Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Very Nissen Christmas

Merry Christmas!

This year, Aaron and I travelled to Nebraska at Christmastime to see the Nissens (Aaron's mom's side of the family). We were very lucky to have no snowstorms this year for the drives there and back!

We had a wonderful time visiting family, exchanging gifts, and playing games. Aaron and I didn't really exchange gits this year because we bought a new camera for our upcoming trip to New Zealand, and we said that was our gift to each other this year. But, I couldn't resist getting him a few things. One of which was a Dog DNA Test! I wrapped the results (before opening them!!) and gave them to him on Christmas morning. According to the test results, Ellie is..... a Siberian Husky/Boxer mix. We're not totally sure we trust the test results yet, but we did Google that mix and there's definitely potential that it's accurate :)

I had never seen so many presents in my life:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Aaron and I have so much to be thankful for, I don't even know where to start.

We are thankful to have wonderful family and friends that love us, a place to call home, food to nourish our bodies, careers that we enjoy, pets that make us laugh, and, of course, each other to be partners through it all. We're also very thankful that we've gotten to experience so many cool things in the last year. We've gotten to travel to places that really opened our eyes and solidly placed a desire in our hearts to see more of the world.

We are thankful to love and be loved by a God that made the heavens and the earth, yet knows every hair on our heads... a God that knows what we need when we don't and that works everything for the good of those who love Him... a God that has poured so many blessings over us. Hallelujah!

I am also thankful to have such an adorable cousin (Atticus). We got to meet him on Thanksgiving. Look at that hair!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ellie - 6 Months

Well, she's hardly a cute puppy anymore! Ok, maybe she's still cute, but she is oh-so-naughty! And she doesn't look much like a lab anymore, so we're a little puzzled about what breed(s) she could possibly be. We're starting to think she looks like a Pit Bull. I know that makes some people nervous because Pit Bulls are known to be aggressive, but we're not worried. We've seen the best and worst of her, and we know she's a lover.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Two Years

I can't even believe that our wedding day was 2 years ago already! It seems like just yesterday.

For our anniversary, Aaron and I went to the Wisconsin Dells for the weekend. I am so glad we chose the middle of October for our wedding date because this is such a perfect time of year. We went for a picnic and hike in the woods, and all the trees were just so beautiful and the air was perfectly crisp. Aaron and I also went to a pottery shop and painted mugs for each other with cute, personal messages on each of them. I will post pictures of them, so you can see how artistic my husband is! Basically, I love him :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Beautiful Rockies

For Labor Day, Aaron and I made a trip out to Colorado with some friends. Aaron's grandparents have a cabin in the mountains in Fraser, Colorado that they graciously let us stay at for the long weekend.

The theme of the trip was apparently "Hike til you Drop", which I almost did. We did 4 hikes, including one very long trek to the Devil's Thumb peak. I lagged behind the entire time, and Yader declared that he is "retiring from hiking". Though it was brutal, the view (and the feeling of accomplishment) was well worth it.

All of us at the top:

By the evenings, we were totally beat. So, we spent the rest of the time just relaxing at the cabin, playing games, or out exploring the small towns in the area. We also checked out the Hot Sulfur Springs, they were pretty neat.

All in all, it was a fabulous getaway.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Adding to our Family

This summer, (right before our big move, actually) Aaron and I adopted a puppy! She is the sweetest thing. She is lab mix, we're not sure what she's mixed with yet, and we named her Ellie. She is definitely a handful. People warned us when we were talking about raising a puppy that it is like training for raising a baby, and boy, do I think they were right! Who knew that a puppy could be so much work. We love her though and she is worth it.

Wearing the puppy bandana I made her... Isn't she a doll?!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Big Apple

This month, Aaron and I traveled to the East Coast for a family gathering with the Abts' (my mom's side). My cousin Sarah's graduation party was happening near Springfield, Massachusetts, and a handful of the family in WI headed out there to celebrate with her!

While we were out there, we took a 2-day trip to New York City! It was fantastic! Aaron had never been, so we made sure that we hit up as many of the big attractions as we could: Times Square, Rockafeller Center, Empire State Building (from the street only), Central Park, 9/11 memorial site, Statue of Liberty (from Battery Park only), NYSE & Wall Street, and Grand Central Station.

