House, hospital, and hired

It has been more than 18 months since we posted a new update here. In the meantime there have been too many changes to list but some of the most influential positive events are moving to College Park

to live in a sorority house, Aaron starting a new job at The Washington Center, finding out we were going to be having our first child, the many events in celebration and preparation for having our first child, rushing to the hospital at 2 AM on July 23rd, 2016 because Molly was ready to arrive. Through all of this we’ve gotten to know each other better and continue to develop our relationship as a married couple and now as parents.

We’re over joyed by Molly and getting to see her grow day by day and learn how to be the best parents we can be as we go. Her little giggles and smiles bring us so much delight that it’s hard to describe.

Our New House!

After Molly’s arrival, we knew that we wouldn’t be able to continue to live with the women of Phi Sigma Sigma beyond Molly’s first birthday so we started searching for houses. We looked throughout Hyattsville, Riverdale, College Park, and Berwyn Heights searching for a nice blend of contemporary finishes and character.

The first house we visited was built in Hyattsville in about 1903 and the pictures online were amazing. The hard wood floors looked great and the kitchen looked beautifully finished. And then we toured the house and discovered so many things that the pictures could hide. Like sloping floors and poorly installed windows and an aging roof. When we were finished we were basically running away from that house. We carried on and tried to find a compromise of styles through the Victorians and Craftsmen and Cape Cods and Ramblers that are prevalent in Maryland’s Prince George’s County.

We were constantly scouring Redfin for open houses and new listings in our desired neighborhoods. We found several that could work but just felt like we weren’t getting enough of what we really wanted. We finally saw a listing come open in College Park that we both liked and asked for a tour of the property hours after the listing went live. During the tour we were impressed by the details in the home, the outdoor space, the finished basement, how bright the house was, and the quiet neighborhood. We immediately knew it was a contender and that the house checked off most of the boxes for both of us. We talked about the house throughout the week and daydreamed about decorating, the purposes of the different rooms, and how we could set it up for our family.

We knew we had to pursue this house. We went to the open house just to walk through the house one last time and get an idea of how competitive the listing was so we could plan our offer. We spoke to our real estate agent, Patrick Thelwell, about the offer process and what we needed to do to be competitive since there were going to be multiple offers. We wrote a letter to the sellers, made sure our mortgage broker, Rob Mercer from First Home Mortgage, to make sure we were all set for the offer, and then held our breath for a day. Then Patrick called us back the next day to tell us we got the house!

One of the programs that really helped us get the house is the College Park City-University Partnership Homeownership program. We were even interviewed about our experience working with the program! We highly recommend it for anyone who meets the qualifications and wants to buy a house in College Park, MD.

Aaron has started removing the tile floor in the basement.

After hearing our offer was accepted, we continued day dreaming about what would make the house our home and finally closed on December 5th. And now we’re in the process of buying furniture and DIY home projects. Including replacing the tile floor in the basement with a new wood-look tile to help the basement look a little warmer and coordinate with the hardwood floors in the rest of the house. We’re looking forward to the process of making the house our home because we’ve been living on campus in some form or another for a long time! We will keep this space up to date with some of our projects as we complete them.


On December 6th 2016, just a day after closing on our house, we had to take Molly into the hospital for Respiratory Syncytial Virus which caused bronchiolitis and partial respiratory failure. After a few different interventions the doctors had to intubate Molly in order to support her lungs through the illness. She was intubated for about 8 days and then the tube was removed for about 48 hours. But Molly wasn’t ready yet and had to be reintubated. She then continued her recovery slowly and was off all breathing support by the end of December. All in all we spent 29 days in the hospital at Children’s National Hospital and are very thankful that Molly is home now due to the excellent care Molly received from the nurses and doctors and technicians. We’re also so appreciative of the family and friends who came to visit us and support us through the stressful and long process of making sure Molly gets 100% better.


While in the hospital Aaron found out he was being offered a new job at the University of Maryland working as the Coordinator for Student Leadership Development in Resident Life. He will be working with the UMD Residence Hall Association, the Jim Henson chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary, coordinating the class for Resident Assistants, and pursuing new opportunities for residential student leadership development. He’s very excited to be back on a college campus and working with the kinds of student leadership groups that helped him grow so much while he was in college. He’s also sad to be leaving behind great colleagues at The Washington Center which was a great professional home for him for a little over a year.


2 Months away

LnA_0193Can you believe the big day is almost 2 months away! It seems like yesterday we were still living in separate states and sending gifts to each other every Wednesday!

We are very excited and busy with all the planning – we just want to check in to see if we can help answer any questions our guests may have. RSVPs are due January 28th!! Please check out our Frequently Asked Questions section on our website ( and feel free to submit a questions if have one. Also feel free to call and text! We want to make sure you are well informed and enjoy yourselves at the wedding!


Do you want to bring your kids to the wedding?


We are looking into hiring a babysitter starting at 8pm the night of the wedding. We would invite one of our college student leaders to attend the wedding then leave at 8ish with any children. They will go back to the hotel to watch movies and put the kids to bed so you can enjoy yourself a little longer at the wedding! We would only ask students that we would trust with our own (future) children so your little ones will be in excellent hands. Just let us know if you are interested in this.

Fill out this form if you are interested:


We have made arrangements where our guests can stay. You have 2 choices. If you would like to stay near the wedding ceremony site go with Courtyard by Marriott-York. It is only 11.2 miles (16 minute drive). If you would like to be closer to Lancaster hot-spots like the outlets and some nicer restaurants then we would suggest the Eden Resort & Suites.  This hotel is 16 miles (21 minutes driving).

