Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We're at Ryan's family's house in Provo for Christmas this year. It has felt so decadently wonderful to be relaxing after such a busy four months in Indiana. And Ryan's family knows how to relax! Thanks, everyone!

Yesterday, Christmas Eve, we worked at a nice local restaurant that was putting on dinner for the homeless. It felt great to be doing something meaningful on such a special day. We didn't expect to be serving breadsticks, drinks, salads, meals, and chocolate cakes to their tables (we thought we'd be working in the kitchen), but it was a lot of fun being able to interact with them. My heart went out especially to those who had little kids with them.

Tomorrow we're driving to Arizona for chimmichangas (please bless they saved me one) and more wonderful family! Then on Thursday we're all off to Mexico together for Christmas break adventure #3!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow Day!

Church was canceled today. This is the first time in my life I can ever remember church being canceled! With driving conditions that are "dangerous or impossible" according to weather.com, I guess they decided on safety first. It looks white and pristine out there, but the roads must be slick. It must be time to break out the wassail...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Who's ready for Christmas?


All I can ever think to write about these days is how much I want to fly out of here for the holidays! I can't even describe it!

I had to work much too much at Banana this week. But the good news is that I think I won't be there much longer, and it will be wonderful, amazing, indescribable to experience a mall-free weekend for the first time this semester! Plus, both of my other businesses are going very well.

Last night we went to a fancy dinner put on by Ryan's program. It was fun to sit with friends and chat with people we've gotten to know this year (mainly thanks to football games). They had a live jazz band, cocktails, ordures, and a nice dinner. Guess our tuition is getting us a few perks, at least!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Only 17 Days!

Only 17 days--that's two and a half weeks--until we fly to Utah! I can't wait. It hardly feels like Christmas without any family here... If we were staying here I'd invest in a mini-Christmas tree, but since we're not, I invested in a poinsettia (except it's a pink one..). It's bringing a little Christmas cheer to our apartment.

Things I'm looking forward to, among many:

- Long conversations with Ryan's family (Hopefully they'll even let me make some candy cane cookies! I have a feeling they won't mind...)
- Seeing my mom and dad!
- Seeing my mom and grandma's Christmas decorations
- Cafe Rio
- Driving to AZ to see Mary and Corey and their families! The kids have already grown bigger since I last saw them in August. I told them not to, but they didn't listen.
- Singing with my sisters (you too, Sally!)
- Spending time with friends. We have so many friends to see that we've been missing like crazy!
- Mexico!!!! I love the beach so much. Thank you, Grandpa and Grandma, for providing us with so many wonderful memories.

Here's a little flashback to Christmas last year...




Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!




Mom told me this morning she heard on the Today Show that South Bend could expect a foot of snow today, which I could hardly believe, but so far we've gotten a few inches--our first snowfall of the year!

We felt a bit like an island out here in Indiana this year for Thanksgiving, and we missed our families and traditions so much! But I have to say I spent a good part of the day on the phone talking to my sisters, brother, and mom, so we certainly made the best of it!

Ryan played football with the elders quorum this morning, and then we ate lunch at a dining hall on Notre Dame's campus. They invited all the graduate students and really put on a nice meal--real turkey, real potatoes, a chocolate fountain, pie, etc. It still tasted a bit like you'd expect at a cafeteria, but all in all, it was really good and so nice of them to provide it for us.

Then we had a LOVELY Thanksgiving Day nap and finished making the pumpkin cheesecake for our pie night tonight. We invited a bunch of young couples from the ward over, and everyone brought a pie to share. It was fabulous! It's so fun to just chat with people we relate to...aside from the no-kids-yet thing. :)



The kids were elated about the snow on our balcony, and the parents were loving that they could just watch the kids play through the glass--none of us actually had to stand out there in the freezing temperatures. It's amazing how kids aren't even fazed by it, even when they've got a handful of snow and a wet head! (Don't call CPS - we didn't leave them out there for long!)



Since I didn't get to participate in my family's tradition of going around the table to say what we're grateful for, Ryan and I did it with just each other. He's never seen it done at the Williams house, so he's still a beginner. :) We have so much to be grateful for this year...maybe I'll have to make that a blog of it's own. Love to all, and happy thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Minnesota Girl



I just sent a book off to the printer! I'm excited to be in the finishing stages of this project, mostly because the end product is the best part! Now let's just pray that the book turns out like I designed it! I'll let you know when it comes to me in the mail... 10 business days in countdown!

