Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

I haven't left my house for close to 48 hours. Why you ask? Because of this!

Just so you have something to compare it to . . .

It's crazy! Sure, I grew up in Utah and went to school in Idaho, but storms like this are fairly common there, here, not so much. They are telling everyone to stay home so the plows can get out and do their job. The airports, public transportation, and nearly every store were all shut down. Church was canceled for crying out loud! That's only ever happened once in my life, and it was in Utah where your church building is just around the corner. Crazy is the word!

Of course I've taken advantage of the time. Saturday I watched eight episodes of LOST and four movies while I caught up on a bunch of things that needed to be done. I did five loads of laundry and at one point cleaned my room (needs to be done again, I hate how that happens). I made three necklaces, six pairs of earrings and one bracelet. Fifteen Christmas cards were written and addressed. I also folded and set aside most of the clothes I'm bringing home. I was all geared up to make today just as productive, but that didn't exactly happen. I did however watch a few more episodes of LOST before turing on Fa, la, la, la Lifetime to watch cheesy Christmas movies while working on some more Christmas cards and dabbling in other semi-finished crafts, and catching up on blogs. It's been nice relaxing all day and not feeling guilty about it!

Don't worry, I'll probably make it out of the house tomorrow . . . :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


(I realize this is 9 minutes of your life, but I promise it's worth it! Listen while you do other things and thank me later).

Just in case you missed this on facebook . . .

See what I mean? ;)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hey Me, Hey Mama

One of the fun things that has happened over the past month and a half or so was a visit from my mom! She came to visit over my birthday and we had a great time! I loved showing her around DC and giving her a little taste of what my life is like here.

We went to the American History Museum, which was fun because it's the first time I'd been there without kids! :)

We walked along The Mall. Note that I took all these pictures. I tried to get the background right, but sometimes it didn't work out so well. Eh, still fun!

I took my mom to a few of my favorite places in the area, one of them being Eastern Market. Here we are enjoying our delicious crepes!

We used the metro quite a bit, not that you can tell, but that's where we're headed in this pic!

Next up, another favorite: Old Town Alexandria! We walked up and down King Street and along the pier, then had yummy Thai food and ice cream before heading to the outlet mall. Fun, fun, fun!

Sunday morning we went to Arlington Cemetary. It was a first for me. Loved it! A great Sunday activity too.

More of Arlington Cememtary.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

A view of DC from the cemetary.

Here we are in DC on my birthday. We tired to go to the botanical gardens, but they were doing construction and we couldn't figure out how to get in! We went to the Natural History Museum instead and looked at the gems! Afterwards we headed back to Old Town and had lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Vermillion. My mouth is watering just thinking about it . . .

Last, but not least, we went to Mount Vernon! Of course it was raining the whole time we were there, but it was still a good time. I love that place!

Thanks mom for coming out to see me! I hope you had as much fun as I did! :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Perfectly Perfect

My cute little niece Katelyn Jane was blessed this past Sunday and I was able to fly out to Tennessee for a little visit. She was born on October 30th and I was actually there that weekend as well to take care of Landon while Ben stayed with Kyra in the hospital. Considering how far away we live from each other, I've been able to spend quite a bit of time with this adorable little baby, her big brother and their parents. It's been a lot of fun and of course, as any good aunt would, I took tons of pictures!

Me and Katelyn the day she was born.

Boy does he love his little sister!

Landon didn't want me to take his picture, he wanted me to pound his fist. This picture cracks me up!

I'm such a good aunt. Pretzel stick, milk, and PBS in the morning.

This kid does not sit still, so this is the best picture I have of the two of us from the weekend Katelyn was born.

And now for some cute pictures of the kids from this past weekend.

I wish the quality of this one would have turned out better, I think it's SO cute!

Look at those BLUE eyes!

I may or may not have taught Landon a few things I shouldn't have. Oops!

Landon was so cute when he saw the Christmas tree! Of course he kept taking off the "balls" and playing with them.

This is the bracelet I made for Katelyn.

Katelyn in her Christmas outfit!

I pulled an Aunt Jane this weekend by telling both Landon and Katelyn that they are my favorite. Separately of course. I was pretty convincing too. As long as they don't talk to each other about it, I'll be safe. :)

I miss them already!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dream Awake

The past six weeks or so may have been the most blog worthy weeks I've had since I moved to DC. Too bad my blogging habits don't reflect that. It's okay though, I wouldn't be me if I didn't procrastinate and then play catch up later. I'll work backwards over the next few days to get y'all up to speed. ;)

I FINALLY used my passport! The family I work for decided to go to Paris for Thanksgiving and they took me and my best friend along with them! Best. Trip. Ever. If you would have asked me a month ago, Paris probably wouldn't have made my short list of places to visit. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to go, but there were several other places I dreamt of going first. Now it's almost like I'm homesick for Paris and am plotting ways to get back asap! In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm going to take a French class or two next year. :)

We were scheduled to leave at 5:30 pm Tuesday the 24th. Our plane finally took off around 10:30 pm. Not the most fun thing, but at least it made it easier to sleep for most of the seven and a half hour flight. We got off the plane, got through customs, grabbed our luggage and were on our way by about noon Paris time. As soon as we started driving I was in complete awe. I couldn't believe I was actually in Paris! That feeling stayed with me pretty much the entire trip. It was so incredible.

