Sunday, October 5, 2014

July trip to Chicago, Wisconsin, and Michigan

July took me to visit my Hanks cousins in Chicago. Happy 4th of July to me!
 We spent the fourth hanging out with friends of Naomi and Kevin's for a bbq lunch. Then we all went over to a nearby park for fireworks that night. We had lots of fun entertaining ourselves while waiting for it to be dark that night :)
 The next week Naomi and I took the girls on a long road trip (Kevin sadly had to work and couldn't come). We started out in the Wisconsin Dells area. It's known for its waterparks, but we managed to find some pretty cool nature to explore as well.
 The girls did a great job hiking and loved finding new flowers, rocks, and bugs to play with.
 It was a great day for hiking since we managed to finish just before the rain started :)
 The next day we took the girls to a water park in the morning, and then that afternoon we got to ride a duck boat- a first for all of us. Lily and Brooklyn loved it and said it was the best day ever. Win!
 Our campsite was on a beautiful rise overlooking the river. It was perfectly lovely, though a little wet our first night :P
 The view of the sunset from our campsite the second night. So peaceful! I wanted to stay there forever!
 The next day we continued our drive around the great lakes up to Lake Superior in upper peninsula Michigan. I'd never been there before and it was fun to see the lake that looks like an ocean. The only downside was that we were literally attacked by a million mosquitoes! We escaped to the shore from the hiking path and that helped a lot. Along the shore we saw a lighthouse and even a ship wreck. We told Lily it was a pirate ship so that she would get close enough to the water to touch it. Who knows, it might have been :)
 Our last stop the next day was Mackinaw Island just off the coast between upper and lower Michigan. We took a ferry to the island, which has no motorized transportation. So we took a horse and carriage ride to see the sites-that was a major happy moment for the girls. We got to see the Grand Hotel, a butterfly house-a butterfly even landed on my knee!-, and we ate lots of yummy fudge. Epic and wonderful vacation!
After we got back, I got to spend a few more days with my Hanks family. So glad I was able to play with them in Chicago for awhile. Love them so so much!!!

April, May and June 2014

The spring was a busy time of travel and adventure. The end of April took me to Manti, UT for my roommate, Andrea's, wedding. It was a beautiful, if freezing cold, day and I was so glad I was able to be there.
 Me and the beautiful bride at her reception :)
 I visited some good friends while I was in UT. I was bad about taking pics as always, but I did get this one of Fan and her cute boy!
 And this one of Lisa, Laura, and Maren :P
 I got to spend lots of time with Krista, Eliza, and Rambo too, once I made it back to MD.
 I finally made it to Arlington Cemetery. That was an amazing experience!
 I was also able to hike Harper's Ferry again-probably my favorite hike back east.
 In May I took a trip down to Charleston, SC for the first time. Gorgeous city and it was so fun to spend some time there with Uncle David.
 I also got to walk a SC beach. The water was so warm and I saw dolphins! Awesome!
 Uncle David went with me to visit Fort Sumter. I've always wanted to go there.
 While I was in the Carolinas, I took the opportunity to visit Eric, Kayla, and Lexi in Hickory. Such a cute girl :)
 There were lots of visits to Eliza and Krista this summer :)
 I decided to day trip it out to Assateague Beach. The wild horses come all the way down to the water!
 So amazing to see one of my favorite animals in one of my favorite settings. 
I was able to have so many fun experiences these months and I feel so blessed to have been able to see and do so much. Love my ability to travel and experience new places!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

March and April Events 2014

March brought lots of fun activities. I was able to go down to Ryan and Krista's and give her Mom some help throwing Krista's baby shower. Lots of girls from work came and we had a blast :)
 I also took a quick trip down to Hickory, NC over conference weekend to spend some time with Eric, Kayla, and Lexi. Kayla would kill me if I posted any of the pics I got with her in them (they weren't the best angles) so Lexi will have to suffice!
 The cherry blossoms did eventually come this year, and I was able to visit them twice.
 I went down with a very prego Krista (thanks for walking friend!) and Kelly. Perfect day to be outside.
 Buildings look so majestic when surrounded by beautiful blossoms!

 I was able to go down another day with my friend, Maurie. Had some much fun with all my girls wandering around the Tidal Basin.
And once the cherry blossoms passed, it was time for me to make my semi-annual pilgrimage to Utah...

Lydia's visit to DC

Lyd came to visit me in DC! Granted she was on her way to visit Joey in NYC, but I'm glad she stopped for a few days all the same :)
 We had fun seeing different museums and monuments, but I think our favorite was the Botanical Gardens. They were having orchid week and the blossoms were beautiful.
 Gorgeous! So wish I had a green house to grow lots of pretty flowers and plants :)
We ate at a random Italian place before wandering down to see the monuments at night. We walked our feet off, but had a great time doing it! So glad my sissy came to see me!

January Adventures 2014

January brought a trip to Disney World!! I went with Dawsha and we were joined a few days in by her friend, Allison. It was a party and a half. On our first day, Dawsha and I ventured outside the Disney realm and found ourselves at Hogwarts.
 Spending a day in the life of Harry Potter was a dream come true. Butterbeer, Honeydukes, broomsticks, and dragons. My life is complete :)
 We spent the next week exploring Disney worlds' several parks. We saw shows, rode lots of rides, and ate way too much. Perfect vacation :)
 Our Thunder Mtn ride decided we need a few minutes break along our climb to the top. So we whipped out the cameras for a few maybe not quite sanctioned photo ops.
 On the dinosaur ride. Look close. See no evil, hear no evil, speak on evil. 
 Mickey and Minnie moment :)
 We rode Everest a bunch of times- 3 in a row that morning in the freezing cold. Awesome!
 A little cold, wet, and wind couldn't stop us from having a wonderful adventure. Here's looking forward to the next trip!!
 January was freezing in MD too. So Aubrey and I embraced that and went ice skating outside!
We also got epic amounts of snow for the area and so I made a snow angel. So glad I had a Rav4 to drive in that craziness! Next up, Lydia's visit to DC.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas on the Labor Unit and other Holiday Randoms

 Because I had to work on Christmas this year, I stayed in DC for the winter holiday season. I missed my family, but I enjoyed the time I was able to spend with some friends as well. Leslie my roommate and I took advantage of a warmer night on the Sunday before Christmas to see the lights at the DC temple.
 I just think it's so beautiful when there are lights everywhere :)
 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I spent with some awesome ladies on the labor floor. We delivered babies, but still had time to goof off a little with the camera and eat way too much food!
 So grateful to work with such awesome friends!
 Ryan and Krista even visited me on their way back from VA. It was sooo nice of them to stop by and drop off a present for me. I'm so spoiled!
 After I got home Christmas night, Leslie and I did our own little gift exchange and I opened my presents from my family. Again, so very spoiled by such loving and thoughtful gifts. Thank you!!!
 The weekend after Christmas was our work holiday party. So fun seeing people in clothes that are not scrubs :) Love my Nina- so glad she came!
 I always feel so tall when I'm around Tanya :)
My happy Kelly friend!! So grateful for all the people who have been there for me over the past couple of years here in DC. I'm so blessed to have been given such amazing people to work with and be friends with. Here's to another amazing year filled with family, fun, and lots of adventures. Happy New Year everyone!!