September 27, 2017

Layla These Days

When I read this quote, one of my first thoughts was of Layla.

That's probably because of all the smiles she wears and spreads wherever she goes.

We had an impromptu date before her first baseball practice. She chose MOD pizza. For the lemonade. Though she took a sip of my water and I took a sip of her lemonade. Then she said, "We can share anything. We're best girls."

When she wasn't dancing around the table, she was playing with her pizza like this and requesting a photo shoot of it. 

She had to make sure we included a picture with a dab.

She also says things like this to me out of the blue:

"Mom, guess what B decided we should have?"-L
"What's that?"-me
"A puppy"-L 
"Oh, really?"-me

And in a conversation about how kind and sweet great-grandma was she confessed that she gets mad sometimes. Then she said, "I'm starting to be autism and Perry is not."

We were waiting for Kyler to finish soccer practice and she took pictures of the beautiful sunset. She loves capturing beauty on the camera. 

And selfies. She still has a thing for selfies.

Though, she has some confusion about what a selfie is. She told me to pose for a selfie by opening my mouth or sticking my tongue out. Apparently, that is her definition of a selfie. She satisfied with my "selfie" like this.

And somehow along the way of her taking that gorgeous picture of the sunset and trying to get me to pose for a "selfie", she took these of me and my sweet baby.

One night, Layla decided to make a cafe for dinner. She worked feverishly to write out menus for each spot and to create a welcome to the cafe sign. She roped Kyler in and they plated and served the dinners after she took the orders.

See, she sows flowers wherever she goes. She makes life happier.

A couple more quick updates on Layla...She has started baseball.

I took a picture of the very first time she swung at the ball. By the end of the game, she was able to hit the coach pitched ball. 

She rocked the primary program with her memorized part. 

She loves kindergarten. She makes friends easily. 

She is extremely proud of the fact that since starting kindergarten she has learned how to pump on the swings and can get herself going really high. So she is obsessed with swinging right now and begs to swing at the park near our house every night. Many nights we oblige and she is oh so happy on that swing.

She comes home every day and the first words out of her mouth are usually asking if she can hold baby B. She tells us all the time that B "needs" her sister time. I know I already posted this one, but I love this sweet picture

Layla is taking music theater class (with her cousin) again this year. She also started piano lessons. She loves lessons, but practicing is a bit more stressful (mostly for me!) so we are finishing this month and then will revisit lessons next year.

We love our (L-Belle) (Ellie) (Stinkerbelle) Layla!

September 26, 2017

a cruise (part 2)

Our second full day on the cruise brought us to Ensenada, Mexico. 

We had an amazing experience on the canopy tour zip lining! I remember when I used to be terrified of heights. I may still need to work on the fear of a snorkel mask, but I am proud to say I'm doing well overcoming my height fear because the zip line was all fun and no fear. It was seriously my favorite and I'd love to do something similar again.

There were 5 zip lines and 5 bridges to cross. 

This huge zip line is the one that Eric and I got to ride together on. Such a blast!

We drove to the ocean and kayaked over to La Bufadora. We didn't get any pictures when we were out on the kayaks but we loved experiencing La Bufadora from the water. 

After all that adventuring we were pretty hungry. We got some delicious tacos and then did a little shopping for little things to bring back to our kids.

Ensenada was good to us.

Back on the cruise ship, our dinner ended with a slice of jiggly blueberry pie. Um, we didn't think pie was supposed to wobble like that. 

While we are on the topic of funny things that made the trip especially memorable (clearly, the blue-jiggle pie did just that for us), I will shout "55!" That is all.

Which leads into the fact that Jared and Julie were celebrating their 15th anniversary! Yay!

Eric and I were very cultured on this cruise, too. We attended a seminar about the artist Thomas Kinkade. I actually love his art and thought it was pretty interesting. Later we also admired the art in the ship's gallery. This was my favorite piece.

On our last full day of the cruise, we played a lot of card games and ate a lot of food. We went and saw the comedian again during the family show. #section8cruise The first time we saw him, he cracked some Mormon jokes at the end and told us of the Mormon gang sign he was hoping would catch on. We ended up taking a picture with him. Someone made fun of my inability to make M's with my hands. And that's how we got these pictures.

We disembarked on Thursday. And then it worked out that we made a quick visit to Jenny in her new apartment before heading home. 

Now, I don't really think cruise life fits me all that well, but we really did have an amazing week and I'm grateful we got to experience it.

September 20, 2017


There is something thrilling about a child's firsts...

She smiled at me!

I was talking to her yesterday when she looked me right in the eyes and smiled. Twice!

This morning when Eric was playing with her she smiled and gave a little coo of happiness. 

We love this stuff! It's so exciting!

A few more pictures... these two are probably our biggest baby snugglers.

September 19, 2017

a cruise (part 1)

The world has finally stopped swaying so now I can tell you all about the cruise that Eric and I went on.

I will start by saying that we planned this trip months ago. Otherwise, there is no way I would've been to be able to leave the world's sweetest 6 week old baby for 5 days and 4 nights! 

Thankfully, B was in good hands with my sister. And my parents kindly managed the day to day and busy schedules of the other school-going four. So I tried not too worry about them all too much and to just enjoy myself while we were away.

And there was a lot to enjoy!

It all started with a breakfast of buffalo wings and ranch and then a six hour drive to CA. It could only get better from there.

We arrived at the port and walked on to our cruise ship.

And that's when I had a mini-freak out and questioned our decision. Everywhere we went there was loud music, drunk people, and swim suits that should not be worn in public. We walked around like scared deer in headlights until we eventually found the Nielsen's.  Then we got ice cream and I calmed down and tried to enjoy the party ship as best I could with all of its gluttony and idle ways (the pounds that I gained by the end of the trip proved that I fully embraced it).

You couldn't see it from the above picture but this was the serene view we had from our window each night.

We spent the first full day at Catalina Island.

We went snorkeling.

 Eric was happy as could be and in his element diving all around looking at the fish and other under the sea life. My deep, deep fear of masks and things covering my face and nose was confirmed and so the mask and snorkel went around my arm like a bracelet for the rest of the time. I was quite happy swimming on top of the water (and would've been even happier with a simple pair of non-nose covering goggles--a lesson learned for next time).

When we got back on the ship, Eric and I had some fun going down the waterslides.

What a beautiful view!

We dressed up that night for dinner. Isn't Eric just so handsome?

It almost felt like we were going to prom together when we posed for these pictures. My eyes are even half closed which is pretty standard for me and professional pictures.

We love the Nielsen's so much and we had so much fun with them on this trip!

We played a lot of games together over the course of the week (exploding kittens, canasta, Sushi Go, and more). This was my favorite room that we found to play in.

To be continued soon!