Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Deep down, she loves Santa. Deep, deep down.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What Might Have Been. . .

Since we started talking about moving, I have spent nearly everyday on looking for the perfect house. I did not want anything impossible -- a nice neighborhood, an updated kitchen, a moderate sized backyard. A fence would be nice. A finished basement would be great!

Before we moved, we put in an offer on a short sale. We lovingly referred to this house as "Gladys" as it is on Gladys Circle. It was big (over 4000 square feet) and had great curb appeal, but my family looked at it and said it was dated inside and needed some work. The bank wanted $350,000 and no one would be willing to pay more than $310. They foreclosed, and there ended the dream of our Gladys.

When we looked at homes on Wednesday, we looked at a house we called Lizzi because it was on Lizzi Cove. It was lovely. We went back to see it on Friday and the people who had a fickle offer got nervous when we started looking and came up with some hard earnest money and the house went under contract. We lost Lizzi before we even had her. I was truly heartbroken because I really liked this house. I wanted to wrap it up and sleep with it at night. I loved Lizzi.

I really thought that finding a house would be so easy. There are lots on the market. However, as you might imagine, the inventory for December is not the most desireable. We seem to be looking at everyone's leftovers, and boy can you tell.

After three days of looking at 30 + houses we surrendered and today looked at an apartment that we could rent for month to month. It's called a "luxury" apartment with 1300 square feet, but I cried when I saw it. I thought I was finally getting a house, and here I am planning to move into an apartment. I am beyond sad. I have moved into a full depression.

We hope that more will come on the market after Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Go, Macey, Go!

This year Macey participated in the Trike-A-Thon at North Point High School for St. Jude's. Most of the kids brought trikes but Macey wanted to ride her big-girl-bike! They had a course set up in the gym. Some of the tight turns were hard for such a big bike, but she did great!
Here she is receiving a certificate for participating. Yeah, Macey!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

One Last Look Back

Tomorrow we will start looking at houses. Before we start looking toward the future, I thought I'd look back one more time. In the last month at the hotels (9 in total) I'd think about our home to relax before going to sleep. I'd imagine coming home from church, throwing my shoes in the closet, going upstairs to get something to eat -- I'd imagine normalcy.

In this transition, it has been hard to see how much the girls understood about what was happening and why. I think that Macey expects us to go back to Maryland any minute now. Emma, at age 5, seems to understand more. On our last day in Maryland she asked me to drive past the house so she could look at it one more time. How cute is that?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Kentucky Pictures

Our first big stop on our adventure was Louisville, Kentucky. We stopped for lunch and then went to the Louisville Slugger plant. Here is the HUGE baseball bat out front. On our tour, someone asked how much wood it took to make it. Turns out it's painted metal. Who knew? Garry posed with the girls really quick because it was FREEZING!
After the movie, we toured a small museum. I posed with Babe Ruth. They also had a really cool exhibit where you could see or "feel the heat" of a professional baseball pitch. Yep, I think I'll keep my day job.

We toured the plant, got a baseball bat, and Garry bought me a super cute t-shirt. Then off to Thomas Edison's house. Wait, you say, didn't he mostly live in New Jersey? Yep, but he rented a room here for a few months, and Louisville is really proud of that.

We also drove past Churchill Downs, which is not in lush green horse country but rather just a few feet from the Interstate. Who knew?

Kentucky, I hope I see you again when it's warmer!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Congratulations to Garry!

On Wednesday, December 9th, Garry graduated from the FBI Academy in Quantico. He graduated with a high A average, excelling on his briefs, papers, midterm, legal exam and final. Here he is receiving his credentials. Very cool. I've seen them on TV and they look just as impressive in person. After graduation he gave me a tour of the FBI campus, including the Behavioral Unit. They have a talking Hannibal Lecter. Very scary, actually, and I have not even seen the movies, though I did meet Anthony Hopkins when he was filming the sequel at Union Station.
Before we left on the journey to Utah, we stopped for one last picture. Goodbye Quantico!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Iowa, Illinois, Iowa (Again!) Missouri, Missouri, Missouri and Kansas

I think that the go-go-go pace is starting to affect the Cunninghams. We all slept in until 8:00 and did not make it into Nauvoo until a little before 10. We stopped at the Brickyard, the Red Brick Store (birthplace of Relief Society!), the temple, and Brigham Young's home before we gave in. I would love to spend a long time strolling the streets of Nauvoo and taking everything in. But, it's FREEZING and the kids do not do well on house tours. So maybe one day. . .

