Interview With a Four-Year Old

I've been meaning to do one of these with Marcus for the longest time... Like, at least two years. And each year passes and I totally forget. And, though we are already a week into being four I figured I could still squeeze this in (maybe next year I'll be a little more on top of the game and get these asked before the birthday...)

So here it is, an interview with a four-year old.
Marcus, how old are you? I'm four (in a timid voice).

What is your favorite food? I like the mac n cheese (this has been his favorite for about two years running). Momma, I want Mac and cheese (it's currently 10:15am).

What food don't you like to eat? Um, I don't like to eat the Star Wars mac and cheese (apparently it's elbow noodles and spirals for life).

Who is your best friend? ALEX!

What is your favorite holiday? My birfday!

What is your favorite color? Red, like Marshall (Marshall is a Paw Patrol character, for anyone who isn't seasoned in this show)

What is your favorite toy? I like the Paw Patrol Lookout.

Where is your favorite place to go? Pump It Up.

What is your favorite show to watch? PAW PATROL! (Zero shock there.)

What is your favorite movie? The Peanuts Movie.

What is your favorite thing to play? Hide and Seek.

Who makes you laugh? My dad.

Who do you like to spend time with? My sister. 

What are you afraid of? Bugs.

What do you like to do with your family? Play outside. 

What is your favorite sport? Basketball.

What do you take to bed with you? My blankies.

What is your favorite song? My Light Song (he means Neon Lights by Blake Shelton).

What do you want to be when you grow up? I'm already growed up. (HA!)

Who's your favorite superhero? I like Marshall. (It's all about Paw Patrol over here.)

What would you like for your birthday? Paw Patrol (notice a reoccurring theme?).

There it is. My little guy's first Q&A. I can't wait to see how these answers change and evolve as he grows. 


M & J Monday

May you have
The gladness of Easter,
which is Hope.
 The promise of Easter,
which is Peace.
This spirit of Easter,
which is Love.
Happy Monday!


The Spring, Birthday, Egg Hunt Edition

Going into this week I was a little concerned how we'd pass our time. Marcus is on Spring Break, and I wasn't sure how we'd make it through our days. But then celebrated all the things.

1. Birthday Surprises!
Marcus' celebrate his FOURTH birthday on the 23rd, and when Marcus woke he saw streamers, ceiling decorations, and balloons.
At the breakfast bar I had a few more surprises up my sleeve.
Obviously, more Paw Patrol ceiling decorations, a Paw Patrol party at breakfast, and of course, his gifts (which he opened before I took these pics).
And, the grand-daddy gift this year....
A Razor 360 that has been in use non-stop since the moment it was spotted.

2. Egg Hunt!
Marcus' school hosts an egg hunt every year, and this was our first time attending. 
Games and prizes started us off.
And the main event was a crazy free-for-all, which all the kids loved.

3. Easter Party!
We were so fortunate to be invited to a preschool friends party, hosted by the ever so talented Sarah, from Gilded Feather Events
There were bubbles and bunny ears.
Cute Easter crafts were available, which sadly, I couldn't get Marcus to sit still and do (exactly zero surprises there).
There was food and dessert for days.
And was there delicious champagne and pink lemonade to celebrate the moms surviving spring break? It's very possible. 
To round out the sweetest party, an egg hunt was held!
A big thanks to Sarah and Gilded Feather Events for inviting us to take a little break from our Spring Break!

4. More Birthday and Easter!!
Both sets of grandparents are in town this weekend (YAY!) as we are all ready to celebrate Marcus' fourth birthday party with a Paw Patrol party on Saturday. And Sunday we will all be together to celebrate Easter!

5. Gearing Up for Opening Day!
Some of my favorite ladies and I have teamed up for an Opening Day Link up:
Jen @ And Hattie Makes Three || Elizabeth @ Chasin' Mason || Liz @ Ellie and Addie || Crystal @ Hall Around Texas || Leah @ Leah with Love || 
Desiree @ Macke Monologues || Sara @ Running from the Law || Sarah @ Seeing All Sides || Vanessa @ Sunflower State of Mind ||
Meghan @ The Adventure Starts Here || Stephanie @ Wife Mommy Me
Be sure to snag pictures of your cuties in their favorite team gear and link up with us April 4-10 as we celebrate opening day! Don't forget to share on Instagram, too. Use #hoorayitsopeningday ! 

Have the best weekend!


Easter Baskets || 2016

Easter is so early this year that it kind of snuck right up on me. Though I feel the kids' Easter baskets are kind of a hodge podge of this and that, I think I managed to find some fun basket liners as well as a few goodies that I'm pretty certain the kids will enjoy.

Without further adieu, Marcus and Julia's 2016 Easter Baskets.
Pink basket liner
Blue basket liner
A bit of a closer look at the goodies.
Hooded Kitty Towel
God Gave Us Easter
Happy Easter, Mouse!
ZoZuBaby bow - sold out
Coco and Lulu bows
Happy Easter Little Critter
The Peanuts Movie
Bubble Blitz
Julia's basket was filled with fairly practical items. She's been needing her own hooded bath towel since... The day she was born (second child problems). Her book shelf is in need of some growth, so naturally I had to add a few books to beef that up. And, obviously, I couldn't go a holiday without adding a few new bows to her ever growing collection.

Marcus' basket is kind of a free for all of things he is currently interested in. All the things Paw Patrol, a massive chocolate in the shape of a Paw Patrol egg, some bubbles, some bath dye, The Peanuts Movie, and of course, an Easter appropriate book. 

There you have it. The baskets are complete and ready for Easter morning!

Linking up with some fabulous ladies!!


:: FOUR ::

As I sit down to write this I'm wracked with emotion. With each passing year it doesn't get easier. It's so cliché, but it all goes much too quickly.

You are sweet and caring, kind and gentle, thoughtful and considerate. 
You are deliberate and cautious. 
You analyze and study carefully before doing anything.
You are stubborn and strong-willed. Some day I know those traits will be of great asset to you. (However, right now, when I need you to pick up your toys, I really need you to pick up your toys.)
You love school and have made some of the best friends.
You love sports - any and all. And bruises are no stranger in these parts.
You have a sweet tooth that rivals your Grandpa Dudding, and you have a fondness for pranks and jokes that rival your Grandpa Macke. 
You are the apple of your sister's eye and can make her smile and laugh unlike anyone else. 
You idolize your daddy, and are my best snuggle buddy. 
You have challenged me in ways you'll never know, but you've made me grow in ways I didn't think possible. 
You are amazing and wonderful. 
You make our days better and brighter, and every moment with you is truly a gift. 
To the little boy who made me a mommy, to my main man:
Happy FOURTH Birthday! 
I hope this year is the best one yet!

I love you to the moon and back. Twice.
Love, Mommy


M & J Monday

The wind
told the grasses,
And the grasses
told the trees.
 The trees
told the bushes,
And the bushes
told the bees.
 The bees
told the robin,
And the robin sang out clear:
Wake up!
Wake up!
Spring is here!

Happy Spring and Happy Monday!


The Lucky Edition

This week the anticipation leading to St. Patrick's Day was far greater than I expected. At least on my end. I was so excited for Marcus to see if a St. Patty's Day Leprechaun would make his way to our house, and if he did, what little shenanigans the leprechaun might have up his sleeves.

That leads me right into this weeks highlights...

1. The Leprechaun Came!
The very first thing Marcus saw when he got out of bed was this. And then Marcus refused to pee in this toilet. No explanation was given, just a firm refusal. Whatever, kiddo. 

2. Breakfast and a Letter
Our leprechaun had Lucky Charms and green milk waiting for Marcus once we made our way to the kitchen. The green milk wasn't a fan favorite, so we had to switch to our standard white milk for actual consumption.

We then noticed the letter below sitting next to breakfast.
Naturally we waited on breakfast so we could check out this little hunt that was laid before us. 

