Washington D.C. LDS Temple Opens to the Public

For the last few years, the LDS Temple in Kensington, Maryland near Washington D.C. has been closed for renovations. In August 2022, the Temple will be rededicated, and we will once again be able to worship there. But before the rededication, this temple will be open to ALL people (regardless of religious affiliation) to come and tour and learn more about what happens in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Tours will begin on April 28. You don’t need a ticket, you can just show up any day (except Sunday) between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Parking is limited and you can register for a free parking pass at dctemple.org. You could also park nearby and uber if you can’t get a pass on the day you’d like to go.

This is the temple where John and I were married. It’s a special and sacred place to me, and it’s literally one of my favorite places on earth where I can go and feel peace and feel God’s love.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit dctemple.org.

Drew Turns One!

Earlier this month, Drew hit the one-year mark. Even though Drew is my third, it’s still crazy to me how much a baby grows in their first year of life.

He went from this:

To this:

He’s been such a delightful, social, happy baby. My parents visited recently, and my dad commented that he didn’t hear Drew cry once. Drew’s typical demeanor is always happy. Teething has been the thing that’s caused him the most tears (generally in the middle of the night when he wakes up in pain).

We had two celebrations for Drew. The first was on his actual birthday with just our immediate family. His birthday fell on a week day and I was sick. So his actual birthday was pretty low key. I made him a lemon box cake because that was the only thing I had, and I didn’t want to run to the store because I wasn’t sure if I had COVID. Thankfully my COVID test came back negative the next day. The second celebration was this past Sunday with my sister, brother/sister-in-law (and their cute baby Will, Drew’s first cousin), our friend Keri, and John’s uncle David.

Below are facts about one-year-old Drew.

– He is the BEST eater. He is not picky at all. He eats anything I make. His food is generally loaded with vegetables and he eats them like a champ (while my others kids say “it’s yucky”).

– He loves being around people, especially his siblings. Sometimes he will cry at night when we put him down because he wants to keep hanging out.

– He is a speedy crawler.

– He likes to pull himself up and stand.

– He loves bath time. He likes to splash and chew on his bath toys.

– He has seven teeth. Four on top and three on the bottom.

– He likes to hear himself talk.

– He has a hearty laugh when he is tickled.

– He likes to tackle his siblings if they’re laying on the floor.

– He really likes his pacifier, which we’re in the process of weaning him from. He only uses it when he sleeps but the second we put him in his crib, he looks for his pacifier and plops it in his mouth.

We are so grateful for the joy and light he’s brought this past year into our lives!

January Snow

In the month of January, we’ve had two large snowfalls (6+ inches). The first was a very heavy, wet snow that created the most beautiful winter scene as the snow hung to the branches of the trees. The second snowfall was a light, fluffy snow but was covered by a layer of ice that made playing in the snow more like an ice skating adventure for our kids. They liked pretending the front steps were a slide.

Baby Drew: Eleven Months

Drew is officially a one-year-old, and in the coming days, I’ll write his one-year blog post. But for now, we’re going back in time to Drew at eleven months.

– He is a fast crawler.

– He can stand while holding onto something but can’t quite pull himself up yet (almost!).

– He is all smiles and rarely cries.

– His way of letting us know he needs something is by screeching.

– He loves to chew on things, especially his pacifier.

– He is a great babbler who likes to “talk.”

– His happiness is contagious and makes life fun!

Baby Drew: Ten Months

Drew is a happy, smiley baby. Right around the 10-month mark he went through a bit of a cranky phase as some of his teeth we’re coming in and he was learning to crawl. We had some rough nights of sleep during that time, but he is back to being his cheerful self. Below are facts about 10-month-old baby Drew.

– Before learning to crawl, he did an inch worm scoot for a couple of weeks that was very cute.

– He loves to chew on things. Neither of my older kids did a lot of chewing while they were teething. I had unopened chew toys that had been gifted to my older two kids that Drew has appreciated.

– He sits up on his own in the bathtub and loves to splash.

– He loves to eat. When he sees his food, he begins shaking and opens his mouth wide.

– He loves to jabber, which is very cute and challenging when we’re in quiet places like church haha.

Halloween and Thanksgiving 2021

Our neighborhood isn’t ideal for trick-or-treating. There are only seven houses, including ours, and they’re a bit spread out. So we opted to go to Luray and trick-or-treat on Main Street. Luray’s trick-or-treating was on Saturday, October 30, which was perfect for our family. David was a robot; Brooke a unicorn princess; Drew a skeleton. It was drizzling rain the entire time we trick-or-treated, but the kids didn’t seem to mind. Brooke fell asleep minutes after we got back to the car after trick-or-treating, which was surprising for Brooke. Clearly it tired her out haha.

We were home for Thanksgiving this year. On the years when we’re home, we like to go out to dinner on the eve of Thanksgiving. My brother Trevor, sister Melissa, and friend Keri joined us for dinner. Afterwards, we like to walk around and look at the Christmas decorations. Melissa and Keri also joined us for Thanksgiving. They made some delicious food for the meal. John did a great job with the Turkey and pecan pie. I was in charge of rolls, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and chocolate banana cream pie. The kids and I also created the centerpieces. Sadly, I didn’t get a picture of those.

Four-Year-Old David

In October, David turned four. He is a fun four-year-old with a tender heart who likes trains, trucks, tractors cars, and buses. He loves his wooden train tracks he received for his third birthday and has accumulated more tracks and accessories over the past year. Each day during quiet time, he can be found building his train tracks in his room.

He is a musical child and loves singing the songs he learns in primary (Sunday school for 4- to 11-year-olds) at church. It helps that I’m the primary music leader haha. He has a great memory. Right now, Brooke and David are watching Moana. He’s only seen the movie once, this past summer. The other day in the car, a song from the movie came on and he said, “that’s from Moana.” I was so surprised he remembered the song and the movie. So yesterday when we went to the library, we checked out Moana on DVD. Speaking of the library, David also loves books. We read at least one story every day before quiet time and again before bedtime. David is a child who can sit and look at books for long periods of time, even though he can’t read yet.

David is a people person. Whenever we go to the park, he asks if his “friends” will be there. By “friends” he means any other children, even those he’s never met. Next year, we may enroll him in preschool and he can spend more time with “friends.” With COVID still being a concern this fall, we opted not to enroll him in preschool. He won’t start kindergarten until 2023. His birthday is just a couple weeks after the kindergarten age cutoff, so he will be one of the oldest in his class.

David is a terrific oldest child. He loves to help his younger siblings and he is patient with us as parents as we try out new and different parenting tactics. We’re so grateful this four-year-old is in our family!

A Lesson About Trust From Brooke

Nap time/quiet time is almost over and soon the evening “circus” of clean-up, bath time, dinner time, and bed time will begin. I wanted to take a quick moment to jot down a lesson I’m learning from Brooke. When Brooke gets hurt and comes to me for comfort (which can happen a lot because she doesn’t always look where she’s going), I often find myself telling her that whatever hurts (her toe, finger, knee, etc.) will be okay. Once I say it will be okay, she accepts that as fact and is no longer upset. She just says “okay” and moves on. She doesn’t question if what I’m saying is true or not. I think that God, our Father, often offers us comfort through scriptures or personal impressions, yet we often question His reassurance and question if things really will be okay. Observing Brooke’s trust helps me understand the power of having the faith of a child and the value of becoming like a child in our relationship with God. I love my sweet and sassy Brooke and the lessons she teaches me!

Baby Drew: Nine Months

Mr. Drew is quickly approaching one-year-old status. He is a delightful and easy-going baby. He’s actually ten months old but I’m a little behind posting his monthly updates. Below are facts about Drew at nine months.

– He sleeps through the night again (yay).

– He loves to eat and is not picky about what he is fed.

– He can stay sitting up if placed in a seated position (he can almost push himself up to a seated position on his own).

– He loves to kick and splash in the bath tub.

– He has a second tooth coming in on the bottom, and we can see three coming in up top.

– He loves to randomly start screeching.

– He is all smiles practically all of the time.

– When he’s really hungry and sees his bottle, he opens his mouth and his body shakes. It’s pretty cute.

Baby Drew: Eight Months

Drew is a light in our family’s life. Below are facts about 8-month-old Drew.

– He doesn’t crawl yet, but he loves to plank and get up on his hands and knees and rock forward and back.

– He loves to chew on things.

– He can hold his own bottle when he eats.

– He either likes to wake up early and take a long morning nap (I wake him up after two hours so he will still be able nap in the afternoon) or sleeps in until after 9:30.

– He loves to roll all around.

– He’s very ticklish and loves to laugh.

– He lights up when he sees his siblings, and they adore him.

– He has started waking up once a night but not consistently. I feed him 2-3 ounces and then he goes back to sleep. (Brooke started waking once a night around 8 months. I also would feed her a few ounces and she’d go back to sleep. This continued on for many more months – maybe even a year – so I’m hoping that’s not the case again).