Wednesday, November 28, 2012

After 3 years, we finally re-visit Utah.

By Liv

It's been 3 years. A lot has changed since our last visit to Utah. We have lived in countless other states, cities, countries... We have lost family members and gained family members. One thing that remains the same: we absolutely ADORE Utah. Of course, Stella has absolutely no recollection of Utah and since we don't talk about our old home very often, she was quite confused when we drove her past our house in Salt Lake City (that is currently being rented) and told her the story about how that's the house she lived in when she was a baby. She was really only interested in seeing snow.

The main reason we wanted to revisit Utah was to catch up with some of our favorite people. Our good friends – The Helgesens – have just moved back to the USA after living in Africa since we all left Oxford over a year ago, and since Laura and Tenzing were the people we spent the majority of our Oxford-time with, Stella and I were very excited to reunite with them. Mostly, though, I was excited to see if Stella actually remembered Tenzing and if they still got along.

As it turns out, either Stella and Tenzing are very good at pretending that they remember each other, or they really DO remember each other. They picked right up where they left off a year ago and got back in to the swing of being best buds. Here are some photos of our weekend trip to beautiful Utah:

 The ever-beautiful Laura and her adorable son, Tenzing. My-oh-my how we have missed them!

 Daddy-daughter silliness.

  Best Dad ever.

 We took the kids inner-tubing in the snow. This was probably the highlight of the trip for everyone :) 

 I still can't believe Stella went down that hill. It wasn't steep, but the tubes went FAST!

 Sweet boy.

 Best friends.

 Do you see them up at the top? No? Oh, well I swear that's them. Just keep scrolling down...

 Nick, Xavier, Stella and Tenzing each had their own inner tube. The Dads held everyone's ropes tight so that they went down the slope together.

 Rounding them up...

 I'm sure Tenzing was saying, "Again!"

 Taking in a cartoon together.

 And a little pre-hot-tub dance party. (ps- Stella is potty trained but wanted to wear the "cool" swim diaper..."

 Silly dimply girl.

Oh yeah, Olive was there, too. She had fun chewing on her feet.

Friday, November 2, 2012

What's spooky with the Hernandez-Tostenrude clan?

Well, nothing really. Except how freakishly cute our babies are!

This month has been pretty exciting. We enjoyed hand-picking pumpkins at the pumpkin patch with our friends, we introduced Olive to solid foods and took the girls trick-or-treating at's campus (Nick's work). Here are some of our favorite moments, captured...

 Stella has decided that she likes to make funny faces at the camera.

 Olive was mostly excited about trying to grab Stella, as usual...

Pumpkin patches in the Pacific Northwest means wearing wellies, rain coats and hats.

 I sure am glad Stella has her cupcake wellies!

 Nick and his tennis buddy, Peng.

 Olive's first foods: brown rice cereal (she hated it), avocado (loved it), and acorn squash (loved it).

 But let's be honest, the bib was her favorite part of the meal :)

 Stella spends most of her day picking out new outfits. This one was particularly lovely!

I just love her. That's all I can say about these photos!

 For Halloween, Stella was a unicorn. She was convinced that her "horn" made rainbows :) 

 Stella the unicorn thought my rainbow wrap matched her costume nicely - and Olive the dragon :)

 Happy little unicorn trick-or-treating at her Daddy's work.

 Dinner after our Halloween festivities. As you can see, Olive's favorite game is "Grab Stella".

 Silly little girls!

Oooh, Stella hair! Olive's favorite :) 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth

If you didn't already know, Stella and Olive are two of the luckiest girls in the world. They have an Oma and Papa who adore them. They adore them so much that they insisted that they take them to Disneyland. Can you imagine? We had more fun than I can possibly explain. It was so awesome to watch Stella's little face light up at all the sights and sounds of the Happiest Place on Earth.

We can't thank Mike and Marlane enough for helping us create such magical memories. If it weren't for Marlane coming along, Nick and I wouldn't have had such an amazing time (and we also wouldn't have had a chance to go on Space Mountain together!).

As if we weren't lucky enough as it was, my cousin Krissy's pulled some strings and gained us entrance to both parks for free all days that we were there. How awesome is that?!

Many many thanks to everyone for helping make this trip possible and many thanks to all our friends who gave us good advice on things to do/see. The trip was spectacular and we have already started planning our next Disneyland trip!


 Olive napped in the carrier every day for 5 days. What a trooper!

 Watching the carousel. It was REALLY hot outside!

 Our first ride at Disneland - the carousel :) 

 Olive is such a sweetie.


 Dumbo: Stella's favorite ride.

 Naptime for Olive while we go on "It's a Small World"

 California Adventures 

 My favorite part of Disneyland is the flashmob style dancing and singing that happens all over the park at random times. It's so festive!

 The Bug's Life ride.

 But mostly STELLA loved it :) 

 Cooling off in the Bug's Life water park.

 My princess in front of the castle.

 Don't let her looks fool you - Stella was STOKED to get her picture taken with Ariel!

 One of Olive's favorite people: Oma!

 Did I tell you that Dumbo is her favorite ride?

 Yep, it is!

 The girls.

 The girls were given these special buttons to commemorate their first visit. Olive wasn't as impressed as she should've been...

 My lovely Mother-in-law/nanny/friend.

Phew! It's hard work having fun.