Archive | December, 2013

Christmas!!

27 Dec

Merry a couple days after Christmas!

While we were sad not to be spending the greatest day of the year with our family, we were happy to be together here in sunny (?) Switzerland! After passing around a fever/nausea virus that rendered the three of us near death and completely useless (on different days) and then sharing a pretty legit cold, our biggest wish was to be well for Christmas. Monday we were all great! We were fever free and feeling snappy so Phil went to his office for the day and Asher and I went out for some last-minute shopping before meeting up with Phil to see the singing Christmas tree in Zürich. It was the last possible day to do it and we were happy to finally be well enough to all be vertical and go outside to enjoy the Christmassy world around us! The city is so beautiful at Christmas time and the tree was a lot of fun. They had a band playing Christmas songs in both English and German. We got sausages, at roasted chestnuts, sipped gluhwein — it was lovely! Christmas Eve-day was also great! We had a tea party brunch, hung out for a little bit, then headed to some friends’ house for an early dinner before going to a Christmas Eve service at church. It was a great day and we all had a really nice time.

…Then… on the way back home after church, I started feeling really dizzy and sweaty and nauseous. It came on me quickly and I felt AWFUL. Thankfully, I made it through the 15 minute train ride, the 3 minute bus ride up the hill (I really didn’t think I was going to make it on the bus) and 1 minute walk to our door before crawling right into bed. I felt TERRIBLE. Every breath I took, every teeny glimpse of light that assaulted my eyes, and every little noise that pounded my ears made me feel like I was going to lose it. After a while I got up because I didn’t want Phil to spend Christmas Eve alone (he had put Asher to bed). We were a few minutes into watching The Santa Clause when I had to go to the bathroom to throw up everything I had ever eaten. It was the worst! I felt a little better after purging my belly of its sins, but still had a pounding headache, lady’s days cramps, and felt super nauseous. I felt okay on Christmas morning, and we all had a nice slow morning opening presents, but the smells of lunchtime sent me straight back into a whirlwind of nausea and I ended up going back to bed just before Asher went down for a nap, leaving poor Phil to spend Christmas afternoon alone in a very messy living room. Since I couldn’t even stomach smelling food, our Christmas dinner consisted of packaged soup instead of the delicious enchiladas we had planned on making.

So that’s the sad part of our Christmas 2013 story. Well, Asher was also SUPER grumpy here and there for some reason. He’s usually in his best mood when he wakes up, but he literally woke up crying and demanding things and then refusing the same things (i.e. yogurt). Thankfully he’s big enough now that a crapload of gifts was able to turn his tiny frown into holiday smiles and giggles in no time! After the first few presents, he seemed to “get” that we were opening them all and that most of his were filled with toys and he really got into it. He was so excited with each present! He would say “Oooooooo, what ith it?! What’th inthiiiiide?!” hahaha

Aside from the nausea and whining, we had a great day! We opened gifts, we watched “A Christmas Story,” and we got to talk to  David, Susan, Jennie, Kacy, Daniel, Eden, my parents, Doug, Danielle, Corin, & Fiona! It was a bummer not to get our big fancy dinner, but I’m hoping to do that this weekend.

I am kicking myself for it now, but I hardly took any pictures on Christmas! Granted I felt awful, but still… I’m a mom now, I can’t not take pictures of my precious baby opening his presents! Here are the few pics I DID take:

Our tea party, brunch style!

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Santa came!

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Walking out to see all the presents, still a bit teary-eyed:

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Our almost-done phase just before we tried to clear some of the boxes and paper:

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Merry Christmas from us!

10 years together!

