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29 January 2008

The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting. (Van Gogh)

My youngest sister, Laura, goes to Weaver Academy and is in the art program there. Last night the art students had their art show, so Max and I, my parents, and other sister Paige went to see her work. (My dad also teaches at Weaver, so he had to go supervise anyway) Max was surprisingly well-behaved- I think he found all the high-schoolers fascinating AND there were lots of long hallways he could run down. There was a lot of good stuff- my sister's included. It's actually been a month or so since I looked at some art, so it was refreshing to go see some again. And I take pictures of everything, so here are some...

Max munching on some animal crackers in his grandpa's classroom before the show started.

My sisters have been my models since they were pretty young, so Laura is a pro- I started out just taking a picture of her with her work, but we ended up having a mini-session in the hallway. I think the other students and parents thought we were so weird.

28 January 2008

Goodbye President Hinckley

Last night the president of our church, President Hinckley, died at the age of 97. We loved him not only because he was our Prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but also because of his faith, his love for all of us, and, of course, his sense of humor. He will be greatly missed, but we are so thankful for the knowledge that he's joined his eternal companion and our Savior and Heavenly Father. Yet nothing I can say compares to his own testimony:

"I hope that all of you will remember that on this Sabbath day you heard me bear my witness that this is God's holy work. The vision given the Prophet Joseph in the grove of Palmyra was not an imaginary thing. It was real. It occurred in the broad light of day. Both the Father and the Son spoke to the boy. He saw Them standing in the air above him. He heard Their voices. He gave heed to Their instruction.

"It was the resurrected Lord who was introduced by His Father, the great God of the universe. For the first time in recorded history, both the Father and the Son appeared together to part the curtains and open this, the last and final dispensation, the dispensation of the fullness of times.

"The Book of Mormon is all that it purports to be—a work recorded by prophets who lived anciently and whose words have come forth "to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations" (Book of Mormon title page).

"The priesthood has been restored under the hands of John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John. All the keys and authority pertaining to eternal life are exercised in this Church.

"Joseph Smith was and is a prophet, the great Prophet of this dispensation. This Church, which carries the name of the Redeemer, is true.

"I leave you my testimony, my witness, and my love for each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

President Gordon B. Hinckley
April 1, 2006, Sunday morning session of the 176th Annual World General Conference

For more information on our church, you can visit mormon.org
For more information on President Hinckley's life visit lds.org

27 January 2008

The light at the end of the tunnel!

Yesterday at 2:15pm I applied for graduation!!!!!!!!!  Which means as long as everything is good, I will be OFFICIALLY graduated August 11.  Yay!  It will be a week short of being exactly 5 years since I started, and man! has it been an eventful 5 years!  

21 January 2008

The Arctic Circle, anyone?

For those that don't know, Rob is obsessed with sailing. About once a week I get the "Why don't we sell everything and live on a boat and sail around the world?" To which I respond "I don't want to live on a boat." And then he tells me that I've crushed his dreams and I tell him maybe he should've married someone else. (I know that sounds bad, but if you know us really well you know that our relationship is rich with sarcasm.) Although, I have to admit it was getting to the point where it was getting on my nerves and I would shut him down before he got all the words out. Until this past week. Before, every time he would bring up sailing he would list all the places we could go- sail the Mediterranean, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, etc. and I honestly don't have much of a desire to either sail there (as in the case of the Medditerranean) or go there (as in the case of the Caribbean). But, this week he proposed a new destination: Svalbard. It's about 450 miles north of Norway and about 500 miles south of the North pole. Perfect.

And here are some lovely pictures of our dream vacation:

Ironically enough, we even settled on the boat, and just a couple days before we found the destination: a Nauticat 331. (I think I got that right, Rob, correct me if I'm wrong) Rob first showed it to me on a Nautica clothing poster in Macy's when we were shopping for my coat. They're built in Scandinavia so we know it'll be able to handle the trip, and they're all throughout Europe so parts won't be a problem. And my favorite part, it's a pretty boat.

So, in a few years, probably once we're retired, we'll be packing up and heading off to the Arctic for 6 months. The plan is to celebrate my birthday in Svalbard- it's the longest day of the year so the sun won't set. I'm so excited! And then after that, we'll be off to Antarctica.

05 January 2008

My celebrity crushes

I am really pathetic and hold crushes on some famous men and, even worse, am confessing them here. So, here are my top ten celebrity crushes:

10. Evan Lysacek

In the world of figure skating, it doesn't get much better than this. Actually, it does: his outfits are very tasteful and attractive.

9. Alexander Abt

Gotta love those Russian men. Just happens to be a figure skater too.

8. Daniel Craig

He took James Bond to a whole new level and bumped Sean Connery from his spot as my favorite James Bond.

7. Ewan McGregor

The accent is delicious.

6. Mika
Despite his tendencies, he is still eye candy.

5. Jude Law

So cute. For real.

4. Tiziano Ferro

There is just something about Italian men...

3. Rufus Sewell

He is one of my favorite actors and it never ceases to amaze me that Isolde would choose Tristan over Mark.

2. James D'Arcy

Watch him in Master and Commander and you'll know what I'm talking about.

And my number one crush is.......

Christian Bale!

mmmm. It was love at first sight Empire of the Sun and the love has lasted this long.

