Aviana 18 months

Aviana 17 and 18 months

18 months old! Where does the time go? Weren’t we just sipping lemonade and celebrating her first birthday?!

Aviana: 18 months
Height: 33 inches (50th percentile)
Weight: 25.1 pounds (50th percentile)
#Teeth: still 12!
Favorite Foods: egg and cheese omelets, kiwi, strawberries, smoothies
Favorite Toys: Disney princesses and castle, sitting at her little table, doing puzzles (which she finally mastered), pushing her babies in their stroller and feeding them ‘babas” (bottles), Making Momma and Dadda coffee in her little kitchen and serving us

New Vocab: Will attempt to say almost all words, vocab probably at 50+ words, even says her name, calls herself ‘Yana’

Life with Aviana

There is nothing like coming home from work and seeing your daughter waiting at the glass door. Tuesdays is my late day to work, I work until 7. When Matt hears my car he tell Aviana, “Momma’s Home’. She runs to the door and is always there, her face lighting up, as does mine, as we see each other when I come down the walkway. I open the door to a big “Momma!” and give her lots of hugs and kisses. How I love this little girl!

Eighteen month olds aren’t all smiles and giggles though, I do start to see the start of the “Terrible Twos” which I’ve read usually start at one and a half. If she doesn’t get her way, she’ll sometimes throw herself to the floor and throw a little tantrum. Matt and I, after reading up on it, have decided to ignore these episodes and that tactic seems to work well. She cries for a minute or so and then she’s up and playing again, forgetting what she was mad/upset about. I’ve read that toddlers just have a hard time sometimes keeping their emotions in check, at a stage where they want to be independent yet hate that they can’t/aren’t allowed to be. I try to give Aviana choices whenever I can and that seems to help too, lets her feel she has some control over situations. For instance, “Aviana, which toy would you like to play with before we change your diaper.” Then I let her pick a toy from a basket on her bookcase. I try to keep her well fed and well rested and strongly hope these episodes do not become more frequent!


She loves hats and shoes! Uh oh it’s starting early! No complaint yet here, looks like I’ll have a shopping buddy in my future! She puts on her hat and proudly exclaims “HAT!”. My favorite is when she puts on Matt’s knit hats and continues playing with the big knit hat on her head. She loves to put on my shoes, or Matt’s shoes and attempt to walk in them. If I’m sitting down with no shoes on she’ll sometimes run up to me with a shoes, exclaim “SHOE” and try to put a shoe on my foot.

Matt’s parents are coming this weekend so Matt and I can have a much-needed night out to celebrate my birthday (which is Feb 12). We are going to dinner and a play and I can’t wait!



Aunt Hilda’s Peanut Butter Pie


6 oz of cream cheese

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

9 oz Cool Whip

1 Graham Cracker Crust or Oreo Crust

**3-4 chocolates (This part is a Kate addition)


Mix together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and peanut butter. Fold in cool whip.

*While the first ingredients are mixing, melt a few chocolates. Use the back of a metal spoon to lightly coat the bottom and sides of the crust. This helps to keep the crust crisp so that in a day or so the pie filling won’t have made it soggy! It also adds an extra crunch!

Add in the pie filling and garnish with chocolate shreds, little peanuts, chocolate sprinkles, cocoa powder… or leave plain!

Chill and then eat!


Yes, I think I will enjoy Super Bowl Sunday :)


❤ Kate

A California New Years

“I don’t think I can handle another winery.”  I slightly sway and giggle as I look over at Rick’s sister, Heidi, who is not in a much better condition than I am.  “How is it that I was only drinking tiny sips, and I feel this lightheaded?”  Heidi laughs, a resident of California, she has done the Napa and Sonoma Valley wine tours with her friends and family numerous times before.  She tells me laughingly that those little sips sneak up on you, and as I can now tell you from experience, she’s not kidding!

Our day at the wineries was one of my favorite days on our week trip to California over New Years.  The beauty of the northern California countryside is breathtaking, and I felt a bit like John Steinbeck as I admired the rolling hills of the valley.  I finally could see for myself the beauty of a state I had read so much about in my literary studies.  For those of you who have never explored the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma Valley, I would recommend both, but Sonoma is certainly more affordable, and you experience the same beautiful land, luscious wine and captivating, friendly people.