23 Dec

December 12, 2003 was my last first date ever. I met Phil some time in November of 2003. We typically saw each other in the cafeteria or the student center, and after a few random meetings and conversations, we started leaving together to go on walks and talk. It didn’t seem like anything too intense, but it was fun and we got along easily and quickly. The 12th of December that year was a Friday, and we had seen each other in the cafeteria each day that week and then went to hang out together after dinner each evening. That Friday, though, when I bumped in to him (I can’t remember if it was for lunch or dinner… perhaps it was lunch?) I asked if he wanted to hang out again that night and he said yeah. I gave him my phone number, since all of our time spent together up to that point had happened only since we had randomly met up with each other. I honestly assumed we would just meet up and walk around together again, but he called me a little while later and said we were going to a movie and then to get coffee with his roommate and another girl (to this day he swears I asked him out on that date, which is fine with me for him to think that seeing as how everything worked out well from then on, but I wasn’t intending to ask him on a “date” date, I thought we would just hang out again). I got super excited, got myself all fixed up, then waited for him to pick me up. He came, smelling like a freshly-showered, freshly-shaved, freshly-cologned super handsome guy. He was waiting for me in the lobby of my dorm when I went down and I remember opening the door and seeing him look at me and smile. He opened my door for me when I got into the car where Beau and this weird girl named Erin were in the backseat. I said hello to everyone, then we headed to the theater. We saw the move “Stuck on You.” It was super random and we haven’t seen it since, but it was as good as any movie for a first date. When we sat down in our seats Phil grabbed my hand and held it through the whole movie, and he holds my hand all the way through movies today. 🙂 So to celebrate 10 beautiful years of dating my Love, I thought I’d share a list of 10 things (plus a few bonuses) that I love about my Phillip. I actually started writing this before the 12th of this month, but then I got busy and we were all so sick the past week or so that I haven’t had time to do anything constructive at all. So now for a super cheesy post that has the potential to make everyone say oh, brother!…and I don’t care! Elf had just come out around the time of our first date and when I got home from our first date I ran into the living room spinning in circles and shouted “I’m in love! I’m in love! and I don’t care who knows it!” And the same is true today, so here goes…

1. I love that he loves God. The life of a believer is an incredible one, and I love that I get to share my spiritual/religious journey with Phil. He is so deeply committed to his belief in God that is astounds me. While some things about faith are so simple and clear, other things are confusing and vague, and I am so grateful that I have my patient, loving, Christian husband to navigate this huge part of life with me.

2. I love watching and/or listening to him play with Asher. While I do not in any way think that a father’s role is more or less important than a mother’s, there really is something magical about the whole “guy” thing that they have going on. Before Phil is even in the door after coming home from work, Asher shouts out “DADA PWAY!!!!” and Phil is always more than happy to oblige. He gives me a quick hug and a kiss and a hello, takes off his shoes and sets down his stuff, then chases after Asher with a growling voice before tossing him around in a way that makes (me nervous) Asher laugh hysterically. Then there are the sweeter, softer moments when I hear Phil reading Asher his Bible, or singing to him, or talking to Asher about “how beautiful Mommy is.”

3. I love that he is a hard worker. When he has extra work to do, he spends his weekends and evenings with me and Asher until we go to bed, then he’ll burn the midnight oil to get caught up on work. He gets up early and gets himself either to his office or to his desk (he works from home some times), which I respect a lot about him. I think I would have a much more difficult time being so disciplined if I set my own working hours. Another thing that I respect is just how much work he is juggling right now. I forget sometimes since he does spend a lot of time either home with me or out with me, but he is communicating with people all over the world on a daily basis for the journal, still practicing German and participating in German conversation groups, doing all kinds of odd jobs for his supervisor and his research agency, all while literally writing a freaking book. He’s pretty amazing, amiright?!

4. I love that he loves books. If I’m being honest I’ll go ahead and say that books have actually been a point of contention in our relationship. They are expensive and they… are… EVERYWHERE. I’m pretty sure Phil keeps Amazon in business. But regardless of how many books pile up in my bedroom, living room, closet, kitchen, etc., I know that Phil collects them because he values them, and that is good enough for me. They are important to him, so *gulp* they are important to me. And for however much I feel like we are drowning in books, it helps to know that reads every single one of them cover to cover.

5. Which brings me to my next point, I love that he is slightly elitist. While this is kiiiind of a negative thing, Phil makes it a good thing because the man has high standards. This makes me feel good about myself, seeing as how I honestly believe that I must be pretty great for him to have chosen to be with me. He has high standards for everything. Don’t confuse “having high standards” with being materialistic, because he is certainly in no way materialistic (except maybe with his Apple products). He has exceptionally high standards for people and for ideas. He is incredibly loving and interested in the well-being of others, but he is slightly impatient with people who do not respect themselves or other people enough to do what is right. His “elitism” also allows him to maintain an interesting balance between being exceptionally open-minded AND exceptionally staunch in his beliefs. He is interested in truth and absolutely cannot be bothered by anyone who is only interested in being popular or edgy.

