Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The 1st half of our summer adventures 2017

There is so much to do in the DC Metro area and we've been super lucky to have pretty good summer weather. This last week in August feels like the middle of October- fall weather! We've been loving it!

We explored the River Farm, once owned by George Washington, with our friends who moved here just for the summer. There are many pluses to living in the DC metro area. One is that you meet so many people from all over the world. The downside is that not everyone sticks around forever. Our fun friends were only here for 6 weeks so we tried as best we could to squeeze in lots of adventures today! We miss the Robins!

I didn't teach her that pose! Hahaha!

Love her sweetness and her love for this grass bench. She gets a picture here every time. Plus, see that handbag? She's been saying, "I want to be like you mom, and carry my money around!" Well most of her money is in change so it's quite heavy!

We've been taking advantage of the most beautiful summer weather we've had for most of the summer and exploring our neighborhood. One night we decided to skip our 8pm bedtime and head to the Lincoln Memorial with the girls. 10 seconds after getting out of the car, Haddie fell hard and had a super banged up knee. She cried for most of the time but we still had fun! 
Both girls had their scooters which makes it easy to walk long distances with them. 

The sunset was amazing. Actually, this summer in particular has been amazing with the color in the sunsets and sun rises. I have loved getting the chance to view so many. Usually we are in our home for the night by 7:30pm. These nights were we stay out "late" (for us) are always special. 

With the George Washington monument in the background and the reflecting pool. 

Sunset on the Potomac plus my loves. The sounds of the waves clapping the bank was so soothing. 

I love this adventurous girl!

My crush every. single. day.

This group of ducks helped Haddie stop crying. I don't blame her, really. She had a super bad fall thanks to a protruding tree root. But we had heard her crying for 20 minutes. This was the best distraction we could think of! It worked!

See- no more tears! Parenting at it's finest. It's all about the distracting :)

Uncle Seth had a family work event and we were invited to go. the girls loved the free snow cones, cotton candy, bubbles, magic show and rubber duckies they got as prizes. 

It was a miracle that these snow cones didn't end up everywhere. I kept a hawk eye on each bite. No way was I going to have a sticky mess on my hand. 

Pink on Pink on Pink on Pink on Pink

These kids are the best bunch around. 

Our little friend Olivia had the cutest "Under the Sea" mermaid party. I made a cute little cake for the event. Danae (Oliva's mom) always comes up with the cutest themes and decor. 

Haddie was certain that because it was a birthday party, it meant it was a costume party and she needed to wear her Rapunzel dress. 

I mean, those poses just don't stop!

We've loved our summer adventures and spending time with family and friends. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Every summer there's a NATS game for the Smiths

We all love going to the Washington Nationals games as a family. The girls dane to the music and try to get on the dance cam, though we sit in the near nose bleed sections so that will never be possible. But do you think I will ever tell them that?! :)

On this particular day, Haddie got a blister on her foot so in order to not further irritate the blister Haddie picked two different shoes to wear. And we rolled with it (and laughed a lot!) But she owned it. I love her sassy strong personality.... most of the time ;)
And do you see that tutu of hers? That was the way we got her to wear her NATS shirt to the game. That girl won't wear anything unless it twirls. 
Taryn is a NATS fan through and through, often picking her NATS shirts to wear during the week. I love Taryn's enthusiasm to do anything her Daddy loves. 
We took this picture on our way to the fun play structure they have at the NATS stadium for kids. It was the best way to get the wiggles out for the girls so we could make it to the bottom of the 9th, hear the "Take me out to the Ball game" song and watch the bobble head presidents run around the bases. 

Ya, Daddy is definitely the favorite <3

We received our tickets because we donated blood for a boy's Eagle Project in our ward. It was a complete surprise to us that we would be able to go that day. Thankfully, we had nothing planned and had just asked ourselves, "What will we do with the rest of our Saturday?" before walking in to donate. 
A perfect solution to that "problem" if you ask me!
The weather was fantastic for a June day in D.C.

Friday, August 25, 2017

We make our Dad a tie for Father's Day!

We love our Daddy!!!
We loved celebrating Tyson and all the amazing Father figures in our lives. We are blessed with the best Grandpa, brothers, brothers in law, uncles, friends and more!
The girls loved making his Father's Day tie again this year. As I stood in the kitchen and let them take over his tie creation, I could hear the girls say, "more glitter!!!! More puff balls!!! More paint!!!"
We forget every year that Tyson should tie a tie before we decorate and paint it. This tie becomes nearly impossible to tie but he still loves it!

