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!!