Month: December 2008

Active Andersons: Part 2 – Christmas!

 - by Brittny

So, I’ll give you a rundown on what we did during our time there. My family waited to get a Christmas tree until the last minute (we like doing live trees, but we’re all allergic, so it’s best if we have a tree in our house for as short a time as possible) so we got to decorate it our first night home. We stayed up pretty late playing games and hanging out with family but it was worth it.

We slept in on Christmas Eve to recover from our long trip and late night, then spent most of that afternoon finishing up Christmas shopping. Christmas Eve is when my family does most of their Christmas traditions. We had our big Christmas dinner at our house with another family who had been very helpful to in organizing the Yes on Prop 8 campaign. After they had left we did what has always been my favorite family tradition – Christmas pajamas! Every year we each get a new pair of pajamas that we wear Christmas Eve and all day on Christmas (although this year we modified the tradition to be something to wear on Christmas – mostly sweats for the girls, basketball shorts and t-shirts for the boys, and Cody opted for a new pair of jeans and a hoodie :P). We hide the pajamas throughout the house and then everyone has to search to find their pajamas. This year Taylor helped hide the pajamas so they were hidden a little bit more creatively than usual. Cody’s ended up in a popcorn tin… in the garage… in the attic. I found mine in the outside refrigerator (good thing pregnancy has made me warmer than usual or I’d have been pretty put out to have cold PJs!!). My dad’s were in the solar oven – ok, so the solar oven was my mom’s doing, but you get the idea. Once everyone had their PJs on we read Luke 2 together. The rest of the evening was pretty laid back as we wrapped presents to go under the tree and played games. Once most of the younger kids had gone to bed (not that any of them are really young per se, I just mean the kids younger than me) we stuffed stockings and put them out before going to bed ourselves.

Christmas morning we were all woken up early because my youngest brother Kyle (10) is still at an age where seeing what Santa brought you is far more exciting than sleeping in.

I think Christmas is just more fun when you have little kids around, and it made me even more excited that we’ll have our Samuel here next Christmas, even though he’ll probably still be a little young to truly get caught up in the excitement.

Active Andersons: Part 1 – The Drive Out

 - by Brittny

Hi, it’s us again! We just got back from a 10-hour long drive from Thousand Oaks, CA, where my family lives. Eric had a slow night at work last night, so he thought he would multi-task and start updating y’all on our comings and our goings. However, things got busier and we went to bed early so I’m finishing it up today. Even still, all the credit for the title, organizing what we wanted to write about and all of the pictures/videos lies directly with Eric.

You’re probably sorry he didn’t write the post as well and spare you from my uber-lengthy posts :P He has declared that this post is way too long (seeing as it spans 4 pages when pasted into Word) and won’t let me post it all as one post, so it will be divided into several different posts. Sorry that it no longer has the continuity of a single post, but maybe it will be easier to read in smaller chunks. I’ll publish them as each chunk is completely filled out with pictures/videos from our Christmas adventures :)

So we left two days before Christmas with little sleep (read: we slept for about 3 hours the night before and hadn’t had much sleep in the previous week either) and arrived pretty exhausted in California late that night. The roads were a bit slick but manageable until we got through St. George and we hit a little bit of traffic as we got into LA (no surprise there) but otherwise we were able to get through without any trouble at all. We would have taken longer, but fortunately my dad was able to help us circumvent really bad traffic in Las Vegas (due to construction – who decides that the weeks around Christmas are a good time to do major construction in the middle of Las Vegas??). It was really funny to take that detour though as we had our GPS on and trying to take us to the I-15, while we were on the other hand taking a bunch of smaller highways to go around the dreaded traffic jam. It spent almost our entire detour trying to get us to turn around and go back. We didn’t want to just turn it off, so instead we spent about 30 minutes listening to the GPS say “Drive point five miles then exit right… exit right… recalculating… drive one point three miles then exit right…” Someday I think someone needs to rewrite the programming of the GPS to just get really snarky and after so many attempts of getting you back on its route have it just get fed up with you and say “Fine, drive off a cliff for all I care!”

