A Divine Birthday

My sweet girl turned 4! I can hardly believe it!

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August 6, 2012

We love Joe's Donuts in Sandy, and I'm not above admitting that we look for any excuse/celebration to go find out if they have buttermilk bars that morning.

Piper's birthday was just the excuse we needed! We had a party to celebrate her second birthday, but first we went to Joe's. And it was totally worth it.


What can I say? She's almost too big for words.

This is my beautiful soon-to-be four-year-old. She amazes me.

She's in preschool right now, and living her dream, if you ask her. It's hard to tear her away at the end of the day. Home is the last place she wants to be after an invigorating day at school.

AND. She has friends. I worried for her for awhile. She likes to tattle and to tell people what to do. She calls people "stinky" and "poopy" whenever she can get away with it. She wants things her way, or not at all. She can be incredibly opinionated, with her opinion being the final word on an issue.

Huh. She's a little bit, but just a tad mind you, like me.

Oh boy.

She's adventurous and free-spirited, but a rule-follower. She'll toe the line and then slide right back into place before (she thinks) you've noticed. She wants to obey and be kind.

Today at school, the other moms told me how much their kids like Hazel. It warmed my heart. I laughed and told them my fears: That saying "poop" too many times would drive the other, much more polite kiddos far away; that calling others "dooby dobbie boobie brobby" would make them wonder if she could even speak English; that insisting on having the most toys at all times would burn bridges...

Nope, they still like her! They think she's nice, or so the moms say, even while acknowledging that she says poop constantly. (She's her father's daughter, I tell you.)

She lights up my days, even when it's full of time outs and "If you don't clean up your playroom right this minute I'll take all your toys away!"

Every time I look into her eyes, I see my brand new baby girl with uber chubby cheeks and a smile that could break anyone's heart. She's breaking mine now with how big she's getting. And she insists on growing even more. I don't know why...

I will forever remember the way she runs with her hands flopping out to either side like a bird's wings, and her chubby wrists that still to this day look like they have rubber bands on them, and her rolly-pollie feet that fit in very specific types of shoes, and how proud she is of herself when she gets something just right.

Oh my heart. I love this little girl so much. Hazel Elaine, you are just the best.


Beautiful Miss Hazel B., living it up on the Oregon Coast.
Bum to the sky, fingers in the sand.

I have a lot of these self-portraits. I say very loosely that we're kind of figuring out how to take them.
On a treasure hunt. She wouldn't slow down!

Celebrated 7 years of marriage together this year. Love him.

See? This self-portrait is almost better than the first one! Shadow portraits are the best!

She's flirting with the guy in the coffee shop.

Couldn't get a "sisterly" picture for the life of me...unless this counts in your book.

In heaven, enjoying my coffee flavored foam.

Tuckered after her treasure hunt, so what's she do? She sits down in the sand.

Whatever it was, it was amazing.


Back to March...And more terrible phone pictures.

March brought with it more traveling for Nate and my dad's birthday. So we all (minus Nate, of course) trekked out to the hangar to celebrate!

We barbequed and Rae Ann brought the cake. It was very blue, to the delight of all the small people.

It was such a nice day to be out at the hangar. I even went for a flight, minus my kids, though - they stayed with Henta. I haven't been up in Mom and Dad's plane in ages, and not at all in their newest set of wings.

It was a lovely, terrifying day to fly! I've realized I'm just not that brave. Small planes make me incredibly nervous - you feel everything. *shudder*

Enjoy the pictures. I have too many fun ones to not share...


California Road Trip

Well, I know my last post was in March, so I'm skipping a few months by doing this, but it's catch-up time, ya'll. Seriously.

(And if this doesn't tell you where my time has been spent instead of here on the blog then I don't know what will: Every time I hit the Return button on my keyboard, I'm afraid I'm going to prematurely post. Facebook has brainwashed me!)

Nate and I decided that it was high time we made another trip to California. We put our heads together and decided that the last time we actually spent time in California together was in 2006, for Christmas. I returned in 2008 for a wedding, and he was there recently for work, but it had been six years since we took a vacation there together - and there were still family members who had never met Hazel B. and Miss Piper Sue.

The majority of the pictures in this post are from Nate's phone. They're fun and cute, but they aren't as all-inclusive as I'd like to share with you. For example, we saw Suzi, Lonnie, Karina, Darrin, Jennifer, Abby, and Tucker in Exeter, but I don't have any pictures! This is Suzi's backyard haven, though. And it was indeed a haven. It was anywhere between 103 and 111 degrees outside when we were there.

 This next is of Piper in her carseat. The girls did amazingly well on the drive. The only stopping we did was for food and potty breaks, which we generally combined with stops to fill up the gas tank. The only time they began to lose their cool was when we were still about an hour outside of Exeter and it was 9p.m. The sun was setting, it was getting really dark, and they'd been in the car since 5a.m. Poor things.

When we got to Suzi's, all they wanted was to go to bed. They were such troopers. They even let Nate and I take turns sleeping in the car! Hazel would chat my ear off while I was driving and the other two were sleeping; Piper would sing to herself and play with her ponies. Nate and I were shocked and amazed at how flexible they were the whole way down.

We spent three and a half days with my family in Exeter and then left on Monday to drive to Fresno to see Nate's family. Piper came down with a fever on the drive over. We kept an eye on her and made sure she stayed hydrated and cool, but when Hazel started coughing and my ears started aching we knew something was up.

We cut our time short by about a day and headed home: three sickies and one husband well enough to still drive us over the pass. I took Sudafed (because, praise God, they still sell it OTC in California!) and barely survived the altitude change as we drove through the mountains. It was miserable!

The girls weren't doing too well either; they were both on Tylenol to help with fevers and potential earaches (because if that was my sign of illness, they probably had it too). We were quite the family driving home. Nate did nearly all the driving and I tried to sleep. That seemed to help me ignore my painful ears for the most part.

Around 10p.m., still two and a half hours from home, the girls started alternating waking up and crying. Like, every five minutes one of them would wake up and cry from discomfort. It was so hard! We got home around 12:30a.m. we rolled into the driveway and rushed them into the house. We got them into bed as fast as possible and then unloaded the truck.

I hate unloading the truck.

We fell into bed around 2a.m., and the girls had us up again around 8a.m. Awesomeness. They actually slept in a little!

We had such a good time on the trip, even though we didn't get to stay as long as we might have wanted. I'm glad we left when we did, though. Nate got sick shortly after getting home. If we had all been sick on the drive, we would have taken two days to get home instead of doing it all in one shot.

Let me back up for a second, though.

There was one day while we were staying in Fresno that we decided to to hit up the General Grant. It had been ages since either Nate or I had been to the forest! And what fun!

Although I think our pictures make it look more fun than it was for the girls. I swear, by the time they hit their teenage years, I will have spun this trip to the woods as the greatest, most memorable adventure of their lives! Oh yes!

My dad asked that we take some pictures on the steps of the general store - and I'm so glad we did!

We bought ice cream inside and then sat on the steps to gobble it up before heading back down the mountain. The girls were so funny. They had two different deserts so they took it upon themselves to share their treats. My mommy heart exploded with pride.

They traded treats every couple of bites until it was all eaten up. The pictures say it all.

The last few pictures are out of order, though. The ones of our family and of us in the trees came before the general store. I'm just too lazy right now to move things around.

Heck, you're lucky you're even getting this from me! Count your blessings! Or don't. This post is getting pretty long. Shoot. I'll sign off now and be back sooner rather than later with another post about other great things. Heh.

Thanks for keeping up!