The author, Eleanor, is the mother of Ryan's aunt's husband. I started working with her back when we were in Provo. She stuck with me even though I moved to two different states in the meantime (!), and after a bunch of phone calls, emails, and mail deliveries, we're finally finishing up. She's giving a copy to each of her children for Christmas. (Good thing none of her children read my blog--that might spoil the surprise!) Thanks, Eleanor!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Kyle's Back from Brazil!


We're enjoying having Kyle here to visit. Yesterday we went to a football game, where we sadly watched Notre Dame lose (AGAIN). But it was still a lot of fun. Whenever we score a touchdown, tons of students in the student section are lifted up in the air and pushed up and down for however many points we've scored so far. Everyone calls them push-ups, and it is THE funniest thing. BYU should institute that! We only have one home game left, and I realized yesterday I'm actually going to miss chatting with our friends at the game, doing the ND cheers, and clapping along to the fight song (I have no idea what the words are...).


Ryan and Kyle throwing the ball around before the game. (Look closely and you can see the ball in the air.)


Us in our usual seats, before the stadium filled up all the way.


And this is us at my favorite place in South Bend, and one of my favorite places in the world--the South Bend Chocolate Cafe. I can't say enough about their to-die-for hot chocolate and cozy atmosphere. And it's a win-win situation for Ryan and I because the ND Football Hall of Fame is right outside, so we always throw the football on the astro turf before we go in. This week I'm sure Ryan's appreciated having Kyle to throw the ball around with... I know I've appreciated it! (I ran inside the warm cafe and drank my hot chocolate until they joined me!)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My List

Dear friends,

I'm sorry I haven't been the best blogger lately. Every night I go to bed and I ask myself, did anything happen to me today that I can blog about? And almost invariably, the answer is "no, not really." So since nothing that has happened to me lately merits its own blog, I'll try the brain dump idea coined by my cute cousins. Enjoy!

- Ryan's brother, Kyle, is coming to visit us this weekend. I've heard SO many stories about him that I feel like I really know him, but I don't. For anyone who doesn't know, he's been on a mission in Brazil for the last two years. (We did meet several times before he left, by the way) I think I'm a little nervous about it all because I kind of dreamed that he looked like a werewolf... I'm sure it will be fun, and I'm excited to get to know him in person!

- I love Ryan's family! They are all wonderful. We were so blessed to have been able to live in their Provo house for the first year and a half of our marriage. Having them come visit helped me feel like one of the family in no time at all, and I love that.

- I miss that house most when I'm dragging our laundry down to the car.

- This morning I accidentally called Rachie at 7 AM, Utah time. She was just getting ready for the day, and I am impressed that she works on campus every single day at 8 in the morning! Campus is definitely quieter at that time, especially in the winter. Go Rachel!

- I love all kids...which reminds me that I hope I'll get to see some of my old Primary kids when we visit Provo next month. My poor mother-in-law was called to take over teaching my class, which is definitely not the easiest (nor the smallest) class in that Primary. Julia, if they're getting crazy, just ask them to stand by their seats and sing "Holding Hands around the World." (My class and I made up the cutest actions ever to that song!)

- I am immensely excited about all the personal history work I have going on right now.

- Grandparents are the greatest, aren't they? Getting married means gaining two new sets of grandparents. What a great thing.

- Sometimes Ryan sounds exactly like his dad. :)

- I love cilantro. Mary called me the other day to ask about using cilantro in more of her recipes. How did those turn out, Mar?

- My newest cooking obsession is sandwiches. I like to try to make them as close to Subway as possible.

- I don't have a calling yet, and I am so grateful to have had the last couple of months to attend Relief Society. I feel renewed every week after listening to other women comment on what they're trying to do to make life better for themselves, their families, and everyone they meet.

I love lists! I'll have to keep doing this. Thanks to anyone who made it all the way through!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Home Again

We soaked up as much sun as possible in beautiful Orlando! It was a lot of work and a lot of fun. I absolutely loved talking to people about LifeBio and showing them online how easy the program is to use. (The web-based program allows people to answer questions about their life, add pictures, and generate hard bound, full color books.) I seriously felt like I could keep doing it for ages! And now it looks like I will be continuing my work with LifeBio in a sales capacity (10 hours a week), in addition to the editing and design work I've been doing. I am excited!

