Monday, July 28, 2008

Guns, Bells, Bikes, and Food

Top 10 things that happened lately:

1. On Saturday Ja took a 55 mile bike ride down to Mount Vernon. He wasn't planning on going that far, but got halfway and talked himself into it. He's been wanting to make that ride all summer so I'm glad he did because our time here is almost over. 

2. I've started looking for apartments in the area. It's making me more excited to live here. Every apartment has a dishwasher, most have washer/dryer in the apartment, all have some kind of outdoor living space, and much more space than we had in Provo. Now if we can talk PwC into paying Ja enough so we can live here...

3. Saturday night Ja and I went to Arlington Cemetery. We talked the mile and a half uphill very quickly to see the next Changing of the Guard ceremony. I couldn't understand anything that was being said because it was in military commands but it was still cool. I have no idea why the tomb of the unknown soldier is protected that like. Does anyone know?

4. Brigham called his dad a bad parent. To see the story click here.

5. After the Cemetery we walked over to the Carillon Bell Tower for a little concert. In the summer, every Saturday night a different person plays the bells. On those nights you can walk to the top of the tower and see the person playing the bells. It's an amazing view from the top. The park ranger said it's the best view of DC because there's no line like there is at the Washington Monument. There is also a huge lawn around it so it would make a great place to have a picnic. We climbed to the top and were really glad we did. You can see the Potomac, Washington monument, Capital, and everything in between. The Arlington Cemetery is on your right side too. Jacob and Brigham were able to play a bell. The guy playing the bells was really nice. He even knew about the bell tower at BYU. The bell tower was a gift from the Netherlands to show their friendship. It's a hidden jewel in DC.

6. We watched Mission Impossible III and I had to leave for few minutes because it was too intense. I felt like I could never breathe. Now Greg isn't going to let me forget that I left. 

7. Friday night we enjoyed Bumbleberry Swirl custard from Nielson's Custard. That place is sooo good. 

8. Sunday was Heather's b-day so we had dinner with everyone. It was such a great dinner. Heather made a delicious paella, Trevor made a really really good angel food cake, Holly made a great Spanish Tortilla. 

9. I learned that my mother-in-law got so tired of her rowdy kids one day that she checked into a hotel for a night. I'm sure my mom thought about doing that with us too. 

10. My good friend April had her twin girls! She went from one kid to three in no time. 

This is Ja's last week in his internship. On Friday we should receive the information that will help us plan the next few years of our life!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Randy's & Stacie's Wedding

On July 19, 2008 my sister was married to Randy. They got married in the Newport Beach temple on a beautiful day. Ja was able to make it to California for the wedding, which I was very happy to have him back with me. Jill, Danielle, and I were the bridesmaids and we got to wear pretty pink dresses. After looking at the pictures I realized that we all did look nice in that color pink. Here is the only picture we have on our camera worth sharing of the temple, so it's a good think I really like the picture. 

The luncheon was at Island's in Newport. We had a good lunch visiting with people. 

The reception was at Randy's house and it was a really fun party.
 It's stressful planning a party and setting up for it, but everything looked great. The food was good and the cake was awesome. It was a "Stacie cake." It was an "Ace of Cakes" style wedding cake- if you've ever seen that show. It had pink and orange fondant on it
 and the cake layers were leaning in different directions. We all had a great time visiting with old friends and family. Here is Randy checking out the music before the Reception.

Ja and I had the pleasure of taking the newly weds to the airport so they could leave for their honeymoon. (No, it wasn't awkward at all.) Stacie didn't know where she was going on the honeymoon, and neither did any of us. I found out that they are now in Mexico enjoying the sunny beaches. Ja and I left the next morning for Virginia with our nephew Luc. It was a good flight on Jetblue. I was exhausted from all the festivities and slept in until 10:30 the next day. 

I had a lot of fun spending all that time with my family. We miss them all and look forward to seeing them again. I'm really looking forward to being in Provo with Stacie and Randy in the fall! I finally get to live by some of my family!

My trip home to California

Since my sister was getting married I decided to go home a week before the wedding and help with wedding plans. I was really glad I was able to go home because I had a really fun time. I was able to spend a lot of time with the whole family, and even Randy's family too. While most of my time was spent doing wedding things I was able to get a few fun things in too. 

Stacie went through the temple for the first time on Friday so a lot of our family was able to be there with her. A lot of Randy's family was there too. It was really nice to be there with everyone. I had a lot of family support when I went through for the first time, but I was so overwhelmed that I didn't appreciate it, but now I am glad to have family that love and support me. Stacie, Randy, my mom, and I went to the temple again on Saturday so Stacie could feel more comfortable going on her own.

On Monday Stacie and I were treated to our first ever professional massages. It was fun to walk around a day spa in a robe. We put our feet in the hot tub, felt like we were suffocating in the steam room and enjoyed a 50 minute body massage. I definitely recommend it!

Then on Wednesday Stacie and Randy went to San Diego for the day so Kenny, Jill and I decided to have some fun of our own. We went down to trusted Newport Beach. We brought crab catching things so Kenny could catch crabs on the rocks. He's really good at catching the little things and was a favorite among the little kids.

 So many kids came over to our hole in the sand admiring the crabs. After Kenny took the crabs back to their home, he decided he wanted the little kids to bury him in the hole. That was a funny sight to see as well. Some of the kids were betting on how long it would take Kenny to get out of the hole.

While we were on the rocks someone put a starfish in our bucket. We didn't want to pry the starfish off the rocks because it's mean, but since someone did it already we had to take a picture with the little guy. There were quite a few starfish that day and sea urchins. 

