Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!
(very belated!!)

Well, we had a wonderful Christmas in good old Sactown! We made the drive last Saturday, leaving SLC at 7:00 am, and got into Sac around 5:30pm-ish. The drive was ok, Asher was kind of a pill at the beginning, but turned his attitude around and was pretty good for most of the trip, considering he only slept for an hour total the entire time. Then coming over the Donnor Summit, our tire blew out, and he was pretty much an angel the whole time we were stopped on the side of the road, and the rest of the way to our house. So he had lots of toys and books to keep him occupied, but the thing that kept him the happiest was Nate's Newsweek Magazine. He would sit back, cross his legs and look at it like he was really concerned with the world of politics right now. It was pretty dang cute!

Our Holiday festivities consisted of Sunday dinner/party at Grammy B's (with all the cousins and Aunts and Uncles on dad's side), Christmas Eve dinner/party at Uncle Jeff's (with all of mom's side of the fam), followed by the traditional party at Aunt Jeanie's (mom's aunt). After that, we came home, read the Christmas story, and got to work helping Santa set everything up in an aesthetically pleasing manner! (one of my favorite things to do!).

On Christmas morning, Asher woke up at 8:30ish, and Joel and Kadin followed suit shortly after. Here are some pics and video of them coming out in the morning. Asher was so funny, first he tried to swim into the pile of presents, then he saw the camera and proceeded to pose and make faces for us, then he heard Kadin and Joel and went out to beckon them to "come out and see all the cool stuff" (in the words of a 16 month old).

I think it was all a little overwhelming for Asher.
We ended up putting him in his bed after awhile, he didn't sleep, but I think he enjoyed the alone time. We spent the whole day at home with just our family, which was nice. Ashley did a lot of people's hair, including mine, which was very nice of her. My Grandma Lenie and Uncle Jeff joined us for dinner. I made a delicious beverage for Christmas dinner, and a double chocolate cheesecake for dessert (which didn't set enough by the time we ate it, so it tasted way better the next morning!!) After dinner, we all gathered around and recited our memorized poems for dad (a cool new tradition that dad started 2 years ago) It really is so cool to hear all the different poems that people chose, and to hear why they chose it and what it meant to them.

Part of the fam at dinner

(Whit, Ben, Lexi, Ash and Jill)

Me and Nate by the tree, with me looking more and more pregnant everyday!

All in all, it was a very successful Christmas. Nate loved his James Christensen picture (The Bassoonist) that I gave him...or so he says! I have chosen to believe him as he was quite convincing! As well as his many gift cards and enormous vat o' jelly bellies! I love my new Christmas dishes and juicer (which I used to make this beverage), and am so excited for my two prenatal massages that Nate got me! Asher loves all his new books and toys and clothes. (I think his favorite gift was actually the Thomas the train that I bought for him the day after Christmas!) We also scored some other sweet stuff, such as the Planet Earth dvds, Ticket to Ride, the Ocean's trilogy set, as well as the complete works of Jane Austen!! (Nate was really excited about that one!) Nate's parents gave each of their married children an original watercolor painting of the temple that we got married in. They have a very close friend who is an artist, and she put a lot of time, research and effort into each one to make it special. I LOVE it, as I have been wanting a really nice picture of the Oakland temple, and love that this is our very own, unique painting. Thanks mom and dad O!!

We just got home from Sacramento last night, well this morning at 3:00am. I have to say, that leaving at 3:00pm is pretty much the only way to travel with a child. Asher took a nap for an hour and a half at the beginning, we stopped for dinner, then he went to bed. He did actually wake up for awhile at the end, but just sat there in his seat, silent, staring out the window and chillin'! What an angel!

It really was such a good Christmas season for me, as I really tried hard to think about our Savior, and the reason that we have this wonderful time of year. I truly feel that my testimony of the birth of our Savior and the plan of salvation have grown in the last month, and I am so grateful for that. We feel so blessed to have our own little family with Asher. He brings us so much joy, and just gets cuter and cuter everyday! We are so excited to see what joys life will bring with two little kiddos running around!!