We hit the state highways of Missouri. Not Garry's favorite. We seemed to always be stuck behind a semi. But, we trudged on and found, quite accidentally, Far West and Adam-Ondi-Ahman. I am relieved to report that both sites are in the middle of nowhere and no construction is currently taking place. We have a few more years to become better people.

Next stop: Liberty Jail. The girls did really well on the tour and took asked the guides why there were not beds. Joseph Smith was there for over four months. Freezing for four months.

Though we hit the most sacred spots today, Garry's favorite part was going to Arthur's Barbeque in Kansas City. I think that he built it up in his head, though, and he seemed to be disappointed with what he ordered.

Tonight we're in Topeka at a Residence Inn. Ahhhhh......Residence Inn.

Not as many adventures coming up. Hello, Midwest!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Illinois, Missouri, Back To Illinois, and then Iowa. What Fun!

This morning started bright and early with a trip to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Did you know that it was actually a tribute to Thomas Jefferson? I didn't! And that it's taller than the Washington Memorial? Who knew! I loved the arch, loved the museum, loved the cool little tram pods. Awesome.

Then it was off to Springfield to see the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln. Actually, it has been far from resting for him. If you are interested, check out the Wikipedia site that will tell you how often his coffin has been removed, attempts have been made to abduct it, and how many times it has actually been opened! Very sad. The tomb is beautiful and full of his best speeches. I am always overwhelmed by his words. Especially when I remember that he did not have a speech writer!

This was an important visit for me to make. When I first moved to Washington, D.C., I always would go to the Lincoln Memorial before I left town to say goodbye to Mr. Lincoln. Now that we are moving, it was good to say goodbye in this sacred spot.

We then got on a cursed state road and made the journey to Carthage, Illinois. The good thing about doing all of this in the dead of winter is that we have these amazing places basically to ourselves. I was grateful for the opportunity to sit in the upper room at Carthage and remember how grateful I was for the lives of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.

Just when we thought we could not pack more into a day, we went to Nauvoo! We spent some time at the Visitor's Center, walked around the temple, ate dinner and then went to the play at the cultural center.

Tonight we're in Iowa. Tomorrow we'll have more adventures!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Louisville, Who Knew?

Today we left West Virginia and headed for Kentucky! Who knew that Kentucky in December is not the lush green I always expected. It's kind of brown. And though it's a "southern state" DANG it was cold today! We stopped for lunch in Louisville. We fed the meter, grabbed the kids, and ran across the street to the restaurant.

Molly, who has not really experienced severe cold, looked at her hands and looked at me as if to say, "what on earth?"

We then took a tour of the Louisville Slugger plant. For all the girls out there, it's a place where they make baseball bats. It was a great tour! We saw a movie, took a picture with the wax version of Babe Ruth, and toured the plant and then got a bat at the end of the tour. Well, you can't beat that with a bat!

(I have wanted to say that all day!)

Then we went to Thomas Edison's house. Ahem. I have a few things to say about "Thomas Edison's House." It was actually a room. That he rented. For a few months. If I had to pay for the experience, I would have been robbed.

Finally we saw Churchill Downs. Am I the only one who expected Churchill Downs to be in the middle of lush horse country, miles away from a Target or any other proof of civilization? NOT SO! It's right off the Interstate. Heavily populated. Down the street from a Hard Rock Cafe. Who knew??

