Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Our recent adventures: Colorado

Monday morning after graduation we loaded up in the van, emptied the house of all our last minute junk, and headed north. Instead of taking the typical route to Utah/Oregon through Albuquerque and southern Utah, we decided to drive north through Denver and stop at Estes Park for the night. It was beautiful there - right on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park.

An early morning walk with Anna - my kids wake up early all the time, so with the time zone change, they woke up extra early.
We rented a pedal bike, an odd contraption which we could all ride on around the lake. Paul got a serious work out pedaling all 5 of us.

Then we drove through Rocky Mountain National Park. We went on a little hike around Bear Lake.

Then we drove and drove and drove all the way up to 12,000 feet! It was pretty windy up there, but breath-taking views.

The detour added a few hours to our drive but it was well worth it to see such a beautiful part of the country.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Our recent adventures: Graduation

Once we returned to Lubbock from Virginia, we quickly packed up the rest of our house. We had slowly been packing over the last two months so that the task was a little less overwhelming. We barely squeezed all our belongings into the 28 foot UHaul, with the help of a local moving company. We could not have done it without them. Paul said, "I can't play Tetris like these guys - they are good!" Just a few hours after we loaded the truck, Paul took off for Dallas where he picked up his dad, and they headed north on the 20-hour drive to Wisconsin. In the meantime the kids and I hung out at our empty house. With only 10 toys to play with, and no furniture except our camping chairs and air mattresses, we tried to get out of the house every day for a bit, spending lots of time at the park and with our friends.

Lots of my friends have had babies recently...Here's Easton at 6 weeks, Niels at three months, and Tanner at 4 weeks. Yup, Niels looks like a monster in comparison.
Anna LOVED her camp chair. She even insisted on napping in it.
Of course the girls enjoyed playing everywhere that they usually weren't allowed.

After unloading our belongs in Milwaukee, Paul and his dad flew back to Texas just in time to attend his hooding ceremony on Saturday. This picture is just after he received his hood - the fabric that is draped around his neck and hanging down his back.
Three generations of Iversons
The girls were really excited for Dad, besides the fact that the ceremony lasted 2 hours. They keep calling him Daddy Doctor. And I can now officially refer them to him any time they whine and complain about something hurting them. I let him deal with all those complaints.

The kids all wanted a turn with Paul's graduation cap

Sunday was the commencement ceremony for the entire Health Sciences Center. So after watching Paul receive his diploma, we watched hundreds of nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, etc also receive their degrees. After 3+ hours, we were very glad we had taken the girls to friends house for the afternoon.
Gratefully Niels behaved quite well

On a totally different note, we have always driven past this church in Lubbock and were always amused by their sign. We are still trying to determine what church without religion would be like.
Then of course it was time to leave Lubbock. My friend Cassie threw a goodbye party for us, complete with lots of Blue Bell Ice Cream. I loved Lubbock so much - not because of the wind or the dust or the less-than-beautiful landscape - but I found so many friends there. I was always overwhelmed by people's willingness to love and accept everyone, to welcome each other into their circle of friends. I have never lived in such a friendly place. I was blessed to serve in a wonderful Young Women's presidency for the last two years, making even more friendships and being blessed in so many ways. I am so glad that Lubbock was our home for the last four years and I will truly miss being a Texan.
Me with Tammie Stoker

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Our recent adventures: Virigina

We arrived back in Lubbock from San Antonio late on a Saturday. After a quick Sunday to recoup, we  headed to the airport Monday morning to fly to Richmond, Virginia. Paul's sister Erika lives in Williamsburg where we stayed until the following Saturday.

Hattie enjoyed grinding corn in the Indian village
Paul's other sister Christina was also in Virginia...she enjoyed snuggling up on the animal skins
The girls took a turn trying to steer the ship
Paul loved walking over every inch of the ship replicas. They were pretty neat to see, and hard to imagine 100+ people living on them.
Cousin Sam and Hattie in a canoe
Looks like John Smith...except for the flip flops and shorts
Remarkably uncomfortable
We spent one day at Virginia Beach. Sadly, it was quite windy, so we were squinting half the time. But playing in sand is always fun when you are a kid, regardless of the weather. The girls got a kick out of burying each other. Hattie the Mermaid...
Anna the Cinderella princess
Paul the muscle man

I stayed under the umbrella the entire time, trying to keep Niels asleep and keeping him out of the wind and sand.
Back at Erika's house, Anna got into the markers and expressed her creative side
We also visited Colonial Williamsburg. By this point in the trip the girls were done sight seeing and mostly just wanted to hang out at Aunt Erika's where they could ride bikes and scooters everywhere.

Erika made some awesome gift bags for the girls to entertain them on the flight home. They were the perfect distraction for the 3 hour flight. Visiting family is always a great vacation, because after all the sight seeing and all the busyness, we had a home place to return to, stay up late talking, and relax without the stress of having to do everything while in town. Thanks again Erika and company for such a great week!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Our recent adventures: San Antonio

I can't think of a time in our marriage that we have been more busy. Since I view this blog as a journal of sorts, I always try and make sure that I catch up when I get way behind. So hopefully over the next few days I can bring our family up to the present day.

Paul finished his last day of medical school on April 20th. That gave us 8 weeks of vacation before he starts his job June 18. So we began traveling. First, we drove five hours over to Dallas, left the girls with Paul's parents, and, accompanied by Niels, we flew to Milwaukee to find a place to live. We were there about 4 days and we loved it. It was rainy, overcast, and chilly the entire time, something that we rarely experience in Texas. We are very excited to move up there - snow and all. Gratefully we found a place to live so the trip was a success. Somehow no pictures were taken...I guess without the girls I don't seem to see as many Kodak moments.

We returned to our girls in Dallas and spent a few days there with Paul's family. Then we drove south to San Antonio. I have always wanted to go, and since we are leaving Texas for the foreseeable future, I made sure we included it in our travel plans. We were a little nervous about all the driving for Niels...he hasn't been the easiest baby, but gratefully, he did pretty well. We started our adventures by going to some caverns just outside of San Antonio.

Then we made our way to Mission San Jose. It was remarkably hot and humid...Lubbock is NOT at all humid, so we were a little unprepared. We loved wandering around and imagining what life must have been like for those living in the Spanish missions. But by the time we were done, the girls were just asking for water, not really caring about what we were seeing or doing.

And of course, the Alamo! With the kids, we didn't stay long and read every plaque, but it was neat to be there and experience some Texas history. At the Alamo, we met up with my childhood/high school/college friend, Jenny Walk Transtrum, who drove over from Houston with her family to hang out before we left Texas forever. Somehow I didn't get any picture with her! My one regret.
We went to Sea World the next day with the Transtrums. We had a wonderful time the first 3 hours, until Niels had a meltdown so Paul, in his frustration, took him to the car where he spent the next 3 hours. It was easier on me and the girls, but we were sad that Paul had to miss the afternoon time at the park.
Again, not a lot of pictures, partially because we were so busy trying to see everything that pictures were an afterthought. But we enjoyed the dolphins (above), lots of aquariums, and especially the orca show and the sea lion show.

Next we visited the Mercado, a Spanish market that pops up once a month. And since it was Cinco de Mayo, we thought it appropriate.
And to top it off, my mission friend Miranda Perry Livingston also drove over from Houston with her family (I have wonderful friends, eh?). We had lunch at Chunky Burgers, where Paul attempted the Four Horseman burger. He's going to blog on that later.

All told, it was a great road trip. Definitely some cranky kids due to numerous napless days, but they were pretty resilient and good troopers as we tried to squeeze as many activities in as possible.