We hope you all had a fabulous Christmas as well, and hope you have a Happy New Year!

Here are a few more pictures that I just couldn't resist sharing...

Here is Jillian looking hot in her new under armour running gear, along with Whit's new brown boots!

Here is dad, stylin' in his new American Eagle jeans that Hailey, Lexi and Jill got him. I think that they were trying to tell him something about the style of his previous jeans!! :)

Asher helping with the laundry in Grandma and Grandpa's room!

Asher finds it is best to do the laundry wearing only his diaper, preferably after he has gotten all his clothes wet from playing in the dog's water!

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year...for treats!!

One of the reasons that I love the holiday season so much, is that I get to eat and make delicious, festive treats! This past week I have been a busy little baker. Well, I guess I should actually say Candymaker, as baking and making candy are two very different ball games. This year I decided that I wanted to do Christmas goodies, and get this, I actually did it! Woo-hoo!! I have always wanted to try making peppermint bark, and I found the most scrumptious recipe on It turned out so good. I also made some sugar cookies, made with the most delicious recipe ever. They are seriously the softess, yummiest sugar cookies I have ever had. However, I have decided that in years to come, I probably won't do the cookies for Christmas goodies again. I think I will stick with the candy. A little too much work for not very many cookies, and after I finished decorating one batch, I was "done" with the cookies. Last but not least, I decided to try my hand at the English Toffee that my mom makes every year. They all turned out so yummy, and I will definitely keep the two candies as holiday goody traditions!

Another one of my new favorite holiday treats (although you could really have it any time of year) is Frozen Hot Chocolate. So yummy! It is a lighter dessert item, that is very easy to keep within a reasonable portion size! I have made this several times already this season, (I thought of you every time Ellen; so glad you're home, I've missed you!) and they were scrumptious every time!

So since I have been so busy in the kitchen, I am sorry to say that Asher has been slightly neglected. Although I have been pretty good about only doing it when Asher is napping or in bed for the night, there was one morning when I really wanted to get my cookies decorated and make another batch of toffee, so I just let Asher do whatever for a couple of hours, and this was the result:

Asher went through his normal morning routine of taking all the tupperware out of the drawers, and taking the dish towels from the cupboard, and then proceeded to go through the trash (not as gross as it sounds), go under the sink, get into the hutch drawers and cupboards, all while still wearing his PJs!! You gotta love it! While it drove me a little insane, I just told myself I would deal with it after I was done! These pictures actually don't really do it justice, but trust me, it was not a pretty sight! But he sure was a happy little guy!

Go to my Chocolate Kitchen blog to see recipes and pictures and tips!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Life is good...

We really don't have that many gifts yet, most of those are just cute gift boxes for decoration!

It's true, life is good right now...

1. It's Christmas time, I have a beautifully decorated tree to light my spirits everyday, my blog is red (and who wouldn't want a red blog?!), and I am getting ready to make lots of Christmas goodies!

2. Asher is not nearly as bad at not touching the tree as I thought he would be. I almost didn't get a tree because I didn't really want to deal with him pulling ornaments off of it every day. Which, the first couple of days, is exactly how it went down. He would take or touch an ornament, and I would take him and look at him and say: "asher, don't touch the tree, if you touch the tree again you are going to go into time out in your crib" Then I would let go of him, and he would walk over to the tree and stick a finger out and poke an ornament and then look at me with this huge smile...what a little stinker!! Needless to say, it was much too funny and cute to put him into time out. But don't worry, I am not always that lax, and he has definitely spent plenty of time in timeout, and now, he doesn't even notice the tree!

3. I had leftover MudPie for breakfast this morning. That's right people, MudPie, as in ice cream and whipped cream and a delicious cookie crust! :)

4. Asher has been feeling and acting much better every day!

5. I have been doing a good job (if I do say so myself) at keeping my home straightened up and the dishes done (thanks for the inspiration Lark!) even though I feel like that is all I do during Asher's naps, I think it is worth it.

6. I totally have so much more energy these days, so I can actually get things accomplished, I got my Prenatal Yoga dvd in the mail the other day, so all I need to do now is strap on my unitard and get going!!

