Monday, December 21, 2009

Seasons Greetings

Might as well start with the big news, first: AT got his MA in May! He still sporadically prances around in his Masters of the Universe underoos, chanting “I have the power!” Really, it's not as disturbing as the police make it out to be. His euphoria was short-lived, however, as he was forced to recognize that he still has another gazillion years before earning a PhD. It was, perhaps, a method of self-medication, then, that he and Pulcheria took up a running regime in March that continues to the present. They even completed a 5K race together on Thanksgiving morning. Those who've known AT for a while know what a reversal this is (i.e., running, even when not being chased by vicious animals). Additionally, AT is also running an effective campaign to bring back Mormon beards as the preferred fashion. The bishop's second counselor may not have much pull, but at least he can sit on the stand. With a beard. Hmm. Perhaps he needs a campaign manager. Volunteers, anyone?

Pulcheria made monumental strides to beef up her already impressive resume this year. She is now a de facto certified chef, party planner, decorator, nurse, administrative assistant, chauffeur, educator, judge, maid/laundress, hostess, tour guide, editor, and manager – just to name a few of her positions. But in all seriousness, she still feels spoiled to be able to stay home with the girls, and be a guinea pig for AT's culinary experiments: bread, mustard, cranberry sauce, brownies, etc. Pulcheria has continued to stave off potential child-withdrawal at church, by serving in the Nursery. On a related note, she has become a world-authority on symptoms of the common cold. She also recently joined a new book club and was thrilled to find one in St. Louis that is completely her style!

Beemer is a smart and quite precocious five year old. In September she started her second year of pre-school and she loves everything about it, especially her classmates and teacher. Beemer also likes to play dress-up with her sister, read books to anyone who will listen, and do about anything outside (she proudly states that she is a “bug-holding girl”). She loved catching fireflies and toads with Grandma and Grandpa in May. One of the highlights of her year was finding a monarch butterfly chrysalis in our backyard, watching the butterfly hatch, and setting it free the next day. She is always singing around our home and is an excellent hostess when we have visitors. For some reason yet to be explained, she has started asking when she will get her own pair of underoos.

Audi will be two in February. She took her first steps in March and then decided it wasn't all that and waited to try again until May. However, immediately after she decided that walking was the thing to do, she started climbing – everything! She is a passionate climber (furniture, not rocks, yet) and isn't frightened by much. She tries hard to keep up with Beemer and loves to do everything her sister does! Audi is very musically inclined, and will stop and dance whenever she hears music and sings molto rubato in church whether she knows the words or not! Those who
have witnessed her in action know that she is an active girl with a fun personality who keeps us all laughing!

As a family this year, we have settled more into life in St. Louis and taken better advantage of all of the things to do here! We have made new friendships and strengthened old ones. We are grateful to be together and share our lives each day and we are looking forward to the new
experiences that 2010 will offer.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 7, 2009

We did it!

Ahenobarbus and I ran our first race Thanksgiving morning with some good friends, and despite a few unplanned changes in the race, it went well - for a first race. Originally, AT planned to run a 10K and I planned to run a 5K. But - due to flooding on the route, the 10K was cancelled and the 5K re-routed. So, we ran the 5K on a 5 foot path of dirt, gravel, mud and water and it was a there-and-back-again path so we also had two-way traffic. There were over 800 finishers in the race (many more than the organizers planned). All of these things were out of the organizers hands and it was a fun race, just a different challenge than we anticipated. =)

The result was a slower time for AT, as he had trouble passing anyone. He ran the 5K in about 24 minutes, but still had good energy left after the race. I think he could have knocked off three minutes or so. I am a much slower runner, so the pack wasn't as thick for me. Even with a small twist of an ankle, I actually met my goal for the race (under 35 minutes). The best part for me was, believe it or not, finishing last of the group we were with, because they all came back to finish the race with me. AT sprinted with me the last .02 miles and his encouragement helped me finish strong. It was a great "starting race" and so much fun to do together.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Beemer's Birthday!

Beemer had school the morning of her birthday, so Audi surprised her with pink roses (Beemer's favorite) when we picked her up. Then we spent the day playing with her new toys from her friends.

After dinner we had some friends over for cake and ice cream. Beemer said it was the best day EVER and loved celebrating her birthday her entire "birthday week!" I still can't believe she's five!
Happy Birthday Beemer!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Beemer's Birthday Party

Beemer's birthday was the first week of November (I know, I'm almost a month late). The Saturday before her birthday we had, at her request, a Monsters vs. Aliens birthday party.

All of the guests got alien antennae and got to make these cute space ships (I found the idea on-line).

The cake was an space ship complete with Gallaxhar - thanks to a fortunate Happy Meal acquisition.

