Monday, July 28

Family Photos

We had family pictures taken last week by Wendy Huff. I recommend her! The pictures on the side as well as the ones posted below are all great, and there were many more (I am just too lazy to upload them all)!


One of the greatest blessings of living in Memphis is that our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has a temple only 15 minutes from where we live.

In our church we do our Sunday worshipping at a church building, just like many other religions. Temples, however, are reserved for more holy and sacred worship. For Latter-day Saints (Mormons) temples are considered the most sacred places on earth, and within their walls you can escape the world and be near to God.

Not everyone can enter the temples. In order to enter you must hold yourself to a high standard of moral cleanliness and have a testimony of Jesus Christ's role as our Savior. For me, as for many LDS members, the temple stirs tender feelings of love and respect. It was in a temple in Utah that Jason and I were married for time AND eternity. The knowledge that Jason, Adelyn, and I, and our future children, can be a forever family is the single greatest blessing in my life.

To date, there are more than 100 temples worldwide. I remember growing up in Michigan and traveling 5 hours to visit the temple in Toronto, Canada until one was built outside of Detroit. I am indeed grateful to live near the Memphis Temple, and was thankful to be able to attend with my parents when they were here. I look forward to many many more visits.

For more information about LDS temples, click here.

Friday, July 25

time for some sharing

My friend had this on her blog and I thought it was fun. I'm looking forward to reminiscing!

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn’t matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It’s actually pretty funny to see the responses.

Sunday, July 20

Mid-Year's Resolution!

I've been fighting it for some time, but I've decided I need to limit the amount of soda I drink. I am definitely addicted and my body feels like it needs a tune up, which I believe is directly correlated with how much soda I drink. I will miss your beautiful taste, Cherry Coca Cola Classic, but not your sticks and stones that break my bones...whatever that means.
I am going off the drink (ALL 'soda' or 'pop' or 'coke' or whatever else you may call it) for the rest of the year. That's right not a drop of the sweet nectar until January 1st 2009 when the clock strikes midnight. As motivation Jana has agreed to not eat any sweets, not even on holidays, for the same amount of time. Here goes!!


My mom loves to visit quirky places on vacations. She finds obscure things to do in her AAA books, and they always end up being interesting. Unbeknownst to most Memphians, Memphis is home of the National Ornamental Metal Museum. That was our Wednesday destination, tucked away on the southwest side of Memphis right next to I-55.

The museum itself was a let down. We were expecting more ornamental metal art (thus the name Metal Museum) but the inside housed mostly jewelry and paintings. The gift shop was the best part of the inside of the museum, but very pricey. Admission was only $5, so it wasn't that great of a loss, but still...

The grounds surrounding the museum were more to our liking. The best part? You can visit the grounds for FREE. There were funky sculptures everywhere. Currently there is an outdoor exhibit called "Meet Meat Cookware" which is comprised of unusual (working!) grills. Apparently at the open house of the exhibit, they had a party and barbecued on the sculptures! The picture above is a grill made out of an old rusted truck. You can see the grill on the front and the bed has a built-in picnic table!

The most colorful statue there. Strange, but I liked it.

Here are my parents in front of a giant metal daffodil.

Probably the best part of our visit was sitting on the shady gazebo (completely formed from scrap pieces of metal from an old building) that overlooks the Mississippi River. It was beautiful. I hope to take some of my friends back there for a picnic on the bluff amongst the crazy sculptures, it should be fun!

Saturday, July 19

GRACELAND, definitely worth its own post

My parents were in town this last week. It's been busy, but so much fun!This is my dad (the goofball), their friend Cathy (who lives here, they stayed at her house), and my mom. It was great having them around.
My parents took Jason, Addie and I to Graceland, Elvis' kingdom here in Memphis. Although none of us are Elvis fanatics, we were all surprised by how much we enjoyed Graceland! There was a lot of interesting facts to learn, and his mansion, cars, and airplanes were all fun to tour. The above picture is a view of his living room. Yes, that is a 15 foot white couch with stained-glass windows and a baby grand piano. Ah, that would be the life. This is Elvis' TV room. You can't see it in this picture, but the ceiling is covered with mirrors, as were many many other walls throughout his mansion. The stairway leading to the basement was completely covered with mirrors, it felt like walking in a fun house. The walls of this TV room had lightening bolts painted on them along with his motto TCB, "taking care of business."
This is Elvis' raquetball court converted to an awards room. It was crazy! This wasn't even half of the awards! It seemed that almost every song he sang turned gold or platinum and was a #1 hit. It's mind boggling to imagine how successful he'd be now if he was still alive.
Me and Elvis and a new perm.
Jason really liked this poster. It says "BEFORE ANYONE DID ANYTHING, ELVIS DID EVERYTHING." It certainly seemed that way.

How Addie enjoyed Graceland.
A smattering of Elvis outfits. They were even more bizarre in person.This is Elvis' grave, next to him are his parents. The signs said Graceland receives flowers almost daily to place on his grave. There have seldom been people throughout history that still receive this kind of constant attention and affection 30 years after their death. Jason and I infront of his private jet, the Lisa Marie. Inside there are gold-plated seat belts, a bar stocked with Gatorade (his favorite drink), and a queen size bed that had a seat belt going all the way across it (to bring it up to FAA regulations).

Graceland was a lot of fun to visit. We had such a great time with my family, although we were all completely exhausted by the end. I have more respect for Elvis now. He was quite the philanthroper as well as regular guy. He had a fleet of golf carts they would race around his property and was constantly giving money back to the city of Memphis and to other charities. Memphis could really use him now!

