Sunday, December 3, 2017

Family Date Night at National Harbor


During the Summer months, National Harbor puts on a free Family Night with music, movies, and games. 
We ventured down to the harbor for a fun night together. 



That would be my kids climbing into a mouth of a giant. This statue is super large and portrays a man trying to climb out of the sand.


All the kids around love to climb on the man's face, hands, and leg (and it's totally encouraged.) Go figure! 



Our girls are masters at the Hula Hoops- yes both girls have it down! They were playing such fun music that the girls didn't want to leave. They wanted to dance all night long! There were giant Connect Four games, tic tac toe, hula hoops, corn hole and line dancing. 
We all had a good time and ended the night with a treat from the near by candy shop. 



Tyson and I returned a few months later for a date night that Tyson had planned. I got the sitter, he mapped out our date. 
It included a windy ride on a ferry boat to National Harbor, something we've always wanted to do.  I don't mind spending lots of time with this guy at all. It's always fun to sit back and chat about everything whenever we get the chance. 
It was a gorgeous day (a bit chilly for the time of year) but gorgeous and fun!


Wind blown hair and the warmest jacket I had. 





We ate at the best hole in the wall Crab Cake Cafe. SERIOUSLY delicious crab cakes. Their tartar sauce could have been eaten by the spoonful. I know that sounds totally gross but I promise you that you have never tasted anything like it! We found the jack pot when it comes to crab cakes. Can't get any better.





Tyson- that guy can sure plan a fantastic date night. He makes life pretty great. 


After dinner we walked around the Harbor and caught some great shots of the Capitol Ferris Wheel. Lat year for our 7th anniversary we went on the ferris wheel. Guys- I have a major fear of heights and  I wanted to scream the whole time but I did it (and therefore will never do it again. ) 



Friday, November 24, 2017

Adventures of the Summer 2017


Over the summer I started training for a Half Marathon that would take place in September. I took the girls on lots of my runs, Haddie in the stroller and Taryn on her bike riding next to me. The girls loved it and would often beg me to take them on a run. Great motivation!!! On the mornings I would have to wake up early and head out before they woke up to get my workout in, the girls would cry and beg to go back out with me. I love that they enjoyed running with me (or in Haddie's case, being pushed by me!) 

This is what I saw on every run with the girls. Haddie would sit contently in her stroller, feet crossed and eating her breakfast or snack. She was living the life!


Taryn can fly on her bike!


The morning views were gorgeous and I loved taking the girls on the endless trails around our home so they could experience this beauty. 


Don't be fooled though, it was HOT most mornings. We carried lots of water and I was usually drenched in sweat but it was worth it!
My training came to an end with an injury and it made me so sad. But thankfully with a few months of rest and light running in-between, new shoe inserts and a few other tricks, I'm good to go! But I'm not sure if I even really want to pay the money to run a Half Marathon. But will I work to get myself up to that mileage? I will try- and I'm excited about it. But truth is races out here are expensive!!!!



We filled our days with as many park days as we could, meeting up with out friends or heading out to explore a new park. These kids love being together with friends. We would pack their bathing suits even if we weren't specifically going to a place with water because you better believe my kids would find a way to get wet during the hot summer months. Above the girls played in a small river run off (possibly gross but....) and they loved it. 



This was my attempt to give summer a different fun twist. Animals frozen in ice cubes. This lasted about 5 minutes but I know now that my kids love smashing things- haha!


By August, my girls had picked out their Halloween costumes. We've learned that 1.) I'm not crafty and don't plan to make elaborate costumes 2.) Buying in August means you get the size your kid needs 3.) Costco has CHEAP Halloween costumes!




We love love love the Yards Park in D.C.
We've grown out of splash pads (though we visited a few) but I did notice that with the decline of splash pad visits, my kids did not get sick at all this summer. Correlation?!?




Frying Pan Park Fair was great for kids 3-12 years old. But man, I wish people would do fairs in the spring or fall more often. It's just soon hot out. This weekend we did actually was beautiful so we lucked out! 



Happy 5 Years of living in Virginia for the Smiths! I never thought we would be here this long, but here we are and we love love love it! It's far from family but we've been blessed with many visitors and opportunities to go back West to visit them. 



