Thursday, May 29, 2014

Walking in the rain

Caught in the rain with one little girl who loves to hold the umbrella

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Looking at the trains at Union Station

On National Train Day a few weeks back, we headed to Union Station in D.C. to explore the trains and take part of the kid activities that were going on. It's always a crazy busy place and then add on a bunch of little kids and their parents!!! Luckily it wasn't so bad and we were able to enjoy the trains, get some new coloring books and crayons for free!, and enjoy a fun metro ride together as a family.

Waiting for the bus to take us to the metro. It seems like since Taryn was about 5 months old in Italy, we've always found ourselves at bus stops thinking it's the perfect time to take a picture. Still just as fun even in Virginia

The event was sponsored by Chugginton (which I had never heard of? What about Thomas the Train??) 

Couldn't resist! Everything revolves around the #3 these days for Taryn. Snacks, minutes, books, toys etc...

Touring the privately owned train cars. I can't imagine waking up one day and saying, "I'm going to buy a train car!!!" 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Picnic on a Saturday

We packed a picnic last Saturday and headed out ---really- has it been almost a week already since we went!!!??---Man, I blink and the week has already gone by! 
I just love that we can pack and picnic and feel like we are in the middle of the woods in a matter of minutes here. We've seen the most beautiful robins and blue jays recently. Thankfully, we have a tree outside our front room window where the birds like to stay so even if we don't get outside, we can still see those pretty creatures. Just the other night, we had a blue jay join us for dinner :)

We've also seen our fair share of bugs now that the weather is warmer. Like that time after we had been to the park, I loaded up the girls and hoped in the car only to feel something crawling on my arm minutes later. It was a big big brown big big spider!!! YUCK! I'm the spider killer in our family but even this one gave me the creeps. I just kept praying he would stay where we has on my arm and not bite me. Well, he crawled a bit (which TOTALLY creeped me out!!!!)  Thankfully there was a parking lot I could pull over to and flick that little guy off me. 

I love that the weather has stayed so great for so long (knock on wood!!) Taryn is always quick to suggest we go on a picnic (or an adventure, or to the park etc…)
Here's hoping we can have lots more picnics and lots of beautiful days outside!

Monday, May 19, 2014

A little gymnast

   We walked into the gym and Taryn said, "I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!" And she was off!! While I was trying to take my shoes off to sit on the mat for a brief informational meeting, I looked up and scanned the circle of kids and parents but could not find Taryn. Again- I scanned and scanned. Oh no. I looked around the huge gym to find her clear on the other side, already exploring the equipment. She was SO EXCITED! (oh boy!)  I waved for her to join us and she could hardly sit still.

   They broke up into little groups and Taryn was beaming from ear to ear the entire lesson. Watching her from the mezzanine, I couldn't help but smile watching her full of excitement with each routine. Gymnastics couldn't be any more perfect for Taryn. It was worth stressing over getting a spot- as Gymnastics is the most competitive class to get into of the County. I remember not sleeping very well that night, worrying I would sleep through my alarm and miss the 3 minute window of signing up Taryn. Yes- the classes fill in 3 minutes and then you're wait listed! It's crazy!! But it's not wonder- the program is so well run.


With only a few times under her belt, she is really enjoying her time at gymnastics and looks forward to it each week. One of the instructors was explaining to me why she felt Taryn was a good fit for gymnastics. She mentioned her exuberant amounts of energy and willingness to be turned upside down at anytime. When I told Tyson what she had said, we both laughed. Yup- that's our Taryn :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Dansie Crew comes to Town- part 2

I took these pictures from Ashley's blog because they do a much better job at documenting our time with them. These three are great! We're so excited for their new adventure in CA to begin soon.

A little White House action. Of course, we're still struggling to get the whole family awake during the time of a photo op- --naps are good for sure- soon enough it will happen.

