Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's about time

So everyone always says that when your third child comes, you suddenly live in a different world. I never quite believed that. After all, people exaggerate, right? Well, maybe, but now I readily admit that having three children is a huge change. It's good. It's a challenge. And as hard as the juggling act can be, it's worth all the effort.

So now life seems to be back in a routine. And now I've decided to give this blog some new life again. I won't promise that it will be exciting as the other blog lives everyone reads about, but it'll be something, at least for now :) And of course, you'd all do well to encourage Kirsten to write a thing or two. She's bound to be much more interesting!

And for good measure, I've included a picture from around Christmas time. Claire was only about 3.5 months in this picture. She was born August 18, so she's quickly approaching the 6 month. She's a very good, happy baby!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Power of Media and Cars

Ann Arbor just had a car show and we walked through it as we were searching for fairy doors. One of the first cars we saw was one just like this:

What's amazing about this car? You mean you don't recognize it? Well, I admit, neither did I, but Eden did. As we walked into the parking lot she pointed, ran over to it, jumped up and said with delight, "Look! It's Doc Hudson!" My first thought: "Yep, an old car, kind of like Doc Hudson." I walked over to take a look and sure enough, it was a Hudson Hornet, exactly like Doc Hudson. I was absolutely amazed that Eden recognized it. Now do you see it? Take a peek:
Interestingly enough, I just found out that the actual Fabulous Hudson Hornet is just down the road from us at the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum. Yes, Doc Hudson was based on a real racecar.

I'm still amazed, and a bit startled, at how Eden made the connection from a cartoon to a real car that was even a different color. Maybe I shouldn't be, but it was definitely a lesson on media effects, or perhaps my daughter's love of cars. Now, just think about all those shows and commercials on TV...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I know it's been too long

So I know it's been too long since we've posted and I've decided to recommit to posting. I was just waiting to see how many people noticed. Just kidding. Life is just plain busy of course.

First off, here's the long ago promised new picture from Kirsten's birthday :)

Second order of business: we're expecting a girl. She's due on August 28.

Of course, Sam has also had a birthday and now turned 2. Here's a few pictures of the fun!

We had a blast going to visit family for Independence Day. Here's a quick picture review!

And finally, last night we had a a ton of fun. Eden has been reading the Daisy Meadows fairy books and it just so happens that Ann Arbor has a small population of fairies that live around town. You can learn about them here: Ann Arbor Urban Fairies. We decided to go check them out for ourselves and we were very impressed. We didn't spot any fairies, but we did find their doors. We left some candy for them as well. What fun! If you are in Ann Arbor, make sure to check them out as you visit downtown.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Kirsten!

Today, March 19, is Kirsten's birthday! Happy Birthday! I'll update this post again and add some more fun things soon.

Isn't she beautiful? :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What is Gibson fitness and what is the latest news?

I've received several requests to share the story of the last several days, particularly the craziness of last Saturday and Sunday. I think I'll pass. If you want the story, you'll have to petition Kirsten to record it. I don't feel like re-living it :) Suffice it to say that our gas and water lines are now functional and the dishwasher is hooked up.

I wanted to share something that I think is pretty cool about my family. I come from a family of eight children and most of us children are in our twenties and early thirties. As is so often the case with young adulthood, some of us (read: ME) are slowly growing out of shape. I have to swallow my pride to say that. I have to boast on Kirsten for just a second though. She's very adamant about fitness. It's impressive. Our family is now spread all over in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Arizona, and Taiwan, but last week we decided to join up together in spirit and become long-distance exercise partners. We're all setting personal fitness goals--some have to do with weight, others with our diet, others with exercise--and working together to achieve them. So far so good. I'm very excited about working together for better health. It's great to be united in a common cause. I happened to read an article about another family that did something similar. For our family I've called it Gibson fitness, but I didn't think of the name; I think it's trademarked. My brother Dan, who is actually amazingly fit, runs a personal training gym called Gibson Fitness in Queen Creek, Arizona near Mesa. He has my personal endorsement (whatever that's worth), so if you're in the Mesa area you should check it out.

And here's the latest news, for those of you who don't know: we're expecting baby number three in August. Do me a favor and place your vote in the poll on our blog for what the baby will be. We have no idea. The ultrasound is in a few weeks and I'll post the answer then.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The long overdue post, but at least there are reasons...

As I mentioned, it's been a little while since my last post, but I have to say there are good reasons. Over the past couple of weeks we packed, painted, moved, bought some new household items, and tried to unpack. Being the dependable husband and father that I am, I bailed for a few days and went to San Francisco for some fresh air, while my family endured snow storms. Actually, I have a better reason than that below, but it's probably not good enough.

I've decided to summarize the past two weeks in a little slide show. If you also want to hear the details, read on and I'll walk you through some highlights.

Many people know that I love the Muppets and puppets in general. It turns out, kids love puppets too, which means I don't have to get rid of my puppet collection. For Christmas this year Kirsten surprised us with a beautiful puppet theater, which she made. It hangs in the doorway and is much, much better than any that I've ever seen at stores. Yes, my wife is exceptionally talented and creative. She can do or make anything. Amazing. I mean that. For family home evening we made paper puppets of Eden's favorite scripture story: Nephi building the boat. She loves telling the whole story, complete with Nephi, Lehi, Sariah, Laman, Lemuel, the Liahona, and the song "Nephi's courage." Kirsten drew the figures. Eden and Sam colored. Since I lack all artistic skills, I found my place with the scissors and glue. As you can see, we had a blast!

The next few days consisted of leveraging every waking hour, and many beyond that, to prepare for the move. We only moved a mile or two (Forest Hills), but it's a pain none the less. We packed. And packed. And packed. Where did all this stuff come from?! We got the keys to the new place on Friday (Feb 22) and had to paint in one day Saturday because we needed to move on Monday because I had to leave on Wednesday. Confusing? Sorry. Needless to say, it was busy. And also needless to say, we owe a lot of people a lot gratitude. I can't say enough how grateful I am for all the friends and family who helped us with babysitting, painting, packing, moving, and everything else. Now I'll go out on a limb and reserve the right to edit this post later, but a thousand thanks to everyone: Collises, Lillians, Cardons, Thackers, Quinns, Mom and Dad, Eusebios, Walkers, Bednars, Elders, Barlows, Cherries, Potters...and now I'm blanking because I know there are more people who helped and offered to help. Again, thank you!!

Tuesday was the day after the move, which is always busy as you can imagine. On Wednesday I temporarily abandoned my family and flew out to San Francisco for a "Michigan Innovators" trip with the University of Michigan College of Engineering. I did a quick 3-minute pitch on a business and product idea that I'm working on with a couple of other students. We were selected with a few other people to go to Silicon Valley and meet up with a bunch of Michigan alumni entrepreneurs. Our idea, a new skin delivery patch for large molecule drugs (think: nicotine patch, but for other things), is very early stage and who knows if it will work, so there's no reason to get excited yet, but they liked it. During part of the trip we stopped at Google headquarters. Larry Page, the founder, is a UM grad, but we didn't get to meet him. Most of the 2-day meeting involved talks from successful UM engineering alum. It was a great opportunity to make some new connections. What's that buzz word? Oh yeah, "networking." Yes, I "networked." It turned out very well.

On Saturday they booked us for a 9pm flight back, which landed at 5am in Detroit. I'm not sure why, since we literally had nothing else scheduled that day. I would have liked to get home a bit earlier to help Kirsten back at home (honestly!), but since I couldn't change it without paying a steep price, I wandered around San Francisco for a little while. Kirsten and I were married in the Oakland Temple, and I hadn't been back to the area since. Being in San Francisco brought back some fond memories and I wish she could have been there.

San Francisco is an interesting city. We walked through Chinatown, up to Coit Tower, down along the piers, over to Ghirardelli square, and took the trolley over to BART (the subway) to the airport. Ghirardelli has amazing hot chocolate! Try it if you go. San Francisco has many, many street performers: opera singers, rock bands, break dancers, mimes, and my personal favorite, the world famous bushman. For those of you who don't know, the bushman has been around San Francisco for nearly 30 years. He finds some branches, sits down, and hides behind the branches. Many, many people don't even notice he's there until he jumps out and startles them. I was looking out for him, so he didn't get me, but I just about fell over laughing watching him get a few other people. Of course, youtube has a few clips so you can enjoy it first hand. It's suprising how many people don't notice him until it's too late. Word of warning though: if you want to take a picture, be prepared to donate a few bucks.

I failed miserably at my attempt to bring back a warm front to Michigan. Here in Ann Arbor it is freezing. What else can we expect? It's been a strange winter, with a vicious cycle of snow, two weeks of cold, 36 hours of elevated temperatures, rapid temperature drop that produces a layer of ice everywhere, and then snow again. Tonight when I got home everyone was in snowsuits, so we went outside to go sledding for a little while and meet our new neighbors. Lots of fun.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Just a couple of things

Sam is at a fun age. He is really starting to pick up on words. When I lay him down in his crib for the night he often says, "Good night. I love you," which warms my heart. Sometimes when I go to pick him up after he wakes up he starts jumping up and down when he sees me. He just smiles and jumps and jumps and jumps and then finally jumps into my outreached arms. It's moments like those that make being a dad extra special.
Here's one of my favorite pictures of Sam.

We're getting ready to move this weekend. Moving is never fun. Fortunately this should be our last move in graduate school. We're also fortunate that we're not moving far. It will still take a lot of work and we're in the middle of packing things up. We'll be pretty busy, so I'm not sure if they'll be any time to post anything for the next little while, but we'll see. Kirsten says that after the move she'll start posting too. I'm sure that will be more interesting than my blabbing.

One final note, one of my former mission companions had a pretty funny post about Russia. "You know you've been in Russia too long when" If you've been to Russia and know the culture you'll find it's right on the mark. I keep chuckling each time I look at it as I recall specific memories linked to each point. If you've never been there, well, you just won't get it. Let me know if you want to go and I'd be happy to be your tour guide.