Category: Socialize

Mommies need date nights with our men, and time out with the girls. We need other women who can relate to what we go through on a daily basis, who can speak truth into our lives, and who can encourage us to live in a way that glorifies the Lord while we take care of our families.

TCMB Ladies’ Night Out Winner

TCMB Launch Party

Congratulations to Alyssa O. who was randomly chosen by random.org to win the free ticket to the Twin Cities Moms Blog Launch Party!

I’m so excited! Alyssa is actually my neighbor and lives just a few houses down from me! She had her second baby a few months ago and she definitely deserves a night out!

Alyssa, you’ll be getting an email from TCMB with details on how to claim your free ticket!

Thank you to all who entered this giveaway. If you didn’t win, I would still love for you to join us. There are still a few tickets left, so please hurry over and buy a ticket here. If you plan to go, let me know so I can meet up with you!

Hope to see you there!

XOXO,

Amber

P.S. Another giveaway starts tomorrow so check back then to enter to win something adorable for the baby girls in your life! :) 

 

Share Button

TCMB Ladies’ Night Out Giveaway

This giveaway is for my readers who live in the Twin Cities area! 

I don’t know about you, but this crazy cold weather has me dealing with a tad bit of cabin fever. We’ve been spending most of our days inside, and while I admittedly love living in cozy leggings and slippers, I’m feeling a bit desperate to put on real clothes, get out of the house (without having to bundle up the kids), and hang out with lady friends!

Thankfully, I have something to look forward to! Next Thursday night, January 30, I’ll be attending the Twin Cities Moms Blog Launch Party! The blog is off to a great start and I’m so excited to meet the readers who have made it a success. The co-founders have been super generous and have given me a chance to invite one of you to join me for free! A glass of wine will be included with your ticket! SO, want to be my date?! We’ll have the best time.

The event is at this fabulous spot called Spill The Wine in Minneapolis. We had our first contributors meeting there and I can’t wait to go back. You’ll love it. There will also be several fun giveaways happening throughout the night that I’m guessing you’d love to win.  If you’re worried about not knowing people, don’t be. It won’t be awkward. I promise.

TCMB Launch Party

Spots for the event are limited, so if you want to lock in your ticket now you can go here to do so!

Otherwise, I’d love if you’d enter the giveaway by using Rafflecopter below! You have until midnight on Saturday. The winner will be announced on Sunday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m really looking forward to chatting the night away with the winner! Good luck!

XOXO,

Amber

Share Button

Snapshots from Christmas 2013

IMG_0057Well, it’s the day after Christmas, and for us it means getting back into our normal routine. After we returned from our trip to Mexico, I headed down to Iowa to hang out on my parents’ farm for a few days with the kids (who were already there). Jake finished up working and made his way down at the end of the week to spend the weekend with all of us. My brothers and their wives met us there too. It was an absolute joy to spend quality time with everyone.

I actually remembered to bring my good camera along, so instead of the usual iPhone photos, I have some great pictures to share. Thanks to my sister-in-law, Ali, who grabbed my camera and took a bunch of these, I’m actually in some photos! Thanks Ali!

Saturday

Saturday morning we celebrated Christmas with my immediate family. Every year the six of us siblings and in-laws secretly trade names and buy a present for the person we get. I’m so glad we do this. With a $50 limit, it allows us to buy one or two nice things instead of having to shop for everyone and ending up with a bunch of useless little gifts.

Everyone got our kids adorable things as well. We are the only ones with kids so everybody really goes above and beyond buying things for them. I’m excited for years to come when I have little nieces and nephews to buy for!IMG_9978IMG_9972IMG_9979IMG_9985IMG_0012IMG_0018IMG_9990Baylen is at such a fun age to open presents. He gets super excited and I love seeing his eyes light up. Joey and Madison got him some adorable clothes, some of them being vintage looking t-shirts with Wheaties and Lucky Charms logos that Madison got a hold of through working at General Mills. I’m sure you’ll see Baylen sporting them in future posts!

He also got a super fun Thomas tent from Jason and Ali! It’s pretty special, and he’s very selective about who gets to enter. ;) IMG_9989IMG_0003IMG_0008Emersyn and Mckinley each got their first doll from Nana and Papa! It’s so much fun watching them grow from babies into little girls!IMG_0031

Saturday night we celebrated at my Grandma Kiel’s house in Orange City. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera along, but all my cousins were there and we had a wonderful time! My grandma has a hobby of going to Menard’s with her friends and getting tons of free stuff through their rebate program. It’s so cute. She stocks up all year long and provides all the hilarious white elephant gifts for our exchange. This year I got a two pack of utility knives. Ha!

