31 December 2008

Playing at the Park...PS: It's Cold!!!



Married Four Years


Yesterday Justin and I celebrated four whole years of marriage! Guess what? We still love each other. It's been a fun four years. The first two years now seem empty without Amelia to fill them and not as exciting with out job changes and moving. Since we married four years ago we've:
stayed in the same home
Justin's worked at KPMG
I worked as a trainer for the DWS state agency, then quit that job once Amelia came
We welcomed Amelia
Bought Grey Skull (my Toyota)
Decorated our home
Bought several guns and a lot of ammo
Worked up to a full year supply of food and basics
Started a photography hobby/business
Loved living with family nearby, especially Mom and the boys
Served in many callings in the Balmoral Ward
Biked, walked, and played up and down all the nearby streets
Ate a Del Taco's Dollar night only once
Vacationed in Cancun, Cozumel, Disneyland (three times), Gilroy (twice), Anchorage, Washington DC, and Jordan
and on and on!
Justin and I enjoy a fun relationship. We are both equally nerdy in totally different ways, so we get the odd snort or giggle at interesting times. We totally love Amelia and can't wait to add more nerds to our clan. So, cheers to Nerds in LOVE.

PS: we celebrated by cleaning our house for a potential buyer; visited Mom, Charity, Raquel, and Melissa; and had yummy sushi at Mikado's. We arrived at Mikado's early enough to catch their "Happy Hour." YES!

29 December 2008

New Hair-cute



I finally got fed up with the sheep dog look! We went to Cookie Cutters this morning for child torture. Amelia blubbered sugar spit and swallowed bits of hair gagging the whole time. The lady was really fast so we were in and out in five minutes. We passed a mirror on the way out and she "ohhhed" at herself. So she is a pretty little lady! Now she looks like a little girl. Boo hoo, my Amelia is growing up so fast.

28 December 2008

Jesus Bread!!

While enjoying the sacrament this morning, Amelia finally put two and two together. Usually, Justin and I will whisper in her ear explaining what the sacrament bread and water are all about. This week we did not have the chance. As soon as she spotted the bread, she pipped up and exclaimed: "Yay, Jesus Bread!!!" Guess she got that lesson down. I am really glad she did not say hosanna or hallelujah!

Blessing Day for Lia Marie

This afternoon Amelia and I went to James and Miekka's ward to see Lia's blessing. Justin went to Haley Call's farewell. She is serving in Portugal! Amelia thought it was great fun to climb over the pews from my arms to Miekka's and back. We had to put to kibosh on that game. Lia looked so sweet in her white dress and hair bow. James blessed Lia with sweet blessings that will help her throughout life. We are so glad Lia is here and healthy.

Miekka and James provided yummy sandwiches for all to eat after sacrament meeting. I was so glad to get a picture of Grandpa Baerwaldt holding Lia.


Amelia showed off her really neat vocal chords by squealing and running around the roundy, round. She also thought it was neat to scoot her bum on the main beam underneath Miekka's dinner table.

Then of course I had to catch a couple pics of Lia (or 133 to be exact) in her white dress. She looked so cute with her little bonnet on. Eventually she tired of playing and drifted off to sleep, which is the best time to photograph little innocent cuties!

Joe came home with us and spent the evening lounging on our couch, eating home popped popcorn, and watching Emma (the Joseph Smith one) with us. Amelia melted like a little snowman soon after he left due to getting only a 10 minute nap.

Playdough Stars


Yesterday evening the power went off for 10 mintues or so. Justin (what a cool nerd) had headlamps not 5 feet away. He jumped into action and supplied us all with headlamps. Amelia was delighted to keep making her "tars" in the dark. She kept the lamp on much to Justin's amusement.

Two Cute Onesies


I made these yesterday for little Lia. Mom got Lia the onesies for Christmas so I spiced them up a bit for some winter cuteness.

