Friday, January 29, 2016

Valentine's Day Printables

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS to Shari Klyn, the winner of our Portrait by Tiffany Larson giveaway! So excited to see your sketch! A big thank you to all who entered! With over 450 entries, I can tell that you all love Tiffany's work as much as I do. Tiffany still has a number of discounted portraits available, so contact her HERE if you are still interested in ordering a custom portrait.

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I love Valentine's Day! I don't think there's anything wrong with an excuse to show a little extra love. Should we show our love every day? Yes. But I don't have any qualms about a day set aside all about love.

I love cute little Valentine decorations as well, and thought I'd share some free printables with you! I had a fun time making them and they look so cute with our little Valentine display.


I'm especially obsessed with this one:
Download HERE


Download HERE

Download HERE


Download HERE

Download HERE


I hope you are all enjoying getting ready for Valentine's Day! Hopefully these little printables will serve as a nice reminder around your home to show a little extra love.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It's The Little Things

Kymri is teething. Hardcore. So my days and nights are currently a blur of screaming, comfort nursing, and tears. Hers and mine. Mainly I just wish I could help her feel better, but nothing is working all that well. Poor thing. 

Needless to say, I'm not exactly the most wonderful wife at the end of the day. Actually, I'm not even sort of fun. Testy is the word I've chosen to describe my current state. Tonight I might even say super testy. 

But this guy. Man, is he great. 


He played with Kymri for an hour while I just detoxed from hours of screaming.
He did the dishes.
He gave me a back rub.
He canceled my appointment to fix our car windshield and rescheduled for his only spare bit of free time so I didn't have to go.
He told me I looked great, even when I know I was a disaster.
He sat with me and chatted about whatever I wanted to.

And now I'm doing better.

It's the little things.

Monday, January 25, 2016

10 Month Update


Cutest smile ever, right?
Don'r forget to enter our giveaway for a custom portrait HERE. Only 2 days left!


How in the world have 10 months passed! I honestly don't know where the past month ran off to. I feel like I was just barely writing Kymri's 9 month update. Then again... I feel like I was just barely writing her birth story

Dear Kymri,

Where is the time going?? With each month, I am more and more amazed at how quickly it flies by. 

You are growing so fast! You are wearing 12-18 month clothes now! Your hair is getting thicker, and your cute little baby rolls are getting smaller now that you are moving so much. Don't get me wrong, you are still our big girl, but the baby fat is slowly falling off and it makes me a little sad. 




You are pulling up onto everything and can even cruise around the couch a bit while hanging on with one hand. You can reach down and pick up a toy without dropping to the ground and then stand right back up straight. There will be no stopping you soon! I love how proud you get every single time you pull up. You've been consistently pulling up for about 3 weeks, but you are still amazed with yourself. 


Your babble is even more constant than before. You talk pretty much all day long. Everything is so new and interesting to you, and you want to make your voice heard about it. You still don't attribute meaning to much of anything, but I am almost convinced that you know who da-da is. Then again, you say da-da all day long, so who knows for sure. You do understand a lot of what I say and will come right to me when I say "come here" without me reaching for you. I think you might even understand "no-no," but listening is another story! 


You are getting in to everything, so I have to watch you really closely. Not that I didn't before, but now I can't just run to grab something in the other room really fast, because you will definitely not be where I left you. 

"Oh! I wasn't supposed to pull the DVD player out??"

We have been enjoying going to the rec center recently. We bought passes and it has been great! It is still so cold outside, and we have been missing our walks. The rec center lets us take the stroller on the indoor track, so we can still go out and enjoy moving a bit. You love to watch all the people and the things they are doing. They think you are pretty cute too!

Yesterday, you cut your top two front teeth. They are just barely poking through, and I can tell that they are hurting you a little bit. Your gums are swollen all over, so I am sure that more teeth are soon to follow. Hopefully it all goes fast so that you aren't hurting as much. 


We have made some little friends and have been enjoying getting together with them to play. It's really fun to watch you trying to figure out what to do around other kids. We are still working on being able to share your toys... but other than that, playing with the other kids has gone really well and I think it's good for you. 

You are becoming quite the daddy's girl. You light up when he gets home and want nothing but his attention and time. It's adorable! I love watching the two of you play together. You definitely have your daddy wrapped around your little finger. 


I can't believe how much you can eat! We still haven't found anything that you don't like, though you definitely have preferences. I try to give you a few different things with each meal, and you absolutely make it known when you want to switch to something else or go back to the food you were eating before. You are also even more independent than ever and insist on feeding yourself. It gets a little messy, but you are learning, so I usually let you do it. 

