Monday, February 16, 2009

Evolution... Brooklyn Style!





Valentines Day!

This year was one of the most fun and relaxing Valentines days I have ever had! The night before, Kevin and I slept in the living room so we could stay up late watching movies and playing Pounce!
In the morning, Kevin made us all breakfast. We had waffles and they were delicious!

Then we opened presents together. Kevin got me an amazing spice rack and I was SO happy!!! Brooklyn got me a swim cap so my hair won't get ruined while I train for my triathlon. Kevin got Brooklyn some child locks for the kitchen cabinets so that she can hang out with us when we are cooking. And Brooklyn and I got Kevin 3 Giant bags of M&M's!

After we opened presents we hung out around the house, let Brooklyn take a nap in the living room, played on the balcony, and then we walked to Wal-mart and Home Depot and looked at all the cool gardening things! When we got home, we made the best Mud Brownie EVER (thanks to Natalie) and ate it while we watched some fun red box movies!
The best part...Kevin cleaned everything up the next day so I wouldn't have to! I sure do love that guy!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Highlights from a CRAZY week!

At the beginning of last week I was getting a little depressed. It was FREEZING cold (the high temperature usually under 10 degrees), I had NO kitchen, NO car, and NO friends to go visit! Then I got an awesome pep-talk from my best friend Jennie, set some new goals, and said a little prayer before I went to bed... and then...EVERYTHING got better.

On Friday, I got a call from a lady in the ward telling me that the weather was going to warm up into the forties so she and a bunch of other moms were going to drive downtown together to the Field Museum for a playdate with their kids. She invited me to go and offered me a ride. YES! Finally I was going to get out of the house!

Then, on my way out the door, our landlord called and said she was sending in the maintenance guys that day to finish my kitchen!!! Hooray! Warm weather, a finished kitchen, and intelligent socialization! How could it get any better than that?!

We went to the museum and it was a beautiful day. We even got in for FREE! Brooklyn loved touching everything and being around other little kids. Her favorite was the music room. She actually understood the concept of using this thing and played some pretty good music.

The room was even soundproof so no one else had to listen but the people inside...VERY good idea. I wish our apartment was soundproof too!

Brooklyn also liked playing these bells, although I think she would have preferred ripping them off and eating them over making sound with them.

Here are some other pictures from the museum. We saw skeletons and sculptures, played with fossils, and pretended to be hatching dinosaurs and Mayan villagers.
In all, 23 people went to the museum and I learned all of their names! Now I have a whole set of new friends to call when it gets too cold and lonely!
When I got home from the museum, the kitchen was already finished. It was so good to know that I wouldn't have to wash dishes in the bathtub, make waffles on my living room floor, or store kitchen appliances on my hallway shelf any more!

This is what our kitchen looked like before. There were only cabinets on one wall and only 1/3 of our things fit in them. Also, we had a linoleum floor that had a huge bubble right in the middle!

This is what our house has looked like almost the whole time we've been here. Iggy and Leo were a permanent part of the decor as well. Brooklyn even started calling them "Daddy" when they would come every morning!

This is the finished product. A new sink and dishwasher, cabinets all the way around, new counter tops, and a new wood floor without a big bubble in the middle!
Some other random things that happened this week: The temperatures hit the sixties and all our snow melted so Brooklyn and I played out on our balcony. Brooklyn will finally sit still for a whole TV show without tearing things off the shelves. She also learned how to escape from her footie pajamas AND she slept in her "big girl" bed for the first time.
Also, not pictured on this blog: We went to a Chinese New Year celebration at our ward and met a million new people, had dinner at the Noorda's house in our ward, got new ward callings and an assignment to speak in church next Sunday, and I am getting really good at finding my way around...yes...I am actually driving!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Our FIRST Visitors!

Well, it happened! Only 2 weeks of living in Downers Grove and we had our FIRST visitors! Kevin's Brother, Brian drove down to Chicago from Michigan on Friday for some job interviews and since we were so close, he brought Natalie (his wife) and his kids, Wes and Sydney. We were SO excited to have some visitors but as luck would have it...right before they came Kevin, Brooklyn and I all got very sick with some kind of virus thingy! (That's why we look so bad in that picture above.)

If that weren't bad enough, our kitchen is still not finished so we don't have counters or a sink! We had to wash all our dishes in the bathtub. AND! Because we had no cabinets until 30 seconds before Natalie pulled into our parking lot, we also had no food in the house, and incidentally, because we hadn't shopped for food, we ran out of toilet paper right before they came as well!

Luckily, that didn't stop the fun. We just used paper plates and a whole lot of hand sanitizer!

While they were here, we got to let the children run wild together while we all relaxed, go to the McDonald's Play place, and exercise without finding a babysitter!

Also, Brian and Natalie decided that for a house warming gift, they would buy us some groceries. It was SO wonderful to finally have food in the house! That was honestly the nicest thing they could have done for us! When we got back from shopping, Natalie made us the best soup that I have ever tasted and then we played some pounce and had root beer floats!

But the three most memorable things of the trip were, number 1: P90X (an exercise program that all the Hanks children have decided to do together...

Here is Natalie cheering Brian on. It was probably the most intense exercise program I have ever he needed the extra love!

Here is Brian, Natalie and Kevin rockin out to P90X! I sat it out...because...I didn't feel like torturing myself for an hour and fifteen minutes that night! :)

This is what they looked like from where I was standing. Hopefully their coordination will improve by the end of the 90 days! :)

The second most memorable thing: Wes and Brooklyn Playing together! You could hardly pull them apart. Brooklyn basically worships Wes and she would follow him everywhere and do whatever he was doing. When they all left, she screamed bloody murder at the door for 5 minutes. I think she was actually mad at Brian and Natalie for taking Wes with them!

The third most memorable thing: Sydney! Sweet little Sydney. She is the cutest, calmest little baby in the world and both Kevin and I thoroughly enjoyed having her around to snuggle. It sure is different to hang out with a baby that doesn't chew you out every 5 minutes!

Well, it was a fun weekend despite the drawbacks and I even think Brian's interviews went well. Thanks for visiting guys! And for getting us food! :) Maybe next time I'll be a better hostess and I'll make YOU dinner instead!