this pumpkin's fixin' to be carved.

i considered painting pumpkins this year.  it probably would have been just as messy, but certainly not as nostalgic for me.  i'm glad we chose to carve.  

 cora was a ham for the "real" camera, way more than she ever is with my phone.  i guess i need to bring my real camera out more!


we go to disney a lot.  and i promise i am trying to cut down on the pictures!  here's a few from a couple recent disneyland trips.  

cora LOVES minnie!  she was so excited to take a picture with her, which is so hilarious and surprising because in my mind, she is still my baby.  ug why do they grow up so fast?

we went on monsters inc. for the first time, and then it started raining, so we ducked into the theater to see frozen.  a few moments from that in the video at the bottom of this post!
 that view from the rockets!!
 that bubble wand is totally beloved at our house!

we have tried a few treats at disneyland now, and hands down my favorite is their chocolate covered marshmallows.  like olaf (above) or a tigger tail at pooh corner bakery.  so good!

shabu shabu date night!

last week... for once, we got to go out on a nice date and it was the best.  we got shabu shabu.  look how delicious and beautiful those veggies and noodles look!
and i am so lucky to have this handsome, 6-ft-4 redhead to cling to for warmth in a cold movie theater.  we saw the magnificent seven.  heart-breakingly good.  


disneyland with mimi and grandpa.

just some photos of our magical {albeit crowded} disney day with mimi and grandpa!

we also saw the royal theatre's Tangled play and it was equally entertaining and adorable and the girls sat through the whole thing!  i'm loving having passes and getting to explore and try everything in the parks! 


some things that i've been working on...

1. being a happy mom
IT IS A DAILY STRUGGLE.  i get woken up by a toddler poking me in the face, or a baby crying "mama!" in the next room every. single. morning.  i am so tired.
during the day, messes get made, things get broken, i get whined at, and i never seem to have enough time to do what i want to do... let alone the bare necessities.  (like scrubbing the toilets?!)

of course there are wonderful moments.  wonderful moments where i get to snuggle and love my girls and throw everything else out the window!  but by bedtime, i feel like the bad has outweighed the good at every level.  and i am trying to be better at that.  i'm trying to be happy even when hazel breaks a dish and cora pokes her with a butter knife when my back is turned.  (both these things happened yesterday, if you're wondering)  i am trying to be selfless in my approach to motherhood.  

2.  i am working on developing my talents
i teach the 7-year-olds at church, and one of our recent lessons on developing our talents really stuck with me.  since then i have started painting more, playing the piano more, and have been actively doing newborn shoots for friends and family.  here is my photography blog, for anyone that is interested in newborn or family shots in the future>>>  paigebsouthbayphotography.com <<< and since i am building my portfolio, my prices are really great.  

3.  reading the scriptures and praying more.


mimi and grandpa visit!

there is something so wonderful about having grandparents in town!  i was so glad mimi and grandpa came visiting.  we had so much fun!  hazel has been asking when we can see mimi and grandpa again, ever since they left.

we went to a pumpkin patch, they watched the girls so john and i could go on a real date (hurray!) and then we stayed down in newport for a few days.  we went to an indoor trampoline park and swam and hot tubbed, went to aunt jayme's beach, and went to disneyland.  it felt like a vacation even though we live here! couldn't have asked for a more perfect staycation.

we also tried bill's pancakes in downtown manhattan beach.  and i have to say, it was a relief to take the girls out for breakfast food because they actually ate!  i think i may have solved our restaurant aversion problem....


when a friend comes into town for disneyland, you definitely go out to meet her there. + a snapstory video!

 our favorite ride in CA adventure.. mater's tractors.
at the end of a long day, this is how i survived the walk back to the car.



well, i'm back. we've been traveling the past couple of weeks and i haven't had a chance to sit down and blog in quite some time! but here's a little recap of our brief visit to utah! (is a week and a half brief? to me it is.)

we flew to utah because a couple of John's nephews turned 12 this year and wanted to go to priesthood session with their dads and uncles. it was a fun excuse to visit family. 

while we were there we jumped on honey's trampoline, ate raspberries, and swung on the swings. we spent several days with both the Brunt's and the Neffs. we watched conference, went to the cabin, and played at the curiosity museum with cousins. hazel and avie are such good playmates, it made me sad that we don't live right next door to each other. maybe one day!