Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tahoe Tessie might eat your toes!

It's a good thing I'm not taking blogging for college credit. When I revived this blog back in June, I set a goal of posting once a month. And, yeah, it's now October. If I were to dock points from this assignment using the same rubric I use in my courses, I would definitely have an "F".

But, going with the theme of "better late than never," I wanted to post about our trip to Lake Tahoe in August. Tahoe is pretty special, as we have been going there at least every other year since 2005. Our first trips were before kids, and thus primarily involved snowboarding, drinking beer, and playing board games. More recently, we've taken summer trips with the kids and enjoyed biking, hiking, and swimming. What makes these trips so special is being back in the same place and realizing just how much the kids have grown up since the last time we were there 2 years ago.

This year was also special because it was Owen's first trip to Tahoe. As you can see, he was overwhelmed with excitement.

He did eventually wake up and have fun at the beach.

Evan also had a great time digging in the sand. In looking through our pictures, I had to laugh because in this one, he looks like a little Abercrombie model.

But, he spent most of his days digging in the sand and having a good time.

So who is Tahoe Tessie? One of the first times John and I went to Tahoe, we took a harbor cruise, and they talked about Tahoe Tessie, who is the big monster who lives in the lake. One of Evan's favorite books (Fred and Ted go Camping) features a big fish who tips over Fred and Ted's canoe. We started joking with Evan that the big fish was named Tahoe Tessie. So, when we finally made it back to Tahoe, we couldn't resist the endless entertainment of telling him that Tahoe Tessie was going to nibble at his toes when he went in the water. Fortunately, Evan knows us a little too well at this point, and simply responded with a "you're just joking!"

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The gift of a Mother's Day gift

So, it's been a while since I posted here. Shortly after moving to Utah, the busyness of my new job got in the way of being able to write blog entries. I figured that we were still really good about taking pictures, so at least that was something.

Then, I received a fantastic Mother's Day gift from Evan this year. His day care had asked each kid why they love their Mom, then printed out each kid's answer and took a photo. This is what I received on Mother's Day (now framed and in my office at work).

The second sign says "I have Owen at my house and she changes Owen's diaper so I don't have to!"

Needless to say, I was rolling on the floor laughing. I guess we deserve this, as we pretty consistently teased Evan that he would be the one to change the baby's diapers. But, it reminded me of another really awesome Mother's Day gift from Evan, which then got me reading through some of our old blog entries. I realized that the stories were truly priceless, and that despite the business of our lives right now, it's completely worth the time to chronicle some of our adventures as our kids grow up.

So, what's happened in the last three years? Things are chugging along at work. I'm still at the University of Utah, and John is now also teaching there. It's fun to have offices right down the hall from each other. Evan is now going into kindergarten (I know, seriously?). And, this February we welcomed Owen into the family.

Here's Evan enjoying some Froot Loops and Veggietales

And here he is "child proofing" our cabinets so that Owen can't get into them.

Here's Owen with a BIG smile

And looking very dapper in his bumbo seat

So, it took a really fantastic Mother's Day gift to get me to realize the value of having all of our fun stories archived where we can go back and enjoy them again and again. Thus, I have revived our blog, and am going to make every attempt to post here at least once a month. And that is the gift of a Mother's Day gift.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Chemistry can be fun too

We're starting to feel settled in here in Salt Lake City, and our home renovations are almost done! I'll post pictures on that later, but wanted to share a fun one from a few nights ago. We were working downstairs, and Evan found John's molecular modeling set from grad school. These sets are basically a big box of beads and little sticks so that you can make molecules with atoms and bonds (I know, very nerdy). Anyhow, I can see how this would be a super-fun toy for a kid. Evan kept saying "open, please" but fortunately we managed to convince him that it is just as much fun to leave the box closed and shake it a bunch to hear the stuff rattle around inside.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Moving Day!

Ever since we started packing the boxes to move, Evan's favorite book has been the Berenstain Bears Moving Day in which Papa Bear says "My dears, the time has come to move."

Well, a couple of weeks ago, our time came to move too. Evan did really well coping with all of the changes, even when he came home from day care to find our apartment full of boxes.

We were fortunate that Chicago was right on the way to Salt Lake City, so we could stop off and spend a few days with family while our stuff made its way across the country. Evan had a great time sharing his ice cream with Grandma.