The apartment we stayed in was located in the 6th Arrondissement, not too far from Notre Dame. Before we got there we figured we'd all be crammed in some little apartment. We were wrong. It had 3 nice sized rooms, a big living room, huge dining room, 2 bathrooms, and a nice kitchen. Honestly, a family could live there quite comfortably their entire lives. Here are some pics.

We did so many fun things, saw so many beautiful places, and ate lots of delicious food in the 5 days we were there. The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, Deyrolle, the Arc de Triomphe, the Christmas market, a boat ride down the Seine . . . ahh, I just LOVE Paris!

I could write a book about the trip, but for your sake I won't. I'll just show you some pics and explain a little bit. If you want the extended version, feel free to give me a call or set up a lunch date. ;)

The first set of pics are kind of random. There's the Ferris Wheel we rode, which was actually a first for me. I'm not the biggest fan of heights and several of the things we did helped me to get over that. Spencer and I rode it our last night in Paris. There's a pic of Spencer and I outside the Pompidou (modern art museum) on Thanksgiving. Too bad they were on strike both times we tried to go! Don't worry, there's a lot of fun shopping in that area. The other pic of us was taken while wandering around our first night in Paris. Then last, but not least, we have the Knutson's! I am one lucky girl to have such fabulous employers who are fun to travel with!

One of my favorite places we visited was Deyrolle. It's probably not a spot tons of tourists visit, but it's definitely worth checking out if you're ever there. Here's a great little review of the place. I got a butterfly that looks something like this:

Spencer and I met up with the Knutson's Friday afternoon to ride the Bateaux Mouches down the Seine River and see the sites of Paris from a boat. It was super cold, but super fun.

We froze our butts off at the Eiffel Tower and of course I opted to wear my jacket over my coat on the coldest day we were there! If only I would have known . . . Despite the temperature, the Eiffel Tower was stunning! We went up to the top, which is so much higher than I ever imagined and had yet another awesome view of the city. Ingy didn't love all the walking that went on, so Spencer gave her a piggy-back for a while. Then afterwards we took a cab back to our apartment. Me, Spencer, and Matty in a cab with a driver who didn't speak any English! At first I was a little worried, but it wasn't even a problem. :)

Here are a bunch of pics from the Louvre. There's so much to see so I figure the next time I go to Paris I'm going to spend an entire day wandering around the entire museum!

We spent a good portion of our last day at Notre Dame. We climbed to the very top of one of the towers and let me tell you, it was a hike! So worth it though. We were also able to go inside during a mass which was an incredible experience.

When we were on our way to meet the Knutson's at the Bateaux Mouches we came across a Christmas Market. We didn't have the time to visit that day, so we came back our last day. It was so much fun to just walk around and be in Paris!

As we were planning out that last day we really wanted to get to the Arch de Triomphe but we didn't think we could because it was pretty far away and we hadn't ever figured out the Metro. But as we made it to one end of the Christmas market, I looked up and started laughing. There right in front of us was the Arc de Triomphe! Okay, so it was right in front of us, we still had to walk a ways to get there, but it was way closer than we had expected! So we went. :)

Let's not forget about the food! I didn't take pictures of everything, but here's a good sample. Nutella drenched waffle, gelato made to look like a rose, pistachio/peach tarts, the most delicious open-faced ham sandwich you'll ever eat, chocolate covered orange peels, crepes of all kind, and of course, my Thanksgiving dinner: a hot dog. FYI, my mouth is watering.

Everything good you hear about Paris is true. Times ten!

Now that this took all night, I think I'll go to bed. :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Countdown's Begun

What will I be doing exactly three weeks from today at this very time? Setting foot in Paris!!!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Streets of Philadelphia

One of the best things about living on the east coast is living so close to so many fun and exciting places. Last weekend I made trip #3 to Philadelphia with some friends and we had a great time. Let me just put one myth to rest. It's always sunny in Philadelphia? Yeah right, it rained on and off the whole day! Don't worry, we didn't let that get us down, we were still able to make the most of our excursion. We saw a tons of stuff, but there's plenty more to see, so I guess that means trip #4 is coming up at some point in the future. :)

The Liberty Bell. Try and get a decent picture by the bell on a Saturday, I dare ya! Warning: watch out for the Asians, they'll shove you aside . . .

Inside Christ's Church where several of the founding fathers worshiped. The tour guide here was amazing!

Inside Independence Hall where the magic happened.

Me and Kendra ouside Indepenence Hall.



They ran up the Rocky steps in the middle of the pouring rain! Luckily I did this the last time I was here, so I could stay dry . . . I mean take the pictures. :)

Like you don't eat a Philly Cheesesteak when in Philly!

Mmmmm! Cheesesteak, cheese fries, and a diet coke . . . Such a healthy meal, I know.

So good though!

Dan and Kendra on the way home!
Dave and me on the way home!

Philly 3 times?! And I haven't made it to NYC yet . . . What the? Don't worry I'll remedy this by January 31st, the day my bus tickets expire.