While we sat and ate lunch under the Washington Monument, these two cute kids played ball in the grass after devouring their lunch. Taryn also ALMOST got run over by a biker. That was a super scary moment for sure. We were all in a little daze for a bit after that.

While walking to our next stop in D.C., all three kids fell asleep! A perfect opportunity to chat it up with everyone and just enjoy a leisurely stroll around The Mall.

Just before we got into the American Indian Museum, the kids woke up. They must have known this was the time for them to play it up before getting back in their strollers again. If I remember correctly- Ashley has the most amazing balance out of all of us (Don't let looks deceive you, it's not that easy to keep balance in a pretend Kayak!)

I can't believe that after graduating High School in 2006, we would end up living near each other during the few years our husband's grad school/law school over lapped. We think it's pretty neat that we can pick up right where we left off, our husbands get along and enjoy each other's company, and our kids aren't to far apart in age! Thanks for making the trip up to see us, Dansies!! We loved having you!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bright colors on a Wednesday

Today Taryn and I perfected the art of dancing in the car to music. 
Taryn can bust a move- that's for sure. 

She may challenge bed time now (we made it so long without this nonsense!) but she is pretty fun to be around. How is it that three year olds can make you laugh so much?!

Lil' T "Mom, my foot hurts."
B- "What happened to your foot?"
Lil T- "I broke it off."

Taryn "Wow! I never think of that!" (when I showed her a different way to do something)

Taryn- "Mom, what's a bridge?"
B- "It's something you use to walk or drive on to get over a road, a river, or someplace you can't walk  etc…
Taryn- "That's crazy."

This past week Hadleigh has been looking so much like a 1 year old. Maybe it's the fact that she's already in 12 month clothing when she's only 7 months old and that she just grew a few extra inches over night!

She may not be thrilled about me feeding her solids, but she loves to feed herself (or just lick all the chocolate off my granola bar)

Monday, May 12, 2014

"I love you THIS MUCH!!!" Happy Mother's Day!

At the end of the day, I told Tyson that it had been a WONDERFUL Mother's Day. 
It was simple and perfect in every way. 

Tyson lit up on Saturday night when he had picked the perfect thing he knew he wanted to make for me for Mother's Day. He asked where our Smith family cookbook was (I treasure that thing!) and got to work texting siblings, comparing recipes and preparing for Sunday with a quick walk to the grocery store to get brown sugar. I LOVE that we live one block away from the grocery store. 

I heard him and Taryn working on something just before bed time on Saturday night. I smiled because I  kinda knew just what they were up to but didn't want to spoil anything. Taryn came back to our bedroom where I was camping out, and told me several times that I was not allowed to come and see what they were doing. "No, no mom. Stay right there. You can't see. No, No." again and again. 

Tyson told Taryn that they were going to give whatever it was to me in the morning. That broke Taryn's heart and she would have none of it. "NO!!! We have to give it NOW!!!!" Moments later Taryn burst into the room and said, "Happy Mother's Day! We made this for you!!!! Because I love you." It was the sweetest card made of Taryn's two hands. She had carefully traced the words "I love you. Love Taryn" and helped Tyson cut it out. In between the two hands prints was a zigzagged paper that read "THIS MUCH." I love her tiny hand prints and that I got the biggest hug ever from her just before she went to bed. And I love that she couldn't wait to give it to me in the morning!

Tyson made breakfast in the morning - what we now call Cowboy scramble- Tyson's little creation. At Church I learned a few things about Mother's Day. Like the fact that it's Mother's day, not Mothers' because they wanted it to be more personal. And that we've been celebrating moms officially for 100 years now. I talked with some pretty amazing ladies and found out some other awesome ladies had just become mothers for the first time a few days prior. 

At home, Tyson got right to work making Congo Bars- think a perfect mixture of a brownie and a chocolate chip cookie. They were fantastic and I love that Tyson has so many family memories connected to them. When Tyson cooks, the kitchen fills with amazing smells and sweet stories of his past. 

