Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Slammin' Tim Tams

Christmas season has officially arrived! Tim Tam cookies (from Pepperidge Farms, available at Target) have officially been stocked on the shelves. Nothing says Christmas time more than slamming Tim Tams. Tonight we had our first official slam of the season.

First, you take the cookie and bite a hole in 2 opposite corners...

Then you suck Hot Chocolate through the opposite corners until you feel the cookie become moist with goodness...

IT'S TIME TO SLAM- put it in your mouth and feel the good chocolaty taste of the cookie melt in your mouth

It really is that easy...You can become a pro on your first attempt. The Baird's taught me, the Lewis' taught them...really it's a loved, handed down tradition.

Now excuse me, Ryan is setting a mouse trap...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our Accomplishment

Coming down the escalator as we waited for the train to take us to the starting line.

OMGosh-I was really nervous...not gonna lie.

We made it through the race and even found each other at the end.

So, as you have seen from the previous post, Ryan and I have been running. Well, we started training in June for a half marathon-and the 10 miler happened to be training:) On 10/16/2010, we ran the Balitmore Half Marathon and it was great, awesome, worth it, incredible, an accomplishment. Ryan and I stayed in a hotel for the weekend and made a vacation out of it.


What a beautiful picture, no? And look who had to be pictured with us...see right there, between Ryan and I? Ryan and I signed up to run a 10 mile race in Manassas-it was called "General Ridge's Challenge." I didn't notice the challenge part of it until after we paid...it was 5 miles on the hilley, extremely hilley, golf course-the rest of the 10 miler was on the street through neighborhoods. Dorothy and Denise ran in a 5k and Nas watched the girlies-Chloe and Scarlett. Nas would have run, but she was out of commission for this particular run. We had a great time. See that medal I am wearing? Well, Ryan won 2nd place in his age group and he gave it to me because I am his motivation. It was an awesome run and I was grateful Ryan stayed with me on the golf course.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

As of Late...

I've been missing from the blog scene. I asked Ryan if he would please post because I did not care to. It was the honest truth; however I am once again feeling back into the posting phase. Although there are no pictures, here are my words.

We have been loving the Charlottesville life. It has been so fun being on our own and getting to know each other again. We are in love. We have made some great friends-Sam and Sara and we spend a lot of time with them. We have 'Survivor' parties, eat dinner together, go on hikes, apple picking, to ikea and visiting mine and Ryan's parents, to highschool football games (where there is a real lion and fireworks at every touchdown!!!-really, I kid you not), to Sara's family farm, long drives, Yoders-a Mennonite store, eating at Charlottesville Buffalo Wings, trying new recipes, meals with the missionaries...really the list goes on. They are our friends and we feel grateful.

Ryan has been doing a great job at cooking meals, cleaning, and going to work. He has been looking into possible scholarships, working on puzzles, studying Russian, trying new recipes, and lots of reading. I love seeing him when I come home because we hardly saw each other the first 8 months of our marriage because of work/school schedules when we were on our own. We have been preparing for our half marathon in 2 weeks. We will make it to the end!!! We will be running a 10 Miler next weekend...a first for us on both of those occasions. I have been enjoying my job and decorating our home. Life is good, Ryan is cute, and I'm in love. We are well.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Atop Old Rag Mountain and floating down the lazzy James River

Labor Day weekend for us was all about the great out doors. We wanted to make the most of our weekend together so we decided on a couple of things to do. On Saturday we hiked Old Rag Mountain and on Monday prefering a shorter drive to scottsville than to Virginia Beach decided to go tubing down the James river.

Last Year Dara and I and mom and Kara tried hiking Old Rag Mountain but the weather took a turn for the worse and the rain and the cold made for icy conditions at the summit and so we sadly turned around. On Saturday Dara and I drove to Old Rag Mountain and met up with my mom. Together the three of us hiked and seriously climbed about 3 miles up to the summit (3,291 ft). It was one of the highlights of our summer. We all had a good time going through rock crevises and climbing over bolders. Climbing a mountain no matter the height or level of difficulty is a fullfilling journey. When we got to the top we felt like we had challenged ourselves and found the strength and determination to meet those challenges head on.

The beautiful vista at the summit overlooking the countryside and the Shenandoah National Park was spectacular. We felt like we were sitting on the top of the world, well at least from our vantage point at the top Virginia. We sat at the top for a while and just took it all in as we snacked on some food that we packed and made phone calls to family. The hike over all was amazing It was an enjoyable trip up the mountain and going down. Dara remarked as she was in a tough spot on the acsent that inorder to climb up and over a rock you have have to wrap your leg around it like you're pole dancing. Getting back down was far easier and we walked gracefully back down a few more miles. We came, we saw, we conquered. Another day lived and one mountained conquered.

So on Monday we had planned on going to the beach but we were feeling lazy in the morning and did not want to wake up and drive 3 hours or more to Virginia Beach. Instead we decided to go to Scottsville, VA where we outfitted ourselves with innertubes. One for each of us and one for our cooler full of food. I have to admit that it was a little risky going when we did becasue the river was low in several spots exposing pleanty of rocks to get in our way. For the most part we enjoyed floating along the river where we could enjoy just being in the water and out in the sun. I forgot how peaceful a river can be and it was nice to share in this tranquil experience with the woman I love.