3. The Treasure Hunt!
From the letter above we were directed to Marcus' bedroom door:
Clue 1: To find the next clue
take a look in the place where you use shampoo (we headed to the shower)
Clue 2: Now use your feet to find your seat.
You might try looking underneath (off to the kitchen stool we headed)
Clue 3: Follow your nose to the place where you make toast.
You may even need to stand on your toes! (We went to the toaster)
Clue 4: When it is time to say good-night, we often turn off the light.
Use your sight to find the next clue by a light (the bedroom lamp!)
Clue 5: If you were to look right near your books
then you would certainly hook the next clue (the book stack)
Clue 6: It is my pleasure to tell you that the treasure can be found beneath the place you sleep (under the bed)
Marcus has a trundle under his bed, but thankfully he has a couple of drawers in bottom portion of his bed. 
Wouldn't you know it, that sneaky leprechaun left a Chase (Paw Patrol) piggy bank and gold coins!
A huge thanks to Courtney at Sweet Turtle Soup for providing the treasure hunt idea and made our St. Patrick's Day morning so fun!
As we were getting ready to head to school I asked Marcus what was his favorite part of the leprechaun fun. Without hesitation he said he liked the clues to his Chase. 
Noted. I do believe the leprechaun will be back next year.

4. Lucky Me!
I couldn't be more lucky (or blessed) to have these two babes call me mom. I was also pretty lucky to snag this photo of the three of us: we're all looking at the camera, we all have our eyes open, and somehow all of our expressions are basically the same. I love it.

5. Winner! Winner!
 A ginormous thank you to each and every person who entered the Luck of the Bucks giveaway!
Brittany was the lucky lady drawn for $150 to Starbucks! She has so many coffees/lattes/cappuccinos/teas headed her way, Happy St. Patrick's Day to her!

Have a great weekend!


An Irish Blessing

May you always find blue skies above your head,
Shamrocks beneath your feet.
Laughter and joy aplenty,
Kindness from all you meet.
Good friends and kin to miss you,
If ever you should roam.
And a path that's been cleared by angels themselves
to carry you safely home.
~Irish Blessing

For the record, I did desperately attempt to snag a few photos outside. However, luck just was not on my side. One of these days I'll convince Julia that all the cool kids sit.
Her face! I die every time I look at this.
The best candid I could manage.
Outside just holds so. many. distractions!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Congratulations to Brittany C. for winning the Luck of the Bucks Giveaway!


Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins

Every day I drop off Marcus at preschool I drive by this little mom and pop strawberry stand. And every day I comment that I should stop by and grab a box of those delicious red delights. And, every day I fail to have cash on me, because - mom and pop stand. BUT! There was finally a magical moment where I actually had a few dollar bills stuffed in my wallet. I swung into that parking lot and loaded up on some of the fattest, sweetest strawberries I've had in a while.
Though the strawberries were good. So good. We had so many that I was worried we wouldn't eat them all before they started to go bad. Naturally, I did what any logical thinking person would do. I added those strawberries to muffins, added a cheese cake mixture, and watched the muffins and strawberries disappear.
These are unbelievable. They were the very opposite of dry, packed with strawberry flavor and rich cheesecake filling. Did I immediately inhale two promptly after cooling? It's very possible (the answer is yes, yes I did).

I do have to fully disclose that these took a little longer to prep than I would normally like. But was it worth it? Hands down, yes. Did I mention there was cheesecake filling?

I've boldly exclaimed that these are my favorite muffins, ever.
Take the time to make these. They will not disappoint.

