Monday, September 30, 2013

Jansen's Baptism

Jansen was baptized on Saturday. It's hard to believe this day has come and gone. I remember thinking months ago how it might be difficult for Jansen (and us) to have him baptized in Maryland, so far away from family and close friends. In a lot of ways, it was hard. But for the most part, I am so happy and grateful for what a wonderful day it was and for those both near and far who supported him in one way or another. Baptism day details differ depending on where you live, and for us it was only Jansen that was baptized that day, and we were in charge of all planning and execution.

It was a busy Saturday. Jansen had his first cross country race at 8:00, Natalie had a soccer game at 10:00, and there was a Primary sacrament meeting program practice at 1:00 right before the baptism. Somehow we got through it all. Nate and I had decided that we would just have one speaker at Jansen's baptism. We liked the idea of a very simple and brief program. We had asked Nate's dad if he would do it, and he gave a wonderful talk that was perfect for Jansen. Because we had the Primary practice right before Jansen's baptism, lots of the children stayed for his baptism. Pretty much every chair in the Relief Society room was filled. Emmy was difficult during the program, and I even had to step out with her for awhile, but I was still able to hear.

I was a little stressed and frazzled about the whole day, so I wasn't nearly as emotional as I would have expected because I was too wrapped up in making sure everything went as planned. It was an INCREDIBLE experience, and I will never forget seeing Jansen be baptized by his father. That is hard to describe with words. 

We had refreshments after the program, which I'm sure was the highlight of the whole thing for the children. :)

Jansen with some of his friends from Primary, Mikayla and Bryce:

Another good buddy, Jake:

I'm so proud of this little stud. He is going to do so many great things in life. He really has a desire to do what is right.

 It was so nice to have Grandpa and Grandma Jody here. They were a lot of help in so many ways.

We had Cafe Rio for dinner that night, and Nate and Steve took the kids to the neighborhood park for awhile. After a busy day, they just needed some time to play.

 I'm so thankful to be married to someone who holds the Priesthood and is worthy to exercise it. My kids mean the world to me, and I am beyond thankful to have the blessing of being a mother to them. It seems like every day that passes I become more and more aware of how precious my time with them as young children is. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Last But Not Least

Emmy turned 3 last week. We all love her so much, and Jansen has said to me several times how sad he would be if we didn't have her. She is definitely in the dress up phase of life, and I never know what accessories or outfits she will come up with. Today she wore some black gloves to church. She loves these sparkly headbands we have, but she wears them around her stomach as often as she does on her head. 

                     She is becoming more and more opinionated and in many ways, more difficult. Potty training was going so well, but that's not really the case anymore. I know that it will come, but it's sure frustrating. I wish I understood what makes her poop in her pants instead of telling me so we can head to the toilet. She and Natalie fight a fair amount, but they also adore each other. 

I'm still enjoying the alone time I get to spend with her during the day. And it's a million times easier taking one to the store than three, but it's still one of my least favorite things to do.

This was taken on her actual birthday. This is the attitude I'm talking about. She gets worked up about the  funniest things lately. Here's an example of a typical conversation we might have:
Emmy: What is that mom? (pointing at a bird)
Me: Oh I think that's a bird.
Emmy: NO! It's not a bird!!! What is that mom?
Me: Well Emmy, it looks like a bird to me. 
Me: What do you think it is then?
Emmy: No! Mom! MOM WHAT IS THAT?
I don't get it.

It was a simple birthday. She opened presents in the morning. She picked out some ice cream to have later after dinner. She got a Happy Meal for lunch, and we ate together on the deck. 

She had a pink cake with pink frosting (boxed cake mix and gross frosting). She has asked me almost every day if it's still her birthday. I made the mistake once of saying no, so now I just say yes and we go on with our lives. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What's up with Nate

Since Jessica's been slacking on the blog, I'll take the chance to give an update on a few things I've been doing.  The sports medicine fellowship officially started on 1 Aug.  I see patients 2 days/wk at Ft. Belvoir, VA where the Army has built an absolutely beautiful, brand new hospital.  We have a really nice clinic on 3rd floor right between Orthopedics, Physical Therapy, and Physical Medicine & Rehab.  We see mostly active duty soldiers/airmen and dependents/retirees there.  One day/wk I'm at USUHS (the military medical school right next to Walter Reed NMMC in Bethesda) where we hear lectures from our faculty, do workshops for medical students, and work in the Human Performance Research Laboratory.  Two days/wk I'm in orthopedics clinic with one of about 8 civilian orthopades that I work with.  I really like all of these guys, fantastic training.  I also serve as team physician for all American University sports, Montgomery College sports, and also cover Good Counsel High School football.  I see injured athletes in all of their respective training rooms about 3 evenings/wk as well as provide sideline medical coverage at all kinds of games and events for the above, plus Special Olympics events, Marine Corps Marathon, Army 10-miler, and many other mass-participation sporting events.  I am one of 4 military fellows, and am by far the junior fellow (a Navy O-6, Army O-5, Army O-4, and me...lowly O-3 and the only Air Force fellow!).  So far I'm absolutely LOVING the fellowship.  We have so much fun and feel like I'm learning at an incredible retention is the limiting factor!

We went up to West Point for a couple days in mid August to do physicals for their incoming freshman intercollegiate athletes.  Here are a few photos from around campus...very scenic and historic if you've never been there.  They have cannons and artillery from about every war that's ever been fought.  

View of the Hudson River...
 Awesome statue of General Washington.  It's HUGE, even though photo doesn't do justice...

Mess hall....
 Playing golf with the other fellows and faculty...

