life lately!

well, we had an amazing christmas break. the weather from the time we landed was beautiful 40 degrees until christmas morning, when we woke up to 5 inches of fresh snow. it was pretty perfect. 

we went to the zoo lights, saw the last hobbit movie (my mom watched hazel, always a bonus), and went to a couple birthday parties. we played pandemic, munchkin, settlers of catan and about 5,000 other board games with my sibs. we watched movies, we ate homemade caramels. on christmas eve we threw the football around and i pushed hazel on the swings. honestly, i couldn't ask for a more perfect vacation. 

here we are in our christmas pjs:
1. sledding down a big hill
2. john enjoying his awesome christmas present
3. playing board games
4. aunt jenna reading hazel her favorite new book, "where the wild things are."
more sledding:
hazel dressed up as mary:
magical christmas morning:


he's 30!

we celebrated john's 30th birthday over the weekend. my mom made a yummy breakfast, george and leslie took us out to lunch, we had an amazing dinner at the roof with friends and saw the lights, + listened to a small temple square concert. and sang happy birthday, ate cake and ice cream, and opened presents at the end of the day. hazel and i gave him mavericks tickets. we are excited to enjoy those this february. 


zoo lights.

we went up to the zoo lights with john's cousin and his family this week. hazel loved seeing the animal lights, and meeting santa and giving him "bones". we also pet a snake and a chinchilla. 


ice sculptures

we went and saw the ice sculptures at the gaylord texan this weekend.  first of all, can we talk about what a terrible name gaylord is?  because really, i feel silly saying it.  but anyway...

the ice sculptures were amazing!  they are carved by chinese ice sculpture artists and the exhibit is kept at 9 degrees to keep the ice perfectly frozen.  i showed hazel frosty the snowman right before we got there, so she was all prepared to see him up-close in ice form.  none of the pictures turned out amazing, mostly because i recently traded in my happy, photogenic baby hazel for a grumpier toddler model.  i'm still trying to decide if i'm going to stick with this one or if another trade is in order...

also, hazel was not happy to be in that puffy parka.  but i think she prefered it to freezing.

hazel meets frosty in ice-form! really it was amazing.

there was a huge ice slide.  and i couldn't go down it with hazel, so naturally i just laid her on her back and pushed her down.  she didn't like it very much....

at the end there was a beautiful nativity. hazel especially liked pointing out the animals to me.


lux aurumque

there's no other way to put it- yesterday was a crappy day.
hazel was a toddler-monster most of the day, and i ran around like a chicken with my head cut off until about 5pm.  i was rearranging the activity days schedule, and hoping everyone got the message, and making cookies for the activity, and running errands and making returns.... and then, i decided i deserved some chipotle, went and got chipotle, only to have hazel refuse her quesadilla {which she will usually eat}.  if it wasn't for the girls coming over for activity days at 6, i would have sat down and just had a good cry.

thankfully, the activity was awesome, and it brightened my day considerably to have those girls over.  but there's no rest for the weary, and we immediately went to drop hazel off at the sitter's, and then buzzed downtown for briana's concert.

here's the thing about music.  you can be at the end of your rope, ready to throw in the towel and have a good cry - and then if you hear the right song, at the right time, your soul is uplifted and your burden lightened.  i felt immediately lifted when the concert opened with this number:

we had a wonderful time at the concert, {i mean, every single number was amazing.} and now i have a new favorite composer to listen to.


it's been a busy week. i was down with the flu for a couple days, and then we were in idaho on thanksgiving day, but i was still recovering. so i didn't get any pictures taken on thanksgiving, or that whole week really. but we had a great time up in idaho falls with john's family! my pregnant belly did kind of miss the homemade chinese food my mom's family always does the day after thanksgiving though. i guess that just means i will have to make it for us one night this week ;)
one of my best friends got married yesterday in the salt lake temple. what an incredible experience it was to be at her sealing and witness such a wonderful event! i am so so happy for mady and alex. their sealer was the same man who married john and i , and it was nice to listen to him speak without the fog of getting married that day looming over me! it really was a special day. 
more pictures from our vacation: