Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! We hope that this letter finds all of you safe, warm, cuddled up with loved ones, and sipping your beverage of choice. As for our family, 2007 has been a year full of changes and great blessings.

Little did we know, at this time last year, that we’d be living in St. Louis, MO this year, so Dan could go to graduate school in Medieval European History at Saint Louis University – his top choice. Before the move, Danny spent his time playing with Bree during the week and working weekends at Icon Health and Fitness. He lost 60 pounds, passed his Falconry Apprentice test, went camping, and hit a couple desert canyons while still in Utah. In St. Louis he volunteers at the World Bird Sanctuary where he is able to work with all kinds of raptors (to date, he has worked with 2 species of falcon; 3 species of hawk; 5 species of owl; and the odd Turkey Vulture). Among the things he misses are: family time; hot springs; canyons; relaxing.

Watching Dan reach for and meet his goals has been a highlight of the year for Jan and Bree! In preparation for the move, January quit her job in June. After ten years, it’s still weird not to plan her life around Residence Life timelines. Being able to stay home with Bree, however, is a long-awaited dream come true. Bree also loves the change! Jan & Bree took their first ever road-trip together in October to visit friends in Iowa, and it was a great growing experience, and a very fun trip. January is spending her time getting to know St. Louis (slowly) and preparing for the arrival of our newest family member in February. Dan has been amazed to watch Jan thrive in her new job. Among the things she misses are: Danny-time; Pro-Staff lunches; hanging out with friends; Cache Valley.

Bree has also had a big year. It didn’t take her long to adjust to St. Louis and make new friends whom she loves dearly (although she still misses her family and friends and talks of them on a regular basis)! Some of her accomplishments for this year include: Sitting still for her first two haircuts (a total of at least ten inches); temporarily liberating “Friend Froggy” from his aquarium so he could be “free”; starting and finishing potty training in two days; learning to climb trees with her dad; hiking Fiery Furnace and Little Wild Horse Canyon; and finding her own castle in Goblin Valley! She can spot a Red-Tail in the air and thinks “Kurkey Vultures” are “really cool.” Bree loves all things pink or Princess and can play dress up for hours. She also loves to color and draw and she simply cannot get enough stickers to satiate her desires. She is happiest outside and would live at the park, if we let her.

St. Louis is an adjustment from other areas we have lived (the Midwest is sadly devoid of mountains, deserts, and oceans), but we’ve had many experiences to assure us that we are where we should be. We are excited to share this adventure and would love visitors anytime!

We love you all!

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Good Day

Today was a good day. Not only did Beemer FINALLY get to play with Pocketmouse and NAM, there was just enough light for Wildbound to get some adorable pictures of Beemer too! Add to that some much needed rejuvenation time and a fantastic WB dinner and, as I said, it was a good day!

Side Note: For those of you who haven't seen us yet (or figured it out from this post),
Beemer and I are in Utah!
We are dividing our time between Ogden and Logan, but hope to see everyone at least once. Ahenobarbus will be here on Dec. 18th (as his blog mentioned), but Beemer and I surprised my mom and came to Utah on Nov. 13th (thus the reason for not posting this information BEFORE the trip and also the reason for the long break between posts). We are alive and well, and enjoying our visit, although we both miss Ahenobarbus and we're counting down the days until he can be here too!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy, Happy Birthday!

Today, Beemer is 3 years old!

She is ever our princess - even more so know that she tells us she is Princess Beemer (or alternately Princess Aurora) at least once a day, and she loves all things royal. (The picture above is from the day we made crowns for her and her bear). She is, of course, as brilliant as she is adorable. She can tell you that her birthday is Noberry 9th (thanks to Strawberry Shortcake); that her full name is Beemer Webb (even the kids at church call her Beemer); and a multitude of animal and bird facts (her favorite birds are hawks, baby geese are goslings, and whenever anyone draws a circle it must be the beginning of a ladybug). Due to scheduling, her party will be next week, so we celebrated today with a trip to McDonalds, (complete with a nice long visit to the Playland), and some pink ice cream!

Happy Birthday Princess Beemer!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007


For Halloween this year, Beemer and I went to visit our friends, the Zebarths, in Dubuque, Iowa. The trip was a ton of fun - a good way to spend the holiday. Below are some pictures of the kids on Halloween.

Sophia as a "Butterfly Princess," Sargent Sam, and Beemer as a "Scary [or Mad - she couldn't decide] Witch"

Just the girls (Sam went Trick-or-Treating with friends in the "big city.")

Beemer and Sophia waiting patiently for their candy.

Beemer's costume

The scary (or mad) witch face. This one cracks me up everytime she does it!

Thanks for a great Halloween Em, Matt, Sam and Sophia!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Waiting Game

Luci and Phil have a new pastime. They have found that in the morning, the sun is at just the right angle to play a new game. They sit for hours on the back of the couch watching the window and waiting. When an unsuspecting bird flies by, casting it's shadow, they pounce -
at the window and fall back onto the couch or behind it. They have had some interesting landings, one or two of which I thought would teach them a lesson. But each morning, there they are, back on the couch, waiting.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Day for the Birds

Saturday, Ahenobarbus and I took Beemer to the World Bird Sanctuary for their Fall Openhouse. It was a beautiful day - over 80 degrees and it was fun to be outside and enjoy the autumn-ish weather. The Openhouse was full of activities: there was storytelling, bird shows, crafts to make, and yummy treats on top of all the beautiful birds to watch. We were able to see two bird shows -- one with more exotic birds and one with various raptor species-- both were very cool. I am excited for the time when it will be Ahenobarbus running the shows!

Beemer's favorite part of the day was the face painting. She chose this pink flamingo and held very still while it was painted, even though "it tickled just a little bit."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Picking a Battle

Recently our adorable Beemer has decided that she doesn't have to stay in bed at bed time. Ahenobarbus and I are particularly frustrated by this new development because this has not been an issue in the past. Since she was six weeks old, Beemer has gone to bed well and stayed in bed after we tuck her in, for the most part. So, while we struggle to determine the root of the matter (no change in routine, she is sleepy, etc.), she simply comes out to us asking for water, more kisses, or snuggle time (the last two are harder to refuse).

Tonight after putting her in bed four times and finally attempting to ignore her last trip to the hallway, I looked up to find her with pillow and blanket in hand. She laid down on the rather hard linoleum (just far enough down the hall that she probably thought we wouldn't notice her out of bed), sang herself one last song and promptly went to sleep. Ahenobarbus and I decided that we wanted her to sleep, but where is less of an issue. While she has slept on linoleum in the past, we thought that was a one time thing. I guess if she chooses the hallway to be closer to us, we need to listen. This is what we found when we went to put her in her bed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hints of Autumn

Last night Ahenobarbus took a well-deserved break and we took Beemer to her favorite place to eat. As we got out of the car at the restaurant, the air was crisp and strong with the scent of what seemed to be campfire or burning leaves. Ahenobarbus and I both stopped and breathed in deep lungfuls of the aroma surrounding us. It was a magical moment.
Today, we still don't know what the smell on the air was - we were in the middle of a shopping center with no campgrounds or farms for miles and the smell was too woody for a burning building. But for a little while last night, we both noted that autumn has come to St. Louis and the city felt (or rather smelled) a little more like home.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


As I have had some time lately to ponder the changes in our lives, I have also spent a lot of time thinking about how much Beemer has grown. So, I thought I would share some "through the years" pictures with all of you.

(Amazing just how many of these are from Wildbound's talents!)

The day after she was born - November 10, 2004

Her first professional sitting - December 2004

In her blessing dress - February 2005

In Wildbound's yard - September 2005

All dressed up - November 2005

At home - February 2006

Splish, splash - May 2006

Again, Wildbound's yard - November 2006

Princess Smile - March 2007

Playing in the sand in Goblin Valley - March 2007

Turtle Park - September 2007

Please Note: The hardest part of this post was choosing which pictures NOT to post.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

She'll love me for this when she's older...

Another big milestone - Beemer is potty trained! I share this not because of the milestone for her, but for me. For some reason this "experience" was the one that came with motherhood that I was dreading the most (pre-adolescence). I say "for some reason" but I know why - I wasn't looking forward to cleaning up accidents. So, I found reasons to wait - not while I was still working, not right before the move, not while I was so sick. Then, I ran out of excuses. To Beemer's credit, we had only ONE shaky day. Then she got it.

