In front of Thomas Jefferson's home.

We had quite the adventure for Thanksgiving this year.  It started out with a nice looooong drive to Virginia.  Actually, it was eight hours long.  Enough complaining about the drive though.  We've tried to make any person (who was willing to listen and willing to pretend to care) feel bad for us, which is kind of immature. 
We went to Richmond, Virginia and stayed in a hotel with Ryan's mission buddy, Matt Snider, and his wife, Chelsee.  For Thanksgiving day, Ryan and Matt headed out with Matt's cousin, Randy, to play football.  Even though Ryan had no football gear and never touched the ball, I'm sure he still had fun. :)  When the boys got back, we headed over to Randy's house to have a delicious dinner prepared by his wife, Amber.  Sounds like a potentially awkward situation (eating a Thanksgiving dinner prepared by people you just met), but Amber and Randy acted like they didn't care at all.  Very nice people, I know. 

Matt and Chelsee

 Randy and Amber with their little girl Jaynie, along with Lisa and Nick, their friends in VA.

Saturday, before heading back, we went to Monticello, where Thomas Jefferson's home is.  That was pretty neat.  Josh wasn't quite as impressed with the house tour as we adults were, so after the tour guide suggested we take a break, Josh and I headed outside to get rid of some energy. Once we regrouped, we joined the others and were able to see the rest of the tour.  All in all, we had a great mini vacation, spending time with the group, spending time in the pool, and mainly spending some time with each other.  Josh was on cloud nine with his dad being around so much.  In fact, this past Monday, Josh couldn't figure out why Ryan wasn't still hanging out with us.  
The only downsides to the trip were the drive and the short time we spent there, but usually both of those things factor into vacations, so we have little to complain about.
In honor of Thanksgiving, I just wanted to quickly note how grateful I am for Ryan and Josh and our new baby.  Ryan is such a good husband, and he's very supportive of me.  Joshua is so much fun, and he's our pride and joy.  I'm so grateful for the gospel and to know that we can all be together for forever.  Hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings, and if you want to have another one, let us know...we really miss those leftovers!

It's a......

Boy!  Yes, that's right, we're having a boy.  Ryan is just too manly, I guess.  He can't make anything else.  We're excited to have two boys close together.  Hopefully they'll get along, right?  The official due date is April 9th, which was my due date.  Kind of fun.  Now we're looking for good boy names....any suggestions?  If you have a favorite and want to save it for yourselves, don't worry, just share it with us.  It's not like we're family, right?  (Excluding family of course).  
We're getting excited to be reaching the holiday season because it means Ryan's getting close to finishing this semester, and we're getting closer to visiting friends and family in Utah.  We can't wait to see everyone!

Josh isn't handling his weaning from the binky too well.....

Josh got bored drinking from his normal sippy cup and decided to give himself a challenge.

Maternity clothes

Last night I was looking online for cute maternity dresses because New York doesn't tend to have much of a selection for modest maternity dresses.  Go figure.  I guess my problem is that I want a dress to go with brown shoes...most are black.  However, while looking online, I found a little gem, where they have any kind of fabric imaginable and dresses made to custom fit the buyer.  This is all for around $45!  I honestly couldn't believe what I saw, and Ryan told me I needed to share it with all the other ladies out there.  So here you are.  To reach the site, click here. (The swimming suit is my favorite.)

Things to remember..

I was on Facebook the other day, and Carrie, a friend from college, said hello and then told me that I needed to post pregnancy pictures on my blog. I was thinking about it, and I've got to admit I too love to look at other girls' prego pics. Why is this? I know we women tend to get excited about babies...but I think the real reason we (yes I'm grouping the rest of you girls in with me) like prego pics is so we can compare belly sizes. I've caught myself doing this with other pregnant bloggers lately. I'll look at their belly in the picture, figure out how far along they are, and decide how I'm looking compared to them. Wrong, I know, but I'd be surprised if I'm the only one who does it....haha, wouldn't that be funny if I was the only one? Anywho, for those who are interested, here's my 17 week picture. And just for the pregnant bloggers who are now feeling self consious, I've made a pact with myself to stop comparing, especially since the baby doesn't care what I look like as long as I get him/her here. (And because the last girl I compared myself to is due at the same time and hasn't gained any weight at all. zilch. zero.) It's like my mom always said, "Katie, there will always be people better and worse than you at something so it's best to just not compare yourself to others." So there you have it: Here's my prego picture and my best attempt at sneakily guilt-tripping you girls into not comparing my belly to yours. Did it work? :)
And I wasn't going to say anything about this, but is there a different word I could have used besides "compare"? It's really being overused here....