7. I think I may have actually done something right on Nate's Christmas gift this year, which is quite the accomplishment, as he is very hard to buy for. He pretty much NEVER gives me a list to go off of, and if he does, it's just full of electronic gadgets and other boring stuff like that (after the first time, it's just not fun to get another ipod because your last one is full), so I just have to fend for myself. That's alright though, I guess it does make it a little more personal, as I actually have to think about it.

8. I am for the most part done with my Christmas shopping, (and I want you all to know that I found myself some seriously awesome deals this year!) except for the few things that I am waiting to come in the mail (I love online shopping), and then 2 small things I am finishing up today, thanks to my great friend Costco. Then all I will have to do is wrap the gifts, which is really my favorite part! Seriously! I worked as a home assistant for a few years, and one of my favorite parts of the job was that she had me wrap TONS of Christmas gifts every year. So I would just put on a movie or some Christmas music, and have at it! Anything that involves making things look pretty is totally for me!

9. Did I mention it's Christmas time?

10. In a few weeks, we will be on our way to Sacramento to hang out with the fam, where we will proceed to celebrate Christmas in true Busath fashion...with lots of food and presents!! Nate and Ben will undoubtedly make sarcastic comments about the "materialistic oragy" (sorry if that is inappropriate, but it's a direct quote, what can I say!?) that is Christmas at my house! FYI people, there are a lot of people in my family, and Christmas has always been the only time of year that we really get anything, except for our birthdays, so I think we are perfectly justified in our materialism!! Plus, we still focus on Christ and all that good stuff!! :)

11. With Christmas shopping behind me, I have plenty of time to devote to focusing on the true spirit of Christmas!! One of the things that I am doing to be more Christ and love centered this year, is following this blog. I'm sure they didn't plan it this way, but the theme of love (dedicated to a late friend) is perfect for this time of year. They have a new post every day, with a new challenge. I try to read it everyday, and even though I am not perfect at doing the challenges, I really try to think about them, incorporate them into my scripture study, apply the themes to this time of year, and implement them into my life as much as I can. You should all check it out, as it is, if nothing else, a great daily reminder of the important things in life!

12. Really, the only unfortunate thing, is that my mom forgot to send the Galena Christmas videos that I requested, with my sister Jillian after Thanksgiving. How does she expect me to get in the Christmas spirit without inspiring music and dance selections such as "Lets have a Christmas Celebration", "Decorate your tree with love" and "Skateboardin' Santa"?!

Hope you are all enjoying the Holiday season so far!!

Look at our little daredevil balancing on his walker toy!!
Such a cutie!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Asher's busy morning...

Disclaimer: I wrote this post on Monday, but was far too lazy to upload the pictures until now, so sorry!

Asher and I have been sick for the last few days, with a cold. Poor Asher has been really sick with a really bad cough complete with lots of snot in his lungs and in his nose! Yesterday was NOT a fun day at church or at home. So this morning, I thought I would treat us to some whole wheat chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Ok, lets be honest, it was more of a brunch. We were both up early, but definitely not up and running!! Asher didn't really eat a lot of his, but he sure enjoyed eating some of them and making a mess with the rest. We don't ever really give him sweets or chocolate, so they were probably kind of rich. This picture was taken after I wiped his nasty nose, so it was actually a lot messier looking before, but it was grossing me out. Notice that he is showing you the food in his mouth. He saw himself in the mirror once when he was eating, and was so fascinated by it, that he thought we would be too! And yes, he is only wearing one sock! And yes, he is still wearing his PJs!

This picture is after he decided to play "where's Asher?" with his chocolatey hands

Despite Asher's poor little sick self, he is surprisingly happy in the mornings (probably because he went to bed at 5:30pm last night, and didn't wake up until 7:30am this morning) and then gradually deteriorates throughout the day. I had an adorable video of Asher waddling around the house, chattering, and carrying around his diaper bag like a purse, but it won't upload for some reason. You will just have to use your imagination!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Christmas Around the World...