Sunday we had my dad’s extended family to our house, which included 47 people under one roof! It was cozy, but so great catching up with loved ones who I only get to see a couple times a year. IMG_0087Mckinley Jo and Great Grandma Hofmeyer!IMG_0036These girls were such a huge help and Emersyn and Mckinley had a ball with them. They would make the perfect mother’s helpers if only they lived closer!IMG_0043IMG_0055Baylen was obsessed with the little dogs running around. He’s always been a fan of Joey and Madison’s cavalier, Nutmeg, and bonded quite a bit with her new little sister, Pippa too. Jason and Ali’s french bulldog, Baxter, put up with a lot of being chased around too. It was so adorable to see how sweet Bay was with those little pooches. IMG_0051IMG_0089IMG_0064Jake and sweet Mckinley.IMG_0081Uncle Brad and Aunt Missy were able to come from Wisconsin. It’s always a treat to spend time with them and their four precious kids!IMG_0088IMG_0074IMG_0097We caught my cousin Stacie, and her husband, Korey, getting some sweet cuddles in with their kids.IMG_0086IMG_0083And the girls in our family!IMG_0069IMG_0098On Monday I got to see some dear high school girl friends. We met for breakfast at Allison’s house. It was SO GREAT to see them and get our kids together! There’s a group shot floating around somewhere. I’ll have to post that as soon as I get it!IMG_0103IMG_0104IMG_0106IMG_0109IMG_0111After a full weekend, we drove home on Christmas Eve morning back home to Minnesota. We wanted to have some time to celebrate with the five of us without having to rush around. It was so special to be able to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home relaxing and soaking up time with Baylen, Emersyn, and Mckinley. I made a ham dinner for the second time in our marriage, and Jake and I continued on our Mad Men marathon after the kids were in bed. It was an absolutely perfect day.

Baylen (26 months)IMG_0183Emersyn (9 months)IMG_0164Mckinley (9 months)IMG_0196IMG_0199IMG_0210

AAAAND, 40 or so pictures later, there you have it: a (thorough) recap of our Christmas! If you made it this far, thanks for humoring me.

Merry Christmas to all of my lovely readers!

Love,

Amber

Share Button

Special Outings

Hello again! I hope your week is off to a stellar start! Our last few days have been full of fun things that were a bit out of the ordinary. It was a treat to spice it up a bit! On Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend a brunch with a few other bloggers from Minnesota. Lindsay organized it, and we enjoyed delicious food at the French Meadow Cafe. For more photos from our blogger meet-up check out Lindsay’s blog, Pink & Navy Stripes! (Thanks for the picture, Lindsay!)MN Blogger BrunchLate Saturday afternoon we took some family photos! Despite the wind, sleet, and cold temps, Ashleigh managed to get a few shots that will work great for our Christmas cards. Minnesota friends, Ashleigh Rachel Photography does a great job working with families – she is incredibly positive, calm, and patient! I highly recommend her! Here’s a sneak peak! If you’re local, would you please go and like her Facebook page? If we generate enough likes, we win a print package! Kuiper Family PhotoJake kissing BayAfter a great weekend, I packed up the kids yesterday morning and headed north to meet my friend Crista and her three precious kiddos! Crista and I were connected earlier this year through mutual acquaintances who put the pieces together for us that we were both going to be in the same situation. Like me, Crista has a little boy Baylen’s age, and identical twin baby girls. Having the same type of pregnancies along with the toddler to take care of, we have so much in common. I am beyond grateful that God brought this amazing woman into my life! We’ve been writing back and forth to each other, praying for one another as our girls were born and as we’ve transitioned into what it means to be a twin mom. Yesterday was the first time we got to meet in person, and what a joy it was to see our six healthy kids together. I am so excited to create many more memories together as our kids grow! Here’s the spectacular six…it isn’t the most picturesque shot, but Crista and I both agreed that it’s a glimpse into our everyday realities! IMG_9907I’m praising God today for these fun little adventures. Getting out and about was just what I needed! Thank you Lord for providing what we need when we need it! 

Have you done anything fun and out of the ordinary lately?

Love,

Amber

Share Button

When The Kids Are Bored

When The Kids Are Bored

Happy Wednesday, everybody! Today I want to point you in the direction of Heather’s adorable blog called When The Kids Are Bored! I’ve been following her blog for a while now and love all the creative ideas she comes up with to curb her kids’ boredom. As the weather gets colder I know I need all the help I can get to make sure my kids don’t go stir crazy while we’re cooped up inside!

Heather is celebrating her blog’s first anniversary and is hosting a number of giveaways throughout the month of November! I’m sponsoring her final giveaway which is for all bloggers who are looking to gain publicity for their blogs. You can enter to win a free 30 day ad for your blog that will be published on six different blogs! Go ahead and enter using Rafflecopter below and be sure to visit When The Kids Are Bored to check out the other giveaways as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Blogiversary, Heather! Thanks for letting me celebrate with you!

