Life Lately – Spring 2020

I figured I’d write a post with some pictures from the spring. The pandemic is keeping us close to home. We were supposed to go to Iowa for Memorial Day Weekend and to Utah in July, but like most people, our plans have changed.

We feel fortunate to have moved to our new home right before everything shut down and people started quarantining. We have more land and there are only five houses in our new neighborhood (two of them are under construction). So, we haven’t felt too confined. I do miss being able to take the kids to the library, the pool, and Chick-Fil-A (although we don’t live that close to a Chick-Fil-A anymore). I know restaurants are beginning to reopen, but I think we’re going to place it safe a bit longer and keep doing take out orders.

One of the positive aspects of this whole quarantine experience is I learned how to cut David’s hair. His hair grows so fast. I used to take him to the hair salon once a month (which meant we spent $20+ per month on a 2-year-old’s hair haha), but now I think I’ll just cut it from home myself. I also cut John’s hair during quarantine. It didn’t turn out as well as it does when he goes to the barber, but two of his co-workers did ask him if he had it professionally cut, so I think that’s a win! (Below is a picture of David after I cut his hair. He didn’t want to smile at the camera, so this is the best picture I got).

Most mornings our living room is filled with toys. Here’s a picture of Brooke smiling with one of her favorite walking toys. She just started being able to walk on her own without any help this past weekend. About a month ago, she started taking a couple steps on her own, but not more than like five. On Sunday, I watched and counted as she took over 30 steps in a row.

David and Brooke got a number of new toys for Christmas. Since I knew we were moving, I kept most of them packed away. We’ve slowly started bringing them out. David and John found a creative use for David’s John Deere lego truck haha.

We bought a splash pad off of Amazon. We tried it out a couple weeks ago, and I think we’ll end up using this a lot this summer since we’re not able to go to the pool. David loves it and Brooke is warming up to it.

I took the picture below from my sister’s Instagram stories. John got me a fire pit as an early birthday present. On Memorial Day Weekend, we tried it out. David had his first ever s’more. I don’t think he likes how messy s’mores are, but he had a fun time staying up late with the grown-ups after Brooke went to bed.

David “helped” John put up ceiling fans in our family room and living room. This was David’s first home improvement project 😉

We’ve gone on a lot of walks over the last few months. I used to take the kids on a walk every day. Since the weather is getting hotter, I normally go for my daily walk before they wake up. We’ve gotten a lot of use out of our Burley stroller and thankfully Brooke and David love it.

Well, that’s a wrap for now!

Baby’s First Baseball Game

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On April 27, we headed to Nationals Stadium for a baseball game. The parents of my friend Keri were in town, and she organized a baseball evening. The game started at 7:05 p.m. (essentially David’s bedtime). I was a little apprehensive about what this might do to his sleep schedule, but decided it would be a fun experience nonetheless. John had to miss the game because of work travel, but my parents were able to go, and I knew they’d be able to help me with David if needed. I contemplated purchasing baby headphones for him to perhaps help him sleep during the game, but ultimately decided not to.

When we walked up to the stadium, David was enamored by all the crowds. He’s never been somewhere with so many people. When we got up to our seats, I realized we were right by a speaker and the noise was loud. David also realized this and shortly after sitting down began screaming. I think he was tired and experiencing sensory overload. Thankfully, there weren’t too many people in our section so no one was bothered by the screaming. Plus, the music was so loud that I’m not sure anyone could hear him scream. My dad held him for the majority of the game and patted David’s back. We sometimes call my dad “the baby whisperer” because he has a certain way of holding David and patting his back that lulls David to sleep. Sometimes when the crowd would cheer especially loudly, David would wake up and start screaming again, but my Dad was always able to calm him back down.

