Another DC Trip

My sister Mary Beth is having a baby in a couple of weeks and so I wanted to visit one more time before the baby comes and the house fills up. The bus ride down there was not as easy as last time. Eva wasn’t in the mood to watch TV and I got carsick. There were a couple of tantrums, some bribing with lollipops, traffic, but we finally got to DC… yahoo, as Eva would say!

We had fun playing with cousins, enjoying the weather, and exploring downtown a bit. I’ve been to DC a bunch, so I don’t feel the need to go to the mall much, but we did go paddle boating while we were there, which is a first for me in DC! Eva even loved it! The girls brought their bike and Eva walked the strider around for quite a while.

Here’s some pictures from the trip:

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Kentucky Wrap-up

Here are the instagram photos from the rest of my Kentucky trip:

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We dyed Easter eggs with Nana

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Wouldn’t be a trip to home without Skyline Chili

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Blurry but a shot of my family and I at Skyline

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Fun with mirrors at Sawyer Pointe

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The bottom left pic was Eva watching the cougar.

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Split a banana split with Blair at Graeters while we reminisced about our first job working there ten years ago.

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The conservatory was gorgeous!

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Lelia and I walked through the Prom-till-dawn up at our old high school! Pretty impressive decorations!

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Eva loved trying on all of my old dance costumes and dresses.

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 10.24.15 AMMy mom and Eva after church looking adorable

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 10.24.20 AMThanks, Mom and Dad! Eva and I had a great trip and we miss you all so much!

The Cincinnati Zoo and Butterfly Exhibit

While I was in Cincinnati, we went to the Cincinnati Zoo for an afternoon. Eva loved looking at all the animals, and was especially fond of the cougar that walked right next to the glass over and over again. I think she liked it because she’s a BYU Cougar at heart!

A couple days later, we went to the Conservatory where they were having a butterfly exhibit. All morning Eva was so exited to see the butterflies but once we were there, she was thoroughly unimpressed. She eased up a bit by the end, but I think the butterflies for the most part freaked her out.

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Sawyer Pointe

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The Newport Aquarium

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Kentucky Visit, Part 1

I have been in Kentucky for about a week now (I wrote this back on the 8th of April but scheduled it later in the month to post) and we have already had a great time! It is my mom’s Spring Break, so it’s fabulous to have her around every day! If we could only get some warm April weather around here though! At least today it stopped raining, that’s an improvement.

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Let’s see what have we done so far…. Thursday, we got in around dinner time and went on a family walk down the street. Eva loves all the bikes, scooters, wagons, and toys she gets to play with outside around here.

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On Friday, my mom and I went to the mall and shopped a bit. We also took pictures with the Easter bunny. Eva was SO in love with the bunny we just HAD to buy a picture to remember the moment. Friday night, we went to the Levee and had our favorite Dewey’s pizza. I ran into my old high school principal, so that was really neat to catch up with him for a minute.

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Saturday was Conference but in between sessions we went over to Cincinnati’s Findlay Market. Growing up, we went there almost every warm Saturday, so it’s always fun to go over there as a family. Blair joined us for the afternoon and then I went to her apartment for dinner and to watch the UK game. I love how we can go months without seeing each other but laugh together like we are kids again.

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On Sunday, we watched conference and then went over to watch my mom’s choir concert. They are a really great group and it was such a wonderful concert, plus a neat experience to listen to my mom sing in a chorus, since usually it’s been the other way around. My mom made lamb curry that night… seriously… the best!

Monday, my mom, Eva, and I went over to the Cincinnati Museum Center and spent the afternoon exploring. They have a really neat children’s museum that was overwhelmingly huge, a cool cave you can walk through, and then a Cincinnati history section too. Eva loved the whole thing and did not want to go home, even though I was wiped out!

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And then finally, today, Tuesday, we went to the aquarium with my parents and my sister Ashley. We took the actual camera there, so I’ll post more about it later. But we had a great time out together and loved the new turtle exhibit.

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It’s been a great trip and we’re still out here for another week! Woo hoo! Poor T.J. is missing us, but he worked until really late last night, so I have to say… I was sure happy to be here with family instead of single-momming it!


Flat Stanley

Our good friend from back in Utah has a sweet little nephew who we’ve met a couple of times. He had a Flat Stanley project this year at school, so they sent it our way. Here’s what Flat Stanley has been up to recently. He’s now back in Utah though after a fun week in the East.

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A Trip to DC

The last week of March, Eva and I spent a couple of days in Virginia visiting my sister and her family. The bus ride was SO easy and cheap, I can’t believe we haven’t done it more. We’re definitely going again before that baby nephew of mine comes!

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Twins on the bus!

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Eva watched Finding Nemo on the bus and was constantly asking where Nemo went. She was very concerned.


We spent the first day (and only warm day) at the park and then at the Temple visitor’s center where my sister had an orchestra concert. Mary Beth is such a talented violinist!

