Miss Brooke is Two!

Brooke is officially two years old! She is our comic relief in life, and she keeps us on our toes. She makes the funniest faces (scowls) when she gets told no. She has lots of energy and loves being silly. Below are fun facts about Brooke at age two.

– She loves anything Baby Shark and Elmo.

– Her favorite foods are berries, clementines, macaroni and cheese, and chicken nuggets (which she calls “chicken muggets”). Anytime we drive past McDonalds, she says “chicken muggets!”

– She is very active and loves to climb. The playground is a great place for her because she can explore freely.

– A few months ago, she hit and seriously cut her head. She was spinning in David’s room and fell and smacked her head on the molding around David’s door. She still has a red line above her eyebrow from the incident.

– She is very polite. She almost always says “thank you” when I help her with something or give her something.

– After I do her hair in the morning, she stands up and says “cute!”

– She adores her siblings. When she gets up in the morning, she’ll always ask for “Baby Dew.” She likes to stick Drew’s pacifier in his mouth. David is her best friend. She loves playing and laughing with him. She just recently started saying David’s name. She pronounces the “v” like it’s a “w.”

– When she’s done with dinner, she wants to go take a bath immediately and will drop her plate in the floor if we don’t get it from her fast enough (we’re trying to stop that habit haha).

– She doesn’t like going to bed and will lay on the floor by her door and call out to us until she’s tired enough she climbs into bed to go to sleep. She’s only fallen asleep by the door twice.

– She thinks it’s funny to run away from me when it’s time to change her diaper. She giggles as she runs.

– Her vocabulary is growing everyday. I’m constantly impressed by how many words she knows.

– When she really wants something she says “please” in an exaggerated tone. Although she pronounces it “nease.”

She didn’t want her picture taken on her birthday haha.

David at Age Three

David is officially three years old. Since birth, he has had a happy, sweet demeanor. He gives the best hugs and kisses each night before bedtime. He’s quick to apologize when he realizes he’s made a poor choice (like taking a toy from Brooke). He’s generally a great listener. Below are fun facts about David at three.

  • He loves trains, firetrucks, tractors, and cars.
  • His favorite song to sing at bedtime is “Reverently, Quietly.”
  • His favorite shows are “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and “Sesame Street.”
  • He likes to eat cereal, nuts, and raisins for breakfast. Up until recently, the way he said raisins sounded like the word “citizens.”
  • He loves to listen to the “Mary Poppins Returns” soundtrack and the song “Peace in Christ.” A couple months ago, he always asked to listen to the “Newsies” soundtrack.
  • His favorite food is “Annie’s” white cheddar shells mac n’ cheese.
  • He currently does not like bath time…not sure why? He has always loved it.
  • He is fun to talk with. I can understand most everything he says.
  • He’s a pretty smart negotiator (or at least he thinks so haha). Sometimes when he doesn’t want to do something, he says, “David little” because we’ve told him in the past that Brooke is too little to do something (like kneel for prayer or clean up her dishes). He thinks if he tells us he’s “little” then he can get out of whatever we’ve asked him to do.
  • He officially stopped taking an afternoon nap. He now has “quiet time” every afternoon and plays with toys in his room for a couple of hours. He’s really good about staying in his room. We keep his “special” toys up there that he only plays with during “quiet time.” I am SO thankful he’s been such a good napper and now will play quietly by himself.

David’s 1st Birthday Celebrations

My mom came to town for David’s first birthday. On David’s actual birthday, we did a small celebration after John got home from work. We went up to the park by our house and took a few pictures and then headed to Chick-Fil-A for dinner. We got David grilled nuggets with a cup of fruit and milk. This was his second ever real restaurant meal. He loved it! After Chick-Fil-A, we came home to open presents and then stuck a candle in a Little Debbie’s birthday cake and sang happy birthday.






The Sunday following David’s birthday, my sister, John’s uncle, and the Wagner Family (my aunt, uncle, and cousins) came over for a birthday dinner celebration. We had a taco and chip bar. After dinner, we gave David his birthday “smash cake,” which he didn’t seem to really like. I had a bite of it, and it was very rich! David was a bit of a sad baby on this night because he never took an afternoon nap. He just laid in his crib and cried for over an hour after we got home from church at 2:30 p.m. So, he was ready to call it a night as soon as he “ate” his cake.





We had so much fun celebrating our little boy! Seeing his growth this year has been a neat experience. My heart is so full of love for this little boy.

Baby David: One Year!


Last week, David turned one year old. We are amazed at how much a baby grows in the course of a year. Below are fun facts about David at one year old.

