Sunday, August 23, 2015

snohomish, washington - the norah & shayla club.

after those 2.5 days in salt lake city, norah & i hopped on a plane to seatac while ben headed, yes, ONCE AGAIN, to europe. this time it was france, where he spent about 11 days working at a lab in grenoble before joining us in snohomish (we decided it would be for the best for the babe & me to pass on a second transatlantic flight--& a gigantic time difference from which we just barely recovered from--in as many weeks).

here's what i look like after doing 3 hours of church with norah (a look that stays the same whether i do church by myself or with ben ;)). i've lost my edge after being out of NYC for a couple of months--when you drive everywhere, you don't need to bring a pair of flats to change into, riiiight?...wrong. at the moment this photo was taken, i desperately wanted out of these heels. but her bonnet! riiiight?? right.

young asher working on some business deals:

my mom found an old (& randomly gigantic?? you can't quite tell in this picture, but that sucker's an 8x10!) photo of me as a baby that we thought looked particularly like norah. i think it's the eyes:

i sort of see norah in this other one of me, too. the mouth, the cheeks, kind of the whole face (it's not often that norah looks like me, so i'm reveling in it)

aaand a final one of yours truly. behold the gigantic eyes in their entirety! (the ratio of eyes-to-face has lessened signiiiiiificantly as i've gotten older)

i love the faces norah is making in these. maybe it's her sweaty hair, but she's got that sweet ragamuffin look. her sideways smile strikes again in the bottom right:

never change, belly. never change:

cuddles with adelaide, who was so still & calm in these photos that the contrast to norah was almost comical:

more great adelaide / aunt interaction...

the only thing i can say about this photo is moon emoji, guys. MOON. EMOJI.:

next up are the kinds of photos that, with any luck, the two of them will be looking back on with fondness:

i love the shadows on asher's sweet face here:


yet another piece of evidence to submit re: the kinds of  photos you'll receive if you're friends with me on snapchat <l <l <l (<---- pizza)

warning, multiple piercings ahead! ;)

she kept her arm on my chest like this for, like, 7 baby years <3

i personally find it next-to impossible to capture the full scope of abundant cuteness that is norah's giant blue eyes, but this photo does an adequate job:

ben flew back from france & landed at seatac in the middle of the day, so my mom & i decided to make a trip out of it. after picking him up from the airport, we drove an extra 15 minutes to--wait for it--ikeaaaaaaaaaaaa (said like this). after almost two weeks of solo parenting, i was more than ready to hand norah off to ben for the next 17 billion hours. norah commenced to be the cutest little pearl & fell asleep in her pop's arms within minutes:

the best welcome home gift ever xoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

(norah pooped through her outfit as soon as we arrived at ikea, & in an uncharacteristic move by me, we had no change of clothes for her, arrarurghghghh [i acknowledge my shortcomings as a mother; this isn't one of them. normally i have her diaper bag stocked relatively well. it was just one of those off days, diaper bags-wise]. hence, us wandering around ikea in all her diaper-y glory or, at best, wrapped in aden & anais. haha/oooops)

we all know the best part of ikea, other than the cafeteria, is the part where you get to pick up all the lighting, frames, fake plants, wall decor, & other cool sttuuuuuffffff (said in, yes, that same voice)

ben hung back & sat in one of the chairs in the chair section for about an hour while the little bunny slept, & mom & i continued on our way (WE STOP FOR NOTHING & NO ONE IN IKEA). it was like a weird it-almost-felt-like-our-living-room-but-it-was-the-ikea-showroom sort of thing. but in a sweet way.

Monday, August 17, 2015

end of california trip / when we were in utah for 2.5 days.

how about a few more photos of cute californian babes?

my younger sister hannah, her husb tyler, & their two youngs ("youngs" here being me using a variant on the word "littles," but sarcastically, because if i read about a mom calling her kids "littles" one more time, SO HELP ME) live about 45 minutes away from where ben's parents live in the pasadena area, so a visit was in FINE order. it was the first time all three little whipple cousins* met together live, in person, for a one-day only event in loma linda. tickets were only forty-five dollars!

*who were alive/born at the moment (that status has since changed. welcome to the world, logan whipple!)

the norah / asher interaction in this photo, ha:

two kids looks good on you, ben! (jkjkjkjkjkjkjkjk the thought of us having two kids right now or in the near future makes my left eye twitch) :

christian came with us (if you didn't know he was ben's brother & if the two of them didn't look so exceptionally alike, a resemblance made only the more striking when they stand right next to each other in a photo, wouldn't they look like a nice, two-kid couple?) christian knew hannah at byu (they might have even double-dated a time or two with ben & i, ha!), so having all of us there was like the whole gang getting back together:


the three-in-a-row pose we put them in escalated into chaos verrrrry quickly (you can see the beginnings of it in adelaide's face there on the right), although, perhaps in a surprising character twist, asher remained mr. zen the entire time:

it was really fun to see the miskins. norah & i would see them just a week after that, when we would all be together at my parents' house in washington (which is now three weeks in the past! this time shifting is wrinkling my brain) so the partings weren't too sorrowful.

for this next photo, let me begin by saying that i'm still not used to the clash of worlds & paradigms that is seeing my husband (& more recently, my offspring?!) in my childhood bedroom. it's like finding harrison ford in the new star wars movie: ostensibly, you suppose it DOES make sense that he would be there, but it's still pretttyyyy jarring. 

