Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easy $20

Matt won $20 for being the first one done with his test in one of his classes! I was afraid it would affect his score but I was glad when he told me he got a 96% then I was mad again when he told me the average was 99% ha ha.  Oh well, an A is an A and I would rather be $20 richer!

Yvonne got really sick a few weeks ago.  She had a really high fever (102-103)  last Monday and was so lethargic! It was really sad. Luckily, the next day we were scheduled to see the doctor anyways for her 9 month appointment.  We went to our appointment and the doctor looked in Yvonne's mouth and diagnosed her with hand foot mouth disease.  We had a few rough days but gratefully Yvonne was back to her normal self pretty quickly.

The best news this month was that Matt was offered the internship he really wanted this summer!  We feel really blessed!  It was a long process.  Matt applied in November and he had three, hour long phone interviews through the month of February before the company made the decision.  The company is called the Studer Group and it is in Pensicola, Florida but he can work remotely so he will be working from home.  He will do some travelling during it but I am so glad to be staying in Birmingham this summer!

We are trying to go on picnics because we love being outside! We wanted to try new parks but after going to two and failing we might just stick with the parks that we know...what kind of park closes at 5 pm?! The weather has been so nice and it is getting so green here.







 This huge spider is disgusting and I didn't know how scared of spiders Matt was until this guy showed up in our bedroom...





Matt has had the last 2 weeks off of school!  I am wondering if he will even remember where his classes are.  During this long break we have both worked.  I have picked up a few more substitute teaching jobs.  When I teach the kids always know that I'm "not from around here".  hmmm. My accent gives it away?  

We did plan to go to Atlanta for a couple of days and the next few paragraphs would have consisted of a fun report of all that we saw there...but then our car broke down.  We decided to stay home and use our money to fix our car.  It has still been a nice spring break and we have been hanging out a lot with another family in our ward.  Well more like I have been hanging out with the gal and going shopping/pedicures while Matt has been hanging out with the guy and watching March Madness.  Remember that one time I went to someone's house to watch a football game?? Well I am sure glad I did because this family has been like family to us! 

Yvonne loves being outside and being tall like her dad!




We went to the ward Easter egg hunt and Yvonne was not impressed!  I thought she would really have a good time because she loves being around other kids and picking things up off of the ground. I was wrong!  I couldn't get a smile out of her all day!  She must have woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  She was in a lot better mood on Sunday and Matt said that she must just like the true meaning of Easter better than the commercial side of it!  







Happy Easter! We are so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ and we know he lives!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

February Update

We have been especially busy the last couple weeks.  He has had some internship interviews, school stuff and church activities.  I have been busy with Yvonne, socializing and hobbies (my life sounds more fun, right?!).

For school Matt was part of  the annual case competition that UAB holds for the healthcare administration students across the nation.  About 40 schools send their best nerds to compete.  Matt was in charge of filming one round of presentations-it was about 5 hours worth of filming! He said he learned a lot and the presentations were really great.  He also really liked telling me about the drama that went down in the competition; including  the host announcing the wrong winner!!  Ha!  There is no drama like nerd drama.  GleeVen GLiven!

Matt went with the youth in the stake to the Big Oak Ranch for service.  It is a ranch for disadvantaged (homeless/orphaned/neglected/abused) kids.  The kids are put into families with a mom and dad that are married that live at the ranch.  I think it is really neat and definitely inspired by God that this is how the ranch is designed.  I know the best way for children to grow up are with a mother and father.  While there Matt cleared timber from a field for half the Saturday.  Everyone said it was a lot of hard work but the Ranch was so grateful for the service!  I think the youth from our ward had a great experience.

I have had a couple of sub teaching jobs which have been good.  The rest of the time I spend with Yvonne which is really good! She is so fun and trouble now that she can crawl!  Her favorite thing to do is get to the edge of the carpet and just pick at it until she gets some in her mouth.  She eats carpet! And basically anything else she can get her hands on.  She loves going on outings and being with other kids.  She doesn't really know how to play with them yet but she really just likes being one of them.  She is not into pureed baby food anymore (even though she doesn't have any teeth) so we feed her cut up pieces of squash, banana, chicken, sweet potato, and avocado.  I'm still doing Hot Yoga and I meet up with the ladies in the ward to watch The Bachelor weekly.

And best part of last week was that Matt and I went to the temple together!! Yay!  