View Larger Map

Our very creative route through Vegas

The whole family was home for the holiday – including my sister Taylor’s fiance Ryan Lockwood. They have both moved to California from now until their wedding and for the foreseeable future. I think they were most excited that they’ve finally set a place and a date for that wedding – May 23rd in the Palmyra, New York Temple (Ryan is from that area, and originally so is my family so it’s pretty cool on a lot of levels). I’m really excited for them, and especially excited to finally get to go back to New York, I haven’t been back since April 2000.

Aww, Taylor and Ryan, squishy!

It was the first time we’ve actually stayed at my family’s home since we got married. We’d seen my family a lot as they’ve come up to Utah a lot of times, and when we went camping in Carpinteria with them but hadn’t stayed at our house. It was fun to get to be there as a married couple now, since the last time we’d stayed there together we were engaged – in fact, it was the night before our wedding!

That’s Overweight

 - by Eric

If any of you reading this recognize the title, you probably own a Wii Fit. We heard these words when Brittny stepped on the Wii Fit today. Now, before you round up a mob to lynch me, Brittny actually wants to gain weight and has given me permission to write about this topic! Trust me, I’m not that crazy to discuss a woman’s weight!

Brittny’s Overweight Mii!

It is good that Brittny is well on track for delivering a healthy baby boy! We’re very excited to meet him come February. Brittny has left the “honeymoon” second trimester and entered the I-feel-like-a-whale third trimester. It means more heartburn, lower back pains, and trouble getting out of bed (I try not to laugh…). She’s handling it like a champ, though.

Week in Review

I guess the title is applicable to this post in more ways than one. This past week has been incredibly hectic for the both of us. Finals week was upon me, and it was not fun. Of course, I would think you have to have some sort of mental issue if you actually enjoyed taking finals! I had finals for all of my classes, and unfortunately, many of them were scheduled for the last two days of the week. I won’t bore you with the details, but I am simply glad to have this semester done and over with. It is hard to imagine that I will be done in just one more semester!


It snowed this week!

Brittny has been terribly busy with work as the holiday season and current economic state has many retailers and companies going into overdrive to maximize efficiency and profits. This translates into more requests for work and changes to be completed before the break. And with the snow this week, Brittny didn’t feel comfortable driving into work for most days. It is understandable…she is a California driver!

But what’s amazing about this woman I love is that she just keeps doing more! Handling a pregnancy, working full-time, and she still finds time to make wonderful treats like Strawberry Glaze Bread!

Mmmm! It’s delicious!

She made time to do this and help take care of the apartment chores. We were definitely excited to be able to sleep in this weekend.

Family fun

On Saturday, we had the chance to take care of one of our newest nephews, little CJ Hansen while his mom was visiting Orem for the afternoon. It was so much fun to play with this upbeat 4-month-old. He was always happy and content, even after he woke up from his nap, he just looked around and waited for one of us to come and pick him up.

Look at that cute face!

After that, a good portion of the Hansen clan got together for dinner and a special family tradition. We had my sister Julie and her family, Katrina and family, Mike and family, Kristen (sister-in-law), my parents, and us! We all had to cram into my parents apartment in Salt Lake City (they are serving a mission right now at Church HQ), which was no easy task. After a really yummy dinner, the grandkids gathered around the table to make gingerbread houses! How cool is that!! My mother had a recipe for a frosting that hardened, becoming an edible glue, in essence. The kids used the frosting to build and decorate their houses. The whole night was a fun adventure. For your viewing pleasure, I have uploaded a video of each grandkid’s house.

My new toy!

Christmas came a week early this year for me! And while the title suggests I got a new toy for Christmas, the real impetus for this gift was for the forthcoming baby. Yup, you probably guessed it! We got a new video camera!

ooOOoo! Pretty!