Prior to our day at the vineyards, we spent three nights in Bodega Bay, residing in a charming “bungalow” on the coast.  Home of the setting for Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” I fell in love with this quiet, coastal town, that you can pass in the blink of an eye.  I told Rick that I could truly see myself living somewhere like Bodega Bay, and buying a cute, little house near the ocean, where each morning I would take long walks by the water with our dog, or sit a top a rock and write short stories and novels.  He laughs lovingly at my dreams, embellishing my whims with tales of us eating fresh fish and chips and picnicing on the sand.

Our bungalow was spacious with a hot tub and a fireplace.  With hardly any neighbors, we were able to relax in the hot tub and watch the sunset as deer pranced by.  We brought in the new year next to a roaring fire, playing board games and sipping on delicious almond champagne.  My New Years Eve for many years before have been filled with loud voices and overcrowded venues, and it was remarkably peaceful to be somewhere calm and serene with the man I love and will soon marry.  I imagine this feeling is what I have heard so many older people talk about; the time has come where going out, clubbing or dancing all night no longer has the same appeal.

We spent a day each in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, relishing the fall like temperatures and watching the dolphins and sea lions.  It amused me how the sea lions prop against each other and sleep without a care in the world.  We walked the boardwalk of Santa Cruz, the beach empty except for a few homeless people on blankets.  We explored the small shops of the San Francisco wharf, stopping to buy chocolates and get pictures in front of the over-sized Christmas tree.

The decision to vacation over winter break is quickly becoming a tradition for us.  After spending a bustling, exciting Christmas with our families, it is nice to get away to a new place we have never been, and soak in new people, new experiences, and unexplored pieces of God’s beauty.  As we flew home on the plane, and wrote in our journal of travels together, I felt overwhelmingly lucky to have the opportunity to see new places in the world with this man as my companion.


The first of many wineries...

The first of many wineries…

Bodega Bay Beach Sunset Ocean Bungalow Deer PrancingSea Lion

Surprise Vacation

Being the end of December and I was already feeling bad for myself for being back at work and Christmas being over already, I held in my mind that I at least had New Years left!
I was sitting in my cube doing my usual duties when my mom called and asked me if I could get off of work for a week to go to the Bahamas in two weeks! I, of course, found a way! I am so excited! I have never been there before 🙂

Keep watching for details of this spontaneous vacation!
❤ Kate

Z Sister Family Christmas

christmas 1

Like most families a Z sister family Christmas is full of traditions!

Christmas Eve Traditions:
1. Kate and Bekah helping with Dad’s last-minute shopping for Mom
2. Getting dressed up for the Candlelight service and taking family pictures
3. Candlelight Service
4. Lots and Lots of appetizers (in lieu of dinner)
5. Opening our gifts to each other
6. Lots of laughing, hugs, and happiness 🙂
7. Watching one of our favorite Christmas movies together as a family

Christmas Day
1. Waking up and seeing that Santa came
2. Opening gifts from Santa, Momma and Papa Z
3. Eating a delicious breakfast
4. Being lazy all day, watching Christmas movies
5. Eating the most delicious Christmas dinner ever, courtesy of Momma and Papa Z

My Top 10 Favorite Things about this Christmas
1. Snow on Christmas Eve
2. After having to leave the Candlelight service early (Aviana’s bedtime!), waiting outside for Matt to get the car, holding Aviana, it was so quiet. It was snowing and I could see the candelight from the upstairs sanctuary, then suddenly I could hear the Christmas hymns. ~I had a moment~
3. Seeing Christy and her Fiance, Rick so happily engaged on their one and only engaged Christmas
4. Seeing Matt and Rick in their matching hats, future brothers! 🙂
5. Seeing my Mom’s face light up when she got her Kindle fire from ALL of us
6. Giving Aviana her first present Christmas morning, and she sat on the present like a chair with her cheerios!
7. Watching Aviana after she realized how fun opening presents is!
8. Again Aviana, after she got her first baby doll, feeding the doll a bottle, amazingly precious
9. Having my whole family together for a yummy Christmas Dinner
10. Having our own little family Christmas in front of our first REAL tree at our own house later that night, Matt and I opening our gifts/stockings to each other.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too, with your own families and traditions! It truely is a time to count our blessings! 🙂


