Flashback Friday

Due to my recent move I was unable to post this on Friday. I apologize for the delay. I realize it's not Friday, but I actually began writing this post on Friday, with the intention to post on the correct date but was distracted by my Father, Corey and packing.

As you may have guessed, these are photos of me as a baby. My parents and I were living in Ogden, Utah at the time. My mother decided to enter me into a baby contest, scheduled as part of the local Pioneer Day festivities. I am not sure how accurate that information is because that would date these photos as July 24, 1979. I was born July 1, 1978. That means I would have been a little over a year old. I don't know much about babies but I don't think I look one in this photo.

As these photos demonstrate, I was not the cutest baby in the batch. So, instead of sending me home empty-handed, the judges awarded me "The Happiest Baby." We still have the contest ribbon packed away with my baby clothes and my mother loves to tease me about how my character has changed since then. Today, according to her, I would be anything BUT the Happiest (add your own noun here). In return, I tease after living with her "x" number of years it would be difficult to be happy. I love my Mom!



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To my Mom.

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Conversion.





Last night I got my family started on the newest season of Beauty and the Geek. Because, really, how can you not love a show like this!

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If Harry Were a Cat


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Flashback Friday

In February 2004 I flew to Seattle for Lisa Pratt's sealing to Adam Hansen. Lisa and I were roommates during my last year at BYU. She was my closest friend during the darkest time of my life and it was so comforting confiding in her without fear of being judged. I will always love her for that.
Lisa graduated a semester before I did, December of 2002, and moved home to Washington. Six months later I received a phone call. Lisa had met Adam, and their courtship and subsequent engagement was an exciting one. Lisa asked me to be her Maid-of-Honor, which explains my trip to Seattle in February.
In addition to myself, Lisa had three other Bride's Maids, one of which encouraged me to move to Washington, DC. Her name is Beverly and although I moved to Washington I rarely see her, as she travels the globe working for the Department of State.
In addition to preparing food for the reception, sewing her veil, creating favors, and scrap booking, Lisa showed me her lovely city. As these photos demonstrate, we spent a day at the fish market. It was incredible watching them toss the fish. Lisa actually knew one of the guys and we took this photo with him. I loved Seattle! It was everything my Mother had described and more. Elliott Bay, was especially beautiful and the name was perfect; my mother's maiden name is Elliott. The Space Needle was amazing and the view from the top definitely worthwhile. Given an opportunity I would move to Seattle in a heartbeat. So many people I love live relatively close and now that Lisa is a mommy it would be wonderful watching little Joshua grow up. In lieu of Kate's upcoming trip, I couldn't resist posting my Seattle photos for Flashback Friday. Enjoy Kate and take lots of photos!

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Long Overdue

I know this is long overdue but I wanted to wish Sabes (photo left) a Happy Birthday. Her birthday was on September 8th and I am the worst friend ever because I didn't even send her anything. I have not forgotten and something will be sent out, or maybe I will hand deliver it when I fly out in December for Desiree's sealing.

Congratulations to Christine (photo right) on her recent engagement to Josh. Christine lives in Washington but I met her shortly after I moved to DC through Steph and 'Rina. I love hanging out with these ladies because they make me feel young, and give me great fashion advice. They also introduce me to new music every time we're together. In short, I am so grateful they are my friends and wish they still lived in Virginia, especially now that I have evenings and weekends free.

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For Perry

One of the perks of working at the Decatur House on Tuesdays is meeting my friends, who work in Washington, for lunch and strolling through Lafayette Park. Today the park was filled with professionals who escaped their offices or cubicles to enjoy an hour of sunshine. These men occupied three tables and were so focused they didn't even notice me.

I immediately thought of Perry and decided to post these photos for him. Perry I think it's time you considered a change of employment or perhaps transferring to an office near Lafayette Park. Perry playing chess in front of the White House in a park haunted by ghosts and steeped in history. That would be a chess match worth watching.

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Patti A. Clay

Just wanted to congratulate my Mom on her new position as an ER nurse at Patti A. Clay hospital. It's strange how our lives tend to "come full circle." My mother worked at Patti A. Clay while she was working toward her BSN at Eastern Kentucky University. I was in third grade then. My dad used to take my brother and I up to the hospital so we could visit my Mom during her breaks.
When I was a sophomore at BYU she worked as a home health nurse for the hospital and during my summer breaks I would join her on patient visits. I was always amazed at how gentle and patient she was with her charges. I was proud of her work ethic, which lately has not been stellar, but during that time was impressive. Both of my parents have always stressed the benefits of hard work and I am grateful for that.
So here's to Mom and here's to Patti A. Clay for welcoming the prodigal nurse home.