A little before 9 p.m. David woke up and we gave him a bottle. After that, he loved the game and was so pleasant and happy. He loved looking at the scoreboard and seeing all of the colorful lights. It was a fun night had by all…even David 🙂

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I stole the next two pictures from my sister’s Instagram…

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Spring Has Sprung

Spring is in full bloom, and I love it! The warmer weather has allowed for evening walks that seem to soothe my soul and make me feel so good on the inside. I’m loving our new neighborhood. It’s quiet and full of beautiful scenery.

I am sitting on my front porch as I write this. All I can hear are birds, tree frogs, and one neighbor’s very loud air conditioning unit (haha). The “Easter Bunny” brought me flowers for the front porch, and I love them. I wasn’t going to buy flowers this year for the front porch because I feel like we’ve spent a lot of money on our yard being first-time homeowners who never had a yard to mow or take care of. But I am grateful the Easter Bunny knew I wanted flowers and picked them up.

One of the highlights of this spring so far was a girls day with my mom and sister to celebrate my mom’s birthday. We went to the Temple, went out to lunch, and then got our nails done. That night John cooked brats and hot dogs for my parents and I.

We took a selfie outside the Temple. The trees were in full bloom, and it was beautiful.

Part of the reason I haven’t blogged as much these past few months is because I’ve been a lot less active and we’ve gone on a lot fewer outings. This is because I haven’t felt quite like my normal, upbeat self. John and I learned back in February that we are going to become parents! The first trimester brought headaches, tiredness, and overall sense of nauseousness. However, I have heard other people experience much worse, so I am very grateful! Our baby is due in October. The actual due date is our wedding anniversary. Last weekend, it seemed to really sink in that things will change in our lives come this fall. I am grateful and excited 🙂

May 2016 Moments

May seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. To be honest, it was a harder month for me. John was out of town for work every week. He would leave on Sundays right after our church ended at 4 p.m. and then would get home around 10 p.m. on Fridays. I was super surprised how hard being alone would be. I didn’t think it would be that hard at all. We’ve only been married seven months and before getting married we didn’t live together, so I was used to coming home and him not being there. But marriage has changed me in ways that I didn’t anticipate. I didn’t realize how even in a few short months after becoming one in the eyes of God, you really feel like that person is “your other half.” The other day the thought occurred to me that each of our lives is like a string of thread that weaves together the pieces of our lives. When we get married, suddenly there are now two threads weaving together the pieces of our lives. The more stitches those threads make together, the stronger the threads become as one unit inseparable from one another without tearing apart the pieces they’ve woven together. While this month was hard, it made me more grateful for John in ways that I didn’t expect.

At the beginning of the month, my brother Trevor came home to visit from BYU. It was fun to have him in town for a few days. We went to the movies as a family, had a bonfire, and also FaceTimed with Blake (our brother on a mission for the LDS Church in Arizona). As a missionary, Blake focuses on serving God and the people of Arizona. To help missionaries stay focused, they only FaceTime with their families on Mother’s Day and Christmas, so it was a big deal to have all of us there to FaceTime with him on Mother’s Day.

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At the movies to see the latest Captain America movie.

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Blake!

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The family gathered around the kitchen table to FaceTime with Blake.

At the end of the month, we headed to Iowa to visit John’s family. We spent time visiting each of his grandparents, but sadly didn’t get any pictures with any of them 😦 We also made two stops at Whitey’s (my favorite ice cream shop), and we stopped by The American Pickers store in Le Claire, Iowa. We drove 14 hours there and 14 hours back. Because John had been gone so much this month, being in a car with him for 14 hours was something I actually really looked forward to all month haha 🙂

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It’s so delicious that we made two stops in three days.

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Outside the American Pickers shop.

April 2016 Moments

April went by so fast, and I have a feeling May will go by even faster since we’re going to Iowa at the end of the month. April was an exciting month – my sister completed her first marathon, my mom had a birthday, John and I celebrated our six month wedding anniversary, I went on a quick work trip to a beautiful part of Missouri, and Keri had a birthday.

