Thursday, December 27, 2012

The wedding

The big day is finally here, and we have to get started early. Setting jet lag and a sleepless night with a confused baby aside, we had to get up before the crack of dawn. Had to get myself dressed and hair done before getting Emma ready
 The set up in the living room
 Wendy was in charge of Emma's hair. Luckily I had brought my super powerful awesome curling iron. As Wendy was styling the hair, I curled it
 Getting her make-up professionally done
 The dress is on, and Emma is soooo excited!
 Miles slept through all of it, and got up just in time for Daan to come pick up Emma
 I spent the morning with Emma during their photoshoot. I wish I could have gotten some shots myself, but I was busy making sure her dress and hair looked perfect for the photos. The photographer had a ton of professional equipment that made me drool with envy. At noon she married at the city hall of Leiden.
 Miles got bored with sitting on my lap, and was crawling around and making way too much noise. But he looked cute doing it in his little suit. I wish I had gotten some pictures of him in his suit and me in my outfit. I think the photographer did, but who knows if I'll ever see those...
 The day was jammed packed with one event to the next, all seemingly in different cities. After the civil marriage, her temple marriage was in Zoetermeer. Then we were off to a family dinner at a cute Italian restaurant. They showed the perfect example of bad customer service that Dutch companies never fail to provide. I asked for a high chair for Miles. They only had 2 in the whole place, and another customer had apparently reserved them both. Instead of apologizing and trying to help, all they could say was that if we would have just reserved one, they could have had everything ready for me.  No compassion at all.

After dinner we hurried over to the reception in Den Haag. Tons of family and friends were there, and it was the best way to catch up with everyone all at once. I was so happy to see my family that I rarely get to see, especially my cousins from Switzerland. At the end of the night the happy couple ran off through the rain to their honeymoon. And man, was I happy to get out of my shoes!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


My 11-year younger sister Emma is getting married! With half of my family living in Europe and the other half in the US, we don't get together as a family often, so this was a great opportunity. It's been almost 3 years since all the siblings have been together
It always amazes me that although we don't see each other frequently, when we do see each other, it's back to old times. We have fun, laugh, and are silly together. My brother Carlo and I have always been very close. Although we have the least amount of contact, I think we have a bond that just always will stay strong. 
Dorothee is integrating so well into our family. She is a wonderful woman who is a wonderful wife to my dad, and grandma to Miles.
 I used my embroidery machine to monogram some resort towels for the happy couple. Daan is such a great guy, and I'm so happy for Emma to have found him.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Christmas this year was shorter than normal, with my departure for Emma's wedding on Christmas day. So we had our fancy dinner on Christmas Eve. We had an easy turkey dinner, without the production of 100 different dishes. Just the basics: Turkey, potatoes, corn, asparagus, and bread. And the turkey was delicious! 
 The turkey's carcass was even bigger than Coco!
 Of course Christmas isn't complete without some Pogacha! I also wanted to bake some to bring to my little sister Emma
 Santa came and filled our stockings
 Presents were in abundance. This year I did a new thing for the kids: Something they want, need, wear, and read. This made shopping so much easier, and also easier to keep somewhat to a budget.
 Of course we also got spoiled by Joe's parents, who gave us some great homemade gifts. Earl made us homemade pens made from the same wood that Miles' cradle is made from. Liz hand embroidered a sweet picture for Miles with all of his birth details. The girls got bracelets with little pieces from wedding dresses and jewelry.

We took the traditional picture of us on the stairs, but I have to say that it doesn't look quite right without the garland that usually adorns the railings (at the in-laws house)
 I just love this picture of Miles. He's just sitting in the middle of the floor. Not sure what he's doing, but it portrays him perfectly.

Monday, December 17, 2012


When Winter started Timpanogos Intermediate school for 5th grade, she had to pick an instrument for music. Her school has a wonderful music program. Winter picked cello, which is extra fun for me, since my brother Carlo used to play the cello too. Twice a week before school starts, Winter's music teacher Ms Coleman teaches an extra cello class. Winter is really picking it up fast, and is very talented. 

The morning of the Christmas concert, as Winter was carrying her cello out the front door, the case wasn't closed and the cello fell out of the front door onto the concrete steps. The neck broke right off. I almost had a heart attack when seeing it. We were able to borrow another cello from the middle school, but are still waiting on the verdict of cost to repair it. 

