AZ Thanksgiving Trip

Ben & I had a fun quick trip back to AZ to see friends & family! Last time we were in AZ for Thanksgiving was 2008!  Thanksgiving Day was with Teyanna’s mom’s family – 44 of us total! (Teyanna’s Grandma Memmott, 5 out of her 8 kids, 21/33 grandkids (Teyanna’s the oldest), and 5/5 great-grandkids!).

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Chelsey also hosted a baby shower at her new house (see pics here).




And we got to see Teyanna’s oldest 2 stepbrothers at her niece’s baptism.



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And of course some pics of Chelsey’s dogs :) (Her 3 plus she’s dog sitting the dark lab in a harness!)

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Baby Showers


Thanks to Erin & Kristine to hosting a fun surprise baby shower a couple weeks ago! Teyanna’s economic PhD cohort has a dinner club each month and everyone (including Ben… I was wondering why he was okay getting there before me lol) knew this one was a surprise shower except me :)! #BestCohortEver!

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And then Teyanna’s sister threw a fun shower at her new house while we were in AZ with the Memmott ladies and a couple of Teyanna’s HS friends! (And Ben got to shoot clay pigeons for the first time with Tey’s uncles during that :).




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Sorry I didn’t get many pics with people at either, but thanks for all the words of wisdom, fun, & gifts!

A New Adventure

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It’s been a fun 8+ years with just Ben & me (& Lena this last year!). People say we should sleep while we can. But when I think of the last 8 years, we’ve had lots nights with little sleep (especially Ben) and lots of adventures. Starting as poor students in MD where Ben did his PhD and I finished my bachelors – we bought a fixer upper and spent a crazy summer making the basement into a little apartment for us to live so we could rent out the main floor – quite a few nights up til midnight doing drywall (Ben’s mom doesn’t quit! he must get that from her) and then lots of late nights for Ben working on his 1st year paper that he didn’t get to work on all summer and lots of late nights for him the rest of his PhD. And now in TN, where Ben has a great job (but still lots of late nights :-/ ) and I’m working on a PhD so a few for me too. We bought our second house last year – not so much stress of fixing stuff but Ben has had lots of fun setting his workshop up. And we’ve also had some less stressful adventures – traveling in the US for finance/econ conferences or to see family and a few fun trips abroad! And a few camping & hiking trips here and there. But we’ve had lots of fun being home a bit more this last year with Lena and I’m sure this little one will bring us lots more adventures even if it means less sleeping in on weekends :-/.

Ben & Tey trips: Bahamas, England, France, Italy, Greece, Mexico, Finland, Iceland, US: AZ, UT, WY,  IL, OH, SD, FL, NM, NV, CA, NY, NC, Puerto Rico, TN, LA, MA, MD, VA

Just Teyanna: Italy, Turkey, AZ, MD

Just Ben… all for work: Canada, Austria, Germany, PA, WA, SC, GA, NY, IL, MO, MA, CA, DC

We’ve had lots of fun travels! But I think we have gotten a bit of our travel bug out for now (especially Ben who’s tired of work travel (at least 15 trips in 2017!)… maybe this will be an excuse to stay home more next year). But we still will have a guest room and Nashville is pretty cool so come visit us!

Summer 2017

Teyanna finished finals and Ben finished grading finals the first week of May and then Teyanna’s mom & stepdad visited for a week. We saw the Hermitage – Pres. Andrew Jackson’s plantation for the first time and showed them lots of other fun stuff in Nashville :). After 2 years of Teyanna’s PhD you can get a masters, and since her parents were here that week she decided to walk with one of her classmates.

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After everyone finished all their tests in Teyanna’s cohort, they had a Murder Mystery dinner which was lots of fun :). Sadly Ben’s flight was very late and he missed it :(… we’ll have to do it again so he can use his costume.


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Then a couple hrs after the murder mystery, Teyanna’s sister, Chelsey, flew in from AZ and hung out for a couple days. Then Teyanna & Chelsey & Lena drove out to MD to see their dad & the Schollian family. And Ben flew out to DC for work and got to see the Schollians & Munyans each for a day and drove home with Tey & Lena after Chelsey flew home. It was great to catch up with family and friends! Lena thought my Grandmom&Grandpop’s was paradise and she loved fetching sticks in the water… altho she still couldn’t be convinced to swim.

