Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007!!!

I cannot believe that today is the last day of 2007. This year has gone by so quickly! It has been a year of many changes, a lot of ups, a few downs, but overall a pretty good year for our family. I am really excited about 2008 though. I have a thing about even years. It seems like all the really good things in my life have happened during even years (birth-1980, high school graduation-1998, mission call-2000, marriage-2004, BYU graduation-2004, Abby's birth-2006, birth of baby #2-2008.) I just think even years are great so I'm excited to see what 2008 has in store for us.

Since it is the last day of the year, I thought that I had better post some pictures of our first Christmas at home. We had a great time and it was fun to be able to spend it together as just the three of us. It is crazy to think that next year there will be four!

Here is Abby acting out her part as Mary as we read the Christmas story from Luke 2.

Here she is in her one-woman show, also playing a shepherd with her lone "sheep".

Abby opening up her pajamas on Christmas Eve.

Wow, new slippers too!!Modeling her new pajamas and slippers.Christmas morning...Abby absolutely loves her new kitchen set and cabbage patch doll and plays with them everyday now.

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Abby's Second Santa Sitting Experience

As you can see from the pictures, Santa was a wee bit scary for Abby this year. Last year, she was only 10 months old and nothing seemed to phase her much, including when we placed her on the lap of a fat, bearded man wearing a red suit. This year, she wouldn't look at him and kept leaning farther away from him (hey, maybe Santa had bad breath or something.) At least she wasn't crying though, and the candy cane at the end made it all worth it.

"You guys seriously want me to sit on this weird guy's lap?!?!?"

"I wonder how much farther I can lean over before I actually fall off?"

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Trip to Texas

Well, we have a lot of catching up to do since it feels like we've been absent from the blogging world for a while. We got back last Friday from a week long stay in Texas. We had a good time with Jason's family and they all enjoyed seeing how much Abby has grown and changed during the last six months. I spent 3 of our 7 days there sick (not sure if it was a bug or some second-trimester morning sickness, but either way, it wasn't too much fun.) We were able to squeeze in a fun trip to Galveston and Abby really enjoyed feeding the seagulls. (If you've ever seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie, "The Birds" that is what it felt like to have hundreds of seagulls hovering over us, waiting for their own little morsel of bread and popcorn...amazingly, Abby wasn't frightened by them at all.) We had a lot of fun trying out their new Wii and Jason and I are seriously thinking about getting one for ourselves. That says a lot because I have never been a fan of video games, but this one is actually pretty fun and I like that it requires more than just thumb and eye coordination. We also enjoyed having our own little Christmas there a week early and Abby has become an expert at opening presents now. Here is a little slideshow with some videos of our Texas adventure...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Abby's Early Christmas

I usually just let Abby play while I take a shower after going to the gym each morning. She is pretty good about entertaining herself and not getting into too much trouble. This morning as I was coming down the stairs however, I heard some loud ripping noises and I knew immediately what she was doing. We have had wrapped presents under the tree for a few days now and she hadn't touched them, but I guss this morning she decided that she was ready for Christmas, just a little early!! What a little stinker...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Facts

A friend of mine sent this to me in an email, and since she said that I was the person most likely to respond, I couldn't dissapoint!! And I even decided to do it on my blog rather than through email so the whole wide world could see it (okay, so maybe just the two people who actually read this blog) but still, here goes...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I definitely prefer wrapping paper for Christmas gifts.

2. Real tree or Artificial? I grew up only having an artificial tree so I guess that is what I prefer. It just seems easier, more cost efficient and less messy. Jason would really like to get a real tree though since that is what he grew up with so maybe we'll trade off each year or something. We were actually going to get a real tree this year but we had a really bad wind storm the day before we were shopping for trees and it blew off a lot of the branches, making them look more like the "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree, pretty pathetic looking, so we ended up going with an artificial.

3. When do you put up the tree? Growing up it was always the weekend after Thanksgiving (another nice thing about having an artificial tree). This year we just put it up last week.