To wrap things up I wanted to write down a few things to remember about Josh:
1) We've been teaching him to wipe up messes and trying to get him to blow his nose, always on separate occasions. Being the smart kid that he is, he now grabs a tissue, blows his nose (successfully might I add), and then wipes the windows/floor/high chair/my face with the same tissue. Gross, but ingenious. I guess he figures he'll kill two birds with one stone.
2) Josh is really sweet and has started attacking me with kisses, which would actually be really nice if he didn't have a snotty nose right now. Also, when I'm rocking him to sleep, he brushes the hair out of my eyes like a little mother.
3) The other night we were all driving in the car, and Ryan was asking Josh what sounds different animals make. He decided to ask Josh what sound mommy makes and Josh started into his monkey noises. He wouldn't come up with anything else when we asked him, so I guess I'm a hairy monkey in his eyes. It's okay, though, because Ryan ended up being a dog.

This is Josh's idea of a good pose. He saw the camera and had to ham it up.

Goodbyes and good times

First off, we want to let the Silva family know how much we'll miss them!  They moved to upstate New York a week ago, and we were not happy about it.  :)  They had a sleepover with us their last night here because their gas was turned off, and it was fun to see Caleb and Josh interact the next morning.  They were both trying to make each other laugh...I must admit it's funny what makes a toddler laugh, but what do I know?  They were having so much fun, it was sad to think the boys won't be able to be better buddies.   I will especially miss Danielle, she was my go-to-girl!  If I had a question about Josh, she was the one to answer it.  So in a nutshell: we hope you guys miss us too but still have a great time in upstate!

Caleb and Josh after I told Caleb to give Josh a hug! :)

As for Halloween, we had some good times.  We carved a pumpkin for family night, and you can tell that from the pictures, Josh wasn't thrilled about getting all gunky from the pumpkin insides.  He wanted to help his dad carve at first, but once we started pulling out the seeds, he was done!  At our ward trunk or treat (the Saturday before), Josh again wasn't too thrilled.  He hung in there, but his bee costume was annoying him, and he was a bit to shy to grab candy from the people handing it out.  Ryan sure had a good time though, haggling all the teenagers and showing off his Napolean Dynamite costume.  I tell you what, he has that certain Dynamite look down to a tee!  For the actual night of Halloween, we went to our friends the Reed's house for a party and finally got to see their cute baby girl!  They had a ton of yummy snacks and soups too, and my cherry cake dessert (thanks mom and dad) was a hit.  There were a lot of kids running around, so Josh just watched them the whole night, not making one peep.  He's so funny.  He'll talk my and Ryan's ears off, but with new or not-so-familiar people, he'd rather observe than be observed.  

Ebay Is Amazing

Just thought that I would share with you all the most recent purchase that I made on Ebay. This solid wood entertainment center originally cost $600. My initial bid on it was $0.90. Too bad it didn't go for that amount. The price ended up doubling sadly, and I had to pay $1.80. Not bad for an entertainment center, right?

Josh is quite the helper in the kitchen. Now you know who makes the desserts in our family.

And now you know who does the vacuuming in our family.

This is Josh every morning when we go to pick him up. He just lays there for a good 10 minutes like this & talks to himself.

Josh just gearing up to go for a jog with his iPod.

Grab Your Popcorn & Settle In

Just to preface this... This video may not be all that interesting unless you: a) Are referred to by Josh as "Gampa" or "Gama"; b) You are related to Josh and feel it to be your duty to watch; c) You have a job with lots of down time for blogstalking; d) You're a dental student and are tired of paying attention to your lectures.

This is one of those "see what my kid can do" videos. It's over 6 minutes long, so I don't blame you if you skip it. I just couldn't decide what parts to cut. Enjoy.

They Said That?

Being an informed citizen takes a lot of work.  In my case it involves reading the paper on the subway on my way to school.  It takes me 10 minutes, and I do it at least once a week.  Today, during my weekly ritual, I had a couple things reinforced.  1) I'm still at the point where I'm pretty turned off by both candidates and 2)  I need to quit dentistry to become a bank executive.

