Sunday, December 13, 2009

Santa and his Elf

The holidays are upon us! This is how we're celebrating Christmas this year:
  • Instead of big gifts for each other, Alvin and I want to donate to charities in behalf of each other. The Global Impact Fund and La Leche League International are potential recipients. Can you guess who chose which?
  • We'll spend Christmas Eve sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace eating cheese, dates, and flatbread for our traditional "Jerusalem Supper."
  • I can't wait for my parents' choir concert, especially because the audience gets to join in singing some of the songs. Singing Christmas hymns (accompanied by a real live pipe organ!) is my favorite way to celebrate Jesus' birth. I love "Once in Royal David's City."
  • Alvin's mom babysat while we went to the TerraTek Christmas party at the Hilton hotel in Salt Lake City. I wore wild black tights and high heels, and Alvin spontaneously pulled out some amazing dance moves.
  • Don't tell him, but I made Miles a book for his Christmas present. It's a photo album of him, and all the pictures have simple words, like "feet," or "Daddy," or "hike." It was so fun for me to go through all our photos of Miles and see how he has grown. He is almost 10 months old, and he has changed so much! I keep thinking about the raising-a-baby advice my midwife gave me: Don't blink. It goes by so fast! It's true. I sure love Miles, and I love being a mommy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Halloween

A punk rocker family for the Anderson party, . . .










. . . and a gypsy and a pumpkin for the TerraTek party.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Semiannual Moab Mecca







Thanks, Clay and Leslie, for putting us up at your pad. Leslie served us some wickedly delicious granola; I tried her recipe as soon as we got home.

I think Miles was born to be a mountain man. He loved playing with Brian, Clay, Angela, and Leslie, and you don't get more outdoorsy than those four. Plus, Miles has Alvin's genes, so mountain-man-ness is innate.

This Pretty Awesome Guy Had a Birthday Not Too Long Ago





































Happy October 18 Birthday, Alvin.

Monday, September 21, 2009

5 more days in Texas

Alvin's training is winding to a close, and I've seen most of the museums that interested me. It's been kind of nice being in Houston and living a simple life (simple except for the fine cuisine we've indulged in), but I think we're all ready to reunite with our family and possessions in South Jordan.

Here's a brief summary of our take on Texas, so you'll know what you're getting into if you ever come here:

Things we like about Houston
Eating out
Getting lots of exercise walking everywhere
Shiny skyscrapers
The pool is an elevator ride away
Maids clean our rooms, change our towels, and bring free shampoo
No dog hair on the carpet
Seeing old college geology friends who live here
No commitments; every night is open
Exploring new museums and parks
Ethnic diversity: Middle Eastern, African, Mexican
Feeling free to run the air conditioner all day (it’s included in the hotel tab)
Outlines of the state of Texas on freeways and pies

Talking to interesting people on the buses

Things we miss about South Jordan
Alvin’s pottery (we made some pots in Utah, but had to leave before they were fired)
Driving a car to the grocery store

Putting the groceries in the trunk instead of the bottom of a stroller
Babysitters for Miles
Our garden: zucchini, tomatoes, raspberries, and pears
Miles’ toys and highchair
Wide, even sidewalks that don’t end randomly
Cool, dry Utah September
Mountains and hiking
Wheat grinder and whole wheat bread
Yoga classes
The temple

More Adventures in Houston

Someone is going to grow up to be a geologist
Maddie, Miles, Laura, Sydnie at Brazos Bend State Park

Is it a 20 lb sack of potatoes?



No . . . it's a sack of baby!


Meet Mr. Albino Aligator




This color-changing tunnel connects two buildings of the Museum of Fine Art


King Miles riding in the wagon at the zoo. Princess Whitnie was kind enough to share her link toys.






Saturday, September 19, 2009

Galveston Island

Despite the rain, Saturday we drove an hour south of Houston to Galveston to swim in the Gulf of Mexico and see the damage from last year's Hurricane Ike. There's even a town named "Alvin" on the way.

Miles loved the beach! He sat in the shallow waves, happily splashing the water and eating salty sand. We tried to limit his intake, but he is one determined kid!

