Fall 2022 Moments

Fall is likely my favorite season. We had a wonderful fall, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t take the time to jot down some of our fall moments from 2022.

Just as we do every fall, we cheered on the Iowa Hawkeyes in their football pursuits. To be honest, it wasn’t the most fun year to be a fan because their offense wasn’t the best, but their defense was incredible. Even though they lacked a solid offense, they almost won the West Division Title for the B1G Ten Conference. However, a disappointing loss to Nebraska (the final game of the season and a game we attended in person) killed that opportunity.

David started preschool, which he absolutely loves. It’s three mornings a week and he looks forward to it. It’s at a Methodist church near our home.

We went to Cox Farms Fall Festival. I remember doing this when I was younger, but it was much, much bigger than I remember. I was so grateful John took off work to go with us because I wasn’t sure I could handle four kids on my own at such a large and busy festival (after going there, I’m sure I couldn’t have managed – especially with a baby). There were so many big and fun slides. Our kids just wanted to keep going down the slides over and over again. It was awesome for kids. John was a trooper carrying Drew and waiting in line with our kids over and over and over. I mainly stayed with Amber and watched the other kids come down the slides.

Blake lived in the DC area during the fall. We were able to see him a number of times. It was fun to have him nearby for a few months.

John took the kids camping a couple of times. He also went on a three-day back packing trip with a few friends from church and my brother Trevor.

We had a fun Halloween. My older kids loved trunk-or-treat at church. For various reasons (weather, sickness, pandemic etc.) we have never attended our church’s trunk-or-treat. So it was fun to see David and Brooke experience it for the first time. On Halloween night, we trick-or-treated on main street in Luray. There are only seven houses in our neighborhood and they’re spread out, so it’s not the best neighborhood for trick-or-treating. For Halloween, David and Drew were ghosts (David wanted him and Drew to have matching costumes), Brooke was Isabella from Encanto, and Amber was an adorable pumpkin.

I took the kids to the Washington DC LDS Temple Visitor Center. Now that the DC Temple has reopened, I’m trying to go every other month to serve inside the temple. On the months I don’t go inside, I take the kids to the temple grounds and to the visitor center. The temple is just under two hours from our house, so it’s a bit of a trek, but I’m trying to be there monthly.

For Thanksgiving, we headed to Iowa to be with John’s family. Highlights of the trip include attending Festival of Trees, celebrating Grandma Lori’s birthday, going to the Nauvoo Temple with John (it’s a rare treat for us to be able to go to the temple together since asking someone to watch our kids while we go is asking a lot), and attending an Iowa Hawkeyes football game with John, his dad, uncles, and a couple of cousins.

That’s a wrap highlighting some of our fall moments. Hopefully soon I’ll post about our December and Christmas!

Summertime with Grandparents

It’s nearly Christmas, but I wanted to make sure I took some time to write down thoughts about this past summer.

We were fortunate to have both sets of grandparents visit us this summer. John’s parents arrived the weekend before Amber was born. John’s dad was here for a little over a week. And since Amber was born via a c-section, John’s mom graciously stayed for three weeks after Amber’s birth so she could take care of our kids while I recovered. This was especially helpful since I wasn’t permitted to lift anything heavier than Amber, which meant I couldn’t do simple but necessary tasks like lift Drew into his high chair or get him in and out of the bath. Drew also didn’t know how to go up or down stairs at that point and always had to be carried, something I could not have done.

After his mom left, our whole family (except for Amber) came down with a virus that we think Drew picked up from another child at the nursery at our church. So we asked my parents to delay their trip so they didn’t get sick as well. Once we were all better, my parents drove out from Utah and stayed with us for three weeks.

We had lots of fun while grandparents were here and it was helpful to have extra grown-ups around. Highlights of the summer include:

– A day swimming and kayaking at the lake with Melissa, Trevor, Morgan, and Will in addition to Grandpa Adrian and Grandma Kathy (this day also happened to be my birthday.)

