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Monday, June 30, 2014

Anna turns 2 YEARS!!

      Um, say what?  How did she grow up so fast?! She is definitely not a baby anymore.  It's almost silly to call her a toddler too.  She's just too darn smart.  Her personality comes out with everything she does and she is definitely her own person.  We just love her and the fun she brings to everything.  How could you not love this girl? She's hilarious, adorable, sweet, and fun.  Ty and I feel so lucky that she's our daughter.  While we've had to introduce time-outs, she's pretty well behaved most of the time.  It's very interesting to see how her little mind works and processes things. We've always said she's a smartie pants and she's constantly proving it.

      I'm incredibly late in posting this and since you won't see another post like this until she turns 3, I'll just update you with what she is up to now.

- She is so smart and learns things really well.  We're always so surprised at how quickly she picks up on things and makes connections.  I wish we could take credit for her intelligence, but let's be honest.  She is just smart and the shows we choose for her to watch are pretty good.  Haha.

- Her imagination has grown exponentially, even in just the last few months.  She pretends to talk for her stuffed elephant and doll, with adorable voices to match.  It gets even better when she has conversations with the elephant and answers back.  We love it!

- Along with that, she definitely gets my flair for the dramatics.  She will repeat and even act out scenes from her favorite episodes or movies.  She can pretty much recite the entire episode of Mickey's Adventures in Wonderland (her favorite).

- She also loves to sing and does so well.  She's even started to make up her own songs.  Adorable.

- Her hair has grown so much! It's amazing and beautiful.  I love the little curls she's developed in the back.  I hope they stay for always.

- She is so active and LOVES to be outside.  You'd think that it would wear her out.  However, it seems to have the opposite affect on her.  Her absolute favorite thing is rocks and dirt.  I'm serious when I say that I think she might have a future as a geologist.  Haha.  For grass is cool and all, but what it doesn't hold a candle to dirt and rocks.

 - Her favorite thing to eat is Mac n Cheese.  She does eat lots of fruit and we've been really enforcing that she eats what we do at dinners.  She doesn't really love everything, but she's done really well at trying everything. 

- We tried potty didn't work out.  Haha.  I think she's as well prepared for it, but she just doesn't want to yet.  That's cool with us.  (Especially me.)  It was and extreme amount of work to start potty training her and by the end of the week, I really couldn't take any more of it and not see any progress.  We'll have a go at it again when she can tell me that she wants to go.  She's too dang smart that I know when she's ready and really wants to start using the potty, she'll just tell us. 

- She knows shapes, colors, counts to 21 on her own (sometimes higher!), and letters.  It's getting harder to keep up with knowing what to teach her next.  She watches a show called Super Why! and they do a good job sounding out letters and words.  She's been doing this all the time and will start figuring out what letter different words start with. 

- She thinks she's the funniest person you'll ever meet.  She loves to laugh and loves to make people laugh.  Her laughs are pretty contagious. 

- Because she is so smart, she gets incredibly frustrated when she can't figure something out or it doesn't work the way she is expecting it too.  We usually have to end up taking toys away from her because she gets too upset. 

- She went from being incredibly introverted, to absolutely loving being around people and doesn't quite understand Stranger Danger.  Haha.  She won't exactly run up to and give hugs and kisses just anybody, but she will play and laugh will almost everyone. 

      We just love this baby girl!  She is such a joy in our lives.  Parenting a toddler isn't always fun, but when that toddler is Anna, it can definitely more fun.  It's hard to not be able to see family because we live so far away and not get to show off Anna.  We can't wait to be around family and let them see all the amazing, funny, and awesome things that she does.  She's so easy to love and we just are so happy that she's ours. 


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ice Castles in Midway, UT

      Ever since I found out about the Ice Castles a month ago, I've really wanted to go and check it out.  Making it a reward for losing weight was definitely good motivation to work hard.  It's about an hour drive away in Midway.  Once we started getting into city limits you could tell that was German/Swiss inspired.  Even the church buildings were followed that design.

      How cool is that?! I looked up Midway later and it is in fact all about the Swiss culture. I will definitely come back for some of the events they have going on in the year. It reminded me of Leavenworth and made me feel like I had a little piece of home. 

      There were two lines for the Ice Castles. One for people who needed to purchase tickets and one for those who bought online. Really glad we bought online before because that line was much shorter. The downside was that we went on a Saturday and so it was still really busy, so we were still waiting to get in for about 20 minutes or so. It was FREEZING! 

