13 December 2008


(It's really small Ree Ree but click on it and then it's big)

10 December 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

Do you ever get the post-long-weekend-blues? I do. Not completely depressing blues but blues because the week after the long, relaxing, wonderful weekend seems to just drag by. That would be what happened last week. It took FOREVER to get to the weekend and nothing really memorable happened. At least, I don't think anything did. If something memorable happened I must have forgotten about it because I sure can't remember much except work and eating dinner. Thanksgiving weekend though...THAT was memorable and fun and relaxing!

We had another couple over for Thanksgiving and split up who made what. It was nice not to have to make everything and dinner turned out great! Cooking a turkey, though, was not the funnest thing in the world. I don't know how I've never seen the beginning of the process but I haven't. I had no idea you had to reach inside the turkey to take out the gizzards and heart. DISGUSTING. Luckily Ryan did that part. Then I became a little obsessed that turkey grossness got all over my kitchen and proceeded to sanitize EVERYTHING. I wouldn't mind never doing that part of preparing a turkey. Despite being grossed out our first turkey turned out pretty yummy if I do say so myself!

Rinsing the turkey, and CLEANING The rest of the day we just relaxed, Ryan played football, we watched a little college basketball, ate and played games with our friends, and decorated a little section of our house for Christmas (this is how most of the weekend went actually....so great)! I love Christmas decorations. My mom completely transforms our house at Christmas time because she has so many decorations (she transferred the love down to moi). I love it. My collection of Christmas decor does not live up to hers yet but we do have a 3 foot tall fake tree, a teeny tiny village, and a beautiful little nativity.

Getting ready for football, lounging, and our baby tree.

Last night Ryan and I decided to walk around Old Town for a bit because it was pretty warm outside and we heard that Alexandria had its tree lit a couple of days ago. Old Town was pretty, white lights everywhere. I kept wishing that Christmas carolers would pop out of every street corner and spread some cheer but that sadly never happened. We did grab some peppermint hot cocoa though and walked up King Street to see our town's Christmas Tree. We were slightly disappointed.

(What is that I'm wearing? My FABULOUS red coat that Ryan got me for my birthday. I love it. I love red coats.)
I wasn't expecting the Rockefeller tree or anything but still. I expected a bit more. The tree is big, but oddly shaped. I didn't like it at all when we first saw it but as we walked closer I thought that it was kind of cool that it wasn't a perfectly trimmed tree like the ones you see inside. It is outside afterall. The Alexandria Christmas Tree is covered in white lights which makes it very enchanting but as you walk closer it is pretty difficult not to feel like something is missing. What could that be you ask?


Most Christmas trees that I have seen have ornaments. I realize this tree is outside so maybe ornaments aren't the best idea (because wind might blow them off?) but the tree wasn't completely devoid of ornaments either. Upon closer inspection we found exactly two ornaments.

That's all. Strange. I'm thinking that there might be a reason for just two ornaments. Some kind of tradition? I haven't been confused about it enough to research if there is a story behind the two ornament tree so for now I just think it's weird.

25 November 2008


It was REALLY really REALLY cold last week. Really. It really was REALLY cold. Okay, so that's annoying. My body didn't like the cold though so it decided to get sick. Not sick like I can't manage to get out of bed sick, but sick enough that I don't want to get out of bed to go to work in the morning. Which brings me to my next thought:
I am grateful for

Who's with me?
Starting Thursday morning I get to sleep in for FOUR mornings.
Ryan and I get to cook a Turkey for the very first time (scary).
We're going to Twilight at some point this weekend.
On Friday we get to decorate our tiny 3 foot fake Christmas tree that we just bought at Target.
We get to put up other various Christmas decorations.
We are going to start listening to Christmas music on Friday.
We get to do whatever else we want (well anything that is free).
We have tons and tons of extra reminders of why we should be thankful.
I love Thanksgiving.
I love Christmas.
I love celebrating the birth of our Savior.
I love the JOY that surrounds this season.

Last Thanksgiving....We've had a crazy year! REALLY.

P.S. It was my Golden Birthday yesterday. It was also Ryan's sister Lindsey's birthday.
On January 20th it is Ryan's birthday. It is also my brother Sean's birthday.
Cool huh?

23 November 2008

West Wing

On Saturday Ryan and I went on a West Wing tour! Our friends, the Jansons, were nice enough to invite us to go with them. The tour was N-E-A-T-O. We got to see the Oval Office, the Roosevelt Room, the Situation Room (well the door to it at least), the Cabinet Room, the Press Briefing room, plus more that I'm not going to list. We almost got to see the Rose Garden but Ms. Beasley and Barney were out there doing who knows what (they close it when the dogs are out because they like to bite people...hehe). I'm personally not afraid of those dogs and kind of would have liked to see them. Anyway, I LOVED the tour. It was so fun! We weren't allowed to take any pictures, sadly, except for in a couple of places (those to follow) but I have a feeling I won't be forgetting any time soon. Everything was beautiful. I told Ryan that I liked it because it wasn't over-the-top and ornate but very beautiful and dignified.

I also appreciated our tour guide. You could tell that he had a deep respect for President Bush and he shared many anecdotes to help show us what a kind and dedicated person he is. President Bush, in my opinion, has been very unfairly treated by the media who generally focus only on what they perceive to be negative things about him and his policies. Big-shots like Michael Moore and other celebrities like to call him a war criminal and talk about how horrible the United States has become these last 8 years. I can't help but think that his low approval rating has something to do with this bias (oooop digression).
Like I said, our tour was very memorable and fun! Here are some pictures...

