Friday, November 30, 2007

TGI... Last Day of November

I'm so excited it's the last day of November. I like having a new month, but I also like counting down to Christmas and the new year; I have a feeling this holiday season is going to be extra special. I also happened to have had a fun, but cold, day. My kids have been earning marbles for a secret surprise and a few days ago they got enough for it. So, today I brought in what the surprise was: watching a classic Christmas special. It was okay to do this because we already checked with the kids and parents to make sure they celebrated Christmas as to not offend anyone.

Greg and I decided to buy the two sets of Christmas TV classics pictured. Both of us remember watching these during the past holiday seasons and since we are starting our family we thought it would be a great addition to our growing DVD collection. Anyone the kids voted on nine of the movies and the majority chose, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was so much fun to watch something I've seen so many times I lost count with new eyes. The kids were hilarious; it was fun to listen to them laugh at all the little things. I found myself being very grateful and wishing I could look at the world through the eyes of a child sometimes...

I might get a chance this weekend because we're expecting at least six inches of snow... they are so prepared here that church has already been cancelled... Hopefully I'll be able to post pictures while we're snowed in...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Texas-sized Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Break & Happy Birthday Mama!

Greg & I got back from our wonderful trip to Austin, Texas really early this morning---so we're spending the last day of our break being very lazy, tired, and stuffy. Since we've been married, we've switched the two end holidays between each sides of the family. One side gets us for Thanksgiving and the other for Christmas. It's worked pretty well, but I don't know what we'll do with the baby next year---but that's next year's saga.

We arrived in Austin on Wednesday after being up since 1 in the morning to get to our 730 flight in Chicago. We spent that day helping Barb with house/Thanksgiving dinner stuff. Then we went back to the airport to pick up Dell & Paul for a barbeque dinner at County Line. (if you go to the website--- we ate at the one on the river)

Thanksgiving was a great day--- besides the fact that my allergies went haywire and I couldn't stop sneezing. Luckily, I cleared up long enough to be able to taste dinner that night. One of the coolest things about this weekend was that Greg's half-sister and brother (with their spouses) were able to come from Arkansas to Texas for a nice family Thanksgiving. Greg and his brother spent most of their time going through their dad's stuff. It was nice that they were able to spend so much time together, but it was also very emotional.

One of the neatest things was the time Greg and Brian spent on their dad's 68 Camaro. About a year before Jay passed, he bought the Camaro. He always wanted to restore an old car, since he was sick he didn't get a chance to even start working on it. The car wasn't starting for Barb, so she kindly asked the Hansen men to fix that. The moment that car started was really neat because we all felt like Jay was there. I felt so pulled that I ran from the inside of the house to the garage to see it. It was really special.

Dinner was great. Elaine, Greg's sister, is a domestic diva and brought some amazing stuffing and pumpkin bread with her. Dell made some yummy sweet potatoes and Barb did a fantastic job on the turkey. I was going to make the stuffing but Elaine brought her wonderful homemade goodness and I had my allergic attack. For dessert we had pumpkin pie... apple pie... and rasberry cheesecake.

The next day Greg, Brian, and Elaine spent more time going through Jay's things--- and other items that their grandmother wanted them to have. Jay kept everything. He even had congrats on the baby cards from when he was born that his mom saved for him. Pictures of cars, navy ships, manuels, old business cards, certificate of fire safety as a child, artwork, etc. When I tell my children of their grandpa Jay I can't wait to show them the things we'll have that meant something to him (besides their father :).

We also went to a couple of movies: Enchanted and Bee Movie. I enjoyed both a lot. I was afraid I wouldn't like Enchanted, but it ended up exceeding my expectations. Greg enjoyed Bee Movie more than the 'Disney Princess fairy tale.' Right before our flight yesterday we ended our Texas trip by having more barbeque. We went to a place called Rudy's. If you are ever in the Austin area--- go to Rudy's. If you're a newbie, they'll let you sample everything on the menu and walk you through how to order. Oh.... so good.... After our Rudy's experience, we drove around downtown Austin until we had to go to the airport. Once at the airport, we thought we'd be in the air an hour later... three hours later we finally took off. At 1030 last night, we were finally on our way home. Two and half hours later, at the same time we left on Wednesday morning we were home---exhausted from our Texas-sized Thanksgiving break.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I want to mention what I'm thankful for:
10--- Texas Barbecue
9--- Being able to taste Thanksgiving Dinner
8--- Fresh Pears (thanks Barb)
7--- Heirlooms and keepsakes
6--- Precious memories with family
5--- A Healthy pregnancy (so-far)
4--- The Gospel
3--- My Eternal family
2--- My husband & growing child
1--- My Savior

I'll see if Greg will make a list as a comment.... Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Be grateful for everything you have been blessed with! Sorry there aren't pictures--- we forgot our camera...

