Friday, November 26, 2010

Welcome Bobby...

On Saturday, November 6th, at 7:34 pm, Robert "Bobby" Scott Thornock Jr. was born into the world. He weighed 6 lbs 5 oz, and was 19 inches long. We were blessed with amazing hospital staff and for a wonderful mother-in-law! Carol came out on Thursday, and we are so lucky to have her out helping us.

Baby Bobby is home, and both baby and mother are doing well. We could not be happier. Bobby is such a great joy in our lives. He feel so blessed to have such a beautiful boy join our growing family!


After our trip to Turkey, Egypt, and Israel, we flew to Colorado to spend some time with Rob's brothers Jeff and Brian and their families. We then flew to Hawaii and spent some time with Emily's parents Bob & Carol. Lastly, we spent a week in Arizona with Rob's parents and the rest of the family.

In May, we moved to Philadelphia, where Rob started Wharton and Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. As part of the program, Rob went to Moscow Russia for June and July as part of his Master's degree in International Relations. Emily spent the time in California and Arizona with our families. While in Russia, I studied Russian culture, language, politics, and history. I made side trips to St. Petersburg and returned to Kiev Ukraine. It was great seeing a lot of my mission friends and families!

In August, Emily and I reunited back in Philly, and I began Wharton. I love being back at school and have made some great friends and am enjoying the interesting classes.

Italy, Niagara Falls, Boy Scouts, Palmyra, NYC, Boston, Chicago, Cape Cod


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Israel & Egypt Update

Yalla Yalla Habibi!!!

We are doing great and absolutely loving it – so you really don’t need to read further if you don’t want to. Here is a quick little summary. We will add pictures soon - but you can checkout facebook with them.


Day 1 – Istanbul – Flew in, and we saw the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Underground Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Spice Market, Istanbul University. Istanbul is a really amazing place. We loved it. Really a cool area.

Day 2 – Istanbul – New District & Istikal Street, Topkapi Palace, Whirling Dervish Show, Islamic Museum.

Day 3 – Cairo- We wandered around the city and got acquainted with everything, me jumping into the all-women’s car on the metro, Cairo Tower overlooking the city, Coptic Christian museum/synagogue/hanging gardens church. Also ate at a restaurant named “Gad,” more on that later…

Day 4—Cairo-- I was completely sick from food poisoning and couldn’t eat all day – but we hit the Cairo Museum/Pyramids. We went inside the Great Pyramid – it was hot/stuffy – but amazing. We did a Camel ride – so cool “Watch out, they spit.” We then took an overnight train to Aswan.

Day 5 – Aswan – Saw the Dam, Lake Nasser, unfinished obelisk, checked into our Nile River Cruise-liner (we got the top deck corner suite – it pays to be married), and then went on a felucca ride on the Nile. The water is so clear and beautiful, and it was nice just relaxing on the boat. We checked out the botanical gardens and climbed a desert mountain/sand dune.

Day 6 – Aswan – we woke up at 2:30 am – flew to Abu Simbel (border to Sudan) and saw the most amazing monument at Sunrise. Absolutely stunning. Flew back, took a nap and started our Nile river cruise. The boat was really amazing.

Day 7 – Nile Cruise – We visited the Crocodile Monument and Edfu Temple – both really cool. We had an Egyptian party that night with Belly dancing, normal dancing, and a just a huge party/booze cruise. I taught the group how to dance the Banghara (from India) and that was pretty hilarious.

Day 8 – Luxor – we arrived in Luxor, saw Valley of the Kings (our favorite tomb was of Ramses 6), Luxor Temple at night, Karnack Temple, and Papyrus painting shop. Luxor was absolutely unreal and incredible. We LOVED it here!!! Overnight train to Cairo (the driver was terrible and we didn’t sleep very well, but we were able to fit 28 people into one of the small sleeper cars – a new record).
Here is the new stuff since we emailed last:

Day 9 – Citadel/Muslim Mosque, Cairo overlook, shopping at a bazaar, and Step Pyramid/Saqqara (5,00 years old—the step pyramid predates the “normal” pyramids by 1,000 years!). This night we did a sound/light show at the pyramids at sunset – maybe my favorite part of Egypt. Seeing the pyramids/sphinx at sunset was unreal.

Day 10 – We randomly decided to take a train to Alexandria by ourselves (everything else had been with a tour). We saw the catacombs (super Indiana Jones style), Library, walked along the Mediterranean, and saw some Roman excavations/ruins. Overall – nice/chill city off the Sea, but not a ton to do. The library was really nice.

Day 11 – Fly to Tel Aviv. Today was relaxing with us swimming in the Mediterranean, walking along the beach, shopping for some things, and just checking out the city. Much different than we were expecting – very commercialized and metropolitan.

