Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hello blog, remember me?

So, I have been slacking on the blog.  This is unfortunate not only because it gives all you far away people an update on our lives, but it also a good reference for what we have been up to as of late.  So, here are some brief updates of our lives for the month of February!

Since the Robinsons made their big move, that meant we made our big move upstairs!  We found some great renters for our basement as well.  And since we moved upstairs, that meant for the first year in nearly 5 years of marriage, we are living in an apartment with more than one room!  Penny graduated from a hallway to a bedroom, which meant we finally had room for a bed!  We found our exact bed we wanted in the as-is section of IKEA for an awesome price, and set it right up.

Pen was more than ready for this bed. The transition was seamless, and she has never gotten out of bed without getting permission first.  Although, recently we have been begging her to get out of bed by herself in the morning, rather than crying for us to come get her.  She just still doesn't understand she can just get out.
I'm so glad we got the twin rather than toddler.  We can so easily snuggle with her in bed, and she can grow into it.

It has been really fun to design and style her room too, although we still have a long way to go. Penny's favorite feature of her room is her lamp, which she turns on first thing in the morning when she wakes up.  We also hung up the mirror seen below.  Turns out it was giving her nightmares for some reason, so we took that right down for now.

Our third room has become something I have always dreamed of, my very own office!!  It is so wonderful to finally have a place to spread out and get my work done, with out the ever present temptation of the bed calling out to me.
We decided that the pink walls in the master bedroom weren't exactly our style, and thought a little paint was in order.  With the blessing from our landlord, we picked out a nice warm gray and got right to work.

Here's the before:
Add a little primer, a vast improvement already:
And just like that, the room is transformed!
Of course, because we were painting our bedroom, that meant the living room became our temporary bedroom.  It was nice having a couch bed, but it is also nice to have a bed room.

We invited the missionaries over for dinner, which I made borscht for.  I was particularly nervous this time around, because one of the Sisters was actually from Jeff's mission in Krasnoyarsk!  I had to made this soup legit enough for an authentic Russian!  Apparently it passed the test, not just with Sister Lavrentyeva, but all the missionaries!

Another fun thing about living upstairs is that we are finally able to host properly!  Ryan and Gaylynn were our very first visitors, coming from down Boston. I'm so glad we were able to see them a few times while they were living out on the East coast.  It was so great to have cousins to play with as well, with the adjustment of saying goodbye to some so recently. 

Penny and Jonah slept quite well in the same room.  Impressive sleepover skills, kids!
 First on the agenda, as always, was the Dutch Country Market.  We went ahead and bought an entire dozen of doughnuts, as well as everything else delicious there.

 Cookies and creeeeaaaaaam!
 This one was chocolate peanut butter.

 Vast cheese selection and samples.
 Precious gummy coke bottles.
 The ice cream is a must!
 There was lots of cousin love going on.
 And cousin bath time.
 And cousin jump on Jeff time.

 We took a quick trip to the Arboretum.  It was a bit chilly, but still a great place for the kids to run around.

Jeff's mum had sent along a Valentine's day package for all of us, which included a large bag of cookies, frosting, sprinkles and decorations and a few other prizes as well.

Cookie decorating is not my forte.  This is what I ended up with.
 Gaylynn's artistic talents reach beyond a canvas and paintbrush.
 These were hers!  Very impressive.
We also visited the Nation Portrait Gallery, which was a little tricky with our stroller situation, but it was worth it because we saw some pretty awesome artwork (in fact, I brought Jeff back there shortly after to show him).  We also went to the American History Museum, which a lot of was under construction still.  We were so exhausted by this point, we finally headed home.  I was very happy that Ryan and Gaylynn were able to take their kids to the Museum of Natural History the next day, because that is a fun one for kids.  I hope they got everything out of DC they were hoping to!!  It is a lot to do in just a few short days.

 On Valentine's Day, my friend Hilary invited us over to go decorate these lovely gingerbread houses.  It was very fun to experiment with her vast set of piping and decorating tools.  And Penny was a good helper on where to put what.
 Jeff also surprised me with a lovely bouquet of flowers.
 And this very clever and thoughtful card :)
 He made delicious coconut chicken curry over coconut rice.
 And I appropriately made this graphic design surprise for my very own Chef Jeff.  It now hangs in our kitchen.

Without Emily around to think of fun things to do, Pen and I have been having to get creative with filling our days with fun things to do.

Mondays are generally library and 50% off thrift store day, with maybe an Aldi run if we are bored.

I teach art lessons to some cute kids in our ward every Tuesday while Penny plays with their little sister, then we head over to Ikea for some free lunch and play time in the Smaland.  We go there so often the entire daycare staff knows Penny personally.  I have started forming friendships with them as well!  Maybe we got to Ikea too much...  They just have such great deals in the As-Is section!

The rest of the week we try to make it downtown at least once for lunch or to meet Jeff after work for some fun on the mall.  We also hit up Target, the Amish market, parks, friends' houses, and other places fairly regularly.  Most recently Penny and I enjoyed a little mother-daughter lunch date to Macaroni Grill.  It was surprisingly really fun with just the two of us, and Penny is always so well behaved when we go out.

But a lot of the times we end up sitting and home and finding something to do.  Here we are painting with watercolors.

Pen loves playing with my make up too.  When I am getting ready, I will sometimes let her have a go to see what she comes up with.
Unfortunately it ended up looking like bruises.  But still a good try!  I tell her she is so pretty already, and mommy only uses it sometimes for fun, so she doesn't need makeup for a loooooooong time.

I had a big accomplishment recently.  Jeff wore me down and convinced me to cut his hair.  I have never done this before, and the single attempt I made over 4 years ago did not go down well.  But haircuts over here are pricey and far away, so I thought what's the worst that could happen?
Amazingly it turned out ok!  There are a few things I would have done differently, but it wasn't bad for my first scissors cut!  Jeff has so much hair, and it is so thick, I think we need to invest in some heavy-duty scissors.
But alas, even before I cut his hair, Jeff had been planning to do this...

Whaaaa?!  Jeff nearly shaved off all of his hair!  This is the shortest it has ever been in his adult life.  It was so weird.  He shaved it the night before we watched the episode of Walking Dead where Shane shaves off his hair, and then all I could think about was Jeff running around shooting out zombie brains.  What an interesting association.

Well, this has been a massive post.  I will close with some pictures I took for Pen's 3rd birthday.  I was borrowing a nice lens from a friend, and it was fun to experiment around with it.  Plus, Penny always makes a wonderful subject for my pictures.

I love the little belt :)

Just like Jeff, Pen's hair is long and thick.  I just don't have the heart to cut it.  It is nearly down to her behind already!  Our daily struggle is washing it in the bathtub because it takes a good 5 minutes just to get it all wet.  It is all worth it though, because then her head is a blank canvas for all the adorable hairstyles she so generously lets me try out.

Honestly, her hair mostly ends up like this everyday...

Still cute!

That is February! Hopefully March is soon to follow.