Sunday, July 31, 2016

Take me out to the ball game - to give blood for free tickets!

A few months ago Tyson and I signed up to give blood at the Nationals baseball stadium. Tyson has done it many times before but it was a first for me. We took the girls along on our early morning adventure and had a lot of fun! This is my new favorite family photo :)

Taryn took a picture of Tyson and I giving blood. It totally worked out that we got to sit next to each other. I was surprised because the place was busy and full! We split up the girls to make it easier for us as a whole but the girls got to sit together anyway and play on our phones (to many sharp pokey needles sticking into people around us to play around) They sat ever so patiently waiting for us to get done. I beat Tyson in giving blood. I know, so silly! But he made it a race and stated that his blood flows really fast so he knew he would win - haha! 

After giving blood Tyson looked super pale and he said he felt light headed and had to rest for a bit. I took the girls into the snack room and we got extra juice for Daddy and some cookies to help him. Within a few minutes he was better again and we were off on our Nats Stadium tour. It was so much cool to see the press box, walk onto the field (well the grass was off limits but we were on the dirt rim) and learn about the quirks of the stadium. 

After giving blood at the Nats Stadium, you get a Nats shirt and two baseball game tickets per person. We asked if there were four seats together and we totally lucked out! We got the to have four tickets for the same day! 

After we decided to eat breakfast at Market Lunch at Eastern Market because we were in D.C. soon early and thought this might never happen again. Market Lunch is known for the fantastic breakfasts (blueberry buttermilk pancakes!) and their fish (crab eggs benedict) I mean, it was all soooooo good!!
We had tried to eat there once before when Tyson's mom came from Arizona to visit when Haddie was born but the line is always a 30-40 minute wait. It's worth it if you don't have a plane to catch like Janis did. We were happy we had the time to do it that day. The girls also love running around the Eastern Market open foyer with lots of other kids. It takes the "boring" out of waiting. Plus there is the awesome open air market with fresh fruit and home goods. That's always fun to look around. 

After we few weeks of waiting, we finally got to cash in our free tickets! As a family, we dressed in our Nats attire and prepared for the game that was on the hottest weekend of the Summer! I prepared with hand held spray fans for the girls. I knew the key to us enjoying our time was keeping the girls entertained and cool, and the fans did both. I'm thankful the game started at 7pm so at least when we arrived, it had started to cool off a bit. 

Tyson and I wore our matching "Nationals Blood Donor" shirts!

Haddie and Taryn covered their ears each time the crowd cheered. They both said it was too loud :)
They also liked to dance to the music each time they played the little snippets. Taryn really really wanted to be on the jumbo screen so she danced her little heart out. I will be putting a video of her on our YouTube channel, hopefully soon! 

The girls made it to the top of the 9th which surprised us, especially in the crazy heat! We promised them time to play at the Nats playground which they loved, then we headed home minutes before the game ended, beating the rush of people on the Metro. 
The ride home, Taryn was super goofy and we laughed a lot. A man behind us commented to his wife saying, "When was the last time you laughed that hard? It's contagious!" Taryn is our silly happy girl, always up for a laugh :)

Tyson also had an opportunity to go with some guy friends to a Nats game just a week before we went as a family. The picture is with Brad Glenn, who recently moved with his cute family to Boston. We're super sad about it! 

For mine and Haddie's first Nat's game, it was a success! Taryn and Tyson are always coming back of more, as Nat's veterans. We're excited to go again (for free again!!!) in a few months. The benefits of donating blood and saving lives :)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Summer 2016 Bucket List- checking off #2 & #3

These summer days have been the best. 

Right before she fell in the water! No tears for her though. She was happy just to be throwing rocks and getting wet. 

This Summer has been filled with lots of great family memories. We've taken every single Saturday we had and planned something off of our Summer 2016 Bucket List. It's kept us busy, happy, and exploring new areas. I LOVE IT!
We took a walk on the Four Mile W & OD ( Washington & Old Dominion) Trail along a river one night after dinner. The kids brought their scooters and we walked behind talking. It was a beautiful night and Taryn found the "perfect spot" for skipping rocks. 

Bucket List Item: Cabin John Regional Park in Maryland. 
There is a giant park with a mini train running around it that we've been wanting to try for some time now. The park is shade covered thanks to a canopy of tall trees around us. There was so much to see and do! It was also a really humid day so we took lots of breaks, drank water, and ate snacks to keep our energy levels up. 

There was "Porky the Litter Eater" who talked to you when you put trash in. The girls thought it was hilarious. What a great incentive for kids to throw away their trash. 

We took a train ride on this darling little chugger. Taryn and Haddie were SO excited. But after about 5 minutes, the train took a turn and two carts jumped off the track. Thankfully no one was hurt but it meant the last of the ride for us (and anyone else waiting in line) 

So we walked back. ;)

Because we were all the way up in Maryland, we had to slide in our #2 Bucket list item for the day. 
Rocky Point Creamery!!!
There is nothing better than ice cream on a hot day... ok, maybe jumping in a pool!

