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Tuesday, January 24


i keep getting harassed by the 6 people that occasionally comment here to return the option.

but of course i forget how i actually got them to disappear in the first place so this is a trial run.

favorite day of the year

today is my favorite day of the year. but then you've heard this before from me. & each year it seems to be some kind of significant day for us.

this year it was austin's first day of work for a job he plans to have for quite a while. his nerves were getting to him this morning knowing he committed to this program & he never does know what it will entail until he's been there even a few months. super anxious to see how it all goes.

i got a handful of happy birthday texts (it's my "wish this was my bday day") & had a far more relaxing day than i've had in a long time. included less than 6 home related corporate phone calls! remarkable. we went appliance shopping for i think the 8th day. we're getting it narrowed down but may have another night or 2 of confirming it's exactly what we want to do. basically: i. am. crazy.

after dinner, provided by the hotel - awesome, we planned to go out & price check one more appliance store & the chief stopped in front of the at&t store. my hand-me-down phone has been acting wonky & since it's our main phone & buying a home lands you on the phone 4 hours a day, it's been killer. so i got surprised with a brand spankin' new phone. & it's white. & it's shiny. & i'm excited.

& today marks 3 years of blogging. is that right??

Thursday, January 19

farewell east coast

i'm posting this now because our internet is coming down today... & we leave tomorrow.

austin will miss the commute. we have filled his gas tank 3 times while living in virginia. he biked most days.

i will miss my shelter, the history here, & the incredible city. living ten miles out of the capital has been extraordinary.

ellery renée will miss phoebe & leah but mainly traveling on the metro trains. cossette will miss william & poppy but mainly the lightning bugs.
more than anything they will just miss bryce & jamie.

so excited for our move & everything that awaits us in colorado but we are forever glad we were able to live here. it has been legen- wait for it... -dary!

Tuesday, January 17

miss e is 3

 our ellery renée turned 3 on the 12th!
 she is curious & imaginative.
 she is a happy, polite little kid.
 she will tell anyone who will listen that she is 3 & her sister cossette is 1.
 she is contagious & hilarious.
 she is a gentle sweetheart & tries hard to be a good listener. some days go better than others.
 she is so precocious & bright.
 she is a charmer.
 she is a thinker & is independent. always has been.
she is goofy. so so sooo goofy.
 she is sneaky & loves surprises.
since i am forcing everyone to eat out of our pantry like a pack of starving dogs, i didn't have anything to make her cake this year. i mean, we move in a week & they won't take one can of food. so she went to the store with daddy boy & got to pick out any dessert she wanted. haha we let her take all the time she wanted blowing out the candles & she kept asking for pointers & then warning "i do it myself though!" wagging her little finger at us.
she got basically 3 gifts from us that were all christmas recycles that had been too cumbersome to bring to idaho. & that included things like underwear & a new water bottle. & she was just so thrilled! until the grandparents swooped in with fun toys. electronic bugs (one that immediately went skittering under the stove - grooooosss haha) & a bright yellow scooter were the hits. bryce & jamie stopped by & gave her a color wonder book that she has already asked to do 5 times this morning. :)

¡happy 3rd birthday jellybean!

Monday, January 16

house hunting & finding

we left the kids with the adored & trusted bryce & jamie & took a long weekend to colorado springs to house hunt.
austin & i were lucky to be on the same page in what we were looking for. the real estate agent probably thought we were a joke but you dangle something as enticing as an actual garage in front of us & we turn into putty. :)

 our first house will fit us just right & we're quite excited but are so terrified of taking on this big corner lot that we will take any advice & certainly any help. :) may be time to buy a rake...

i love jamie & she went above & beyond. this was waiting for us when we got back & is making it's way to the memory box. apparently ellery prayed for us to find a good house the whole time we were gone. loooooove.

Sunday, January 15

cmas break in idaho falls

we wrestled, read stories, had little craft projects, made ate a gingerbread house, sang, played with toys, decorated the christmas tree, hit up cafe rio, played video games, had treat after treat, danced, i could go on & on.

one thing that definitely did not happen. i definitely did not play the kinect dance central. kelli, renée, & i definitely did not have a dance central marathon. we definitely did not have to open windows, roll up sleeves, & change into work out clothes. we definitely did not play until 1 in the morning. that definitely did not happen.

always great food, great games, & great company. thanks for having us néenée & papa hill!

