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.

Four Years

 - by Brittny

Four years ago today Eric and I were married in the Los Angeles Temple.

Our Wedding Day - 02 June 2007

Since then we’ve both graduated.

My Graduation - April 2008


Eric's Graduation - August 2009

We’ve both gotten jobs.

Axis41 – The company Brittny’s worked for since July 2007
Omniture, now Adobe – where Eric’s worked since January 2008

We’ve had our first baby.

Samuel Eric Hansen - born 04 March 2009

And now our second.

Daniel Curtis Hansen – born 15 April 2011

We’ve moved six different times, and finally decided to settle down in the one place we’d both agreed we didn’t want to end up.

Our house! Completed December 2010

So much has happened, but at the same time I still can’t believe that four whole years have gone by. Eric, I love you even more today than I did the day I married you.  I feel so incredibly lucky to be on this wonderful adventure of life with you.  Thank you for all the “adbentures” we’ve had so far and for the many more to come! (although, hopefully not so many in such a short time again)  I love you!

Danielle’s Wedding and the End of Winter Break

 - by Brittny

In case you weren’t aware, let me tell you something unique about Eric. He is the youngest of 9 children. That puts him in a very interesting situation. He became an uncle when he was 3 years old. This means that our oldest niece, Danielle, is 21 and seems like she ought to be more cousin than niece, but things are what they are. However, 21 puts her at a marrying age and that’s just what she did over Christmas break.  That made us feel a little old to have a niece old enough to get married, even though she’s not all that much younger than we are.  Oh well.  If you’ve been following our winter break saga this post just picks up where the last one left off. Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post…

We drove from Logan up to Rexburg on Tuesday afternoon. We were very glad that we had planned ahead and were already halfway to Rexburg from Orem. Sam has gotten much better at being in his carseat in recent months, but it’s still not his preferred location so it’s best if we can keep him out of it as much as possible.

We pulled into Rexburg around 4:30pm. After unpacking ourselves into the room and getting settled Eric suddenly realizes the Rexburg Temple doesn’t provide clothing rental (or so he thinks). This wouldn’t be a problem except that his wife has fed him some apparently edible food since they got married and he now has more… girth units about his middle section. A.k.a. he needs new white temple pants. So he finds where the nearest Church Distribution Center is and races out to go get himself a new pair of temple pants.

(For those of you who might not be up on LDS lingo I’ll explain really quick. When we attend the temple we dress all in white to represent purity and heaven and other things along those lines. Most church members own their own set of white clothes that they can wear inside the temple. They can buy these at a Distribution Center where they sell white clothes that fit the specifications of the temple as well as other church supplies – scriptures, lesson manuals etc. At many of the larger temples they offer a clothing rental service for those who may not own their own temple clothes or who aren’t able to bring them with them. However, since Rexburg isn’t a very large town Eric didn’t think he’d be able to rent clothes there. Ok, enough explaining… back to the blog post :)

When Eric gets back he tells me that his sister Dianne (the mother of the bride) has invited us over for pizza, and has agreed to hem his new temple pants for him. Since there’s not a whole lot more to do in Rexburg, and the whole point of this trip is to be with family we pretty much immediately hop back in the car to go to Dianne’s.

We had a ball at their house! I was pleasantly surprised at how laid back they were for it being the night before the wedding. We played Rock Band, ate pizza, watched a movie and just hung out as a family.

Sam helping Eric sing his part in Rock Band

Sam putting on a show for some of the women

Sam trying to get into a cousin’s backpack

Sam climbing through his cousin Lizzie’s legs. Yes, Sam was very photogenic that night so there are some fun pictures of him :P

Anyways, so partway through our fun night Eric gets a call from his dad to tell us that we’d checked into the wrong room. Oops! Luckily we’d left one of the room keys behind and hadn’t let Sam make too much of a mess yet so they were able to just transfer all our stuff to the correct room and take over the room for themselves.