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I know this one is blurry, but in real life is was perfect. Eva loves pointing out temples, so she loved seeing an actual temple in real life. She pretty much calls any huge building (or castles in Sophia the First) temples.

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Monday, we went to Amelia’s dance class and Eva was allowed to participate which she loved! In the evening, we rode bikes outside and Eva can’t stop talking about it. I think she needs a trike REALLY soon!

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Tuesday we painted the baby boy room and took the kids to Chuck E Cheese.

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On Wednesday, we celebrated my birthday, went to Ikea, the mall, and a couple other fun places.

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I am so thankful that we get to live near each other! It probably won’t be forever, so I’m cherishing these moments we all have together!



Christmas Vacation in Utah

I know the last post was about moving on to 2014, but I got ahead of myself. I’ve got to cover Christmas break first!

T.J. and I flew separately since he had to work through the Friday before Christmas and then was back at work on the 2nd. I just found the cheapest flights I could find, so I stayed for about two and a half weeks in Utah.

We spent most of our time with T.J.’s parents, his siblings and their cute families. The cousins all played together so well (excluding when Eva bit Holly and constantly stole toys from the other kids… we probably need to get Eva on more play dates…). It was fun to see their relationships grow as they played together. Eva was pretty much smitten with Cohen and by the end of the trip, she was already missing her playmate Holly, who had left to New Mexico.

I took a ton of photos-so I thought the best way to put them on the blog is just a bunch of collages so you’re not scrolling down forever:


Eva loved the snow! She could have played out there everyday. She called “snowballs”-“shoe balls.” So that was adorable.


The Sunday before Christmas, we went to T.J.’s grandma’s house for dinner. The kids reenacted the Nativity and the little girls were angels. Quite a crowd, as you can see.


On Christmas Eve, I wanted to get a nice picture of Eva in her festive outfit in front of the tree. Easier said than done. That girl would not give me a smile. So, the emo pose will have to do this year. We then went to T.J.’s aunt Pam’s house for dinner that night and Eva had a blast playing with their toys.


More scenes from Christmas Eve. The top center picture is in the middle of our Nativity. Not joking. I don’t know what was going on with Cohen and Josh. But sweet Haven was a perfect baby Jesus. We tried to take a picture of all the kids in their matching PJs, but that was a disaster (enter picture number one), so we decided to all get in the picture with the kids instead.


Scenes from Christmas morning. T.J.’s brother and his kids were there as well for Christmas morning. Santa brought Holly a tricycle and it was the first thing Eva saw.

“A BIKE!” Eva said, so excitingly!

Fortunately, we were able to distract her from the bike with her Santa presents, which was a new doll and baby portacrib. Santa also brought a princess dress, dress up heals, and some other fun treats in the stocking.


On Christmas day, the guys took the kids sledding in the backyard and then we played Pass the Parcel. Lots of fun games and fun memories. And check out my cute husband wearing a hat given to him by his old high school-he rebranded their logo for them last year… you can see his caveman on the hat and scarf!


Wow. That’s a lot of instagrams. I may have am obsession. I’ll spare the deets and just run through it quickly:
Eva wearing her butterfly wings, a new haircut, Cafe Rio, setting up Santa presents, lots of time-outs
Cocoa Bean cupcake, decorated Christmas trees, rolling through WalMart, Happy New Year!, cutie pie Eva
Playing with gam’s doll house, the grandkids love grandma, church dress for Christmas service, new kicks from grandma, Eva and Cohen
Family night at the outlets, twinsies, Christmas Eve at the Mahlers, Sitting in the new crib, besties/kissing cousins

I also got to see a lot of friends while I was in town:
Cocoa Bean with my old coworker, shopping and a movie with Laura, a movie with Danica, Cafe Rio with old friends from Provo Ward, Met Baby Maggie for the first time, Target with Erin!

We had such a great trip and loved seeing all of our friends and family again! Thanks to everyone who made it such a memorable holiday!


A Small Act of Kindness

Last week when I flew into Utah, I had a layover in Phoenix and missed my flight because my first flight was delayed. I don’t really want to go into all the details because it just makes me angry. But I had to pay for a crappy hotel in Phoenix for the night and on the cab ride there, I called T.J. and told him what happened. I just cried my eyes out telling him about all of the rude people working at US Airways.

When the cab driver dropped us off, I asked him how much I owed him and he said, “Don’t worry about it.” I realized he had heard everything I said to T.J. and felt bad for me, so to help me feel better he wasn’t going to make me pay for the $20 fare. I insisted and said the offer was sweet but I couldn’t let him do that. He told me again that it was on him and that he couldn’t take my money.

Since I was so tired and already so emotional, I burst into tears (this time, happy tears) and told him thank you… it had been a VERY hard day.

Isn’t that so sweet? Considering most of the cab drivers I’ve used in NYC and Jersey City are always trying to rip me off, I was very surprised at his gesture. And although it may not seem like a big deal, it really helped me feel better.

So, thanks Mr. Cab Driver… I hope you have a Merry Christmas!


Bonus: Photos from the airport and the night at the hotel

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