What times? Valentimes!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Being the LDS folk we are, Meagan and I were debating whether or not we should celebrate the pagan holiday of the Most Holy Feast of Saint Valentine, Servant of the Lord and Martyr to His Gospel on the Sabbath or not. We ultimately ended up celebrating Valentine's weekend, which I would highly recommend to anyone interested in making your life a lot better.

We started the festivities after I got off work on Friday with the most romantic activity in all of Bentonville, Arkansas: a trip to Wal-Mart. Amorous!

The plan was an amazing one, hatched by my lovely wife: we'd have an extended fondue dinner. Those of you who have ever had a full fondue meal (like at the marvelous restaurant The Melting Pot) know that A) it is awesome beyond most languages' abilities to describe, and B) it can go for HOURS. Here's the basic rundown of how the meal went:

Cheese Course

We made an excellent sharp cheddar cheese dip, which I cooked to an excellent consistency. Into it we dipped summer sausage, smoked sausage, ham cubes, sourdough bread chunks, and well-crusted hard rolls. Amazing. This is one of the faster courses in a fondue dinner. It's first, so you're really ripping into it with crazy hunger-passion. It is also all ready to eat. Everything before you is cooked and ready to go. You can eat as quickly as you want. We wound this one up in about half an hour and took a break to digest.

Broth Course

This is where time kicks in. I seasoned some beef broth and brought it to a boil in our fondue pot. We then set out plates of raw shrimp, filet mignon, broccoli, and mushrooms. Where you go from here is fairly obvious. Each food item needs to cook for about three minutes. Taking bite-sized pieces of food and cooking them one at a time takes quite a while. We were doing this for about three hours. Delicious.

Chocolate Course

And, of course, chocolate. Ohhhh my. We made a creamy dip from a mixture of milk and semi-sweet chocolate that had a wonderful texture to it. Into that we dipped strawberries, pineapple, pecans, pound cake, vanilla wafers (classy!), biscotti, and Granny Smith apples.

All through this, we had the chance to watch the Olympic opening ceremonies. Now, I am not a fan of watching TV on dates or at dinner. But this was special. Because we pretty much knew what was going on, we chatted through the whole thing. Sometimes it was about what was on screen, and a lot of the time it was about other things. But we talked through the whole dinner, and it was wonderful. It was one of the most fun nights I've had in a long time, and one of the best dates Meagan and I have ever had.

And THAT was just Friday!

Saturday was simpler; just some gift exchanging. Meagan got me an edited movie of my choice from a website that somehow still offers them, and I got her half a dozen chocolate covered strawberries, which she had earlier hinted she "would take over flowers any day of the week." I also got her one of the great romantic gifts of our time: an Arby's gift card.

Before I'm laughed off…um…the internet, I guess, let me explain why this was something that made her very happy. Meagan is blessed (so far!) to have pretty easy pregnancies from a morning sickness standpoint. She develops some minor food aversions, has a heightened sense of smell for a while, but she never throws up or has too rough of a time. Where the hormones kick in, though, is in food cravings. She can get utterly addicted to something while pregnant. It's amazing. This pregnancy, it's been Arby's. She always wants to go there. Luckily, she's strong enough to forbear and not spend all our money at every drive-thru she passes. As such, despite how incredibly white trash it sounds, I actually really nailed V-day this year! Hooray!

Sunday, V-day proper, was celebrated with a wonderful steak dinner (thanks, Mom!) and a lot of cookies. There is no better way to celebrate any occasion than with a bunch of cookies.

That, madams et monsieurs, was our Valentine's Weekend. It was a great chance to realize how lucky we are to have each other and to have such a great marriage. We hope yours went equally well!

Grand Announcement

Monday, February 15, 2010

As Meagan already mentioned, there are several reasons we’ve had for not keeping up with our web log site. We’re sorry about that. In fact, one of our readers chastised me earlier for not being sure to keep them up on the elements that make up our lives. While I’m still not certain that “Hey! You didn’t post any pictures of your child taking a bath!” is a legitimate offense, we do aim to please.

I write today with a bit of news. As it turns out, Meagan and I are expecting a new addition to the family. The TBA son/daughter should be arriving around September 4. We are now accepting congratulations in the form of gift cards, cash, and foodstuffs. Also, iPods.

So, let’s consider this the official press release. The rumors you’ve heard are true. The Severson Family is working on developing the next generation of child. Features are expected to include ten fingers, ten toes, fully-functional organs (including appendix and gallbladder*) and an IQ surpassing all human children** produced to date***. Release date expected to be September 4.

The Severson Baby: Next – Everything you’ve come to expect from a Severson Baby, swaddled in one adorably convenient package.

*Optional; may be removed at convenience of user

**Excepting other Severson Children, who are a proud demonstration of the pinnacle of genetics you’ve come to expect from the Severson Family

***Rumors of this feature may be slightly exaggerated; updates to follow through product development

Update on Lydia

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lydia has changed a ton in the last few months. Her biggest change has probably been socially. She used to cry whenever strangers would come near her. She was very shy and didn't really know how to act around other people. Now she is bouncing off the walls bring strangers toys and generally being a happy kid. I attribute this mostly to the fact that she's had so many changes in her life, what with moving. She went from having about 400 square feet to play in to a whole big house. She's learned to climb the stairs and is a lot more independent. She loves to explore and get into things. She loves to play in the driveway and her favorite part is the rain gutter. She loves to put her feet under the trickle of melted snow water that comes out of it. She's still wary of the grass, but has been venturing a step or two onto every time we play outside lately.