Little Helper


Justin repaired our basement ceiling yesterday. About three years ago my fish tank sprung a leak and caused the basement ceiling to bulge a bit. Now that we are moving he decided to fix it. LOL. Amelia learned how to climb Seth and Jacob's bunk bed ladder this week. Consequently, the ladder Justin had out was super duper fun to play on. She helped Daddy by misplacing his tools, squeezing by him on her way up and down the ladder, and getting really dusty. My studio is packed away in preparation for our move. Most likely we will rent a storage unit for a month or two to store some of the extra stuff in our house that we don't want out when we show the house. Once it sells we'll have to move it back into our home so the movers can pack it. Yesterday I packed up Christmas. That was really sad because I usually keep out our tree until mid-January. Our only excursion outside was to Blockbuster to rent a movie. Amelia loved running up and down the aisles jabbering at any one who'd listen. Justin and I ended the evening watching the Jack Bauer "Redemption" movie. It made me want to watch 24...too bad there is not a season out for this past year. Dang TV writers strike.

27 December 2008

Presents Galore!!


Christmas morning! Hooray! We got up at 8 am...it was so nice to sleep in! First we ate some breakfast then introduced Amelia to the secular side of Christmas excitement. She was totally distracted by the Little People Nativity I arranged under the tree. She pushed the angel over and over filling the room with Away in a Manger. We tried to show her how to rip open wrapping paper but the Nativity and Lego blocks from Grandma Debbie was too much! I ended up opening most of her presents! Justin sat on the couch playing photographer and opening his gifts. Amelia loved the little kitty and doggie we got her. She also really liked the Little People Farm because it makes noises. We are trying to get her ready for life out in the country. The worst part about children's toys is ironically taking the toy out of the box. Sheesh, I've never seen so many ties, screws, tape, cardboard, etc to ensure the toy stayed in the package. It took pliers, scissors, and elbow grease to pry the toys out of the boxes. We basked in the glow of our tree napping, playing, and cooking. It was a PJ day until 4 pm. Amelia thought Justin's new shoes were pretty comfy. Jana and Joe came over to play for a while. I made traditional clam chowder we usually have on Christmas Eve for lunch. While I cooked we watched Elf. We LOVE that movie. De-bo stopped by for a second to play with Amelia and say hello.

Around 4 we bundled up and drove to Charity's home for Christmas dinner. Melissa and Mom made a yummy ham dinner with green salad, scalloped potatoes, rolls, and my cranberry salad. Everyone was running around playing with new toys and hyper on goof balls. The snow started to pound down around 6:45 with sleet that quickly turned to heavy snow. The drive took 30 minutes longer than usual. By the time we arrived home at 8:30 8 inches of new snow covered the ground. To celebrate Christmas and the new snow we hopped in Justin's car (complete with emergency parking brake) and spun doughnuts in the DWS parking lot. It took about 15 runs around the lot to smash the snow enough to get some good spins. Amelia enjoyed going "whee" around the parking lot.

24 December 2008

O Holy Night


I am so grateful for the Christmas Story. I love our Savior. I am constantly astounded by his love for us to leave Heavenly Father's presence to provide a way back. I love the Fontaninni Creches. The emotion in the characters are imbued with passion and love, much like I feel. Each year we add a figurine to our set. This year we added the shepherd. When Christ was born the angels did not announce it to Kings or popular people, he chose to announce it to lowly shepherds who watched over their sheep. It was so fitting he is named the Lamb of God. Words of Sister Brinkerhoff often recur to me this time of year: when the wise men sought out Christ they returned home a different way. We too must find our Saviour and return or resume our lives a different way. Once we find HIM we cannot return to being the same person. Witnessing the lands where our Savior walked is becoming more precious. At the time the experience was a whirlwind of events. Pondering on what we actually saw makes this Christmas season more vivid because of the ability to set the story into a location. What a blessing! May we be like the shepherds, humble of heart and willing to find our Saviour so willingly.

Christmas Eve with the Lances

A salute to our Military soldiers! We love you Dad, John, Joe, and Jeff!!

Christmas Story

The Christmas Fairy

Trottin' Along

James and Miekka invited us to join them for a yummy ham dinner at their home. Marisse, Aaron, Hannah, Maggie, Sofie, Caleb, and Katrina were there, and Miek's two brothers joined in the fun. On our side Jana, Joe, and De-bo joined the party. James made a succulent ham (it was really good) and Miekka made all the fixings. She stayed up until 4 am making baklava and pecan sandies. Brave lady...or dumb. Amelia found a toy pony that she pranced about in neighing like a horse. We produced a little Christmas Story production. Lia as Baby Jesus and the rest of the kids playing shephards, wise men, Joseph, Mary, and the Angel(s). We stayed until after everyone left. The boys talked guns and I held Lia!