1) As I've said before, this election's only value thus far for me is comedic.  Here are some quotes from the 4 candidates:
Obama: "Our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes - and I see many of them in the audience here today."  I though the term "fallen hero" meant they had fallen in battle, or in other words: they are dead.  Who are you looking at???
Biden: "You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. ...I'm not joking."  Wow, and people want a person like this in the Oval Office?  How is the media not all over this comment?
McCain: "Across this country, this is the agenda I have set before my fellow prisoners.  The same standards must be applied to my opponent."  Huh?  Are McCain's rallies all taking place in prisons?  Who is he talking to???
Palin: "They are also building schools so that there is hope and opportunity in our neighboring country of Afghanistan."  Wow, hand me a map.  Saying Russia is our neighbor is one thing... According to Delta, it is 7,411 miles from the good ol' USA to Afghanistan.  Define "neighbor".

2) In a Federal hearing on October 6, Mr. Fuld, CEO of the formerly-known-as company Lehman Brothers, denied having taken home more than $480 million in bonuses since 2000.  He uncomfortably stated it was not THAT much.  It was a more palsy sum of over $300 million!  In bonuses!  This from a company that was asking for Federal Aid to help keep them from collapsing.  The good news is we are making strides.  AIG's CFO had his "golden parachute" taken away from him.  He was slated to get $10 million in his severance package.  No better way to say "thanks for the bad bets" like an 8 figure severance.

How do I get into that career path?

As a side-note.  Here is reason #468 that I love New York.  For the past few months I've been riding my bike to the Staten Island Ferry, where I chain it up at a bike rack literally 10 feet away from a booth where a security guard it stationed 24/7.  Two nights ago I came home to find my bike, chain & helmet were all gone.  When I talked to the security guard all he could say was, "Sorry, I didn't see anything.  That's not my job."  Really?  You didn't see someone with a huge pair of bolt cutters come clip my chain and then make off with everything?  Unbelievable.

Get Ready For HSM3

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

I'm So Tired Of All This Political Hogwash

Let's be honest.  This election has gotten to be pretty tiring.  I just want it to be over, and I don't really care for either candidate.  Here is a third (and better) option for all of you that feel the same way I do:

Thanks Corey for tipping me off to this excellent candidate

Josh and some cayenne pepper

Life is going well for us. Nothing too major has happened, but lots of fun small things happen each day, so we're happy

A couple weeks ago some friends from our ward, the Petersens, and the missionaries came over for dinner. Both Grant and Ryan were complaining of colds (the famous man-cold, to be sure) so one of the elders said he had the perfect remedy for it. To sum it up, he told us that he learned of this cayenne pepper-herbal tea concoction from an Indian tribe. He said the cayenne pepper burns away anything bad and the herbal tea is added to make it less painful. Crazy, I know. Sadly, both of the guys claimed to have felt worse the day after, not better. Maybe it's because they didn't do the chanting that was supposed to go along with it....I had a video to go with it, but I couldn't get it to work. Maybe Ryan can help me...

Here's our big boy Josh getting ready for the day while eating. Josh now says "Hey!" for everything,"oh no!" when he's doing something he's not supposed to, and his favorite person is probably his little friend, Hannah. We say, "Josh, who are we going to visit?" or "Where are we going?" and he'll say "Hannah!". He says her name when he's happy, when he wants to leave the house, and when he wants to go visit her. They love to play together! Here at the bottom is a video of the two together.

A little update

I'm about ready to head to bed, and I'm wishing I would have thought of that novel idea sooner. Just wanted to do a quick update.

Ryan's doing well in school. He's studying well and for the most part, enjoying his classes. His school schedule has a bit rough on us this semester, though. He has night classes both Mondays and Tuesdays, so he gets home around 9:45 pm those two nights, and then I leave for Young Womens on Wednesdays. Thursdays are our favorite days because Ryan gets home at 7:00 and I don't go anywhere. Fridays we have a date night which sometimes is hard because we don't always want to leave Josh...but it's good for our marriage. Haha, sometimes that's the only way I can get Ryan to leave Josh, by reminding him that we need time together too. (P.S. I love babysitting co-op!) Anyway, believe me, I know we could have it worse, so we're happy with what we've got.

