her kindergarten teacher, as well as her teachers for all of her specials.  Now that she is in kindergarten she gets to go to gym, music, art, STEM, and the library!  I think it is going to be an awesome school year! Walking to the bus for the first time! Excited for day 2!

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King's Island


It’s been a minute since we’ve written a blog post.  We had a lot of ups and downs in July and took a step back from posting to be present as a family and provide support to each other as we muscled through a tough month. We are quickly reaching the end of the summer and “back-to-school” is just around the corner.  We are totally not ready to have a kindergartener in the house!  Summer flew by, and because of all the many things we had going on this year, we never really got to take a summer trip anywhere.  So, we booked a last minute trip to King’s Island amusement park.  It was so much fun.  Cecily was tall enough to ride quite a few rides, and the lines were short enough that Phil and I got to sneak in a couple of roller coasters ourselves. Cecily’s favorite ride was probably the Great Pumpkin Coaster.  She demanded I hold on to her when we first rode it, but after a few rides she demanded I hold my hands up instead.  I was not ready when she finally turned to me and said, “I think I want to ride it...

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What a Crazy Weekend!


This was such a crazy weekend with so many fun things happening.  First, we had some old friends visiting from out of town, so we met up with them for a cookout.  Dave and Phillip are childhood friends and they have two girls that get along so well with Cecily.  We have gone skiing, camping, and rented a house boat with them in the past and it is so much fun to see the girls pick up right where they left off.  Phillip wanted to see if he could still fit in the go cart they had as teenagers - I don't think so. Then Cecily and I got some much needed pool time in.  She loves swiming and has been begging me to go, it just has not worked out until now.  Currently, her favorite thing to do is dive for toys.  But, she also had a lot of fun showing me all the tricks she can do in the water, like back flips and spins. Finally, we went into to town to watch the parade and wait for fireworks.  It was a busy one, but so much fun. Fun on the Slip n Slide.   Cecily thought the tree...

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She Blinded Me with Science!


When we went to the museum, we picked out a crystal growing kit as a souvenir.  Cecily could not wait to break it out when we got home and we had so much fun learning about crystals.  The kit taught us how crystals grow and how crystals have been used in ancient times and today.  We had so much fun coloring and building our trees and then watching the crystals grow.

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Fun Day at the Museum!


My (Kaitlyn's) sister was in town visiting this week so I took the day off so we could have fun.  Unfortunately, we had to choose something indoors because the weather was not cooperating so she, Cecily, our Mom, and I went to the Children's Museum.  Cecily loved being able to spend some time with Aunt Sarah, and really loved the museum. First, we went back in time and nearly got eaten by a super croc!  She was amazed at how big the dinosaurs were and loved exploring their world.  Next, we learned about archeology and explored ancient civilizations.  We saw the terra cotta statues in China, repaired a sarcophagus in Egypt, and dove off the coast of Dominican Republic to identify Captain Kidd’s shipwreck. Then we went into space, learned how the astronauts live in space, repaired the International Space Station, and performed science experiments in space just like the astronauts. We wrapped up our visit by flying to Greece and learned about Greek food, went fishing, observed Sea Turtle eggs like the scientists, and took care of baby sea turtles. Whew!  I think we are all ready for a nap!

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Dance Recital


Friday was Cecily's dress rehearsal for her dance recital that happened on Saturday.  Once a week, she has a class that covers gymnastics, ballet, and tap.  She loves all three and can't choose just one.  Once a year, all the dance classes put on a recital.   This year, she got to perform both a ballet and a tap dance!  She told me she was super nervous and didn't feel comfortable with the dances, so I recorded the rehearsal and we practiced at home until she was comfortable with the dances.  I think it really paid off.  She had so much fun and did an amazing job.  We love watching her perform and it was so nice to have all of our family there.  Even Aunt Sarah was able to drop in and see the first dance before she had to rush off to another event.  After her preformance she was showered with flowers and bath bombs - two of her favorite things.  Then, we went out for pizza and cookies to celebrate.  We wrapped up the evening by going home and watching the Nutcracker.  Even though we are just about the furthest from Christmas you can get, it seemed fitting to...

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Future Florist!?


