Hogle Zoo & it's wild visitors

While in Utah, we just HAD to visit the girls' favorite spot- Hogle Zoo. Though it was quite a feat coordinating everything, once the kids were exploring, fun was had by all. Mara & Ella always have such fun with the kids & though the day was hot, it was super cool.

We love you, Bear Lake!!

This year was so much fun at the lake & we were so excited to see all the cousins! We spent our time swimming & playing ping pong (thanks Nielsie & Tara!!), sippin on virgin lava flows, and providing all the kids with an endless supply of snacks and things to do. The weather was perfect & to my delight, it rained for a few hours each day, creating rainbow after rainbow. We love you Bear Lake... see you soon!

So, so sad...

I hate to think of how many versions of this picture we have... Ella's charming reaction to the word "no". She is as sick of hearing the word as I am of saying it... but what is a parent to do when their child is: wading in the potty; sharing Brody's breakfast; pulling full diapers off at nap time; and on and on...

Mara-- or should I say Martha...

Our little Mara is channeling her inner-Martha this summer as often as she possibly can. So far, her crafting skills include purse decorating, flip-flop design, play dough, bracelet making, finger painting, bubble making, cooking, baking,jam-making and what we will lovingly call sticker "fun". Though it is lots of fun & I love ho her face lights up when I tell her we are "doing a craft", it is getting increasingly hard to find crafts that are toddler friendly.

Our Visit to Kansas City

Mara, Grandma, & I went on a girls trip to Kansas City to visit Aunt Sarah, and boy was it fun. It is so gorgeous there-- absolutely something out of a fairy tale-- tree-lined streets, squirrels, and the best BBQ EVER (sorry, Josh)!! Mara had a ball playing with Dylan & the Dragon (a.k.a. Uncle Jared) was kind enough to babysit a LOT so we could ditch out and have some kid-free fun. We had a ball, but Daddy & Ella missed us like crazy (surprisingly, no pictures from their fun-filled weekend).

Birthday Girl!!

Has the time passed this quickly? Our sweet Ella is one & she couldn't have loved her birthday party more. Forget presents (which she didn't even OPEN)... not when there's cake & balloons to demolish & destroy. She lunged right at that cake- and we couldn't help but contrast it with Mara's 1st birthday when it took 2 of us to force that girl to make a mess-- how sweet our silly girls are! Happy, happy birthday, gorgeous!!

The 185 + 5 = 1 Equation

Here's how it works... 185 days counting down the moments till we get to ditch life & head to paradise sans crazy girls + 5 days without crazy girls = coming home 1 day early cuz' we miss those crazy girls. And YESSssss, we know we are pathetic. Yes, it was worth it. No, we don't regret it. Love them. Missed them. Already want to go back. It was the perfect getaway & now we are on to our next countdown...

Guilty as Charged...

So it started out adorable, the whole messy cookie thing... ended up with a bubble bath & lots of scrubbing for Mommy. Don't they look so sorry??

VaLeNtInEs DaY IgGy StYlE...

This year was the best ever!! We decorated the house with glitter & hearts & Cupid (Daddy) made lots of special deliveries. I know I'm a bit freakish with my absolute & pure love of this day, but I'm so happy to celebrate it with my little ladies & the Worlds Greatest Hubby!!

Ellas Sealing

Ella's temple day was supposed to be calm & peaceful. Llllllong story short? It wasn't. Forgotten paperwork (Joshhhh!!!), a crazy wife in crisis trying to stay non-violent in the temple (Lizzzz!!!), and lots of family members & temple workers trying their darndest to make sure things worked out. And? All's well that ends well, and this was a particularly sweet ending. Our sweet girls were finally brought to us in the temple, where we were sealed. Our loving family has been faithfully at our side since this longing for a family began. And now we have more than we could have ever dreamed of. Though all of these photos are beautiful, my favorite is the one that we didn't know was even being taken... and it is my favorite because I remember exactly what I was thinking at that precise moment... "My sweet husband, we finally have our forever family".

Ellas Big Day

Ellas big day in court was planned perfectly by all... all the correct papers were filled out & waiting. Mom, Dad, & girlies were adorable & fed & out the door in record time. We even arrived early enough to take a few pictures outside the courthouse... too bad it was the wrong courthouse. The lawyers assistant failed to tell us that the courthouse had changed since we last did this... thus, we arrived 2 sweaty, late, stressed (and perhaps swearing) parents & 2 tired, cranky sisters at the courthouse 30 minutes late. Dah... nothing like being late for a finalization hearing to convince the judge that you are suitable parents. Luckily, the girls won them over & everyone was very understanding. All's well that ends well... a phrase we have been reciting a lot lately...