Tonight we're outside of St. Louis. 900 miles down! More adventures to come!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Headlines & Differences

Today we started our trip back West. At the beginning of the day I looked at Yahoo! News and saw the one headline you never want to see as you head out on a road trip: "Monster Storm!" And the highlighted quote: "I've Never Seen Anything Like This!"

Big Sigh.

So we scratched our plans to go West by going a little North so that I could see Kirtland, Ohio. Instead, we headed South, and we are spending the night in Charleston, West Virginia.

When we walked into the Residence Inn room, I exhaled. A refrigerator! A separate bedroom and living room! Two televisions! A dishwaser! A cabinet full of glasses! Wahoo!

I told Garry that I could stay here for a month. "Are you kidding?" he said. "This place is horrible. The television is from 1940."

And therein lies the difference between men and women.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Day of Tears

Ironically, my first night in Washington, D.C. was spent in a Holiday Inn. I was here for my internship, and I had to come early because my parents were heading out for their mission in New Jersey and I was essentially homeless. But the intern apartments in Alexandria were not ready, they were being painted, and so I stayed at the Holiday Inn in Alexandria.

I have come full circle, it seems. Homeless in a Holiday Inn. But this time with a husband, three kids and a minivan.

This morning as we said our morning prayers, I started crying. My girls are in excellent schools, and I feel horrible removing them from the programs and the people they love. I told them that I was so sorry, and they, being so much stronger than I am, said not to worry, Mama, there were schools in Utah.

But I cried when I took Macey to school. I cried when I dropped Emma off at the bus. I cried again when I picked them up. On our way back to Virginia, we blew kisses to our friends in Charles County. When we crossed the Wilson Bridge, we blew kisses to our friends in Washington, D.C., and when we got to Van Dorn, we blew kisses to our friends in Alexandria. I hope you felt them and our love!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Adapting. . .

When Garry started training at his new job eleven weeks ago, everything started changing for the girls. Dad was home on Tuesdays and weekends, and the rest of the time they had just me.

Then in November we moved. Watching things get packed up was hard on Macey. She came home and started crying. She asked me to call the packers and tell them to bring everything back!

We moved into the Holiday Inn with Garry and though they saw their Dad everyday again, we were all in one room. No DVR. No DVD player. Not many toys. Just a promise that we would move to a new home soon.

But apparently it has not been soon enough. Today Emma was brave enough to ask me what she has probably been worrying about for awhile. "Mom," she asked me, "is this our new home?"

Bless her heart. It's a lot to take on when you're just five.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


In 1996 I did an internship in Washington, D.C. with the Office of Senator Larry E. Craig (of the airport bathroom fame). I stayed in furnished apartments in Alexandria, VA and brought only three bags with me. The rest of my "stuff" was in boxes in my little car at my uncle's house.

When I finished my internship, I picked up my car and wondered what all this "stuff" was. I had lived happily without it for four months; clearly, I did not need it.

Our "stuff" was packed up on November 19th. I thought that during these weeks at the hotel I would not miss it and realize how silly "stuff" was and even feel tempted to not pick it all up.

That is not happening. I miss my "stuff". Truly, I do. I miss my bed. My couch. My kitchen table. I think that the day it all gets delivered to our new house (wherever that might be) I will dance a little jig. I will moan over having to put it all away and Garry might be trying to throw it away before I remember we had it, but it will still be a great day.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Party Time For Molly!

To celebrate Molly's birthday, we took her to Potomac Mills and got her two new pairs of shoes. Yep, she's starting her birthday off right! We took her to Red Robin and they sang to her. She clapped and smiled the whole time. Megan said that she's never seen a little one so excited to get sung to. She seemed to understand it was her day and her song.
She got presents!

She had a chocolate cake over at the Gruwell's.

Yum!! What a day!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Going to the Lodge. . .