Now she reminds us regularly what a big girl she is and we emphatically agree. I know there will still be some educable moments along this voyage (for both of us) and I am sure I'll find cause to blog some. But for now, I am relishing in the intelligence of my daughter and her bodily knowledge. And in my pure, dumb, luck!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Love from Saint Louis

To help make Kate's (Ahenobarbus' sister) birthday away from Beemer a bit easier, we took these pictures for her card. Now that Kate has recieved and adored said card, I thought I would share Beemer's love with everyone!

Note: These pictures are also an excellent example of what happens when you say "smile" rather than waiting for the natural occurance!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

"Teach Me How to Climb a Tree"

This afternoon, we decided to spend some time outside. (It's still in the low 80's here). I with my book, Ahenobarbus and Beemer with her ball and some room to run. After a few particularly quiet moments, I heard Beemer call me and looked up to find both of them perched in a nearby tree.

As I am not quite up to tree climbing right now, it's a good thing Daddy was here to cover this lesson. Beemer loved the tutorial and Ahenobarbus loved to teach it!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Baby's First Pictures

Today was the day.
Ahenobarbus, Beemer and I all went to my ultrasound. The baby is good, all appeared well and as it should be. When all was said and done, Beemer wanted a turn to see the baby in her tummy, but we convinced her it would be more fun to ride the elevator again instead.

And for those of you with any questions other than "Was the baby healthy?" Yes, we did discover a gender. Possible names that Ahenobarbus has suggested thus far include Zoe, Chloe, Agatha, Dot, Irene, and Eleanor (Ellie). Feel free to weigh in on this matter as you wish. I might need the help. At least I can pronounce and spell all of his suggestions up to this point.

The side view - she has an adorable profile.

The 3-D version, not as cute, but kinda cool.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh ... Wait.

For those of you waiting eagerly, we were able to make it to the zoo on Saturday. Though we did underestimate it in size and scope. We were only able to see about 1/4 of the entire zoo (due to getting a late start and taking it slow for me). But in that quarter we were able to see a lot of animals including: hippos, a giant anteater, a warthog, cheetahs, rhinos, possums, owls, an adorable baby elephant, and visit the insectorium (WAY too many arachnids for me) and the butterfly house. It was a good day, here are a few shots of Beemer along the way.

In the tunnel painted like the inside of a whale - she loved this!

Trying to see in the otter tank "all by myself."

On daddy's shoulders at the lemur enclosure.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the lions, tigers, or bears this trip. Its a good thing we can go back often!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Lesson Learned

Nature is one of the joys of my soul; it calms, it edifies, and it moves me. But when we left Cache Valley my main thoughts were of Ahenobarbus leaving the wilderness behind for the city. Without Wildman and a no clear path in front of them, where would he go when he needed to refresh his soul? Where would he go to find the peace and communion that come from solos when the nearest campground is two hours away? Here all wilderness is state or local parks, which are appreciated, but small and very often filled with people.

Then the answer came (at least in part) -- he discovered the Wildlife Bird Refuge. The six hours a week he has found to volunteer there have already taught him many new skills (like how to properly clean a dead mouse) and he looks forward to many new experiences with birds all of kinds, especially raptors. This communion with the birds has given him a small outlet and helps to keep him sane amongst his studies.

But what of me? It took moving here and then leaving the city for a quick trip to Madison over Labor Day weekend for me to learn my lesson. Leaving the city and driving through open land - granted much of it was corn fields - was cleansing in an unexpected way. It encouraged me to look deeper and discover the ways that I need nature. I do not crave it the way that Ahenobarbus does, but in a way that even I did not understand before moving to (quoting from the St. Louis news) this "asphalt island." My heart yearns for the colors of fall in Sardine canyon; the endless views from Mt. Logan; the peace of a walk along a trail without anyone else; the red warmth of Zion sand.

I am learning to like living here and I am enjoying our adventure. I love being home with Beemer and the opportunity that being here has given me to do that. I love watching Ahenobarbus ignite as he learns new concepts that stir his intelligence. Meeting new people and seeing new places are exciting and I am learning a lot about myself and my family.