Day 12 – Drive south (skipping Ashdod/Ashkelon – since the rockets from Giza have been hitting the city and our guide did not want to endanger us). We saw Bar Sheeva (boring place), then drove over and saw Masada – the fortress built by Herod and the place where the zealot Jews committed suicide after losing to the Romans. We then swam in the dead sea!! Probably our highlight – you really just float. It is absolutely amazing. The dead sea was sooooo cool and we loved it. We want to go back – it was just so fun!

Day 13 – Jerusalem – We saw the new city, Ein Garen where John the Baptist was born, Holocaust Museum (Yad Vashem), Israel Museum with the huge model of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. We then left Israel and entered the West Bank – we went to Bethlehem and saw where Jesus was born and the church there. It was really cool seeing the cave (where the Inn was and the manger). Lots of Palestinians with big machine guns – but we were fine. Our hotel is a 7 min walk to the old city – right by the Damascus Gate. It is a great location, and after touring each day we just wander the streets of Jerusalem. Pretty fun/cool. Our hotel overlooks the Mt of Olives/Mt Scopus – and we have an awesome view of BYU Jerusalem. It is fun, because Em will wear her BYU sweatshirt, and people always come over and talk to us. They love BYU students.

Day 14 – Jerusalem – today we spent in the old city. We started at the Mt of Olives overlooking the city. Then we went down to the Garden of Gethsemane. We then walked through the city – the Via Delorosa – the walk that Jesus did on the way to the cross. We stopped off at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher – built over Golgotha and the tomb. We then walked over to the temple mount, visited the Dome of the Rock and the Al Asqa Mosque there (3rd holiest place for Muslims). We saw the wailing wall, visited the Garden Tomb, Jewish Quarter, then over to King David’s tomb, and lastly the house where Jesus/his disciples had the last supper. Today was my FAVORITE DAY! It was really amazing. There were so many cool and incredible things to see. Tonight we did a night tour of Jerusalem – incredible!! The city is completely different at night and it was cool to see everything lit up. My absolute favorite was seeing the Western Wailing Wall at night. It was a Jewish holiday, so it was full of the ultra-conservative Jews praying and worshipping – really an impressive sight.

Day 15 – Jordan Valley/Nazareth – We left Jerusalem and drove through the West Bank – up through the Jordan Valley. We saw Jericho, the place where John the Baptist preached, Jordan River, etc. We saw Bet She’an, very similar feel to Pompeii, with old Roman ruins. This is the Canaanite city that defeated King Saul and his sons and hung them on the city walls. We drove to Nazareth and saw where Jesus grew up. The Jordan River Valley is so green and beautiful, compared to Jerusalem and down south. We saw the Sea of Galilee, and stopped at Safed – the Jewish city known for the Zohar/study of the Cabala. Beautiful views. I think Em and I were really surprised about how peaceful/green/beautiful it is up here.

Tomorrow we are going to swim in the Sea of Galilee, visit Golan Heights, and then drive Saturday drive back to Tel Aviv/Joffa, Haifa/Akko, then Sunday we fly home. It has been a great trip.

So as you can tell, we are having the times of our lives. We are both healthy and happy, and feeling great. We are having so much fun, and really enjoying ourselves. Can’t wait to see you guys, and can’t believe time is going by so fast.

Highlights: Garden Tomb, Garden of Gethsemane, Mt. of Olives, Pyramids at Sunset, Camel Ride, Luxor and Valley of Kings/Karnack Temple, Nile River Cruise, Felucca Ride, Turkey Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, Sea of Galilee/Jordan River Valley, Wailing Wall at night.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good-bye New York

It has been an amazing 27 months in New York. We have loved every minute of being in NYC and have had so many fun experiences. We are now packing up our apartment and getting ready to move out.

We have a busy time ahead of us - but we are excited for each adventure.

Wed, Mar 24 - This is Emily's last day at Edelman Public Relations. She is sad to be leaving a great company and all of her friends there.
Fri, Mar 26 - Rob's last day at Goldman Sachs. He has really enjoyed his job, co-workers, and anxiously looks forward to Wharton/UPenn.
Mon, Mar 29 - we are packing up our apartment into a U-haul.
Tues, Mar 30 - Driving down to Philly to put our stuff in a storage unit until August
Wed, Mar 31 - We are flying to Istanbul, Turkey.
Sat, April 3 - We fly from Istanbul to Egypt and begin an 8-day Egypt tour & Nile River Cruise
Sat, April 10 - We fly from Egypt to Israel and being an 8-day Israel tour to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee, Capernum, and Tel Aviv.
Sun, April 18 - we fly back to the US to Denver, to spend some time with my 2 brothers and their families.
Thur, April 22 - we fly from Denver to AZ - to spend some time with my family
Mon, April 26 - we fly to Maui, Hawaii to meet Emily's parents and stay with them in their time share (thanks B&C).
Wed, May 5 - we fly from Hawaii back to AZ to spend a few more days with family.
Sun, May 9 - we fly to Philadelphia to start UPenn on Monday, May 10.
Fri, June 4 - Fly to Moscow, Russia for 2 months as part of my International Studies program at UPenn.