For the Thanksgiving Break we headed to Williamsburg, VA and Great Wolf Lodge. We've wanted to visit for a long time but wanted to make sure that the girls were old enough to enjoy it. Here we are enjoying our Thanksgiving Feast. We had turkey, salad, mashed potatoes, rolls, green beans, cranberries and pie. And no dishes!
Macey loved the wave pool. She could control where she went and how deep it got. She felt safe. Once I tried to join her on the tube. Apparently I bounced too much or went too deep. She took me back to shore and asked me to GET OFF.

Emma loved all of it! She liked the rope challenge, slides, pool, all of it. It was hard to make her leave everyday we were there.

Molly was not a fan. Too loud. Too many people. It was great because she never wanted down. Our little girl who is ALWAYS on the move would snuggle with us. It was like having our baby back.

We had fun!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby Molly!

On Saturday Miss Molly turned 1!! Oh, how we have loved watching her grow this year!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Four Miles And A Day Ago

Like all little kids, Emma sometimes struggles to understand the difference between a day, a week, a month, yesterday, tomorrow, a minute, an hour and even distances like a block or a mile.

So when she was little in order to express any sense of time, either in the past or the future, she started saying "four miles and a day ago". We have no idea where she got it from, it sounds a little Lincolnish, but we're pretty sure that she did not get it from him.

She understands the concept now of days: church on Sunday, school on Monday, Daddy is home Saturday, etc. And she somewhat understands now the concept of a minute and a second. She even understands the difference between tomorrow and yesterday.

But somehow she still says "Four miles and a day ago, when we went to the store. . ." or "Four miles and a day ago when it was my birthday. . ."

It's cute & confusing & all Emma, wrapped up in one.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day Four of Many

Today is Day Four of living in a hotel. Some parts of some days I think that I am okay and can get organized and survive this next month. Other parts of other days I cry and talk to Garry about the possibility of putting me on a plane West.

Today we're in the Holiday Inn. One room, two beds, one bathroom, three drawers, one microwave, one bathroom sink, one mini fridge and five people. That math does not add up in so many ways.

For the longest time I have wanted to move out of the townhouse with its three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, one big fridge, two living rooms, a dining room, a kitchen and a garbage disposal! I thought that it was too small. So today while I was trying to get ready and wondering in what suitcase my socks were, a little voice in my head asked, "Now will you learn to be grateful for what you have?"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm Holding. . .

Yesterday I played a little game of "Who's On First" with Washington Gas, a local utility company. We will be in a hotel starting Friday night, and I needed the gas turned off, but since we have gas heat, I wanted it turned off Saturday when we hand over the keys.

But, of course, it cannot be done on a weekend, and so my choices were Friday, with the person coming out between 7 am and 5 pm or Monday sometime between 7 am and 5 pm. I still needed heat on Friday but could not let the friendly Washington Gas guy into a house and into the backyard (where the meter and controls are) that I no longer own on Monday.

What I needed, and what I eventually got, was a smaller window on Friday afternoon, somewhere between 12-5. But boy, it took a lot to get there, and I was really frustrated by the end of the conversation.

My saving grace was that I heard, while on hold for the upteenth time, that at the end of the call I could provide feedback through a quick survey. After ten exhausting minutes of explaining to the man why I really needed Friday afternoon and not Friday morning and definitely not Monday, I was ready for that survey.

He ended our call with his standard "Thank you for calling. Please let us know if we can help you in the future" speech and then muttered softly a little blurb about a survey.

Sensing 'crazy lady who wants heat for her family' was still on the line, he asked if I wanted anything else.

"Oh, no," I replied. "I'm just holding for the survey."

I know that they do not mean much and are probably not given much attention, but telling that guy that I was holding for the survey was the best part of my day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Have You Met My Molly?

Molly has had a cold and a runny nose for quite awhile. I've watched it nervously because when Macey had any type of congestion, it always went into her ears. Did I have an Emma or a Macey on my hands? I wasn't sure.

Finally after Monday night where I was up every two hours, I decided to take her to the doctor. She was not running a fever and so there was a chance I was get scolded for bringing my child in for a runny nose.

But no, she had a DOUBLE ear infection. I asked the doctor how I could tell she had an ear infection if she doesn't run a fever.

