Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Smiths Leaf Peeping at Shenandoah Dark Hallow Falls!

Let me just start off saying how much I love that man right there. He knows how to adventure, pick the best road trip music, pick the best scenic route and pull over to gaze at breathtaking sights. I love him. 

We headed up to Shenandoah to do the skyline drive. It was stunning!!!!! 
Had we gone a few days earlier, it would have been the peak but I can say going when we did was still amazing! We are leaf peepers now! 

Our girls are getting better and better at adventure taking. We no longer take the stroller with us, we still pack a ton of snacks, but I can say that our girls hardly complain (if at all) when we head out and I love that. I know we have so many adventures ahead in life and I feel like we've laid the ground work for some beautiful moments in the future. We've already had so many great ones. 

Love them!

Those colors!!

Made it to Dark Hallow Falls and it was gorgeous! 
It was also freezing! I was wearing a long sleeved shirt, a vest, a running jacket and a winter coat. The girls were layered up well and we made it through! 

We happened to arrive at the Falls just before another family so we had someone to take a family photo for us. I would have totally set up my phone and done a timer, but this way was SO much easier! 

My lover boy. 

Just gazing from the car at all the beauty this world has to offer. Also, the wind was blowing really hard and cold at this point so we were happy to have an inside view. 

Tys and I were cracking up when we saw another guy down the road posing like this. So on our next stop, this was the first thing Tyson did. I can't believe this photo didn't come out blurry, I was laughing so much :)

Just look at those colors!!! I was gasping with every turn we took. The colors were so vibrant and brilliant. 

Winding roads and autumn colors. 

Gosh, these girls! I'm trying to take my DSLR Cannon camera out more. These photos are some of my favorites of my cute girls. 

We've been to Shenandoah several times now and I have loved going each time. even when we saw a bear running parallel to us! It is an amazing place and a gem of the world. We feel pretty lucky that we can easily make this a weekend adventure. 

Halloween 2017 Craving pumpkins for the first time as a family!

Ever since the girls were little, we've painted pumpkins because it was easier for them and easier for me! They never showed much interest in carving and Tyson hates it, but this year I wanted to give it a try. 

Taryn and Haddie did not like it at all. I don't think Haddie even touched anything inside. Taryn was willing to give it a try, but as you can see from these candid pictures, she thought it was the grossest thing!

But she also found it kind of funny, and wanted to try a bit of everything. 
Both girls thought the pumpkin smelled soooooo bad inside. 

Taryn area a picture of what she wanted the pumpkin to look like and I followed her instructions. Haddie tried her hand at carving every once in awhile but preferred to dance around in her dress ups. 

These girls makes life fun! 

To celebrate Halloween at Taryn's school, they let the kids dress up in costume for the last half of school and participate in a parade. Parents come and line the streets around school to see them walk by. I am impressed with the creativity of the children at Taryn's school. We got some creative ideas for the next Halloween. 

Love my little Haddie! Always in a costume! 
And around Halloween, she changes at least 5 time a day to get the most out of her dress ups.

And my Tarbear dressed as Rey from Star Wars. She was looking forward to wearing this costume for months, especially to school! 

Trying to make Halloween a fun full day event means adding some yummy and cool looking food to the menu. Not to mention this is my way to get my kids to eat something else besides candy for the whole day. You should see their lunch boxes and dinners for the weeks following Halloween. I do put a candy or two in the lunch, but dinner is filled with even more fruits, veggies, and grains to make sure their getting a little more balance to all that candy. 

I love how Haddie is holding her dress in this picture. Ready to be a princess at any moment!

I told Taryn about this hair do and she wasn't really into it. Actually, she pretty much protested it. But once I told her she could take it out if she absolutely hated it, she let me try it out (not without showing her Rey pictures from Google to prove that Rey had that same cool hair do)
She got so many complements on it that she asked for it for days after Halloween. 

We layered as much as we could without sacrificing their costumes and they couldn't wait to get started! This year we went out a little earlier than normal so the girls could be in bed at a somewhat reasonable time because it was a school night. The lighting was so nice on the famous Halloween house in our neighborhood. 

We drive by this house almost every day in October to see how they are coming along on their outrageous decorations! We love love love this house so much. We've met the owners several times and they are the kindest people. They seriously LOVE Halloween and use their skeletons year round for their garden, Christmas and more. It's the best place to start out our Halloween trick or treating. 
Tyson took this photo and I absolutely love it! 