4. When do you take the tree down? Usually sometime after New Year's Day.

5. Do you like egg nog? I guess I used to love, love, love it as a child. Then one year I drank so much that I threw up. Haven't touched it since.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Probably a Cabbage Patch doll with all the accesories (my mom usually made the clothes for them). We actually got one for Abby this year in preparation for the upcoming baby! Also, probably the most memorable gift wasn't when I was a child (I think I was around 20 or so). It was when my sister Lara and her husband Ben bought my entire family tickets for a cruise. That was so much fun and totally unexpected.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, I have one that I brought back from Brazil that means a lot to me.

8. Hardest person to buy for? Jason's parents. I never know quite what they would like.

9. Easiest person to buy for? Abby is definitely the easiest right now. She would probably be happy with just the boxes that the gifts come in.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I prefer mailed Christmas cards. It just seems more personal.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I can't think of anything specific. I have definitely gotten many gifts that I have never really used (just ask my husband) but nothing that I can remember as being really awful.

12. Favorite Christmas movie? I really like the classics ("It's a Wonderful Like", "Miracle on 34th Street", etc.) I also like "A Christmas Story" because it reminds me of what I think my dad was like when he was a kid. But probably my favorite would have to be "A Christmas Carol" (the George C. Scott version) because that was always a Christmas Eve tradition.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I'd like to be able to say early in the year, but usually I don't start any shopping until after Thanksgiving.

14 . Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I know I have, I just can't remember to or from whom.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Magic cookie bars, again a family tradition.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? I think clear lights look more elegant so that is what we currently have, although I grew up with colored lights.

17. Favorite Christmas song? I seriously like so many that it would be tough to pick. I really love "O Holy Night" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentelmen"...but this year I would have to say "Little Drummer Boy", "Silent Night" and "Jingle Bells" because Abby loves these three and she can sing a lot of the words. It is just too cute!

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We think this will be our last year traveling. We are leaving for Texas on Saturday but will be home before Christmas so technically we'll have our first Christmas at home since being married. Next year, we just think it will be too hard with two kids (and one we will actually have to buy a plane ticket for, yikes!)

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, & Blitzen, & Rudolph (the most famous of all!) I just copied these from Stephanie. Good thing she knows, because I'm sure I would have forgotten a couple.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A star, although we have nothing on top of ours right now.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? The bulk of the Christmas presents we open on Christmas day. On Christmas Eve we always opened up a pair of pajamas that we would take a bazillion pictures in (those of you who know my mom wouldn't be surprised at that) then we would get to sleep in them for the first time that night. We are continuing this tradition with Abby and just got her the most adorable cloud flannel pajamas to wrap up this year.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? I guess it can get kind of busy, but I really enjoy this season so I just try to focus on all the great things.

23. Favorite ornament, theme or color? Growing up we always got an ornament we picked out each year. My mom would write our name and the year on it and then when we got married, we got to take our ornaments with us. Probably my favorite one is this gold-colored reindeer one that I still think is really pretty (I think I was 10 or so when I got it). We are still kind of doing that now, although it's more of a family ornament each year rather than an individual one. Maybe now that Abby is a little older, we will start doing individual ones too.

24. Favorite Christmas dinner? On Christmas Eve, we always ordered pizza (yummy) and then we would always have a really nice breakfast after opening up all the gifts. Dinner was usually kind of like Thanksgiving (turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, rolls, etc.) although when I think of Christmas foods, I usually think of ordered pizza and yummy breakfast!

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I already got what a really wanted, a nice (really expensive pair) of new running shoes. Some new workout clothes would be nice and maybe a new MP3 player...notice a theme? Hello, my name is Dadra and I am an exercise-aholic.

26. Who is most likely to respond to this? Well I am hoping some of you who read this blog will do your own versions of this little questionnaire. I actually find them quite interesting to read about other people, and I almost always learn a little something about myself too.

27. Who is least likely to respond to this? Well, since the majority of the world won't see this, I would say them!

Merry Christmas to all!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Washington D.C. Temple

We had an amazing experience at the Washington D.C. Temple on Saturday. Our ward organized a huge temple day that involved activities for everyone, including babies, kids and the youth. We ended up having over 140 people show up which was pretty amazing considering that only 3-4 years ago they were lucky to get 70 people to attend Sacrament meetings. Abby had a great time with her friends in the nursery (they told us she was the only child that didn't cry at all.) Some of that could be explained by the massive amounts of goldfish they let her eat, but as long as she was good...

