31 December 2008

Active Andersons: Part 2 - Christmas!

So, I'll give you a rundown on what we did during our time there. My family waited to get a Christmas tree until the last minute (we like doing live trees, but we're all allergic, so it's best if we have a tree in our house for as short a time as possible) so we got to decorate it our first night home. We stayed up pretty late playing games and hanging out with family but it was worth it.

We slept in on Christmas Eve to recover from our long trip and late night, then spent most of that afternoon finishing up Christmas shopping. Christmas Eve is when my family does most of their Christmas traditions. We had our big Christmas dinner at our house with another family who had been very helpful to in organizing the Yes on Prop 8 campaign. After they had left we did what has always been my favorite family tradition - Christmas pajamas! Every year we each get a new pair of pajamas that we wear Christmas Eve and all day on Christmas (although this year we modified the tradition to be something to wear on Christmas - mostly sweats for the girls, basketball shorts and t-shirts for the boys, and Cody opted for a new pair of jeans and a hoodie :P). We hide the pajamas throughout the house and then everyone has to search to find their pajamas. This year Taylor helped hide the pajamas so they were hidden a little bit more creatively than usual. Cody's ended up in a popcorn tin... in the garage... in the attic. I found mine in the outside refrigerator (good thing pregnancy has made me warmer than usual or I'd have been pretty put out to have cold PJs!!). My dad's were in the solar oven - ok, so the solar oven was my mom's doing, but you get the idea. Once everyone had their PJs on we read Luke 2 together. The rest of the evening was pretty laid back as we wrapped presents to go under the tree and played games. Once most of the younger kids had gone to bed (not that any of them are really young per se, I just mean the kids younger than me) we stuffed stockings and put them out before going to bed ourselves.

Christmas morning we were all woken up early because my youngest brother Kyle (10) is still at an age where seeing what Santa brought you is far more exciting than sleeping in.

I think Christmas is just more fun when you have little kids around, and it made me even more excited that we'll have our Samuel here next Christmas, even though he'll probably still be a little young to truly get caught up in the excitement.

Active Andersons: Part 1 - The Drive Out

Hi, it's us again! We just got back from a 10-hour long drive from Thousand Oaks, CA, where my family lives. Eric had a slow night at work last night, so he thought he would multi-task and start updating y'all on our comings and our goings. However, things got busier and we went to bed early so I'm finishing it up today. Even still, all the credit for the title, organizing what we wanted to write about and all of the pictures/videos lies directly with Eric.

You're probably sorry he didn't write the post as well and spare you from my uber-lengthy posts :P He has declared that this post is way too long (seeing as it spans 4 pages when pasted into Word) and won't let me post it all as one post, so it will be divided into several different posts. Sorry that it no longer has the continuity of a single post, but maybe it will be easier to read in smaller chunks. I'll publish them as each chunk is completely filled out with pictures/videos from our Christmas adventures :)

So we left two days before Christmas with little sleep (read: we slept for about 3 hours the night before and hadn't had much sleep in the previous week either) and arrived pretty exhausted in California late that night. The roads were a bit slick but manageable until we got through St. George and we hit a little bit of traffic as we got into LA (no surprise there) but otherwise we were able to get through without any trouble at all. We would have taken longer, but fortunately my dad was able to help us circumvent really bad traffic in Las Vegas (due to construction - who decides that the weeks around Christmas are a good time to do major construction in the middle of Las Vegas??). It was really funny to take that detour though as we had our GPS on and trying to take us to the I-15, while we were on the other hand taking a bunch of smaller highways to go around the dreaded traffic jam. It spent almost our entire detour trying to get us to turn around and go back. We didn't want to just turn it off, so instead we spent about 30 minutes listening to the GPS say "Drive point five miles then exit right... exit right... recalculating... drive one point three miles then exit right..." Someday I think someone needs to rewrite the programming of the GPS to just get really snarky and after so many attempts of getting you back on its route have it just get fed up with you and say "Fine, drive off a cliff for all I care!"

View Larger Map

Our very creative route through Vegas

The whole family was home for the holiday - including my sister Taylor's fiance Ryan Lockwood. They have both moved to California from now until their wedding and for the foreseeable future. I think they were most excited that they've finally set a place and a date for that wedding - May 23rd in the Palmyra, New York Temple (Ryan is from that area, and originally so is my family so it's pretty cool on a lot of levels). I'm really excited for them, and especially excited to finally get to go back to New York, I haven't been back since April 2000.

Aww, Taylor and Ryan, squishy!

It was the first time we've actually stayed at my family's home since we got married. We'd seen my family a lot as they've come up to Utah a lot of times, and when we went camping in Carpinteria with them but hadn't stayed at our house. It was fun to get to be there as a married couple now, since the last time we'd stayed there together we were engaged - in fact, it was the night before our wedding!

21 December 2008

That's Overweight

If any of you reading this recognize the title, you probably own a Wii Fit. We heard these words when Brittny stepped on the Wii Fit today. Now, before you round up a mob to lynch me, Brittny actually wants to gain weight and has given me permission to write about this topic! Trust me, I'm not that crazy to discuss a woman's weight!

Brittny's Overweight Mii!

It is good that Brittny is well on track for delivering a healthy baby boy! We're very excited to meet him come February. Brittny has left the "honeymoon" second trimester and entered the I-feel-like-a-whale third trimester. It means more heartburn, lower back pains, and trouble getting out of bed (I try not to laugh...). She's handling it like a champ, though.

Week in Review

I guess the title is applicable to this post in more ways than one. This past week has been incredibly hectic for the both of us. Finals week was upon me, and it was not fun. Of course, I would think you have to have some sort of mental issue if you actually enjoyed taking finals! I had finals for all of my classes, and unfortunately, many of them were scheduled for the last two days of the week. I won't bore you with the details, but I am simply glad to have this semester done and over with. It is hard to imagine that I will be done in just one more semester!

It snowed this week!

Brittny has been terribly busy with work as the holiday season and current economic state has many retailers and companies going into overdrive to maximize efficiency and profits. This translates into more requests for work and changes to be completed before the break. And with the snow this week, Brittny didn't feel comfortable driving into work for most days. It is understandable...she is a California driver!

But what's amazing about this woman I love is that she just keeps doing more! Handling a pregnancy, working full-time, and she still finds time to make wonderful treats like Strawberry Glaze Bread!

Mmmm! It's delicious!

She made time to do this and help take care of the apartment chores. We were definitely excited to be able to sleep in this weekend.

Family fun

On Saturday, we had the chance to take care of one of our newest nephews, little CJ Hansen while his mom was visiting Orem for the afternoon. It was so much fun to play with this upbeat 4-month-old. He was always happy and content, even after he woke up from his nap, he just looked around and waited for one of us to come and pick him up.

Look at that cute face!

After that, a good portion of the Hansen clan got together for dinner and a special family tradition. We had my sister Julie and her family, Katrina and family, Mike and family, Kristen (sister-in-law), my parents, and us! We all had to cram into my parents apartment in Salt Lake City (they are serving a mission right now at Church HQ), which was no easy task. After a really yummy dinner, the grandkids gathered around the table to make gingerbread houses! How cool is that!! My mother had a recipe for a frosting that hardened, becoming an edible glue, in essence. The kids used the frosting to build and decorate their houses. The whole night was a fun adventure. For your viewing pleasure, I have uploaded a video of each grandkid's house.

My new toy!

Christmas came a week early this year for me! And while the title suggests I got a new toy for Christmas, the real impetus for this gift was for the forthcoming baby. Yup, you probably guessed it! We got a new video camera!

ooOOoo! Pretty!

The video and pictures on this blog post are thanks to this brand new, High-Definition video camera! I am loving the deal we got on it, too (less than $500). For those of you who are interested, I have a full review on my website.

14 December 2008

Yeah! Two in a Row!

Yeah! Look at me actually writing a post two weeks in a row! Mostly this week we've been gearing up for the end of the semester and Christmas. Eric had his last day of classes on Thursday so it's been papers, presentations and projects all week long. It didn't really lend itself to either of us getting much sleep this week (obviously more so for Eric since he was the one actually doing those projects), but hopefully we'll be able to make that up as soon as finals are over.