  • He loves cars. He loves pushing them around on the floor, ottomans, or couches, and he loves holding them in his hands and studying them. No matter what toys we pull out of the toy closet for him to play with, he always goes straight to the cars.
  • He has loads of energy and is often on the move. He’s constantly exploring. He enjoys playing under the ping pong table in our basement and climbing through the stools that sit at our kitchen island.
  • Bath time is a favorite time of day for him. We recently started putting bubbles in his bath, and he enjoys splashing and eating bubbles.
  • He has two bottom teeth and four teeth up top are coming in. He loves chewing on furniture (especially end tables, which are mouth-height). We’ve had to teach him not to do that haha.
  • He is a champion night sleeper (and we are soooo thankful for that). Bath time is at 6:30 p.m. each night. Bedtime is at 7 p.m. He wakes up between 7:30 and 8 a.m. and will play happily in his crib until I get him out. (Side note: He struggles to sleep in hotels. We learned that the hard way.)
  • He enjoys looking at books in his crib. Sometimes when I put him down for a nap, I can tell he either doesn’t go to sleep or takes a while to fall alseep because he’s looking at books in his crib. We could take the books out of his crib at nap time but it brings him happiness and keeps him quiet, so I don’t see the harm.
  • He does this funny thing where he likes to breathe quickly and heavily through his nose while scrunching his nose. It’s adorable and he likes when people do it back to him.
  • He says lots of words but none that mean anything at this point. He says mama and dada a lot, but he isn’t referring to me or John when he says them yet.
  • When he’s done drinking from his sippy cup at meal time, he drops it on the floor.
  • He recently started spitting, which we’re not fans of 😦  We are trying to teach him not to do that.
  • Since it’s college football season, John has been trying to teach David to put both hands up in the air when John says touchdown. My mom was here visiting last week and helped John in this quest. David will now put both arms up in the air when someone says touchdown and puts both hands up in the air.
  • He’s in the 85th percentile for weight, 64th percentile for height, and 93rd percentile for head circumference. When he was born, he was in the 40th percentile for weight, 70th percentile for height, and 60th percentile for head circumference. His height percentile has really fluctuated over the year, even though they’re almost identical from birth to one year. When he was four months, he was only in the 21st percentile for height, and at 6 months he was in the 35th percentile.

In the coming days, I will write a post on what we did to celebrate his birthday. The pictures below were taken on his actual birthday. We went up to the park in our neighborhood  and snapped a few pictures before heading out to dinner.



John’s 30th Birthday

To celebrate John’s birthday, we headed to DC the night prior to his actual birthday. We met up with John’s cousin and his family, who were vacationing in DC. We ate dinner with them at Shake Shack, a famous DC burger joint.

John and I stayed at the Mayflower Hotel that night. The Mayflower is where we stayed the night we got married, and we enjoy going back every so often. A few days prior, I had asked some of John’s friends and family to text me words that describe John. I wanted to incorporate “30 words” into the birthday decorations to celebrate John’s 30th. I ended up receiving way more than 30 words, and since I loved all of the words that were submitted, I decided not to narrow them down to 30. Prior to arriving at the Mayflower, I wrote down each word on a post-it note so I could easily stick them onto the wall. While John was in the bathroom, I began sticking the post-its onto the wall in the foyer of our hotel room. However, the adhesive wasn’t strong enough, and they kept falling off the wall. John caught me in the act, so I ended up enlisting his help to put tape on the back of all the post-its so they would stick to the wall.



On John’s actual birthday, we slept in and had a relaxing morning. Then we headed to the Library of Congress. After a very quick visit at the Library of Congress, we left to meet my brother Trevor for lunch. It was raining, and John and I had one umbrella between the two of us. We decided to venture out in the rain, and no less than a minute after we left, the rain turned into a torrential downpour. We stopped under a large tree and huddled together under the umbrella. However, the wind was gusting and we both got soaked. I was kicking myself because I actually had a rain jacket in the car. After about 10 minutes, we realized we couldn’t possibly get more wet than we already were so we kept walking to the restaurant. After eating lunch, I decided to walk to the car to get the pants I wore the day prior and switch into flips flops I packed. Thankfully I also had a baseball cap with me so I didn’t have to walk around with hair totally messed up by the rain.

Outside of the Supreme Court.

After lunch my brother took us on a tour of the U.S. Capitol. This summer he’s been an intern in Senator Hatch’s office. The tour was awesome. I loved seeing the different rooms Trevor took us to.


The president pro tempore’s office.



As we left the Capitol, it was once again raining. My flips flops did not have the traction needed to walk down the marble stairs without slipping… I fell… twice. It was funny and sad all at the same time haha.

John and I headed to Matchbox for dinner. We were supposed to attend a Nationals baseball game after that, but it was cancelled because of the rain. So we headed home after dinner and stopped at Sweet Frog for some frozen yogurt. That Sunday we celebrated with my family. They came over for dinner and games. We had a taco bar and then played a fun round of Hoopla. All in all it was a fun and memorable birthday celebration! I am so grateful for this 30-year-old in my life 🙂



Three Decades

Today I turn 30 years old. As my husband shared recently when we talked about our upcoming birthdays, “I can’t believe my next milestone birthday after this is my 40th!”