For my section, I'll just talk about this new pregnancy (I know the guys will probably skip over this part). I am around 12 weeks along. The ultrasound I had on Tuesday said I was 11 weeks, but according to my calculations, I'm not 100% sure that's right. Haha, I should be 13 weeks along, I want to be 15 weeks, and yet I'm probably closer to 10 weeks. The weird thing was that my doctor didn't really tell me my due date, so I asked what it was. He said, "Oh, it's what we thought it was", which would put me closer to 14 weeks (they thought I was a week ahead last time), then he looked at the ultrasound and saw that it recorded me at 11 weeks and then said that was right because it put my close to my estimated due date (April 9th), which would put me at 13 weeks. (Was that a really long run-on sentence?) I know it's not a huge deal, but I've got to admit I feel a bit lost not knowing my official due date. However, I really do like my doctor. He probably doesn't care as much as I due (get the pun?) about my due date, as long as the baby looks good. Which, he or she does, thank goodness. If it's a girl, we like the name Addison, Addy for short. If it's a boy, we've already used Joshua, so we're basically out of ideas. If anyone has any cute boy names they want to throw out there, please feel free to do so!

Now for Josh's turn. Joshua is growing up so fast. He says a lot of words and signs a lot of words, but he's also jabbering a lot, and you can tell that he expects us to know what he is saying. I feel bad him. I don't know if he's figured out that our "oh reallys?" and "yeahs?" mean we have no clue what he's talking about. He likes to make animal sounds, especially lion sounds. He knows the sounds of a dog, monkey, cow, snake, and lion. Right now, his favorite word is no. When he says no, you know he means it, too! He puckers up his face and adamantly says, "No no no!", sometimes using his pointer finger to emphasize his point. Usually this is when he does something he's not supposed to do, like stand on a chair, play with the power chords, open the DVD cases, dump out cereal, stand on a box and pull things off a stand, turn off the computer, eat the cell phone, climb up on our food storage, play with the bike chains, or play with the toilet brush. Hahaha, he's at the stage where everything must be disassembled or pulled down. It keeps me busy, that's for sure. He loves balls, loves his binky (especially now since he can only have it for nap time), and loves anything that comes apart and can be put back together. He's getting so big, and that's a good thing, since he'll be a big brother soon. That's actually a frightening thought right now, but I just have to remind myself that he won't be 16 months old when the baby comes....he'll be 22 months....much better, right? ;)

Here are some random pictures to go along with my random post.

When I ask Josh to smile, this is what I get. It's almost like he's practiced before...and yes, this is one of Josh's "no!" moments, so why am I taking a picture?

Rachel and I slaving away at mutual. Our husbands think we just play around while they watch the kids, but I feel this picture really shows how taxing mutual night can be! I mean, I can't even see out of my left eye!

Josh showing off his new outfit aunt Ashley got for him. Thanks Ashley!

These, my friends, are a dozen red roses Ryan bought for me about a week back. I don't know how it happened either, but I loved them! Thanks, honey.

High School These Days

Weber High was in the news again: "Jessica Simpson is the prize for school's winning text effort".  While I totally understand 1800 kids wanting Jessica at their school, I can't even begin to comprehend how they achieved it.  Story.  Basically whichever Utah high school sent the most text messages to a country radio station would win.  Between these 1800 or so kids at Weber, there were 571,795 texts.  That equates to 318 per person.  Lowly Fremont High came in second with 324,633 texts.

You know, I don't feel like I've really been out of high school that long.  I'm still totally rad.  Scratch that, I'm bad.  I don't give high fives, I pound it.  I have Nikes that are very colorful (a trend that I don't think has even hit Utah).  I blog.  I use a Mac.  I live in New York City.  Napoleon Dynamite is one of the best movies ever made, and I can quote most of it.  Heck, I've even been to the Cuttin' Coral!  I'm nearly unbeatable playing tennis on the Wii.  I know all the words to the song from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  I saw Anne Hathaway last week.  Need I say more?

That being said, I don't think I've ever sent 318 texts in an entire month.  And you know that the majority of those texts came from 20% of the students.  If that is the case, then each one had to send 1588 texts.  Word is that a couple students sent in the tens of thousands.  If that is what the cool kids are doing, I am such a loser!  Jessica Simpson or not, how can you physically send that many texts?

Lights In The Sky

Here is the best of the pictures I took on my phone on September 11th.  


It's pronounced suːpɚˌkælɪˌfrædʒəlˌɪstɪkˌɛkspiːˌælɪˈdoʊʃəs/ according to Wikipedia in case you're wondering, and the song sounds like the songs "Boiled Beef and Carrots" and "Any Old Iron". Is this post off to a good start or what?