– Date nights for John and I (with free babysitting from the best babysitters in the world). Two favorite dates of mine were (1) dinner at Pavemint followed by a Memorial Day concert in the town square by the American Legion band and (2) dinner at an authentic Italian restaurant by our house (that we always talked about wanting to try) followed by eating “formations” (thick milkshakes) from Spelunkers while watching the sunset up in the Shenandoah mountains.

– 4th of July fireworks at the 4H center.

– Attending the Washington DC Temple Open House with our older three children and work colleagues/friends of John.

– Front Royal splash pad.

– Launching (and losing) rockets.

– Attending another town square concert.

– Splash Pad and MOD pizza in Gainesville.

– The kids first time riding on the metro and a visit to the National Zoo.

– Dinner with the entire Morgan family at Maggiano’s, one of our favorite restaurants.

– Lots of kid/grandparent dates (which meant quiet time for me!) to the Lego store, train store, Fireman’s Carnival, Chick-fil-A and more.

Below is a photo dump from all the fun family time.

Morgan Family Reunion 2021

This past July my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. We gathered as a family in Myrtle Beach to celebrate. We went to the beach, ate good food, played games, shopped, took family pictures, went bowling, and had fun hanging out. John, the kids, and I went out to the beach every day while we were there (except for one day when no one went out). Brooke and David loved the beach. David especially loved the tide pools, and Brooke loved having an adult take her out into the ocean and hold her while jumping waves. Having other adults around meant that John and I were able to go out in the ocean together. We brought inner tubes and floated and talked. Times with John in the ocean were some of my favorite moments of the trip to Myrtle. Below are pictures of our time at the beach, including some of the family pictures the photographer shot.

This picture was actually taken at the lake by our house a couple days before we headed down to South Carolina.
This is a re-make of a picture we took 15 years ago.

October 2019 Trip to Iowa

I never posted about our last two trips to Iowa. We first went back in October and attended the Iowa vs. Penn State football game. Then we traveled to Iowa again for Christmas.


We drove both times and our kids did great! In October, we strategically picked some parks off the interstate where we could stop to let the kids have some car-free time. And in December, we left a little later in the day, and they slept during a lot of the drive. We honestly could not have asked for better drives. The one challenge of our December trip was I got really sick a couple days before we were supposed to leave. I was the sickest I ever remember being. John commented that he’d never seen me knocked down so hard by sickness. Consequently, we delayed our trip a couple of days.

Highlights of the October trip, aside from attending an Iowa football game, included visiting a pumpkin patch and visiting the John Deere Museum. John and I also went to the Nauvoo Temple and a special dinner to celebrate our anniversary.













We also tried to take some family pictures in my in-laws backyard (they back up to a golf course and it’s beautiful!), but David just wanted to run ha. Here are some of my favorite pictures. John/his dad took these pictures.







I’ll update soon with a post about our Christmas trip!

Labor Day Weekend at Myrtle Beach

I can’t believe it’s November! I meant to write a post about our trip to Myrtle Beach a while back, but I’m just now getting it up. We headed down south for Labor Day Weekend and visited my Aunt Diana and Uncle Kevin. My sister Melissa and brother Trevor also headed down to Myrtle for the weekend. We had such a fun time!

One of my favorite memories was swimming in the ocean with John and my siblings. It was so fun to swim in the waves and talk about life. I also loved playing card games with my aunt, uncle, siblings and John after our kids went to bed. Watching David explore the beach was so fun too. He is at a very cute and fun exploratory stage.

My aunt and uncle are such gracious hosts and live in a private beach community, which means the beach is never crowded. We had fun relaxing at the beach, eating delicious food (my aunt is a great cook), and playing games. We always have a fun time down in Myrtle!

During the drive down, the kiddos were pretty good. Although when we got there (at nearly midnight), David woke up and decided he didn’t want to go to sleep and stayed up until 3 a.m. On the drive back home, David and Brooke took turns whining haha. It was our first time road tripping with two kids, and we definitely learned some things.











