Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Anniversary

I'm on a plane right now, but I thought I should tell the world that it's our anniversary!

Nine years ago on this day in history, Andrew and I got married. How did that ever happen? Well...

October 12, 2005: Andrew was released from his mission. Hours after taking off his name tag, he met me in the Harold B. Lee Library and we went on our first date (to the Cougar Eat—soooo romantic).

October 14, 2005: We went our second date (a picnic in the canyon—much more romantic). From that point on we saw each other every single day until we got married.

October 18, 2005: Andrew asked me to be his girlfriend. He said he was finished "dating around" (having gone one one date with one other girl *begin fist shake* Stormie *end fist shake*) and wanted to "be official." We held hands for the first time. By accident.

October 21, 2005: We kissed for the first time. On purpose.

October 26, 2005: We got engaged. By accident.

December 16, 2005: We got married. On purpose.

*****

We "officially" dated for 1 week and 1 day. We were engaged for 1 month and 3 weeks.

In our defense, we had known each other for five years, so I suppose we knew—a little—what we were getting into.

A few stories should be shared in greater detail, like how we accidentally got engaged. I think I mentioned this story once in passing and I think someone (Amy?) asked me to share more about it...but I don't think I ever did.

We were just starting a tradition of going to the temple once a week (a tradition we kept going until Rachel was born (except for a brief hiatus during our semester in Jordan)—and then such frequency wasn't manageable anymore). We met young Italian man in the baptistry. He and Andrew were talking in Italian in the locker room and they continued their conversation as we walked out of the temple. The young Italian man was unaware that I had been taking an Italian class.

"Quando stai sposi?" the young man suddenly asked Andrew ("When are you getting married?").

"Che cosa?!" I sputtered ("What?!").

"Lei parla italiano!" Andrew gasped out ("She speaks Italian!").

The young man broke away from us at a run. "Ummm... It was nice to meet you. Good-bye!" he called out.

Andrew and I walked on in silence for a few paces before he stopped and turned to face me.

"Hypothetically speaking, could that ever happen?" Andrew asked.

"Yes!" I said. "I think so. Do you think so?"

"Yes!" he said.

And just like that we were engaged. We went ring shopping soon after that but then the ring had to be sized so I didn't get it until much later. Rings aren't necessary for an engagement, right?

*****

Since getting married we've...
  • lived in 2 states
  • lived in 3 countries
  • had 3.5 children
  • moved 6 times (plus a couple more, maybe)
  • competed 9 years of school
  • visited 14 countries (collectively)
  • visited 26 states and 2 provinces (collectively)
  • spent 12 years serving in primary (collectively)
  • started a handful of small kitchen fires
  • held down an uncountable number of odd jobs
  • had a really great time
Nine years down. Infinity to go!

I'm hoping the next nine years will bring...
  • at least .5 more children
  • another graduation followed by
  • an actual job, which will probably entail
  • another move
  • more travel
  • more good times

Monday, December 15, 2014

Kicking Guacamole

I've almost been holding my breath waiting for this moment—quickening—and I'm pretty sure I can now feel our baby moving around! This being our fourth baby you'd think I'd be all calm, cool, and collected. It's routine by now, right?

Instead I think I've been the most stressed out I've ever been, worrying constantly. Constantly.

Right now these little kicks are assurance that the baby's still there (though I definitely reserve the right to complain about them later when they progress from little kicks to huge wallops).

I've been feeling what I thought might be kicks for about a week now but I wasn't quite sure they were what they were until a few nights ago. So, I suppose technically I started feeling kicks at 14 weeks, but we'll call it 15.

Here's when I was positive about my babies moving:

Rachel: 19 weeks
Miriam: 16 weeks
Benjamin: not sure because I didn't write about it, but Andrew was already feeling kicks at 17 weeks
This baby: 15 weeks

When I told Andrew that I could feel the baby moving he said, "How big is it now?"

"About the size of an avocado," I said.*

"Maybe it's making guacamole," he quipped.

"Thanks. Now I'm hungry," I said.

"Gross," Andrew said. He hates guacamole.

So, there you have it.