Hugs,

Amber

Share Button

Our Family Gym Membership

Working out has always been important to me. While obviously it’s good for my physical health, I’m actually more motivated to do it because of how it makes me feel emotionally. Breaking a good sweat is an amazing stress reliever and gives me a sense of calm. It gets rid of my negative energy and replaces it with the confident positive kind. In fact, when I don’t work out for a couple days, I become a crabby self-centered brat. That’s the truth…just ask Jake. He’s the one who gets the brunt of it when I don’t have an outlet for my stress, and understands how important it is for me to have “me time” at the gym.

After Baylen was born it became harder to find time to prioritize working out. He was born in October and the cold weather meant it wasn’t as easy as just taking him out in the jogging stroller. For a while Jake and I would take turns going to the gym. He’d go in the morning, and I’d go after Baylen was in bed for the night. But after a few months we realized that we hardly got to see each other, so we looked into our options. We converted to a family gym membership, and it was awesome. I could bring Baylen during the day if I needed a break, or I could wait for Jake to get done with work and we’d meet him there.

After the girls came along we took a break for a couple months and eventually decided to get a family gym membership again, mostly for my sanity. I love it. I can bring the kids along, drop them off at the childcare center, break a sweat, shower if I want to, and pick them up feeling like a whole new woman. It’s ah-mazing! Honestly it was a game changer for me. Having the ability to get out of the house with three kids and actually be able to go somewhere with them has been such a blessing. It’s a little bit of a process to pack everybody up, drive there, get out the stroller, and wheel them in, but it is so worth it every single time. The kids love it because they get to play with other people besides me, and I always pick them up being in a much better mood.

We don’t spend much money on entertainment these days, so that’s what we label our monthly dues. Afterall, Jake and I will meet in the evenings to work out sometimes and it totally feels like we get to go on a little date! Plus, it really isn’t that expensive when I think about how much it would cost if we had a babysitter watch them. It’s pennies compared to that, and so worth it for this momma. Some days I just need a break, and it gives me peace of mind knowing that if I need one, it’s only a 10 minute drive away.

If you’ve ever considered getting a family gym membership, I would HIGHLY recommend it! I can’t imagine life without it now. I realize these aren’t available in some small towns, which makes me SO sad. I truly wish it was an option for all families who like to prioritize fitness.

I took the kids to the gym last night, and while I was running I was listening to praise music while I thanked the Lord for the ability to worship Him even on the treadmill. I love how God knows what we need and provides for us, even if it’s in the form of a gym membership. I was honestly on the brink of a meltdown before I had a place to escape for a break, and thanks to Him and the wonderful people who take care of my kids while I work out and Jake works a 12 hour day, I get to take time for myself which makes me a much better mommy!

Thank you Lord, for our gym! Thank you for the women who love on our kids and have developed relationships with them. Thank you that I feel completely comfortable dropping them off and thank you that I have the opportunity to connect with other moms there too! You are so good God, even in the most practical of ways you are there for us. Thank you! 

Love,

Amber

*This post is part of a 31 Day Challenge to write about Seeing God in Ordinary Moments. Visit my landing page here for links to all the posts.

 

 

 

Share Button

Birthday Buddies

I worked for Feed My Starving Children before I had kids, and loved the relationships I was able to develop while working there. It was amazing working with other people who were like-minded. One of those people was Ashley. She and I were Event Planners together and we clicked from the minute we met. One spring morning I called her with big news. “I’m having a baby!” I said. She immediately replied, “When?!” An interesting response that we laugh about now, but I didn’t think much of it until she added, “I’m having a baby too!” It turned out that we were due within a couple weeks of each other, and had actually called our boss separately before talking to each other that morning to fill her in. Our poor boss. Needless to say we spent a good chunk of our pregnancy developing procedure manuals!photo-153

Anyway, from pregnancy to birth to toddlerhood, my Baylen and her Max have shared a special bond. They are both newly two and were able to attend each other’s birthday parties over the past couple weeks. It’s so neat to see them develop a relationship with each other. Yesterday at Max’s party I found myself just looking at them in awe watching their little bodies toddle around, playing with toys and eating big people food. Time keeps on whizzing by, and I’m thankful for milestones like birthdays to pause and reflect on how faithful God is in helping us to raise our kids. And what a blessing it is to have friends like Ashley and Max to share the journey with.IMG_9791

Dear Lord, thank you for Baylen and Max’s friendship. Thank you for orchestrating the timing when you chose to bring them into the world. Thank you for Ashley and what an amazing mom and friend she is to me, always encouraging and supporting me in this journey of motherhood. Thank you for yesterday and reminding me to pause and think about your faithfulness. As we continue to watch Max and Baylen grow may we always remember that you deserve the praise for their friendship! May they also be like-minded and spur one other on to know you as they get older!

