Tuesday, August 28, 2007

And then there were six....

Welcome Neil William Anderson!

The Smemoe clan seems to be averaging at least 1 if not more babies per year. We are happy to announce that Lance's sister and brother-in-law welcomed their third son to the world on Friday, August 17th. Lisa and baby Neil are both healthy and happy and we now have a total of four nieces, six nephews and one great niece to claim as part of our extended family. And I am sure the family will continue to grow.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Some Fun Goals...

Well, this posting isn't really going to tell you what we have been up to as of late...mostly because there isn't much to report. However, I have been pondering the meaning of our life lately and decided that Lance and I have not fully taken advantage of our time without children. For those of you who don't know, we have not been able to have children yet. I won't pretend it is a secret. It has been a rough road.

Well, I have been thinking about dreams I had that I put on the burner for whatever reason. And, well, I am ready to make a "To Do" list of things I want to do before we have kids. Not only am I ready to make the list, I am ready to complete the list. Okay, I will admit some of the goals are lofty and would require great courage on my part. Others would just require a little convincing Lance to take time off work so we can travel.
  • Travel to Europe. I especially want to go to London. I love Brits. They have the best accents, produce the best actors/actresses and phenomenal writers. I wouldn't mind visiting Scotland or Norway either.
  • Start up a book club. Why? Because I love to read and read and read. And I love to take on iniatives, for some odd reason.

  • Write a book. Yes, I have always wanted to be a writer. Young Adult fiction would be my genre. Now, to conjure up an idea. I wrote a book when I was 12. Maybe I could do something with what I already wrote.

  • Try out for a community play. Probably a shock to many, but I have always secretly liked acting. When I didn't get a part in the One Act play in HS, I gave up this aspiration. So, I figured it was time to explore this avenue again. Can't hurt, can it? This is the scariest idea. Not sure if I will get enough guts up to do this one. BUT, I know quite a few people who have done something like this so it is worth a try.

  • Attend a movie premiere in Los Angeles. Not sure which one or how to get tickets, but wouldn't that be fun? I mean, come on...we live so close to Hollywood. Might as well take advantage of the few perks Hollywood can give.

  • Go back to school and get a Masters. (This is the easiest...already on my way!)

  • Spend the summer in Finland. Not sure if this would be financially feasible, but I would love to go back and often.
  • Take the train up to Northern California and camp in the Redwood forests. No explanation needed here.

I really hope to live a life without regrets. So, maybe, just maybe, you will see postings in the future, documenting my completion or attempts at this To Do list! Now if I could just gather up enough courage and find the time....

*Note: I asked Lance what he would like to accomplish and he just said "Do a good job at work." Hmm...guess I will have to be the creative one for now.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Be Our Guest!

We have had visitors every weekend but one since moving into our new home last month. The first set of visitors were Lance's brother Loren, sister-in-law Kara, niece Arianna, nephew Lincoln, and brother Christopher, who visited us for several days. It would have been a tough crowd to accommodate in our old place, and we were glad to have a couple extra bedrooms.

We grilled, had fondue, went to the dog park, went to the beach, and walked to Kristi's favorite frozen dairy product destination, Yogurtland, during the first few days. We also rested up for the big day that we had planned on Tuesday: visiting both Disneyland and California Adventure.

Chris, Loren, Arianna, and I arrived at Disneyland in the mid-morning and went straight to Space Mountain. The indoor roller coaster would be Arianna's first theme park ride. Aria was quite a trooper--she told us that she was not scared on any of the rides except for the Matterhorn. And I don't blame her for that one. Nobody likes the abominable snowmen that are camped in the dark recesses of that mountain.

Kristi joined us at California Adventure in the afternoon, after we went home to allow Aria to take a quick nap. Kristi was hoping to ride the raft ride, Grizzly River Run, but the wait was almost an hour. Fortunately, a stranger handed her two Fastpasses for the ride just as we were passing by.
As you can see, Kristi and Arianna were grinning from ear to ear on the way in. They were soaking wet but still smiling on the way out. I think many of the visitors found it entertaining to see two girls in pretty dresses plummeting down the big waterfalls.
We had a great time with our guests and look forward to having Kristi's family visit in November!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Sparky and Ammi

Sparky - I dedicate this post to you! Hugs (since we both know how much you liked to be touched) - Ammi


I treasure the type of relationships where the passage of time does not have an affect on the friendship in the least bit. You know - the kind of friend you probably haven't seen or talked to in years but when you do finally catch up, it was as though you just saw each other a week ago? You can just pick up where you left off, despite the major life changes and challenges each person has faced.

That is the way it is with my friend Jenny Wheeler. We first met when we were assigned to be companions in the Missionary Training Center in Provo. I thought for sure we would kill each other. Imagine the Odd Couple....That was us. Amazingly enough, we quickly learned to embrace each other's differences and became the best of friends. In fact, Jenny was my maid of honor at our wedding and we have silly nicknames for each other.

Last time we saw each other was in May of 2004. Last Tuesday, she shows up on our doorstep, with one of her younger sisters, for a week long visit. Instantly, we picked up exactly where we left off and spent a week joking, teasing each other (Lance and April were the brunt end of the fun making as well), reminiscing about our time together in Finland and BYU, and laughing about absolutely everything.

While Jenny and April were here, they visited Disneyland, went on a day excursion to Catalina Island, did some sightseeing in San Diego and ate enough food so they could "roll from location to location."

I was sad to drop Jenny off at the airport yesterday. She even let me hug her goodbye...a rare treat. Thanks for the laughs and good times!

Wheeler and Amundson on Catalina Island, 8/3/07
Hmmm...we still look the same as we did on our mission...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Only 24 Hours

I finished it. It only took me 24 hours (not consecutively) to finish Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I don't want to spoil anything for those who still need to read it or who are waiting for the movie to come out BUT I will say that Ms. Rowling did NOT disappoint me. (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) I feel the $18.00 was money well spent. (I couldn't even talk to Lance until I could finish it. The book is that spellbinding!)

Despite the bloodbath and the intensity of the book, I can honestly say I set down the finished book feeling very uplifted and touched. J.K. Rowling has, in my opinion, a very good grasp on humanity and on the weaknesses and strengths of people. This series (of what I have read so far) reminded me of C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Well, back to reality! (And enough of my tribute to the Harry craze. Because I usually have much more important things to write about, such as the gardener seeing me naked and my dog hugging a stuffed animal :-). ) I wish I could spend the summers reading all day long like I did as a child. But, adulthood is what it is and I must work and be responsible.