Cecily and Phillip went to the grocery store and came home with beautiful orange roses.  They are always bringing me home flowers and I love it!  However, when Cecily and I put them in the vase, they six roses looked very lonely.  Since I don't have a smaller vase, we went exploring around the back yard to see what we could forage.  I think we did pretty good.  We added some grass seed heads, hydrangeas, oregano, cyprus, and little daisy-like wild flowers.  I'm sorry I didn't get any pictures of us exploring the yard for fun things to add to the vase, but we were in the zone! While we were foraging, I was reminded of the vision I have for our yard and home.  I have really developed an interest in gardening over the last few years and have plans for many different gardens and paths throughout our entire property.  I love the concept of creating different "rooms" outside with different garden spaces and purposes.  So far we have our kitchen garden with raised beds and yummy veggies.  Now we are working towards an outdoor fireplace, a children's garden and a cut flower garden with peonies, roses, hydrangeas, and...

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Gimme the Beat Boys!


Thursday and Friday this week Paka (Kaitlyn's Dad) came to visit and slept over.  Cecily was so excited to have someone spend the night.  My dad is such an ispiration.  He always taught me you never stop learning, and he certainly lives by that.  He retired last year, and he has been using his free time wisely.  First, he took a master gardener's course to help him with his small hobby farm.  Now he is taking a bee keeping course to learn how to clone queen bees.  He stayed with us while attending his classes since we live slightly closer than my parents do. I have always enjoyed he random conversations I have with my dad.  After everyone went to sleep, we stayed up late sitting on the back porch chatting and listening to all the amazing night time sounds you hear in the woods.  This time we talked about documentaries we have been watching. I have watched some very emotional and amazing stories of White Island and the Challenger explosion.  My dad has been watching a history exploration show.  Apparently, the last three people to attempt escaping Alcatraz may have actually been successful and have been living in South...

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Princess Fun!


We live in a fairly rural area.  But, we are very close with our neighbors, and our community is very tight. Our neighbors who share the woods with us have a daughter who is in Cecily's class and they are quickly becoming close friends.  This weekend was her birthday and Cecily was so excited to help celebrate.  In fact - Friday night is usually the night Cecily and I have our movie night.  Friday morning she turned to me and said, "Mommy, I don't think I can do movie night tonight because I need to go to bed early so I'm not exhausted for Olivia's birthday party."  I guess I know how I rank! It really was a great time though.  They had Princess Jasmine and Elsa there, and then a pool party afterward.  Cecily is a complete fish and it was nearly impossible to get her out of the pool!

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Farmers Market and Fun


This Saturday Phillip and his dad (affectionately known as Papa John in our household) planned on working in the yard.  Since they were going to be running the tractor and other equipment, Cecily and I decided to go have some fun outside of the house. Our morning started with Papa John bringing doughnuts. Of course, there was a sprinkle doughnut in there just for Cecily (her favorite).  Then we picked sugar peas and strawberries from the garden.  I am so happy with how the garden is doing this year and we have already picked so many yummy things. Then, we went to the local farmer’s market.  It was so much fun to see all the different vendors and walk around.  We had snacks and listened to the live music while taking everything in.  It is amazing to think they do this every Saturday.  The library was even there, passing out watercolor paint sets and books to the kids.  We accidentally left without going back to get the Oreo Popcorn from one of the vendors so Cecily is already planning our trip back. After the farmer’s market, we grabbed some sandwiches and went to the park to have a picnic and...

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Happy Birthday, Phil!


Yesterday was Phil's birthday!  I picked Cecily up from Summer camp and we went to pick out an ice cream cake to suprise Phil with.  Of course, the little personal sized ones wouldn't do.  We had to get the biggest one there was because it had Oreos on it.  We have enough ice cream to last us all summer now! When we got home, we kicked of our little celebration with Phil opening his present.  I think he really liked the new floor liners for his truck.  He immediately installed them.  Then we had a special birthday dinner of tacos from our favorite Taqueria in town.  Their food is fantastic, but for some reason they are closed on Taco Tuesday.  Make it make sense. All in all, it was a great evening.  Happy Birthday, Phil!

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Happy Anniversary!


