Archive | April, 2014

Guy night

26 Apr

Phil has done a few “guys nights” with Asher where they go into the city to get a bratwurst (which may change since Asher suddenly won’t eat brats anymore), and have a little guy time together. I get time with Phil when Asher is sleeping or playing sometimes, and I get plenty of one on one time with Asher, since he and I are together all day every work day, but the two of them don’t really have much one-on-one time because I’m always there with them. Of course we all enjoy family time, but it’s nice for them to take some time to be together just the two of them and it’s certainly nice for me to have a little bit of time to myself too. So anyway, they now go out together on regular “guy nights.” The first time was just before Asher and I left for California when Phil wouldn’t see us for a few weeks. Phil took Asher out for a brat and then to the toy store to pick a special car to bring on the plane with him. The second time they just went out for fun and walked along the lake after eating, and the last time was the other day when they went to eat together and then to shop for my birthday together. So guy nights are a relatively new thing, but they are already very special. The other day when Phil told Asher that they would have guy night “tomorrow,” Asher got SO excited! He laughed and said “YEAH! GUY NIGHT! I SO HAPPY WE HAVIN’ GUY NIGHT!!!” And then he danced around in between sporadic hugs for Phil. It was really cute and sweet. Then the next day Asher said a few times to me “I’m ‘cited about guy night!” hehehe It’s a sweet thing that I’m happy they can do together. I have taken a few pictures of them before their guy nights. I missed their 2nd guy night, but I have their first and most recent. I think I’ll try to start snapping a pic before each guy night from here on! I hope special time together is something for which they will both always make time. My handsome and precious Loves:

 

First guy night in February 2014

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Guy night April 2014

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Asher’s bike!

23 Apr

You may or may not know that Asher has asked for only two things so far in his tiny little life: A beard and a bike. There’s absolutely no way we can speed up the hormones that are necessary for him to grow a beard (and we wouldn’t want to — that’d be sad and super creepy!), and we did our best to hold off on buying him a bike until we thought he was big enough to use one. He was saying on practically a daily basis: “I want a bike!” “I need to have a bike!” and any time we talked about anything at all, exciting or not, he would respond with: “And then I can have a bike?!” We fought the good fight, but between his precious little looks of longing as he’d watch people of all ages wheel past him and the beautiful spring weather we’ve been having, we did it – we bought our baby a bike! We decided it would be fun to have it in the living room when he woke up on Easter morning. He has no concept of an item’s value, so we figured it was safe and that he wouldn’t realize that a bike is setting the bar high for Easter morning gifts. It was just sitting behind the table, which you’d think would actually be really easy to see when you’re shorter than the table, but he didn’t ever notice it. Phil and I were excited and got antsy, so we finally coaxed him over there “to see what the Easter bunny left.” He saw it and he immediately said “MEIN BIKE! I CAN OOZ (use) IT!!” and then he got right on and awkwardly rode down the hall. He was SO excited! Phil and I both expected our little non-daredevil to be too afraid to try it at first, but Asher surprised us. He rode it up and down the hall as we got ready for church. Then we were gone all day Easter day and he would randomly look up at us with a surprised face and shout: “HEY! I HAVE A BIKE!” When we got home he practically hugged the thing as soon as he walked in the door. He wrapped his little arms around the handlebars and said “I’m pwoud I have a bike!” And he is proud. I dare say I have never seen him express pride quite like this before. We took the bike to a big park the other day with some friends. As soon as I got the bike out and set it down for him he hopped right on and then rode all around in the wide open space, stopping to wave to every person he saw so that they would all know he had his very own bike. Whenever he’d catch me looking at him, he’d get a HUGE smile and HUGE eyes and pat his bike to say to me “LOOK! I HAVE A BIKE!” from far away. I think I speak for both Phil and myself when I say that this whole “making your kid happy” thing feels pretty darn good. Shoot, it could even be addicting. This is yet another reminder that being Asher’s Mama means that I will intensely experience his emotions right along with him as my sweet boy’s elation over “finally” having a bike makes my heart feel like it’s going to burst out of my chest.

