The Petersens: Our Tales & Travels


the smithsonian national zoo...

saturdays are our thing. they have been since we moved here. they're our day of adventure, and we look forward to them each week- it's time we promised we'd set aside to go explore. we don't know how long we'll be here, so the way we see it, we have at least 50 opportunities to make the most of this area, and explore we shall! we usually take off after jude's nap (lunchtime), and party hard. we try and stick something fun on saturday morning like doing mounds of laundry, organizing, etc., and on this day- a girl date just elle and me. this particular morning was more of a fail on the execution front- elle begged to get our nails done, and siri led us in a giant circle to the nail salon which ended up being a mile away (we drove like 5 miles, which again, is like 25 minutes). once there, they were swamped, we'd already added money to the meter, blah, blah blah, so we eventually gave up and walked across to our favorite bagel place, only to see it fulllll of college kids. figures. 10:45 am. typical breakfast for these kids. (hashtag college down.) we waited until we could wait no longer- our 1 bagel and 1 muffin finally came 57 seconds after my phone timer told me our meter had expired (i hate being late), and we sprinted across the street 41.5 minutes after we'd parked, hungry and with dry cuticles, but relishing in the girl time and plentiful sunshine.
we grabbed the boys, and took off. this time, the kids were in the dark as to the plan. we made it to the metro- which we never take because it's awkwardly located and expensive. their joy was palpable.  "thub-wee! choo chooooo!!" screamed jude. elle's reply, "we're going to new york! you're the best mom ever!" i wish, kiddo, i wish. 
after making said metro exception, we quickly realized why we would rather drive and pay $22 for parking, than drag 2 kids through inconveniently the packed and awkward metro. we waited another 40 minutes in line for cards, only to find out we were in the wrong line. finally got our cards, caught our train(s), and another 40+ minutes later, exited at the proper stop and began our 15 minute walk to the zoo! 
 we were prepared: saturday afternoon. 80 degrees. april. free zoo. it spelled craziness, and delivered on every front!
 people evveerryyywheeerrre! the zoo was beautiful, and smelled very little (a rare but welcome surprise). i am impressed. the pandas though! oh, the pandas. why has no one told me how cute their little walk is? pandas. awesome.
^^ elle, a little south, me-lady. no pandas in the sky.
 ^^ jude was telling me why he was confident he was not going to ride the carousel. "eye-th cweem, pees. no wide."
 dippin dots sundae! works for me!
we stopped at 7-eleven across from the zoo to get slurpees before heading home- my gosh, that was an experience. dozens of people in line in front of me. dozens. it was sheer chaos! ok, and this is the thing about dc- no offense, but the people are overall, pretty inconsiderate. i've never been in another city like it- they're not cruel or anything, they're just not polite. ever. paris, new york- it's all a different vibe than here. here, they cut in line, don't say sorry, step on you, don't hold doors, or say "please" or "thank you." it's all very odd. anyway, as i was being trampled in 7-eleven (we all know i hold my ground when sugar is involved- BACK OFF, LADY!), i managed to escape with our $2 slurpee (in the only remaining super-size they had. tragic.), it made me realize how glad i am to be here. in this quirky, crazy place. and how much it feels like home.


easter sunday, 2015...

easter coincided with general conference and my parents being in town! we went super low key for easter morning- i just am not into stuff (candy included)- i blame this big move. it's making every stuff seem so silly (probably since we sold a vast majority of everything we spend the last 10 years buying). i never want to buy anything again. except clothes. and food. they're still ok:)

saturday night we went out and grabbed a bag of candy and a little present for each of the kids. we didn't even do baskets. just scattered them on the floor like great parents. easter is mike's favorite holiday, but this year it just felt a little quirky. i wish we could have been more "into" it, but oh well. mike worked his mike magic- making flour footprints on the floor, and stamping his head with the bunny print. we were sleeping on the couch while my parents were here, so mike said during the night he remembered feeling a big "thud" on his head. elle's face was hilarious when she saw it. priceless. "um... dad! i think he stepped... on... YOUR HEAD!!!" :) 
my parents scattered little easter eggs around the house for the kids to run around and pick up. it was lovely as always, and the kids were wired from eating their weight in candy by 7am. 
after conference, we tried for the cherry blossoms, but it was way too busy so we ended up pit stopping at a park for the kids to get wiggles out. it was a beautiful spring day, so we just enjoyed the sunshine and let the kids jump around.
i never understand wall art. but i like it anyway:)
astroturf for grass in the city: awesome.
thank you, spring, for the beautiful easter day! how thankful i am for this little family and the time we have to be all together to remember what is truly important.


seeing the cherry blossoms...

it's finally cherry blossom time! 

last monday night i left work a few minutes early and we headed to see the cherry blossoms- we tried twice before, but never made it to the trees since the traffic and crowds made it not worth the fight:) we heard they finally bloomed after way too many cold weeks, and since a storm was predicted to hit the next day, there was no wasting time! 

somehow, it was a gloriously warm, sunny, windy day. we spent an hour trying to get a parking space near the tidal basin, and we ended up on the other side of lafayette square, where we had a mini picnic before meandering toward the water. side note: will someone tell me how to navigate a city with small kids who are too small to walk miles, but are too big for strollers? mike's shoulders are going to be permanently indented from always having a kid on his shoulders. my arms are always like wet noodles by the time we get home. we've had 4 strollers, and sold 3/4 because none were what we needed- light, agile, compact, easy to collapse for transit, and easy enough to carry 1-2 kids. if someone knows something i don't, please send them my way. i swear we've tried them all. at this rate, elle will weigh 32 pounds the rest of her life- she walks more miles than any poor 5 year old should! 
meh, back to the topic at hand:
we sat for the longest time watching kites fly and teams play sports. jude and elle ran around and were as loud as they wanted- it was so nice not to yell, "shh! neighbors!" those poor kids have so many wiggles to get out. i love that this is their yard- this wide expanse of history and people is their playground.
 we finally made it to the tidal basin and basked in the flowers- it looked like it was snowing since the  winds were knocking blooms off the trees at a constant stream...
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