on a related note, i'll just set this down right here.

two things: the kitschy wonderfulness that is the la brea tar pits museum (have you been? it's like, why are seventies-era museums so good) & this photo they took of us "drowning in the tar," that we subsequently couldn't keep ourselves from purchasing (we've been suckers for lots of trite memorabilia post-norah's arrival because, like i've said before, everything is significant now):

& wonderful finds at the gift shop (don't worry, we didn't buy the magnifying glasses. i'm not that much of a sucker ;))

grandma frandsen watched over a sleeping norah one night while ben, christian, eva, & i caught a classical music performance at the hollywood bowl:

it was the first time i've ever been to the hollywood bowl, & i looooovvvved it. later that night i was checking their performance schedule for the rest of the summer & crying (on the inside) that i wouldn't be able to see anything else there. the hollywood bowl has everything! imagine it: a warm summer night, you're surrounded by beautiful hills on all sides, feeling the combined energy & excitement that comes when hundreds of people are all grouped together, taking in the same exhilarating performance (i kind of get the same feeling in a movie theater), you get to bring your own food, & most importantly, you get to sit outside like it's a picnic BUT without having to worry about grass stains AND with something to lean your back against  (<--- because i'm old now, i guess. ha.)

after a few days soaking in the magic that is southern california, we made the drive to provo (a very doable drive which felt very un-doable this time around, what with the addition of a teeny & generally delightful little certain someone. we've since found the secret to getting norah to behave pretty stellar-ly in the car, but at the time of that CA-to-UT road trip, we were still struggling. it was a long day :)). on the way to prove we made a quick stop in gunnison (central utah) to visit ben's grandparents. 

they're in their mid-nineties & still both sharp as a tack. ben's grandma is an especially sassy spitfire. she's one of those grandmas who remembers everyone & everything (i myself have a grandma who's also this way), & she has the energy & spirit of someone half her age, & maybe even half of that half. ben's grandpa was a very important farmer in utah, & he's actually won several awards for his innovative & effective approaches to farming. he has those beautiful light blue frandsen eyes, which an eternity of thank-yous to him would never fully capture the gratitude i feel...because that light blue was passed on to none other than ben himself (love me my husband's blue eyes). in short, grandma & grandpa frandsen are awesome, & i love that norah is related to them:

norah's totally eyeing them, so unsure. cracks me up:

she warmed up to them eventually:

the day after arriving in provo, we met up with several different friends...& i did NOT take ANY pictures to document ANY of it, minus one. who am i?! the one i did document was the breakfast we had with my friend andrew. we've known each other since our freshman year at BYU, & i continue to just adore him.

(he & norah took to each other equally well. what can i say?! if you've got any percantage of whipple blood in you, you'll love andrew hansen) 

we later popped on over to the olde studying grounds to grab some food, catch some art, reminisce in general...& start practicing what exactly we're going to say to norah to get her equal parts inspired & stressed to MAKE IT INTO BYU. i'm being very sarcastic.

this photo, meanwhile, is one of the most ben frandsen things to ever ben frandsen, & i can't even REALLY explain why. is it ben's slightly uncomfortable pose, that seems to say "people are LOOKING OVER HERE, so take the picture & put me out of my misery!"? is it the funny fake & intensely technicolor background? is it his sweet smile, that communicates the fact that even though he hates posing for pictures, he'll do it because i asked him to? is it the kind of meta-y fact that we took this photo OF byu whilst AT byu, & ben TOOOTAALLLY rocked byu while he was there? (& by "rocked" i mean, yes, he did really well, but also, if you looked up "BYU-attending male" in the dictionary, YOU WOULD HAVE FOUND A PHOTO OF BEN FRANDSEN...until he met me & loosened up a bit, that is ;)) is it the little backpack he wears, which is norah's diaper bag & we specifically chose to be as unisexy as possible so that either one of us could carry it, & he carries it like the proud papa he is? i'm not sure. at any rate, i still maintain it's one of the most ben frandsen things that has ever ben frandsen'd:

plexus no. 29, beautiful threads of light in the mezzanine of the MOA. i apologize for the fact that this exhibit is so much better in person :/

later that night we met up with my brother jared & his wife breanna. she's cutely pregnant in these photos, but like i mentioned earlier in this post...not anymore! norah's got one new cute cousin to add to the mix <3

with this meeting of jared & the family reunion we went to the day after these photos were taken,  norah now has officially met ALL of my siblings & ALL of ben's siblings...something which i hadn't realized until i was putting up these photos just now. & when you've got 8 siblings, like ben has...that's not an easy feat!

we grabbed dinner at the food truck roundup (provo is getting pretty cool these days. i'm impressed) (acai bowl for me, ramen for ben), & then....

...we went bowling! bowling is one of those things that isn't necessarily at the front of your mind when you think of fun things to do, but whenever you do bowl, you're like, "WHYYY don't i do this more OFTEN?!" at least, that's what i say whenever i bowl. brigham & christine watched over a sleeping norah while we gallivanted, & somehow, someway, i won? check it out:

let me be perfectly clear when i say that i have never, EVER come first in a bowling game (match?). 

at the end of every bowling game (match?) i've ever participated in, i can be found somewhere comfortably in the middle of the pack, if not comfortably towards the VERY END of the pack. perhaps i've turned over a new leaf? is the sky the limit?! how will the mindy project fare on hulu?! only time will tell!!


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