Sunday, July 26, 2015

Summer Vacation in D.C.

A few months ago we asked Brooke to give us some suggestions for a family vacation. Her response was, "Paris, New York City and D.C." Wonder where she gets the dreamy thoughts from?! We booked everything a few months ago and July 22 seemed so far away. The summer flew by and before we knew it, Family Vacation 2015 had arrived!

Day 1 (14, 375 steps - 7.5 miles)
Selfie for Day One
We woke up at 3, to leave the house by 4, to catch our flight by 7:15. Whew! We arrived in D.C. at 11:15 and we were starving! Little did Brooke and I know, we had to take the metro for about an hour from Dulles to the hotel. Thank goodness I packed some peanut butter crackers! We weren't able to check into the hotel until 3, but they kindly held our bag for us so that we could sight-see.

          Side-Note: Yes you read that correctly. The THREE of us packed in ONE suitcase for FOUR
                            days. Those that know me, know that I typically have one suitcase alone for just
                            shoes. Believe me, I shocked myself!

Waiting on the metro

Just one of many selfies
Then we were off to find something for lunch. The hotel recommended a few restaurants a few blocks away. We chose Tonic, which was know for its tater tots. It wasn't a place I'd eat at again, but when you're past starvation anything is going to taste good! We had about an hour to kill before we could check-in to the hotel, so we decided to walk to The White House. I remember it being grandeur when I went to D.C. 20 years ago (infamous 8th grade trip), but it was neat seeing Brooke's reaction to it. We did a little souvenir shopping from the vendors on the street and then headed back to the hotel. Since we woke up at 3, we were pooped! Taylor and I crashed for a couple of hours, expecting Brooke to do the same. WRONG! Apparently, she took it upon herself to hang clothes in the closet, hide various items of ours and put the snacks in the kitchenette provided in the room. Sleeping was not on her agenda.

Dinner time was around the corner, so we primped ourselves to go explore our dinner options. We walked a few blocks to the George Washington University area. It should actually be called the 'organic, farm fresh, never-heard-of-before' food area. Ha! We walked in and out of a few restaurants, but finally settled on Whole Foods Market. Oh my! I'm sure there's something similar in the Ft. Worth area, but it's a must visit kind of place. The first floor was a grocery store and then the second floor was every type of food you could ever think of. They had prepackaged sandwiches, sushi, pizza, etc. Then there were create your own kiosks with pizza, sushi, sandwiches, Mexican and hamburger options. The coolest thing ever was their salad bar, veggie bar and hot food bar. You grab a biodegradable container and fill it with whatever you'd like, paying by the pound. Awesome! Brooke said that she could eat there every day!
Enjoying our view at Whole Foods
I'd say it was a pretty successful first day.

Day 2 (24,000 steps - 12.3 miles)

Selfie for Day Two
Day two was the day of seeing all the memorials: Vietnam War Memorial Wall, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Korean War Memorial and the WWII Memorial. WOW!

The Lincoln Memorial was one of my favorites. Not because of the history, but seeing Brooke lean against the stone pillar and read every word inscribed on the wall. I love that she loves to learn!


Site of Dr. MLK, Jr.'s I Have a Dream cool!

Korean War Memorial

Thankful for a runner passing by that offered to snap a non-selfie
The WWII Memorial was really neat. It seemed like every time we walked around it we noticed something new.Of course we had to take pictures with our states!

Who knew that Smokey would be in D.C.?!

Escalator of many

My favorite picture of the trip! She loved to hold hands with us and we treasured every moment, knowing these moments are few and far between as the years progress.

After such a busy day, Taylor and Brooke wanted some ice cream for dessert. So glad that she wasn't able to consume all of that! And she was still able to sleep through the night.

Day 3 (22,000 steps - 11.2 miles)

Selfie for Day Three
We grabbed breakfast at Starbucks and then headed to the metro to go to Arlington National Cemetery. 

You've never experienced morning rush hour until you've seen thousands of people trying to make their morning metro ride. Oh my! I love the country life more and more.

Arlington National Cemetery is as breathtaking as anything I've ever seen. The grounds are immaculate! We chose to purchase the tour bus tickets to save our feet a little. Best $12 spent! We were able to see JFK's resting place and the eternal flame. Next was the Arlington House, which was built by George Washington's adoptive grandson. I learned so much from a special tour that we received from a volunteer from Waxahachie! It is definitely a small world. We learned that the house belonged to Robert E. Lee's wife, whom was the adoptive great-granddaughter of George Washington. I had no idea that Washington and Lee were related in such a way!