It's been a really fun month! I still can't believe how fast time is flying by... I am trying to soak up every moment and enjoy every single day because they are slipping away all too quickly. I'm still loving that I get to stay home with you and that you are my little buddy. Seriously, we do everything together and you want to be right in there with me with whatever I'm doing--cooking, drying my hair, laundry, etc. Mostly, we just play and learn together all day long. It's the best job ever!

Love you so much!
Mommy


Friday, January 22, 2016

My Little Family

Man, I love my people!




When we went home for Christmas, both of our families wanted updated family pictures. Which means we got a TON of family pictures taken and we could not have been happier. The pictures are by the amazing Darby Elizabeth (reds, grey, and black) and Stacy Guthrie (blues and greens). They are sisters and both phenomenal. Basically, we have to toss a coin each time to decide who should take our family pictures. Luckily for us, my family went with Darby and Brad's family went with Stacy, so we got them both! Win. I love how they can capture such great moments!

My little girl is getting too big too fast!

So grateful for this amazing husband of mine who is the best daddy ever!

Can we just talk about her eyes for a minute??

I love us!






The tongue out smile gets us every time!



Extended family pictures are to come later. They also turned out really great! I can't wait to get some of these printed and up on the wall!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Portrait by Tiffany Larson Review & GIVEAWAY!

CONGRATULATIONS to Shari Klyn, the winner of our Portrait by Tiffany Larson giveaway! So excited to see your sketch! A big thank you to all who entered! With over 450 entries, I can tell that you all love Tiffany's work as much as I do. Tiffany still has a number of discounted portraits available, so contact her HEREif you are still interested in ordering a custom portrait.


You guys. I have the most precious thing ever to share with you today!


Is that not the most beautiful sketch you have ever seen? And clearly, I think she is the most beautiful baby I've ever seen as well!

For Christmas, I knew that I wanted to have a portrait of Kymri sketched for Brad and for our parents. I had been in the market for a looooong time with very little success. Everyone I found was either too expensive (one artist was going to charge me $300 per face!!!) or the quality was not up to par. (I have high standards). So after a couple months of searching, I was getting discouraged and resigning myself to the fact that I would likely not have the perfect gift for Brad after all. 

But then one day, out of the blue, a friend of mine posted these gorgeous pictures of her triplets, saying "Tiffany is such a talented artist! I love how she captured my trio!"


And I just knew that I had to get in contact with the artist.
The quality of the sketches was better than anything I had seen, so I was worried about the cost, but willing to pay a bit more for such great work.

I contacted Tiffany Larson, excited to learn more. I was floored to learn that she only charges $100 per face, about as reasonable a price as I had found anywhere else (and much higher quality), and that she does digital portraits, so that I could print as many as I wanted!

As I continued to look through her work, I knew that I had found the perfect match. She does any kind of sketch you would like from babies to older kids, grandparents to celebrities. And each one is seriously so great. Please, do yourself a favor and go check out her work HERE.

Once I decided that I definitely wanted to commission Tiffany, she was the kindest and easiest person to work with. She asks you to send her a picture of your baby (or Grandma, or Sister, etc.) that she will then make into a digital sketch. I wasn't sure which picture would be best, so I honestly sent her about 10 or 15 photos and she was so incredibly patient with me as I went back and forth on all of them. She had great expertise to offer suggestions and tips on which photos would be best, and ultimately helped me decide on this one:


Tiffany then helped me choose shades and tones that I wanted. (For example, I wanted more subtle lip color and bold eyes). I felt totally confident that the sketch would turn out just right, and I really appreciated that she involved me in the process. It was easy to communicate with her through Facebook and email, and I was able to pay without any hassle through paypal.

As confident as I was about Tiffany and her work, the final product was beyond my wildest dreams! When I opened the file, I seriously got all teary eyed.


It truly made the most perfect gift! Brad also teared up when he opened it and could not stop staring at it for days. He took it along with us whenever we visited people because he wanted to show it off to everyone. (Thanks for indulging him, guys). Everyone who saw it commented on the high quality and how it looks just like Kymri! Everyone was super impressed.

I had one copy printed on canvas to give to Brad, and it turned out absolutely beautiful!


For grandparents, I had the sketch printed as a regular photo, and they too turned out great. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to show you because I left those gifts with them in Arizona. Take my word for it, they turned out great! So if you can't go the canvas route right now, you won't be sorry with regular ol' photo paper.

I absolutely recommend Tiffany Larson to all who are in the market for a digital sketch. And if you aren't in the market, you should get in the market. You think I'm joking, but seriously. This is something you would never regret investing in. Tiffany was a joy to work with and her art speaks for itself. The quality is amazing, the way she captures every detail is breathtaking, and her professionalism is stellar. I already have plans to get digital portraits of all my future children at about this same age.

