Friday, July 29, 2016

Date Night in Old Town

Lately Tally has been giving his kisses out like candy and I'm so glad Braedon caught it on camera!  In the mornings I sit him on the kitchen table and we usually share yogurt or cereal or whatever and after EVERY bite he leans in and gives me a kiss.  I don't even care that his face has food all over it, it's the sweetest thing.  

This picture is super grainy but we stumbled across this beautiful garden and couldn't not get a picture!  

Old Town Alexandria has been one of our very favorite places to go so far because it is so close to us and there is so much to see.  I love the cobblestone streets, the little shops, ice cream parlors, hundreds of places to eat and being able to walk down to the Potomac and watch the boats or feed the ducks.  It is seriously SO pretty.  

For our date night we decided we'd just pick a place to eat once we got there and we had plenty of options.  We went with a pizza parlor and had a relatively good experience considering we were cutting it close to Tally's bedtime! (Still haven't found a sitter we feel comfortable with).  Our waiter was SUPER busy and took FOREVER to get us our check and at this point Tally had had enough!!  He was being crazy so I grabbed him and the diaper bag and we started heading out to walk the shops while Braedon took care of the bill.  This cute older mom saw me on our way out and smiled at me. She gave me that look like, "I've been there, you're doing just fine".  It was so nice of her and I love it when other moms just give you that look like they "know'.  

Of course once we left the pizza parlor Tally was as happy as a clam.  He loved running around the fountains and there was this little stage in the back that he got up on and started performing for us haha.  He was just dancing and being so silly.  It was such a beautiful evening and Braedon and I had planned to go walk by the Potomac but forgot that we had only paid for two hours of parking so we had to leave (one of the bummers of living here, parking is terrible).  But it was still such a fun date night.  When we got home we put Tally to bed and then we had popcorn and brownie brittle and played cards.  We definitely count down the days of the week until date night comes around! 

American History Museum + Washington Monument

Interesting story about this photo!  I was trying to get a picture of Tally and Braedon when this cute girl came up to us to ask if we'd like a picture all together.  After, she asked us if there was anything we'd like her to pray for us about.  Turns out she was in DC for a church mission-how cute is that though?? I wish there were more people like her in the world, and I hope I can be more like her too.  

Just aboard the hogwarts express ;)

One of our mornings before Braedon had work we headed into the city to see the American History Museum.  Tally LOVED the "transportation" exhibit with all of the trains, motorcycles, planes, etc.  I love taking him to the museums because he makes everything seem SO much more interesting.  He has the best GASP there is and is always "oooooh-ing" or gasping at every little thing.  They had this cute area for littler kids that he enjoyed too since it was more interactive for him.  

Since we had an awesome parking spot and we were so close to the Washington Monument we decided we might as well walk over and see it.  I think it might've been more enjoyable if we weren't melting our faces off! haha! I legitimately sent my friends and sisters a snapchat of my mascara ALL over my eyes when we got in the car because it was SO hot and humid!  I think I need to invest in some water (sweat) proof makeup.  

I feel so lucky to be able to be out here with my little fam.  Tally makes me so much more adventurous and I find us going on little adventures that I probably wouldn't have thought to do without him here.  

Typical Evening

This has got to be my FAVORITE picture of Tally and Braedon right now.  It captures him perfectly.  We have been making nightly trips to the pool just before bedtime to wear Tally out and it has been so fun.  Braedon usually swims a few laps while Tally and I practice him jumping to me in the pool, and then Braedon joins us and we all play for a bit.  

Then, usually Braedon puts Tally down for bed while I go to the gym at our condo.  When I get back we've been working on painting furniture, catching up on The Bachelorette or we watch a few episodes of The Office haha. I've been trying to really take advantage of this time I have with Braedon because I know once school starts our little "routine" will be much different!   

Trip Back To Utah

Last week we got to travel back to Utah (still feels weird saying that) for a quick weekend trip so we could attend my sister Emily's wedding.  It was a beautiful wedding and we are so happy for her and Josh and the kids!  Everything turned out perfectly.  

The night before the wedding my brother and his band put on a backyard concert, which was so fun!  They are actually really good and Tally loved the music!  He was asleep when we got there (still on VA time) but woke up once they started playing.  It was hilarious because he woke up saying "woooahhhhh! oooooh!" and just got right into listening to the concert!  

We also hiked bells canyon up to the waterfall while my parents watched Tally.  I always forget how steep that hike gets at the end right before you get to the waterfall!  It's killer but was totally worth it.  