Tyson said this is his favorite part of Halloween - counting and trading candy at the end of the night. We definitely take our share of Mom and Dad taxes... those peanut butter cups don't last long! 

Friday, February 23, 2018

A National Zoo Trip with the Haley's

These silly kids keep us on our toes in the best way possible. They love to be with one another, they all play well together and they always have a blast! I love love love hearing there combined giggles. 
And those poses ;)

Watch out, these zombies will eat all your snacks!
( Can you tell this was from October 2017?!)

Love Lynne! 

This was our first time playing in the prairie dog playground. Lots of tunnels and paths to take. The kids thought it was amazing. And they may have gotten stuck a few times. 

Haddie is almost always willing to take a photo and throw in one of her original poses. Sometimes I'm surprised when she picks a place for a photo. "Mom take a picture with me and the otters!" Well, ok then!
That poor bruise on her cheek! She was playing at the playground, trying to swing from the money bars when one hand slipped off, throwing her body forward. She landed cheek first on the rung of the money bar ladder. So so so many tears and the biggest puff face from immediate swelling. That bruise lasted for over a month, and even now you can still see a little dent. Her doctor said it will be a new dimple for her now :/

We're so lucky to have the National Zoo so close to us and that we can go so frequently. We've gotten the system down of how to avoid meltdowns (that big hill is killer when you have tired kids) and we had more successful trips than not. I love watching Taryn love on all her favorite animals. And she got to see the cheetah for the first time!
We love the Haley's and the time we get to spend with them. Our weekly playdates (with Carson and Haddie in tow) are more for catch up with Lynne and I, which I love! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Haddie turns 4 years old!

Our little Haddie turned four years old back in October, 2017. 
She talked about her birthday for months! She changed her requests for a birthday cake several times and also what she wanted to do for her birthday. We finally settled on a costume party. What I loved the most was her adding "If my friends don't want to dress in a costume, that's ok, they can still come to my party. And if they don't want to eat pizza, it's ok. They can still come to my party. I just want my friends to come and have fun at my party."
Love that sweet girl!

She was happy with her birthday pancakes (a special request and a little break away from our normal birthday cake breakfast.) Haddie knows just what she wants! She asked for a big stack of pancakes with a number 4 birthday candle on top. So that's what she got! Oh, and that "Shimmer and Shine" costume was a special request birthday present as well. Such a fun girl. 

Excited to start her day off in style!
We decided that having a birthday in October when it's 65 degrees outside means you should have a party at the park. But we didn't want Taryn to miss her sister's birthday so we pulled Taryn out of school over her lunch time so she could have lunch with us and dress up in costume too! 
I know Taryn loved this special treat. Also, Tyson happened to be really sick that day and stayed home from work. I didn't know how much help I needed for a simple birthday in the park. I'm thankful he was there. He did leave after 30 minutes because he didn't want to spread anything to the kids. Man- that guy never takes a sick day. He was a trooper for helping so much. 

Haddie was so excited to have all her little friends and their siblings there. 
Gwen, Madison, Kaytlin, Olivia, Lincoln, Emerson, Eliza, Simon and Rachel. Some friends couldn't make it but that's ok. 

My sweet little girl requested an Elsa cake which was fun to do. The downside to making cakes as a hobby is that the girls want to change their birthday cake requests every time they see a new cake! Haha! Thankfully this one was an easy seller for me. 

Costco pizza, fruit, veggies and doritos and juice boxes were a total win! 
Keeping it simple but fun. 

We were thankful Aunt Brittany could be there with Cora and Braden. Haddie was being a stinker and very tired by the end and didn't want to have her picture taken with them. (Can you see her in the background refusing to come??!!) But I was a sneaky mom and still got her in the photo. Birthday blues are a real thing and when there is too much attention on Haddie, she will show her dislike after she gets tired. 

We love our little Hadleigh and the joy she brings to our family. She has a funny personality and makes us laugh easily with her sharp wit. She is a cuddle bug and never fails to say "I love you" several times a day. She is stubborn and has the strongest will I have ever seen in a child. Hopefully she will be able to use that for good as she gets older. She loves to dance and sing and will cry if you turn off the car music before a song is done. She can dance laps around our front room to The Greatest Showman soundtrack and changes her dress ups at least 5 times a day. The best spinning dresses always win out. Haddie has the best poses for pictures (not taught by me, just something she does on her own :) And we love her to pieces! Haddie and Taryn play so well together and I'm grateful every day they have each other. 
We love our Haddie Paddie.