This weekend Phil and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary.  It has been a wild ride.  We have had a lot of high points and our fair share of low points.  But, we have faced it all together and have become so much closer over the years.  We celebrated our anniversary by going out to a local event with some friends.  It was so much fun to hang out with everyone, and we ran into so many people while we were there.  It was such great time. Unfortuantely, I didn't get any pictures of us all dressed up.  I was too busy talking!  Which is a big thing for me because I am a huge introvert.  Phil is definitely the social butterfly between the two of us. When we got home, the weather was so nice that we sat on the back porch and played a couple of rounds of a board game before bedtime.  Here we are playing our newest board game "My First Treasure Hunt."  We love it becuase instead of playing against each other, we have to work together to find all the treasure before the storm hits.  It was a relaxing evening and all in all...

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I Can't Live Without This One!


(Pictured: Kaitlyn's mom with Cecily) We celebrated the Memorial Day holiday by visiting my parents who live on a small hobby farm about an hour away from us.  It was great to be able to spend time with them and have a relaxing visit.  Well almost…Cecily may have put us to work. First, we had to pick strawberries.  There is not much ready to pick in my garden at the moment, but my mom has some of the most beautiful strawberries.  Cecily has been itching to pick something, so we stocked up and picked four whole pecks!  I finally told Cecily, “take one last look and see if there are any you can’t live without.”  For the rest of the day, this was Cecily’s catch phrase.  She found the second patch of strawberries and kept saying, “Oh, Mommy!  I absolutely can’t live without this one!” Already, we made strawberry popsicles, had strawberry shortcake for desert Monday night, and made two batches of strawberry jam.  The rest we froze for ice cream or smoothies.  All the rotten or partially eaten strawberries we picked to give to the chickens.  They love seeing Cecily because they all know they will get a treat....

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Date Night


I know I have spoken about this in a previous post, but we love our community.  With the weather feeling more and more like summer, our town has been full of people walking up and down the streets or riding their bikes.  The ice cream shack is a community staple and has had a line every night for the past two weeks.  It really is a magical community to be a part of. Cecily went to have some quality Grandma time which meant Phillip and I took advantage of the activity in town and had date night!  It has been a while since we’ve gone out and we had a blast.  We went into town and had appetizers at a local restaurant while enjoying live music.  Then we went to an amazing fine-dining restaurant down the street.  It was nice to be able to spend some quality time together.  When Phil and I were engaged, we went through a couple of marriage counseling courses as part of our preparation for married life.  One of the most impactful pieces of advice we received was, “never stop dating.”  Dating isn’t necessarily going out to dinner or to an event.  Instead, it meant...

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Mommy Daughter Day


Wow!  What a weekend!  On Saturday, Phillip’s brother was in town for a visit, so he went out to have “Boys Night” with his brother and dad.  That meant Cecily and I got to have a Mommy-Daughter day, and we had so much fun. We started our day with Tie Dye!  I stumbled across glow-in-the-dark Tie-Dye and had to give it a try.  We also had some regular colors and made so many adorable shirts and bags.  It was a fun way for us to spend the afternoon and have some quality time. After we cleaned up, we decided to go out to dinner and a local restaurant by the water.  The weather was too perfect to miss the chance for us to eat outside and watch the boats go by.  While we were there, we ran into a friend from school who was having his own Mommy-Son date.  We ended up joining tables and had so much fun eating with friends.  Afterwards, we walked around the docks while the kids played and burned some energy. This is one of the things we love about our community.  We are very close to larger cities that offer so many different amenities...

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Barns and Memories


Several weekends ago, my mom and dad came by to help me finish putting a toy barn together.  This barn was one of my favorite toys growing up as I loved anything to do with horses.  Unfortunately, the years have not treated this barn well and it was in many, many pieces.  I spent several nights just cleaning up all the pieces, and then my dad helped me cut replacements for all the missing or damaged pieces.  When they came out, we finally glued everything together and it looks great.  I am amazed it looks this great after seeing the state it was when we started.  All that is left is finding the perfect door handles to replace the missing ones. Since we have completed it, Cecily has had a blast playing with it.  Her My Little Ponies have moved in alongside the Breyer horses that I had growing up (some of these horses were even my mom's when she a child).  The idea of having some of these favorite toys to pass along to my children is so special to me and I have several other toys such as a glass tea set, American Girl Dolls (Kirsten and Addy),...

