Monday, May 24, 2010

Quick Trip to Cali

We took a quick trip to California before Dan started the all too consuming BAR review. It was a little family celebration for Dan graduating from law school. We left on Thurs. after my swim lessons and then came back on Saturday. This is what the six hours drive looked like.
Paige would pull Hollyn's hair and then cry when she got in trouble.

Hollyn would watch movies and play with her toys. You tell me which one is a better traveler.
Since we didn't get into California until 8 pm, we let the kids stay up for a little bit and run around in the room before we put them to bed. The next day after going on a run with the girls, we spent almost the whole day at the beach and pool. The girls had a great time playing in the sand, jumping the waves, and finding sand crabs.

Hollyn loved to write in the sand and Paige loved to eat the sand. My favorite thing Hollyn wrote in the sand was this.
It says "fo Mom" and then heart balloons are on the side. The strangest thing that happened that day was when a European lady dressed in a long skirt and shirt came to the beach with a paper bag. She proceeded to change junior high style on right there on the beach. Pulling her bra through her shirt and all. Then she jumps right into the water for a swim, without any hesitation. After a short swim she comes out of the water with a large rectangular piece of plastic. As she gets closer to me I ask her if she found it in the ocean. She tells me yes, says here you can have it, and then hands it to me, grabs her paper bag and walks away. It was the most bizarre thing I have ever seen.
And yes, I kept the enormous cutting board. I didn't know what else to do with it. Dan gave me the hardest time. I'm not sure what to do with it now. Friday night we met my friend Maren and her family for dinner at Red Robin. We were the only ones sitting outside so the kids had a great time running around and the adults had a great time talking and catching up. I wish I would have gotten a picture. Maren has the cutest boys.
Saturday morning I took the girls on a run again, which was one of my favorite parts of the trip. The beach is the best place to run. The clean, cool air, the people watching, and the sound of the wave crashing, there is no place better. We are definitely a beach family. After our jog and breakfast we took the kids to the beach and let them play on the playground and then we walked on the pier. Paige had the greatest time go up and down the slide about a hundred times. When we were walking on the pier we even saw a guy catch a leopard shark.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Family Pictures and 18 months

Before we left Lincoln my good friend Anna took our last family pictures in Nebraska. She also took Paige's 18 month pictures. Paige turned 18 months almost a month ago, but it has been a little overshadowed by Dan's graduation, as it should be. So, here is a little tribute to our little Pay Pay or Fay Fay as we like to call her. Paigey is a ball of energy, I think that's the best way to describe her. From the moment she wakes up until she lays her head down to sleep, the girl doesn't stop. Here are a few of our favorite things about Paigey:
1. Her smile. She has got a smile that will melt you to the core. Even grumpy old man smile back at her. She also loves to flash this smile every time she does something naughty and it's so hard to be upset at her.
2. Paige has the cutest cry I have ever seen.
3. She talks a lot. She has even started saying two or three words together.
4. Paige loves to jump.
5. She loves to dance. She does the most adorable shoulder shrug I have ever seen.
6. One of her favorite things to say is "hold e," meaning hold it. Paige always wants to do things on her own.
7. Paige loves to say hi to everyone. She is super friendly to everyone, unless you get in her personal space, then she has a problem.
8. She loves to do everything her sister does. Dressing up in dress ups, putting on jewelry, playing with Polly Pockets or Barbies, or cooking in our play kitchen, she does it all.
9. Paige holds her ground. The kid is only 19 lbs. but she will never back down. She is a little mighty mite. If a bigger kid tries to take a take a toy from her or pushes her she pushes right back.
10. Paige loves her big sister, she calls Sissy.
These are some of the things Paige says:
Mommy, Daddy, Sissy, Grama, Grapa, Papa, Nonni, Bubba, Anna, Shisha, hold u, no no, uha (yes), hold e, thank you, please, hi, bye, dog, swim, sim suite, Barbie, ball, wawa, tootie(for cookie), shoes, oatmeal, nack(snack), napstick(chapstick), and more I can't remember. She also does signs and really cute animal sounds. We love our little Pay Pay.

Here's a few more fun pictures.

Here's a little something for my friend Anna who took our pictures. She gave me a hard time for not putting her name in my earlier post so this is for you Anna. My top ten favorite things about Anna:
1. She is a great dancer. Put "Party in the USA" on and you will see some amazing moves.
2. She is extremely artistic. She made her sons bedding, she paints (if you ever go to her bathroom look at the picture she painted on the wall), she makes the cutest headbands, and not to mention the many things she has "helped" me sew, and when I say helped I mean she did it all.
3. Anna is a great sense of humor. Anyone who laughs at my jokes has a great sense of humor.
4. Anna is one of the most giving persons I know. She is always watching someones kids (including mine), taking dinner into someone, or having a family over for dinner.
5. She is the ultimate planner. Anna has planned many activities including a triathlon and 10 k to run, Easter Egg Hunts, and I'm sure there's more I am forgetting.
6. Anna is a great running partner. She makes the time fly by.
7. She has a fantastic laugh. It starts off like a burst and then goes into a chuckle.
8. Anna can tell you anyones favorite words or the most frequent words they say. (Mine is fantastic) She also will catch anything you say wrong. ( I don't really miss that as much)
9. Anna can laugh at herself, especially her overalls and tie dye shirt. She also rocks any color on her braces. My favorite were the orange during Halloween.
10. My favorite thing about Anna is that she's a fantastic friend. A great combination of someone you can have fun with and talk to about anything.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Robed and All

Well, the day finally arrived, Dan graduated from law school! It was an overwhelming feeling seeing him up on the stage getting robed. All his hard work and the time and effort he put into school the last three years payed off and he had his diploma from law school in hand. I am so proud of Dan, and all of his accomplishments. We love you Dan! Thanks to our amazing parents for not only making the trip for Dan's graduation, but for also helping us move. They spend most of their vacation helping us move. We love you guys and couldn't have done it without you.
The proud parents.