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Nashville


 Road trip!  We went to Nashville for the Eastern Lifferth German Dinner.  We went up on a Friday and came home on a Saturday but it was great!  We packed a lot of fun into 24 hours!  Nashville is a 3 hour drive from us and there is plenty of family to stay with making it a quick, inexpensive trip.  This time we stayed with Uncle David and Aunt Shirley.  They are the sweetest!  Matt even got to drive Uncle David's electric car (Nissan Leaf).  We had some recommendations to go to Hattie B's Hot Chicken.  Yum! And it was hot!  We walked around downtown for a bit and saw the Parthenon.  I think we would have walked around longer but it was so cold!!

 Cousin Shauna hooked me up with a race entry to the Hot Chocolate 5k in downtown Nashville on Saturday morning.  Best 5k I have done because the treats afterwards were awesome!! Also the coldest 5k I have ever done!  At the water station I grabbed a cup of water and it was frozen solid all the way through.  I just set it down and kept running.  At least the chocolate chips they were handing out kept their form perfectly!  

Visiting with family was the best! We got to visit with quite a few cousins and Uncle Ernie came from Indiana.  The German food was really tasty and it was great being reminded of our ancestors and their stories.  Even though I have heard a lot of the stories before I am so glad to hear them again.  I am always amazed of their strength and courage to always do what is right and what the Lord would want them to do.  I learn a lot from them every time. 

Leaving sunny Alabama ready to hit up Nashville with my plaid on!
And actually in Nashville.  I never took my coat off, as you can see in the pictures! This is the Parthenon.  It is an exact replica as the real one in Athens, Greece.

 We kept Yvonne nice and warm!





This was a huge race!  Lots of people!  Me with my cousins Shauna and Jeremy!


Post race goodies: Hot chocolate and chocolate fondue with all the dippings-totally worth the freezing temperatures!


Aunt Judy and Uncle Ernie
   
For Valentines Yvonne and I made cookies and we took them to Matt's work hoping to surprise him...but he was in a meeting!  We didn't even get to see him! So we left all the cookies for his coworkers to enjoy! Sometimes my surprises backfire... But Yvonne is a cutie!

We went to a friends house for a Valentines party.  They decorated really cute and they made special drinks that were inspired by Matt's missionary story.  In one apartment Matt lived in on his mission he would here some techno beats every morning at 2 am from the apartment above him.  Every night no fail it was the song Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams".

A few other things that are happening...Matt is applying and interviewing for many internships for this summer.  He doesn't have school on Fridays so I am substitute teaching that day so I can get some hours to keep my teaching license renewed.  Yvonne is crawling! It is a lot of fun but a lot more work for mom and dad.  I started my hot yoga classes and I love it!  I would not recommend it to everyone though.  If you enjoy that burning hot car in the summer feel then I would suggest it for you! Heat is my element.  The room is heated to 95-105 degrees and 40% humidity.  It makes you sweat all over.  Matt is swimming before school a few mornings a week because he has a gimp leg and can't run right now.   

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Birthday Bananza(s)

Matt gave me the best birthday week a wife could ask for! He has been wishing me "happy birthday" since January 2nd.  Usually I give him a hard time during January by telling him "it's my birthday month, week , etc."  Now my fourth birthday being together he has finally caught on! he he.  This past week I was really spoiled though...I ate at my two favorite restaurants (in Birmingham), went with some girlfriends for a manicure, had lunch at a friends house, got a month pass to do Bikram (hot) yoga!?, and received many birthday wishes from friends and family!  It was a great week.  Oh and to top it off I enjoyed 65-70 degree weather! Woot! Woot! I didn't get a picture of everything but...

 I was totally surprised by this onesie when I was getting Yvonne out of her pajamas on my birthday!
                                                                And the bottom view
Biggest birthday candle ever with these lovely ladies at the delicious Babalu (so glad we discovered this place when the Browns were in town)!
Yvonne enjoyed this balloon so much more than the birthday girl!  I'm happy to share!

I ended my birthday week with a hike in Oak Mountain State Park to Peavine Falls.  It is the largest waterfall I have seen since Utah!  And do you notice the crisp clarity on that picture of the waterfall?! Oh yeah! I finally ditched my iphone 4 and got a phone with a much better camera.  Better pictures to come!