On Thursday Stacie, Jill, Mom, and I all went to get pedicures and manicures for the wedding. That was fun to be with them all. We all looked very fancy afterwards, Stacie being the fanciest of all. After that we went to the park with the Olsons, Williams, and G&G Seymour for pie. We were celebrating Grandpa's birthday the next day. 
Friday was spent trying to get last minute things done for the wedding. There was a little problem with the centerpiece flowers but a good friend came over to save the day. All was well with the centerpieces and they turned out beautifully. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Where we should live poll

Four of you said Arlington, is that because that's the only place you've heard of? Three of you said other but I've only gotten one suggestion for Cambodia. Can you guess who that's from? I'm waiting for the other two suggestions...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Caleb's Bedroom

Caleb, who is a boy, was living in a bright pink bedroom. Ja and I knew our nephew couldn't be living in a pink world anymore so we decided we would paint it while Greg & Holly were on vacation for a week. While Ja was at work I got to work. It took me three days to finish the project. Holly talked about painting the room a light green so I had that for direction. There is a band of cork board on one wall so I decided to incorporate that by painting it blue and having a blue band all around the room. Here is a picture of the pink.

Now it's primered.

Here's the blue band. I should have painted everything green and then painted the blue on top. Now I know for next time. 

Finished product. 

Holly was really surprised to see the room. Over her vacation she had a dream we painted her house. I thought that was a little scary. I was worried she wouldn't like the outcome, but she did. Caleb crawled up the stairs to his room so I take that as him liking it too. I was really glad I could do this for them.  

Independence Day 2008

I really enjoy the 4th of July so I wanted to spend it doing something worthwhile. I thought it would be fun to go to the National Mall to see the firework show. We heard you had to get there early to pick out a good spot to sit. We didn't really know what early meant. It opens at 10 a.m. so does that mean we have to get there at 9 a.m.? Or is 5 p.m. early enough? We ended getting there at around noon and it seemed really crowded because a parade was about to start. We were a little worried at the large mass of people. It was misleading though because as soon as we made it to the Washington Monument there was no one there! We decided to sit on the top of the hill in front of the Washington, facing Lincoln. 

The clouds disappeared right when we arrived so we were really hot. We laid on our blankets for awhile, Ja even fell asleep. I think he was dreaming about chickens. We played a few games of cards to pass the time.
We were so hot we almost called it quits and went home. We decided that it would be all right to leave our blankets and find shade since there was hardly anyone there. Once we found shade and ice cream we felt much better. We poured water on our heads and feet. I wanted to pour some on my back but the water came out faster than I thought so it looked like I sweated all down my back. I was pretty embarrassed. It started to rain pretty hard so we were really cooled down by that. Ja was getting soaked because I was using the only umbrella. A nice guy next to us let Ja borrow one of his. I was glad the guy did because I was starting to feel guilty.

We were joined by some family friends from CA; Don, Gretta, and Lilyanna. A few hours later were were joined by Trevor, Heather & fam, friends from the ward, and eventually Matt & Cassidy. Here is our group. 

It rained a few more times unfortunately. Trevor brought a little tent that most of the kids found shelter in. The rest of us fended for ourselves under umbrellas. Luc was playing in Trevor's hiking backpack and said he was a hot dog. I asked him to make a hot dog face and this is what I got.  
I was really glad the firework show still happened even through the sprinkling rain. It was a really good show. They had some of the coolest fireworks I've ever seen. Here are a few pictues that turned out. 

Getting home was the hardest part because 1,000's of people are all trying to get home on the metro. We went to our stop but it was absolutely packed and no one was moving. Jen, from our group, decided we should go one stop further away from where we got off. This was genius because we walked right on the metro and even got to sit down. I think that is the secret to getting home. 
Overall we had a fun time. We didn't need to get there any earlier than 4 p.m., you could even come at 5 and still get a good spot. Oh well, Ja and I spent some quality time together. We say this was a one time event, but we said that about the Rose Parade and we've gone 4 times now. At least we know what to expect next time. 

Funny things last week

Holly was in the basement and heard Jacob yelling, "Aunt Laura, I am on Uncle Ja's bed!" Jacob hardly ever goes in the basement so it was really funny that he made it all the way in our room. Holly asked Jacob what he was doing and he said he was snuggling with his calculator. Later I noticed that my itunes was open, luckily my songs weren't all renamed to 01234567891011121314151617181920, or abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz, or 1234567891011121314151617181920abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. 

I jumped on the bed with Jacob and he loved flopping all over the place. Brigham found Jacob and I down there and wanted to snuggle on the bed with us. After Ja got home from work Brigham wanted to snuggle on the bed with Ja and I. What that really meant is he wanted to entertain us by jumping off the bed and pretending he was falling off a cliff.  

Yesterday there was some splashing going on upstairs so Greg went up to investigate. The next thing we hear is Greg yelling, "Caleb's up here with a plunger!" Caleb had one hand in the toilet and one holding the plunger. Ahhh, so cute.

Gravelly Park

Ja and I visited a park that is right next to the Potomac and the National Reagan Airport. Since the river separates the park from the airport making it's a great place to see planes take off and land. The planes fly right over your head and really low. Hearing the loud noise and seeing the huge shadow in the grass was really cool. 
Here is the airport, a plane flying over us, and me touching the water. It was surprisingly warm! You can see the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial in the background.

We want people to come visit us so we can take them to all the cool places we are discovering!