When Eric and I were engaged all of his Chinese friends would tell him that we had “couple face”. Apparently there’s some phrase in Chinese which roughly translates to “couple face” that means that you and your spouse/fiance/significant other look alike, like you belong together, and you look like a couple. It became a family joke and it’s been fun finding other couples who have “couple face”. Well I started using Picasa to organize the pictures on my computer, and one of the cool features is that it will find faces and have you tag them. It also will start to guess who different faces are based on previous pictures you’ve tagged. I took this screenshot of one set of guesses -
In case you can’t tell, the people in the pictures are just me and Eric. Picasa tagged me as Samuel, Eric as me, me as my sister’s husband Ryan, and Eric as himself. This was just one sample. As I went through it was tagging Eric’s family members as members of my Dad’s family and all kinds of silliness. I did feel a little bit vindicated that it tagged Eric as his older brother Tim multiple times, but not once did it get me mixed up with my mother. For those of you who don’t know, my mom and I look A LOT alike, and I think Eric and his brother Tim look a lot alike as well. You can be the judge -
On our wedding day I saw Tim holding his little girl and was very confused that Eric had changed out of his tux and into another suit. I came within seconds of going up to, who I thought was Eric, and asking him why he’d changed his clothes! Luckily I noticed my mistake just before actually approaching Tim. I just wasn’t used to there being multiple Eric-looking people around!
Eric has mistaken my mom for me on multiple occasions. The most notable was Christmas of 2008 when we were at home with my family. At the time I was 7 months pregnant with Samuel. My mom and I were standing together leaning over the island in their kitchen when Eric comes up from behind and starts stroking my mom’s arm. Just as my mom turns to find out what’s going on I lean over so he can see my face and say, “uhm, honey?” Eric had quite a start at that point and my family likes to tease him about it.
Eric’s not the only one who has mixed us up though. When I was in high school one night at dinner my dad came over behind my chair and started playing with my hair. That wasn’t really weird, until I turned around and my dad said “Ack! You’re not Kerry!” Suddenly it was a lot weirder to have had my dad being that affectionate with me :P
However, the strangest moment was during my freshman year in college. I had gotten all dressed up for some pictures and was heading out the door when I caught a quick glimpse of myself in the mirror. I suddenly turned around and said, “Mom?!” It was so weird to have confused myself with a mom, especially since my mom was over 500 miles away at the time!
So…”couple face”! It would seem that we have some of that within our family. And next time someone asks who Sam looks more like, I guess the answer would be me!
When I was about 11 my mom taught my sister and I to crochet. For a few weeks we made lots of “garlands” (long chains of chain stitched yarn) before learning a stitch pattern to make blankets and other things. I’m still working on that first blanket that I started 15 years ago. My sister, on the other hand, took off running with the idea and has become really good at crocheting! In the meantime she has made more baby blankets than I could ever count, and branched out to scarves, ornaments, stockings etc.! She’s pretty good at just deciding what she wants to make and then coming up with a way to make it. Case in point, on Saturday she was up here with her whole stock of goods. The next morning I noticed that she had posted online some headbands which I’d never seen her make before. She’d decided she wanted to make something new and just went for it. She already had 3 or 4 that she’d made in less than 24 hours!
If you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet I recommend checking out her website (yes I made it, but it’s not my best work, it was what I could put together in a Saturday afternoon while watching kids – don’t judge me!) Her Christmas ornaments and stockings would make really fun and unique gifts, and her scarves are really soft and look great too!
Also, right now she’s hosting a giveaway on her blog. You definitely want to get in on this since there are only 6 entries as I write this, and the winner gets $50 of her merchandise for free! You wouldn’t get the prize in time for Christmas, but you’d be ready for next Christmas, or you could have her crochet you something custom-made! Anyways, check it out, the giveaway ends on Dec 23rd!
I started this post just after Thanksgiving while it was all fresh in my head, and I’m not sure why it never got completed before now, I was only about 4 sentences from finishing. Oh well, here’s our Thanksgiving post.
