Thursday, December 31, 2009

christmas '09

This year we spent Christmas in Sandy with the Bell's (We also had a mini Christmas at home with the gifts from G&G Nimer). There was much movie watching, a new nutcracker friend, amazing food, new jammies, lots of mimmys, sweet gifts, and Halle antics. There ar
en't many pics of Halle with her presents because 1. She didn't like unwrapping things and 2. She would much rather run around then play with toys. She did however, love the farm we got her. I had been showing it to her almost everyday hoping she would be excited about it on Christmas day. My little plot worked because it was the only toy she sat and played with for more then 4.2 seconds. Cue the pictures:
Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!
And enjoy ringing in the New Year!
We will be eating a bunch of junk food and playing with Halle and maybe I'll even stay awake until midnight to meet 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

an almost perfect night

To celebrate our anniversary '09 style, we dropped Halle off at hotel bell to spend the night with her favorite people while we spent the evening in Salt Lake City.
Our first stop was Kyoto, a Japanese restaurant with the best and most authentic food I have ever had. We sat at the counter and were served by the sweetest woman in a kimono. We talked about what we remembered from our wedding day while eating the best tempura and miso soup I have ever had.
We drove through the city holding hands and listening to songs that reminded us of each other. Our next stop was temple square to see the Christmas lights still on display. It was freezing but beautiful, and I found out just how big of a wimp Wes is about the cold.
After a lovely stroll around the temple grounds we stopped at the Salt Lake Roasting Company for completely divine hot chocolate. We have been coming to the SL Roasting Company around the holidays every year since we met. It holds so many fun memories for us and has the best seafood chowder around. We sat at our usual wooden table by the drafty purple windows on the top floor with all the maps. We drank our hot chocolate and looked at pictures of the highlights from the last three years starting with our wedding day. The people sipping coffee and using their laptops all around us faded as we laughed about our honeymoon, working at BYU laundry together, all the trips we took, graduating, being an elephant (aka pregnant), and our silly baby girl.
You could say it was the perfect night.
But to us, it was almost perfect.
It would have been perfect if we had Halle sitting in a high chair eating rice and making faces at the taste of the orange at Kyoto. It would have been perfect if we had been listening to "If you're happy and you know it" on Halle's children's cd and were watching her kick her legs in her car seat. It would have been perfect if we had bundled up Halle in her puffy coat and pink hat and gloves into her stroller while she said things like "whoa" and "tree" and "touch it" as we looked at all the lights. It would have been perfect if we went home and played "bah-nee-nee" (her way of saying let's go bounce on the couch). It would have been perfect if she kept asking for pretzels. It would have been perfect if we were chasing her around trying to get her jammies (or boots, as she calls them) on. It would have been perfect if we could kiss her goodnight and watch her get comfortable in her crib and roll onto her side to settle in for the night.
That would have been the perfect night.
But, every parent needs a night off right?

Monday, December 28, 2009

happy anniversary

Three years ago today we sealed the deal and were married in the St. George Temple.
It was a beautiful sunny day (too bad the day before was a huge blizzard, so most of our family risked their lives to be there.)
Before that day I thought I cared about my hair, the dress, the reception, the flowers, the colors, the food, the makeup, etc.
But on that day all that frilly stuff meant nothing and took a back seat to the simple and beautiful ceremony that sealed me to my best friend forever.
happy anniversary husband of mine!
"i love us."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

risky business

tom cruise has got nothing on halle bell

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

the life and times of weston bell

Now that we have enough storage space to fit all of our stuff from the lives we had before we got married, we have been getting ready to transfer Wes's stuff from his parent's house to our new house. In the process we have found some priceless treasures his mom kept along the way. My favorite find has been his diary he kept when he was ten and eleven years old.
On every page he wrote how old he was, the day of the week, and the page number at the top. It is mostly about basketball and playing video games and being the best at things. But there are some pretty sweet entries.
Here are a few excerpts from some of my favorite entries. I am leaving spelling and punctuation as is because it really is cute.

"Kendyl, my sister got to have a sleepover. They wanted to change Kendyl's room around and draw things and I spiyed on them and they didn't even know that I was doing and then I played with them."

"Tonight we went to my cousin Tyler's for New Year's Day. We played a lot of games and I played the best. We played Gesturs and I was the best actor there. Tyer's grandpa was there but he didn't want to play very much."

"I scored a point for the other team and they were happy but they would have won anyway"

"This week on Tuesday we were playing football and a gangster type guy was driving in a 1991 Bonneville. He chased us for awhile then we went to Rich Walkenhorst. The guy came and tried to chase us again, but Rich came out of his house and helped us. P.S. we're probably going to sue."

"Sunday I stayed in my church close the whole day and I boar my testimony it was fun."

When he was eleven years old he started signing off with "buy" (supposed to be "bye") and always something extra with a P.S.
One day he wrote, "P.S. No p.s. this time."

Wasn't he just the sweetest little boy? I love how simple life seems to children. I think all children should be forced to keep a diary. It makes for some big laughs once they start a family of their own.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

it's really santa

Yesterday we took Halle to South Towne mall for her first visit with Santa. I predicted that she would sit on his lap for a few seconds and then wiggle her way down and start running around the mall.
Things went a little different then expected.
She sat on his lap and started looking at us for help. Immediately her bottom lip stuck straight out and her little face crumpled and she started crying. Santa started singing "jingle bells" softly in her ear and she calmed right down. She sat with him for a while just looking around.
He must be the real Santa.
His beard is real. His cheeks are rosy. He had amazing magical calming powers over Halle.
Must be Santa. Just look at him.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

how i spent my tuesday night

I was laying on the floor by our Christmas tree tonight.
Wes was at his desk working on finals.
My little Halle was sitting by me and climbing all over me.
Naked, of course.
She was eating pretzels and giving kisses.
She was telling me where my eyes were, where my ears were, where my nose was, and where my mouth was.
I was looking at her beautiful hazel eyes and her wispy baby hair.
I saw my button nose on her round face.
It's probably the only feature she inherited from me. The rest is all dad.
I was thinking how I just love her adorable cheeks.
She kept asking for more pretzels.
I am forgetting everything about her so fast.
I do not want to forget this night.
And then, as usual, disaster struck.

Monday, December 14, 2009

happy birthday

Aunt Jan!
We hope you have a wonderful birthday with lots of love and much spoilage.
Halle knows you as Jake's mama and it got me thinking about all the wonderful roles you have. Think about it. You are:
a wife
a sister
an aunt
a mother
a daughter
a friend
And not only are you all of those things, but you do them all so well despite the busy life you have. And not only that your house is always spotless. Wonderwoman is what that is called.
We love you!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

i am webster

and this is my definition of love:
and also this:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

typical

wearing minnie footie pajamas with a minnie nightgown over them and one of mom's shoes all while playing with dad's belts and taking all of his clothes out of the closet right before bedtime.
very typical.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

african nativity

Since we are a young up and coming family (going on three years at the end of this month!), we have very little in the way of holiday decorations. We have started our own collection of Christmas decorations over the past two years and have also received many sweet gifts from our families to help fill our home with Christmas cheer.
One of my favorite decorations came as a gift from my sweet sister-in-law Kendyl that she picked up for us in Zambia, Africa where she was serving with the Mothers Without Borders Organization. I think this African Nativity is absolutely gorgeous. It makes me remember we really are brothers and sisters with all the different people around the world, no matter their culture or beliefs. (Now I just wish Wes would have thought a little bit more about his future family while he was on his mission and had picked us up one from Brazil...You're right. It was probably good he wasn't thinking too much about his future family out there.)
Halle also likes it, the donkey part anyway. I am afraid she is going to carry it off somewhere and we won't be able to find it until next year.

Friday, December 4, 2009

i'll spare you

I know you are all tired of hearing me go on and on about sunshine and how I am addicted to it and how I could eat it if it could sustain life like that, so, I am just going to let you see the pictures from our thanksgiving holiday in st. george. I will spare you all the sunshine commentary and sunshine love poems. But I will say this: it was fabulous.
Psyched about you know what.
Thanksgiving day was wonderful. I miss being close to my family. The only thing missing was Ryan (not for long!). Mom seriously outdid herself. I forget how amazing her mashed potatoes are and really all of her food. Simple meals she makes that I try to recreate never taste as good as hers. I guess I leave out the love. We also spent part of the day with the Ashman side of the family. Imagine having Thanksgiving dinner with a bunch of hilarious, crazy kiddos in the gym of an elementary school. Oh, and a fart machine. Yes, it was out of control. Aren't those some of the most fun family memories? We managed to send a few ceiling tiles askew and knock down a very large poster of Taylor Swift with a milk mustache.
We spent the rest of the week sleeping in, relaxing, and playing with this little master chief.
He is the only kid this little girl will share with.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

happy birthday

Aunt Kendyl!
Wish we could spend all day eating three bags of chips and watching Gilmore Girls.
Can't even tell you how much we love and adore you.
You are an amazing example of service and determination.
So glad Halle has an example like you in her little monster princess life.
We love you!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

happy birthday

Uncle...I mean...Elder Ryan!
*I just realized I don't have any of your mission pics on my computer. So we are left with this pre-mission gem. Let's fix that mom.
Can't believe you are already 21.
Can't believe you have not met Halle.
Can't believe you are coming home in 4 months.
Can't believe you have a British accent.
Can't believe you teach Chinese people in England.
Can't believe you were obsessed with Grandpa's letter opener in this picture.
Can't believe you were also obsessed with his weird ring.
Can't believe you ever stopped doing your Phantom of the Opera Hand Flute.
Can't believe how much fun we had when you were at BYU.
Can't believe you invented the golden tickle.
And definitely can't wait till you come home.
We love you!
*Get ready for many birthday posts. Not only is it the Christmas season, it is birthday season in our families.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

festivities

This year we were able to celebrate Wes's birthday without Halle cramping our style. The Bell's had Halle sleepover and gave me and Wes a night to ourselves. Seriously though, I missed her like you miss an amputated limb, but I can't really say the same for her. She had the time of her life.
Wes and I spent the night eating sushi and bento boxes at Mikado. It was divine. Especially the deep fried rolls, it totally masks the taste if you're not into the whole fishy taste. We did a little shopping and then headed home to snuggle and watch a movie just like we used to pre-Halle. We watched Taken, and at the end of the movie Wes decided he wants Liam Neeson to come live with us. I'm okay with that. Oh, and we slept in peace without our little princess waking us up in the middle of the night.
That was probably my favorite part.
On Wes's actual birthday we went out to Cafe Rio with his family and then came back to our house for his favorite white cake. His mom made it, of course, because we all know when I bake cakes things burn, the middle sinks, it turns into a pile of crumbs, there are sometimes tears, and who really wants to deal with that on their birthday.
I know what you are thinking. Trust me, I wonder how I snagged this fella too.
I bet you know what Halle was doing the whole time. She has a major obsession with Aunt Rachel.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

happy thanksgiving

We are loving spending this holiday in St. George.
I miss this little city fiercely.
And let me tell you why.
I was standing in a long line this morning waiting to pick up our thanksgiving day pies at Croshaw's Gourmet Pies. The line was outside the door.
I felt the sun on my skin and that little act triggered my brain to release some endorphins or something and I felt noticeably happier.
Sunshine can do wonders for a snow-battered soul.
And then I saw a sign on Croshaw's door that said, "get sunkissed in st.george."
And those words summed up everything I have been dreaming about all winter.
And then I heard two girls behind me who were about 18ish talking about how they wanted a boy flavored pie.
And then they thought they were pretty clever because they remembered they could actually order a BOYSenberry pie.
I love this little town.

This Thanksgiving I can define most everything I am thankful for with one word:
love.
Family love.
Gospel love.
Godly love.
Halle love.
Love that forgives.
Missionary love.
Food love.
Unconditional love.
Book love.
Love that grows.
Love you can't define.
Love you can define.
Learning to love.
Learning to love trials.
Praying to love.
Loving to pray.
Love that feels like electricity.
Love that hurts.
Love that heals.
Pure love.

I think John, Paul, Ringo, and George said it best.
"All you need is love."

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

happy birthday

to our Daddy!
26 years ago today the boy who changed my life was born.
And as if you haven't endured enough cheesiness and cliches already here comes one of those lists of the 26 things we love about our daddy.
1. He is a complete hunk. Just look at him. Major eye candy.
2. He notices things. (a clean house, new outfit, when I put some effort into getting ready, etc.)
3. He works his tail off in school in order to provide for our family. (do scholarships and being on the dean's list while in the accounting program at BYU convince you of his genius?)
4. He does the best impersonation of Mickey Mouse all for his daughter's enjoyment.
5. He takes longer to get ready for bed than anyone I know. He has a whole routine I could name for you.
6. The laughter in our house is constant and often uncontrollable mostly because he has the best sense of humor and wit ever.
7. He served a mission in Brazil for two years. And that mission is still affecting his decisions and the way he is today. Now that is a good missionary.
8. He is the most playful daddy ever. Halle adores him.
9. The look on his face in the temple the day we were married. I still remember it.
10. He is my fabulous, amazing, loving husband.
11. He is a proud homeowner/fixer upper and keeps our house running smoothly.
12. He seriously spoils me endlessly (naps, gifts, cleans baby poop out of tubs, cleans the toilets, opens doors, I am not allowed to carry anything if he can help it, etc.)
13. He loves his hobbies.
14. He makes sure we say our prayers together even when I am about ready to pass out from exhaustion.
15. Guys have man crushes on him. No joke.
16. He asks me about the books I am reading.
17. He shovels snow. If you know me, you know how much this means to me.
18. He plans movie nights.
19. He diligently serves in the church, is worthy to hold the priesthood, and as a result has blessed our family with that power.
20. He calls me and Halle "his girls."
21. He sends the best text messages and pictures about random people he sees.
22. He gives the best hugs. ever.
23. He is always the first to say sorry, when it probably should be me saying sorry.
24. He makes his family his number one priority.
25. He is obsessed with washing hands and sanitizing things to help keep our family healthy.
26. He is my very best friend that keeps me laughing, keeps me grounded, takes care of my baby, takes care of me, has changed me immeasurably, and melts my heart every day.

Happy birthday sweets! We love you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

trendsetter

You may have noticed that Halle is hardly ever fully dressed in the pictures and videos we take of her. Trust me, she starts the day fully clothed. Somewhere in between diaper changes and playing, the pants come off and stay off and she loves the easy breezy feeling. Soon she asks me to take her shirt off. Later she will ask me to take her diaper off. Don't worry, that is where I draw the line. She has her own very vintage style dating all the way back to adam and eve. This little nudist rocks my world.

Friday, November 13, 2009

a cure for awkward

Last night we found ourselves at an old friend turned awkward friend's wedding reception. We had a case of the awkwards. We chatted awkwardly with family members, stood awkwardly in line, gave awkward hugs, made awkward conversation, and awkwardly promised to get together soon. We were feeling pretty weird about everything as we talked with friends and watched the couple cut the cake. And then I looked over to my left.

And I saw my daughter poke the groom's little baby niece in the eye.

And I laughed (inside of course, on the outside I was hoping to look appalled).

And later that night I really thought about what she had done at the reception. She had been having the time of her life that night running around with all the little kids and poking a little girl's eye. She was not holding back because of perceived awkwardness or anything like it. And I remembered something I always knew, but had forgotten.

Things are as awkward as you make them.

There was my daughter uninhibited by any social norms enjoying her little life to the fullest. And I caught a small glimpse of what it means to be "like a little child." These precious little souls don't put up any walls, they're not fake, they love unconditionally, and I don't think they have the ability to be awkward at all. They make friends in a matter of seconds. They live every day like it is their last, which I think is why a lot of them fight sleep at night.

It is hard, but I want to live more "like a little child." (Don't worry, I won't go around poking people's eyes out and I will teach Halle that it is not acceptable in the Bell house. And in Halle's defense she was simply telling that baby where her eye is. She's smart like that.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

little gems

these pictures melt my heart
some special moments from our last trip to park city
i love finding little gems stored on my computer

Monday, November 9, 2009

hunter gatherer

I have a baby who likes to make piles.
She likes to grab random things and throw them all in the same bucket, bag, drawer, etc. etc.
You can find her little piles pretty much anywhere.
Daddy's bedside table drawer:
The laundry basket:
And even the refrigerator drawers:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

up and down

That is how I would describe most of my nights with this little squirt.
I am up helping her fall asleep in her crib or rocking her and then down again trying to catch a few more hours of sleep before the next time she wakes up. These "up" episodes can last anywhere from ten minutes to three hours. Let her cry you say? I can't. Really, I am not wired for it. I can't handle that. Waking up a couple of times a night I can handle.
Besides, I don't think I would be sleeping very well if most of my teeth were coming in at the same time. That's right. She has two teeth on the bottom and that is it. Sixteen months old and only two teeth. Not only does it make eating next to impossible, but her sleep takes a hit too. I can see four teeth on top trying to push through her red swollen gums, but so far nothing.
She has always been a restless, light sleeper even as a newborn. It has never been something she enjoys. I can still see myself walking up and down the small hallway in our Wymount apartment trying to rock her to sleep and looking down at her trying to fight it off.
I am not complaining. Some nights I love the up and down. Many nights I love to hear her call for "mama" and I love holding her until she drifts off to sleep again. She is getting so big and soon there will be no more moments like that. And then some days, I'm not going to lie, Bon Jovi said it best, we are "livin' on a prayer."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

a reason to be happy

if you are looking for a reason to be happy today, watch this video.
it may just do the trick.
video
*i realize that i can't carry a tune. don't mock.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

trick or treat

Warning: We are overly adoring parents and took way too many pictures of Halle on Halloween. You may get bored.
Little Minnie ready for her first shot at trick or treating.
Wes and I took Halle around to a few houses in our neighborhood (I couldn't just sit at home passing out candy and miss her first time, so yes, we were one of those lame houses that didn't answer the door for a bit.)
The first house she went trick or treating at she tried to walk inside. The second house she was scared because a man in a black cloak and red mask answered the door and three dogs came charging out. By the third house she was getting the hang of it and was even saying "treat" (who cares about the trick part anyway) by the end of the night. We had a blast watching her run around with her princess candy bucket.
Halfway through she decided to check out her loot.
Look who came to trick or treat at my house.
It was more fun to unload the bucket then it was to eat the candy.
Mommy and Minnie eating "mimmys" (m&m's).
Hope you had a fantastic Halloween!