Friday, December 24, 2010

Festivities

We've had a lot of fun getting ready for Christmas this week. Last Sunday we went to the Halls for dinner. They're our good friends here and have a darling little girl Tate's age. We attempted to make gingerbread houses together. It wasn't super successful but it was really fun.
Glenn found out that a deal his division has been working on fell through so he's been able to take some time off this week. He was told a couple months ago that he wouldn't be able to use the rest of his vacation days this year and would be super busy over Christmas because of this deal so, while it's disappointing that it didn't work out the way they hoped, I'm really glad that we're able have him around this week after all! AND we worked it out so he'll be able to come out to Utah next week with Tate and I. YEA!
I tried some new treats this year. Candied popcorn in cinnamon bun and peppermint bark. Recipes courtesy of Our Best Bites. I love finding and using other people's delicious recipes. I can cook okay but I cannot come up with the ideas. We'll definitely be making these again!
Our good friends from Austin, the Cluffs, are in town this weekend and we were able to play with them at the zoo. It was so fun for Tate to be able to play at the zoo with some of his favorite people. We looked at the fish of course,
saw the daddy elephant taking a bath.
Glenn narrated for him.
And had a little snuggle/wrestle time with Tori.
It was great to see them and spend a little time with them, especially in such a fun place! Tate was a good sport especially considering he's been feeling generally like this all week. He has a cough for the past couple weeks that has gotten worse the last three days. We had some ideas of fun things to do outside but since he was feeling icky we just got in the car last night and we went to Prestonwoods Forest to see the lights. It's a neighborhood we heard about where each street is really decked out with beautiful Christmas lights and has a different theme. One street was "A Christmas Carousel" with bright carousel horses and music. One street was "Frosty the Snowman" and they had pictures and signs with the story of Frosty along the street. It was amazing. We'll definitely go back next year if we're still here. There is something about tons of Christmas lights that just makes me feel like a little kid. I'm so excited for Christmas.
Tate woke up a couple times last night and has a fever this morning so...this is how he's spending this Christmas Eve day.
He wants to watch a show but he just can't or won't sit up very long so he keeps crawling around the room and then lying down with his blanket facing the TV. It's sad to hear him coughing so long and so hard that he gags and then whimpers afterward. We took him to a clinic and he didn't seem to have an infection but he gave us some meds because his cough has lasted so long so hopefully he'll start feeling better soon.
All in all, it's been a wonderful and busy week. I love Christmas time and it really is so much better now that I have a little one. He may not exactly understand Santa yet but will certainly get excited about opening presents and discovering all the new delights that have been carefully selected for him. He loves reading Christmas books. We've been to the library and read a new Christmas book every night for the past three weeks. He loves them and also loves to listen to Christmas music in the car. I'm so excited to watch him tomorrow! Hopefully he's feeling well enough to enjoy it. I cannot wait.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The week before Christmas