Friday night, Nate and I had date night, we went to dinner and then Christmas Around the World. So being a Folk Dance Alumni, it is impossible to just go and sit through a performance without noticing certain things and commenting on everything that needs commenting on, which quite frankly, is a lot!! Now, seeing as how there was so much to comment on, I can't just get by with saying that the show was great and go on with my life. So for those of you who were unable to attend this year, I will lovingly provide you with a play by play of the performance, so you feel like you were right there with me! Trust me, there is something at the end that you are going to want to hear, so I suggest reading on (at least for Folk Dancers!)

The show started off strong with an awesome Turkish Black Sea dance done by PAC: great foot work, great energy, Great!

Philippines: your standard Tinikling, pretty fun, not too many feet getting caught in the poles, and only a few candles falling off the guys forheads.

PAC girls do a dance I've never seen from China, pretty, but kind of boring

Puerto Rican...9 or 10 WILK...enough said!

Ireland: A little disappointing. The three hand was nice (way to go Hillary), but it was followed by a new dance that was basically a soft shoe done in hard shoes. You can tell that the dance is really meant to show off the 2 male dancers that are dancing with like 12 girls. A pretty traditional song, nothing too exciting, no fancy footwork...and then, that was it. the band came on and played David's Jig, which was the biggest crowd pleaser of the whole suite.

The United States:
Southern Reflections...not one of the funnest dances to watch (much more fun to actually perform) so I entertained myself by looking at all the dresses and picturing everyone who wore each one. It was so funny to look at a dress and see a specific person, like Katie Rynearson in the mint green dress, Jasmine in the fuscia and white dress, Marsha in the lacy yellow number, Marie in the navy blue, Emilee in copper, me in the mustard yellow, and so on and so forth. That right there should tell you how many times we wore those costumes!!

Appalachian patchwork...done by 9 or 10 RB I'm sure. All I could think about while watching this (besides all the memories of tour flashing through my head... Lindsay, how you managed to finagel your way out of all those lame American dances on our last tour is beyond me, and quite frankly, I still think it is wildly unfair!) was: I wonder if these girls have any idea how many hot, sweaty girls have worn those dresses? Probably not!!!

Western Clog...great, fun clogging piece. Fun footwork with lots of toe stands. I guess those are all the rage these days. Again, they were wearing the blue satiny dresses that will forever reek of BO, with the bloomers that are pretty much skin tight. Gotta love it!

We're all in this together...Guest performers Greg and Maria Tucker plus 140 brightly costumed kids. (Why, oh why, must clogging costumes be so hideous?! I mean really!) Fun, energetic dance, complete with tiny little 3 foot cloggers, double- doubling their little hearts out in their bright pink sequence.

Austria: yodeling, guys with white, skinny legs, wearing leiderhosen shorts that are far too short for comfort, flexing, slapping eachothers butts, and frolicking on far the most entertaining dance in the whole show!

Norway/Sweden: vocal number, lots of close ups of people who don't know the words to the song...i LOVE that!! :)

Russian: A PAC girls dance with lots of fun turns, wearing one of my favorite costumes...the black with orange and green.

Slovakia: PAC guys, wearing awesome blue stretch pants, the one where they steal eachother's hats the whole time. Very entertaining and cheesy. You gotta love that no matter what year it is, and no matter who is on the team, there are always going to be a team full of guys more than willing to ham it up.

Hungary: this was actually done by 9RB it looked like. I was just greatful that there wasn't a full blown am I sick of that whole suite. how long do you think we have been doing that? the suite ended with none other than ferfi.

Romania: Oas...i do love this dance, but a couple years ago, Ed changed the music to this slow stuff, and it isn't nearly as fun. but it is still a great dance. it will forever remind me of brent brimhall, no idea why.

