Sunday, November 25, 2007


My sister is moving with her family to London from Australia. Since it takes 24 hours of flying to do such a move, they have stopped in Dubai for a two day rest. I had heard of Dubai before. I have seen it showcased on the travel channel and also saw pictures of this megahotel (is this the one where Agassi and Federer played an exhibition match on the rooftop?) but wanted to learn more. I had no idea where it was located or the history behind the city. Pretty darn interesting.
It is all very new and an up-and-coming city. One of the richest in the world. A lot of foreigners are now living and working there. It sits on the southwest side of the Persian Gulf. Northeast sits Iran and northwest is Iraq.
Apparently it is very hard to find native Emiratis because of the surge of foreign workers. They are a tiny minority in their own country. Women who live in the United Arab Emirates have a more open life and don't have to conform to the traditional Islam. They have more choices and options and can be very modern.

This, dubbed the eighth wonder of the world, also resides there. It is a man-made resort to resemble a palm tree. Whomever was motivated to create such a wonder is crazy. I can barely motivate myself to clean the bathroom. I guess this is much, much cooler than cleaning a toilet.
Hope you have fun, Therese and Alan, and enjoy your last of 80 degree weather for a while!! :)

Friday, November 23, 2007


Happy birthday Dayna! You've always been such an amazing friend. Do you remember going to the Cranberries concert many years ago with me on your birthday? Good times. I remember being on the dance committee with you back in the seventh grade and I felt so cool because you talked to me. You have a way of making whomever you are talking to feel like they are the most important person in your life. You are the most beautiful friend, inside and out. You are always so thoughtful and always thinking ahead. I hope you have an amazing day of celebration and get everything on your wish list. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Day of Thanks

This year we were able to spend Thanksgiving with the Anderson side of the family. It is always such a blast to get together. It turned out to be a beautiful day but still very, very chilly. We enjoyed loads and loads of food and visiting. My grammy always wants each one of us to share something we are thankful for. This year we had to come up with something that starts with the first letter of our name. We are such a creative family and love to laugh so you can imagine how that turned out. I cannot brag about my family enough. Today I'm so thankful for a wonderful husband and kids who fill my life with joy. I love my family and extended family and in-laws. I'm amazed at how lucky and blessed I am. Thanks for a great day of family fun grammy and grandpy!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Happy, Happy, Happy Anniversary

Today Dan and I celebrate our six year wedding anniversary. Seems crazy to have been six years already. We had a stellar day of celebration. We were able to attend the temple and then treat ourselves to a fancy, schmancy dinner. It was so wonderful to have an adult conversation without interruption! What a blessing to have each other and to also be blessed with two beautiful children. Our lives are definitely rich. I remember a particular stake conference when I was still in the student ward. President Batty was speaking about his wife and how he loved her more than he did on their wedding day. I can totally relate. I love Dan more and more each day. He still treats me like gold and, most importantly, he can still make me laugh so hard that I feel my stomach will explode. He is the best.

Here is a picture from our first date. We had met once before and barely knew each other. I asked him to a girl's choice institute dance on a whim. It was the most fun I had ever had on a date.
Here are a couple pictures from our wedding at the Bountiful Temple. It was the most gorgeous day.

Isn't this the coolest? We saw this car as we were walking through the parking lot to our car. (The license plate says "JAN-DAN"). We knew it was meant to be. :)

Bridal Shower

I had to post these pictures from one of my bridal showers. It was so much fun!! We all look so different now and have so much going on in our lives compared to then (i.e. marriages, kids, new jobs, new cities, etc). This was our "serious" picture.

This one was our "crazy" picture. Good times...good times...:)

(L-R back row: Jody Campbell Long, Mauri Larsen Winder, Alecia Fredrickson, Dayna Kidd, Brittany Peterson, moi, Kristen Olsen Thompson, Cami Brenchley Archer.
L-R front row: Ashley Blanch Steele, Jackie Hart VanZanten, Mindy Scmidt and Lisa Murray)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

AM 1390

YEAH!!! The holiday season has OFFICIALLY begun. Yesterday I turned on my favorite AM radio station to find they have started the annual tradition of playing holiday music. I was so giddy. It made me almost want to pull out all the Christmas decos and get started...

almost. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nicknames Part Deux

I'm sure no one cares but since posting Nicknames I have come to realize how my world is FULL of nicknames! I failed to mention a few. My friend Nate Bryan is the whitest person you will ever meet (at least when I last saw him). He could make my sister and I crack up over his little lingo. He had his own way of talking...more like rap-talking...hilarious! So he was knighted the nickname Nate Dawg (I realize this isn't totally original). We have since shortened it and just call him Dawg.
After going to Russia, Clint adapted the name Clintchik...which has morphed into Clintkins.
Dan adapted the nickname Dumble. I know, I can all roll your eyes. Everyone has a pet name for their spouse, which usually makes everyone else vomit (the clip from The Family Guy comes to mind) on the spot but you need to know the background for his nickname. There is a Finnish chocolate called Dumle. VERY tasty and rare in these parts. For the longest time he would call it Dumble and I couldn't figure out what he was talking about. Therefore, Dan was knighted Dumble. We have even nicknamed my mom's cat...more like her sixth child. His name is Tabby to which we usually call him Tabster. My dad would call me his little skittle (am I going to find out this wasn't singled out for me and me only?!). Mason has even joined the bandwagon and calls Naomi - Omi. I think it is really because he cannot pronounce it quite right but it is so cute and will definitely stick.