This past Thursday I took Katie to see Mary Poppins on Broadway. I was originally worried that I've gone about this whole Broadway thing all wrong. You see, the first one we went to was Wicked, and I've been afraid that it will be all down hill from there. I must say that Mary Poppins, however, held it's own. We both really enjoyed it. Katie might have liked it a little too much, as she kept going on about the guy playing the part of Bert...

On the way back home we had an amazing view of Manhattan. On any regular night the view is spectacular, but on Thursday it was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.  NYC continues to honor those who died in the tragedy of 9/11, through various ways, including shining beams of light up into the sky where the twin towers used to stand. Much like when the commissioner broke out the bat-signal to get Batman's attention.  You all know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, as we walked downtown through the financial district we first noticed the lights.  It was amazing!  There were low clouds in the sky, which made it all the more amazing.  It kinda almost felt like hallowed ground there as we walked by the New York Stock Exchange & Trinity Church and seeing the lights shining in the background.

I tried to take some pictures from the ferry as we left Manhattan, but the quality of pictures from my phone aren't the greatest.  Here is the picture of it that I wanted to take.

Moving on...  Josh is doing really well.  He is really developing a fun personality.  He talks a lot now, and has become really interactive.  Katie is doing great, despite being a little sick lately.  She is really excited with Young Women's now that she has another counselor to help her.  I was able to watch BYU beat down UCLA yesterday, so it goes without saying that I'm doing well.  Here's a picture of the latest art project Katie and Josh did while I was out with the missionaries tonight.


So I changed my hairstyle yet again. Maybe everyone's similar, but I feel like I can't stick to one hairstyle for too long. I was actually hanging in there with my old hairstyle (aka, nothing too special, just growing it out) until Rachel Hunter, a friend from the ward, moved into the area and told me I should go more blonde. Some of you might know that it's been my secret desire to be a blonde.....sadly. (I only say that because it seems like everyone wants to be blonde and I wish I was different.) Anyway, when I was a little girl, all my dolls that I chose were blonde, and my heroine was/is Sleeping Beauty.
Now I am somewhat closer to my shallow dream. Rachel highlighted and chopped my hair. The cutting part was a bit spontaneous. I couldn't decide if I should cut it or not, so we flipped a coin. Heads long, tails short. She said it landed tails, but I don't's only hair, right? I really like it, though. And Ryan says he likes whatever I do, so his opinion's good for nothing, I just do what I want. (Thanks, by the way, Ry. That's nice of you.)
Sorry I don't have a picture for you all, but if you click on Rachel's blog, you'll see me in there. (If you go to the old posts). Hehe, sorry Ray, hope you don't mind!

P.S. I am so proud that I was able to do that link!

Do I Really Sound Like That?

Josh is getting really big. He seems to think he's pretty big too. He's taken to pretending to talk on our cell phones, and we finally got it on film. What a funny kid. It really makes me wonder how he sees the world. Do I really sound like this when I'm on the cell phone?

Today was the first day back to D-school. I don't believe I will have another day off until a few days before Christmas... One day at a time...

