Sunday, January 30, 2011

feel free to put your hand over your heart at any time

dc... the city of our nation's history. vi and i totally went there with emo for mlk weekend and LOVED IT.
get ready for the post of your life.

day before the trip: this little rascal helps me unpack everything we packed... over and over.

day one: surprise, mj!

admittedly, i was a little scared to fly across the country with little vi in tow. we can barely make it through an hour of church before she is making a run for it and digging through somebody's purse. i packed a diaper bag full of all her favorite things and started saying prayer after prayer that we wouldn't be the most hated people on the plane.

turns out, vi was GREAT. it helped that everywhere we went we got special treatment. "you with the stroller! come to the front of the line! yes, get in front of all these people who have been waiting forever!" we were just doing what we were told... and it made a huge difference. we were settled on the plane, snacks in hand, wipes in the seat pouch, toys at an arms reach... and we were off. since it was an afternoon flight, vi took a nap. and since our second leg was an evening flight, vi took another nap. love that little girl. probably the best thing for traveling with vi was having emo there too. she was going to dc to surprise both her sisters and attend ka's wedding shower. there is no way i could have done this trip alone. a big thanks to the girl below and all the love she gave little violet (can't you tell from this picture how happy she is with emo's carrying solution?).

when we arrived in dc at 1:00am we were most excited to surprise mj. she had NO IDEA emo was coming with me so we gathered our luggage and emo hid while we waited for mj to come and help me get my stuff to the car. when mj found me i told her i had met a girl on the plane who was so nice and that had helped me with violet. i explained that because we landed late (we were delayed) the girl needed a ride to baltimore and i told her we could take her there. mj, never good at hiding her emotions, flat out said no. baltimore is an hour in the opposite direction and it is 1:00 am. mj laughed and offered to show her where she could catch a train but said that she was not taking this "girl" to baltimore. right in the middle of mj's rant, emo popped out from her hiding place and surprised her sister. there was lots of screaming, lots of jumping and lots of relief on mj's face once she realized i was lying about baltimore. surprise #1=success.
and thus, we all slept soundly at laney's for the evening.

day 2: white house, capitol, and food. all highlights.

day two was busy! we started out the day with an early morning white house tour. we couldn't take violet along so we roped ka's fiance, clint, into an early morning babysitting gig. it was early enough that violet slept the whole time but i am thankful for clint and his willingness to help! i loved the tour. i couldn't get enough about all the stories about where this painting came from or how that became a tradition. it was so fun to see all the history of this building come to life. no cameras were allowed so we have no proof any of this actually happened. but it did. i had the bags under my eyes all day to prove it. note: i did not meet obama.

after the white house, we headed over to the capitol building. on our way there, this nice man stopped us and asked us where we were from.

we told officer atkins we were from utah and he was all excited about it. he let us know that he was "kinda mormon" and that he had been going to church but had not been baptized yet- although he said he planned on it one day. we chatted about all sorts of things and became great friends. before we left, he gave violet an officer's badge and told us that if we ever come back, he would be happy to take us on some cool tours. "after all," he said, "once i am mormon we are basically family."
what a guy. what an experience.
onto the capitol, we still needed to surprise emo's other sister, ka, with the news that she was in town. ka works for congressman chaffetz in the capitol so clint had told her that we (ka is thinking just clint and i) were coming to meet she and mj for institute and lunch. little did she know that emo was waiting to jump out of nowhere and surprise her as well! surprise #2=success!
we all ate some very yummy burritos in congressman chaffetz office where vi posed at his desk for a few shots.

she will make a great politician one day.
after lunch, mj took us on a capitol tour.

she is the most patriotic gal around so she was a great tour guide. since mj works there as well (for congressman simspon) she got us into all sorts of places. sometimes we couldn't use our cameras and sometimes we could.. so here were the highlights.

vi took a nap half way through the tour- but the rest of us thoroughly enjoyed it!

after the tour, we walked a little around the mall. violet loved clint.

later, we met up with laney, mj, ka and clint for yummy indian food and fun. laney and i had a great time as we reminisced about the crazy times we've had while the rest of the group laughed along.

great day.

day three: a bridal shower and then shopping. all. day.

this day started with ka's bridal shower where we dined on quiche and honored this fabulous couple. this was the main reason emo came all the way to dc so i was glad that everything worked out.