Melissa ran her first marathon, and my parents, John, and I were able to be there at the finish line. My parents were also at the start line to cheer her on.

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On the evening of my mom’s birthday, John and I stopped by with flowers and a cake. Since we all loved the Harris Teeter cakes we first experienced this past fall, we picked her cake up there. It was a new flavor none of us had tried, but it was once again delicious.

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I had a flight at 6:47 a.m. on the morning of our six month wedding anniversary, so John and I celebrated a couple days prior. To celebrate, we used the Marriott points John has been racking up due to his extensive traveling. We stayed at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. It’s a beautiful property, and this is where John and I went on the night of our wedding. To celebrate, we also went to dinner at Founding Farmers. John had never been there, and it is a classic (and very yummy!) DC restaurant. We made reservations at the last minute, but thankfully they were able to get us in. We took a quick (and apparently blurry) selfie right before we checked out of the hotel.

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As I mentioned, I went on a quick trip to Missouri. The property where I stayed was gorgeous. I loved going on walks.  I took many pictures, but they didn’t nearly capture the beauty where I was as well as I would have liked. But I figured I’d post at least one.

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At the end of the month was Keri’s birthday. We had a girls night to celebrate. We went out to eat at a Thai restaurant and then headed back to Keri’s, Melissa’s, and Lucy’s house (my old house) for dessert. My sister purchased a dozen cupcakes that were each a different flavor. We had fun cutting up the cupcakes and trying the different types. I am bummed I didn’t get a picture of all of us, but I did get one of the cupcakes 😉

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March Moments

Normally I feel like the month of March is forever long. However, this year it seemed to fly by! March was a fun and full month. John went to Germany and Switzerland for a portion of the month. While he was away, I repainted my dresser and his dresser – a task that has been on my to-do list since we got married. I really enjoy home improvement/craft projects, so this was a fun task.

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Here’s the finished version of my dresser. I painted my dresser white a few years ago, and it was in desperate need of a spruce up.

We also had some fun date nights and fun times with friends. We hosted two dinners with friends from my growing up years. One was with two of my best friends from high school and their boyfriends. And another was with a friend of mine from church and her husband, as well as another couple from my and John’s former church congregation. Both of these nights reminded me how fun it is to laugh 🙂 We had a great time!

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A picture from our dinner with two of my best friends from high school.

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After a dinner date at Ted’s Bulletin (fun fact: that’s where John and I had our first date), we headed to Silver Diner for milkshakes. This was John’s first Silver Diner experience. Silver Diner is one of the few places that’s kept its true diner feel.

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After many years of hearing from my brother Trevor how good the burgers are at “The Breeze,” John and I decided to give them a try. It was a Wednesday, which meant it was half-priced burger night, and let me tell you, the burgers were delicious! I highly recommend the burgers at “The Breeze.”

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My brother Blake let my mom know that he wanted her to send him more pictures. He’s away serving a mission for our church. So my mom whipped out her selfie stick one Sunday evening, and we had fun taking pictures.

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My contribution to Easter dinner at my parents’ house 🙂

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On an overcast afternoon, my coworkers and I went down to the Tidal Basin to check out the Cherry Blossoms.

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Happy April!!

Memorial Day Weekend: IOWA

For Memorial Day Weekend, I went with my favorite Iowan (and favorite person in general) to Iowa. I rode in a car for 26 hours (13 hours each way) in the course of 96 hours. John was a trooper and drove the full 26 hours. We left on Friday from Virginia, spent Saturday and Sunday in Iowa, and returned on Monday. I love the Midwest and had a great time with John and his family. Spending time in the Midwest helped me realize I need to slow down a bit more and enjoy each moment of life.