Ok people, now for the clincher...this is where we would normally expect Hopak, our beloved finale. So about 1 minute before Hopak was supposed to start, (Russ Wood is announcing Ukraine with one of his fabulous narrations!) Nate says, oh yeah, they're not doing Hopak! WHAT?!! How can you just not do Hopak? I guess it is this new piece, I don't know if they are planning on making it the new finale, but let me tell you, that would be a HUGE mistake. I will say that the costumes were beautiful, and it would have been fine for a new normal dance, but NOT a new finale. Oh man, it really was such a disappointment! The music was far too hokey, as was the dance...picture the dancers thumbs in their armpits and several circles with some kind of spirit fingers going on. The music had no energy like Hopak does. Of course, lets be honest, the girls are really just wallpaper in Hopak, but the whole dance is so pretty and energetic and fun, and what girl doesn't watch Hopak before she is on PAC, and long to wear those red boots?! How sad for these girls, no red boots. Instead, it's: here are your leather bulgarian looking slippers. So sad. There was no standing ovation or wild applause at the end, the energy that is usually created by Hopak, was replaced by anticlimatic tags for all the back up teams and then bows. Sigh. I talked with Benny and Keenan afterwards, and they too were disappointed.

So there you go folk dancers, your own personal CAW review. I hope I was sufficiently critical! ;)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

All I want for Christmas is...

Since it is finally that time of year, I thought it would be fun to share my Christmas list. Some of these are, of course, a little unrealistic, but it's fun to dream.

The Phil and Ted e3 stroller with toddler seat. I WILL have this stroller someday!!

The Mac Mini computer. It would be so nice to have my own little computer so Nate can take the laptop whenever he wants!

Lenox Holiday Gatherings mix and match Christmas dinnerware.

The juicer attachment for my Bosch

Pretty much any classic chick flick dvd, such as Emma, Mansfield Park, While you were sleeping, Breakfast at Tiffany's, etc.

Ticket to Ride
...such a fun game!

Cutco knives
The Spatula Spreader

The Petite Carver

Set of Steak knives

Kitchen Shears

A cool piece of art to adorn our home:

"The Responsible Woman" by James Christensen

"Hold to the Rod, the Iron Rod" by James Christensen

Reusable grocery sacks from

And last but not least, a large non-stick skillet that I can use for everything!

Of course, there are always many other random things, such as coats and shoes, but I won't bore you with all that stuff!! What's on your Christmas list this year??

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving week...

We got to spend the last 9 days in Spokane, WA with Nate's awesome family. It was so great to be with family for so long, just relaxing and eating far too much good food. Asher was a little unsure of all his cousins at first, so I didn't end up going to Seattle to visit University of WA with Nate as planned, but after a couple of days he warmed up, and by the end they were all great little buds.

We had a great Thanksgiving day. In the morning we started out watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, but actually ended up watching more of E True Hollywood story of Jessica Simpson and some of the Top Chef marathon. After that, most of the fam headed over to Mom and Dad Olson's to pick up the leaves and see their cute new (actually, very OLD, built in 1910 or something) house. The little boys had so much fun picking up and playing in the leaves, and running up and down the little hill in the front yard, despite how freezing cold it was. About an hour before the Turkey was supposed to be done, we checked on it and it was totally done. Whoops! So we had to scramble around trying to get everything else ready, as we thought we had plenty of time for all the prep. It all came together nicely and we had a delicious dinner of Turkey, ham, stuffing, cranberry sauce, garlic parmesan mashed potatoes, gravy, green salad, roasted cherry tomatoes, homemade rolls, followed by pie. My pumpkin pie turned out great, but for some reason my chocolate pie didn't set correctly. I was way bummed as it wasn't nearly as good, oh well. The rest of the evening was pretty quiet and relaxing, but it was a very nice day.

Asher and Parker

Of course, on Friday, we decided to brave the crowds, and hit Target and the Mall. Neither were bad at all. I scored on some awesome deals at Macy's...they have THE BEST sales!! It's pretty crazy how quickly everyone transitions into Christmas mode. Not that I'm complaining...I am way pumped for Christmas, and am almost done with my shopping!

