The Johnsons' Visit_Old Town Alexandria

posted on: Friday, April 10, 2015

It is a rare occasion for us to have family pay us a visit! Adam & Tonna Johnson (Aaron's cousins on his mother's side) along with their handsome little boy, Scotty, drove all the way from South Carolina for a weekend of fun, food, and exploration. Aaron and I were thrilled! 

Among the many reasons we enjoy our time with them was the fact that they are adventurous eaters like we are and they love to explore. I knew this would be a fun trip!

Keith & Katie

posted on: Thursday, March 26, 2015

Every so often, you come across someone with whom you make a connection so immediately that you know you will be friends for life. One such someone is Katie. A dear friend, an amazing midwife, and an incredible first-time mommy, herself! Yes, you read that right - midwife. My midwife. And my friend. She was my rock (besides Aaron) throughout my pregnancy and the day I went into labor. She stayed with me the whole time she was on her shift, and then stayed past her shift when Gracie was trying hard to come into this world but needed a bit of extra help, and we finally had to have a c-section to put an end to a long, 29-hour labor, and to welcome the most beautiful baby (yes, I am biased) into this world! 

Cecily & Ky

posted on: Monday, March 23, 2015

One of the sweetest friends I know decided she was going to spontaneously visit me and then proceeded to give me fair warning that she was going to visit me on Monday :) Cecily is one of those women who just glow. She is beautiful both inside and out, and it shines through like no other. I love spending time with her, listening to her comments in Relief Society (our women's group at church), and admiring her hairstyling skills! She thinks deep thoughts, expresses her emotions articulately, and is simply a beautiful person. 

Spring is on its way!

posted on: Friday, March 20, 2015

A Frozen Morning.

posted on: Monday, March 2, 2015

I walked out this morning (a rare thing for me to do in the winter) to check the mail and I came across these beauties right on my front porch. I don't remember Virginia ever getting so cold in the last five years that it would warrant front porch icicles! Of course, I forgot that I was on my way to the mailbox and ran inside to grab my camera and snap a few quick shots. Thank goodness I did, because no sooner had I taken these pictures, than the sun popped out in all its glory, and everything started to melt. 

You are welcome :) Enjoy a few more of these FROZEN beauties! 

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea {Florida Vacation}

posted on: Thursday, February 19, 2015

“My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.” 
                                                      ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There is nothing that quite calms my soul as the crashing waves of the deep blue sea. I instantly lose myself in the view of the vast expanse of ocean and its tidal lullaby. A much-needed escape from the brutal winter and a celebration of our fifth wedding anniversary this month found us walking the shores of a lovely beach town called Lauderdale-by-the-sea. Florida was calling our name and we dutifully responded. 

Despite the fact that it appeared we brought a bit of the winter with us that day, we were dying to see the ocean. It was sixty degrees - cold and windy by Florida standards - and yet, the ocean was beckoning and it was too hard to resist. Our delightful friend and tour guide extraordinaire, Kirsten Perkins, drove us to the beach, where it took Aaron all of two seconds to leap out of the car, throw off his sandals, and run headlong into the ocean, arms flung out. Pure joy! 

365 Project - Leaf in Snow

posted on: Thursday, January 15, 2015

I didn't intend for the title of this blog post to come out sounding like an abstract or a Native American name but really, what would you call it? My brain is fried today and that is all you are going to get. It snowed a week ago, and I stepped out into my backyard (which rarely happens in the winter) and came upon this guy just hanging out on my patio table, begging to be photographed. So, what the heck? I took a picture. The next day, the wind blew it away and most of the snow off the table. Glad I caught this. I love the expanse of white snow that contrasts with the color of the leaf.

Chicken Piccata

posted on: Thursday, January 8, 2015

 Pan-seared chicken, rich lemon-caper sauce, fresh parsley on a bed of penne pasta. This could not be a more simple yet honestly, delicious meal to make! I stumbled upon this recipe in my never-ending Pinterest searches for dinner ideas, and boy, am I glad?! Priscilla of Red Shallot Kitchen made my day! This was my first time attempting something so fancy and I was a bit anxious to see how it all turned out. Keep reading to see how quickly you can put this meal together! 