At home in Charlottesville

Its almost been a month since we have moved and our house feels more and more like home each day. We've enjoyed having family come and visit and Dara is really good about inviting people over for dinner either from church or from the neigborhood. We live about a 15 minute walk to central UVA grounds which will be nice when I start school and Dara doesn't have a long commute to her job at Martha Jefferson Hospital at the Hope Cancer Center. Our place has two floors, two bedrooms and 1 1/2 bathrooms and it has a nice living room and kitchen/dining area. Before Dara started her job we both did a lot of reading now that we're wired to the internet we waste pleanty of time keeping up on TV shows, the blogging world, and facebook.

We have started up our training program again in preparation for our half marathon in October. We run just about every day of the week and we enjoy it a lot. Dara is having a great time at her new job and I just started working part time a Jimmy Johns, a fast and fun sub/sandwich shop.

On Friday Dara and I walked from our house to Charlottesville's downtown mall. Its an out door mall of shops, and resterants, a movie theater, ice skating rink, and a concert pavilion. We arrived and got dinner a little place called the Nook. We had a nice run in with my old Boss from Varsity Graphics Jack Raymond. We happened to be sitting right next to them and had a good time talking with them over good food. As the evening progressed we walked around more and listened to a live beatles tribute band. Around 8:00 the UVA marching band strolled through the town heading up their anual paint the town orange, pep rally raising excitment and support for the Football team's first game of the season. It sure was a lot of fun.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Success in C-ville

Dear Family and Friends,

Dara and I are pleased to announce that she was offered a job at the Hope Cancer Center here in Charlottesville. We feel grateful that everything is comming together. I'm still working out everything for getting into school in January and finding employment. One thing we're enjoying is time off and time to ourselves. After going non-stop for a while a vacation in our newly established home was long overdue. Thanks to both of our parents we were able to get settled in our new home and what I enjoy about it is that it really does have the feeling of home a place just for Dara and I and our family to be. We love it down here so far. We have already made aquaintance with some nice people in the neigborhood and the ward down here. One thing that we would like to do is see the natural bridge. Its on Dara's list of things to see.

Monday, August 9, 2010


hahahahaha my heart is tickled....remember this post? Well here is my other half...

A Project

Ryan and I spent a couple of hours about 3 Saturdays ago working on a rocking chair. My parents had given us a rough looking chair and we thought it would be a good idea to refinish it. It was fun working with Ryan because he is a hard worker. We sanded the chair, stained it, and put on a shiny coat. It will be a nice addition to our new home:)




We definitely have skill in our family:)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Excitement is in the air!

We are getting ready to move. We couldn't be more excited. Ryan has one final left to finish today...I have 12 hours of work left (and counting down)...not that we are counting down. We are not sure what to expect as life moves forward, but we are excited to move forward together:) We have furniture for our duplex and are looking forward to decorating and adding our own flavorrr to the place. We have many adventures ahead of us and we are grateful that we still be near our families. I just had to write about our excitement:)

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Around here, there are a lot of changes going on. You may call us crazy, but we are moving forward with faith:) After one full year of being blessed to live with our parents in their houses, we have signed a lease for our very own 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 2 level, side by side duplex...not here, but in....


We are moving!!!!!!!! There is a lot of excitement over here. We are moving in about 2 weeks. Our letters of resignations to our jobs are in and Ryan is QUICKLY finishing his last semester of his Associates Degree. Can you believe he has completed 35 credits in 2 semesters? I am very proud of him, as are so many more people:) We are moving, with a moving truck!!! You better believe it. I mean, we have been, are, and will be very blessed. My parent's garage is FULL to the brim of furniture, given to us, but kind and caring people. Our official move out date:

August 11, 2010

Now, our next order of business- Get accepted to UVa and the Airforce ROTC and find jobs...This may possibly be very backwards, but what faith would you need if everything was prepared and falling into your lap??

Monday, July 19, 2010

My dear friend's blog post...a must read!

A little itty while ago, my dear friend (her name is in my name-dara/cami) wrote a blog post about our time together. She was my first high school friend in college. We had many great memories and she posted about a lot of them. Please read here!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gramma Billie

My only living Grandparent (from either side) is Gramma Billie (my father's mother)...we have called her Gramma Billie our entire lives (and we have always spelled gramma just like that for her). She was our gramma who lived "far away" in Florida and we only go to see every other summertime-ish. She was a fashionable lady and always had the neatest jewelry (she would buy us play jewelry). When she was around, you always painted nails and went on walks, but you HAD to remember your stick...because we would find LOTS of bugs and dirt along the road. We would count the ants in the ant hole and push the leaves away from the road. She loved candy corn and the color pink. For my first grade picture, she fluffed my bangs up (early 90s style) and I was rockin' it in my onzie outfit that zipped up the front and had those stirrup loops on the bottom (and you all wore those same kind of pants/suits, so don't hate). She liked taking us to our elementary school play ground and we would ride around in her white oldsmobile with a huge tire on the back with a silver hupcap and blue top-windows were always down.

