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Thursday, April 28

vows of friendship

everyone has to call customer service from time to time.

the chief has been gushing about the quality companies that we have enjoyed as of late.

          with a mondo grin on his face:

"man! i will be a verizon friend for life!" as he gets off the 2 MINUTE phone call confirming no contract needed & our requested installation date granted.

"man! i will be a marriott friend for life!" then proceeds to go on & on about service in person & how thrilled he is with the phone call he just made concerning a mix up. also a PROMO they showed him that made more sense for us.

"man! i will be a burton friend for life!" when he sent an email asking where, if possible, he could find a zipper pull that broke on his big snow coat & they overnighted him a pull... for FREE.

his running joke is that almost every instance is of companies we can't afford (or maybe better said: refuse to afford). his company is putting us up in the marriott. his parents bought him the burton coat 4-5 years ago. & we're splurging on verizon fios & therefore won't be getting cable. again.

either way, you give this mr. an inch & he will pledge loyalty forever.

& that doesn't just go for the companies.

Tuesday, April 26

laying eggs

my mother has been on a ROLL cranking out easter frocks like a crazy. & not just for my little beans. see here for all of her talented easter wonders. 

cossette sitting in the cherry blossoms which she kept trying to eat. i love easter bonnets! well at least for their first easter. :) her darling shoes & matching bloomers were also quite a hit.

ellery in her easter best. the eyelet & the headband were my faves. & the collar. oh & the smocking! haha

my mama also made my grey lace dress. i know, i know buy some clothes already. it's very unique. i looove it.

i especially loved reading ellers her easter books & her telling me all about 'jejes (jesus) nice. jejes helping. jejes love me.' it helps for later when she is attempting to ride her little sister like a horse around the house.

we decided last minute that we should probably do a little egg hunt & i'm glad we did. around 10 saturday night i built the adirondacks (i'd bought them on ├╝ber sale months & months ago & have been waiting for either easter or a birthday to bring em out) while austin ran out to the store to grab some candy & plastic eggs. it was our first morning in the new house so it was pretty fun.

fun moments:
-after squealing about the eggs, realizing they opened up to candy
-pulling the first piece of candy out of one of the eggs & going to put it in her mouth, stops, & shoots me a glance for approval. girl knows she has to ask for such treats, oh the self control.
- while organizing her eggs in colored pairs, ellery's eyes just light up: 'geen egg an red jebbybean. *gasp* an me jebbybean! an that cocobean!' haha
-coco playing with the eggs while sitting on her chair, she shifts, an egg pops out in front of her diaper, & austin dies laughing, swearing she just laid an egg. his reaction was better than anything he may have actually seen. seriously ask him about it. he'll lose it all over again. :)

then our dinner of ham & sweet potatoes & honey mustard salad. i think i must have missed cooking more than i would have thought cause i've been going at it. 

hope everyone had a great easter morn & enjoyed some good food & festivities, however you celebrate.

Monday, April 25


there was a crooked man & he had a crooked smile,
he found a crooked job upon a crooked stile.
he wanted crooked beans, so he caught a crooked spouse, 
& they all lived together in a little crooked house.

yup among dozens of other fun things, old houses are crooked. :)

Thursday, April 21

drumroll please...

moving day is upon us!!!

Wednesday, April 20

hotel living (va)

all in all we have loved hotel life. the staff at both marriotts were spectacular! like above & beyond! i don't know what ellery is going to do without her eggs, oatmeal, & fresh orange juice every morning. haha. but i know exactly what austin will do with better internet & his own computer again. homework has been a bear!

we are thrilled to have our full wardrobes, books, toys, kitchen, etc back!!! & i would like to give myself a pat on the back for my packing job. basically i rocked it.

Tuesday, April 19

visitor #1

austin's cousin gianna & her husband eric came to d.c. this last week with their oldest, elizabeth! it may be a stretch to call them visitors (we don't have a house yet - haha) but we were able to meet up with them in the city & play! i think i'll mix it up & not do a collage. *gasp* i know, let's try a play by play this time. :)
we took the metro to arlington cemetery (above) & walked across arlington memorial bridge into d.c.


why is it that i get eyes closed, cheeser smile of the year when i have a backdrop like this?

after crossing the potomac, looking back toward columbia island.

have i mentioned my love affair with this stroller? oh i have? well it gets stronger everyday i tell ya.

 yeah, i live here. what up.

be STILL my heart.

contented, appropriate tourists.

zealot, fanatical follower for life. i promise i will take many an embarrassing picture here for your viewing pleasure.

eek! people we know! haha

korean war memorial. 

laser etchings of actual photographs on the stone wall. quite cool.

i was amazed at how different the same area looked less than 2 weeks since our last visit. tulips seriously EVERYWHERE!

here's everyone relishing a glorious 76 degree day!

if you get sick of every possible vantage point of every monument you might just have to wait for me to move.

 elizabeth & cossette. they loooooved each other! so cute.

 'kak! kak! kak!' chasing ducks with some random kids.

gianna & aust throwing ellers in the air. :)

 elizabeth & elles-a-belle by one of the few remaining cherry trees in bloom.

 jellybean. :)

sharing her snack with mama. this is on the steps of the jefferson.

see how blossom-less the trees are?! still really pretty but i can't believe how fast that happened.

 cossette on the metro.
this is a masonic temple we pass on the rail home. interesting.

phew! congrats on finishing that one. see isn't a nice concise collage much MUCH better?? gianna is such an upbeat, fun person & elizabeth is about as sweet as they come. i thought she might sneak cossette back to the hotel with them. we're so glad we got to see them! yay!

