Sunday, September 30, 2012

3 days in DC

So, I've decided something. I do better when things are spontaneously thrown on me. Bill approached me a few weeks back and asked me to join him in DC for a few days since he was working there all week. As luck would have it, we found 3 wonderful sitters to watch the kids for 4 nights, so I booked a flight. A red-eye. Ughhh. I will never do that again, but I had to teach Thursday night. Crazy, yucky turbulence and a smelly passenger next to me was not ideal, but I'll do anything to see my man, right? The flight was delayed, so I missed my connection in Charlotte. I hopped off the plane and ran to a courtesy desk. The nice lady told me if I could sprint the farthest concourse in the airport, I'd be on the next flight. If not, I'd wait 2 1/2 hours. I ran like the wind (even though the wind had about 2 hours of sleep in her) and made it. Hopped on the metro, found the hotel and zonked out for a few z's while Bill finished some work. 
Then we headed out for 3 days of walking.

First, to our future home:

 Michelle Obama's garden
 Then down to the Washington Monument and WWII memorial, which was new to me. So well done. 
 You can't go in the monument anymore since an earthquake made it unsafe. Bill and tried to make predictions which way it would fall if it did and how far it would reach. We're weird that way.

 Lincoln Memorial

Korean Memorial

Then we headed to Old Ebbit's Grill for a yummy dinner. Thanks Brooke for the food suggestions. Loved them all.

After sleeping in, we headed to a session at the DC temple. Really fun to see the inside. But we really enjoyed the show afterwards.

As we exited, we noticed a limo had pulled up and a huge wedding party was taking pictures if front of the temple. However, they were not exactly LDS. They then proceeded down to the side of the temple with an Ethiopian priest to perform the ceremony. Bizarre. Everyone was nice about it though. 

 Off to the Museum of American History. Love me some Kermit.
 Michelle Obama's inaugural gown. Love, love, love the presidential section.

They closed at 5:30, so we booked over to the National Gallery of Art. I wish we had more time to spend in the modern art section. It was awesome. This was a piece that was mesmerizing.  All 50 states were represented on video screens with various images from the state. I read the artist put his connection to each of the states in the video sequences. Kansas was Wizard of Oz, Utah was scenes from the desert, California had tons of things flashing, including an exercise class taught by OJ Simpson. It was so cool. 


By this point, we were TIRED. It was probably the low point on the trip as we headed to see the Capitol. Luckily, sis in law Kathryn had suggested a great restaurant in Arlington, so we headed off to "Red Hot and Blue". 
 The food was amazing, nicest people, and HUGE diet cokes. (Thanks Kathryn!)

 The last day, we hit China town, ate at Matchbox Pizza (again, thank you, Brooke. I'm dreaming of those sliders). Shopped a bit and sucked down some Hagen-daaz shakes. We walked through the sculpture garden just off the mall.

 Then off to the Air and Space Museum. I've learned a trick after 13 years of marriage. Take Bill to a museum when he only has a couple of hours before closing. It moves him along. We rented bikes to hit the monuments we'd missed. Perfect time of day for it. DC is so pretty.

Jefferson Memorial

 back to the Lincoln (it's probably hard to notice the monument with that crazy bright shirt of Bill's . Not my favorite. I hate looking like tourists.
We headed up to George Washington University area to check out some neighborhoods. Be a-u-tiful. Next time I'm going to wander through different neighborhoods. They are so cute.

So, here we are back to reality. Thanks to my parents, Chloe, and Lisa for watching our kids on such short notice. We love you!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It seems like so long ago....

I'm totally back to the routine. Yea and boo all at once. This week, every activity hits and then some, so I'm not sure what I'm going to be like at the end of this week. 

But, I never put out post-Coronado pics. Summer is a distant memory, but at least I have proof of my life without a schedule.

Girl's camp. Muddy. But wonderful. (The presidency)

 We partied it up with friends.
 Macy does not enjoy fireworks in the least. She ended up watching them from the window. 

 Tuacahn in St. George. A new favorite tradition with Emi's BFF's. These are the sweetest girls around. We saw Aladdin and it was AWESOME! Real camels, fireworks, and 3D. 
 Don't laugh at our mom pose. It's become the joke. I love these ladies! So nice they decided to have daughters the same year as mine.

 Not only did my one friend supply her house in St. George, but gave us all free glitter toes. 

 We also have neighborhood cooking/craft class for the girls in the summer. For my turn, we made German pancake, orange julius's and cinnamon syrup. Then we made these hair-bow holders. Thank you Pinterest!
 Cousin sleepovers. It's nice of Grandma to make sure they have matchy pi's. 

2 days at Lagoon. I really do love it, but I don't know why. Macy is pretty brave. Too bad her boyfriend Dylan wasn't quite so brave. He screamed bloody murder on Bulgy the Whale. Later, I let Macy go on it again, and she said, "Dylan don't like the whale". You had to be there (Sorry Monika. Had to be shared)

 Quinn started piano lessons. He LOVES it and wants to practice on his days off. I'm not used to this. 

I drove by the "Weiner-mobile". This is the best pic I could do without an accident.

And yes, our girls also have a book club. This is Emi going to the big book club party. The book was about going to camp. It was a full "Camp-a-palooza". And, if you were wondering, it is that wonderful mom who planned it. These girls have no idea how lucky they are.

 We ate cupcakes (Thanks Aunt Kathryn for the gift card)

Macy started "dancy class". She is all about it. She cries when it's over. She wants to do it every day. She tells the other girls to dance when they are just standing there. It's like looking in a mirror. 

 We went to Mars.....

 ...and the moon.

 And thoroughly enjoyed summer evenings. Not sure what that hand signal is that Parker is doing.
 The kids loved the teeny tiny garden on the side of our house. So happy to go pick the stuff, not so happy about eating it. 

 If the dancing thing doesn't work out for Macy, she's bound to be an Olympic badminton team member. This is hand-mitten, and I watched her practice for a steady 45 minutes to figure it out. She's really good. 

We also spent several days at both 7 peaks water parks thanks to the "Pass of All Passes". I have no pics as I didn't dare bring my phone in. The slides are super, but my favorite thing was just hanging at the edge of the wave pools watching my kids run around. Simple pleasures. 

And now, here we are. Back to the reality of school. So far so good, but I'm a little burned out all ready. 

I also just have to note that Bill finished LoToJa (Logan to Jackson...206 miles in a day) on Saturday. Their group had some trials, but they happily survived. Which is good, since someone actually died on the trail. I'm proud of him, but glad to get him back into our lives. It amazes me that he can do it.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ramblings of a Co-Cola addict

Read this beautiful article sent to me by my friend:

OK, Mormons, drink up — Coke and Pepsi are OK
Health » Church posts statement clarifying — again — that caffeinated sodas are not off-limits.
First Published Aug 30 2012 03:53 pm • Last Updated Aug 31 2012 11:09 am
Maybe now, reporters, bloggers, outsiders and even many Mormons will accept that the Utah-based LDS Church does not forbid cola drinking.
On Wednesday, the LDS Church posted a statement on its website saying that "the church does not prohibit the use of caffeine" and that the faith’s health-code reference to "hot drinks" "does not go beyond [tea and coffee]."

