Our Halloween

Halloween this year was so much fun! On Friday night we went to our ward Trunk or Treat. It was cold outside so they did the Trunk or Treating in the gym. So I guess it was just a lazy version of Trick or Treating. Anyway, we couldn't find any costumes that fit Alex. He was going to be a cowboy but then we couldn't find a cowboy hat his size. So we bought a hot dog costume. It is for dogs. It said right on the packaging, "For Pets Only." We didn't listen.
Happy Halloweiner!

He was asleep through most of the activity.

Golfer, hot dog, and softball player.

Mommy went to the game and got herself a hot dog! Yummy!

On Saturday afternoon we went to Hollenbeck's Cider Mill. We got to see apples being peeled, sliced, and cored, but they were not actually pressing the apples while we were there. We bought some freshly made doughnuts and apple cider.
So true.

Old-fashioned and delicious.

The girls (and children).

Then we went to Eddydale Farm Stand because we heard they had a deal where you could get as many pumpkins as you could carry for $5.
Sam totally could have carried five!

We made jack-o-lantern pizzas again and this time we had friends over!
Before we started designing.

Sam's and Emily's before the oven.

Nathan and Kristen's after the oven (I rolled out the dough so the shape of it is entirely my fault).

While the pizzas were cooking we carved pumpkins.
Before the mess.

We are awesome!

With the finished pumpkins.

Alex and Canon. They look... cozy.

After carving pumpkins we formed a band and jammed out on Rock Band. We didn't have a single trick-or-treater the entire night! Or at least we couldn't hear them knocking over our rocking out.
Kristen, Nathan, and Sam.

Canon fell asleep very soon after I took this picture.

Alex sound asleep.

Halloween has never been a very important holiday to me but I think we now have a tradition of making jack-o-lantern pizzas and that makes Halloween so much better. Yay for family and friends!


Tuesday Thyme: What Not To Do

My mom told me I needed to post this so people wouldn't think I am perfect.

Our ward's Girls' Night Out is at my apartment tonight! I decided that we would decorate sugar cookies. So last night I started making the cookies. I have never successfully made sugar cookies. Also, I am not very good at baking. I would rather make five dinners than one dessert. So back to the sugar cookies... My cookies should be listed on failblog.org under "Sugar Cookies Fail." The recipe called for 4 1/2 cups of flour but it was still too runny to roll out so I started adding flour. Pretty soon I had added almost 7 cups of flour and it was still too thin to roll out. I was about to throw it away but I decided to make them round and put them in the oven. Please note that this recipe has been made successfully by my friend. So it was not the recipe, it was me.

I ended up with biscuits.

So the "cookie dough" went in the garbage and I decided I was going to make pumpkin pie instead. I pulled out my great-grandma's pie crust recipe which is delicious and makes the most amazing pies. I couldn't get the dough to stay together so I put more water in and I think I overdid it. I ended up with a very messy kitchen and two empty pie pans.

Before I cleaned the kitchen for the third time.

I gave up and went to the store to buy pie crusts. And while I was getting Sam to take this picture, I burned our dinner. Life is awesome!

Happy that I am done baking!


Daddy's idea of babysitting

Sam and I have slightly different ideas of what "watching the baby" means. I walked into the room to find the following:

Sam messing with his music...

...Alex sliding down the couch...

...And neither of them really minding it.


Trip to campus

Last week, Alex and I rode the bus to campus to have lunch with Sam! I had been wanting to do it for a while so we did it before it got too cold. I was able to meet a lot of people from his classes and it was really fun. I think I will do it again sometime!
Eating lunch.

On our way home.

The leaves are starting to turn more brown than orange and red and I am being forced to accept that winter is near. Poop.

My birthday celebrations

Thank you for the birthday wishes! That was such a nice post by Sam! I was very surprised seeing as he told me he was writing cover letters. Sneaky, little devil! Now I will tell you about what we did for my birthday...

We went to the Cornell vs. Brown football game. Cornell is awful! We had a lot of fun but they were worse than my high school team. It was embarrassing.
It was sunny so Sam happily shaded Alex.

He fell asleep about 30 seconds later.

Then we went to the adult session of stake conference. After the session there was a potluck so I had a lot of food and desserts. Yummy.

We went to Target and walked around and bought a photo album and bread. Exciting, huh?

Then we went to our friends' house and watched the BYU football game. Oh man, that was embarrassing, too. My birthday brings bad luck to my schools, I guess. Yes, I said "my." We decided that I can say Cornell is my school even though I do not actually attend.
Sam, Alex, Nathan, Canon, and Kristen

They were born 13 days apart! And Alex looks stoned.