Brooke’s Blessing Weekend


In our faith, a baby is given a blessing shortly after they are born. Brooke was given a blessing by her dad on Father’s Day. It was extra special because both my dad and John’s dad came to town for this special day.  The blessing took place during our congregation’s Sunday worship service. Afterwards, friends and family gathered at our home for a brunch. I’m disappointed that I didn’t think to get a picture of the whole group who came for this special event. Below is a picture of our family on this day.


Brooke was blessed in the very same dress that I was blessed in as a baby. I hope to continue to pass this dress down through the generations.


We were so grateful that my dad and John’s parents were able to come to town for this event. We had a fun weekend that included going to the Air and Space Museum for the annual “Innovations in Flight” day with our parents and my brother and sister. We got to explore lots of different types of planes.




My sister, my dad, Brooke, David, and I also went on a hike. The weather was amazingly beautiful. My sister carried Brooke in a baby carrier, and Brooke cried for over half the hike haha. The next two pictures I grabbed from my sister’s Instagram.


Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 7.40.05 PM

It was a great weekend and we’re so grateful! While everyone was in town, Brooke officially began sleeping through the night. Previously, she would wake up between 3 and 5 a.m. for a “snack.” Below are pictures of the grandparents who came to visit. We missed Grandma Kathy but we’re grateful we got to see her for a whole month earlier this year.



Family of Four

It’s about 5:40 a.m. I’m laying on the floor of our baby girl’s nursery as I type this on my phone. John made a make-shift bed on the floor here in the nursery and stayed in here from midnight to 5:30 a.m. so I could get some rest. I just came in, woke him, and sent him to our room so he could get some real rest.

I’ll write more about the birth of our sweet baby girl later but wanted to record just a few things here.

I’m so grateful for John’s support and my mom’s support. My mom came into town a week ago today and will be with us for three more weeks.

Last night, as we were putting David to bed, he could hear the baby crying. He wanted to get out of his crib and go to her. So my mom brought her in the room and he instantly cheered up. Right after we put him down, I gave the baby a bath and then brought her into the nursery to lotion her and put on her pjs. David could hear her crying through the wall (her changing table is right on the other side of the wall where David’s crib is in his bedroom). He started “singing” almost like he was trying to soothe her. It was adorable! When we brought her home, he was busy playing with cars (his favorite thing). At one point, he brought a car over to the baby and placed it in her car seat where she was sitting. It was so cute.

I am so thankful for this sweet family of mine. It’s crazy and exciting to think that we’re a family of four!

A Visit from the Iowa Grandparents

Near the end of August, John’s parents came to visit. While they were here, we headed into DC and visited the Newseum and the U.S. Botanic Garden and ate a delicious dinner at Carmines. We also visited Gettysburg. Unfortunately, David did not really tolerate the Gettysburg museum well (he’s normally super low key). So, he and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out ways to be happy, and bonus, I dropped my phone and cracked my screen haha.

Of course, the main attraction John’s parents wanted to see while they were here was their grandson 🙂 They were here for a week, and we enjoyed spending time with them. I especially appreciated them watching David for me while I went to a hair appointment that ended up being four hours (that’s a story for another day, but I loved how my hair turned out in the end, so it’s a win!).

David touching a piece of history at the Newseum.

At the top of the Newseum.

David didn’t want to take a picture with mom…

…but he was all smiles for dad!

John’s parents in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.

David’s preferred way to tour the botanic garden – napping with one foot up.

Waiting for our dinner.

David and Grandma Lori.

David having fun with Grandpa Marty.

One final picture the night before they headed back to Iowa.

Myrtle Beach 2018

During the first week in August, we went down to Myrtle Beach and visited my Aunt Diana and Uncle Kevin. This provided David with his first ever beach experience. I think he was a little concerned by the water at first, but ultimately learned to love it (as evidenced by the pictures below). We had fun playing games, eating delicious food, visiting the beach, and enjoying time with family. John and I even went on a date to play mini-golf where the world championship of mini-golf is played each year.