**Fun Fact Laura had her Prom at this hotel and her Aunt Tina and Uncle Dave had their wedding at the Eden Resort over 30 years ago**

We also did some quick searches on or and there are some houses to rent. They highlight the Pennsylvania Dutch attractions!

The last day to make reservations with these rates are February 20th.


Courtyard By Marriott – York 

2799 Concord Rd.
York, PA 17402
P: 717-840-7840
F: 717-840-7841         


Room Types Rates (20 rooms reserved-we can get more if needed)

Queen & Queen $129.00

King w/ pullout $129.00

King Suite (1) B&G $129.00

Room Tax: 9.00%

Method Of Reservation: Individual Call In – Say Laura McGrath or Aaron Hood Wedding



They light a fire pit every evening

They have pool and fitness center

Free Wifi

Starbucks and Evening bar in the lobby

Closer to Baltimore, MD, Southern States, BWI

Downside – No complimentary breakfast


Eden Resort & Suites


222 Eden Road

Lancaster, PA 17601-4216

P: 866-801-6430


Room Types Rates (10 rooms-We can get more if needed)

Queen & Queen $119.95

King w/ pullout $119.95

Room Tax: 9.00%

Method Of Reservation: Individual Call In – Say Laura McGrath or Aaron Hood Wedding



Close to the Lancaster outlets and Lancaster Mall – Park Cite

They have pool and fitness center

Delicious Breakfast $$

Closer to Philadelphia, NY, Northern States, PHL Airport

Downside – No complimentary breakfast


The Eden Resort also has some nice suites and cottages with kitchens.  I was not able to reserve them but they are still available.




*All hotels are handicap accessible, please specify if you need one

*These hotels might add additional fees for more than 2 people per room. Please ask the hotel if that is a concern.

*If you are having trouble please let us know.

That one day we Registered…

This was at the end of the day and we are happy to say that those smiles were genuine
This was at the end of the day and we are happy to say that those smiles were genuine

According to every wedding book, Aaron and I were supposed to register the first weekend we got engaged so people could buy us engagement gifts. Oh well! And really…People attending the wedding should be enough. We don’t need gifts, especially $30 towels from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. But alas, I know that if we didn’t register, we would be getting funky punch bowls like the colorful one from Friends from Chandler’s Aunt.




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I tried out all the utensils!

So we decided to register at Crate and Barrel. They also open up the store to only couples registering once a month (Thank you Lisa Hegwood for that insider information). So on a windy Fall Sunday morning, Aaron and I woke up early and got some Starbucks then went to the Crate and Barrel in Clarendon to pick our “future household needs”. We started with plates. I’ll be honest, that’s all I wanted. Nice plates, silverware, and a fun apron. We probably looked at plates and napkins for longer than we needed to. Once we decided on a pattern, we found the section for everyday plates and had to start all over. We also many staff members talking to us about the importance of glassware for entertaining purposes and how weddings are the start of us as a couple entertaining for other events like Thanksgiving or Christmas. The first thought in my head, how can I entertain in a residence hall?!!? #liveinproblems But obviously we like to entertain so I can’t wait to get into a new place and start inviting friends over for themed nights and game nights. But I guess we should get through the wedding first.



We then met up with my cousin Maggie. Maggie and I had plans to go to DSW and try to pick out shoes for the wedding party. We were not finished with registering so she came with us.


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This was the moment I said – let’s blog about this experience! Aaron was thrilled!

We ventured over to Pentagon City to the Bed, Bath, and Beyond. This is where we met a very happy Kory-the bridal consultant at BBB. He helped us with the scanning gun and would periodically pop into the isle we were discussing which shower curtain would match which rug. It was kinda creepy but I understand some couples need help. Bed, Bath, and Beyond had too many choices. The sheets section and over priced pillow section was just too much for me so we left. We ventured over to DSW. Now that is a place that Aaron and I could both register at. I could finally get the Michael Kors boots or Aaron could use some nice running shoes.


After DSW, we ate some Mexican at Lime. That’s when we were able to ask about what’s new with Maggie… Nothing really if you were all wondering. She’s running the Marine Corps Marathon next week! That’s about it.


Finally we left the DC area and went to Target closer to Fairfax. That’s where we finished our registry outing. Towels, sheets, and a vacuum. The important stuff in life can always be purchased at Target. We even threw some fun electronics and Peanut Butter on there for good measure. I wanted to register for cute Thank you Cards but Aaron thought it was rude for other people to buy cards that they would receive later on in life. I guess he’s right…


So after leaving for registry day of fun at 8:45am, we got back to campus and into our apartment at 4:25pm. I felt like we shopped forever and only came home with lettuce, bobby pins, and tongs. Seems like unproductive but it was actually a pretty fun day. So finally you can view our registry on CrateandBarrel and Target but like always – gift cards, Longaberger Baskets or fun monogrammed gifts are always welcome. Just don’t tell Aaron!

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Chalk Nametags! So cute!
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If anyone wants to buy this chair for Aaron, he sat in it for a long time.
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All throw blankets were VETOED — Insert Sad Face!

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I loved this COUCH!



We’re updating the website with some new information and some engagement photos! We’re working on finalizing venues and vendors so we can put together the wedding we envision to have the most fun. Hotel block information, wedding events, locations will all be posted soon.

We’re working on it

Like many things in our wedding plans this website is a work in progress and will see many updates in the coming weeks. The first things to get updated are the colors and accents. We’re almost there but I’m still finding elements in the old color scheme.

We’re also finalizing our save the dates to send out soon!