And We’re Off!

We’re heading to sunny California for the week to spend Thanksgiving with T.J.’s family! Can’t wait to get these cousins together (plus Sweet Haven)!



Kentucky Instagrams

We are back from Kentucky and had a fabulous time. My only gripe is that it rained a lot. And when it wasn’t raining, it was very muddy outside. But do not worry, my parents still made it a great time! Eva loved spending time with Nana and Papa. And since it was my mom’s Fall Break, she had a lot of time off. We went to the Newport Aquarium, walked along the Ohio River, visited the Cincinnati Zoo, went to a pumpkin patch, and hung out with my sister and her kids once they came into town. My dad took a lot of photos on his camera, so the only ones I have right now are my instagram photos. Nicer ones will come later.

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Pumpkin patch fun! Those girls ran through the hay maze about four times and giggled the entire time. It was adorable. A pony bit my mom though, so I don’t know if she will ever want to go back.

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After the pumpkin patch, the girls painted their pumpkins. So much paint. Everywhere. The bath tub was blue afterwards.

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I pulled out mine and my brother’s old pogs and tried to show the game to Eva. Fun memories.

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When I first got to Kentucky, the trees hadn’t really started changing yet but by the end the fall colored leaves were everywhere. Beautiful.

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Eva was a great helper when her Nana was planting flowers. At first she asked where her gloves were since she had heard her Nana ask the same thing, but she finally dug into the dirt with her bare hands.

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Eva and I went to the Hofbrauhaus with my sister Ashley and my dad for lunch. Oh, how I love my german food. It’s heavy, but perfect for a rainy day once or twice a year.

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We have been to the aquarium bunches, especially now that there are grandkids in the family. But this time had a couple new things which really made it enjoyable! We got to see them feed the sharks and shark rays. It was so nuts to see them eat big fish in one bite.

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As usual, Eva loved the penguins. She kept giving the penguin statues kisses. Kind of gross but also adorable.

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Lots of wagon rides with her Nana. They would walk down the street, gather up hedge-apples and then throw them into the pond.

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Also at the aquarium was a mermaid swimming in the tanks. It was really cool. And Eva about died she was so happy.

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Another favorite of Eva’s when visiting Nana’s house is trying on all of my old dance costumes.

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Lelia, an old friend, came over one night to visit and we watched our old 6th grade farewell video. It was hilarious and also so embarrassing. To all of my friends from elementary school, thank you for being nice to me and not making fun of me because, dang…. those pictures (many more not included above) are very embarrassing!)

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More dress up photos! That robe was a baby gift from our Australian cousins when my oldest sister was born. Sheep’s wool… still looks pretty great.

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Another fun costume photo. She never wore real clothes when we were at home.

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The Walking Dead started and I think I might have gotten my dad hooked. No way of knowing.

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Two days before we left, Mary Beth and her three darling kids came. That baby Spencer is about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and is such a HAPPY baby!

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 10.31.26 PMEva finally let her Nana and Papa read books to her at night. Usually she only likes her Mama to help with the nighttime routine but she’s easing up a bit! Hooray!



The Utah Series: Boating

Later on Friday, Josh, Lacey, T.J., and I went boating up at Deer Creak. Provo Canyon is probably my most favorite place in the entire world, so to go boating up there really was the best. Gorgeous views, fabulous company, and a break from Eva. Couldn’t have been better!

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The Utah Series: The Museum of Natural Curiosity

Friday, we took the kids to the new Curiosity museum over at Thanksgiving Point. It is brand new and SO cool… but it was packed to the brim. I couldn’t really enjoy it too much because the crowd stressed me out and Eva had a whiny day from cutting two new molars. But if we ever live here again, I’ll definitely get a pass to that place.

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The Utah Series: Pioneer Day

The next day was Pioneer Day, so we went up to Salt Lake for the parade. The floats were really amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many neat floats, and we went to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade last year. Obviously, it wasn’t as big as that parade, but the creativity that went into each float was really impressive. I’ll post a video of that later.



In the evening, everyone came over and we had a fire pit to roast hotdogs. The kids played in the pool, then once the sun went down, we lit fireworks. It was a perfect Pioneer Day! I only took video that night, so I’ll post that later, too.


