October 30, 2013

Harper's Ferry

I went to Harper's Ferry for the first time this weekend with a group of friends (DC bucket list item -- check!), and... it was absolutely GORGEOUS!! I haven't done a corn maze/hayride/haunted thingy in a few years, and when I saw a Living Social deal come up last month, I knew I had to get a group organized to go.

I've now been to West Virginia twice, and let me tell you: West Virginia does NOT disappoint!

To kick off our Harper's Ferry adventure, we did a little nature walking and caught a beautiful sunset.

the group
You know my theory about benches. There had to be some love on this one! Even if it was just friend love. :)

Then we did some more walking around the town (which is adorable, btw).

The gentlemen, getting informed.

We saw a beautiful church (where a ghost tour was about to start!),

ghost tour! (photo by Joel)
night shot

and the ruins of a church (where Joel maybe took some model shots of us girls?). The following photos are all brought to you by the one and only Joel:

What we all came away with from this experience is that... I can't keep a straight face. I just can't do it! I laugh every time.

nope. can't do it.

And, of course, we ate food. Lots of food. Lots of delicious food.

"wet" walnuts over pumpkin ice cream = amazing & life-changing!
The adorable B&B where we ate dinner. We felt so welcome here. ;)
delicious, local apple cider!
West Virginia's finest pumpkin butter, made from West Virginia pumpkins

We finished the night with our haunted house/hay ride/corn maze excursion at Ridgefield Farm & Orchard (which is also where I bought the above-featured pumpkin butter. It's delicious!).


A funny story about the hayride. We got on the cart, and a girl got on after us who was all alone. The tour guide asked her if we should wait for her friends or group, but she said she'd come alone. The tour guide thought it was weird, but we decided to befriend her. "Come sit by us!" we said, and Jordan introduced us one by one. She scooted closer and told us about herself (her name was Maggie, she was a local, yadda yadda).

In the middle of the hayride, the tractor "broke down" (oh. no. <insert sarcastic tour guide voice her>), and we "had to go the rest of the way on foot." (aka- the haunting was about to begin!)

Out of nowhere, the haunted guys jumped onto our cart, and... they took Maggie! Only then (the tour guide's sarcastic "oh, no" comments helped) did we realize... Maggie was one of THEM! She wasn't a newcomer there to enjoy an autumn hayride! She was a co-conspirator! A haunter! 

After the excursion was over, the tour guide (whom we like to call "Prince Eric") remarked on how friendly we were to her. He said never before had he seen such a friendly group in all his years/months of haunting!

My response? "We're Mormon." :)

I'm so glad we all got to go on this adventure together! We had a blast, and the scenery in Harper's Ferry just took my breath away. I hope to visit again soon (maybe on a Sunday afternoon?). :D

October 20, 2013

Hipster, Hobo, or Thug?


** Spoiler alert: Be sure to take the quiz at the very bottom! **

I had the loveliest weekend this weekend. I attended a beautiful wedding, ran errands by bike, enjoyed a great Sunday at church, and spent the perfect Sunday afternoon at the Bishop's Garden at the National Cathedral with Melanie. But first things first.... I need your opinions!!

Last year, I bought a slouchy pink beanie for $1 (brand new at Goodwill, baby!), and ever since, I've wanted another slouchy beanie in GRAY. (A "hipster" beanie, as I like to call it.)

I'm pleased to announce... I bought one! I tried it on at home, and my roommate said, "Oh, a hobo beanie." She thought I looked like a homeless person!!?!

Then, when I told Melanie the story yesterday, she said, "Thug beanie." Seriously, Meli?? Come on!

And so, I'd like to ask for input here. What do you think -- hipster, hobo, or thug??

in SHOCK that you'd consider this anything other than HIPSTER
Yándary is not amused.
i can't keep a straight face to save my life.
vote HIPSTER, & i'll love you foh-EV-ah

Vote here, and stand up for urban chic hipsters everywhere!

**Polls will remain open until Friday, October 25th.**

October 18, 2013

Letting Go (and Faith and Trust and Stuff)


For the past 2 years and 10 months, I've had the privilege and great blessing to serve as a Temple Ordinance Worker in the Washington, DC LDS Temple. It has been one of the sacred experiences of my life. But for the past... at least the past three months, I've known, in the pit of my stomach, that I needed to ask to be released.

And I just got off the phone from making that call...

I prayed about it. I got an answer. (It's how prayer works. Ask, and ye shall receive.) But I didn't like the answer. (Hence, the putting it off for three + months thing.) I am so, so sad to not be a temple worker anymore. But it's made me reflect on all the other times in my life that I've asked God for something, and He's given me answer I didn't like, want, or understand.

Like... The time He told me I needed to serve a mission. Or the time He said it was time to apply to grad school, even though when I'd asked Him six months earlier, the answer was a resounding NO. Or, you know, all the times relationships haven't worked out, even though I maybe wanted them to?

BUT. I've learned in my nearly 29 years of life (November 29th, guys!) that God always knows best. I think they call this...  faith, right? They teach us that in order to have faith, you have to experiment on something. So, what I've experimented with is trusting God. And you know what? He's never let me down. Not ever, not even once. I know with all my heart that God hears and answers our prayers. Not always how we want Him to, or how we think He should, but He answers. And He always gives us the best answer. The right answer. And as long as we listen to the answers He gives us, everything will be OK.