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And just a couple days after that, we took a trip to Finland and then Iceland for 4 nights each and then one night in Boston on the way home. It was lots of fun altho, I think we are both worn out (and Ben was a little stressed not being able to work much) and we just want to stay home for a long long time lol.

Ben had fun showing me around Finland (he lived there in 2005-06). It was very green & pretty and even warm enough, I wished I brought a short sleeve shirt lol (about high of 65). We had fun eating Finnish pastries & Finnish soup and found some good Indian food. Helsinki Day – the 100 year celebration was while we were there, although it poured that day – we were prepared with rain coats etc but put a little damper on the turnout.

Iceland … was a little barren at first but we eventually found some pretty cool stuff. It was a bit cold (high of 55 & windy) and very expensive (our waiter said he was flying to Europe to get a laptop and even with the flight it was cheaper than getting one in Iceland :-/) … and our apartment water tasted and smelled like eggs (sulfur) lol. It was very pretty in some places but I think Yellowstone wins lol. But the last day in Iceland was their Independence Day and we got free icecream on the plane at least ;-).

Both Finland & Iceland were only dark from about midnight to 3 am which was interesting! Pretty crazy walking around at 11pm and having it feel like 5pm! Some pics are here.

Boston was a quick trip, but we had fun seeing one of Ben’s siblings and his friend from high school.


After a couple weeks home and a fun birthday at home with Ben, Teyanna went to AZ. She had fun going to a Memmott reunion near Show Low, AZ. They celebrated her grandma’s 80th birthday – 6 out of 8 of Grandma’s kids came, 25 out of 33 of us grandkids, and all 5 great grandkids!

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And Teyanna had lots of fun swimming at her moms, some sort of water yoga with Chelsey, and doing a little hike with her mom & Chelsey (& pups :) and seeing all the fam! (Sorry I didn’t see any friends this trip… was a little lazy with planning.)



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Finally, the last weekend of July, my friend Becky visited from DC for 2 nights! We went straight from the airport to see some bluegrass music at Station Inn. Then Saturday we went to see the Hermitage StationInn_BlueGrassPresident Andrew Jackson’s plantation, took Lena on a little hike to Radnar Lake, and then we went to Monell’s to dinner with Ben – SO much food! You are supposed to sit with about 10-15 people and share all the food in the pic (mashed potatoes, cornbread, biscuits, corn pudding, banana pudding, macaroni, cole slaw, beans, fish, chicken, port, meatloaf, etc etc) but we ended up with our own table somehow!


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… And if you made it through all of that! Nice job! lol It was a fun May, June, & July!

Happy Birthday Lena!

BirthdayGirl_PuppyGraduationLena turned one today! She is super cute and brings us lots of smiles! I think we lucked out with a pretty calm pup but she still goes to doggie daycare 1 day a week to get some energy out :). We just finished our second Petsmart training class (6 weeks each). Mostly just need to work on loose-leash walking (especially when she sees other people/dogs/squirrels lol).






She loves food, people (especially small people – aka kids), dogs, sticks, tug-of-war, bones, doggy day care, walks, chasing daddy, food, and… did I mention sticks & food? lol



Happy Birthday Lena! 1 Year vs 2 months:

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And lots of throw backs from this last year:


6 months vs 2 months

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Winter/Spring 2016




Well January, February, and the first part of March were unusually warm – up in the 70s lots of days! So we went on our first camping trip with Lena which was fun :). Just one night, tin foil dinners, s’mores, a yummy breakfast and a hike.



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Then in mid-March Lena finally got her first snow and she loved it :).


During Spring Break, my cousin Afton and her 2 cute kids visited (almost 2 & almost 5). Lena LOVES little kids, almost a bit much for the kids at first, but by the last couple days the kids were dragging her all over the house to play :) and Lena was even asking for a kid free break/nap lol.

AftonsVisitWe had fun going to the zoo (got to pet kangaroos!), park, Parthenon, driving the “walking tour” so the kids could sleep lol, and walking down Broadway. We also had some yummy BBQ food and went to the Grand Ole Opry.