Monday, November 19, 2007

What's a Nativity?!?!

Greg and I have made a deal: around Christmas time we get one new Christmas cd and a new decoration. For our CD we chose Relient K: Let it Snow, Let it Reindeer. It's a fantastic mix of alternative and Christmas. For our decoration we chose to get a Nativity. Considering that it's Christmas time, I thought finding I nativity scene that we like would be really easy. Boy, was I wrong.

We had to go to four different places to find an actual selection. Most places only had one and neither of us really like it; one place we went to didn't even have a single nativity. One of my co-workers told me to try Menards because they have a large Christmas selection. Since it was so large we decided to ask an associate for help. When we asked him if they had any nativities, this was his response: What's a nativity? Wait... what? Greg thought he mumbled (which he often does) and I was in shock... wait... what? I ended up saying, "you know baby Jesus." He went oh, but still looked semi-confused while he took us to the outside/inflatable nativity. "Will this do?" "We need a smaller one." "Oh... let me ask someone who'll know what you're looking for." At this point, I turned to Greg and told him that I was going to slug Santa and commercialism.

After asking his co-worker he proceeded to lead us to four or five different sets---best selection yet. We found one we loved and checked-out. My question after this is: Has Christmas really come to this? Where people don't even know why we celebrate the season in the first place? I really enjoy every aspect of Christmas, but I enjoy it on the basis that it's all a symbol for the birth of our one and only Savior, Jesus Christ. Isn't He the actual reason for the season?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Deck the.... Apartment!!!

Greg let me decorate for Christmas today. The only reason he let me is because we're going to be out of town next weekend. Growing up we would always decorate for Christmas on the weekend after Thanksgiving and I absolutely love that tradition. Thanksgiving Day and the day after are always two of my favorite days of the year because I tend to think about all I'm thankful for on those days.

To add to my glee today it snowed for the first time this season! When Greg yelled to me that it was snowing I ran to the window and started jumping up and down. I was really excited. It wasn't cold enough for it to stick, but it still set the mood for our day.

A day of homework (for Greg), lesson planning (for me), decorations, Christmas songs, hot chocolate, and snow. Yay for winter-y Saturdays and the simple joys in life.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Anxiously Tired

I'm really tired--- my job is exhausting. Especially when you have a staff meeting which goes over and makes you miss a baby shower (sorry, midcitygal). The kids have been really wired. We have an autistic child in our class and he's been a challenge the last couple of days. Plus, we have a couple of boys who I feel as though I'm just a broken record to---grr--- do four/five year olds ever listen?

I'm anxious because I love this time of year. I love getting ready for Thanksgiving--- I'm insanely excited for a break next week! I love having the extra time to be thankful for the good things in my life. Emily is right; you take the time to think about what you're thankful for and it's hard to be grumpy or depressed. I'm thankful for so many things--- yay for that.

Plus, after a wonderful holiday where you try to be more grateful you have a holiday that's all about giving and the Spirit of Christ. Yay for our Savior. Yay for having another opportunity to think of him and cause the world to have a better outlook for at least five and a half weeks. And, we've worked it out so we can visit family for Christmas--which is good because I was not looking forward to spending it alone (Greg felt the same way). I'm all for that---which makes me all for Christmas and it's been really hard not to listen to Christmas music, pull out decorations, watch Christmas movies, etc.--- yet another reason to be excited for Thanksgiving---getting ready for the most wonderful time of the year.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Crusin' to the Second Trimester

On this the day 6 months pre-due date, I would like to post a preggers update:

I'm getting my energy back, which I'm very grateful for. This morning, I tried to surprise Greg with breakfast-in-bed and it didn't work. I wanted to do something for him since he's been so patient and understanding the last three months. Not even ten minutes after I started cooking breakfast, he got a call from the EQ asking for his help with a move. I quickly finished breakfast and he ran out the door. Yay for my wonderful husband, even if it's ridiculously hard to surprise him.

