five favorites (02/03)

I didn’t get this done on Friday, but what better way is there to start the week than with a “Five” post? These always put me in a good mood. I love sharing my joy.

ONE. Last week, Michael had a business trip out to Utah! We missed him so much, but we made it through. The girls were all such HUGE helpers the entire time he was gone. They even kept lists so they could show Daddy their good deeds. We took them to Sweet Frog for frozen yogurt as a special treat when Daddy came home.Just being all together is the best ever.Eve was really happy about getting something sweet.We sure missed our Daddy!TWO. In addition to the conference he went to, Michael had a whole lot of fun in Utah. He got to see Kevin and Jack, visit with some of his cousins, and stay the night at our dear friends’ house. To be honest, I’m totally jealous I didn’t get to go and see all of them, too!He was able to visit some temples. This one is Manti!He was also able to do some work in the Provo City Center Temple. We saw this being built about 6.5 years ago. It’s so beautiful! Look at these amazing clouds he flew through on the way home. The fact that humans can fly at all is still so amazing to me. This is breathtaking.THREE. What’s better than a baby fresh out of the bath? Those big blue eyes and cute hooded towel over her head just melt me.Also, these pruney little toes!Tickles from Kaelyn. Kaya loves to help give Nella and Eve their baths lately. She even made a mohawk for Nella! This was too funny and cute.FOUR. Kaelyn might still be in Kindergarten, but she completed her math books back at the beginning of December, and has moved on to her first grade curriculum. Math comes so easily to her, so she’ll just do as many pages as she can in a day. It feels crazy to already be going through this book again, since Kaya did the same one a couple of years ago. How does time go that fast?I’m so proud of these girls and all their hard work.FIVE. Kaya is getting really good at using my camera. She took this in manual mode, using back-button focus. She’s done it a few times now, and I’m really impressed. She keeps filling up her own camera’s memory card, too. I’m sure she’s going to get into photography when she’s older.Happy Monday!

kevin and tori’s wedding

So… you might as well wish Kevin and Tori a happy 3-month anniversary, because yes, these pictures are from August 2nd. I gave them their wedding DVD at the end of August, but honestly kind of forgot about the more personal photos I took that day. Better late than never, as they say! ­čÖé (If you want to see the rest of the wedding go here!)

It was a perfect day for a wedding. The light was a photographer’s dream._MG_7991_MG_8174 Of course we all got a little crazy…_MG_8181 _MG_8179 Okay. A LOT crazy._MG_8176Michael took the photos of the girls, so he took the opportunity to leave this on my camera, too.
_MG_8203 Brothers ­čÖé_MG_8367 _MG_8360 _MG_8287 These next two crack me up:_MG_8321 _MG_8309 There’s nothing like a little girl and her grandpa. And yes, he let her stick her feet in the stream!_MG_8115

Love them._MG_8118 _MG_8127My best friends._MG_8429_MG_8397 Lelia and I’s corsages!_MG_8453 Pals!_MG_8466

utah’s hogle zoo

Are you ready for photo-overload? I just had a hard time narrowing it down when there were so many beautiful animals and fun moments with my two favorite people!hoglezoo20137After everyone else left Utah to head home to Virginia, it was just the three of us! With no scheduled events or time commitments, we wanted to do something fun together, just our little family. So, we chose the zoo, and I’m so glad we did. It was more than worth it for the memories we made.

(Michael’s wearing my sunglasses, and Kaya’s cuddling with this little puppy that the grandson of the couple we stayed with lent to her. I think she had a little crush on him, so she carried his puppy around a lot! Haha)hoglezoo20132 We were all pretty excited looking at the elephants!hoglezoo20131 _MG_8609 hoglezoo20136 _MG_8619 Bath time!_MG_8649 hoglezoo20134 Kaya loved the giraffes the most, but that could have just been because it was the animal we were able to get closest to._MG_8741 _MG_8740 _MG_8764 _MG_8694 I fell in love with the polar bear (which just happened to swim behind Michael as I was taking this picture)! That one on the top right is completely made of Legos!hoglezoo20135

Did you know that polar bears have special eyelids that act like sunglasses to protect their eyes from the light reflecting off the snow?_MG_8712 hoglezoo20133

We walked around for about 3 hours (something that would never happen in the Virginia humidity)! Kaya was a trooper and did so well, and passed out just before we left._MG_8772I’m so grateful for my own little family to enjoy days like these with ­čÖé

temple square

Last time I went to Utah, we actually visited Temple Square twice, but I loved it so much that I was adamant about going again. So, the evening before the wedding, we headed up there with Michael’s parents and grandpa.
_MG_7667 We toured the Conference Center (where the Church’s biggest meeting, General Conference, is held twice each year)!_MG_7648 _MG_7652 I’m not sure if you can tell by the photo… but this room is HUGE!_MG_7654 We got to sit and listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir practice for a bit. It was just as beautiful as ever!_MG_7663 You can actually get up on the roof of the building too._MG_7660 One thing I love about Temple Square is all the flowers… and someone else has started to notice them too (and wants to grab any that she can get her little fingers on)._MG_7687Don’t be fooled… this is a fussy face. She was so tired of the stroller._MG_7702_MG_7696 _MG_7694

We knew that our friend Ali, from our college days, is serving a mission there, so we tried to find her. Lucky for us, we did!_MG_7707_MG_7711 _MG_7714 _MG_7720 _MG_7722We love to see the temple.


utah randomness

We did a whole bunch of fun things on our trip, but some of them aren’t big enough to dedicate an entire post to, so I’m just going to mash them all together right here!

