Monday, May 25, 2009

and the clouds opened up and God said, I Hate You Alfalfa...

Happy Memorial Day!!! Yay for only an hour by the pool!...AND THEN...

Btw, the title is from "The Little Rascals..." one of my fav's.

Unknown Soldiers Tomb Facts

I just came across this. Its a Q&A of facts about the guards and procedures at the Unknown Soldiers tomb. Unbelievable!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Day at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonians

On Friday, the girls and I went to see Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonians which, if anyones seen it yet, made me want to steal a name badge of a security guard and go see whats underneath it all. Supposedly its 3-stories deep of old archived documents and "objects."
This picture was the Smithsonian Castle which is basically used as an information center but had a few little exhibits like furniture from 17-1800's. They also had the set from Night at the Museum...

I took a short little video of a room in the castle and the architecture was so beautiful!

This is a little indian shoe exhibit from a few different tribes. I had to keep reminding myself that everything in the museums are originals- so crazy.
I thought the little ones were so cute.

After the Castle, we went to the Museum of Natural History- I can't believe how much stuff is in there! You could spend all day and still not see everything! Im going to just post a few pictures.

This is a video of the lobby from the 2nd floor balcony of the museum.

First we went to, what I like to call, "DINO VALLEY!" They just called it the Dinosaur exhibit, boring if you ask me.

I was waiting for Rexy to play fetch but I think only the guards do that after midnight.

Next we went to the Mammal exhibit- that was really cool if you like to see real (but dead) animals looking like their going to pounce on you or eat you alive.

Dexter and his little friend.

After the mammals, we went to the Gem exhibit, which I like to call "Heaven." They had the Hope Diamond which a is 45-carat blue diamond on a platinum chain and the chain has 45 diamonds around it. It didn't say how much it was worth but I think I preferred not to know. I probably would have thrown up if I knew how much it was. My thought is why would anyone donate that to the exhibit...Hello?! Cash that baby in!
The diamond belonged to Harry Winston and MAILED this diamond to the museum and insured the package for only $150. I think I'd have to be institutionalized with anxiety until I knew it got there safe!

They had a map of recent diamond findings and believe it or not, Dallas was on the map. Mom and Dad, when Josh and I get back to Dallas, we have Family Home Evening covered...digging for diamonds in the backyard!

Check these diamonds out! These would make a great anniversary present babe! haha, I'm just but really. ;)

Time to head home- this is the Metro- basically the only safe bet to get around.

That was about the end of our tour for the day, it was crowded and hot- we were all ready to get home and hit the pool. We covered 2 of the 19 Smithsonian's (I think that's what they said!)

I'll post again soon. XOXO!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Our First Home

This is the Agricultural Research Building...or something like that- (view from our parking garage.) Its really pretty grounds and every freaking building here in DC is colonial style. Kinda cool but not exactly my fav. This is next door to the left of our complex and Ikea is on the right.

This is the inside of our lil' apartment.
View walking in the front door with the kitchen to the left.

The weirdest shaped room ever...

View from our balcony...please excuse the construction. :)

There ya have it...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Arlington National Cemetery

Instead of going to the Holocaust Museum, we figured we should see the sights that require being outside while it's still nice weather. We headed to the Arlington National Cemetery. Still a very humbling site! Josh and I could not get over how many headstones there were and how perfectly inline each row was. There are currently over 300,000 burial sites with 6,400 burials each year which is about equal to 28 a day! There are slaves, veterans from pre-civil war days and every American battle since then. It became officially designated as a military cemetery in 1864. It was beautiful with the whitest tombstones and the greenest grass- the landscaping was a perfect backdrop to such a hallowed environment.

We walked to JFK and Jackie Onassis's burial site as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. At the Unknown Soldiers tomb, they change the guard every 30 minutes so we stayed for about an hour and watched it twice. The guards are so precise, almost like a second hand on a clock. It's very moving to see people with such honor and respect for our country that it almost made me feel guilty. Everyone knows that our country and the government has its flaws, some greater than others, but there are 200+ acres of people who died defending it despite personal opinions towards those who led this country. They fought for families, rights, legacies, and freedom. All of which I feel I take for granted most days. It was a very inspirational day. I'm just going to post pictures because I feel my words won't do it justice.

JFK and Jackie O's site.

If you can't read this: "Beneath this stone repose the bones of two thousand one hundred and eleven unknown soldiers gathered after the war from the fields of Bull Run and the route to Rappahannock. Their remains could not be identified. But their names and deaths are recorded in the archives of their country; and it's grateful citizens honor them as their noble army of martyrs. May they rest in peace. -September A.D. 1866"

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier-

This is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where there's actually 3 unknown soldiers buried. There is a guard at all times and they rotate out every 30 minutes.

Part 1- Changing of the Guard

Part 2- Changing of the Guard

I'm very thankful to our country and those who've fought to provide what we have today.