The nelves arrived and left Seth and Jacob jammies and candy! It was a burst of excitement! I wonder if the boys are asleep!! John called as we were leaving so stayed a couple minutes to say hello. Barely a block away Amelia started crying her pain cry...so we stopped and I performed a diaper change on the side of the icy road (still in the neighborhood) in 5 seconds flat. Once hooked up to Justin's iPod watching Sesame Street she calmed down. I am fast!!!

Christmas Eve!!! Horray




Finally Christmas Eve is here! All the presents are wrapped and the Nelves are rapping on our door. I think the best Christmas memory I have are the Nelves, aka elves. They are named, Semaj, Nhoj, Innej, Anaj, Hpesoj, and Yreffej. Santa is Enal and Mrs Claus is Eibbed. Around Christmas time the Nelves conduct regular reconnaissance missions to determine if the Lance clan is behaving. Rudolph repeatedly gets his rump kicked by Santa and the Nelves freeze while trying to scare little people like Seth and Jacob. Those Nelves are very sneaky. Every Christmas Eve Santa writes a letter to the Lance family. I've witnessed this letter writing with great laughter. Santa peers over his glasses looking like a gopher laughing over his own ingenious narrative. I can't wait to introduce Amelia to the Nelves. Maybe next year!

Today we spent the morning cleaning our home like folks on fire. Two real estate agents came to inspect our home and etc. I've not done much house work due to Christmas and too many photos to edit. It looks like Charity will be representing us as our Agent. She had to be cleared by the relocation company Cabela's uses. We signed paper work and hopefully we will get this house on the market by early next week. We drive out of SLC on Friday!! Can I just leave for a loud squeal? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! We may rent a POD to store some of our belongings while our home is being shown and before the movers come to pack everything up. My studio will be in a box by next week! I hope to bring my crafting bins so there is something to amuse me while we are temporary housing for two months or more.

Christmas Cutie


Can I just say I LOVE, lOVe, LovE Amelia's little bum in this little skirt! I just want to spank her diapered bum and kiss her until she pleads UNCLE!!! We made an excursion to the Alpine Cabela's yesterday so Justin could fill out HR paperwork. While he papered away Amelia and I explored the store. This Cabela's is about three times larger than the one in Sidney. Amelia chattered like a fish in the aquarium tunnel. She absolutely loves the pishies. We sat in Santa's chair, looked a moose, rode a deer, and climbed a fake mountain. Justin and I tried on different snow boots but decided to wait until we actually get to Sidney before getting some. Justin really wants me to get a parka down to my ankles (tiny exaggeration). Mostly, I think he wants to get me a parka so he can get one too. The man has about 20 coats, parkas, wind breakers, water proof jackets, etc. All we need is another coat!

I braved Walmart with Amelia while Justin went to run some errands. I don't like going to Wally's with Amelia anymore. She only sits still if she is chewing on gum or candy, and then for only a couple minutes. Even the toy aisle doesn't distract her much. Good thing she is so cute.

Melissa invited us up to Ogden for dinner. Jonathon had the 3rd Pirates movie playing on their HUGE television and Blu-Ray player. I could see the actor's zits the screen was so clear. Melissa made yummy teriyaki chicken and broccoli. Charity and gang left early to attend Kenny's nephews baptism. We gave mom a ride back down to NSL after the party died down. Justin and I are enjoying listening to my newest geek book on CD: Pillage. It is pretty good! My eyes hurt from so much photo editing. No more photo shoots until after we are moved and settled.

Christmas Story

Monday afternoon Grandma Diana flew in from Washington DC for a Christmas visit. We spent the morning shopping at Target and DSW Shoes (for Justin not ME). The snow was pounding down but did not last very long. After Amelia's nap we headed to Charity's for the evening.

Justin showed Mom our pictures from Jordan while she nearly nodded off...from boredom or sleep deprivation I'm not sure. The munchkins all had dinner then we sent them to play. Grant and Amelia loved playing with the doll strollers. Grant figured out to push Amelia in one. They were super cute being so nice to each other.