A day later, the website wording was slightly softened, saying only that "the church revelation spelling out health practices ... does not mention the use of caffeine."
Same goes for the church’s two-volume handbook, which stake presidents, bishops and other LDS leaders use to guide their congregations. It says plainly that "the only official interpretation of ‘hot drinks’ (D&C 89:9) in the Word of Wisdom is the statement made by early church leaders that the term ‘hot drinks’ means tea and coffee."
That doesn’t mean church leaders view caffeinated drinks as healthy. They just don’t bar members from, say, pounding a Pepsi, downing a Dew or sipping a hot chocolate.
Even LDS presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been seen drinking an occasional Diet Coke, and Mormon missionaries in France routinely imbibe caffeinated colas — without embarrassment or consequences.
This week’s clarification on caffeine "is long overdue," said Matthew Jorgensen, a Mormon and longtime Mountain Dew drinker.
Jorgensen, who is doing a two-year research fellowship in Germany, grew up "in a devout Mormon household, in a small, devout Mormon town," where his neighbors and church leaders viewed "drinking a Coca-Cola as so close to drinking coffee that it made your worthiness ... questionable."
That view was magnified when LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley offhandedly told "60 Minutes" that Mormons avoid caffeine. Several earlier LDS leaders, including apostle Bruce R. McConkie, considered imbibing Coke as a violation of the "spirit" of the Word of Wisdom.
It was dictated in 1833 by Mormon founder Joseph Smith and bars consumption of wine, strong drinks (alcohol), tobacco and "hot drinks," which have been defined by church authorities as tea and coffee.
Even so, many outsiders and plenty of insiders get that wrong.
Journalists — from The New York Times’ columnist Maureen Dowd to The Associated Press — have often stated that Mormons don’t drink caffeine. Last week, NBC News’ hourlong feature on Mormonism made the same mistake, prompting the church’s initial statement on its website.
That blog post was later tweaked, according to church spokesman Scott Trotter, "to clarify its intent, which was to provide context to the NBC piece."
Part of the confusion stems from LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University, which neither sells nor serves caffeinated drinks.
But BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins explains that is "not a university or church decision, but made by dining services, based on what our customers want."
There has not "been a demand for it," Jenkins said Thursday. "We are constantly evaluating what those needs and desires are."
Indeed, fully caffeinated colas are available in the church’s Joseph Smith Memorial Building restaurants and in the Lion House Pantry next to the faith’s headquarters in downtown Salt Lake City.

(sorry...I couldn't get the end of the article of copy over to my post)

Well, I didn't know this, but it's about time. While watching NBC's "The Mormon's" on RockCenter, I almost gagged at the lady who said she remembers the one time she drank a Coke. Yeah....she remembers it because it was awesome! But I do think it prompted the church to clarify this little arguing point with us Mormons. I seriously never understood why people felt guilty or apologized for it. 
As a child, Coke was the drink given to us as toddlers by my southern Grandma. It practically ran through our veins. Co-cola  was a big part of the southern culture if you couldn't have iced tea.  In Utah, nobody used to balk at the sight of a Coke. A little shock of caffeine was good for your day. Once I met Bill, I guess I understood it a bit better. Having grown up in California, people would ask him about it a lot. They didn't want to be seen drinking it because it was viewed as wrong by non-members. There really had never been that public clarification.  Don't worry. Marrying me got him all caffeined up. He pounds a Dr. Pepper better than the rest of my family. 
But, we little judgy-judge Mormons aren't much better. I remember being a leader a girl's camp a few years back. One of the leaders showed up on the 3rd day with a big case of Diet Coke for the leaders. We were more than appreciative! Except one leader who snarked around that "we were so awful that we can't live without it for more than 2 days."  The same lady sure had enough chocolate bars up there, which also have a lot of caffeine, I might add. I don't know. Maybe I'm weak. I've quit several times for various reasons, but have always been happy to return. 
In moderation. Like everything else. Is it healthy, NO! But sadly, it's kind of a bright light in a mommy's day. Our days seem  to be completely monotonous or crazy insane. There isn't much middle ground I've learned. Truly, growing up, my parents were sure it could fix certain ailments, and whose to say it didn't cure my diarrhea or stomach flu? I will say I do know better than to give it to certain children of mine except on rare events like New Year's Eve....and stomach flu.  
And one more thing......I laughed so very hard at the BYU food service man saying there hasn't "been a demand" for it on campus. Really? I lived next door the Hart's convenient store. The perfect place to stop on your way up to campus to fill up on the DC. It had plenty of business from sleep-deprived students.  If I were still a student at BYU, this is a cause I could get behind. 
I have to say my little rebellious heart wanted to end testimony meeting today with one of two things; We had a couple "Mitt-amonies" going on, and I thought I should maybe bring my viewpoint to the podium. Or I should have talked about this wonderful revelation from the church over caffeine. Either could've gotten Bill released, right? My Bishop is too cool. 
Do you have a Diet Coke-amony, too?