And that was only the first 48 hours of the trip :) After that, we all headed over to MA to spend the rest of the time together, playing Mafia (our family's favorite game), celebrating birthdays (I turned 24 AND Sarah and my uncle Ron had birthdays too), exploring western MA, and partying it up :) It was a great time!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fourth of July

This weekend was the 4th of July celebration in Saint Louis, and there was a ton of cool stuff going on right by our apartment. First, there was an airshow over the river, and we had the absolute BEST SEATS for the show. We watched the show from the roof of our apartment! While we were soaking in the pool! Is that not the best way to enjoy something like that on a hot, sunny day? I definitely thought so :)

Later after we finished soaking, we went down to check the festival, parade, and eat some fantastic-tasting food. And that night, we met up with Andrew and Bethany Arkills to catch a concert on the riverfront and the fireworks!

And the best part: at the end of the long day, we didn't have to walk miles back to our car, then fight traffic all the way home. We walked about 3 blocks back to our apartment, rode the elevator to the 18th floor, and plopped on our bed. Love it.

I absolutely have loved living downtown because of stuff like this. I will definitely miss this city.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Moving!..... Again!

Aaron and I came to a sad realization the other day - we have moved AT LEAST once a year for the past 6 years. Luckily, we have had the help of wonderful family and friends that selflessly offer to lend a hand. In July we will be moving to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for Aaron's second rotation of his training program at Watlow. So, even though we've only been in Saint Louis for a short time, we are packing it all up... again. Getting up before the crack of dawn to move it all several states over... again. Unloading and unpacking it all in the new place... again. Only to have to do this all over again in another year. We are crazy.

Joy has graciously offered to come help us pack this week, huge blessing because we've only been slowly getting stuff packed up so far, very slowly. We have movers coming on the 9th (hopefully) to put the boxes (and boxes and boxes...) in the truck for us. And then when we arrive in Lake Geneva, we have a crew of family and friends that have offered to help unload the truck! We are so, SO thankful for all these helpers!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


We just got home from our week-long adventure in Alaska, and it was nothing short of amazing. Here are some of the highlights:

- Wilderness camping in Denali National Park. We climbed a mountain, hiked 15 mi or so, saw tons of wildlife, and slept under the stars (that we couldn't really see because it was light out 22/7), all the while surrounded by magnificent formations. We got to see Grizzly Bears, Wolves, Eagles, Caribou, and a Moose!

- Our flight-seeing tour of the Alaskan Mountain Range and Denali (Mt McKinley). We got to land on a glacier in the mountains 5,000 ft up!

- A day-cruise of the Kenai Fjords. We saw whales! Two families! Of Orcas and Humpbacks! And we saw Seals, Otters, Dolphins, Sea Lions, and Puffins! It was amazing.

- Getting to see huge glaciers up close. We got to get close to 2 glaciers on our trip, one on a hike (Exit Glacier) and one on our Fjords Cruise. The face of the glacier below is 300 ft tall!

- All the fresh seafood! We got to try Alaskan King Crab, Salmon, Calamari, and Rock Fish... yum!

It was definitely a trip of a lifetime, and I am so glad we did it. I just kept thinking, "I can wait to do this with our kids someday!"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Life Update - the last 15 months, in a nutshell

Wow, I have really neglected this blog. heh - whoopsies! Since my last update, here's what's happened:

Jan-Mar 09: Aaron continued to look for jobs around Wisconsin. After weeks of little luck, he extended his search a bit to cover the Midwest.
Apr 09: Aaron was offered a job by Watlow in St. Louis, aaand we took it!
Jul 09: We moved to a high-rise apartment in the city. We can walk to Cardinals, Blues, and Rams games!
Oct 09: We celebrated our first anniversary! We made it a long weekend and visited Branson, MO.
Nov-Jan: We traveled a bit visiting family for the holidays, and I had a hectic few months of work (as usual for the end of the year).
Feb 10: We started planning a summer vacation to Alaska!
Mar 10: Aaron turned 24! Whoa, old man!

These days we are getting ready for a few upcoming events. Aaron's job at Watlow is moving us back to Wisconsin for at least a year. The move is happening in July, so we are starting to look for a place to live and dreading packing everything up.

Our trip to Alaska is happening at the end of May/beginning of June. We are "in training" for the hiking/camping that is going to happen on our vacation. We've gone on a few hikes in the area in preparation, and we're planning a few multiple-day hikes between now and the time we leave.

Also, we're planning to add another member to our family this summer or fall... a puppy! :) Stay tuned for more details on that in the next few months.

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