Libby and Charity narrated the Christmas Story for FHE. Mason was baby Jesus, Reagan the angel, Amelia and Grant were shepherds, and Ethan was a sheep. In spite of all the ruckus the spirit was there to feel and appreciate!

Click on the links for video

23 December 2008

Punkle Joe and Temple Square

Who Needs Santa, I've Got Grandma

Bubble Bum

So Cute





All Done!!

Uncle Joe is visiting town from Monterey, California. He is an Airman and studying Arabic and DLI. We lived in Monterey back in 1996 and visit as much as possible so he should feel at home there! So far my Dad, John, and Joe were stationed there, as well as Grandpa Lynn back when Dad was a baby. That town has some serious family nostalgia. Joe looks pretty good. He actually has some chest muscles now and a good haircut. LOL. He was so funny with Seth and Jacob. They love to rough house and Joe obliged! The best part was handing little Lia over to see them snuggle close. Lia had a cute dress and super cute panties on! She promptly pooed out of the outfit! James, Miekka, and I prepared a turkey dinner. We both had turkeys to roast. I chipped in some mashed potatoes and gravy as well. It is hard to believe Christmas is around the corner.



Justin, Amelia and I then donned warm outwear for an excurion to Temple Square. We timed it pretty well since the weather was almost balmy for December at 32-35 degrees and there was no wind! Amelia actually insisted in playing in the snow at Temple Square. Maybe she only likes to play in Holy Snow. I had fun taking pictures of the lights until Amelia started into meltdown mode. I really like how the Holy Family was in the middle of the reflection pool this year. I tried to capture some different angles this year than the last two or three. We did not go up to Justin's office due to the late hour. It is hard to believe we will be leaving Utah in about 10 days. Yikes.

21 December 2008

Fun Videos

Horse Duvers with the Baerwaldts


Saturday morning we drove up to Wellsville with De-bo in tow to visit my grandparents. Grandma tried to hold the party last weekend but the snow was flying to thickly it was a white-out condition. The drive was pretty uneventful until halfway through Sardine Canyon. Phew! The snow was sure coming down on the Cache Valley side. Justin drove slow and showed off his mad driving skills. Grandpa was outside plowing snow on his ATV. Justin is TOTALLY going to get one of those once we get to Nebraska. Grandpa is so cute in his winter gear playing with the snow. I miss living with them. BJ and Sarah were there when we arrived (my cousins). James, Miekka, Jana, and company arrived an hour later due to a trip to Gossner's Cheese. Amelia jumped on Grandma's mini tramp and colored with crayons. She even ate a couple crayons.

Grandma prepared a few appetizers...or Horse Duvers as we Lances call them for a late luncheon. I made a yummy cream cheese, fresh crab, and Thai Chili sauce dip with triscuits. Justin reported it was very yummy. Grandma and Grandpa were so cute holding little Lia. She snuggles right in to anyone who will hold her. Seth entertained us with the four poems he memorized for school and the songs his class sung at his Christmas program. He could show up on American Idol one day. It snowed the entire time we were there. By the time we headed out Highway I-15 was closed in between Smith and Edwards and Tremonton. So we took highway 84 to Layton then back on to I-15. Thanks for inviting us up Grandpa and Grandma!!

10 Lovely Inches of SNOW

Friday was awesome! A powerful storm was brewing all night and morning. The winds literally howled and snaked its way through every crook and cranny in our home. About a month ago Justin boarded up a vent that goes straight into the laundry room...that helped maintain some heat the basement but not much. I went out to dump the trash around 9:30 and the bags were flying straight backwards the wind was so strong. It was a very Mary Poppinish feeling. I had two fun photo sessions Friday, with my good friend Jess and her family then Malisia and Kate in the noon hour. Jess' brother was so fun to photograph; he has a very kinetic personality.

If you want to view my "fropessional" photos I have a blog specifically for that. It is public so should be easier to view. I am NOT quite done with production but the new blog should be viewable sometime this week.

