Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Hair Straightener

I wrote before about my work travl to Minnesota, but I did not write about my trip to the Mall of America.

I went there with the intent of picking up some things to take home for the kids and having a nice dinner.  One of my agents had reccoemended a good place to dine, so I thought I'd take her reccomendation for supper while I was there. 

I arrived and walked around the first floor of the mall, bought a few things and enjoyed just looking around.  I found the reccomended restuant, Tucci Benucch, and took a seat on the patio.  She had reccomended their wine and pizza, so I ordered two appetizers for my meal, a pizza and some bruschetta and a glass of wine. 

I ate and drank, called home, ordered a second glass of wine and people watched.

After dinner I decided to try to finish walking hte Mall.  I wanted to see all there was to offer and I was in no hurry to get back to my empty hotel room.  (I was to the Mall of America once before on a family vacation about 10 years ago, but didn't remember much of the trip.) 

Walking around the second floor, I think, maybe it was the third, it's all a little fuzzy, a gentelmen handed me a small wet wipe looking thing and complimented my hair.  Who doesn't love a compliment!  He asked me a few questions about the products I use on my hair, and was shocked when my only response was shampoo. 

The next thing I know he has me sitting in his stylist chair with a straightener in my hair heating up my face and telling me how I really need this product to make my hair look great. 

Clearly the second glass of wine was a mistake

They day after I got home, after the kids were in bed, I told Keith about it. Who immediately grabbed the straightner looked i up on Amazon and found it for $70. He didn't appreciate my comment about saving $100 when he orginally tried to sell it to me at $200!

I'm using it daily and actually really liking it. It makes having short hair much more manageable. (Speaking of, I need write about my short hair!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Work Travel in Minnesota

The end of January, I had to travel to Minnesota for work.  I flew our early Wednesday morning amidst tears at leaving town without my baby for the first time.  I knew she was in the capable hands of her Daddy and out babysiters, but it didn't make it any easier to leave her!  I cried before I left, on the way to the airport and on the plane.  Although, I have to say the rough flight we had may have contributed to some of those tears as I held tightly to my armrest!

Upon arrival in Minnesota we started our day or meetings; I was spending that first day with 2 of my co-workers.  My travel for work is usually a day of meetings with agencies in various parts of the state, so we travel to an office, stay for an hour, drive and hour, visit another office for an hour and so on; this made pumping quite a challenge.  I spend a lot of time in various public bathrooms in restaurants and office buildings.  We have 4 different meetings that first day.  I was exhausted by the end of the day.  I got up about 4 a.m. to leave by house by 5:00 for my 7:30 flight.  When I get to Minnesota, that turns into having been awake at 3:00 their time and not getting back to our hotel from out dinner meeting until after 9:00 makes for a very long day.  I'm usually prepared for an exhausing first day when I travel to Minnesota. 

After booking the trip I had some appointment cancellations and changes of schedule for Thrusday that left me with a free afternoon and evening.  After trying reperatedly to change my flight or find another flight home for a reasonable price, I gave up and stayed until my regularly scheduled flight left Friday morning.  My airline wanted $550 for me to move to a Thursday afternoon flight.  I could have bought a new ticket for about $400; so why on earth wouldn't I just do that!?  After looking for flights, I just couldn't find one cheap enough to justify the cost; not to mention Keith was not a fan of me spending the extra money to come home early because they were fine at home. 

They were fine; mom wasn't so much!

To pass the afternoon and evening, I went to the Mall of America.  My hotel was just across the street and they offered a shuttle service to and from the hotel.  That's when Keith decided maybe he should have let me buy the flight home...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Christmas Eve 2012

Elinore's First Bechtel Family Christmas

Casey the Dog, Papa Lowell, Elinore, Caleb & Caden

Elinore, Caleb & Caden

Mommy & Elinore
Brother, His Girlfriend & His Dog

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Caden & Caleb

Elinore & Mommy

Keith, Caden, Elinore, Mommy & Caleb
January 27, surrounded by our family and church family, our kids were baptized in our church.

Your family in attendance included:
Grandparents: Grandma Barb, Grandma Nancy & Papa Lowell
Aunts & Uncles: Uncle Cory, Uncle Brent & Aunt Kate
Cousins: Trent
Great Aunt & Great Uncle: Aunt Lind & Uncle Donnie
1st Cousin Once Removed: Matt

It was simple, beautiful and full of love. 

Friday, February 22, 2013


Caden and Caleb both have very giving hearts.  I'm doing my best to keep that desire alive in those boys.  I accept their gifts of toys, key chains, drawings, stuffed animals, goodie bags and anything else their creative minds come up with to give.  It's nearly guaranteed that if anyone comes to visit our house, they will send you home with a gift from them.  Keith, myself and their grandma's are the most frequent recipients of their gifts, but it has expanded beyond that. 

They are so excited when they can take things in for their class.  They have started asking to take things to certain children in the babysitters.  I do have a rule that if they're going to take someone a gift to school or the sitters, they have to have enough for everyone. 

I try to allow them to share and give as much as I can, and I hope they never loose this desire to share and give. 

I love that we are raising boys with such giving, loving hearts. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Late last November-ish, we learned of Caden's girlfriend.  Caden had been spending his recess time playing with Ashley.  Caleb was the first to tell us Caden had a girlfriend he played with regularly at school. 

