Tuesday, October 8, 2013


so, I've decided to keep my @yourhandsfullblog going.

i love having a separate (from my personal @caisajill) account 
to post more "mom" stuff on.  
so, you can follow me on instagram at both 
@caisajill and 
@yourhandsfullblog !!!

just to clarify, i will also be moving a bunch of my "blog stuff" over to 
so, please come follow me and my boys there!
(i just added a follow by email option)
this blog will just be primarily about our ordinary days...
which are pretty fabulous, if you ask me.

thanks for all of your support!
i have received so many nice messages
ove the past few days.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

the brave thing to do

i fell asleep exhausted on the couch last night around 10...
an early night for me.
i woke up around 5 and went into bed...
but, i had a feeling i could not shake.
it is a feeling i have had numerous times over the past few months.
i tried for an hour to fall asleep,
but i couldn't shake those feelings.

i thought, 
as i have each time this feeling has come, 
give it a day or a couple days...
don't act on that feeling now...
don't give up yet...
"you can do it, caisa"

but, then i thought...
maybe i need to act in the moment
when those feelings are there
and not when i get sucked back into my busy life...
when i hardly have time to think between 
3 kids, laundry, coaching, running, church, dishes, etc...
so, here i am sitting at my computer at 6AM.

to borrow a line from one of my all time favorite movies, You've Got Mail,
"closing the shop is the brave thing to do."

so, as i sit in my quiet house with a cold DDP, some candy corn
my own thoughts and a few tears...
i know in my heart & gut that 
"closing" You've Got Your Hands Full is the brave thing to do.

as i mentioned, 
this thought of stopping this blog 
has entered my mind more than once over the past few months.
it comes in moments when life feels overwhelming and i am exhausted.
i have declared to my husband "i am stopping the blog" more than once.
but, then undoubtedly, 
i always get the nicest message/email from one of my sweet readers...
a mom with her hands full who is is touched and grateful for something i said or shared.
and, it is the buoy to keep me going for a bit.
but, that thought and feeling that maybe i should stop always comes back.

a virtual friend that i met via this blog and instagram,
often tells me that i have "a big heart for other moms"
such a compliment.
but, i have a bigger heart for my boys.
and, i am feeling like they need more of my heart.

my beck just woke up (it's now 6:20)...
i heard him saying from the top of the stairs 
"mom come lay by me"
as often happens at least once a night.
so, i snuggled in bed next to him
and he instantly put his arm around me
(the tears were streaming now)
as i often do, i asked him 
"beck, do you know how much mommy loves you?"
to which he always responds "too much"

as i think about all that i have done with this little blog...
and all that i still want to do with it...
i think "don't give up, caisa".

but, i don't think i am giving up.
i am being brave.
i am brave enough to admit that i can't do it all.
i am brave enough to say that i don't want to do it all.
i am brave enough to realize that i have my limits.
i am brave enough to walk away from something that still has potential 
(at least in my eyes, anyway!).
i am brave enough to give "too much" of my heart to motherhood.

so, although i love this blog,
(for so many reasons!)
i love those little sleeping boys "too much".

i'm not sure if this is a forever "good-bye"
or a "see ya later"...
maybe in a couple months i'll be back blogging at YGYHF...
not sure.
but for now,
i need to say "bye bye".

i am going to give a lot more attention to my personal blog again
(which has suffered greatly over the past 6 months)...
so, please follow me and my boys over at
there will be some aspects of YGYHF that i will simply move over to that blog.
ABC + 3 is more focused on our daily life...
we would love to have you follow along!

i will also be stopping my
instagram account.
but, would love for you to follow my personal account
@caisajill !

one of my twins is crying,
so off i go...
"onward, brave mother, onward"!

(as i am about to hit "publish"
i am hoping that i don't regret acting in the moment...
but, for now i'm following my gut
and going to snuggle on the couch 
& watch some Blues Clues with my boys)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

my Halloween decor thus far...

i feel like Holiday decorating
is never quite done.
my husband makes fun of me
because i will rearrange things like every other day.
but, here is what it looks like today...

my boys are totally LOVING it all this year
which makes it SO SO fun!
(the blank frame above is for last year's costume picture
which i have not yet developed...)

Friday, October 4, 2013

5 on Friday

It's Friday...
I'm in love...

Here are 5 things I'm loving lately:

ya, so my boys are all a bit obsessed with all things super hero lately.
Old Navy has so much awesome super hero stuff right now.

i couldn't find the beanies online,
but i bought a spiderman, superman & batman beanie in my local store.

they even have a super girl shirt for the mama.

2.  the stick

i love this thing.
awesome for any runner with sore muscles.
if you run,
you need one.
trust me.

my twins got this for their birthday...
and are loving it.
the only problem with this toy
is that my boys are still mastering the art of taking turns...

4.  Target leggings for little boys
as I talk about in this post,
 i think boys can totally rock leggings!
i buy most of my boys leggings in the little girls section at Target.
these striped ones are only $5!

my boys all wore these to church last Sunday.
too die for cuteness.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Twins 2nd Birthday Party!

my twins turned 2
on 9/29/13.

that first year of their lives 
seemed like the longest year EVER...
but, the second year actually went my pretty fast!

my twins were born 6 weeks early
(weighing 3lbs 15oz and 4lbs 5oz)
and spent a month in the NICU.
(you can read more about their delivery here
 and our NICU experience here)

i have so many emotions as I think about
my twins dramatic entrance into the world 2 years ago.
i feel so blessed that they are
energetic, healthy & crazy 2 year old boys!

for their first birthday party,
i went all out.
(check out their super hero first birthday here.)
so, this year i was determined to "keep it simple"...
but, simple is admittedly, not my strength.
but, i toned it down a lot.
we just did an immediate family members party
on the night of their party.

i'm "twooo!"

i made cupcakes in ice cream cones.
it was perfect for the little kiddos...
seemed less messy & they all thought it was super fun.

so, i just prepared a box of cupcakes as instructed on box...
put paper liners in cupcake pan,
filled 'em about 2/3 full.
and then just stuck a cone upside down inside each cupcake
and backed as normal.
then let 'em cool for a bit,
took the liners off,
and then frosted and sprinkled 'em.

(i bought their cute baseball birthday shirts from Gorno Couture on Etsy.  LOVE!)
(and, the pinwheels are from Zurcher's (a party store) and were in their "Fiesta" section,
but i did find them on amazon, here, as well!)

Happy 2nd Birthday 
to these 2 little crazy blessings from above!!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

5 on Friday!

It's FRIDAY...
I'm in LOVE...

Here are 5 things I'm loving right now...

Have you tried this?
I LOVE it.
and, now my 7-11 carries it...
The high school Cross Country team that I help coach
practices from 3-5 everyday
and a bag of this popcorn with a DDP
after running at practice
is perfect.
The 1 oz bag has 155 calories & 10 grams of fat.
The ingredients are: popcorn, sunflower oil & salt.
(I may be eating my second bag of the day right now...)

I set my husband an email this week.
The subject was:  "i need."
and the body of the email was a link to these pink shoes at Nordstroms.
I am seriously in love.
Of course, they aren't cheap though... 
I wouldn't actual run in them,
(I pronate & hill strike, so they aren't the right running shoes for me)
I'd just wear 'em around
and be so happy.
i need.

(formerly called the Saturday Pant)

J. Crew finally has these again.
I may have 3 pairs from previous years...
and I may wear them A LOT in the winter months.
They are my fave!
You need some, trust me.

4.  Holiday Decorating Season has begun...
I've only gotten as far as my front porch,
but I think it is lovely.

5.  Birthday Celebrations..
My twins turn 2 on Sunday (9/29)
and I am trying to keep it simple this year 
(after last year's big superhero first birthday party, 
click here to see pics...
this party was also featured on Apartment Therapy - here)...
but, simple is NOT my strength.

we had a little birthday photo shoot at home tonight
and this picture sums it up perfectly.



i've been thinking a lot about this quote the last few days.
for various reasons...
i think it applies to children as well as adults.

but, in particular, i have been thinking about it in regards to my boys.
my McKay (one of my almost 2 year old twins) is a hard kid right now...
but, as he is whining endlessly 
or throwing yet another tantrum 
or the source of fight after fight with his brothers... 
i try to remember this quote.  

i think he just needs a hug, kiss and "i love you" more often than i realize.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

crazy busy & For Two Fitness!

It feels as if my life as of late
has been about as crazy as
this boy's hair in the morning...

So much going on...
good things,
but just a lot.

Here is one of the new things 
that is going on around here
I am now a For Two Fitness Ambassador!

If you haven't seen their super cute active maternity wear,
you need to check it out here.

This one is my fave!

I also love this one
(maybe that's because i'm running off of about 3 hours of sleep today!)

and, check out this tank for moms pregnant with twins!

Don't you love 'em?

I will also be doing a guest post on the
stay tuned for a link to that...

yeah for fit & healthy (and sometimes a bit crazed... like me) moms!

Monday, September 23, 2013

The YGYHF Moms Panel - talks MOTHERHOOD

The YGYHF Moms Panel
talks about their favorite & least favorite parts of Motherhood.

(to read more about how the Panel works, click here.)
(to read more about the AMAZING Panel members, click here.)

My favorite and least favorite part about being a mom is that I am probably the one person that has the most control and influence over my kids at this stage of their lives. 

It is my least favorite part because I feel guilty constantly that I'm not setting a good enough example for them. I often see other moms that are more put together and organized than me and a dozen times kinder and more patient... and I wish my kids could go to their house instead to learn those skills.

On the other hand, I love that on good days when I am super positive, my attitude is what can change the entire family's attitude for the better. That power reminds me that what I am doing is really important. 

I wrote a blog post called Super Mom Debunked a few years ago that shares a few other thoughts I have about motherhood in the stage I am in right now. I think my answer to this question would be different if you asked me tomorrow. Being a mom definitely means there is never a dull moment. 

