i love having a toddler. i love finding little trinkets of hers (chapstick, q-tips, rocks, balls, etc.) stuffed in our shoes and stowed away in our kitchen drawers. i love the way she holds her sippy cup upside down when she drinks from it, and the way she stands still in the middle of the room and watches baby einstein. i love her random kisses and cuddles, her spontaneous and playful nature. i love the way she has brought john and i closer together. and every night while we check on her before we go to bed we inevitably whisper, "i can't believe we made that."
having a toddler is magical. they are learning at unbelievable speeds. i can tell hazel understands me these days (whether or not she obeys or even pays attention is another matter entirely....) and she is so so fun to play with. she is strong-willed and independent, and i spend half the day trying to catch her attention. but boy, do i love this stage.
what a whirlwind of a week it has been. hazel and i flew to dallas on monday and she did amazing on our flight. at one point she just looked up at me, laid her head on my chest, closed her eyes, and went to sleep. she's been great on our flight home as well (we are on it as we speak) and is currently sleeping in my arms. how did i get so lucky?!
our good friends helped us find an apartment and let us stay with them over these past four days and i couldn't have done it without them! briana helped me stay sane while picking an apartment and helped me not be so indecisive. turns out, the actual apartment-picking was quite hard for me. traveling with hazel, getting to know dallas, and finding apartments in great areas was easy. pulling the trigger on an apartment that i actually loved in my heart, but that was more money than i wanted to spend, now THAT was the hard part. the complex even stuck us with a slightly higher rate when i came the second day to sign. but, we are super excited about it so i'm trying to let that go so as not to spoil it :)
and, some pictures!
we recently went to thanksgiving point with our friends to look at the animals. hazel is finally getting to an age where she enjoys looking at and petting animals. she pet the horse and really enjoyed running around playing, picking up rocks, and the "hay" ride. thanks hayley, for inviting us! as usual, we had a blast!
also, here's a dorky video i made during our day:
this picture was taken about a week ago, when i didn't feel like cooking so we went to cubby's. and i was still asking john to take a picture of the back of my hair every day, just to make sure i didn't still hate it. hazel was so interested in the cubby's cow that she didn't notice the paper hat we put on her. so of course i had to snap a few pictures. i am excited for the things that are to come, but i'm trying to soak up every last second of our last month in provo, utah.
that said, i am pleased to announce that our little family will be moving to dallas next month, and we are so very excited! i loved exploring a new city last summer, and we will have at least a whole year in dallas to explore. john went to high school in dallas, so, in a way, it's kind of like going back home for him. it will be a fun new experience and i cannot wait.
if i've learned anything this week, it's not to second-guess myself as a mother. for many reasons, the past few days have been harder than i like to admit. hazel just hasn't been herself, and as a mother, there is nothing worse than not knowing how to help your child when they wake up at five in the morning. you feel quite powerless when all you can do at that five am wake-up call is give your baby ibuprophen and try and rock her to sleep. and when an hour of that fails, snuggle up on the couch with baby einstein, a blanket, and some goldfish crackers.
with each new hurdle that came our way, i was second-guessing myself. asking john what he thought i should do, calling my mother at least ten times a day to ask for her advice, i even bugged my 19-year-old sister for a confirmation that i was doing the right thing. i went into lds general conference with a prayer that i would be able to know what to do to help hazel to be a happy, healthy, well-adjusted, well-behaved child. the talks came and went, one by one, and i didn't receive an answer. nearing the end of the conference, i had a strong impression to trust my instincts as a mother; that Heavenly Father sent Hazel's strong-willed, tender spirit to me for a reason. that i am the best person to be her mother and that she is the best person to be my daughter. she has already taught me so much about love, patience, and happiness than i would have ever thought possible. it is humbling that such a tiny human can teach me so much. and yet, she has. i felt a reassurance that He would continue to guide me as i endeavored to give her all the love she needs and deserves. i'm fairly certain that whatever challenges come our way, i will be able to meet them head-on and trust my instincts. as long as i remember that i am a strong daughter of God with divine potential, i can live each day, happy and grateful for my blessings and the privilege that i have to be a wife and mother.
the other day, we met up with my good friend hayley, her son noah, and her sister-in-law tay at provo beach resort. the kids played on the toddler jungle gym and ran around the toy store. this is us on the carousel, which i think, (although you can't tell by their faces) both the kids enjoyed ;)