We went to Glenn's work's family Christmas party on Saturday. They had a big formal party a couple weeks ago for the adults (which was awesome! Like a grown up prom.) and then another party for families, specifically for the little kiddos. It was amazing. Yummy breakfast in pjs, balloon animals (this is supposed to be a fishing pole with a fish on the end. Tate thought it was great and kept wildly swinging it around), crafts and cookie decorating (clearly he has some natural talent in this area),
amazing goodie bags,
a train giving rides in the parking lot, and of course a visit with the big guy in red. We'd prepared Tate a little asking him what he wanted Santa to bring him. His response was, "A Cookie!" Okay, that's easy. Then a little while later he added "cars". We watched other kids sit on Santa's lap and tried to get him excited but when it was our turn it was just too much sitting with some large, strange, furry man so he lost it. We knelt down next to Santa as he tearfully told him he would like cars. Then we were outa there.
I was so impressed with his company and how much they care about our families. They threw two big parties and tried to make special events for all of their employees. Tate had a goodie bag with a personal letter from Santa with his name and a couple things about him. For such a huge company I left just so impressed with the care they took for each kid.
Glenn left again on Monday morning and gets back late tonight. I understand that a lot can't be predicted about the processes he's involved in there but it is frustrating that a his schedule, especially where travel is involved, is so last minute. Plus we miss him like crazy when he's gone. But we're so grateful for his job and now I'm done complaining.
This week we got our family pictures back that we had taken a few weeks ago. Courtney Paul took them last year for us and we loved them! Then we were lucky enough to move down here right after she did so we were able to have her take them for us again. She actually did two sessions for us because the first time we tried it was cold and rainy and Tate was grumptastic because he was on Benedryl for yet another rash. And still she was able to catch some great pictures. We think she's amazing. Here are some of our favorites...
I think that last one is my favorite. It's got so much of my little guy's personality.
This week we've been running lots of errands and getting a lot of last minute Christmas things finished. Every year it seems like I'm "done" weeks ahead of time and then I just keep making extra work for myself by coming up with other things I would like to have done for Christmas. It's ridiculous. This week I finished 4 skirts for some darling nieces on Glenn's side back east. We're giving to their family this year. They are done and mailed off. It feels great. I hope they like them!

One last tid bit about this week. It's been hot. 80 degrees. We've had the AC on all week. Spent some time outside at a great new park we found and Tate and I were sweating. It's the week before Christmas. While I really don't like sweating profusely all summer long here, at least I understand that it is to be expected in the summertime. In the middle of December, however, it's a little annoying. In the back of my head I know that I should appreciate being warm in the winter time but most of my head is just annoyed at being hot and sweaty...again. It just doesn't quite feel like Christmas when it's so blasted hot outside.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My boys

Obviously this is what you do when you have empty wrapping paper rolls lying around.
Little man sure loves his daddy.
He walked around saying, "Hi-Ya" all night long. The little boy that is, not the grown one.
Glenn was gone Monday through Wednesday this week and is leaving again next week for four days. I'm grateful he has a good job. I'm grateful that he is busy at his good job and that his company is doing well right now. We sure miss him though, when he is away. There is a marked difference in sweet Tate's demeanor once Dad walks through the door at night.

Friday, December 3, 2010

For Nanna

Nanna really loves little man videos so here are a couple of cute ones we caught this week.
He found a little hand mirror at Gregor and Amy's and carried it around for a couple days calling is a magnifying glass.
video
He's figuring out the ABC song. He does a pretty good job on his own but doesn't always finish it when we're watching. We catch him singing the song to himself all the time while he's playing with toys, eating, or walking around.
Sorry for how incredibly dark this video is. We've been trying to catch him saying the whole thing for little while but the time we finally caught it was late at night and in the car. So it looks terrible but at least we can hear him.
video