The next morning we woke up with a concern that had been nagging us all trip – what were we going to do with Sam while we were in the temple. He had been so clingy since the first day we left the house (Christmas Eve) and had only gotten worse the longer we’d been gone. We really didn’t want to leave our niece Becca with a screaming child for three hours, but we really wanted to participate in Danielle’s wedding. Danielle had invited all of the family to participate in an endowment session before the sealing to get everyone in the right spirit of the ordinance. However we knew that meant an extra two hours that we’d be leaving Sam. We finally decided to go participate in the endowment session and trust in the Lord (and Becca) to take care of Sam.

I’m so glad we did. We took Sam over to the Eaton’s house still worried that he was going to be ornery. He hadn’t eaten yet so I pulled out my nursing cover and fed him for a few minutes. All of a sudden, Sam decided he was done eating, climbed down, and crawled right over to Becca! It was truly a tender mercy from Heavenly Father that he would do that. We gave him kisses that he hardly acknowledged, and we left. Apparently Sam didn’t make a fuss the whole time we were gone. He slept happily on Becca for a while and played with his cousins.

The Rexburg Temple

The whole experience of going through the temple with Danielle was awesome. I think she was truly inspired to have the temple experience like she did. It was really cool to see how the endowment and sealing ceremonies fit together. It also really got us all with the Spirit before getting to the sealing. It was such a neat experience and I’m so glad we got to be a part of it.

After the temple we picked up Sam and went to a big family luncheon. You know, just being with family is pretty cool. We really enjoyed sitting around and talking and watching the little kids run around. What a blessing to have such a great family.

Sam and I ended up taking a nap and missing the family pictures (we figured Danielle would probably appreciate not having a cranky baby in her pictures more than us trying to force him to be there). We sent Eric to represent our family for the pictures and then he came back to bring us back to the reception.

We got to help take down the reception which, strangely enough, was one of my favorite things. I really like the energy of setting things up and taking them down. There’s a sense of accomplishment when everything is in order and ready for an event, and when you’ve gotten everything cleaned up and packed back up. I know that sounds weird, but I guess I’m just a weird person. It’s definitely one of the reasons I loved my time as a stage technician for the Young Ambassadors. I miss being a part of that a lot sometimes. I love what I’m doing now as a wife and mother, but I still miss it.

When we got back to the hotel we took Sam swimming for a little bit. Sam is an absolute fish! He loves the water so we couldn’t pass up a chance to take him swimming – even if it was in the middle of winter in Rexburg, Idaho! (Don’t worry, the pool was inside, otherwise this “swimming” would have been called “ice skating” or “tobogganing”).

When the pool closed up we got dried off and met with some of our nephews to play cards. I nursed Sam to sleep and kept him asleep on my lap while we played Bang! and Five Crowns<. As we were getting close to our last round of Five Crowns the man at the front desk came over and said he'd gotten some complaints that we were being too loud and asked us to keep it down. We were extremely perplexed by this since we'd obviously been quiet enough for Sam to continue sleeping peacefully in my lap the whole time. We think that it was actually the family that owned and lived in the hotel that registered these complaints more because they saw us in the common area playing games rather than that we were actually making any considerable amount of noise. Luckily we were just about done so we finished up our game and went to bed.

The next day was a little bittersweet. Our vacation had finally come to an end. We’d had a really fun vacation with all of our family. It had been fun having time off from work and time away from home that we didn’t have to worry about all the same day-to-day activities we’re normally concerned about. However, we were very excited to finally be taking Sam home and get back to a normal routine. Sam had been very out of sorts since leaving and we would be glad to have our Sam back to normal. I think that’s the mark of a good vacation. Short enough that you’re sad to see it end, but long enough that you’re ready to get back to your regular life.

Luckily Eric still had a few more days off. So we went home and celebrated the New Year with Ryan and Taylor. We probably spent the better part of the next few days just hanging out with them and playing games and relaxing. It was a nice way to end a vacation before going back to real life.