 Winter's friend Bryson always helps her carry her cello out to the car when I pick her up after school
Winter with her cello teacher Ms Coleman

So you had a bad day

Today is one of those days. A day where seemingly everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.
It all started this morning as I was getting ready to take Winter to cello lessons. She has her school's Christmas concert tonight.I was waiting in the car and didn't see it happening, but as soon as Winter came to get me, I realized something must be very wrong. I couldn't even believe my eyes.  In her haste to get out the door, she forgot (or was too lazy) to check her cello case, so as she went out the door, the cello his the concrete and broke in half!  The long stem piece had snapped right off the sound board. I was in such shock that I didn't even know what to say. The tongue lashing didn't come until we were on the way to school. And taking a photo wasn't even on my mind until we no longer had the cello. After taking Winter to school, I took the broken cello to the Rocky mountain middle school, where we rent it from. The teacher was as much in shock as me, but fortunately he had an extra one that Winter can use until hers gets repaired. I don't even want to think about how much that is going to cost!

If that wasn't enough for one day, I got an email from my realtor informing me that the short sale that we've been working 6 months on closing on will take even longer. The bank's appraisal has expired, and a new one will be done. I feel like the market is going up, and worry that the appraisal will come in higher than before. Also, interest rates have been at a record low (3.5%) which is partly why this house will work for us. I'm also worried that by the time we close, the interest rates will have gone up. So not only will our payment go up because of appraisal, but also interest.

Now any time anything goes wrong I just shrug my shoulders. Like when Winter poured a whole cup of milk all over the counter. And I almost expect more to go wrong. Are we sure it's not Friday the 13th?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December madness

I can't believe it's already December! Time has flown by. The school year is half way over, we've lived in this house for over 3 months, and Miles is almost a year old. Okay, not quite, but looking at some videos we took of him as a newborn makes me sad to how fast he's growing up.

With Christmas and Emma's wedding less than 3 weeks away, I'm scrambling to get everything done. One project I started 3 years ago, are the Christmas stockings. I started sewing them shortly after receiving my embroidery machine, but with our year in Holland and time spent with the in-laws, it was on the back burner.  Today I put the finishing touches on the last stocking. And I even had enough extra fabric to make Miles' stocking.

Emma's wedding colors are navy and champagne. I found an inspiring outfit on Pinterest,and have been on the hunt for the different opponents to make the outfit complete. The shoes were easy to find, and I sewed my own lace skirt. Today I went to a jewelry party where I found some pretty Blue and Champagne pearls. The biggest and hardest thing to find so far is a blouse. Turns out most stores don't sell champagne (or nude, or taupe, or beige) colored flowy blouses. I'll probably have to branch out from internet shopping, and actually go to some brick and mortar stores.

 The Christmas tree is up, and the stockings hang over the fireplace. Of course there are a thousand and one other little projects that come up every day. But this is the season that I love. Now if only it would snow some more!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


As I live through different phases throughout my life, priorities change. With priorities I mean what do I spend my time doing the most, and which things dictate my schedule. It has a lot to do with the age of my kids at the time. Are they all in school, or just some of them? Do I need to bring in extra income for the family? Are we trying to sell a home?

My current normal includes a schedule that revolves for a large part on the gym's class schedule. That might sound shallow and unimportant, but getting exercise is what keeps me going. After getting the older kids off to school, Miles and I will hang out for a bit, and then go to the gym. Sometimes the classes are right during Miles' preferred nap time. However, he still plays happily, and then takes an extra good nap after we get back.

This priority means that cleaning is further down the list. As well as grocery shopping. And sewing or photography, or other hobbies. Because somehow exercise seems to eat through my entire morning. And when the afternoon comes I'm tired. But I'm okay with that. The house is still clean, maybe just not sale-worthy. But who am I trying to impress anyways?