We had so much fun having everyone together.  It was a madhouse at my mom's- we all stayed there so kids were just running everywhere!  Tally was in heaven playing with all of his cousins.  We also got to get together with the Murdock's for Sunday dinner and did fireworks after for the 24th.  And of course, we had to do a girls lunch before our flight left on Monday!  It was such a treat because we were ALL there, which rarely happens these days!  Needless to say, by the time we boarded the plane Monday night we were ALL exhausted.  We had been partying all weekend long.  Tally actually fell asleep before the plane even took off haha.  But he woke up about halfway through and we spent the rest of the flight watching movies on the iPad and looking out the window.  Tally thought it was the coolest thing to open and close the shade.  

We are back and settled in Virginia and can't wait for the Murdock's to come visit us next week!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gravelly Point

Every morning Tally and I go out to water the flowers. He recently learned how to "smell" them, which is what he is doing in this picture! 

^^ all piled up to watch a movie ^^

^^ the view from our balcony after the thunderstorm this weekend ^^

Yes, my eyes are 100% half open in this photo but the scenery was too pretty to leave it out!

This weekend was so ordinary, but there was just something so special about it.  Braedon and I had multiple "moments" over the weekend that we would look over at each other and smile-we both knew we were thinking the same thing-we didn't ever want to forget the sweet moments we had been experiencing.  

Friday is and has always been our "date night", ever since Braedon and I met.  That was something that really made him stand out to me-he ALWAYS made sure we went on a weekly date.  This week he planned a trip to "The Italian Store" in Arlington for dinner and then Gravelly Point to watch the airplanes take off at the Reagan Airport.  The drive into Arlington was BEAUTIFUL!  I wish I had gotten pictures, but I was honestly too distracted with the scenery.  We drove through winding roads with magnificent trees on either side reaching up to the skyline, under beautiful bridges, past the Potomac, and as we like to call it "Hogwarts" off into the distance haha (which was really just the cathedral in downtown DC).  From where we were driving it honestly looked like Hogwarts!  Especially because there were so many trees and the Potomac surrounding us.  It was pun intended.  

Braedon kept forgetting the name of Gravelly Point and kept calling it, "the gravel pit", so one thing led to another and it will forever be known to us as, "Gravelly Armpits".  Probably one of those inside jokes know that no one else will think is as funny as we do.  

Tally loved watching the planes and his reaction to the first plane was PRICELESS.  He got so excited, and just "ooohhhhh-ed!" and giggled.  It was so pretty because they take off right over the river.  

Saturday morning Braedon left early to play soccer with our ward so Tally and I snuggled and watched some cartoons in the morning.  Then the three of us headed to the park to wear Tally out a bit before nap time.  The last picture is just a little walkway that they have near the park.  Braedon and I even got a little nap in while Tally was napping and it was heavenly!  After that we headed to Walmart for some groceries.  When we got home I started making dinner and Braedon and Tally headed into the extra bedroom/playroom to play with Tally's train set.  I could hear them giggling and  then Braedon pulled out his guitar and I could hear him singing to Tal.  By this time there was an incredible thunderstorm going on outside, so I cracked open our sliding glass door to our balcony and made chocolate chip cookies.  I was definitely in my happy place!  I had my boys happily playing down the hall, a thunderstorm outside, dinner in the oven, and cookies baking.  

After dinner the three of us piled onto the couch and watched a movie.  It was honestly such a perfect day, and I couldn't help but just grateful for all that we have been blessed with.  Our move out here has gone so smoothly, and while we aren't without challenges we recognize the many tender mercies we've been blessed with to make this transition easier.  

Friday, July 15, 2016

I Don't Want To Forget

My boys at the National Air and Space museum.  

Tally's favorite dinner. Tilapia, and all of the best parts of my salad (raspberries, strawberries, avocado).  He is the healthiest eater and honestly doesn't like most "kid food".  

Still getting used to my gas oven- luckily we just shaved off the ends and this banana bread was HEAVENLY!  Tally loved it too so I am calling it a win because I am always looking for ways to fatten my little string bean up! 

More of the Air and Space Museum.  Tally loved the kid areas where he could interactively play.  I loved the world war II exhibits and especially the wax figures of the pilots in all of their flight gear- totally made me tear up.  

"Noooooo, I don't want to leave the pool!!"

Totally blurry, but this was one of my favorites on the "space" side.  

There are SO many things I don't want to forget right now.  