Teaching my girls the art of selfie stick picture taking... I think they got the hang of it, though it's still too heavy for Haddie to hold with the extra length added on. 



Sometimes our family adventures take us into D.C. and around the monuments. We've mastered parking and how to get around. That doesn't take away the frustration that sometimes comes with finding the right spot and the heavy traffic. 


Those scooters have been the best purchase for both girls. They love to see the city via scooters and we're getting further and further away from the stroller. I love it!



Heading into D.C. with friends to check out special exhibits like the new Narwhal exhibit. Truth be told, I had no idea narwhals were real. I talked to one of the Natural History Museum's staff about how I'm not the only one who thinks that way. Crazy! We learned so much.  


Taryn and Hadleigh mastered puff pancakes all by themselves during one hot summer day. I was so impressed and they loved the process. They've mastered egg cracking.





Biking and biking all around town. To school, on walks, at parks and more. 




Haddie LOVES her dress ups. Everyday she tries on at least one costume. Sometimes she sticks with one all day long, but there have been times where she's gone through at least 6 in the course of the day. I love her creativity!




These curly haired twins will be separating soon which is so sad. But they've had so much fun while these past years! 


Summer picnics - our favorite! 



Taryn showed us her drawing of our family face timing with Grandma. 
I thought it was very sweet that she showed this moment that she loves.  So thankful for technology that makes it possible to connect with family that lives far away. 


Haddie's drawings are getting better and better. She makes cute birthday cards for her friends and tells stories about the people she has drawn. This stage goes by so quickly where they draw stick figures. I have one of my drawings in a baby photo book that is so cute and I want to make sure I capture these beginnings of her drawings. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens -Summer blooms


After living here for about a year, I heard about these fantastic lotus blossoms at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in D.C., but it wasn't until 4 years later that we finally found ourselves in D.C. while they bloomed! Usually, we are vacationing the month of July and miss it. 




We had just gotten back from a big vacation and we were all tired, but I figured we could go for 20 minutes, love it and be done. It worked great!



The girls had the best time pointing out the huge dragon flies, geese, frogs, turtles and the blossoms bigger than our heads. Awesome!



And their poses?! Haha- totally made up by them! 





It really was a sight to see and I hope we can come back with Tyson next year. 



Yup- tired of walking (and still recovering from vacation) I had timed our trip just right of this year. 


One last funny pose (her doing!) and then back to home to finish resting and recouping from vacation. 

It's totally worth a visit so if you come into town during the middle to end of July, we will take you here! We also lucked out that it wasn't hot and humid that day Double win for the Smith girls!

Summer Swimming lessons


This year's swim lessons were great of both girls. Haddie takes a few weeks to remember how much she likes swimming and can do it by herself. There were a few days that we stayed after swim lessons to play around in the water and I practiced more jumping solo into the water while Taryn jumped over and over again. Haddie gained back her confidence so quickly! Her teacher was shocked at how well she was doing (he happened to pass by our a few times.)
Gaining strength in the water means so much to me because we spend so much time in the water during the summer months. Weather at the beach or at Lake Powell or a friend's pool. It's so important that kids know how to swim!







Taryn was a rock star with her lessons this year. I pushed her ahead in her class and signed her up for a few levels up, knowing she could handle the change with no problem. 
It was a really huge jump, turns out. And it was hard for Taryn. So hard in fact that she would come to me after practice and just start crying. She would do all that was asked of her during her lesson and melt down right after. This class forced her to find out just what she is capable of and how she can get through anything. Every week was a struggle to get her to swim without tears. She would say it was too hard and she would get too tired. I kept telling her what a fantastic swimmer she was and that she could do anything she put her mind to. Well, turns out she was one of the top swimmers (and the other two good swimmers were twice her age!!!!!!!) She really reached for the stars and pushed herself to do something hard. I am so proud of her. By the end of her lessons, she was loving it all! And I'm happy she can swim laps and laps by herself with no problem. 



Oh ya- when you give your kids a shower after swim practice, they might accidentally spray you with the shower head hose ;) 



Swim lessons wasn't enough for these girls. We would find ourselves swimming in D.C., with friends at a splash pad or occasionally at the beach. I love that they love water so much!
It was a successful summer for swimming!