Saturday, July 30, 2011

back east part 5, the finale

sorry if you are super bored of all the posts from back east!
goodness, kimber!
we really had a splendid time and i just want to be able to remember it all, promise.

our last full day we woke up nice and early and hitched a ride from my uncle on his way to work
(the live in good ol' virginia people and he works barely outside if DC)
marie! if you're reading this, i wanted to come down and visit you, but it was like 3 hours away:( sorry girl.
it was so nice not to have to worry about parking! ha!
we were dropped off at Arlington cemetery and went from there.
what an incredible and inspiring cemetery, can cemeteries be inspiring?
well it was.
and since we got there at about 8, we had the whole place to ourselves.
that is hallowed ground we walked on that day.
when we found the unknown soldier's tomb, they were starting the changing of the guard which was very cool to watch too.

from there we took the metro back over to the smithsonian and got tickets for the holocaust museum.
we spent about 4 hours there learning and seeing that tragic part of history.

following that we walked up to the capitol building (in the blistering heat, ha. we had to take breaks on our walk up there bc we were such babies).
we met my uncle and emma, my cousin, there where we went on a quick tour of the capitol building and the library of congress.
the first was too quick and way cool, the 2nd was too long and kinda boring, but still glad we did it:)
both buildings have some spectacular architecture and charm all who enter.

after those two, our lazy tired bodies couldn't take it any longer.
we drove home and met up with my other cousin, blake, and went to 5 guys burgers!
for some reason all i wanted was to eat burgers during our DC time which is strange, i only like in-n-out burgers.
the rockstar diaries may or may not have an affect my eating choices in DC
these were quite the yummy ones too with great meat and toppings.
a good ol' fashioned burger is hard to beat!!

we came home and we got to visit with my wonderful aunt lynnae for awhile.
she is such an incredible and strong woman!

dave, blake, emma, myself and casey then all got together and played card games late into the evening.
anyone who has played card games with us knows our top 2 we love to teach others:
cover your aces
lucky unders.
emma insisted we play a little nerts which was so fun too!
i always forget how much fun that game can be! (blake dominated).
following games all i remember doing is laughing.
we all stayed up laughing and talking and joking.
a night that will most definitely be remembered as a favorite in my time back east.
family has that way of making everything that much better.

wednesday morning we woke up when we felt like it (aka tried to catch up on sleep)
and started our drive back to indiana.
but not before we stopped at the dc temple!
we tried going inside but it was closed for cleaning, boo.
but, my dearest mesa friends, guess who we did see?
the most beautiful sister missionary ever, aka sister kelly allen!
talk about a tender mercy.
she's only there 3 half days a week and we were lucky enough to find her there!
i actually called before hand to see if she was there and warned her we were coming.
she's like the cutest dressed sister ever. 
brother kirk: please marry her.
we then proceeded our 10 hour drive home whilst listening to aragon and sleeping.
our trip was most definitely squeezed tight and we would have loved to be in the east longer,
but our jobs called!
we will undoubtedly go back again sometime and i can't wait to see more!
thanks for hanging in there with all these posts! 

ps- we were beyond excited to see jaden, our nephew, that night.
seriously, best welcome back home we've ever had in our lives.

Friday, July 29, 2011

back east part 4

so monday morning we woke up (not early, yay), and drove our way towards washington DC!
we had 2 days there and were able to cram in so much!

it was fun passing a bunch of the cute homes there on capital hill on our way to the national mall.
they were so squished together!!

we began in museums bc it was an oober hot day out!
american history museum
natural history museum
air and space museum
top right=julia child's kitchen! woot woot!

of course all the dinosaurs and the elephant in the front!


after a whole afternoon of being museumed out, we felt ready to sit and do nothing.
our feet hurt so bad we just wanted to go to sleep!
see picture on the left
but then my uncle called and we decided we'd go out for burgers and suddenly we had all the energy in the world!
see picture on right

we met up with my uncle and we went to the super yummy shake shack!
it's more famous in NYC but we didn't have time to eat it there, so DC shack it was!
and it did not disappoint its people's opinions!
that is one yummy burger!
and i did love their fries

that's my uncle dave, my dad's brother, and helped us out tons during our 2 day stay
he was then the best tour guide we had during our whole 5 day trip and took us around to all the monuments!
reasons why it rocked with him:
a) we saw a ton more bc he knew where they all were
b) he's fun to talk to in the car
c) we had to walk less bc he drove us to all the places :)

  Lincoln memorial
WWII memorial
Vietnam memorial
Korean memorial
Jefferson memorial
Marine corps memorial
Washington monument
the White House

it was awesome going to all of them and finally seeing the character and history our country does have.
i absolutely loved it.