The snow fell all afternoon. Amelia and I took a nice, warm, snugly, nap together enjoying the soft light and snowflakes dancing past the window panes. She helped me shovel snow by sitting on the steps howling with irritation. She did rather enjoy watching the snow from inside with the door open. I felt home around 5:00 to pick up a pizza for dinner and two Red Box movies. Lazy, I know but so, so convenient. My phone was left at home. Justin nearly pounced on me when I walked in the door stuffed with worry. He thought I was out splayed on the roadside for some odd reason. We snuggled on the couch watching Hell Boy II. It was pretty awful. Don't bother with that flick.

18 December 2008

Santy Claus


This evening Justin, Amelia, and I went to visit Santa Claus. I don't remember doing this as a child, even though I'm sure my parents took us at one time or another. His lap looked so inviting I nearly hopped on to tell him I wanted a Red Rider BB gun or a Canon 5d with all the lenses and Photoshop Creative Suite. I really think his hair was real but his beard was fakish. Amelia was very happy to sit on my lap and not the silly guy who talked like a Santa queerer than a 3 dollar bill. Justin was good enough to actually smile and he looks pretty cute to me! We walked around the mall looking for church shoes for Justin and a Dairy Queen cone for me. I never really thought the mall was much fun; I still don't think it is much fun. Too commercialized for me. We hopped over to Toys R Us to see if they had the Fisher Price Nativity. No such luck. Instead we got more animals for a farm set Amelia is getting for Christmas.

It seems I've been in tears most of the day. Jana was not very understanding about our move. Sometimes I am not very understanding because we are leaving a very comfortable niche here in West Valley. Catherine came over to play for a minute with Kater Bug and Malissa. Man, this move will be hard! Funny thing is that about a month ago or more I decided it would be a good idea to simplify our life. Reduce media, computer, music, movies, errands, etc and just enjoy the small moments at home teaching Amelia. It was not a prayer but Heavenly Father must have heard it and decided to see how it would be to truly simplify our life. I hope our experience is NOT like Paris Hilton and Nichole Richie's ludicrous attempt to gain values and work ethic. LOL. We may rename our blog to the Simple Life!! Below is my most recent cute creation for Amelia. Something happy during the dreary winter months...

17 December 2008

Ride through the Ringer

I feel as though my life is being forced through a laundry ringer. If you have never experienced this before then you are missing out! Going through the ringer is having your hair popped off first, then your head squished between to wet rollers. Your shoulders, heart, and chest come next, once you are thoroughly squishy your legs get a beating. After said treatment, which some people may call a massage, you feel like crap. Am I being negative...you betcha!

So in the last month my camera broke, Amelia went through a sleeping strike, our dryer reached a peak drying time of 4.5 hours per load, my elliptical machine broke while I was working out on it (hum), the stuffing on our couch is leaking, I learned that the USPS "lost" our portable DVD player on it's way to be repaired, Justin's iPod was misplaced, I feel like crap because I stopped taking my anti-depressant...oh...and we are moving to Sidney, Nebraska. Any questions?

On the bright side...Justin starts his new job on 05 January 2009. I get to move at a slower pace and hope our home sells. I made a really cute shirt for Amelia today. The iPod was found. Our dryer stills dries, even if it is at a snail's pace. We had tithing settlement. Amelia is really cute. Justin and I made the right decision about moving. I will really miss our neighborhood, our family, shopping, and Del Taco. We will stockpile weaponry and ammo like there is no tomorrow. Hey, we get a Cabela's employee pricing. Boo-yah Ford's employee pricing.

Havin' Fun with the Ladies


Amelia had a very fun day! Two good friends came over to play while their Mommy's played elsewhere. Kate came over first and made a beeline for my diaper basket and clung to the bum cream until Amelia showed her the toys. Kate was a delight! She even took a little nap in Amelia's crib (*sigh*) like a good little girl. Amelia and Kate swapped binkies as often as possible and tasted each other's sippy cups. Good thing both girls love Germ-ex. While Kate was supposedly napping, although most likely playing with Amelia's uber cool crib toy, Emma came over to play. She is an independent little thing! She sits on my lap during nursery wanting me to read books. Both girls were really good! No crying or carrying on. Although Amelia threw a couple tantrums as we tried to share her numerous toys. Bubbles were the hit of our morning. Kate must not see many bubbles because she was not too sure what to do. Amelia and Emma taught her the rare art of stomping on and bursting bubbles midair. The little seagulls had a "nack, nack, nack, nack" of popcorn and juice. At lunch time Kate even tried to eat the container and paper! She is a garbage disposal (her mom said it, and I repeat it!). What cute girls. Amelia took a 2.5 hour nap that afternoon.

