the big girls are back!

The whole gang is back together again! After six weeks apart, they greeted each other with gigantic smiles and even bigger hugs. I shed happy tears to have our family back together again.

When I was growing up, it was a tradition in my family when someone left on a trip, and then came back home, we made welcome home signs. We’ve continued that on in our own Bratcher family, so Soul, Glow, and I prepared some pictures and banners for True and Brave. Not only did they get a big, exuberant, happy greetings at the airport, but we also made sure our home declared that same message too. We are very happy to have them back home!



After our letter D-Day, I surprised the girls with P-Day! We had a picnic at the park with pepperoni pizza, pink lemonade, and pie from I Like Pie. The girls spent time playing at the playground, then I busted out watercolor, and the girls and I painted together.

While I was laying on the picnic blanket and staring up into the trees, I heard the girls giggling together on the playground, and I wanted to freeze that moment. It felt like the essence of summer.

We’ve been having such a lovely time together. The beginning of summer was quite busy here with flooring guys coming in and out, so we were stuck at home a lot, but I think all our letter adventure days are making up for it. If it’s been light around here, it’s because we are out having fun and enjoying the sun (still sharing plenty of pictures here).

I’ve been brainstorming other letter adventures we can do. I’m thinking A can be a trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific, antiquing (maybe this is more for me), and ice cream at A La Minute (again probably for me). Honestly though, they love antiquing and A La Minute just as much as I do. Well, Glow, probably not so much the antiquing as seen here. Anyone have any other letter day adventure ideas?


our letter D Day

On Monday, we had ourselves an adventure and declared it “Letter D-Day.” We started it off by picking up some fancy donuts from The Crumb. I chose a peanut butter chocolate, Soul wanted Oreo, Glow decided on chocolate raspberry, and then we picked an orange creamsicle to share. In the end though, we all shared what we chose and got to have a little bit of each flavor. My favorite is the chocolate peanut butter and orange creamsicle.

After, we headed to the desert. Of course, when in Palm Springs, we must always stop by the Ace Hotel to photo booth. The girls were so excited to get their own photo booth strip of just the two of them.

For the next D stop, we went to the Cabazon Dinosaurs. We walked around a bit, took some photos, and they got a kick out of going into the dinosaur’s belly to the gift shop. I had the girls pack their scooters, so when the crowds thinned out, they scootered up and down the sidewalks. They had so much fun pretending the dinosaur was chasing them.

Our last D stop was for date shakes, which is another must when in Palm Springs. It wasn’t exactly a high nutrition day, so we got one small shake to all share.

Donuts, desert, dinosaurs, and date shakes made for a really delightful adventure. We had so much fun with our letter theme, and if you follow me on instagram you might already know this, but we decided to call Tuesday “P Day!” I don’t think I can keep up this letter adventure everyday, but I want to try and conquer a few more letters before the end of summer. I have some ideas swirling about that I think the girls will enjoy.


two kid weekend (and our anniversary)

Last summer, when the two older girl were in Texas, we took Soul and Glow on a little getaway and called it “two-kid weekend.” When True and Brave left for Texas this summer, Soul was eagerly anticipating the next two-kid weekend. Actually, she was hoping two-kid weekend would be six weeks long. After we explained we couldn’t go on vacation for 6 weeks, and that the while they were gone, we would be doing lots of special two kid things, she was cool our upcoming getaway was only going to be a weekend.

Since we’ve been busy with house stuff, the only available weekend to leave was our anniversary weekend. Initially, Ben and I had plans to spend that weekend together (and send the girls to my parents), but we decided it would be best to lump the two occasions in one. Thus, I declared it “two-kid & anniversary weekend!” Soul chimed in and said, “No. It’s only two-kid weekend. You have to celebrate another time.” Ben and I just laughed, so it did become two-kid weekend, and we will have to figure out another opportunity to get alone time for our 11th anniversary. Honestly though, it was still a special weekend, and though Soul said it wasn’t our anniversary, we still greeted each other in whispers and kisses.

Ben and I debated all week long where to take the girls for the weekend. Their only request is to swim all day long, so we were going to head to San Diego, but then a good deal popped up on Hotel Tonight, therefore, we headed to Orange County instead. We kicked off the weekend with a stop at our favorite ice cream place and then the rest of the time was spent at the hotel. We brought a cooler of food so we didn’t have to leave the hotel for our meals. The weekend was pretty much… swim, eat, nap on repeat.

It was such a chill weekend and I love this sweet way we celebrated our two littlest ones and our anniversary. #celebrating11with2

on soul: watermelon swimsuit, c/o sunuva. on glow: tropical swimsuit, c/o sunuva. both goggles, target.


these days

I’ve been cherishing these past 5 weeks with Soul and Glow. We have one week left until my whole girl gang is back together, and we are giddy for their return, but we are definitely enjoying giving the two little ones some extra attention. We’ve mostly been homebodies due to the renovations that are taking place (fingers crossed these white wood stairs are done soon!), but as soon as the floor guys leave, we take off. We’ve been taking lots of park trips (the girls love the skate park), walks around the neighborhood, or thrifting. Once we feel exhausted from being out, we go back home and relax. Then the afternoons are spent lounging on the couch watching shows and movies.

I love seeing Soul really step up to that big sister role (her older sisters aren’t here to boss her around) and it’s sweet to see how Glow loves to be with Soul. Here’s a funny thing… Soul loves to wear a lot of True and Brave’s clothes while they’re gone. Soul is that sister. HA!



Eleven. We have one decade plus one under our belt and it’s been full of adventure. We are on the same team to wage a war against sin and teach our children to do the same. While at the same time, asking God to help us savor Jesus more in our marriage and through our children. It’s been a good 11 years with all the craziness of putting two selfish sinners together because through it all, we get to experience an abundance of grace. Sweet, beautiful, precious grace that comes from knowing Jesus first loved and gave His life for us. Thankful for these 11 grace-filled years, and Lord willing, we get many, many more!

Happy eleven Benny!



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