Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cousins are so much fun!

   Taryn loves and misses her cousins so much. Every single day she asks to see them, have them come over and play, and to Skype with them.  While skyping with cousins the other day, Taryn asked if her cousins could come play at her house. We told her that they lived too far away to come over that day and she burst into tears. She loves them so much. I just melt when I hear them playing together. Or when hours pass by and I haven't seen Taryn, but only hear her talking with her cousins around the house. We didn't take near enough pictures of our girls and their cousins together! But then again, it's kinda tough to round up a bunch of kids while they are busy playing!

In my snowman jammies and other Christmas things

 Before January is over, I'm going to post the rest of our Holiday photos. Like taking a million photos one night with the girls in the Christmas jammies

hahah! This one reminds of Awkward family photos

The traditional Smith Christmas Tree Bread. It was really fun to see other Smith siblings posting their pictures of Christmas Tree Bread. It wasn't until after the bread was baked and I took a picture of it that I realized I forgot to cut off portions that make the tester piece. My tree looks a little crowded and not quite right because of it. As an excuse, I baked it at 3am (it was a long and busy day!) in an oven that doesn't work (it took 40 minutes to fully bake instead of 15 min.) It took us baking a few things to realize that there is a reason our landlords never use their oven upstairs. Bah. Next year…next year.. It still tasted perfect! :) 

We visited the White House Christmas Tree for all of 5 minutes before they evacuated the premises. That was fun.
 But at least Taryn got to see the tree and the trains running around the base. People were grumbling about having to evacuate. 
My thoughts? 
When you live in or visit D.C. and security guards tell everyone to evacuate- you listen. I don't want to be that one person that grumbles or fights a security guard only to regret later that I didn't listen. They know more about what's going on at that moment than I do. 

unwrapping Christmas before our Holiday travels

This girl and her party blower. 

And Grandpa Smith's trains
Taryn was in love with them! Grandpa has amazing trains with all the literal bells and whistles. Even real smoke piping out! Taryn went up to Grandpa one day while we were staying there and asked, "Grandpa, can we play with the trains?" It melted my heart and Grandma's. We spent the next 30 minutes just watching the trains and Taryn go round and round with them. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Setting the Spirit for the week

Ellie, Taryn & Stephan

This past Sunday was heaven. 
I felt like I spent the whole week thinking about the upcoming Sunday (and what not to repeat from the past Sunday) and we did it! We had a calm and peaceful time getting ready and out the door. It's AMAZING how that peaceful time in the morning can really set the Spirit for the rest of the day and so far, the rest of the week. Tyson and I even gave each other fist bumps while sitting in the church pews for having such a beautiful morning :) 

We said goodbye to dear friends who moved away (little Stephan on the right) and had a blast celebrating our other little friend, Logan, and his birthday over the weekend. We also just found out the Tyson's parents will be serving their 3rd mission in the Adriatic South Mission (Albania) as directors of the BYU-Idaho Pathways Program. 

Sometimes I get a sneak in a few minutes on the computer while my two girls are napping and it's like a little slice of Heaven to be able to update our blog, answer emails (even though it takes me forever sometimes!) or get some work done. But recently, more often than not, I have been cuddling with my girls even when they sleep. Both of them have been growing so much lately that I almost can't stand it! My little newborn won't be considered a newborn as of Monday which is just plain crazy to me that she is already 4 months old! Taryn continues to bloom and amaze me with what she knows. We watched some old videos of Taryn (I need to take more of Hadleigh for sure!) and couldn't believe how tiny she was at one point. Watching her walk around at 9 months just astounds me. How did she seem so big then? 

During tummy time, Taryn wanted to be sure Hadleigh had all her toys to play with (neatly displayed in a line, of course)

I sit on the floor and watch my girls play- one with toys while she bounces around the house making up stories and playing "grocery store" and the other who kicks and moves her arms in excitement as I talk with her. This week I have definitely taken a step back to admire the beauty of children, focusing on the bigger picture, God's amazing children that I get to parent, and how doing what I do is important. Speaking with my friend Lynne reminded me that you can grow closer to God and better understand His plan as you watch these beautiful children of the world growing up around you. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sleeping, hiding, or playing under the table

Not sure why, but you can always find my child under a table. 





Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Two cups of Artfully Chocolate

Even though last week seemed rough, there were a lot of great parts of it too. 
Like date night with my husband. 
I'll admit, we have not been great at going on regular dates through the years with schooling and work but I've made it a goal for this new year to do better at dating each other. 
Cause it sure is a whole lot of fun to get some quality one on one time with this guy :)

We enjoyed some fun hot chocolate from Artfully Chocolate in Alexandria, VA. Fun fusions with cardamom, lavender, chipotle peppers, wasabi, or berries to name just a few. On our walk around Alexandria, we found one of those cute "pop up libraries" in front of someone's home and took a book for us to both read. Now we have a reason to return (on another date to the area!!) so we can replace the book we took with another one. 

The lady behind us in line had her two children with her and we talked for a bit. When she found out we had a 3 month old she looked shocked and said, "So this must be your first night out!" Is it sad that we really had to think hard about if it was or not?! Definitely time to remedy that. Thoughts of a dating/babysitting co-op with our friends has been thrown around and I'll just say that I am a fan of that idea.

Kinda excited to continue dating my husband :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Tried Patience

Really, this past week was rough on all of us. It was almost a total fail. 

Toddler nightmares. UGH! The fact that Taryn could tell us exactly what happened in her dream just made me so sad for her. She turned into a scary monster with scary monster arms. She wouldn't even walk in her room for fear of the monsters. Nap time and bed time were almost impossible and mostly spent in our tiny main living space which was hard. 