Least favorite part about being a mom: snot noses and a fighting baby that is stronger than she looks (currently).  Being a mom is tough and there are a lot of things that sometimes I wish would go back to the way they were pre-babies.  I learned first hand this weekend that I can no longer run a quick errand with the twins in tow.  I needed to run into Walgreen's for said stuffy nosed baby and with a singleton I could have totally thrown that baby on my hip and ran in.. but, not with two- I haven't mastered that strength just yet. I unloaded and assembled my twin stroller and harnessed the girls in for a three minute trip in to the store.  It took longer for me to get them out of the car than I spend inside the actual store.  Mehh.
Most favorite part: I LOVE watching them grow.  The milestones they hit right before my eyes is like nothing I could every describe in words.  My girls are starting to take their first steps and to see the sheer joy and pride in their eyes when they feel like they are accomplishing something 'huge' is heart exploding.  SO honored to have been chosen as mother for Parker and Jolie.   

Favorite part about being a mom:  Watching my son grow and develop!  Even from the time he was in my belly (hello, weekly baby bump updates) I have loved this part of motherhood.  And oh my goodness, can you believe he just turned ONE this week?!  

Least favorite part about being a mom:  How quickly the time goes!  And sleep... lack of sleep.  ;)

My favorite part about being a mom seems to change regularly. Right now I love watching my kids learn and experience and explore the world. My four year old daughter is in a Spanish immersion preschool and everyday she comes home singing new songs and practicing new words. I'm fascinated by how quickly she absorbs new things and how she interchanges Spanish words and English words together to talk to me and tell me about her day. I also bought my four year old a new fairy costume the other day and she shrieked, jumped up and down, and acted like she had won the lottery. It is amazing what little things can bring so much joy into her life. I can't wait to see how she reacts to our surprise Disneyland trip in a few weeks. I love experiencing life through my kids' eyes. It is way more fun.
My least favorite part about being a mom, right now, is all of the nagging I do. I'm still learning how to motivate and help my daughters to be independent, while also getting things accomplished. I end up nagging them a lot to put on their clothes/shoes, clean up, help with chores, follow rules, get to bed, etc. I know there is a better way, but I haven't figured it out yet. It takes a lot of mental effort to be a mom and to figure out how to positively reinforce the kind of behavior you want to see happen in your household while also getting things done. In some ways, things were easier when I did everything for my daughters because everything happened according to my agenda. Now I have to be patient and remember that I'm teaching my daughters important skills they will need in life and I just need to encourage them and stop the nagging. Sometimes it is hard, and sometimes I'm too tired to do it.
All of the "hard" things about being a mom are worth it though, especially when my girls give me a spontaneous hug, or tell me they really think my clothes are beautiful, or cuddle with me at the end of a hard day.

I've thought a lot about this as I've gone throughout this week and have been trying harder to find rediscover the things I love most about being a mom. Of course...my sweet kids also reminded me a few times of my least favorite parts too. There are so many more I thought about throughout the week, but my sleep deprived brain has forgotten many of them!
Most favorite things:
-Hearing "I love you mama" from my two year old (and all my other kids too!)
-watching my kids play together without fighting (doesn't always happen but when it does it's fantastic!)
-watching my children succeed at something they have been working on for a long time and the sense of accomplishment and pride that comes with it!
-getting fun little homemade crafts from my kids that they've worked so hard on...just to say I love you
-feeding my sweet newborns and watching them just gaze at me (they may not be able to focus in on my face, but that's ok :)
-watching my older kids help their dad with things around the house (mowing the lawns, cooking dinner, etc.)
-sitting with my kids and cuddling while watching a movie or reading books
-watching my kiddos grow and develop their own personalities and learn new things
-seeing how much my kids love their siblings...even though they might not always be willing to admit it!
-baby fingers and toes
-baby kisses

Least favorite parts:
-potty training is the worst..I hate it!!
-always having to referee fights...I gets old!
-the feelings of self doubt and "mom guilt" that creeps up all to often!
-lack of sleep (right in the middle of that with one month old twins...yawn!)
-helping my kids learn to read (I don't know why I get so frustrated when I do this, but I do!)
-helping grade school kids with homework...it's torture!

Like I said...there's much more for each list, but this is as good as I could do right now :)


My favorite part about being a mom is how my love for my kids keeps multiplying. The love I have for them is different than love I have for anyone else. It's a special unconditional love, and there is nothing they could do to escape it! It has taught me so much about the Heavenly Father's love for us, and makes me feel so incredible blessed to experience it! 

Right now, my least favorite part is disciplining my little guy who is entering the terrible two's. I know it is good for him, but it sure isn't easy! Oh, and dirty diaper changes. Having three kids in diapers is crazy!


I love this list  that I found of more real moms sharing their favorite parts of being a mom.  
I agree with so many of those!  

I'd say that my most favorite part of being a mom is being silly with my boys 
and hearing them LAUGH uncontrollably.  
best sound ever. 
And, my least favorite part of being a mom is all of the CRYING & whining... 
drives this momma a little crazy.   

One thing that seems to put it all in perspective for me is sneaking into their bedrooms 
at the end of a rough day and peaking in at them sleeping for a bit... 
their peaceful & innocent faces remind me 
that I am so lucky to be their mom!

What are your
most & least favorite parts
about being a mom?