Every year we try to swap which family we’re with for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So one year we’ll do Thanksgiving with the Hansens and Christmas with the Andersons, and then the next year we switch. The Christmas we were engaged Eric came out to California to meet my family, so the next year we decided it was only fair that we went out to Indiana to spend Christmas with his family. We figured this was the best way to keep it from seeming like we were playing favorites with one family or the other. What was interesting to me was how surprised people were when I told them we were going to spend our first Christmas with Eric’s family rather than mine. Apparently most girls will demand to spend Christmas with their own family, which seemed like such a strange concept to me that I never considered it. Each of our families is very important to us, so why would we want to leave one of them out? But I digress.
So, this year was supposed to be a Hansen year for Thanksgiving and an Anderson year for Christmas. We were making plans accordingly when my mom told me they were thinking about coming up to Utah for Thanksgiving. I was excited that they’d be coming up… but it was a Hansen year for Thanksgiving. Even though we live with Eric’s parents I still wanted to make sure we were being fair with everyone, so I told my mom that we’d obviously try to see them as much as possible while they were here, but this year we were sorta committed to spending Thanksgiving with the Hansens. When I told Dad Hansen about this predicament he told me that he and Mom Hansen were going to be in Illinois over Thanksgiving watching Eric’s brother’s kids anyways. That made things very easy, we just switched which holiday we were doing with which family this year and everyone was happy! In fact, it even worked out better because with our house closing at the end of December it was going to be stressful trying to travel back and forth to California at the same time.
My family was planning to drive up here on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. So a few days before my family was planning on coming up my mom starts noticing that the weather patterns aren’t looking especially conducive to traveling (for those of you who don’t know, my mom is a meteorologist). The closer they got to leaving, the worse the weather looked. In fact, from the way the storm looked it was set up to possibly create one of the biggest snowstorms Utah had seen in a very long time. In fact, I looked at the weather maps as well (as much as I can understand them) and encouraged Eric to come home from work as early as possible on Tuesday and try to reschedule his meetings so he could work from home on Wednesday. I also stocked up the 72 hour kit in our car and sent Eric with a sleeping bag, pillow and our Kindle, just in case.
As the time for my family to leave came close they decided they ought to just wait the storm out in sunny California and see what the damage was after the storm had passed. I was very relieved to know that they weren’t going to be driving in that storm and just focused on waiting for Eric to get home safe and sound.
The original predictions for when the storm would hit were pushed back a couple of hours so Eric stayed a little bit later at the office to really finish off his work for the day before coming home. That, of course, made me nervous but eventually he did make it home safe and sound before the snow started to fall. Then we hunkered down to watch “Snowpocalypse”. After a little while the snow started to fall. I opened up the blinds in the front room so Sam could watch the snow falling, and he thought it was pretty awesome. We went about doing the things we had intended that evening while keeping an eye on this storm. Then, after a couple hours, the snow stopped. We thought we were just in a break in the storm, but it never picked back up again. That was it, “Snowpocalypse” was over.
We did get a fair amount of snow and it definitely wouldn’t have been good to be out on the roads while the snow was falling and until the roads were cleared off. But it definitely wasn’t the epic storm it was supposed to be. However, I still don’t feel dumb for making the preparations that we did or that my family waited to come up. Especially if you look at what that storm did further north, there was every reason to think it was going to be pretty bad here in Utah as well. I’m glad that we didn’t have the massive storm that was predicted, but I’m also glad that we were prepared in case we did.
Anyways, my family finally came up on Wednesday. They drove all day long and luckily by the time they hit Utah the roads had been pretty well cleared so they made it to Provo without incident. They had to stop in Provo so that my little brother Cody could go on a “polyga-date” with a couple of the girls he’d met at EFY and then they made it up to my in-laws place where we’re staying now. We ate dinner together and then quickly packed up to go to my grandparents house in Logan. We arrived in Logan pretty late. By the time we got there it was time to put on pajamas and hop into bed.