One of the really fun things we did this past week was to buy and sell Wii Fits from Amazon.com. We'd been helping Eric's brother Tim to get one for Christmas so I'd set my phone up to get text message alerts when they were in stock. Since they have been in such high demand and impossible to find Amazon set a limit of three per household. We decided to take advantage of that and help out family and friends who would have had a hard time getting them otherwise. Since right now they're in such high demand you can pretty much only find them on eBay for around double the retail price and we know how much we've been enjoying ours we felt pretty confident that we could find people who wanted them. We were right! We were really excited to be able to sell them (at retail price, not ridiculously marked up) to Eric's sister Dianne and our good friends the Criddles. It just felt good to be able to help out around Christmas time, albeit in an unconventional way :)

The other really fun thing this week was that we had both of our company parties on Saturday night. It was too bad that they both fell on the same night so we had to choose which one to go to. However, since we went to my Christmas party last year, and Eric's company party was black tie at the Grand America hotel... it wasn't a very difficult compromise. We were able to go to the very beginning of Axis41's party up at the Millcreek Inn. It was fun just to get to introduce Eric to my co-workers so that he could put some faces with the names. Plus they had some great hors d'ouevres and punch that we enjoyed while we were there. We stayed for about 45 minutes before heading back down to Omniture's party.

The Omniture logo...in style!

One of the great things about Omniture... they definitely know how to throw a party! The place was packed and it was a really fun night. They had paid for their employees to rent tuxes (or given a set amount of money to their female employees to offset the price of their formal wear) so everyone was very dressed up. I told Eric afterwards that I still felt like a little kid who was at a grown-up party, even though I know full well that we're grown ups now too. The food was pretty good. The appetizers were a little weird, we felt like we were eating garnishes (and I'm sure someone was sitting there and laughing at us... but that's all that was on the appetizer plate and everyone else ate them too *shrug* ) but the food itself was really good. I got halibut which was really good and had Omega 3s which are important for our baby's brain development. Eric isn't as big of a fan of fish as I am so I get excited whenever I get a chance to eat fish. It's not that Eric won't eat fish or even that he really dislikes it, but if I'm going to go to the effort of making a meal for him, I'd rather have it be something that he gets more excited about eating. Eric got the steak, which was pretty incredible. It was a super tender cut of meat and very well made. It also came with these potatoes that I'm really sad we didn't take a picture of. They were sliced super super thin and then layered on top of each other with sweet potatoes in the middle. They were really good, and partly just amazing to see.

They also had some cool games that they had everyone play to compete for 6 iPod Touches (is that how you pluralize touch as a noun?) and donations to different charities. They also had some cool presentations that summarized all of their business for the year. We're really excited that Eric is part of this company that is growing so fast right now and doing such cool things. They had a dance floor set up in the middle and dancing afterwards, but we left because the bouncing style of dancing isn't quite as fun when you're 29 weeks pregnant (probably not very attractive either :P ).

As far as the pregnancy goes, things are going really well. Still fighting heartburn but it's not unmanageable. The weirdest thing is that I've been getting really warm - not so much hot flashes, but generally I've found that I'm warmer than other people. It's super weird for me because I'm usually FREEZING even in the middle of summer... but it's the middle of December and I'm the one turning down the thermostat! I'm not complaining in the least, it's probably the best thing about pregnancy! Well, except for the cute baby that we get at the end of it all :).

Now we're just counting down the days until Eric finishes his finals and we get to go to California for Christmas!! We're pretty excited because it's the first time that we're going home since we've been married (like actually going to my family's house and staying there, we did go to California for Memorial Day weekend but we stayed the whole time at Carpinteria, which is just different from actually going home). Hope everyone else's holiday preparations are going well!! We'll probably post to you again from the other side of finals :)

07 December 2008

Of Epsom Salts and Roses

Wow, November totally got away from us! Sorry for the lack of posts last month. I'd promise that we'll do better, but I know that the holidays are now in full swing and it's only going to get more difficult to post regularly for the next month or so. Instead I'll just apologize in advance and get on with this post.

I guess we never posted about what we did for Thanksgiving. We've been switching which family we spend which holidays with so that neither Eric's family or my family feels neglected (well, Kyle feels neglected whenever we spend a holiday with Eric's side instead of with him... but he can't feel justifiably neglected :) ) Last year we did Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with Eric's, so this year we were scheduled to do Thanksgiving with Eric's family. Luckily for us, Eric's parents were recently called on a mission to serve at the Church Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City helping with the medical programs coming from Church Headquarters. So, we didn't have to go very far! It's so much more difficult to really get away in the middle of a semester so it was a blessing to not have to try to travel during this time. Instead we went to Eric's brother Mike's house in Herriman and spent the holiday with his family, Eric's parents and sister Diane's family. It was pretty low key but super fun to get to go hang out with everyone. Plus, Mike's wife Marianela is an AMAZING cook, so the food was delicious. Eric did have to work that evening unfortunately, but he was able to just set up his computer in Mike's office and take calls from there. He only had one call come in the entire night which was definitely a blessing so that he could spend more time with the family instead of on the phone. It was a wonderful day and we enjoyed having a chance to reflect on our blessings - especially the blessings of our wonderful families :)

So, what's been going on with us more recently? Well, earlier this week Eric asked me out on a date. That might seem like a silly thing but if we don't make plans specifically our Friday nights generally end up with us getting take out food and watching a movie on our couch. Which is always nice at the end of a long week, but every so often Eric will ask me out on a date (as if I had someone else in mind that I might spend my Friday night with :P ) and we'll have a real night out. I'm always really excited when he does so because it's just a fun break from our normal routine. So we planned that after work on Friday we'd come home, shower and get all dressed up to go out and then do whatever Eric had planned. While I was getting ready (I had curlers in my hair at the time), Eric surprised me with these...

Pretty pink roses!

There wasn't any special occasion involved or anything, just Eric being sweet. I was really touched. I may not be the most girly girl or anything like that, but I can definitely appreciate flowers. They're beautiful and definitely made me feel special just that he'd think of me and get me some pretty flowers! So, it was a really great way to start off the evening. We went to Macaroni Grill, which is one of our favorite restaurants, and Eric had a gift certificate from helping a guy in his class with some computer stuff. We have a tendency to fill up too much on their bread (it's sooo good!) at the beginning of the meal, so neither of us made it very far through our actual meals. But that was ok since we just brought them home to reheat and enjoy later. From there we went to the new theater at the University Mall to see Twilight. I'd already seen it once, but I loved the books and wasn't sad to see it again (even though there's one scene that's not great for those who pass out when presented with lots of blood, i.e. me, I enjoyed the rest of the movie so much it outweighed that scene. Plus, since I knew where that scene was I was able to prepare myself in advance). Eric has read the books (just for kicks) as well, so he was able to enjoy himself well enough. Overall, we thought they did a pretty good job, but there's definitely room for improvement the upcoming sequels--I won't bore anyone with more of our analysis than that. It was really fun just to have a dedicated date night and enjoy being together. I want to do better about planning similar occasions for Eric because I know how special it makes me feel when he does that for me, and I want him to feel that special too.

In other news, I've had lots of demands for updated baby bump pictures so we'll get that out of the way now:

Originally I was wearing a black shirt, but there was a slight shadow around me that was hard to separate from me so we decided to re-take in a different colored shirt.

I'm starting to get pretty big! I've been tracking my weight gain with our Wii Fit. It's kind of funny because with the Wii Fit you can set a weight goal for yourself and then track it... and right now my goal is to be overweight. I don't think the Wii Fit is very impressed with my goal, but I wanted to be able to track my weight gain and make sure that I don't gain too much or too little. It doesn't seem like I gain that much from week to week but it was really cool to be able to look at the graph and see my weight gain over the past 2 1/2 months:

I'm getting so close to being overweight!!

I guess I've gained a lot more than I realized! It makes sense since my stomach is getting bigger and bigger, but somehow the weight gain hadn't seemed as significant since I was weighing myself pretty much every day as I play with the Wii Fit.

Samuel is starting to move a TON. I have never been so amused by my own stomach in my entire life! I can sit down in the evenings and watch as he kicks and punches me hard enough that you can see my whole stomach move. It's the most bizarre feeling but so cool to think of the little person inside of me that we're going to get to meet in not too long! What's really fun is that Samuel responds to Eric touching my stomach but not anyone else. Whenever Eric will be cuddled with me or just touch my stomach he tends to get kicked. Hopefully that means that Samuel really likes him, and not that he's trying to kick his dad in the face! I can't believe we have less than 12 weeks until my due date. I'm still feeling really well and I'm just counting that as a blessing. I do have some pretty good heartburn which is weird for me since I've never really had heartburn pre-pregnancy. However, it's nothing that I can't handle with some Tums, and I figure the extra calcium is good for me anyways (oh, and Otter Pops really help too - thanks Amber for that tip!!). That's really about the only symptom I have right now, which is pretty good for being in my third trimester.

