Friday, January 31, 2014

2013 memories

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across the idea to keep a memory jar, in which you deposit little tidbits of happy or funny memories from the year. 

I didn't take a picture of our jar this year, but here's our stash from last year to show you what it looks like:


At the end of the year (or midway through January of the next...) we open the jar and read all the memories. It's a fun glimpse at some silly/happy things we have usually forgotten about and we always have a fun time. 

Some highlights from 2013:

December 1st
Upon discussing John 1:3 for our scripture study ("and without him was not anything made that was made"), Jesse said, 

"Ain't nothin' made that he don't make--that's what that means."


November 16th

Nikolai found the wii remote and figured out how to start the next episode of Daniel Tiger. Pleased, he turned and said "I di-i!" (I did it)

April 15th

A conversation between Jesse and me:

Catherine: I think cookies are my comfort food.

Jesse: Good thing you're good at making them then!

Catherine: Wait...maybe cookies are my favorite food!




December 5th

Jesse is bringing Nikolai down the stairs. Niko is fussing because he wants to brush his teeth.

Jesse: No, it's not time for that. We brush teeth at bedtime. Do you want to go to bed?

Niko: No!

Jesse: Ok, let's go play then. Do you want to play?

Niko: No!

Jesse: Well, those are your two choices, so...

(there's a pause as they size each other up)

Jesse (dramatically): Do you want to rule the world tonight, then?

Niko: 'Kay...


February 14th

Jesse brought me Valentine's day flowers 

Catherine: I like lilies. They're pretty.

Jesse: Yeah, they're like orchids but less aggressive. 

Catherine: Lilies are like, "Hey, I'm pretty!"

Jesse: And orchids are like "All shall love me and despair!"


Here's to another great and happy year :D






Niko is two!

He's two! Our boy is two! 

He had a really quiet birthday a week ago (so quiet I didn't remember to blog about it til now..)--just us three and some funfetti cupcakes and lots of love. 

For some reason, I decided I really wanted to give Nikolai a cupcake as soon as he woke up from his nap (cause you know, ruining a two year old's dinner is high on my to-do list) so when he arrived downstairs we had the cupcakes prepped and ready to go! 

Funny story: We lit the matches and got all ready to sing the happy birthday song, but before we could even take a breath our grown boy preemptively blew out the candles! We were surprised he knew what to do (I think the last birthday party he went to was in October?) but he did! So needless to say, we re-lit the candles so we could sing to him, which was fine by him--he was more than happy to blow them out twice :) 




It was surprisingly fun, having a tiny party of just us. Standing there, singing happy birthday with Jesse to our smiling toddler, I got a glimpse of all the happy family birthday parties that await us in the years ahead and I got a great warm and fuzzy feeling :) 


A few gratuitous cupcake-eating pictures, cause, you know.  

 

Finally, as I was going through the pictures today, I noticed the one below and it reminded me of a picture of myself as a two-ish year old:





A little family resemblance maybe? Sometime soon I want to go through baby pictures of both Jesse and me and compare them to Nikolai to see who he looks like more! (cause honestly, I look at Niko all day so to me he just looks like himself!) 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Silly Niko


These are some random videos of our silly Niko from last month before the big trip. 

1. Nikolai being REALLY giggly:

video

2. Nikolai with his made up sign language, telling us that he's thirsty.


video

SO CUTE!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Odgen Train Museum

Our last Saturday in Utah we decided to simultaneously spend some quality time with my folks and blow Nikolai's tiny train-obsessed mind, so we went to the Odgen Train museum!


It's built in the old train station and it was really cool!


I loved this topographical map. It showed the whole length of the transcontinental railroad and reminded me just how much work building that whole thing was! 


Nikolai, of course, mostly loved looking at the models :D


But he did enjoy climbing in an old caboose with grandma!



They had this great display showing different sections of track on the transcontinental railroad with historical significance and model trains that would come through along them.  Needless to say, that was Niko's favorite part :D 



Later, we got to go see in the shop out back where they're restoring a 100-year old steam engine to working condition. It was awesome!!!! Nikolai, of course, didn't get it and instead created a train inception. 


A train on a train on a train....


Above is the engine they're restoring. It will be so cool when it runs again! 

This was such a fun trip and we loved the excuse to spend quality time with my parents and uncle Jack.  Thanks for having us come visit you, and a HUGE "WE LOVE YOU!" to all the family and friends we got to see while we were in UT/ID. This was definitely the best trip we've ever taken and we love you all so much!





Monday, January 20, 2014

Miscellany

After our trip up to Rexburg, we headed back down to Utah to spend a few more days with my family, as well as to take some time to see some friends. Unfortunately I didn't really take pictures of any of those excursions, so here's what I've got:

The gingerbread house we built (thanks for the kit, Andy and Monica! Great present!!!):



And 2 photos of Nikolai being silly:

Wearing grandma's shoes. Also, I'm not sure who's toothbrush that is...sorry!

