Moments 11.2019

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

Welcome to โ€œMomentsโ€ here on JoyFoodSunshine. At the end of every month I share a recap of all the shenanigans that went down in crazy town (i.e. our life in a nutshell).  So here it is for November 2019!

Life with my tribe

November was a great month! We decorated for Christmas, celebrated Thanksgiving and experienced lots of milestones with our sweet baby girl! 

Keilah 9 Months

Keilah seems to have grown SO much in the last 9 months! My sweet little unicorn baby is still as needy for mommy as ever, but has acquired a few new skills that are so exciting!


I love it when my babies learn how to do “so big!” This is how it works for K:

We say, “Keilah, how big are you?”

Keilah raises her hands with a HUGE smile on her face. 

We all say, “SO BIG” and smile and clap. 

Often times she will just raise her hands, smile and wait for all of us to begin doting on her and saying “SO BIG!” I really believe she’s thinking, “oOooOo look what I can get everyone to do!” ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Standing up!

Keilah has officially mastered standing up in her crib (and just about anywhere else). The way the nursery is situated, the changing table/dresser is right next to the crib. So this little missy would reach into the organizer I have and play with diapers, brushes, diaper rash cream, anything she could get her hands on. Two times I walked into her room and everything single thing that was in my organizer was on the floor and she was just smiling away. So we finally rearranged the table top and now there’s nothing for her to mess around with! LOL!

She also started playing peek-a-boo with me. She stands in her crib and when I walk into the room to get her up from nap time or bedtime she hides her head by the wood and then pops up and smiles while I say peek-a-boo! SO cute!


Maybe the biggest milestone this month is that Keilah finally started crawling! Unlike my other kids, who all did some hilarious version of an army crawl or scoot before they mastered the art of crawling, in true Keilah fashion she just up and started crawling the normal way! She was later than some of my kids to start, but once she did she got it right away and loved her new-found freedom! 

I love it when I put her down and she follows me around, crawling and smiling! It’s the best! 


K has started clapping and it’s so stinking cute! 

Cross Country!

My kids ran on a cross country this team for the second year in a row. They LOVE it and so do I! They did so well! Bethany placed as the 5th girl in her age group at one of the meets, and Gabe was the 7th boy in his!

I tried to teach my kids how to be competitive, which is tricky. I came out of the womb wanting to WIN at everything in life (LOL – but seriously) so it doesn’t compute in my mind to have kids who just don’t care! So I switched gears and started teaching them how to work their absolute hardest in their sport. I told them that they should run so hard that at the end of the race they feel like they have nothing left (and might even feel like throwing up they ran so fast). This, they understood, and it showed in their races this season. 

Mara started swim lessons

My other kids have been going to swim lessons weekly since March. Every week Mara asked if she could swim too. Bethany graduated out of lessons to a pre-comp swim team, so I decided it was time to put Mara in, and she LOVES it. After 3 lessons she could float by herself and swim a little bit! By lesson 4 she already moved up a level! I’m so excited that she’s such a little fish! 

More about Mara

Mara has hit the stage of life where everything she says and does the so cute I can barely stand it. One of my favorite things she does right now is that she adds the phrase, “Just so you know” at the end of many of her sentences. “I am eating my breakfast, just so you know.” “Naomi didn’t eat her carrots, just so you know.” “I am going to read this book, just so you know.” Too stinkin’ cute. 

Another phrase she says all the time is, “just one, pleeeeaaasssseee?” Whenever I get anything out of the pantry or fridge she asks, “Can I have one mom? Just one? Pleaaassseeeee?” It’s so stinking cute she basically gets whatever she asks for because I can’t resist! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

I still don’t see any signs of potty training readiness with Mara. She still hasn’t reached the point where she tells me when she does anything in her diaper. So I’m just waiting that out until I think she’s ready, or she turns 3…whichever comes first! LOL!

Gabe losing teeth!

Gabe lost TWO teeth this month! He looks so old now and I can’t even handle it! He, unlike his big sister, handled it well and pulled both of them out by himself! 


Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. I enjoy all of our traditions, relaxing time with family and great food. This year was even better because my sister and her husband flew in to celebrate with us! I love my little sister so much, and I miss her the most on the holidays. So getting to celebrate with her and my brother in law was the best! 

We all ran a 5K in the snow which was awesome! Ritch pushed the double stroller with N & M,  I pushed K in the single, and B and G ran! Then, as always, we got a treat from Starbucks on the way home. I do 90% of the cooking the day before Thanksgiving so I can just enjoy the day with my family. So when we got home I made some hot chocolate and we watched the parade. Then we watched the Bears game!

We put the turkey in and started warming up the sides and went outside to play in the snow! We ended with a delicious meal and watched Elf! It was the best day ever! 

Family Photos! 

Once again, or talented photographer Brooke took amazing family photos for us. I absolutely love her and the way she has captured our family for the last 6 years! I will cherish her work for years to come! Just a reminder: a photographer does a lot more work than just snapping pics for an hour. They have to choose the best photos, edit them, touch them up, etc. So when you see what a photographer charges please remember you are supporting a local artist, which is invaluable! Plus, you will never regret having photos of your family! Ever!

More photos of our November! 

A few of my favorite things…

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

Best Kitchen Gifts

If you’re looking for a gift for the foodie, hostess, baker or chef in your life then check out my post on the Best Kitchen Gifts. It’s basically like the master list of all my favorite things! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Lorraine’s Cottage Greenery

 My house is decked out with Lorraine’s beautiful art work. I have wreaths, wall hanging, faux arrangements, faux flowers, garland. You name it, if she sells it I probably have it hanging or displayed in my house somewhere. 

Despite my best efforts, I cannot keep plants alive. I searched far and wide for faux florals and greens that didn’t look gaudy and fake, and once I stumbled upon Lorraine’s etsy shop, my search came to an end. Plus, shopping with her means supporting a small business owner, which is the best! 

Free People Sweater

I am basically living in this sweater from free people. It’s soft, comfy and perfect to wear with leggings, joggers or jeans! I have it in grey, and I might need another color too! ๐Ÿ™‚ 


Recipes I’m Making on Repeat

Here are a few recipes we enjoyed in November!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Puppy Chow!



latest recipes

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  1. Hello, Iโ€™ve just come across your website (via Vitamix) and am intrigued. What an absolutely beautiful family you have !! The first recipe I am going to make is the green smoothie. I look forward to following you. ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

  2. I love how much you teach your children to try their best! ๐Ÿ™‚ . <3 Those happy smiles after their race shows that they gave it all. ๐Ÿ™‚ . Keilah is so adorable. I think your children are just so joyful and full of life. The joy of the Lord shows through all of you.