Saturday, July 12

Another long run today, my farthest yet. I went 5.5 miles! My legs are tired, my knees are tired, I'm tired. You see, I'm attempting to play catch-up. I hope my goal isn't too far out of reach. Having family in town has thrown off my miles.

All things considered, I'm doing great at exercising. There is just one more thing I need--who volunteers to be my personal nutritionist?

Thursday, July 10

seeking advice

Unfortunately I wasn't able to breastfeed Addie for as long as I would have liked. She's been using a bottle for over three months now, and now that she's one, I would like to start weaning her off the bottle and getting her to use a cup. She'll drink from a cup for juice, but not milk. Whenever she's given a cup with milk in it she throws a tantrum, flings the cup around the room, and absolutely refuses. What's more, after an episode like that she won't even drink juice out of a cup for a few days. It's been frustrating. Do any of you have any suggestions? What worked well for you?

Oh, that brings me to another question. When switching her over to whole milk instead of formula, I've decided to just slowly mix it with her formula, bit by bit. I'm going out to buy my first gallon tonight, so I haven't started the switch over yet. Is that something you'd recommend as well, or did you just stop the formula and start your kids on milk cold turkey?

Ah, the joys of parenting...

Monday, July 7

Adelyn is now ONE (can you believe it?)

It's time to play catch-up. We had a lot going on this last week, so there are 3 new posts, all with lots of pictures (because we all know that's what everyone wants to see anyway).
Addie turned one on Thursday. We made her a little chocolate cake and let her have at it. At first she didn't quite know what to make of it. She started hitting the cake like a drum until Jason fed her a little piece. She quickly got the idea and enjoyed wiping off the frosting and hastily shoving it in her mouth. I said the whole thing reminded me of Bruce Bogtrotter from Matilda. Fortunately for us, however, she was NOT able to finish the cake.
After we got her cleaned up (and the table, chair, wall, carpet, etc) we helped her open her presents. She got several adorable outfits from Aunt Heather & Uncle Kurt and Grandma & Grandpa Hair. She also got a big, soft doll that she loves, a sand pail and shovel and some giant legos. Since her birthday we've picked each of these things up about a hundred times, but are glad that we have such doting friends and family.
It's amazing that she's a year old now. She can now crawl (finally!) but prefers standing up against any and all furniture and walking along it to get to what she wants. She actually walked along the furniture before she learned how to actually crawl. She plays pat-a-cake, peekaboo with all blankets and shirts, and dances to all music. One is such a fun age. She discovers something new every day. Fortunately for me, she LOVES books. She loves staring at the pictures and narrating her own babbling story. She turns the pages over and over again. I am so excited to raise a bookworm! Anyhow, we love Addie and are so grateful for the love you all show her as well. Cheers to our One-derful One-Year Old!


On Thursday I ran my first 5K. It was for St. Jude's and my friend has a little girl being treated there. The whole experience was great. We had a bunch of people from our congregation at church also running/walking for little Emma, so a lot of my friends were there making it even more special.
I started way in back of the pack, back with the mothers and strollers, not wanting to slow anyone else down. Well, I learned my lesson. Not that I'm fast, mind you, but I ended up passing a lot of walkers and it was sometimes difficult to find a pocket to squeeze through, so that slowed my time down. I also discovered it's more difficult to run when you don't know the track. I'm used to going to the park here and running around the outdoor path. I know how far I've gone and how far I have to go to reach my distance. For this race I had no idea how far I'd gone, and I didn't like not knowing. I think it threw my pace off a bit because I didn't want to exert more energy than necessary and not be able to finish without walking. Next time I'll have to start out stronger.
All I really wanted, however, was to finish the race without walking any of it, AND I DID IT! I ran (more accurately jogged) the whole time. Hurrah! It felt great to cross the finish line. I have been working towards this goal for a long time and it felt wonderful to finish!
I would like to run another one and better my time. I did this one in 35:48, putting me at 11:33 per mile. I had hoped to run it under an 11 minute mile, but hopefully I will do better next time. It was a great experience and I'm so glad I did it! I really do love running!

Memphis Monday: FAMILY VISITS

Ok, I'm really stretching this one. I like Memphis because my family has never been here, so it gives them all a reason to visit!

Last week my sister Kari, her husband Eric, and their 5-month old Noah, came for Addie's birthday and the 4th of July. We had a blast. We stayed up late talking (too late), making (and burning) lasagna, exploring downtown, and just hanging out. It was fun to have them here, I miss living closer to family. Here are some highlights from their visit:

Addie and Noah enjoying the famous Peabody Ducks.

All of us on top of the Peabody Hotel, enjoying the view of Memphis.

This is how Noah watched the fireworks. Isn't this the sweetest picture?

Waiting for the fireworks to begin over the Mississippi River. Addie liked the fireworks for the most part, but towards the end she was very tired and just wanted to get out of there. They were spectacular fireworks, and it was neat to see them over the water, but the best part was the people-watching. You should see some of the crazies we have down here!

This is how Noah and Addie played--she would laugh and giggle at him, use his stomach as a stool to push herself up, and he would kick her. It was pretty funny.

Not only were Kari and Eric able to visit for the week, on Tuesday Jason and I drove to Missouri to meet up with his brother Will, wife Caitlyn, and 8 month old Chaela. We just hung around in the park and played card games all day, but it was fun to see them and watch Addie and Chaela interact. Here are some great pictures of that relaxing day:

Playing cards already!

Do you think they look alike?