But I have also learned how precious that which I took for granted was and how essential it is to me. For now, I hope to begin the process of finding it here, while I cherish the memories of what I have found in the past.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Birthday Wishes

Happy, happy birthday Ahenobarbus, dear (doesn't really fit with such a long name)!

Years from now, we'll look back on this birthday as the turning point for many things in our lives. What an adventure! Thanks for sharing it all with me! I love you!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cookie Making in Missouri

On Saturday, I got ambitious and decided that Beemer and I would make sugar cookies. We both had a blast! The cookies turned out prettty good - I'm not used to cooking at such a low altitude yet. Beemer loved making them as much as she loves playing with her playdough and was very excited that she could REALLY eat these (no pretending like with playdough).

Beemer cleaning up after we made the dough

Rolling and cutting out the cookies

Such a happy mess!

Frosting the cookies (I mean eating the frosting)

Adding just the right amount of sprinkles!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Food Chain

You will all be relieved to know that Beemer's imagination is alive and well. In the absence of other playmates, she has begun to assign personas to everyone around her. Phil is often Talen (her cousin) and Luci has been other friends and family members more than once. Today, we began the morninng with new roles for Ahenobarbus and me. Ahenobarbus was Aladdin, Beemer was the Genie, and I (much to Ahenobarbus' amusement) was Abu -- the monkey. We then moved on to Beemer being a bat which, of course, eats bugs, so Ahenobarbus became a ladybug and I moved down the food chain from a monkey to a kakuhpiyar (caterpillar) and Beemer spent a great deal of time enjoying "eating" us! Ah, the simple joys of being two. If only, I could convince her to make me a lion once in awhile...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Photo Op

Way back in July, before we moved and the world stood still, Wildbound spent an afternoon taking pictures of Ahenobarbus' side of the family. I am finally caught up on life enough to share some of them with you.

Note: The hardest part of this post was picking which ones NOT to share, as Wildbound is simply amazing and she had such photogenic subjects!

The Webbs

The Grandkids

Later that same day...
Ahenobarbus had wanted family pictures at this waterfall for over a year.

Thanks again Wildbound!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Royal Edict

One Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago, Beemer was sitting on a chair at the side of my bed singing a perfect rendition of "Give Said the Little Stream." I was a bit surprised as I haven't really sang it with her and realized she must have learned the song in nursery that week. So, I told her it was beautiful and asked if she would go sing it to her dad. She said, "Not right now, because this is my kingdom (indicating the room), and this is my home (indicating the chair she was sitting on) and I am singing here right now." Who can argue with such wisdom?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Questions

In response to Wildbound's request...

1. What songs/books from your childhood are the most meaning to you now and why?
There are so many books, too many to name, but if I had to pick one it would be The Goodnight Book. Mom read it so often I had it memorized and now Beemer does! As for songs, it would definately be any of those that my Gramps sang to me and that I now sing to Beemer (I've Been Working on the Railroad, Red River Valley, Blood on the Saddle, etc.)

2. If you didn't have the constraints of family, work, and time what would you love to be doing now with your life?
Exactly what I am doing - Thanks Ahenobarbus!

3. Who did you have the biggest crush on in middle school/junior high -celebrity or real life?
Tom Cruise - I know, I know

4. What is something you can't seem to keep yourself from purchasing?
Shoes for Beemer - but they are SO cute!

5. What, specifically, have you done in your life that you are the most proud of?
Specifically, here are just a few -- the relationship I am building with Ahenobarbus; my adorable, confidant 2-yr old; attracting amazing friends into my life; completing my Masters degree; finishing Atlas Shrugged (including the Galt-rant chapter); and surviving the last month=)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Cutest Spider

Enough said!

The Long Day

Tonight, Ahenobarbus took Beemer in the living room to watch a movie so that I could rest and eat my dinner without Beemer's help. After eating, I went to check on them. Apparently the trip to Suson Park was a draining one for someone. Beemer was intently watching "Aladdin" and Ahenobarbus was happily dozing- but Beemer didn't seem to mind. She was just happy to have Daddy close. Aren't they cute together?