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  • Welcome to Counting My Kisses!

    Counting My Kisses is all about finding that silver lining, even on our most frustrating days. It’s about cherishing my little girls and enjoying being married to my best friend. It’s about taking a minute to stop & remember what’s really important in life—and to discover that each & every experience gives us something to be thankful for.

    I’m a daughter, sister, friend, writer, and most importantly these days, a wife & mother. My life is full of fun chaotic moments, and this blog helps me to capture the laughter and love that fills our house every day.

    Thanks for joining me on this adventure!

Fall happenings! {part 1}

Oh fall.

Your crisp leaves, gorgeous colors + abundance of fun events make me love you that much more each year.

 

We’ve had a crazy busy fall around here, chock-o-block full of festivities + fun! I’ve always loved this season but I must say~ it’s extra-special sharing it with our three little loves.

 

We’ve hit up a family hayrides {props to the Hubs on the selfie, right?!}…

fall 1

and had a blast taking a hike through the forest.

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Sidenote: our big girls are looking more grown-up every single day~ any ideas on how to freeze time?!

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Our hiking adventure led us {accidentally} to the lake, which was chilly + beautiful + so fun to watch.

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Sweet Baby J napped through most of our hike. It was so quiet + serene, given the opportunity I would have napped right along with her.:)

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Seriously, fall~ how pretty are you?! Love!

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We’ve been fortunate to enjoy this fab season in multiple places this year~ including up at the lake, which is a first for us. Needless to say~ the girls have loved it too!

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Our sweet baby girl is now standing solo at any given opportunity. It’s pretty much the cutest thing ever {video is on my Instagram page if you want to check out her adorableness!}.

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Naturally, we had to squeeze a trip to the pumpkin patch into our fall happenings.

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I’m sure we’re in the final years of the girls allowing me to dress them all in the same shirts + headbands~ but seriously, how cute?! {thank goodness Auntie Lala is crafty~ ghost headbands are WAY out of my craft comfort zone lol}.

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Oh my heart. Little Miss Pumpkin times three~ could we be any more blessed?!

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What’s your favorite part of this beautiful season, friends? Hope you are enjoying it as much as we are!

Counting My Kisses: Although I’m *definitely* a warm-weather girl, fall has a special place in my heart. The Hubs + I just celebrated our 8th anniversary on October 28th~ so of course fall brings so many happy memories to us! Stay tuned~ part 2 of our fall happenings coming up later this week~ including Halloween pics + a very special birthday surprise for my dad! Have a GREAT day, friends!

Siggie-21

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Laura

Oh how I miss you friend!! Love the blog and fall! It is just a happy time!

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The Great Stroller Debate {Urbini Avi Jogger review}

Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Urbini. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and as a thank you for participating.

the great stroller debate
Now that our girls are ages 1, 3 + 5, we’ve found that our trusty double jogging stroller isn’t fitting our family needs anymore. We’ve been in the market for a durable, functional single stroller~ but haven’t found anything that fit the bill yet.

 

Enter Urbini.

 

When I was asked to review the Urbini Avi Jogger Stroller, this little voice in my head thought jackpot! I had high hopes it was the stroller to fit our family wish list~ functional, easy to maneuver + heavy duty. Added bonus: the Avi arrived just days before we left for our vacation. AND it was red, our family color of choice!

Little O + I put together the stroller in about 15 minutes. Now, if you don’t know me very well~ this is SAYING SOMETHING. I rarely venture into the world of product assembly but my five-year-old and I had it together in record time. #win

A few days later, we left for vacay + put the Urbini Avi to the test. Not only did it hold its own in the airport,  maneuvering around people with either one of our children or approximately 794394893 pounds of luggage loading it down, but it also folded up quickly + easily~ a must when you are this close to almost missing your flight {cough cough…not like that almost happened or anything…cough cough}.

 

A few of my favorite things about this stroller: 

urbini avi 5

~ the handle changes positions. Super helpful when a shorty like myself marries someone a foot taller. We are both comfortable pushing the stroller, the adjustable handle is clutch!

