Saturday, December 31, 2011

two to the thousand and twelve

dear 2011: 

you were a year for the record books:  summer and afton just got cuter, the husband got awesomer, and emily got several more pairs of shoes. all up, we had some really great times together, didn't we? (not to mention a handful of experiences that were not exactly our favorites.) but in the end, we thank you for all of it. 

'twas a wild ride. 

it's been real, have fun this summer, don't ever change, remember me when you're famous and all that jazz,

bryan, emily, summer and afton

ps to 2012:
the wheelers have some grand adventures planned for next year. try to keep up.

Friday, December 30, 2011

gaga update

remember this post?

well, directly after that experience, i did what every mother does when she doesn't know the answer to a question and googled it. after visiting the mighty, mighty wikipedia, i unlocked the true meaning of and inspiration for gaga's song.

and it's actually very sweet.

(however, not really the vibe that i got from the music video -- but then again, i'm not an internationally acclaimed vocal superstar, so they didn't ask me).

anyway, i still maintain that it *is* dangerous to go home with people you don't know.

emily out.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

still pregnant

i've been getting some complaints lately that there are not enough photos on the blog highlighting my giant baby belly. so here's a pic in the tightest shirt i could find, pop-out belly button and all, right after having eaten a huge lunch (complete with dessert) at the cheesecake factory, proving that i am still cookin':

for added measure, here are some responses to frequently asked pregnancy questions:

how many weeks are you/when are you due? i know it sounds odd, but the truth is, i don't keep track of such things. i just wake up every morning, look down and say to myself, "yup, still pregnant." then i move on with my day. you're better off getting the specifics from my doctor or my mom. due in april.

are you having a boy or a girl? we were informed during our ultrasound several weeks back that yes, indeed we are!

are you going to host another baby name game? absolutely! i've been working on the new format for awhile now and am excited to unveil our signature competition in just a few weeks, so start searching that social security database now because i'm fairly certain that nancy does not intend to give up her reigning name champion crown.

how much weight have you gained? *blush* thanks for noticing.  and you're in luck because this is something i keep track of. total so far is twelve pounds. i think, like, two pounds of that is baby and the rest, as i have previously alluded to, is chocolate. ten delicious pounds of chocolate.

and now, the lightning round:

hot or cold? cold.  leggings or jeans? leggings. posterior or anterior? anterior. sick? no. slow? yes. mood? mostly good. skin? mostly clear.  hair? mostly crazy. summer? ExCIteD. afton? indifferent.  baby? doing just fine.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

summer cam

summer took over three hundred pictures last week with her kidzoom camera.

while more than two hundred and ninety looked like this:

or this:

i think the girl's still got talent.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


uncle matto: puzzle fiend.

Monday, December 26, 2011

here we go a truffleing

one of my favorite things to do during the holidays is box up some treats, bundle up the girls, and tote them around to deliver the goodies and delightfully exclaim "merry christmas!" to our friends and neighbors.

bellevue botanical

christmas lights on christmas eve with cocoa and cookies and sparkles galore.


a white christmas

last monday, we picked up uncle schmatt from the airport and headed down to a cabin we had rented at mt. rainier for a few days of snow play.  we slid, we sledded, we built snowmen and snow caves and had snow picnics. we saw foxes, were attacked by birds, and matt was gleefully assailed more than once by two mischievous little girls throwing snow. a great time was had by all.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

let there be light

Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen 
his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

fahoo fores dahoo dores

summer and afton enjoying their first screening of how the grinch stole christmas and some generous portions of cinnamon bear popcorn (cinnamon bears imported direct by uncle matt from the byu bookstore -- yum!)