We got a crib yesterday which we're super excited about! Eric's sister Julie was cleaning out some closets and found their crib that they don't need anymore. It's perfect for us since we'd been debating whether or not to buy a crib right now anyways. We didn't want to spend a bunch of money on a crib and then find out that we were moving to Taiwan in May (still no word on whether that's going to happen or not--Eric says it's normal for Omniture to take this long) and have to either move it or buy a new one when we get there anyways. I figure Samuel will probably mostly sleep in a bassinet for those couple of months anyways so it seemed like it was potentially a huge waste of money. But now we have a crib whether we move or not! Thanks soo much Julie and Rhett!!

Let's see, other important things that happened this week. Oh, Eric got his toe cut off by the podiatrist. Okay, so not really, but that's what I like to say happened. Eric's had an ingrown toenail that had slowly gotten worse and worse for the past few months and we decided it was finally time for him to just go to a podiatrist and have them take care of it. Really all they had to do was cut off a large chunk of his toenail and use some acid to kill the root of the part that was becoming overgrown. We forgot to take pictures of it before, but here's some pictures of it now:

Here it is pre-soak with his Epsom salts and antibiotic ointment.

He's supposed to soak it in water with epsom salts every day until it's healed and then put the antibiotic ointment on it and keep a bandaid on it.

It has healed so fast! I think if we'd realized how easy the whole thing was going to be and how much better his toe would be we'd have done it a lot sooner. But we're glad he's done it now! And we're definitely glad for insurance so that the procedure hardly cost us anything.

I guess those are our highlights from the past couple of weeks. Eric is getting ready for finals now which has kept us up later in the evenings and he's been super busy. He had a paper or a project due every day this last week and was up really late completing them. Hopefully this next week will be a lot easier for him! I think he's looking forward to having two weeks off for Christmas and getting a chance to just relax. I know I'm excited, and I don't even get the two weeks off! That's pretty much all from us for now. Hope everyone has a great week!

29 November 2008

The Day After Giving Thanks

I find it particularly interesting that after one of the most auspicious holidays for the giving of thanks, the American people turn around the very next day to feed into their selfish desires and greed.

This "special" day of the year is called Black Friday, and most recently named so by media and retailers because it is the time of year that these companies are in the financial black. However, I believe the day's meaning has a much darker undertone...

Wal-Mart Employee Trampled to Death

If you do not want to read the article, the background to this story starts with thousands of shoppers gaining momentum to form a savage mob mentality. Just before the store's "Doorbuster" 5:00 a.m. opening, the people outside actually broke through the front doors that were being guarded by a handful of employees. These same people trampled an employee to death, and what is worse, they resisted requests to leave even after they were informed that they had killed an employee.

Such blatant disregard for human life causes me to marvel at the grotesque irony of this situation. Here we are, one day after expressing gratitude for all the freedoms, liberty, and relative peace we enjoy in this country--and people are pushing and injuring an extremely pregnant woman so badly she has to go to the hospital! No one looks to notice that they are stepping on a human being so forcefully that they are causing fatal wounds. People grab and snatch and horde their new-found possessions, regarding them as of greater worth than the people around them.

In response, I ask:
  • When did such material objects ever come to mean more than a human life?
  • How did we become a people who, ironically enough in this day and culture, become less and less tolerant and at the same time more and more isolated?
  • Why did we let this happen?

If I had family that died in this situation, not only would I be heartbroken for the meaningless loss that has come into my life, but I would question how this could have even happened. I too, like the real father was, would have been shocked and appalled that the employer made no pro-active attempts to contact me. Not nearly enough apologies. Not nearly enough responsibility.

I would implore all who read this to spend a moment in introspection, examining how they each contribute to or decimate our society. While technology and discoveries of certain truths have been a great blessing to the human race as a whole, we still suffer the same weaknesses and tendencies of ancient civilizations. I would even venture to say that we are, in some respects, worse off in the development of society. The final question that remains is what do you intend to do about this?

15 November 2008

Thanks Volkswagen for a preview of our baby!

I saw this on the Criddles blog and this just looked too fun. For whatever reason I think that the Volkswagon Routan commercials are hil-ar-ious. If you don't know what I'm talking about you can see the commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qL_9Gmonuo

Don't worry, we're having our baby for love, not for German engineering :)

Tentatively our baby's name will be Samuel Eric Hansen, but it's still open for other options. We'll probably post a poll here in a little bit with the names that are still contenders. We're open to constructive criticism on any of our names. We figure it's easier to get the weird nicknames out now instead of when he's in first grade and being picked on by bullies. I think our current names that we're considering are Samuel (obviously), Keegan, and Jaron.

As far as other things go, it's been a busy few weeks. We were helping my parents out before the election as they were heavily involved with the Yes on 8 campaign in California. It's an issue that we feel strongly about and wish we could have done more to support. We've been sickened as we've watched all of the protesting against our church for their support of this issue (go figure, I'd always thought tolerance meant allowing people to have their beliefs even if they disagree with your own - apparently it means you have to have the same beliefs as the liberals have).

Right after Prop 8 passed - my sister got engaged! We're really excited for Taylor and her fiancé Ryan! I'm so glad that she's found someone who loves her and that she loves too. They're a great couple and we'll be glad to have Ryan as part of the family.

Eric got through his insane weeks of midterms and is back to his normal level of insanity, which is definitely nice. He should be interviewing for a position in Taiwan with Omniture sometime in the next few weeks so we're keeping our fingers crossed! It could be a really awesome opportunity for us and we're definitely excited for it!

As for me, I'm just plugging away at work and getting ready for this baby to come! He's started moving a lot, and it's still a really weird feeling to get used to. My tummy is definitely growing and I find I get stuck more easily if I sit or lay down. There's too much of me! I can't get up! However, other than that, I'm still feeling really really good. I get heartburn but it's been pretty mild, and Tums seem to take care of it pretty easily. I've decided to just enjoy this part of the pregnancy while I can. Only 15 weeks until my due date!! One of the weird things with the baby coming and us thinking of moving to Taiwan, is I'm not entirely sure what things to buy before the baby comes. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to buy everything here for a fully stocked nursery... just to have to pack it all up and take it to Taiwan. I guess we'll have to see how that all pans out.

10 November 2008

Toys for Tots

As part of a service project some classmates and I are doing, we are sponsoring a Toy and Food Drive this week for needy Utah families.

Please come and help the Utah Family Support Center by donating toys, clothes, paper products, and office supplies. These can all benefit the agency and those whom it serves. Community support is essential in this process, as they give care to families and children in need. The Center also serves as a place of refuge for foster children while they are waiting to be relocated.

Bring any donations to our booth in the Wilkinson Center Terrace any day this week between 12:00 and 2:00 PM. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at familysupport@byu.net

Here are some of the items that the center is looking for:

Mac & Cheese
Box Dinners (Hamburger Helper, Pasta-Roni, etc.)
Kid-friendly snack foods (crackers, fruit snacks,
pretzels, animal crackers, granola bars, etc.)
Baby snacks (e.g. “Graduates” finger food)

Toy cell phones (new and used)
Polly pocket toys (new and used)
Trains and cars
Any new toys (still in store package)

Diapers (especially size 2)
Baby wipes
Kids socks and underwear
Girls shoes (new or used in good condition sizes 2-4)
Floor and table lamp
Bubble bath and hair conditioner

26 October 2008

A slightly overdue post

Eric's been on my case all week since I promised that I would write this post and haven't gotten around to it until now, oops! Sorry for those of you who try to keep up and noticed that we missed a week!

I guess we'll start with a baby update. I look pregnant! In fact, last week we were out buying Eric some new suits and I had the first person ever just ask me when the baby was due. In fact, she was the first person to ask me if I was pregnant at all. The funny thing was, it caught me a little off guard and at first I was slightly offended that she would ask... and then I remembered, oh wait... I am pregnant... and I've been wanting to look pregnant :P And I finally remembered to get Eric to take some baby bump pictures. So now you can see for yourselves just how pregnant I look!

Side view

A more attractive (in my opinion) although less telling front view.

