Moments 04.2020

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April was a very fun and full month for our family, despite current world events. We celebrated two birthdays, Mara is officially potty trained, Keilah is a full-blown walker, we built garden boxes & planted our garden and hiked to our hearts’ content! 

I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass.”

Welcome to “Moments” here on JoyFoodSunshine. At the end of every month I share a recap of our family’s favorite moments!  So here it is for April 2020!

Life with my tribe

Despite being on house arrest (yes, that’s how I see it LOL), we had a full and fun April! We celebrated 2 birthdays, went hiking more than we usually would in the spring, and planted our garden! 


You guys, we got to celebrate Easter at home, with Ritch, and it was amazing. Of course we missed our church family and it was a serious bummer not to be able to gather together on such a special holiday. But in 12 years of marriage, this pastor’s wife has never had her hubby home on easter.


We did an egg hunt first thing in the morning and then watched church and enjoyed the day together. It was a really special celebration I will always remember. 

Keilah -14 months!

I know she started taking steps last month, but this month she actually transitioned fully from crawling to walking. She is so cute toddling around our home with a huge smile on her face and toys in both hands. I’ve been trying to get her used to wearing shoes with next to no success. And she still isn’t really talking (at 14 months). But she has learned the meaning of nodding and shaking her head no! So that’s a step towards communication. 

Mara turns 3!

My sweet baby girl turned 3 this month! Truth be told, she had no idea she was “quarantined” on her birthday. We didn’t focus on what we couldn’t do on her special day, instead we made it fun for her and she got to be the queen of our castle. We enjoyed lunch from a favorite local restaurant, but we spun eating it at home as an exciting and fun change. She got to be the DJ all day long, and picked every song for our family’s dance parties (of which there are many on a daily basis). She had her choice of dinner (nachos), then ate her “pink and purple flower cake.” Then she ended the night watching Frozen 2 while dressed like Elsa. If you ask me, that’s a pretty great day for a 3-year-old princess!

I still can’t believe she is already 3. I love her and her spunky independent personality so much my heart can barely take it. She has been through more than any of my other kids in her short lifetime (a pseudo tumor on her neck as a newborn and a life-flight to the PICU when she was 1), and let me tell you my girl is scrappy, and I think she will always be a force to be reckoned with.  I’m so grateful to be her mommy!

Gabe turned 7

My sweet baby boy is 7 and I feel like it was just yesterday that he brought so much joy into our lives. He is such a sweet, tenderhearted boy who still loves to wrestle and fight and be tough. 

For his birthday we went to his favorite hike because he wanted to go rock climbing. Then we got his favorite takeout for lunch and played with friends all afternoon. At night we had homemade mac and cheese for dinner and of course ate cake and opened presents! 

This year Gabe wanted chocolate frosting, instead of our usual vanilla. So we had to figure out how to make a fun cake that was brown…and we came up with making a Chewbacca cake! 

When a kid requests a character cake I pass off the decorating responsibilities to Ritch. He is WAY more artistic than I am, so he always does a great job. I am so impressed with how this Chewy cake came out! 

Local Fun

I’m so grateful to be quarantined in such a beautiful place. This spring we’ve taken advantage of many things we haven’t in previous years, because going outside is our only refuge!

Cherry Blossoms at the Capitol Building

I’ve wanted to experience this every year but always had one reason or another not to go, but not this year! One day we finished homeschool early so I packed a picnic, loaded the kids in the car, and headed downtown. We had so much fun, the weather was beautiful and so were the blossoms! 


We have been on more hikes at this time of the year than ever before. Since there is still snow in the mountains where we usually hike later in the season, we have discovered some stunning hikes extremely close to our home – which has been amazing! 

Hiking is our absolute favorite family activity. We love being in the mountains and going on adventures together more than anything. We have found some new favorite hikes that will become regulars for us for sure!

A few of my favorite things…

Here are a few products and other things I have loved in April!

Bio Ionic Straightener

I have mentioned before that this curling iron changed my life. Well, my old straightener died right at the beginning of March, so on the recommendation of my stylist who introduced me to the curling iron, I bought this straightener and I LOVE IT. Just like the curling iron, this straightener leaves my hair shiny and soft, not dry and damaged. It works well and my hair stays straight all day (which isn’t hard because it’s naturally very straight). I bought it on sale so watch for the price to go down! 

Loraine Cottage Giveaway

In order to support one of my favorite small business owners and celebrate Mother’s Day, I am doing a giveaway over on instagram! I am giving one lucky winner a $300 gift card to use at Lorraine’s Cottage. Click here to go to the post to enter to win! And check out Lorraine’s beautiful faux florals here:!

Recipes I’m Making on Repeat

Here are a few recipes we enjoyed in April!

Flourless Brownies

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER

The best Vanilla Frosting

Homemade Guacamole


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1 Comment

  1. I LOVE all of this. <3 I love how the Lord has brought Mara through so much. All the pictures of the birthdays look like SO much fun!