We got a quick selfie in at the Arlington House

After Arlington Cemetery we took the metro to the National Zoo. It is known for the giant pandas and one definitely put on a show for us!

Day 4 (11,900 steps - 6.15 miles)

Selfie for Day Four
What a difference a weekend makes. Streets were empty and the pace of life was much slower in the big city. We grabbed Starbucks for breakfast again before heading to The American History Museum. Wowzers! We saved the best for last.

Brooke has recently started a fascination with Theodore Roosevelt. She loves that he had all types of animals in The White House! Throughout the museum (and souvenir shops) she was on the look-out for anything Roosevelt.

Daddy/Daughter time of building a photo holder out of wire


We made some AWESOME memories and learned even more. So thankful for Taylor and all that he provides for us! After 72,275 steps and walking 37.15 miles, we have just a few things we'd like to mention about D.C.:

  • Take Taylor with you for your tour guide
  • When riding any escalator or walking down any sidewalk, stand to the right for the speed walkers to fly past you
  • You will definitely stand out...everyone dresses NICE!
  • Women really do wear tennis shoes with their business suits...interesting sight!
  • The city is IMMACULATE!
  • No mosquitoes
  • Definitely put it on your BUCKET LIST!
Until my next blog update....

Friday, January 3, 2014

Blog?! Oh yeah!

I totally forgot about blogging! So much has gone on since my last blog a year and a half ago! I won't bore you with catching you up with it all :)

Life is great and I'm lovin' my life in the country! Brooke is growing like a weed and going on about 25 instead of 10 1/2. Oh my! Taylor is still as handsome as ever and the love of my life. Work is better than ever and I'm loving my 8 kiddos!

We continue to work on expanding our family, but the Lord is ultimately in control of that situation :) I am on my third round of Clomid and will revert to IUI next month if we don't have success this month. Fertility issues is one thing that never crossed my mind. It is frustrating, heart-breaking and emotional, but definitely something that we can overcome with faith, hope and prayer. I promise to keep better updates!

From our family to yours...Happy New Year 2014!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Celebrating Taylor's 30th!

If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE to throw a party! I started asking Taylor about two months ago what he wanted to do for his birthday and it was the typical, "I don't know." Ugh! To say the least, it kind of got put on the back burner considering everything else that has been going on. While on our mini-vacation last weekend, I insisted that he make some sort of plan to celebrate. I mentioned LOTS of things, but he ultimately decided on dinner and a comedy club. I immediately began to text everyone the plan and get a count for who would be able to attend.

I wanted to have some sort of surprise incorporated with his birthday, so I secretly sent a text to his friends in Tyler: Jason & Alicia and Ryan & Alicia. Ryan and Alicia were immediately in! Jason and Alicia made a last minute decision to come, but everything worked out without a hitch!

What a perfect night! We started off by meeting 3 other couples at the Pour House before dinner. I loved the 'chill' atmosphere and getting to see everyone!
The Switzer's, Gibson's, Lansford's and Smith's

Jason and Alicia
Josh and Briana
Ryan and Alicia

 After the Pour House we went to Pappadeaux to stuff our faces! I think we all ate light all day so that we could have empty bellies for such a delicious dinner. We are so blessed to have such amazing friends and family to celebrate the BIG things and the small things in our lives. There were 17 of us for dinner...
Sweetest friend in the world...Camille!

Ashlee and Dale
Chris and Anne
Doug, Lindsay and Rhonda (Lindsay's Mom)
Aaron and Taylor
Ryan and Alicia

Picture Posing Time!

Uh...yep, that's my husband :)
Who knows! Obviously they're in awe of the Captain America tattoo!
The Smith Brothers: Taylor, Chris and Doug
Jason, Taylor and Josh

After stuffing ourselves, some of us walked over to Four Day Weekend for an improv comedy show. It is a MUST if you're in the FtW area! I haven't laughed that hard in a long time and it was well worth our money. We were a few minutes late to the show, which meant that NO seats were available in the theater for 10 late comers. Oh well! We placed our booties on the stairs and watched the show from there. The next time we will definitely be early :)
Me, Briana and Anne
Me and Briana

After Four Day Weekend, some needed to get on the road to head home while the rest of us went to the Flying Saucer. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful night...absolutely gorgeous!

Our sweet friends from Tyler. So blessed!

Large Fries and a Diet Coke...yes please! I think I might have left a
handful for Taylor. My weakness at midnight driving home :)

 Oh yeah...and my gift to Taylor...

Cowboys Tickets!