Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving in the NJ

My first Thanksgiving home since my senior year of high school :)

We saw the last show of The Sound of Music at good ol' Wildwood Catholic. Katie was a nun and Joe was Admiral Von Schneider, a nazi, and a guest at a party. They both did wonderfully and we really enjoyed the show. We've been singing songs from the play all weekend!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at the house. Everyone helped in some way, which made the day and its cooking responsibilities that much easier. Liz was the official taste-tester and tried everything we made. Don't worry Bill--we had plenty of turkey in your honor.

We ate a ton but we had a lot of leftovers (perfect for breakfast) and some of us managed to take a much needed nap after dinner!

On Friday night, we drove up to the Stake Center for LJ and Kaylie Sikahema's Open House. What a fun night!

I really enjoyed seeing some of my friends that I haven't seen in so long. Of course there was some dancing towards the end, and we all joked that it was just like a stake dance from long ago! Liz danced with us too; that girl didn't close her eyes until we were in the car for the ride home!
She met up with cute Vai Tafuna (whose mom, Melissa, is a good friend of mine) and just had to give him a kiss!

On Saturday morning, my mom and I drove up to the Sewell Chapel to go to Sis. Diane Paul's funeral. It was a beautiful service to a woman who put everything before her own needs. We send our sympathies to the Paul family-- we love you all!

My mom needed a new phone so we stopped by the Sprint store in Court House...and then we went to Stone Harbor. Why, you ask? Well, for the first time ever, Springer's decided to open during Thanksgiving weekend because SH usually gets a pretty big crowd that weekend. Ahhh it was so nice to have Springer's at the end of November, when we are usually dreaming of the summer when it opens again. We loved it!

After church on Sunday, the branch had a "Linger Longer" where everyone brought something for lunch to share with everyone. Mom's ham soup was my favorite.
Of course, the break went by much too fast. We're back in Maryland, looking forward to Christmas!

Monday, November 16, 2009

On the way to DC...

Oh the weekends. We look forward to them all week and then they are gone in a flash. Saturdays are the days which especially fly by. On the 14th, we went downtown with our friends Dave, Meg, and McKelle Clark. Dave works at Lockheed with Chris. The Clarks attend the Seneca Ward which meets before us (Quince Orchard Ward) on Sundays. McKelle is just a month and a half younger than Liz so these girls always have fun with each other.

Driving down George Washington Parkway (a place to visit in itself--so pretty), we went straight downtown towards the Capitol Building. The Clarks made us a reservation online so we went right in. There was a fifteen minute movie about our US History and then off we went on the tour.
What a magnificent building. We observed the Rotunda and its beautiful frescoes and reliefs,

the old House chambers with its whisper spots,

the crypt where George and Martha Washington were commissioned to be buried (they rest in Mt. Vernon however, because that's where they wanted to be),

as well as some of the exhibits around the building. This is a replica of Freedom, the statue which sits atop the Capitol Building.

From there we took the tunnel that connects the Capitol Building to the Library of Congress. What an interesting building--I've never seen architecture quite like this. We weren't allowed to take pictures in the research room, but if you've seen National Treasure, then you've seen the research room! We were able to get a ton of pictures of the lobby though.

Here is the outside of the building.

When we left the Library of Congress, the Capitol Building was in a perfect spot for picture time :)

We had to move our cars before they got towed (gotta love DC parking) so we drove over to the Washington Monument.

Love this! It doesn't seem like it is stationed in any particular place, but when you reach the base of the Monument you see how awesome its placement is. In each direction there is another Washington DC spectacular: the Lincoln Memorial,

the White House,

the Capitol Building,

and the Jefferson Memorial (it was a bit obscured by trees so I couldn't get a good picture). It really is a cool sight, right in the middle of everything.

We walked over to the White House and we saw a flat screen on. Someone was watching TV (upper right hand window)! Pretty cool.

Unfortunately at night, the White House doesn't capture well on film, thanks in part to the double fencing around the grounds. But we tried! You can see it in the corner. Our daughters were peacefully sleeping in their strollers at this point!

We spent an hour trying to get out of the city (major accident on the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge) and by the time we got back to Germantown, we were FAMISHED. Only one way to cure hunger: FIVE GUYS! ;) Thanks Clarks for a fabulous afternoon!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I'm going to write another blog tomorrow about our weekend, which I will then send to my bro Elder Jett. But my friend Kara tagged me in her note "Honestly" so I will now think of ten honest things about me!

1. "You can take the girl out of Jersey but you can never take Jersey out of the girl." This is a true statement. New Jersey is my home and it always will be. No matter how many more places we will live, New Jersey is where I am from.

2. I'm not a fan of pregnancy. Don't get me wrong, I love Elizabeth and the future children I may have. But the whole pregnancy thing...if the nine months could be condensed into one month, I'd do it. I hope my next pregnancy will be better. (*Not that my pregnancy with Lizzie was horrendous.)

3. I look forward to dinner time. When Chris and I were first married, I'd make the same things over and over again; because of that, cooking was not fun for me. But now that I'm done with school and I am at home with Liz, I actually have time to find recipes and to make them. Family Circle magazine has some really great recipes!

4. I miss school. Not the test taking, paper deadline, overachieving classmates part of school. I miss going to a lecture, listening to my professor, and jotting down notes on fresh loose leaf with a Papermate pen. Yes, I used only Papermate pens when I was a college student. I just like the way they write!