We also played pin the eye on B.O.B. Ahenobarbus drew him and Beemer colored him. She worked really hard.

The finished product.

And here he is with his new eyeballs - the guests all colored their own!

Beemer got some really fun gifts, and her friends were so excited to give them to her!

It was an excellent party!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Halloween, Part 2

Halloween night we all dressed up and headed to our friends' house. Their neighborhood is, as my sister put it, like a Walgreen's commercial. EVERYone is out on their porch giving out candy and the houses are all decked out. The best part of the night was when Beemer walked up on a porch lit by 4 black lights - her costume looked awesome! It's such a fun place to Trick-Or-Treat!
We did knock on a few doors in our neighborhood because Beemer was excited to show her costume to her friends. And we got some pretty good pictures.

Beemer and Ahenobarbus (for details on his costume, ask him).

Me and Beemer (Audi was still napping).

Beemer in full costume.

No - she is not in pain, that is her Creepie face.

Audi - the Princess Kitty

Couldn't resist posting this - look at those eyes!

This year's Jack-O-Lanterns

And what is Halloween without a picture of the kids in their Halloween pjs from Aunt Jodie!
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Halloween, Part 1

Way back when we lived in Logan, Ahenobarbus happened upon the cartoon "Growing Up Creepie." The show is about a girl, Creepie, raised by bugs. Beemer instantly loved it and was sad when we moved and no longer got the channel it was on. Recently, we changed cable providers, and Beemer was once again able to watch Creepie. She LOVES her and the bugs. She has even perfected her illustrations of Creepie after hundreds of pictures! So, when she asked to be Creepie for Halloween, I wasn't shocked. I just wondered how I was going to sew a dress that curled like this one.

After some creative hair from Grandma and some tights from Ahenobarbus, we did get "exactly" the look Beemer wanted. She was so excited to show all of her friends at her school parade. I had warned her that Creepie isn't a show everyone watches (it's on Discovery Kids, so it isn't exactly prime time) and that not everyone would know who she was. She didn't care. She was just SO excited to be Creepie.

When we got to school, her teacher asked if she was a vampire and one of the other little girls in the class said, "No, she's Creepie" (in that VERY obvious tone of voice). I would have hugged her if I could have reached her. Beemer just beamed!

Audi waiting for the parade to begin.

Beemer and her best friend at school.
(Don't you just love that "Creepie" face?)

All of the kids singing Halloween songs.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Nice Day for a Walk

The first warm day after our trip to Utah (where it is "freakin' cold" according to Beemer), we took the girls on a fabulous hike. Here are some pictures from our adventure.

Caution: Reptile warning (Bec and Kat - divert your eyes)

I LOVE this action shot of my awesome hubby!

It was awesome weather and beautiful scenery. All in all one of my favorite things about fall!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thoughts on Home

My recent trip to Utah brought to mind and heart many thoughts and emotions about the word "home." Sometimes I use it to refer to Utah, other times to St. Louis. After much pondering, here is what I have come up with.

Ogden - my first home; my first family; my childhood memories; playmates (for me and my girls); fun; adopted families; mountains; Home.

Logan - my second home; my second family; dear friends (many still there, others across the country) ; college memories; 10 years of memories with AT; laughter; majestic beauty; open spaces; peace; Home.

St. Louis - my current home; new friends; new experiences; new everything - well, almost; fun; adventure; growth; Ahenobarbus; Beemer; Audi; Home.

While a part of my heart is in each of these locations, "Home," I've discovered, is where my husband and girls are. No matter where that is.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Growing Up

At 19 months I took Beemer to get her picture taken in this adorable pink dress. The pictures turned out to be some of my favorites.

So, at 19 months, I decided it was Audi's turn. I was a little apprehensive because her one-year pictures didn't go smoothly, but we pulled out the dress and decided to give it a shot. It turned out I had nothing to worry about. She did GREAT and, as you can see, the pictures are adorable.

** Why 19 months you ask? It doesn't seem to be a real "milestone" month. The real reason is because, with both girls, I thought about getting pictures at 18 months, and it took me an entire month to get around to doing it!**

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Things That Go

Saturday morning, while Ahenobarbus mowed the lawn, I took the girls to a Parents-As-Teachers event - Things That Go. We saw some really cool vehicles. Everything from police cars with their lights on that you could climb in and out of, to the SWAT vehicle, to the Doritos truck giving out samples. Here are a few pictures from the day (sorry about the quality, I took them on my phone).

This one is just for Uncle Shane!

Yes, Audi was there - happily watching from her stroller.

Beemer's favorite - the driver also had dumdum suckers, which didn't hurt.