Saturday, November 22, 2008

Alisa - The Best Wife Ever!

So I was planning on posting this for Alisa's birthday, but I didn't so I am now about 3 weeks late.

There are so many great things about Alisa that I want to share. As I think about all the things that she has done for me, it really starts shortly after we started dating. When we started dating, I was between jobs. She got me in touch with her brother-in-law who was working at a bank in downtown SLC. I was able to get that job and worked there until we moved to Seattle.

She always wants to help people to be happy and successful. I had a brother out of work recently and Alisa kept asking if we knew of any opennings or if we could get him in touch with anyone. She is very concerned about other people and really worries about them and the things that they are going through.

Another thing Alisa did when we were first dating was to help me find a major that I could graduate quickly, map out my school schedule for those two years, AND she bought me my books for that semester which was like $400 bucks.

When we first got married, she was making more money than I was and that continued up until this spring when I got the job at GE that I currently have. Not only was she basically supporting me as I finished school, last year in Seattle, I was unemployed for almost the whole year. The job market was very competitive there and while I had lots of interviews and no matter how close I was, there always ended up being someone with more education or more work experience. During that time, Alisa worked very hard to keep my spirits up (It is really hard to be rejected that many times). In addition to the constant encouragement, she was supporting us finacially from the three different jobs she was working. (Running the research project BYU was conducting, teaching online courses and on in person course for the U of U, and working as a contract researcher for Utah Foster Care Foundation.)

Alisa has been a great teammate as well. She has talked decisions through with me and helped me to look at different sides of the situation as we were trying to decide what to do for a job for me. She has always been very defensive of me and hates when she thinks people see me as less than she does. There have been times when she has wanted to march up to someone and yell at them because she feels that they were looking down on me.

Most of all though, Alisa is a great friend. I just love spending time with her. I have so much fun just sitting around with her and watching TV or just talking. She has actually put a lot of effort into learning sports trivia and the rules of basketball and football so that she can impress me with her analysis. She is really just so great. She puts a lot of effort into knowing things about sports and she really is not interested in sports except for the purpose of impressing me. It is really thoughtful of her. You should ask her sometime to analyze the BCS situation with Utah, or the chances the Jazz have of winning a playoff series against the Lakers.

Alisa is also a really great mom. It seems to me that there are very few things, if any, that she cannot do exceptionally well. She is very attentive to Nyla and loves spending her days at home with her. Some moms have a hard time making the transition, but Alisa really hasn't. She calls me at work and tells me all about bath time, or vomit that she had to clean off herself, but she is always so happy about being a mom. Even after Nyla has been crying for an hour straight, Alisa will be holding her and tell her just how much she loves her. It is really amazing, because at those times, that is usually the last thing I am thinking about. She has so much patience for Nyla just being a baby. It is really great to see.

I love Alisa SOOO much. I am so blessed that she chose me and still wants to be with me. She is so committed to our family that I never have to wonder about anything. She is really great, and I love her.
This is the token picture of Nyla. She really likes to suck on her fingers.

Friday, November 14, 2008

More Travelling

Our trip started out on Halloween in NYC, but then on Saturday we did whatever Alisa wanted to do which included shopping for earings and going to dinner in Little Italy.

On Monday, we went to Times Square for some pizza and garlic twists (Mmmm). We also wanted to get pictures of Nyla in New York so that when she is 14 and complains about never having left Utah, we can always show her these pictures (although they probably won't make her any happier).

On Tuesday, Nov 4, we flew from New York to Arkansas (just for information, JFK Int'l is an awful airport. It is crowded and maze-like. La Guardia on the otherhand was great. I would recommend going through there if you have the choice.) For all you out there that are worried, we voted before we left because we knew we would be gone on the 4th.

Nyla was a little fussy on the plane, so to calm her down, she and I got to do one of her very favorite things. We watched football highlights on ESPN. I don't know why, but she really loves football. She was fussy until she noticed the TV with the sports highlights, then she calmed right down.

After a bit she got tired so we put her in her car seat. Because it was Election Day, the flights were pretty empty, so they let us take the car seat on. It was really great. It really made it easy for her to sleep.

In Arkansas, Alisa was presenting some of her research at a conference in Little Rock. While there we got to see just about everything there is to see in Little Rock.

We walked around downtown and walked across one of the many bridges.

We also went to the Clinton Presidential Library (museum). Regardless of what you think of him, this was really cool to see. It went over all the
stuff that happened during his presidency.

They had a replica of the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room.

My favorite exhibit was a timeline of Clinton's presidency. It was a really interesting walk down memory lane from a Presidential perspective (they let us use a wheel chair to carry Nyla's car seat.)

From Little Rock, we drove up to Bentonville, AR, to visit my sister Kim and her family. They just loved Nyla. It was so fun to watch them with her. My niece, Delaney, and nephew, Logan, just wanted to hold her and play with her all the time. We were also fortunate that our trip coincided with Logan's 7th birthday AND the losing of his first tooth.

All in all it was a great trip. We really loved that we were able to visit my sister Kim and Shane and their kids in Arkansas. That was the first time we were able to make it out there together, and my first time in 6 years, so it was great.

I know this post was long. I hope you all enjoyed it... if anyone reads this blog besides us.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

For Halloween this year Alisa wanted to visit her sister in New York. Since it also happens to be Alisa's 30th birthday, we decided that we should do it. The issue is that we genereally have a few go to costumes, but they just wouldn't work in NYC. There is a huge parade and people just hit the streets in their costumes, plus, her sister and her husband always have something great that they dress up as. More about that later.

So as we were brainstorming we came up with a Star Wars family theme. We found a Yoda costume online that we ordered for Nyla. 5 days after it was supposed to arrive, we got an email saying it was on backorder and that we should receive it around Nov. 12th. So, we had to make the costume. Alisa spend two days tailoring it and getting everything just right. She also worked on her Princess Leia costume (A white dress from the DI with a slight alteration and a home made belt. She bought a wig for $5 at ShopKo and she and her sister made the buns.) I made my Jedi costume with a little help from Alisa. She cut out part of the shirt and found the pattern on the internet.

The week before we left for NY, we were at a family party at my parents' house and the best costumes there were my sister's homemade Wizard of Oz family costumes (all except the lion). The cowardly Lion was being exceptionally cowardly in this picture. I think there were real tears.

OK, back to New York. So we thought we had great costumes, and really we did, but the real show stealing costumes were once again Alisa's sister's and brother-in-law's. They went as their own Mii's. (Wii characters you make to look like yourself) They were like Disneyland characters in that TONS of people wanted pictures with them. As the night went on and we got around the city and to the parade, I'm pretty sure that some people had heard about them because people were saying, "Oh, there are the Mii's. Let's get a picture." They were also a huge hit with the Asian crowd.

So we had been expecting everyone to have great costumes, but that really wasn't the case. Great costumes were pretty few and far between. The best one we saw was a vulture. His beak would even move as he talked. He got a picture with us and then he wanted one with BreAnna and Bryan too.

The night was awesome. Since Alisa's birthday is Halloween, she kind of felt like everytime someone said "Happy Halloween," they were really saying "Happy Birthday!" She had a great time. But, as with all great things, frequently they end in a total meltdown with lots of tears. Nyla was exhasted, hungry, and tired of all the noise.

Happy Halloween!