Saturday, October 20, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance?

Um…NO! So for our 9 year anniversary back in May Shawn got me a real surprise. Really, I was shocked! He bought 5 sets of private dance lessons to take as a couple. I was totally caught off guard because Shawn doesn’t dance and has definitely never shown any interest in learning how. I myself don’t dance but always thought it would be fun to learn. This fact, of course, made his gift super sweet and thoughtful – a serious score for him!

Although I appreciated his gift I actually never thought we would do it. I left the scheduling up to Shawn and a couple months went by without mention of the dance lessons. All of the sudden in August, out of the blue Shawn’s like “Oh, I scheduled our first dance lesson for Tuesday night.” What?!!

Skip ahead to now. We just completed our 4th lesson this week. We have learned some Waltz, some Rumba and some Swing. The bad news is that I truly think we are the worst students our poor instructor has ever had. In fact, last time we were at the studio we asked our instructor (Isabella) if we are the worst student she’s ever had and she just laughed so hard she couldn’t breathe. I’m gonna go ahead and take that as a “yes.” Here are just a couple of our problems:

Every time we come back Isabella says, “Did you practice?” and we just have to hang our heads and give a defeated “no.” Also, because we’re so busy our lessons are always way too far apart.

Another thing is that I have a hard time following the lead (shocking!) This is what Isabella said to me during our first lesson, “It doesn’t matter how things really are in life, on the dance floor the man is the lead. The best female dancers make the same mistakes as their partners.” Huh?? Anyway, I guess she didn’t think she got through to me because during our third lesson she made me dance with her until I could finally follow the lead. It took me a good fifteen minutes (with Shawn just having to patiently watch) and I’m still not convinced she didn’t just give up.

And finally Shawn isn’t always the best lead and doesn’t exactly have the most rhythm (sorry Shawn, but you said it yourself!). Shawn loves to switch up dance moves in the middle of a dance to kind of keep things going which would be fine. The problem is that when you do this you’re supposed to give your partner certain signs like, depending on the move, putting a little more pressure on their back or adjusting hand positions. Let’s just say I don’t always get those signs and we end up falling all over each other. The other day Isabella was showing Shawn how to be more clear (or firm) with one of his signs and he almost pulled the poor lady to the floor – that was good times!

In the end I have to say that even if we are never any good, even if we never actually learn a complete dance, I’m glad we did it. It’s maybe been more entertaining than enlightening, but what’s wrong with a little entertainment?!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Niagara Falls

Okay, for those of you that have short attention spans (my family), I will make this quick and mostly do my reminiscing in list form. First, I have to say that I love Niagara Falls. It’s one of those places that amaze you every time you see it and the weekend was absolutely incredible, there’s nothing better than a family outing with good friends! So, here we go:

My top 5 trip highlights:

1. The Falls and the little town Niagara on the Lake
2. When the reptile guy at the Aviary asked Keely if she wanted to hold a snake and she shrugged her shoulders and said, “sure.”
3. When the same guy asked me where we were from and then told me that we didn’t have that annoying U.S. accent. Is that a compliment??
4. When Julie asked us all if we have ever played that game where you put your hand on a table, spread your fingers, and then mark each spot in between your fingers with a knife as quickly as you can. Steve said “Never with a real knife” and Julie came back with a challenging, “Wuss!” The girl’s a tiger!
5. Girls winning 3 out of 3

1 thing that I learned about each person (adult) on the trip:

Jerusha: The girl is smart, beautiful and fun but don’t try to talk pop culture with her - you’ll just get a blank stare.
Steve: Has a ton of passion for life (which I actually already knew) and is a serious smart aleck (I didn’t know to what extent). Oh, and also tries to squeeze camera memory cards into places they don’t belong.
Julie: One of the sweetest people in the world but add a little competition (ie. Settlers) and the claws come out. I love her more than ever!
Brian: The biggest Jason Bourne fan you’ll EVER meet. Ask him anything – ANYTHING – about the movies and he can tell you.
Shawn: You’d think after 9 years I would know everything about this guy but it turns out I never really knew how much he dislikes getting wet while fully clothed.

And there you have it, our trip on a list!

Friday, October 12, 2007

How Far is Heaven?

Okay, I have found the best candy bar in the whole wide world. Harry and David's Moose Munch. It has toffee pieces, almonds, cashews, and (the best part) caramel corn, all surrounded by the most heavenly chocolate you've ever tasted in your life. The great thing - you can get them at Target, they're just simply lying there surrounded by all the regular cheap candy bars! They are about $2 each, but worth every delicious cent. What happened to my "no sugar diet" you ask? Yeah, right.
So my friend Jana called the other day while I was at Target "picking up some milk." I had actually driven right past the regular grocery store just so I could pick up one of these delicious little babies. I told her about my find and she called me the next day at Target looking all over for them. She claims her Target (in Pittsburgh) doesn't have them, but I'd be shocked if they were exclusive to Ann Arbor Targets, I just don't think she knew what to look for. So here you go, picture and all. I strongly recommend this to anyone with taste buds. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bug Bites

Yesterday whenever Ben was sitting on the ground he would bend over and just start rubbing his face on the carpet. If he was holding a burp cloth, blanket or could get his hands on anything soft he would also bury his face in it and move his head back and forth really intensely. I had no idea what he was doing but thought it was funny and kept laughing whenever he did it; it literally took me most the day to figure out that he was just trying to itch his bites. Look closely at the pic and you can see three ginormous bug bites on his face. I really wish I could have captured it on video. Poor little guy!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Conference Miracle

Every Mormon parent with small children knows that conference weekend is no longer a weekend where you relax, lay back and enjoy being spiritually fed. Conference instead becomes background noise to an already noisy household and for every morsel of spiritual food you get, chances are you’re getting real food spilled on the carpet, caked on your clothes or thrown in your face. Well, this weekend was no different until this afternoon – today we experienced a miracle! We had three families over for dinner and conference. The Sadler family brought a delicious salad, the Elder family brought fantastic dessert, and the Bednars brought peace and quiet! As much as we LOVED the food, the peace and quiet ended up being invaluable!

How did they do it? Well, I won’t give them ALL the credit because in fairness Ben, who accounts for half the noise, was asleep and that was our doing; but our other half of the noise, Keely, was completely conquered by Jeff and Anne. They attended the morning session of conference at the church and then came to our house for the afternoon session. Keely developed a quick crush on Jeff and when Anne got up from the couch Keely quickly moved in. She settled herself as close to Jeff as she dared and then sat still, shy and silent for the rest of conference. Anne was a great sport about losing her spot next to Jeff and even scratched Keely’s back through about half of conference which completely won Keely over and made her one content little girl with two happy parents!

So, what did Keely learn in all that silence and reverence? When Shawn asked her what her favorite part of conference was she responded, “Dad, I didn’t understand a thing they were saying!” What did we learn? Well let’s just say that we invited Jeff and Anne to every conference session, church meeting, family home evening, family scripture study…

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Goodbye Ellis'

Kristin, Abram, Max and baby Aviva came to visit last weekend and we were all very sad to see them go. Keely in particular did not want them to depart and fell IN LOVE with Aviva. She really couldn’t get enough and even today was talking about how “adorable” Avi is. She also keeps talking about going to “Bob’s Big Boy,” apparently her new favorite restaurant in the world since Abram treated her and Max to breakfast Saturday morning. Shawn and I also had a great time and decided to make a list of our top three “Ellis highlights”:

1. When Abram was trying to make a point to Kristin and threw in the phrase “I’ve had scientists tell me…” Apparently Abram is well established within the scientific world and knows many, many scientists. I suggested that maybe next time he just says ‘in an article I read…” or “in school I learned…” We’ll see – the scientist connection is a pretty powerful one!

2. When I was shampooing Max’s hair in the tub and he didn’t want to let me rinse. He started looking around desperately for a place to hide but as we all know there are not many places to hide in a tub. He finally settled on plunging his face into the water which it turns out is NOT the best hiding spot. I’ve never laughed so hard.

3. “Stop lying you liar!” (Sorry, that’s one that only K & A will understand).

There are more, like the fact that we beat them both times in Rook or the great excuse that Abram came up with in order to not go somewhere with Kristin, but for the sake of length (and everyone’s good name) I will let it rest at that. We really do have so much fun with the Ellis family and can’t wait to see them again!