Friday, October 26, 2007

Washington, DC

Fall Foliage - DC Style

I love FALL! And one of my favorite places to take it all in is on the East Coast! Luckily, Nate and I got to do just that - we took it all in! We had a GREAT trip to D.C.! I don't know if it was so fun because we could reminisce about the good 'ol days or if it was because we weren't lugging our 3 children around. Hmm...maybe a combination of both! The fall colors were gorgeous and the weather was absolutely beautiful even with a day or two of high humidity (we aren't used to that anymore!). We were able to catch up with lots of old friends and do some things we never were able to do while we were residents rather than vacationers! We laughed hysterically because you'd think after living there for over 5 years, we'd know our way around. Needless to say, out came the map and it was attached to our nose for a few days until the cob webs began to clear!

Some of our highlights:
  • Behind the scenes tour of the Supreme Court Building by Dave Moore (an old roommate of Robert's and currently clerking for Justice Alito) Who knew there was a full size basketball court right above the courtroom? I walked by the this building everyday on the way to work and yet never went in for a tour!) It was absolutely beautiful!
  • Eating dinner down in Old Town Alexandria with some old friends and then getting completely drenched on the way back to our car. It was the only time it rained the entire time we were there and it happened to be right after we finished up with dinner. If we would have stayed in for 10 extra minutes we would have missed the whole storm! Oh well, it made for a great laugh, right Robin?
  • Going back to the Jefferson Memorial where we tried to recreate our engagement picture. I'm almost certain we haven't aged a bit! :-)
  • Eating at Chevy's! I know that doesn't sound all that exciting and cultural, but it was a fun place that we would frequent when we lived right across the street from it in Pentagon City!
  • While we're talking about eating, another place we hit was the Peking Inn Gourmet on Rte 7. The Lemon Chicken is to die for! The funny part about this place is that from the outside it looks like a complete dive, but when you go in and see that there is a 45 minute wait and you are surrounded by pictures of all the dignitaries and diplomats that have been there, you know it is a good place to go!

  • Spending a good portion of our time on the mall at the Smithsonian Museums and art galleries including the new American Indian Museum, Natural History, National Gallery of Art, Portrait Gallery and then a new Spy museum (which is not connected to the Smithsonian - ie, they make you pay to go in, but it was worth it!) We also went to the Edward Hopper exhibit which was very fascinating!

  • Getting to see Hans and Jody (our world travelin' friends who found themselves back in D.C.) and their newest arrival, baby Garrett!
  • Last, but not least (and our main reason for the trip) was going to the "Colonial Ward" reunion - what a blast from the past! So fun to see so many familiar faces. Hopefully it won't be another 10 years...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

BRRrrr!!! Ward Campout Pics

Did I mention it was COLD! Just thought I'd post a few pictures from our latest adventure.... our first Ward Campout in AZ. We decided to be brave having been warned that the nighttime temps might near the low 40's (I think we are officially acclimated to the warm Phoenix weather!) and try to tough it out! Did I mention that we were sleeping in a TENT? I know we are turning into whimps - but we do have a TWO year old. Isn't that a good enough excuse to be a camp whimp? :-) I seriously thought of just sending the boys, but who would want to miss all the fun? And besides, after our Christopher Creek campout, Madison has been asking to go camping ever since! Unfortunately, we got up to the Payson area fairly late which left us setting up the tent in the dark in an unclaimed spot way at the edge of the campground. Good thing for a few flashlights and lanterns! In addition to sleeping bags, we brought about every blanket we owned (thanks Carey for the excellent tip!) and we needed them all! Luckily, the kiddos and hubby crashed pretty quickly. As for me, I couldn't quite go under between the shivers, the fear that the kids were going to freeze to death and not knowing where we really pitched our tent. I found myself getting up several times to make sure they were still in the sleeping bags (we do have a few crazy sleepers) and make sure Madison hadn't kicked off all her blankets. Oh, the life of a worried mother! :-) It sure seemed like the morning would never come! Luckily, the sun finally peaked out and the ward cooked up a yummy warm pancake breakfast (did I mention it was nice not to have to pack food? Subway for dinner, ward breakfast and home for lunch!!) It was a quick trip but all in all, I think the kids had fun and that makes it worth all the work to pack for 1 night! Did I mention that next time we go it has to be just a few degrees WARMER? Brrrr!

Friday, October 12, 2007

We Love Grandma & Grandpa!

Yeah for Grandma & Grandpa! We enjoyed a great week with Grandma & Grandpa! The kids loved having them around. Even Madison got up this morning and told us she was going down stairs to find Grandma! She was so sad to realize Grandma was gone! I wish we could see them more often! We are glad that Grandpa has entered the world of retirement so maybe we can talk them into a few more trips down this way (we promise we won't ask you to come in July or August!) The kids had a great time roasting marshmallows at San Tan Flats, making sugar cookies with Grandma and playing board games and watching Star Wars with Grandpa. Grandpa was nice to help refinish Grandma Tueller's old rocking chair for Madison's room. Grandma was patient in helping me find material for drapes and then having the know-how to put them all together. I promise I'll get them finished Mom, but I may be calling you every day! Thanks again for a fun week. We miss you already!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

My Baby is TWO! Happy Birthday!

Madison just had her 2nd Birthday . . . I can't believe how fast these two years went. Oh where oh where did they go? I also can't believe how much she "gets" it. I don't remember the boys being so aware that it was going to be their special day at this age or aware that there were presents involved. She was singing Happy Birthday to herself several days in advance! I thought I had a little more time to get away with minimal efforts - apparently not so with this little princess!

Luckily, we did have a fun day. She got to open Grandma & Grandpa's presents in the morning (which had painfully been on top of the fridge for several days!) Then lunch with Dad and the boys! And as all good girls should do - a nice long nap in the afternoon! Our next door neighbors came over later in the evening for some cupcake decorating and of course, eating! She was covered in chocolate (and so was my house!) but loved every minute! We love our Madison and can't believe how grown up she is getting!