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Flashback Friday

This photo was taken in the Spring of 1995. I was a junior at Madison Southern High School in Berea, Kentucky and was selected to represent my class in Kentucky's version of Who's Who among high school students. Most of my friends participated and were also selected. As candidates we were photographed by a professional photographer. Later these photographs and a mini-bio was matted in a huge frame where it was displayed in a shopping mall. Since I attended high school in Madison County my portfolio was displayed in the Richmond Mall, the only mall in the entire county. This photo was one of many my parents purchased and display in their homes. This was my favorite shot because its the only professional photo I have with a pet.
Jordan was our second golden retriever, following Zachary Taylor. I had him until the end of my freshman year at BYU. He stayed at my dad's farm while I was in school. I would have given anything to take him with me. He would have loved Utah. Anyway, I would love to have another golden one day. They make terrific companions and are excellent with children.
That's a little about my second photo for Flashback Friday. Sorry I missed last week. Now we just need IB to participate.

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Miracle

This afternoon Justin, my co-worker, (see photo above) shared that Miracle, his darling cat, has taken to sleeping by her food dish. Not only is she incredibly sweet, her story is worthy of her name.
According to Justin, six or seven years ago, Miracle's mother had a litter of kittens, of which Miracle was included. Apparently when female kitties birth their young, they remove the placenta, which often clings to the babies' eyes, noses and mouths, preventing the intake of oxygen. If the mother cat fails to remove the placenta in time, the kitten will suffocate.
By the time Miracle's mother had finished birthing and cleaning her kittens, she was exhausted. So exhausted she forgot, or chose not to clean Miracle. Lying alone, in a state of suffocation, Miracle was rescued by the owner, who cleaned Miracle at once, sparing her life. The owner shared this story with Justin, admitting she had already christened the kitten thus. Justin impressed with the tale agreed the name was perfect and decided to keep it.
Six or seven years later, Miracle is a healthy, robust feline who continues to captivate the hearts of Justin's friends. She won mine the moment I saw her framed photo on Justin's desk.
Since I don't have any pets of my own I have decided to write about my co-workers and friends pets. Next up, Erin's cat Big Naughty.








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Happy Birthday...

to one of the coolest Daddies a girl could ever have. Thank goodness you no longer where your hair like that! It looks like your rockin' a comb-over. I love you and hope you have a terrific year. One year shy of the big six-zero. Ha! Better enjoy fifty while you can.
-Your loving daughter
Amber

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The Temple

As many of my friends and co-workers know, I served for 18 months as a missionary guide on Temple Square. Although I have been tempted to imagine what my life would be like now, if I had not served a mission, I always come to the same conclusion; I am so grateful I made the decision to serve the Lord in that capacity. It has blessed my life in so many ways and continues to do so.
Staring at the walls of the Salt Lake temple everyday for at least thirteen months, in all types of weather conditions, at all hours of the day, I gained an affinity for that temple that I will always treasure. As my mission progressed the temple became more than a structure of stone and wood, an inanimate object. It was rather, an organic entity, with a physical presence that embodied and imbued power to other living organisms. This perception strongly influenced my desire to dedicate my graduate studies and subsequent profession to the preservation of historic structures. As I witnessed the connection individuals experienced with the history, made more tangible, because an existing, physical element of the past was present, increased my appreciation for history and its artifacts.
In comparison to the Salt Lake temple, the Washington temple is relatively new. Yet a familiar spirit is present on both grounds. Since moving to the Washington area, I have not been able to attend the temple as often as I would wish. This week, I had the opportunity to be on the grounds twice. Tonight I took a few photos of one of the loveliest examples of architecture in Washington, even if the interior design and furnishings are not to my taste.
This weekend I also attended Stake Conference where many of the talks focused on temple attendance and the blessings of the temple. One speaker, a return missionary from the Family History Library in Salt Lake, spoke of Temple Square and the missionaries there. I could not resist reflecting on my own experiences and be grateful for the miracles I witnessed each day as I served others. I feel so blessed to have access to this beautiful building, that functions to instruct individuals about the importance of families and the purpose of life. It truly is what it claims to be, the House of the Lord.

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Money: The Root of all Stress

Or something.

I would like to write a long, long post about how I hate growing up. And how my fantastic parents led me right into financial stupidity by being so amazing.

But I won't. 'Cause it's not their fault I can't add and subtract properly--leading to everpresent financial drama. I will say this though! Children, Listen to your Auntie Stephie and marry very old, very rich men. And marry them often. It makes life easier!

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Something Borrowed, Something New...

Something Old, Something Blue.
In less than three weeks, Victoria, my lovely co-worker, will wed her long-time sweetheart, Chad. One of my first memories at the office was watching Victoria model her wedding dress. It is gorgeous and I can't wait to see photos of the wedding and hear all about Chad's reaction when he sees her in it for the first time. They say all brides are beautiful and I believe that is true. There is no doubt Victoria will be a bride people will remember and speak of years hence. Best wishes to the happy couple for a long, successful, blissful union. May they have a house filled with fond memories, love and lots of kiddies.
Congratulations!