"Well," he said, "you watch for general crankiness and not being able to sleep."

Woah, doc, have you even met my Molly?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The First Victim

Deep down, deep, deep down, Garry loves to move. He sees it as an opportunity to start throwing away all the "stuff" he has always wanted to throw away. Before he came home from training this weekend, the big outside garbage can was about 1/2 full. By the time he left on Sunday night, it was overflowing.

Some of the first victims? My boosters for toddlers. We had two -- one from when Emma was little and another from Macey. Emma's was creme; Molly's was blue. I am providing these details just to provide some proof that they did, in fact, at one time exist.

They were languishing in the wasteland (otherwise known as the garage) and I asked Garry to go find one of the two for Molly while we are at the hotel.

He came back upstairs empty-handed. "I think we threw them away." Oh no, WE didn't. "I think that we decided that we did not use them much, and we threw them away."

Wow, I was never part of the "we" in this conversation because if I had been asked, I would have said that we did use them. A lot. At least three times a day.

I saw some of the other things that went into the trash, and I just had to shake my head. There's really nothing I can do about it but charge it to his credit card when I have to buy a new one.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I've blogged about it before, I'll blog about it again. I hate the Kay's Jewelers Christmas commercials. They set up an unreasonable expectation of how Christmas should proceed. A man, a woman, a perfect tree with a raging fire in the background. Perfect hair, perfect make-up, the exchange of gifts, a gasp of joy, a huge smile, a lingering kiss. Ahhhh....Christmas.

This Christmas is not going to make it onto any Kay's footage reel. First, we are moving next week. We'll be here in Maryland in a hotel for a few weeks before we head west. If the weather cooperates, we'll get to Utah around December 16th. We'll be in short-term housing and will be scrambling to put up a tree. A tree that we will only be able to decorate about a third of because Molly already proven at church today that she likes to take off Christmas decorations.

The girls will scramble to the tree as soon as they wake up, and my hair and makeup will not be perfect -- not even close. So I'll be dodging the camera every chance I get. I'm not sure if I've been in a single Christmas morning photo since 2003.

And the only sparkling thing that we'll be dreaming of Christmas morning is maybe a stainless steel fridge. With a drink dispenser. I really think that if my kids could get their own drinks of water, it would change my whole life.

Ah, Christmas.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


This time next week we'll be cleaning, getting ready for the final walk through of the townhouse. Then we'll be in a hotel for 2 1/2 weeks and off we go. This week we might also put in an offer on a short sale and hope for the best. Short sales are funny creatures. You can pull your offer at any time without penalty and there is always a chance you will never hear anything back. So, for the sake of our sanity, I guess we'll submit the offer and then try to forget about it.

Time moves along and this week is going to be a busy one! I think that the saddest realization I have had is that Garry is never going to move back into this house. After his training and graduation, we're going to hit the road and head West! He'll never completely live here again, and that makes me a little sad. As our family grew and grew and grew the space was tight and at times I really hated living in this "box" -- and is there anything worse than being on the first floor and realizing you forgot something on the third floor? But, it was our box, and we had a lot of fun here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Same Theme . . . But With Pictures!

The theme of hating to shop at WalMart and my experiences thereat have been a frequent topic on this blog.

Recently Garry found a website called "People of WalMart". If you see someone a little sketchy at WalMart, you are encouraged to take a picture on your cell phone and send in to the website. The pictures and captions are so funny (and a little frightening) that Garry has starting crying he's laughed so hard.

Some of the pictures are from a WalMart in Maryland -- I know everyone is shocked.

Just a warning: some are funny & some are crude.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Benefits of Bad Service?

Yesterday I returned to the Waldorf WalMart. (I know, I know). In Southern Maryland there are two WalMarts, the ghetto Waldorf WalMart one and the so-so one in La Plata. I needed just a few little items. It would be a quick trip. First and foremost, I needed some more Tide.

