Monday, May 24, 2010

Mark's a Graduate and Now I'm Sick

I wanted to post pictures, but my cameras are having serious issues. So those of you who were here, would you forward me the pictures and/or videos of your trip, please? Thanks! I'll posts those after I receive them.

As of May 16th, Mark is now officially a Boston University School of Law Alum. YAY!! He even gets to add the "J.D." to the end of his name now. Totally awesome, huh? It's ok, I know you're jealous! hee hee! To tell you the truth, it's hard to believe we're at the end of this tunnel. We moved out to Boston for Mark to attend 3 years of school, and now he's done! Of course, he still has to study for the Bar Exam which he will be taking this July, but the biggest hurdle is over! Wow! There is light at the end of the tunnel.

To celebrate such an exciting accomplishment, last week was super busy. Mark's parents and grandparents came into town on Friday, and my parents arrived on Saturday for Mark's graduation on Sunday, May 16th. We had fun just relaxing and hanging out at our apartment on Friday and Saturday. (Thanks Mom and Grandma for all your work fixing the robe we rented. Mark's robes looked better than anybody else's I noticed out there!) Sunday we attended the Law School Convocation at 9am.

It was actually a pretty interesting event with (1) the student helping to direct walking traffic right into a traffic jam and then getting so flustered that she passed out, (2) the keynote speaker being US Attorney General Eric Holder, (3) one of the student speakers getting up to the podium on crutches, and (4) Canon watching the people in the row behind us playing peek-a-boo and other eye-catching motions that kept him a happy camper through his whole skipped nap-time. Afterwards, there was a reception at 11am in the adjacent building where we took pictures and ate some yummy refreshments. It was a very beautiful sunny day, but it was hot so we were happy to get back home and out of the sun. Later that afternoon we had a nice roast beef dinner with our fine China and goblets. (Apparently I did a pretty good job on the gravy, so that made me happy!) It was a wonderful evening to just relax and be with family... and show Mark how proud we were of him.

The rest of the week is a different story! From Monday through Friday, our days were chock full of fun things to do in Massachusetts!

Monday the Dahls rented a van so that we could all drive out to Cape Cod. If the rental place had actually had their ordered vehicle ready in time, we just might have been able to get to do the things in Plymouth along the way, but alas we were out the door later than we wanted to be. We took a harbor cruise off the Cape (Canon was not too thrilled about the wind in his face, so I had to take him down below to try to feed him), and we enjoyed some very yummy seafood at the nearby Spanky's Clambake Restaurant in Hyannis. Then we drove out to the beach at the tip of the Cape, where I think I lost my earring, my mom got changed into her swimsuit just to dunk into the water and get out (brrrr... so cold), and we were all able to walk out into the sand just to say we were at the beach. All in all, it a pleasant, yet very full day!

Tuesday we all toured Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. That was actually a lot more interesting that I anticipated, and Canon was pretty good through most of it. When he started getting really fussy, I was actually able to nurse him as we were walking until he fell asleep. (I was sooo glad he finally took a nap!) Then we all ventured to Stephanie's on Newbury Street for lunch. After that we all walked to the Boston Garden to ride the Swan Boats. I have been wanting to ride those boats ever since we moved to Boston, and I FINALLY got to do it! YESSS!! Then we took a few more pictures over at the Make Way for Ducklings statues before we all headed back home. That was a good day too!

Wednesday was the day that Mark's parents and grandparents were going to head back home to Utah, and it was supposed to be rainy outside-so, we said our good-byes the night before. My parents and I were able to get an early start on making our way for Salem. We stopped in Concord on the way to visit the Concord Museum and the Old North Bridge Battleground. Then we continued on to Salem where we visited the Salem Witch Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum. We even got to walk around an old Chinese home, with courtyard and everything. There was so much fun stuff to see there. I'm glad we went. I'm also glad that Mark was awesome enough to watch Canon the whole day and make dinner for us. My parents ended up going out to a movie instead of coming straight home, so Mark and I even got a few hours together while Canon napped. Yeah...it was a pretty awesome day!

Thursday Mark decided to not stay home alone again and joined us for a trip to the Museum of Science and a Charles River Boat Tour. It was fun to take my dad to the Museum of Science because I know how much he likes that type of stuff. Mark gets bored with science, but he got to participate in a survey-type project where he got to take a digital camera around with him and take pictures of exhibits that he liked and disliked. I think that helped to make it a little more enjoyable for him.

Friday started off just fine, but I could tell that I was starting to wear down. I woke up with a slightly sore throat, but it just got worse through the whole day. We had fun though. Mark stayed home again, but this time I took Canon with me and my parents. We were aiming for the USS Constitution the whole day but never quite got there. We rode the Beantown Trolley and got off at Long Wharf where we took a Harbor Cruise. Then we walked to and ate at Quincy Market, roamed Faneuil Hall, and got back on the trolley for the rest of the ride. We ended up skipping the USS Constitution stop when we walked to Quincy Market. Oops! Then we walked over to see the something over by the Christian Scientist Church, but it closed an hour before we thought it did... so we just sat in the pleasant little garden park until it was time to go to our dinner reservations at the Cheesecake Factory. We had a nice yummy dinner at the restaurant, but Canon was starting to really get difficult (for him anyways- he's a really good baby!). I was really feeling tired, and the 5 cough drops I had that day didn't seem to soothe my throat much. I was ready to go home by this point. But overall, it was still a really fun day.