One if by land, two if by sea

Okay, so for family night tonight, Ryan is being lame and playing the Wii (I knew it would come to this sooner or later), and I am here typing up a new blog. Luckily, we have some good things to blog about or I'd be really upset. :)
Two weeks ago, our buddy Jeff Brown came out to visit us. We were planning on going to Boston with him and ended up telling some new people in the ward about it. The wife, Rachel was way excited for us and told us she was jealous. Ryan said, "Why don't you come?", and believe it or not, they did! I'm so glad they (Rachel, Charles, and little Hannah) did come. They still have a few weeks before podiatry school starts, so they had nothing to do just like us. Anyway, We ended up taking a lot of pit stops, spending a fun day in Boston, and going to Plymouth on the way back home.
About Ryan's crazy sunburn story....Ryan and Josh and I had gone to the beach a couple days before we went to Boston, and Ryan, being the whitey he is, got burned. Well, while on the way to Boston, with the Hunter's (Ray, Chuck, and baby) behind in their car, Ryan starts flipping out (while driving) about his itchy back. He starts getting pretty desperate, and I start getting pretty mad because he won't pull over and he was acting crazy... He pleads with me to find some lotion to put on it (does that sound like a good idea?), and all I can find is Desitin....haha. I put it on and a few seconds later, Ryan practically goes into hysterics. He's driving all over this little hick town trying to find a store to get some aloe vera. The Hunters thought we were playing "cat and mouse" with the cars because Ryan happened to run a red light before finding a store. He ran in and bought aloe vera, then made me run in to get anti-itch cream when that didn't work. That didn't really work either, but we moved on. Later that night in the hotel, he soaked in the tub, and Jeff and I heard these pitiful moaning noises coming from the bathroom. I thought I should probably check on him to be a good wife. I went in, and Ryan still was hurting and itching (and he was honestly afraid of going crazy), so eventually Jeff gave Ryan a blessing. He was able to go to bed, although still pretty itchy, and it improved a bit the next day.
Looking back, I probably should have been more sympathetic because I hate itching, and if his was painful as well as itchy, I'm sure it was miserable. All said and done, though, Jeff and I like to laugh about it at Ryan's expense because of how he was acting, but I honestly do feel bad for his bad experience.
Thanks for coming out Jeff. It was so fun to have you here! It makes us miss Utah a lot more when good friends and family come out, but that's okay. And thanks, Hunters for becoming our new good friends here in Staten Island!

Our little Allen family in front of a famous person's grave. Really, look, they're famous.

Josh and Hannah trying to play nice.

Rachel and I working the guns on the USS Constitution.

Here we are in front of the Old North Church in Boston.

In Memory

Saturday morning I received a phone call from my best friend in high school. She told me that one of my other best friends, Dallin Ellsworth, died in a plane crash along with nine others, including his father, the night before. It was a strange thing to listen to her, because it didn't seem real; I couldn't believe that something like that would actually happen.

I know that whatever pain and heartache I feel is nothing compared to his family's, especially his sweet wife. Dallin was such a good guy. He was very accepting of others, he always kept others' feelings in mind, he was always excited to have fun, he was funny and kind of silly, and all the mothers wanted him to marry their daughters because he was respectful and made everyone feel better about themselves. This tragedy is a reminder for all of us to forgive quickly, to love freely, to repent daily, and to more fully appreciate the plan of salvation. Life is too short and fragile to hold on to the negative.

Please keep Dallin's family in mind when you pray. I'm sure they'd appreciate any prayers offered in their behalf. They have shown such strength during this extremely hard time, but I'm sure they need added strength to continue.

Thanks, Dallin, for the wonderful memories. I will never forget you or the lessons you taught me.

Beach Bums

If you ever want to visit us in Staten Island, you can come see the amazing beaches here. Well, honestly they would be amazing if it weren't for all the trash on the beach and in the water. Regardless, Josh LOVES going there to play in the sand. Here are some pictures of our most recent trip. We stayed for less than an hour, and somehow I got the world's worst sunburn. I'm sure Katie will be posting outrageous stories about it soon.

As you can see by the sand all over Josh's face and in his hair, he likes to throw it over his head. For some reason on this trip he also started sticking his head in the sand (and he also took a couple of face-plants).

I also thought this video was cute of Josh and a little friend he made. I always knew that Katie and I are pasty white, but it wasn't till I saw Josh with this little girl that I realized that he got the pasty gene too. I think this girl was wanting to play kissing tag.

Just for kicks and giggles, here is a video of Josh & I playing today.

A few moments.

Okay, Ryan was good and helped me get the pictures from the camera onto the computer (let's just forget about even worrying about a cute blog layout for me...).

Me with my girls and the Chinese Branch. We were one big (or little) group, and we had a lot of fun together. I was lucky enough to have girls who worked hard, had fun, and stayed positive. I know, I'm really lucky.

Kind of crazy to think that this is a picture of YW leaders. Since when did I grow old enough to be a leader? They were so much fun, and it was nice to hang out with women who didn't want to shower either (I mean, we're at camp!), and it was hard to say goodbye to them. They all live in Brooklyn, and I live in Staten Island, and a $10 bridge toll sits between us...

Josh enjoying the sucker Grandma Allen sent to him in his package. Thanks Grandma, we love you!

Josh and his buddy Mac hangin out in the tub. I'm quite proud of my ability to catch a modest picture.

This was such a fun moment. The boys were drying off the babies, and Noa and I were going to take cute "after bath" pictures--you know, where everyone poses to make it look like everyone has it together....but Josh was screaming and Mac was squirming around trying to flash us all. We tried and tried to get that "perfect" picture, but they refused to cooperate. I think I like this picture better anyway.

