Before the sun is up.

Something fantastic happened this winter. My sister, Kristen, and her family moved five minutes away from us. Lydia and I have been loving it. Greg thinks other wise… Kidding!! Really, kidding. It’s been great having them close and Lydia, like I always mention, adores her cousins. One perk of having them within a few minutes is getting to do a lot more day to day things with Kristen. Such as getting a good work out in. We both are regular in fitting in our exercise during the day, just never before the sun was up. Gold’s Gym was having a deal I just couldn’t pass up in the beginning of this year and I convinced Kristen to sign up with me. I knew if I signed up for this gym pass, I would get my money’s worth by getting my work out in before Greg had to leave for work and before the day started for the girls. Kristen agreed to my crazy plan of getting up in the freezing temperatures and dark, cold early hours.  We get to chat on the way there, laugh at each other when our bodies collapse from fatigue in weight lifting classes, and make plans for other things during the week.  Plus, it’s much much much easier getting up early in the morning knowing someone is waiting on you!  I made a slogan for us this year even: get ripped 2014!  It’s been over a month and we are sticking to this routine.  I am so proud of us I just had to document it.  Getting up early has never ever been my thing.  Now for goofy pictures of us in front of the building we burn all of our treats off in…
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Out to lunch.

After an emotional week saying goodbye to Aunt Michelle, we needed a nice relaxing Saturday.  I declared we were going out to eat for lunch and it must be Jason’s Deli.  I was craving their salad bar.  I was introduced to their salad bar last fall, and I can’t get enough.  I dream of going to their salad bar all the time.  You even get a delightful little ice cream cone at the end of your meal.  Jason’s Deli, you are awesome.
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Lydia digs their fruit salad, mini muffins, cucumbers, and extravagant saltine crackers. 🙂 photo photo3_zps10f44b83.jpg

Hazel made a disaster on the floor.  Sorry about that bus boys.   photo photo2_zpsa7c86251.jpg photo photo1_zps0bd5597a.jpg

Hazel loved that taste of ice cream, but if she got too much, she realized how cold it was on her little mouth!  But she always went back for more.
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The rest of the Saturday was made doing random errands and watching Captain Phillips once the girls were in bed!  Have you seen that movie?  Geez, it’s intense.  Last Saturday was just what we needed.  Now onto a whole new week!

Also, have you seen my Instagram lately?  I am doing a little project called #theSimmonspictureproject.  I have been trying to get a family picture in each week over a course of a year.  I plan on making my family a nice little flip book of the year when it’s complete.  And bless my family for being such great sports.  Believe it or not, Lydia never has to be coerced to smile for these pictures.  Smiles without complaint.  This girl is something else!

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December outings.

Before I forget, and before it’s February, I wanted to document a couple of fun outings we had in December. We went to visit Santa, again, but this time with cousins. Lydia was glad for the second chance to talk to the big guy because she forgot to mention something she wanted. Don’t worry, Santa had already thought of this particular present for her. 🙂 We then had to ride the carousel afterwards and Hazel loved her first little ride.
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Greg and I have started the tradition of going out to breakfast in Salt Lake during the Christmas season.  We went to the Marriot downtown a few days before Christmas and had the buffet.  I just love going out during the Christmas season.  I love seeing the fancy decorations in the city and breathing in the moments of Christmas.  Too bad we can’t use the excuse of something in January to go out to breakfast.  It’s more like I have to exercise all the junk off I ate during Christmastime!  Ugh, I’m paying for all the fun food indulges during the holidays.  But it’s always worth it! photo photo8_zpsc2c08c16.jpg photo photo9_zps4bbb6b48.jpg photo photo10_zpsfbd0615c.jpg photo photo11_zps7c217a85.jpg

Speeding by.

