Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Kelly!

Today my youngest sister turns 14. Wow! We miss you Kelly and we're looking forward to seeing you in a couple weeks!She's the one in the middle, isn't she gorgeous? (Of course Lauren and Carly are also gorgeous)
Yesterday on Tom's day off we went to Yogurtland for the first (and definitely not the last) time. Have you guys been there? It was amazing. You get a cup and fill it with frozen yogurt and then put on your own toppings and you pay buy the ounce. I got a huge cup of ice cream full of cookie dough and M&Ms and Oreos and Strawberries and it was like $3. Yummy. Harper thought so too.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

13 Months

Harper is 13 months old now and all of a sudden she seems so grown up. Her hair no longer sticks straight up (well, most of the time) and she seems to understand a lot of what we say.
  • Harper now crawls at turbo speed and loves to be chased. If I say, "I'm going to get you," she quickly starts crawling away until she's laughing so hard she just waits for me to pick her up.
  • The eating situation is getting a little better. Harper will now eat black beans, corn, and all kinds of crackers (though she still eats mostly baby food) and we are down to nursing just twice a day. Yes!
  • Harper loves bubbles.
  • Harper talks a lot. Very loud. Especially in public. But other than Dada, Mama, uh oh, and doggie, most of what she says is nonsense (to us at least).
  • She loves buttons. We have had to cover up the power button on our TV because Harper was constantly turning it on and off. She knows that something fishy is going on and frequently tries to press the paper covering the button.
  • She likes to be the one to turn the light off when we leave the room.
  • She still loves the swings and gets very excited when we approach the playground. This is her face when she realized we were headed toward the swings earlier today:
  • Harper loves other kids. We babysat a little girl this week that is about Harper's age and when she first got to our apartment, Harper kept bringing her lots of different toys and showing her how they worked. It was cute.
  • She now has 3 teeth that have broken through (2 on bottom, 1 on top) and another on the way.
We love our sweet little girl and are loving being able to see more of her personality as she gets older. We are also excited that her eczema and cradle cap are finally getting a little better and that she hasn't had a UTI since January. Yay!

San Francisco Part 2

On our second day in San Francisco we were able to get together with my mom and stepdad. We ate a gigantic, delicious breakfast and then spent some time on the Wharf:
And then headed over to Ghirardelli Square. Yum.

And then someone decided (Ok, maybe it was me) that we should walk up this huge hill to Lombard Street and then head over to Union Square.
After several breaks and about three hours of walking up and down hills, we somehow ended up back at my parents' hotel (this was not planned) and by the time we got to Union Square it was time to walk back to the Wharf to go to dinner and pick up our car. It was great to just be able to talk to my Mom and Eric and Harper enjoyed being carried around by everyone.
We ended the day with a delicious seafood dinner. It was great to see my Mom and Eric and I'm looking forward to seeing them when I head to Utah in a few weeks. Thanks for letting us hang out with you all day!

The next day we headed back and stopped in Bakersfield again so that Tom and his dad could go see Star Trek. We have been enjoying the blackberries that we picked from Tom's mother's garden since we got back.

Monday, May 18, 2009

San Francisco Trip Day 1

We decided to take a little trip up to San Francisco to celebrate Tom's graduation. We actually went last week and every night since we got back Tom has asked me why I haven't made a post about the trip, so I guess I should finally make one. We were a little worried about traveling with Harper, but she loves to go places and do new things so she turned out to be a lot of fun to travel with.

We took our time driving up and stopped in Bakersfield to visit with Tom's parents and taking lots of breaks so Harper wouldn't go crazy in the car.

On our first day in San Francisco we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge . . .. . . to see the coastal redwoods at Muir Woods.Here are Tom and Harper looking up at the trees:
They were pretty amazing. The not-so-amazing part of the experience was driving up and down winding roads to get there. But we made it. We then went to Golden Gate park. There are lots of fun things to do there (museums, gardens, and an aquarium), but Harper was so excited to see all of the ducks and turtles that we just ended up walking around the lake and playing on the swings.Mostly we just enjoyed spending some time together. Harper really seemed to like staying up late and going swimming at our hotel.

She must be really tired . . .

Harper is not a big fan of naps and usually wakes up after about 90 minutes. After she had been asleep for 2 hours today, I decided I should probably check on her. This is what I found . . .

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I had planned to make this great post about what a fantastic mother and mother-in-law I have, but I am tired and I don't even know where to begin to describe how wonderful they are. Instead, click here to see my sister's post that she made about my mom (she did a fantastic job) and enjoy this poem by Billy Collins. It is one of my favorites and I was glad that Tom's cousin emailed it out this morning. If you would rather watch the amazing Billy Collins read it himself, click here.

The Lanyard - Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


Yesterday Tom graduated from law school. Three years ago, graduation felt like a million years away. But three years went so fast I can hardly believe it.
The ceremony was . . . kind of strange. The first two speakers kind of rambled on about some random things and everyone kept talking about the economy and how the law field has changed in the last three years. But then the Professor of the Year (Professor Stark, one of Tom's favorite professors) spoke and that was great. I snuck up to the front to get some photos of Tom getting hooded and walking across the stage, but I was still pretty far away so these aren't that great.
Here are some of us during the ceremony. We sat in the back in the shade which was nice because it was HOT yesterday. Poor Tom in his hot, black robe . . .Here are some post-graduation pictures.This is most of the graduates from our ward. Sadly, I took 4 pictures and this was the best one.And here is a before and after. The first picture was taken May 1, 2006, when we visited UCLA for the first time and the second picture was taken after graduation.We are so proud of Tom and all of his hard work and are very excited that he is going to be working at Irell in the fall. We were really happy that his parents were able to join us for the day and we really appreciate all of the love and support that everyone has given us during law school. It doesn't quite seem real, especially since he starts Barbri in a week and several of his friends are going to be in his class.

Congratulations Tom!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

oh boy

So crazy things are going on right now. First of all, I'm done with law school. Weird. Our graduation ceremony is on Friday where I'll be wearing a very heavy robe on what looks like its going to be a fairly hot day.
Second, Harper is really at a fun age. Her personality is really blossoming and we see her change every day. She totally knows how to crawl like a normal baby and uses her mobility to get into anything and everything. No matter how hard we try, Harper finds something to pick up that ends with Erica or me saying, "Harper, put that down!" She has taken an extreme fascination with buttons as of late and she goes out of her way to find them all in order to press each one of them. Our entertainment center is a gold mine. She leans get up on her knees and just goes to town. We now get to deal with Wii being turned on and off, the TV turned on and off, and our DVR's pause, rewind, and fast forward buttons getting pressed (why would you put those buttons on the cable box itelf?) This is not a mashing of fist to device. She gets her little pointer finger out and very deliberately presses the buttons one at a time. She can even hold the tv remote and press the buttons that I tell her to. I showed her how to pause and play the tv and she had a lot of fun pressing those two buttons over and over. If you saw how small those buttons are on our remote you would be impressed. I can barely remember which ones to press.

Harper is also expressing her preference for things more and more. Yesterday I carried her the couple of blocks or so to the swing sets in our complex and I found myself thinking about how I favor my left hip while I carried her. This is kind of odd since I'm right handed. I switched her to my right side since my left arm was getting tired and about 3 seconds later she repositioned herself back to my left side. I switched her back and about 3 seconds later she pulled herself back to my left side again. Not upset, just determined. Apparently she favors the left as well.

Speaking of swings. Harper LOVES the swings. It's one of those toddler ones that looks like a bucket and comes up to her armpits. Erica has been taking her out there a lot during the day while I'm at school and I've started taking her out there as well now that I've got more free time during the day. Harper absolutely loves the swinging and there is no end to how much swinging action she wants. Seriously, no end. No matter how long you swing her, when you go to pull her out, she gets upset. She just sits in the swing and watches the people that come and go past the swing set. Eventually, when I'm getting dizzy just watching her swing, I pull her out. She calms down fairly quickly as we walk away but I wonder how long she would go if she had her way. We'll never know.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Law School Exams

I am studying for my last law school final right now, Federal Income Tax. This is one of those classes I was told to take by a friend who said the class was good but the exam was hard. The professor teaching the class is professor of the year this year. So I would say the class was pretty good. I spoke to someone else who took this class last semester about how hard the final really was. His description of the final went something like the photo below. Sadly, this describes more than one of the classes I have had in law school.