We promise to blog some pictures of stories, but not sure when that will be!

Mike, Susie, and Ashlyn

My sister Susie, her husband Mike, and their 13-year old daughter Ashlyn came out to visit NYC. Although the weather was a little less than ideal, we didn't let it rain on our parade.

We had so much fun with them visiting. I dont know if we laughed so hard at the Met Museum, eating at Lombardi's, relaxing at Room Service, enjoying the performance at Stardust Diner, or trying to battle the tornado/wind from the subway to our apartment.

We had an absolute blast, and hope that they come and visit us in Philly! It is only a 2 hour bus ride from NYC - and Philly has a Chinatown! Giddy-up!

St Patrick's Day - Riverdance

Since we dont drink - what is the next bext thing to do on St. Patrick's Day? That's right, head off to Radio City Music Hall and watch a little Riverdance to really get into the Irish mood.

The show was absolutely amazing!!! We really loved it. I guess all those years on the BYU folk dance team paid off - Emily kept having to restrain me from running out on stage and joining them. We absolutely loved the show and had a great time. Happy St. Patty's Day!

And did you know that pinching people for not wearing green on St. Pat's is completely foreign to New Yorkers & East Coasters? I was yapping about it all day at work, and no one had ever heard of it. I still did it anyway though!

Cub Scout Pinewood Derby

This past Saturday our ward & Scouts had our first Pinewood Derby. We only have 2 Cub Scouts, and since our Boy Scouts never had the opportunity to do one when they were younger, we invited them. But to add to the fun - we invited the entire ward. Overall we had 18 cars submitted - and it was an awesome time.

Ironically, the only Cub Scout racing actually won the whole thing. 2 of the other boy scouts ended in the top 4. It was a great event.

I think mine came in at a miserable 14th place - but it was more about the experience. My car design was actually an MTA bus! I must have carved a local bus instead of an express - my bad! Check out some of the pictures below:

Bob & Carol Visiting

Bob & Carol came to visit NYC one last time. We had a great time and are so glad they were able to come out on such short notice. Some of the highlights of their stay:

* Eating at Junior's
* Eating at Lombardi's
* Eating at Stage Deli
* Statue of Liberty - although we have done this before, Emily and I were able to climb all the way to the crown for thhe first time together. The weather was amazing and it was awesome.
* Billy Eliot - we really enjoyed this musical. The music was amazing, dancing was great and the play was really well done.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


LION KING! Talk about an amazing production! The costumes and acting were incredible. We have never seen anything like it - absolutely stunning!! And of course - after wards, we had to stop by Junior's for some amazing Cheesecake! Yummmm!

In the Heights

This was a great show - about Morningside Heights in upper Manhattan. It was an inspirational story about the American Dream and how difficult life can be in the inner city for immigrants. I think the main take-away message is the unity and friendships that forged in a poor Manhattan neighborhood. I enjoyed it much more than Em did, but probably because I lived there 4 years ago.

So - Republicans beware. Do not attend this show! It will show the true hardships of inner-city life and will reveal true needs by Americans and uncover the many errors in our current economic system. The trickle-down economic theory and pro-big business mentality should not be mingled with this feel-good story of the American Dream. You have been warned.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jersey Boys

So, in an effort to maximize our last 2 months in NYC - we have decided to buy tickets to the broadway shows we want to see, and hit the museums/other events one last time. Well, it started on Tuesday night, when we went to see Jersey Boys, about Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons. The show was amazing! We really had a great time, and loved hearing all of their hits!

Happy New Year ... & Happy Birthday

Happy New Year!! My favorite part about the New Year is that you can start new/fresh. You can set goals and strive for new heights. I have an extremely strong testimony/belief in setting goals.

We went out to dinner, then off to our friend's apartment for a little house party. It was slightly less intense than the year prior when we partied at Emily's work and then brought in the New Year actually in Times Square, but still a great way to bring in 2010.

On Jan 10, I turned 27 years old. It is interesting, 27 sounds old, but I still feel like a 17 year old. I guess the other side of the coin, 27 still sounds pretty young. ;)

It was a great birthday - I had a scouting meeting, ran some errands, and went shopping with Em. The 2 great gifts I received - 1) 2 new suitcases and 2) memory foam mattress topper for our bed. As it turns out, memory foam is incredible - you just sink into it. And I dont think I have ever slept better. Thanks babe - I love you.