I can't imagine that would be comfortable.

Then we came home and watched Runaway Bride. It was a very fun birthday and Alex cooperated the entire time. I know he looks unhappy in the pictures, but those were probably the only times he was upset all day. I'm 21! Woo hoo!


Happy Birthday to My Beautiful Wife (Sam, yeah, that's right, Sam!)

So as many of you know it is a rare occasion for me to get on an blog, so appreciate this! :-) What is the special occasion you ask? It's Emily's birthday today, the big 21! We can finally go out to bars and get drunk! Now if only we actually drunk, oh well, it's still cool that we will never have another problem where we are trying to go somewhere and she gets turned away at the door. So in honor of her birthday here is a list of 21 reasons why my wife is amazing and I love her.

21. She is beautiful! I constantly fear that she is going to realize that she deserves someone better than me. Here's to hoping that she never does!
20. She has a smoking hot body even after having a child. She doesn't believe it, but I know first hand.
19. She's a very intelligent women. All of you that read the blog know, she can turn a phrase with the best of them.
18. She's very active in our ward. This is good, because I am a little on the anti-social side sometimes, and she helps us get to know more people.
17. She cares about people. She is always very concerned that people that she knows and loves are happy in their lives.
16. She does everything she can to make people feel welcome and at home.
15. She loves our baby. She's so much more patient with Alex than I am. It's rare, but there are times when he's screaming that I'd like to just put my hand over his mouth to keep him quiet, she takes a better tact and comforts him like a good mother should.
14. She IS a good mother. I can tell from every interaction that she has with him how much she loves him and how important his success in life is to her.
13. She loves me. I definitely do things that might make her question why she puts up with me, but she sticks it out regardless of my flaws.
12. She puts up with the inordinate amount of sports (mostly baseball right now) that I make her watch.
11. She is interested in what goes on in my life everyday. She actually wants to hear a run down of what's going on in my classes and with my classmates.
10. She is very supportive. I am applying to internships for next summer and getting rejected to almost as many as I apply to, she's always there with a shoulder to cry on for me and to give me support.
9. She's okay with the fact that I don't plan date nights or anything like that very often, and enjoys hanging out at the apartment with me.
8. She tells me I look good when I get all dressed up for interviews, even if I don't.
7. She's learning to appreciate my sports teams and even learn the names of the players on the Jazz and Red Sox.
6. She trusts me to watch our baby when she goes out with the girls in the ward. Perhaps this is not a good idea, but she does it anyway. :-)
5. She is a very good cook. When she isn't too tired from watching Alex all day, or putting up with me and is able to make dinner, it is delicious!
4. She is very organized. I on the other hand fly by the seat of my pants on a regular basis. The two of us being together help each other be better people. Her more than me though.
3. She helps me stay focused. She is always asking me if I have homework or reading that I should be doing, which inevitably I do, and she encourages me to be a better student and do it.
2. She cuddles me. I'll keep this G-rated, but I'm very happy that I share a bed with her.
1. She completes me. You can call it cheesy that that is number 1 but I don't care, it's true, she makes me a better man, a better father, a better member of the church, and just a better everything.

I love you Emily, and don't you forget it!


A nephew of my very own

I am not sure how I overlooked posting about this four months ago! Michelle is pregnant! I am so excited for her and I can't wait to cuddle the little boy when he is born. She is due February 4, 2010 and I am planning on going to Utah for the blessing. I am also hoping she will let me stay and help out for a little since I know how much that is needed. Please?! :-)

Michelle (and me) on her wedding day!


It's Cool to be a Mormon

My brother Matthew made this video while on his mission. The music is from "Sons of Provo." Some people think this is lame but I love watching it and it cracks me up. I am also impressed that they had enough time to do this on their mission! This video has over 41,000 views on youtube. So enjoy!


Fall Fun

For our ward play group we went to Iron Kettle Farm. It was a beautiful fall day and I had a fun drive out there with Kristen and Canon.

Emily and Alex

Emily, Alex, Kristen, and Canon. And a whole lot of pumpkins.



Family Vacation Marathon

Since my brothers had a whole week off school for October Break, my family decided to go on a road trip of the east coast. I, of course, invited myself and it ended up being so much fun! This is going to be an extremely long post because it was a week long vacation.

Monday, October 12th

For the third time in three days, we went to Ithaca Falls. Fortunately they are beautiful and I wouldn't mind going every day. They are so close to our house and it is unbelievable that something so amazing would be right in the middle of town!

