31 December 2007

Happy New Year!

Hope you enjoy your celebration! Have a great '08!

30 December 2007

2007 in Review

Happy New Year everybody! I can't believe this year is coming to a close, and I haven't even had time to tell you about Christmas! I guess we'll have to wait until Jan. So I thought I'd close out this year with a review on our busy, busy year!

1. Sariah was born late 2006 & we spent all of 2007 watching our beautiful baby turn in to a fun, active, bright, personable toddler. She's such a good learner! She loves to run around, read books, ask "What's that?", meet new people, say "Hi!". Its such a change from baby, and its been so much fun all year round! Our lives have been blessed since she's around!

2. We've had lots of fun visits! My friend Jess visited us in Jan., my friend, Richard, came in May, Doug's sister & family (or as I like to call them, Jenny & the boys) visited us in June, and Doug's parents came to visit at the end of July! Each trip had its memorable moments and we enjoyed having everyone. We hope they come again!

There were also lots of fun trips. Sariah is quite the traveler! She and I took 3 trips together. Once to Austin in March, to Cleveland in June for Richard & Chrissie's wedding, and then to Utah to visit my Oma and see my nephew's blessing in October. Finally, all three of us went back to Utah for Christmas, where we got to see family, including Doug's Grandparents, his Aunt & Cousins & his Sister, Susan & Chris. Each trip was really great. I miss seeing everyone often! Sariah's really good on a plane, too. Sariah is still free to fly until age 2, so I'm hoping we'll be able to travel again next year, but we'll have to see how money is!

3. Church has been really great. Our ward is full of young families with small kids. Our 3 nurseries are proof of that! Its grown in numbers since we moved to Madison, with new people almost every week (or so it seems!) For example: we just had 2 families move in yesterday!

I am still called as a ward missionary. In August Doug was released from being a ward missionary and called to be the Ward Mission Leader. About that same time our Elders were transferred out and replaced with Sisters. We've enjoyed having the sisters around and being involved in their work. About a month ago, a new family, the Brandon's, were also called as ward missionaries. They've brought a new, revitalizing spirit to our meetings, which is great!

We've tried several new things with missionary work this year. The Missionary kits, the mini-Firesides in peoples homes. We hope next year to continue bringing the spirit of missionary work into our ward. Best of all, there's a Baptism today, which we're looking forward too.

4. Doug's job is continuing to be awesome. Its busy, sometimes stressful, but Doug enjoys it & his co-workers. The perks aren't bad either. The first year and a half has flown by! Doug has had lots of deadlines come and go, and he's doing really well. In July (or Aug,. I can't remember) his whole team had a celebration and all went to see The Simpson Movie, which Doug really enjoyed. We also enjoyed the Anniversary Dinner in April and it was the first big date we had since Sariah was born. I enjoyed getting all pretty and having some time with Doug. The food was really good, too!

5. I've had an up and down year. Early in January and I had some really bad chest pain and we called 911 and went to the emergency room. Turns out I had gallstones and my gallbladder had to be removed. Six weeks later on Feb.19 (after some doctor mix ups and stuff) it was finally removed. By then I had lost 10 lbs. and was really sick of the no fat diet. It was nice to eat real food again! (Which I did too much of, probably.) In June I was having some real weird cramping pain, so I went back to the doctor and had an ultrasound, and to make a long story short, the dr. said it was time I lost some weight, plus my cholesterol was really high (and other stuff that was causing the cramping pain.) So in Oct. I started eating better and exercising, and I had lost 25 lbs. (until I went to Utah and partied too much!)

I've also enjoyed being crafty this year, learning to sew, crocheting an afghan, recently I've been painting things. All things I'm hoping to carry on into the next year!

6. A big one! The Friday before my surgery in Feb. we put an offer on a house and it was accepted! We closed on our first home at the end of March. We love owning our own home. Its been such a blessing to us. Sure, I haven't been really fond of all the snow shoveling (and there's been TONS of it this winter!), but its wonderful to have a place for us. We're really enjoying making improvements. I've even enjoyed planting flower bulbs, which was a suprise to me! A big thanks to everyone who's been so kind in helping us create our new home! I still have tons of new projects to work on next year, but isn't that the fun of owning your own home?

We've been really blessed this year. Next year should be even better. We're looking forward to sharing it with you! We love you all! Happy New Year!!

26 December 2007

Merry Christmas!

Love, Marin, Doug & Sariah

15 December 2007

Our Visit with Santa

Our Credit Union here has an annual Saturday morning with Santa (and the Dance Co. Credit Union Great Dane.) Its free, so I'm all about that, you can bring your own camera, plus they take some pretty nice digital photos for you to keep. There were Christmas cookies and all the kids got a free stuffed toy.