His Daddy and I are proud of this very proud little boy:

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Calhoun visit from early February

22 Apr

Hi! It’s me! So we all know that I get overwhelmed when I get behind on something, right? Well, that’s what has happened with this Blog. I have SO much that I want to write about that I feel like I can never catch up… hence my unplanned 3 month Blogging hiatus. But no more excuses! I’m going to do it. All of our weekly activities and classes are cancelled this week, so I plan to write a few posts about the big things that I want to share and then I’ll consider myself caught up and proceed normally. That is my plan and now that I’ve verbalized it to you I will feel completely obligated to do what I said I would do, so watch for multiple posts in the next several days. Who knows? I may even try to do multiple posts in a single day here and there! We have had a busy couple of months!

Okay, so my last post was made in late January. So the big thing that I want to write about on this first “catching up” post is our time with James and Tiffany!

I assume that anyone who reads this Blog knows that James and Tiffany are very special people to us. To say that they are friends simply doesn’t do it justice — they are our family and we love them both dearly. Needless to say we were so excited when plans for their visit were finally becoming real. They officially bought their tickets something like 9 or 12 (I forgot exactly) weeks before coming, which was good because we got to be excited for a long time, but also really difficult to have to wait! Though there were  few points when I wasn’t sure if we would die from anticipation, we lived through the waiting period and were so happy when February finally came and we could FINALLY be with our friends! All 3 of us were so excited! We made a countdown chart and crossed off the days for the week before they came and Asher told everyone he met “HEY! DJAMES AND TIFFEY ARE COMIN!!!!!” I mean everyone — adults, children, friends, strangers, German speakers, English speakers, Italian speakers — it didn’t matter, he was excited and we were excited and Asher assumed everyone else would/should be excited too. To be quite honest I was glad he was just as excited as Phil and I were because his bringing it up gave me a chance to tell people the sweet deets about our friends’ impending arrival. Asher would break the ice, then I’d come in maturely with an “oh, he’s telling you that our good friends are coming to visit… here’s a picture… here’s how we know them… let me tell you some great stories about them…” hehe We were so so so so so happy when they finally arrived. Within their first day here it felt absolutely normal to be around them again. Our friendship with them is so completely natural that our lives just seem to go together, and it was so fabulous to get to spend time with them.

So here is a breakdown of what we did while they were here:

The first day:

They arrived super early, so Phil met them at the airport and brought them back to our place to get settled in and cleaned up after their flight. Asher and I had to be somewhere that morning, so we met them just before lunch time in Zürich. Phil and I  immediately took them to the best place in the city to get a local bratwurst. After picking up our freshly-grilled St. Galler brats and cervalats we headed to the little area of bürkliplatz that looks out over Lake Zürich and the alps. It was a beautiful day! After that, we hopped on a train and headed to Uetliberg, which is supposedly the best lookout place in canton Zürich. It was a nice view and definitely worth seeing. As a side note, Asher drank a lot of juice that day, which he doesn’t normally do, and on the way up to Uetliberg it hit him pretty suddenly and hard and the child NEEDED.TO.PEE. I had NEVER seen him so uncomfortable! He literally started screaming “I NEED TO PEE! I NEED TO PEE!” in a high-pitched, incredibly loud screaming voice and everyone was looking at us. We made a quick decision to jump off the train as soon as it stopped, so we all jumped off and I pulled Asher’s pants down and he peed into the grass (with an impressive range, might I add) in front of anyone and everyone. It was pretty hilarious, actually. 🙂 We ended up having to wait in that spot (basically in the middle of nowhere) for half an hour before the next train arrived. Thankfully we were next to a big field for Asher to run in. Plus, it was a gorgeous sunny-but-cold day, so we all just enjoyed the sunshine and pleasant company.