The video and pictures on this blog post are thanks to this brand new, High-Definition video camera! I am loving the deal we got on it, too (less than $500). For those of you who are interested, I have a full review on my website.

Yeah! Two in a Row!

 - by Brittny

Yeah! Look at me actually writing a post two weeks in a row! Mostly this week we’ve been gearing up for the end of the semester and Christmas. Eric had his last day of classes on Thursday so it’s been papers, presentations and projects all week long. It didn’t really lend itself to either of us getting much sleep this week (obviously more so for Eric since he was the one actually doing those projects), but hopefully we’ll be able to make that up as soon as finals are over.

One of the really fun things we did this past week was to buy and sell Wii Fits from Amazon.com. We’d been helping Eric’s brother Tim to get one for Christmas so I’d set my phone up to get text message alerts when they were in stock. Since they have been in such high demand and impossible to find Amazon set a limit of three per household. We decided to take advantage of that and help out family and friends who would have had a hard time getting them otherwise. Since right now they’re in such high demand you can pretty much only find them on eBay for around double the retail price and we know how much we’ve been enjoying ours we felt pretty confident that we could find people who wanted them. We were right! We were really excited to be able to sell them (at retail price, not ridiculously marked up) to Eric’s sister Dianne and our good friends the Criddles. It just felt good to be able to help out around Christmas time, albeit in an unconventional way :)

The other really fun thing this week was that we had both of our company parties on Saturday night. It was too bad that they both fell on the same night so we had to choose which one to go to. However, since we went to my Christmas party last year, and Eric’s company party was black tie at the Grand America hotel… it wasn’t a very difficult compromise. We were able to go to the very beginning of Axis41’s party up at the Millcreek Inn. It was fun just to get to introduce Eric to my co-workers so that he could put some faces with the names. Plus they had some great hors d’ouevres and punch that we enjoyed while we were there. We stayed for about 45 minutes before heading back down to Omniture’s party.


The Omniture logo…in style!

One of the great things about Omniture… they definitely know how to throw a party! The place was packed and it was a really fun night. They had paid for their employees to rent tuxes (or given a set amount of money to their female employees to offset the price of their formal wear) so everyone was very dressed up. I told Eric afterwards that I still felt like a little kid who was at a grown-up party, even though I know full well that we’re grown ups now too. The food was pretty good. The appetizers were a little weird, we felt like we were eating garnishes (and I’m sure someone was sitting there and laughing at us… but that’s all that was on the appetizer plate and everyone else ate them too *shrug* ) but the food itself was really good. I got halibut which was really good and had Omega 3s which are important for our baby’s brain development. Eric isn’t as big of a fan of fish as I am so I get excited whenever I get a chance to eat fish. It’s not that Eric won’t eat fish or even that he really dislikes it, but if I’m going to go to the effort of making a meal for him, I’d rather have it be something that he gets more excited about eating. Eric got the steak, which was pretty incredible. It was a super tender cut of meat and very well made. It also came with these potatoes that I’m really sad we didn’t take a picture of. They were sliced super super thin and then layered on top of each other with sweet potatoes in the middle. They were really good, and partly just amazing to see.

They also had some cool games that they had everyone play to compete for 6 iPod Touches (is that how you pluralize touch as a noun?) and donations to different charities. They also had some cool presentations that summarized all of their business for the year. We’re really excited that Eric is part of this company that is growing so fast right now and doing such cool things. They had a dance floor set up in the middle and dancing afterwards, but we left because the bouncing style of dancing isn’t quite as fun when you’re 29 weeks pregnant (probably not very attractive either :P ).

As far as the pregnancy goes, things are going really well. Still fighting heartburn but it’s not unmanageable. The weirdest thing is that I’ve been getting really warm – not so much hot flashes, but generally I’ve found that I’m warmer than other people. It’s super weird for me because I’m usually FREEZING even in the middle of summer… but it’s the middle of December and I’m the one turning down the thermostat! I’m not complaining in the least, it’s probably the best thing about pregnancy! Well, except for the cute baby that we get at the end of it all :).

