Monday, December 15, 2008


Hello! Well, we're really gearing up for Christmas . . . I've started doing cards (we'll see how many I actually get out this year), and the decorations are up. We're so excited to get to travel down to Texas for New Year's and see all of Brant's family, too! I was thinking how lucky we are to get to spend the holiday break with both families. Most married couples we know don't get to do that, especially when one side of the family requires a plane trip. :) My brother came home from Hawaii (he's at the Univ of Hawaii working on his master's degree) this past week, so we got to see him--and he got to meet his niece!

Brant's finishing up work and school these days. His classes are all done with, and he's turned in all his papers. He has a few end-of-semester parties this week, and he needs to spend some time in the graduate assistant office to get more hours in. He's also working on preparing presentations he'll be doing at some American Studies conferences next semester. Exciting! I'm feeling a lot better . . . still have a little bit of cough, but that's about it. I sorely miss running, though. I'm afraid to go out now, when I did that last time (right after I'd gotten over a bad cold), I caught the flu a few days later. Now I'm all paranoid. But I'm getting a little bit of cabin fever, I have to admit; plus it's been really warm! It's in the 50s today--so unlike typical Pennsylvania weather for this time of year!

So, here's a little of what we've been up to last week . . . Annie sure is getting cuter by the day!
I was trying to get Annie ready for a bath, but it was pretty cold downstairs, so we wrapped her up in a blanket. See how well she sits up, pretty much on her own??

I found the little knit hat the hospital gave her when she was born. It still fits! :)

Listening to Christmas music and dancing with Daddy

Our little Christmas tree is all set up. We actually haven't put on the ornaments yet. We've also pulled out the puzzles--a great Christmas break tradition!

I love this overwhelmed look Annie has here :)

Here's Annie and Brant in their church outfits. Yesterday was the first Sunday that Annie stayed awake the whole 3 hours of church. She was a little fussy but for the most part manageable. I would venture to say she enjoyed herself most of the day. :) All of our little Sunbeams are getting ready to move up to the next class. I'll miss them--they've been such a great class. Yesterday they brought in the incoming nursery kids to just a few minutes of Primary--I think there are 16 or 17 of them! Crazy!! I hope Brant and I can handle them all. And they look so little compared to the 4-year-olds we're used to teaching!

Bye for now!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

3 AM Thoughts

In 10th grade English, I read Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes." In the book the hour of 3 AM was used as a symbol for all the evil and mischievousness that occurs in the early hours of the day. Well last night, Annie decided she only needed 5 hours of sleep and wanted to play from 2 - 4 AM and for some reason I am always left with the short end of the stick and it's my job to stay up with her. I brought Annie downstairs and sat her on my lap and turned on the telly. I'm not one that usually will watch Bill Moyers on PBS, scratch that, I've never watched Bill Moyers on PBS, but last night's program was amazing and I write this so that those 5 people that visit our blog, can experience the beautiful, uplifting joys of music that he featured on his show. This video is from a documentary project called "Playing for Change" ( where a film crew recorded street musicans from around the world all playing the same influencial songs (catch the double meaning in the title??). Watch it and share it with some one.

I absolutely love Grandpa Elliott who I understand is still a central figure in the French Quarter. Roger Ridley I learned past away in 2006 but his street performances attacked hundreds of people in California. Clarence Bekker is also known by the name C. B. Milton and was a popular European singer in the early 90s for the group "The Swingin Soul Machine." And my favorite was Vusi Mahlasela. After I heard his voice I knew I had heard it before. With a little searching I realized he sang with Josh Groban's newest album in a song about the South Aftrican Aparthied called "Weeping." This second song is Bob Marley's "One Love."

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy December!

Hi there! Hope everyone is getting excited for Christmas!! Well, this has been me lately, sick and homebound for the last three weeks or so. I've had two really nasty colds, one of them may have been the flu, I'm not sure. And I'm still trying to get over a bad cough and a nose that just won't stop running. But we've still been busy around here! Here're some pictures to illustrate . . . :)

Annie learning to appreciate some semblance of tummy time without throwing a fit. :)

Thanksgiving evening, when we got back from dinner in Lancaster with my dad's family.

