Well this week I wasn’t at home a ton so I don’t have a lot to write. I spent the week up recruiting at BYU and kept plenty busy up there. I did the career fair, lots of interviewing and several events with candidates. It was a pretty good trip. It was fun to see family while I was up there.
While I was gone, Sarah held down the fort with the kids and was generally awesome. They had music class on Friday and went to the park after class. Eliza loves the park and James still isn’t sure what to think of it.
Saturday morning, Sarah had her normal missionary coordination meeting and then took the kids over to the church for an Eagle Court of Honor for one of our friends. I was really proud of her for going to support them even when I wasn’t there. Eliza was super reverent during the ceremony and we’re so proud of the good girl that she is.
After getting back from our Thanksgiving travel last week, this week I was off again traveling for work. I went to Florida to attend the annual CHREC conference that I’ve been going to for years. At work I’m responsible for managing the research relationship that we have with the lab at BYU that I worked in when I was in graduate school. I have calls with them fairly regularly and I attend meetings in June and in December to see them report on their work and to give some formal direction to what they research in the coming year. This December conference was held at Kennedy Space Center. I was the only person from NI that attended. I had a great time. The conference was actually at the center and we had to get badges and everything to get on site. The room we had the meeting in wasn’t much to look at but it was cool to be there. We had our conference dinner at the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit. I was like a little kid in a candy shop there! I spent more time looking around and taking pictures than eating. We had the whole facility to ourselves and I figured that I could eat any time but having the whole place basically to myself probably would never happen again. Being there reignited my childhood excitement for space exploration! I had a great trip.
While I was gone, Sarah had some adventurous nights with the kids. In fact it kind of started the night before I left for my trip. Eliza started waking up in the middle of the night crying and would end up sleeping in our bed. This happened a few times but she got back out of it and is sleeping in her bed again now.
Eliza had a few good prayer experiences this week. She lost her special bracelet on Thursday. Sarah helped her pray to find it and she was able to find it. She told me about it when I got home and clearly remembered what had happened. She also got to pray that I made my flight connections (which were kind of tight) and also that Benjamin would be safe during his school lockdown this week. She says the best, most simple little prayers. I love listening to her pray.
Sarah waded through mountains of laundry this week. We had a lot to do from our trip to Utah and it seemed like there was a never-ending stream this week.
After getting back very late on Thursday evening (actually Friday morning at 2:00 am) due to some crazy something that the airlines pulled, it was finally good to be home. We’ve had a pretty good time at home these few days too. Friday I just slept in and got to help the kids get up and dressed and ready for the day. I put in a few hours at work and called it good. We had a pretty normal day that day. Eliza and James went to music class with Sis. Fife and Sarah ran some errands.
Saturday we had a kind of crazy day again. After many changes, we had finally settled on going to the temple on Saturday. We also had a ward Christmas breakfast in the morning that day. We got up and ready to go pretty well and made it to the breakfast only a few minutes late. Sarah and I were helping with a silly skit of the 12 days of Christmas so we had to send Eliza and James off to sit with a family in the ward while we sang our song. Eliza had been really excited about sitting on Santa’s lap so after we finished eating we went and stood in line. She was excited about it all the way until we were next in line and we were starting to walk up to Santa and then she kind of froze up. She did end up sitting on his lap but didn’t say much and we just basically got a picture. She was cute about the whole thing though. After the breakfast, Sarah and I went straight to the temple and Eliza and James went with home with the Larsens. They stayed at their house until that evening when we got back from the temple. It was great to be able to attend again in San Antonio. We got to go to the temple while we were in Utah last month but it was good to go to our temple.
We’re excited for the Christmas season to truly be upon us now. We watched the First Presidency devotional tonight with the kids and it just brought the spirit so strongly into our home. Eliza and James helped us put up the ornaments on our Christ tree this week (well some of them at least) and Eliza has been so cute and excited about moving Mary and Joseph on our advent calendar. We hope that we can remember Christ this month and keep him as our focus.