6. I love that he is hilarious. He has a kooky, dry sense of humor that often catches me off guard as he finds humor in some of the most random places. I feel like his goofiness is one of the last things he typically opens up to people, and I love that he shares it with me… all the time… even at 1 in the morning when I’m trying to sleep and he randomly blurts out something completely out of the blue that he finds funny when I thought he was asleep.

7. I love that he will watch, and even allow himself to enjoy television shows that I KNOW he would otherwise never even know existed  and most definitely would never watch if I did not want to watch them. We have had lengthy discussions about shows like Project Runway and Glee and ABC Family movies, not because he is the type of person to be interested in those shows and movies, but because I am and he loves me and thinks I’m cool.

8. I love his friends. Seriously. He doesn’t have a million billion friends, but the friends that he has are truly great people and I love watching him interact with them. When I see him with his friends I like that I can see him being laid back, funny, interesting, and compassionate. And the people with whom he chooses to pursue/maintain friendships are very honestly good people that I feel very blessed to know.

9. I love that he loves his family. His whole family (including me and Asher and his Wood-side of the family), but in particular here I am talking about his first family: His parents, his sister and his brother. He is who he is because of his family and he values them all for the man they have helped him become, and for the people they are both as individuals and as “The Lasaters.”

10. I love that our relationship is important to him. He remembers the most random things about when we first met. He remembers what we wore on our first date. He remembers what I wore random times that he saw me before we knew each other. He remembers silly things that happened when we were just getting to know each other. He remembers things about our wedding and the vows we made. He remembers silly little places we’ve gone and things we’ve done together. He remembers these things because they were/are important to him, and I’m thankful for that. They were/are important to me too!

*Bonus* I love being his friend. Since the very beginning, our relationship has largely been based on conversation. We have always enjoyed sitting and talking with one another about everything from food, to our beliefs, to our favorite Spongebob moments. While I am so incredibly grateful for our desire and ability to talk so openly and often together, I’m also intensely grateful for the time we spend doing “nothing important” like kicking the crap out of each other on wrestling video games and taking turns trying to beat each other’s hula hoop records on Wii Fit together. He can seem pretty smooth in everyday life, but he is NOT graceful on the Wii Fit board and it’s all I can to do keep from passing out from laughter whenever he steps on that thing.

*Bonus* I love that he is super hot. Before I knew him I nicknamed him “Hot Guy” and would tell my roommate about my “Hot Guy” sightings each day. Now, 10+ years later, I still think/know he is the most beautiful man in the universe.

*Bonus* I love that he is committed to me. I don’t care if Gwen Stefani herself propositioned him, I know without a doubt that both his mind and body are wholly committed to only me. (I say Gwen Stefani because shortly after we started dating he told me that he thought she was hot and I got all huffy and puffy about it. Now it’s kind of a joke between us. haha) I also love that he knows I am committed to him. There is not a man alive that could take my eyes, thoughts, or body from Phillip, and I am so grateful that he trusts me. We have a peaceful relationship and home in large part because we trust each other.

 

 

 

 

 

This is our first pic together EVER. It’s terrible of me, but I love this pic anyway. We were at a playground with Kristen and Misha (I think that’s who we were with) on Beebee Capps somewhere in Searcy.

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This was shortly after we started dating. Again we were with Kristen and Misha and I think someone else this day, because there were 3 of us crammed in the back seat. Anyway, we had been dating a very short time here and we were headed to Sugarloaf Mountain in Arkansas for a hike!

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After we had been dating for several months Phil went on a trip with me and my family to Gatlinburg Tennesee. This is how we looked there.
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This one is older than the last one, but I don’t know how to switch the order. This was after we had been dating a few short months. We went to Berryhill park and took a ton of pictures this day, and this has always been one of my favorites.

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Fast forward a break-up and reunion, after about 3 years of dating, on January 10, 2007, Phillip asked me to marry him and I said YES!

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Engagement pic:
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I hate that I couldn’t find a wedding photo on my computer. I have them all on discs, so I’ll have to upload some soon or something. Just know that our wedding was absolutely perfect.