Saturday, January 14

cmas morning

 christmas morning with little kidlets is one of the best things on earth. it just gets better every year. & austin wins best father of the year award for calming his guilt-ridden wife just days before cmas & brainstorming a cheap way for the girls to enjoy their big play kitchen (that i researched & bought on über sale 4 months ago). with celebrating in idaho & then the impending january move across the country it really didn't make sense to set the thing up for a week & a half only to hope it packed & travelled safely to colorado. so we opted to keep it in the factory packaging & the chief called 8 places in IF before finding a blue print company that let us print a life-size butcher paper poster of the kitchen. for a buck. okay $1.47 but seriously?! who saves christmas for $1.47?! the beans kind of ignored it until the day after christmas but i was so glad we did it.

after church we couldn't have been more excited to get phone calls from both our brother missionaries. as luck would have it, michael started skyping a solid 10 minutes after we got on the phone with zach in argentina so stone & i ran back & forth as best as we could trying to be engaged in both calls. it was not ideal but we love our baby bros & it was awesome to chat with them!

hope all had a lovely holiday!!!

once home we celebrated a low key new year's here & came home & the husby & i stayed up late talking about the year ahead of us & discussing all that we have to be grateful for. :)

Friday, January 13

cmas eve

i just might like christmas eve better than the actual day. it's so full of anticipation & excitement & you can easily take a time out from the chaos to focus on the real reason for the season. love love love.

the mini hill nativity:
 happiest angel EVER! & if that perfect little trio doesn't just about kill you...
then carefully carrying a plate of cookies & carrots over for santa & the reindeer will do you in. i mean can you see she is just ready to burst?!
me & the beans after a quick visit from the eve elf. :)

Thursday, January 12

in the white & drifted snow

we love the snow. especially in short bursts in the backyard.

ellery could not grasp the difference between the action of snowing versus snow being on the ground. so 50,000 times a day she would look out the window & dreamily announce that it was snowing. it usually wasn't. by the end of the trip we got her to at least differentiate that it was snowing on the ground or snowing in the sky. she also asked if we could go where it would snow at our house. austin said absolutely yes, we'll move right away! :)

austin james is a big bully in the snow. he gets all giddy & acts like a school boy pulling on some pigtails.
he buried cocobean alive & while i told him enough was enough, she grinned from ear to ear & laughed her head off. he chased jellybean & chucked snowballs at her & while i told him enough was enough, she grinned from ear to ear & laughed her head off.

this sequence is of him pounding her with an entire snow shovel full of snow, she runs back to toss the tiniest little snow pebble his way & he sprints off & tackles her. they were in heaven.
this was my favorite shot i got with us playing in the snow. look at that little face!! & those dark brown eyes! love it. cousin jack is talked about often with our girlies. we looove him!

Wednesday, January 11


i haven't been skiing since i was 11 or 12 maybe? college in utah lends itself to some excellent chance to go boarding & since that's what austin mainly does, i'd just go with him. grandma néenée watched our babies while the chief & i got to go up on the mountain with the boys.

brian was exceptionally patient when i tagged along on a few runs with everybody else but mainly i had a wonderful time going it solo. never felt like i was holding anybody up & really really enjoyed myself. even made a few 9 year old skiing buddies. haha
the views overlooking the tetons were indescribable.

*for these all being iphone photos i was pretty impressed :)

Tuesday, January 10

december days

december before cmas was a blast in it's own right.
busy but fun busy. well that's not entirely true. austin did a lot of homework. so not so fun busy for him. :)

Monday, January 9

holidays in hawaii

happy thanksgiving & happy birthday to austin from maui!

Sunday, January 8

hodgman hawaii fam pics

dad's remote on his camera wasn't working so we literally asked some early morning joggers to take the picture. she stood as far from the tripod'ed camera as possible & held down the button. i thought it was a pretty great success. haha
i love my family. mostly my dad is the photographer but now that we all have awesome cameras, we are trying to learn from the master. which means he actually makes it into a shot or 2. :)
classic kathryn & stephanie being ridiculous. & luke tearing after us is pretty priceless.

grandkid pics: 5 kids barely 6 years old & under is a hard audience. they would NOT stand in the order we wanted them. haha
 but if they're not the cutest kids ever, i don't know what's what! :)

Saturday, January 7


the sunrises
not as many shots of the sunrises, not all were up that early. :)

the ocean
most  days the ocean was warmer than the pools so we preferred it.
the beans could have floated in that water all day if we'd let them.
do you see the gigantic turtle head?

the pools
the pools were epic. just completely incredible! 
a tad cold for us to stay in forever so there were continuous trips to one of the many hot tubs. :)

the hotel (marriott ocean club)

the town (lahaina) 

the sunsets
thank you SO much gramvi & g'pa hodgman for our family trip to paradise. :)