Now we’re just counting down the days until Eric finishes his finals and we get to go to California for Christmas!! We’re pretty excited because it’s the first time that we’re going home since we’ve been married (like actually going to my family’s house and staying there, we did go to California for Memorial Day weekend but we stayed the whole time at Carpinteria, which is just different from actually going home). Hope everyone else’s holiday preparations are going well!! We’ll probably post to you again from the other side of finals :)

Of Epsom Salts and Roses

 - by Brittny

Wow, November totally got away from us! Sorry for the lack of posts last month. I’d promise that we’ll do better, but I know that the holidays are now in full swing and it’s only going to get more difficult to post regularly for the next month or so. Instead I’ll just apologize in advance and get on with this post.

I guess we never posted about what we did for Thanksgiving. We’ve been switching which family we spend which holidays with so that neither Eric’s family or my family feels neglected (well, Kyle feels neglected whenever we spend a holiday with Eric’s side instead of with him… but he can’t feel justifiably neglected :) ) Last year we did Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with Eric’s, so this year we were scheduled to do Thanksgiving with Eric’s family. Luckily for us, Eric’s parents were recently called on a mission to serve at the Church Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City helping with the medical programs coming from Church Headquarters. So, we didn’t have to go very far! It’s so much more difficult to really get away in the middle of a semester so it was a blessing to not have to try to travel during this time. Instead we went to Eric’s brother Mike’s house in Herriman and spent the holiday with his family, Eric’s parents and sister Diane’s family. It was pretty low key but super fun to get to go hang out with everyone. Plus, Mike’s wife Marianela is an AMAZING cook, so the food was delicious. Eric did have to work that evening unfortunately, but he was able to just set up his computer in Mike’s office and take calls from there. He only had one call come in the entire night which was definitely a blessing so that he could spend more time with the family instead of on the phone. It was a wonderful day and we enjoyed having a chance to reflect on our blessings – especially the blessings of our wonderful families :)

So, what’s been going on with us more recently? Well, earlier this week Eric asked me out on a date. That might seem like a silly thing but if we don’t make plans specifically our Friday nights generally end up with us getting take out food and watching a movie on our couch. Which is always nice at the end of a long week, but every so often Eric will ask me out on a date (as if I had someone else in mind that I might spend my Friday night with :P ) and we’ll have a real night out. I’m always really excited when he does so because it’s just a fun break from our normal routine. So we planned that after work on Friday we’d come home, shower and get all dressed up to go out and then do whatever Eric had planned. While I was getting ready (I had curlers in my hair at the time), Eric surprised me with these…

Pretty pink roses!

There wasn’t any special occasion involved or anything, just Eric being sweet. I was really touched. I may not be the most girly girl or anything like that, but I can definitely appreciate flowers. They’re beautiful and definitely made me feel special just that he’d think of me and get me some pretty flowers! So, it was a really great way to start off the evening. We went to Macaroni Grill, which is one of our favorite restaurants, and Eric had a gift certificate from helping a guy in his class with some computer stuff. We have a tendency to fill up too much on their bread (it’s sooo good!) at the beginning of the meal, so neither of us made it very far through our actual meals. But that was ok since we just brought them home to reheat and enjoy later. From there we went to the new theater at the University Mall to see Twilight. I’d already seen it once, but I loved the books and wasn’t sad to see it again (even though there’s one scene that’s not great for those who pass out when presented with lots of blood, i.e. me, I enjoyed the rest of the movie so much it outweighed that scene. Plus, since I knew where that scene was I was able to prepare myself in advance). Eric has read the books (just for kicks) as well, so he was able to enjoy himself well enough. Overall, we thought they did a pretty good job, but there’s definitely room for improvement the upcoming sequels–I won’t bore anyone with more of our analysis than that. It was really fun just to have a dedicated date night and enjoy being together. I want to do better about planning similar occasions for Eric because I know how special it makes me feel when he does that for me, and I want him to feel that special too.

