8 is great

Ryan and I are celerating our anniversary this week.

8 whole years!

The problem is I do not know what to get him. I like to buy him clothes...but he is seriously so hard to buy for. Nothing fits him because he is so tall.

I know many of you are really great gift givers...Any ideas out there? If so, send me an email at realrachelray@gmail.com

Thanks bloggers!!!


3 is the new 2

I can't remember who said it, but 3 really is the new 2. My kids were a delight from age 2 to 3...but it seems like the last few weeks are filled with tantrums and time outs. For the longest time I thought, "I am so lucky, my kids have not had the terrible twos".

I was hoping I would get to skipped that part. Well, the tantrums have reared their ugly head...and the terrible threes have begun.
Theses pictures are actualy very sweet. The twins were the perfect little subjects...



We celebrated Holland and Ethan's 3rd Birthday this week.

I have to say, the birthday of Holland and Ethan is truly a special day. It took us years to get pregnant with them. Then, those two little babies tried to come early (22 weeks) which resulted in bed rest for me (3 whole months). Once they arrived they had a month stay at the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit). We had some major ups and downs during that time and it is a miracle they are here with us today. So every 27th of September is a HUGE celebration for our family.

Can the twins really be 3 years old? My friend Mandee once said, "Who pressed fast forward on my life?" It really feels that way.

We planned a little cowboy/cowgirl Hoedown for my little ones. Since Ryan had school on the 27th, we celebrated the day before with all of Holland and Ethan's favorite 3 year olds. The kids woke up to lots of presents, balloons, and treats for their big day.

Here are some photos to capture the FUN day!

The Invite...

The Party...



We made sure to sing "Happy Birthday" to each of them separately. They felt special to be the center of attention. When the day was over and the friends had left we all took a nap. Later that day the kids spent hours playing with their new toys. It was really fun to see them so happy. I hope you had a great day. I love you both so much!


School is SO cool

I realize blogs have been buzzing the last few weeks with photos and posts about first days of school. My children are among the millions who started school this month too. They are both 3 years old (literally on Saturday) and have started their first year of pre-school.
So here is how it went...


9:00-wake-up, eat breakfast, getting dressed, take pictures
9:30- rush off to school...Kids are at school for just an hour because their teacher wanted to ease them into school.
9:30 to 10:30- I run some errands and then rush back to school to pick up my kids.
10:30-Pick up kids. They don't want to leave. I knew they did not need any easing into school. They prefer to paint then hang out with me. Am I already outdated?Oh well. I bribe them with gum to get them to leave with me. Apparently, school is soooo cool.


8:00- we get started a little earlier this day because it was a mad rush to get ready on Tuesday. Eat breakfast, talk about how exciting school is, talk about all the kids in school, etc.
9:15- More pix because this is a "real" day, and head off to school. (plus I had to get more pix of their cute new school outfits)
9:30- The twins are running for the door and excitably talking about story time. Ethan trips because he is still getting used to his new shoes. He cries for a minute and then he manages to swallow the tears and head up the stairs to school.

The twins take of their shoes and sit down with Miss Nancy for story time. As I leave, Ethan he turns to me and says "See you later, mommy". It was a bittersweet moment for me and I can still picture his cute smile as he said it. He gave me the 'I am so grown up and so excited to be at school' look.

9:40- As I am walking to my car, a mom whose son goes to the same school approaches me. She wanted to tell me something about Holland and her little boy. Let me back up a little....Her son and my daughter met about 6 months ago during church. They had a little "moment" where they were asking about each other. It took is both by surprise because it was so flirtatious.

So, when Holland went to school for the first day, the same little boy asked about Holland. He said to his mom, "who is that new girl at school...she has a cute face". It was adorable to hear that because I do have to agree, she has the most adorable faces I know. And we may have a little crush happening between the two.

12:00- Pick up twins from school . They finally painted a picture and had stories to tell!
p.s. potty training is still in process. Poor Miss Nancy has had to deal with a couple accidents already.

p.s.s. Ryan started school a few weeks ago. He loves it. I do not have photos...but apparently he looked hot.


Back in Chicago...

photo found on flickr
The kids and I made it back to Chicago after a long day at SLC airport (flight was delyaed 2 hours). We had quite the welcome too....lots and lots of RAIN! It has not stopped since we arrived. It is just me or does Chicago have the crappiest weather? I think I am heading to the tanning salon this week (doctor approved). It is either fake tanning or prozac...and I prefer a nice sun-kissed glow.

I have lots of pix to share from out trip, but I will get around to that later this week.


Richmond's Addiction

While staying with my family I shared with them the best, most addicting card game: CANASTA.

Our good friends, the Thatchers, introduced the game to us last year. I rememer playing it when I had the flu unitl the early hours of the morning. We would play the game every chance we could get. On the beach, on the train, at restraunts. In the early days of playing Canasta, I would have dreams about it...it was sickening. I pretty much take it wherever I go. It is a true addiction.

So, my family is addicted to it too. All of the adults would stay up late to play it. Which is really not that late. Midnight is pretty early to some people. But is it late when you have to get up with our kiddies in the morning. My parents bought 4 sets of it - just in case they lose the first 3 !?!

So, if you are looking for a fun, easy, portable, game. Try Canasta. You will like it!



...I got his hair trimmed.
Yes, I actually paid money
to a professional so my little
boy did not look like
Bozo the Clown.
Doesn't he have the cutest face?
He is seriously so cute...
I could just kiss him forever.