Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Going to the Zoo with my sister


Having a sister close by is really really nice! Brittany wanted to take her kids to the zoo for the first time (during the day!) and she invited us to join. We love our National Zoo so much! It helps that admission is free so we don't have to feel guilty about leaving when there is nap times to be had. 




I've mastered the art of the zoo now that we've been going for the past 5 years (next month!) several times a year. 
We have 5 animals that are the most entertaining, that we can hit in one trip- no problem. Tigers & lions (in that same zone), elephants, pandas, seals and the Great ape house. 
Sometimes we make special zoo trips to see a specific animal that we haven't seen yet. On those occasions, we switched around what we are going to see based on where we are at. 





Cora and Braden loved the tigers & lions and the seals. It was so much fun to go and see the zoo through their eyes. Everything was so new for them. It's like seeing a movie you have seen before  with someone whom has never seen it. So entertaining. 


One of my pet peeves is sweating in normal clothes. I can sweat all day long in work out clothes or grubby clothes but I always feel super gross in normal clothes when I'm sweating a lot. 
So every time I go to the Zoo, I wear work out clothes. Mostly because I end up doing a huge workout because the zoo is positioned on a gigantic hill. Pushing  (one or more) kids in a stroller up that hill is a killer workout. Taryn usually gets wiped out walking up it (i.e. lots of complaining) so we now take her scooter along and I pull it up when she's not scootering up the hill. We get up the big hill so much faster now and the kids don't complain.

So, unless it's winter, you'll see me in my work out clothes at the zoo, not sweating in my nice clothes. 



Braden and Brittany


We had a fun day showing our little cousins the ropes of how to do the zoo, free parking for a few hours, and what animals to see.
I love that Cora and Braden are starting to say my name "Nana" and they run to me to pick them up or carry them now. Stranger danger is (almost) fully gone and I'm loving it. I'm working hard to secure my position as favorite aunt.



Sunday, July 2, 2017

The butterflies at Brookside Gardens with friends!



We drove up to Maryland to visit the Brookside Gardens "Wings of Fancy" exhibit in May. The weather was still very cool and perfect for exploring a new outdoors area. 





The butterflies were beautiful and everyone loved it. Taryn wanted so badly for a butterfly to land on her. She tried several times to remain super still so a butterfly would land on her. It took about an hour, but it finally happened right before we had to leave. This was the best butterfly exhibit we've ever been to. 


Haddie would say "I have good luck!" Every time a butterfly would fly in front of her, just like Grandma Smith taught her. 


Love my girls!




This place was enclosed but big enough for us to stay inside for an hour and wander around, watching the butterflies. 




So many different butterflies I've never seen before!





I love these pictures of the girls holding butterflies. But I do have to say that these butterflies were dead. They were apart of the "please touch" section. The girls got to hold these sanitized butterflies and really study them. They loved this.


Tyson and I had butterflies land on us :)




Took a picture of this one for Grandma Smith. This is her favorite butterfly.




Love her poses!







We met up with our friends, Jenny, Eric and Miles Smith, who just moved up to Maryland. Taryn is the sweetest with Miles. I love seeing them together. Actually, Taryn is super good with all small kids. She knows how to make them laugh, she watches out for them, and loves them so much. 
She is so special. 


Staying as still as possible. She was getting frustrated that not one butterfly landed on her. We were worried it might not happen. 5 minutes after this picture, one kissed her head. It was perfect!




The outside of Brookside Gardens, which is gigantic, was amazing. It felt like we were on the grounds of an England castle. There was so much green, turtles, unique birds and more. 



This was Haddie's reaction to a "funny pose." That face is all an act, too. She really was having fun and right after this they went running off laughing. Silly girls. 



We hope to go back to Brookside gardens and enjoy more time exploring the grounds. It started raining so we had to go, but no before using our selfie stick for a family photo ;)



Monday, June 26, 2017

Another soccer season for Taryn under her belt.





Taryn completed another season of soccer! She really enjoys team sports and thrives!
She usually hit a mid day slump right before practice started but getting her out on the field was such a natural high for her, she jumped right back to normal Taryn every time. Endorphins are an amazing thing!





I LOVE this photo of Taryn. She just happened to catch me taking a photo of her and smiled at just the right time before kickoff. 






She worked really hard this season on technique. She got really mad that everyone would kick her so much ( on accident) and not the ball. There were some tears during a few games where she came off the field hurt and upset. We had to explain that it's hard for kids to know where to kick when they all travel together (bumble bee soccer if what they should call it at this age) and we encouraged her to step out of the crowd, because the ball would eventually come out that way. 






^^Right after Taryn scored a goal ^^




Watching her play soccer brings back so many memories for me of when I played. Taryn is way more invested than I was. She has a natural competitive spirit that I do not posses. I love that about her. 
You can see the joy on her face as she plays. She gives every game her all, unless the humidity is 95% and it's 97 degrees out. In that case she is a puddle of red faced grumpiness. Very similar to how Tyson and I get with heat exhaustion. 
But really, she races for the ball and scores several goals at every game. If she is on the sidelines with her water resting, you can always find her cheering on her team. She screams "Go tough puppies!" or calls the girls by name. I love that about her. 





Her faithful cheer section. Man- there were some super super muggy games this round. But it was fun to see Taryn play- and teach Haddie why we support one another. She was a great cheerleader!
I loved hearing "Go Tar-when!" ;)
I really enjoy being a soccer mom (or any sport mom, really) because cheering on my kids and seeing how happy they get when they accomplish their goals gets me teary eyed every single time! 






So full of life, that one!






That's one awesome team right there.