Friday, August 31, 2007


I realized I haven't posted anything in the last week so here's just a fun picture of Abby doing one of her favorite things, going down the slide. She loves playgrounds and if she sees one, she gets really excited and grins from ear to ear. This playground set was actually outside the Hagerstown Prime Outlet mall. We love it there and it has almost every outlet store imaginable. We have gotten some really good deals on clothes for all three of us and even some power tools for Jason.

Abby is saying a lot of words now and she repeats a lot of what we say. She still does a lot of "mumbo jumbo" in her own language though as you can tell from the video below. She will often carry on complete conversations with me, just in her own little language. I wonder what she thinks she is saying?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I am sooooo tired!

This last Sunday, we went in to wake Abby up from her nap in order to go to church (1:00 church is so hard on naptimes!!) This is what I found waiting for me. Jason and I both got a chuckle out of her foot stuck between the crib slats. What a goofy girl!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chuck E. Cheese

We decided to do something special yesterday for Abby's 18-month day. (Yeah, obviously we're first time parents, but we thought turning 18 months was significant enought to celebrate!) We took Abby for her first visit to Chuck E. Cheese and she loved it. She was still too young to play on most of the rides and games, but she was enthralled with all the lights, dancing, music and other kids. She harldy ate any of her food because she was so interested in what was going on around her. Our little baby is definitely growing up and wanting to be a big girl.

She went into nursery on Sunday for the first time without a peep and they said she did excellent. It's nice to be able to listen to the lessons again, but where has the time gone? I can't believe our little Abigail is old enough to be in nursery!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Running just as fast as she can

So our little Abigail has some wacky things she has started doing lately. One of these is running around in circles while laughing hysterically. She'll run around until she gets so dizzy that she falls over. It's actually pretty funny to watch so we're thinking she does it now just for our reaction. Even our dog Maya finds it entertaining!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Antietam National Park

This last weekend we had the opportunity to visit our first Civil War site. The Antietam National Battlefield is located only about 20 minutes from us (we love being surrounded by so much history!) Many people have never heard of this battle, maybe because there was no clear winner, although the Emancipation Proclamation was a direct result from it. It was the first major battle to take place on Northern soil and the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with more than 23,000 casualties. The battlefield itself is beautiful, but it was sobering to think about what it must have been like that horrific day.

Dunker Church, perhaps one of the most famous churches in American military history.
During the battle of Antietam the church was the focal point of a number of Union attacks against the Confederates. At battles end the Confederates used the church as a temporary medical aid station.

On the Saturday that we were there, they had a group demonstrating some actual manuevers complete with musket fire. It was humbling to be walking around the battlefield and hear gunshots go off in the distance.
Abby enjoyed walking around and seeing the different sites.

This is known as Burnside Bridge, the place where Union forces attempted to cross Antietam creek.
You can see from this picture what a gorgeous place this was. Maryland is a beautiful state with lush green fields and rolling hills. This was the last stop on our tour, the Antietam National Cemetery. This was perhaps our favorite site because of what it represented, all those who fought and died for something they so desperately believed in, both Union and Confederate. There are about 5000 Union soldiers buried in this cemetery, one-third of whom are unknown. The unkown soldiers graves' are marked with just a number. I think this was the saddest part to me, for families to never have closure and always wondering where the final resting place was for their loved ones.
In the cemetery, there was a plaque that had Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address engraved upon it. I think it applies to us today just as much as it did to the audience 150 years ago.
"In a larger sense, we can not dedicate–we can not consecrate–we can not hallow–this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. 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."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

City Park

We spent Saturday evening at one of new favorite places in Hagerstown. It's called City Park and has two playgrounds, a lake, an ampitheatre and a few museums. Its also full of trees, providing a nice, cool way to spend the lazy days of summer.
We went to a free concert that they were having there that evening and Abby enjoyed playing on all of the different playground equipment as well. She loved the slides and actually somewhat enjoyed the swings which was a first.

Afterwards we went to see the "bees" (Abby's word for any type of bird) and fed the ducks.
When we were about to leave, we spotted these two swans just lying there eating the weeds in the park. We invited them to come to our house to get rid of some of the weeds but they didn't seem to want to take us up on our offer.

Friday, August 10, 2007

What a Talker!

So Abby has been jabbering like crazy for the last several months and lately has been adding new words to her vocabulary almost every day. Trying to get her to say anything for the camera though is a bit of a challenge. I was able to capture a few of the first words she ever said using a bit of distraction. She is busy playing with the video camera while I record her using the digital camera. You will also notice in this video that she has a unique way of saying "bye." She used to say it perfectly, but just recently she has started adding "la" to the end, making it sould something like "bye-la." We're not sure why she started saying it like this, but we're pretty sure that it must be a sign of genius!

It is pretty difficult to get a good picture of Abby now that she is so active. I decided to try to take a few candid shots yesterday and we actually got some good ones that I thought I would share. We sure do love our little munchkin!!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

From Texas to Maryland

We are finally online again and it feels great to be able to stay connected with everyone again. I'll try to stay more up to date from here on out, but here's a brief recap of our last month...

Our last weekend in Texas we went to Abby's 4th and final (at least for a while) Houston Astros baseball game. She loved all the excitement of the game and the fans around us. And we kept our winning streak alive. The Astros have yet to lose a game that we have been at. Goooooooo 'Stroooooooos!!!!!!

The next day we went to downtown Houston and rode the train around Hermann Park and visited the Children's Museum. We were really impressed with the museum and we all had a great time. It was probably more suited to kids a bit older than Abby, but that didn't stop her from enjoying herself. She especially liked the phones and milking the plastic cow!

A few days later we began our 1600 mile journey from Houston, Texas to Hagerstown, Maryland. Aside from a few mishaps in New Orleans, our trip was actually a very good one. Abby was a trooper through it all, although we were glad she was able to watch repeated episodes of Baby Einstein along the way. We traveled through 8 states, which means Abby has now been to 19 different states during her young life, not too bad considering she's only 17 months old! We arrived in Hagerstown on Friday, July 13th, moved into our new home the next day and then Jason flew to Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday for a two week training session. We missed him a lot, but it did give Abby and I a chance to explore the area on our own a little while he was gone. We had never even seen Hagerstown before we moved here so we weren't exactly sure what to expect. What we have found is almost like a bit of heaven on earth! It is beautiful here with a lot more amenities than we were expecting, but with the small-town feeling that we were hoping for. There are a lot of things to do here including lots of great parks, shopping, tourist attractions, historical sites and outdoor activities which we can actually do without melting, unlike Houston! We also love the ward and I have already made a few new friends including the bishop's wife who lives in our same subdivision. I have also been excited to discover that there are some great country roads to run on which has been nice since I am now in full-marathon training mode. In fact, last Saturday I went on a 9-mile run into Pennsylvania and back. I never thought I would be able to run to another state and back home, but it's not too hard when we only live about 4 miles from the border!!

There is so much to see and do here. We have already made a few trips up to Pennsylvania and West Virginia and we can't wait to see more. We love the house that we are living in as well. We live on the outskirts of town and our backyard is pretty big and has a great view of some cornfields out back. I have put together a little video slideshow of our home so you can get a feel for what our home is like. Of course this doesn't substitute for an actual visit so we expect to see you all out here soon!!

We really couldn't be happier here, unless of course we could have all of our family and friends as neighbors. At least blogging helps to keep us a bit closer and we will do our best to keep you all updated on all of our East Coast adventures!!