Sariah wasn't really sure about Santa. Another neat thing was, it wasn't very crowded so we could stand there for awhile and try to get her to warm up to him (it didn't work.) Here are some of the pictures I took with our camera. I like the ones that they took better, but our scanner isnt' working. We also took some cute video of her first meeting with Santa; I wish I could figure out how to get it off my camera... :( Here you can see she wasn't very excited to be near Santa...
She really liked the snowman she got though...

It was a fun experience, hopefully she'll be less scared about it next year!

12 December 2007

Christmas Favorites

A tag by Susan:

Favorite Christmas song:Do I have to pick one? Angels we Have Heard on High, Stille Nacht, O du Froehliche, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Carol of the Bells, The Chimpmunk Song...

Favorite Christmas treat: Egg Nog, definately... but I also love Christmas Cookies, esp. the bump on a log cookies my mom use to make & butterplaetchen

What does your Christmas tree look like: like this: (I'm too lazy to describe...)

When do you start shopping for presents, on black Friday or the day before Christmas? Actually... I start thinking about it in October, right after my birthday, but now with Sariah's birthday, I guess I do some shopping together with her b-day presents in Oct/Nov. and the rest after Thanksgiving (but not black Friday, I'm not crazy!)

Favorite Christmas tradition: Decorating the tree the Friday after Thanksgiving. I love pulling all that stuff out and listening to Christmas music for the first time that year.

Best holiday memory: I'm sure there are some from my childhood, but my favorite was the first Christmas Eve Doug and I spent together as a married couple. My family had already gone to Utah for Christmas and we had her house to ourselves. We had tons (I'm talking TONS) of cheese left over from our wedding reception (some of you know what I'm talking about) so I made cheesy hashbrowns and Doug made his Doug Scrambled eggs for dinner and we enjoyed our first Christmas together.

Fake or real tree: Fake, definately! I thought I always wanted a real one, and then the year after I came home from my mission, I had a real one in my apartment and I hated the stupid thing. It was a pain to get up, and I was still finding pine needles a year later!

Favorite Christmas movie: White Christmas (I love me some Danny Kaye) & Elf

What do you want for Christmas this year? This is always a hard one. The non-materialistic side of me just wants a really nice vacation with family. The materialistic side of me hopes that Doug gets the hint that I'd like some opal jewlery.

Favorite Christmas story: I'll agree w/ Susan, Luke 2

People you want to tag: Lisa & Mary... :)

10 December 2007

Car Seat Time!

Sariah has spent the first year of her life in her little infant carrier seat, and actually has fit just fine. She's probably still fit just fine for another couple of months, but its starting to hurt my back, so we decided its time to get her a new seat.
Its a wide crazy world out there when you're looking at convertable car seats. Of course, I wanted something that would be really safe, but also easy to use. It would also be great if she could use it for a long time. So I started researching. Initially I thought I might go with a certain evanflo, but changed my mind after checking out some other reviews. During this time I learned about Extended Rear Facing. I know the law says that you can turn your child around at one year and 20 lbs., but you don't HAVE to do that. In fact its safer if you keep them rear facing as long as possible. (You can find more info about that HERE.) So, of course, I wanted something that would keep Sariah rear facing for as long as possible.
Most of you may know about the Britax brand. They're a highly rated brand of car seat, but when Sariah test tried sitting in one at Target, she hated it. Then I came across the RECARO brand. They are pretty new at childern car seats, but they've been making seats for NASCAR drivers forever. So I started looking into them. This particular seat, the COMO will go rear facing to 35lbs. and forward facing till 70lbs. After doing some research on them, I found that one of the biggest complaints is that they are kind of narrow and don't fit kids with broad shoulders, but Sariah doesn't have that problem. The more I learned about them, the more I liked this seat. So we went over to USABaby to test try. Sariah really liked sitting in it! So I knew this was the seat for us!
I was finally ordered the seat online on Thursday and it arrived Saturday. It was pretty easy to install in the car. My biggest problem wasn't the seat, it was the car and the really low roof (what I wouldn't give for a bigger car.) Even though, it fit great in the middle seat and I didn't have to move the driver or passenger seat. I do have to do some inventive manuvering to get Sariah in it, but once again, that's my two door car and not the seat. I'm very pleased with the seat so far, and Sariah seems really comfy. Here she is in the seat today. I took this picture and then realized the chest clip is too high, so ignore that in the pic. We went with the pink and grey since it'll be her seat for a long, long time! It was well worth what I paid for it. I'm happy that my baby is safe!