We spent an hour at James and Miekka's visiting with Courtenay and her niece Lily. She came to admire little Lia and bestow Christmas gifts before she leaves for Oregon. Amelia tried to eat Jake's lunch and play with his toys. Sharing is so hard!

16 December 2008

Piggies

Amelia's hair is almost long enough to wear pigtails. I tried to fix her hair yesterday but it only lasted an hour. Most of the back and wispy front hairs limped right out of her cute little ponies. Maybe in another month! She looked awfully cute.

Hello Dorothy!!

Now whenever Amelia watches Elmo, she says "Hello Dorothy" to his pet fish.

15 December 2008

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Yesterday seemed like Christmas to us with snow on the ground and a profound chill in the air. I was late for church because I decided last minute to make a matching skirt for Amelia's ornament shirt so she could wear it to church. Actually, I was late because my sewing machine botched a couple seams that I had to rip out and resew. Oh, well! The effort was definitely worth it. While we sat through the sacrament Amelia said Jesus, Bread, and Water. That was a fine moment for Justin and I. She melted during nursery so I stayed the last hour with her. Apparently, she cried like a banshee for 20 minutes. By the time we got home her mood was classic! I decided to capture some photos of her being sulky and cute. She learned how to pout, which steals my heart away.
We spent a fun evening addressing Christmas cards and watching White Christmas. Amelia is a very good artist. She holds her pen/pencil correctly like a little fourth grader. Her little bum has a nasty rash so we let her run amok with her onesie flaps open. She insisted on wearing her fuzzy hat and coat to boot. Makes me want to pinch her little bum (not hard mind you).

14 December 2008

No Snow

Here was Amelia's first reaction to the snow that fell yesterday! She was not to excited about how cold it turned out to be. We all had a fun day enclosed in our warm home watching the snow fall outside the windows. Justin put on "Elf" and I made gingerbread cookies in our jammies. James and Miekka invited us to babysit Seth & Jacob. Marissee's kids were there as well, Hannah, Maggie, Sofie, and Caleb. The noise level of 7 kids was pretty intense. All the kids played well together, even after a couple knock-outs between Jacob and Caleb. Justin organized a macaroni and cheese eating contest. Amelia ended up eating nearly a whole box of macaroni herself. After the other kids were finished she crawled up on the table and consumed what was left on the plates. In order to watch Wall-E everyone had to don their PJs and sit quietly. Fun times!!
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13 December 2008

Lipstick...again


I have a girly girl! She got into my lipstick the morning. I love the McDonald's effect on her face when she said "smile"! This is the second time she got into my lipstick. However Amelia is a notorious chap stick thief. I must buy a new chap stick every time I visit Walmart only to find it chewed up only a couple hours later. Little stinker learned how to climb so hiding it is my next option.

Precious

I love her mimi pillow and binky loves.

KMPG Parties Like There is NO Tomorrow


De-bo came over yesterday around 5 to watch Amelia for the evening. Justin and I attended the annual KPMG Christmas Party. This year it was held at the Little America Hotel, downtown. The partners passed out appetizers much to the delight of the underlings. They were pretty good sports! We sat with some folks at dinner we did not know very well so enjoyed getting to know new people. Our salads were very posh. Two long slices of cucumber encased salad leaves, onion, bleu cheese, dried tomato, and croutons in the shape of a circle. A server dressed the salad separately. The main course included fillet Mignon, grilled salmon, a baby carrot, and mashed potatoes. Entertainment was provided by Quick Wits, patterned after Whose Line is it Anyway?. They were pretty funny. Dessert followed of dark chocolate cake and raspberry sauce. I talk about food because that was almost the most exciting portion of the evening...and a phone call to Miekka. We did enjoy an evening out on the town dressed up sans baby. It gave us a chance to talk about Sidney, NE and other subjects uninteresting to 20 month old baby. Amelia tricked De-bo into telling her that she slept in our bed. We came home to find her wiggling about in our room. She is a tricky one!
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