We took a recipe suggested by my friend and made Chicken Cordon Bleu Past Bake. So incredibly yummy. It just won a "permanent rotation on the Smith Menu Planner" award. 

Our walk outside after dinner turned into meeting up with friends at the park in our backyard. We sat on the benches as our kids played and enjoyed the great weather and conversations. We made it back in time to enjoy a Gmail video chat screen with my sister serving a mission in Missouri right now. While they tried to set up the video call with the rest of the family members, my little family & I sat there talking to Brooke for a bit and got to see her beautiful face. It made me think of our nephew Jayden who is serving his mission in New York, and my parents in-law who just left that morning to train for their mission in Albania for the next 18 months. We are surrounded by so many great examples of those willing to serve. 

I ate my weight in delicious Congo Bars for sure ;) I laughed when in the middle of church Sacrament meeting, Taryn said loudly, "Happy Mother's Day, Dad!" And I loved that Taryn came into my room while I was making the bed this morning and said, "Happy Mother's Day!" When I told her that it was yesterday, not today, she said, "No, It's today! Happy Mother's Day!" and then gave me another huge hug.

I'm thankful for these two cutie patooties whom I love so much. Tyson and I are so grateful for all the wonderful mothers, grandmas, and sisters we have in our lives. We have been blessed to know so many great examples of devoted mothers. 
Happy Mother's Day!!!

The Dansie crew comes to town

Our friends, the Dansie's, came up from Williamsburg, VA about two weeks ago to visit us. It was THE PERFECT WEEKEND!! The weather was fantastic, the company was perfect, and we got to pack in a lot of fun in a short amount of time. We're sad to loose Peter, Ashley & Miles to California but because they will be living close to my parents, I know we'll be seeing lots of each other in the future too. 

 Tyson and Taryn took a moment to pause in front of the White House together in their matching Nationals Hats. We all met up and explored some bits of D.C., had a picnic lunch and strolled around The National Mall while all the little ones slept before heading to more D.C. destinations. 

Taryn and Miles were definite snack buddies. 

Tyson ran inside the Natural History museum  while we walked by to take a picture of the new U.S.A.  T.Rex bones that were just delivered. But, if you want to see it in it's entirety, you'll have to wait 5 years until it's assembled and displayed. So glad we accidentally ventured into the dino exhibit a few months ago after not even knowing it was there! It will re open once this beast is all put together but you can see them working on it bit by bit now. Super cool!

I didn't catch any photos of Ashley & I on my camera so Ashley- send them my way! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Great Falls, VA

Great Falls

Two weeks ago, we drove up late Friday night to McLean, VA with my sister and brother in law so we could enjoy a little weekend getaway in the "country." They were house sitting and were allowed to invite a few guests so we were happy to join them. It's amazing how much your scenery can change in just 30 minutes. From busy city with tall buildings to never ending tall trees and deer. Virginia is gorgeous.

Great Falls was a perfect outdoor trail for our little family. Just long enough to make you feel like you are actually hiking, right next to the beautiful water cascading over the gigantic rocks, and flat enough for a toddler to walk and keep up with the group. There were plenty of rocks to throw in the nearby water too- Taryn's current love :)

These weekend trips are such a fun way to see more of the surrounding beauty that is Virginia. Adding the mix of a car show, good company, great BBQ hamburgers, and late night movies made for a memorable mini trip.

Scared of the giant bumble bees, Taryn covered her eyes saying, 
"I don't want the bug to go into my eye!!!"

Silly faces continued. And a limp fish Hadleigh who fell asleep during the hike.

Brittany & Seth coordinated everything for the weekend. We brought along some baked goods for various meals and enjoyed the conversations with all over the food.

Discussing life with Daddy. Always very informative.

A little Texas Sheet cake is good for the soul. 
Taryn was too busy running in the grass to sit all the way down to eat her cake. 

Antique Car Show