December 19, 2007

Christmas Partay!!!

Well, it's that time of year again- treats, hot chocolate, presents, and parties! We had our first annual friends Christmas party last night and it was soooo fun! We all went to dinner before at our favorite pizza joint-Dion's, followed by food, fun, and of course, a white elephant exchange. Just to give you an idea of some of the gifts in the pot: love affair s-e-x game, snow globe, LED light that you strap on your forehead, Bod Man body spray, a pooping santa, etc., etc. Yep, it was good times. The girls chatted together most of the night and then we played some mean foosball where Christian and I couldn't be beat. We love our little group of friends here in Albuquerque- they are the best!

A little extra one, for those of you Utahns that didn't believe we had REAL snow-- though you wouldn't guess by Christian's attire, this is the real deal.
Oliver scoots this thing around all day- a gift from Grandma and Grandpa Bell. Maybe one day he'll let go and start walking!!!

December 15, 2007

What is this kid doing???

Oliver has gotten in to the habit of waking up 3 or 4 times during the night. It's usually around 11pm, 2am, and 5am. This particular morning, he woke up at 4:40am. Usually, he'll go back to sleep if you rock him for a minute, but after 3 times of waking up that night, he decided he'd had enough of being put back to bed and so, for him, it was playtime. My sweet husband got up and watched him for a couple of hours while I tried to go back to sleep in our bedroom. At about 6:30 I woke up and relieved Christian of his duties. I fed and bathed Oliver and we hung out until I had to go to work at 8:30. I told a very sleepy Christian that I was leaving for work and then I was off. I called home around 11am and the still dreamy Christian asked me what time I had left earlier, thinking I had only been gone about an hour. "I woke you up at 8:30 and told you I was leaving, hon," I said. It was then he realized the wonderment of the circumstance above. He said through his laughter that he had woken up at 10:30 and come into the living room and this is how he found Oliver. He was asleep, face down, on the coffee table! What kinda crazies does this kid possess?! He was surrounded by a soft couch with warm blankets, a fuzzy rug and carpet, and pillows on the floor. Alternatively, he could have scooted himself back to our bedroom and crawled in bed with Christian. But, this son of his father chose to lay himself out on the hardest, coldest thing around to catch some shuteye. And, this is how we found him 6 hours after he woke up...

December 12, 2007

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

OK for all you Utahns that are getting "dumped" on. We in Albuquerque just wanted to let you know that you aren't the only ones with snow, much less the greatest snow on earth. Check this out if you want to see terrific...

As you can see, Oliver is admiring the blanket of fresh, white snow after a diaper change. (I had to snap this one quick- not because Oliver has a short attention span, but because the snow does- it melted about 15 minutes later.) No worries, though, we got about a 1/4 inch a few days later that took about 3 hours to melt. It might be a white Christmas after all!

December 8, 2007

Super stalker sense and Ollie stats

Rebecca made a bunch of cookies for our ward Christmas party tonight. Then she left and hid them from Oliver and me. We found them. Then had a wonderful time eating a few of those scrumptious cookies with some cold milk. After rearranging the remaining 2 dozen cookies on the platter to cover the voids left by their digesting mates, we wrapped the platter to mirror its original state. Then I drank all the milk in my glass and put the empty glass in the sink. As I was walking away, though, I realized that there was still that faint milky residue on the bottom of the glass. Knowing that Reba might have realized I only drink milk with cookies, and understanding her ability to smell a burp 4 rooms distant and see 1 chocolate chip missing from a bag of 347, I thought it would be prudent to fill the glass with water to overwhelm the almost imperceptible milk dust. Reba got home, looked at the glass full of water in the sink and said, "So how many cookies did you have?"

In other news, Ollie just had a Dr. appt. Rebecca, after a year and a half inciting my deep frustration at her coming home from every dr. appt. with hugely fluctuating weight/height stats. Through further questioning I have discovered the inconsistency was due to her and every one of Ollie's different doctor's and nurses somehow miscommunicating as to whether Ollie's height percentile is based on other kids in his weight class (and vice versa) or all in the age group, on top of how the strength of the yen that year plays into things. I know every other women in the world comes home with 2 straightforward percentile numbers; each based solely on the age group, rather than the weight and height having any bearing on the other, and I would simply assume the former. But given the impossible variation from visit to visit, when she comes home with a new criteria each time, I've been forced to live in darkness concerning my boy's standing in the world.

Well this time I sent her with strict instructions to sort things out with the nurse, which she says she did. So unless there was another mix up, Oliver is in the 5th percentile in weight, and 95th in height. Hard to believe, if you don't know his dad. But knowing me, I guess it's plausible.