C, that's the way it begins...

Girls camp anyone? I'm happy to report that I made it back alive from girls camp. I honestly wondered if I, I just lost the desire to keep typing. Do you ever feel like you have so much to write that it's not worth it to keep going? Oh well, for the sake of all our readers out there (don't act like you don't care), I'll try to tell some good stories...okay, I'm drawing a blank....

Let's see, girls camp was really fun. It was also really stressful because I was planning it by myself (not the whole thing, just feeding my girls, packing stuff, preparing the girls kind of thing), and I had to leave Josh (and Ryan) for four days. Thanks to my good friends who watched him (Josh, not Ryan), by the way! Anyway, once I got there, I was able to calm myself down and enjoy myself. I was really lucky to have awesome girls. There were only four of them (not like Utah, is it?), but they all, certified, helped out (okay, almost all), and were enthusiastic and about everything. I took it upon myself to be somewhat loud and embarrassing and by the end of camp, most of the girls began to appreciate the beauty of camp songs and the "sign game". One of my favorite things, though, was that I was able to make more friends with the stake leaders. It was my own special camp moment to say goodbye to people that I really would miss.

I think I'll finish my blog; sorry I'll have to ease myself back into blogging slowly. Just want to thank all of our friends for being so great. We have the funniest, nicest, best friends ever!! Random, but true.

Sorry, I Wasn't Paying Attention

Living in New York City definitely has its perks.

I find that if I fully immerse myself into what is going on around me, life can be pretty interesting. Take today for example. As my buddies and I left school heading home, our path happened to converge with that of a crazy lady. Crazy lady, you say? Aren't they a dime a dozen there. I say yes. This crazy lady, however, was cognizant enough to try and start a conversation with us on our way to the subway.

Her initial remark was something to the effect that she hated winter, blah, blah (insert something that doesn't make any sense), and was glad for summer. I thought to myself, let's see where this conversation takes us, and replied "I love winter." What followed was an interesting Q & A. 'What state is Utah in? Is it in the potato state?' I also asked if she'd ever left NY, to which she replied 'I've been to Florida, but that's the only other country I've been to.'

Fully immersed into the conversation, I wasn't paying much attention to my surroundings. As we went to cross the street, all the sudden Norm got big eyes as he looked ahead. It was almost as if he were trying to tell me to watch out. Quickly I pulled myself out of the conversation and turned my head in time to see a guy clip me as he was walking in the other direction. Ok, so it would probably be more correct to say that I totally walked in front of him and bumped into him. My bad. I turned to see who it was, and with Norm's help I saw one of the guys from 30 Rock. (Without Norm I totally wouldn't have even realized this). It was Scott Adsit.

Does this guy look familiar?

It totally reminded me of The Office where Michael goes to New York for a meeting. Remember, he says "New York, New York, the city so great they named it twice.... Manhattan is the other name." And then he thinks he sees Tina Fey, only to be totally disappointed because it wasn't. But while he was chasing the "fake Tina Fey" Conan O'Brien walks by? Classic. Well, today I was distracted by Ms. Crazy and totally pulled a Michael Scott. Doubly ironic because Scott Adsit and Tina Fey are costars on 30 Rock. Am I awesome or what?

Mr. Adsit, if you're reading this.... sorry I bumped into you.

The Good Old Days

So there has been an infestation as of late in the blogging world. I won't say whether I condone it or not - it simply exists. Right now as I look at the list of all the blogs we link to, I would guess that half of them have jumped on the bandwagon. I'm sure you've guessed that I'm referring to the memory posting bonanza.

While I will do my best to reply to your memory request, I figure that I've done enough self-indulging ego-boosting. Remember this post? I promise I won't beg for comments for at least another month. That being said, if you feel the need to reminisce, far be it from me to prevent you....Even on my own blog...

No. Instead I plan on thinking back to years of old myself. I realized in reading these posts that I have had an enjoyable life. I also have accepted that I like to live in the past. This is my first installment. If you appear in these throwback posts, count yourself lucky.

This first one comes from EFY. My group was known as the "Zoot Suit Riot", which was much cooler than Jeff's "McDonald's Night-Shift Crew". All I can say is it was not as advertised. I was told it would be a 3:1 girl to guy ratio. It just so happened that my session was the freakishly abnormal session, in that it was equal. If you look at pictures of me when I was younger, you can see that I needed those odds.