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My First Day at My Second Job

Last Tuesday I was offered a part-time position as a docent at the Decatur House. Commodore Stephen Decatur was a naval hero who made his fortune commandeering enemy ships during the Barbary wars. Upon his return to the United States, he was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia where he was introduced and fell in love with Susan Wheelwright. Although Decatur was engaged to a Philadelphia woman, he broke his engagement to marry Susan.
Stephen Decatur commissioned Benjamin Henry Latrobe, often considered the father of American architecture, to design his Federal-style home. The Decatur House was constructed on the northwest corner of President's Park, renamed Lafayette Park in the 1820's. The Decatur's lived in their home, where they hosted lavish parties, for fourteen months.
Keeping with the Decatur's traditions the Decatur House is used for social functions today. It was my pleasure during the afternoon of my first day, to watch the caterers and wedding planners prepare the carriage house for a wedding reception scheduled for this evening. Given its proximity to the White House, and the history, rental fees for parties and receptions are quite expensive. It will be nice to observe lavish parties and receptions even if, I will never host one of my own.
In addition to its function as a special events venue, the Decatur House is a house museum, owned and operated by The National Trust for Historic Preservation. As a docent, I will be responsible for guiding tours throughout the house. Today, I shadowed three tours and learned so much information regarding the house and its inhabitants, I can't wait to learn more and subsequently share that information with guests. If you have yet to visit the Decatur House make a point to do so. Every Washingtonian should be familiar with Lafayette Park and it's history, especially that of Stephen Decatur and his mansion.








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Playing Rosie

One of the perks of working in a Marketing department is developing creative advertising methods. Moving one step beyond poster paper, we became the advertisement, dressing like Riveters from the forties. Donning oxfords, chinos/jeans and head scarves we set out to distribute posters and buttons to fellow employees.
While Ashley and M explained the purpose of the campaign and the incentives for participating in our corporate-wide competition, Dave and I were having fun. Dave is an excellent photographer, and this afternoon he took two shots I especially appreciate.
Anyone care to guess who or what I was thinking about when Dave took this photo? Dave said it looks like I am sun bathing.

After our excursion Dave and Victoria, our original Rosie and the cutie laughing to the left, created a 13x9 poster of the first photo, with the second photo inset in the bottom left corner. Although we joked about how silly I looked (whenever I try to be sexy the result is always the same; instead of resembling Grace Kelly I just look silly) I love the poster!
Thanks M for inviting me to participate in this portion of the campaign and thanks to our company who supports marketing initiatives such as this, enabling employees to develop and enhance their creativity in generous ways.



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The Latest Addition...

to my cubicle decor. There are few movie moments that top this one in film history. Steven Spielberg is a genius and Harrison Ford, as Indiana Jones, is perfection.

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NSO Concert with Friend

Friend and I agreed to check out the NSO concert on the West lawn of the Capitol this evening. Arriving at 7:30pm we secured a terrific spot. Although it was closer to the Capitol than the stage, we were almost dead-center of the stage and had no difficulty seeing the performers.
There are few views I appreciate more than those of the Washington monument and tonight's sunset was beautiful.

This is a profile shot of Friend. He looks so content.

The is Friend and I just before the concert began. I decided it was time for us to take a photo together.

Moments before the concert began a couple sat down just to our right with the most beautiful dog. Although I didn't catch the name I did start a trend. Seconds after I snapped this photo, women were coming over with their cameras to do the same. Friend and I agreed the dog was very furry and to my surprise, it was very well behaved. In fact, this dog had so much hair we could not determine it's sex. Friend assumed it was a male dog, and after discussing his reasons, I agreed. The music was lovely, the company was fun, the conversation engaging, and the weather perfect. Who could ask for anything more?





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Introducing...

a new friend. Friend enjoys board games, but not Risk, traveling, especially international, music, with the exception of contemporary country, art, he has a masters in art, law, he is a practicing attorney, and museums, we visited the George Catlin exhibit this afternoon.
He has a great sense of humor, is witty, patient, soft-spoken, polite/mannerly without being pretentious and smart as hell. He only cursed once in my presence although he admitted he usually does so more frequently but felt he shouldn't with me. I liked that. He is partial to the words "indeed," and "right," which makes me giggle for some unknown reason. He even drew a dancing unicorn on the title page of my copy of Pride and Prejudice, who he christened Boris after the dancing bear in the Russian circus. I have never heard of Boris the bear.
He loves children's literature and has a terrific name. In fact, all his family members have great names. He has traveled extensively, living in various states but was raised in Tennessee. He loves basketball but not to the exclusion of appreciating other sports. He has agreed to be my tennis instructor. They say, "one can never have enough friends," and I totally agree. I am so grateful for the new friend I have made and look forward to many more opportunities of being friends.

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