December 6, 2007


Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a die-hard summer fan. Trivial Pursuit question (from the real game), and one I happen to personally agree with: “What’s the one bad thing about summer?”Answer: Sharks. I’m liking summer less and less as the sharks are getting cockier and cockier. For real, what exactly do they want from us anyway? Haven’t they taken enough from us? Seriously, what else can they take? Our self respect? Well, news flash, sharks of the world, we haven’t had that since you bozos started attacking (gratuitously, I might add) us in our own rivers a century ago. But that’s a post for another day.

Anyway, I’m a big summer guy; always counting it my favorite season. But lately I’ve awakened to the benefits of cold weather. Everything you do inside is so much more gratifying when it’s cold outside. Think about it. Eating in, eating out, reading, watching movies, sleeping, driving, hanging out with friends. Then you add Christmas decorations to the cold weather and HELLO you’ve just made a cozy time even cozier. Add Hanukah to that and you’ve made a cozier time even Koshier. I usually think of winter as depressing, so I can’t get over how happy I’ve been during this one. It also can’t hurt that this winter I love my work (CEO of a prestigious company here in Albuquerque) and have a puppy-boy to play with everyday. So here’s to good times in the winter.


Wishing I was back in NY!

(Reba and I lived there for a while and for those of you who haven’t, don’t even try to understand. For those who have, you totally know what I’m talking about!)

December 2, 2007

The never ending Thanksgiving...

I've been putting this off for a week or so now, but since this blog also serves as my journal, I figured I better get it done before Christmas. So, we went to Utah for T-Day to spend the holiday with Christian's fam in Fruit Heights. It started out great- we were given buddy passes to fly from Albuquerque to SLC from Christian's buddy, Logan. We actually got on the first flight we tried for, which is a miracle on T-day weekend. Arriving early on Wednesday, we had plenty of time to hang out before the big day. We celebrated Thanksgiving with Christian's extended family at a ward building and after eating turkey, potatoes, stuffing, veggies, and the yummiest pear and pomegranate green salad I have ever tasted, we played soccer, chatted, and had fun letting all that food digest. Anyway, the whole day was topped off with my personal favorite, banana cream pie- yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.

And then there was Black Friday. Well at least we made plans to take advantage of all the sales. We didn't end up shopping, though, until Saturday, and even then, it was only Target. (BTW, I LOVE Target.) And, we made it to the Park City Outlets on Monday, but that's a whole other story. We had a fabulous family game of tennis on Friday in lieu of shopping and after an obviously frustrating 30 minutes of doubles (Christian and I vs. Greg and JoLynn (Christian's parents)), I was exiled to the neighboring court with JoLynn to "learn" some basics (JoLynn, being the teacher- she's practically a pro). That night, we had a get together with some of Christian's high school friends and then met up with the fam again for an adult night out. On Saturday afternoon, we met up with our friends, Carrie and Jeremiah, at Ange's (Christian's sister) to watch the BYU vs. Utah game (Go cougs!). We all know how that ended:)! The day was topped off with the baby blessing of our niece, Molly. Tired yet?? There's more!

So, my brother Beau, drove up to share Sunday dinner with the Bell family and it was so good to see him. I loved catching up. We planned on flying back to Albuquerque on Monday morning, but when we got word that all the flights were overbooked, we extended our trip one day. I wasn't bummed at all though, mostly because I really love hanging out with Christian's family, but also because we got to do some more shopping. Oh, and by the way, I'm not usually so in to shopping, but the selection in Albuquerque REALLY struggles.

Well, we had a great going-away present on Tuesday as the snow started falling in SLC while we boarded the plane back to Albuquerque. Now I won't feel so bad if we don't get snow this winter! The Bells are the best and made us feel so welcome and comfortable. I honestly could have stayed another week!

Ok, this was before T-day, but I love how Oliver tries to stuff the whole apple slice in his mouth.

Cousin love... although Oliver doesn't look like he's loving it as much as the others.

More cousin love, and this time, Oliver's in to it. Oliver and his cousin Benny really bonded.

November 29, 2007

OK, I give in...

I have noticed the new "tagging" craze all over the blogworld and now it's my turn. I'll make it as quick and painless as possible...

5 things I was doing 10 years ago:
Getting ready for my first official "date" as a 16-year-old.
2. Getting in my 5th of like 7 car accidents before I was 18 by driving my Dad's Infiniti through our neighbor's field and ramming into their white picket fence.
3. Too young
4. to have anything significant
5. happen in my life...

