Anniversary Celebrations

 - by Brittny

So I posted a few weeks ago that it was our 4 year anniversary, but I never really posted about what we did for that anniversary. We had agreed that we weren’t going to get each other gifts since we still need to put in our landscaping and get some other things in order around our house.  But that didn’t stop Eric from buying me these beautiful flowers –

Eric knows that every spring when the lilacs start to bloom I get super excited because I *love* the smell of lilacs.  Probably because I grew up in upstate New York and every spring they have a huge lilac festival, so whenever I smell lilacs it makes me think of spring. (Yes, the song My Heavenly Father Loves Me does speak to me ;)  So Eric had searched to try and find a bouquet with lilacs in them, which was difficult to find (I’d guess that lilacs aren’t really a bouquet kind of flower).  This was as close as he could find with the little purple flowers in them, but I was really touched that he would try, and that he was so thoughtful to notice something that I liked so much.  He’s a really sweet and wonderful man and I’m lucky to have him.  These flowers are so pretty, and even though they’re pretty much dead now (it’s a week and a half later), I haven’t let Eric throw them away yet.  There’s just something neat about having that reminder on our counter that Eric loves me, I don’t want to give it up yet.

I’d been debating what I ought to do for Eric.  I finally decided to make him a strawberry rhubarb pie – his very favorite dessert.

When I was engaged to Eric he told me this was his favorite dessert and my heart sorta sunk.  I’d never made a pie before in my life, and I knew that making a good pie is an art.  I remember that for his first birthday that I celebrated with him I searched high and low in Provo to find rhubarb (I had ZERO idea what rhubarb was) to no avail and ended up unable to make him a pie.  Our first year of marriage I finally found a place online that would let me buy frozen rhubarb and they would ship it to me… but I had to buy $35 worth of rhubarb to get it.  So I bit the bullet and bought 10 packages of rhubarb.  My first couple attempts at making the pie were… not amazing.  I went and had a pie making lesson with my grandma which helped me get some more of the basics down.  And then I discovered refrigerated pie crusts.  Best. Invention. Ever.  Suddenly making a pie went from an all day ordeal to still a most of the day ordeal, but a much less daunting task.  So I started making Eric a strawberry rhubarb pie for just about every occasion, so we could use up all those 10 packages of rhubarb.  After awhile I found we were throwing away about half the pie every time because it just wasn’t as exciting to Eric anymore.  So I’d been hesitant to make a pie again because I thought I might need to look elsewhere to come up with a good treat for Eric.  So I’d been debating whether or not to make him a pie for our anniversary this year.  I finally decided at about 4:30pm to make one, and I had it ready by the time Eric got home.  What once was an all day process is now no big deal, I whipped up the pie with Sam “helping” and Daniel in the BabyBjorn.  I even got cutesy and carved “I <3 U” on the top with little hearts around.  And I did it while making homemade tomato soup – something I wouldn’t have even considered attempting 4 years ago.  The next morning I got up and made my grandma’s potato salad (again something that used to be an all day ordeal) in a couple of hours in the morning with Sam & Daniel in tow.  I’m amazed at how domestic I’ve become in this short time.  Granted, I’ve got a long way to go, making bread still eludes and terrifies me (thank heavens for Rhodes frozen rolls), and I don’t dare make my own pie crust – but maybe in another 4 years I can tackle those as well :)

We spent our evening at home making homemade paninis – something we discovered on our honeymoon in Paris -eating the tomato soup, and hanging out with our boys.  We had intended to go on a date the weekend before, but my allergies had kicked in full force so we ended up just renting a movie and staying home.  We did go on a date (with Daniel) to Stake Conference that Saturday, and we went as a family to the ward campout on Friday night (no we weren’t crazy enough to stay the night – although we did consider it).  We’ll make it out one of these days, but we’re happy with what we’ve done.  It’s enough of a celebration to just be together each day.  Plus, we’re planning to save up our credit card points and take a cruise for our 5th anniversary so a smaller celebration this year makes a lot of sense.

Valentine’s Day 2011

 - by Brittny

Eric and I vary on how committed we are to Valentine’s Day each year.  On the one hand it’s always nice to have an excuse to spoil the other person, but on the other hand it’s more meaningful to do the same things on any other day of the year.   This year we decided to celebrate at home over several days rather than having one single “date”.  Especially since Valentine’s day fell on a Monday we sorta made a Valentine’s weekend rather than just a Valentine’s Day.  On Friday night I spent that evening doing something extremely romantic… filing our taxes :P  While I’m of course kidding about it being romantic, it was really good to get that all finished and out of the way.  Since our baby is due on tax day I wanted to get our taxes done well in advance so it didn’t slip through the cracks.  And it was definitely nice getting our refund back early :)

Saturday we went to a ward activity as a family and did some chores.  That night we put Sam to bed and got to watch a movie together.  We hadn’t yet seen Eclipse so we’d rented that so we could see how it compared to the book and the other two movies.  At least from my perspective I think the movies have gotten much better as they’ve gone along.  I like the books a lot better, but books are always better than movies so that’s not really saying much.  As simple of a date as that was we somehow don’t get around to doing things like that very often and it was just nice to spend some time together enjoying a movie on our own.

