Ah! It was amazing! Alex was still on his Christmas break from school and I was able to get the week off of work! We planned everything to a T before hand and it actually went pretty according to plan - I think we did just about everything we wanted to! Alex had never been to NYC before, so it was fun to be able to share his first time in the Big Apple with him! We left on a Sunday night at midnight and took a bus from here (Hampton) straight to NY over night. The bus ride was.....interesting. Ha. Let's just say neither of us slept great (especially Alex!), but it was really cheap, so sometimes you just gotta sacrifice for a good deal!! Anyways, we got there on Monday morning around 6AM and were dropped off in the middle of Chinatown. Definitely not my favorite place to be in the dark.....luckily we found some college aged girls who knew what they were doing and a really nice local lady and asked if we could stick with them around the subway area because we were all going to Times Square. We got on the subway and headed up to Times Square, when we got there Good Morning America was playing and we stood in the audience outside! Then we headed over to our hotel. We weren't able to check in until the afternoon, but they let us store our luggage there. They also informed me of their never ending hot chocolate bar....you can bet that's where I was every second we were at our hotel!!
Once we got settled and everything we headed out to get a bus tour! We bought some tickets from the guys on the street and caught our first bus ride! We did the "hop-on-hop-off" tour and planned out all the stops before we left, so we knew exactly where we were going! We headed to Downtown first. We saw lots and lots of cool buildings like the Empire State Building & Flat Iron Building and then made our first stop that I was probably most excited about: Canal Street!! If none of you have been there - you MUST. Especially if you want a really good deal on a purse! Ha. It was amazing!! Alex hated every second of it - ha! But that's okay, because I was too excited about it!! We mostly walked around and looked at things, but I definitely made sure to get myself a purse!! As always, you feel so sketchy as you follow the people carefully and then they bring it to you in a black garbage bag, ha! But hey, it was super cheap and totally worth it!! Plus, it's SUPER cute, so you can't top that!
Then we headed down to Ground Zero. It was so amazing to be there - (and also freezing!!) I think we both felt like our faces were going to fall off. But really it was so humbling to be there and the new World Trade Center is HUGE. Such a gorgeous building. After that we headed down the docks and got on the fairy to see the Manhattan skyline & the Statue of Liberty!! It was so beautiful!! We didn't get as close to Lady Liberty as we wanted to...but that particular fairy was included in our bus pass tour - so we figured, why not!
After we got off we took a little stroll down Wall St. and then found the famous "Waffles & Dinges" truck. Best. Waffles. Ever! So expensive....and so amazing!! Definitely a "must-do" in NY. Then we continued through the rest of Downtown and headed back to Times Square! That night we went to the "Shake Shack" for dinner and it was incredible!!!!! It was super busy and we had to be a little aggressive to get a table to sit down after we got our food, but it was an amazing meal and probably one of the best burgers I've ever had!!
That night was probably one of our (especially Alex's) favorite things we did this trip! A night tour. We headed out on our bus and it just drove us around the city at night. It was soooo magically. There's something amazing about NY - but NY at night is....WOW! We also headed over to Brooklyn and got a tour of that city and we were able to look back at the Manhattan skyline, it was so so gorgeous!!
The next day we headed out for another day on the bus! Our first stop was to see the Manhattan temple! We also ran into some missionaries right outside of it and they just all happened to be from Utah! Ha, so random! It was so fun to see the temple in the middle of a busy intersection! Then we headed over for the most beautiful walk in Central Park. It started to snow and everything was just magical! We were so excited to see snow and it made everything look so dreamy. We then headed to all of Uptown and stayed on the bus for a lot of the tour, look around and learning different fun facts about the city! We stopped off at the museum of NY - which was really small, but still fun! Then we went to F-A-O Schwarz - the biggest toy store, also where the giant piano is! I was excited enough just to see it, then they told us that we could go play on it! Ah, it was so fun!!
We then headed out for one of my stops! Serendipity!! Home to the famous "frozen hot chocolate." Oh. My. Word. It was so incredible!!! There are no words, you just have to try it!!
That night we headed out for a Broadway Play! (Alex's first!) We saw The Phantom of the Opera, it was (of course) as all Broadway plays are, ah-mazing!! It was so fun to go and definitely another "must-do" in NY!
The next morning we went and saw a few "must see" landmarks! We saw Grand Central Station, went to the Rockerfeller Center and went to the Lego Store & Nintendo World, saw Radio City, where the Tonight Show is filmed, and of course - the LOVE sign!! We ate lunch at Potbellys - another east coast favorite and then headed back to our hotel. I got my last cup of hot chocolate and we headed out back to Chinatown. The bus picked us up around 3PM and we got back around midnight on Wednesday. It was SUCH an amazing (busy) trip, but I am so so glad we did it! It was so fun to be able to go on one last trip just the two of us!!
THEN as if the week couldn't get any more amazing, the next day my Mom flew into town!! She got here Thursday afternoon and we spent the night eating, talking, playing games and having a late Christmas! The next day we took her a little around VA. We went to Colonial Williamsburg and walked around for awhile and then ate lunch, then we headed to the battlefields at Yorktown - where the Revolutionary War & Civil War battles were fought. We did the driving tour and walked around a few of the fields, its always humbling to be there and think of all the men who fought. Then we walked around of my favorite parks here in VA, it's just down the street and where I go running so it was fun to be able to show it to my Mom! That night was pretty low key because I actually had a really bad cold from walking around every where in the freezing cold while we were in New York, but it was still fun!
