First day of school.

And so it begins. We have a child in school!  It’s a pretty surreal moment for a parent from my experience.  Lydia could not wait for her day to begin.  She is in afternoon kindergarten so we had all morning to prepare.  And take our time taking pictures too of course. :)  The time finally came to walk her to the school bus.  She was cool as a cucumber and incredibly excited.  I, on the other hand, was pretty nervous!  But the fact that she was incredibly happy and excited, made me happy and excited for her.  I thought I was going to be a big old mess, but her happiness was contagious and I ended up being more brave than I thought.  Watching that bus drive off with her in it gave me a bit of anxiety attack, but we followed her to the school to watch her walk in the class room.  Lydia even has a couple of friends in her class from the neighborhood which made her that much more excited.  She has been eating up everything about school ever since.  I am grateful for this brave, happy, and positive little girl.  Her outlook of life always amazes me and I hope she always stays this way.  Now we are just trying to get used to the daily grind of school.  Lydia loves it of course, it’s me who is adjusting to the daily school schedule!  Hazel and I sure do miss our Lydia during the afternoon.  
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Somebody turned 5.

This was the year I finally caved in and gave Lydia what she has been longing for. A friend birthday party! She has been begging and asking the last couple of years, and it finally happened. We invited a crazy amount of children, set up all sorts of water activities in the back, and called it a party.  I didn’t make cute decorations or anything.  Just bought some balloons and called it good.  The cake was the highlight of the party of course!  My talented friend, Angie Haaga, baked it and customized it to the exact colors of Lydia’s swimsuit.  We were in love!  Adorable and delicious.  We had a couple of water games, which I was afraid kids were going to think they were dumb, but surprisingly they were all good sports about the games!  We only had a couple of slight injuries, but no blood.  Success. :)  After all was said and done, Lydia said she loved having a party and can’t wait for next year’s party.  I told her she is going to have to wait two years because friend parties take a lot of work!  Whew.  But so worth it when seeing how much she loved it.  Happy birthday to our big five year old Lydia!
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The 4th o’ July.

You guys, I am at the point in the summer where there are one million things going on at once. So I can’t keep up on anything blog posting related. Because that’s last on my to do list! I sound like a broken record every year at this point in the summer, but it’s true. Having too much fun playing, shooting pictures, playing, and then photo processing etc.  But!  Here is evidence we actually had a 4th of July.  Breakfast at Grandma Millers followed by softball/kickball game.  We then made our way up to Park City again this year and just had to stop at that beautiful white barn for pictures.  It’s tradition! ;)  Even the Stouts and Smiths(siblings) made it this year with us.
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Hazel Evie. At 13 months.

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Instead of taking pictures right around her 12th month of life, I took pictures at the end of her 13th month. For whatever reason, I can never seem to squeeze in time for a little time with my girls in front of the camera right around their birthdays. And that’s okay. You do what you can do!
Hazel started walking in her 13th month. She was very stubborn about walking! One day she would be happily walking back and forth between Greg and I, the next day she would cry and throw herself onto the ground if we tried to make her walk. Obviously, she wanted to do it on her time! And now that she finally is walking it’s pretty darn cute. She toddles after Lydia all day long. She has also mastered the art of going down the stairs on her belly very well. Almost too well. I will think she is upstairs while I am getting ready, but when you haven’t check on her for longer than a minute, she’s already down the stairs on her belly just cruising. Quick little thing!
Hazel loves to say, “hiiiiiiii.” That’s about her only word. I have been able to have her say “bye” a couple of times and “ball” once, but that’s about it. However, she has said, “hiiiiiiidaaaaaaa”(hi dad!) and believe it or not, she is trying to sound out Lydia. It comes out, “Leeeeya!” Pretty cute stuff I’m tell you.
And man this girl has teeth coming in galore! This past Sunday, she was having a hard time in church. Late summer nights, little naps, and 9 am church wasn’t a good combination in the first place, but I leaned her back during Sunday school to see what new teeth I could find, and behold, her molars are working their way through. Poor baby! Teething has not been Hazel’s friend. But I guess the end is kinda in sight?
Even though she’s teething, she’s still sweet as can be. Smiles at the snap of a finger and loves to give hugs. She also has some sass to her when things are going her way, which makes me laugh and get a little scared for the future all at the same time. Love you Hazel Evie!

Summertime trip.

We made another quick trip down to Saint George a couple of weeks ago. If you can’t tell, we are addicted to that place. Thanks to mi Madre and step-dad having a beautiful home down there! We went swimming, swimming, out to eat, and more swimming. It was a perfect summer vacation. Lydia was taught how to jump in the water and even(gasp!) swim underwater! This girl doesn’t like to be splashed or is a scared of doing anything without her life jacket. We are working hard on her though! She made huge improvements this trip. However, we looked like really mean parents making a crying 4 year old jump in the water over and over again so she would get used to it. But it’s for her own good right?!  Good thing despite her crying from forcing to do things she didn’t want to do, she looked pretty darn cute in her swimming suits.
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And took our girls out one evening for some desert scenery.  I now have some all time favorite pictures of my girls from this outing. photo June202014_KaraSimmons_5_zpsd2a70e79.jpg photo June202014_KaraSimmons_13_zpsb1a993d7.jpg photo June202014_KaraSimmons_14_zps60087943.jpg photo June202014_KaraSimmons_15_zps56066a65.jpg photo June202014_KaraSimmons_16_zpsa4e93008.jpg photo June202014_KaraSimmons_17_zps83b295f6.jpg photo June202014_KaraSimmons_18_zps1ac509c7.jpg photo June202014_KaraSimmons_20_zps31eb3bd9.jpg photo June202014_KaraSimmons_21_zps8de05963.jpg photo June202014_KaraSimmons_8_zpsc11e2dc8.jpg photo June202014_KaraSimmons_9_zps9532cb19.jpg photo June202014_KaraSimmons_11_zps0a55aef7.jpg
I can’t get over that last one of our girls! What beauties.