On the left is me & Brad playing Speed. On the right is the amazing child star known as "the kid from Dumb & Dumber who bought Lloyd's dead bird". The highlight of my EFY experience.

Next is a tasty morsel from my senior trip to Lake Powell. It was an awesome trip. The picture on the left is the cliff that the 3 bravest from our group dared jump off. Whenever people try and top each other with hair-raising stories of adventure, I whip this bad boy out. You can see where Brad, Kayla & I jumped from (the ity bity person at the top is where we launched from). We were so awesome that we did it twice! Truth be told I only did it cause Kayla was doing it, and there was no way I was going to be shown up by a GIRL.

On the right you can see the gang. From left to right: Celeste, Adam, Brad, Becca, Hillary, Aaron, Me, Kayla, Emily & Ashley. Once upon a time I was fit. If you look close I'm totally sucking in and flexing. I also must say that the sun puts shadows in all the right places to help me out posing. Man, I looked good when I was thirty pounds lighter...

Bedtime Stories

Ryan was in charge of the lesson for family night tonight, and we talked a bit about the word of wisdom, you know, taking care of ourselves by eating healthy and exercising. Of course getting a good night's sleep is a big part to being healthy, and Ryan brought up the fact that Josh has a good bedtime routine...and that we don't. My first thoughts were, "Well, yeah, we're not under the age of 4", but the more I thought about it, the better the idea of a routine became. Ryan goes to school so early in the morning, and I've been wanting to start my morning out before Josh gets up (does anyone else use their baby as an alarm clock?). We might as well start off the "early to rise" saying with an "early to bed", right? So, here's our new thing: read a book together before going bed, finishing before 10pm. We've read a book together before, and I'm really looking forward to spending that last part of the day together....although it may sound lame to you nonreaders, I know my fellow "Harry Potter" and/or "Twilight" fans out there are eating their hearts out!
On a side note, does anyone have any really easy, yummy, camp-food ideas? I'm heading out to stake girls camp as the solo leader for our ward, and I tend to not cook outdoors very often....

Why not include a family picture in front of the White House?
We know you want to come visit us...

Who Says Gas Can Be Dangerous?

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? I'm not sure that statement is totally true. Maybe it should be "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, or else really paranoid." What brought this on, you might ask?

I think we've all heard a parent tell their child "You're killing me." What percentage of those parents do you think really mean that? My conclusion is .0087%. Don't worry about how I arrived at that number, it involves a very complex algorithm. My point being, 2 days ago I said those words to Josh - and I meant it.

A couple nights ago Katie and I were sitting together reading, when she asked (multiple times) "Ugh, what is that smell?" Being self conscious I scooted over. She seemed to think that it smelled like "an old person's home" - whatever that means... Shortly after we went to bed not thinking anything of it. The next morning I had to get up early to go to school, so I set my alarm for 7:30 - OK, so it wasn't that early...

I don't remember the last time I slept that well, and it was unbelievably hard for me to wake up the next morning. I felt like I could've kept sleeping for... eternity... Judging by the look in Katie's eyes, she was singing kumbaya around my campfire. Josh also slept well that night. He also took a 2.5 hour nap an hour after waking up in the morning. Is anyone connecting the dots? Katie did - at noon.

Come to find out Josh, ever the playful child, found a new toy in the form of our gas stove. We're not even sure how long it was left on, but we're guessing at least 15 hours. We all came to realize that natural gas is a very good sleeping agent. I however, do not support it's use. Trust me on this, Benadryl does the trick just fine. Needless to say, our nightly routine involves a bath for Josh, a drink of milk, brushing our teeth, reading a book, saying our prayers, checking the stove, and then going night night.

Holy crap, are we lucky to be alive. Don't worry Mom, soon we'll have detectors in ALL of our rooms. Hopefully this post will save some lucky reader's life, right?

Here is my random montage as well. Most of the pictures are from our recent trip back to Utah. Josh is the funniest little kid. He now loves to climb up on things, play in the water, make funny faces, play the piano (including turning it on and adjusting the volume as high as it will go), give high 5's, low 5's, high 10's, low 10's, smell flowers, call most everything "ffff" or "ssss", run around, fake laugh to get others to laugh, and as previously mentioned - turn on the gas.