Monday, November 6, 2017

October Fun

October, as always, was a really fun month!

We went to Utah and visited the newest member of the Hancock clan, Miss Eleanor Paige (Ellie), Nate and Nicki's 8-week old daughter.

We had a great time. Utah was warm in the day and cold in the morning. We went on a hike one morning to Mapleton Canyon. It was breathtaking! Only thing is, it was a 30 minute walk, part of it up a steep hill with a double stroller ;). Then, we had to leave the stroller at the trailhead so both boys had to get out and walk. Bennett fell after a few minutes and I had to carry him the rest of the time. He kept dropping his cars and I had to bend over and get them, over and over. Nolan was a trooper until the end when he got a bloody nose. Then, we went back to the place we were staying.

We stayed at Lee and Terry's house, a relative of Melody's friend, Alison. They have a huge house, with a playroom with a built in slide and castle, secret passageways and a movie theater room. The boys had a blast!

They weren't as interested in Ellie but they loved playing with Finn, Nate and Nicki's dog.

Bennett thought Ellie was funny sometimes

Cute picture of Grandma Melody and Bennett

Dallas Johnson, dear friend, and Bennett

I had a whole day where I got to hold her. She is so precious. I love her!

Melody, with all of her grandkids.

The boys and their new cousin

Bennett was obsessed with helping me "hold the bottle".

We went on a bike ride in Mapleton.


A few months ago, Nolan said he wanted to be Spiderman. So I decided to be the Hulk. I got Bennett a Captain America costume. So we could be a "marvel" themed family. But Nolan kept changing his mind. One day, he was Ninja Turtle. One day, a shark. Another day, a dinosaur. Even a zebra. Finally, I convinced him on Halloween night that he would get more candy if dressed up as Spiderman (I know, I hope you can forgive me later, Nolan for my little fib). I didn't get a picture of him as Spiderman though, haha. But Bennett sure was the cutest Captain America!

Bennett and I attended the Halloween library storytime and got on the front page of the local newspaper. Go us! We're famous!

Our community has free concerts the first Saturday night of every month. We had a blast at the October one!

Nolan has been into games. This is Blokus Junior. He is getting really good!

Bennett is obsessed with our neighbor's little car. He needs one of his own!

Nolan and I work on reading and writing everyday. He finished his preschool workbook!

Grandpa Samuelsen came over and played Twister with the boys.

We went to the White Elephant Parade. Bennett loved the cars since he is in a "Car" phase. Nolan complained about the ants and after an hour, wanted to go home. 

We had to go to Phoenix for a genetic appointment and decided to go to the Aquarium while we were there. Nolan had a blast looking at the animals and playing on their little playplace.

Bennett is trying to climb out of his crib. I think it is time for a toddler bed!

Nolan's new phrase is "come on!" It is so funny to me. Bennett's speech is still pretty behind. We have to see an ENT next month and they may have to do a surgery to fix his hypernasality, that is preventing him for making oral sounds. We will see.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Washington D.C. Girls Trip!!!

Back in July, when we were all in Indiana for a family reunion, we decided it would be really fun to do just a girls trip to D.C. to visit Dan & Kelsey, who have lived there for about 4 years. We immediately went home, bought tickets (most of us using frequent flyer miles) and started planning our trip. It took a lot of coordination for me to make sure I had people able to watch my boys when Josh was working and to set up playdates to allow him study time. I also wanted to make sure I had everything in place so it could run smoothly. I had a great time, and Josh took amazing care of the boys. They loved spending the weekend with their dad. And I came home to a clean house. (Ok, he admitted to me his biggest failure was he left their toothbrushes at Melody's house so they hadn't brushed their teeth in a few days, haha). I realize this post doesn't fully capture their weekend without me, but basically, they had a sleepover at Grandma's, made cinnamon rolls, went to the zoo, went to a birthday party, went to the park, the Ninjago movie and Nolan's music class (not on the same day but the whole weekend).

1st Day: Holocaust Museum, National Cathedral, White House, Washington Monument, Renwick Art Museum, Teaism Restaurant, Pizza 

The Holocaust museum was amazing. Very sad but so important. I believe strongly that we shouldn't just say, sorry your story is too sad, it makes me uncomfortable, I'm going to ignore it. We can't ignore it.Their voices need to be heard. Empathy needs to be felt. That is how change happens, that is how you make sure this doesn't happen again! 

It was so inspiring to see that when good people worked together, they had a chance. Even Denmark as a country tried protecting their jews. There was a whole wall of names of people who had protected Jews and/or opposed Nazis. So inspiring. It made me ask myself if I would be brave enough to stand up for what's right even though it was very dangerous. 

Washington Monument

We went to Teaism for lunch. So good!

National Cathedral

The White House. We couldn't get too close because there was some kind of event going on.

2nd DayEastern Farmers Market, Arboretum, National Museum of Health & Medicine, D.C. Temple where my parents were married, Presidential memorials and Pentagon memorial. Good eats: Farmers market sourdough bread and cheese, and Indian food.

Abroretum. We had a picnic here from the yummy things we got at the Farmers Market.

The D.C. Temple

The Pentagon Memorial was amazing. I wish I could taken picture of all of the graves. They were shaped almost like planes headed towards the building or away. Towards mean people who died on the plane. Away meant people died who were working at the Pentagon. 

We got to see where Kelsey works! There was some fascinating history there, like the bullet that killed Lincoln or skulls from soldiers who died in wars.

Always a protest in D.C. Good for them!!

The presidential monuments were inspiring!

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. I loved the wall of his quotes. Such an amazing man!

Everyone else went to "Crumbs & Whiskers" to pet shelter kitties, and that is NOT my thing, so Dan and I went shopping and had an amazing time.

3rd DayPaddle boating on Tidal Basin, Korean food, African-American Museum and sushi. 

The African American museum was amazing. It is pretty newly opened and Kelsey got special tickets. She had never been before this. There are 3 floors of history galleries. They take you through the history of slavery, segregation, and modern racism/prejudices. It was eye-opening. Kelsey came out of the gallery in tears. It is unimaginable to think of doing this to another human being. For so long. And still has residual effects. One of the plaques talked about the emotional cost of slavery and that cost is still getting paid today. There were many African-Americans viewing the exhibit with us and I wondered what they were thinking and how it made them feel. There were places where you could record your story, thoughts and feelings. 

Our last meal, we went to Sushi. My mom had never had sushi before! She loved it. 

It was an amazing trip. I felt very refreshed when I came home. I loved being reunited with my boys!