Wisconsin Dells Evans Family Weekend

This past weekend we went on our second annual Evans Family Wisconsin Dells weekend! See the recap from last year here. Below are a few photos from the weekend. Basically, we ate a ton of yummy food, swam and played in the waterpark, caught up over fun conversations, and more!

Nina and her cousin Elsa!
How big is she getting?
Nina and Evan played together in the pool nonstop!
It was so fun to have Aunt Beth home from Montana to spend the weekend. :) We miss you!
Lots of time spent playing in shallow water with the little ones...
More playing...
We celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday since we were all together. How fun! More food and drinks!! :)
Thanks Meemaw and Grandbear for a fun weekend!!


I am in the middle of reading this book which I can't recommend enough. My pencil markings are practically on every page. And while the book doesn't offer earth shattering new ideas, it does provide a steady stream of reminders about the privilege of motherhood, and the importance of peace, order, priorities, intention and fun.

Here is just a small small sampling of some passages I've underlined... and below a few photos of Nina and I being silly (remember this post I wrote about getting in the picture)? :)

Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House, what on what happens in YOUR house. - Barbara Bush

I needed to flip my thought process and recognize that my love for my children and family was in fact the reason for all these tasks. - pg 25

Every way we love our children teaches them how to love others. - pg 37

Until we come face to face with circumstances that challenge our patience, it remains untried, untested, and underdeveloped. Patience is a process. It is discovered as we use it, much like a muscle. Overloading a muscle will stimulate the adaptive process of the body. Just as that muscle will eventually be able to cope with the new demands places on it, we too find ways to cope with certain life situations, but not until the load presents itself. - pg 48

In an age when everything is instant--from communication and meals to ordering anything you want with a single click, no one is used to waiting--including me. Waiting has become a lost art. And teaching this to our children is most effective when they see it first in us. - pg 51

When we compare, we often see others at their best and ourselves at our worst. - pg 73

I know that it is possible to be with my children all day, and then look back and realize I didn't actually spend any time with them. I didn't look in their eyes, I didn't really see them. To be present in body is not the same as being present in mind and heart. - pg 93

When you are exasperated by interruptions, try to remember that their very frequency may indicate the valuableness of your life. Only the people who are full of help and strength are burdened by other people's needs. The interruptions which we chafe at are the credentials of our indispensability. The greatest condemnation that anybody could incur--and it is a danger to guard against-- is to be so independent, so unhelpful, that nobody ever interrupts us and we are left comfortably alone. - pg 241

5 Bits

1. Life is very short. Insecurity is a waste of time. - diane von furstenburg

2. Stop the glorification of busy. - unknown

3. Healing doesn't mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives. - unknown

4. The most precious jewels you'll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children. - unknown

5. The C's in Life: Choice, Change and Change. You must make the choice to take the chance, if you want anything in life to change. - unknown

A thoughtful gift...

My mother-in-law recently gave me this as a gift and I wanted to share the accompanying prayer card. I find myself saying it often, and so wanted to share it with my many currently pregnant blog readers (and those yet to come).  Happy and healthy babies are such a little miracle -- can't wait to meet mine. :)

2 things that get me thinking...

Ready for spring... image via

Two things that got me thinking lately... :)

1. I first wrote it about it last year around this time here, and now the ideas have crept up again in the interwebs. As a soon to be mother to not one, but two, little girls this issue is all the more important to me. I'm sure you've all heard about it by now... but, the Ban Bossy campaign is where it's at. I agree with every.single.word in this post! Read it.

2. I wrote about Lent and Ash Wednesday very briefly last year here (I still love that video about selective attention). This year, I came across this and wanted to share it with you. The gist of it talks about how Lent often means we should give up something (I do not because I was not raised Catholic, but many of my readers I know in theory do this). But maybe rather than giving up something, we should think about how we "fill up" ourselves. A good reminder for all of us!

For example:

Having given up junk food for a healthy diet, what will you do with the energy you gain?
Having given up Facebook, to whom will you devote meaningful conversation?
Having given up TV as a default activity, how will you use that time to cultivate quality family time?
Having given up isolation, how will you immerse yourself in community?
Having given up shopping, will you see those who need clothing in your city?
Having sacrificed whatever form of selfishness you indulge, how will you meet the needs of others?

Makes you think, right?