After Jason and I went through a session with the other adults, we all had lunch together as a ward family. I really love the ward that we're in. They really do a great job of making you feel loved and welcomed and we have made some really good friends. After lunch, we took Abby over to the Visitor's Center where the sister missionaries went ga-ga over how cute Abby was. Abby was especially enthralled by the Christus statue and as you can tell from the pictures, she was literally jumping up and down with excitement to be so close to "her Jesus." (Sidenote: Abby has become almost obsessed with Jesus lately. She always wants to read her Illustrated Book of Mormon stories so she can see pictures of Jesus and she will cry when we read parts other than 3 Nephi that she wants to see "Jesus." I guess if your child has to have an obsession with something, Jesus is probably the best thing out there.)

We were also able to take a few pictures in front of the temple as a family. All in all, it was a wonderful day and we were so thankful to be able to attend the temple as a family.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Let it Snow!!

It's interesting how in my last post I mentioned that all we were needing was a little snow to really get me in the Christmas spirt, and lo and behold, my wish was granted. We received our first snowfall yesterday and it was so pretty to wake up to. It snowed pretty much the whole day and it was so much fun to watch. We did go out in it first thing in the morning and Abby loved playing and running through it, but I didn't have my camera with me (I know, bad blogger!!) I did take this picture today because I just think it is so beautiful. A lot of it has melted already (we probably got about 4 inches or so) but you can still get the idea. We have this small hill that runs from our frontyard to our backyard so we are hoping to get a little sled for Abby to try out on it. She loved the slip n' slide this summer, so I think she will really enjoy sledding too. I just realized that it has been four years since I have lived in a place where it snows, so maybe this is why I am so excited about it. Probably in another month or so you'll hear me complaining about it, but for now, I think it's wonderful!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's Christmas Time!!

I absolutely love the Christmas season. Now that we're in December, I am really getting excited about everything to do with Christmas and it is really fun to be able to see everything through the eyes of a child. Abby absolutely loves all the lights around town and the different events we have gone to so far. On Friday night we went to a "Tree Lighting" ceremony in the Hagerstown City Park and afterwards went to the Museum of Fine Arts for a nice Christmas reception. We have been really impressed with how many things there are to do here that are all free (the best part!!)

On Saturday night, I took Jason on a surprise date to a local dinner theatre. They were putting on a production of "A Christmas Carol", one of my all-time favorite Christmas stories. We had a great time eating dinner and being "cultured" and it was especially nice to have a night out to ourselves.

(Picture courtesy of

Then on Sunday we all enjoyed watching the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional on the Internet. This is always a sure sign to me that the Christmas season has officially begun.

What a wonderful time of year, when we have the opportunity to focus on the life and teachings of our Saviour Jesus Christ and really put into practice his example of charity and love for all people. Now we just need some snow to really make it feel like Christmas!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Moments In Our Lives

I thought I would share a couple of videos we took of Abby this last week. The first one is of her trying to learn how to do a sommersault. She actually can do one on her own but I have yet to be able to catch it on camera. The second video is of her "shaking her groove thing" with me. She likes to copy some of my stellar dance moves!

This photo is what we found emerging from our closet one night. She will often go into our closet and pull off all the clothes from the hangers on the bottom row so we try to keep her out of it as much as possible. While Jason and I were talking, we noticed we hadn't heard Abby in a while (always a sign of trouble) and we found her in our closet dressed in her "gangsta" best. We thought she looked pretty fun and of course as soon as we started laughing, she had to ham it up even more.

Monday, November 26, 2007


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at our home this year. My sister Lara and her family arrived on Wednesday night and stayed through Saturday and my sister Tasha and her husband came in the next day around noon and also stayed through the weekend. Jason made an excellent turkey and we all enjoyed eating the delicious food. We ended up having 9 adults and 4 children for Thanksgiving dinner including my two cousins and one of Tasha's friends from work. I was a little worried about how we would accomodate so many people, but everything went very smoothly and we all enjoyed a wonderful day of thanks.