The proud in-laws.

Super excited family.

The wives who couldn't be happier to be done. And who couldn't be more excited for their husbands.

The Mormon Mafia as they are called at UNL. We couldn't have asked for a better group of guys to graduate with and their amazing wives.

The proud wife.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Farewell Nebraska

So it's finally here, our last week in Nebraska and to be honest I'm really not sure how to feel. I'm not saying I would ever want to do this journey they call law school again, but I will say that this experience has changed me for the better. Not only has it changed us individually, but it has also changed us as a family. We have become closer and truly found our own family identity. I will have to say in the beginning when we first moved here, I was not really excited to leave our home, family and friends, and move to a place that I had never been before, didn't know anything about, and didn't know a single soul. Meeting new people, putting myself out there is not the easiest thing for me, it's actually quite terrifying and luckily our first Sunday at church a family invited us over to their home for dinner. They had a daughter Hollyn's age and they became instant friends. I will forever be grateful to the Anderson's for inviting us over that day. We had friends, people who were in the same situation that we were. And although the first year of law school is really hell, sorry there's no better word for it, Hollyn and I had people to spend the time with. We found so many fun things that first year.
1. The outdoor mall has an outdoor concert in the summer. You bring your lawn chairs and listen to all kinds of music every Friday night.
2. The farmer's market in downtown Lincoln.
3. The Apple Jack Festival in Nebraska City. With a parade, apple picking and all.
4. The greatest pumpkin patches I've ever seen. Although Rocka Berry Farm was fun, you can't beat Vallas, it's like an amusement mark.
5. Trick or Treating at the Children's Museum.
6. The tree lighting at the mall. They light up this huge Christmas tree and then Santa comes to visit.
7. Great parks with the greenest grass you will ever find.
8. Great running trails.
9. The most fantastic grocery store ever, Hyvee.
10. My favorite gym with the most fabulous child watch, the YMCA.
11. The majestic and oh so beautiful Rose Garden and Sunken Garden.
12. Dimensions Preschool
13. The arboretum at east campus that we had many a pictures taken.
I'm sure there are more but these are some of our favorites.
The summer of our first year was almost as difficult as the first year itself. We had two funerals to attend. First my 19 year old brother, which was by far the most difficult day of my life and then Dan's Pomp, who was an amazing man. When we got back to Nebraska we came home to a moldy, flooded basement. I remember walking through the door and instantly smelling mildew and it wasn't just my pregnant nose. So we packed up and moved out of our infested black mold house in two days, 8 months pregnant and all. The picture says it all. Dan single handily moved us, while I was only able to help with the packing.
It may sound silly, but Heavenly Father blessed us with mold. We moved to a completely different ward and a completely different neighborhood. Leaving all the friends we had just met the previous year. Although it is always difficult for me to move and leave my comfort zone, it was one of the best decision we made here in Nebraska. Hollyn went to church that first Sunday and there were five other girls her age in her primary class. They were instantly all friends and she was invited to playgroups every week. I put myself out there and met some really great people. One in particular that will be really hard to leave. She made Nebraska for me. She was someone you meet and you instantly feel a connection to, you immediately become friends. I learned a lot from her, she has made me a better person and I hope I have done the same for her.
The most important thing I learned in this ward was service. When there was a crisis the members were there to help out. I saw ladies going over to another families house and cleaning their home before they got back from burring their 8 year old son. I saw members giving families dinners for months until they could get back on their feet. They didn't even need to pass around a sign up sheet for more than one Sunday, because it would instantly be filled. Surgeries, new babies, you didn't even need to ask, because the members knew and were there to help. It is true what everyone says, Nebraska has the nicest people around. Our doctors office is just one example of this. Where else do all the nurses, the front desk ladies, and doctor tell you they are going to miss you and to make sure you stop by and say goodbye before you leave. Where else do the ladies in the child watch at the gym really look forward to your kids coming and hanging out while you workout.
Well Nebraska it's been a fun ride, and you will be missed. We will never forget the things we learned, the people we met, the change we encountered, and the Law Degree we are leaving with. Farewell Nebraska, hello Arizona.

We had a last playdate with all of Hollyn's friends from the ward at the park before we moved. It was sad to leave all of these cute girls. We were just missing Emily and Lincoln and Isaac.

Hollyn's preschool class threw her a party on her last day. They decorated the room, had party hats and blew bubbles. We loved Dimensions and especially Holyn's fantastic teacher Mrs. Kierwa.