I'm still in the middle of two clothing worlds. I'm too big for my regular clothes and too small for my maternity wear (see post). So, I invested in a Bella Band. It's a stretchy band that goes around your waist to allow you to either kinds of pants because it hugs the pants to your body. So, I can keep my pre-preggers pants unbuttoned and not look unsightly. It's helped a lot, and when I'm a bit bigger I can use it as a belly support.

Every morning when I wake up Greg he says two things: "Morning Amer" followed shortly by "Morning Baby." Just another way my love for Greg grows each day. :)

My emotions are through the roof. For example, on Thursday the TCU vs BYU game was actually on TV here. I was so excited it was on/ wishing we were there/ actually missing Provo that I broke into a crying fit. Greg was at the other end of the couch and in total shock. He held me for a few minutes while I calmed down and we enjoyed watching the Cougs win.

We had our second appointment this past Tuesday. It was COMPLETELY different from our first appointment. We spent more time in the waiting room then talking to the doctor. Basically, here's the run down: she told us all the tests from the last appointment turned out okay, I'm O-negative blood type, I got a flu shot (which I'm still feeling the affects of), we heard the heartbeat, and she wished us a Happy Thanksgiving. Oh, did I say we heard the heartbeat? It was amazing; another affirmation that someone is actually growing inside my belly... it's still hard to believe... yay for answered prayers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Everybody Scream... Everybody Scream... in our town of Halloween!

I know... I know... it took me a long time to write about Halloween, but I've been sick and exhausted over the last week. I'll be better about posting, even if it's a small post. Halloween was so much fun. The night before I made cupcakes for my class. I wanted to make some witch fingers, but I was tired (of course) and I really didn't think I could do it with molds. So I used the Red Velvet cake mix and frosting to make a Pumpkin cupcake-cake. I've decided that I like food coloring A LOT. Without it my pumpkin would have been a ghost---which could have worked too. :)

The Hallow's morn then arrived. I got up early to get ready. I was really excited about my costume because I had been working on it since July. Once I got a Gryffindor tie for the HP&DH book release, I knew I could finally dress up as a Hogwarts student for Halloween. As I was getting ready, I realized that I really didn't know 'who' I was. I didn't really want to be a generic student. So, this is how my train of thought went as I was doing my make-up: "I can't be Character A because my hair is too short and my red-headed husband is a Slytherin, not Gryffinor. *insert brilliant thought* I could TOTALLY be Rose Weasley because I have the smarts of my mother (as stated in the book), but considering where I put my wand (in my hair) I have the reckless nature of my father." I thought I was a genius; Greg thought the preggy hormones finally got to my brain. No matter what, he was willing to take a picture of me in all my glory.

I got to school and the kids constantly asked who I was. My co-teacher told other people I was a 'Hogwarts something or other'--- I know, I know, it made me sad too. It was nice when I interacted with parents or co-workers who read the books because they loved that I would dress up as Rose; I told you brilliant among the Harry Potter fans!

The overall day was very crazy. The kids didn't get into their costumes until after nap. Then we had a parade for the parents; after which most of the kids left around 4 (we don't close until 6). Once I got home, Greg and I relaxed (our building didn't allow Trick-or-Treaters) and both told each other how excited we were to dress up our little 5-and-a-half month old next year.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Brief Update...

because I'm tired:

I had my first weird pregnancy dream (that I could recall) a couple nights ago... it was too strange.

I'm starting to feel 'poochie' which means I guess I'm starting to feel pregnant. It's just the feeling of the top-half of my body feeling bloated.

I'm really emotional--- more than usual--- it makes for an interesting day.

It's getting cold--- it might even snow this next week. So cold that I had hot chocolate for the first time this season. It wasn't just any hot chocolate either, it was Panera (St. Louis) Bread Co.... yum...

There's a nasty flu/cold thing going around the school and I feel crappy. It's hard to explain, but I know it's not from pregnancy because it feels different. I really hope and pray that I don't get sick.

Halloween was fun. My class was very cute. I dressed up as Rose Weasley... if you don't know who that is READ A BOOK!!!!

I'll expand on all my thoughts (and post pictures) above sometime this weekend.

Good night and Happy November :)

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