I'm glad the car rental price included vacuuming up our sand!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Laughing

Miles now laughs on cue if we . . .

video

. . . slap the ground,

. . . bounce a ball,

. . . squeeze his tummy,

. . . do "Five Little Monkeys."

Miles is quite the attraction here in Houston. Strangers are always telling us how cute he is.
"He looks like he was carved out of a block of cream cheese."
"He's cuter than the Gerber baby. You should put him in modeling."
"I could eat those thighs for dinner!"
"He looks like a Viking. A Viking baby with those blue eyes and blonde
hair."
"He'll be the only kid in gym class with that name." (I didn't think Miles was that unusual.)
And they're are amazed at how big he is for 6 months. 20 lbs, I'd guess. I just say, "Wait 'till you see his thighs!"

A Tour of Houston

Schlumberger sent Alvin to Houston for a 6-week class on oil resevoir characterization, so Miles and I tagged along. To Houston, not the class. The worst part is the heat\humidity combination, but the best part is the hotel housekeeping: we never have to make our bed or wash our towels. While Alvin goes to class everyday, Miles and I hang out at the air-conditioned hotel or explore Houston by bus, foot, Mei Tai, and stroller (and taxi when it's 10:30 pm and your 9:30 bus still hasn't come). So far we have made it to . . .

Don't worry. Alvin hasn't missed out on all the fun. He joins us on excursions in the evenings and on weekends when he doesn't have to prepare group presentations.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

4th of July















Alvin the photographer was in heaven at the Provo Balloon Fest. He even forgave me for getting him up at 5:45 am on a holiday. Watching the balloons inflate was "udderly" amazing. My new life goal is to ride in a hot air balloon.

3rd of July

We drove to the Uintas to escape the heat of the valley and hike Ruth Lake and Christmas Meadows.
We have learned from experience that a baby's cry is calculated to get parents to RESPOND, even with a temporary comfort, like a pacifier. Unfortunately, Miles has an uncanny knack for losing pacifiers when we are hiking. Here, Alvin has resorted to drastic measures to distract our baby.
Relaxing by the Provo River Falls. There are actually 3 falls, all beautiful.


This is a glacial meadow on the way to Ruth Lake.

Bradley Reunion

During the three months before Miles was born, Alvin and I took a Bradley class to prepare for a natural childbirth. There were 8 couples in our class, and we've all had our babies now. We got together on June 27 to share birth stories and see the little squirts that made their mommies' tummies so big. Our instructor came to the reunion and, ironically, she is 8 months pregnant.

Look closely at the following sequence and you'll see the birth of a thief!






Sunday, June 21, 2009

Reunion Time

The last two weeks we've gone to family reunions. First, Alvin's family met in St. George, then my family met in Fairview.

Zion isn't too far from St. George, so we spent a day there. My favorite hike was Angel's Landing. I've always wanted to do it. Now I can die. Well, I better add some more things to my list of lifetime goals. That's Alvin's dad and brother Chris in the picture.


Can you guess what play Alvin's nieces and nephews performed for us? Hint: "I'm late! I'm late! I'm late for a very important date!"

These are my cousins. Since he's a native to Fairview, Alvin took us on a tour of Skyline Drive and found a nice place to hike.


We stopped at a toy shop and saw this sage quote.



This is at the Fairview Cemetery. Alvin's brother, John Mark, and Miles share the same birthday.



Saturday, June 6, 2009

Anniversary

June 2, 2009 we celebrated our 2 year anniversary. Alvin, they've been the best two years of my life.

We went back to Maple Canyon, where Alvin popped the question in March 2007. The conglomerate cliffs make for some great rock climbing. We, however, just hiked and got showered by a spring cloudburst.

I've never seen a conglomerate arch before. Miles likes it, too.

No sunburns today! Isn't this a cool trail?


video

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Memorial Day

We hiked up Broad's Fork in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The trailhead is next to the one for Lake Blanche.
Alvin's pack was a lot heavier than mine! It's the only way I can keep up with him.

Miles slept contentedly most of the way. When his head flopped to the side, his neck got a mean sunburn. Poor thing!

It's about 2 1/2 miles to the cirque.

It's rather steep on the way down, and that, combined with the extra passenger, did a number on Alvin's knees. Don't worry. He recovers quickly.