Saturday, December 29, 2007

Merry Birthiversimas!

This was our very first Christmas on our own, and so much fun! Benjamin woke up at about 7 a.m., as usual, but Paul and I had already been awake a little while, partly in anticipation, and partly because I was waking up every half hour to blow my nose, suffering from a cold and a horrible NyQuil-induced sleep. Paul went into his room while I went into the front room with the camera ready to take pictures, but he wouldn't come out of his room. Finally after some coaxing, he came out, bleary-eyed and confused to see what Santa had brought him. It took a few minutes for him to warm up to the excitement, but he had a fun day.
His big presents from Santa included a climber slide thing, a Little People barn and zoo lot, and a soccer ball (which was his clear favorite). He also got nice presents from his grandparents; a Little People Noah's Ark and a green wooden marble track (my dad made this to replicate the one his grandfather made for him when he was a kid that we all still play with when we come over). He loves all his presents though, and has been playing with all of them all week.
For Christmas Eve dinner, I surprised us all with a pretty good ham. I didn't want to buy a huge 5 pound ball of meat, so I bought a ham "steak" with no clue how I was going to prepare it. Anyways, I ended up pan frying it in butter and maple syrup and it turned out pretty good! We had a nice fancy table setting and sparkling grape juice to go with our meal. It was fun. Then we told Benjamin the condensed Christmas story from Luke and put him to bed. The rest of the evening, we spent setting up Christmas, cleaning up and just relaxing by the fire. Paul was nice enough to scoop a dead bird out of the fire place and build us a nice Christmas Eve fire.
For breakfast, we enjoyed beautiful, fluffy home-made orange rolls, bacon, eggs, grapefruit and orange juice. It was a treat!
Mainly we were spoiled by our parents this year with our presents, but we also got each other some nice things. Santa brought Paul some sweet kicks for Christmas, but there's no way he could like his present as much as I liked mine. Paul surprised me with a "Magic House" year-pass, which I was SO excited about! The Magic House is one of the best-rated family attractions in the U.S and happens to be just 5 minutes down the road from us. Since it costs $7.50 for children AND adults, I've never justified going, but with the pass, it'll pay for itself in less than 4 times. So I call that my ticket to sanity for the winter since it's too cold to go to the zoo or the playground.
On the 28th, we celebrated Paul's 27th Birthday! We had a nice relaxing day together and a plain yellow birthday cake with no frosting, which was what he requested. Paul says he doesn't mind, but he celebrates his anniversary, Christmas and birthday all within 10 days. hence the term we coined for it-his birthiversimas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today is our THIRD Anniversary! I just wanted to publicly announce that I love Paul! I feel so blessed to have him in my life forever. He is so sweet and patient with me, and an incredible example of love and service. I'm so proud of him for everything that he's accomplished thus far!
These have been the best three years of my life, without question. So here are a few highlights since we've known each other.

1. A magical night of frisbee in Nottoway Park where we both grew up
2. Two proposals- one in my backyard, the next overlooking a canyon and the back of Timpanogos with the most gorgeous ring I have ever seen
3. A road trip to Oregon and surfing in November
4. One amazing wedding weekend with a reception the night before
5. Christmas in Merida
6. Living in Union Square (we call this the Marshmallow Matey's phase in our life- the little cereal indulgence we often gave into)
7. Camp out in the desert and sledding down the sand dunes
8. Finding out we were pregnant
9. My graduation and art show
10. The five months living with Paul's parents
11. Slot Canyon and Goblin Valley adventures
12. Living in Wymount (we call this the PB & C Crunch phase of our life for the same reason as mentioned above)
13. Having a baby and becoming parents for the first time together
14. Enduring one long, brutal summer of sleepless nights without AC and a newborn together
15. Road trip with Paul's family to California and a trip to the east coast for a beach vacation with my family
16. Paul's graduation/transition into the Master's program
17. Finding the perfect job in St. Louis and knowing that was where we were supposed to be
18. Paul graduating from BYU with his Master's (pending...)
19. Finding our house and moving to Kirkwood, Missouri

And too many more to mention....

Aside from our anniversary, we got a ton of snow this weekend- about six inches! There was probably only about 2 or 3 inches in these pictures, but Benjamin had a good time helping Daddy build a snowman. He likes it when we sing the "Snowman Song" and does the actions, so this was putting it all into real life for him!

Oh, and just this morning, Benjamin started saying "Uh, oh!" for the first time. Cute.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

This and That

Today is Benjamin's 18 month birthday, and for any LDS person with kids that means NURSERY! I have to admit, I'm a little obsessively attached to the kid...maybe even more than he is to me, so this day brought on mixed feelings. I've actually been going to nursery with him these past several weeks because it was either that or the hall (a kid can only sit through only so much "SHHH!!"-ing and "Be reverent!"). So anyways, I thought he was doing pretty well and didn't care whether I was with him or not, and figured just maybe I could just slip out and leave him today. I was just settling into Sunday School with Paul when I heard wailing in the hall that sounded like Benjamin. Sure enough, the nursery leader had brought him to me, and so I went back with him to nursery. For the remaining two hours or so, I was being closely monitored so I couldn't pull another fast one on him. Any advice, mommy veterans?
So we've also had issues with our kitchen sink over the past month or so, and FINALLY got that resolved! I can't even tell you how nice it is to dump leftover soup down the disposal and turn on then water to wash it down. Small thrills, I know. The chain of events went something like this; we bought a new dishwasher to replace the old one, the first guy couldn't install it because he wasn't a plumber, the plumber couldn't install it because he wasn't an electrician, the electrician fixed the electrical, but couldn't install it because he wasn't a plumber, and finally another plumber installed it. Then, we started noticing the sink was backing up, so Paul decided to fix it himself. After plunging elbow deep in bilge water for a half-hour, our garbage disposal fell off the other side, and it's like a hundred years old and apparently was missing the seal, so we couldn't put it back on. So with the pipes taped off, we could still use one side of the sink (which was still clogged) but not the new dishwasher. So Paul bought a sewer snake to try to knock the blockage out himself. Though the elbow grease he put into working that thing was impressive (he worked for hours) he was getting nowhere. So we called a clog specialist, who reinstalled the broken disposal and told us we'd have to go in through the roof, but that we could rent the machine rather than pay someone $270/hour to do it. Ignoring his advice, we bought a drill to give the snake a little more force. Oh, and we replaced the garbage disposal. When the sink was backing up after just seconds of turning on the faucet, we decided it was time to call Roto-Rooter and it's now FIXED! HOORAY FOR WORKING SINKS!

Benjamin gives Daddy "kisses" by pressing his forehead into his cheek.

We got our first Christmas tree this year (it's our fourth married Christmas!) and decorated it with one inherited strand of lights, a bunch of cheap silver and white ornaments leftover from our wedding decor and a few nicer ones we've acquried over the years. But we think it looks beautiful!
This is what Benjamin does when you ask him what a fish says. Kind of a scary picture.