1 more day of our DC trip!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

back east part 3

on sunday were able to go throughout pennsylvania visiting casey's mission!
he served in the harrisburg, PA mission, which sadly now, was dissolved into the other missions.

yeah, sad.

but although that mission doesn't exist any longer, missionary work is still going on there,
and the people who lived there when casey was there are still there too.
so, we did what all good missionaries do when they go back,
visit their favorite families!

the last two nights we spent the night with the shiners in scranton, PA
yes office fans, scranton, PA
they are the kindest most genuine people ever.
i understand why casey always talks about them.
they are just so nice, and let me tell you, they love all missionaries who walk through that door!
we also went to the scranton ward and saw all the great people casey served there.
the bottom left picture is one of their missionary tables, they take pictures of everyone and put it on their table.

we then went down to lewisburg and visited all these wonderful families!
we had the yummiest breakfast with the clarks (top left) and wonderful time talking with them.
doesn't top right look like captain moroni!!

every person we saw could not stop raving about how much they loved casey.
it was really fun to hear all their stories.
their words were so kind and it was so sweet of everyone to tell me
it was the funnest thing!

we spent sunday night at the novitzke's with their cute kids.
it was a lot of fun with that cute family.
and the story about the hershey's bars:
everyday they melted, every night casey re-froze them, and the process restarted.

to sum up the day: 
all these mission people were so sweet to let us in the doors,
let us stay the night,
and eat a little bit of their food too!
the words i heard the most: he was our favorite missionary!
it was all such a fun nice day :) 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

back east part 2

so, like i mentioned before,
we went to NYC for our 2nd day's adventure!
after way too much of our money had been given to toll roads,
we finally arrived at staten island to take the ferry over to manhattan island, woo hoo!
it was so fun seeing those first glimpses of the skyline and a little bit of the statue of liberty!

our young, immature minds came to NYC for about 7 hours with no plans except to meet up with some friends of mine at some point!
ya, we're prepared like that.
we had hopes to visit certain places but didn't really understand what order to get to them all or how to get to them all!
a few locals were sure nice and helped us along are way!
and once we finally got a tourist map our ideas were much more clear!

we wondered our way up one of the streets to find ground zero lying before us,
it was crazy to think that a little over 10 years ago those streets were covered in debris and so many lives were lost.
we walked through 9/11 memorial which was quite surreal.
after that we meandered away around the streets trying to go somewhere else exciting!
and boy was it fun to just hold hands, and look at each other, and say "oh my goodness! we're in new york city!"
we found a subway and traveled our way up a little north.
very exciting.
very grungy.
ha, but as we sat, casey poked holes in our map so we could finally see where we wanted to go!

we hurried our way over to the empire state building
and paid way too much to get to the top!
ha, but it was fun to see the whole city from up there,
really, that place IS a concrete jungle!!!

and can you believe the only food we bought in NYC was an ice cream cone!
ha, pathetic i know bc there's SO much good flavor in that city, or so i've heard.
we were just so busy running here to there we didn't have time!

we walked up to times square and gawked at it's largeness.
ha, just like i'd seen in pictures before!
all the huge ads, signs, people, and stuff!

we speed walked our bums up to central park and did a few heel clicks and jumps to prove we were there.
totally awesome that someone decided to keep a ginormous park there in the city

we next speed walked our way over 2-3 blocks and found the manhattan temple!
so fabulous that on this busy street you walk into this building where where it's peaceful and totally quiet.
i love my church :)
ps- i love having more pictures with casey and i both in them. but i HATE the pictures they actaully take! ha, seriously!
(left) they get tons of the sidewalk beneath our feet and cut off the building!
blah, oh well, at least they didn't run away with the camera and they did take a picture for us.

we then rushed our way over to a subway to go back down to the south part of the island to meet these girls!
these 2 lovelies are my freshmanyearlovers.
i love them so much.
miss janell (right) has been a nanny in NYC since the beginning of the year
and miss cortney (middle) is there for the summer in a dance internship bc she's a super good dancer :)
i could've talked for forever!