We went on a tour of Cornell because Jared (16 years old) had a school project where he needed to research 10 schools he would be interested in attending. This is the second time Sam and I have been on the official tour of Cornell and we enjoyed it this time even more. The tour guide knew a lot more about campus. However, she missed some of the parts we really liked from our first tour.

After we finished the tour, we let for Pennsylvania. We stayed in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. During the drive we came within a few miles of Scranton.
Getting ready to leave.

Tuesday, October 13th

In the morning we started what should have been a very short drive to Valley Forge. But our GPS deceived us and we ended up going on an hour long drive around Pennsylvania. We got on the wrong freeway but the next exit wasn't for fifteen miles so we were kind of stuck for a while. Then we had to turn around and go back to where we were. My parents were driving a rental van and during this adventure, they were rear-ended. They were stopping at a Stop sign when it happened. The cop said that it used to be a Yield sign and there were a lot of accidents so they changed it to a Stop sign. However, now all of the tourists stop and the locals rear-end them. I had a good laugh about that. Everyone was fine though. They were going about 5 MPH so it wasn't a big deal. The cars were not really damaged either. They got the insurance figured out and met us at Valley Forge.
Is it morning already?

A very unhappy George Washington.

Emily, stop making me do stupid things.

Driving around Valley Forge.

Taking tickets at the railroad.


More sleepy pictures of my boys.

Cabins at Valley Forge.

My family drove to set foot in Delaware while Sam, Alex, and I saw a little more of Valley Forge. We then drove to Philadelphia. It was lunch time so we decided to get some Philly Cheesesteaks. During the summer we went to Pat's so this time we decided to try Geno's. We didn't think it was a very fair comparison since we didn't have them at the same time, but if our memories were correct, Pat's was a million times better. We just had to wait until dinner to know for sure!
Choking down Geno's.

Our tour of Independence Hall was interesting but very short and ended abruptly. The tour guide just walked away and we stood there asking each other if that was really the end. It was odd.Independence Hall

Assembly Room

We got to see the Liberty Bell up close this time since the exhibit was still open. It was cool to learn more of the history about the bell. After watching a couple of very poorly made movies and accidentally running through the filming of a commercial and getting a fist shaken at me, we went to Pat's for dinner! My brothers didn't seem to enjoy Philly Cheesesteaks very much but it was worth it for us to know without a doubt that Pat's is better.
Still a powerful symbol.

The family went to Pat's. Much better than Geno's!

Sam and I said goodbye by our cars. Sam's Fall Break was over and he would have to go back to New York for classes on Wednesday and Thursday. Alex and I loaded into the van with my family and drove to New York City.

Wednesday, October 14th

We woke up early and learned to navigate the New York metro. I was awed by how nice everyone was. I was offered seats by four different people on my very first ride. Alex hooks me up! I was expecting everyone to be pushing and rude, but they were so friendly.
Waiting for our ride!

Broadway and 42nd Street.

We kept looking for the Cash Cab. No such luck.

My favorite candy!


I concur.

I didn't even realize it was the temple until we were practically in it!

It is awesome that it is amongst all the crazy buildings and then you walk in and it is quiet!

More buildings.

We saw things in Times Square and Central Park and then made our way to Battery Park so we could get on our 12pm ferry to Liberty Island. After two security clearances, we got to go to the top of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. It was beautiful to look across at Manhattan and also to learn more about the construction of the Statue.
Lady Liberty

The original torch.

Looking up her robe. Huh?


Adam is hiding behind David.

We took the ferry to Ellis Island and learned more about the people who came through there. I learned that many families were split up due to sickness. That would be horrible. I cannot imagine having to be separated from Sam just because one of us is sick. That is when I would want to be together the most. But they could not turn down the opportunity for a better life.
Recognize this room from Hitch?

It looks bad but Alex really does like being held this way.

So many people came through this building!

After leaving Ellis Island, we went to see Libby! Libby was one of Rachael's good friends and roommates and she has become a friend of mine and my family as well. We went out to dinner with her at a place called Shake Shack. They had the most amazing burgers I have ever had.
Libby in her itty bitty room that costs over $1000/month.

Shake Shack onesie!

I wanted to see Times Square at night so we took the subway back. It looked like it was day still. There were so many lights!Radio City Music Hall

I spent over $7 on a chocolate covered strawberry! They were about to close so I got a second for free! Yippee!

Anyone watch 30 Rock?

Alex was pretty worn out by the end of the night. I would have been worn out too if I had to walk around all day carrying an extra 12 pounds. Oh wait. He screamed for about 20 minutes while we walked back to the subway. I am sure every New Yorker was thinking, "That's why I don't have kids."