Last night, John and I went to Clydes Willow Creek to celebrate. It’s a neat restaurant with a rustic yet elegant ambiance.  I had never been to this Clydes location, but I heard great things. The food and experience did not disappoint. Afterwards, we stopped by Sweet Frog for frozen yogurt – my favorite! Tonight we’re having a cookout with my family to celebrate.

An after-dinner selfie.

This morning while getting ready for church, I was thinking about the lessons I’ve learned over the last 30 years. The words from a church song I was taught in primary (Sunday school for kids ages 4-11) came into my mind: “…Have faith, have hope, live like His son, help others on their way.” I thought about how even though I was taught the words to this song many, many years ago, I am still learning each day what it means to have faith, to have hope, and to love and live as Jesus Christ would. I think even in 30 years I’ll still be learning to apply the words of this song to my life.

We shall see what this next decade holds in store! I am sure there will be joyous moments, hard moments, fun moments, unexpected moments, and more. I am grateful for the moments of life I’ve been given and the moments that lay ahead 🙂

Updated on July 7 with pictures from the actual day:

A couple of presents.

My mom decorated the mantle at their house for my birthday.

June 2016 Moments: My 100th Blog Post

This is my 100th blog post! While I don’t have anything special to share, I’ve learned that simplicity and consistency are two of the greatest blessings of life. Life is calm and simple right now, and I appreciate that.

During the last few summers, my summer plans have revolved around my work travels. In fact, as I type this, I am on a plane heading to L.A. for work. I’ve enjoyed meeting different chamber of commerce and association professionals throughout my travels. In June, I headed to both Madison, Wisconsin and Athens, Georgia for work.

We forgot to take our traditional staff selfie at the Big Bash, so we took one afterwards in the parking lot.
We forgot to take our traditional staff selfie at the Midwest Institute Big Bash, so we took one afterwards in the parking lot.

Having fun at the Southeast Institute Big Bash.
Having fun at the Southeast Institute Big Bash.

Over the last few months as my husband and I discussed our future goals, including buying a house, I felt it was time for a change in my professional life. My current commute is about an hour and a half each way, which means I am gone from 7 to 7 each day. I’ve been at the U.S. Chamber for almost five years and I’ve loved my time there. I wanted to take the next step in my career and find a job that wasn’t so far away from our current home and new home. Earlier this month, I accepted a job as the professional development manager for an association near where I live. My last day at my current job is July 18, and I start my new job the next day.

As I mentioned in my last post, another exciting change in my life is the new home John and I are building. We finished making all the selections for the home and signed all the necessary paperwork…there was a lot! We are so excited to watch our house be built 🙂

Near the end of this month, I celebrated my birthday. I was in Athens, Georgia for the actual day and was sick. My coworkers and I were supposed to have dinner with a group of board members that night, but I ended up eating Chick-Fil-A in my hotel room. That night one of the board members sent me a video of everyone at dinner singing me “Happy Birthday” with a big coconut birthday cake on the table. It was so sweet! When I returned home, John and I celebrated by going to Maggiano’s. We also had a family celebration with my family and John’s sister on the Sunday after I got home.

Maggiano’s put candles in my dessert and even brought us an extra dessert – very sweet!

We also spent some time at the Air and Space Museum in Dulles. Here we are in front of the SR-71 spy plane.
We also spent some time at the Air and Space Museum in Dulles. Here we are in front of the SR-71 spy plane.

In front of the Discovery space shuttle.
In front of the Discovery space shuttle.

The First Day of 29

Today I begin the last year of my 20’s. It’s been a good decade. Honestly, it feels like I’ve been in my 20’s forevvvverrrrr. I am not sure why I feel that way, but I do 🙂

So much has changed in my life during this last year – I got engaged, got married, signed a contract to build a home, and more. The greatest blessing of this year and of my life is becoming John’s wife. I’ve wanted to be married for a long time, and I always felt in my heart that God would lead me and guide me in this desire to find someone who was right for me.

8 months and 1 day ago

A few weeks ago, when we were heading to sign the contract on our house, I pulled out an old notebook to take notes if needed during the signing. During the drive to the sales office, I saw I had written a few paragraphs about my desire to be married and my faith that I would find a spouse. It was fun to read those thoughts while riding in the car with John.

A selfie on our lot.

The future site of our home.

Today I am in Athens, Georgia for a work conference. I was here two years ago on my birthday as well. The aspect I remember most about the conference two years ago was the plane ride home. I distinctly remember sitting on the airplane and wishing I was flying home to my  husband. I remember writing in my journal about how much I wanted to be married. That was a Thursday evening, and on the following Sunday, I met John.

I have no idea what this year will hold and what the next decade and decades will hold, but I am grateful that God has a plan. During this next year, I want to more fully cultivate a heart of happiness. Happiness is contagious, and I want my husband and my future children to be happy. I know that one way I can make that desire a reality is by choosing happiness myself. Life is sometimes hard, scary, dull, confidence-sucking, etc. Happiness is a choice, and I want to make that choice. I am so grateful for my faith that guides me each day to choose happiness by remembering who I am – a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me and I love Him.