 

Fast forward a little more and we are pregnant! This is the day we found out that our little Love was a baby boy.

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We added Asher Michael…

 

 

 

 

 

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Rough times for me. I may have looked terrible, but my heart was overflowing with love from these two precious ones with me in this picture:

 

 

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And this was us celebrating our anniversary this year!

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Thank you, God, for my Phillip!

Dinnoh doot

3 Dec

Phil was out of the country for about 5 days last week. Though Asher and I missed him being home with us, I enjoyed having an excuse not to cook big (or even healthy) meals for a few days. Asher is always happy to eat anything but what I would normally refer to as “dinner,” so I fed him easy toddler-type meals and then rummaged around for whatever I wanted after he went to bed. Three nights in a row I had chips, salsa, cookies and Appenzeller beer and it was glorious. I also used the time I had to catch up on some of the super cheesy chick flicks I had on our Netflix list (“Pizza My Heart,” “The Decoy Bride,” and “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” [that one I watched twice because I enjoyed it so much!]).

One of the nights Phil was away I told Asher that we were going to have a super special Mommy-Asher dinner date. I built it up all day and told him that we could have whatever he wanted for dinner for our special date and that we could watch a movie while we ate. I offered up a list of his usual favorite meals and told him he could choose whatever he wanted for dinner. He didn’t seem to know what to pick, so I had several sure-things in the fridge and ready to go. He was so excited and kept saying “TIME FO’ MOVIE DINNOH!” When it was finally almost time for our date, I again listed off his favorite meals and then told him the choice was his for our special date. His response: “Swack dinnoh!” (Snack dinner) hahaha He is in a phase where he gets disappointed if we give him “breakfast,” “lunch,” or “dinner.” He ONLY wants to eat something called a “snack,” so this shouldn’t have surprised me. He was so excited when the idea came to him — how could I say no?! Snack dinner it was! I gave him a bath, then we both put on PJs and then “made” our food together before settling into the couch to watch Mater’s Tall Tales (his choice) and enjoy our delicious snack dinner. We talked about how yummy our dinner was. We laughed at Mater and McQueen when they did hilarious things. He kept looking at me and smiled, and I would smile back because smiling is both of our favorites. It was a perfect and precious dinner date.

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That was more than a week ago and the past few days he has literally started crying asking for more dinner dates! Well, not “dates” per se, since for whatever reason he can’t remember the word “date.” It’s more accurate to say he’s been crying for “Mo’ dinnoh doots!” hahaha It’s pitiful and precious. I am glad that he enjoyed our special date and I look forward to many, many more dinnoh doots with my sweet baby boy in the future!

 

Sprucin’ up jets since the early 80s

1 Dec

Before Kacy came along it was just me and Doug. He was the big brother and I was the little sister, which meant that I either played alone or played boy toys with him. Doug was always super into Legos (because he’s a genius — you should have seen some of the things his little kid brain built!), so more often than not we played Legos together. Though my “guys” typically had backstories, well thought-out first-middle-and last names AND families AND best friends, they still had to fight in battles, since I was the younger sibling and had to play the way my big brother wanted to play. Anyway, I remember going along with it and building fighter jets and the like so that I could play with my brother. My mom has always told us that while Doug’s vehicles were equipped with various weapons, mine were always adorned with little flower pots. I remember feeling satisfied about flower pots on my fighter planes and tanks because that was about all the decorating I could do with Legos (they don’t make Lego curtains, or at least they didn’t when I was little) and I thought they looked nice.

All of that being said, the other day Asher and I pulled out his Lego Duplos because he wanted to build a “passenjet” (passenger jet). We spent the next several minutes building this “passenjet” together and it wasn’t until Ash was flying it around in the air that I realized what I had done. hehehe Old habits die hard. This one is for you, Mom!

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Thanksgiving

1 Dec

Happy a-few-days-after-Thanksgiving!