I had a doctor's appointment on Monday and everything is going well so far. The ultrasound put the baby right on track for the due date they'd given us so there weren't any surprises there. Everything looked great with him, which is definitely the most important part. We've been throwing around some different names for him and we think we're pretty settled on Samuel Eric Hansen, although it's still open to be changed. Apparently my brothers hate the name and have summarily declared that if we name our son Samuel he will be a loser. Good thing their votes don't count :) We've also considered the name Keegan but we're not sure if that sounds too weird with the last name of Hansen. What do you guys think? We'll probably put up a poll if we come up with more names that we really like, but so far Samuel is sticking pretty good.

I've also found that this baby likes to move A LOT! It really is the weirdest feeling in the world to have a little person moving around inside of me. Eric has been able to feel him too which is always neat. I've been feeling REALLY good lately. Everyone says that the second trimester is so much better than the first and that has definitely been the case for me. In fact, sometime this past week I sat down and thought back on the first trimester... even though I don't think I complained too much (although Eric might beg to differ on that account) I was pretty darn miserable. I guess since it sorta came on slowly and was more of a constant achy, nauseous, exhausted feeling without really getting too acute ever I hadn't realized how bad it was. Anyways, I'm sooo grateful to be done with that part and into this stage. I know that this part won't last forever and that the 3rd trimester is supposed to be even worse in some ways. So I'm just going to enjoy and be grateful for this part while it lasts!

So switching gears from baby, this was a pretty rough week for Eric. He had a bunch of midterms and projects that were all due this week - and he got pleuritis. His dad was able to diagnose him over the phone and had him taking a basic anti-inflammatory (a.k.a. MotrinIB), but after a couple of days that still wasn't working. So Eric went into urgent care and had a doctor there confirm the diagnosis. They took an x-ray of his chest and confirmed the diagnosis but found that the pleurisy was viral and not bacterial - taking antibiotics wasn't going to do anything to help. They gave him a prescription strength anti-inflammatory which helped tremendously and now he's doing much better! Thanks for everyone who showed concern and offered their help this week, it was definitely appreciated!

Oh, and as I was telling you earlier, we bought Eric some new suits last weekend! They needed to get some alterations on them this week but he got them on Friday, and he looks hot in them! I wanted to post at least one picture of him in his new pinstripe suit because I think he looks amazing in it and I wanted to share :)

Eric insists that these suits are his Christmas present and tried to convince me it was his birthday present too (that idea was quickly nixed by me since his birthday present is already in the works, and is non-returnable, non-refundable). Speaking of birthday presents, Eric got me mine a couple weeks early too and I've been having a blast with it! We got a Wii Fit (see this video for a satirical version of the Wii Fit commercial that we really enjoy)! We've been having a ton of fun with it and getting into shape too. It's just about the level and time commitment I can give to exercising right now too. Thanks honey!! I'm sure you already know how much I love it :)

07 October 2008

The results are in!!

We had the ultrasound today! So the polls are closed for guessing what flavor it is, now we know :) Everything looks good with the baby for which we are very grateful. It was really cool to get to actually see this baby! I've been able to feel it a little bit for the past week or so, and so we were super excited to actually see it. We got some pictures which Eric scanned into the computer so we could post them here. See how good you would do as a sonographer!

It was in a very good position for a good profile shot. The sonographer kept commenting what a cute profile it was and how lucky we were!

An arm!

In addition to finding out that our baby is healthy and growing well, we did get to find out the gender. We know we've been really mean to make you wait all the way to the end of the post to find out since that's probably what you were waiting to see! See if you can tell...

It's a Boy!!

Yup, the poll was absolutely wrong about the gender of our baby - we're having a little boy! He was very cooperative and was totally spread eagle. No doubt about what kind of baby that is! We've decided to call him Gerund until he's born, because we really like the name, but we realize how cruel it could be to name our kid that for real. As we discuss more names and settle on other favorites we'll post them and take feedback on them. We're really excited to get to meet our son in February!

For those of you who are interested we've posted the video of the ultrasound on google video. We know it's really long but we figure there are some people who'd really like to see it, and if you don't care... you won't watch it :) You can see it here:

01 October 2008

Slower week

Since this is me, I won't be doing a novel-lengthed post. I don't even think there's much Brittny could write about.

BYU didn't play football this week, but the crazy upset loss USC had was pretty nice for us (even though analysts still don't take us seriously)! Hopefully we can keep this winning streak going! We are the last non-BCS team to win a national championship, so that would be neat to do it again!

We went to the Office Premiere party at Cody & Amber's house last Friday. It was a ton of fun! I won't spoil the exact detail, but something has happened that we have been waiting to happen for quite some time.

I'm still really enjoying my scooter, by the way. I went to fill up this week--$3.52 and that's all :) Wish me luck on my skills test (to make my motorcycle license permanent) next week.

School is school. I'm trying to fight Senioritis, and so far so good...

23 September 2008

Playing Wife

Yesterday I got to play my favorite game - wife! Most of you are probably thinking, "um, Brittny, you ARE a wife... what do you mean by playing wife?" You see, most days I go to work and am away from the house for about 11 hours out of the day to be in Salt Lake City. When I come home in the evenings I usually have just enough time to make dinner, pack it up into tupperware and take it over to Omniture where I eat it with Eric. By the time I get home for real it's usually 9pm at the earliest, which doesn't exactly leave me with a plethora of time for doing wife-y things such as dishes, laundry, cleaning etc. As un-glamorous as those things may sound I love the feeling of having put our house in order and making real food - rather than just pasta roni.

However, yesterday I had a doctor's appointment in the morning which meant that I had already asked for permission to work from home, saving myself the 2 hours of commute time. In anticipation of staying home on Monday I had worked a little later a few nights last week so that I wouldn't have to spend as much of the morning working. All these things added together meant that I had a fair amount of extra time yesterday for "playing wife"!

So first of all, we had the doctor's appointment. I had made the appointment for 9am since we didn't know what Eric's school schedule was going to be like when I made the appointment I had decided to err on the side of setting an appointment too early (9am is their very first appointment of the day) since it seemed less likely that Eric would sign up for classes that were that early. Well, I was right on one thing - Eric definitely doesn't have classes that early! Since his classes are all after 2pm and we don't have church until 10:30am there is never a morning where Eric has to be up before 9am and normally he would still get to be asleep instead of at the doctor's at that time of the day. Sorry love! Luckily he was a good sport and came with me anyways :)

When we got in they placed us in the ultrasound room to wait for the doctor which definitely raised our hopes. We knew that they offered the gender ultrasound as early as 16 weeks at my office and I am 17 weeks along currently. Of course, we weren't scheduled for an ultrasound so we didn't really think that we'd get to do it then, but still our hopes were raised a little bit. The appointment went really well. Things have been going really well with the pregnancy lately. All the rumors are true! The second trimester really is a lot easier! We got to hear the baby's heartbeat again, which is always exciting. Plus, we got to schedule the ultrasound! We should get to find out the baby's gender on October 7th - two weeks from today. Wahoo!! So if you haven't voted on the flavor of baby we're having in our poll, you have two weeks left to make your voice heard! We'll post on here as soon as we know for sure and probably some pictures from the ultrasound too so you can see our baby! We're definitely excited to find out what kind of baby we're going to have!!

After the appointment I took Eric to a meeting at Omniture while he had the 500 mile maintenance done on his bike, and I went to the grocery store. I'd decided that since I had some extra time I was going to make garlic sirloin for dinner, so I needed some ingredients. I started putting it all together when we got home in hopes that I'd be able to have it all ready for dinner (it's cooked in a slow cooker for at least 6 hours so I had to get it ready earlier rather than later). Well, at 4pm I finally finished putting the final touches on it. It probably would have helped if I had known earlier that a clove of garlic is one of the little pods within a bulb... not the full bulb. Since we didn't want to be eating dinner at 10pm I put the roast in the fridge so we could cook it today, and we had Taiwanese breakfast burgers instead (one of our favorite simple meals - toasted hamburger buns with sausage, a fried egg, thinly chopped cucumber and ketchup, apparently they're a pretty common thing to have for breakfast in Taiwan - go figure!). We had the roast today and it was SO good. Nothing like what we were aiming for - the garlic sirloin that they have at Tucanos- but it was a really delicious dinner.