My in-laws watched Kaya so that Michael and I could go work in the temple together. I LOVE the Jordan River temple, and it was such a blessing to be there with my best friend. We finished up pretty late (it was nearly 11pm), but it was so peaceful to sit together outside in the cool night air and gaze at the temple.

Here we are in front of the temple together (it was the best we could do to take a photo ourselves), and here’s Baby Bird at dinner just before that. She’d rather eat the table than the food! (Although we did let her try a little Chinese food, and she seemed to like it!)08092013photogrid1

My dad in-law found the best way to spend $6. That’s right. The shirt. Spongebob swag all the way!


We had a fun dinner with one of Michael’s friends/coworkers, and then we met up with some of his old mission buddies at the Provo temple. He finally had a mini “mission reunion”, which he’s been longing for for a few years now. Kaya was cranky and more than ready for bed, so I just walked her around temple grounds while Michael chatted.

_MG_8777We ended our trip with a visit to our former Institute teacher, Brother Bowman! It was so good to see him and his family and have them meet Kaya. We left for the airport straight from their house, and it really was the perfect way to finish our adventure in Utah._MG_8787

home sweet home

We’re finally home from our trip out to Utah! The wedding was beautiful, we went some fun places, and made some great family memories. Hopefully I’ll be recapping everything and sharing my photos in the next few days, but here’s a little sneak peek (our first photo in front of the temple as a family of three)!_MG_7674

We took a redeye flight back to Virginia at 1 am on Tuesday morning, and then visited with my parents for the rest of the day before driving home. We finally drove into town around 11:30 pm. Our internal clocks still seem to be on Utah time (which is strange because after my last trip out west, I had no trouble at all adjusting either way).


on the last plane home!

A certain four-legged someone didn’t do so well without us home… Thankfully, Ben and Brittany (who were puppy-sitting) are probably two of the most patient people ever and went above and beyond to help us take care of Jax. We ended up boarding him at the vet (after he chewed through his crate and a few other things…), and I was so excited to go pick him up this afternoon. He is definitely happy to be home._MG_8811Kaya is also loving being back in her own space and playing with her own toys. This is the first time that we’ve come back from a trip where I can definitely say that she knows this is our home and is happy to be here. It’s so fun to watch her enjoy everything she loves again.

temple square in the evening

So because I’ve been a slowpoke awesome, I still haven’t blogged everything from my trip out west about two months ago! I’m hoping to maybe dedicate Thursdays to Utah recaps, but we’ll see how that goes. If you missed other posts about my trip, you can read them below:

Flying with Kaya
The Living Planet Aquarium
This is the Place

We went to Temple Square twice on our trip. The first visit was at sunset, and the light was just perfect for walking around and taking some photos. I’ve wanted to see the Salt Lake temple ever since I first saw a picture of it about 6.5 years ago. It was even more beautiful in person, so I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves (although I do wish I’d had a lens hood back then, since there’s some awesome lens flare going on in these)._MG_4562 _MG_4564 _MG_4566 _MG_4572 _MG_4595 _MG_4592 _MG_4590

this is the place

After the aquarium, we visited the “This is the Place” monument in Salt Lake City. This monument commemorates the pioneers, as well as the settlers and explorers of the west. It was named for Brigham Young’s proclamation that the Saints would settle in the Salt Lake Valley (article here)._MG_4534 Now that I’ve seen Utah, I have to wonder, “Why HERE?” Why was this the place? It is a dry desert, with nothing all too special about it. The early Saints were persecuted and driven from their homes in the East, so the Salt Lake Valley became their safe-haven._MG_4540 I was pretty impressed with how TALL it was! (And what you can’t see in this photo is Kaya’s adorably mismatched outfit. She had the biggest blowout in history (thank you, disposable diapers!) just before this, so she was wearing a pink polkadot shirt with blue and brown pants. Stylin’!)_MG_4543

the living planet aquarium

While we were out in Utah, we went to check out the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy. I had seen their website and heard from a few people that it was worthwhile._MG_4469 Honestly, I was a little disappointed with how small it was. It was fun for a short visit, and there were a few exhibits that housed larger animals, but most everything else was just fish. (I know, it’s an aquarium… there are obviously going to be fish. I just wish they had had more of the “bigger” animals too!)

Here are a few of our favorites: some very playful otters!_MG_4486The lion fish._MG_4510And penguins (we definitely thought of Lelia while watching them!)_MG_4516 _MG_4517Kaya did really enjoy watching everything swim around!_MG_4498

flying with kaya

I have to admit… I was pretty nervous to fly with a baby. My vivid imagination conjured images of tears, screaming, and a whole mess of bodily functions happening at the worst possible time.

Luckily, Baby Bird did really well! There was, of course, some crying, but overall, she tolerated flying both to and from home like a champ.

We left from Newport News, Virginia (pictured below), had a layover in Atlanta, and then finally arrived in Salt Lake City!
PHOTO_20130423_101314The way home was the same route, just the opposite, and it was a red-eye flight (meaning we flew through the wee hours of the night). I was even more worried about keeping her content on this flight, but it was actually even easier than flying during the day- she just slept the whole time! We made a little bed by laying blankets across our laps, and she┬ásurprisingly┬áslept pretty soundly.PHOTO_20130423_133906By the way, when I’m talking about this Utah trip, “we” refers to Kaya, my mom-in-law, and myself. Michael’s cousin, Brianna, flew me out west to take her wedding photos, but Michael had to work, so my mom-in-law was awesome and came to help with Kaya (but she might have been a little persuaded by the prospect of almost-endless baby cuddles)!PHOTO_20130423_102645