And, I have some GREAT news! Tiffany is offering a very generous discount to Two Best Friends In Love readers! The first 10 readers who place an order with her will receive 25% off their sketch! That's only $75 dollars for an amazing piece of art that you will cherish forever! Just contact Tiffany on Facebook (HERE), let her know that you are a blog reader, and she will give you the great discount. Don't delay! The discount only goes to the first 10 readers to contact her. (For those of you who do not have a Facebook account, you can email Tiffany at
larson (dot) tiff (at) gmail (dot) com but she does prefer contact through Facebook).

Now, if THAT wasn't enough, I have even MORE exciting news... I have teamed up with Tiffany to offer one lucky reader a FREE digital sketch of one individual. Woot! Use the widget below to enter. It's super fast and super easy. You will earn one entry per task completed. Entries will be double checked. The giveaway will run from today (1/20/16) through next Wednesday (1/27/16) and the winner will be announced here as well as contacted personally by email. The information you enter will not be shared with third parties and will only be used to contact the winner. See the full terms and conditions for more details.

I'm so excited to be giving away such an amazing prize! Now get entering and good luck to all!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Disneyland Vacation

To celebrate my Dad's retirement, my parents took our entire family to Disneyland for New Years. It was absolutely incredible! It was so fun to be on a trip with the entire family and it was especially amazing to watch Kymri taking it all in.


My parents rented a house, which was way better than staying in a hotel would have been. It was so fun to be able to all stay together and have so much room. Being able to take Kymri back and to have her own little space was also so great. The woman we rented from was super sweet and even left a gift for Kymri. So fun.

We got there on a Monday and just enjoyed spending time together and playing games. Mom and Dad ordered pizza and we enjoyed a nice evening together. 

Tuesday we got up and headed to the park. Mom had made everyone fun T-Shirts, and a onsie for Kymri. 




We headed to Disneyland and had a blast. It was crazy busy, but we were able to avoid the crowds for the most part and had a great time. Kymri could actually go on a lot of rides and that made it a great time.


That night, my parents were really sweet and offered to stay home with Kymri after we got her asleep for the night and let me and Brad go back to the park alone. We had such a magical time together. We actually went on a lot of rides and seemed to time everything just right to avoid the crowds. What was really magical was that the fireworks started right before we got on Thunder Mountain Railroad. We were able to watch them from the perfect location and it was absolutely beautiful. Best date night ever.



We spent Wednesday in California Adventure. It was a lot less busy than the other park, which was a nice break to get away from the crowds. The highlight of the day was going to the Aladdin show and watching how much Kymri loved it. She would clap and wave at the performers and smiled and giggled through the entire thing. Cutest thing ever. 



Thursday was New Years Eve. We got an early start so that we could beat the crowds, and it really worked. We were able to get a bunch of things in before the crowds really peaked. Even though it was crazy busy, it was a great day. We took Kymri to visit Minnie Mouse in her matching Minnie outfit and she did really well.



We went on lots more rides with her and while she napped went on the bigger rides that she couldn't go on.






Later, we took her to meet the Princesses and it was the most precious thing ever. The princesses were so good with her. Belle played peek-a-boo with her and told her to read good books, Cinderella asked her if she lost her slippers, and Snow White told her that she was the fairest in the land. We never expected her to enjoy it as much as she did and we loved that the photographers were sweet enough to take our phones and capture these cute moments.







I was determined to have Kymri ride Dumbo on her first Disneyland trip, and it ended up being just about the longest line we waited in for the entire trip! haha. When moms get things into their heads... Silly, I know. Anyways, Kymri actually fell asleep in the pack while waiting in line!



Once we got to the front of the line, an hour later, Kymri woke up just in time to get on! She really enjoyed it, despite what the picture shows.


By the time we left the park around 6:30 to get Kymri to bed, the park was absolutely packed already waiting for the new year. It was a little bit crazy trying to get out of there. They even had to open the staff only walkways so that we could get out! Yikes! Everyone else had planned on staying for the New Years Eve festivities, but they ended up coming back to the house shortly after we did because it was just that crazy in the park. In 100% honesty, Brad and I totally crashed after getting Kymri to bed and didn't make it anywhere near the New Year! haha. I guess we're getting old. We did at least wish each other a happy new year when the booms and lights from the fireworks woke us up. Good times.


Truly, it was an amazing trip! I couldn't have wished for more. Kymri did so well, taking good long naps, and enjoying each and every new thing. Big thanks to mom and dad for the amazing gift that left us with even more amazing memories!




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