after the shower, it was time to shop. if there is something laney and i excel at as a team it is shopping. so, for day three, that is what we did for the rest of our time. all the girls met at the mall and, like ravenous locusts, devoured all the deals we could find. it was GREAT. shopping is an essential part of any girls trip- and since cade didn't come with me, that is what i considered this trip to be. vi loved the shopping as well. we even found some great steals for her in the h&m baby section. you have to love that.

after all the shopping we ate at a great mexican restaurant and called it a day. we were pooped!

day four: the sabbath. and a concert.

on sunday we attended the singles ward with ka, mj and laney. vi was in heaven because she was the only baby there- and thus, was the center of attention. everybody emptied their purses trying to find something that would lure her over to their seat so they could love on her. it was great. afterwards we ate with the henshaw brother, gus, for our sunday meal. gus and jen were nice to let us all come over for dinner (we were quite the herd) but violet loved playing with their little girl, lilly.
after the meal, we met at laney's where a spontaneous jam session broke out. i hope you are as surprised to read that as i was surprised to find something like this really happening. it is not really like us... but it all started with mj and her darn ukulele.

she carries that thing around like a purse and pulls it our for all sorts of occasions. i am not complaining. i love singing along to a good tom petty song every once in a while- who doesn't? well, that night we all grabbed a makeshift instrument and went wild singing all the songs of our past- including: gangster's paradise, foolish games, backstreet boys, and more.
laney and debbie played the spoons and the knives, respectively.

i played the drum. you see all the blurs below? that's how into i got. a little embarrassing, i know.

and we played into the night...

day five: mlk day!

for mlk day we headed back to the dc sights. for starters we went to the lincoln memorial. i love this memorial. i went there when i was ten or so but i still remember how impressed i was with lincoln. what a great man... he quickly became the theme for our day.

at the memorial, vi got her picture taken with miss black louisiana. i am not making that up. i guess there is a "black" pageant as well! she was really nice and even took a few pictures with her camera as well.

we also were sure to stand on the spot mlk gave his infamous speech. mlk was another great man, so it was a neat experience to be there on a day dedicated to his name.

great time with the gals.

vi was a trooper. it was freezing cold but she just plugged right along with the rest of us!

for lunch, we headed to ben's chili bowl.

this is a landmark food stop. this is where obama, cosby, denzel, and violet all eat. we ate a smorgasbord of chili- comfort food never provided so much comfort as this.

next up was ford's theater. again, i love abe so this was a great stop. the museum has all sorts of info on his life and shows how awesome he was.

this is where he was shot and although they still have plays here, nobody ever sits in the memorial.

by this point, vi had hit a wall... so she took a nap while we toured the hall of american presidents in the smithsonian.

let's be honest, we were all pooped at this point so we called it a night and went home to prepare for our early morning flight the next day.

the flight home went great... they did have to page me in the chicago airport but other than that it was smooth sailing home to daddy... who we missed very much.

b and stemmy's wedding

bryson and stephanie had a beautiful wedding at la caille on january 6th.

we got all gussied up for the event..

we snooped around.

cade played the guitar as the guests found their seats...

as my aunts walked in and saw cade playing the prelude, they pulled me aside and commented on how cade is a jack-of-all-trades. they laughed that whenever something in the family needs to be done, cade can do it. i like hearing that because i like cade.

liz and nic sang the couple down the aisle.

and they were married
(insert picture of the beautiful couple here. i didn't get one that does justice to how gorgeous stephanie looked)

vi got tired and cranky.

this garson polished our glasses.

we ate the most delicious food in the whole world.... so delicious, in fact, that jeff's plates look near empty!

we ate cake.

vi got more and more sleepy.

we chatted and celebrated.

and then the couple left.

great wedding, beautiful bride and fabulous company. congrats, b and stemmy!

dear violet, you are basically an adult.

i love violet- that goes without saying, but i can't help but say it all day long. i swear lately she has gone from being a baby to being a real person. it is happening so fast and i look back regrettably as i forget the everyday things she does that make me laugh. she is the greatest little girl in the world and cade and i spend all our time adoring and loving on her.

to avoid further regret, here are a few things she has been up to:


this video is a little out of focus- sometimes i hate my camera for that. i just want to grab it and catch a moment right as it is happening... but this camera requires i set the shot. kinda tough. anyway, violet is a busy bee. evidence of this is how she snaps while she drinks her bottle. it is almost like she hates the idea of wasting time eating while she could be doing something fun. i love it. what 10 month old snaps? i swear i didn't learn until i was in the sixth grade or something.