The other good thing that happened yesterday is that my BellaBand came! No, a BellaBand has nothing to do with the main character from the Twilight series, it's a piece of maternity clothing. It's basically a band that goes around the waist and helps pregnant women extend their wardrobes. Here's a picture of the band in action:

The BellaBand in action

Basically right now I can wear it with my normal pre-pregnancy pants and it will hold my pants up if I want to wear them unbuttoned and even unzipped a little bit, without it looking like I'm a moron that forgot to zip up their pants. SUCH a blessing! My pants have been feeling really tight as this baby is growing, but I'm definitely not pregnant enough yet to really be ready for maternity pants. As you can see in the picture, the band has uses for all different stages of pregnancy. As I get more pregnant and my pre-pregnancy pants don't fit anymore, I can use it with maternity pants that will inevitably be too big at first to help hold them up. Later on it's really good for supporting that great big tummy. And after the baby is born it helps as I slowly lose the extra weight and can transition back to normal clothes again. I'm definitely very excited about this purchase :)

I guess that's about it from me for now. My family is coming up next weekend for conference and I'm way excited to see them. Other than that I'm mostly just counting down the days until we find out our baby's gender!!

11 September 2008


As the title suggests, I got a new scooter last week! Brittny has talked about it some in her novel-lengthed post for the week, but I figure I would at least upload some pictures to show-off my new toy.

There were a lot of reasons to get a scooter:
  • The caddy could die at any moment
  • Brittny needs a reliable car to go to work as her bus pass is expiring
  • The caddy gets almost 15 Miles per Gallon, whereas the scooter gets 82 MPG!
  • It is just plan cheaper!
One of the big reasons for me getting a scooter though was for the commute. Basically, my classes are in the center of campus. If I were to drive a car, then I would have to park almost a mile away and walk in. That takes about 15 minutes each way, and considering the fact that I need to be at work 15 minutes after classes end, that method just wouldn't work. However, scooters have lots of nice parking spaces right next to the buildings!

This was the way to go for me. $1200 later, I had the scooter, license, and helmet gear to get me on the road. A brand new "Phantom" (don't really care about the brand name) 150cc scooter that tops out at about 65 MPH, so it's just fine for in-town use. And filling up the tank at the end of the week? About four dollars. So wonderful!

So sleek and shiny!

07 September 2008

First Week of School!

Well, this last Tuesday it was back for another semester of school for Eric. We're still getting used to him being back in school after the nice break he'd had this summer. Luckily it doesn't look like this semester is going to be too bad for Eric overall, although I'll let him post about it himself. With the beginning of a new school year it means another big change for our little family - my BYU bus pass is no longer valid starting next Monday, and since I've graduated I don't qualify for a new one. We only had to pay $70 for it for the entire year and I was able to get to Salt Lake City almost every weekday! We're going to miss that convenient and VERY economical way for me to commute. We looked into buying me a monthly bus pass, however the cost of a bus pass is $160 per month, which wouldn't really be saving us that much over what it would cost us in gas. Plus, since I can work from home sometimes or work out other ways of getting to Salt Lake on occasion it quickly becomes more economical to drive.

As sad as it may seem to be giving up the bus pass I'm actually kind of excited to be driving in. I really like the freedom I have with driving that I can come in whenever I want and leave whenever I want. It will also mean that for the first time in our married life Eric and I will be able to have similar morning schedules so we can see each other in the mornings, which I'm definitely looking forward to :) Part of the ripple effect of me starting to drive to Salt Lake every day is that I'll be taking over our Corolla as my primary vehicle and leaving Eric home with our Cadillac. While our 1994 Cadillac Seville has held up surprisingly well so far... Eric wasn't very comfortable with having to rely on it to get him to and from school and work every day. So, we decided it was time to get rid of our Caddy and instead invest in a scooter which Eric bought on Thursday. He's pretty excited about it as it will get him better parking and AWESOME gas mileage (82 MPG). I'll let him post about that as well since he can give you more details about the kind of scooter we've got and all that, since about as far as my technical specs go gets us through the fuel economy and the color (red).

After this long week of school and work were over we had a pretty packed Saturday to follow it up! It was actually a really fun day, if not as relaxing as our Saturdays generally are. We had 5 years worth of YA technicians over to our apartment in the morning for breakfast. I really enjoyed seeing a lot of people who I still consider to be close friends, even if they aren't people I see very frequently (traveling the world with people tends to form some pretty strong bonds, especially when you're working so closely with such great people). Young Ambassadors was a wonderful chapter in my life that deeply influenced me, but I'm definitely where I'm supposed to be and doing the things I'm supposed to be doing. I wish we'd taken some pictures of all the people in our apartment but I never think of taking pictures until I'm sitting down to write these posts. Oops!

After the YA breakfast I had just enough time to change my shirt (that had somehow gotten all grease splattered while standing next to Kyle cooking bacon) and head over to my friend Stephanie's baby shower. Stephanie has been a great blessing to me for the past few months as I've been pregnant. She and I talk online while we're both at work and she's been helping me get through the weeks of pregnancy. It's really nice to have some friends who've already been there to help show me the way and celebrate the little milestones that pregnant women appreciate more than most other people. Even though I didn't really know any of the people there it was fun to meet a lot of the people who she's told me so much about.

When I got finished with the baby shower Eric came and picked me up (yup, on his cool new scooter :) ) and we were back just in time for more friends to come over for the BYU Football game! Even though I'm not a big football fan I can really get into a game like that. It was a pretty intense game, especially since there seemed to be some bias on the part of the referees against BYU. I was very proud of our team that they were able to pull through and shine in the face of that and go on to win! It was a great game and we had a lot of fun watching it with friends.

So those are basically the highlights of our week. I'm sure Eric will have more to add in later. I've been feeling very blessed this week as the rumors I'd heard about the second trimester being easier than the first have proved to be true! I'm about two weeks into the second trimester, and I haven't felt nauseous hardly at all this week. I can finally eat like a normal human being instead of a hamster! I'm hoping this can hold up for most of the rest of this pregnancy (I know there are more symptoms that rear their ugly head in the third trimester but I'll be happy to keep the nausea at bay!) I'm a little frustrated to be 15 weeks along and still no baby bump to show for it. It's kinda weird, I guess I never realized how long into pregnancy you can get before starting to show. I'm sure soon enough this baby will be taking up plenty of space in my body and I'll be huge and wishing to be back to regular pre-pregnancy size. For now though, I slightly envy my friends with big tummies that can feel the babies kicking. One of the cool things is we can sorta feel where the baby is, but it's still too low in my pelvis for anyone other than the doctor, Eric or I to feel it. I know I just need to be patient, I'll be showing soon enough!

I almost forgot! One of the main things I wanted to do with this post is to invite everyone to take the poll in the right column about what flavor of baby we're going to have. (sorry, I think that's an Anderson thing to talk about a baby's gender as a flavor... don't ask how it started, I have no idea) Generally speaking people won't find out until week 20 when they have the anatomy ultrasound whether it's a boy or a girl. However, there are places in Provo/Orem where we could go and get an ultrasound as early as the end of this week to find out the baby's gender. It would only cost us $45 for the ultrasound and an optional $10 for a DVD recording of it. But we're not sure we want to fork out the extra cash just to know a few weeks earlier. However, my little brother Cody is apparently DYING to find out and he's offering to put up the money for us to do it earlier :P. We'll have to see what we choose. Another big factor is that I'm not home during the days anyways so I'd have to plan to work from home another day to go in and do it. But maybe we'll start going crazy enough about it that we just want to find out. It will be really cool to finally get to see this baby, even if it's just the vague images on an ultrasound. I can still remember going to my mom's ultrasounds when she was pregnant with my younger siblings. Those were cool experiences and I'm sure it will be even cooler with our own baby.

Anyways, we'd love to hear what people think our baby will be or even just what you want it to be. Don't ask us for our opinions, because we don't have very solid opinions. Eric hasn't been able to make up his mind on what he thinks it is, and I keep having very decided opinions... and then changing them (yup, I'm definitely a woman :). So much for parents' intuition! If you do make a vote we'd love it if you left a comment stating how you voted and maybe why you think that, just so that we can sorta see who thinks what! We did leave an extra spot for people to guess both if you think we're having twins (which there isn't any evidence of so far, and the fact that I'm still not showing would tend to indicate against). For now voting ends on the day that I hit 20 weeks, but when we figure out when we're going in for the ultrasound I'll change it to that date and time instead. Happy guessing!

31 August 2008

Brittny's novel-lengthed post for the week

We didn't really have any one major thing that we wanted to write about this week so I thought I'd just give an overall recap of highlights of this week. I'll try to contain each highlight to one bullet point so it doesn't get too confusing:
  • Last Sunday we decided that 8:30am (the time that both our new old wards met for sacrament meeting) was NOT going to happen after moving all of our stuff into our new apartment. So we let ourselves sleep in and since we live in Utah... we figured that any time of day on Sunday we could go in any direction and find a sacrament meeting. So, just before 1pm we went to the building where our wards meet hoping to find another married student ward to attend. Unfortunately, we hadn't taken into account that our stake meets on half hours and so the meetings in both chapels in our building were about half over. So, we walked across the parking lot to the other building (yes... there are two buildings within that one parking lot with four chapels between the two of them. You can also go and within 4 blocks find at least 4 other church buildings - yay Utah :) ) The first chapel in the other building had already started however the second chapel had people flowing in and we were very happy to find a sacrament meeting that was just starting. As we went in however we realized very quickly that this was NOT a ward for married students... or families... it was a singles ward. Luckily, I don't look pregnant yet so we were able to inconspicuously sit in on it so we could take the sacrament. A few minutes into the meeting another couple came in and sat next to us... both with wedding rings on. I noticed this and thought it was odd... but of course, Eric and I had both worn rings before we were married (since we were at BYU this seemed like a good way to signify that we were both off the market) I didn't think too much of it. However after a minute the girl next to me asked if we were in a singles ward, and we found out that both of us were in the same situation - married students who needed to find a church meeting to attend. I joked with them that it would be funny if that Sunday was you-should-all-get-married-and-date-more-Sunday or if it was Chastity lesson Sunday (yeah... the boy in my apartment is definitely allowed to stay past curfew. I don't think Eric would appreciate being kicked out of our house in the middle of the night :) ) Sure enough... the talks that day were all centered on a talk from this month's Ensign - Making the Most of our Single Years by Russell Stevenson. We laughed quietly together though the meeting about the irony of the situation but it was good overall. If nothing else it made us appreciate that much more what a blessing our marriage is. I think if any couple is going through tough times they should go to a singles ward on dating Sunday. Not that there's anything wrong with that stage of life... but once you've gone past it, you don't ever have any desire to go back. I'm very very grateful for Eric and the blessing it is to be married to him.
  • On Monday we went to the doctors and got to hear our baby's heartbeat again. It was a really quick visit to just make sure everything was going well. It's always cool to hear the baby's heartbeat, just a little reminder that there really is a little person in there! We're getting more and more excited for this baby to come and for us to get to be parents.

    After the doctor's appointment we finally went and got my blood drawn... which should have happened about 2 months ago but I've been too chicken to go. Finally after a lot of praying, a blessing from Eric and basically being forced in we made it. Eric stuck with me the whole time which was VERY helpful. We sat me down in the chair and made sure to explain to the phlebotomist (yeah, I spelled that right the first time and I'm SO proud of myself right now :) ) that I would pass out. I also made sure to warn her not to try to make it seem like not a big deal... because I already know that but having to think about it makes it worse. She was great. She actually brought up Twilight and she and Eric had a conversation about how much I like those books which gave me something good to focus on while she drew my blood and I tried very hard to remain conscious. It worked... sorta. I stayed conscious until they had taken out the needle and bandaged my arm... then I passed out and fell out of the chair. Eric says I looked almost like I was having a seizure and he had to catch my head so I didn't slam it into the wall. I also apparently wasn't sitting as still as I thought I was so I ended up with a pretty good bruise. I meant to take pictures of the bruise earlier in the week but didn't get to it until today. Just remember that this is a picture of the bruise almost a week later... it looks way better than it did earlier in the week.

    It may look better, but it still doesn't look that great!

    Luckily there's only one more blood draw for this pregnancy and my friend Stephanie has agreed to help me learn some good relaxation techniques so that I can get over this irrational fear, or at least take the edge of it. Let's face it, there's no way I'm getting out of needles when I actually have to give birth to this baby so I better work on it now!
  • On Thursday Taylor came back to Utah!! I'm so excited to have my little sister back so I can bug her to come hang out with me again. We all made the trek up to Grandma and Grandpa Anderson's house on Friday night so we could retrieve all of her stuff. Unfortunately since Eric and Taylor had been busy in Provo and I had a HUGE project that my team's been working on all week that was due Friday night... and then we hit major construction on the way up to Logan... it was 8pm before we got up there and we hadn't realized that everyone there was waiting to start dinner until we arrived. Oops! Sorry everyone! It was really fun to go up there and be with family. Eric helped my Grandpa troubleshoot some things on his computer and Grandma helped me make a Strawberry Rhubarb pie for Eric (they're his favorite and since I never had someone teach me how to make a pie my past attempts have been... interesting... to say the least). This picture is post being cut into but it still looks better than my past pies by a long shot. Thanks so much Grandma & Grandpa for having us! And thanks for teaching me to make pie! It'll be very handy since I have 7 more bags of frozen rhubarb... and not really any other uses for it.

    Mmmmm! Pie!

  • On Saturday night we had the Criddles and the Phillips over for a little end-of-summer get together. Jon and Cody were in Eric's Information Systems group last year so they spent a lot of time working together and all three couples have become very close friends. Everyone else was out of state over the summer since Cody and Jon went on internships so we were very happy to have everyone back together. We made ice cream (which decidedly did not turn out as good as my grandma's pie), ate snacks and just hung out for a few hours catching up on everyone's summers. The boys played a few games of Wii Mario Kart and it was just a really fun time. We had definitely missed having everyone so close by, and we're going to miss having the guys in all of the same classes this year, but hopefully we'll still find lots of opportunities to get together this year.
  • This doesn't really fit on any one particular day but this week Eric has done an AWESOME job of getting our apartment unpacked and organized. I've been working late nights this week so I haven't been able to do much so I've been especially grateful for all that he's done in getting our little house put together. Tomorrow I want to get our pictures hung and the rest of us pretty well moved in but I've been impressed with all he's gotten done. Thanks honey for all you've done! Below are some pictures of the new digs:

    Entertainment Center/Living Room

    Kitchen/Dining Room

    Bedroom with a Memory Foam bed!

I guess that's about it. Eric starts school again on Tuesday so we're gearing up for things getting really busy again. Luckily, nothing can be as bad as the ISYS core was last year, but he's going to have plenty to do between school and work during this next semester. I'm going to miss having him home during the day, he's been very helpful in getting things done that I can't since I work in Salt Lake and am gone from the apartment up to 12 hours each day. I'm excited for him to be done in April, and for this baby to come so that I can stay at home and be a wife/mom and we'll get things done around the apartment again!

23 August 2008

No More Nomadic Life for Me

The outside of our new place!

This post is covering the crazy weekend we just had! Set up shop and unpack everything, because we are not moving again for a long while! I'm not trying to complain here, and I will say that I am glad to be in a place that I absolutely know I will enjoy and love, but man alive--this weekend was super exhausting! Let me give you a run down on what happened.

Friday morning I wake up and start packing everything we have into some boxes that Brittny got a hold of. That takes the majority of the day. In the meantime, I set up the utilities and I headed over to the new apartment to check everything out and get the keys from our landlord. I think it is a very good idea to get an idea of how you want to organize your furniture and things in the new place before you start moving it. It makes for a much smoother transition, in my opinion.

Then Saturday morning I wake up, go grab a U-Haul truck, and bring it back to the apartment to load things up. Some friends show up at 11:00 am and we load everything up and then have it all unloaded by 2:30 pm that day at our new place. We made really good time! When we were moving all by ourselves the last time around, it took us a full week with multiple trips in our cars to get everything transferred! I am definitely an advocate for U-Hauls and boxes to get everything done all in one go! Then I get a call from the Criddles who needed help moving all their stuff from storage into their apartment. I know how much I hate moving things all by myself, so I was happy to help out, but I was soo sore by the end of the day. And don't even get me started on my Internet woes!

On the plus side, it is wonderful to be in a place that feels like our home. This past summer it was like just being guests in Amber and Cody's place, and while it was a nice place, we like the feeling of permanence and pushing in our roots a little. Our new apartment is also a really nice place. We'll post pictures as soon as we are fully unpacked!

On the last note for this post, I thought the new bed would take some getting used to, but that hasn't been the case. I absolutely love it! It feels really good!

16 August 2008

Mattress Match-up

So, today we went bed shopping. Yeah, it might be kind of weird for some people to think that we are just now actually buying our very first bed, but so it is. In retrospect, it has been quite nice being able to get used to how Brittny and I sleep now that we are married. We also know what type of mattress suits us best. I can just envision shopping for a bed while engaged or even newly married being so awkward and difficult to make an educated decision. On top of that, not having to move a bed around to all the places we've been living in has been real nice.

But since we are settling down into a more permanent temporary housing, we knew it was time. We decided to look first at RC Willey, but that got shot down as soon as we saw the ridiculously high price tags as compared to what we found on the Internet (Overstock.com has some good deals). We ended up at Mattress Warehouse in Orem, and we are glad we went there. Brittny and I were really impressed at the way they showed us the basics of bed shopping (most of which we knew, but it was still nice) and then they let us be to try out any of the beds that we desired. No pushy salesmen looking for a commission.

Surprisingly, we found the new memory foam mattresses to be Incredible. They come with 20-year warranties as compared to the regular inner spring's 10-year standard warranty. It felt so good to have our backs lined up in good posture. Another crazy thing is putting keys down on the mattress and then lying down on top of them. You can't even feel them there! We were especially excited because we were able to buy a generic brand one for a little less than the normal spring mattress we'd been looking at getting otherwise. We've been told that it takes a little while to get used to since we get so used to sleeping on regular mattresses that don't support our weight correctly, it's like making the switch to standing up straight after walking around hunched over for years and years. We can definitely see how that's going to be true, however the other side of it is that once you do get used to it.... you never want to go back. After dealing with less than ideal beds while we were in Wymount, we are excited to get this new one.

Cool Memory Foam!! It remembers me!

Oh, and they threw in free delivery/set up, box spring, and a cover too! We'd totally recommend them to anyone looking for a great deal.

04 August 2008

The Value of Family

You know, it's hard for me to understand how some people focus their entire life into their work. It is as if they expect work to be completely and utterly fulfilling. I recently had an experience that strengthened my views regarding work and family.

If you didn't hear already, I have this sweet job at Omniture working as a Mandarin Technical Consultant. I get to use my language skills, I am expanding my understanding of the Internet industry, and they treat me very well as an employee.

But no matter how well a job can treat you, your work doesn't care about you first. It can't. At least not in this capitalistic society. Your work cares about making money, and it's easy to see that seeking only money does not bring true happiness.

Last Saturday, we had an Omniture Super Summer Shindig at Thanksgiving Point. We were supposed to be able to pick up passports to the park and all that fun stuff once we arrived at the check-in. Nope. They dropped the ball and didn't even come close to bringing it. And while they had so many rides and games and fun things to do with all of your coworkers, it paled in comparison with a simple family get together at my brother Mike's house.

We just brought some food, cooked it up and ate together. Brittny and I got to play with nieces and nephews, and the simple joys that it brought to our family were greater than anything Omniture could ever give me. The simple peace I have waking up next to my beautiful wife and knowing that we are in this together is more wonderful than any level of financial stability. This is the power of family.

02 August 2008

Eric's Birthday Present

I know it's a little early to be working on a birthday present for Eric since his birthday isn't until February, but I actually started on it 10 weeks ago, and he better like it! Seriously, just working on this present has made me so exhausted that I've been falling asleep at 10pm every night. I guess it's been stressing me out too because I've been moody. Poor Eric has had to deal with me laughing hysterically at things that aren't that funny one minute, and crying the next. It's made me really hungry, but I have a really hard time finding food that I feel like I can safely stomach.

So, what is it that I'm working on? Since I've been working this hard on it Eric already knows so I'm not in any danger of spoiling the surprise by posting it here. It'll be about 6 - 10lbs (I'm definitely hoping it will be closer to 6 than 10), about 1.5 - 2 feet long and pinkish. He'll get to cuddle with it a lot, but it will probably be pretty noisy. We'll get to teach it lots of fun tricks like rolling, walking and talking. It will require lots of cleaning up after, feeding and taking care of. It will be very demanding on both of us for about the next 18 years after I give it to Eric (ok, so probably really for the rest of our lives really). And we will love it more than I think we now realize.

For those of you who still haven't figured out what it is... it's a baby! Yup, I'm 10 weeks pregnant with our first child and we're really excited! We went into the doctor's yesterday for the first checkup and were able to hear the baby's heartbeat. That was a really cool experience because up until now we knew I was pregnant but really I've just felt sick and there's no real interaction with the baby at this point. It was the first time we could actually hear the baby itself, so we were really excited. I also got chastised for not getting my bloodwork done yet (for those of you who don't know, I have a SEVERE phobia of needles which has made going in to do bloodwork... challenging... at best). The baby is in fact due February 26th which is Eric's birthday. Yes, we know that the chances of actually delivering on the due date are pretty slim but it's still just cool that it's the same day. :)

I've been reading up a lot on pregnancy and parenting lately which has definitely been helpful. It's nice to be able to say I have an idea of what's happening to me and know what kinds of things are worrisome symptoms and what things are pretty normal. One thing I've learned... just about ANYTHING that seems weird with your body, is probably a normal pregnancy symptom. But I've also learned which things are dangerous for the baby and worth calling the doctor about. I've been pretty lucky so far and haven't had any severe sickness or anything. I've been tired, and had some morning/night sickness, but it's mostly stomach discomfort and not throwing up. God really must love me because I feel the best during the day so the 11 hours that I'm away from home at work/commuting have been ok. Of course, it means that Eric only ever gets to see me when I'm at home and kinda miserable so it sucks for him. But I can't complain too much, I watched my mom's pregnancies which were FAR worse than anything I've been dealing with, so I feel very blessed. Mostly I just have a hard time keeping exactly the right amount of food in my stomach. If I don't eat enough, my stomach gets mad, and if I eat just slightly too much, my stomach gets even madder. Plus, it has to be just enough of exactly the right things. Basically I've been eating a TON of Cheerios, and then other random things like string cheese, popcorn, yogurt, frozen waffles etc have been making up the staples of my diet. I can only eat a very small amount of food at a time (for example, I've been taking yogurt to work for my breakfast and it will take me about 2 hours to finally finish my little 6 ounce carton of yogurt) but I'm eating constantly. I guess that makes sense since I'm eating such small amounts at a time, but it's a weird shift for me. Probably my weirdest symptom has been that I've been burping like a trucker. Seriously huge earth shaking burps. My little sister wishes she could really belch so she's been extremely jealous, and Eric thinks it's really funny to hear.

So, that's it from us. We're super excited and we'll definitely be keeping you all updated on our growing baby in the weeks and months to come :)

26 July 2008

Hansen Extended Family Reunion

Well, I guess it's time for the short post, as I usually have less to say. Today was the extended Hansen family reunion picnic. It wasn't nearly as long or elaborate as the other reunion we went to, but it was still a good experience, of course.

The picnic was made up of branches of families from my great grandfather, Heber Hansen. There was a tally of blood descendants from each branch of the family, and it appeared to be a rather large number. Most branches of the family had about 40-50 descendants, and one came in at 132. A part of me felt like this reunion was for the older generation, not so much myself.

The crazy thing is that I discovered yet another relative who works at Omniture the same as I do. Who would have guessed that three close relatives could end up working for the same company in such a short time span?

The most fun of this adventure today was by far the time we got to spend with our nieces and nephews. We were smarter this time around and took some great pictures and video clips. As I said before, this reunion picnic was more geared toward the older generation, and so the kids made their own fun.

The boys loved climbing trees and pretending they were in a fort of some sort, while the little girls liked to pull Brittny to and fro, playing what they call, "Princesses and Magical Things!" And in the meantime, my niece Emmie did the cutest dance while she would eat her "YummY!" food!

Note: I know the video is sideways and the sound is messed up, but I will try to fix that later.

24 July 2008

Family Reunion!

*I know, Eric does a MUCH better job of writing nice concise blog posts and mine go on for eternity. I'm sorry! I write as much so that I can remember things as to keep people updated, and I want the details for myself. Plus, I like sharing the stories. So, sorry if my posts are too long for your taste. Stay tuned for Eric's if you enjoy the shorter variety :) *

Last week was the Lyon Family Reunion (Eric's mom's side of the family). It was SO much fun! We got home and kicked ourselves for not taking any pictures while we were there but if we can round some up from family members we'll definitely be sure to post them here.

The reunion was up in Fruitland, Utah at a little place called Reid Ranch. It is WAAAY out there. We drove for 12 miles on a dirt road just to get to the ranch. We were very glad to have our Corolla as we know that our awesome 1994 Cadillac would have just started losing pieces as we went along. It was totally worth it though. The ranch was tucked away in the mountains and just far away from everything so that we could just enjoy being with family without the distractions of having a city close by. We didn't have cell phone service or Internet the entire time we were there, but I was pleasantly surprised at how little I missed it! It was really relaxing to not have to worry about keeping up with emails and phone calls.

