Wednesday, July 24, 2013

double chocolate larabars

let me begin this post by admitting something:
i love larabars
they're convenient, delicious and wholesome
plus, i'm a texture eater (it's true)
and they are the perfect amount of chewy for me:
not too hard, not too mushy, not too stick-in-your-teeth
(that last one is the worst!)

so i'm sure you're all wondering, 
if the real deal is so great,
why on earth would i try and make my own?

well, despite being the if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it type, 
i decided to try homemade larabars for two reasons:
1) cost ... legit larabars are undeniably delicious, but the cost can add up after a while
2) convenience - this is the big one.  pre-kids i didn't think twice about heading to the grocery store if i needed something between our weekly shops; but twins throw a wrench in that kind of thing...impromptu trips to the grocery store aren't usually an option between nursing, naps, diapers, etc  

so anyway, i searched for a recipe and found this one
then tweaked it a tiny bit
and voila - DIY larabars!
just dump the ingredients listed below into your food processor or blender
then run it till it forms a "dough" 
(you'll notice a distinct change in took about 30 seconds or so for me)

press the dough into a pan lined with wax paper then cut into bars
or roll into larabar "bites," if you prefer
tip: if you're a more patient person than i am,
this last step is easier if you stick it in the fridge for a bit first
we've been obsessed with these lately
even the girls love them
i just roll the dough up into little balls for them and it's a great finger food
i'm already working on other larabar recipes, so watch out for variations of this one!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

celebrating eighteen

dear baby girls, 

where do i start?  eighteen months have come and gone since the day we met - eighteen!  it's amazing what can change over that amount of time.  if someone told me then what my life would look like now...i flat out wouldn't have believed them.  but here we are, here you are - growing and learning and changing by the second!  

you actually turned eighteen months old a couple of days ago - the same day, ironically, that a huge gallery wrapped canvas print from your newborn pictures was delivered.  i was a bit embarrassed by how long it took me to finally pick and print one of them for our walls, but better late than never, right?  daddy and i are thrilled with how it turned out - it's beautiful and reminds me of how sweet and small and newborn-y you were!  the funny thing is, the print is so big, that you're actually bigger in the picture than you were in real life for the photo shoot.  it's perfect. 
you know what else was delivered this week?  your big-girl car seats!  daddy put so much effort into researching and finding these seats - i hope you like them as much as we do.  he got home from work and right aways began to unpack them as you looked on.  you seemed pretty excited about it - maybe it's a sign.  :)  you're supposed to sit in them until you're 120 pounds or 14 years old, whichever comes first.  with your luck, girlies, you're probably looking at the latter - sorry, we'll try to keep it a secret from your friends...

at least you guys have a great sense of humor, so that should help you cope with being in car seats forever and a day.  you are full of energy and joy - it just beams from the silly little faces that you make all day.  you're loud and crazy and so much fun.  you crack each other up on a daily basis - i love watching you enjoy each other so much:  playing peek-a-boo + sharing stories in your own little language + playing mini games that you've made up = too much cuteness to handle.

you also love music - listening to playlists on my old iPod, singing along with bananas in pyjamas, plunking on the piano keys...doesn't matter what form it comes in; if it's musical, it makes you happy.  i can't blame you; i love watching you enjoy music so much, and singing along to lullabies as we enjoy family time before bed is something i look forward to all day.  along with all the music that fills our days, you've literally taught me to dance like no one's watching...until we all burst into giggles, that is.  i've gotten so used to our little dance parties, i even caught myself dancing in a grocery store aisle all by myself the other day!  people must have thought i was crazy, but i just smiled and thought of you.    

another new thing you've been doing is building your vocabulary - you're up to at least five distinct words, plus you shake your head for "no" (not gonna lie, i'm not a HUGE fan of that last new development...but at least it's cute when you do it!).  it's great to be able to communicate beyond the few signs we use, and i'm actually surprised at how soon it started, since i was told that twins tend to have delayed speech.  then again, i've also been told that every baby is different and so i don't like to compare you to others - you are who you are supposed to be and will develop however you are supposed to develop.  it's all in the Lord's hands, and that's always a good thing.   

well girlies, this letter was full of highlights that we've been sharing recently, but i have to be honest - you're a lot of work, and there are rough days.  that being said, i am getting the hang of it, which translates into enjoying our time together more with each day that passes.  you keep me on my toes and remind me just how ugly my sin is and how much i need to lean on the Lord.  

