Wednesday, August 26, 2009

3 Big Ones

3 Big Ones!

3 most frightening/worrisome memories with Eric:
  1. on our Honeymoon: whose idea was it to watch What Lies Beneath out in the middle of nowhere in a cabin? Mine? Oops...
  2. bee sting to Eric's hand: swelled up like a surgical glove being used for a cow's udder.
  1. WindRiver's 2007 lightning storm: Eric and Collin making the trek across the unsheltered saddle with lightning crackling around constantly... carrying fishing poles. I was scared to death!
  2. I'm adding another: when the Rhino broke down in the middle of a huge snowstorm on our way to the cabin Jan 2009 with babies in tow... and waiting for what seemed like hours in the cold dark with a bawling 6 week old and Eric gone off on a snow-mobile to try to find help. Scary times.
3 most embarassing memories with Eric:
  1. hitting myself in the face with my own racket during racketball and giving myself a black eye.
  2. the night of cooking disasters. Every dish, pan, bowl, etc that we own (I am really not exaggerating here!) was destroyed trying to salvage- not ONE, but 3-- culinary catastrophes! Below is a photo of the sludge that spread all over the counters and leaked onto the floor...
  3. riding the Greyhound for 2 days to Arkansas (to meet my folks) and then 2 days back. We were stinky, tired, and somehow still wanted to be right next to one another. (despite the egg-salad sandwich breath and lack of showers)
  4. ooh, wait, can I add a 4th? (Of course I can, it is my blog... ) Goofing around in the park (before we were engaged), tore my shirt WIDE open (on the side- one of the darts)... but didn't even realize it. Eric had to tell me that, um, I was a lil exposed. How embarassing.
But if I really want to be honest, I am not really that embarassed about any of those things. Kinda funny, I think.

3 most energizing/fun memories with Eric:
  1. playing Horrible Hoppers: Freshman year of college, in the dorms, Eric cheered me up one night close to Halloween when he could tell I was down. Halloween version of tiddlywinks.
  2. mystery shake date with strange and funny poetry games. I loved all those "intellectual" dates!
  3. Temple Square General Conference April 2006: the day that started it all. I had so much fun flirting around the artwork in the Conference Center, making deliciously piled up sandwiches with ALL the fixuns, and doodling on each other's papers during the afternoon session.
  4. Um, If I'm perfectly honest, just about EVERY memory that I have with Eric is energizing and fun! I just love being around him so much!
3 most romantic memories with Eric:
3. our first kiss: day after Mother's day, in the family room downstairs at Eric's parents' home. He wanted to long before that, but I was chicken. After this kiss, we basically knew marriage was on the horizon.
2. Valentine's Day 2008: Eric made delicious Italian dinner, converted our upstairs guestroom into a lovely candle-lit Italian eatery, and wowed me with flowers. Incredible night!
1. night he proposed: blanket under the stars in a field, sonnet composed just for me, a gorgeous customized ring, and melted my heart with the words "I've never been as happy in my life as these last months spent with you. I want to feel this way for Eternity. Will you marry me?" I believe I was laughing and crying at the same time. (as I recall, this kinda weirded him out, but he didn't let on til later.)

3 most significant memories with Eric:
3. The miscarriage of our first pregnancy. I think that brought us closer together than anything up to that point ever had.
2. Gwen's birth: the spirit in the room, we were both crying, and I remember feeling overwhelmed with love for her and for Eric, for our family. I knew we could be together for eternity.
1. kneeling across the altar in the Bountiful temple on the day of our sealing August 26, 2006. I never felt so RIGHT about anything before or since.
After 3 years, Hon, I only love you more than ever!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Entertainment for a Nerdy Science Guy

