Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Visit from the Rees Family: Day #1

Kyle and I were so excited to welcome my sister Katie and her family to our home this past April for a six day visit. They were such good sports to drive 13+ hours and then camp out in our two bedroom apartment with three kids. We had a blast exploring Connecticut together and we made so many good memories.

Day #1: New Haven, CT

When the Rees' were planning their trip, I made the suggestion to visit the Pez Factory just outside of New Haven because I thought my nephews would love the idea...little did I know that my brother-in-law Chris has been a Pez aficionado since he was little! Combine this with the fact that every visitor gets a free Pez machine and I think the suggestion was a huge success.

Chris with baby Ellie, Rowan, and Davin

Rowan, Kyle, Davin, me

This awesome wall has every Pez machine ever made
Where they make 'um
Where they sell 'um
We drove into New Haven after and took a driving tour of the city before stopping at the Yale University Art Gallery for a snack break and a view of the fantastic art.

Too much time in the car?...

I'm not sure what his excuse is...

Yale Center for British Art
View of Yale Campus from the museum
Rowan really took to the impressionistic art I think...
Our hungry tummies took us next to Wooster Street to dine at Frank Pepe's and Libby's Pastries. Our tummies were not disappointed!

Pizza at Frank Pepe's
Cannolis at Libby's

A Quick (and wet...) Trip to Boston

After a lovely visit to the Boston Temple last March, Kyle and I drove to Charlestown to visit the USS Consitution (which is the oldest commissioned warship still afloat in the world, fyi). After walking through the museums, we boarded the boat and took a tour of the deck and the several floors below. I felt like I was on the Black Pearl! 

USS Constitution

It started to mist...

...and then pour!

Down below
We were planning on walking around that end of Boston, but sadly torrential rains forced us to change our plans. We drove instead to the North End (Boston's Little Italy) to find a (dry) place to eat and we discovered Regina's Pizzeria

Parking was crazy and the only spot we found gave us about 45 minutes to get to the restaurant, eat, and get back to the car. It was a flurry of ordering and snarfing, but we made it! The pizza was well worth all the trouble and I'll admit that our leftovers were completely consumed by the time we got back to Connecticut. 

Delicious!

Double delicious! :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Mozzicato's Italian Bakery

I LOVE the Italian culture here in New England...the food, the accent, the people...and the bakeries! People raved to us about an especially good bakery in Hartford called Mozzicato and after visiting, we can see why! Delizioso!




Getting Through a Connecticut Winter

This winter was one of Connecticut's coldest, snowiest, longest, and most blustery! 


Luckily, Kyle and I had several highlights that helped us through... 

Our good friends Burke and Julia recently moved to Massachusetts and they invited us up for an Olympic Opening Ceremonies party. Julia went all out with Cheetos torches and Oreo gold medals. We are so excited to have them close.

Burke and Julia
For Valentine's Day, Kyle and I found a Groupon hotel called the Carriage House Inn in Newport, RI. It was one of those places that reiterate the phrase, 'You get what you pay for.' :) It really wasn't too bad and we just had fun getting away.



One of the highlights of visiting Newport is exploring the Newport Mansions. On this trip, we stopped in at the Marble House and the Elms. Absolutely breathtaking!

The Elms

The Marble House
Our final stop in Newport was The Corner Cafe where we tried the califlower gouda soup and a fancy quesadilla. It was delicious and I totally recommend a visit!




(Okay, I know I'm a little behind, but...) Happy New Year!

Back in January, the Hardy family from our LDS ward invited Kyle and me to their annual New Year's Eve Party. This exclusive event includes Dolores Hardy's incredible cooking, Latin dancing (Dolores is from Mexico), and this year, a private concert given by yours trulies at Dolores' request. :) It was such a wonderful celebration and the perfect way to bring in the new year. Thank you Hardys!

Happy 2014!

Dolores showing us her moves.

Kyle's turn!

Me, Alison Caldwell-Andrews, and Dolores

Rock it!

Watching the ball drop on Times Square...

...and stealing a New Year's kiss!



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A New (Borrowed) Piano!

Talk about generous! Our friend Alison recently bought an electric piano and decided to let us borrow her upright for, well, ever. Isn't that incredible?! Kyle and I have been overjoyed having this instrument in our home (I'm not sure our neighbors are though...)

Lift where you stand! :)
Tickle those ivories!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Newlywed Christmas

Kyle and I spent our first married Christmas together at home. We debated about getting any decorations because we didn't really have the money and weren't sure if it would be worth it, but in the end, we're glad we did. We made memories with all of our frugal efforts and were able to bring in a little Christmas into our apartment.

Kyle MADE this stocking! 
Dollar Store snowflakes...awesome!
Wal-Mart Christmas tree
Stringing popcorn for the tree
Not too shabby after all!
Kyle's parents drove from their mission in Pennsylvania to spend Christmas with us. It was so wonderful to spend time with Tammy and Ross for the few days they were here. They brought a beautiful missionary spirit into our home and it's stayed since! They are such wonderful, loving people and I'm grateful to know them.

Silly goofs...that sugar is getting to us!
I've learned that despite Kyle's numerous ways of showing love, gift giving is not top on the list. When he does give a gift, it is loving and thoughtful, but he doesn't really care to give or receive them. Because I know this about him and because we trimmed the Christmas budget down to a minimum, I didn't really plan on getting any surprises from him. However, on Christmas Eve morning, I glanced at the Christmas tree, and to my delight, I discovered gift after gift from Kyle to me! It hardly mattered what was inside them...just the fact that he'd gotten me these little tokens of affection meant the world and beyond to me. What a sweetie.

A new phone case...hot pink!

Family history research that we started together
(hard to explain, but super meaningful for me)

Three coupons for homemade back massages

The elf himself hard at work!
My family decided to have our Christmas Eve devotional this year via video chat because there was no way that we could all be together. It turned out to be simply wonderful. We sang, read, and even danced together! It was so much fun and I'll never forgot it!


video

Our friends the Caldwell-Andrews were so kind to invite us over for dinner and music at their house on Christmas Eve. They spoiled us by serving steak and crab legs! We sang Christmas carols and read Luke 2 before we all headed home.

Delicious dinner!
Singing Christmas carols
The four of us held another Christmas Eve celebration back at our apartment. Kyle and his parents were so kind to let me share a family tradition that I hold dear. Every year for as long as I can remember, my family and I have gathered around a lit German pyramid while my dad has read the beloved story of The Gift of the Magi. This year, I felt every emotion as Kyle read that story and we four sat around the new German pyramid my mom sent me. I felt grateful for every sweet Christmas I've shared with family past and present.


Santa came! I'm not sure how this happened, but somehow the underside of the Christmas tree was full of gifts on Christmas morning. I believe!

 

Kyle's sister-in-law Jodi made these adorable
missionary stockings for Kyle's parents
We opened our lovely gifts and then enjoyed a scrumptious Christmas breakfast. 



The rest of the day was spent nibbling on goodies and video chatting with our families. I can't imaging a better way to celebrate Christmas. ;)