This is me with Beth Sanders, president and founder of LifeBio and my new friend.


On Tuesday, after going to Downtown Disney on Monday, we took off after to work to Cocoa Beach, which is about an hour from Orlando. The waves were big, and the seagulls attacked us, but it was wonderful nonetheless.


Then on Wednesday, we had checked out of our hotel, finished up the last day of the convention, dropped Beth off at the airport, and we had a couple of hours to spare. So we went to this skiing place near the airport that uses a rope system. This is him blowing me a kiss as he came around a corner. :)


And this is Ryan being his crazy self at the convention. We all got a kick out of his little obsession with these weird boxes. He kept threatening to take it on the plane with us, asking everyone if they had any spills.

All in all, it couldn't have gone better. Ryan was amazingly helpful, and we managed to do everything we wanted to do. Things couldn't have gone better at the convention, and I am even more pumped up about personal history than ever.

Much love,
Ek

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hello from Orlando!

I just wanted to give everyone a quick update. I'll add pictures and more details later. Anyway, as you may already know, Ryan and I are in Florida! I was asked by a woman I've been editing for, another personal historian, to work at a convention here. It's the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. We're talking to people about my passion--writing their life story! It's going well. We work hard and long, but then Ryan and I get to play in the evenings. Last night we went to Downtown Disney; tonight, who knows where! Anyway, we love you all!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

For the Girls


Boys, you can make fun of me all you want, but this one's for the girls. (Okay really, what boys read my blog? I think only my relatives...)

Anyhow, here's a picture of my new shoes! My discount at Banana is very good (50 percent off 5 items a month, 60 percent seasonally, and 30 percent off sale, for those of you who care), but even with it, I still can't afford many items! I'm thinking maybe I can buy one...maybe two...items a month. It really is nice to buy something that's classic, high quality, and will get a lot of use.

Today while I was working, a co-worker asked me what I'd buy if I could buy anything in the store. We had fun walking around (the store was essentially empty), imagining what we'd buy. She told me she had worked at JCrew over the summer and had spent every cent she made on clothes. All I can say is that that isn't going to happen to me! We've got much better things to do with our money...like buy groceries, pay the electric bill, and contribute to the second richest Catholic institution in the world, next to the Vatican. (A customer told me that today in a most serious tone. It made me laugh.)

Then after all this imagining with my co-worker, I told her that my husband and I had only brought a carload of things out to Indiana and that's all we plan to leave with. So I won't be collecting too many clothes. She was stunned. I'm pretty sure her wardrobe wouldn't fit in two blue tubs. :)

So girls, do you like the shoes? (25 bucks, baby!) Should I keep them?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Update on Life

1. So the other day I was working at Banana when I noticed this darling little black girl and her mother come into the store. I said hello to the mom and was about to say hi to the curly headed beauty when I heard her say, "I like your ring." I replied, "Well thank you!" And the next thing she says is "I like the bling-bling on there!" I guess bling-bling means diamond in her vocabulary. The mom laughed kind of embarrassed-like, but I thought it was the cutest thing!

2. On Monday and Tuesday this week I spoke at two different Rotary clubs in the South Bend area. I talked about the trends in autobiography and memoir in our country, the benefits people are finding in writing their life history, and a few things that make a life history something others will want to read.

It's my third time doing it, and I found that I'm not even nervous at all! I always sit next to the club president at the front-most table for lunch, and then they introduce me, and I take about 20-25 minutes, including Q&A. I give a handout with all my contact information, and then I hope people will want to talk to me afterward. Monday's meeting was particularly successful that way. Practically everyone wanted to tell me a family or life story after I talked. It was great. All in all, I've added 20 people to my email list, gotten three people to request a consultation, and had another three people offer to refer me to someone they think will be interested in working with me.

Public speaking is one thing (like music and Alaina) that will definitely make you feel alive!

3. We're trying to figure out how to get out west for Christmas without busting the bank... Nat, how bad do you think it would be to drive it in December??

Anyway, we love and miss you all!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Books! Books! Books!

All right, everyone. I'm in desperate need of some book suggestions! I'm open to all kinds of suggestions--fiction, nonfiction, memoir, more fiction...anything really! I just need something engaging. These days the main things I read are writing textbooks, material I'm editing, blogs, and Real Simple magazine. (Goodness I love that magazine!)