Thanksgiving morning was spent preparing food and just spending time with family. Sam was really excited about the snow and wanted to go outside with the bigger kids. Unfortunately, despite my Uncle Paul giving us a snowsuit for Sam just a few weeks before I had neglected to bring it with us up to Logan. I had been operating on the philosophy that it was way too cold to go outside (it was only 2 degrees!) and had forgotten that little boys might feel otherwise. So after much begging I found the closest thing to snow clothes that we had for Sam – his pajamas, warm coat (but not waterproof), and sneakers. Then we borrowed a beanie and gloves that were way too big for Sam and sent him out.
Luckily my brother Cody was willing to take Sam out so that I didn’t have to brave the cold. But he was so cute and happy out there I eventually found some makeshift snow gear of my own and took a few pictures -
Evidently Sam enjoys the snow. In fact, it’s all he’s been talking about ever since we started getting snow here. He will pull me to the window a few times a day and say “Look! Snow!” It’s a good thing because we’re going to be living where we’ll get a lot of it. You probably can’t see in the picture, but towards the end Sam took off one of his gloves. He was mad that he couldn’t touch the snow so he got the glove off and touched the snow. That was all fine and dandy, until we got him inside. The cold hadn’t bothered him so much, but warming that hand back up really did. Poor kid, it wasn’t anywhere near frostbitten or anything like that, but when you don’t know that the pain is going to stop and your hand will feel warm again it’s pretty scary to go through that. We’ll have to do a better job of securing his gloves in the future.
After all the fun in the snow it was time for the delicious Thanksgiving meal. My grandma had opted to do the whole meal on paper plates this year, which I think was absolutely brilliant! Why have dishes for 30 people when you can just throw it away and be done?! The food was delicious and it was fun to be with family to enjoy it. Sam didn’t eat too much but he enjoyed some of the rolls and corn, not exactly a Thanksgiving feast on his part, but he was happy so who cares?
After we cleaned up the meal we played games and watched TV. I laid down on the couch to just rest for a few minutes… and woke up three hours later. Oops! Apparently I needed some sleep. It wasn’t even a quiet place to sleep, I was right in the middle of where people were playing games and doing stuff. The boys set up a Mario Kart Wii tournament in the evening. Eric came in second despite wearing his lucky Mario Kart t-shirt.
After a few more games it was time for us to head back to South Jordan. My brother Jayson had a flight to catch the next morning and we decided it would make the most sense for Eric and I to just take him home with us and then take him to the airport the next morning. Particularly because Sears was having an incredible Black Friday deal on a washer and dryer set that we actually thought it might be worthwhile to wake up early for, even though we hadn’t gotten back until after midnight. We since there was no way we were taking Sam Black Friday shopping we would divide and conquer. Eric would wake up at 3:30am to be at Sears to try and get the washer and dryer and I would sleep with Sam and get Jayson to the airport by 9am. We had the deal that Eric was allowed to sleep through as much of the rest of the day as he deemed necessary in return for braving the Black Friday crowds.
Well, we didn’t get the washer and dryer that was ridiculously priced, but Eric still managed to get the very best deal I’ve seen on a steam washer and dryer. In the end I’m happier that we didn’t get the “doorbuster” set because it didn’t really have the features I wanted, it was just at a price that we couldn’t pass up. The set that Eric got us instead are way better and he still saved over $1000, so a successful day overall.
On Friday my parents came back down to South Jordan and my sister Taylor and her husband Ryan and son Skylar returned from their Thanksgiving in New York. Since Mom & Dad Hansen were out of town they had graciously offered that everyone could stay at their house, so the whole family stayed here and played games that night. We also did our traditional Chinese meal that Eric puts together whenever my family is in town (it’s by special request now, he does a great job). We made fried rice, dan bings and potstickers – yum! The food was great and we had a great time together. It was really fun just being our own family for a little while and enjoying each others company.
On Saturday we got to take my family up to our new house and finally get to show them how it’s coming along and where it is. It was fun to finally be able to show them physically what we’ve been describing to them for awhile. Then we continued on to Provo to watch the BYU vs U of U game. For those of you who may not know, there is a HUGE rivalry between the two schools, and that rivalry is extended into my family. Eric and I obviously both graduated from BYU, Taylor & Ryan are currently students there, and Cody is working on getting ready to apply to BYU to attend in 2012. On the other hand my parents met at the U of U and are die hard fans (well, at least my dad is die hard, my mom is definitely a fan, but probably not as adamantly so). So we all gathered with Brick Oven Pizza for what was sure to be an exciting game.