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We just got back from a great trip to New Hampshire and Massachusetts for Thanksgiving. We rented a car this year which made getting around a lot easier. We stayed with Gregor and Amy and their family from Sunday until Thursday. Nelson was sweet to give up his room so we could camp out in there. It was fun to be able to stay with their family and spend so much time playing with them. We played some games of course. Pit was a hit this year. Anything loud, fast, and aggressive is a hit with a family like ours.
We got in a few rounds of Pounce as well. My personal favorite. The Andover Makechnies were incredibly wonderful hosts. We had our fill of great conversation, delicious food, and tons of playtime for the little ones. Tate loved having so many cousins to play with. AND the Makechnies have a dog AND chickens. He was in heaven. The first thing he would say every morning was, "I see the chickens!" Followed closely by, "I see Paige(or Nelson or Brynn or Cope)!"
One morning we got up and I told him it was too cold to go see the chickens just then and he said, "Mom, I jus a little boy." I just stared at him. Okay that's true but wherever did you hear that, little man?
Tate spent some quality time with their dog Tennyson, Tenny for short. He was constantly following him around and when he found him on his dog bed by the fire he would lie down and snuggle him. We had to monitor the snuggling a bit as Tate is not as light as he used to be.
We went on a little day trip to Portsmouth with Seth and Vincent one day. It's a beautiful little city right by the ocean. Charming shops and restaurants, beautiful old buildings and streets. Good company and of course the boys got some "chowdah". It was a very fun day.
Tate found lots of rocks, sticks, and leaves so of course he was happy.
Tate met his Great Grandma Alice this trip. She came up from Florida for the holiday and helped Grandma Heather make Tate this train cake. He was so intrigued by a choo choo train that was covered in candy and made of cake. Does it get any better than that?
I envy my sister-in-law Amy's running routes in New Hampshire. While the hills are killer, especially for a Texas runner like myself (I'm used to flat, flat, flat), you couldn't find more beautiful scenery. Even at this time of the year when all the trees are looking a little sad, running along woods, streams, old bridges and train tracks...it was so peaceful. I just took one morning jog by myself and then we ran the Thanksgiving day Turkey Trot again this year. It was FREEZING that morning. Here is Seth doing a little dance and trying to warm up.
The route starts out with a huge hill and then the rest of the race is great. After we got up the hill, the cold wasn't as bad! It was nice to have a little exercise in the morning and feel much less guilt about what I was about to do to my body for the rest of the day!
Thanksgiving dinner was amazing as always. Arthur and Gregor always deliver absolutely delicious food. I always come home inspired to cook more and better.
The little cousins table.
Nelson. Tate's only boy cousin chillin' on his own.
Nelson is the best boy cousin a mom could ask for. He's kind and respectful and he also loves to be a boy. He's a great example for my little man. Nelson spent lots of time playing with Tate and trying to teach him boy things. One night they spent about a half hour wrestling each other and quoting Kung Fu Panda. "Ski-dush"
Tate slept very well that night.
And here are all the kiddos with Great Grandma Alice.
Next it was off to Boston to visit the Needham, MA Makechnies. We hit the perfect weekend to visit them and were able to see Hailey play a soccer game AND score a goal. (Tate even cheered her on, "Go Hailey!") And on Saturday we went to little Chloe's first performance of the Nutcracker with the Boston Ballet. She did great and I'm so glad we were able to go and support her. I have missed the Nutcracker. For several years growing up it was a big part of our Christmas routine. One or more of us were in the production so there were rehearsals and performances. It was great to see it again and listen to the beautiful music and wonder at the stunning dancers.
Arthur, Heather, Glenn, and Kim at the Boston Opera House.
We didn't spend much time down town in Boston this year but we drove through a bit. I love that city. It's big. It's old. It's kind of got this attitude of, "We don't really care about you. Do whatever you want, just don't bother us." I love it. It's gorgeous, it's got tons of fun cultural and historical things to explore. The one drawback is the cold. I'm even more of a wimp after living with out winters for a few years here in Texas. But still, every time we go I think, "I could totally live here."
The Needham Makechnies were wonderful to us as well. Tate slept in Hailey and Chloe's room and luckily didn't wake them up too much! The girls were such adoring cousins and were great to play with Tate and share their toys. We were even able to partake of what is apparently a weekly tradition at their house, home made pizza and movie night. A treat indeed!
We only stayed with them for 2 night but we stayed up into the wee hours to have great conversations about just about everything. I love those guys. Then it was time to head back to Texas. Tate, giving some love to Hailey:
And Chloe:
Our trip home was a bit of an adventure. We checked in the night before but by the time we got to the airport our flight had been cancelled and we were put on a flight leaving two hours later. So we waited for that one and then waited on the tarmac for over an hour for something to be fixed so we missed our connection in Detroit. We waited in the Detroit airport for 4+ hours and then finally got home at 10pm. This is how we all felt:

Amazing how we seem to come home from vacations more exhausted than we left. Totally worth it. Thanks for the good times East Coast Makechnies. We love you and miss you already!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Half Marathon

