Friday, April 30, 2010

Watch Out Moscow...

This kid is heading to town with a testimony to boot!
Meet Sam Ablett.
He is going to the Russia Moscow Mission in July.
Since I have a husband who is obsessed with almost everything Russian (and Sam has a mom whe is worried about almost everything Russian) we decided to have them over for Russian food and comforting, encouraging words.
I made borsht and peroshki for the adults,
and chicken nuggets and fries for the kids.
Sam found out he LOVES borsht and ate 3 bowls.
I also made that sweet cake with a Russian flag on top made from bananas, strawberries and blueberries.
It was not at all Russian (except for the flag) but super delicious.
It was a fun night and everyone is so excited for Sam!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Home Teaching Comps

James has a new home teaching companion (well, maybe not officially, but he was a good sub!)

Talmage and Daddy went home teaching together last night for the first time. Jim said the occasion was definitely cause for a picture! Here they are--James gripping the scriptures and T gripping the balloon!

I was a little nervous when they walked out the door (the picture above should give you a little hint of how our day went yesterday) but luckily Talmage was charming, sweet and quiet during the visits.
I love my righteous men!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Wicked Anniversary

We were supposed to spend the morning of our anniversary in Rome, and the evening in Paris. How romantic is that? But when the dang volcano erupted all of our plans went to boot and we had to quickly devise a new plan for the big day. Jim told me that he would plan absolutely everything on one condition: I would let it be a surprise. It pretty much killed me, but I didn't beg him (too much) to tell me what we were doing.

Saturday morning came and off we were, sans Talmage, to London. Jim told me clues along the way...but I had no idea what he had in store for us. I was SO excited when we arrived at the Wicked ticket office I could hardly stand it. We had both seen Wicked once before, and we spent our whole honeymoon playing the soundtrack, so seeing the musical two years later was so special! It was just as amazing, if not more amazing, than I remembered. What a great anniversary and what a great husband, the best even! I am SO lucky to be married to him.

Just the two of us enjoying a warm, beautiful day in St. James' park before the show. The flowers were in bloom and the lawn was full of sunbathers (AKA--the people-watching was out of this world!) It was a perfect day. We are so blessed.

A big, huge, gigantic thanks to the Lewises for taking care of Talmage all day. He had a blast at the botanical gardens and punting on the Cam. Thanks you two (and a half)!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Last Day

On Mom's last day in Cambridge, we decided to punt down the River Cam. It was a beautiful, sunshiney day and we kicked our feet up and let Scudamore's do the work!

Talmage Hates (with a capital H) that hat, but it keeps the sun out of his face (and off his bald head) and I personally think it looks so super cute!

The four of us in the boat getting ready for our ride. I guess I didn't get the memo about the green clothes!

Jimmy over the Bridge of Sighs. Sigh.

We loved our tour guide and were super entertained by all of his stories. Jim had the camera and at the end of our trip I found at least 50 pictures that looked just like this one!
Instead of one week, we got two, and we are so grateful! Thank you Mom for all your generosity and for all the fun we were able to share. We love you SO much and we'll miss you like crazy!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The BEST Two Years

Two years ago today we were married in the Sacramento Temple.
The weather was perfect. The company was perfect. The day was absolutely perfect.
We were in love, we were happy, and we were excited to start our lives together.

Two years later we are more in love, still crazy amounts of happy, and loving life together more and more each day.
They really have been the best two years.
Two years full of accomplishments, traveling, a new crazy arrival, adventure and growing hand in hand.

Here's to at least an eternity full of anniversaries to come.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Mr. Something

Today I watched this little cutie. He's three years old, has a ton of energy and has thick, dark eyelashes that made me do just about whatever he wanted. We played and played the whole day long and had a blast together. Here are a few of my favorite convos with him.


We were playing with the telephone and I would say, "AJ, the phone's for you" and hand him the phone. He played with it for a few minutes and then held out the phone to me saying, "Mister, uh, Mister Something, the phone's for you!" That's what I was called all day today--Mr. Something (except for the few times I was called Talmage's Mom).


Me: AJ, do you want to learn a word in Chinese.
AJ: Yeah.
Me: Ni hao means hello. Can you say ni hao?
AJ: Ni hao.
Me: Great job!
AJ picks up the phone and says: Ni ha tai lan pan ran
Me: Almost, it's ni hao.
AJ: No. It's ni ha. I speak Chinese.


AJ saw my computer and wanted to play something or see something or do something...but I never figured out what that something was. He said, "I want nit june er." I didn't comprendo. He tells me, obviously upset that I don't understand, "Repeat. Nit" I say nit. "June." I say june. "Er" I say er. He says, "Yeah, you got it!" I say, "You want nit june er? I don't get it." He gave up.


Talmage LOVED having a friend to hang out with. He mimicked everything little AJ did. Above is a picture of him talking on the "phone" with his friend.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

drinking BATH water

As a Jane Austen addict, I was so excited to spend the day walking the beautiful streets of Bath. Jane spent many years in this incredible city, and I couldn't help but think the gorgeous architecture and historic sites were so Pride and Prejudesque!

We toured the Roman baths, which were built in approximately 45 AD. The baths are built on a natural hot spring, and the Romans considered it not only a place of hygiene, but a place of worship.

The Roman baths were unfortunately destroyed, but in the 12th Century the English royalty built baths of their own right on top of the remains. Eventually, the royal baths were built over as well. The Roman baths were discovered (nearly 12 feet under the current ground level) in the 1800s.
And thus the Ancient Roman baths were re-born and the city of Bath was once again alive with people desiring to see the mysterious water and be blessed by its healing power.

The end of the tour brought us into the Pump Room where we were allowed to personally taste the Bath water. The hall was white and crisp and I loved picturing all my favorite Jane Austen characters drinking water in that same room.

So, maybe the water tastes like sulfur and is super warm, no big deal. Supposedly it's super healthy for you. I'm just glad I don't have to drink it all day long like they did in the olden days.

It's true...we felt a little bit like the aristocracy while we drank our natural spring water in Bath.

Mitch and Jo were SO much fun to spend the day with. Jo was in the same situation as Jim's mom (her flight was cancelled) but I'm so glad we made the most of it together. They are awesome girls.

We walked through parks. We walked in neighborhoods. We walked by the river Avon. We walked the streets of Bath, how cool is that?

Monday, April 19, 2010

What the Eyjafjallajökull?

For the record:

A big volcano with an un-pronouncable name (What the Eyjafjallajökull?) errupted in Iceland, spewing glass, boulders and crazy toxins into the air which have decided to chill right over England, and the Netherlands, and the rest of Europe for the past 5 days.

The airports are closed, the airplanes are grounded, and thousands of people are stranded.


For the record:
We LOVE the fact that the volcano extended Jim's Mom's trip by an extra week.
She was planning on going home on Saturday, was rescheduled for today, and is now scheduled for the first available flight next Saturday.
We're excited to spend more time with her, but at the same time we know she has lots to get home to.


For the record:We HATE the fact that the volcano has cancelled my Mom's trip to England.
I shed lots of tears yesterday, and as you can see, so did Talmage.
We were supposed to see Rome together. We were supposed to see Paris together.
Most importantly, we were supposed to be together.
We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you Mom/Grandma.
We'll miss you more than you know this week and we can't wait until the time we can see you again. Soon?
For the record:
An American friend of ours brought me a grocery bag full of American food yesterday.
He called it Volcano therapy.
I'm not ashamed to tell you that I ate at least a sleeve of Oreo's last night.
And they tasted good.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Great Saint Mary's

We climbed 123 steps up a narrow, spiral staircase to the top of Great Saint Mary's Church.

We admired King's College Chapel.

Soaked in the bright colors of the market.

And loved the crisp, clean, white Senate House.

It was worth every single step.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Party at the Wig's

We had some friends over to celebrate Jim's birthday.
Cake. Snacks. Games. Laughs.
Party at the Wig's!
We ate Jim's cake pick, Pioneer Woman's Life by Chocolate Cake with buttercream frosting.
The candle holders on the cake were used when Jim and his sister were young.
We also had Scottish ice cream.
Niall says things from Scotland are just better.
And when it comes to ice cream, we definitely agree!
Happy Birthday Jim!
(We obviously are big believers in Birthday weeks...why not celebrate as long as possible?)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Living a Nursery Rhyme

There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

The crooked house really exists, and yesterday we visited it! A sister in the ward, Viv Cook, took us to Lavenham, an old medieval town in East Anglia, which is also the site of this well-known nursery rhyme. But that's not all, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was also written here, and this is where John Winthrop's anscestors lived. So much history in such a small little town.

We spent the afternoon on the English seashore in a small town called Aldburgh. There's something about crashing waves, fresh sea air and sea gulls that is so refreshing. We loved walking on the beach, looking at the boats and finding shells. What a great day!

And of course we couldn't leave the town without some famous fish and chips. We saw the line wrapping around the building and knew that something delicious must be inside!

Simply said, these were the best fish and chips we have ever, ever eaten!

I thought putting our little puppy in front of this sign was funny. He wasn't as amused!
Thanks Viv for taking our family on this fun adventure. Let us know when you'd like to play again!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hyde Park and High Tea

We stayed in a cute bed and breakfast on the outskirts of Hyde Park, and enjoyed a beautiful walk in the park on Wednesday morning. We stayed near the home of J. M. Barrie and found a Peter Pan statue that he was gifted (and subsequently gifted to the city) in the park. Sometimes I wish Talmage would become a lost boy and stop growing up so quickly! This little man is killing me with how big he's getting.

The majority of our day was spent at Cliveden, the old Astor Estate where Mom spent a semester when she attended Stanford some 30+ years ago. Since then, the gorgeous old manor home has been turned into a 5-star hotel. When I saw a Rolls Royce and multiple Mercedes parked in front of the house I knew it was no joke!

Everything about this place is phenomenal. The grounds are out of this world and my favorite part is that people are allowed to walk on the grass (I know that sounds silly, but in Cambridge we can't walk on the grass in the University. Lame!)

Mom, T and me enjoying the sunshine and the beauty of the estate.

Our family in front of our brand new home. Can't wait to move in!

Remember how he's been walking for less than a week? Well now this little monkey's running!

We had high tea at the Cliveden and it was just as magnificent as we had expected. There were finger sandwiches (no crust of course), pastries, cakes, scones and clotted cream and the most delicious macarons EVER! We spend two hours eating and talking and feeling just like old English aristocracy! Thank you Mom for such a special, unforgettable experience.
Instead of hard chairs, we were able to kick-back on plush couches to drink our tea/cocoa. It was so comfortable!
And Talmage had a fancy little highchair. He was trying to feed Grandma his binky!

T made lots of friends at the Cliveden! They let him play the piano...

...and ring the big gong at the top of the stairs. He was living the high life for sure!

After a super successful London trip we headed back to Cambridge, but not without a special visit through Paddington Station. Talmage LOVES his Paddington doll, and has his own Paddington coat, so he was stoked!