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Pre-K Graduation


This morning we had Pre-K graduation.  Cecily was so excited to get prepped for the occasion.  First, she picked out her fanciest dress to wear.  It was a dress my sister made for her when she was the flower girl and her wedding this past fall.  It is absolutely beautiful and Cecily constantly looks for a reason to wear it.  Then, she had to have her hair done all fancy.  So, we got up early so that I could do an Elsa braid into a bun.  And of course, no fancy hair style is complete without at least 5 floral burettes.  She most definitely arrived for the occasion. It was so cute to see all the little graduates in their caps and gowns lined up to perform a couple of songs for the parents and grandparents. Then they all lined up to accept their diplomas while the Pre-K coordinator read what they all wanted to be when they grew up.  I figured it was a toss up between a Firefighter, 5th grade teacher, or a ballerina.....ballerina won! This year has flown by and now we have a little Kindergartener.  She is excited to move on and learn new things, but...

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Field Day!


Our weekend started with Field Day at school.  I volunteered to help out and had so much fun watching the kiddos at their end-of-year celebration.  Unfortunately, we had to move everything inside because of rain, but everyone still had a blast.  The kiddos had so much fun playing penny toss, Jenga, and Corn Hole; having dance parties; and bouncing beach balls on a giant parachute.  We wrapped up the fun by terrorizing a couple of the Pre-K administrators.  Every kiddo spelled their name and were rewarded with Silly String, Whip Cream, or Water Balloons that they could toss at one of the administrators.  Cecily picked Silly String and had a blast.  She has been asking me to buy some to play with ever since.  Once all the games were done, I got to stay and have lunch Cecily.  For some reason, she will never eat hot dogs at home.  But, at school, she will eat the whole thing!  Go figure.  Overall, I loved getting to see her in her element, playing with her friends, and having the time of her life. Later this weekend, Cecily came to help me out in the garden and found a little friend.  I had...

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From Garden to Grill


Wow.  It has been a minute.  Things have been so crazy between soccer games, projects around the house, and getting the garden started!  We have been taking full advantage of Spring and are getting geared up for Summer. We recently got a new grill, and this is the first time I have ever had to put a grill together.  It was nearly impossible with most of the instructions as "put part 23 in the relevant place." Give me an IKEA cabinet any day!  Somehow, I managed to figure it out and we have been making full use of it.  Last night Phillip made a wonderful dinner with the grill and it was absolutely fabulous.  He is definitely approaching "Grill Master" status. This may be controversial, but I don't even think the steak was the best part.  The salad was phenomenal.  Our Spring garden is in full swing and the spinach and radish came straight from the garden.  Already, our garden has been more successful than last year and I love being able to go out and pick fresh veggies to use for dinner.  Another benefit is that Cecily will try anything if it came from our garden.  She has been...

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Music and Campfires


This weekend we had amazing weather.  It was so nice we decided to have our first camp fire of the year.  In between bites of S'Mores, Cecily ran around picking bundles of wildflowers that carpet our back yard, while Phillip and I sat and listed to music on the patio.  It is the most relaxed we have felt in weeks. When we were first married, we bought a bluetooth speaker and it quickly became our weekend routine to listen to music while sitting on the patio with a fire.  We would talk and enjoy each other's company while the music played.  We often say this is one of the best decisions we have ever made and feel that it has brought us closer in our marriage.  Our all time favorite aritst is Marc Broussard.  His mix of Soul and Rock is amazing and I highly encourage everyone to give him a listen. We also love the music we grew up. My dad would play me bands like Blue Oyster Cult, the Eagles, and Buffalo Springfield and I still love this music today.  My play list has all of these classics, mixed in with Dua Lipa, Ava Max, Welshly Arms, Barns...

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Spring Break


We just wrapped up Spring Break here.  I have to admit, trying to get back into a normal schedule was brutal. Growing up, my family never did anything big for Spring Break.  Our vacations were reserved for the Winter and Summer.  But, what we almost always drove out to spend the week with my grandparents.  I loved visting my grandparents and getting to spend the time with them.  We would shop, go to muesums or the zoo, and all in all had a great time. Phillip's family was the same way.  They often did not go on vacation, but rather enjoyed family at home and took in the much needed relaxation. It seems like we are carrying on this tradition.  While we did not go anywhere, we took the opportunity to enjoy some of our favorite local activities including bowling, mini-golf, and the local indoor aquatic center.  We wrapped up most days with a movie night and watched all the classics.  I recently found Sandlot at the store and had so much fun watching it for the first time in years.  Phillip and I recently discovered that we both thought of this as one of our favorite movies growing up. ...