I didn't have any coupons and sighed when I saw the price for Tide. $13. I always like to buy when it's aound $10, but not that day.

I grabbed a few more items and headed for the check-out aisle. The lady at the register was young and a little cranky. She looked like she wanted to be anywhere but there, but I understood. So did I.

My items were rung up and bagged, and I looked at the amount. $11 and some change.

Well, that was clearly wrong. Should I grab my items and run? Or point out her mistake?

I decided to be honest.

I nodded at the Tide and asked, "Did you ring up the Tide?"

"Yes," she snapped.

Well, clearly no, but who am I to question Ms. Cranky Cannot-Do-Math Pants?

Should I have pressed harder or considered it a benefit of bad service?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Be Content!

In the blog below I talked a little bit about never being content. I always seem to be wanting something else, moving toward something else, nagging about something else. . .especially the nagging part. Garry will say that he doesn't want to fix something because then I'll just start in on something else. I never seem to be content.

This can be a good and bad thing. It has helped me accomplish a lot of goals and get a lot done, especially in regard to education, but it is bad because I am never really satisfied. And I think it would be a lot less exhausting to just be satisfied.

I see this weakness in Emma. If we go to Kings Dominion, she wants to hit Chuck E. Cheese's on the way home. If we have a fun lunch at Red Robin, she wants to go to the park. If I buy her a Snow White doll, she wants Sleeping Beauty. This morning we had cinnamon rolls, and I was so excited to give my girls something for breakfast that they might actually like and be happy about! And they were. But then Emma started in on how great it would be if we could have ice cream today. It drives me crazy mostly because I realize it's my fault, or at least my faulty genes.

How do you teach a five year old about gratitude and contentment when it's a lesson you have not learned yet, either?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Visiting the Hatch Staff

Note to self: when planning a trip into Washington, D.C., always check the news to see if a major protest may be planned at the National Mall. Sadly, I didn't. No parking at the metro, no parking near the mall, no parking at Union Station. Ugh. Eventually I did find something (it was even legal!) and the girls and I were off to visit the Hatch staff!

This was my painting. It was a signed original. When I worked in Senate Russell 143, this was in my office. When we moved to the Hart building, I took it with me. I still miss it.

I am an "uncontent" person. I always want more, something else, something more. But, I can honestly say I was really happy working at Hatch's office, mainly due to the lovely Juliann (shown above). I thanked God everyday for that job, and I still thank Him for those friendships.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

They Don't Live To Serve

Yesterday I was chatting with a friend about the problems I have encountered with customer service at the local Target.

A year ago right around Christmas Garry called the local Target and found out that they had received a shipment of 200 Wii's. Hot dog! He drove to the Target, so excited to make all of his wife's Christmas dreams come true (though he plays more than said wife).

But by the time he got to the store, the clerk said that they were all out. All out? Really? Was there a mass run in 30 minutes? Discouraged, he drove the 20 minutes to another Target and bought the Wii there, telling the clerk at the LaPlata clerk his sad tale.

"They have them," the clerk promised. "They are just too lazy to check. That's the Waldorf store."

But, like Charlie Brown to the football, we keep going back! Garry's luck got even worse when he was shopping for an IPOD dock for me. (I am a LUCKY woman). Garry had a question and turned on the flashing light to signal that he needed assistance.

A clerk came, turned the light off and walked away.

I love that story.

Yesterday I was at Borders and stopped to get a large hot chocolate for me and Emma (Macey was in preschool) and a bagel for Molly. I got the hot chocolate but my bagel was missing. Stupidly, I asked the clerk for my bagel.

"It's in the oven!" she barked.

Wow, crazy lady, I did not know there was an oven and did not ask for a TOASTED bagel. Now I was going to have to wait until it cooled down to give it to Molly. Did she not have kids? Do you know how time slows to an excruciating halt as you wait for food to cool to feed your hungry, screaming little one?

