Sunday, June 27, 2010


Yes, I am officially 30.   I told Brenden all I wanted for my birthday was a cake made out of chocolate cake doughnuts and sushi.  I was not disappointed.  I didn't make Brenden assemble the doughnuts into a cake although he did offer.

It was a pretty low-key birthday.  We opened presents and then took Emmie to her gymnastics class.  She is the next Nadia Comaneci as you can tell by the pictures below. 

I also packed and packed but decided not to take a picture of this part of my birthday.  One it isn't very interesting and two, I don't want you all to see my messy apartment.  

My mom was sweet enough to arrange 30 phone calls for my birthday.  I talked to pretty much everyone I love and care about.  Thank you all for your phone calls and birthday wishes.  

Brenden and I got to go out for sushi later that night.  It was super good and I ate way too much.  I really enjoy restaurants that make their servers wear traditional costumes.  It really made me feel like I was in Japan... just kidding.

So, just because I am 30, feel free to tell me that I still look at least 27. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Things I have taken for granted

As most of you know, we are moving in a couple of weeks.  We have lived in our current apartment for 6 years!  We have loved this apartment but we have lived without a few things which I shall never again take for granted.  

1.   I am very excited not to have to share with my questionable neighbors. 

2. We have had stinky garbage for too long.  

3.  Not having to scrape my car before work in sub-zero temperatures.

4.  Not having to live under the "heel walkers".

What could you not live without?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

To our dads... We love you!  Thank you for everything you do and for always letting us know that we are your favorite. 

To Brenden... Emmie loves you!  You are a pretty awesome dad, especially with only 2 years of practice. 

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Swimming and Soda

As I have posted before, Emmie had her very first swimming lessons.  She learned important skills like blowing bubbles in the water, kicking, big arms, and pouring water over her head.  She didn't quite pass this class but her teachers did say that she was the most improved.  When you scream bloody murder the first day, you can only improve, right?

There were a few nights where we had to go to practice.  Brenden being the fish that he is jumped at the chance to swim. 

This is where Emmie spent most of her swimming lesson... on the steps.  

Emmie jumping into the pool.

It has been SOOO hot and humid this week.  Here are a few pics from the splash park across from our house.

We went to Rocket Fizz last night.  They have great soda and candy.  


Emmie is addicted to candy or "tandy" as she calls it.  She chose to have salt water taffy and a sucker.  The sucker went on every surface, including the dirt and rocks.  She put the sucker in her mouth before we could stop her and this is what we pulled out. 

She's a monster.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

B-day, day 3

We had some cake and ice cream tonight for Emmie (Julianne and friends did . . . Brenden had church meetings).  She didn't eat any of the cake, but blew out the candles like a pro.  

Julianne's zoo-themed animal cookie coated cake.

Emmie, post candle-blow. 

Something tells me its all happening at the zoo . . .

To celebrate Emmie's b-day we went up to the Omaha Zoo.  For those who haven't caught our previous posts about the Omaha Zoo, it is amazing - definitely the best zoo either of us has been to.  This is Emmie's 2nd trip, but she was only 6 weeks old for the first one.  She LOVES animals, loves monkeys and loves going to the Lincoln Children's Zoo, so it was no surprise that she went nuts over all the animals.  Our friends Brad and Emily came with and it was great fun.  Here are some pictures:

Monkeys are Emmie's favorite

She freaked out when the Gorillas came and pounded on the glass.  I thought it was awesome.

The zoo has a new Madagascar section with this enclosed walkway where a bunch of Lemurs are just running around your feet.  It was SO cool.

This is Emmie's reaction, trying to get away from a lemur walking at our feet.  Not a fan.

A rare smile from the usually busy and blurry Emmie.

Oohs and Aahs at the fishies in the underwater tunnel.

There was a column tank full of fish swimming in a circle, and Emmie and Mya just ran circles around it.  Here is when we told Emmie to give the fishies a kiss.  If there is a fish hell, this has got to be it.  Swimming around in a circle all day.  I can hear their fishy cries, "What is going on!  No matter how much I swim, I feel like I don't get anywhere!"

We thought Emmie would love these tamarinds since they have the same hair color.  She does love monkeys, but not up close.  Brenden on the other hand . . . tried to coax them onto his head.

Evidence of a good day - zonked out in her car seat with Bunny.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Emilia Mae!

Happy 2nd birthday Emmie! We set up all her presents on the table last night and they were waiting for her when she got up this morning. She came around the corner and her eyes got real big and she said, "Ohhhh! What is that?"

Thanks for the gifts everyone! She LOVED every single one of them. Videos will be sent to you soon.

Happy Anniversary

Oh how we've aged or should I say become more wise! Happy anniversary Brenden. Since we have been married for 6 years now I have come up with 6 reasons why I am glad I married you. (In no particular importance)

1. You are a super genius.
2. You always squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom and never get mad at me when I continually squeeze from the top.
3. You don't judge me when I finish off an entire Chipotle burrito.
4. You are always willing to get out of bed once you've tucked yourself in and get me some chapstick.
5. You change people's lives with your chocolate chip cookies.
6. Everyday you find a way to make me happy.

For those of you who didn't know us 6 years ago, we looked like this.

And then we looked like this.

And are currently this.

Happy Anniversary Brenden! *Loves*

Thursday, June 10, 2010


It is officially summer. Finally! Emmie and I have worn our swimming suits every day this week. There is something comforting about smelling like chlorine. If you don't smell then its not summer.

Emmie's good friend Mya invited her over to play in her new pool. This pool was pretty amazing. Way better than the plastic round pool I had when I was a kid. This one even had a slide! Of course when I said, "girls, look over here so I can take a picture" Mya looked and Emmie just ignored me.

I think in Brenden's previous life he was a fish. The kid just can't stay out of the water. I debated whether to put a more embarrassing picture of him diving but I opted for this one since I am such a good wife. Nice form B.

Emmie started swimming lessons this week. The first day didn't go so well. Lets just say there was a lot of screaming and the teacher even told us we could leave early if we wanted. Brenden and I put her suit on later that night and made her try it again. From then on she has been great.

Check out her kicks!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My life via the New Yorker

A good friend of ours here in the University Ward, Xin, subscribes to the New Yorker and gave me a framed copy of the cover illustration from last month.  We laughed, hard!  Thank Xin, you're awesome!

At least we haven't moved back in with our parents . . . yet . . .  ;)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Memories from 6 years in Family Housing

Warning:  Long post, lots of words, no pictures.  Hopefully, worth the read.

When we moved to Lincoln in 2004, we didn't have time to come and check out apartments, so we signed up for a month-to-month lease in the UNL family housing.  We expected it would be crummy and thought we would only stay for a few months while we figured out Lincoln and found a better place.  6 years later, we are still here.  It turned out that the apartment was really nice, WACKY cheap and super close to campus.  So, in all honesty, it has been great.

However, we have had some "interesting" experiences here with neighbors and the surrounding neighborhood.  In no particular order, here's our top 10 memories:

  1. For about 6 months, our upstairs neighbors' answering machine would run out of tape (who uses a tape answer machine?!?!) and then the phone would stay on line making that horrible beeping noise for HOURS.  I even went up there once to explain, and we couldn't break through the language barrier.
  2. Once while sitting over at Mike and Jamie's next door, the patio window was shot out in a DRIVE BY!!!  Granted, it was only with a b.b. gun.  Good times.
  3. When people go to Husker football games, lots of them park in our neighborhood and walk through out parking lot on the way to the stadium and back.  Evening games are troublesome because fans have all day to get wasted drunk.  The morning after one game we came out to find that some drunk idiot had literally bashed an enormous 2 ft. dent in the side of our car.  Seriously.  I don't know if he punched, kicked, body-checked or fell into it - but we we had to get the entire door replaced.  Goooooo Big Red!
  4. Just the other day (and a couple times since) we have spotted a (homeless?) man on the street and in our parking lot dressed in  robes, with a weird hat and a sorcerers staff conjuring up spells that he shoots at passing cars and dancing in the middle of the street.  Shaman?  Rafiki?  We're not sure.
  5. We have a lot of foreign neighbors.  For a while, one apartment whose windows faced the parking lot was always drying weird stuff out in the sun.  We're talking stuff from dead chickens to trays of nuts and beans.  Tasty.
  6. One day I was up on campus and Julianne called me all excited about some lady being arrested right outside our window on the street.  Her car was parked in the center turn lane and the police ended up chasing her as she tried to climb under the cop car.  In the end, they tazed her.  I tried really hard to get Julianne to turn on the COPS theme song, open the windows and blare.  Bad Boys, Bad boys . . .
  7. Just last night while we were reading, Julianne said, "BRENDEN!  Come over here!  Can you smell this?!  The AC smells like beef curry!"  Now, understand - Julianne normally has a horrible sense of smell.  Coupled with her occasional hypochondria, I generally ignore these delusional outbursts.  While pregnant though, her smell is quite good.  So, I went over to the bed and sure enough - the AC smelled like beef curry.
  8. Up until recently, we NEVER heard the neighbors to our sides.  Then, last fall around 10:00 PM one night, we heard a weird noise.  We couldn't figure out what it was or where it was coming from.  Then, I put my ear to the wall and realized that our neighbors were practicing barbershop with their friends.  To make it worse, they also practiced piccolo and trumpet on occasion.  
  9. The Flood.  Read more here.
  10. Last, but not least (this might actually be the best one) . . . For about 2 full years a usually inebriated Hispanic gentleman would call our house phone asking for someone named Trecia.  Seriously.  TWO YEARS!  He was always really drunk.  We even had a friend of ours who speaks Spanish talk to him when he called during a party we were having.  By the end, I think he knew he had the wrong number and was just messing with us.  We ended up calling the police when he made some violent threats.  They said they couldn't do anything about it, so we had to change our phone number.  I feel bad for whoever got our old number reassigned.  Classic.