365 Project - Bacon & Leeks

posted on: Monday, January 5, 2015

I am terrible at taking pictures of the process of cooking. Most of my photographs of food are usually of the end product. This is due to the fact that I cook, take a picture, and eat it all in the same mealtime. This time, I was making some yummy potato leek soup, and decided that before I added the potatoes, I would snap a quick shot of this gorgeous green leek as it sizzled with the bacon in the hot pan. The soup was devoured before I could pull out my camera :)

365 Project - Christmas Cards

posted on: Sunday, January 4, 2015

We have enjoyed seeing the joyful faces of our family and friends adorn our staircase right as we walk in the front door. (this is only a small portion of the cards we received) We are truly blessed to have such an incredible network of love and support in our lives. Thank you to all those who sent us Christmas cards. We have loved looking at your happy faces!

365 Project - Fishers of Men

posted on: Saturday, January 3, 2015

This year, Aaron and I wanted to read a book together and chose The Kingdom and The Crown series. There are three books in this series, describing in great detail the life of Christ using historical fiction. Gerald Lund does an amazing job every time he takes on a piece of work. With his attention to detail and his talent of weaving accurate and well-researched historical facts into his novels, he draws the reader in, giving one an intimate understanding of the culture, politics, and faith of the times. Since we are studying The New Testament in Sunday School this year, we felt this would add to our understanding of Christ and his life, and help us appreciate Him more. If you have a chance, pick up these books and read them. They are wonderful!

365 Project - Glittering Snowflakes

posted on: Friday, January 2, 2015

I chuckled a bit when I finished writing the title of this blog post. It almost sounds like something that Captain Haddock would say to Tintin, while Snowy the dog rolled his eyes at him.  I can hear it now - Blistering Barnacles! Glittering Snowflakes! I digress. 

Gracie's exploring sometimes takes her under the Christmas tree where she attempts to redecorate. Usually, that means pull off an ornament, bash it on the ground, and put it in her mouth. So, to save these snowflakes, I took them off the tree as quickly as I could We have had them for years and with Gracie in the mix, I am not sure how much longer they will last. Therefore, the glittery snowflakes made it into my 365 Project today - to help me remember when I had pretty things. 

Family Pictures

Have you seen all the picture-perfect family Christmas cards that people send these days? I thought it would be a great idea to have some family pictures taken, you know, professional ones. However, Gracie decided to get sick for the first time, we had Aaron's family with us, Aaron was wrapping up some crazy last-week-of-the-year votes on Capitol Hill, and it made it extremely difficult to schedule the photo shoot.

As December slipped away, I knew that my chances of sending out Christmas cards were blown. For that matter, any cards. Undeterred, I was set on having some decent family pictures somehow. This morning, Gracie wanted to play and decided to skip both her morning and midday nap. Seeing a super small window of time when the light was just right and the baby was just starting to get tired, I snapped into action, and pulled it all together in thirty minutes - all three of us dressed and ready to go, location set (right across the street from our front door), camera and tripod set up and tested for light. It was now or never.

Easy-Peasy Pear Tart

posted on: Monday, December 15, 2014

I have never made anything so pretty in my life! I have, also, never made anything with pears before.  So, when I ended up with a few pears in my house, I looked some recipes. All of them looked great but seemed like they needed a bit more time than I had available. Then, I stumbled onto this super easy recipe. I pinned it, of course, and was prepared to make it the next day. 

The next day arrived, and somehow, with all of the fruit we had in the house (grapefruit, bananas, apples, oranges, clementines), someone had decided they were in a pear-y mood and swiped one of the pears I had hoped to use for this recipe. However, that did not deter me from making it anyway. :) Read on to find out just how easy it was!

Festival of Lights, Jenny Oaks Baker, Nativity Display - DC Temple

posted on: Sunday, December 14, 2014

 Each year, the Washington DC Latter-day Saint Temple presents a spectacular show called The Festival of Lights. This show runs through December and each night features free musical concerts in the Visitors' Center.  Besides the show, the temple is awash in Christmas lights galore, and it is a magnificent sight to behold. Last year, Aaron and I came to see the lights and I was pregnant with Grace. This year, Grace was with us and I felt myself tearing up a bit just reminiscing about that special time when I eagerly anticipated the arrival of this little beautiful child who would change my life forever.
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