My Mother-in-Law reminded me a couple of days ago that I still haven't documented any "Eric Activities" since... well, I guess I haven't really gotten down any of them, actually. So. Enjoy. He kind of moves from project to project, getting completely involved in one thing and then moving on. The "entertainment" for my exceptionally-intelligent-science-lovin Hubby. *ahem* Nerd. I love that he chooses these activities voluntarily and considers them fun. Have I mentioned he works on Calculus problems for breaks from studying? :)
*Oh, and my apologies for not actually managing to get a picture with the handsome man in it. I'll work on that.
*

electronics
(found dead speakers at the dumpster and he loved taking them apart to find the magnets inside. We proceeded to make an "electronics" drawer for all his stuff)

chain mail
(interested in armor and manly guys, not in medieval life in general. makes the rings by taking a wire coil, wrapping it around a metal rod using a contraption involving a drill, cutting the coil using wire cutters, then using needle-nose pliers to flatten and close the gap)

books on homesteading, sustainable energy, cheese-making, and blacksmithing
(basically, Eric is interested in being completely self-sufficient... someday. I think he is slightly disappointed that I don't share his enthusiasm for living completely 'off the grid')

pocket stove for backpacking
(I think this project is really neat. This stove collapses down to about chunk chicken sized and opens up to be large enough to boil water. We've tried it. I really ought to try to get a picture of it lit and burning. Pretty impressive, actually. He got the design ideas online and tweaked them to be awesome. Lots of careful cutting, hole drilling, and rubbing alcohol burning for tests)

studying all about amateur radios
(This is Eric's most recent/current interest. He loves telling me all about how radios work, the history, etc. We don't actually have a radio *yet*, but I think he wants one.)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Moroccan Deliciousness

A couple of weekends ago, we had our 2nd Culinary Challenge dinner: Moroccan. Oh man, was the food DE-LI-CIOUS!!! I won't post recipes here. If you want them, check out our brand spankin new blog for our monthly international feasts!

A few feast highlights:7 veggie couscous with authentic northern African Harissa paste
traditional chicken dish called Bastilla (I think) covered in delicious spices and baked in philo dough
and a fantastic (and GORGEOUS) rose petal and cardamom ice cream served in real roses


and a few friends highlights (I will leave off names in case they would prefer it that way):
But that wasn't everyone. That'll be next month, I guess. Maybe we'll actually get the lil girls to pose with us too. :) Remember, for recipes, visit our new blog!

Monday, August 10, 2009

3/4 of a year!

I don't expect that this will necessarily be as entertaining to anyone else. But I wanted to make sure we recorded all of Gwen's developmental milestones. She has been learning how to do things like crazy!!!!

Things Gwen does that I adore:

  • she figured out how to pull herself up to standing. It is so pitiful to find her unable to sleep because she can't figure out how to sit down again after standing in her crib. Silly girl. So stubborn.---- but actually, that stage only lasted about 2 days. Now she can let herself back down. But, she doesn't like it. If she 'falls' -- even if that fall is really a soft landing on her bum so there's no way she is hurt-- she will bawl.
  • she army crawls with one arm and pushes off with the other. And still uses the belly flop technique to get places. and the toe scoot. pretty much everything except ACTUALLY crawling. :)
  • she loves to scoot over to me, climb up my leg, and slap my knee while plaintively calling "uh-mah-mah-mah, uh-mah-mah-mah". I like to tell myself that she is calling my name, but she does the same thing when she wants anything. I don't know if it is just what she says to get assistance or what. But it is cute. She calls out to me all the time.
  • she has developed some real attachment to me, in particular, and to anybody in general. She hates to be alone. She will play fine with her toys as long as I am sitting right there beside her. If i move 3 feet away but out of sight behind a desk, she immediately bawls as though she bonked her head. It would be funnier if it wasn't so hard to get anything done.
  • she wants what she wants. if she is watching the goldfish swim in the fish tank... and he has the audacity to swim behind the castle where she can't see him... she will bawl.
  • she loves to eat. food that can be chewed. Especially fruit. That girl has a sweet tooth.
  • she enjoys banging things together. A toy in hand isn't nearly as much fun as one in each hand. They immediately get to "know" each other by being smacked together. It is really funny.
  • she loves to watch the fish. She stands in front of the tank blowing air excited out and kind of stamping around on those little feet saying "ghersh" over and over like she's planning to learn some German.
  • she looks forward to bathtime so much. She will stand naked at the edge of the tub, traveling/cruising all along it, slapping the lip with her hand, squealing, and stamping her feet and trying to get in there while she has to impatiently wait for the water to reach the right temperature. It is sooooo funny!
  • she's finally got 2 bottom teeth!
  • she loves her duck toy given to her by her great grandma Ian. She will catch a glimpse of it and laugh like she's being reintroduced to an old friend. She loves to hold "Mr Greenhead" and look into his eyes while chattering pleasantly and then bite his bill. Stuffed animals in general are finally becoming interesting to her. Her crib giraffe is still a favorite, but as you can see in the video, she was thrilled about Henry too.
  • she laughs like an old man sometimes. I don't know how to describe it. low, deep, throaty short chuckles. I think it is hilarious.
  • she loves having people blow in her face. She will suck in air quickly and blink her eyes rapidly while a smile appears.
  • she plays with cheerios like tiddlywinks-- even in church.
  • she discovered that if she stands up against the clear plexiglass doors at church, she can accomplish 3 things at once: slapping the glass with both palms, squealing/laughing, and slobbering all over the glass with her whole mouth like a sucker fish.
  • she falls asleep in her carseat ONLY after church. probably because she refuses to take a nap throughout the meeting. I love it when she nods off. You can see her fighting it.
  • she loves shiny objects. Phones and cameras are big ones. She also got some cheap-o shiny green marti-gras beads from a garage sale that she loves to swing around.
  • she loves being pushed in the swing at the park and tries to stand up
  • she loves 'playing' the piano with Daddy
  • she loves books and will turn the pages back and forth while blabbing
  • she loves our game of 'chase' around the house. Sometimes she gets to chase Mommy or Daddy and sometimes we chase her. It is great! She gets so worked up with her squeals and screams, you'd never guess she is so little! She's noisy, I tell ya!!!
  • she loves Baby Einstein videos. We have one from the library: Baby DaVinci. She will sit and watch it absolutely mesmerized. And squeal appropriately when the puppets appear on screen.
  • she is extremely assertive and will plow right over other babies in her excitement to touch them. We really have to watch her interactions with other kids!
videoI'm so grateful for all her spunk and vitality! I'm grateful that we are blessed with such a healthy, beautiful baby. I'm grateful that the Lord guides me as I strive to be a good mother to her. I'm grateful that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our little family can be together forever. I am humbled when I know that Gwen is mine for all eternity.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's Official: I'm Getting Published!!!

Here's the email. Everyone rejoice with me!!!! :)

Dear Elisa:

After a LONG silence from our end, I am delighted to give you official notification that your paper on Korean art has been accepted for publication in RICE PAPERS.

The only question I have at this point, before we move into editing and publishing, is whether any of the illustrations are copyrighted. If they are, we will need you to write for permission to reproduce them.

Thank you for an excellent paper and for your patience.

Best,

Van C. Gessel


So now I just need to figure out about those paintings... if only I had easy access to all the same materials! Man, it is going to be much harder to do research away from a campus! (Small obstacle. I'll get over it.) I'm so excited!!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chasing Cheerios

videoGives a whole new meaning to playing with your food. :) Isn't it funny how everything that isn't edible goes right into her mouth and things that are intended for eating only become a game?

Also, Gwen loves shiny objects. I think she'll be one of those lil girls that is in love with sparkly fake beaded necklaces and rhinestone studded shoes. Sequins will be a favorite, no doubt. She loves anything that is shiny (spoons, cell phones, jewelry, cameras, plastic, diaper rash ointment, beads, tupperware, etc). Isn't it hilarious the way her whole body shakes with excitement and she squeals because she caught sight of a shiny camera? I love it!

The second video shows how thrilled she is to pull on the camera cord. That's another great love: cords and string. Anything long and skinny.


videoAnd I know this video isn't nearly as entertaining, but it has her 'talking' and strangely unique 'chortle' laugh at the end. I thought we ought to document it. She doesn't do it nearly as often as she used to, and I think she might stop doing it altogether soon. I think it is hilarious.