Thursday, October 15th

We drove around Graffiti Park or 5Pointz but no one was painting because it was raining. There were some incredibly realistic paintings. I was impressed.
The only true graffiti I could read.

We saw Shea Stadium (saw where the Mets play), the USTA National Tennis Center (where the US Open is located), and Flushing Meadows Park (where the World's Fair took place). On our way to Boston we went through Rhode Island and Connecticut. Two more states off my list! Yay!
Shea Stadium (or Citi Field I guess). Whatever.

USTA National Tennis Center

Men in Black?

The Unisphere is the "unofficial symbol" of Queens.

We went and visited with my dad's cousin's family. It was really fun to see them and their two boys. But being the dumby I am, I forgot to take a picture!

Friday, October 16th

We took the subway into Boston and went on a tour of part of the Freedom Trail. Alex had the entire subway car mesmerized. Everyone was watching him and smiling. He just makes everyone so happy. Especially us. We love this little guy.
On the subway into Boston.

What is this building? I can't remember, but it looks cool.

Our very political tour guide who bashed Mitt Romney and made me laugh.

Massachusetts State House

Granary burial ground

Adams' headstone

Victims of the Boston Massacre

John Hancock. Apparently big ego = big signature = big headstone.

Paul Revere's headstone.

Another homeless man said to us, "Could you give me some money for no reason at all? I can't think of any more excuses. I'm so broke I can't even think straight." No shame, my friend.

The longest continually running restaurant in the United States.

We had lunch at Durgin Park.
I had some delicious Yankee Pot Roast.

We then went on a tour of some more of the Freedom Trail.
They don't know what this is but people say it is good luck to rub it.

Our crazy British tour guide.


Paul Revere's statue is facing the wrong way because the horses butt used to be facing the Catholic Church so they were forced to turn it around! Now it is running away from the Old North Church!

The pews were crazy! They were boxes and the edges came up so high. Once you sat down you couldn't see anyone in other boxes.

We went on a tour of the U.S.S. Constitution.

Long, cold, windy day.
U.S.S. Constitution

We were the very first people to sign the card for the U.S.S. Constitution's 212th birthday! Adam wrote, "You're old." And I laughed.

We road a ferry across the harbor and then went to dinner at Legal Sea Foods. We all had a bowl of clam chowder. It was delicious but the waitress was a brat! I was kind of angry at her. We then walked to Omni Parker House and bought Boston Cream Pies. $8 for the little thing. But I paid that for a chocolate covered strawberry so I don't know what I'm talking about. It was delicious as well.
On the ferry.

"Good food, bad waitresses." That should be their slogan.

America's longest continuously operating luxury hotel. Also the birth place of the Boston Cream Pie and Parker house rolls.

Amazing. I wanted more.

Saturday, October 17th

Sam, Alex, and I searched for a place to find Red Sox stuff and we ended up at the Pro Shop across from Fenway. Expensive! Sam bought two hats and a hoodie for a grand total of $110. I walked away feeling very poor and Sam walked away grinning.
Sam and Alex

The Green Monster

On our way to the Minute Man Visitor's Center we saw Nathaniel Hawthorne's house and the house where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women! The visitor's center had a really good movie and it helped me picture the geography of the battles and Paul Revere's midnight ride. I learned that Revere got captured and Prescott and Dawes finished spreading the news of the British. Where is their fame? They got gipped.
Emerson wrote "Nature" here in the 1830s. Hawthorne wrote here in the 1840s.

The North Bridge

Walden Pond. Thoreau anyone?

It was so big! I would call it Walden Lake.

We began our drive to Maine and we got to see a lighthouse there!
It was freezing.

Pretty calm water. And then it hit the rocks.

Shipwrecking here would not be fun.

Alex looks hilarious.

A freezing little family.

Sunday, October 18th

We went to church in Maine and then drove through New Hampshire and Vermont to see all the pretty colors. It snowed. We had a small cockroach incident. There was a cockroach in Sam's car. That was the very first cockroach I had seen since we moved out here and I could not figure out where it came from. I was screaming and freaking out. There are a few places cockroaches should not be. One of them is my life.

We said goodbye to my family and they began their drive back to Boston to catch their flight to Arizona the next morning. We got back to Ithaca around 9pm and I slept as well as Alex would let me.
We took this picture in our hotel in Maine. I smile every time I see it.

This was pretty much the coolest vacation ever because everything was so new! I had never been to any of those places (except Philly) and I loved seeing it all and getting to hear more about the things that happened there.

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