Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

December 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

Seasons Greetings! We hope you are doing well and thought we would write a quick update to let you know how we are doing.

In June we moved from our home in Claremont, CA to Arlington, VA where we will be for the next two years while Robert is doing a rotation in the National Tax Practice at PwC. We’re feeling settled in here and love our neighborhood in Arlington and the beautiful greenery and fall colors throughout the area.

Robert has transitioned to his new office in Washington DC. He enjoys working closely with the technical experts of his firm and learning daily. The shorter commute and better work / life balance in the office has allowed him to spend more time watching his daughter grow up. He particularly likes the D.C. area and the countless places to visit with his family.

Melarie has her hands full at home running after Julia, literally. Melarie has started running almost everyday while Julia sits like a princess in her jogging stroller and watches the dog walkers. Melarie likes that it gets her out of the house and into shape and Julia likes stopping at the park afterwards. During the winter months when its too cold to run with Julia she hopes to take advantage of the free admission to the many museums in D.C. Melarie’s church calling helping to plan the monthly Relief Society enrichment meetings has also helped her make friends with a lot of the sisters in the ward.

Julia (19 months) has entered toddler hood with gusto. She definitely has a mind of her own and is sweet and well behaved, as long as no one gets in her way. Then, watch out! She really is a lovable little girl and enjoys giving hugs- to mom and dad, to her dolls, to random kids at the park, and even to the bonze statue of a turtle at the latest museum we visited.

We love visitors and have a guest bed in our basement available, so just let us know when you’d like to come for a visit! Have a very Merry Christmas.


Robert, Melarie, and Julia Wheat

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Utah Fun

We've been having a lot of fun in Utah visiting my family. They all adore having Julia around since she is the only grandchild, so she has been getting pretty spoiled with all the attention. You might say she gets treated like a princess. That's okay with me though, it makes my job a lot easier.

Some of the fun things we've done:

Saturday night we started the evening off by going out to dinner at a Filipino restaurant in Salt Lake. Then we went to temple square to see the lights, and then the boys took Julia home and all the girls went to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert. Sunday we had a lot of family over and Julia stayed up late playing with (second) cousins.Then on Monday we went to the Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long at the Energy Solutions Arena with a live orchestra and performances by Jon Schmidt. My family has gone for the past three years, but this was our first time going. Here is the row Robert and I were sitting on. It is entirely made up of my family members- uncle, cousins, aunt, more cousins, siblings, and finally another aunt and a teeny tiny Julia standing on a lap at the very end with a Santa Clause hat. We had fun and Julia loves to sing so she had a lot of fun too.
This was one of the songs Jon Schmidt played (but not actually last night's performance obviously). At the sing-a-long Jon Schmidt talked about how surprised he was that this video got over a million hits, so of course I had to look it up when I got home.

Finally, we woke up to a bunch of snow this morning and decided this snow looked inviting enough to go through the trouble of bundling up enough to go play in the snow. Julia hated being bundled up so much and she could hardly walk at first. She kept whining while trying to walk through the snow. I guess she got used to it though because after a while she loosened up and starting jumping into the snow and throwing snow up into the air. We played outside for close to two hours this morning and went back out again this afternoon after Julia's nap. Julia was introduced to the wonders of snowmen, snowballs, and even a snow slide that her uncles made for her.Checking out the snowman we built. She wanted to give him a hug. Then when she did give the snowman a hug she buried her face into him and realized that he actually tasted pretty good. She kept going back to him and trying to eat him.
This is a video of the first run down the snow slide. We later expanded it and the snow melting a little naturally made it more slippery and smooth, so it turned out to be pretty fast.

I figured out Julia gets more out of it if she goes down with me, so here are Julia and I going down the the snow slide together.
Unfortunately we found out my Grandpa Sandberg passed away on Sunday. He has been in constant pain for a while though and has not had a very high quality of life from being so sick. He has also really been missing my grandma who passed away last year. So although we will all miss him a lot, we know that he is happier where he is now. My grandpa's last gift to my Dad was in the timing of my Grandpa's death. He died just in time for my Dad to come home from Iraq for Christmas. My dad gets to leave Iraq for 15 days (including travel time) to come to the funeral. He has already left Iraq and is probably in Kuwait someplace now. We are hoping he makes it to Utah by the 23rd or 24th. It really is a Christmas miracle. The funeral will be next Wednesday in Panguitch, UT.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

It's Christmas Time!

Julia got to see Santa at our neighborhood Christmas party on Saturday. Last year Julia was too young to know what was going on and she really didn't care who was holding her. This year she didn't want to go to Santa at first, but he offered her a candy cane she decided he could hold her, but she was still a little unsure about the whole thing.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

A Bryant Park Santa

While we were in New York we went to Bryant Park and Microsoft was doing free Santa pictures to showcase a new photo editing program they have that makes it easy to get the "perfect picture." They took three pictures of us, then they showed us how to replace people's faces who weren't looking or had their eyes closed in one for the best face in another. We were pretty much the best group for the product because someone was doing something wrong in every picture, but we still got our perfect picture (Tyler never looked at the camera- at least we can see the side of his face right?)

You can see the rest of the photos here

U.S. Capital Building

We had a great time over Thanksgiving with Robert's family. Starting the Saturday before Thanksgiving we went to Philadelphia, New York City, and then came back to Washington D.C. for Thanksgiving and more sightseeing. We saw a lot of cool things and since I'm not really in a rush to post about them all at once, I'll probably just do a few different posts over the next week.

One of the places we saw in D.C. was the U.S. Capital. We got tickets from our Congressional Representative in Claremont and one of his interns showed us around.As long as Julia gets to hang out like she wants she does well sightseeing. It's when we force her to move along and go places she's not interested in that things get hairy.
Tyler and Kevin standing in the crypt room. There is no one really buried there, but it is where the designers of the capital wanted to bury George Washington (he's buried at Mount Vernon).

The fresco on the ceiling in the Rotunda, The Apotheosis of Washington, depicting Washington becoming a god surrounded by Liberty, Victory, and the thirteen maidens representing the thirteen colonies.

A life size model of the statue on top of the capital, the Statue of Freedom. It was really cool to see the inside of the capital. We went inside the House Chambers and kind of felt like I had been there before since it's such a recognizable room.