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 photo photo4_zpsc0819c7a.jpgSummer has been speeding by.  Just like it does every year.  In a month Lydia will be in preschool three times a week and nights will start to get cooler.  I’m not ready!  But I guess I never am.  Between balancing photography, family activities, and taking care of these two girls, I’m getting quite pooped trying to keep up with it all.  Does anybody know how to add an extra few hours to your day?  Or make it so you don’t need to sleep?  Please let me know.  August is looking even busier than July, hopefully I can keep up!

P.S. If you are wanting to schedule a photo session with me, act fast!  I have a few spots left in August and only a couple of dates left in September.  Email me at karasimmons20@gmail.com if you are interested.

It was a birthday weekend.

Last Friday, the 15th, was my birthday. It was nice, relaxing, and pretty low key.  Perfect for a large pregnant body.  I even got a nap in on my birthday and the day after!  Gregory took me shopping and out to dinner.  He gave me a gift certificate to go get a pregnancy massage.  I can’t wait to use it!  That man always treats me right.  He even surprised me with a whole cake to celebrate with as well.  Lydia loved that part of the weekend the most.  Or maybe it was playing with her cousins in the park with the nice weather we had?

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27 was a good year.  28 sounds good but that means I have to be more mature right?  I guess we will see if that happens. 😉

Next up, Greg’s birthday next week!  March is just a whole month of celebrating for us if you didn’t know by now.

Back from the south.

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We are back from St. George. The weather was perfect and just what we needed to forget these winter blues we were having.  I can’t wait to share a few of the photos we took.  Now I am ready to tackle this week!  Although, I will really be dreaming of the warm spring sun on my face again while trapped inside the house.  And you know what else is awesome?  I made sure the house was clean before we left.  I forgot about that until I walked in.  Now that was a goooooood feeling to end a great weekend.

January is almost over…

and thank goodness! It has been the coldest January I can remember.  Last January was so warm, and this year has been incredibly frigid.  We have been in the house a lot because of it.  Which is nice for awhile, but man, we are ready for some change in the weather!

With the new year Lydia moved up to Sunbeams from nursery.  I just had to do her hair in curls and braids for the first day.  That and we have the one o’ clock time slot now.  So curls every Sunday it is now!

PhotobucketLydia is back in preschool with her friends.  The first week back they had made these adorable bear ears in class.  The first thing she said when walking out the door as I picked her up was,”Mama, I’m a bear.  Rarrrrrr.”  Too much this girl is sometimes.  Too much.

PhotobucketWith being trapped inside the house, I’m actually cooking again.  And cleaning!  You should see how awesome our closet looks.  No piles on the ground at all.  Big steps for me.  I gave homemade granola bars a try.  Yummy, but they fall apart easily if not kept cold.  Lydia was a fan.

PhotobucketNesting has been in full force this month.  We painted walls in our front living room and family room and even hung up a mirror.  We are growing up I tell you.  Even though we have been here for two years, I have very little on the walls.  I am indecisive and it takes me awhile to get a vision of what I want.  But with this baby coming, I have a deadline to get things done!  Greg has been such a good sport about it all.

PhotobucketWe have picked out a very light pink to paint an accent wall in baby girl’s room.  I have the gallon of paint!  I can’t wait to paint this next week and start getting her room put together.

PhotobucketWhen scrolling through old pictures on my phone the other day, I came across this one last summer.  Doesn’t the sun behind us look heavenly?  I can’t help but dream of summer days and nights lately.

PhotobucketBaby girl is growing and kicking me like crazy.  We are at the end of our second trimester and feeling as good as can be.  I went to Zumba the other night and found watching myself in the mirror is too funny at times.  All that shaking and thrusting of hips sure looks attractive on this pregnant belly!  😉  But I need that cardio high so whatever it takes to get it, I’m there.

PhotobucketWe have had a lot of lazy Saturdays around here this month.  It’s been real nice.  Reading books in bed is a great lazy activity, don’t you think?

PhotobucketLydia is awesome at finding hiding places.  This one is in her room behind her curtains.  Brilliant place to hide! 🙂

PhotobucketCharlotte has been bored out of her mind and getting at least 23 hours of sleep a day it seems like.  I was brave enough to take her on a walk last week and she was in heaven.  And frozen at the end, but I think she thought it was worth it.

