::nerds:: not to be confused

chad thinks he's funny.
whenever there's nerds candy around, he makes the same joke,
"hey, here's a box of alisons"
this weekend at the trunk-or-treat,
the boys got some nerds.
chad explained that he calls them 'alisons'
last night ryan called.
he told chad that
carter had asked if he could have some 'alisons'
ryan looked down and he was pointing at the nerds.
good teaching, honey. good teaching.


::halloween:: with kids

we love having ryan and cami back in the state.
and we love that they let us join in on their holiday fun
{{thanksgiving, halloween, 4th of july, etc}}
though we weren't there for the actual holiday, last weekend we went
with them and the boys to corn bellies at thanksgiving point.
my favorite was jumping on the air pillow, the hayride that broke down,
and Carter proudly stating that he "wasn't afraid!" in the non-haunted monster,
AFTER we'd cut out halfway through...followed by his shrieks of "no, no, no" when
Chad said that they could go back in!


Dad gave us tickets this year to the Homecoming game -
TCU trounced 38-7
but it's always fun to visit the alma mater and we still had fun...
(now chad's planning a visit to his school -
can you guess where that is? yep, he wears his colors proud.)
thanks for the tix, Dad!
{{and since we're doing flashbacks, here we are, same place, four years ago}}


hello, ladies*

this weekend we headed up north for Homecoming...
we only got about 20 minutes up Rock Canyon before the rain started...
so we turned around, and everyone prepped for the rainy game instead.
we'll have to plan again...it was great to see you for at least a little bit!

{{i met these two in a prep class for a Tanzania summer -
but school cancelled the trip and we ended up in Uganda instead.
ha! this is what we looked like FIVE years ago...
i know, we're stunning.}}

{{*j, i expect you to know the reference...}}


::debt:: the moral of the story

we're still paying off student loans.
and we finally got mine under a thousand dollars.
at the beginning of the month, we were debating
whether or not to just pay off the rest
in a big chunk.
due to indecision, we never did it.
i got a letter the other day.
uheaa told me that since
i'd been such a good borrower,
they were
FORGIVING the remainder of my loan!!!!
i'm having a hard time reconciling the moral of that story...


::backpacking:: the puppies

people always ask if we take the dogs when we go out.
and the answer is a resounding YES!
we take advantage of every opportunity to run them till they're weary.
but they do have to carry their own packs, too.
one carries their food and one carries their sleeping bags.
{chad carries their water.}

so does this make them spoiled or not?
they have sleeping bags, which seems pretty ridiculous.
but at least we make them carry them.


::backpacking:: Red Mountain

a hike that was remote & not-so-remote:
remote:: we didn't see any other people
not-so-remote:: we could see the lights of the city and hear traffic

we hiked a gradual uphill past some stunning views of Snow Canyon.
we saw only the one sign the entire trip, and it was at the beginning.
we carried over 20 liters of water, and still wound up short.
we hit the edge of the mountain.
and then we came down.
and that's why i'm sore today.


::home:: recooperating

we're relaxing at home this afternoon after an overnight backpacking trip across and down Red Mountain with Will & Sarah.
{{more pics to come}}

we're planning a return trip with Sarah to The Wave on November 20th and have
1-2 spots available on our permit. anyone interested? let us know...


::postcard:: to our mass family

And I could spend all of my days
And remain each day amazed
At the way each day is phrased
In Massachusetts
Now if you could only see
I know you would agree
There ain't nowhere else to be
Like Massachusetts
-arlo guthrie, Massachussetts State Folk Song
we had a fantastic time! thank you, and we miss you already!


::dinner:: lobster

while we were out visiting, tara cooked up some amazing food...

the first night, she made a clam chowder that chad is already craving.
saturday night, she and dan went to the store and picked up
some fresh lobster, cooked a la grocery store.
it was my first experience with a lobster on my plate
(i'd tried a piece of chad's last year)
and definitely my first experience cracking apart my food
and it was soo, soooo good!


::reliving:: the revolution

we mentioned last year
that one of our favorite places was Lexington.
so much so, that we went again this year.
this time, though, there were Redcoats!
if you're ever out there, make sure you see the presentation
at the Lexington visitor center... it'll give you a great overview.
and chills of patriotism!

::new england:: drumlin farm

one afternoon, we went out to visit Drumlin Farm,
a working farm, vegetable gardens, wildlife sanctuary, and trail network.
it was a great place for the girls to run around
and spy on the animals...
i think everyone's favorite was the huge sow with
her THIRTEEN piglets!


::boston:: north end

ever since our trip out to boston last year when chad "discovered" cannoli, it's been his absolute favorite dessert...
he's searched high and low for a local place where he can get the same
sugary, creamy goodness.
we found one place, but it can't even compare...so of course,
when we went into boston, we headed straight to the north end for some fresh cannoli.
FOLLOWED by a delicious italian dinner...
sidenote: on our walk there, we might have seen a bus with a film crew where
tom cruise and cameron diaz were filming wichita.

::meanwhile:: the girls

as chad and tara were running their race, we hung out the park
near the finish line. we spent some time on a super cool playground
before the girls spied this carousel!

(aren't they so cute? little sophie probably wouldn't have enjoyed
the ride as much, though, so she sat that one out)


::mission accomplished:: 13.1 miles

on friday afternoon, we loaded everyone up and headed out to hartford, ct
for the half-marathon that chad & tara have been training for (since this 5k)
traffic fuddled up plans for a carb loading dinner and a pre-run course check
but they still did awesome... and they have the medals to prove it!
congratulations to you both! here's to the beginning of a running tradition???

{{side note: the marathon and half-marathon ended just under this arch
in a huge park in downtown hartford. it was gorgeous! the wind was blowing just
enough to make the colored leaves fall from the trees with all of hartford's old
buildings in the background. new england in the fall... *sigh*}}

::leg 5:: 226 miles

from newark to our final destination,

we finally made it on Thursday morning
out to visit Chad's sister, Tara, and her family.
just like last year {here} {here} or {here},
the colors are beautiful and the weather -perfect.


::leg 4:: 1623 miles

from houston to newark
where we slept for five and a half hours.
sort of.

::leg 3:: 884 miles

abq to houston for two hours

::albuquerque:: 18 hours

spent the night at Mom & Dad's
and then went out driving the next day to visit
Coronado State Monument
and to a delicious New Mexican lunch
before boarding the plane to...

::leg 2:: 574 miles

picked up the element and drove from vegas to albuquerque

past the Hoover Dam and along Route 66
with stops in Kingman, Williams, and Flagstaff

::leg 1:: 119 miles

via shuttle to the Las Vegas airport
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