I hope that all of our friends and family back home enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving day, and a nice long weekend.  I have always really, really loved Thanksgiving and I can’t tell you how much I have missed being in America and close to our family and friends the last three Novembers. I miss the beautiful orange and brown decorations, the crisp American fally air in my lungs, the terrified cartoon turkeys, and cheesy cornucopia decorations. I miss the smell of turkeys roasting, pies baking, and casseroles being warmed. I miss waking up to my parents in the kitchen with the parade on TV in the background. I miss  spending a very slow day of enjoying the company of family and an enormous meal together. I just miss Thanksgiving!

Did you know that they don’t eat turkeys in Switzerland? If you want one, you have to order it at least a month in advance. Isn’t that strange? I know they eat SOME turkey because I’ve bought turkey lunch meat and seen turkey breasts (cut like chicken breasts) in the grocery stores, but they don’t just sell whole turkeys like they do in the US. I don’t know exactly how much they cost, but I know they are super expensive to order. Weird. (As a side note: This if further confirmation of that weird thing that we bought our first Christmas here. We did not yet know German and were still figuring out the grocery stores. We searched all over for a turkey, then finally found something that kind of looked like a turkey, so we bought all 50 Francs worth of it. It was purple and slimy and not at all turkey-like. Gross)

This year we joined the young adult group at our church for their (now) annual Thanksgiving feast. It was really nice. They special-ordered a big turkey from France that tasted delicious. We didn’t get a lot, since we had to share it with a bunch of other people, but we were glad to have it! The rest of the food was potluck and, though it was all really good, a lot of it wasn’t super Thanksgivingy. I guess that’s because out of the 30+ people in attendance, only about 6 or so of us were American. That’s not me trying to complain, of course. I really enjoyed the meal and the people, but it was funny to me to realize that some people in the room had never even been to the US, much less celebrated Thanksgiving before. There were a few delicious pumpkin pies, which are of course very American. There was also a pecanish pie that I heard was really good. One key thing that I noticed was missing from the feast was gravy — how do you have a Thanskgiving meal without a truckload of gravy to douse it in?! Now I AM complaining!!! haha just kidding. I did miss the gravy, though. One of my Thanksgiving faves has always been green bean casserole. Campbells condensed soups don’t exist here, so I searched until I found something that seemed similar and do-able. I found this recipe on Pinterest and went ahead with it. It was really good! It was far more involved than popping open a can and mixing it around with some frozen green beans. Because of that, I think it should have been more amazing than it was, but it was certainly tasty. I honestly thought there would be several green bean casseroles there, but if I had known I would bring the only one, I would have made a double batch. It was not nearly enough! I decided to make two sides, so I also threw together this recipe, also found on pinterest. I had made something almost exactly like that before (sans sweet potatoes) and really enjoyed it. It was really, really good this time too! That one is actually super easy, but I think it looks and tastes impressive. I definitely plan to make it again!

I feel like I’m starting to ramble, so I’ll stop describing food now. But please, in the name of all that’s holy, please feel free to describe your Thanksgiving meal to me in detail. Between your descriptions and my memory, perhaps I’ll be able to satisfy a teeny bit of my American holiday cravings.

One thing about Asher that I’m sure I’ve mentioned before — the child MUST eat. Certainly all humans need to eat, but he absolutely must eat in order to function. When he doesn’t eat:
-He does not listen
-He screams
-He hits
-He fights
-He does not focus
-He is just plain ol’ mean

Unfortunately, I am like that too. I have often been told that I have very low blood sugar, which I assume is why I get so incredibly hangry in between meals. So at least we know Asher comes by it honestly, right? Anyway, Asher’s “hanger” can be a real problem since he is 2 and a stereotypical super picky toddler when it comes to food. We knew he would be one of only two children at this event, and we really wanted him to be well-behaved and in a good mood so, knowing he wouldn’t eat any of the food there, we made a preemptive strike and made him two hot dogs before leaving the house. The bad news is that this officially made me the mother I swore I’d never become (what kind of a mother makes their baby HOT DOGS before heading out to a Thanksgiving feast?). The good news is that it worked! Just as we suspected, he snubbed the beautifully-roasted turkey, some simple-but-delicious pasta with fresh veggies, and the yummy dishes I slaved over all afternoon, but was very well-behaved and in an excellent mood! He was obedient, happy, charming, and adorable. Yay for hot dogs!

And on that note, I’m done. I’m trying hard to post more often, so keep checking back and I’ll give more updates soon!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!