Here are a couple of cousins pictures we took over the weekend. Chloe (9), Paige (4), Abby (21 months) and Tyler (18 months) all had a great time playing together.

I am not sure why so many people are anxious to skip over Thanksgiving and move on to Christmas. I think Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday where we are surrounded by loved ones and can eat such great food all day long. We had a great time having everyone at our home this year and we hope to be able to do it again soon!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Crazy 8...

Alona tagged me with this "crazy 8" thing so here's my list...

8 things I'm passionate about
8 - Having a clean house
7 - Not giving up when the going gets tough
6 - Being content with what life deals me
5 - Exercising/Running
4 - Having goals and achieving them
3 - My family
2 - My husband/Abby
1 - The Church/Heavenly Father/Jesus Christ

8 things I want to do before I die
8 - Run another marathon (non-pregnant this time!)
7 - Compete in a triathlon
6 - Visit every state in the United States
5 - Travel to China, Africa and Europe (ideally, visit every continent)
4 - Learn how to dance with my husband
3 - Own my own home
2 - Have more children
1 - Be happy!!

8 things I often say
8 - Prayers
7 - Really?
6 - So...(this one is courtesy of Jason's habit rubbing off on me)
5 - No. (This is said a lot with our crazy toddler!)
4 - Yeah.
3 - Thank you.
2 - I'm sorry.
1 - I love you.

8 books I've recently read
8 - The Big Animal Book (Abby's favorite)
7 - Uncle Tom's Cabin
6 - Harry Potter #7
5 - Twilight
4 - New Moon
3 - Eclipse
2 - Charlotte's Web
1 - The Book of Mormon

8 things I could listen to over and over
8 - My running music
7 - My husband saying "I love you"
6 - U2
5 - Phantom of the Opera soundtrack
4 - Les Miserables soundtrack
3 - Abby's giggles
2 - Abby singing "ABC, Three Blind Mice or Old McDonald's Farm"
1 - My husband singing me "my song"

8 things that attract me to my best friends
8 - Interesting
7 - They like me
6 - Principles and morals
5 - Get up and go type people
4 - They remember things I tell them
3 - Enjoy spending time with them
2 - Earn my respect/trust
1 - Easy to talk to/listen to

8 things I've learned this past year
8 - I'm a lot stronger than I ever imagined!
7 - Sometimes you have to agree to disagree
6 - Change is good!
5 - The Lord knows far better than I do what is right for me.
4 - If you want to do something, just do it!
3 - I can train for and finish a marathon!!!
2 - I can love my husband and daughter more each day
1 - Family is so very,very important so don't let the moments pass you by

Monday, November 19, 2007


My dad was able to spend a few extra days with us after the marathon so we decided to take him to Gettyburg. We all enjoyed walking and driving around the different historical sites. It was a beautiful area, much like the Antietam Battlefield in a lot of ways. It was also very sobering to think about what had occurred on these grounds almost 150 years ago. I thought that I would include an excerpt from the Gettyburg Address given by Abraham Lincoln about 4 months after the Battle of Gettysburg concluded...

"It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

The Eternal Light Peace Memorial dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938 during the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
The beautiful grounds of the battlefield.

A replica of a Civil War cannon.

My dad trying to soak everything in. We could have been there for several days and still not seen everything.

The Gettyburg National Cemetery where almost 4,000 Union soldiers were buried and many more men and women who have served in an American War. This was also the site of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

One of the things I love most about living in Maryland is being so close to so much history. We love it when people come to visit because it gives us a good reason to visit all of these historical places nearby. So all of those who haven't visited us yet (and that would be most of you!!), be sure to visit us soon!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Our Big Announcement

So I totally spilled the beans on my last post, but I thought I would share some more details here since it kind of got brushed over by the marathon update.