5 things on my "to-do" list today:
Quit my job as a personal trainer.
2. Get family Christmas pictures taken.
3. See if Christian's one-year-long clean driving record will get him re-accepted to be on my auto insurance (and you thought I had a bad driving record...)
4. Get a Christmas tree for the first time ever since we've been married.
5. Workout with my workout buddy, Rachel at the gym.

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire:
I'd buy a big house where we both could live...:)
2. Travel all over Europe, Russia and eastern block countries, and some really exotic beaches.
3. Start a gym where really obese or old people could come to work out for free with free exercise and diet coaching.
4. There are soooooo many charity organizations that I would love to be able to help with: Darfur, AIDS in Africa, Afghan people, Save the Children, etc...
5. Help people I love.

5 things I will never wear again:
Puff paint shirts.
2. Twinner clothes with my twin sister, Rachel.
3. Acid-wash jeans.
4. My collection of Limited Too sweatshirts that marked my entrance into the "cool" group of girls in middle school.
5. Those really awesome slick sweatsuit outfits with all the neon colors.

5 of my favorite toys:
My workout equipment.
2. Cell phone.
3. My Garmin.
4. Internet.
5. I guess I need more hobbies...

November 11, 2007

New Yawk

I got that off of Wikipedia and I thought it was perfect! But, to be totally honest, I only heard one lady with an accent fitting to "New Yawk" on our 3 1/2-day trip to the city. Yep, we finally made it on our long-awaited and anticipated vacation to NY to visit Davis, Melissa, and, of course, to see the city. OK, so I must give a warning now to all readers: this is a travelogue and if you don't like 'em, stop reading NOW.
So, with that out of the way, we started in Albuquerque at 7:30am and had to make stops in two other cities before making it to New York. We stopped in Denver and then in Atlanta where my mom came to the airport to take Oliver for the weekend. We are so thankful we did that, though it was difficult to say goodbye to our little guy for a few days. Thanks, Mom, for making that happen and taking such good care of him! Anyway, it really felt like we were on our honeymoon all over again without a baby to take care of and by the end of the weekend we hardly felt like parents and had totally forgotten what it was like to have a kid. I must admit that it was kind of nice until we saw his big blue eyes and heard his laugh all through the terminal when we picked him in Atlanta. We REALLY missed him! OK, OK, back to NY.
So, after arriving Fri. night, we hopped in a taxi and drove to Davis's apt. in Manhattan. We got right down to business- started with dinner at a cute little restaurant, went straight to Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and, of course, the Apple store. At the Rockefeller Center, we went to the "Top of the Rock" as they call it, and it definitely made for one of the highlights of our trip. After a long elevator ride, we made it the VERY tip, top of one of the tallest buildings in NY. It was about 11 at night and the city was buzzing. The view was incredible, though I was a little weak in the knees with the height and all. You could see all of the city and we couldn't believe how far the skyscrapers stretched. Wow- what a beautiful, unique place!
We missed our goal of being out before noon on Sat. by about three minutes. We started in Soho, went down to Canal Street, had lunch at Edward's in Tribeca, then on to Battery Park (also incredible views of the city, the Statue of Liberty, and the Hudson River), Ground Zero and the little church next to it that's been museum-ized, Wall Street and the Financial District, Union Square, Greenwich Village and Chelsea, with a stop off at Magnolia Bakery where Davis waited in the line that curled around the street while Christian and I explored (FYI: just buy a box of Pillsbury cupcake mix and make 'em yourself- at least they won't make you sick if you eat two in one sitting), and our last stop was at Rosa Mexicana, a famous Mexican restaurant (guacamole made at your table- translation: yum, yum). Are you tired yet? Because I am. Needless to say, we settled down to a movie that night at the apt.
The next day was the big NY marathon. 26.2 miles and apparently Katie Holmes finished in about 5:30. I went away from this weekend thinking, if she can do it, I can do it. Next goal: run a marathon (Though I have bad luck with these. I sprained my ankle 2 weeks before one I had trained and trained for in college.) It was seriously motivating to see all the runners and they were walking around town all day with their metals and aluminum foil-looking blankets. We went to church at the building with the temple in it and then went to lunch at Patsy's- seriously the yummiest pasta I have ever eaten. We then went to a fancy apartment, filled with fancy people, for a fancy get-together of Davis's buddies who ran the NY marathon. We chose to veg that night, stay at home and hang out with Davis and Melissa- good times. We were on our own on Monday as Davis had to go to his big shot, wall street job. So, Christian and I headed out to Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge before meeting up with our big shot brother, Davis, for lunch in Times square. We made one last stop at Dylan's candy bar before heading off to La Guardia. All in all, it was an AWESOME weekend and a special thanks to Davis and Melissa for being the BEST tour guides ever.
If you thought our trip was over, you're wrong. Since our plane was 1 1/2 hours late leaving La Guardia, we were stuck in Atlanta for the night and then had a three-hour layover in Denver before making it home to Albuquerque, more than 24 hours after we left New York. It was good to finally be home.

