so, a week ago we packed up and drove 20 hours to dallas. i am so grateful to my family for their help, and especially my dad and in-laws for helping us drive out here. it broke my heart to say goodbye to my dad, because i could tell he felt like he was having to let his little girl go again, just like he had to on the day i got married. it kind of hurts my heart to think about it. but there's consolation in knowing my family is only a plane ticket away....

once we unpacked we headed straight to a friend's house for a vacation with all of john's high-school friends. every couple has a baby and one couple even has twins so... there's a lot of diapers being changed. hence the name: diapercation. on friday we went to the pond and fed the ducks and turtles and played on the playground. we also swam our first swim of the season and hazel learned to blow bubbles underwater!

here's a picture of all the dads with their babies. as you can see, at least one baby is crying at any given moment! 

on saturday we went to the zoo! i was oddly exhausted (hungry) at the zoo, but we saw some great animals and hazel loves looking at them.

i swear she was happy most of the time...

this bird is our new best friend.

after the zoo, we had a bbq by the pool.

sunday we went to church john's old ward. the people there were gushing over what a good group of young men they were. what happened?! ;)

now i'm gonna go get myself some blue bell ice cream.


idaho, part 3: yellowstone.

yellowstone is always one of my favorite parts of our island park trips (but really, every part is my favorite).  we saw a couple moose, a coyote, elk, buffalo, eagle, and a hawk.  no bears!  but we loved it anyway.

^^^the falls!  also one of my favorite parts.^^^

and, cheesy photo!  this ends our week in idaho series ;)


idaho, part 2.

there's a darling little zoo in idaho falls, and one day we ventured out to it.  for a small city, this zoo was amazing.  and it wasn't as crowded as the hogle zoo usually is.
hazel really loved spending the week with her mimi and grandpa, even though it doesn't look like it ;)

i would love having a pet monkey if they weren't so stinky.

.and she loved petting the goats!  she's got the one-finger thing down!

hazel now "roars" whenever she sees a lion, which made that section a very fun one...  and these sunglasses lasted about two minutes, but look at her!


our week in idaho, part 1.

a couple weeks ago we spent a week in idaho, hoping to relax before our week of packing (which was a terrible week in my life that i don't want to ever re-live, but inevitably will have to at least two or three more times over the next few years...).  we got a lot of relaxing done, especially our first few days in idaho falls.  we went on a few atv rides, john tried unsuccessfully to shoot down a pesky woodpecker with a 22, and ate lots of delicious food.

this face, it kills me.


silly hazelnut. i love having a toddler. she amuses me constantly.

photos taken during our week in idaho falls with john's parents.


our day at laguna beach.

our day in laguna was amazing, as usual.  i was so busy having fun that i didn't take a lot of pictures, but we saw four whales {you heard me}, about a hundred dolphins, a seal, tons of fish, went kayaking in the ocean, got sprinkles ice cream and pieology, and met up with friends and family.  it was a good day.


nuestro día en ensenada

in ensenada, we got tricked into getting onto a bus to go half a mile into the city, when we could have just walked there.  they were telling us it would take us twenty minutes to walk there, and we foolishly believed them.  it reminded me a lot of the tourist-trapping restaurants in xi'an that charged tourists twice as much for lunch.  but we finally got to the scooter rental place and were off.

once we got our scooters, the day was amazing.  we were with a group of five couples, and rode in a caravan.

we rode the 45 minute drive on dangerous ensenada streets and a narrow winding mountain road to get to la bufadora, or the blowhole.  the blowhole was really cool to see but you only needed five minutes there and then you were over it.  the streets and shopping we got to do on the way down to the blowhole... now that was fun.

after shopping and buying a cute pair of leather sandals and purse for our hazelnut, we sought out a beach and food.  food that was sanitary was nowhere to be found, so we settled on a snickers to get us through until we got back to the ship, and finally found a private beach to play on.  the water was sooooo cold, it was painful.  i forced myself to keep my feet in there until they went numb, but mostly because i was already far out in the loooooong shallow beach {i've never seen a shoreline extend so far out and get deeper so gradually} and i didn't back to the dry sand until after i couldn't feel the water anymore.

by far ensenada was my favorite day of the cruise. 

dreamin' about this.

cruise food:

cruise sunset:

{we saw some dolphins leaping in the ocean just before that was taken, no big deal.}
that is all



our day in catalina started with a quick boat ride over to the island.  we did some shopping and lounging on the beach, and i simply can't get over how beautiful and quaint it is there. 

we then rented a golf cart with our friends to tour around the island.  i love going to a new place and instead of going on the tour that everyone signs up for, picking another random excursion that you do on your own.  less educational?  probably.  more adventurous?  definitely.  

after some lounging on the beach, john and i walked through the shops and finally bummed out at around 3pm and went back to the ship to get some lunch.  {we went a couple days without lunch... but made up for it the rest of the time...}

i really loved exploring the city of avalon with my hottie of a husband.  next stop, ensenada!


he graduated!

so proud of john for all the hard work he has put in the past two years.  he has worked so hard to be successful and land a great job - and now we are headed to dallas to work for a fantastic company and are thrilled!  this guy has done so much to provide for our family and i couldn't be more grateful or in love with him.  we had a small barbeque with family and friends to celebrate, and the weather was amazing right until the convocation ended and it started pouring rain...


we are in idaho falls right now, spending time with john's parents and trying to soak in every school and work-free moment we have. we have a lot to talk about over here... graduation, our cruise, packing/moving, and this idaho trip.... but i'm not really up for it at the moment, nor do i have my camera cable. so, here's a few pictures, for now.