Saturday was one of my favorite days! I had my baby shower!! Oh my goodness. It was SO adorable! One of my good friends in my ward threw it for me and I couldn't be more grateful! She had everyone bring a book instead of a card and then made everything around books! She made me the most amazing wreath out of book paper (forgot to take picture...) and did all these amazing & fun decorations! All the food was paired and themed with a book too! I was so overwhelmed with all the love and support I received from everyone! No words can describe how grateful I am for all the amazing gifts we got and everything my friends did for me! It was such a fabulous day!!!
That night we headed out to dinner and then just spent the night hanging out. The next day we went to church and my Mom got to come to my primary class with me, so that was fun! After church we hung out for a few hours until we had to take my Mom to the airport. I was so sad to see her go, but I'm so glad she came out!! It was so fun to have her here and I'm so grateful she was able to be here for my shower!!!
Then it was back to reality! I went back to work and Alex started another semester of school - basically that's what our lives have been since then! Alex had a full semester of school in 8 weeks, so of course it was crazy! He did really well (as always!) and I couldn't be more proud of him! He works so hard and I'm so glad to be married to such a determined man!! Work is going well for me, it's been getting a little harder lately, just because I feel so pregnant! Ha. But what can you expect!!
We have also been really busy with our church callings! Alex was just called as the Young Men's President and I have two callings. I teach the 4 & 5 year old's in Primary and am also the Visiting Teaching Coordinator! So we stay very busy in the church department! Ha. But we love it!! We have some amazing youth in our ward and Alex loves working with them. And how can you get better than the 4 & 5 year olds?! Teaching primary is so fun!! And I still have the opportunity to work with the sisters in Relief Society - so it's a win, win!
In between all our craziness, I had a birthday!! As we know, I LOVE BIRTHDAYS!!!!!! Basically the greatest thing known to man. I was spoiled rotten too! The day before my birthday we were able to celebrate with some of our best friends here in VA! Alex made my favorite dinner - chicken broccoli casserole and my favorite cake - german chocolate and because he doesn't like german chocolate cake, he also made the most delicious mint ice cream dessert! Yum, yum!! Everyone came and we just talked, ate, and enjoyed each others company! I've said it a million times, but I am so grateful for the friends we have made here in VA, I honestly don't know what we would do without them!!
Then Monday was my birthday! I woke up to the cutest man ever singing me Happy Birthday while holding a breakfast tray <3, I love breakfast in bed! Then I got ready and went to work where my coworkers made me cupcakes and gave me a really sweet card! I even wore a birthday pin that I got from my friend Rachel that said "It's My Birthday! (I deserve attention!!)" Ha! It was so great!! I got off work that day at 3 and got Alex from school. We got home and he had planned some "minute to win it" games. Have you ever played those before?? Ha! They are super fun!! My favorite one by far was when we had to put an oreo on our forehead and get it into our mouth without using our hands! Hahahaha. Oh my word, it was hilarious! By then end we had SO many crumbs in our eyes! Ha! After playing those games for a good 2 1/2 hours, we got ready to head out to dinner! We went to the Olive Garden (of course!) and ate a delicious meal! We came back home and opened presents!! I was spoiled rotten by Alex, my Mom, Dad & MIL! I felt so special! Even with all my family in Utah they made it extra special! I love being able to talk to so many people on my birthday and loved all the calls and texts I got throughout the day! I am such a lucky lady!!
As for Baby J, he is great! I am 39 weeks today - I can't believe my due date is in ONE WEEK! NEXT SATURDAY!! Ah, so crazy!!!! We are very anxious for our little guy to get here! Although I'm feelin' like he will never come!! I am still feeling great, I honestly have been so blessed to feel so good this whole pregnancy! I just barley stopped sleeping through the night about a week and a half ago - which is pretty miraculous, so I'm grateful!! I have also completely lost my ankles and I think if you just saw my feet you would think I weighed 300 pounds! Ha. Honestly though!!! Baby is still REALLY high up in my ribs, which is getting a little frustrating....I am having a really hard time breathing lately (well for the past while actually!) so I can't wait to have some relief! Every morning I wake up I honestly feel like I just got in a boxing match the night before hand and broke all my ribs! Ha. Seriously though, it eases up throughout the day, but I don't think I will miss that feeling!
We have also had multiple doctors tell us how big Baby J is and that he either seems really long, or always happens to be stretched out when they check me! Either way, I can't wait to see him! I can't wait to see how much he weighs, what he looks like, if he has a full head of hair, who's eyes he'll have, etc! We can't wait to kiss his cheeks and snuggle him close! We have been really busy getting everything ready for him - I think we have definitely hit the nesting stage for the past few weeks for sure!! We have deep cleaned and organized our whole house - and I mean our WHOLE house! We have washed all the clothes and organized them by months, made decorations for his room, installed the car seat, packed a hospital bag, and just about everything in between that you can think of! We are definitely ready whenever he is and are getting more and more antsy!!! I feel so blessed to be able to be pregnant and to bring our first child into the world. Alex has been the most amazing, supportive husband through everything and takes such good care of me. Everything about pregnancy is just amazing and I love that we are able to have our own little mix of me and Alex. We love you Baby J and can't wait to meet you!!!
Besides that life has been pretty great! Alex started another clinical about 3 weeks ago and has been loving it! He really likes his Clinical Instructor and has learned a lot. The only bummer is that his schedule really stinks, but what can you do! I'm grateful that he's able to be in PT school and for his future career! I know that he will be a GREAT Physical Therapist!! We have also been squeezing in some date nights before the little guy comes! We went bowling a couple weekends ago and went and saw Cinderella this past week (so amazing by the way!). We are planning on decorating Easter eggs at some point here soon and then just wait for baby!!
Just think, next time I write a post, we will have a little baby boy! <3