Monday, July 29, 2013

Special Temple Day

We had the opportunity to go up to the Washington D.C. temple this past weekend and met up with my family as Anna received her endowment. (By the way, Anna is going on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Arcadia, CA. FYI in case you hadn't heard).

(Before going on a mission or getting married, Mormons have the opportunity to participate in sacred ceremonies where they learn more about Heavenly Fathers plan, prayer and our relationship with God as well as make promises similar to those made at baptism. Let me know if you have questions!).

Darin and I joked on the way up about how we are totally fine driving 2.5 hours to the temple (or more with traffic) out here and even consider it a blessing that it only takes us that long, when in Utah driving up to Logan or Brigham City on a normal temple trip would seem absurd.

We both became very excited as we pulled into the parking lot and were flooded with memories and emotions from our wedding day two years ago. This temple will always have a special place in our hearts.

Thankfully my brothers were there to watch the Shaester while we were in the temple.
Overall, it was a great day inside the temple, and out. (But sad that Philip had to leave early to get back to work, hence, he is not in any of the pictures).

These two just can't get enough of each other.
Neither can these two. Seriously, when they get together they act like old friends who haven't seen each other in a long time. (And Shae really has a way of making Dad make faces that I have NEVER seen before. He's got some power in those chunky rolls I tell you).
Anna at the temple with our parents right before her mission.
Me at the temple almost exactly five years earlier, right before my mission.
And have you heard about the Cafe Rio's that they have just recently built out in the D.C./Maryland area? If not, check it out and go! We made sure to find the closest one to the temple and went. It was only about 12 miles away but took a bit to get there on the stop and go street. If these people had really been thinking, they would have built it right  next to the temple. They would have made bank. Seriously. 
It started to rain as soon as we got inside. Thirty minutes later when we were finished eating it was still pouring outside. We are definitely NOT in Utah in anymore. 
Thankfully there was no traffic on the way there OR on the way back (saaay wwhaaattt!) (We don't expect that to ever happen again) (Can you say miracle?) We found the Orioles game on the radio and were able to listen to it most of the way home. Now doesn't that just sound like a beautiful Saturday to you?

The End.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Seating Arrangements

See those pillows and blankets? Say hello to our make-do couch, because sometimes you've just gotta make do with what you've got. Am I right or am I right? I'm really excited for the day that we have a couch. A couch is one of those things that you take for granted on a daily basis. Then you don't have one and you realize how luxurious and wonderful they are and you tell yourself that when the day comes for you to have a couch again you will never take it for granted, ever. But until that day comes, you can find us chillaxin on our living room floor scouring Craigslist for a couch (or taking pictures of ourselves because we are just vain like that).
And guess what! After going a week without cable (no worries friends, we're all still living and breathing and eating just fine), we decided to order bunny ears and a converter box from Amazon to see if we could just get in some basic channels, that's all I really wanted (wanted  being the key word. I think that cable is a total luxury that society has turned into a norm. One that I have come to love...but I know I don't need it and I wasn't willing to pay $50 a month so that we could have it). I was disappointed when we got the bunny ears and what not set up and learned that we couldn't get any channels, none. Sad day. No Today Show to start my morning. No Brian Williams, Pat Sajack or Alex Trebek.Yeah, I was sad, what has the world done to me? 

We boxed everything back up to send back and as I sat in the corner crying (kiiiidddiinnggg), Darin says, "I wonder what would happen if I plugged the coaxial cable in." So he plugs it in and low and behold, we have cable. haha. We felt pretty sheepish for not having tried that early (I missed SYTYCD for nothing!?)

So, apparently we have cable. No couch. But cable. Adds a little excitement to our floor sitting days. (And we get Orioles games!!!!)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Stay-At-Home Mom

A new chapter of our lives was opened on Monday. The chapter titled: 

DARIN, "to provide the necessities of life and protection for (the) family."
BRILLANTE, "responsible for the nurture of (the) children."

Kind of a wordy chapter title, I know. I guess for short we can call it: 

Darin leaves at 10 till 8 each morning to work.
Brillante stays at home to teach her sweet baby boy how to be a loving, polite, respectful, responsible human being.

Okay, so that ended up being longer than the first title...