~ smooth ride + easy to maneuver. Friends, we took this stroller on a cruise ship. It fit in our {itty bitty teeny tiny} room folded up. We had read cautionary tales about bringing strollers on the narrow hallways of the ships but we had zero maneuverability issues while on board or on land. And it’s also great for eating your very first chocolate ice cream bar, since the fabric is a cinch to wipe off! 

urbini avi 1

~ speaking of folding up the stroller. super easy. Pull the strap + voila! The Avi folds in half for storage in a snap.

~ 5 point harness. in case your child is a Houdini + can get out of all standard lap belts {ahem BABY J!}. Girlfriend wasn’t budging once we had her buckled in, which was a huge relief. 

urbini avi 2

~ swivel lock front wheel. we kept the front wheel unlocked for our casual vacation strolling, but it’s a quick flip to lock it when you’re ready to run! 

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~ recline/canopy/peek-a-boo window. all essential for a napping little one. When we wanted Baby J to take a snooze, we’d recline her, put the sun canopy down and stroll her around for a few minutes. Once she was zonked out we’d periodically check on her via that peek-a-boo window to make sure she was still snoozing. 

urbini avi 6

~ inflatable rubber tires. the Hubs said the tires were a cinch to pump up with a little extra air. Woo! The tires also handled the sandy beach terrain like a boss~ I could push the stroller one-handed through the sand, which cannot be said for our double jogging stroller.

~ single-touch brake system. so helpful for photo opps! you know how I love those vacay photos.:) 

urbini avi 4

~ easily accessible underneath basket. one of my biggest pet peeves about our double stroller is that I cannot get to the basket under the stroller without some major finessing. The Avi was a piece of cake to reach in to + pull out the requested zippy cup, sunscreen or stuffed animal that was hanging out in the basket.

~ weight limit up to 65 pounds. because you never know who is going to need to nap.;) 

urbini avi 3

And for mommas with itty bitty ones, the Urbini Avi Jogger Travel System is the way to go. Your little babe can be snuggled into the Urbini Petal infant seat {which holds weights from 4 lbs – 35 lbs} + the entire system snaps into the Avi Jogger, making it a seamless transition from car to stroller + back again.

Since we’ve been home from vacation, our Urbini Avi has become the go-to stroller of choice. It’s perfect for walks + runs, shopping trips and day-long adventures. Best of all, I can pop Baby J into it without any complaint. She loves being able to see her sisters + the world around her, and I love how the Avi Jogger meets all of our growing family’s needs.

Try it out~ the Urbini line is available at Walmart + Walmart.com. Lots more info, tips + pictures on Urbini’s Facebook + Twitter pages as well!

Counting My Kisses: I’m so appreciative that I was picked to review the Urbini Avi Jogger~ the Hubs + I agree that it was the perfect stroller for our vacation + our everyday life. Talk about awesome timing! Thanks to Mom Central for the opportunity + to Urbini for making a fab product that is a great fit into our lifestyle.:)

Siggie-21

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October grace

It’s no secret: life is moving at breakneck speed these days for our family.

 

It’s fun + amazing + crazy + incredible, all at the same time.

I’ve been operating our party of five on a week-to-week basis since mid-August: first we got through Little O starting kindergarten, the next week we got through a marathon business trip to Europe for the Hubs, the following week Cali and so on. I get overwhelmed if I look at the big picture but if I take it a week at a time, it feels much more manageable. We’ve been rocking through it so far + having a ton of fun in the process.

 

However: this week-to-week operating system has it downfalls.

 

It hit me the other day that I’m not taking the time to sit back and absorb. Reflect. Drink in the beauty + the joy + this intricate dance of life that we’re living.

 

I’m here. I show up every day + I dive into our life + our children + our family and friends. And I’m absolutely loving it.

But I want to be even more present. I want to soak in these moments until they are etched into my brain so deeply that I’ll be transported back here when I’m 50, 76, 85. I’m worried I won’t be able come back to this *exact spot* in time~ because even now, as I’m living it, I know this is amazing stuff. I know I’ll want to come back in my memory + I need to remember these details so that I can.

 

I want to slow down time so that I can always feel Baby J’s soft head snuggling that perfect spot on the side of my neck. The way she pats my face and says Mamamamama and lights up + claps when I come get her from naptime.

I want to snuggle in bed with Little O + have her fill me in on all the details of kindergarten that seem to be freshest in her mind right as she’s ready to fall asleep. Hear her thoughts on scuba diving + becoming a marine biologist + the intricacies of learning how to do a flip on the hanging bar at recess.