P.S. Speaking of girl power, check out this link... I love the captions! :)

St. Patrick's Day

Today is St. Patrick's Day! Slainte!

Yesterday, I made a sort of Irish inspired meal. This Irish Cooking Blog I stumbled upon (Farmette) is where I would've preferred to plan my meal, however my pregnancy has diminished my ambition to be in the kitchen for hours on end. Nonetheless, the meal was good and I am so ready for a Jameson!

Her Irish Princess crown and skirt were the hit of the day!
Guinness for Mr. Evans, Irish soda bread, Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, Reuben Quesadillas and Creme de Menthe Brownies (recipe here)!
p.s. Our trip to Ireland recap here.
p.p.s. Nina's very first St. Patty's Day photo shoot here.
p.p.p.s. Our 2013 adventures here.

Children's Museum Morning

We recently visited the Children's Museum of Fond du Lac on a wintery Saturday morning. It's about the same distance here as it is to visit the Betty Brinn in Milwaukee (see my recap from last year here), so we thought it would be worth checking out. Another fun option is the Delafield Children's Play Gallery!

Nina loved the Fond du Lac museum! We got there right when it opened - it's a great size, full of fun things to do, not too overwhelming, not too busy, clean and organized. We stayed for about an hour and a half and then went to lunch at Trinity. Here are some (blurry) photos to recap! :)

Birchbox Review

I recently started receiving a Birchbox monthly subscription as fun gift from Mr. Evans! The monthly beauty product samples are so fun and something just for me. Since my Stitch Fix monthly subscription has been on hold for a while due to my pregnancy, this has replaced the fun treat once a month! Here's what I've received in my past two months of Birchbox. P.S. It's a $10 monthly subscription... pretty minimal if you ask me!

If you're interested and want to sign up, I'd love if you use this link. I get a little kick back!

Month 1:

Month 2:

Weekday Breakfast and Lunch for Working Parents

Dear Readers,

I'd love to hear from you on this one. What are your go-to weekday breakfast and lunches? I'm looking for things that are easy to pack and take to eat at work!

The criteria:
- easy to take to work and eat (thus easy to grab/pack)
- something I can make in a batch
- something I can make the night before
- something different (I am not a pb & j sandwich and apple every day kind of gal)
- I like to munch throughout the day rather than eat a large meal

Here's what I've come across online and we've tried (breakfasts are easier than lunches), but what other ideas do you have? :) I'd love to hear!

Protein Energy Bites, Oatmeal, Freezer Breakfast Burritos, Yogurt Parfait
Protein shakes, dry cereal and granola bars are also easy to grab and go!

Salad in a jar, Spinach and Orzo Salad

What ideas do you have???? :) Leave me a comment!

UPDATE: Here are a few other links that have some great ideas!

Oscars Dinner

As always, I love the tradition of the Oscars. For me, they are as good as any television event - the Masters, the Kentucky Derby, the Olympics, the Superbowl, the Oscars. There is something about the pomp and circumstance that I just love.

This year, my parents came over to spend some time in between a few trips they're taking. Dinner was delicious as usual (here's what we made last year)!

The menu included: brie and caramelized onion crostini, grilled surf and turf with parsley butter, salad with lemon dressing, store bought red "carpet" cake and caramelized honey bananas! Yum!

P.S. If you like red carpet reviews, my favorites are always done by Erin Gates at Elements of Style. After every awards show she posts a fantastic recap with funny/honest/totally true commentary. Love it!

Nina's Ear Piercing Adventure!

On Monday after daycare, my mom, Nina and I went to my cousin Dana's salon to have Nina's ears pierced. To say she was excited was an understatement! Honestly, she has been saying "Momma, I want earrings like you" for months now and I finally decided it was time (and Mr. Evans finally caved)!

Dana is back from her maternity leave with Elly, Nina's begged (in the sense that toddler's can) and my mom and I thought it would be special for her to do before baby comes in a 8 weeks (I'm 32+ weeks along now)!

Here are a few photos from her experience. Dana did awesome, Nina did awesome and her sweet little ears are now home to gold sparkly studs. :) Also, don't you love the braid and purple chalk streak Dana put in Nina's hair!!

Afterwards, my mom and I took Nina to Claire's to get some cleaning solution and a few other special girly items! What fun memories!


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