Anyways, the point is, up to this point in our marriage Darin and I have both had the same roles. We both worked and provided financially for our family. We both also went to school. Our lives were equally busy with class and homework. After graduation we went through a weird period where both of us were jobless and got to spend tons of time at home with the baby (I guess you could say we both got to experience the "stay-at-home mom" job. Together. At the same time. Not usually how it's supposed to go). Then we had a few weeks where we were both working. I worked in the morning, Darin watched the kid. I came home, Darin left for work in the afternoon, I watched the kid. Do you get where I'm going with this? Up until Monday we pretty much had merged the two roles listed above into one role that each of us participated in. 

Over the past few weeks (after finding out about Darin's job and that we would be moving) I started to get a little scared for "Monday" to come. I thought it might be hard on me.  I've worked for my money since I was ten years old delivering newspapers and babysitting. I like to work. I like to feel independent. I like to contribute. However, Darin and I both felt and continue to feel that, at this point in our lives, unless there is a need  for me to work, it is best for me to stay at home and care for our son. He is my work. 

Monday came. I kissed Darin goodbye as he left for work in the morning and then spent the day with my little munchkin, and you know what, it felt right. I know there will be hard days, probably lot's of them. Days when I miss working. Days when I just want to get out of the house and run away from the laundry and recipes and stinky diapers. I accept that, it will  happen. But along with those hard days there will be a lot of good.  A lot of rewarding moments that will keep me grateful for the privilege I have to be a stay-at-home mom.
With that said, something that both mine and Darin's mother did when they had children at home was take them to the library. We both grew up with mothers who helped us love and understand the importance for reading and we both hope to do the same for our children. Needless to say, I was overly excited about getting our library cards and finding out that there is weekly baby storytime at our local library.

Baby storytime day arrived and we were off to the library. Arrived. Jumped in the long line of mommies and children. While standing in line I started feeling like I wasn't in the baby storytime line. There were lots of older children and I doubted that storytime would be taking place in the auditorium we were walking into. I quickly found out that baby storytime was actually taking place at the other  library and that we were about to experience The One Man Band for Kids. 

I knew we wouldn't make storytime if we tried to go to the other library, so we just stayed and listened to the music and watched the kids dance. Not gonna lie, I probably looked pretty desperate-to-get-out-of-the-house being there with my 5 month old baby on my lap when all the other parents clearly had kids that could sing and dance. Oh well. Guess we'll try again next week. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

An Afternoon in Colonial Williamsburg

Before my family left last weekend we decided to put the unpacking of boxes and setting up of bookshelves and cribs aside for a few hours and check out CW (as the locals call it). Darin and I had walked around a little bit on our own but hadn't gone too far into the Revolutionary City yet so it was fun to delve a little deeper into the city. 

I really don't understand the fascination with taking pictures in the stocks at places like these. It just feels kind of wrong to get so excited about taking a picture in a torture tool (and yet I stuck Shae in it). But really, what will people be taking pictures of hundreds of years from now that represent our current state of torture and punishment? Waterboarding? That could make for a good picture.

My favorite store thus far (and I don't see it changing any time soon) in Merchant Square is a hand-crafted/imported candy store. They have so much cool stuff! I love walking around drooling over all of the goodies they have there. While there with my family, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to try out the bacon soda. 

Don't think we'll be getting it again.

Sadly we had to say good-bye on Sunday. After a week in PA and then the weekend with family down here, I think Shae is lonely and unsure how to handle so much time to himself without people and animals smelling him and carrying him around everywhere.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Move

We've done it. We've signed our lives away and emptied our bank accounts, but we have a place to call home for at least the next year (probably two). Hallelujah. 

Two Friday's ago we submitted the application for the townhouse we wanted to rent. We were told it would take a few days to process and that the earliest we might  be able to move in was a week from then. On a whim, Shae and I headed up to Pennsylvania for the week of waiting so that we could spend time with Anna before her mission (and so that we wouldn't have to sit around in a stranger's home and really mostly because my siblings were dying to meet Shae). 

I'm so glad that we decided to go up. (Even if it was the first time that Darin and I have slept apart since our had to come eventually right?)