Taryn & I got food poisoning on Wednesday….or so we thought …until Tyson got in on Sunday night!??!! To say we were violently ill is candy coating it. I held Taryn's throw up bowl while holding my own. I had no energy at all to hold Hadleigh and no milk for her. The following day we spent just lying on the bed trying to gain back our energy and the ability to eat.

Because of sickness (I thought I said I was done with being sick!??!!!) we had so many toddler meltdowns. Our patience was tried so much and I had to constantly give myself tiny pep talks about being better, being patient, and how to try to make her (and all of us) happy. I failed at that so many times.

Sundays are the hardest days in our house which is pretty ironic considering it's meant to be a day of rest. I can't make it to the car without wanting to throw in the towel and shed some tears. Each week as we drive to church I go through the morning and say, "Next week I will do ____ to make it all easier." As we sit in church I can't think of a better place for me to be.

All of the fuss of the past few days seemed to dwindle come Sunday night. I think everyone was just completely exhausted (or sick- Tys) and willing to work with each other. Taryn happily played with all her toys, making sure that Hadleigh, sitting close by, always had something to play with too. I sat and played with her thinking about how smart Taryn is, how lucky I am to have her and Hadleigh, and how these stressful days won't be our last, but rather I continuing test for me.  Like one of my friend's said, I have today to "try again."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I know these brothers had a great time at the Suns game. 
Thanks, Todd! Tyson was one happy guy!
Trevor- you were missed!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Before it was only 7 degrees here

This past week is was 7 degrees one day and more days of under 20 degree weather. 
So so so humid cold! 
But right before the temperatures dropped drastically, we had a little snow fall and made sure to get all the time we could playing in it. Taryn has become an expert at throwing snowballs and always wants to make snow angels. Who knew that the perfect way to eat a bunch of snow was by using an icicle? Every morning Taryn wakes up and sings, "Do you want to build a snowman?" from Disney's Frozen. I really like these light snow falls but maybe we need one really good snowfall so we can finally build Taryn a big snowman and then call him Olaf.

Coming home from our walk

Friday, January 10, 2014

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

Grabbing a new Year's photo before we left! Taryn was all about those party blowers

New Years Eve at the Booth's! 
Our flight back home was very early the next morning so we tried to party as long as we could. I think it was almost 10pm by the time we decided to pack things up and head home to get some sleep, shower and pack our suitcases more. 
But we didn't leave before playing some of the greatest games! HedBanz, Monopoly Empire which only takes about 30 minutes to play and Telestrations. If you're looking for fun new games you should try these! Telestrations was my favorite- being a version of the game Telephone but with drawings. I played one awesome round and switched off with someone so I could go to the bathroom. I watched the rest of the rounds (which is still highly entertaining) and then Tyson switched with me right as Hadleigh had a huge explosion. 
Of course! Man!  So we tag teamed that round - not the most ideal but that game is just too fun not to try again. 

Taryn & Caleb watched Despicable Me 2 for a bit

Games games and more games. 

For all of the trip from California to Arizona, Taryn, Hadleigh and I were a bunch of sickies. Taryn got better mid-trip which was awesome, Hadleigh didn't get it as bad as me or Taryn and actually started recovering before we left, and Tyson never got sick. The plane rides there were hard because all of us girls had ears that hurt with the descending flights. I cried on the flights back home because of the ear pain. Thankfully, the girls just kept sleeping and were not affected that time around. 
I felt like I just kept taking a whole bunch of medicine and hoped it would actually make a difference.  Sometimes, it just didn't. I was miserable and did a pretty horrible job at covering it up.  It was great that on the day of the wedding and Jayden's farewell I was able to function pretty normally. But every other day I felt like I was in a serious daze. There is nothing worse than feeling like you can't think or do because it just hurts or your so completely weak. Pretty sure some of my conversations with family members were pretty loopy too! After three weeks, I am finally getting better. Probably should have gone to the doctor but when your traveling it's tough to squeeze it in and then it becomes too late and your left to clear up by yourself. 
So, I have resolved to never get sick in 2014- ha!

I'm seriously excited for 2014. 
This year will be that of changes, improvements, enjoyment, adventures, learning, growing, and trying. I'm still working on my resolutions (remember the whole "Sick daze" thing) but I have already noticed a big change this year. 
Hello 2014, I'm ready for you!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Jayden leaves for the New York, New York South Mission

Ok- totally selfish but the wedding and Jayden's "farewell" talk couldn't have been at a better time. With the wedding two days after Christmas and Jayden speaking just two days after that, it meant that we would be on the West coast at the best time to be at both! We were so so so excited that we would see both families in one trip! 

Grandma Smith and Grandpa Smith with Jayden who is their oldest grandchild.

It's crazy for me to think that when I first met Jayden he was only 14 years old. Now he is serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! Looking at this picture made me remember that I totally forgot to take a picture of just Tyson and Jayden- who are more like brothers than uncle/nephew. Tyson wanted so badly to be in Arizona for this moment in Jayden's life. They really have a special connection that I continue to learn about. I enjoyed the Sacrament meeting he spoke in a listening to his beautiful testimony of Jesus Christ and the Gospel. We are so proud of him!

(Jayden and one of his friends)
My sister- in-law Janette (Jayden's mom) served Cheesecake to fit with his New York, New York South Mission call. 

We had to get in a picture of Grandma Smith with the two newest additions. Harper is just two months older than Hadleigh. I was so happy to finally meet Harper! What a cutie!

My sister-in-law Jenny with Harper. Hadleigh was oh so focused on the ceiling fan which she had never seen before. 

Jayden left just a few days ago and it's exciting to think that he will be just a few hours away from us. What a great work he will be doing! Tyson and I are planning to visit New York- maybe we'll have to make sure it's within the next two years ;)