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Year: 2012

amazing eight

amazing eight

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Back in the day, while Micah and I were dating, my roommate would play the piano and we would all stand around it and sing. Some of the music she would play was from Les Mis, and I especially connected with this line Fantine sings: “He spent a summer by my side, he filled my days with endless wonder . . . but he was gone when autumn came” because Micah and I were only planning to date for the summer. He was going to be gone to a new job in the big city when autumn came.

Of course that didn’t happen, but it still seemed appropriate that we see Les Mis for our 8th anniversary date.

Back in the day, while Micah and I were living in Hawaii, if ever we wanted to feel like we were going on a fancy date, or if ever we had company over and wanted to go some place nice, we’d go to The Cheesecake Factory in Honolulu.

So it seemed appropriate that after we saw Les Mis we head on over to The Cheesecake Factory for a bite (or 100) to eat.

Back in the day, after Micah asked me to marry him, we went to Graeter’s to celebrate with a scoop of delicious ice cream.

So it seemed appropriate that after we finished up at The Cheesecake Factory, we get some fancy ice cream.

Back in the day . . . I mean every day of our lives . . . Micah and I plan to treat ourselves to something nice, something new. But then we can’t find exactly what we’re looking for, and we don’t really want to spend the money on something that is only 90% awesome, and so we don’t get anything.

So it seemed appropriate that we spend some time looking for some nice, new replacement items, almost find them, but then walk away empty handed.

Our anniversary date turned out, unintentionally, to be a pretty amazing reflection of our lives together. Which itself is kind of amazing.

christmas morning

christmas morning

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This is my favorite photo from Christmas morning. Another one for the ages, I’m sure.

I’ll post more later, but for now, we’ll just say we hope your Christmas was as fun and exciting –and as leisurely – as ours was.

And that the spirit lingers with you throughout the week, and month, and coming year.

winter wonders

winter wonders

One of the nice things about being at Grandma’s is that she can watch little Elsa while Micah and I show the boys how to make a snowman.

This particular snow is pretty dry, so rather than rolling balls, we shoveled as much as we could into a pile and packed it tight for a body. The boys threw snowballs and made snow angels while Micah and I did that. But they were all about the details. Sticks for arms. Sticks for eyes. Sticks for mouth and nose.

I’m pretty sure it’s been ages since I saw such a happy snowman. Or been so happy about being in the freezing cold snow myself.

 *****

And then there was the Christmas tree. Micah and I are firm believers that ye shall have a live tree or ye shall have no tree at all. And although we are not opposed to buying one off the lot in any way shape or form, we thought it’d be fun to cut our own tree. I’d never done it before. The boys had certainly never done it before. And since we don’t know when we’ll have the chance to do it again, we did it now.

Personally, I think this picture is one for the ages.

close call

close call

So, we borrowed our friends’ car to come to Ohio. And, of course, we are terrified of doing anything to it. You know, getting in an accident or something. Micah and I both have perfect records, and we’re both very careful drivers. But sometimes the roads aren’t as cooperative.

The other night we went to dinner at Micah’s uncle’s house. It had snowed all day and was really windy. We were on an especially treacherous stretch – where the wind was blowing the snow all over the road – when we spun out (a complete 180) and went into a ditch. We were fine. Oliver slept through the whole thing, the snow was really soft, the ditch wasn’t terribly deep. But we were still stuck. And although we were all pretty calm through the whole ordeal, I can’t say I didn’t imagine the car rolling as we slid off the road, or another car losing its footing and slamming into us, or several other situations to make the skin crawl.

As it was, Mom Heiselt has AAA and was able to call and get us a tow truck within 30 minutes. Half a dozen other cars stopped to be sure we were okay and able to get help. And the tow truck driver himself was amazing. He got us out quickly and safely, and he was aware enough (as I suppose you have to be) to run and dive into the snow when another car misread the road and went off right where we did. If he hadn’t been so alert, he would have gotten slammed. *shudder*

Add that to our very long list of things to be grateful for. (And also, that our friends’ car is fine. Phew!)

on the road

on the road

Since this is the blog that I use to enumerate the many ways my kids are the best kids ever, let me add to what is already here that they are amazing road trippers.

We woke them up at 2:30 on Thursday morning, bundled them up and strapped them into our friends’ car for the drive to Ohio. We were on the road for about 12 hours, and the only negative thing out of any of their mouths was Simon informing us that the podcast about the effects of the atomic bomb was probably not age appropriate for a 5 year old. Point taken, podcast changed. This, despite waking up at 2:30 and only sleeping for about an hour at the very end of the trip.