Saturday, I decided that I really shouldn't go out with my parents again. I needed to stay home and rest. My parents went out on the town though, and they got to see the USS Constitution (finally) and a few other things that I don't remember. They certainly were crazy-busy tourists and really enjoyed themselves. Some vacations are relaxed and laid-back...but not this one. They toured as much as you can tour, and they seemed to really have fun. Good thing too... I don't know when the next time will be that they will be able to come to Boston. I'm sure we won't be here when they do, unless they plan to help us when we move to Utah in August. Ha ha!

Boston STAYcation

Mark's last final was on May 4th, and his graduation wasn't until the 16th. So...what does a small family do in that time before relatives arrive for graduation celebrations that doesn't cost too much money? They have a STAYcation, of course!

We were originally hoping to go to New York City at that time, but our friend that we were going to stay with was unable to have us that week. So we decided to postpone the NYC trip and have some fun doing things here in Boston that we hadn't really done before...or for a long time anyways. We drove out to the tip of Cape Cod and browsed most of the museums and visitors' centers all along the coastline.

We tried to stop for lunch, but the first two places we tried were closed for the lunch hours! What? Who's ever heard of that? Well, we kept looking and eventually found a place to stop. We decided to eat in a barn!!

We drove out to the very tip to enjoy the beaches. It was a pretty breezy that day, so it wasn't a very nice day for beach fun, but we still wanted to see the water. This was Canon's first trip to the beach, however short that may have been... and no playing in the sand this time. It was a beautiful beach, and I could see that it would be super busy if the weather were better. Mark just had to wade out into the water... I say he's CRAZY!!
video video
We also were able to venture out far enough to see some lighthouses. These were actually the first lighthouses I'd ever seen.

I know that we walked all the way down to the Boston Garden and took pictures with the Make Way for Ducklings statues, but I honestly don't remember what we did with the other days. We enjoyed just having time off to be together as a family. This was a rare week for us when Mark didn't have to study for anything and neither of us had to go to work. That week passed by way too quickly!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wedding in Maryland

A couple weeks ago we drove down to Maryland to attend the wedding of my friend Theresa Bailey. Those of you who follow my blog might remember that this is the friend who got baptized last year. She met Gary St. Clair in a singles' ward and they decided to get married in the LDS Chapel where they attend church. I've never participated in the actual wedding ceremony as a bridesmaid before, but it was a really special experience, and I'm so grateful that we were able to be a part of it.

Mark and I left on a Thursday afternoon (once we realized that he was going to be late to class, he decided to skip class and drive that night instead of waiting for the next day) and stayed at a friend's house (Rakhi) in New Jersey on the way down. It was Canon's very first real road trip, and I wasn't sure how it was going to be to drive so long with a little baby. The stop in New Jersey was a perfect stopping point, and Canon was a pretty good sport about it all. (When the trip was over, though, I think he had enough with his car seat.)

This enabled us to arrive in Maryland to help with the decoration set-up the night before the ceremony. The day of the ceremony we had a rehearsal and then separated to get ready. The bride and bridesmaids went to her house to get make-up and hair done... but there were so many other people there trying to get ready. It felt like chaos, and with Canon being overstimulated (out-right crying) twice while we were there, all I could think was, "Why don't we just go to the Church to finish getting ready?" So I suggested we leave then and finish getting ready there. Good thing too, because it took the whole group about 40 minutes JUST TO LEAVE. Yeah, the chaos caused stress levels to rise for a few of us, and on the way to the Chapel I could feel the tension. I really wanted everyone from our car to arrive in good spirits, so I started singing "I Love to See the Temple" from our children's hymnbook. Theresa asked me to sing this for the ceremony, so I figured that it was a good opportunity to practice. The Spirit filled the car so strongly that I could hardly get all the words out in the second verse. I could tell that the other girls appreciated the change in mood, and I felt my own stress melt away.

Once we arrived at the Church, there was still much that needed to be done in order to finish getting ready, so the wedding started an hour late. That might be considered a bad thing, but it was such a beautiful ceremony. It was simple, but elegant. The passages they requested the bishop to recite were in reference to the eternal nature of families. I sang "I Love to See the Temple" and the rest of the focus of the ceremony showed the goal that they have as a couple to be able to go to the temple together.
The reception was fun with music and dancing, a sit-down lasagna dinner, milkshakes, and toasts offered at the microphone. It was so great to see Theresa looking to beautiful and happy. The family that she's married into was so sweet and welcoming to her. They seem to be so excited to have her in their family (and who wouldn't be?) which makes me happy. As her friend for over a decade, I'm so glad to see Theresa being so happy with the Gospel of Christ in her life and the loving support of an adoring husband in the Gospel.

After leaving the reception, Mark and I drove to the Washington D.C. LDS Temple. I had never been there before, and it was so beautiful. The wind was blowing really hard, which made it pretty chilly, so I suggested we go back to the car. Mark wouldn't have it and said that we needed to take the time to walk around the Temple. I'm so glad he did because it was totally worth it. Looking at the beautiful building was fun, but the Spirit that I felt was incredible. I reflected on the beautiful wedding ceremony we just attended and recognized the amazing blessings we receive through a Temple marriage. I was truly grateful! The Temple is an amazing place where we make covenants with our Father in Heaven, and it truly is a blessing to be able to attend and feel the peace and love within its walls.
On our return trip home, we stopped at Rakhi's house again, and it was fun to share our experience with her and her sister Rema. They live so close the New York City that we were hoping to stop again for a few days and visit the city with them when Mark finishes his finals and before he graduates... that would be this week!! However, it looks like that won't work out. Looks like we're going to have to make other plans to visit NYC. We've been in Boston for 3 years and never visited NYC...we've gotta go before it's too late! If we end up going and taking awesome pictures, I will post them later!