So this has been a week of travel and celebration for our family. We traveled to Utah to spend time with the family this week for Thanksgiving and had a great trip. We left last Friday morning and drove Friday and Saturday to get to Utah. We spent the week dividing our time between our families and having a grand ol’ time! Here are some photos from our trip.
The big story of the week is that James has started almost crawling. He does a pretty awesome army crawl/belly flop and is tickled pink with himself for being able to move around so much. It’s a good thing that Eliza has as many toys as she does because he’s always into them. She’s spent most of the week trying to take her things away from James. We’re working on the sharing thing. This is the second week in a row that they’ve also talked about sharing in Nursery so hopefully she’ll start getting it sometime before she turns 16. James doesn’t much care what he has just that he can get to what is in front of him. He especially likes to try to eat the DVD player. Once this week he somehow figured out how to turn it on, open the tray, and stick the tray in his mouth. I suspect this is a sign of things to come.
We got our first real harvest of beans and tomatoes from our garden this week. We were pretty happy with our bean harvest and spent Monday night snapping them and freezing them. We’re hopeful that we’ll get several more bags before the plants die. Who knows, after they do die we may even be able to plant another crop.+
I traveled again this week. This time to Blacksburg, Virginia to attend the midyear CHREC conference. I went by myself this year because my colleague who usually comes with me got sick at the last minute. He was originally planning on picking me up at an out of the way airport and driving to the conference but because he got sick I ended up just driving myself from Lynchburg to Blacksburg (about 2 hours). It was a beautiful drive though and I got to see the gorgeous countryside of Virginia.
Sarah has been holding down the fort while I was away and while I’ve been busy at work. She is a champ and I love her.
Yes I know that we don’t have any kids in school so spring break isn’t actually any different from any other week that we have; however, we decided to “celebrate” it this year. There are some families in our ward who go camping every year on the week of spring break and we were invited to attend this year. We were the youngest family–by far. Most of the families have teenagers but we have some good friends in the group and we had a good time.
We had kind of a crazy day on Monday as we were getting ready to go on the campout. As you know, we’ve been looking at cars for a few months now. We’ve had our eye on a Honda Pilot for a while but have been waiting for a recall to finish on the airbag before we can even test drive it. We got a call from the dealership saying that the car was ready on Monday as we were trying to get everything packed and ready to go. We decided we’d run up there and just be late to the camp because we really want to get this car. Well, when we got there, the salesman had gotten the wrong car. It was the same model year and everything but had two time as many miles on it and wasn’t what we were looking for. We ended up wasting about two hours with that trip.
After getting back from the dealership, we finished getting everything together and somehow got all our camping gear and the kids and ourselves packed in the car. Yes we actually had to pack ourselves in too, that was how crowded it was. We drove the hour and a half drive out to Lake Somerville to camp. When we got there, most of our friends were already there and had already cooked dinner. It was around 6:00 at this point. Everyone was trying to pawn off their extra food on us so we didn’t even have to cook. Lots of my scouts who were there helped us unload and setup our massive 8 man tent. The tent was awesome! I’m glad we got it.
We had a blast camping! It was so nice to just be away with the family and to have time to ourselves. Every time we’ve gone on vacation in the past we’ve been running all over and haven’t had time just with our little family to sit and have fun. This was a welcome change for us. We still were chasing Eliza a lot and didn’t get to associate with the other adults there but it was a great time.
Eliza had a bit of trouble sleeping. Mostly because she was excited about being in the tent with everyone else. She kept running around and wanting to play. She sure is cute. James, of course, was out like a light all night and didn’t make any trouble.
We stayed at the camp all day on Tuesday and did breakfast, lunch, and dinner, We had originally planned on trying to stay for Monday and Tuesday nights but there was going to be a huge rainstorm on Tuesday and most everyone was leaving. I told Sarah that if it was the scouts we’d be staying but camping in the rain with two babies was not going to be too fun so we just went home after dinner on Tuesday.
Eliza absolutely loved camping. She loved being outside all the time. She picked flowers, ran all over the place, chased our friend’s dogs, played in the dirt, ate way too many donuts, and generally just had a great time. Sarah and I took her out on the canoe on Tuesday and she did pretty well. She’s been a bit afraid of water lately and I wanted to help her face her fears. Sarah held her in the front seat and I paddled. She let us go out for a few minutes and then decided she was done so we turned around and went back. I was proud of her for doing it. She also went out with me in a kayak but that didn’t last too long either.