This morning Glenn and I ran a half marathon. We did. We ran 13.1 miles. It was really cool. I don't have pictures of us but our good friend took some and hopefully she'll send them to me and then I'll post some later.
I had all these irrational fears of bad things that could happen during the race: bodily functions gone very wrong, tripping fellow runners, injuries and such. None of them happened. So that's good. Glenn signed up for the race with me months ago but then decided he probably shouldn't run it because he has patellar tendonitis and some other stuff that makes running really painful but he went to a doctor last week and the doc told him to wear some bands and that he would be fine. So he ran it with me. It was nice not to be alone out there.
Janelle Cluff, our friend from Austin, is from Houston area and she was going to be down here for Thanksgiving week so she offered to watch Tate while we ran. We stayed at her parents house last night in Clear Lake to be closer to the race this morning for us, and then she took care of Tate all morning while we were running. She got him ready and brought him down to see us at the finish. It was wonderful. So wonderful to have her help. Really, the only alternative if she hadn't offered, and since Glenn was running with me, was to push him in our jogging stroller. Tate would have been going crazy stuck in the stroller for that long! So a big shout out to Janelle and her parents for all their help. We are so grateful.
Glenn and I woke up at 5:15 to head down to Galveston. I was feeling nervous and having a conversation with myself that went something like this:
- "Why did I think this was a good idea?"
- "You must be really stupid, I guess."
- "You're right. This was a dumb idea. Seriously, who does this? Look at all these people who are in amazing shape and do this all the time and then there's me. Just decided to train for something with my sister because I was feeling stuck about my situation and needed a goal. That doesn't make me a runner."
- "I know. Like I said, not real smart."
It was exciting and scary and about 10 other emotions at the same time. Glenn was his normal social, jovial self, making jokes with people in line for the bus and packets and chatting with everyone in BYU or Boston Red Sox gear. I think it would take a lot to make Glenn feel any pressure.
We picked up our shirts and bibs and got on a bus to take us to the race start at a beach on the other side of the island. It was beautiful. Just beautiful. It started at the beach that we went to a couple months ago and wound around a little loop before turning beside the sea wall for about 8 miles. I could not imagine better conditions for my first long race. The sun was coming up but it wasn't too hot or too cool, the ocean view for miles and miles, sea breeze, the course was flat flat flat, and there were water tables every 1.5 miles. Seriously, hours of looking at this:
It was beautiful.
I realized when I got there and as I was running that there is so much more about running and running races that I don't know. The only race strategy advice I was given was not to start too fast because you will run out of steam and have a hard time finishing strong. So I spent the first 5 miles making myself slow down and watching my pace to keep myself at the pace I wanted to maintain. Then about mile 7-8 is started to get hard to speed up and maintain the pace I was aiming for. It was discouraging to look down and see myself going slower than I wanted and try to speed up...then look down again and realize I hadn't sped up at all. I just couldn't get myself to go any faster. Glenn did great. It seemed, and actually was, pretty easy for him. He didn't hurt or get too tired. He stayed with me and could have gone faster than me most of the time too. That made me mad. I'm over it now but it was frustrating that it comes so much easier to Glenn. He's not too sore or tired now. He's basically just a natural athlete. Impressive, and impossible to compete with...so I'll stop trying.
I was a little disappointed with my time even though I made really generous goals and I actually made it under my really generous goal time. I'm fine now though. I'm realizing how amazing of a thing I did today. I'm proud that I was able to train and get through it fairly easily. I never had to walk. I never felt like I had to stop. And the miles seemed to pass pretty quickly. It was a great run and certainly the most beautiful I've had. Never ever in my life before a few months ago would I have imagined running a half marathon. I just started running after Tate was born and it's been huge for me, someone who has never regularly exercised before to have this as my thing. I'm not fast or good but I'm happy with it and I actually enjoy it. I never thought I would, but I do. I'm so glad I ran this race and now I have a time to try to beat for the next time!
So...anyone wanna run it with me next year?