Love from D.C.-

Friday, May 8, 2009

Rainy Day Adventures

So being that it has rained consistently for the past 2 weeks, ask me why I don't think to bring an umbrella anywhere I go?! On Tuesday, us wifey's thought we would figure out the Metro (subway system) and head out to DC. It was so fun! I don't know how being several stories underground manages to make you feel so important and apart the the cities rush to get to the next destination but it was quite an adventure! I loved to bet who was going to make it as we watched people running to bail in the doors before they close and those who manage to make it halfway in and squirm their way through the door before it blasts off at 70mph. I am amazed that being 24, and usually can figure things out pretty well on my own- couldn't figure out how to read the Metro maps for the life of me! I noticed tons of kids just jumping off and on and knowing exactly where they wanted to go and how dumb I felt all of a sudden. Anyway, I got over it once we got to the National Mall and seeing how majestic and big everything is....and then it dumps rain. YAY for touristy poncho's!!! This is just a few of us, me, Dresden and Bri...

As we were walking out of the souvenir tent for our ponchos, we noticed cops had blocked off all the roads near the Monument. Weird. But then again we are in D.C.- maybe they route traffic during rush hour. Eh, anyway?! bats out of hell, the CIA, cops, ambulances, and motorcycles cops come flying down the street from as far as the eye could see! All of this is happening right in front of us as I'm fumbling to get my video on my camera going. If only I could tell them to hold on just ONE second and possibly even say "Cheese!" would be nice but unfortunately I manage to miss some of it. I did get the last got last half lets see if I can post it.

It may not look as exciting in this video, probably because I missed half of it, but it really was exciting! After seeing that, we head to Jefferson monument- I can't believe how beautiful all the monuments are. Maybe its just the symbolism of them all and the precision of every inch of a 30+ ft statue. Just by a few quotes that were written on the wall- Jefferson was a very wise and profound man that was definatly led by his faith in God. When I took this video, I was in a little rush but you can pause it to read the quotes if you'd like.

Because of the rain and being so cold- we didn't see much more than that but we'll be back several times throughout the rest of the summer. Ill post more of "Allayna's Adventures" then. We plan on going to the Holocaust Museum on Sunday after church- that will be my favorite sight , I'm sure! I'm so intrigued by the survivor stories and the faith the Jews had at such a completely evil and desperate time in their life. I'll probably bawl like a baby. Until then though..."I bid thee farewell." (attempting the salutations of our forefathers.) :)

(Im such a dork, Ill understand if you never read my posts again...)

Monday, May 4, 2009

God Bless America!!!

Well, we have finally made it to DC for Platinum sales this summer! What a DRIVE! Let me just paint you a picture- from Dallas to Utah we drove a Uhaul to bring all my things up. The cab of that thing was pretty uncomfortable. No reclining seats, cramped for space and then an ice chest of snacks for the road, when you want cool air it blows a blizzard, it smelled funny and the floor board on the passenger side would get so hot that it would burn my feet. Im actually pretty thankful for that- it was my only source of heat for that entire trip. I felt so bad for Josh, he really didn't want me to drive the Uhaul but he was so determined to drive straight through the night. When he ABSOLUTELY couldn't do it anymore, he finally let me drive but I don't think he dared to close his eyes. Me, driving only lasted about 60 miles before he said to pull over. haha. His excuse, "we both could use a nap." I had slept halfway to that point, I wasnt exactly sleepy at all! Its okay, I thanked him for not letting me drive it longer than that- who knows if we would have ever made here.

The day we got to Utah, he and I unpacked the Uhaul. I again felt so bad for Josh. Halfway through unloading, I just sat down and bawled. I couldn't lift another thing! I couldnt believe how much stuff I had accumulated from having my own place for just a year! He also wouldn't let me forget how much stuff I had. I literally think Heavenly Father picked me up though and gave me more strength than I really had (I think Josh said a prayer so he wouldn't have to do it himself!) We finished unloading, showered, got some sleep and was on the road again to DC. This time in much better driving conditions. Josh's Jeep felt like a luxury compared to that Uhaul, so I was alot less moody. It's actually way nice, I love that car! Our first leg of the trip was from Utah to Kansas City which was where Josh served his mission. We stopped to visit a few of his families that he taught, they were all so sweet! We also stayed at a motel just for a few hours to get a nap and shower and then jumped in the car that night to finish this drive up. We saw beautiful scenery driving through Pennsylvania with all the rolling green farmland and white, old churches in the background. It was a scene from a postcard! We drove into College Park (where we actually live) around 4 the next afternoon. It feels so good to be here! Unfortunatly, it has been cold and rainy since the day we got here and that was over a week ago. Bummer.

This summer is going to be so fun, Im so excited! Unfortunatly Josh has to work alot so when we can, we plan to see alot of different things like the Smithsonians, Holocaust Museum, the National Mall, learning the Metro system (I'm so intimidated by that thing!) but...for the week of being here, I already feel more patriotic!!

In Josh's office, there are quite a few other wives who are so sweet and I love to pal around with- we also plan on doing more sightseeing while the boys are out. I'd have to say that Im really proud of Josh- he's done so well already and its only the first week. He's so motivated and can accomplish anything he puts his mind of the many qualities I admire about him.

So, this is officially the first post after being married and I'd have to say that I couldn't have been blessed with a better man to spend the rest of my life with. Im so excited to see what life has in store for us! Its so fun right now for us to dream about the future and all the "what-if's and "what would you do's" but we have set so many goals and plans in the meantime that we would like to accomplish and even things to learn before we get to those different milestones.

I don't have any of our wedding pics accessible right now but as soon as I do, I will post them. Need to get dinner going! xoxo