Those kids are so good to us.

Some other highlights from the trip: cruising through the Holland Tunnel, which was nearly empty at 3:30 am – a stark contrast to our last Christmas trip to Ohio in which it took us 1 1/2 to cross Manhattan. This time we were to New Jersey 3o minutes after we started.

The boys (mostly Simon) got his first glimpse of Orion. Orion has always been my favorite constellation, and since the boy is really into space (still) I was thrilled to show it to him.

We had been in 3 states before 11:00am. Pretty productive morning, if you ask me.

And we stopped at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn in Ashland, Ohio for lunch. It was pretty awesome and I’d love to make a habit of it on our trips to Ohio. We decided against getting any sort of milkshake/dessert since we’re having trouble getting through the treats we already have, but I look forward to trying them another time.

Best of all, we made it through a rainstorm before it turned into a windy snowstorm and got to listen to the wind blow from the warmth of Grandma’s house.

advent stars

advent stars

Our mornings this month have been a little different than other months because the first thing the boys do is get dressed. Then they climb on the couch and Simon reaches to grab the nearest paper star that is hanging in the doorway, and the two of them rip it open together to find (sometimes) a little treat and (always) a slip of paper with something to do on it.

So far we’ve made cards for a neighbor, watched the Charlie Brown Christmas special, found gifts for each other and Elsa, sang songs, decorated cookies, had friends over, and many other things.

Tonight we’ll play the dreidel game (with m&ms!) for the last night of Hanukkah.

This is way better than breaking a link off a paper chain every day. (But next year, I think I’m going to make something more permanent than paper stars. Any thoughts?)

christmas open house

christmas open house

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again: we’ve come a long way.

Our first Christmas open house attracted exactly one other couple. It was snowing, but they already had a baby-sitter so they braved the elements so we could play mah-jongg. Good times, but slightly embarrassing for us.

Since then, we seem to have developed some street cred or something to draw people out in inclement weather and come to our little apartment for hot drinks, bread and spreads, french onion goo, and a cookie exchange of sorts.

Last night our apartment was packed. We kept thinking that people would say, “This is too crowded, we’re leaving.” But they didn’t. They stayed and stayed and stayed. And it was awesome. We loved it. (We may not have loved that they all left the cookies/treats they brought, but at least we were able to freeze them for later.)

The only thing I regret is that the day of the event I realized that there were several people who somehow didn’t make it on the invite list. And I feel bad about that because we would have loved to have them. But I guess there’s always Pi Day in March to make up for it.

released

released

Early Christmas came yesterday: Micah was released as the ward executive secretary, a calling he’s had since we moved into our ward more than 4 years ago. (That’s an especially long time for our transient ward.) It was somewhat unexpected, although before he left for his meeting on Tuesday, Micah made a comment about not getting trunky – and then quickly realized that he had no idea if he was nearing the end or not. He could have been there for 4 more years as far as he knew.

But he didn’t have 4 more years. He barely had 4 more days. And although everyone keeps reminding me that he’s likely going to get a new calling soon and that that may mean more meetings and more being away from us, I’m going to take the little break we have and enjoy it. For at least a little while, we’ll be going to and from church together. I’ll have someone to help me get the kids ready for church. We’ll be able to leave right after the meeting. And Tuesday night he’ll be around to help me get the kids in bed as well.

(For my part, I haven’t minded getting the kids ready by myself or putting them to bed by myself or anything. It would have been nice to have him around sometimes, but I feel like I managed just fine and got us to church on time at least once a month.)

It seemed as if the news shocked a lot of people in our ward. Micah has been one of the first people a lot of them had met when they moved in. He’s been there “forever” – longer than any other current member of the bishopric. Some people thought he was released because we were moving (not so). And with the end of the year just a few weeks away and us going out of town this week, it felt like we were saying good-bye.

We’re not, of course. We’re still here. But it feels nice to have completed a job, and completed it well.

little squeaky

little squeaky

This video is only for people who don’t mind watching things that are upside down. Or things that are somewhat painful to the ears. Or things that are actually rather boring.

It is also for people who can’t get enough of their granddaughter or niece or cousin.

And possibly for those who wonder how girls are different from boys. We never heard noises like that coming from Simon or Oliver.