James was a sweetheart the whole time we were out. He was just calm and loved to be carried around and doted on by all of the ladies we were with.
In other news, James rolled over once this week. He’s getting really close to having that figured out!
We have a crazy week ahead of us. Our stake is doing a musical presentation for Easter this Thursday and Friday and Sarah encouraged me to sing in the choir. I have rehearsal every night, except Monday, this week so your prayers for our sanity will be greatly appreciated!
This has been a bit week of growth for our family. Actually, this growth has been coming on for a while but we actually documented some of it this week in photo form and wanted to share it with you.
Eliza is getting better and better at feeding herself. She can use a spoon pretty well and is getting better with a fork. She can eat a whole bowl of oatmeal by herself. Her little plastic forks are really not great so we’ve been letting her use one of our little metal forks. We bought her some new training ones that are actually metal yesterday so that will make it easier. She loves to feed herself. We let her sit at the table in her booster one night and she thought that was pretty great.
On Monday we learned about the creation for FHE. Sarah and Eliza had made play dough that day and so we let her play with it and make the world while we read the story to her. She was a good listener and thought the dough was pretty great. She liked pointing to all the animals in the photos.
Today, Eliza kept on asking for “Sarah, Cello” over and over. We let her carry around Sarah’s phone and watch Aunt Sarah play for her. We’re glad that she has refined tastes in music. Apparently they tried to sing songs in nursery today and she didn’t appreciate it very much. The nursery leaders said that she was giving them funny looks. They must have been out of tune or something! 🙂
James has been super happy this week. He has a big smile and has started responding to being tickled. He loves to watch Eliza and thinks she is pretty awesome. He is a sweet, calm boy and we love him.
Sarah held down the fort while Adam was traveling to Utah. She drove ten times on her own and almost took the kids to Chick-fil-A! (She drove through the parking lot and the line was too long and the kids were too tired.) Woot!
I traveled to Utah this week to recruit at BYU. This is always an exhausting trip for me with lots of traveling, lots of talking, and not enough sleep. It was fun to see a few of the family though and I had a good time. BYU really needs to not put this career fair on Valentines week though.
Some of our friends in the ward invited us to a Chinese New Year potluck today and so we went after church and had yummy Asian food. There were several Filipino dishes and I had a great time. Eliza ate everything really well.
In September, Adam and I took a quick trip home to do some recruiting for Adam’s work at our alma mater. (I even got to go as the wife recruiter to convince all the wives that Austin is the place to be.)
The BYU Engineering Career Fair was two days long (plus one day of interviews). We flew in the weekend before so we could spend a little time with our families and friends. It was the first time we’ve seen one of Adam’s brother’s since he returned home from his mission in Finland. It was so great to see him! He left very much still a high school senior (albeit mature) and came home a man.
Our week was packed! It seemed like every free moment–wait, no, we didn’t really have any free moments. Adam and I were going, going, going. We both got sick and got barely any sleep. It almost felt like I was a college student again. (I’ve gotten so used to 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night; it’s hard to go back to 4-5 hours a night.)
Even though it was such a crazy week, I loved seeing so much family and so many friends. I didn’t feel completely coherent whenever I was with them, but it was still great to be with them all. Our families are wonderful. We got to see three of our grandparents, all of our siblings (except Sarah, who is serving a mission), and our niece and nephews, who are a blast! I also got to see various friends from my major and my dear friend, Jenny.
Some of my best friends from high school and I were able to get together for a couple of hours. These gals are amazing. The seven of us haven’t all been together since I think 2009 (and you’ll notice that there are only six of us in the picture. One of the ladies came early and had to leave before I got there because she is a nurse who works really early in the morning). It was fun to get most of us together.
Oh ya. Adam and I saw the Mitt Romney bus. Too cool.