Our dear friends from Boston, Jared and Laura (and their little girl, Evelyn) came to visit us! We knew them in Provo, and now they're at dental school at Harvard. It was SO wonderful to see friends here! We took them around Middletown and drove down to Three Mile Island so they could take a picture by the power plant. We also went hiking then went to the house of a family in our ward, where we played softball in the cold! So much fun!!

Annie almost permanently has a bib attached to herself now. She drools so so much. :)

Filled with wonderment at the toys on her bouncy seat. She's finally come around to enjoying all the stuff we have to entertain her with. Makes me very happy--and keeps my hands free a lot more now!

Brant and our little Latvian sailor, asleep on the sofa

Hanging onto Brant's hair--very tightly!

Last week Annie and I (and Memphis) traveled down to Gettysburg to bake Christmas cookies with my mom. Annie had a great time. We were there all day and evening, and we made so many yummy treats! Unfortunately, I spent half the day lying down with a high fever and chills. But it was still a great trip.

Annie and Grandma in the sunshine

Swinging in the basement at my mom's house. Annie was totally zoned out as my mom sang Christmas songs to her. (And she lulled the dogs to sleep too!)

So Annie's new thing is her tongue. She sticks it out at everyone and loves the reaction she gets! She smiles so big and just keeps doing it. And if you stick yours back out at her, she'll study it closely, just be mesmerized. It's really cute.

When I was still sick, my mom came up to our house to help out with Annie. More Christmas cookies were baked, of course, in addition to dinner. :)

Annie was continually startled by the beater and consequently very intent on figuring out what was making such a noise.

And Memphis licked the bowl!

Brant read the most recent Harry Potter book while I was sick. Here he is reading it to Annie. She just kept staring at his mouth as he talked.

Dancing to Christmas music in the kitchen

Stealing a kiss :)

And here's a video of Brant reading to Annie. She was really getting a kick out of it, at least in the beginning.

Happy holidays!! Since I've been so sick I haven't yet put decorations up, so I can't wait to do that! We've got a lot going on these next few weeks. This weekend we'll be going to my friend's wedding in Maryland. There are also a number of holiday festivals and such in all the towns around us. So this weekend should be a lot of fun. Hope everyone's having a wonderful season!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Want some videos?

For those who miss Annie or who can't wait til Christmastime to see her, here are some videos!

The first one stars Brant and Annie making breakfast one morning. Annie has been newly introduced to her Bumbo seat, and she seems to really enjoy it!

The second video stars Annie, just playing around in her crib one morning.

And third, here's a video Brant made when Annie was trying to wake up in her swing. She was soo tired that day and just couldn't. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

First Snow!

Hello! :) Well, the holiday decorations are up around Middletown, and it really snowed for the first time today. It's been snowing all morning and afternoon. It's still pretty warm, so nothing's laying too much. But it feels very seasonal! Memphis sure was excited. I'm not sure Annie understood what she was looking out at the window . . . but that's all right. Anyway, here's a good deal of pictures for your viewing enjoyment!
Brant and Annie making me breakfast!

What the trees looked like before the snow

Pretty blue eyed baby

My two loves smiling at each other

Happy Annie!

Thinking Annie

I came home from running one afternoon and found them sleeping on the sofa like this!

My mom came to stay with Annie while we went to play tennis. So fun! So cold!

Brant was covering a class on campus the morning it snowed, so he had to get up early and clean off the car!

Isn't she pretty sleeping?

"Come on and let it snow!"

Annie in her koala vest from her GG Jane!

super cool

So, tomorrow is the Harrisburg Holiday Parade downtown. We're thinking about going for a bit, unless it's just too cold for Annie. There's a good chance it will be. Then we'll head down to Gettysburg for a yummy dinner and to see Twilight! I can't wait! I feel like I'm coming down with a bad cold, though, so there's also a chance we'll have to call off all the festivities of the day. Hopefully not, since we already bought the Twilight tickets.

Brant's been working hard on his term papers. Almost finished! His Civil War paper is getting really interesting, and he's learning tons about the ins and outs of serious research. We're watching Love Actually right now--I know it's not quite time for Christmas movies, but it's snowing!! I'll wait to watch A Christmas Story until after Thanksgiving!

"I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes . . . ."

oh, and my favorite quote from the movie . . .

"Just in cases." :)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Changing Table Photo Shoot!

Hello! Hope everyone's doing well! We're doing FANTASTIC here today. I think I can officially declare that Annie slept through the night last night. I'm SO excited. Not that we're getting our hopes up that she'll do that every single night now . . . but it's encouraging at least. At this point we just needed SOME kind of positive outlook. :) And she delivered; we got a good 7 1/2 hours of sleep! Uninterrupted sleep! Can you tell I'm excited?

So what have we been up to since I last posted . . . Ah yes, the two-month doctor appointment! Annie is doing great! She now weighs 10 lbs 11 oz (well, that was last week) and is 23" long/tall. She's in the 75th percentile for most stuff. I think her weight is in the 50th and her length and head size are in the 75th. She got four shots, and I felt sad watching her go through the pain, but she handled it much better than I'd thought she would. She got over it really fast and was giggling again in Brant's arms by the time we left the doctor's office. So, her next appointment is in two months! It'll be the new year, 2009!

On Saturday we went down to Gettysburg to have dinner at my parents'. We went through some of the hand-me-down clothes to get some 3-6 month clothes for Annie. She doesn't fit in hardly any of the 0-3 month sleepers anymore. Her legs and torso are just too long! While we were going through the clothes, Brant found a Winnie the Pooh costume and put Annie in it. There's a picture below of her wearing it. So funny looking, with the little chubby pouch!

Yesterday Brant had to attend a "Pets in America" lecture on campus. So Annie and I came with him, since it was in the evening. It was fun to sit and listen. Annie slept the whole time. Everyone came up and commented on her being such a quiet, passive baby. hahahaha, they have no idea. ;-)

Here's some pictures!!
Her startled look when Brant let go of her hands on the changing table

She's SO happy when she's getting changed. Especially when Daddy's doing it.

As promised, the Pooh costume

Driving down to Gettysburg--so pretty!

It's starting to have that really cold fall look around here. The leaves are mostly fallen off the trees. On Friday night we took a drive up to Hershey and found a big park to let Memphis run. It was chilly!!

And here's another fun video!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Quick, before she wakes up!

Hello! Annie just fell asleep, and I'm hoping she'll sleep for a while. Brant's at school, and these evening hours are usually the only chance I have to get work done around the house (or to post on the blog). :)

So, things have been going well with us! This week has been exciting, especially with Election Day. Brant and I both voted for the first time, and it was fun! Our polling place was the borough office, which is a block down the street from us. And since we live in such a tiny little town, I don't think anyone ever had to wait in line. So we didn't get that experience, which I hear many Pennsylvanians had! It was neat to be in a battleground state, where so much attention was being placed during the campaigns. Last night we stayed up watching the election coverage, and we even kept track of all the states on our own little map we printed out--just as Josh Lyman would do! :)

Last Sunday we drove down to Havre de Grace, MD to my aunt's house and ate chicken pot pie. It was sooo good. Annie also made her debut to some members of my dad's family. She met Kylee, whose hand-me-downs she's been wearing since birth, and Julia. Both are her second cousins and are about 6 or 7 months old. It was interesting to see what we have to look forward to in 4 months by watching the little girls.

I'm getting excited for Thanksgiving! I'm really looking forward to Brant not having class for a week, and I can't wait to spend time with family. I haven't been here in the East with my family for Thanksgiving since 2001, the last year I was at home before leaving for college! PLUS Twilight comes out on November 21st--and I can't wait to see it! :)

Brant is almost done with 3 of his 4 term papers for this semester! He set up a workspace (as Dwight Schrute would call it) in our bedroom by the door to the balcony. It's helped, having a place to keep all his research material, and it means he can stay home more instead of going to campus!

I hope everyone's having a great week! Tomorrow is Annie's 2 month doctor's appointment. More shots, booo! But I'm excited to see how much she weighs! More updates later!

Daddy and daughter (Annie's in her post-Election Day outfit)

Tracking electoral votes!

Watching Election coverage!

First-time voters walking down the street

Annie with Kylee and Julia

GQ pose in her sleep :)