i pray that just as you continue to grow that my dependence on Him would also grow.  i pray that i would rejoice as i discover more areas of weakness in my abilities, rather than become frustrated with my inability to "pull it together" because they are opportunities to trust Him and grow in my relationship with Him.  I pray that my life would speak for itself when it comes to teaching you these things, that He would work in your hearts even at the tender age of eighteen months.  and that you would grow up to be women deeply rooted in Him, despite the mistakes that i am undoubtedly making along the way.

daddy and i love you so so so much, girlies - thank you for lighting up our lives the way you do.  

love you to the moon and back, 
your mama  

Monday, July 15, 2013

special specialness

july 15th holds a special place in my heart
for one, it's my sister's birthday
which is a pretty good reason to celebrate in itself
but she's not only my sister
she's a best friend
who's been with me through every stage in life 
she was my live-in playmate as a kid,
let me climb into bed with her when i was scared,
listened and advised as i worked through teenage drama
and showed me the ropes when i hit university
she stood up to the bullies in my life,
(despite being smaller than me)
stood beside me when i got married
and let me stand beside her when her turn came

she taught me to not take things so seriously,
that taking a risk isn't always a bad thing
she encouraged me to pursue what i love

we've shared countless coffee dates
lunch dates
study dates
double dates
heck, we even shared time being pregnant with our firsts

...and the list goes on
suffice to say, she's a very special person in my life
and i am very grateful for her

my life wouldn't be the same without you
thank you for investing in me
encouraging me
teaching me
and loving me

and if that's not enough reason to celebrate, 
it's also my babies' half birthday!
today, i have 18 month olds!
(this is totally NOT them at 18 months - just a cute photo from a couple months back...)

i'll leave it at that and save the baby schmoozing for a later post
just so we can give each special person in my life their own special post
i mean, spreading celebration over a couple of days is never a bad thing, right?

*my wedding photo by the ever talented James Moes'
**my sister's wedding photo by Adam Loewen
***i also can't take credit for all others (except the one of the girls) - thanks to the friends / parents in our lives who snapped these so we could look back at them and relive some great memories!

Monday, July 8, 2013

summer senses...

this morning, i laid in bed with one of my littles,
waiting for her sis (who was still snoozing away in their room) to wake up
i was trying to catch a few extra seconds of shut eye
my child, however, had a different agenda
which involved testing just how far she could lean over the edge of the bed 
before tumbling off

so despite my best efforts, 
there was no sleep to be had
what i did get to do is close my eyes, take a deep breath 
and listen to the neighborhood waking up outside my bedroom window
and it got me thinking about all the senses we've been enjoying lately

birds singing early in the morning...silver lining to the early bird babies!
sprinklers going off in the neighborhood
kids giggling and playing all around
the ice cream truck coming around!!!

so much goodness right now - i love summer food!  
grilling, berries, stone fruit, iced coffee...ahhh!
rosewater / saffron / pistachio newest [addicting] obsession

songs with the littles
goofy songs. before bed songs. soothing songs. --doesn't matter, we're singin' em!

salty air at the beach, and lots of it...can't help myself!
a super fresh breeze blowing in through our open windows
the faint smell of chlorine in the air as we walk past pooled backyards
fresh cut grass - 'tis the season, after all

slimy seaweed under our feet during barefoot, tide's-out walks
the sun on our skin...can there be a better feeling?
cool water in our backyard, blow-up pool - so refreshing!
(and the kiddos are really loving it)

summery weekends as a family: garage sale-ing, rooftop lunching, beach going, etc
this last one was a gooder...i'm still smiling about it
watching our girlies interact and play with each other so much more these days 
reliving our camping trip as i sloooooowly cull through our snapshots
the good news:  not doing photos means i'm spending time outside 
the bad news:  you'll have to settle for just a few images at a time as i crank them out...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

excuse our absence, we've been summering

because around here, once it hits, 
you never know how long summer will stick around
so we've been taking full advantage 
of the long days and the hot sun
by spending as much time as we can outdoors, 
trusty iPhone in hand,
to document all the fun we've been having

aaaaaaaaaaaaand here's a teaser from our camping trip last weekend
--stay tuned for more where that came from!  

p.s. happy 4th of July and belated Canada day;
as duallies, we're grateful for BOTH countries!  :)
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