It really was an exciting game, it came down to the last few seconds of the game, and the U of U won despite not having scored a single point in the first 3 quarters of the game. It was fun to watch even in light of the disappointing ending. Afterwards the girls went to a bridal shower for a good family friend and the boys went to the gym to play raquetball. The quote of the evening came from my brother Kyle who, when my dad asked him how he liked the biggest Gold’s Gym, he replied – “They had the buffest midget ever!” Apparently Eric and Ryan knew exactly who he was talking about, but it was still a pretty unexpected response.
On Sunday Taylor and Ryan had their baby blessing for Skylar. We had a fun luncheon at the Lockwoods apartment before church (their church doesn’t start until 1:30pm). Taylor and my mom made some yummy soups and bread, and Mom Hansen was able to rescue dessert by having left a frozen cheesecake that she had asked us to eat while she was gone. The blessing was a great event to be able to participate in. It was really neat to see this little baby who had struggled to get into this world, now receiving his baby blessing and you wouldn’t have known he had ever had those struggles.
There was (of course) another huge snowstorm coming in that afternoon so my family was anxious to get on the road before it hit too badly. They had a pretty treacherous journey back and we kept getting text messages like “Almost through filmore. We definitely won’t be doing this trip in any record time, a few minutes ago the truck we were following did a 360 and slid off the road. Why do you guys live in Utah?” and “By the way we keep seeing 4 wheel drives off the road” and finally “We are to Vegas and we are still finding chunks of ice that have fallen off cars”. They did make it home safely and we got back to normal life.
We are so thankful at this time of year for wonderful friends and family. We’re thankful also for the gospel that gives our lives so much meaning. And we’re thankful for the many rich blessings that our family has been afforded with. We couldn’t ask for more :)
I know, I know I still owe posts about Christmas and our new house. But I was just cleaning off the pictures from my phone and wanted to get these pictures posted while I still remembered what they were. I promise pictures of the new house will be coming soon!
A couple weeks ago Eric was getting ready to go on a business trip to Los Angeles. I was of course jealous because he’d get to go see my family while he was there while I’d be stuck in the snow by myself. So on Sunday before he left we were Skyping with my family and my parents offered to use some of their frequent flier miles to fly Sam and I up with Eric for the week! We didn’t really have a good reason not to, so we booked the tickets on Monday and we flew out Tuesday night.
It was so fun to get to spend some time with my family that week. We didn’t really do anything earth-shatteringly awesome, but it was fun spending time with them. I think it was an especially nice break for me. This pregnancy has been more rough on my body than Sam’s was. I think mainly because it takes a LOT more energy, time and strength to be a mom of a toddler than it did to work 40 hours a week – commute and housework included! With our move I’d pushed myself a little too far with running things up and downstairs and lifting things I shouldn’t have and I’d developed what I think were shin splints. At any rate I was having a very difficult time getting down to the floor without serious pain in my shins. Just having a week where I couldn’t do anymore unpacking and there were many anxious hands to help care for Sam got me back to ready to face the rest of settling into our house. (I feel like this sounds bratty and spoiled, but I definitely feel like I was spoiled for a week so I guess that’s ok).
Our trip wasn’t full of lots of exciting activities, mostly attending high school basketball games, swimming, being outdoors and playing a lot of Dominion. But it was fun spending the time with family. I think the most interesting thing to see was just the change in Sam from when were in California a year ago and now. When we were out last year Sam would hardly have anything to do with most of my family. He is a very clingy child and has had a lot of separation anxiety. But now he quite happily will tag along with any of my brothers or my parents and is very excited to see them.
As you can see we didn’t even make it out of our pajamas a good portion of the time. This is Sam with his Uncle Cody playing at a common area at the end of my parents street. I don’t think Sam much minded that they were still in their PJs, he was just stoked that Cody was paying attention to him and that he was playing outside.
On Monday before we left we went to the beach. Not surprisingly, Sam *loved* it!
Sam leading Cody around at the beach
A better look at Sam in my mom’s hat. I love this shirt, it says “I do all my own stunts” which I think is brilliant for a toddler. He most certainly does a lot of stunts, and they are all his own. I was really excited when I found this shirt in a bag of hand-me-downs and had a hard time waiting until he was old enough to wear it!
Sam also got to boogie board down the sand dune. He’d lay on the boogie board and Cody would pull him up and down the sand dune. Sam thought that was pretty darn cool, as you can tell from the smile on his face (sorry these weren’t the best pictures, it was really bright that day and the only camera I had was my phone. I couldn’t see the screen because it was so bright so I just had to aim my phone in the direction of what I wanted a picture of and hope that it turned out ok).
After the beach we headed home to get packed up to go back to Utah. After getting all packed up and through rush hour traffic, we discovered that our flight had been delayed by two hours. So we called my parents and they took us over to the LA temple to go walk around for a little bit. Sam *loves* the temple, but my mom didn’t believe me that he’d probably recognize it when we drove up to it (since he’s never been to the LA temple before). Sure enough, as we pulled around and showed him the building he said “temple!” It was fun walking around the grounds and the visitor’s center with him. I got one picture that I thought was priceless -
When we finally got home it was super late and we had early morning dentist appointments the next day. Tuesday was somewhat of a blur. You can tell though that even by Wednesday Sam was in denial that we were in Utah (where it was snowing outside) and no longer in sunny California…
Sorry dude, board shorts and a t-shirt won’t exactly cut it in Utah in December. Thanks again to my family for bringing us out and letting us play for a week! It was a great break from unpacking and we had SO much fun seeing everyone and enjoying the sunshine for awhile :)
For those of you without British heritage you might be wondering what Boxing Day is. Simply put, it’s a public holiday in most countries that are currently or used to be under British rule, as well as several other predominantly Christian nations. It’s an excuse to have the day after Christmas off from work :) There are several theories for how the holiday got its name but none have been confirmed.
Anyways, our boxing day was spent mostly up at my grandparents. Eric hadn’t yet had a chance to go skiing this season so he took the opportunity to go up to Beaver Mountain with my grandpa. Logan hasn’t gotten much snow this season so the skiing was a little rough but they had a lot of fun. Luckily they were just up there for a half day so Eric didn’t even come back super sore like he usually does!
Sam and I slept in as much as we could that morning. When we got up we went upstairs to find my cousin Todd watching Lifetime television with my grandma. It was kinda funny to see :) Sam discovered a new snack that my grandma had leftover from when my cousins were his age. It’s this puffy, fruity cereal, and he LOVED it. He is still working on the canister that my grandma sent home with us.
Once Eric got back we quickly washed us all up to head back to Salt Lake City for a family dinner at Eric’s parents apartment. Eric was especially excited because it was time for another Hansen Family Christmas tradition – gingerbread houses! Sam enjoyed this tradition too because he got a hold of one of our roof pieces…
… and discovered he really likes gingerbread! Of course this meant that we were one piece short for making our gingerbread house, but I’ll have to have Eric post the video of what he ended up doing with our gingerbread house with that shortage.
After gingerbread houses we headed back up to Logan. We stayed up for awhile as I had some work to finish for a client (I’d been meaning to finish it earlier the previous week but I kept getting busy with Christmas preparations). So Sam and Eric were watching Top Gear with Todd. Sam wasn’t exactly being a model child and since Eric had seen how well Sam reacted to cookies earlier in the day…
… Sam was allowed another cookie. Quite the mess, but also a very happy Sam. Todd’s friend Josh came up to Logan that night as well and the guys had fun watching more manly shows before bed.
Sunday was exactly what it was supposed to be – a day of rest! We went to church in the morning and then were able to spend the rest of the afternoon just hanging out with family and napping.