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The Utah Series: BYU Memories

T.J., Eva, and I headed down to BYU on Wednesday where we visited our old offices and walked around campus a bit. It was so fun to be back on that gorgeous campus. Made me miss the old days! After lunch, we went to the renovated Bean Museum on campus with T.J.’s parents and my sister-in-law Lindsay, along with her two kids. I was pretty impressed with the renovations and the kids enjoyed it, as well.

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The Utah Series: Cousin Time

(FYI: If images appear rotated, try viewing the blog posts on a computer, rather than your phone.)

We’ve been in Utah for about a week now and have had a great vacation. We are leaving tomorrow and I’m going to be so sad to leave family and the mountains. Oh, and the dry air. No humidity is amazing. Eva has lots of little cousins so we stayed busy by playing outside and running around with the little ones.

Saturday, our first day in Utah, we played outside, went to the outlets, and ate at JCWs.

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We spent the morning at church on Sunday and then caught up on our sleep. After dinner, we went over to Lacey’s (T.J.’s sister). The kids had a dance party with their Grandma and then we took the scooters around the block.

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On Monday, T.J.’s parents and I went to the University Mall in the afternoon, had some delicious Cafe Rio, and then ended the night with more cousin time.

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Tuesday, T.J. finally arrived and so we just hung out together and got some Rita’s in the evening with everyone.

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Independence Day!

What a whirlwind this July has been. I can’t believe it’s already half over. Each day keeps going so fast, I sit in bed at the end of the night and start getting sad how July will be over before we know it, which means summer is coming to an end and we’ll have snow right around the corner. I told that all to T.J. and he laughed at me, then reminded me to just enjoy the now. I know, I know. But this summer is going VERY fast. In fact, this year, it’s going lightning speed!

That being said, let me tell you about our 4th of July! We went down to DC Thursday night after T.J. got off of work so we can spend the weekend with my family. My parents came to DC too since my newest nephew was being blessed the following Sunday.

We saw a parade in Fairfax which was pretty impressive for a local parade, then we went back to my sister’s house and played with the kids. Pool, fireworks, bike riding… it was a great day! We didn’t go downtown since most of us had done that in the past and it’s too hard to do it with kids. Plus, my poor sister broke her big toe the day before we came and we wanted to stay close to her! But it was perfect… the cousins loved playing together and it was fun catching up together!

Thanks to my brother-in-law for taking so many photos! I mostly took video throughout the weekend on my iPhone, so I didn’t capture too many shots!

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Happy 4th!

We are in DC right now celebrating Independence Day and seeing my baby nephew Spencer for the first time! Hope you have a great weekend!

Here’s an 11 year time portal for you:

4th of July in Chincoteague, VA

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4th of July in Fort Thomas, KY then DC for the weekend to surprise TJ



4th of July in Provo, UT, pregnant with Eva and fireworks with friends


Newlyweds and camping on 4th of July weekend


T.J. and I were dating and he was visiting me in Kentucky for the 4th.


My family and I celebrated the 4th of July at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. Look how little Claire was and now Mary Beth just had her third!


2007-Seven years ago, I had just graduated High School and my parents and I were in DC visiting my sister Mary Beth before she was to have her baby a month a later. It was really special to visit the monuments during the 4th of July.

2006-Eight years ago… gosh, this is hard. I had just finished up my Junior year of school. I think I was just at home and took a shift at Snowie?

2005-I think it was nine years ago when my friend Katie Chichoni was in our ward for the summer and we went to the parade together with Blair.

2004-Ten years ago, who knows. I had finished up Freshman year so I was probably at the parade with Kelly and Blair and working a shift at Graeter’s Ice Cream.

2003-Eleven years ago, my parents and I went to San Francisco for the 4th of July. It was one of those last minute trips on Travelocity so it was really cheap and really spontaneous. I think it was the first time I went on a trip with my parents without the other siblings so it was awesome. Also, this hilarious and awful story happened.



Beach Day

On Saturday, we went with a couple of friends to Spring Lake, New Jersey, just about an hour away. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, it was just perfect. The waves were so fun too–we brought our boogie board and caught a couple of good ones! I can’t wait to go back. Oh, and who wants to buy me a beach house there? The little town was filled with gorgeous beach homes.

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By the end of the day, Eva was so worn out, she was playing in the sand while laying down.

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Within three minutes of getting in the car, while Eva was eating some snacks, she fell right to sleep. Sign of a good day!

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