Friday, December 23, 2011

tour the tree

so we didn't get everything done on our ornaments-to-make-this-year list (but, hey, i figure christmas comes around every year, and i've hopefully got about sixty christmases left to go, so what's the hurry?). after the gingerbread, cinnamon, and photo ornaments (a fave because the girls love seeing themselves on the tree), i called it good, added a few candy canes and draped some ribbon garland (so beautiful!)

ice princess

the wheelers go ice skating.

it goes down like this: summer loves it with a capital L.O.V.E.S.

and afton detests everything about the experience (the skates, the cold, 
the walker, the people, the noise) and won't go near the ice.

 so mama just ends up snuggling with the little boom (afton's newest nickname)

watching all the action

while mom and dad (mostly dad) take turns escorting summer girl round the rink.

watch out ms. kwan. she's coming for you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

the pink ladies

hot pink pea coat.
wardrobe essential.

Friday, December 16, 2011

signed, sealed, delivered

fit for a king

sometimes when i can't fall asleep, i pass the time by thinking of various and sundry ways i can embarrass bryan at work.

today, the christmas box gave me just one such opportunity: our christmas picnic with daddy.

because the girls and i often join bryan for lunch at his office, i decided to up the ante for this dining experience by breaking out a holiday red table cloth, real silverware, champagne flutes, and the fine china. when we arrived in the cafeteria, i had bryan clear off the table while i set up for our elegant affair. summer, afton, and i had even donned some fancy outfits for the occasion (there are no pics of bryan here because he was sorely under-dressed; jackets required, sir).

we then served up some gourmet sausages and mustard, spinach and feta orzo salad, crusty bread, and oranges. snickerdoodles and egg nog for dessert.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

christmas in the northwest

love it or leave it, this song is a pacific northwest tradition we thought we'd share with our faraway friends:

when i first heard it, i was all, "is this for real?" and now, i can't help but turn the radio up a little louder every time it comes on.

Monday, December 12, 2011

the christmas box

i have mentioned before that bryan and i are pretty sparse on the gifts we give our girls for christmas. we have narrowed down our holiday bequests to a few choice traditions which we sprinkle throughout the month such as a christmas book on the first day of advent, some pajamas and a new family game on christmas eve, and inexpensive trinkets and treats in their stockings on christmas morning.

in addition, there is the christmas box.

beginning on december 13th, the christmas box appears in the morning on the breakfast table. the girls eagerly await opening the gold box and discovering what bit of christmas magic they will enjoy that day. be it a family activity like ice skating or watching a christmas movie or decorating cookies or having a christmas picnic with daddy at his office, or an act of service such as delivering groceries to a family in need or putting together care packages for missionaries or sending treats to family and friends, or yes, even opening two small gifts found underneath the tree.

i love christmas. i love that people try to be kinder and happier and work a little harder at clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, and visiting the sick and the lonely. we spend more time with our families and loved ones, deepening the relationships that matter most. and i think everyone yearns, as we go into another year, to be better, more loving, and more giving. there is great hope in celebrating the birth and joy of Jesus Christ. it's a beautiful and poignant season, and bryan and i wish you and yours the very best this christmas.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Postcard from the Enchantments

When we first started blogging in 2006, Emily and I committed to posting on an equal basis. It didn't take long to realize who had the lion's share of blogging talent (well, talent in general), and it wasn't me. Flash forward to 2011:  my official blogging quota is a dismal once per quarter.  This year so far, I've only made three posts (to Emily's 160), so I'll polish off my annual commitment with a flashback to my final hiking adventure of the summer with Emily's brother, Owen.

Late in the season, I scored some reservations for the Enchantments. For the uninitiated, the Enchantments are one of North America's most spectacular backpacking destinations where overnight access is strictly rationed via a permit lottery held every year in February. Although I missed the lottery in February, I was perusing the Forest Services' web site one night in August and snatched an permit that had just become available.

Despite all the hype I had read before going, the Enchantments exceeded my expectations in every way but one: we didn't encounter any goats. Enjoy the photos.

Looking up Aasgard pass. We descended about 2000 feet in 3/4 mile

My hand-sewn tarp shelter

Swimming in near freezing Colchuck lake