But, bygones. Everyone has a bad day. But then I noticed that she did not tear off the receipt for the customer behind me. She just pointed to it and walked away, clearly instructing her to tear it off by herself because she was ever so busy. The poor lady did as she was instructed, reaching across the cash register and tearing off her receipt. Who has to tear off their own receipts?

The good side of a bad economy is that you are supposed to get great customer service because people are just so grateful that you are shopping. But someone forgot to tell the workers.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Doomed For Failure

Sometimes I wonder if on the path of parenthood I am not completely doomed for failure.

I also have a book blog, and I recently finished and reviewed the book Sing Them Home. In this book, one of the characters is a man in his late 30s but everytime he walks in front of people he remembers that his father (a small town doctor) told him that he had a farmer's swing in his gait. His father (who dies at the very beginning of the book) may have told him everyday that he was smart and wonderful (he didn't), but his son daily remembers that one comment.

For quite awhile I thought that I had time to get this parenthood thing down because the girls were too young to remember my mistakes. But now Emma is five. I remember five! I have memories from being five! What will she remember?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Last Day At Kings Dominion

Garry loves amusement parks. It's a great Cunningham tradition -- getting thrown into the car way before the sun comes up, getting to the park right at opening, and hitting the rides until you collapse in exhaustion at closing time.

We've had season passes to Kings Dominion for several years. Emma is all Cunningham. She loves each and every ride and wishes that she could ride the great big ones! Macey is my girl. I hate scary rides and Macey has only a set few that she'll ride.

On Halloween we met the Moore's at Kings Dominion for one last hoo-rah! We've made great memories there, and I know that Garry will really miss it. Lagoon does not quite measure up to his high standards.

Molly gets to ride the carousel!

Meeting Dora. We were shocked that Molly was brave enough to go see her and hold her hand, but when Garry got out the camera Molly was running away.

One last ride on the Scooby Doo Roller Coaster (their favorite).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween and Halloween and Halloween (oh, and Halloween)

This year the girl's participated in a Halloween that never ended! On the 24th we met the Moore family in St. Mary's County for the annual Haunted Garden. The kids get to walk down a "haunted" path and get candy from local business owners who give candy to the kids and advertisements to the parents. This is our fourth year going -- we love it!

Here we are walking the path. Garry bought Macey (Sleeping Beauty) a wig just that morning. She looked FABULOUS!

Macey was able to go Trick or Treating at North Point High School as part of the preschool program. She got to wear her costume (she was Belle this time) the whole afternoon and had a great time!

On the 30th we went to the church for a little dinner and a great Trunk 'n' Treat. The girls got a ton of candy and had a lot of fun. Molly had a few dum-dums and here she's giving the cornbread a try.

Every year I try to come up with an awesome trunk for the Trunk 'n' Treat . . . and I fail miserably. My decorations refused to light up and so I had to be content with danger tape and fake cobwebs. Sigh.

Finally, the real Halloween arrived! We spent most of the day at Kings Dominion and got home in time to take the girls around the neighborhood. I'm always surprised at how few people hand out candy on Halloween. When I was a child, everyone handed out candy or faced the consequences!

This time Macey was Barbie: Diamond Castle. She had a good time but was done after about 45 minutes.

Emma's favorite house gave out large candy bars. She got a whole Hershey bar and dug into it when she got home. When I was little, my next door neighbors would always save a special King Sized candy bar for when I came to their home. Bless the McCarthy's. That's such a huge thing in the life of a child -- I still remember!

Molly got a lot of ooohhhs and aaahhhhhs for being the cutest pumpkin EVER. But Garry got just as many complements. And you can see why.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

County Champ!

When our neighborhood has its National Night Out, Emma and I were waiting for the games to start. Specifically, she wanted to try out the Hula-Hoop competition, not knowing that there are girls in our neighborhood who can hula hoop until the sun goes down! While we waited, she entered a County coloring contest, and she won for her age group!
We went to the Award Ceremony. Her picture was displayed, she met the Sheriff and McGruff the Crime Dog and she received an award: an AquaDoodle. It was a great night!