So please, please, pretty please share!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Plain White Ts

Last night, to prove to ourselves that we are a fun and young married couple, we went to a concert at Legends of Notre Dame. It was kind of funny going to a concert where we only actually knew ONE song played, and of course it was the last song of the night, but we still had a great time. We slow danced all the slower songs, which was my favorite part of the night.

For some reason, I apparently didn't get a long video clip, so if you listen to these short ones back to back, it will be (kind of) like you were there! Hey There Delilah...

video


video

You can hear the crowd singing more than the band, but we hope you enjoyed it anyway.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Sleeptalking

Last night in his sleep, Ryan said to me...
"Don't worry. We didn't arm wrestle with the Pope for nothing!"
Pause.
"Hahahahaha."


It was awesome.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Football Mania

Here we are — regular ol' fighting Irish!



We woke up Saturday morning to the sound of voices outside our apartment. Tailgate parties start early in South Bend! Two of the houses behind us have grass lots that had already filled up with cars and people wearing green. Two other young couples in the accounting program joined us at our apartment so we could walk over to the stadium. The entire walk was lined with people and tents, food and more food. We enjoyed lunch, put on by Ryan's program, and then we lined the street and watched the marching band go into the stadium (led by a priest, interestingly enough).


The game was PACKED! I mean PACKED with sweaty, enthusiastic, Irish fans! I was shocked to find that the benches were just little, five-inch pieces of wood that put splinters in your shorts and did not seem sturdy enough to support that many jumping fans! Everyone stood on the benches for the ENTIRE game. This was not like BYU where people sit down for TV time-outs, etc. No, no, they stand the entire time. And no one's chit-chatting with their neighbor either (which I admit I missed); it's all about the game!


Unfortunately the team's playing wasn't too much to talk about, considering the score...But the atmosphere was new and exciting to both of us! It was weird not knowing all the little cheers in the student section and even weirder not knowing the fight song! We did, though, sing some "Rise and Shout" while we watched the BYU football game on TV after our game ended. Go BYU!



We look forward to many more afternoons standing on those little benches in next few months!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Opening Mass

Ryan and I went to Opening Mass the other night. A whole basketball arena full of students and faculty, complete with a projection screen of a stained glass window and a crucifix hanging from the rafters. We both really enjoyed it. I especially loved the music and the new hymns I got to sing. There were a lot of differences between our services, but we enjoyed the similarities too. What we most appreciated was our shared faith in Jesus Christ. And on that note, all I have to say is---in the words of my newest favorite Catholic hymn--

It takes all my time to praise my Jesus.
All my time to praise my Jesus.
All my time to praise my Jesus.
Ain't got time to die.

:)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Touchdown Jesus

I realized that my reference to Touchdown Jesus in a previous blog could possibly use a little explanation. (I had never heard of it until we started talking about going to Notre Dame.) On the front of Notre Dame's library is a huge mural (8 or 10 floors) of Jesus with his arms raised to the sky--much like the sign a ref makes for a touchdown. The library is only yards away from the football stadium, so Touchdown Jesus, as they call him, basically towers over the north end zone. This picture was taken when we flew out to check out campus last spring.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

One More Thing

Somehow I forgot to post a picture of the room I'm possibly most excited about—the bathroom! It's clean and comfortable, with just enough counter space for both of us. And best of all, thanks to our loving friends and family who gave us such a good start through wedding gifts, the bathroom is newly decorated! We finally used up our last couple Target gift cards on a shower curtain, new towels, and a bathmat. (Good thing I held out and didn't let Ryan use those gift cards on groceries!) Love to all!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fighting Irish

We’ve arrived! For the first time, we’re settling in to our very own apartment, and it is exciting! I’m loving it.

We were sad to leave California and shocked at how fast the summer flew by--we didn't quite get to do everything on our list, but it looks like we'll be able to keep working on it when we return next year.

Our apartment complex here is party central at Notre Dame (which makes us a little nervous), but it’s also right in the heart of the Notre Dame atmosphere. We can see Touchdown Jesus from our little balcony, and everyone says this is the place for tailgate parties on home game weekends (although I'm thinking that BYU tailgates and Notre Dame tailgates could mean slightly different things...we'll see!)