On Saturday, we started the morning off with breakfast and a game of croquet in John’s parents’ backyard. I am sad I never got a picture of the backyard because it is beautiful. Their house backs up to a golf course. We then toured Davenport and hopped on the Celebration Belle for a riverboat ride along the Mississippi. That afternoon we visited a friend of the Longeneckers, got ice cream at Whitey’s (amazing!), and picked up John’s grandma for pizza at Happy Joes. On Sunday, we headed to church and afterwards had a cook out at John’s grandparent’s farm. We then played a rousing game of Uno, which was interrupted by a Tornado Warning.

It was a very fast but wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! Below are a few pictures. I really wish I had taken more.

My view for 26 hours - the road trip warrior!
My view for 26 hours – the road trip warrior!

It was a bit windy...
It was a bit windy…

…so we decided to face the other direction.
…so we decided to face the other direction.

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Here we are with John’s mom’s parents.

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Here we are with John’s Dad’s Mom.

2015 Springtime Catch-up

I haven’t done the best job of updating this blog, and to be honest, I haven’t done the best job of taking pictures to put on the blog. Life has been very full recently, but in all really, really good ways.

About a month and a half ago, John and I went to the Air and Space Museum in DC. I have zero pictures from the excursion, but I really enjoyed perusing the exhibits. My Grandpa Morgan helped work on Apollo missions during his career as a mechanical engineer. As we walked around the museum, all I could do was think about him and his life. He passed about two years ago this month, and I miss him.

Later in April, my friends hosted a color dinner. I actually happen to have a picture of my sister’s plate. This is the second color dinner my friends have hosted. The premise is basically you pick a color and pretty much everything in the meal has that color in it. This time the color was red.

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In the middle of May, there was a flyover of WWII planes to commemorate Victory Day. My coworkers and I went to the roof of our building and had an awesome view of the flyover. The pictures below were taken by my boss.

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On that same day, Keri organized a group to go to the Nationals Game. The Nats had a great evening! The weather was perfect. Baseball is one of my favorite sports to watch in person.

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A Weekend Full of Family and Love

Blake leaves on his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a little over two weeks. This past Thursday, Blake and Trevor flew home from BYU. Trevor leaves tomorrow to go back to Utah. It’s been wonderful to have our whole family together here in Virginia before Blake leaves for two years to serve in the Arizona Scottsdale Mission.

On Saturday, we went as a family to the Washington DC Temple. This was the first time our entire family was able to be there together. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we go to the temple to make further promises to follow God and to receive instruction and learning.

On Sunday, we had a BBQ with friends and extended family. Afterwards, our family went into DC to walk around the mall and take pictures. This weekend will be a weekend I remember for a long time. My heart felt very full being surrounded by those I love all weekend long.

Mission suit shopping.
Mission suit shopping.

Siblings outside the Temple.
Siblings outside the Temple.

Family :)
Family 🙂

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My favorite person from Iowa.
My favorite person from Iowa.

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Spring 2015 Moments

Life has been full and happy lately. While I am very grateful for this fact, it also means I’ve had way less time to write in my journal and blog. In the next couple of days I hope to catch up on both fronts. Below are some spring moments captured in pictures.

A group of us went to Gettysburg, PA. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the whole group.
A group of us went to Gettysburg, PA. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the whole group.

Celebrating Jonathan's birthday!
Celebrating Jonathan’s birthday!

Contemplative before making a birthday wish :)
Contemplative before making a birthday wish 🙂

My mom and I out for an evening stroll along the mall in Washington DC.
My mom and I out for an evening stroll along the mall in Washington DC.

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John and I attended a Capitals hockey game. This was my first ever professional hockey game.
John and I attended a Capitals hockey game. This was my first ever professional hockey game.

I've gone on a number of beautiful walks this spring. This is  a picture I took on a walk last week.
I’ve gone on a number of beautiful walks this spring. This is a picture I took on a walk last week.

Katie and I went out to the new Founding Farmers in Tysons to catch up on life and celebrate her birthday.
Katie and I went out to the new Founding Farmers in Tysons to catch up on life and celebrate her birthday.