I took a pregnancy test on September 25th because I was a few days late and am usually pretty spot on regular as far as my cycles go. The only times I have even really been late or skipped have been when I have been training for past half marathons, so even though I was late, I was pretty sure that I wasn't pregnant and chalked it up to my marathon training. As you can see from the clear blue lines though, I was definitely expecting baby #2. I was really excited and I knew Jason would be thrilled to find out the news since he had been ready for #2 basically since Abby was about 2 weeks old!! I put the pregnancy test in a box and wrote "Congrats Dad" on the lid and gave it to him right before we ate dinner that night. Although we were all thrilled with the news, we had experienced two miscarriages in the past so we decided to put off telling most people until after our first doctor's visit and since that was scheduled just one week before the marathon, we decided to wait until after the big run to tell everyone. I am using the term "we" pretty loosely here because while Jason agreed to wait to tell people, it just about killed him to not share the news for over 7 weeks.

Less than a week after we received the positive pregancy test, the morning sickness (or rather "all-day-sickness") began. I never had it too bad, but it was kind of a constant nausea that would last most of the day and into the night. I had a hard time eating anything because nothing sounded good and between marathon training and no appetite, I was feeling pretty ill. I almost threw in the towel for the marathon in mid-October because, as many of you know, morning sickness sometimes makes it hard to even get out of bed in the morning, let alone get out of bed to face a 15-20 mile run. I endured the tough days and about two weeks ago, I started to feel a lot better and on race day, I had absolutely no nausea to contend with which was a small miracle. So far this pregnancy I have lost about 6 pounds and since I started out about 10 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight with Abby, I am hoping that I can postpone maternity clothes for as long as possible.

Everyone told me that I would probably start showing sooner this time around since this was my second, but still no bump yet. We had our first doctor's visit last week and everything looks great. When Abby got to see the ultrasound, we asked her what it was on the screen and she immediately said "Baby." That was pretty impressive because an 11-week old fetus only slightly resembles an actual baby. But then she said something that floored all of us, including the doctor and the nurse. She looked at the ultrasound picture and said "Baby in the water." We either have a really smart baby that could tell from a grainy picture that this little blob was a baby in the water, or she recalls her own fond memories of swimming around in mommy's tummy. Either way, we think she's a little genius!

We are thrilled about welcoming our second baby into our home on or around May 31, 2008, my official due date. I am also excited about not having to endure the last trimester of pregnancy in the heat of the summer. Jason is convinced that this one is a boy, I am kind of hoping for another girl, but all both of us really want is a healthy baby. And if he/she could be as wonderful as Abby has been, we would consider ourselves to be very lucky!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

26.2 Miles...Been There, Run That!!

Saturday was an amazing day. I have wanted to run a marathon for so long, but it was always something do be done in the future. Even when I signed up and started training for it last summer, it still seemed a long time away. Last week, I had a hard time sleeping and was constanly feeling anxious, excited and nervous. I have run three half-marathons in the past and would typically get a little nervous the night before and the morning of, but never something that lasted an entire week! I think that running a marathon was such a huge goal and I was so nervous that something would go wrong that I just couldn't let myself relax. The moment the race started though, all my fears disappeared and I had a great experience. That's not saying it was easy though. Actually I think it ranks as the third hardest thing I have ever done, right behind giving birth to a 9-pound baby and serving an 18-month mission in Brazil. But having all of these complete strangers cheering and encouraging you along during the entire race was amazing and crossing that finish line was just incredible, more than words can even describe.

I ran with my two sisters Lara and Tasha. Lara ran out ahead and set a personal record for her third marathon. Tasha and I ran together from start to finish, and while we didn't finish fast, we did finish strong, and well....we finished which was our number one goal. I was hoping to finish with a better time, but I do have to cut myself some slack. Some of you know, but for those of you that don't know yet, I am almost 3 months pregnant with baby #2. My sister Tasha is 4 1/2 months pregnant also, so just finishing the marathon together was a huge accomplishment. Running a marathon is something that most people don't even attempt to do, and far fewer attempt to do it while pregnant so I am pretty proud of both of us.