Birthday Girl

Mara's 2nd Birthday was so sweet! She picked out a Minnie Mouse party dress to wear & was thrilled to wear it with her new cowboy boots (thanks Auntie Brooke!!). Highlights for Mara were... licking the cake batter, blowing the candles, chasing balloons, and riding her brand new pink bike. With Mara's new age begins a new chapter... entitled "Two Year Old Fire-Breathing Dragon Rules All"... we shall see about this...


Sooo.. without good excuse or horrible reason, I have slacked on the whole blogging. So- nag no more, my friends and family... here is our Christmas update extraordinaire (and yet more to come as I get it)...

We went to Utah for Christmas- it was delightful. The whole Hansen clan was there... with what seemed like a million toddlers & babies in tow. Kids alternated playing and fighting (but more playing). Parents, too. Santa came, Grandpa read the Christmas story from the Bible, and there was the annual Hansen Christmas program. All the traditions were happily and cozily in place & we couldn't have felt more blessed than we did Christmas morning as we woke up our 2 beautiful daughters and watched them be in awe of the magic that is Christmas.

Holy... uh, Moly.... that's right, MOLY....

So, my adorable husband made an attempt to post a blog. Awww.... yes, that's right- sounds adorable, right? Only the outcome was that he totally wiped out our blog-- which only took a few hours to fix. Dah, well-- it was time for an update anyway. And a word of advice for the ladies... be satisfied with the boys hangin' on the couch pretending to be interested. Love you, hunny!! Updates to come...

Halloween... Iggy style

YES!! Okay? Yes, we are freaks! Yes, our kids are still babies! Yes, we know!! And YES-- we took our kids to Mickey's totally awesome Halloween Party! It was worth every jab we'll surely take for it. The girls had a ball (especially Mara, who danced until she was so dizzy, she was tippin' in the streets). The boys each ran their own little racket to get extra candy (we were careful to stay a few paces behind, but the costumes were a give-away that they were indeed with us). And we would love to go EVERY YEAR! I think my actual favorite part of the whole trip came as I crept from tucking in the girls to see Josh taking inventory of the candy... serious... he even organized it into groups. The Trunk-or-Treat in Vegas was also a blast-- by the time we were driving home, Mara finally got the hang of the "trick or treat" and has been expecting candy this way ever since. WE LOVE HALLOWEEN!!!

Mara's "Pixie Parade"

I signed Mara up for the cutest stinkin' class ever-- "Pixie Parade"!! It is adorable- the little pixies sing and dance, chase fairies, and play with a magical pixie parachute (Mara's fave). She wasn't a fan of the pixie dust and she ATE the pixie sticker, but she had such a ball!!

From a slacker... OUR SUMMER UPDATE!!

So... Iggy Summer 2010 ROCKED!! It went fast & crazy & we have never felt as happy & grateful as we have spending our days with our sweet ladies. As requested, here are a few pics of our house at Bear Lake, where we spent as many moments swimming, playing, and shake-eating as possible. WE LOVE IT there! I spent my last summer in Kolob... a few weeks after camp, I was released as YW Pres. It was a humbling & awesome opportunity & I will forever love "my" girls. We went to Disneyland, where the girls met Mickey for the first time & we got to be in the parade. Don't ask why... it's so tiring telling people again and again how famous & important we are. The girls have been enjoying their sister time-- Mara looks out ever so protectively for her little sis. And though there are MANY moments I feel I might lose my mind, there are even more little moments that I am struck by that strange reminder of just how different life was just 2 short summers ago... wow-- life flies!

Maternity Leave? More like VAY-KAY!!

So... I suppose many use their precious (and they ARE precious) weeks of maternity leave relaxing & sleeping, etc, etc. We Iggys prefer to cram as much fun & travel in as humanly possible. I think Ella will definitely grow up to be quite a little travel bug. Anyhoo... our next trip was to Utah- to visit with family & let them get a good look at the newest little Ig. We snuck in a trip to Hogle Zoo, despite the SNOW (that's right, folks, SNOW) & Mara LOVED it. Next was quite a big job-- settling our little house in Bear Lake. It is coming along & though it was a LOT of work (shout out to my most patient mother & to who-ever invented Cheetos, the perfect bribery snack), we are very excited & had a lot of fun!

P.S. These updates are dedicated to a very special Phoenix lady-- you know who you are... sorry they took so long... nap time is golden hour around here!! XOXO

Goin' back to Cali, Cali, Cali

OK, OK-- we know we are huge freaks! Now that that's out of the way, here's the adorable pics from our trip with the Smiths-- we had such fun!! Ella may look bored, but she was really just taking it all in...