I want to enjoy H-Berry’s super happy-go-lucky phase that she’s in + absorb all of her loveliness as she insists on helping me every day in dozens of different H-Berry ways. The way she talks {“me want to come with you!”} + adorably insists on wearing only “beautiful dresses.” Her heels + her tiara are never far away.

I want to relax on the couch next to the Hubs and watch our shows and remember that this is the life I’ve always prayed for with the guy who has lived in my dreams forever before becoming a reality, my future, the love of my life when we met in college.

 

And here we are. In this beautifully busy life, juggling careers + house stuff + commitments with three bubbling sweethearts of daughters who challenge us + demand things of us that we didn’t even know we could do.

 

It’s everything.

And it’s wonderful.

 

So today, on this first day of October, I’m praying for grace. I know things aren’t going to slow down for us in the near future~ and that’s okay. But I’m hoping for the grace + the ability to take a step back. Soak in these moments + memories + tuck them into my brain for safe-keeping so I’ll have them for decades to come. 

october grace

What are you hoping for this month?

Counting My Kisses: Is it really October 1st already?! Here’s to a fresh new month full of beautiful fall colors, crisp air, cozy sweaters + taking the time to savor moments both big and small. Have a GREAT day friends!!!

 

Linking today’s post up with Shell’s Pour Your Heart Out. Because sometimes it feels good to pour your heart out.:)

Siggie-21

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I think grace is the perfect thing to hope for this month, it seems chaos is abundant right now! It’s always a nice reminder though to think about how important it is to really LIVE in the moment, and to not just hold our breath until it passes.

[Reply]

I want to be able to take that step back, too. Everything goes SO FAST all the time, but I want to really enjoy the small moments.

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I’ve been feeling this way too, that things are going way too fast and I need to really focus and take in all the small moments.

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Mary

Love this post!! No matter how busy I am, I really try to take time to appreciate how good and blessed my life is. Especially at this point of my life :::: God is good!!

[Reply]

Happenings {first day of fall edition}

Helloooo friends!

 

Oh goodness. Has it really been a MONTH since I last posted?!? Blogging FAIL, friends. Many apologies.

 

A whole lot of life is happening around here. Things are *insanely* busy right now but we’re hanging on + enjoying the ride!

Shall we take a whirlwind tour of our recent happenings? Hold on to your hats!

 

1. Little O started kindergarten. 
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This transition has been a BIG one for our entire family. Full day kindergarten is a pretty big leap for any five-year-old, but O has handled it well. We’re all still learning + adjusting to this big change~ but we’re a month in and things are going as well as we could have hoped!

2. We welcomed sweet Cousin T to the world! 
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Seriously, isn’t she the cutest?! With her mommy’s hair + her daddy’s nose, Cousin T is completely adorable + so much fun to snuggle.

first day of fall 4
We love love LOVE you, Cousin T! And such a lucky baby to have such awesome parents!!!

3. The Hubs + I went to Cali.

Um can I just say that I love San Diego + it’s gorgeously fabulous weather?! 

first day of fall 5
We had an amazing trip + capped it off with seeing one of the Hubs’ very best friends get married. So fun to have a chance to dress up + dance with my favorite guy!
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4. H-Berry started preschool.

Less than 8 hours after we arrived home from our late-night Cali flight, H-Berry started preschool!

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first day of fall 8
She’s in the 3’s program this year, which is two mornings a week. Our sweet middle child has mixed feelings about it when we arrive at school but is always beaming by the end of the day at pickup. So far, so good!

5. Baby J turned O-N-E!

first day of fall 9
I know, I know. How can that be?! I’m still in full-fledged denial about this one. A party recap post in is the works but in short: her pinwheel-themed birthday bash was a hit! Lots of smiles, lots of chocolate cupcake smashed everywhere on her cute birthday face, and lots of happy claps + happy flaps. 
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first day of fall 11
Baby J has filled our hearts with joy every single day since she arrived into our family, and it was such fun to celebrate our sweet girl with family + friends! AND we were able to snap our first cousins pic with Cousin T in it~ woo! Only one out of six kiddos are looking at the camera~ but no one is crying so we will chalk it up to a WIN!
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6. Celebrated a family wedding in Minnesota.