Since the Dance Trance lady has moved on to her own studio and my half-marathon is over, my schedule had to adapt a bit. It actually gave me the chance to try out some new things and bring some variety. The following has been keeping me happy in the past few weeks:

Monday: Short run & Power Yoga
Tuesday: Zumba & Pilates
Wednesday: Medium run (4-7 miles)
Thursday: Group Power - weight lifting
Friday: Group Kick - Taebo type kick boxing
Saturday: Snowboarding conditioning or Zumba

Somehow my long run got lost in this new schedule. It's just kind of boring and really hard to keep motivated without a planned race coming up.

Miles loves all the ladies at the gym's daycare, and loves playing with all their new and exciting toys. I guess he doesn't know any different, since he's been going since he was 12 weeks old.

Disclaimer: I rarely work out all 6 days. More commonly 5 times a week.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Best Dam Half Marathon

I Ran my very first half marathon this morning. About 5 months ago my friend Lisa Calderwood asked me to join her. She had just had brain surgery, so of course I was amazed by her drive and determination. I started training 13 weeks ago. At first every step hurt. Slowly, I started getting faster. I even kept track of my progress in a spreadsheet, and it's amazing to see my progress. Of course I've never been a runner, and always prided myself on being a biking, not a runner. But at the same time always envied those who can run marathons. 

The Best Dam Half Marathon started at the Deer Creek dam in Wallburg, and went all the way through Midway up to Burgi Hill and down to Town Hall. This half marathon was a tough one, probably not the smartest to be your first. The deer creek trail has a lot of ups and downs, and after you get onto the paved road, the next 4 miles are a gradual incline. 

To get to the start line we boarded the Heber Valley Railroad in Heber City
Heber City Elevation: 5589
At the start line it was COLD. But fortunately we rode in a 1930s car of the train with a genuine coal heater so we were nice and toasty until we had to start running
Mount Timpanogos got its first snow last night!
I was nervous and excited for the race, and very thankful that I've been able to run the trail before today, so I knew what to expect.

Joe and the kids came to cheer me on at the end of the trail. It was so fun to run with the kids along side of my for a while. 

Around mile 8 my stomach started cramping up. I don't know if it's because I ate too much, or not enough, or maybe my water intake was too sudden and much, instead of being spread out like I normally like to do. (accidentally left my water bottle at the start line). I ran through the pain, with a lot of great encouragement from Lisa. At mile 10 I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish. Of course in situations like this you just keep going anyways. Fortunately the last 2 miles were down hill. 

The last 0.5 mile might have been the toughest. I could see the finish line, but we had to make a loop around Town square, and to top it off, the course was on the lawn. I almost met my goal of 2 hr 30 min.... by 1 minute. If we hadn't stopped for a potty break, I could have done it. 
Final time: 2 hr 31 min

Last night I was talking to Joe about how cool it would be to do a full marathon next. Maybe in a few weeks I might think so again, but as of right now a half marathon seems like all I could ever manage. 
 Everybody who finished got the coolest railroad "nail" medal.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Opa and Dorothee visit

My dad got remarried about 6 months ago. Dorothee is a very nice lady that he met while on vacation in Germany last year. We were able to meet her just once before moving back to the USA, so it was great to have them here and get to know her better.

They came at one of the nicest times of the year. The weather is beautiful, with sunny days and crisp nights. Also, the leafs are all changing colors and looking magnificent. One day during school we rode the gondola up Canyons resort for a little hike among the yellow aspens. 
 My dad carrying Miles reminded me of back in the day when he would carry my little sister Emma on hikes.
Dark green evergreens really make the yellow aspens pop

 Another day we took the kids into Orem for burgers at In-n-out burgers. And since we were in the neighborhood, we took a little tour of the BYU campus. Strange to think it's been 11 years since I last walked around there as a student!

My dad does mountain biking in Germany, so Joe took my dad out to Dutch Hollows for a bike ride. He did pretty good for a guy his age ;)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Utah State Fair

My mom and Roger invited us to go to the Utah State Fair with them. My kids love fairs, and we love the opportunity to hang out with oma and opa Roger.
Captain Arrr gave a great show for the kids, and Winter's even got to be first Mate.

We saw the 4-H animals

 This is the same type of cow that Old Betsy was in Texas - a Brown Swiss
 As long as Miles can chew on something, he's happy
 And probably the kids' favorite part; the rides. We don't go to carnivals often (the last time was at the Texas State Fair in like 2009) so this was a real treat for them. They have no fear when it comes to crazy rides.

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