This is the view of Touchdown Jesus from our balcony. The apartment complex borders campus, so it should only be about a 10 minute walk for Ryan to the business building.



Because they didn’t have our one-bedroom apartment ready when we arrived, they offered us a two-bedroom apartment with a big living room, and they even threw in a covered parking space for free as well. We got a good deal on renting furniture—one minute our apartment was empty, ten minutes later it was full of furniture!

Last night we slept on the floor in our bedroom because, of course, we didn't have our furniture yet. We were so exhausted, though, from a week of packing, driving, repacking, and driving some more that we didn't even notice we were on the floor. I have a feeling this new bed will be a little better in the long run, though!

Thanks, G&G, for the maps that helped us get out here! We look forward to showing some of you of new place when you come visit! Love,

Erica and Ryan

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

We DO work!


In response to popular demand, I'm posting proof that we do indeed work! Yes, mine might be a little untraditional, but it's still work! As Mom and Dad will attest, our desk looks like it's going to collapse any minute, which leaves me one other option for a work space: the bed. :) Not such a bad deal, I suppose... I promise that usually the covers are all the way up and the bed neatly made, but this pictures happens to have been taken at 10:30 pm.

This picture at Ryan's work was kindly taken by Mom when she visited us, so no, I'm not normally at Ryan's work with him (except once for Take-Your-VIP-to-Work Day). Congrats to Ryan, who has been officially offered a job for after grad school! We'll keep you all posted!

Sunday, August 5, 2007





Hello! I just got home from my second absolutely wonderful trip to AZ! Ryan flew to Florida for the weekend with work, so once again, I joined the Arizona bunch. I love going there, getting to know my siblings (including Sally and Tom!) better, having long conversations, seeing the kids as they develop their cute little personalities, and being reminded of how hot it is in Arizona! :) Mary and Sally are fun and fabulous moms, and Tom and Corey are loving, supportive dads. I'm just amazed at how much they do for their sweet children!

I spent the first night at Corey and Sally's and the second two nights at Mary and Tom's. During my four-day stay, we had a swim party/BBQ at Mary's and ate fantastic omlets for breakfast at Corey's. I was treated to a pedicure by Mary (and was told that I used to be fat by my pedicurist), went shopping with Mary (thanks to Tom for tending the kids!), ate at Serrano's with Corey and Sally's family, and ate at Nello's with Mary and Tom's family. We also spent an afternoon at a public pool, where I rediscovered how fantastic it is to go all the way under the water! (It's been way too long since I really swam--and with goggles, no less!) Thanks, everyone, for treating me so well! You all are amazing hosts!

Many of you will be excited to learn that Ryan rode the Tower of Terror at MGM Grand in Florida! He instinctively reached for the hand of the guy next to him on the ride (!)...which made me feel good knowing that he really did miss me!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Ahhh, Paradise.


Ryan hit the waves today on a surf board for the first time. It was exciting! We went with two of the other guys from his work and had the best time. Seriously, I can't think of a day better than this--we worked out this morning at our gym, walked over the farmer's market a couple of blocks from our house, ate the best peaches ever, picked up our friends, and surfed all afternoon (well, okay I was more of the camera girl...most of you know how I feel about cold water). We even found a hot tub and pool at a nearby hotel (the things you do when you're in the company of three boys...) to relax in after an afternoon in the sun.



Those are our three guys. Ryan's the one in the middle. It's practically impossible to get a photo of all three up on a wave at once!

It was seriously the perfect day. The guys were talking about moving back here next year and buying wet suits and boards. Any other takers??

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Rainbow State

Hey pals, greetings from the rainbow state and thanks for reading our blog. Erica and I have been having a great time in Northern California.

I thought you all might like to hear a little story Erica hasn't told...

A couple of weeks ago we decided to go to our favorite beach near Pacifica. Well we didn't realize it at the time, but it is actually a "clothing optional" beach and we all know what that means. Erica and I were just minding our own business when we see this big old fat naked man walking along the shoreline kind of coming towards us. (Clothing optional at this beach really just means weird naked old men) The next thing I know he's talking to me, and Erica has taken off sprinting in the opposite direction. Well he started making small talk and all I could think of was I am in the middle of some public beach talking to a naked man. Gross!!!! So I asked him why he didn't wear any clothes and if he was ever uncomfortable. He started talking about being a hippy and weird stuff like that. Anyway - Luckily Erica started calling to me from a distance and so it gave me a chance to get out of the situation. I don't think we'll be visiting that beach any time soon.