and bc we kept talking and talking
casey and i literally ran the next 10 blocks or more down to the ferry to catch the 7:30 one!
(they only come every half hour)
and with what casey was wanting to do after, we needed to be ON the 7:30 one!
we arrived at 7:28, sweaty faces and backs, gasping for air, to see that the ferry was late.
12 minutes late too!
all that running for nothin!

our next destination: a yummy ice cream place casey would go to on his mission
casey drove super fast, and after a few wrong turns the stupid GPS finally got us back to scranton, PA
it was about a 2 1/2 hour drive with no traffic and the right direction
we of course took almost 3.
the place closed at 11 and we were at their window at 10:45. woot woot!
casey got 4 scoops bc, why not!?
and i got 2 scoops bc why not!?
i'll tell you why not, those scoops are HUGE!!!
the picture might not represent it, but they were ginormous!
and delicious indeed.
(best cotton candy i've ever had)
(btw- once we arrived at this place i was zonked, i felt like i was sleep waling ordering my cone!)
i ended up only being able to eat like 1 of the scoops and casey a little over 2.
he saved them for breakfast :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

back east part 1

to begin,
listen to how much we packed in 5 little day's time:
friday: OH. NY.  PA
saturday: NYC.  PA
sunday: PA visiting casey's mission people
monday: DC, play in DC,  VA
tuesday:  DC,  VA
wed: DC temple, drive home.

the rough estimate of drive time comes to about 40 hours.
so worth it.
we're young. we're awesome. we don't have kids. why not jam pack our time?

11:59: go see the midnight showing of harry potter, bc hello, it's harry potter!
i believe i've been to all the midnight showing since the 4th movie came out and was terribly excited for this one!
and the perks of living in the east: got to see it 3 hours earlier than my fellow comrades in AZ :)
ps- we watched the show friends while waiting in line for 2 hours. we're on season 6 of 10 thanks to my SIL camille .
3 am: begin our 10 hour drive to palmyra, new york.
switch off driving about every 45-60 min so the other could sleep
6:30 am: stop on the side of the road and we both sleep for 45 minutes
9:10 am: drive through kirtland , OH and decide we should stop
 and tour the area.
11:30 pm: begin driving once more
4:30 pm: arrive in palmyra, NY and tour the area
9:30 pm: palmyra pageant begins
11 pm: begin driving to PA
2 am: arrive in scranton, PA to sleep our weary heads.

***for those of you not LDS, kirtland, OH and palmyra , NY are important place in the history of the LDS church.
palmyra is were joseph smith was raised and where the first vision occurred.
and kirtland, OH is where the saints moved to at one time and built the first temple.
so, important indeed.***

this was my first time back east and to any church history site so it was very special for me.
we stopped in kirtland and toured the newel k whitney store, the whitney's home, and a few other places.
we also made it over to the kirtland temple (not owned by our church)
walking through it all was so surreal and wonderful!
{we also ran into my SIL's parents at the kirtland temple! what a coincidence since they live in utah!}

once we arrived in palmyra, NY we visited joseph smith's home where he grew up in,
the sacred grove,
and the publication site of the book of mormon.
all were incredible to go through and i'm so grateful for the experience.

lastly, we were able to go to the pageant in palmyra which is all about the book of mormon and even on the grounds of the hill cumorah!
the costumes and production were incredible.
again, so happy we got the chance to go to that :)

up next: our day in NYC

and ps- happy belated birthday to my SIL blair!!
i'm a horrible person and forgot it was her birthday til night time, so officially, happy birthday darling (for the 2nd time, i called her yesterday too:)

Monday, July 25, 2011

birthday events

birthday events:

a few select presents.
free denny's breakfast.
goodwill outlet shopping (which will be discussed another day)
yummy cinnamon rolls
mini cupcakes courtesy of casey which overflowed everywhere
(thanks SO much for the pan mom!)
watching the show friends for a long while
free texas roadhouse appetizer and rolls.
free sundae at applebee's
quick trip into old navy to use our groupon
drive-in movie to see cars 2
free pazookie at BJ's
free dessert at buffalo wild wings
in prolonged celebration we also went to IHOP for a free breakfast
and baskin robbin's for a free scoop!