This is Top of the Rock...

Central Park

November 7, 2007

Spooky, Scary, Halloween Barmitzvah Part II

You're probably wondering about the aforementioned pictures with Zeus. Well...

Puppy love...

So, off to the party at the Reidheads. It was a great night, complete with spaghetti and meatballs, homemade root beer, a spider-decorated cake, and a pumpkin-carving contest to top it all off! We had sooo much fun!

Oliver with his favorite little spider friend, Berlin...

Nerd alert! Who knew those wood-carving kits and lessons would ever pay off???

And the winner is...

Spooky, Scary, Halloween Barmitzvah

For those of you 30 Rockers, you'll understand. And, if you're not, I can only say that you are seriously missing out. Alright, Halloween has come and gone. We spent the night with our friends, the Reidheads, and they hosted the first ever, but soon-to-be-annual, (Right, guys??) Halloween bash. We got all suited up, snapped some quick pics with our infamous neighbor-dog, Zeus, and headed to the party.
It appears Oliver was a little disappointed by my choice of costume for him. (I think he wanted to be a puppy.)

Making his getaway...

October 29, 2007

Skate or Die

As Rebecca already pointed out, one of Oliver's favorite things to do is longboard. He liked it quite a bit until we upgraded the regular old ride-down-the-hill routine, and now he LOVES it. The new angle came in the form of a dirty old tennis ball we found on one of our rides. He loved to hold it during the ride, then we improved on that by throwing it in front of us down the hill, catching up and grabbing it without slowing. Here are some pics (without the tennis ball. We lost it and need to get a new one). Not too exciting, but you get the idea.

October 25, 2007

Remember those flipbooks?

Ok, so I don't remember the exact name of them, but you remember, right? They told a story and you had to flip the pages at the right speed and it seemed like the characters were actually moving? Well, if you don't remember, I'm going to recreate this fabulous childhood memory right here on our blog! Watch carefully as Oliver falls asleep while eating his cheese-on-bread...

The sad thing is that this happens now at least twice a week, and only on the days that he's in childcare at the gym I work at. I guess it really wears him out.

October 21, 2007

Reba's Run

Actually it was a 5k called Ryan's Run here in ABQ. Reba ran and Ollie and I got a free massage, some free juice, and pictures with Ronald McDonald and Smokie the Bear. Good times.

Let me tell you something about myself. I've always gotten a big thrill from watching someone I know do something that they truly excel at. Something they really dominate. For example, nothing use to make me happier than to watch Nate May play basketball, especially if I was on his team. Seeing my pal be so dominant at something offered me endless joy and pride (not used to seeing those two words in that particular order are you? Get used to it because the purpose of this blog is to BLOW YOUR MIND!). Or the fact that my brother Braden could put together and successfully direct a full scale, legit play when he was 15. Same with seeing the ever-insightful, pithy, intelligent, original material my bro Ryan puts out on his blog Or Jason Bourne fight (I feel like I know him by now). Or watching Eliza play volleyball. Or me at Quantem Theory. Seriously though, I just find it amazing and fascinating that people can be so unbelievably good at some things. Even better is when it's people I know.

Anyway, in this same category is watching Rebecca run in races. She's just so dang fast and it's even more awe-inspiring for me since the particular thing she's rocking is running, and it's just so hard for me to imagine being disciplined enough to become that skilled at running. Anyway, Ollie and I were hanging out at the finish line and I saw the first few guys (these are serious dudes. Young dudes who certainly ran or currently run in college, who have shaved, sculpted legs, John Stockton shorts, and those teeny florescent track shoes that are bought from who-knows where. My mom and I have never seen them in Payless, that's for sure.) sprint in doing 5 and something minute miles. Amazing. So then a few minute pause and this nazi-fast lady comes booking in. I know Reba's fast, but ABQ is FULL of hardcore runners and cyclists and all around outdoor fitness types, so I while I know it's time to prep the camara and retrieve Ollie from the dogs he's crawling around the pavement with, I don't expect to see her for a bit. Then I turn my head after watching the buff lady sprint by and who doth mine eyes behold but little Reba hauling down the track right after the crazy lady. From the combination of how knowing how competitive she can be and from the shock of seeing her up with these heartless sadomasichists, I just started laughing. I grin now just thinking about her on that lady's tail. So congrats to Reba for 2nd place, which she says would have easily been a 1st place if she would have known about the free Southwest Air tickets for 1st place. Kind of like how she got 2nd place at Miss Georgia Teen Queen because it was the affirmative action year so they had to pick a black girl for 1st.
Here's to Speedy Gonzreba!