Tyson is the favorite in the family. 
The cool head under pressure, the silly word maker, the best bed time routine man and the most loving father and husband. 

Well I had to include this little chocolate faced chica climbing barefoot in front of our church building because.... well, it's totally normal for her. 

We enjoyed a trip to Sandy Point Beach, MD on the Saturday before Father's Day. The girls love how playful Tyson is in the water with them and the games he plays. I love floating as a family and the fact that this beach has zero big crashing waves so I feel so very safe. 

Celebrating Father's Day is even better with Ribs, sweet potato mash and roasted carrots. I mean, just the very best for our man!

I'm happy to celebrate Tyson and all he does for us. We are better people because of him. We love him!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Getting outdoors before Tyson's started his new job. Hiking and Canoeing

We got super lucky that Tyson had about a week in-between his old job and new job. So we took advantage of that time and tried to get some bucket list items checked off. 

We had the first week of June head up to Shenandoah and hike a trail to a beautiful waterfall that we've seen many pictures of. I was so excited because I knew the girls would love it!

We drove part of the Skyline Drive again and Haddie fell asleep again for most of it. Taryn spotted a lizard and loved climbing all over the rocks. 

Empty roads with the dense clouds hanging low. 

We started off on our hike and it didn't take long for the girls to start complaining. Maybe they were tired from the day before that was spent at Masssnutten, a indoor water park. Or maybe it was just the weather? 
Tyson and I were determined to continue on. We convinced the girls to keep walking and tried to keep their spirits up. We saw about 4 deer cross the path in front of us and it was so fun! But then it started pouring rain. Like, we were drenching in seconds. The girls really started complaining.
But we knew it would only take 20 minutes to get to the waterfall and that meant we would be there any minute. 

I turned to talk to Taryn who was behind me and I heard Tyson say, "Oh gosh. OH GOSH!" I whipped around to see a black bear running to the side of us, about 25 yards away. WE FROZE.
We started backing up slowly and watched as the black bear darted into a bush near a campsite in front of us where someone was cooking lunch. We didn't stick around to make sure the campers were ok (oops.....but there were tons of campers so I'm sure everything was ok.)

We decided at that point that it was time for us to turn back. If the whining and the rain didn't get to us, a bear should did! 
We got back to the car, changed our soaking clothes and ate lunch in the car (because it was still raining.) That's when Tyson, who had pulled out the map while eating, discovered that we were on the wrong trail for the waterfall. Turns out we followed a "Detour" sign because of flooding that wasn't well placed. We followed hikers in front of us and were on a loop that would have taken hours and led to nothing. 

So maybe it was the Holy Spirit trying to save us from having an extremely miserable hike. We would have had no food because we left everything in the car due to the short 20 minute hike it was to be, we would have been cold and even more wet, and who knows what else would have been on that trail. 

This was the happiest the girls got on our little hiking adventure. Back by our car there was a water fountain. Because the girls were already wet, we let them have at it. They giggled like crazy. 
How is it that something so small could bring big smiles to their once saddens faces just moments earlier??!!!

Needless to say, we wore these girls out and decided to cut our trip short because the rain had come sooner than expected and the rest of our outdoor plans were squashed. 

We took Memorial Day to explore Pohick bay again (almost 1 year later!) and rent paddle boats (not very fun) and a canoe (fantastic!) Their rentals were cheap and the girls LOVED it!

We sang songs, paddled to see interesting points around the bay, talked and laughed as a family. 
Tyson said one of his favorite family memories was made on that boat- singing altogether. 
It definitely was a terrific family adventure. We all ate our lunch on the boat as we paddled along, saw fishes and unique birds, and just loved spending time on the boat together. The girls were hard workers, sharing the paddle and really getting into the rhythm of padding. 
So though hiking in Shenandoah didn't go exactly as planned, this day made up for it!

We loved having that week with Tyson home in-between jobs. We were spoiled for sure. Tyson would pick Taryn up from school, walk with us to school, played with Haddie and had special dates with her, and we got to sneak in a few day dates as well while Haddie was a preschool and play dates!
Days like this don't happen enough, which is why we loved it so so much!