I got to spend two lovely days at the Family History Library while I was there too! If you live close to the Family History Library (and by close I mean within 2 hour’s drive) and you have never been there, then shame on you! Set a goal NOW to go there. I’m serious–go grab your planner or calendar or ipod or post-it notes or whatever you use and pick a day right now to go there and learn something about your ancestors, okay? Your life will be enriched by the experience. There are hundreds of workers and missionaries who will gladly help you. Just go do it! (You don’t know HOW BLESSED YOU ARE to live sooooo close to the largest family history library IN THE WORLD!)
Okay, so off my rant. I did a ton of research while I was there. I’ve been working on one of my family lines in Württemberg, Germany for quite some time. Here’s an example of a record:
Oh, doesn’t it just make you so excited?! I LOVE Germanic family history research!
Anyway, it was a lovely, jam-packed trip, but I am so grateful we could go. Yay for families! Yay for friends! Yay for Adam’s great job! Yay for BYU! Yay for ancestors and the FHL!
Well folks, I realized that I haven’t posted on this blog since July. Pathetic. I haven’t been so great at writing in my journal for a while either, so within the next couple of months, I’ll (hopefully) be writing about some of the big things that happened in the past little while.
To start, my dear friend, Jenny, got married last month!
I am soooo thrilled for her. We were roommates at BYU for 2 1/2 years. We talked a lot about things that were most important to us. I remember that once we were being silly college girls and made lists of all the qualities we wanted our husbands to have (Adam has every one, and if I remember correctly, I’m pretty sure Jenny’s husband meets all of her qualifications too). 🙂 After seeing all the worrying and waiting and working she did to find that right guy to marry, I’m sooooo glad that things worked out for her!
Jenny got married in Arizona. I flew down on a Thursday, but Adam didn’t come until Saturday. (Jenny went through the temple on Thursday, and I wanted to be there for that. She got married Saturday.) My other former roommate’s family lives five minutes from my friend, and they graciously invited me to stay with them. That was a blast. Her mom reminded me so much of my old roommate in her expressions and kindness. (My former roommate wasn’t there because she is on a mission right now.)
I spent a lot of time at my friend’s house on Thursday and Friday helping them get ready for the family dinner and for the wedding itself. Jenny’s family is awesome. Every person in that family has an amazing sense of humor, intelligence, sarcasm, and wit. It was so fun hanging out with them. I was hoping that they would put me to work so I could help out with things, and they did just that. I felt like I was part of the family–whipping lots of cream, ironing Jenny’s dress, making boutonnieres (which was so fun and simple!), eating leftovers, helping choose picture frames for the wedding reception, helping her pack for a honeymoon, moving, school, and storage, etc. Jenny’s home had such a good feeling in it. I had never been there, and it was fun to see where she grew up and see how her family functioned in their habitat.
I was glad to be busy on Thursday and Friday too because I missed Adam. You know, I miss Adam anyway when we’re apart, but add to that all of this talk of weddings and love and seeing everyone with their sweethearts, and it made me really miss my Sweetheart.
Jenny’s wedding was so beautiful! She got married at 3pm, so the morning was fairly relaxed. We took pictures and then headed to Jenny’s church building to eat a quick meal so we didn’t starve until the reception started (especially the bride and groom!). Whoever set up the tables covered them with butcher paper and put jars of crayons on the tables. It was so fun. Jenny’s family is also very artsy, and they drew some hilarious sketches.
The reception was lovely! Honestly, it reminded me a little bit of Bilbo’s 111th birthday party on the LOTR movie, but much lovelier and classier and minus the drinking (although there were some delicious Italian sodas being served!).
Adam and I helped Jenny’s siblings decorate the car. It was so great. Adam was a pro after helping with all his former roommates’ cars, but it was new for me. After the happy couple left, everyone just stood in the road laughing and joking (and doing the baked potato dance). It was awesome.
