Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Right after Christmas, we visited Panama with my family. My Uncle Curt and Aunt Melanie are the mission leadership in Panama, so we went to down to see them and visit some fun places in Panama. Hazel has actually done a fair amount of traveling already as she is a regular jet-setter (this was her 20th flight) so we weren't too worried about traveling overall, and Panama is really safe. It was fun to take an international trip together.
These two got the smallest row.

Hey, back there!

Not enjoying the life-jacket or forced-lap-sitting.

Until this. My arms got tired.

The next few photos are from our visit to an Embera village. We were able to see some of the crafts the people of this Embera village do and eat lunch, which was fresh and delicious. As neat as it was, these visits can be kind of hard. Because of recent (in the last 100 years) laws, the Embera people can't do the hunting and fishing they used to, and rely on tours and tourists buying the items they crafted for their livelihood. I feel happy to buy beautifully-made items (we purchased some very beautifully woven baskets and a wooden snake for Hazel), but I wonder how some of the Embera feel about this being their livelihood. There are some who probably love what they do, and others who don't, but don't really feel they have the choice to do something else.

Casco Viejo (where we had amazing fish tacos at The Fish Market). For some reason, it was funny to see these large pelicans up high in a tree.

Panama Temple.

Didn't want anyone else holding her after church.

The Panama Canal is really cool. It was so hot, though, and there wasn't shade by the crowded edge, and if we moved into the shade, we lost our viewing spot. Tough choices. We watched boats come in from each side, the lock fill up or empty, depending on the direction the boat was going, and then the lock open again and the boats pass through. The canal opened in 1913, and is being expanded in the next couple of years. It's definitely an interesting engineering feat to see in person.

A nice, shady little nature walk after the canal.

Ziplining! Who is that teenage boy with the backwards hat in the front?

My mom, Curt and Melanie walked through the rainforest with Hazel and by the pools while the rest of us ziplined. Hazel was hesitant to go to my Uncle Curt when my mom felt it was too steep for her to carry Hazel, but warmed up to him.

These two buddies.

Oh, hey, El Macho.

Hazel loved eating these little octopi in the paella a few of us ordered (which was delicious, with lots of fresh seafood!).

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Christmas in California

We headed out to my parents' house for Christmas this year. It was so fun to be there with all of my brothers and a few of my cousins and their families. I always loved our big family gatherings at Granny's house for Christmas and I loved it again this year. It was fun for me to see Hazel playing with everyone and having a good time. It was also nice to participate in some of the traditions I miss when I'm not at my parents' house for Christmas, like the Buchanan Family Gift Game and seeing the Oakland Temple lights.

Taking a little nap on Granny. Everyone fights over sleeping Hazel since that's usually the only time she'll snuggle.

Hazel's tiny chair was probably her favorite part of Grandma and Grandpa's house. Luckily, they can't resist buying things like this for Hazey to use.

This was actually at home in Utah, but it's it cute that Hazel is playing with the Nativity set? Mostly she just drives the pieces around the house like they're little cars.

I always love to hike St. Joseph's Hill in Los Gatos.

Chatting on the St. Joe's hike.

"Hey, a friend my size!"

Grandma even made a set of matching PJs to fit Hazel. 

A little sweetie just sleeping on our Hailee.

This is really dark and hard to see (dim your screen or lights if it's really important to you), but we went to see "Annie" at the theater and I got Hazel asleep during the previews. When she woke up, she had a great time still, because we let her shovel handfuls of popcorn into her mouth. Here she is, eyes big and hand scooping that popcorn into her mouth. She makes such a cute tiny person.