So yeah, I'm pathetic and Rob rolls his eyes whenever I sigh when I see them, but hey, I'm only human. At least I knew enough to marry a real man instead of dreaming of a future with these messed-up celebrities. They're just nice to look at.

Christmas and more...

For Christmas this year we went up to Reston Virginia to see my grandparents. It was great to visit them since we hadn't seen them since we went to Colorado. We also took a trip to Fredericksburg to go to our (my parent's) old ward and then to see my best friend Emily who just got back from her mission to England. We've been friends since we were like 7 so I really missed her and she left before Max was born so this was her first time seeing him. While we were in Reston my grandmother, Max, my mom, and my sister Laura went to the Reston town center to see the lights and ice skate. I opted out of ice skating since I am less than graceful and the ice was packed, and Max slept through it all.

Sleeping baby

Max did wake up before we left and got to see the beautiful lights! His eyes were wide open taking it all in.

Max and I in front of the big Christmas tree

And then as we were taking pictures with the Christmas tree, guess who we ran into?

We didn't get any really good pictures, but they're good enough for you to see Santa!

Here we are with Santa, Santa's helper/Mrs.Claus? and Jack Frost. I must say, Santa and his helper were quite the talkers. They kept a running commentary on everything that was happening around us while we were visiting. And Santa's outfit was very impressive- this was Max's first visit with Santa and I'm glad it was worth his while.

Christmas eve we went to our favorite place- IKEA! I wasn't sure what it would be like- usually IKEA is packed, and with it being Christmas eve, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, it could be even busier than usual, or it could be really chill since furniture isn't your typical Christmas present. Lucky for us, it was chill. It was the best IKEA shopping trip I've taken in a long time. It was particularly nice because we had Max with us, so he could kinda run around as he pleased instead of us having to keep him in his stroller. And the meatballs were DELICIOUS as usual. Thank you Rob, for such a great Christmas present- he let me get some stuff I wanted for our house. Christmas day was so relaxed. We weren't going to open presents until my aunt got there after lunch, so in the morning we walked over to my favorite place in Reston- the Lake Anne Village Center. I must say, Reston is great because it has paths that connect everything in Reston- houses, the village center, the shopping center, office parks, schools. It was a planned community built in the early 60s and retains that character, despite the times changing. Anyway, so the village center is so 60s and I love it for it. When I was young we would go feed the ducks. You can't do that now, but we managed to enjoy ourselves anyway.

It was deserted, so Max ran around like a wild child.

The village center- this is Lake Anne. When my mom was a kid it would get cold enough to freeze the lake solid and they would ice skate on it.

My brother Hunter, Rob, and my sister Paige.

Within the center there are two "playgrounds." Playgrounds is in quotes becuase they are not what we consider playgrounds nowadays, they are the 60s version- this one is a concrete hut-like structure that doesn't look very safe but is a blast! Here is Max's reaction, and I know I loved it when I was a kid. I wish playgrounds were still cool and inspired imagination like those from my parent's childhood. We're too worried about safety now so we have those stupid plastic cookie-cutter playgrounds. I'll have to do a post on real playgrounds later so people know what they're missing out on.

Peeping through the window

One of the doorways. Unfortunately, kids don't use it much anymore, teenagers use it more and like to make their mark.

Climbing up the outside. This one is stepped like ziggurats.

Up on top

Peeping over the top

Max loves the water- here he is up on the lookout gazing out.

Max and his dad- you can see the lookout behind them.

Me and Max walking around the edge of the fountain- it's turned off during the winter so we'll have to back in the summer and play. Behind us are restaurants and little shops, and they have condos above them. It is such a cool place and I love going there!

Later on we opened presents, and after that we had my grandmothers Christmas dinner. It is sooooooo delicious- a rib roast with au jus and potatoes roasted in the pan with the meat so they're browned while simmering in the fat, my grandmothers rolls, green beans, and yorkshire pudding, with bush de noel for dessert. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Max helping to pass out presents

Max and his presents

Playing with the wrapping paper- for the most part he was more interested in the paper than his presents, typical child.

Playing with one of the soft blocks he got from my Aunt Tracy and Uncle Bob. I t makes noise when you shake it, so make was shaking it.

The day after Christmas we drove back to North Carolina and once we got back we went to my parents house and had pizza and opened gifts with them. Max got some great stuff- in the picture below you can see his pile of gifts.

Reacting to his new puppet- it is hilarious! It has big eye that google and some funny teeth.

Sitting on his camp stool in front of his new tent with his Babe Ruth face.

My parents got him an easel and Max surprisingly sat and colored! We figured it would be for future use, but he proved us wrong.

A top view of the artist- coloring pretty pictures before tossing the crayons to the side.

And for those who don't know, Max's hair was getting quite long- every time we took him out in public people would call him a girl. Now, I know this happens to every child, but in his case his curls helped to throw people off. So a few weeks ago I told myself the curls had until New Year's. So, New Year's day he got his first haircut.

Max's luscious locks

Looking at these, where it's from behind, I can see how people thought he was a girl.

And after!

There was no way I was going to give him a buzz cut or use the clippers in any way, I just trimmed it enough so that he looked like a boy.

Here he's playing with his remote controlled Lightning McQueen. Is he spoiled or what?

He's such a little boy now! What happened to my baby?

And on a lighter note, here we put my sister's jacket on him and he looked like a jawa from Star Wars! It was so cute I had to get some video: