Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Happy Birthday, Dad!! We wish we could be with you today, but know that Brent and I are thinking about you and hoping you have a great birthday!

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from this last year.

Hanging out with his favorite grandson. Just before walking me down the aisle (while I was trying to gather my composure).
The older I get the more I've become Daddy's Little Girl. Here's that big moment in a father's life -turning his girl over to someone else.
David loves hanging out with his Grandpa.
I love this picture.
I love my dad's grin in this picture from the State Fair this past year, riding high with his sweetheart.
We hope you have a great birthday, and we hope it gets to end with a Vikings win!!
Love, Kari and Brent

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We had our first Christmas as husband and wife! Last year was a whirlwind between spending time with our families in Appleton and Burnsville (5 hrs apart from each other) and moving me from Mankato to pick up stuff in Burnsville and then on to Appleton. I think that week we drove hundreds of miles back and forth a few times!

Anyway, this year we were able to enjoy a wonderful first Christmas together! I was scheduled to work on Christmas Eve (our unit ended up being closed so I got to sleep instead) so we stayed in town and celebrated quietly just the two of us. Then, because of the huge storm moving across the Midwest we weren't sure if we were going to be able to spend any time at all with our families, but on Christmas morning we decided to risk it. I'm so glad we did! Brent looked at every radar screen possible and determined the best out of four routes, so we had wet and rainy roads, but only slippery just a bit, until we reached the WI-MN border and hit huge blizzard conditions in the Twin Cities. But, by then, we could just go slow and get to my parents house safely!

Just in time to play with this guy!! Here he is with a favorite buddy of his, Uncle "Bent"!

Chuck and Penny were in town to visit Sara and our family, and here we all are at Christmas dinner. Yummy!
While cleaning up, this little guy had fun being tossed up high in the air.
Check out the big grin -on both of their faces!
I love him so much! I could just squeeze those cheeks, hug him to death, and tickle his neck all day long! He's been saying so many new words lately, and is finally saying Ta-wee and Bent for Brent and I. He's known our names forever, just was stubborn enough to not repeat things we asked him to repeat. That's finally turning around!
A few more silly pictures!
Flipping upside-down.
Wrestling on the floor.
David definitely loves all of us, but Grandpa might be his favorite of all!
Penny, Chuck, and Sara were wonderful additions to our family celebration. We're so glad they could join us! We missed Heidi who is teaching overseas, but I guess before Brent and I got to town they all got to talk with her on Skype. We've grown up with this amazing family feeling more like sisters and aunt/uncle versus cousins, so it was very fitting to have them there!
David posing in front of the tree and presents. He even helped Grandma decorate the tree this year.
We had a busy night opening all these presents!
We've always taken the traditional picture in front of the fireplace, so here is our first annual Andrews family photo!
The Olson family
All of us
Chuck and Penny
David helped Grandpa pass out presents, and loved his job! I took a video, but I've still never been successful at getting videos to load on Blogger and it takes forever to do it on vimeo and transfer it over. Maybe I'll figure it out another time....
We still like being called the newlyweds!
Later that night, or maybe it was the next, Grandma watched The Polar Express with David. He had seen it before, and loved most of it.
It was pretty cute to watch them.
On Sunday morning, Brent and I drove to La Crosse, where Brent's parents now live, to celebrate Christmas with them and his sister and her family. We didn't get many group pictures, but here is this year's Christmas tree. His parents are just getting settled in, but it was so fun to see the progress they're making on that.
One of the big jokes of the night, was that for our gift exchange (we drew names) I had asked for a fat skimmer. I was thinking of something that I could use to get the fat off the top of soups, stews, etc when I'm cooking. Well, my mother-in-law had my name, and searched all over and found this thing called "The Fat Mop"! We had many laughs over it, but I'm really excited to use it soon!
We drove back to Appleton Monday morning in time for me to work a shift at 2:45pm that day, and then had a few days here at home before going to pick up Micaela on Thursday for the weekend. Our final Christmas celebration was last night and I love this picture of how proud Brent looks, watching Micaela! One of the things we gave her was a game for her Nintendo DS called Brain Age, and it's got all these games dealing with intelligence. She's extremely smart, so it was fun to see her master this!
We went to our friend, Andy's, home for a New Year's Eve celebration last night, and today is a fun low-key day at home spent watching movies, updating blogs, applying for jobs, and updating on [Candis: Brent's back on and loving it!] We also ate a delicious brunch where Micaela got the "You Are Special Today" plate. You see, she's pretty amazing all the time, but we were celebrating her huge accomplishment of becoming the first freshman ever at her school to make "Chorale". It's the elite singing group usually reserved for upperclassmen. Yeah, that's how talented she is! This afternoon, she and I made the wonderful pretzel-kiss-M&M treat seen here. I guess we ate a bunch already! They were yummy!
Tomorrow we're going to another holiday party in the evening and then we'll be taking Micaela back on Sunday. Overall, it's a wonderful time of the year!