Wearing 3D glasses like a true hipster.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Years in Rexburg

We were so lucky this year that we got to head up to Rexburg and see everyone in Jesse's family too!!! Everyone headed up for a few days and it was a blast to hang out with everybody :D


Outtakes from the annual family photo



(I love how the kids are running around and Dave and Juli just sit in the middle, totally relaxed and waiting patiently. Also, this is my one picture of sweet baby Norah, who we met for the first time this trip! We love you, Norah!)

The cousins especially had a really fun time. Nikolai LOVED his older cousins, Jack and Calvin and really had a blast playing with them and generally getting to hang out with older kids. 

Calvin was surprisingly game for playing with Nikolai (surprising because Calvin is more than a year older and talks way more than Nikolai) and Nikolai was tickled pink getting to play.  Here's a photo of them going "downtown" (according to Calvin) on Grandma Dolly's exercise bike:


And Calvin even played trains with Niko:

video

It was so nice to see everyone again and to all be in one place for the first time in awhile.  We really love you guys and hope to see you soon!!!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Snow!

On our second week of the break we headed up to Rexburg to see Jesse's family!!  It was really, really awesome to see them :)  While we were there, I decided to brave the cold and take Nikolai to take advantage of Idaho's most abundant resource this time of year: Snow! 

He really got a kick out of it (though he didn't like walking in it too much--it was too deep!).




I love this next one. THOMAS IS WATCHING YOU.


ALWAYS WATCHING.



Anyways, Nikolai was really cute, and we had a really fun time!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Anniversary number 4

For our anniversary this year, we took advantage of a free babysitter (thanks mom and dad!) and had our first ever night away from Nikolai! We stayed at the Peery hotel, this cool historic hotel in downtown SLC.


The pretty lobby!


First, we headed a few blocks away to one of our favorite restaurants, Eva's.


We went last year for our anniversary and loved it so much, we had to come back this year!



I LOVE their food--small family-style plates with tons of flavors I don't usually combine that are so delicious. 

To give you an idea, here's what we had that night (with terrible photos to go with them--guess I won't a food blogger anytime soon! ;D):


(Left) Roasted beets and goat cheese with garlic chips, mint and hazelnut vinaigrette (Right) Mixed green salad with apples, dried cranberries, spiced candied pecans and a honey lemon thyme vinaigrette


(Top) Baked greek mac and cheese with bacon, tomato, arugula all wrapped in a crispy phyllo dough. SO GOOD. (Bottom) Sweet potato gratin with red onions, Gruyere and toasted bread crumbs. 

You guys, that sweet potato dish up there doesn't look that exciting but it was AMAZING.  There's this sweet-salty thing going on with the sweet potatoes and the cheese, and the sweet potatoes are cut perfectly thin so they almost dissolve in your mouth but the cheese and breadcrumbs on top are so crisp and chewy and I almost want to cry just thinking about how delicious it was!!!!! (I seriously need to figure out how to make replicas of some of these!!!) 

To top it off we had a delicious frozen banana bread with icecream and carmelized banana which was really really yummy :D


Afterwards, we do what Jesse and Catherine do best: walking around the city, buying Jesse cheap clothes at H&M and checking out used book stores :D 


The next day we checked out in the morning and found some lovely frost on the car window:


And then headed over to Bruges Waffles for some delicious fare:


Jesse had a vanilla waffle with creme fraiche and blueberries, and I had a cinnamon one with chocolate bars cooked into it (because I am a grown up!!!) and cream on top. 


A close view to really make you salivate:


SO GOOD.

So in closing:

 Thanks for being my best friend, Jesse! You're awesome!  Let's keep going on this great adventure we're on, ok?  Thanks in advance for all the great years ahead of us! 

Love,
Catherine


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Christmas!

We spent Christmas with my family this year and we were so lucky to see all of my siblings! Nikolai didn't really get the whole presents shindig but he really enjoyed hanging out all the presents!


One of my favorite things about Jesse is that he's really easy to surprise and he makes great surprised faces:


]

I mean really. He is superb. 

We got a really fun game for Christmas (Betrayal at the house on the hill!) and had a blast roping in all our family members to play it with us. 


I love Megan and Garett in these two photos. Look at those happy dances!


This year I offered to make Christmas dinner for my mom (cause she's not a huge fan of cooking) and it was great! It was actually really fun to cook for that many people (I boiled so many potatoes!) and it ended up being really tasty. 



While we were there, my dad had the fun idea for us to ornaments as a family so we'd all have something to remember the holiday by. Megan and I came up with some salt-dough ornaments which we cut out with cookie cutters and painted, and it was awesome!




The results:


Thanks for the suggestion, dad! I'm going to love putting these on my tree next year and remembering the great time we had together :D

While we were home, we also met my brand new niece, Evelyn! She's Albert's new baby and boy, was she darling!


Of course a Sebright family get together would not be complete without putting together a puzzle:


Random funny picture: One night, when everyone was there, my parents slept on the couches in the family room so that everyone would have enough space to sleep.  We were staying up late that night watching a movie and doing the puzzle and they both fell asleep waiting for us to vacate their sleeping quarters :D



One last snapshot from that Christmas trip: Aunt Megan taught Nikolai to wink! 


Hooray!