it was truly a wonderful birthday and i'm so glad i spent all day with casey!

ps- i looked at this and this website to see where free birthday stuff was!
the 2nd stuff has a lot of AZ only ones along with tons of national ones.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

hi. we're back and ready to blog.

a big a hello to one and all!
we have been busy up the wazoo this past little while!

posts to come:
birthday celebrations.
pool lovin.
our trip to NYC/PA/DC
goodwill outlet loving.
and other random events.

but first things first:

fact: i close-lined a kid with a big rail we hang clothes on yesterday at work.
it was dreadful/embarrassing/funny all at the same time.

fact: i locked my keys in the ignition yesterday (car not on) at a horrible time in our day
it was dreadful/embarrassing/funny all at the same time.
{annalise- the police came and unlcoked the car for FREE!}

fact: i am incredibly hungry right now  but will continue to blog for the sake of posterity knowing that DID do lots of fun things before i turned all mom and stuff

fact: it's 8:30 am, i'm sitting in my bed next to casey and he woke up and gave me the evil eye for waking him up on his day of sleep. beyond funny beedy eyes and judging face

and bc a post is complete without pictures on my blog it so seems like:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

cutler clan in indiana: round 4

just a few more left overs about the cutlers here in indy!

we had an oreo taste testing contesting bc we're awesome like that.
we were all blind folded and the cookies were distributed.
on a scale 1-5 (5 being a yummy "oreo" 1 being nasty) we rated each.

looking at the 4 packages we all mostly rated them the same
(from left to right)" 1, 2, 4, 5.
great value put up a good competition compared to oreo but the cookies wasn't as soft.
oreo was the winner!
see people, they ARE worth that extra 50 cents.
i also made homemade oreos which were quite popular if i do say so myself!

lastly, jade LOVES to play outside,
we got out the little water pool one more time and played,
twas lots of fun :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

cutler clan in indiana: round 3

the 3rd of july (a precursor to the 4th).

we have an aunt and uncle who live about 45 minutes away.
remember last time we visited them? 
 yeah, the ones with the really legit brick oven in their own backyard.
yet again, they surpassed all our wildest dreams and we had the most delicious dinner ever.
this night will literally go on my top 10 favorite food nights of my life.

monique (the aunt) has the most wonderful pizza dough recipe.
toppings galore were provided by all.
incredible fruit punch/lemonade.
the yummiest dessert EVER by camille (this dessert is practically tied with my love for oreos and that's saying something).
as well as an incredible smores bar.
otter pops a plenty were to be found too!

i think we made a total of 7-8 pizzas, all different, all cooked in the brick oven, and all fabulous.
we had vegie, meat lover, hawaiin, stuffed crust, bbq chicken, cheese, tomato, and probably a few others i can't remember.
i had 3 slices i wanted:
1. the first pizza, whatever it was that came out of that oven i wanted, bc hello, it was fast sunday
2. hawaiin. i don't think there's anything yummier than (fresh) pineapple on a pizza.
that one was stuffed crust and incredible
3. the one with tomatoes. last time the one with fresh tomatoes atop was my favorite and i just had to go for it again!
i knew i wanted to save room for these specific 3,
the hardest part was restraining myself from eating the other pizzas before the ones i wanted were made!
casey's faves were the bbq chicken, stuffed crust, and meat lover.
in his words: real man's pizza.

see otter pops below?
i'm going to guesstimate that anywhere between 20-30 were consumed by about  6 people.

they have really cool birds too that sing songs.
i love them.

at the end of the night we did a few fireworks!
their boys were the most perfect peeps to be around bc they all loved lighting everything off so much.
many of the group entertained me and were kind enough to do silly written things together.
it had just stormed before we went out so the parentals let the boys do nearly anything since there was no chance of fire.
it was seriously such a blast!!!


yet again, happy 4th of july,
i love that holiday so so much!
we are so blessed to live in such a wonderful country.
god truly has blessed the USA!

ps- the smores bar?
imagine this:
graham crackers, lemon cookies, those one cookes with chocolat already on them,
marshmallow flavorss: regular, coconut, chocolate swirl, mint.
chocolate: regular hershey's, mr good bar, cookies 'n cream hersheys, reeses.
yeah, this woman is a genius when it comes to smores.

cooking them in the brick oven is beyond awesome.