Unfortunately Sam didn’t take very well to being away from home so the whole trip was pretty rough for him but it was still nice to be away from home and with family during the holidays. Sunday night was probably the roughest night with Sam.
On Monday morning Eric was getting ready to go skiing and asked if it would be better if he just stayed with Sam and me so that I could have a bit of a break. While I really appreciated his offer I knew he was really looking forward to skiing, and that Sam and I could just take most of the morning to get the sleep we needed. So that’s what we did, and Eric got to go skiing again.
It worked out well, Sam and I helped my Grandma put away some of her Christmas decorations (and by help, I mean that I talked to her and tried to keep Sam distracted from throwing the decorations around). Eric had another fun day of skiing. I’m really glad he got to go because he loves skiing and doesn’t get to go as often as he would like. It was a good day just being with family.
Tuesday was our last day at my grandparents. We slept in and then packed ourselves up to go to Idaho for our niece’s wedding. It was so nice to get to spend time with my grandparents and just doing something different during our Christmas break than sitting at home.
Stay tuned for my next post about our niece’s wedding.
On Friday, I got to meet up with some of my high school friends for lunch. It was fun to get to catch up with them and see where everyone’s lives have taken them. It’s always interesting to see how much things do and don’t change over the years. Life has taken us all in different directions, but we’re still essentially the same people that we were in high school.
In the evening the guys decided to have a “boy fest”. Originally the girls were going to go out and the boys were going to stay home and play basketball and Wii, but we girls didn’t end up leaving. So the boys still played their basketball and Wii but then we all spent time together playing Bang! and Ticket to Ride (and playing Ticket to Ride online). I think some of my very favorite times are just sitting around the table playing board games with my family. We got to do a lot of that this trip, and I think it will be a while before any of us (except for maybe Cody) will want to play Bang! again.
Saturday ended up being a very busy day. We got up early so that my parents, Ryan, Eric and I could go to the temple, and by early I mean we got up at 5am so that we could be to the temple by 6:30am. I was definitely NOT a fan of getting up that early but it was awesome to get to go to the temple with my family. We came home and took a much needed nap afterwards. That afternoon we went to the beach and took family pictures. I’d post them here, but that’ll have to be another time since we haven’t gotten them back yet from Tami Bowerbank – the photographer. They should turn out really fun though so we’ll definitely post them when we get them.
After family pictures I got to take Eric to geek heaven – Fry’s Electronics. If you are not a nerd or have never been to Fry’s you won’t fully appreciate what an amazing place it is in nerd-dom. It has EVERYTHING that tech nerds could possibly ever want. Computer parts, audio systems, DVDs, books on computer languages, hi-tech appliances, games etc. If a nerd wants it, they can find it at Fry’s. Eric had never been to a Fry’s before since there isn’t one in Utah and the closest one to his hometown in Indiana is about 4 hours away. It was fun to get to take him around and see everything. We were there to get some miscellaneous parts for a computer that we were building for Taylor and Ryan (we’d been able to scrounge up just about everything except for RAM, a case, a power supply and a processor). It was a fun project for Eric to get to put it together and a great Christmas present for Taylor and Ryan. We got the money for the extra parts from selling off pieces of Taylor’s broken laptop. While we were at Fry’s Eric also found a ridiculous deal on RAM for our desktop… so we now have 6GB of RAM in our desktop :P Eric spent the rest of the evening setting up their computer, and they ended up with a pretty sweet system, especially considering they were getting it for free. Once again we confirmed why we are NOT Mac people, you could never build a pretty decent computer for practically nothing and have it be a Mac. Yay for PCs :)
Sunday we went to church and then spent the rest of the day with the family at home. Monday we drove back to Utah and now we’re just settling back into our regular routines. It was a really fun trip, and nice to be able to spend time with family, especially at this time of year. Thanks Mom & Dad for having us!