PhotobucketAnd last but not least, just thought I should throw it out there that Lydia talks our ears off.  All the time.  Madre told me how much I talked and how many questions I asked her a day at her age.  I guess I am getting my pay back.  I love hearing her ramble on to Greg when I am not in the room.  Those two are hilarious together.

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We are welcoming February with open arms and hopes of some warmer weather!

Disneyland adventure continued…

Thank goodness for Iphones and their cameras. Without it so many memories and moments would be lost for me.  It’s incredibly convenient to have when I am not able to have my Nikon around or unexpected moments I need to capture right then.  Of course the quality will never compare, but it will have to do for my point and shoot!  I loved being able to pull out my phone and capture the memories as they were happening and sending them to Gregory back home.

At downtown Disney the first night we drove into California.

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PhotobucketWithin the first few minutes of walking into California Adventure the first day, Lydia was already getting to meet her favorite stars.  Like Goofy.
PhotobucketAnd Minnie!  She was just hanging out by the Tower of Terror.
PhotobucketEven though my girl isn’t the biggest fan of Cars, we still thought Mater with the Santa hat on was pretty cute.
PhotobucketLydia loves those carousel rides.
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PhotobucketShe put on her 3D glasses for the Toy Story ride all by herself, can you tell?
PhotobucketThank goodness for Nana, Lydia was always wanting to be held in lines and Nana was sure to take her turn in the holding.  My back and baby I am currently growing appreciates you greatly Nana.
PhotobucketWaiting to see the World of Color.  Such a fantastic show.  It was a bit chilly that evening though!

PhotobucketEntering into Disneyland bright and early in the morning.
Photobucket“Hey Snow White!  Your ride is pretty scary.”
PhotobucketIf children would only smile at the camera.  Oh well.
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And that concludes our Christmastime Disneyland trip.  I told Greg I am good for my next Disneyland fix until Lydia is 5 or 6.  But hey, I could handle if we went when she was 4 too.  You know how Christmas just keeping getting better as your family grows and your children get older?  That’s exactly how I feel about Disneyland trips.  If only Christmas and Disneyland didn’t cost so many pretty pennies…

Addiction to the magical place.

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We are back from Disneyland!  We went to Disneyland for only two days so it was a quick trip, but we stayed from open until pretty much close both days.  Lydia was in heaven, as was I.  Who’s with me that they must put some sort of drug into the water or food at Disneyland that leaves you always wanting more?  Whatever the stuff is, it’s good.  As soon as I walked out of the park I started plotting ways to get my little family back there.

Now back to real life!  I have a lot of pretty pictures to sort through, a house to decorate for Christmas, and so much more coming our way.  Whew!

Halloween wrap up.

Halloween started off with a grand parade at Grandma Simmons’ school. She’s a teacher in case you didn’t know.  She got to strut her stuff with the big kids who get to go to school.  She is already asking to go back to the parade at Grandma’s school.

PhotobucketNext stop, downtown SLC for lunch with Grandma Nana where she works.  Eme, Tayden, and Kristen were there too.  We let them run around in their costumes and charm all adults who saw them.
PhotobucketAnd in the evening we stopped at Chipotle where they gave you a really cheap burrito just for dressing up.  Even grumpy “Halloween for suckas” Gregory can’t pass that up.  I had a bun in the oven and that man of mine was the chef.
PhotobucketBecause I ran Lydia ragged all day, she was exhausted come trick or treat time.  She trick or treated one small street, and loved it, but then needed Greg to carry her to make it awhile longer.  Poor thing.  Lesson learned, Lydia needs rest to trick or treat enjoyably.  Or was she just outsmarting us by having Greg do all the work?  All she needed to do was say trick or treat and got candy.  Well played Lyds, well played.
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Even spooky ghosts following Greg and Lydia made an appearance according to my iphone.  Which means the night was a success I guess?  And that was our Halloween friends.