We really just played at home and tried to get Shae back on some kind of sleeping schedule and out of the car seat (the kid has been through a lot the last few weeks) It must feel so good to be on the floor again.
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We decided that we need to invest in a piano and an Uncle A.J. for our new home. (B-A-B-Y. W-H-I-S-P-E-R-E-R). 
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Had to leave Uncle Philip nice and early Friday morning (can you tell by the picture that it was 5am?) And we were off.
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About five hours later, arrived, signed more papers than I have ever signed in my life while watching the realty lady pick at a nasty tick on her thigh and complain about how the office didn't have tweezers,(weird), got the keys and MOVED IN.
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Poor baby was SO sticky. I've never seen actual drops of sweat falling from his head. Now I have. We were all drenched in sweat after moving everything in. The day reminded me of how I felt the day of my wedding. Man, this humidity is no joke. 
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Yay for having a home!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

5 Months

 Everywhere we go people are oooing and aaahing at our baby boy. I guess people don't see as many babies out here as they do in Utah (understandabley so). Yesterday a lady told us that she found out a couple days ago that she will be a grandma, apparently seeing Shae made her even more excited. She told us that he is the first baby that she has seen since finding out she will be a grandma. Either she doesn't get out much, or there really are less babies roaming Virginia. Anywho, we have had countless opportunities to answer the questions coming our way about the age of our baby these last few days and it's so fun to say that the Shaesternator is now....

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At five months Shae has:

...sucked on his first watermelon and loved it.

...been in 9 different states.

...discovered his vocal chords.

...started growing hair!

...still not figured out that waking up three to four times a night just isn't cool.

...been to two baseball games and one hockey game.

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...started sleeping on his side and stomach.
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To celebrate his 5th month mark, we decided it was high time he spend some time in a pool (and really, you can't stay in a hotel and NOT go swimming. Am I right?) He seemed pretty confused the whole time, like he was trying to figure out the big bathtub. He did splash around quite a bit, with a very stoic look on his face, so we'll just say he enjoyed it.

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Friday, July 12, 2013


We've spent the last two days looking for a place to live. This afternoon, we put in an application for a cute little townhouse. We're hoping that we get approved quickly so that we can start moving in some time next week.

After house hunting we spent some time exploring town. Walked around William and Mary (beautiful!) and Merchant Square (cutest little shops ever!). Went to the Visitors Center and thought about walking around Colonial Williamsburg but there was just a bit too much rain for us (we could get through Utah with out an umbrella, not anymore. Time to buy some).  

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Quotes of the day:

Darin using slight  hyperbole: "I have seen more rain in these two days in Virginia than I have in my entire life."  It's been raining like mad since we arrived.

Darin realizing that he will be living in humidity for at least the next two year: "I already can't wait for winter. It feels like something is pressing against me, constantly."

Haha...he'll get used to the awesome thunderstorms and his clothes sticking to him constantly.  I've been reminded how much I hate frizzy hair, but what can you do? No point in straightening anymore I suppose.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Our three day cross-country journey has come to an end. The drive was surprisingly easy. Long, but that was to be expected. We seemed to divide our time between the three days very nicely and here we are! 

The babe did so so so well. I'm just happy that we don't have to stuff him in the car for long hours again tomorrow. He seemed to be getting a bit bored with the whole ordeal today and I could tell he was ready to get out of that car seat. But seriously, overall, he did so great which was a huge relief for his mama.

First day was by far my least favorite. Wyoming and Nebraska are BOOORING. Second day we dropped down onto I-70 and passed right by the Kansas City and St. Louis temples as well as the stadiums where the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals play (and when I say right, I mean RIGHT by them. It was really cool). Also got to see the arch and cross the Mississippi and Missouri rivers (crossed the Missouri river three times!). The scenery picked up quite a bit throughout Missouri, Illinois and Indiana which was refreshing. Day three was filled with lots of curvy roads, trees galore, TONS of bridges (I couldn't believe how many bridges we crossed in Louisville and West Virginia! Poor Darin). We were also welcomed into Virginia by a nice thunderstorm that let off buckets of rain. (It was a new experience for Darin to drive through so much rain and dark skies that never seemed to die down).

On top of our sweet baby being a trooper, can we just talk about our car for a second? This is the fourth cross-country trip for my sweet lil '97 Escort. Not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous about how she would do (poor thing is getting old). She was wonderful! Huge blessing right there. HUGE.

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Me entertaining the baby.
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Darin entertaining the baby. 
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Pit stop.
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So excited to be out of the car.
Now on to tomorrow where we search high and low for a place to live. 

Wish us luck!
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