Anyway - we really are enjoying our visit to California and hope to make it a permanent place to live (Randy and Cheri have offered to subsidize our rent!) J/K. (Today we had a great ward activity and afterwards worked out at our gym, Vivre. If anyone wants to see pictures of our gym they are at www.vivrepa.com)

Work is going well

All the best,

Ryan

Monday, July 16, 2007

Wet Suits and Boogie Boards




Ryan worked hard last week and even got some overtime in. We expect the same thing this week even though he'll be working with a new team auditing a new client. On Friday night we went golfing near by with three of Ryan's fellow interns, all from BYU, and on Saturday we all went to Santa Cruz, where we spent the afternoon at the beach, went to dinner at Pizza My Heart, and found a hot tub to relax in for a few minutes at the end of the night. Ryan's intern group at E & Y is surprisingly close, and it's been fun having fun people to do things with out here.

By the way, last week we enjoyed THE nicest dinner with Dad and Grandpa and Grandma at the infamous Fenton's! We are blessed with so much love and support from both our families. We love you all!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Meet Pete


Meet Pete. He is one of our spider friends. Today I discovered him while blow drying my hair. He resides directly above our dresser, which is where I do my hair and make up every morning. It's hard to tell from the picture, but he is just smaller than my fist. I noticed him for the first time today, so I think he just barely set up shop there. (Note the web in the pic—he's not planning on going anywhere) After determining that I couldn't reach him with a shoe, I have since watched him all afternoon making sure he doesn't take a mad dive for my make-up bag. So now you've been formally introduced to our newest friend.

PS. I don't think I'll keep this post up long because the picture freaks even me out.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Happy 4th!


We love fireworks! Last night Ryan and I braved the traffic (not to mention parking!!) and headed into San Fran for fireworks over the bay. We walked around Pier 39 and then over to Ghiradelli Square, where we found a little piece of grass among the crowds and sat down for the show. We had the best night! We met up for a little while with a couple of Ryan's intern friends, but mostly we just wondered around remembering everything we did there on our honeymoon! To us, downtown San Francisco on the 4th of July was Times Square on New Year's Eve. It was full of people, performers, music, and energy!




Toward the end of the fireworks show we booked it up to Ghiradelli and were first in line for some delicious hot chocolate (though Hatch's in Salt Lake beats even Ghiradelli for the world's best hot chocolate, FYI), right before the restaurant filled with people!

What a great holiday.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

We're Back!



This last week Ryan had training all week in a hotel in the Bay area. Since I couldn't tag along, and I wasn't too enthralled with staying in our oh-so-interesting little place by myself 24/7, I hopped on a plane to Arizona! I had the BEST vacation. Mary and Tom and Corey and Sally treated me like a princess. I just loved doing what they do and playing with the kids. My favorite part was all the talking we did. I love the connection and closeness I feel with all of my family! Thanks to the AZ bunch for being so sweet to me. Ryan appreciates it too. (He was so jealous when I showed him all the pictures! He wishes he could have been there.)


Can you believe what a cutie she is?! She is smiling and crawling like crazy. She can keep herself entertained for so long.



I was her mom during swimming lessons. Well, her substitute mom. I loved it. She makes all kinds of noise when she's in the water. And you should have seen her kicking and splashing in the pool at Corey and Sally's.


I couldn't get over how beautiful Ashlyn's eyes are. Good genes.



Can you tell we did a lot of swimming? I'd almost forgotten how hot AZ is in the summer! Corey and Sally's new house is fantastic.



Goregeous!



Landen could stay entertained forever just with a squirt bottle! It was so cute to see how Madilyn liked having him squirt it in his mouth.



And this is us reunited! Ryan had a great time at his internship training. He really likes all of the people Ernst & Young recruits and hires. (But of course he missed me madly.)

Our latest and greatest news is that while we were gone, the woman that we're renting the place from moved in. Yep. I was pretty surprised. I guess she'll be moving back out after this week, when she'll fly home to Germany for the rest of the summer. (The cheese now chillin' on our counter is dated Dec 5) Nothing about this sublet is quite turning out how I expected, but at least we've got each other!