...I don't want to forget how Tally started saying "amen" after each prayer this week

...I don't want to forget how Tally started singing along to "Rio" and sings, "eeeeoooo, eeeeeeooo" instead of "Riiiiooo, riiiooo" during the opening and closing songs

...I don't want to forget all of Tally's words right now...
-da-ee (daddy)
-what's that?
-"ka-ka" (as in gross haha)
(all those "b" words sound basically the same haha)
-choo choo
-what doin?
-where going?
-uh oh
....aaand a whole bunch of gibberish

...I don't want to forget how Tally "reads", and talks to himself all day in his own language

...I don't want to forget Tally's favorite foods: tilapia and raspberries 

..I don't want to forget how Tally doesn't like normal kid food like chicken nuggets and pb & j's

...I don't want to forget his face after going down the "big" slide today like a "big" kid, and how he smiled and said, "again!"

...I don't want to forget how much he loves others kids, especially when he finds one about his same size haha

..I don't want to forget making dinner last night. I was frustrated because Tally was being SO needy.  But then I realized he probably thought I was "playing" without him (I guess making dinner could look fun to a 17 month old??).  So I lifted him up, placed him on the counter and showed him what I was doing.  I gave him a spoon and he helped me "cut" the cucumbers and avocado.  I helped him while I browned the meat for our tacos and he rested his head on my shoulder and snuggled me while I cooked, almost like he was saying "thanks for including me mom!" After dinner he "helped" me wash the dishes.  I gave him a mini scrub brush and he started scrubbing the dish I was cleaning....and then immediately after started brushing his hair with it!!  haha I told him he looked handsome, and then we went to the pool for a night swim before bath-time and jammies.  It was such a perfect evening.  

...I don't want to forget what our life is like right now.  Braedon is busy trying to provide for our family.  I am busy trying to take care of our home and Tally.  I always either have food or something sticky on me, or my hair isn't washed. I am always cleaning up messes, and I get the sweetest kisses and snuggles from Tally regularly.  We are always looking for ways to save money, and have date nights that Tally will enjoy too.  We are so blessed, and I am lucky to live a life with these incredible boys.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

First Sunday in VA + Natural History Museum

We took this using our self timer after church to document our first home cooked meal in our new place.  My mom was so sweet to teach me how to make one Braedon's favorite dinner of hers- roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots and rolls!  I can't believe I had never attempted it in our (almost) 4 years of marriage.  I think I was just way too intimidated by my mom's cooking!  My mom even went out and bought me the right pan to use because she wouldn't allow me to have my roast be "sub-par" under her watch haha!  It turned out perfect and it was so wonderful to come home to dinner ready-especially since now we have 3 o'clock church.  It's a tradition for me to make something "new" in every new place we live for our first home-cooked meal, so far the tradition lives on!  

Also, as a side note I'm slightly embarrassed that I wore the same dress for my last Sunday in UT and first Sunday in VA...however it's one of my only dresses that doesn't wrinkle so....give a sister a break! haha

Braedon is still working from home until school starts but since we are two hours ahead we decided to sneak out in the morning and go to the Natural History Museum.  Tally was honestly EATING IT UP.  He was in Heaven!  He was "ooo-ing and ahhh-ing" and gasping at everything.  He kept laughing and pointing and growling and just about every excited sound you could make!  It made the experience a thousand times better.  This place was honestly incredible though, I was having a blast myself!  I loved the mummy and bone exhibit.  Maybe someday I'll have to go during Tally's nap time so I can actually sit and read about each presentation haha.  

These pictures are blurry because I took them from my snapchat video but I had to document them so you could see his face at the museum.  In this photo he was looking at a bear.  He was so impressed with it!  He was laughing, and pointing and growling (like a bear) haha.  

I seriously don't know why he thought this was so amazing but I sure loved watching his expressions!  We will most definitely be making lots of trips back.  We wanted to go into the butterfly exhibit but decided to pass because you have to pay for a ticket-however apparently it's free on Tuesday's so you better believe we will be back there first thing on a Tuesday!  I'm kind of jealous at all of the fun stuff Tally will get to experience here in DC as a kid.  I'm not sure if he'll remember a lot of it but I'll definitely be taking lots of videos and pictures to show him when he gets older!  

4th of July 2016 + our Last Sunday in UT

Our last Sunday in UT I went to my parents ward.  It was fast Sunday and I loved hearing ward members that I grew up knowing get up and bear their testimonies.  So much has changed since I lived at home!  One woman in our ward that I've known since we've lived there has been diagnosed with brain cancer and has very little time left on earth.  Her testimony was incredible, and she really made me stop and think about what's important in life.  Her  positive perspective was truly amazing.  

Tally is finally getting the hang of holding my hand, although he would much rather be allowed to run-free!  We are walking across the street from church back to my parent's house in this.  He is a busy boy and pretty independent.  I love that he will play by himself but he also likes to get into lots of trouble.  Just today I found a train in the toilet -_-.  I honestly turned my back for 3 seconds!  