Some people have since asked me if I think I will do another one. If you had asked me at mile 23 or 24, I would have said "Never again!" and meant it. But even just three days later, I am already thinking about another one. I think it's kind of like child birth, you need some time to separate yourself from the experience in order to think about doing it again. I will not run another one pregnant, but I would like to see how well I could do when I am not expecting. Only time will tell!!

But no matter if I do another one or not, for the rest of my life I can say that I am a marathon-finisher. And that makes me pretty happy!!

Here are the three of us at the starting line, waiting to begin our long journey through the streets of Richmond, Virginia. We were all pretty excited and nervous, but most of all, we were just ready to get the experience under way.

Here is a picture that Jason took of my least favorite part of the whole race. We ran across this bridge that seemed to be never-ending, especially as we faced some pretty strong winds as we ran across it.

All three of us ran with shirts that said "Dad's Legacy Continues...Fight On!" My dad was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer last July and is now facing the biggest battle of his life. He has always been such a great example to us of love, strength, commitment and dedication so we all decided to run to honor him and the legacy of life and running that he has passed down to each of us. It was very special to have him there, cheering us along. We love you Dad!!

Here is me receiving one of my most cherished possessions now, my finisher's medal. I would wear it everyday if people wouldn't stare at me funny!!

Here are our youngest fans cheering us along...Abby, my nieces Paige and Chloe and my nephew Tyler.

Here is some video of us crossing the starting line, at various points throughout the race and then crossing the finish line.

I do have to give a big shout out to my wonderful husband Jason. He has been my biggest fan and supporter throughout my training and especially on race day. He was there to cheer me on at the beginning, at mile 13, mile 19 and then at the finish. Thank you for your love and support. I appreciate it so much!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Our High-Heeled Wonder...

So our little girl loves shoes, especially big people shoes. On Sunday, Abby's nursery teacher told me that she had taken off her high-heeled shoes in order to relieve her feet a little and before she knew it, Abby had taken off her own shoes and was walking around in her nursery teacher's high heels. On Sunday night, Abby decided to do the same thing with my Sunday shoes. She actually walks pretty well in them and you can tell she thinks that she is pretty hot stuff as she prances around the house wearing shoes that I even have a hard time walking in. She is quite the character and keeps us in constant laughter around here.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

What the......?

The title of this blog is exactly what Abby was thinking as we took her out Trick-or-Treating last night for the first time. My sister Tasha came up for the big event and we all got a huge kick out of our cute little black cat. At the beginning, she appeared to be quite disturbed with all the people decked out in costumes roaming around our cul-de-sac (there were a ton of trick-or-treaters out in our neighborhood which was really fun to see.) It didn't help when we walked up to the first house where our next door neighbor was sitting outside in a gorilla costume. The next few houses she had to be carried since she was afraid of more ape sightings. She soon caught on that this was a pretty nifty idea though...walk up to people's houses, knock on their doors and they would give you candy. She even started to knock on the doors by herself and say "Trick-or-Treat" by the end of the night. We walked around for about 30 minutes and by the end, her little bucket was getting pretty heavy. She was dragging it on the ground, but nothing was going to make her let go of it, because she knew the precious commodity that was inside, lots and lots of candy!! As soon as we got home she quickly sat down to check out her loot. It has been a long time since any of us had been trick-or-treating and we all had a great time.

Abby looking cute in her costume, saying "Meow." Notice the cat carrying the doggie!!
Heading out the door for her first trick-or-treating experience.Still not quite sure what this was all about, but loving getting all the candy.Walking around with mom and a bunch of other trick-or-treaters.Knocking on the door all by herself, "Hey, this isn't so bad."Checking out her loot at the end of the night.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween

For FHE on Monday night, we carved our pumpkins that we had picked out from the pumpkin patch a couple of weeks ago. We let Abby take a marker to her pumpkin and create her own masterpiece rather than carve it. She was quite interested in the whole process of cutting open the pumpkins until she saw what was inside. She seemed excited about it at first, and then changed her mind and couldn't get it far enough away from her. We got some cute videos of her first experience with pumpkin carving.

Here is Jason hard at work on his pumpkin creation.