anything and everything is climbable in the taylor home. violet can climb on anything now- beds, couches, chairs, boxes, piles of pillows, etc. she is like a billy goat- always happiest at the highest point possible.

the bathroom

if this door is open, destruction is at hand. the worst temptation in the bathroom for vi is the toilet. if the seat is open, that is an open invitation to play in the water... even to drink it. the other day while my sister was over, her little boy, owen and violet raced down the hall and into the bathroom. realizing this could be trouble, we followed them- but apparently not fast enough. by the time we made it down there violet was dipping her hands in the water and sucking them clean. owen, on the other hand stared at violet in disgust and then explained that violet was drinking the water and is was "gross." mom of the year, right here.


vi's new obsession is opening all cupboards and not-so-carefully emptying out all the contents. that is a real joy... i would stop her but she is so happy doing it.

baby einstein

the only time this busy little babe takes a breather is to watch a little bit of a baby einstein show. she prefers, of course, to watch it while sitting in a laundry basket which has been filled with all her favorite things. that show's ability to hold her in a trance like that is amazing.

vi is getting so big and it is crazy to see it happen. there are plenty more moments to share in upcoming posts. you should all be excited to see her dance to lady gaga. it is by far her favorite breakfast music. until then!

new year... new resolutions.

we rang the new year in by banging pots and pans with family. it was perfect. i love new things and a new year is a great "new" that i look forward to celebrating.

every year cade and i choose something in our life that is worth putting aside. usually it is something that isn't good for us, but we do just "because." in the past, i have given up things like soda, french fries and gambling (yes, you read that right. have you ever played craps? it is a lot of fun...). cade has given up poor media choices, coca cola, and the snooze button. this year we tried to think of things we could give up that would help us be better and here is what we came up with.

i am giving up chaos. that may sound weird but i swear my life lately is full of craziness. i collapse into bed at the end of the day and think about all the things i should have done and all the things that foolishly filled my day. my priorities were out of whack and i felt chaotic. with my new resolution, i have made a schedule (something that is VERY foreign to me) and i am doing my best to stick to it. one great help to following my schedule is something so great i feel like i need to share it. i wanted to read the scriptures more diligently and read the book of mormon fully within the year. the website helps you do that by tracking your goals and sending you scripture verses everyday to keep you on track. it. is. wonderful.
so, in my effort to feel like i am using my time most effectively, i am following geroge eliot's sage advice, "great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small events brought together."
peace out, chaos.

cade, on the other hand, has taken on quite the challenge. he explains that if the mayans, aztecs and incas are correct, he wants to be ready for the end of everything in 2012. thus, he is giving up all his previous give ups in one year. that means this year he is off caffeine, bad media, snooze button, and comedic swearing. so ambitious, this one. let's hope 2012 really isn't the end- but if it is, cade's ready!

here's to a new year!

a cousin christmas

christmas may have been over, but we still had one more celebration. the day after chrsitmas, we headed over to granny's house for our annual cousin party. this party is always a great time- and this year, it was even better because our numbers grew! ane was in town with her fiance che and joanna and trina were able to join the fun as well!

again, i will highlight the highlights...

first we ate... yummy soups and salads. this is a great group to cook for because the meal is gluten free and vegetarian. the last time we got together, i had the milk allergy so it was dairy, meat and gluten free... this time it was much easier to prepare.

next was the white elephant exchange. great gifts- including a baby einstein (not the dvds for infants.. but an actual baby einstein doll), all the gingerbread houses cade made this season, custom place mats, a singing neck tie and false teeth... to name a few.

after the exchange, we all played kazoo carols for a while...

and then played with these toy gems for a bit as well...

cade, dylan and rudi then played some tunes for us. they are always great.

the night wasn't finished yet. after the music, granny asked if we could all dance for a while. the great thing about granny is we listen to every word she says- so if she says dance, we all get up and cut a rug. cade managed to find a hip hop station on the radio which wasn't suiting granny's dance craving so sariah grabbed an abba cd and saved the day. we all had such a great time that in the end we were glad that granny had put in the request.

finally, we took a group shot and called it a night.

this group knows how to party.