These are all memories-my dear gramma has Alzheimer's Disease and lives in a nursing home. When I go to visit her, she doesn't even know who I am (and I remind her several times). She is a great listener and will always comment on what you tell her (even if it is just "uh hmmm" and "whatever makes you happy"). She still loves to go on walks and moves her arms a lot like a power walker. She is 89 and on July 14th met her 2 great grand daughters for the first time. She loved Scarlett (the baby) and cooed at her the whole time. She tried speaking to Chloe, but Chloe was a little shy at the nursing home.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I love him...

When I look at him, I feel happy and grateful. I am excited to move forward in the adventures we have faced and have yet to face. He is kind and loving. I love to hold his hand and give him kisses. I am a lucky girl. He is my best friend and my eternal companion.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A tribute to my wife

she rises with the sun.
and like a solar presence,
just by being who she is,
brightens my life each day.
she smiles and life is sweeter.
dreams no longer thrill me,
because her beauty takes my breath away.
she's every dream of mine come true,
and in every way, my life is better,
Because she is by my side.

P.S. I love you Dara

Thursday, June 3, 2010


you just have one of those moments (or a lot of those moments) when you wonder why so many doors are closing in your life...and then of course you know that saying "when one door closes another one opens..." I suppose it just seems difficult to wait for the other doors to open. They will always open...sometimes it takes a little bit longer than you were hoping for. I think, it's times like these when all those doors seem to be closing, that you realize how many things you have to be grateful for...did you know that my people of Guatemala are suffering?? A sink hole, a hurricane, and a volcano!!?? The volcano erupted in my mission and in contact I have had with people there...things are not going very well. They rarely having running water and when it comes, it's contaminated with all the ash and debris from the volcano. Now believe me bloggy people, my people of Guatemala have hard times and live harder lives than we could imagine-but they are the happiest, wonderfuliest, greatest, bestest people alive (in my opinion of course). There is happiness to be found in all things- even when it feels as though the doors keep closing and no doors are opening. Hold to the rod, walk slower on the straight and narrow path...and the doors will slowly begin to open-one door at a time-until you don't have enough room to store all the blessings coming from all of the open doors. It's a promise.from the Lord.you would feel better if you trust in Him.promise.

Somos locos (and don't mind my crazy eyes)


En serio, somos locos

See, I have walked in another's shoes ya know!

La Sociedad de Socorro

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Celebration of Beautiful Nas' Birthday

I would have to say we are a lucky family-Not everybody has a beautiful Nas...although she has "adopted" lots of children over the years who will always call her "Nas." Ryan and I put together some flowers and candy on Friday and he dropped them off to her at work, making a big deal about her birthday in front of all her friends. Ryan said it was fun and Nas really enjoyed the little show she got and all the candy she could share with her friends at work. We had a wonderful time celebrating her birthday, May 29th. She requested a BBQ-catered by QT and Jen. She had a great time opening presents and blowing out candles on the cake made by the one and only-Ryan. He has become a great cake maker-he has great potential to go far in cake making!

The Birthday Girl

Go Marines-opening some gifts from her loved ones

She believed we really gave her a pink hair dryer-it was the only box I could find to pack her workout clothes! We had a great laugh over that!

The party people

Blowing out the candles on the beautiful cake!

It was a fun day-We love you, Nas. Thank you for being so wonderful. We enjoyed celebrating your birthday.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

We've got your back...

a 5K: 3.1 miles! Today, May 22, 2010- Ryan, Mom B., Nas, Sharon (Shreffler Family friend), Penny, Carly (Baird family friends), and I ran this 5k, raising money for Spinal Research. It was so fun. We are all very proud of ourselves and each other. We all finished and it was everybody's first race (except Ryan and I). It was fun to do it all together.

This was taken before the race...we were excited and nervous...

This was taken after the race. Our smiles are bigger and we are so proud of ourselves. We made a friend-Zebra pants man. He high-fived me on the race course and looked totally awesome in his outfit. We had to include him in our picture.

Gourmet Meal

Ryan made us a gourmet meal last week! It was very yummy and had a lot of thought and preparation was put into it...Ryan really is a great chef/cooking extraordinaire

He was really into it...

Yummy chicken south western burgers

potato sides

The yummy chicken burger: ground chicken and seasonings (including crunched doritos), mayo, avocado, salsa, pepperjack cheese

My party...

was so fun. I totally enjoyed it and loved my party people...the people can make the party the bomb.com. They were my family-some of them: Shannon is practically family, Jen, Aaron, Mom, Dad, Mom B., Dad B., Natalie, and of course Ryan. We had dinner (2 different nights) and opened gifts and talked about me...so of course it was awesome. My cake was beautiful and yummy. Thank you for my wonderful birthday celebrations to my parents, family, and friends!

Cupcakes from my sis-in-law...so nice!

My party people!

More party people...

and even more party people...

Music we love

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