Yvonne is about to crawl.  She will get on all fours and just rock back and forth.  Sometimes laughing because she is having a great time and sometimes crying because she is really frustrated because she can't move herself forward yet.  She sure gets onto her belly in an interesting way... Yoga Master!

video

We attended our ward chili and dessert competition.  We brought Grandma's Beans and Matt's favorite peanut butter cookies.  I got second place for Grandma's Beans.  I really think I would have gotten first place but they gave first place prize to some 10-year-old!  Or I just lost fair and square to a 10-year-old....And the peanut butter cookies, well, the winner of the dessert competition told me that I should have won.  Basically we like food around here!

One last story.  Matt has been going crazy from the squeaky faucet in our master bathroom sink and he brought it upon himself to fix it.  He got a screw driver and proceeded to unscrew the left nob of the sink only to realize very quickly that he should have turned the water off before he had started.  GUSH!!!!!  Water shot up out of there like old faithful! The water pressure was so strong it ripped a huge chunk of wallpaper off of the ceiling! Matt, soaking wet trying to cover the exploded faucet, finally reached under the sink (luckily he has long arms) to turn the water off.  I couldn't stop laughing but I did help by running to get bowls for the leakage (that sink is in a carpeted area). Luckily we didn't totally ruin the apartment. On the other hand, he did fix the squeaky faucet... for about a week. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Roll Tide!

Bamers LOVE college football.  In Alabama there are two major football teams that you must choose between and swear all loyalty to: the University of Alabama who has an elephant as a mascot but uses the term "roll tide" for a cheer... I don't really understand why but you can read about it HERE .  Then there is Auburn University with a tiger as a mascot but "war eagle" is their saying...also something I don't understand so you can read about it HERE.  One can be eating at a restaurant or sitting in class and one person will say "roll tide!" and all the other University of Alabama fans will join in a chorus, "roll tide!" while all the Auburn fans snicker and vice versa.  True Story. This is one aspect of the south no one warned me about.  Matt and I don't watch football and because of that we have been put in some awkward situations.  

We were invited to watch the national championship college football game at a friend's house and we debated about going for a few hours.  So dramatic, I know, but I can seriously count on one hand how many times I have actually watched a football game and of those times I don't think I ever watched from start to finish.  But we decided to go!  We even dressed Yvonne in Red and white for the University of Alabama colors.  The whole drive over we were stressing and wondering if they would know that we couldn't care less about football but we were going more for the camaraderie and food or wondering if they were die-hard fans that were going to be on their hands and knees clawing at the carpet in anticipation of their team winning.  When we were walking up the steps Matt bursts out, "Just, Just act normal!!" We ended up having a nice time and our team won!

Evenings are a time for dad and Yvonne to hang.  Matt will play with Yvonne, read to her and in special cases sing to her! And he always tops it off with a fun bath.This picture makes it look like Yvonne was dancing:)  And look at those pants! Brother-in-law Ben says he likes Matt because he is always wearing the same pants - apparently a good quality to have!


On one of the warmer days we went to the Botanical Gardens! Woot! Woot! I love this place.  We have gone there a few times now and still haven't seen all the gardens!  This time we discovered the tropical/citrus gardens.  I found a banana tree!  We also saw a coffee bean bush, cacao tree, guava tree, grapefruit tree, and a lot of other rare (for the US) trees.


Matt found a star fruit tree! Yvonne is now sitting face forward in her stroller.  She is big enough now that we don't need to attach the carseat to the stroller.  She is loving it! She feels like she can see the whole world now.  



Cute baby Yvonne in her pink dress, ready for church.  I don't put her in pink very often (surprisingly it's not a very popular baby girl clothes color right now) but now I want more pink for her!


 For MLK day we went on a short hike by our house.  It is seriously like 1/2 mile away.  It was pretty chilly (39 degrees F) so we made it quick.  Matt carried Yvonne in the Osprey baby backpack and it was awesome! Baby and Dad had a good time!




Matt was able to help the youth in our ward with Baptisms for the dead.  He really enjoyed going.  He was also able to help the missionaries teach a couple who are investigating the church.  One of the questions the investigators had was about why we call them "church meetings" instead of "church services" because it is a service - you go to take the sacrament.  So now I am going to say church services! 


Sunday, January 10, 2016

HO-HO-HOme for the Holidays!

Thank you UAB for giving Matt a whole month off of school!! Yes, no school for Matt from December 11- January 11.  It has been wonderful.  We planned to go to Utah for 3 whole weeks during the break - why not right? Gotta take advantage while we can!  We did a lot over the breakt-everything is not mentioned but we had fun, maybe even a little too much fun! I don't think we will be able to handle 3 weeks again! 

