happy halloween from the guardians of the galaxy!

for halloween this year we were the guardians of the galaxy.  i really felt nerdy last night at the ward party when people said, "oh, i haven't seen that movie".

what?!?! it's like the best movie of all time!  and (i thought) so mainstream!
nevertheless, we loved playing our favorite heroes this year.  i only wish i hadn't painted my face green, since only 30% of the people at the party recognized me anyways ;)

costumes from years past:
halloween 2012 - we must not have dressed up this year?!


we love outside.

- especially this time of year.


some things about life lately.

life has been a whirlwind over here lately.  hazel has started speech and developmental therapy, and while it has been extremely helpful for her already, and helped me to be more patient and know how to communicate with her better, i am still experiencing mom guilt in the extreme because i don't want to do anything but play non-stop with my girls, and i'm worried that if i don't they will miss developmental milestones.  i keep having to remind myself that hazel is just fine, and making leaps and bounds, and this is just a way to keep us on track and help her to be less frustrated day-to-day.  i just have to do as much as i can and God will take care of the rest.

there never really is a great photo of the four of us these days.  i am hoping one of these days to go to a park and take some real family photos.  i have a tripod, and i could totally do it, but life is flying by and i hope we can find the time before the weather turns frigid!

cora is getting pretty close to crawling.  since hazel completely skipped this, i am excited to see how this even unfolds.  and also a little nervous.  i'm not ready for her to be mobile yet and have to have clean floors!

a sneak peak of hazel's halloween costume, and look at cora in that hat my mom made.  

also, john and i went on a real date - we decided to make it a bi-monthly tradition since the "dating" part of our lives has seriously faded out without us realizing it, and it's something we desperately need in our relationship.  so even though i am still nursing and cora really doesn't take a bottle, we go out late at night to see a movie or eat a late dinner twice a month.  i'm not going to lie, i've been loving having some one-on-one time with john; away from the house and the girls - and knowing that the girls are sound asleep really helps me to relax and enjoy it ;)


swinging for the first time!

excuse our outfit.  back-up clothes out of the diaper bag don't always match.


he saves me.

for all the times you have come home and seen that look of exhaustion and frustration in my eyes and have picked up my slack

for supporting my diet coke habit

for ordering mango sticky rice without even asking me if i want some

for telling me the truth when i ask for it, even when you know it will be hard to hear

for making me laugh every single day

for smacking your lips and looking up and down at the food you want to eat, as if seeking permission

for going and going each day and never complaining once about it

for making me want to be better each day, and making each day more perfect than the last

for being the most perfect father to our girls

thank you for all these things and more. you save me every day.


the girls are loving:

- the zoo, the park, going on walks, and all-around anything outside the house
- her speech therapy
- the ipad (yes, still obsessed, but we try to limit her screen time as much as possible.)
- dressing up as different animals or princesses- just wait til you see our halloween costumes!
- jumping on the couch (i am not so fond of this)
- reading "are you my mother?" - she can practically quote this book
- eating pizza (she LOVES pizza!) and breakfast burritos and showing us how different animals eat - which basically means making the sound that that animal makes.  the dog, for instance, simply takes a bite and says, "woof! woof!"
- doing "surprise eggs" which is basically where i put a treat or tiny toy inside of easter eggs, cover them in play-dough, and then she gets to uncover what is inside
- helping me cook or bake
- watching singing and dancing of any kind: watching little clips of broadway shows like finding neverland and singing in the rain is our new favorite!
- being tickled

cora mae:
- cora simpy loves everything.  she loves the world.  she loves getting attention from strangers, being sung to, and just being ignored and let to play with toys.  seriously.
- eating crackers and pizza crust and anything that she can independently put in her mouth and gum to oblivion.  she can even put puffs (cheerios) in her mouth one-by-one, which takes fine motor skillzz
- watching hazel run around, dance, jump, or act goofy or entertaining in any way
- playing with wrappers - under strict supervision
- rolling over immediately when i lay her down
- sleeping on her stomach - which is so weird for me, since hazel abhorred being on her tummy
- jumping in her jumperoo
- looking at her adorable little self in the mirror
- when mom kisses under her chin (the best giggles)


zoo days

here's a bunch of photos from our weekly outings at the zoo!

on the train - it's the first thing we do every time.

hazel loved holding the bird.  she was so calm and careful with it - it was sweet!

we love having friends come with us to the zoo.  


life lately!

things that have been going around at our house these days:

these girls are getting along gloriously these days.  having a sister is the best!  some days are so so hard, but then i see how close they are, and think about how much closer they will get as they get older and it makes it all worth it.

{sidenote: yes, cora is always this happy.  i am not making this up with these photos.  her face is practically smushed in this first one and she's still happy as a clam.}

#1. hazel has been choosing out her outfits and it is downright hilarious what she picks some days! "hor-see shirt!" "sun-glass-is!" "heded-band!".  
#5. she has also been putting on make up some days with me.  this was one of the more memorable makeovers she gave herself.
#6. you know it's been awhile since i did a pic dump on the blog when there's a swimming pool picture and it is now october.
#8.  hazel was throwing a tantrum at the moment i took this.  as you can see, cora thinks hazel crying is quite amusing, along with everything else she does.  i serious have to compete with hazel frequently for attention!

cora tried the swings for the first time yesterday and loved them! {excuse the crazy outfit, we were down to our back-up clothes out of the diaper bag ;) 

#1. feet are just as tasty as real food.
#2.  gooooo cougars!
#3.  this is one of hazel's hilarious expressions.  that girl seriously cracks me up!


