two girls in a box

lips and legs

Our very own little Liv Tyler (the lips)

has two top teeth broken through (number three came through a few days ago).

Gwen’s favorite thing to do is to crawl over to these steps,

get up on the first one,

and then turn around to sit on the bottom one.

Then she stands up

and sits down

and stands up

and sits down.

And she repeats it. Again and again and again and again and again and again…

I should also mention that at every possible moment she is waving her arms with extreme excitement

a different milestone

So I walked into the living room today and found Gwen trying to climb up the slide.
It is so strange to think that it was only three and a half weeks ago when I found her standing in her crib for the first time.

another milestone

This is what I found when I went in to get her after her nap.

Standing up all by herself.

And these pictures are actually from July 20th, but had been taken on a different camera and I finally just dumped them onto my computer. But now she pulls up to anything that is standing still and cruises quite easily. She has also conquered the couch pillow blockades that I have set up. I fear that we are heading for the days of heavy duty baby-proofing.
Ugh and hooray.

precious girl

I just love this little one.

manna from happy valley

This is one of the many reasons why I love my in-laws.

grilled peach melba

I watched Everyday Food one Saturday with drool and determination to try this recipe. We improvised a bit and put the peaches on foil because our grill is dirty. But it still turned out so good, plus I got to spoon off and eat the excess deliciousness.

muy. muy. delicioso.

And please understand that this picture does not do it justice.

happy birthday dad and joe

So their birthdays were actually on Monday, August 6th. I’m just a little behind in my posting, but the sentiments remain the same.

My brother Joe was born on my Dad’s 30th birthday. Quite the birthday present, eh? My Dad just turned…well let’s just say he’s “over the hill.” That way, I won’t get in trouble for telling his age. He does however look good for a blankety-blank year old, as I am often reminded. Must be those good ol’ Norwegian genes.

Here are a few favorite pictures of both these guys. And please excuse the age/quality of some of these pictures. Dave just taught me how to scan pictures correctly and I am now becoming a pro with photoshop. And when I say “pro” I mean I am becoming a bit less frustrating to Dave when I ask him how to do something.


Taken the day my Mom was born (Christmas).

Graduated first in his class from NAOCS (Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School).

Here is some guy with Carol, Kristy and Heather, that closely resembles Dad—except for the large mustache. Actually, this was the seventies, as he entered the “B School” at Harvard, so maybe it’s okay?

He has run 13 marathons, and countless 10Ks and 5Ks.
This was after finishing the Palos Verdes Marathon.

Here’s a sweet action shot during the St. George marathon.

Falling asleep in his chair, as usual.

Always making us laugh.

Still running at his age, and winning medals.

A true Cougar, he bleeds blue. Here he is hiking the Y in his “BYU–Heck, Yes!” t-shirt.

Grandpa of 18, and a great one at that.

His wanderlust…

taking Mom with him to the far reaches of the world.

One of my favorite childhood memories (Carol probably won’t remember this;) ) was when we would ride around the neighborhood in our VW Van. What distinguishes it from any “normal” drive was that the side door was open and we would sit with our legs hanging out. As we turned corners and passed over the gutters, water from our neighbor’s sprinklers would splash up on our legs and feet and we would squeal with delight. I know, we were easily entertained. But the best part of my memory is that when my Dad started to slow down as we approached the house, us kids would start chanting, “go, go, go, go, go, go” until he would either stop in front of our house, much to our dismay, or speed up again and take us on another trip around the block, which was always met with cheers, squeals and probably fist pumps.
Here’s a picture of our beloved VW Van, that’s me in the passenger seat hanging out the window followed by Heather in the kickin’ socks, next to Joe and Kristy barely in the frame.

We will be so sad when Dad returns to China in about three weeks. He’ll be to Beijing for a year with Mom and I have simply been refusing to think about it until I absolutely have to. I am in a state of denial so I will probably finally think about it as I sob all the way home from the airport. Although the girls are probably going to miss them even more, they are such buddies.

I hope you had a great birthday Dad ! I love you, and sorry for eating so much frosting off your cake.


Joey with his first birthday cake.

Often attending an Angels baseball game (he’s the one under the lady in black).

This was Joe’s most memorable Halloween costume. I think it was christened the “Mexican Jumping Bee.” What I don’t understand is how James got labeled the weird one.

Often having to model for Mom.

Torturing our kitty, Taboo.

Served in the Spain, Sevilla mission.

After graduating from BYU, he worked for Price Waterhouse Coopers before returning to school where he got an MBA from the joint program at SAIS and Wharton School of Business.

Traveling the world (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree).

Attending royal weddings—hence the formal attire.

Always up for quality ice cream when in town.

His new hobby is fishing, much to Liz’s dismay.

A great Dad to his two boys (and baby girl not pictured here)

One of my favorite memories with Joe was one night when we went to Newport Beach to try and see the grunion run. It was one of those warm summer nights that I miss about So Cal, and we were driving “the boat”/”undercover cop car”, listening to Lenny Kravtiz. Newport was always a fun place to go to where we would hang out at the pier and Balboa Island (I know that Beth will attest to this). Anyway, we didn’t see any grunion that night, but we did see some people digging for sand crabs. They had lights attached to their heads—of the mining variety—and there were a few measly sand crabs in a bucket of water. So Joe went out maybe ten feet into the ocean and dug up a very large sand crab. He then brought it over to the mining family and they exclaimed, “Ooohh!! Das a Biiiig One!!” To this day, this is a quote that anyone in the family (including their posterity) uses on a regular basis, complete with accent.

I hope you had a great Birthday Joe, I love you!

P.S. Move to Utah.