In other news, I’ve had lots of demands for updated baby bump pictures so we’ll get that out of the way now:

Originally I was wearing a black shirt, but there was a slight shadow around me that was hard to separate from me so we decided to re-take in a different colored shirt.

I’m starting to get pretty big! I’ve been tracking my weight gain with our Wii Fit. It’s kind of funny because with the Wii Fit you can set a weight goal for yourself and then track it… and right now my goal is to be overweight. I don’t think the Wii Fit is very impressed with my goal, but I wanted to be able to track my weight gain and make sure that I don’t gain too much or too little. It doesn’t seem like I gain that much from week to week but it was really cool to be able to look at the graph and see my weight gain over the past 2 1/2 months:

I’m getting so close to being overweight!!

I guess I’ve gained a lot more than I realized! It makes sense since my stomach is getting bigger and bigger, but somehow the weight gain hadn’t seemed as significant since I was weighing myself pretty much every day as I play with the Wii Fit.

Samuel is starting to move a TON. I have never been so amused by my own stomach in my entire life! I can sit down in the evenings and watch as he kicks and punches me hard enough that you can see my whole stomach move. It’s the most bizarre feeling but so cool to think of the little person inside of me that we’re going to get to meet in not too long! What’s really fun is that Samuel responds to Eric touching my stomach but not anyone else. Whenever Eric will be cuddled with me or just touch my stomach he tends to get kicked. Hopefully that means that Samuel really likes him, and not that he’s trying to kick his dad in the face! I can’t believe we have less than 12 weeks until my due date. I’m still feeling really well and I’m just counting that as a blessing. I do have some pretty good heartburn which is weird for me since I’ve never really had heartburn pre-pregnancy. However, it’s nothing that I can’t handle with some Tums, and I figure the extra calcium is good for me anyways (oh, and Otter Pops really help too – thanks Amber for that tip!!). That’s really about the only symptom I have right now, which is pretty good for being in my third trimester.

We got a crib yesterday which we’re super excited about! Eric’s sister Julie was cleaning out some closets and found their crib that they don’t need anymore. It’s perfect for us since we’d been debating whether or not to buy a crib right now anyways. We didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on a crib and then find out that we were moving to Taiwan in May (still no word on whether that’s going to happen or not–Eric says it’s normal for Omniture to take this long) and have to either move it or buy a new one when we get there anyways. I figure Samuel will probably mostly sleep in a bassinet for those couple of months anyways so it seemed like it was potentially a huge waste of money. But now we have a crib whether we move or not! Thanks soo much Julie and Rhett!!

Let’s see, other important things that happened this week. Oh, Eric got his toe cut off by the podiatrist. Okay, so not really, but that’s what I like to say happened. Eric’s had an ingrown toenail that had slowly gotten worse and worse for the past few months and we decided it was finally time for him to just go to a podiatrist and have them take care of it. Really all they had to do was cut off a large chunk of his toenail and use some acid to kill the root of the part that was becoming overgrown. We forgot to take pictures of it before, but here’s some pictures of it now:

Here it is pre-soak with his Epsom salts and antibiotic ointment.

He’s supposed to soak it in water with epsom salts every day until it’s healed and then put the antibiotic ointment on it and keep a bandaid on it.

It has healed so fast! I think if we’d realized how easy the whole thing was going to be and how much better his toe would be we’d have done it a lot sooner. But we’re glad he’s done it now! And we’re definitely glad for insurance so that the procedure hardly cost us anything.

I guess those are our highlights from the past couple of weeks. Eric is getting ready for finals now which has kept us up later in the evenings and he’s been super busy. He had a paper or a project due every day this last week and was up really late completing them. Hopefully this next week will be a lot easier for him! I think he’s looking forward to having two weeks off for Christmas and getting a chance to just relax. I know I’m excited, and I don’t even get the two weeks off! That’s pretty much all from us for now. Hope everyone has a great week!