Probably the biggest hit from Christmas however was the game that I bought Eric, and my parents also bought my brothers — Raving Rabbids 3: TV Party. For those of you who have never played a Raving Rabbids game… you’re missing out. They have become some of our very favorite games to play. They’re mostly party style games meaning lots of people can play and enjoy them, and they have simple rules. This newest rendition has some games that use the Wii Fit (you play it with your butt!) so we were extra keen to get it since we’ve been enjoying our Wii Fit so much already! Unfortunately, this wasn’t a surprise either since Eric tried to buy the game for me for Christmas as well (I told you we love these games, and stink at surprises :-) ) and I had to stop him. We got a lot of fun videos of different members of our family playing the dancing game. Eric just recently made a compilation of the fiasco!
We had some fun gifts that we gave and received. We bought a few movies for Taylor and Ryan to enjoy together (my family rotates so that each sibling buys for just one other sibling – Eric and I had Taylor and Ryan this year), and a webcam for my parents (of course, my dad also bought one for my mom, which at least confirmed that it was a good idea…). We also got a calendar for my dad that has funny grandparent stories (I’m not sure how it started but I’ve bought a day-to-day desk calendar for my dad every year for the past several years. I like it because he keeps it at work and will tear off a page every day and think of me, and it’s something he uses), and a book called Funny, You Don’t Look Like a Grandmother for my mom. Since Samuel will be their first grandchild it was fun to get them some grandparent gifts.
We got a lot of baby stuff — my mom even put together a stocking for Samuel!
We also got a stroller from my parents for Christmas.
There’s a really cool demonstration of all of the cool features of this stroller on the manufacturer’s website but unfortunately the makers of the site did the whole thing in flash (shudder) and so I can’t post a direct link to the demo here, but if you are interested you can go to the website and click on products, the on strollers and then select the Helio (it’s the second thumbnail from the right on the top) and then click on demonstration. I really like how lightweight it is and how nice and small it folds up while still being a very functional full sized stroller. Thanks Mom & Dad!
As Eric wrote about previously, we got the video camcorder from Mom & Dad Hansen in conjunction with Samuel’s imminent arrival :) We also received several cute outfits, baby towels and baby blankets from Eric’s brother Mike’s family and our sister-in-law Kristen’s family for Christmas. I’m really excited to start organizing everything and even more excited for Samuel to come now!
Eric totally surprised me this year, which is quite the feat us! We both get too excited about our surprises for each other and usually end up sharing them beforehand. However, Eric managed to save some surprises for me. See, I lost my little bag that I keep my jewelry in when we moved from our apartment in Wymount to our friends’ apartment this summer. It had all of the jewelry in it that I wear regularly (which isn’t a lot, but they were the few pieces that I really liked). On Christmas Eve Eric went to the mall and bought me some new jewelry so that I have some nice things to dress up with! I never thought I’d be the kind of girl who was excited by little jewelry boxes under the Christmas tree but I was apparently wrong. He had picked out a couple of things that were simple and beautiful (just my style) and I was really touched by his sweet gifts.
Thank you so much honey! He’d also bought me a pair of new headphones that are a lot nicer than the ones I’d normally buy for myself. They’re really good at blocking out sound and really comfortable too. I had to promise though not to put them in my purse since we think the magnetic buttons in my purse are what previously caused the demise of Eric’s headphones.
Sadly, I didn’t have any really cool surprises for Eric like he had for me. He had made me promise not to get him anything really big since we’d spent a fair amount of money on some new suits for him a few months back. However I really enjoy putting his stocking together so I’d gotten him a few things that I thought he would enjoy, including some of his favorite books from when he was a kid (Goodnight Moon, Go, Dog, Go, Amelia Bedelia and the Baby, and Teach Us Amelia Bedelia). I also had some onsies made that obviously will be worn by Samuel, although they were really for Eric. They have this design on them that I created myself:
I think those could have been a cool surpise, however I needed Eric’s help designing them since I don’t know how to write Chinese, and I would have hated for him to open up his presents on Christmas morning and have onesies that say something like “I love dog food” instead of “I love my daddy”. I made two for him, in different sizes so that he’ll be able to have Samuel wear them for more than a couple of months. I was surprised that I was able to do it for a pretty reasonable price at MakeAOnsie.com.
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.
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!”
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.
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!