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Planting Seeds


The weather here is still a little unpredictable, but Spring is just around the corner.  We spent the weekend prepping the garden beds and planting early spring crops.  I can't wait for spinach and sugarsnap peas straight from the garden! We also started all our summer plants indoors.  We are growing tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers - you name it!  Some of our favorite snacks are lunchbox peppers and carrots and I am so excited to have them in the garden.  I am also excited to grow more pineapple tomatoes.  They are our favorite variety. Last year, we made an Italian tomato sauce and cowboy candy (candied jalapenos) with our garden bounty.  They were amazing to have throughout the winter, and now I am ready for some more!  I love teaching our daughter where our food comes from and how to preserve it.  She has so much fun helping me plant seeds and will eat anything that comes from the garden.  This is such a fun summer tradition to share with others.  Hopefully we have a successful season!

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Baking Pumpkin Bread


We had a little taste of Spring, and then Mother Nature reminded us that it is, in fact, still Winter.  One of our favorite recipes for Winter is pumpkin bread.  We bake it for every holiday, and all through the winter season.  I honestly don't even know where this recipe came from.  It was written on a recipe card in my grandma's kitchen, then my mom's, and now mine.  One year, I had a bad experience with canned pumpkin.  Somehow, I managed to break my foot when a falling can hit the top of my foot just right.  As you may imagine, I have been weary of cans ever since.  Last year, we grew our own pumpkins in the garden and we were so excited to make pumpkin bread (and pie) using our own pumpkins.  Good-bye cans! Luckily, the pumpkins did amazingly well, and we were able to harvest quite a few from our small garden.  The vines were enormous and were constantly in the way, but it was totally worth it.  The pumpkin bread we have made from these pumpkins is the best I have ever tasted.  I have one more bag left from the batch I processed and...

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Generational Knowledge


Something I remember fondly of my childhood was helping my dad work on our cars. From an early age I was in the garage holding the flashlight and passing my dad the tools he needed. What started out as just father son bonding time turned into him teaching me everything I needed to know to keep my vehicle on the road. Now I find myself working on our vehicles, lawn equipment, and all the other tools that I use to maintain our house and property. I take pride in my ability to keep things running and looking nice. I am thankful of the knowledge and skills that were passed down to me. For me it is important that I pass this knoweldge and skill to the next generation. I try to include Cecily in these activities and share in the same experiences that I had growing up. It is my hope that I can empower the next generation of family to be able to maintain the things they use in their everyday life and I hope that the memories of learning these skills will be cherised the same way I cherish mine.

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Keeping Busy in Winter


Now that all the holiday and birthday excitement has calmed down, we are enjoying the final days of winter.  Here the weather can be a little crazy.  One day it can be almost 60 and we have the hope of spring and the next day, it will be near freezing.  Both Phillip and I tend to "hibernate" during the winter.  We don't get as much done around the house or outside as we would like.  Instead, this is our time to be creative and indulge in our hobbies. I grew up in a very crafty household.  I remember when I FINALLY got a ferbie.  It was probably one of the hottest toys of my childhood.  We were visiting my grandparents and my grandmother had an amazing idea.  She led us to her magic closet stuffed to the ceiling with every bit of craft supplies you can think of.  We spent the entire afternoon sitting on the cramped dining room floor with my grandma and mom turning the boxes our ferbies came in into the perfect, coziest little houses.  It is one of my favorite memories of my grandma. I still love being crafty, and I find it is the perfect...

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Zoo Boo


This weekend we had a blast trick or treating at the Zoo.  We were really happy Grandma and Grandpa were able to join us - but somehow they managed to avoid having any pictures taken!.  A lot of the staff was dressed up and it was fun to see their bright costumes.  We had fun doing all the activities they had set up like the mirror maze and live music.  They even had spooky themed treats. Of course, we also had fun seeing all the animals.  Since it was much cooler than when we usually visit, a lot of the animals were much more active than usual.  It was fun to see some of the animals that are usually tucked away like the cheetahs, bears, and elephants.  There is a kangroo enclosure where you can go in a walk among them and even they were really close and active with visitors.  It was such a fun visit. Cecily and I played a game.  On the way there I asked her what animal she was most excited to see.  Her response was the elephants.  So together we sounded out and spelled the word elephant.  Then I chanllenged her to try and...

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