Another tag from Mary:

A- Attached or Single? attached
B- Best Friend? Doug Non-husband best friends: Jess & Lisa
C- Cake or pie? either if I made it
D- Day of Choice? Thursday
E- Essential Item? chocolate!
F- Favorite Color? blue
G- Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms? Gummy Worms (but either if you get them in Germany)
H- Hometown? Austin
I- Favorite Indulgence? dvds and chocolate (or chocolate ice cream...)
J- January or July? January
K- Kids? 1 girl
L- Life isn't complete without? Doug
M- Marriage Date? December 21, 2005
N- Number of Brothers and Sisters? 2 twin brothers
O- Oranges or Apples? Apples
P- Phobias or Fears? claustrophobia, fear of heights, fear of going upside down, fear of going too fast or being out of control
Q- Quote? "If I had a million dollar; I'd buy you a green dress -- but not a real green dress, that's cruel!" If I had a Million Dollars Barenaked Ladies
R- Reason to Smile? Doug & Sariah
S- Season of Choice? Fall
T- Tag three friends- you, the other person, and someone else
U- Unknown Fact About Me? I write (bad) fanfiction
V- Vegetable? peas
W- Worst Habit? I don't know what you're talking about... *wink*
X- X-ray or ultrasound? Ultrasound, I've never had an x-ray but I've had lots of ultrasounds
Y- Your Favorite Food? Wendys or Olive Garden
Z- Zodiac Sign? Libra

Just Two Things

I'm finally getting around to the tags from Mary...

Just Two Things

Two Names You go by: 1. Marin 2. Mommy

You Are Wearing Right Now: 1.Size 18 jeans ;) 2. earrings

Two Things You Would Want (or have) in a relationship: 1. Love 2. Compromise

Two of Your Favorite Things to do: 1. Experience things with Sariah 2.Be Crafty

Two Things You Want Very Badly At The Moment:1. A Date Night 2. Trip to Texas

Two people who will fill this out:1. You? 2. Some else?

Two things you did yesterday:1. Went to church 2. Made a Pie

Two things you have eaten today:1. Rice a Roni w/ Broccoli 2. Eggnog

Two people you talked to last:1. Sariah 2. Miss Tiffany the Librarian

Two Things You're doing tomorrow:1.Laundry (whoopie) 2. Maybe buying Harry Potter 5 and Frasier season 10 on dvd if it isn't snowy and icey

Favorite Holidays:1. Sariah's Birthday 2. My Anniversary

Favorite beverages: 1. Dr. Pepper 2.Apfleschoerle

Person no longer alive who you'd like to talk to:1. Mozart 2. Grampa Rigby, so I can apologize for not introducing him to Doug before he died.

07 December 2007

A "weighty" update...

Ya'll remember about 6 weeks ago when I posted about making a change in my eating and exercising habits? Well here's a little update for you. Okay, I'm bragging, but we'll pretend its an update... :)

So November was a rocky month, I was sick for weeks and didn't work out as regularly as I should have. I made that dress for my anniversary that didn't fit. I was a little down hearted. At one point I almost gave up because I thought it just wasn't worth it. Then I got over myself and realized, yes, yes it was. So I switched it up a little. I'm still on the exercise bike for 30 min. a day, but before I use my Dancing With The Stars Cardio Workout dvd. It was kicking my butt, but I'm getting better at it.
Sunday I got my size 20 jeans all wet and gross by shoveling snow, so on a whim I pulled out my size 18 jeans, and I was suprised when they actually fit! The next day, I tried again and they still fit. On Wed. I put on a different pair of 18 jeans thinking maybe it was a fluke, but those fit too! These are jeans I haven't been able to wear since Jan. 2006 (before I got pregnant!) Its awesome because they were brand new too when I got pregnant.
So needless to say, I was excited. Yesterday I caved in and bought a bathroom scale because I had to know exactly what I weighed, I was thinking maybe I lost 10 lbs. and would be in the 230ies... but no, I got on and suprise! I weight 220! That's 12 lbs. under my prepregnancy weight and what I weighed at my wedding. Sure, my body is different because I've had a baby, but its still really great! 24lbs. is nothing to sneeze at!
So now I'm really encouraged. This eating right/exercise thing works! Who knew?

Random (but Cute!) Pics of Sariah

Look, ma! I can eat like a big girl! (By the way, the plate, fork and frosting can were all Doug's doing...)
Why that's just shocking! Sariah must have an "electric" personality!

04 December 2007

A Christmas FHE

Sometimes I'm really put together, and then we manage to have a decent Family Home Evening. Its still a little hard though, especially lessons, since Sariah has a very short attention span for that kind of thing and anything meaningful to us would go right over her head. Christmas time is a little easier. We sang Christmas songs, read a story (Sariah banged on the piano during it, but thats okay), and we even managed an activity! Its a Gingerbread House from a kit I bought. We had fun, putting it together... here's the finished product!I don't know if you can tell, but I tried to write our last name out in candies on the back of the house...
I love Christmastime! There are so many fun activities to do!

01 December 2007

Texans vs. the Snow: Winter Brawl 2007

Here's Round 1:

I love & hate days like these. Mmmm.. snow softly falling as we cuddle up drinking cocoa & eating pie. Playing in the snow & making snowman.... on the other hand, we're trapped here all weekend (church has been cancelled) with no way out. Actually though the shovelling wasn't so bad, but its still novel right now, I'm sure it'll get old...