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The Santa Express

santa express

There are tons of fun family Christmas events and activities in our area.  Unfortunately though, most of them are not for one year olds.  I thought The Santa Express though would be perfect for Aviana, so I booked our family 3 tickets!   “She’d get to ride a ‘choo choo’, see Santa, sings songs, she’ll love it,”  I thought, well I was WRONG.  One of the many things I have learned in my 17 months of motherhood, you just can’t predict the actions of a child.  I should have known my dear curious child would not want to sit still on a train.  I should have known that it is torture for a 17 month old to sit when there is so much to explore!  My thoughts are that The Santa Express would probably be fun for older children, but by the end of it Matt and I were exhausted from trying to entertain our squimy little one!  Oh and also, Aviana is VERY afraid of Santa.  I could not even get her within a foot of him, looks like no Christmas pictures with Santa this year, sigh.  I love my husband, he calmly reminded me to not stress, to enjoy these moments, this is what memories are made of, not all memories are perfect.    How thankful I am for my little family, even the not so perfect memories,  but even so there will be no more Santa Express for me!!



P.S.  Above is the best picture I could get of her, she was moving so much!

Aviana 16.5 months

Aviana: 16 months

A big change that happened these last couple months is I went from working 4 days a week to working 3 days a week. I can’t even express how wonderful it has been to have FOUR days in a row as a ‘stay at home mom.’ I feel so very lucky and happy every Thursday morning when I wake up and know I have the next 4 days with her. These last couple months she has changed so much into more of a little girl, running around, talking, pointing out objects. I’m glad I can be around more to see that yet still work in a career I worked hard for and a career that allows me to make a difference in people’s lives.

You would think with more time off I would have blogged more. Well, November and December have been utter craziness. In a later blog, I’ll explain why! I will say though, that I apologize for my infrequent blogging, again you’ll understand once I have a chance to explain! For today though, I’ll focus on my Aviana, who lights up my life 😉

Aviana: 16.5 months

Height: 31 3/4 inches (25-50 percentile)
Weight: 24.6 pounds (50th percentile)
#Teeth: Lots of teeth these last couple months! She now has 12!! 6 on top, 6 on the bottom. This includes 4 molars!
Favorite Foods: Avocado, PB Toast, Earth’s Best Oatmeal Cinnamon cookies, oranges
Favorite Song: Mickey Mouse Hot dog song, starts clapping whenever she hears it
Favorite Book: Picture books: She loves to point out the objects she knows, ball, duck, dog, etc

New Vocab: Duck, Water, Shoes, Keys

Started saying Mama and Dada all the time (and pointing and actually referring to us!!), She’s repeating and attempting to says lots of words 🙂

Life with Aviana:

Aviana loves to carry her little purse around. She puts in her phone and her keys, then she’ll put on her play bracelets. She’ll come over to me and give me a kiss. Walk away, waving, and saying, “bye bye!”

In Aviana’s room there are sheer curtains that she often runs behind. I gave her a kiss once with the curtain between us and she loved it. Now whenever we are in her room playing she’ll run behind the curtain and pucker up, expecting a kiss from her momma!

At daycare, when they put them down for naps, they lay them down and cover them with a blanket and pat their backs until they fall asleep. Aviana will take her dolls, especially Minnie Mouse, and lay her on a blanket, She will take another blanket and making sure it’s just perfect, she’ll lay it over Minnie and then smile and pat Minnie for awhile. It melts my heart!

Aviana has been wonderful about the Christmas tree, she’s never bothered it, even when we first put it up. She just likes to point to every round ornament and exclaim, “BALL!”.

She as become very attached to her blanket these last couple months. She now has to have her ‘blankie’ before bed and makes sure she’s holding it tight when I go to get her in the morning. She calls it her Bay-Bay.

This Saturday we are taking Aviana on the Santa Express. Her first train ride! I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!

xo, Laura