Sunday we went to church, and after church we were all gearing up to take a nice afternoon nap.  Unfortunately at lunchtime Eric let Sam have some of his Sobe, which didn’t seem like such a big deal at the time.  However, what Eric didn’t realize was that his Sobe contained guarana… and therefore caffeine.  There was no way our little jumping bean was going down for a nap after that :P  So since we were having some gorgeous weather we decided to go out and take a walk around our neighborhood as a family.  It was really fun to be able to go out and meet some of our neighbors who were also enjoying the beautiful weather.  We have a very friendly neighborhood (which was one of our main draws to moving in here) and we’re really excited for when the weather gets nice permanently so we can really get out and get to know the people around us better.

Monday was actually Valentine’s day.  We didn’t really want to have to fight the crowds to go out on Valentine’s Day so we opted instead for a stay-at-home date.  I woke up early and stole the car so that Sam and I could run to the grocery store to pick up ingredients before Eric had to go to work.  I spent most of the day cleaning the house and getting food prepared for that meal. Part way through the day these arrived on our doorstep:

I meant to take a picture of my actual flowers, but I was waiting for them to bloom completely and when they did I forgot to get a picture... oops.

Seriously, who doesn’t like getting beautiful flowers, especially on Valentine’s day?  I was excited for them for sure, and it was fun to have pretty colors on our counter.  I know flowers are kinda silly because they just die within a week or so, but they’re so pretty, and they made me feel really special so oh well :)  For dinner that night I made creamy shrimp pasta, salad, french bread (ok so I just picked up the french bread at the store), and sparkling cider.  I also had everything ready so we could make crepes for dessert.  Eric got home sorta late that night, but he had warned me that would be the case so I had eaten a little bit later.  When he got home Sam was really excited to show off what he had made for his dad that day –

He ran to the door when he heard Eric get home and was carrying his Valentine.  He was so excited, “Daddy!  Here’s your valentine!”  I hadn’t realized that Sam would understand the concept of a valentine but I’d forgotten that in one of his books the word for V is Valentine, so he’s been thinking about them for awhile.  I let him use the stickers, and of course all of them are in one spot just layered on top of each other.  I tried to suggest that he put some of his stickers on the other half of the card and he’d consider it… almost stick it down on the other side… then put it with the others.  I guess he was worried that the stickers would get lonely if he spread them out :P  You can’t really see his little bit of drawing on the card, but the message is what he dictated for his card.  I helped him get started with the “Dear Daddy, Happy Valentine!” but the rest was all him.  If you can’t read it here’s what it says, “Dear Daddy, Happy Valentine! This is a Valentine for Daddy!  It’s so cool. Daddy Valentine. I love you too. Love, Sam Eric Hansen”  I really liked that he wanted it to say I love you too, because he thinks that’s sorta the finishing part of that phrase that sometimes we accidentally leave off :P  Also, Sam can spell his name and Eric’s, and he LOVES to spell them and have someone write them for him.  That’s why the card says “Sam Eric Hansen”.  I thought it was super cute watching him make that card and give it to his dad.

Once Sam had finished presenting his valentine we got all dressed up like we were going out (i.e. Eric put on a suit, I put on a dress, we looked fancy :)  and then came downstairs and ate dinner with Sam in his high chair.  It might not sound super romantic, but it was fun.  I’d set the table with our china and our nice tablecloth and for the first time since we got married we were in a place where we were actually allowed to light candles, so we enjoyed getting to have candles on the table (even though they didn’t really provide enough light for us to eat by). Sadly we were too full to actually make the crepes so we decided to hang on to the batter for another time. Afterwards Sam really wanted to take a walk (he’d really enjoyed our walk the day before), so even though it was late and dark and cold… we took a walk around our block.  Then it was off to bed for Sam and we followed his example not long afterwards.  I think not getting the nap we were hoping for on Sunday made us all a little tired so going to bed early was actually an exciting part our celebration.

Eric had found a few other things he wanted to get me for Valentine’s Day, which made me feel super lame that I had only gotten him some clothes and made him a fun meal.  But it was still exciting when these came in the mail later that week –

A companion cube!

So, I realize most of you won’t know what this is.  It’s an item that is found in a computer game that Eric played called Portal.  It’s basically *the* item that helps you get through the entire game and it’s called a companion cube because in the game it’s considered to be your most important (and only) friend.  It’s really hard to explain if you’ve never seen the game.  Anyways, I enjoyed watching Eric play that game almost as much as he enjoyed playing it so when he found this he thought of me and got me my own companion cube!  Nerdy, but sweet and I really enjoy it.  Especially as Eric is getting ready to go on some business trips and such it seems especially appropriate to have my own little companion cube  while he’s gone.

Ok, so this might even be less recognizable than the companion cube, but this was actually a very practical gift, it’s a hand warmer.  When you pop the little metal disk inside it heats up the gel and you have something to warm your hands for a little bit.  The really cool part of it is that after you use it and it has cooled down you can boil it in water for 15 minutes and it re-sets it (for lack of a better term) so that you can use it again later!  I tend to get very cold hands so this was a very thoughtful gift from Eric.  Thanks love!  I’m so grateful to have you as my valentine :)

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!