Me on the sidelines of a Good Counsel High School football game.  GCHS is consistently ranked in the nation's top 10 high school football programs.

 In the locker room just about to head out to the field...
 One of my athletes' tore his ACL in the very first game...MRI below.
Pete (head athletic trainer) on left and our sideline medical station...

Away game at Calvert Hall High team in white/gold

 On Labor Day I had the chance to go birding at Cape May, New Jersey. This is one of the most renowned birding locations in the country.

Best birds of the day were a Lesser Black-backed Gull (photo below taken with phone through my scope), White-rumped Sandpipers, and Seaside Sparrows.

Well that's all folks. Until next time...  -Nate

Monday, September 9, 2013

And Now Jansen's Birthday

It's definitely a little surreal for me to think that I have an 8 year old. He's half way to having a driver's license! It's true what they say...the days are long, but the years are short. We finally got him a bigger bed. For several reasons, (like, that he chose to) Jansen has been sleeping on the same mattress he has used since he was a baby! I know that sounds awful, and it kind of is, but his feet only hung off the edge a little. :) Now he has a nice, spacious twin bed. We are slow movers when it comes to moving up in the bed world. Emmy will be 3 in a week, and she is still going strong in her crib. 

We had time to open presents before he left for school on his birthday. His interests right now are jets, chess, Legos, reading, playing outside, and riding his bike. We signed him up for a little cross country team this fall, and he is really excited.

He almost always has cereal for breakfast, and his favorites are Rice Krispies and Cheerios. He loves to read nutrition labels and spouts off all kinds of facts about protein, fat, sugar, and calories. For dinner he wanted to have plain cheese tortellini. Since it was a Friday night, I convinced him to do pizza, another favorite of his. A little while ago Jansen used my razor while he was in the shower to shave his arms. A few days later I found some weird shaved areas on his head...this time he had cut a little of his hair in a few places. He is such a responsible, good kid, but he has moments like these as well that kind of make me wonder what he is thinking!

The day after his birthday we celebrated by going to one of the Smithsonian extension museums. He is really into air and space right now, so it was perfect.

Well, not totally perfect for everyone. Natalie and Emmy were particularly difficult and kept asking to go home. We did get to spend over an hour and a half there though. 

There was a little paper airplane contest that we participated in. 

We flew them around in a back area of the museum for awhile.

I was just in awe of the space shuttle Discovery. I could have stared at this thing for a long time. It was just incredible to me.

As were driving away from the museum, Nate's mom called and Jansen talked to her for a minute. She was asking how school was going. Jansen said his old school in Vegas was like a Messerschmidt B-409 and his school here is like an F-22. That comparison cracked us up, I'm glad he is liking school. (Natalie has started to complain about having to go lately though.)

After the museum we stopped at a little French cafe that Nate has eaten at before and that others have recommended to me. The tomato soup was so good. And like it's cousin spaghetti sauce, ruined all shirts that it was spilled on. Later that night Jansen didn't get to play chess with Nate like he wanted. He got upset and quickly changed moods. He said it was an awful night, "like a rotten apple dipped in urine." That one has made us laugh for days.

A sad/sweet side note: I found Jansen in the bathroom kind of crying last night. I asked him what was wrong. He told me he was just thinking how sad he would be if Nate or I ever died. It was such a sad moment, but also sweet to see his love for us. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Washington DC Temple, Etc.

We got a babysitter last Friday evening for the second time since we've lived here and made a trip to the temple. The Washington DC Temple is just as gorgeous as everyone says it is. I will have to get a picture of it from the freeway because that view is incredible. When I texted Nate and told him I'd gotten a babysitter and that we were going to the temple he texted this back: "Thanks for setting up the date...I love you in white!" Sure do love him.

Our friends the Rasmussens are fellow BYU fans, and they invited us over to watch the game last Saturday. It was such a fun football/pizza/trampoline/rootbeer float kind of night.

And this has been happening in our home. I started potty training Emmy the day after the kids started school. It's going well, but it certainly hasn't been an overnight thing. We are mostly accident free during the day.

I think I forgot to document Natalie's 4th lost tooth. Heaven forbid I forget to blog about a tooth. I am loving her grin without those top ones. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Happy Birthday for Natalie

Natalie is 6 now. I see so much of myself in her, which is so wonderful and so scary at the same time. She is extremely well behaved and mild mannered in church and school (as I was), but it's a different story at home (which was also true for me).  She really loves My Little Pony right now, so this is how we set up her presents on the morning of her birthday. I swear I always try to start traditions, and they never stick, but one that we do have is a trail of candy leading to presents in the morning. Natalie chose Rolos. She actually woke up on her birthday, went downstairs, and opened her presents all by herself while the rest of us slept. I would have never guessed she would do that! I didn't really mind. It's her day right?

She brought some Oreos for her classmates. I am a little bit anti-cupcake when it comes to school birthday treats. They have to be store bought, so they don't taste great. They are messy. And they usually have crazy neon frosting that stains. We will just bring packaged cookies, thank you.

This was a little brotherly love on Natalie's birthday. He left these on her bed, and she screamed so loudly I came running to see who had lost a limb.

No birthday parties this year for us. Natalie chose noodles and parmesan cheese, french bread, and strawberries for dinner. Then brownies and mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. For her birthday activity she wanted to go on a hike, which worked out great because we had tentative plans for one with Nate's friend from his fellowship. 

The more I see of Maryland and Virginia the more impressed I am. It's so beautiful and green.

We went on the Billy Goat Trail. There's a lot of rock hopping, which the kids absolutely loved.

This here is a dirty little billy goat.

We were all very hot and tired by the time we finished. Another fun family hike in the books.