our loves!

everything about this photo makes me happy.  hazel's wild hair, cora's big grin, the beautiful weather on the day it was taken and remembering how good it felt to be outside on that day with two of my favorite people in the world.

here are some things we are loving right now over here as a family:
reading scriptures together in the evening
going on walks or to the park
swedish fish
sitting outside on our camping blanket and looking at clouds
ice cream
facetime with family
eating pizza once or twice a week
the smell of pumpkin spice candles
planning, working on costumes, and dressing up for Halloween
bath time
when dada gets home
doing something special together as a family on the weekend


DC part 3.

our last day in DC, we went straight to the korean war, MLK, and jefferson memorials.
the jefferson memorial is quite a walk from the national mall, and kind of isolated, but it was definitely worth it.

we went to arlington cemetery and took a tour.  i wasn't too impressed with the tour, but it was worth the $12 just to just sit on the trolley (by this point we were pretty tired, having walked over 20 miles over the past two days) as we drove through the cemetery.  it was the culminating moment of the trip.  such a beautiful place!

we met more family for dinner at ray's hellburger.  great way to end a great weekend.  i'm so glad john was able to drive with us on the way back home!

thanks again for such a wonderful weekend, g+l!  we had a blast!


when dates are too good to be true.

i don't know how i did it, but i am so lucky i convinced john to marry me.  he took me out on a hot date for our anniversary last weekend, and i found myself feeling so relaxed and happy, and laughing the entire evening.  he is my favorite human.  

we saw finding neverland on broadway and all-around did the tourist-y things.  it was the best!  we grabbed a lamb gyros on the way to the theater and were in heaven.  john coined the phrase, "greek taco bell" and i think that sums it up pretty nicely.

the show was absolutely stunning.  we both loved it and have been singing the songs ever since!

john harman, i love you so much.

a special thank you to r+j, for watching our girls and making such a fun night possible for us!  


DC part deux

after we toured the capitol and library of congress, we went to three different smithsonian museums.  the aerospace museum, the museum of natural history, and the museum of american history.  

by far one of the coolest things at the natural history museum was the skeleton exhibit.  skeletons from hundreds of animals - it was so cool! perhaps the most interesting was the sea lion - turned out hips.

hazel and john almost got eaten by a t-rex but made a narrow escape.

we also saw the hope diamond there!  apparently, it used to be much bigger and then people cut it into different shapes and settings because they are nuts.

the museum of american history was simply neat.  you can see a lego flag (pictured above), but my favorite flag was the star-spangled banner.  so stunningly beautiful and although i couldn't take a picture of it, it was probably one my of favorite things we did the entire weekend.  i had no idea it would be even 1/5 of the size it actually was.

we then kept walking down the national mall to pass the white house, washington memorial, WW2 memorial, and lincoln memorial.

just the most daunting, reverent part of the WW2 memorial:
 washington memorial at sunset:

lincoln memorial:  i am so glad that they have these wonderful memorials to commemorate brave men (and women - lets be fair), that have been a force for good in our country.  seeing them reminds us the price of freedom and makes me so grateful for those who believe in freedom so much that they are willing to fight for it.

after watching the sun set, we went to "we, the pizza" and ate the best white pizza of my life.  
more to come of our trip to DC!  
read part one, here.


our trip to DC! part one.

since john's parents needed to be in DC last weekend, we all planned a trip to go out there and be with them and explore our nation's capitol.  r+j+c were there, as well as leslie's sister jayme and her husband doug.  we had such a wonderful time with all of them!  

since john was out-of-town for a business training and had to fly straight into DC in order for us not to have to drive until 3am, i did a brave thing and decided to drive down with the girls myself!  i put a pull-up on hazel so as to not have to stop every hour to go potty, and we shoved off.  besides a couple times when cora got hungry and i couldn't find a good/safe place to stop (aka driving through baltimore and i don't know where is safe to stop) the girls were pretty much happy the entire time!  such a blessing.  i did hand hazel's half-finished squeezable pouch to cora on the last hour of the trip and somehow, she got the lid off so when i went to grab her out of her carseat at the hotel she was covered in applesauce.  sweet girl, it didn't seem to bother her!

ryan and janessa were already there so we went and walked along the national mall with them and got dinner:

that night everybody got into town, and the next morning we hit the ground running!  we rode the subway to the supreme court justice building and basically walked all the way to the lincoln memorial from there.

union station:
 supreme court justice building- basically every single building in DC is magnificent.

we then walked over to the capitol and took a tour.  i am so glad we did!  what a fascinating building, and i felt so patriotic during the tour.  democracy really is so beautiful and i am so grateful for what goes on there.  the checks and balances system was put there for a reason and i appreciate the law-makers that listen to the people they represent and try to make the country we live in a better, more moral, and more free place each day. 

serious black mail photo of me right there that john took... 
but it represents just what were we doing at the tour... 
listening to our tour guide on the headsets.

each state has donated at least two statues of important figures from that state.  two of my favorites {pictured above} were brigham young (utah) and sam houston (texas).

the lady doing capitol tours suggested we go to the library of congress next, and i'm so glad we did! it is probably the most beautiful building inside that i have ever seen.

wow will you just look at cora's face!?  she's the best.

DC is so incredibly beautiful.  thanks for inviting us, g+l!

this ends part one of our trip to DC series.  
sorry you didn't make the cut in any of these photos, john ;)


5 years ago today.  i think i'll keep him.