Sunday, November 29, 2009


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"
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:
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


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.

*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!