The next day was wonderful. Adam’s mission president, Elder LeSeuer, lives about twenty minutes from Jenny’s family, and we were able to go to church with his wife. They had us over for dinner afterward, and Elder LeSeuer sat and talked with us for nearly two hours. He not only talked with us–he taught us, lifted our spirits, and prayed with us. I had only met him briefly once about a year-and-a-half earlier, but he treated me as though I was an old friend and spoke to me just as much as he did to Adam. I can’t really describe the perfect Christlike love I felt from him and the Spirit that radiated from him. I have only seen and felt that kind of love and Spirit from a few other people before. I didn’t want to leave. I could see how much they loved Adam and he them, and I loved them too. He is an incredible man, and his wife is incredible as well. I hope I am even a smidgeon as good as them someday.
Needless to say, this trip to Arizona was amazing.
Here’s a little breakdown of what we did during our last weekend in Utah:
Finished packing up things we needed to bring with us to Austin.
Watched the packers pack all of our things.
Ate Del Taco for lunch.
Went to Adam’s eye appointment.
Both got our hair cut by our friend, Nicole.
Went to the Manti Pageant with my family in their big blue van. Ate delicious, homemade 9-inch corn dogs.
Rode with my family back from Manti.
Picked up things from our apartment and drove to my family’s house to spend the night (since our bed was inaccessible).
Got up early and drove back to our apartment.
Adam got our car checked out and new brake … put on.
Watched the packers load everything into a truck. …and break one of our dinner table chairs.
Cleaned our apartment with Adam’s sweet mother, who brought some cleaning supplies for us to use.
Went to Adam’s family’s house and cleaned up ourselves.
Watched How to Train Your Dragon with Adam’s family.
Slept in a titch…ahhhh.
Went to the Provo Temple. It was wonderful!!
Said “see ya later” to my dear friend, Becca.
Ran to Macey’s grocery store.
Went to a family reunion for my dad’s side. It was so sweet.
Went to my friend’s wedding reception in American Fork and then to Adam’s friend’s wedding reception in Provo.
Went back to my family’s house and did laundry at 10:30pm.
Got up early.
Went to the dear old American Fork 1st ward (my old ward) to see my longest-time friend speak in church after returning from her mission in Manila, Philippines. (That is where Adam served too, so he really enjoyed her talk.)
Hastily said hello and goodbye to many friends.
Sped down to the BYU Family History Center to teach our Sunday School class about the resources there…but no one showed up, so we did some of our own research because we didn’t have anything else to do until our church started.
Went to our ward and taught our last family history Sunday School class.
Went to my dear friend, Jenny’s, apartment and said “see ya later.”
Went to my family’s house. We had a sweet experience together, but it was really hard too. You see, Adam and I are the first in both of our families to move away from our families permanently. My family has lots of girls, and we’re all kind of emotional softies, so it was a bittersweet experience.
Said “see ya later” to part of my family.
Went to Adam’s family’s house.
Gave a wedding gift to Adam’s old roommate, Peter, who stopped by the Arnesen’s house.
Said “see ya later” to our good friends Brian and Devri and their son, who also stopped by the Arnesen’s house.
Spent time with Adam’s family.
Got up before the crack of dawn.
Packed up our car.
Said “see ya later” to my dad, who came by the Arnesen’s house.
In August we took a trip back to Utah, the “Crossroads of the West” to spend some quality time with our family! On our flight into Denver, where we had a layover, we saw an awesome lightning storm! We tried to capture it on video and hopefully you’ll enjoy what we were able to capture. No video can do it justice, it was amazing to see the raw power of nature and marvel at God’s creations.
We were delayed coming into Denver because of some technical difficulties with the airplane. We had to stay the night in Denver and didn’t get to Salt Lake until a day later than we wanted. We got put up in a hotel and had to eat dinner in a bar of all places. The hotel had 2 double beds so that made the night interesting. We had to get up really early to catch our flight and so we ended up getting very little sleep but we did get up, out of bed, and onto the shuttle bus in 7 minutes!! Go us! We had to miss going to the temple with Adam’s brother who was leaving on his mission to Finland but at least we got to see him go into the MTC! We felt blessed that we were able to do that.
Our other reason for traveling was to see Sarah’s brother married in the Salt Lake Temple to his sweetheart! We’re so glad that he finally found her! It was a great experience to see him so happy and to remember how important the temple and eternal families are. We loved spending time with both of our families and had a great trip!