Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We're Hearing Wedding Bells

Do you hear them? They're ringing up and down the east coast. Last weekend took us out to Hume, VA and the wedding of Erin (our dear Amy's sister) and Lucas. To Anna, weddings really just mean cake, dancing, and a pretty lady in a white dress. One day she'll see the need for a groom, but we can wait for that. Here are Anna and Mommy at Erin's wedding. She couldn't get enough Brie. I was tempted, but the beauty of the day and the joy of the occasion more than compensated for my abstinence from soft cheeses.

Sadly, I couldn't get any good shots of the lovely couple, but they were dazzling! Anna heartily enjoyed the cake, and then danced her pants off (literally). Amy was her favorite dance partner, and I had a cute photo of them, but my computer ate it somehow.

Just this past weekend our wedding tour took us to Cape Cod for Matt and Heather's tying of the knot. This was a very special trip, as Nate and Lynn accompanied us! Anna was in heaven! A wedding, plus more of her favorite people...in the car with her for many hours! It just doesn't get much better. Here we all are before the ceremony.

Another radiant couple!

It didn't take much persuasion from our friend D. Bradley to take a little detour over to Nausset Beach before the reception. It was a cool, misty day, but we had fun checking out the cold water, sand, and big waves. Anna was a little surprised to see that New England beaches are nothing like what she remembers from Hawaii. "It's a yittle chillwy," was her summary.

We finally got around to the dancing part again. Oh boy! This time she coaxed Lynn and Nate out to the dance floor with her.

And then there was more good cake!

I love weddings. What a privelege to be invited to witness 2 people make a covenant to one another and to God. We'll have another in November (my cousin), and we'll keep practicing our dancing to be ready!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Off to the Zoo

Last Friday found us heading to the zoo with the Haines family. Getting to see friends AND going to the zoo is just about all it takes to make our Anna happy for a year. She was pumped!

Looking for pandas:

Posing with Marcus and his mommy (Mya was being shy):

Daddy helped her overcome her height limitations so she could spy on the elephants:

She was not a fan of the gorillas. She said,"Daddy, I don't like those monkeys. I don't want to look at them!" I thought they were funny. They look like little hairy old men.

We saw much, much more. Even a peacock, which brought back some traumatic memories of our trip to HI. I was amazed she remembered the "peacock who tried to get me!" She was also not impressed with the snakes, but she did enjoy the prairie dogs, the turtles, the pandas, and the elephants. We had 3 tuckered tykes by the time our adventure ended. I don't know why she's holding her nose in this photo. We were far enough away from the animals, and I doubt this fiber glass panda had much of a scent.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Later

I'm sure we all remember what we were doing the morning of 9/11/01 when we heard of the terrible events. I was teaching high school in southern Georgia and had to explain to the students what a terrorist (a word not used as much back then) is and what the Twin Towers actually were. They just could not fathom buildings tall enough for planes to fly into, much less why someone would intentionally do so.

Today as Anna and I zoomed along 395 around 9:30 am on our way to a play group, we passed the Pentagon and the site of the new memorial they were dedicating there this morning. I just thought, "Wow, what if I had been driving along here 7 years ago at this time on this date?"

Anna pointed at the tall trident-shaped structure and asked, "What's that?" Seven years later, my life having been directly affected by the War on Terror, I still can't really explain buildings being tall enough for planes to fly into, and why people would want to do that.

Baby Update and Finding Our Niche

I'm now at 12 weeks and finally got in to see the doctor last week. (Amazing how much more relaxed I am this time around!) All seems good and we got to hear the heartbeat! I'm also thankful that I have turned the corner this week and the nausea is just about gone. I also have more energy and the hormone-induced melancholy and mental fog are abating. I'm just feeling more like myself all around. Thank the Lord!

Perhaps it also helps that Anna and I are finding things to do and are getting out of the house more. Today we went to a play group with moms and kiddos from church. Yesterday was my first day of Community Bible Study. I think we're both really going to like that. Anna has her own class and brought home her folder where we'll keep her "work." It's neat because they actually have a curriculum for children, and it's not just baby-sitting.

So, there's a little more on our new life here. We're still figuring it all out, but that's part of the fun!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Grammie Came to Visit!

A week ago we had the privilege of hosting Grammie all weekend! It was wonderful to have the loving familiarity of family around and of course, Anna was going full tilt from the moment she arrived. She gave her a huge welcome with a very comprehensive tour of our house.

We had fun times on Friday going back to where Grammie grew up in Arlington. We ended the day with dinner in Old Town. Ahh...I love that place.

The next day Tropical Storm Hanna was pouring out her merciless rains, but we braved it anyway, and headed in to the National Gallery of Art and the MoMA. Anna was a great sport hanging out and taking in the Impressionists and others. What really drew us there was an exhibit called Afghan Treasures - an interesting display of ancient artifacts and precious items that had, until recently, been hidden in Kabul.

Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was making cookies with Grammie after her nap that day. Grammie brought up cookie mix, icing, sprinkles (!!) and fun cookie cutters shaped like leaves, acorns, etc.

The sprinkles were the best!!

She LOVES her Grammie!

When the rain cleared out we were able to get out and walk over to see "Hop Frog Pond." Fans of Little Bear can appreciate that we have our own version of such a place right here in our neighborhood. It's a random pond that's filled with croaking frogs.

Grammie had to leave the next morning, but we're looking forward to her next trip!

Monday, September 01, 2008

New Faces, New Places

I guess we're settled in, minus wall-hangings and some curtains for which we're still waiting to catch "a vision." A trip to Ikea last week gave us a few solutions. We're getting to know our surroundings, which hasn't been too hard since I swear my husband has an internal GPS and we were already somewhat familiar with this corner of the world. Boy, are there some fun things to do here!

1. We have a "new yibaree," or "library" to most. That was a fun field trip for Anna and Daddy last week when I was knocked out by a stomach bug. Those are never fun, but with being pregnant too, oh my....

2. We've discovered a large, lovely neighborhood behind our town home community that will be great for walks/runs. This is always important to our family.

3. There's a "new fwing", or "swing" at a nearby tot lot that we've visited a couple of times. No room in our backpatch for her own swing. Notice I didn't say "backyard." I'd offer some photos, but I just discovered our camera the other day and the batteries are dead. When fresh batteries turn up, photos will come.

4. We reconnected with friends Marvin and Michelle (John went to high school with them) and their 2 adorable kiddos Marcus and Mya on Friday. Anna really enjoyed her new friends.

5. We were also blessed to host Amy Brown on Saturday. Anna always loves seeing Amy, and so do we! We spent the evening in Old Town Alexandria. It's SO fun there and I can't believe I get to live so close to it. Come visit us, friends!!

6. Anna's learning the wonders of public transport. There's a metro station just a few minutes from our house. Lots of folks walk (it would be tricky with a stroller), or a bus that stops right next to our house can get you there, or you can drive, park and ride the train. John rides his bike there to catch the train to Georgetown.

7. We've also enjoyed trying a "new chuch." Anna's done great going to the nursery the 2 Sundays we've gone.

8. A new routine! We're still figuring out how day-to-day life will play out. One thing we know is John's schedule is something we're very happy with! He only has classes Tue.-Thu. That's right. 4-day weekends every weekend! I'm not sure we'll have this the whole time we're here, but we are thankful to have it this semester. Since he's only had 1 official day of real classes, it remains to be seen how demanding the academics will be and how much time will have to be devoted to school outside of the classroom. Either way, we're just happy he's with us!