The drive from Chicago to Salt Lake City was a bit rough on all of us, so unfortunately I don't have any pictures from that part of the process. However, we arrived into SLC and promptly went to check out our new house. Evan wasted no time in finding the broom and getting to work.

We've got a bit of painting to do in the house, and Evan has been a great helper in choosing colors. I love this picture because he looks just like a little interior designer pondering his choices.

One of our favorite things about our house is the awesome view of the mountains from the front porch. (Yes, our front yard is a bit patchy - apparently the greener patches are thanks to the previous owners' dog).

After looking at the mountains every day for about a week, we finally finished the unpacking and were able to go and explore a bit. We drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon to hike to Doughnut Falls (sadly this is the closest we will get to Dunkin Donuts in Utah). We didn't make it all the way to the falls, but Evan kept busy playing in the little streams along the way.

It has been difficult moving away from our dear friends in Boston and knowing that we still don't live close to family, but we are enjoying life in Utah and can't wait to have guests!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Home, sweet home

So we're going with "home, sweet home" as the theme of this post, because right now, the definition of "home" is in a state of rapid revision for us. A couple of weeks ago, we went "home" to see Grandpa and Grandma Heemstra in Chicago, and Evan had a ton of fun drinking juice boxes with Grandma and helping his Dad and Grandpa replace sprinkler heads in the yard.

While we were there, the closing date for our new home in Salt Lake City came and went without any problems, so we very unceremoniously became home owners. Our house hunting trip was a bit of a whirlwind as we only had about 7 hours to look at houses before making a decision, but I think we've found one that will be great for our family. We loved the interior, but more importantly for Evan, we have a nice backyard that he can play in, which will be awesome since Evan LOVES to be outside.

Here are some pictures from the MLS listing. The cool treehouse looking thing is actually in the neighbors back yard, so Evan will have to make friends with them :)

In just 6 short days we'll be turning the car westward and heading out to Utah. Living in Boston has not been without its challenges, but it is an understatement to say that God has blessed us richly with a wonderful church home and dear friends whom we will miss very much.

I'm hoping to keep our camera from being packed by the movers, so stay tuned for photos from the road . . .

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dos AƱos!

I can't believe our little boy is 2 already! Our lives have been a bit crazy lately, so Evan has had multiple small birthday celebrations instead of one big one. To start off, Grandma and Grandpa Heemstra sent a birthday gift of Evan's first tricycle. He had fun helping Daddy put it together, then took a spin around the living room.

All of this made us very thirsty, of course. The tricycle had a bell on the handlebars, which Evan loved, but turned out to be deeply traumatizing to our dog Nicky, so the bell has come off until we move and Evan can ride his bike outside in the driveway.

For Evan's birthday, we made his favorite dinner of fish sticks and sweet potato fries, and we were all set to have birthday breakfast the next day, but instead we were up at 4 am and on our way to the airport to fly to Utah. So, we waited until Grandma Cary came out to visit (which also involved fun birthday toys) and enjoyed our birthday breakfast of bacon and cinnamon rolls.

Not really part of the official birthday celebration, but today was a GORGEOUS day in Boston, so we headed downtown on the T and played at the Frog Pond playground for a while, then walked around the Common and through the Public Park. In an ode to Evan's Dutch heritage, we even took a few pictures next to the beautiful tulips that were in bloom.

After all of this playing, we enjoyed a nice lunch, followed by a leisurely stroll through the North End and a sleepy T ride back home.

Friday, April 16, 2010


After a job search with many ups and downs and generally a lot of waiting, we finally have an answer . . . we're going to Utah!!! The offer came through about 10 days ago and we went out this week for our second visit. Jen will be an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Utah and John has some great leads on industry positions, as well as an offer to lecture at the University if nothing in industry works out immediately. During our visit, one of the professors took us sightseeing at Park City, and we got some pictures of Evan training for the bobsled team and playing in the snow.

We spent some time house hunting in Salt Lake City during our visit this week, and are in the process of buying a home. The offer has been agreed upon and we have inspection on Monday, so we're keeping our fingers crossed that all goes smoothly. This has been a crazy process because it was only two weeks ago that we found out that there was a good chance we would get the offer, and now we've accepted and are moving in just 2 months!

Thanks to all who have prayed with us through the high points and low points over the last year or so. We are very excited to see how God is planning to use us in Salt Lake City. We are also praying that Evan adjusts well to the move - if we get the home we have the offer on, Evan will have a nice big backyard to play in, so maybe that will smooth the transition.