This is press area where you usually see outside press conferences at the white house. All of this equipment is basically just permanently there (the Executive Office Building is in the background).

The White House from inside the gate.

The entrance to the West Wing and a side view of the White House.

Us underneath the Presidential Seal before entering the West Wing (cameras forbidden)

The Press Briefing Room

We went nuts with pictures in the Press Briefing room since you can't take any others. Hope you enjoyed!

11 November 2008


This morning Ryan did something for me that I just can't get off my mind...

Here's the story.
Yesterday our hot water was turned off. Our management company told us that something needed to be fixed and that they would hopefully only have the water turned off between the 9 and 5. Okay, fine. We'll live.

I get home from work at 6.

Me: Hot water back on?

Ryan: No, it will probably be back on in a couple of hours. You probably don't want to run then huh?

Me, thinking to myself: yes an out!

I don't really like running when it's cold and dark outside. I try to make myself do it. Not everyday, but I'm shooting for 3 to 4 times a week. I sometimes use the cold and dark as an excuse not to run (and let's face it, it isn't a bad excuse). I could definitely use the no hot water for a shower thing as an excuse (cold + dark + no hot water = perfect justification for sitting in my house). For some reason, though, I don't. Motivation wins...woohoo! Proud moment for me.

So we run. We get back from running. We turn on the hot water faucet. Water actually comes out of the faucet, but is it hot?


Is it warm?


Is it cold?


Is it freezing cold?

Yes. Freezing cold. Our heaters aren't working either. I'm cold. I pout.

Ryan hops in the cold shower. I can hear the pain. He's making sounds that make it clear that the shower is miserable. I opt out.

Yes I know, kind of gross. I feel good about it though. It was cold outside, I didn't really sweat, and I was NOT getting into that shower. I'll take not-too-gross over hypothermia thank you very much.

The water decides not to come back on for the rest of the night. Ryan calls emergency maintainance and they have a message saying that they are trying to get it back as soon as possible. I pout again.

Me: What if it's not back on when I get up?!?

Ry: I'll get up and heat some water for you.

Me: Please don't. I don't want you to have to do that.

We fall asleep. We both wake up a couple times during the night and the water is still freezing cold. The next thing I know Ryan is rousing me from my sleep. He has heated up multiple buckets of water so I can take a warm bath/shower (it was kind of both).

WHAT?? Who does that? Who gets up early to heat up water over the stove to pour in a bath tub so his wife doesn't have to take a shower in cold water?

Ryan, that's who. The most wonderful husband anyone could dream up. I went to work feeling like the luckiest girl in the world. Poor Ryan took another cold shower :(

So all day I've been thinking (a little more than usual) about how amazing Ryan is. The list could go on and on...
He's thoughtful (as if you couldn't tell from the story).
He write me love notes.
You should really see him play basketball, he's excellent (he has "stroke).
He makes me yummy food.
He has a strong testimony of the Restored Gospel.
He is extremely intelligent (book smart and street smart)
He goes for a run every morning at his usual quick pace then goes with me again (at a much slower pace) at night so I feel safe.
He comes from an incredible family.
He loves my incredible family.
He gives the best hugs in the world.
He has beautiful eyes.
He does his home teaching every month.
He makes up equally strange/sappy nicknames for me as I do for him.
He's a goofball, he always makes me laugh.
He genuinely wants to go see Twilight with me just becuase he knows I'm excited for it and wants to be there.
He loves history and politics.
He loves me.
He plays with my hair.
He is probably one of the hardest workers that I know.
He's a cowboy at heart.
He pushes me to be better.
He is my very best friend.
and on
and on
and on
I'm blessed.
(the hot water is finally back on by the way)

09 November 2008

Fading Fall

This weekend Ryan and I did a lot of walking. Walking and looking at pretty leaves. The colors are starting to fade, however, and many of the trees are now bare. The Alexandria/D.C. area is still gorgeous but you can tell that fall is starting to come to a close and that winter is just around the corner (although it's been pretty warm lately). Here are some pictures from this weekend!
See what I mean? Pretty, but the colors are fading. Tink enjoyed a little scenic drive
My favorite monument

Favorite boy, favorite monument, beautiful clouds, lovely trees, and moi.

Today we went for a stroll along the Alexandria waterfront. We got a little random, saw some interesting works of "art" and took many many pictures. Enjoy.

(Yes, those would be giant lips (muah!), a giant eye, a mini Washington monument, Ryan making an odd pose, and sailboats... I want to sail.)

Ryan's done taking pictures, can you tell?

Stay tuned for a $5.00 date, Iwo Jima, and a look at our daily transportation.

30 October 2008

Everyday Entertainment

Weekday nights at the Clyde apartment sometimes look like this....

Yes, that would be us on the bed playing none other than Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.


Because it's FUN
and slightly addicting.
We sometimes get REALLY into it. It's very difficult to win the million, I think we've only done it three times. I start to get discouraged and one of us will say:

"Okay, this is the last game."

But is it? Usually not.
Eventually I get snap happy, we lose focus, and we give up.

Tonight's activities, however, do not include Millionaire. So far they've consisted of running, eating,

Ryan bidding his wife goodbye with a dance before he goes and plays some basketball,
Me painting my toenails,
(Anything wrong with this picture....oh yeah, the pink nail polish I have turns out to be the exact color of my toe nails. I'm not in the mood to redo.)
and me writing this post.

Now I think I'm going to read some of this , make bread dough (or attempt to), eat ice cream, and go to sleep.