Archive for the ‘Maryland Visit’ Category

At the end of my trip to Maryland, I got to help throw a baby shower for my sister-in-law Daniela.  She is due in May and I am SUPER excited to have another niece to dote on 🙂


For the first time I played the baby food game and actually ate the baby food—I do not envy babies 😛

Angie and I took the kiddos to Yogi Castle one last time. Kira has become a master and filling her cup with multiple kinds of frozen yogurt and 10 or so toppings.  She eats it all, so I can’t complain.  I’m just glad she enjoys it!



We also went to the park to play!  Wahoo!



I definitely miss those kiddos, but I’m glad to be home :) 

I managed to catch the plague from one of the seven or so sick people on my flight back. I spent the first five days after my trip sick in bed. I am FINALLY getting back into my routine.  I guess it’s time to start jogging again!

About a week ago, Anson came out to visit. It was great because it had been over three weeks since
I had seen him—I miss that guy!

He got to meet his newest niece, Nora. They make such a cute pair 🙂



One of the best things about this visit was getting to see Uncle Anson and Mia play together. Mia LOVES Uncle Anson.  She gives him hugs & kisses, wants to follow him everywhere, and shares a common interest—gadgets! 


She had him put bows in her hair and then taught him how to smile for the camera. So cute!



And, of course, he had a great visit with Kira. She loves science and is currently very interested in animals.  She watched a Discovery Channel special on sea creatures and learned that shrimp can pinch their prey to death.  She then taught us all how to pinch like shrimp and took pictures of us.


Uncle Anson was a bit more like a lobster. That’s okay—he’s learning 🙂


We both had a lot of fun hanging out with our cutie pie nieces. Love them so much!




We also had a great visit with the Horton side of the family.  We went to Mom and Dad Horton’s house for dinner and board games.

The game: Trivial Pursuit

The teams: Dad Horton, Grandma Horton, Grandma Johnson & Me VS. Mom Horton, Aaron, Daniela and Anson

My team managed to get around the entire board and get all the pie pieces while the other team only had one pie piece.  They spent a lot of time reading questions.



My team spent a lot of time smiling and being happy because we were so far ahead 🙂



Of course, my team couldn’t seem to land on the center. So, Anson’s team eventually won. Here are some pics of their celebration.




Ah well! I played Anson one-on-one the next morning and I DESTROYED him.  No worries 🙂

It was a great visit and we got some cute pics with Aaron and Daniela.

Horton Family

It was sad to see Anson head back to WA,  but it was great to spend some quality time with him in MD 🙂

I’ve been in Maryland for about a month now and just figured out that I can post to the blog from here.  Because this trip has been so long, I will probably write several blogs about it. I figure it’s best to start at the beginning.

It was a cold and wintery night on January 15th. I got the frantic call from Angie telling me her water broke.  Naturally, I hopped on the first available plane so that I could help out while she’s in the hospital. While wandering around Denver during my layover, I got the call from Angie informing me that she had not actually had her water break.  What had happened? Nobody knows. It’s a mystery. But what’s life without a little mystery? 🙂

We spent the next couple of weeks having fun while waiting for Nora to make her arrival. It snowed, so we were able to go out and play. Though, to Kira’s great disappointment, it was not “snowman-making snow.”  We still had some fun outside though!



As Angie got more and more pregnant, she was less and less comfortable walking around. So, we decided to have some fun indoors. We had a couple of crazy hair pajama parties. Mamie and Pops even stopped by for a bit!  And my adorable nieces learned how to stick out their tongues in photos.  I may be guilty of teaching them that.  I stand by the fact that they are super cute when they do it 🙂





And I’ll end this post by writing about the Superbowl. We had a little party.  Every year my dad and I make a bet and choose different teams to cheer for. This year, my dad won (though I maintain that Eli Manning won the game, not the Giants). At some point I’ll have to take him out to Dairy Queen to pay my debt. This was probably the least embarrassing football loss that I’ve had. The first time was when Seattle was in the Superbowl. My dad flew out to Seattle, came with me to a Superbowl party, and made me cheer for the Steelers. Even though the Steelers won, it still feels like a loss. And the absolute worst time? He made me cheer for <insert random team name here> when they played against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  The next time I saw my dad was in NE where I took him to an ice cream shop and he informed everyone there that I was paying for the ice cream because I bet against NE.  I wasn’t sure I was going to make it out of that ice cream shop alive…

Anyway, here was our Superbowl party this year. I had the girls wearing red, white, and blue. And I taught them to say things like “Go Patriots!” and “I would NEVER cheer for the Giants! EWWW!” 🙂






What happened next on my trip? You’ll have to wait to find out! 😛

I just got back from my whirlwind tour of MD and NE.  Phew! There was so much going on that I didn’t take very many pictures (I was too tired!).  However, Kira helped me out and I think we got some good ones. I will share what I have (warning: this will probably be a LONG post).

First things first—Kira’s Birthday Party!

Kira had her 5th birthday while I was out in MD.  It was at an art studio and the kiddos got to make some pretty neat sculptures.  Angie and I (but mostly Angie) made her cake, so we got to be creative and have fun as well.