In January when school started back up Caden came home very excited that they got new seats in his classroom and Ashley sits next to him now! 

Shortly after the beginning of the year, Caleb was complaining on night that Caden never plays with him at recess.  Keith talked to Caden and told him he needed to spend some time playing with Caleb at recess too.  Keith left the room and I continued our bedtime routine, but was surprised to find Caden hiding under his pillow crying.  Turns out Caden was so upset because if he has to play with Caleb at recess, he "*whimper, whimper* wouldn't be able *whimper, whimper* to play with *whimper, whimper* Ashley!"  He wants to play with Ashley, and according to Caden, she's the boss of them. 

We've been hearing less about her in the last month, but I learned she's also a twin!  Ashley's twin brother is in his kindergarten class too. 

My dear kindergarten boy, you are smitten!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Baby Food

The weekend after Elinore turned 6 months old we introduced her to her first solid foods, sweet potatoes!  She did very well and really liked them!

Peas on the other hand, Elinroe was not nearly as fond of in teh beginning.  She's since grown to enjoy them too over the course of the last month and a half!


She's continued to be a good eater and if you're not careful she'll grab the spoon!  We now give Elinore her own spoon to play with during meals while we use one to feed her.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Caden's Lent 2013

Sunday during church, Lent was discussed during Children's Moments in terms of a review from their Wednesday night ROCK Group session.  In front of the entire sanctuary, the entire congregation learned that Caden wanted to give up underwear for Lent.  Caden didn't announce it for himself, but Caleb was more than willing to remind him. 

Our Pastor's response?  How does that bring you closer to God?  After all that is the point of giving something up or doing something different during Lent.  Apparently his reasoning was because there would be less between him and God. 

Our boys are so spirited, energetic and full of laughs!  The sure do liven up Sunday mornings at church. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Elinore - 7.5 Month Review

Dear Elinore,

I'm late for your 7 month post.  We've been busy, and the words of what to say about you last month with us haven't been there.  So we're going to consider this your 7.5 month review.  It's really quite fitting this way as you've had a lot of new developments even since you turned 7 months old!

Since you turned 6 months old you've had several new experiences! 

You tried your first solid foods, sweet potatoes.  You've done very well with eating solid foods, other than peas early on, you've taken them all so well and enjoyed them!  So far, I think pears are your very favorite with bananas as a close second.  You've had: sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pears, bananas, apples, peas and avocado. 

You managed through another slight cold in the middle of January.  You fared so well, as did your brothers, your father and I; however, were down for the count.  I was fortunate enough to be able to take a sick day or two and Grandma Nancy came to watch you at home so I could rest and keep you here with me. 

You were baptized!  January 27, you and your brothers were baptized in our church with your family present.  You did so well, and I nearly cried in the front of the church for what we're doing for you and having a our family and church family support us in raising you all and teaching you about our faith. 

That same afternoon, you started crawling Army style across the floor.  You were determined to get to a toy; you've since mastered crawling all around the room with your arms.  You are moving!

I took my first overnight work trip while you were six months old.  The end of January I sent 2.5 days in Minnesota for work.  You and you Daddy and brother did just fine here; I however, was a mess.  I cried before I left, most of the way to the airport and on the plane.  (Granted it was a bumpy flight and fear in the plane didn't help the tears situation!)  I pumped and dumped while away and made it through a day full of meetings before crying myself to sleep that night after searching the internet for early flights home.  Day two went better with a few meetings and an afternoon/evening off, and since I couldn't get an earlier flight, I kept myself busy at the Mall of America.  As I wandered around the place, I dreamed of girls weekends for us there when you're older!  Reuniting with you the next afternoon was fantastic! 

Since you've turned 7 months old you're hit a lot of milestones!  You are now sitting up on your own, for only short periods of time.  They usually end in you face planting into the floor to get crawling around.  You can only sit up if we sit you in the seated position to start with; you haven't figured out how to get yourself there yet, but I'm sure it's coming soon. 

You have been babbling up a storm lately and making all kinds of noises and more produced sound you've been practicing.  The other night in Lowe's, I was holding you when you looked at Daddy and said Dada for the first time!  You may have even reached for him, which you're just slowly starting to get the hang of. 

Just the other night, I felt your first tooth.  I haven't seen it yet, mostly because you keep it hidden with your tongue well. 

Oh dear Elinore, you are full or smiles, happiness and keeping mommy and daddy on their toes.  We do love you so very much, your smiles, your giggles and laughter and watching you learn.  I love every moment of it.  We have been so blessed with you.


A Tooth!

Elinore was sitting in my lap tonight while we were playing when she grabbed my finger and put it in her mouth.  As soon as my finger was in her mouth, I felt a tooth!  It's barely there, but I could feel it. 

I tried to take a look, but as soon as I open her mouth and move her lip to look, she sticks her tongue over it so we can't get a glimpse of it.  Hopefully soon she'll give us a peek!

Monday, February 11, 2013


This evening, standing in Lowe's while I was holing Elinroe, she looked at her daddy and said "dada."

And then my heart melted, and I wanted to cry with happiness right there in the store.  Daddy celebrated of course with a big smile on his face.

Oh dear Elinore, we love you so!

When will it be mama's turn?