October 16, 2007


Breck is short for Breckenridge (Colorado, that is) where we spent last weekend. After a 6 hour drive- Oliver crying for only about 2 of it, we finally arrived in Parker where we met up with my sister and her family. We left the next day for Breckenridge. We drove by a few beautiful mountain towns that looked like they were straight out of Man From Snowy River. (I had to throw that one in for little Natey.) But, Breckenridge definitely topped them all as one of the cutest, most quaint towns I have visited this side of the Mississippi. It was a collage of old yellow, red, green, turquoise, blue, purple, etc.-colored buildings with a Victorian accent to them. Plus, there was a little river with a bike path next to it that made it all the more romantic. Our cabin was big, but still seemed a bit crowded when all 19 of us finally settled in. Yes, you read that right, 19 people- 11 kids and 8 adults. Whoever said, "the more the merrier" obviously never traveled with the Jewkes clan. Christian's favorite part of it all was the TV in each room. Friday was a beautiful day- in the 50's or higher and sunny. So, we took advantage of it and headed down to the bike path along the river. Somehow I got stuck with a men's bike and needless to say, I was in a little bit of pain for a couple of hours. It was a nice ride and a little bit different from those spin classes I sometimes take at my gym (double the elevation from 5500 ft in Albuquerque to almost 11,000 in Breck probably had something to do with it as well). That night during dinner our party was crashed by about 5 red foxes right outside our window. All the kids dashed outside, beef jerky and bread in hand. That explains why they were our guests all weekend (or were we there's???). They came around thereafter at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The kids were banned after a while from feeding them when my brother-in-law, Jim, threatened them with stories of rabies, hospital visits, and their heads being bitten off and/or them being carried away. Pretty unbelievable in my opinion- they are such cute little creatures. Saturday started out nice, but took a turn for the worst when clouds slowly hovered in and it began to snow. We were expecting a "light dusting," but it turned out to be a full-blow snow storm, reaching almost a foot by the time we left on Sunday morning. So, instead of our plans on Saturday to run 10 miles and go fishing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, hiking, and mountain climbing, the girls opted instead for the outlet malls 20 miles outside of town (totally unplanned, we promise). We had a good time and got our exercise instead walking from Banana Republic, to J. Crew (that one's for you, Davis), to Coach. We celebrated our good finds that day over dinner at Breckenridge Brewery with some hot cocoa, soup, and brownie ala mode. Christian and I were going to stay through Sunday afternoon but between the snow piling up and the crammed quarters at the cabin, we decided to head out after breakfast. And so off we went in our trusty non-4-wheel drive (one of the ONLY one's on the road that day) Honda Accord. Christian kept talking about what a good, Utah-bred snow-driver he was and I just kept praying that we'd make it through the switchbacks on the 20 mile road through Hoosier Pass. With an inch of snow and ice on the road we were both scared, especially when we saw one of the 2 other non-4-wheel drive vehicles on the road that day hanging off the edge of a small cliff. We had to back up, gain momentum, and then drive on a couple of times, but after only about an hour, we made it to the main highway and were safely on our way back to Albuquerque, Oliver crying for only about an hour and a half of this leg. So, in case you're wondering, yes, we did have a great time and it was a beautiful, beautiful place and we loved being with family and friends.

Outside the cabin on Friday with Daddy. Obviously Oliver was prepared for the oncoming blizzard.

One-on-one time with Grandma, admiring the snow. She took Oliver on walks every day while she visited us.

Grandma and Oliver definitely bonded on this trip.

Sunday morning, on the back deck right before we faced the blizzard in our Honda. Excuse the haggared appearance, but being with 19 people in a cabin all weekend took it's toll. That, and I had just rolled out of bed.
Along with mastering the stairs, Olivered learned to play peek-a-boo this weekend.

October 15, 2007

These are a few of my favorite things...

Alright, so we have discovered that Oliver has a few very exciting hobbies and "favorite things." I won't go into too much detail, because you can guess by the pictures what he loves most (and some of these, as you can see, are generously egged on by his daddy).

Playing with his all his balls: soccer, basketball, tennis, and baseball.

Longboarding with his daddy (with his tennis ball).

As soon as he hears mommy open the dishwasher, he makes a mad dash, climbs up, and heads for the silverware.
Yep, he goes straight for the good stuff: dish detergent (a certified baby hazard).