The Hubs + I are total jet-setters these days! {or something. Lol}. We were in Minnesota this past weekend for my cousin’s wedding + we had a ball. Such fun getting to hang out with our big + little family {we missed you, Jen + Chris!}! 

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It’s been such a treat to have a few child-free getaway weekends too~ the Hubs + I have had a chance to start AND finish multiple conversations, not to mention let loose, have a drink or two + wake up sans an alarm {or baby monitor}. We love every single minute with our girls but sometimes it’s nice to have a few minutes as the original us~ it helps to remind us how this whole beautiful life together began!
first day of fall 13

A big thanks to both my mom for watching the beans while we were in Cali + the Hubs’ parents for holding down the fort while we were in Minnesota. It’s possible the kids wish we were still on our trips because we’ve heard reports that life with grandparents is “way more fun.” I bet it is, my little friends!

7. Welcoming fall + all of it’s beauty.

We had a super fun, incredibly jam-packed summer of awesomeness. It’s insane how fast it zoomed by~ does anyone else feel like they blinked twice + it went from May to September?? 

first day of fall 14

I’m working on getting us all onto our new fall schedule + hoping that the time I have carved out for writing + this space that I love so much will continue to grow as we settle into our routine. Thanks for your patience as I work on getting things back up + running over here~ it is much appreciated!

Happy first day of fall, friends!

Counting My Kisses: Looking back at this post, it’s amazing how many wonderful things have happened in the past month! We are blessed beyond measure + I’m excited to see what this fall has in store for our party of five. Here’s to cool nights, warm days, gorgeous fall colors + lots of autumn fun!

Siggie-21

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Amy

Sounds really busy and fun! Also, all three of them have grown so much! Mine have grown way too much as well! Why oh why must kids grow up so fast?! xo

[Reply]

Amy

I know Amy!!! Sob!!! They grow up WAY too fast!!! Hope you are doing well, thanks so much for stopping by! :)

[Reply]

This summer

I wish I could find the words to perfectly capture this summer.

 

It has been amazing~ the best one yet for our sweet little fam.

Full of laughter + memories + swimming + sunshine.

 

We’ve put some serious milage on the van.

And learned a few lessons about needing to pack lighter for our party of five.

 

We’ve let go of the die-hard nap schedules + tried to roll with life a bit more while out adventuring {a HUGE shout-out to Baby J for being the most flexible + adaptable third child EVER~ our sweet babe can sleep anywhere!}.

 

We’ve grown as parents. Fallen in love with each other a bit more every day. Each adventure has brought us closer together as a couple + as a family.

 

We’ve watched in amazement as the girls have grown right before our eyes. Accomplishments over the past few months include logging major scooter miles {the scooters have gone EVERYWHERE with us!}, learning to ride big kid bikes + swimming like little fishies under the water. Accomplishments in the under-one-year-old set include standing, clapping + saying dada, mama + baba. Nicely done, honey bunnies!

 

Our hearts have tripled in size as we’ve witnessed the sister love blossom between our sweet girls.

summer

They don’t always get along~ and sometimes {ahem: almost always} they are very, very loud. But the fierceness in which these three love each other + protect each other takes our breath away.

 

It has helped to make this summer all the more magical.

And it has made our hearts overflow with love + gratitude + the need to capture every single moment 

 

Truthfully: I know our family will benefit from the routine + structure of the fall. I love crisp days, the vibrance of the leaves turning colors + cozying up under a blanket during a football game. And we’ll soon have a brand-new niece to snuggle, which I couldn’t be more excited about!

 

And yet…I still find myself wishing that this summer will never end.

I know it will…but my heart’s just not quite ready yet.

It’s too busy enjoying every moment of this memorable, remarkable, incredibly special summer. And I’m telling my heart to take all the time it needs.

 

 

Because this summer? It deserves a gold medal. It hasn’t been perfect~ but it has been completely amazing.

 

Counting My Kisses: I know it has been quiet around here  + I apologize. Little O starts kindergarten in 9 days {sob!} + we’re doing our very best to soak up every last drop of summertime fun. I miss you all + I miss this space~ but we’ll be back to our normal routine soon enough! Hope your summer days are full of sunshine, adventure + fun, friends. Have a GREAT day!

Siggie-21

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Amy

This summer has been amazing – I can’t believe that it’s ending soon! xo

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