Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Great Holiday

Hmm, where to start? We had a fabulous Thanksgiving!! I realized how grateful I am for so many things. I am grateful for Cory and grateful that we have been sealed in the temple, making him mine forever. I am grateful to a wonderful family and grateful that some of them took the time (and money) to fly out east to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. I am grateful for awesome friends – I am truly blessed by wonderful friends who are great examples to me. I am grateful that I was raised by loving parents who did all they could for me and instilled values and ethics into me (and continue to support us in so many ways). I am also grateful for my awesome extended family! I am grateful to be a member of the true church, restored here on earth. And I am grateful that we can live in the birthplace of the Restoration – it really is a neat place to spend a few years of our lives.

Now that the mushy stuff is over … we had the best time in Washington D.C!! Man, what a cool city. It was my 2nd time being there and it was Cory’s 1st, so it was fun to share it with him. We did some sightseeing on Wednesday morning – we saw the Washington Monument, the WW2 Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. The boys went rock-climbing in the afternoon to a state park in Virginia, and climbed along the cliffs that run alongside the Potomac River. On Thursday we played a rousing game of football and ate ourselves silly. My aunt Karan produced a feast and it was delicious!! I thought I might never be able to eat again, I was that full. Mom, Dad, Cory & I got up at 5:30 a.m. to participate in Black Friday shopping. We found some good deals on stuff we actually needed, so it was good to go. Plus it was Cory’s first Black Friday shopping experience, so that was fun. We did more sightseeing on Friday – we went to Manassas, which is where the Battle of Bull Run was fought (Civil War for those of you who need to brush up on American history). It was a very peaceful place to visit, and neat to see. We also went into the Air & Space Museum at Dulles airport and that was neat. They have all sorts of historic planes, including the Anola Gay (the plane that dropped the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima). We had our last day of sightseeing on Saturday, and we went into Arlington Cemetery. It’s such a neat place! There’s such a feeling of reverence and respect there. We saw the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watched the changing of the guard. We also saw John F. Kennedy’s grave, along with the eternal flame that burns next to it. We took plenty of pictures there, since it’s such a large cemetery!! Mom, Joel, Em, Brett, Cory & I also got to go into the National Archives – we saw the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. They are all very faded, but still – we were actually there looking at them! It was sweet!! My family had to split for the airport, so that left me, Cory, Em & Brett to explore some of the Museum of Natural History. We saw the Hope Diamond (largest in the world) and some cool mummies! It got cold so we went to dinner and then back to Em & Brett’s to watch Missouri trounce Kansas in college football. Oh well – at least LSU lost, too!

Pictures (from left to right): Manassas, WW2 Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, a rousing game of football in Karan's backyard, JFK's grave, Lincoln himself, Joel rock climbing, General Stonewall Jackson (in Manassas), Sarah holding her adorable cousin Paige, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington, and the FEAST we ate.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Another book plug ... and Happy Thanksgiving!

My mom found me this great book! It's called Austenland and it's by Shannon Hale. For all you Jane Austen/Pride & Prejudice fans out there - this is the book for you! It's a modern day spoof on Jane Austen and it's hilarious! Never fear - it's still romantic and has the sweetest ending. So for those of you looking for an easy read, go get Austenland.

I just have to throw in here how excited I am for Thanksgiving!! We are headed down to Washington D.C. to spend time with family and friends. We’re going to (of course) go sight-seeing, so I will be uploading some new cool pics in the near future. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

In love with a vampire

Okay, I did something impulsive. I had New Moon (the 2nd book in the Twilight series) on hold from the library and I was 4th on the waiting list … then I placed a hold request for Eclipse (the 3rd book) … and I was 16th on the list. 16th! I would be waiting forever … and you all know I am not that patient when it comes to waiting for good books! So I ended up buying all three books online, so I didn’t have to wait. Plus, now I own them so I can read them whenever I want – and they are sooo good that they are definitely worth owning! They finally came in the mail! I spent a good part of the week reading them … and I must say that I haven’t been this invested in the characters of a book since Harry Potter – which is partly why I find these books to be so good. Any author who can create fictional characters who feel so real that the readers are invested deeply in their lives – now that’s a mark of a very good author. Stephenie has created some wonderful characters! If you are reading this post and you still haven’t read the books in the Twilight series – go out and get them! They are as good as the Harry Potter books – which is the highest recommendation I can give a book - and that makes my heart very, very happy. Plus, she’s currently writing book 4 in the series, and that gives me something to look forward to reading!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Sacred Grove

This weekend was stake conference for us, which meant a trip to Palmyra (only about 45 minutes away). Elder Jensen from the Quorum of the Seventy was the visiting general authority, which was neat because he is from Huntsville (as is Cory), so we got to chat with him and his wife for a few minutes on Saturday night. After the general session on Sunday, we decided to take a walk through the Sacred Grove. It’s absolutely beautiful in the fall – I think it may be one of the prettiest times of the year for the Grove.

The Palmyra temple sits on part of the original 100 acres owned by the Smith family and you can see it clearly from the Smith home (which is next to the Sacred Grove). It's beautiful in the fall, framed by all the colors of the fall leaves.

We stopped by the Hill Cumorah on our way home and took a couple of pictures there, too. It was so pretty with all the fall colors surrounding the Hill. You can see the statue of Moroni in the top left hand corner.