 

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The next day we headed to the French speaking part of Switzerland to visit the famous Château de Chillon that is nestled on Lake Geneva. The train ride was about 3 hours and we got to see some truly beautiful parts of the country out the windows. The area over there is absolutely gorgeous! No surprise there, I guess. I have yet to find an “ugly” part of Switzerland. But still, we passed some really beautiful views. We had never been over there before, so the trip was a treat for all of us in multiple ways. Asher was pretty difficult in the castle, but other than that it was a nice trip. The castle itself was incredible. The oldest parts date back to the 11th or 12th century, and it was occupied for a couple hundred years or something. I don’t remember all of the history now, but it was a great place to visit.

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The next day was our big mountain day. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but I think this was perhaps everyone’s favorite day. We took a fairly early train to Luzern and walked around a little bit. It’s a beautiful city with plenty to see. We stayed in the city for a few hours to feed some birds, visit an old Franciscan church and a Jesuit church (I think I read that this one is the oldest building in the city, which means it’s pretty freaking old), and walk along the famous Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge). After seeing those things, we hopped on a boat to take a short cruise on Lake Luzern, which was freezing cold and stunningly beautiful. I took SO many pictures and kept finding myself shocked that no matter how beautiful the mountains around us were, they just kept getting more and more beautiful the further we went. The scenery was intense! It was a great little ride. We got off the boat in a random teeny town, then walked up a (super steep) hill and took a cable car up the Rigi, one of the famous mountains here in Switzerland. It’s not the highest mountain, but it’s one of the most visited because of its beautiful views and great location. So we went up to the top then walked around a bit and all just kind of did the best we could to absorb the scenery. It was breathtakingly beautiful up there. We had not visited a mountain like that before, and we were really happy to get to experience it for the first time with J&T. Then we took the oldest cogwheel train in Europe back down the hill, hopped on to another boat back to Luzern, then took the train back home. It was a really, really great day.

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As a side note — while we were up on the mountain, to entertain a moody Asher, James pretended to eat snow by jamming it all into his mouth and beard. It was hilarious on so many levels — what he was doing was just funny, and Asher busting up laughing was funny, and Phil also being entertained and laughing pretty hard was funny. It was just really funny. hahaha

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The next day we really didn’t take any pictures. We went to church in the morning, then came back and just kind of hung out at our home. We planned to walk them down into our village a little bit and to our view of the lake, which I remember doing for a little bit but I don’t think I took any pictures.

Then the next day we had planned to go to Rheinfalls, but after exploring Zürich city a bit more none of us really felt like making the trip to northern Switzerland and we were afraid we’d only have half an hour or so of sunlight anyway, so we decided to just spend the entire day in Zürich. It ended up being another great day, despite our last-minute decision to skip Rheinfalls. We went to Fraumünster to see Marc Chagall’s beautiful and famous windows. Then we spent a good bit of time in Grossmünster, both in the sanctuary and in one of the inner gardens, which was nice. And the next day we went to St. Gallen to visit an old monastery and it’s beautiful cathedral. Phil, Asher and I had been there once before and we were really happy to go back. The cathedral is GORGEOUS. I think it’s my favorite that I’ve seen in Switzerland, and that’s saying a lot because there are some really beautiful old churches here. There’s another really beautiful one in Einsiedeln, which we had hoped to visit in the same day, but again we just didn’t really have the time. Here are a few pictures from the last 2 days we got to spend with the Calhouns:

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I did it! I’ve been wanting to write about that and share those pictures for over 2 months now. In addition to these touristy things, we also did a lot of hanging out together in our apartment in the evenings. Asher was basically a wreck the entire time they were here, so we would put him to bed in the evenings and then enjoy a nice long dinner together with good drinks, lots of conversation and plenty of Mario Kart. It was just like old times, only even better because time has done nothing but deepen our relationship with our dear friends. Thanks so much for making the trip, guys! We will remember it forever and we are, of course, already looking forward to the next time we will get to spend time with you!