Friday, August 19, 2016

Summer 2015

The months of June-August were busy ones.  I flew to Idaho to finish my degree while Alex held down the fort in Boston and worked and went to school.  It was so difficult being away from him for so long but I felt like I was lucky to be surrounded by loving and helpful family.  We enjoyed lots of time together and I was glad to visit them while I waited for Alex to come in the middle of August.  

Alex flew into Salt Lake in August and we spent two weeks with his family before flying home together.  We loved visiting everyone and being reunited was the best part of the summer.

I was so busy with school that I didn't document this summer very well so we will make do with the pictures I can find.

Brent and Ashley had their fifth baby soon after I arrived in Idaho.  They named her Tess Florentine McLane.  She was so small and sweet.  We couldn't get enough of her.  
Ashely took this picture of Tess to announce her arrival.  I love how this picture captures her innocent sweetness. 

meeting Tess

The McLane family meets Tess for the first time
My mom got a new kitty soon before I came to Idaho.  She named it Raisin much to my delight.  He is a riot and was so playful and funny.  He especially loves to watch movies with horses in them.  If I needed to work on something without him bothering me, I would just turn a movie on for him and he would lay there and watch it.

Raisin playing in the bathroom

Raisin loved to sleep like this. It was so cute and funny.  

I peeked out the window to find Raisin sitting on the outdoor table.  
Raise reading one of our favorite books Flora and Ulysses.  All of the kids were captivated, as they should be.

Grandma got new chickens that sometimes roam around the yard.  They followed me to the back door if I ever came in without putting them away.  

Tess practicing to become a Ninja 

Flying into Boston

Spring 2015

After the never ending winter, we relished in the arrival of Spring.  I headed to Idaho at the beginning of June to finish my student teaching so Alex and I spent every second together before we would be apart for 3 months.

We made sure to stop at Walden Pond before I left of the summer. It immediately became one of our favorite places in all of Massachusetts.
By the cabin replica and statue
Alex tapped into his inner Theroux

At the pond
Our picnic selfie at Walden

Several stakes in the area held a conference for women in the New England area called Let Your Light Shine.  Stephanie Nielsen from the NieNie blogs was a keynote speaker.  Elder Jeffery R. Holland also surprised everyone by stopping by and addressing us.  The rest of the day was  full of classes and activities. 
Elder Holland at Let Your Light Shine

One of my friends, Mary Staples, and her mother talked about finding joy in mothering and the legacy they have in their family.  Mary had lost her sweet Marjorie unexpectedly in January and she was a great example of strength and testimony to me and others.  

 Alex and I also went to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) to see the Leonardo di Vinci exhibit.  We also saw the Hokusai exhibit and were blown away by both.  
one of Leonardo's original drawings

The Wave by Hokusai 

We also did a quick run through the American wing.  We loved this huge picture of Washington.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Christmas 2014 and Blizzard 2015

Our first Christmas in Boston was hard for me.  I was struggling with being away from our family winter blues.  Alex and I decided to keep it simple and to enjoy the true spirit of the holiday.  As we did this, lots of little miracles happened for us.  Most of these are too personal to share in this public setting but we really felt the comfort and love of our Savior and friends during the holiday season. 

On Christmas Eve, I made my family's traditional Seafood Stew.  It was a great way to continue a tradition while also enjoying seafood.   
Alex before dinner

Seafood Stew

Hedgehogs are one of my absolute favorite things in this world.  So for Christmas my mom knitted me this sweater with hedgehogs and pink flowers (my other favorite).  It is one of my favorite things to wear and I love it.  This is also one of the only pictures I have from Christmas Day.  

One of the best parts about this Christmas was Skyping with my sister.  She was serving her mission for the LDS church in Houston, Texas.  We were not allowed to talk to her except through mail while she was on her mission.  The exception to the rule is on Mother's Day and Christmas.  So we did a 3 way Skype call so we could all talk together.  This was such a happy memory.  

Soon after Christmas we were hit with snow-mageddon .  It was the worst winter I could remember.  It was not nearly as cold as Rexburg but the snow just kept coming.  We ended up with 110 inches.  We didn't start to see grass again until April but when we did we all celebrated the coming of Spring.  

Church Clambake and Autumn Adventures 2014

When we moved to Boston we were excited to hear about the fun traditions people in our area have.  One of the traditions our ward has is to have a clam bake every year at a local lake.  Alex and I were thrilled to have this New England experience.  
At our first clam bake 

We ate our first New England lobster!

The lake
We moved to Boston so Alex could get a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Boston College.  One of the things that I love is how gorgeous his campus is.  Autumn has also always been my favorite season and the beauty around his school during that season is always magnified.  Autumns in New England are nothing short of magical.

I had to take this picture as Alex was driving to school one day.  I love this house and the fall foliage is just amazing.  

Grandma and Grandpa Visit Boston

Shortly after arriving in Boston, my grandma and grandpa came for a visit! They were already planning to come to New England to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  We felt so fortunate to see them a couple of times before they went home.  It really helped with the initial homesickness.  We also had a great time exploring the historic sites as true Bostonians.
After a short tour around our house, we went to the Boston temple

The Benjamin Franklin statue

Old State house as we did the Freedom Trail

Granary Cemetery 

Riding the duck boats

Through the Public Garden 

Apartment Renovation: The After

Here are the after pictures of our apartment.  These are old pictures from more than a year ago that also need to be updated but I have procrastinated this post for so long that I thought I would just post them in their current, unedited state.  I will do another post some other time with better pictures and an update (we have an amazing new quilt from Alex's mom on our bed, for example and a new tv stand in the living room). Until then, this can give you an idea of where we currently live.
Our living area right as you walk in 

from living area to dining room 
looking into spare bedroom

spare room

looking into kitchen

looking into our bedroom

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