Friday, April 15

grandpa ken's service

i was so lucky to be able to fly out to the 'tah for my grandpa's service & be together with all of my siblings; something that rarely happens. austin stayed in va with the kiddles. it's so nice to be able to leave with less than afternoon of prep time & know he has it handled. even if i did get a frantic text about no wipes in the diaper bag. :)
the day of the funeral i will admit i was weary of going to a viewing but it wasn't how i thought it would be at all. just so comforting to see him again and at peace and say goodbye. i kept thinking how relieved he must be to think clearly again.

the mass funeral was as beautiful as any mass but very different than what i am used to for a funeral & it seemed rather impersonal. i did really enjoyed the burial ceremony. his 4 granddaughters, 3 grandsons, & 1 married-in were the pall bearers. we're progressive like that. :)
the 3-volley salute was moving as well as the color guard folding the flag. "this flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the united states army as a token of appreciation for your loves one's honorable and faithful service." along with the presenting of the shell casings for duty, honor, & country; followed by a lone bagpiper playing amazing grace. i felt proud to be his granddaughter. how remarkable to have all of these veteran grandfathers!

he was laid to rest by his mother & siblings in ogden. rest in peace grandpa.

Thursday, April 14

when mommy's gone

the babies have to be a little tougher :)

Tuesday, April 12

grandpa hodgman

cherry flavored pipe smoke & peppermint laced coffee reminds me of my grandpa hodgman. to this day while i hate the smell of coffee, i could drink in the curly clouds from sweet pipe smoke. i'm not even sure he always smoked cherry tobacco but it's what i remember as a very little girl.

{this is one of my ultimate favorite pictures of him & me. i feel like it looks like a picture straight out of the fifties, which unfortunately i was not around for.}

my grandpa ken passed away on friday & he will be sorely missed. he was living in a care center due to his worsening alzheimer's but his physical turn for the worse was extremely sudden. while i feel like we all went through a bit of a mourning process a year ago it is still hard to lose someone dear. he was a good man.

{they were sweethearts for over 62 years.}

during my childhood my grandparents lived in their beloved 'beer can'. when they would come to visit they simply parked in the driveway. we would get so excited to climb up those metal stairs & explore the ins & outs of their trailer. we used to not even be able to get ahold of them for weeks because it was long before the days of internet or mobile phones. now that's freedom. :)

{this is from one of my visits while i lived out in utah for college.} 

my favorite things about my grandpa hodgman is that he was a fiddler, a worker, & a laugher.
he can fix anything & everything & especially when i was younger he seemed to always be fiddling with something. so no i don't mean the music instrument but grandpa was such a fiddler! curious about how things may work he'd take it apart & figure it out. austin reminds me of him in that way.
he is a harder worker than i have ever seen in anyone (other than his son) & i really think he enjoyed being a busy bee. he didn't have much of formal education but he was constantly learning & growing & reading. we studied the benefits of continual self education in one of my classes in college & he was the first person that popped into my head. i so admire him for that.
his laugh. it's hard to describe someone's laugh but it's was hardy & genuine & i don't know a soul that could resist it. even when in old age he didn't always know what he was laughing about, it was a comfort to hear his warm, jovial laugh. his laugh is what i will remember most.

{meeting my baby ellery. i'm SO glad he got to. if you notice that gpa coincidentally is in the same shirt 4-5 years later you'll realize he really was quite a simple man.}

he loved his sweet wife, he fiddled, he worked, & he laughed his way through life. if i can continually challenge myself, enjoy my work just a little bit more, & laugh when i just don't know what else to do i will be better for having known him. 

i love you grandpa hodgman.

Monday, April 11

cherry blossoms

gotta admit i was a little curious to see how harassed i would get from people in cali if i left for the other side of the country & just disappeared. but then the government almost shut down at our arrival & i thought that was worth writing about.

it's been an eventful couple of weeks in virginia & an enjoyable start. it's amazing how neighborly everyone has been & i love feeling like we already have friends. the weather has been more bipolar than even our years in utah. & that is saying something. high 80's one day, snow flurries the next, rain storms & 60's the next. crizzy. we also signed a lease for a cute townhouse that we'll be moving into at the end of the month but it's got a guest bedroom so COME! one & all, come & PLAY!

we've only been able to go downtown once but i cannot wait to get to know the city better. we just jumped on the metro station a couple minutes from the hotel & rode it straight to the smithsonian stop, walked past the great mall, past the holocaust museum, the mint, & on to tidal basin.

it's easy to take great pictures with this kind of scenery. no skill or $2k camera required.

at tidal basin with jefferson monument behind us.

the trees were gnarled & old & beautiful & we were planning on going out on the paddle boats but it was just too choppy & cold.

when the wind picked up the tiny pink blossoms fluttered down from the trees in droves. it was lovely.

the waterfalls were probably ellery's favorite part at the roosevelt memorial while austin loved reading the quotes engraved on all the stone walls, chronologically going through each term of his presidency.

we are so excited to live here! i keep thinking that for 2 people that love museums, exhibits, day trips, new food, new people, new communities, & soaking in majorly patriotic history; dc seems just about perfect!