*15 weeks is technically an apple. 16 weeks is an avocado. I was a little off with my fruit comparison. I don't really understand the fruit comparison thing anyway. I think it mostly has to do with length....? I usually start rounding up quite a bit, too, as in, "Oh, I'm 16 weeks, 1 day. That's like 17 weeks!" So I'm usually pretty confused about how far along I actually am at any given moment.

Make your own ball!

Years and years ago—I can't find the post—I wrote about how Rachel once found a ball in the diaper bag in the middle of sacrament meeting, yelled, "BALL!" at the top of her lungs, and chucked that sucker across the chapel. It was a learning moment for me as a mother: make sure there are no balls in the diaper bag when going to meetings that are intended to be quiet and reverent.

Check. Lesson learned. Got it. Thanks.

(But let's take a moment to appreciate a new word! My baby can talk! (I'm pretty sure that was in the post, too)).

Now, it's been said that raising boys is different from raising girls, that they're intrinsically different from each other. I don't disagree with this entirely, although I always point out that my girls are polar opposites so I've found that raising girls is different from raising girls. Still, boys have their fun little boyish traits that just pop out every now and then.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ukulele Videos

Here are the videos Andrew took of our little ukulele choir:







Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ukulele Choir

Our ukulele choir has shrunk a little since last year, but we still managed to meet together throughout the year to practice. It's possible we've even improved since last year. I'll be uploading some videos tonight, so stay tuned... Until them here are some "stills" from the video. I'm not sure anyone took any pictures.


Luminaria 2014

I was afraid we were going to miss out on the neighbourhood luminaria this year but then, much to my happy surprise, they started advertising that it would be this weekend! We still didn't get to participate fully because we went to our ward Christmas party instead, but once we got home from that we went for a lovely (slightly chilly) walk around our neighbourhood. And the luminaries are still burning brightly!

There was one luminary by our house that didn't have a candle in the bag so it was "broken," which perplexed Benjamin to no end. He had to stop and check every single paper bag to make sure it was "working" as we made our way through the neighbourhood (so obviously we didn't make it through the entire neighbourhood because we had to go super slow).


Friday, December 12, 2014

For your enjoyment (by "your" I probably mean "grandparents'")

Here's the video of the beginning of the nativity:



And here's one of the end:

Preschool Pageant

A couple of nights ago I asked Rachel to retrieve "the best Christmas story ever" for story time. She looked at me a little strange, then went to our box of Christmas books and rifled around.

"Here?" she said, holding up a story.

"Umm...that's not it."

"Okay, here," she said, holding up a different one.

"That's not it, either, Rachel. There's only one. It's not that hard to find."

"Well, which one is it?" she asked.

"The one called The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," I said.

"Oh," she said. "You said 'the best Christmas story ever.'"

"Pretty sure I said pageant."

"You said story," Andrew confirmed. "Even I was wondering how she was going to magically pick out the right one."

Okay, fine. This has been happening to me a lot more frequently. I call it brain fog. And, yes, I blame it on my children—specifically on the littlest ones (like the ones the size of avocados). Anyway, we eventually did get out The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and now we're nearly through it. And last night we got to go to Miriam's Preschool Christmas Pageant!


The Strummer

Rachel's doing a unit on sound in school right now and the culmination of the whole thing is a "sound parade" where each brings in a homemade instrument and they march around the halls playing them. Parents were not invited and I'm really not too shaken up about this because I can only imagine how cacophonous this parade will be.

The instrument Rachel designed and created is called a strummer.



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Heiss Holiday Humbug 2014

I finished writing this poem on Thanksgiving Day. And then I had to rewrite part of it and was left stewing over my broken stanza for quite a while. But I finally fixed it!

I also had to wait for Rachel to finish her reading goal for the year and then for Andrew to write about it. He totally geeked out and made all these charts and things "for me" to use as props in my post and I was like, "I don't even really know what to do with these and I don't think you've written a post since you blogged about Ghana in 2012, so I think it's about time you made a contribution."

He did a wonderful job and even used words like "quadrimodal," which I don't think I could have managed unless I needed to rhyme it with anecdotal or something.

Speaking of anecdotes, this poem is full of them!

(You can download a PDF of the newsletter here or catch the text-only version below the jump).

And now, without further ado...Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine!