Thursday, January 31, 2013


We just returned from a nice vacation visiting my side of the family.  We first went to Ohio and spent a long weekend at Dad and Mary Ellen's.  Daniel got to come home for a bit, and the Josh/Amy crew also joined us.  We don't have many chances to all be together, so it was really nice.  We marked the occasion by going out to have a family portrait made.  We also celebrated late Christmas and a birthday, enjoyed family play time together, were treated to scrumptious meals, and enjoyed a nightly fix of the best ice cream ever.  Oh, and Matt and I scored the newly remodeled, primo master suite.  Life was pretty good in Ohio. :)

Then it was on to Tennessee to stay with Mom and Rudy.  The visit there included lots of mom's good cooking as well as quality family time, basketball spectating, abundant outside play, intense corn hole matches, catching up with an old friend, and free teeth cleanings courtesy of our very own, highly professional periodontist (can't beat that!).   Of course, much of the fun involved the Hethcoxes--we enjoyed even more time with them on this leg of the trip.  I love going home to my mom's.  Somehow, there's just nothing else that's quite the same as living in mom's care.  It's kind of nice to be the kid at home instead of the mom in charge.  I also love being in East TN.  That place will always be so special to me.  It wraps me in a sense of belonging every time I'm there.  Sadly, we didn't make it to the mountains this trip, but I enjoyed the views and feeling of having them nearby.

It's sweet to be with family and sad to be apart.  We miss all of you and love you dearly.  Thanks for a wonderful visit.

A few highlights from the trip with an album of snapshots at the end:

masterminds at work
cousin love
work to do
showing off  (look at that sunset!)
my sweet mom
happy hanging with Gran
Picasa album (even more snapshots):

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Say, "Skiiiiiiiiiiii!"

We finally made it out for our first Pinedale family ski. It was a balmy 15 degrees.  We thought we better get out and enjoy the warm weather while it lasted!

All ready to go!  Isaac was stoked to break out the snow boots from Nana and Grandpa.  He's been reluctant to wear them but did great with them today.  This is a good thing in Pinedale.

We declared today a no-housework-day and played instead.  It was great!  Of course, now we're home, and Isaac is sleeping--perfect opportunity to get some work done.  I have to make this quick!

 We have a ton of awesome groomed trails right out town's backdoor.

Enjoyed a little wildlife--hairy woodpecker.

Wyoming Range mountains in the distance.

Yay for winter fun!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Home for Christmas

This Christmas was one to remember.  It was our first Christmas in Pinedale, AND we spent it in our new (to us) house!  We moved  in on December 22nd.  Despite living among boxes galore, an unfinished floor, and a half-lit, undecorated tree, we had a very cozy holiday and loved every minute of it.  It's good to be home. :)

Ready to open gifts, Christmas morning
As you can see, we did have a tree this year.  We have Andrea to thank for that. We probably wouldn't have taken the time to get one during the move--as it was, we never actually got around to decorating this one--but we were glad to accept a hand-me-down. :)  Andrea cut this great tree from our local national forest and had it in her home for about a week before leaving to travel.  She offered it to us when she left. Since she lives only a couple of blocks away, it was an easy transfer.  In the end, I'm really glad we had a tree, even if it didn't reach its full potential.

 Christmas was also memorable this year because it was so much more fun to share with Isaac than last year.  For one thing, although he doesn't understand the concept of gifts, he was way better at opening them.  Last year, he still thought you're supposed to eat them.

last year
 Also, the extent of Isaac's interactions with gifts last year was this:

Christmas Play 2011 from Julie Anderson on Vimeo.

It's hard to believe how much he can change in a year.  This year, it was full on play.  The basketball goal from Uncle Josh, Aunt Amy, and cousins is a huge hit! 

Anxiously awaiting completed assembly
Slam dunk!

A lot of personality shines through this year also.

We actually had several rounds of gift opening to spread out the excitement.  Here we go again!

The Uncles are looking out for Isaac's athletic abilities.  Uncle MIke and Aunt Emily gave him a tee ball set.

Ready for our Christmas day outing
On Christmas day, we drove out to Eric and Juli's place.  They live 45 minutes from town on the edge of the Wyoming Range and the Bridger-Teton Forest.  Their place is beautiful!! There was about 3 feet of snow and gorgeous 360 mountain views.  Matt and Eric got in a good ski, while the ladies and Isaac stayed warm inside by the fire.  Then we had a lovely dinner together.

Unfortunately, while there, Isaac had a HUGE blowout, as in the worst he's ever had.  I guess I've been fortunate as a mom because up to this point, I had never seen anything like it.  In fact, I was sort of in shock trying to figure out how to deal with it while Juli sprung into action getting wash cloths, towels, and filling the kitchen sink for a warm baby bath.  Maybe her mother instincts are a little more honed than mine. :)  I did not have a change of clothes for Isaac (guess I'm not winning any mom-of-the-year awards just yet), so for the rest of the evening, he donned a lovely Christmas dress.

Monkeys of the same tail?
Lovin' life

We hope all of our family and friends had a merry Christmas also and wish everyone a happy and healthy start to the new year!