And here's the finished product. I always love putting the lights inside because it always makes my lame pumpkin look a bit better. Abby didn't want to have anything to do with the lighted pumpkins though and was very relieved when we finally blew out the candles.

Lookin' Good!

Abby found these sunglasses in her toybox the other day and they have become one of her new favorite toys. You can tell she thinks she's pretty hot stuff as she trots around the house wearing them. She also likes to try to put them on Jason and I and she thinks she's being pretty funny when she actually succeeds. When we got home from the gym this morning, she ran straight from the car into the backyard so I grabbed the camera from inside the house and snapped a few pictures of our "little star." Sometimes I feel like the paparazzi as I snap picture after picture of Abby just being Abby. I have to admit, being a parent in the age of digital pictures is great because I can take a ton of pictures, keep the good ones and delete the rest.

This one totally reminds me of a paparazzi shot for some reason. Can't you just picture some famous movie star striking this same pose?

And this one is my favorite. She loves to say "cheese" now when her picture is being taken and it makes for some pretty cute smiles!

Monday, October 29, 2007

My Latest Project...

So I have gotten into the "Twilight" series by Stephenie Meyer and am currently reading book #3. I had a few friends who recommended the books, and I have to admit, they are pretty entertaining. They are meant for teens, but I find that once I start one, I have a difficult time putting it down. I kind of compare it to the Harry Potter series, totally fun and entertaining reading...not a whole lot of depth, but definitely enjoyable.

I saw this little quiz online to see which character I was most similar to from the books. Here is the result...

"You're Esme Cullen - Your maternal instinct to take care of people and be kind draw people towards you. You're compassionate and loving, yet firm when you need to be. You appreciate hard work and value the beautiful results of your dedication to any project."

Try the quiz yourself here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Washington D.C.

As you can see, we have been really busy the last few weeks. Our latest adventure was a short trip to Washington D.C. last Saturday. It was a gorgeous fall day, perfect for taking in all of the sites. Abby loved seeing everything and did amazingly well in her stroller all day without a nap. She fell asleep as soon as we were back in the car driving home that night but held up extremely well outside all day. This was Abby and my second trip to D.C. and Jason's first and we had a great day visiting our nation's capitol.

We started our day by visiting the National Air & Space Museum. Here's Jason and Abby standing in front of a replica of Amelia Earhart's plane. We really enjoyed this museum, but our favorite part was probably visiting the special exhibit about "American History." The National Museum of American History is closed for renovations until next summer, but the little amount of stuff we saw inside the exhibit made us really excited to visit the actual museum when in reopens.

Here I am in front of George Washington's uniform and in front of one of the Sunstones from the Nauvoo Temple.
After visiting the museum, we headed over to the U.S. Capitol building and then made the 2-mile walk from the capitol building to the Lincoln Memorial, visiting the Washington Monument, the White House, the World War II Memorial, and the Korean War Memorial along the way.
Along our walk along the National Mall, Jason and I discussed who could be considered the most important president in U.S. History. Of course there would be many contenders, but I would vote Abraham Lincoln at the top of my list. He was an amazing man who was able to lead our country through a very turbulent time and unite a divided nation. I have a lot of respect for him.

Here's Abby and I at the top of the Lincoln Memorial overlooking the Reflecting Pool with the Washington Monument in the background. Our last site to visit was the Vietnam War Memorial. This memorial is always a difficult one for me because it is so very personal with all the names of those who died printed for all to see. My dad fought in Vietnam during the early stages of the war and still carries around some of the effects of it even today. I started to get a bit teary-eyed when we passed a big, burly man standing looking at a name on the wall with tears rolling down his cheeks and I pretty well lost it when I overheard another young man tell one of the tourist guides as he pointed to a name on the wall, "That's my dad." Wow, I'm getting teary just writing about it again. The Vietnam War is so controversial and one which many people, including myself, do not completely understand. I hope the lesson we learned from it though, is that even if we may not agree with the reasons behind a war, we must always honor and respect those men and women who stood up for freedom when their country called.

We had a wonderful day in D.C. and we look forward to going back soon. I am so proud to be a citizen of the United States and I love this country so much. God Bless the USA!!