At Peace

Do you ever have those moments where, amid all the chaos, peace sweeps over you like a breath of fresh air??! I had one such moment the morning of Naomi's baby blessing. Of course, the house was packed and so much was going on. Mason was not, and I mean NOT, having a good morning; crying and being difficult. Dan and I were rushing to get ready just to be on time. Realizing Naomi was not yet dressed, I started to panic and rushed her back to her room to get her dressed. Just as I was slipping on her little dress, everything stopped, she looked at me with those sweet little eyes and I was filled with peace. It was a split-second but the feeling has lingered. One can guess how that affected me since I'm still thinking about it two weeks later. I have been pondering of other times this has happened to me in my life...
The whole day of our wedding I felt totally at ease. But I had a moment when my mom and I were in the bride's room at the Bountiful Temple. She was helping me get ready and peace swept over me. I also had a moment when Dan and I walked hand-in-hand into the sealing room and were greeted with the warmest smiles from all our family and friends. I had a moment when my mom told me we would be moving to Russia (after much crying, of course). I had a moment when I walked across the stage at my high school graduation and my parents were halfway around the world. I had a moment when I gave my twin brother a foot massage when he was in the hospital. I also had a moment just after having Mason and then again with Naomi. I have had many wonderful moments like these and will spare you the long list but I'm grateful for these moments.

Load on the Cheese

Cutest dang kids on the planet. Of course, every mom feels that way about their kids, right? Mason and Naomi are the best. I love their little faces, personalities, the way they smell, everything. So perfect. Mason has the best little laugh and Naomi has the funniest facial expressions. Which leads me to the next picture...

"Do I offend?" (via Ducky on "Pretty In Pink"). Naomi cracks me up. I love the look on her face in this picture. This is definitely not a face only a mother could love.

First of many photo shoots

Cute, cute, cute!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Missing Green M&M

Tonight Mason went to the store with me. To ensure good behavior, I told him he could pick out one num-num at the checkout. He chose a little bag of peant M&M's which he ate on the way home. When we were almost to the house he kept saying, "Where'd the green one go?" I looked earnestly for the missing M&M after I got him out of his carseat. I couldn't find it anywhere and figured he must have thought he had dropped it but didn't. As we were getting Mason ready for his bath, we pulled off his diaper to find the missing green M&M. He saw it and excitedly yelled, "There it is!" Dan and I laughed and laughed.


I remember at a very young age, sitting on the school bus, dissecting my name to see what nickname people could call me. I had a friend named Brittany whom we called Brit. I had a friend named Ashley whom we called Ash. I had a friend named Tonilyn whom we called Toe. I also had a friend named Jacquleyn whom we called Jackie but mostly Jacks. But when referring to me, they called me Janelle...boring, nicknameless Janelle. I always felt so left out. The first nickname I do actually remember being called was Penelope, mainly by my oldest sister Therese. She always called me Penelope. I remember Jared Smith started calling me Penleope too which turned into Parnell and ended up just being Par. He still to this day calls me that. Then Brynn Miller would call me J. She too still calls me that. Then Jared Pulham started to call me Nell-O (i.e. "There's always room for Nell-O"). That has stuck. It actually goes really well since my married name starts with an O. Now I'm mainly known as Nells. I was thinking today how cool it is when people I've known for years call me the nicknames they came up with. I notice I usually shorten people's names as well and wonder if they like that or not. Dayna = Day...Lara = La...but the nickname I'm most proud of coming up with belongs to my sister Sarah whom I call Boog.


This morning I decided I was motivated enough to go to the gym. I haven't been there since having my baby. I have mainly been walking and working out on our elliptical. But I have been wanting to get back into the step classes, which I thoroughly least I should say until this morning. I felt like a football player in a ballet class. What happened? I wasn't out of commission THAT long. All of the sudden there were choreographed steps coming from out of nowhere! The Snowboarder? The Waterfall? Sheesh! Not only was the class PACKED but there were two men in the class who were actually doing these steps while I stood on my bench watching, flabbergasted.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


How could something so tasty be so harmful to my child? I am currently nursing
our 2nd child and have found that when I eat chocolate, it makes her gassy and very fussy. I have been in denial but am currently in the process of trying to give up my favorite treat. I'm thinking the rubber band method will be perfect in helping me to break my chocolate addiction.

rubber band method

Have you heard of the rubber band method? In my classes at the university we would discuss this method. Not much to it. Basic principles are this: if you want to break a habit, slip a rubber band around your wrist and when you feel the urge to do whatever you shouldn't (such as break your diet or lose your temper) then you snap the rubber band. Usually, it takes two weeks to break a habit and this is supposed to be a way of helping that. I've taken it upon myself to try this out. Since having our second baby, I lose my patience a lot faster than normal. So when I'm about to break, I snap that puppy and it helps keep me in check. Sometimes I don't even have to snap it -- by merely looking at the rubber band on my wrist is a good reminder.


For all who know me, what I'm about to say is nothing new: U2 is my all-time favorite band. I was very happy when they decided to start performing again back in the state of Utah (which happened to be the year I was out of the country). But I vowed to never miss another U2 Utah concert again and have kept that promise. So, as you might guess, anything to do with U2 I love. Bono is noble in his cause to fight AIDS and poverty in Africa. He has been awarded many times over for his work and his efforts. The ONE organization is awesome and this is my next purchase.

Monday, November 5, 2007

magnetic art

As I was putting the clean dishes away this morning, Mason was playing around. I noticed it got quiet all of the sudden. I found him at the fridge lining up the magnets. It looked like a piece of art and I had to take a picture. I know every mother feels this way about their child but Mason truly is such a bright kid. He is gifted in so many areas and exhibits this giftedness in new ways every day. I just love to brag about my kids! They are perfect and I am grateful to have been entrusted with them.

baby blessing

On Sunday, November 4, we blessed little Naomi. It was wonderful. Dan did a great job. We had so much family support. They are amazing and I'm so grateful. We had a big lunch afterwards and visited the rest of the afternoon. Basically, it was a good excuse to all get together.