For a while we were worried about all her delays and what they'd mean. We were worried she might have some sort of autistic spectrum disorder, and her therapists told us that 18 months-old was the crucial point for that. We were to look for a lack of progression or regression. Well, I'm happy to say she's been progressing like crazy.

She had a growth spurt a while ago, and for the first time in her life, she fits the clothes that she's supposed to fit. She's still skinny, but with her cloth diapers, she's fitting into 18 month jeans and shirts. We bought her a little dress right after we got here to Arkanasas and she wore it for 2 Sundays and now it's too small. It's good to see her finally growing after being worried about her for so long.

The only thing left is for her to start talking. She is not talking at all and this does keep us a little worried. If it's not one thing, it's another with Lydia. Babies are supposed to be saying their first words by 16 months, so we're getting her evaluated for speech therapy. I'm not too worried, though, because she's done everything right when she wanted to so far, and I'm thinking this will be the same. She completely understands what we're saying, and learns new words every day. Today she learned "whale" and "boat". She has toy ones and I asked her to go get them from amongst her other toys and she brought them strait to me. She's understanding, just not reciprocating. It's really starting to frustrate her, too, because sometimes I have no idea what she wants. Hopefully that will motivate her.

Another big milestone for Lydia is that she is no longer in her crib. Because of our arrangements, Lydia is sleeping in our walk-in closet, which wouldn't fit a crib. So we just put a mattress on the floor and let her have free reign. Unfortunately, the carpet at Grandma and Grandpa's house is comfy and she prefers sleeping on the ground by the vent. We've given up trying to get her to sleep on the mattress.

Last Sunday was her first Sunday in nursery. I felt sort of lost without her with me, but she did well for the most part. At first, a baby cried so that set her off. She was inconsolable, so Grandma went in and helped calm her down. Once she calmed down, however, she was good for the next hour and a half! When I went to pick her up, she was drenched in water. The nursery leader was very apologetic and said that Lydia had been to quick and got a sippy cup loose and dumped it on herself. Lydia didn't care, so I just wrapped her in a blanket and all was well.

Lydia in the bath this morning. She's gone from hating bathtime to loving it and splashing around for 45 minutes.

Last night this was what we found when we went to check on Lydia. She had fallen asleep with her hand under the door. It was both sad and creepy

This is a standard night for Lydia in her little "room". You can see her mattress over to the side.

The following are after a large snowstorm here in Arkansas. This was our attempt at having Lydia make a snow angel.

This last one is the last picture we took of Lydia in our old apartment. Goodbye orange carpet!


I'm sorry it's been so long since we posted. Those of you that keep track of us in real life will already know that a lot has been going on in our little family since November.

First, our SD card reader broke on our computer, so we had no way to get pictures off our camera. That alone made it so we didn't really want to post.

Second, Tyler graduated in December! He received a Bachelor's Degree in Business from BYU. This was a major achievement for him, and we're very proud. He graduated Cum Laude, even!

Third, we moved to Arkansas. Yup. we're here staying with Tyler's family until medical school starts at the end of the summer. We arrived right before New Year's and have been getting settled for the last month or so. It is such a pain to move across the country, especially when you know most of your stuff will stay packed. It was almost my job completely to pack and make the arrangements (Tyler was busy with finals). That was the most stressed out I've been in a long time, but everything worked out an here we are. I have to say, having a toddler makes moving A LOT more difficult than just being by yourself. The actual trip wasn't too bad, although it was long. Luckily, Lydia really enjoys car trips, especially when she gets to be in the front seat with Mommy and Daddy, like she was this time in the big truck. Poor kid won't sleep in the car, though, so she was completely exhausted by the time we arrived, 22 hours after leaving (with a short layover for the night).

Forth, we spent Christmas in Moab with my family. It was fun, although weird, because it snowed. We got to see the arches covered in snow, though, which I'm sure is unusual. Lydia really enjoyed spending time there. She was a little overwhelmed by all the people at first, but ate it up once she got used to it.

Fifth, Tyler started a new job. He's temping for Walmart right now. It was a major blessing for us because he got the job almost a week after getting here. We thought it'd be a few weeks at least. Not his dream job, by any means, but it's better than what we were hoping for.

Sixth, I got a job! Yup, for the first time since Lydia was born I'll be working. I'm not very excited about this, but she'll be staying at home with Grandma, and it's only part-time, so I think I'll be ok. I'm sure Lydia will be. I'm working as a cashier at Lowe's, right down the street. Certainly not my dream job, but our goal right now is to save as much money as possible, so this will help.

Seventh, Tyler and I both got callings. Tyler is an assistant in the Priest Quorum. It's going to be challenging and a growing experience for him, but he's going into it with a good attitude and I think he'll be great. I got called to be an Activity Days leader, and I'm over the 8 and 9 year-olds. I'm not really sure what I'll be doing exactly, but it should be fun.

Well, now you're officially caught up in the life of the Seversons!