So, here are some highlights of the reunion (in no particular order):

  • Three days of not having to cook, clean or go to work! Three days spent in the sunshine doing fun things with family to boot! Does it get any better than that?

  • Our nieces were really cute and insisted on giving me flowers practically every time I turned around. I swear I got more flowers in those three days than in the rest of my life combined! Adelaide (4), told me that I should take them and put them in my vase (because, obviously I brought a vase camping with me...) I felt bad when they'd ask me where my flowers were, but I honestly had nowhere to put them! Plus, a day or so into the reunion we realized that I was decidedly allergic to those flowers, so I got even better at quickly "misplacing" them. But it was so cute. We have the cutest nieces EVER! I'm really lucky because Eric has been the favorite uncle for a long time (obviously, how could anyone not love Eric?) and I think I get to basically be cool by association. In fact, it was one of the first things that really made me fall in love with Eric was when we went to his sister's house and I got to watch how his nieces and nephews adore him. Plus, our younger nieces still mostly remember me from our wedding where they thought I looked like a princess, and when you're a little girl who's cooler than a princess?

  • Our nieces and nephews in general were a blast to be with. Since we don't have any kids of our own yet we can spend time just spoiling them and being a fun uncle and aunt to be around. It was really fun to watch Natalie (2) find books and bring the longest books possible back to her mom over and over to read... then being sent back to find a more reasonable book (like Curious George). Our niece Emily was also hysterical to watch. She's extraordinarily articulate and easy to understand. And she's very particular about how she wants things done. She's just hysterical to watch, but kinda difficult to accurately describe if you haven't met her before.

  • I finally got to meet Danielle Eaton - our oldest niece, the last person in the Hansen family (meaning Eric's siblings and their families) that I had yet to meet! Of course, there are two more additions coming this summer so I won't be able to maintain that status for very long, but it still feels good to be able to say that I've at least met everyone in the family that Eric has met.

  • On Friday night there was a Lyon family dance that Eric DJ-ed for. For those of you who didn't know, Eric used to DJ professionally for stake dances and such in high school and freshman year of college - so he knows what he's doing. He had put together a really great mix of music that any DJ could be proud of. I then came in and dumbed down the playlist to include things like, the Hokey Pokey, the Bunny Hop, Cha Cha Slide etc. that all the little kids could enjoy too. The dance was a total success. Eric did a fabulous job of taking his really great songs that he had picked out (from all different eras too, since we had ALL age groups from 0-70 years old included) and successfully mixing them in with the dorky songs I made him add. The kids loved it, the adults loved it and at 10:30pm when we were supposed to be stopping the dance Auntie Mo insisted that we continue on to 11pm. The dance actually ended up dying not too long afterwards, since we'd played all of the music that Eric had prepared for and then some. But I think it ended really well. Eric was a bit frustrated that the end of the dance was a little anti-climatic but in a way it was good. At 10:30, people were getting tired but still having way too much fun to wind down and go. After a few requests kinda flopped most people were trying to get their kids to bed but still had the high of a great dance. If nothing else, I had a blast just watching Eric. He did an awesome job with the playlist and really got into getting out there and dancing when he was able to just let the playlist run. He's an awesome dancer — I love watching him dance, and even more so, dancing with him. Dancing together is something that we just don't get the opportunity to do as much as we would like, but it makes it so much sweeter when we can. For me, the highlight of the dance was just as we were getting ready to pack up and most people had left, Eric turned the speakers down way low and put on our song ("Everything" by Lifehouse) and we danced all by ourselves. You'd think that after a year of being married we'd be a little less into each other, but I love that man SO much. In all honesty, that was my favorite moment of the entire reunion. Eric is the most wonderful man I've ever met and I'm so grateful every day to be married to him.

  • We had a chance to do archery and found out that I am not the best archer - surprise! We had a blast though. I think the funnest part was watching our little nephew Bruce (3) trying to shoot arrows and get really excited about it. He's just adorable in general so it was fun to watch. I also enjoyed his comment to his older brother, "Nico looks like Link!" (can you tell we have some gamers in our family?)

  • Playing Dunkball with some of our nieces and nephews. Ok, so maybe it's not the most Christlike game, but it's a ton of fun. The rules are pretty simple. All you need is a pool and a ball. The players are split into two teams with each team having a side of the pool as their goal (we play in the shallow end and play the width of the pool for fairness). The object of the game is to have a member of your team touch your goal side of the pool with the ball. This particular game was a little difficult since the ball we were playing with was much larger than the normal dunkball ball (the normal ball is a splash bomb, about the size of a baseball, but super squishy so you can essentially hide it in your fist. The ball we were playing with was a little kids squishy basketball, so it was at least double the size). Since the ball was so large we could practically have all 8 players holding on to a piece of the ball at the same time. With no "jump ball" rules this just made for a lot of pushing, pulling and grabbing. Most of the time we had the entirety of both teams as part of the skirmish for the ball. At the end of the game we were exhausted but it was a lot of fun.

  • Camping! There weren't enough rooms in the lodge for us to have a room so Eric and I brought our tent and camped outside. It was really funny to us how many people felt bad for us and commented on it, but we really enjoyed it! We really like camping, and we have a great tent and air mattress so it wasn't even like we were roughing it too bad. Plus, it was awesome to be the envy of some of our nephews who thought it was THE coolest thing ever that we got to sleep in a tent. How do you compete with that?

  • Trick night. The family had an evening where anyone who had something fun they could do to share could participate. They call it trick night because what you have to share doesn't have to be quite to the "talent" level, just something fun to share. For example, Dad Hansen got up and "cleaned his eyeballs" (pretended to pop them out of his head and clean them in his mouth, then put them back in his head). We had lots of displays of double-jointedness and eyeball tricks. We also had acts like our niece Natalie (2) getting up and singing "I am a Child of God" or doing somersaults. Bruce (3) got up and showed off a picture of dinosaurs he had colored. Our nephews Jonathan and Derek (both 12) got up and did a skit. All of the acts were really fun to watch. It was especially fun because participants didn't feel like they had to have a super talent to share, just a trick of some sort.

  • We had a campfire one night and just sat around for a long time singing songs and having fun. Pat, one of Eric's aunts, had her 70th birthday earlier in the month and her kids had put together a tribute to her. They'd written a song about her, made a little scrapbook and gotten a cake. There's also a family song that Mom Hansen and one of the women from Eric's home ward had written years and years ago. The parents (Eric's parents generation) loved it and insisted on singing it. Their kids decided when they were younger that they hated the song and have sorta formed a tradition of loving to hate it. I guess it still promotes family bonding... just maybe not in the way they'd intended :) One of the aunts had carried around her copy of the song in her purse for the past who knows how many years and so Dad Hansen used some music composing software on Eric's computer to transcribe it and print out copies for the family to have for the future. Leave it to Eric and Dad Hansen to find an excuse to play on the computer during the family reunion ;)

  • While Eric and his dad were playing with their computers I got to go help out with some crafts that they had put together for the kids. For whatever reason I feel totally in my element helping out kids and working on projects like that. They had aprons for the kids to puffy paint which I helped out with the whole time. We miraculously got done with relatively few kids with paint on themselves, but those aprons were piled high! Some of the aprons had such huge globs of paint on them we couldn't even hang them up without the paint running off of them! The other craft I thought was pretty creative. They used mens' dress socks and filled them with dirt and grass seed. Then using rubber bands the kids could make heads, arms and bodies on their creatures and glue googly eyes on it. The idea is that it's like a Chia pet. They go home and water this little creature they've made and hair will grow out of it! I thought it was a really cute idea.

  • Family Jeapordy. Dad Hansen and Eric's sister Diane had put together a Jeapordy game that was all about their family history. Somehow, all of the parents had ended up on the same team so they had a MASSIVE advantage. One of the really fun parts was that they had some questions that were based on the Lyon family newsletter that goes out every 6 months so we got to hear trivia about the people who were actually there as well as the cool facts about ancestors. I'm really glad that I've really gotten to know a lot of the family in real life now so that the Lyon Times will have more context and be even more interesting to read in the future (it was fun to read before, but it was updates on people who I didn't really know yet... except from the updates).

Of course, the real highlight of the reunion was just being with family. Really, there's nothing in the world as great as being with people who you love and who love you too. We are so blessed to have such wonderful supporting family on both sides.