Love,

Amber

*This post is part of a 31 Day Challenge to write about Seeing God in Ordinary Moments. Visit my landing page here for links to all the posts.

Share Button

Moments Mommy Captured: 2/17/2013

Hello! Hello!

A few highlights from our week…

IMG_7200Crepes and coffee from Brix.

IMG_7210An indoor picnic.

IMG_7212Followed by climbing on the table.

IMG_7213Keeping busy with activities like transferring post-its from the wall to the window. Baylen officially dropped his morning nap this week, meaning we get to hang out most of the day now, except for his afternoon nap. I’m quickly realizing I need to become more prepared with activities to fill up our days! If you have ideas for indoor activities for 16 month olds, please let me know!

IMG_7221

IMG_7224A fun play date with my friend Kelly and her kids, Summer and Colton! She introduced me to a super fun indoor playground! She has an amazing blog with awesome parenting ideas and activities that she does with her kids. She started a toddler school with her daughter Summer when she stopped napping in the morning, and I’m excited to try some of her ideas! Check out her blog, The Tommerdahls!

IMG_7232

 

IMG_7235A lovely date with two dear friends at Cafe Latte!

IMG_7250IMG_7254Reaching 32 weeks and heading out to my doctor’s appointment, where I started my first week of non-stress tests. The girls heart beats were going strong. I was having a few minor contractions which I didn’t feel at all so the doctor said everything is good to go for now!

IMG_7290

 

Trips to the gym, when we spend a few minutes after our workouts running around the gym and playing basketball with Baylen.

IMG_7313Spending some time at Joey and Madison’s new home on Saturday!

IMG_7311Baylen and Nutmeg “fixing” the cabinet.

IMG_7314Making funny faces in the mirror!

 

IMG_7347Breakfast at RJ Riches with my parents and Joey and Madison. Sometimes truck stop food hits the spot!

IMG_7348A trip to Urgent Care to round out our week. Our poor little man has an ear infection and swollen throat.

IMG_7205

The only benefit to Bay being under the weather is that he’s ultra-cuddly, something that hardly ever happens anymore since he’s usually on-the-go all the time. He loves to nuzzle in by his sisters…so sweet.

Hope you had a great week!

Amber

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button

Moments Mommy Captured: 1/20/2013

As I mentioned on Friday, Jake and I were in Miami this weekend! Jake’s company held their annual holiday party there and invited spouses to come along! He had to spend just a few hours at meetings and we attended a couple meals with everybody, but the rest of the weekend was ours to do whatever we wanted. Since the schedule was pretty flexible, we decided we’d treat it as our babymoon as well. It doesn’t get much better than an all expenses paid getaway!

We stayed at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach. Everything from the views to the restaurants to the gym to the beach and beyond was absolutely beautiful. We were spoiled.

IMG_6707

IMG_6671

photo-33

We didn’t have the sunniest of weather, but we did manage to sneak in a few hours here and there when it peaked out. It was still FAR better to be in Miami enjoying temps around 80 degrees than in MN where we were welcomed back by a single digit.

IMG_6677

IMG_6715

IMG_6714

Wearing a bathing suit while seven months pregnant with twins wasn’t exactly an experience I’d want to repeat too often, but when you’re a midwesterner desperate for some rays, you’ll do whatever it takes.

IMG_6694

On Friday night we went out on a date! It’s always a treat to be out past 7:00pm.

photo-31 We went to a local seafood restaurant called AltaMare which was recommended to us by the concierge. I’m not normally a huge fish person, but decided to venture out and try the lobster linguine with house made linguine.  It was one of the best things I’ve ever had!

IMG_6698

I loved the presentation!

IMG_6703

After dinner we walked around Lincoln Road Mall, found a couple cute outfits for the twins, and ended with ice cream from Tasti D-Lite. It was the perfect date!

IMG_6734

On Saturday night we had the pleasure of dining with Chef Fabio Viviani! He entertained us by putting on a live cooking demonstration of the food we were eating. Most of the things on the menu I’d never had in my life, but everything was delicious!

IMG_6751

There was a vegetarian at our table, and she didn’t get the eggplant she ordered in place of the fish the rest of us had, so Fabio came over and personally embarrassed her and made sure the top guy in the kitchen got it out to her ASAP.

IMG_6755

Jake and I had an amazing time away together. While we certainly missed our little man, having a weekend with just the two of us was much needed. We are refreshed and ready to get tackle the next couple months as we prepare for our girls’ arrival! Special thanks to Grandpa and Nana Kuiper who watched Baylen while we were gone! Also thank you to Jake’s company who went above and beyond to make it an unforgettable weekend.

Question: What was the last getaway you took? If you have a special someone how often to you make it a priority to get away together? 

Enjoy your Sunday evening!

Amber

 

Share Button