Also, thank you Alabama for incredible running weather! We even ran a race December 12 in shorts and a t-shirt!
I talked to my sister Kim on the phone and we decided to run 16 miles together to welcome in 2016 (kinda crazy...but I just feel like I have hardly run in 2015 because of pregnancy and what-not).  Matt was my mobile aid station on my prep run (about 12 miles).  He pushed Yvonne in the stroller and carried my water.  We saw this huge Christmas tree and had to get a picture by it!

The race we ran was a trail relay.  The total distance was about 27 miles and we ran it with another couple.  Matt and I did about 7 miles each and the other couple did about 6 miles each.  It was a lot of fun! We ran at Red Mountain State park.  Matt started the race against this other lady's husband (we were all doing the relay) and she just started talking smack on our team.  "Yeah, look for my husband he will be wearing blue." Our team said, "Our guy is wearing orange, look for him too."  She said, "No, my husband will be coming in first..blah blah blah." Guess who showed up first??? Matt!! The lady was so concerned talking to Matt, "Did you see my husband??? Did he get lost? Are you sure he's behind you? This isn't like him! I'm going to have to have a word with him!" Ha ha!  But in the end - they did beat our team!! (by only 9 minutes)

                                        


So we get to Utah and this is the weather we have to run in...Matt ran with a ski mask a few times...I just chose not to run...
With the peer pressure of Kim we decided to run 16....kilometers! Not miles! We ran on New Years Eve and it was a bright sunny day.  It was only about 16 degrees but we had a great time! I love running with my sister.  We just talk the whole way and the time flies! Welcome 2016! Grateful it isn't 2026:)
Another thing I loved doing during the break was crafting! I crafted solo, with my sisters and with my mom.  Us sisters made baby headbands throughout the break.  We had a table set up with all our supplies and we crafted away.  Yvonne is modeling one of the headbands below.  She is also sporting her Mean Girls onesie that says "On Wednesdays we wear pink."  My mom embroidered them and we made one for cousin Lettie too!




 I sewed a holiday dress for Yvonne and a bow tie for Matt.

I was going to make myself a holiday skirt...but never got around to it.







Sisters and Sushi!! Linda was with us too! I haven't had sushi since the summer.  Spending time with family was our #1 favorite part of the holiday break! It just so happens a lot of family time ended up being food time too.  You can ask Matt all about the smoker...  Matt and I went to Leatherby's in Midvale with Kyle and Natalie (I don't know why they ever got rid of the Provo Leatherby's?!) It was so good visiting and the ice cream was yum! Plus we had done an amazing sealing session with my Uncle Bob beforehand that was really wonderful.  It was so nice to go to the temple, especially with family.  We also loved going as a family for Leslie's endowment session - such a special place to be! 



                  We stayed up way to late some nights and could not get up in the morning....



Yvonne puts everything she can get her hands on in her mouth! Yes, even her baby cousin! Elette seemed to be OK with it...so the Moms just sat back and watched.










Leslie holding Yvonne at cousin Ryan's art show - he has some pretty awesome photographs.  Plus he named a lot of them after Neil Diamond songs!



On our first Saturday in town we picked up Ben from the airport and headed to Logan for the annual gingerbread house walk.  Yay for family!! I felt lucky because it was actually a warmer day to be walking around town.








                                                                        Cute Santy



Watching Yvonne open presents was the best! Of course she loved the wrapping paper and boxes! 

video


I wanted to hike Donut falls real bad.  I have never done it before so a few of us braved the snow (Yvonne included-she didn't have much of a choice) and hiked to the cave with the waterfall.  It is up Big Cottonwood Canyon and the views were worth it!  Matt went on a couple other major adventures without me.  He went to a cave with my dad and some cousins the day after Christmas.  I thought they were never going to get back-but they finally did a couple hours after dark.  He had a good time! On New Years day he went with the group snowmobiling and hiking to the Hot Pots up Spanish Fork Canyon.  We did the same thig last year with the same old snow mobiles...so I opted to stay home with Yvonne.  The group had a fun time even though the snow mobiles broke down.  Everyone smelled like gasoline when they walked in the door.






We did family photos with Matt's family when everyone was in town! Bridgett (http://www.bridgettj.com/) is such a good photographer! Here are just a few of them:
 The one below is of all the girl cousins! Can you tell which one is the mean one? When Yvonne sees hair she can't help but pull it!

The cutest babe on the block!



Love Love Love my little family! It was so good seeing our extended families but the BEST part of my break was having more of Matt and Yvonne taking up my time!