print recipe

Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins
Packed with strawberry flavor and a rich cheesecake filling.
  • 1/2 cup Softened to room temperature Butter
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Room Temperature Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Plain or Strawberry Greek Yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 3/4 Cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/4 Cups Fresh Strawberries
  • 6 oz Softened to room temperature Cream Cheese
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Cold Butter
Preheat oven to 425°. Spray two 12-count muffin pans with non-stick spray, or line with cupcake liners. STREUSEL :: In a small bowl, whisk brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter in very small pieces. Mi with pastry knife or fork until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Set aside.MUFFINS :: In a medium bowl, beat butter on high until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add sugar and brown sugar and beat on high until creamed, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then turn up to high speed until mixture is combined.In a large bowl whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and slowly mix with a whisk until combined and little lumps remain. Fold strawberries in.CHEESECAKE FILLING :: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with a handheld mixer on medium-high speed until creamy. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and sugar. Beat until combined.Spoon 1 Tablespoon of strawberry muffin mix into muffin cups. Spread to cover the bottom of each cup. Layer with a spoonful (not quite a full Tablespoon) of cheesecake filling. Then top with muffin batter until muffin cups are filled to the very top. Sprinkle each muffin with streusel and gently press the streusel down into the muffin so it sticks.Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425°. Keep muffins in the oven, lower the temperature to 350° and bake for an additional 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tins, then transfer to wire rack to cool until ready to eat.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Approximately 14


M & J Monday

I love you when you're happy
and grinning ear to ear.
I love you when you're sleepy
and want to snuggle near.
I love you when you're sad
and need a kiss and hug.
I love you when you're playful
and rolling on the rug.
I love you when you're angry
and cross your arms and pout.
I love you when you're wild
and yell and scream and shout.
I love you any way you feel,
no matter what you do.
I love you any way you are.
I love you because you're you!
Excerpts from I Love You Because You're You
by Liza Baker
Happy Monday!


The Big Bear Edition

This last weekend was one for the books. We packed up our family, plus dog (who is basically the size of a pony) and headed for the mountains. With all the hours Scott has been logging at work this past month we were all due for some serious quality time together. That's exactly what we got with our weekend adventure in Big Bear. It was everything I had hoped and dreamed, and coming back down the mountain on Sunday was no easy task. I didn't want to leave.
To the highlights!
Day One:
We got into town, did all the necessary things (groceries, unpacking, yada yada yada), and then headed straight for a tubing hill. I'm not sure if Marcus loved the tubing or slipping and sliding on the wet, slushy snow more. Either way, he had himself a grand ole time. 

Excuse the terrible quality photo, but I couldn't resist snagging this from a quick video I took of the guys going down the Alpine Sled (:09 video below).

IMG_2292 from Desiree Macke on Vimeo.
The alpine sled was part of the tubing facility, and Marcus could have ridden this thing all. day. long.

Day One was good, but I had a feeling Day Two would take the cake.

Day Two:
 When Marcus learned he was going to snowboard he was so excited. He couldn't wait to get his very own board and get going.
We opted to put Marcus in a private lesson so he could learn the correct and safe way (because let's be honest, Scott nor I has a clue when it comes to snowboarding).
Marcus had no problem heading out with his instructor, and it was clear the little man had the. best. time. ever. 

Though Marcus fell as often (probably more) than he successfully made runs down the hill, I was pleasantly surprised at how well he did, and how he didn't get frustrated whenever he took a spill. Might I also add that one hour of snowboarding provided a solid two hour nap. Amazing.
Almost a week later and we are still talking about snowboarding. I think we need another trip back up the mountain!

4. This little lady!
Julia traveled like a champ, hung out like a champ, slept in a foreign place in a foreign bed (the pack n play) pretty well, and didn't mind one bit that she was in the Solly for 85% of the weekend.
I have to say, I kind of loved having her all bundled up with me most of the time, too.

5. Our time together.
I couldn't say if our cabin had cable or not. When we weren't outside we were enjoying each other's company. We brought up a few games that traveled easily, and each night we played a few rounds to cap off our evenings. It was nice to semi-unplug and just hang out.
P.S. If you've never played Farkle I highly suggest it. It's super easy and pairs well with Pinot Noir.

I loved seeing Marcus enjoy himself so thoroughly, and I love that we were able to provide a weekend where it was so much about the little man. It's been a long time since we've been able to dedicate so much time to just Marcus. He needed that. I needed that for him. It really was the best weekend. 

Here's to this weekend! I hope it's fabulous!