5. I miss Utah (not the actual state). I miss our friends, Beto's, Tucano's, football games, campus, the JFSB courtyard...I miss everything BYU. I also miss being close to my family and Chris's family who still live there. We have a ton of fantastic memories associated with Utah.

6. I love the East Coast with a passion but I hate how liberal it has become. It really makes me take Chris seriously when he talks about us living in Texas long term. Really.

7. I miss being a teenager. I loved high school, prom, stake dances, crushes on boys, basketball games, baseball managing, school plays, school rivalries, summers working on the boardwalk and hanging at the beach. I hope my siblings love their high school experiences as much as I did.

8. I have zero tolerance for people who call themselves LDS but do not live the standards of the church. I also have zero tolerance for anything that(or anyone who) lacks in morals, virtues, and standards.

9. I never read anything Jane Austen until my senior year of college. I think I was one of two students in my Jane Austen class who had not read a single Austen novel before attending the class (the other person was a guy). During the class we read all of her works except for Sense and Sensibility, which I am reading now (and so is Emily!) :)

10. I have a tendency to get angry over petty issues. This past week, as part of my personal scripture study, I read President Monson's talk about anger which he gave during Priesthood session. One line in the talk took my breath away: "To be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan." I have never thought about anger in that light so I am consciously working on refraining from getting angry over trivial situations.

I'll tag Heather, Bri, Britney, Adri, Megan H., Jess, Emily, anyone who wants to do this. Thanks Kara and Francesca for sharing your ten with me! :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Across the USA

I LOVE living in Germantown, Maryland! We are right in the middle of some of the greatest places in the Unites States! We are just down the street from our nation's capital and tons of national history; we can go to Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Richmond VA, or Raleigh NC for a day trip; we can get to a beach within a few hours (a necessity in my book); we live very close to Revolutionary War and Civil War battlefields (a necessity in my father's book); we are fifteen minutes away from the Washington D.C. temple where Chris and I were married over two years ago...this place is awesome. We are fully taking advantage of it while we are here!

Saturday was the Cherry Hill NJ Stake temple day (along with two other stakes that we know of) so Mimi, Pop-pop, Katie, and Julia arrived Friday night and spent the night with us. Katie and Julia were kind enough to watch Liz for Chris and me so we could go to the temple with my parents. It was packed! (It usually is on a Saturday.) We even saw a wedding which was nice--always reminds me of my wedding :)

We got back to our place with the entire afternoon to spare so we headed west to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. (Another great point about the Eastern US--you can drive an hour or two and be in a completely different state! Not like the West where you can be traveling for FIVE hours or more and still be in the same state.) We entered the National park, waited a few minutes with some entertainment,

and took a bus to the actual town of Harper's Ferry:

Harper's Ferry was once a bustling town, as it is situated on the banks of where the Potomac River and the Shenandoah River meet. When the US economy relied on waterways and railroads, Harper's Ferry was the place to be. Harper's Ferry also has some claim in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars (I forget what exactly...but my dad can tell you!)

What's great about this town is that it has kept its charm that it had over a hundred years ago.

There are no McDonald's, gas stations, or supermarkets. There are antique stores, family-owned and operated taverns, used book stores, jewelry stores, etc. Beautiful!

One of our favorite things was the bridge that goes over the Potomac. It begins on the West Virginia side in Harper's Ferry; when you reach the other side of the bridge you are in Maryland! The rivers and the area surrounding it are absolutely gorgeous.

I'll readily admit to you that when I thought of West Virgina, I thought of brown scraggly dirt with some scattered trees (sorry to my WV friends). I now know that my first thoughts of the state were completely wrong. West Virginia is really "wild and wonderful," as their license plates say.

We loved it and we can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Adventures of a ladybug

Sorry about the length of time between this post and my last one! Sometimes I think I update it more than I actually do...
Halloween was awesome! We went to our ward trunk-or-treat on Friday night. Here we tested Lizzie's costume; she was a ladybug and she was oh so cute as always!

It's been pretty chilly, as it's already November, so we put a long sleeved red onesie and thick red tights on Liz. We had to take the tights off while we were in the gym because Liz got way too hot! Outside she was fine.

We decorated the trunk of our car--nothing fancy but it was cute. My mom found instructions to make "treat-tainers" to hold candy so I made two witches and a ghost. The containers themselves are milk cartons. You can see them in this picture:

I also made ghost lollipops, which were incredibly easy, as you place a tissue over a tootsie pop, tie with ribbon, and add two eyes and a mouth. Halloween is great! Chris took Lizzie to each car and they filled his hat with candy. Lizzie's face says it all!

After the ward party we headed up to New Jersey. We thought trick-or-treating with my family would be fun and it was, so we are glad we drove up. Before we went trick-or-treating, we went to a Japanese hibachi grill called Momiji. Kate had been raving about it for over a month and insisted that we go. We are very glad that she insisted! It was INCREDIBLE! We really enjoyed it, both the atmosphere and the food.

I had forgotten how much I love trick-or-treating in North Wildwood. We went with my parents and Julia, who was a hippie. (Kate was glitter and she went with her friends; Joe was George W. Bush and went with his friends too.) Liz loved going door to door and showing off her costume. She got a lot of candy, which Mom and Dad will just have to help her eat! ;)

My mom and dad celebrated their twenty-third anniversary on Sunday, so it was nice to be there to celebrate with them. Twenty-three years! Happy Anniversary Padre y Madre!