Taryn devoured her Cotton Candy ice cream and Haddie just picked the mini M&M's mix in out of her amazing strawberry ice cream. Tyson and I would definitely go back again. The ice cream was so creamy!

Haddie loved the baby cow and kept hugging him.

When we pulled up, the girls started squealing with delight. Then Taryn proclaimed, "I want to take a picture with the COW!!!!!!" So here we are :)

They created this fun play structure out of an old combine. What a great use for something that doesn't work anymore. Brilliant! 

This is my favorite picture of me and the girls! I love their cute smiles and those gorgeous sunflowers as our background. 

I tried to get a picture of just Hadleigh but she was scared of the bugs getting on her. She's out "must be clean" girl for sure. 

Taryn was happy to explore and let me take pictures of her throughout the sunflower patch. 

It's exciting to cross off items of our Summer 2016 Bucket List and the girls enjoy the activities too. I know a lot of people of have recently said that having kids has slowed down their fun, or it's harder to do things, or they aren't doing as much as they used to now that they have kids. It breaks my heart! Yes, kids make situations a little more challenging sometimes but it doesn't have to be hard. You can still see and do SO much with kids in tow. We love sharing adventures with our girls! The benefit to their current age too is that most of what we do is either free,  super cheap, and always packed with fun adventure. It reminds me of all the hard work my Dad put into planning weekends and vacations for our family. 
Life is fun with children!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

This Summer- it's been so fun!

Way back to Memorial Day, we had a fantastic BBQ at our friends home. The kids were all about these U.S.A balloons. This is also where we learned our family really loves Corn Hole. 

I love all these photos of my girlies at the spray park. It was one of our first trips to the spray grounds for the summer and the girls went crazy for it! I love the pure joy that comes from them playing in the water on a hot day. Just look at those faces!  Taryn had to wear a swim cap to protect her head wound that she got from falling at the zoo. Her wound didn't close with staples so we had to just leave it open but it closed up super fast, Thankfully. 

We went to Goodwill one day to hunt for camping supplies (which we found, yay!) and the girls had a lot of fun playing with the random objects around the store :)

More spray park fun but this time with friends. These kids are so much fun. 

That  little head in her purple helmet. She picked out her new helmet and made sure it matched perfectly with Taryn's helmet. I love those little signs that these two sisters love each other. 

My girls and me :)

It's always better in Daddy's shoes

Plenty of play time with our good friends. We had the BEST pizza with the Haley's a few weeks back. We ordered from Ledo's Pizza. The kids loved their pizza and watermelon, while the grown ups loved their HotLanta BBQ pizza. It was so interesting and yummy! We've realized more and more lately that we LOVE jalapenos. I've been cooking with them more and they add just the right amount of kick. 

At the end of a gymnastics round, Taryn and Ethan played around with one of their coaches. Taryn discovered a few terms ago that she could lick and stick her ribbon to her head. It's all she wants to do now when she gets a new ribbon. 

Oh this was such a fun little moment in time for Haddie. Dressed in full Elsa attire, she belted out the words to, "Let it Go!" and sang it with feeling. I happened to catch it on film and I will put it on our YouTube channel (which I'm working on updating!) 

There's always time for a tea party. 
Taryn and Haddie love tea parties and using my tea set from when I was a kid. We made lots of "crumpets" or sandwiches cut into mini triangles, little plates filled with popcorn, bite sized watermelon, apples and popcorn. I love watching them use my old tea set and also use my blanket as a tablecloth that I made for my doll. I love these girls!

Just a regular day filled with dress ups! I love that way Haddie looks up to Taryn. They may fight and know which buttons to push to bug each other, but they are so cute together when they want to be.

Fun while shopping with Daddy

Sometimes after our swim lesson, we would decide on a whim to head to a spray park. Our Special Habor is a favorite of ours!

Swim lessons with our buddies! It was a total accident that we signed up for lessons at the same time as the Tripp girls but what a happy coincidence.

This is Haddie' happy place. By the pool, still wet, with her hat, lunch and water by her side. 

A few weeks ago we were able to attend an event near the U.S. Capitol, remembering our friend Nate Graham who tragically passed away almost 8 months ago, and benefitting his 4 young boys and their future college funds. 

More spray parks! This time a new one to us- The Yards Park in D.C. It's our new favorite!

Haddie has also perfected her belly flop :) This always brings lots of smiles to her face - silly girl. 

My twin niece and nephew turned 1 year old this month! I made them their smash cakes, doing a watercolor technique which I hadn't tried before. I'm learning! 

Cow Appreciation Day was so fun! We met up with our friends and all the kids got to eat together. Haddie kept saying before we got there, "We going to get a cow!" or just dress like one, Haddie :)

Taryn and Haddie are rocking their summer reading charts! Their favorite prize so far for reading a 40 books was silly putting. Not my favorite choice but they've been so happy with it. 

I love that this summer has been full of fun, learning, and family time. So much to come too!