On Saturday, Lizza, Duffy and I took the kiddos to this play place called Mobius. It is indoors and has the coolest things to do inside. There is a little gated play place for the little ones, and then all sorts of stuff for older kids. There was a stage with instruments and costumes to try on, a corner with little cars where they drive and learn all about traffic signals, and so many other things. So fun! I wish we had something like that in Provo, it would be such a hit, especially in the winter! Lizza said they paid $60 for a family pass (no mattter how big your family is) for a worth it! They also change the little activities around, so it's not always the same stuff. Genius! Later that night, Nate's sister Lizza and her husband Zach blessed their 4th baby boy on Saturday night at home, which was so nice. Little Cooper is such a cutie, and looked like such a doll in his little satin blessing romper! It was actually really neat to do it at home with just family and the bishop, very intimate.

At Mobius...

Cooper's blessing...

Besides those things, we didn't do too much else besides just hang out, watch movies, play pictionary, and eat food. I would say it was a successful vacation. Asher was great the whole time, even on the flights he wasn't too bad, just very wiggly! This morning, our flight was at 5:30am, so we had to wake him up at 4:00am. He was busy busy the whole flight, and then right as we were landing, he fell asleep on Nate's lap. Awesome timing, right?!

Here are some other fun pictures from the week:
Cooper in his star thingy...doesn't he look so precious?!

This is the view from the house. We woke up to this one morning...gorgeous!

Doesn't Asher look so cute all bundled up in his new coat?!

What can we say? A kids gotta have his caffeine!;) (FYI, Asher doesn't know how to drink from a straw, so don't worry, he's not really drinking it!)

What a little goof-ball!

No, he is not yawning, he loves to make funny faces like this. What a silly kid! I love this picture, he looks like a hippo with his two front teeth, which by the way, he just barely's about time!

Friday, November 16, 2007

I missed this face...

This last week, Nate and I went on a little "vacation" back east, to look at some Graduate programs. Even though we were doing a lot of driving and on the go pretty much everyday, we didn't bring Asher with us, so in my mind, that is a vacation. I even got to sleep in until 11:30 one day (I went to bed really late, ok!) and 10:00 a couple other days, and it was so great! I can't remember the last time I was able to do that. But man did I miss this little guy!

I found myself in awe of every person who happened to have a child, like it was some kind of amazing thing. I thought I did pretty well though, much better than I thought I would do. The couple days before we left, I kept having all these second thoughts about leaving him, and Nate even went so far as to say: "lets just take him with us." Ugh, it would have been sooo miserable with him. I was actually never really very worried about Asher, he is so social, and LOVES playing with other kids, so I had a feeling he wouldn't even really realize we were gone. And I was right, he had a blast with his cousins and his new best friend, Jace. Everyone reported that he was very happy, slept and ate great, and played his little heart out. So that was very comforting, and made it so much easier for me and Nate to be able to enjoy our time away.

Here's a little overview of our trip:

On Thursday, we flew into Philadelphia and picked up Nate's sister's car that she so graciously let us use while she was on a cruise! We drove from there to Newark Delaware to visit with our good friend Josh Probert who is doing is PhD at Winterthur (studying antiques, stuff you would see on Antiques Road Show!). It was so funny when we got to his house, it was such a "single guys" apartment. We had our air mattress, and were getting ready to go to bed, but we didn't bring any blankets or pillows. Josh says: "oh my gosh, I didn't even think about that...we don't have any extras!!!" HA! Now lets be honest, there aren't many girls out there that wouldn't have thought about that, and if they didn't have any themselves, they would have figured something out. So Josh gave us the flat sheet off his bed, they rounded up 2 very thin blankets (between him and his 2 roommates), and then gave me a space heater to sleep next to, which I did end up using. I thought it was so funny. Of course, we were really just grateful to have a clean, free place to sleep! When we came back a few days later, Josh had gone to his Bishop's house to get some nice warm blankets...much better!

and Saturday were spent in NYC! I LOVE NYC!! Although, this NYC experience was much different from my last. What was the difference you ask...driving! Nate and I actually drove into and around NYC! All I have to say is OH-MY-GOSH!!! I have never experienced anything like the traffic in NY. Not so much in the city, but going in and out was absolutely amazing. I can't even describe to you the absolute chaos that is merging onto the George Washington Bridge. Picture going from about a dozen different toll lanes to like 4 actual lanes, all in under a quarter of a mile, with hundreds of cars. There are no rules, there is no ettiquette, it is every man for himself, and if you don't get in there, you are not going to get on the bridge! I have to say that I was quite proud of myself. Once we got into the city, I found an awesome parking spot, right by Columbia University where Nate had his interview, and right next to the subway station. Nate had a really great interview there at the Teachers College. He felt like he really connected with the Professor there, and that she was very excited about Nate's back ground and interests. That night we went and saw the Drowsy Chaperone, starring Bob Saget. It wasn't so much a musical experience (like Wicked or Les Mis or something like that) as much as it was funny and entertaining, but we did really enjoy it.

So, that night, we ended up getting an amazing deal at the Hilton Newark NJ! We kept going back and forth on where to stay, but decided that we would rather have atleast one nice hotel for our whole trip, so we decided not to stay in the city. Mistake?! Well, as we were trying to get onto the Lincoln Tunnel that night, we were thinking mistake. Again, mass chaos, 2 lanes each, coming from 3 different directions, trying to merge into 2 lanes (or was it 1?) in a very short distance. Again, there were no rules...what was once 2 lanes from one direction was now about 6, because the people up front were apparently going too slow, so the people in the back decided they just needed to get to the front, so they made their own lanes. It was so great. You'd think that we would be so annoyed, but I think we were so amazed, that we were actually quite enjoying ourselves! The best part, was when you rounded the corner and were finally merged and ready to go in the tunnel, there are 2 police cars "helping" us cars that were already safely merged. In a normal city, the police would have been trying to control and maintain the merging, but not in NY, they just sit back and let you do whatever the heck you want. But then, when we finally got to our hotel and experienced the most comfortable hotel beds I have ever slept in, it was all worth it. Saturday, we did it all over again, except this time, Nate drove. Saturday was the day I slept in until almost noon, so we didn't get into the city until 2ish. We had lunch, met up with Josh, and were thinking about splurging on Wicked tickets, when to our disappointment, we realized that the stage hands were on strike, so all the good shows were cancelled. We were pretty bummed. Then to make matters worse, we decided to go to the Met, and like half of the exhibits were closed for construction. So it was kind of a lousy day in the city. But I think both Josh and Nate would agree that the dinner we had that night made up for everything. I can't remember the name of the restaurant, but they are both still talking about how amazing it was. I've never seen two people whose lives revolve around food as much as Nate and wonder they've been friends for so long.

was back in Newark, and Josh gave us a private tour of Winterthur (home of the Dupont family) and LongWood Gardens. Both were so cool...I would take Winterthur over The Met, anyday!!!

That night we drove to New Haven CT (where Yale is located) and stayed with a good friend of Josh's. Monday morning, we drove about 30 minutes to Middletown CT where Wesleyan University is located. It was soooo gorgeous in CT. Freezing, but gorgeous. We loved the campus, but Nate didn't love the program as much as he thought he would. He felt like it was a little snobby. That night we went and saw Dan in Real Life, which we both loved. Such a good family flick!

morning, we drove to Providence RI to visit Brown University, which was actually kind of a last minute choice of Nate's, but ended up being his absolute favorite. He even got to attend an Old time bluegrass jam session that evening.

, we made our way out to the boonies of Ithaca NY to visit Cornell (alma mater of Andy Bernard from The Office). We had kind of high expectations for Cornell, but I think Nate was a little disappointed, as it wasn't what he expected. But I guess this is why you go visit programs, they can seem so perfect on paper, but it's so important to get a realistic view of what the programs are really like.

That day, we drove back to Newark to stay at Josh's again. Thursday, we packed up and came home!

Ok, so this turned out to be a long overview of our trip, sorry! Overall, we really loved it back east. Every where we went, it was absolutely gorgeous, and of course freezing. That would be the hardest thing about living out there for me. But I think it would be so fun to be so close to all the cool stuff out there. Today, we are leaving for Spokane to visit with Nate's fam for the holidays as well as go to University of Washington to visit the program there. We'll keep you updated!