I couldn't get over how handsome he looked in this outfit.  Those sandals kill me.  I also love that he WOULD NOT let go of that yellow train.  He is super into trains and balls, and usually holding at least one at all times.  I took these right after we left church and he held that train all the way home.  

The fourth of July we spent the day swimming, playing at the splash pad, eating popsicles, and having a bbq at my parents house.  We did fireworks that night and some other people in my neighborhood were doing them at the same time and they were amazing!  It was the best show we've had from our own lawn, hands down!  I felt like I was at a park.  Tally loved the fireworks and was just mesmerized.  He would point and say, "oooooh".  

I'm so sad we won't be able to take advantage of the splash pad at Willow Creek this summer!  They just built it and it was perfect for Tally-not too big or too "splash-y" haha!  He had a hard time learning that he couldn't just go take other kids' toys.  I finally found some good pool toys at Target and I think we are going to have a blast this summer in our pool at our condo.  They have a separate kiddie pool that's really shallow and perfect for Tally right now.  

The day before we left we got together with my friends and went swimming.  (We also met up at Chili's one night and loitered for 3hrs chatting over DC's, queso, and molten lava, but forgot to get a picture).  I loved getting together with these girls and our babes/ Lyndsi's nephew.  I can't believe we are at this stage right now!  It's weird to think that just a few years ago we were going to dance parties and staying up late eating pancakes at 3 in the morning.  These girls are friends for life and I'm so grateful to celebrate these milestones together.  

Leaving Utah was so surreal.  It was hard to say goodbye and I just keep reminding myself that we'll be back to visit.  I was torn because I loved being with my family but Braedon was here without me and I missed him a lot.  I'm sure my family was ready for some peace and quiet (and a living room free of toys!) once we left though!  It still doesn't feel real that we are miles away from friends and family.  

Virginia is For Lovers

Well... you're looking at the newest residents of Alexandria, Virginia!  So far we love it here.  We are about a 20 minute drive from DC, and only 10 minutes from Old Town and the cutest view of the Potomac.  We were laughing because I was so excited to learn that Walmart, Mcdonald's (gotta have that DC), Target, Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Costco are all within 10 minutes of our condo!  Gangs all here guys, gangs all here haha.  

Luckily my sweet mom flew with Tally and I to make the trip out here a million times easier.  Someone prayed for us because we had a whole row to ourselves.  Tally was pretty busy during the flight but would settle down to watch movies for a bit and finally fell asleep about 10 minutes before landing haha.  I'm so glad I had her extra hands to help with him, she is so good with Tally.  

While my mom was here we visited the Botanical Gardens, made trips to Costco, Walmart and TJ maxx, and spent time just being with each other.  My mom was an angel- she did my laundry, cleaned our kitchen, played with Tally, bought all of our groceries, and babysat so we could go on a date night just the two of us- it could be our last one for a while!  I only used a babysitter that was non-family once since Tally was born so we will see how long it takes me to leave him now that we are away from family-eek!  

I am also so grateful for my mom's homemaking skills.  She's taught me how to turn a house into a home and how to take care of a family.  I call her all the time with the silliest questions about recipes or how to clean something and she always has an answer!  She made us a batch of homemade jam and left us with homemade chocolate chip cookie dough so that we would, "have a treat ready to bake for family home evening".  

My boys on the way to the Botanical Gardens with the Capitol in the background.  

I can't get over how BIG this kid is looking! Makes me wanna cry!

Tally slept basically the whole time we were at the gardens- he literally woke up on our way out.  I was bummed because they have a cute area for kids to play and they can plant their own flower.  Luckily we have plenty of time to come back! 

Our first date in our new home we celebrated by driving to Old Town and eating dinner at Blackwall Hitch overlooking the Potomac.  I loved watching the sailboats and told Braedon that's what I wanna do for our anniversary one of these years haha.  Crossing my fingers and toes! 

What's better than watching your baby sleep??

Tally at Costco just having a BALL trying all of the samples.  That milk mustache is killer.  

Another classic picture of Tally.  We took my mom out to dinner the last night she was here and fed the ducks on the Potomac.  My mom asked us if we felt like we were at home or if we were just on vacation- she said Old Town felt a lot like Park City especially since we were just walking around enjoying the shops and stopping for ice cream.  I feel incredibly lucky that we get to experience such an amazing place!  

We are still getting things put away and adjusting to living in a new state but Braedon and I were surprised to already feel at home here so quickly.  No doubt it was due to my mom's help.  We definitely miss having her staying with us!  She added her touch and I even own my very first plant now, a gardenia....lets hope I can keep it alive!!