This is Angie icing the 4 layers of strawberry cake.  The layers alternate between pink and purple, but it was a little hard to see until we cut into it.  The icing was homemade buttercream. Soooo good :)  We (and by “we,” I mean “Angie”) decorated with more pink and purple—pretty much anything Kira said she wanted on the cake, Angie took it as a personal mission.  What a great mom!


Kira really enjoyed her birthday party! She got to wear a special dress, have a special cake, and run around with all her friends!  Too cute!



While in MD, I finally got a chance to see Mary and Tim’s house. And meet their new puppy, Jake!  However, the time change was beginning to get to me, so I was too tired to run around taking pics.  Lucky for me, Kira took an interest in my camera. She is, of course, a much better photographer than I am.  So, while I took this super cute pic of Mia trying on Uncle Tim’s hat:


I’m pretty sure Kira took the rest of these (though my dad may have taken 1 or 2 to show her how the camera worked).






Truthfully she used up my entire 1g card taking photos. I had to toss a bunch, but it was really tempting to keep them all and recreate Mary and Tim’s house in a collage.  🙂

And then came the roadtrip.  20+ hours in the car.  We tried to stop and rest in Iowa, but all of the hotels were booked. So, we drove straight to Omaha in one trip.  We did get out and play at the rest stops:



Angie and Kira even did their exercises! Go Angie and Kira!


Cuteness overload. Where was I? Oh right! We’re in NE now…

Well, we went to Desi and Brandon’s beautiful wedding.  None of the pictures of the ceremony turned out well.  I didn’t have enough light for my camera to get an un-fuzzy shot.  However, Kira ran around with my camera at the reception. More pics by Kira (except the few that she’s in—I took those):






Naturally, we stopped at the Book Store. Had to get some NE gear so that we could fit in when we walked around town:


The day after the wedding, we made a trip to the zoo with family. It’s always fun to see the cousins!

Kira actually walked across the bridge this time! So brave! And, in case you didn’t know, the NE zoo is AMAZING!









And, we got to visit a couple of times with Grandma Hotovy! She snuck me chocolate.  What can I say? The woman knows me 🙂

Kira took all these photos (love that girl!)


My new favorite pics of my dad:


“Make a silly face Aunt Rachel!”



It was so great getting to see Grandma. Now you all know where Angie and I get our good looks from. And our love of chocolate 🙂



Well, I think this post is getting ridiculously long. But, I just can’t resist a couple extra pics of my super cute nieces:




Alright, I’m done now. I promise I’ll post all the pics (these are just a few) on facebook so that people can tag/share them. Some day. <evil laugh>

I recently got back from a trip to MD. I somehow managed to not pick up the camera until my last day there.  While I was there, I got to visit with family and we even had an early Thanksgiving! But, like I said, no pictures of that stuff. I did manage to take a ton of pictures of my nieces on the last evening, but they’re pretty random. So, here are a few of them (just for fun):

IMG_7764   IMG_7769IMG_7770    IMG_7777

IMG_7780    IMG_7783

IMG_7805  IMG_7748


Okay, I have over 80 of these, so I better stop. And before Angie asks—yes, I will send you all the pictures!

I think Anson has heard those words mumbled around our house almost every day this month. The weather in Kirkland is “beautiful,” according to random people in the street. It’s sunny and hot (but not too hot).  Unfortunately, my allergies have kicked into super-crazy-evil mode this year. I have tried avoiding the outdoors, but my current job is making that near impossible. You see, I’m teaching elementary summer school. We have TWO recesses every day. TWO!  So, I take solace in watching Christmas movies and drinking hot cocoa while waiting for Anson to get home from work. I know that Christmas will be here soon (and hopefully snow will come with it). Just 148 days to go!

Aside from that, things have been going pretty well. I have a job teaching special education in the fall. It will be at the preschool level, so I’m pretty excited. I’m hoping there’s a unit on teddy bears :)  I’ve been slowly skimming through some of my old textbooks while also trying to finish the Wheel of Time books before the new one comes out. I’m almost done Book 10—it’s amazing how little has happened in that book. Hopefully Book 11 will be better 🙂

For those of you who haven’t talked to us in a while—Anson and I recently spent a bunch of time in Maryland. We had a lot of celebrating to do!  On June 12th, we got to meet our new niece, Mia Elaine!


That’s not the greatest picture of her (I have one of her smiling somewhere—probably hidden on my phone), but I like it because she’s sleeping in the blanket I made her 🙂

The very next day, on June 13th, we got a new sister-in-law! Welcome to the family Daniela!!!


And on June 25th  we got a new brother-in-law! Welcome to the family Tim! There’s no way out—probably should have told you that before you said “I do” 🙂


While in Maryland, Anson and I also got to visit with our good friends—Mark , Ioana and Dave. We all went to Hershey Park one weekend. There is only one picture of the trip (mostly because I didn’t want to carry around a camera while I was on the roller coasters). It accurately expresses how each of us feel about roller coasters:

Aside from all the excitement with family additions, we had some time to relax and got addicted to a new tv show (thanks Angie and Eric!). We’ve been watching NCIS non-stop since we got back. We’re on season 3 now. We’re actually buying them, so we’ll be able to lend them out and get everyone on the west coast addicted as well. Yay!

And now it’s about time for Anson to be getting home from work—so I’m off to go daydream about snowflakes and stockings 🙂