      When we finally got in, it was amazing to see what these people had created. You got an idea for it from the outside, but being inside really made the experience whole. Anna was just excited to be outside and running around and she kinda made her claim on an in between area where the snow was softer and she kept falling and getting snow all over her sweatpants. It was cute and I would have let her just go for it, but there were too many people and she was getting in people's way. Once it started getting darker, you could start to see the lights under the ice. So cool! Definitely the best part. 

      There was a lot more to see, but we were cold, hungry, and it was too crowded to enjoy any more than we did. We came home and ate quick meals. We decided that next year we will come on a weekday and then go out for dinner afterward. In all, though, we marked this visit as a success. We got out of the house and did something we've never done before. In the winter, that's definitely a success.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

(For our families, this post is FULL of pictures and videos.  We hope you enjoy them!!)

      This is the first year that we didn't spend Christmas with either of our parents.  With living so far away, making that trip during the winter and so soon after we had just done it for Thanksgiving, wasn't something we are able to do.  We were glad we were able to spend a good portion of time with both of our families during the time we were there.  Being with them always brings a lot of joy.  Especially seeing them love on Anna.

      Living in Utah hasn't completely left us without loved ones, though.  Both of my mom's sisters, one of my dad's brothers, and Ty's brother live close.  We are so lucky!  Not long after we moved here, my Tante Karin invited us to their German Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve.  I can't even describe how relieved I was.  My mom's Christmas Eve German dinner is the highlight of Christmas for me every year.  The thought of missing it was very depressing, so I was very prepared to accept.  My Tante Ingrid even made Sauerbraten, in addition to the Schnitzel they already make, because I requested it.  She's the best!  It's just not a full German Christmas for me without it.  (I confess I might have cried like a baby earlier that day thinking they might not have remembered. I'm ridiculous, I know.)  I'm definitely loved.

      After dinner, we ate treats and my cousin's daughter read the Christmas story, another cousin read Llama, llama, Christmas drama, and we sang some Christmas songs.  Then, we opened presents.  Anna has been one spoiled girl this year.  I can't say thank you enough for everything.  It really made our Christmas special to spend time with my mom's side of the family.

      We came home full, happy and with lots of leftover Sauerbraten, Rotkohl, treats that Karin made, and plenty of gifts.  It was past Anna's bedtime when we did get home so we quickly got her ready for bed once we got home.  When she was in bed I got the meat ready for the next day's stew and then put out the presents.  It was so pretty and made me nostalgic of Christmases growing up.

      That night's sleep was kind of rough.  Anna woke up around 2:30, crying loudly.  She doesn't do this often and usually calms down quickly.  This time wasn't much different, except she took awhile to fall back to sleep.  She kept kicking her mattress with her foot over and over and over and I was going crazy.  She finally fell back to sleep after about an hour and a half and it took me another half hour or so to follow suit.  When she woke up around 7:45, I was exhausted and didn't feel very excited about getting out of bed.  We decided to take her into our room to do her morning routine (bottle and diaper change) so she wouldn't be distracted by the gifts. When we did take her out to the living room, her reaction was the best.  She walked up to the display and said, "Oh Wow! Look at all the presents!" Perfect.  If only I had had enough storage on my phone for the video.

      Opening presents with her was fun and once again, she was very spoiled.  We even took out toys that she doesn't really play with anymore, earlier in the week and plan on donating.  There's way more going in than coming out.  She's a very lucky girl.

      Our plan for each other, this year, was to keep things pretty low key.  We had decided on a couple of gifts.  A movie, a bedding set, and something very simple for each other.  (My gift to Ty was a Superman cape that I found on Clearance after Halloween.  His gift to me is priceless.  Getting up with Anna duty for the next four Saturdays so I can have a chance to sleep in.)  Then, we decided that we really needed to get a new mattress because we weren't sleeping well at all and it was becoming a need.  Ty was gifted the mattress that we had a few years before we were married and it was used then.  The new one was delivered on Christmas Eve and I gave the delivery guys a very generous portion of Peanut Clusters as thanks.  Before they took away our old mattress we saw just how bad it was and were glad to be rid of it.

      Once all the gifts were opened, we had Gingerbread pancakes for breakfast.  I think this is a tradition I'm going to keep doing no matter where we are.  So good!

      Later in the day, we Skyped with my parents and then Ty's brother, Nathan, his wife, Celia, and their crew of kids came over for dinner.  It was so good to be with them.  We really haven't been able to spend a lot of time with them the last few months and we love hanging out with them.  After everyone had eaten and we started in on dessert, we Skyped with Ty's parents.  Skype is such a great lifeline for us. We had such a great Christmas.  Even though we miss our parents, we both enjoyed not having to drive anywhere, being able to stay at home, and make our own family traditions.

We hope everyone enjoyed themselves as much as we did and that you had a very Merry Christmas indeed!

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