Monday, September 29, 2008

Birthday Boy

Just gotta say how fantastic my dear husband is. He is an old man now, but still finds time to play games and throw the kids around a little. We celebrated during the weekend, and though I went to bed without doing the dishes, he did them before he went to work this morning! Now that is an amazing man. He is absolutely tireless in his home improvement, always working on projects to make our home even more beautiful and elegant than it was before. He loves his family and loves mine as well, he has such a big heart. He puts up with me and all my quirks and habits--what more could I ask for? Here are some great photos of my Johnny, as a baby, boy, engaged man, and loving father.

Monday, September 8, 2008

10 Great Years

What an amazing life, better than I could have ever imagined! After looking at different places, even our bed and breakfast honeymoon location in Maine and the beaches of Mexico, we decided on a more local and historic place to celebrate our historic anniversary. We left our kids with Lajuana's sister and spent all day Friday and Saturday in Nauvoo! It was a nice 4 hour drive from our house. We did miss an important turn on our way there and we ended up going across this neat bridge to the Iowa town of Burlington. I'm including a picture we took that will appeal to my engineering buddies who love bridges and regular people who will notice the cheap gas prices (we are still near $3.90 or higher in Chicago).

We ended up turning back, after we filled don't think we're crazy to not take advantage of the "low" price, and made it no problems to Nauvoo. This was my first time and Lajuana had been but not since she was a teenager.

We drove though the center of the town and then around the area before stopping to eat. Now I'm not a picky eater, pretty much anything vegetarian will do. We also never really carry cash because...well we live in the modern era. Both things happen to make things challenging. We stopped at this one place and it was OK but not really anything. Then we went to another place with nice signs. We settled there cause they took checks, thankfully Lajuana brought her book. Let's say I ended up with grilled cheese (with American cheese...which really isn't even cheese) and some decent french fries. Lajuana ended up with a basic salad with chicken harder than the 150 year bricks holding the building up! Not to be snobby but our dinning experience was less than enjoyable. But we didn't go there for the food we went for the Temple!

I've been working on my genealogy and we were able to take my family names to the Temple that afternoon. What a great way to spend your anniversary! That night we walked around and found a great place to eat and they take credit cards, its called the Nauvoo Mercantile. So we ate and then took some more pictures. People were so friendly. People would come up and talk to us and we'd share in the excitement of being in Nauvoo. We meet a couple that had been married and were going to be sealed the next day and they were just glowing with excitement. Just about everyone we talked to asked us if we had been to Nauvoo before and if we were converts, which I am 13 years now and Lajuana's family goes back to the early years and includes family that lived in Nauvoo. The funny thing is almost everyone we talked to were also converts.

We stayed at a lovely B&B called the Ellis Sanders Home. It was fantastic and we'd highly recommend it if you come as a couple, not really a kid friendly place. The home was built in 1844 and their parlor was often used to host informal church meetings with records showing Brigham Young and others that came to the home. Ellis Sanders was also great friends with Heber C. Kimball. So it was neat to hang out in such a historic home.

Our cute bedroom with a sign welcoming us and congratulating us on 10 years.

Breakfast was later than we are used to, 9am, and none of the historic homes opened until 9am. So we took a drive and checked out some cool things. One interesting thing was a tunnel. I took some pictures of it and we enjoyed it but there were not any signs telling us about it. It wasn't until later when we went to the brick yard and they told us the story of how Joseph Smith directed people to build a canal and a tunnel to drain the swamp lands and that the tunnel we saw and took a picture of was the one built to drain the city. Pretty neat I think!

We also went to the bank of the Mississippi River which is right near the tunnel. The lilly pads and birds were so cool. Not to mention a huge spider that I almost walked right into, the thing was about three inches long. Any guesses on what kind it is? Was my life in danger?

We then went back to the B&B and had a wonderful! It was the best food in all of Nauvoo I am sure of it! We eat breakfast with another couple that stayed in the B&B and they were celebrating their 4 year anniversary. We enjoyed their company and we all went to the Temple after the great food. I must say the Nauvoo Temple inside is just amazing, peaceful, and touches of history. We had a fantastic time. Afterwards we went to the brickyard, the smith shop, and tons of historic homes. I won't bore you more with our trip. One funny thing is that on our way out of town we decided not to eat dinner there but went to that town we accidentally went to on our way there in Iowa and had a fantastic dinner right on the river, a place called the Drake.

Overall this was one of the most unique anniversaries we've had. We've gone to B&B's and love them, we've left our kids before, but we've never gone to a historic town like this with the entire focus of our vacation to be spent in the Temple. It was perfect and amazing, a great way to celebrate 10 years!