Thursday, October 25, 2012

Road Trips, Massages, and Notre Dame

Over the past few weekends the Wisconsin Salts have been playing host to some traveling family members as well as embarking one of their own.

Three weeks ago was conference weekend and we played host to Papa Salt, in town for a HR technology conference in Chicago. Believe me, it sounded about as much fun when described further as the title suggests. Fortunately, Chicago is just a short flight from Madison, so he was able to add a few days to his trip and get to spend some quality time with the granddaughters. As a brief side note, it was kind of fun because I was flying back from Omaha at around the same time and we ended up on the same flight in to Madison. Alana wasn’t as interested in Alfred (Grampy’s mustache) as I am, but she enjoyed the new friend/partner in crime all the same.

This week we were able to play host to another traveling Salt as Matthew came in to town to go to the BYU-Notre Dame football game with Matt and I. Speaking of partners in crime, Matthew wasn’t at our house for 30 minutes before he was encouraging Alana in one of her most discouraged activities, jumping on the couch (the naughty uncle club sure was a lot more fun before I became a father…). On Friday the motley crew left for Valparaiso, IN, where we would spend the night getting hyped up for the game on milkshakes from Steak n’ Shake. On the way, we decided to go to a highly recommended place on the travel channel’s website, Fabulous Freddie’s. Unfortunately, it was in the heart of the south side of Chicago which was both a little sketchy and, with traffic, a significant detour (pronounced ‘75 minute delay’). The food was great (no complaints there), but in the end we just felt lucky to get out of there un-mugged and without Matt’s car getting towed.

This brings us to Saturday, where we will briefly turn our attention to what the Matriarch of the Newest Salts was up to while her man was away for the game. Since I assume you have read the title to this blog post, I won’t ask you to guess, she was getting a massage. I have never had one (unless a facial during my mission counts?) and Natalie is always asking me to do a couple’s massage with her, I am cheap and don’t like other people to touch me, so she has, to this point, had to settle for going on her own. All reports indicate that it was exactly what she was needed. I don’t like talking to the people who cut my hair, so I can’t imagine conversing with a masseuse would be very enjoyable for me, but here is what came out of it for Natalie (perhaps a good indication that I would only be more uncomfortable if talking during the massage). I am not exactly sure how the topic came up, but here is how I imagine it:
Natalie: Have you ever given a massage to someone with a hairy back?
Masseuse: Yes.
Natalie: I couldn’t do that. It would gross me out too much. Did it bother you?
Masseuse: No, not really. I guess it depends on the person. Everyone has things they are okay with and things they aren’t. For me, it would be changing poopy diapers.
Now, this conversation is more or less harmless, but I have to say, if I am getting a massage and poopy diapers come up, I am no longer in a happy place. 
*Note from Natalie... It didn't really go like that, but those topics were discussed. At least I didn't have to watch football : )

Speaking of unhappy places/feelings, let’s now turn our attention back to me (Nathan) and our tip to Notre Dame. We headed over to the ND campus early in the day (after a night at a hotel that Matt and Andy say I am not allowed to talk about…) and enjoyed the day taking in the campus. We ran into people from Madison (expected) and Des Moines (unexpected), went in to the Basilica, snapped a photo with ‘Touchdown Jesus’, went to Cougar Town, saw some impressive ND football memorabilia, and stood with all the other fans to cheer as the ND marching band march from the Basilica over to the football stadium. It would have been hard to sit any father from the field, but the stadium was so impressive that you hardly cared. BYU played well and it looked like things might go our way before victory slipped away in favor of the Fighting Irish. Despite the loss (and the unavoidable sad feelings that I get after any Cougar loss) everyone had a good time and all agreed that it would be worth doing again. 

Now we are looking forward to the next family outing in November when we all get together for Thanksgiving in Denver. Happy Halloween everyone!

 Oh, and we're also having a baby : )

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Long Awaited House Post

I know, I know. It's been a while. You're all waiting for pictures. Are you ever going to post them??? Well yes. Yes I am. Now! How exciting for all of you! There isn't a real particular order to them, but they're here!
If you wanted to be reminded what the house looked like before, you can look here. I'm so happy with how it looks now. We painted every wall and ceiling in the house before we moved in. (Thanks Steve and Darren!) There are still some things that are a work in progress (like the'll notice only toys and no furniture!). We're so happy to have a home!
The Living room:

 The Kitchen
The Outside
 The upstairs hallway
 The upstairs bathroom
 Our tornado of an office...
 The basement

 Basement hallway. To the right is the bathroom and a storage closet. To the left is my sewing room.

 The scary looking sewing room
              The downstairs bathroom                                             And the laundry room.
 The Master bedroom
 view from the inside. That is the door to the bathroom.
 Alana's bedroom


There you have it. Our house.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Baby's a YEAR!

It's hard to believe that a whole year has already passed! Just look at how much she's grown!

One Month:

Two Months:
No Three Months : (

Four Months:
Five Months:
Six Months:
Seven Months:
Eight Months:
Nine Months:
Ten Months:
Eleven Months:
ONE Year:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

10 Months

Natalie has been very busy the past few months with our anniversary, Christmas, and getting ready for her big Relief Society activity (going on right now), which leaves the duty of updating our blog to me.

Well, in our last post Alana was just figuring out how to crawl, but it wasn't long after that that she discovered standing up. Then it was scooting along the couch. Now she is a crawling machine and when she gets where she wants to go, she pulls herself up and has a look around. Unfortunately her new found gifts have led her mostly to grabbing books off the bookshelf, following Natalie around incessantly, and generally getting into everything we want her NOT to get into. What we have found is that the following around she gets from me, though I think I have a younger brother to blame for her general, 'getting-into-it-ness.'

The difficult thing is we can't even be mad at her. I mean, just look at her. Even when she is knocking over all your old Nintendo games, trying to destroy your TV, or eating your remote control (or cell phone) she is just too darn cute. She sure doesn't get it from me (as you will see later on...).

She also had her 9 month well child visit since our last post and I am proud to announce that she is an AMAZON!!! She measured in the 96th percentile in head circumference (definitely from me) and in the 94th percentile in height (definitely NOT from her Grandpa Salt or Aunt Sarah).

In November Natalie went against her better judgment and allowed me participate in Movember. During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. I was not a successful fund raiser, but I must say that my mustache was quite impressive. What do you think, should it make a comeback in February?

Perhaps needless to say, Natalie was not thrilled about it on our anniversary. Well, I figure if having a mustache for a few months across three years of marriage is the worst of it, then she must have it pretty good. Natalie and I have been happily married now for three years and I can honestly say that I love her more today than I did the day we got married.

Then came December. My work travel is picking up, but we were able to find time make a visit to Des Moines to see Nanna Jo and Grandpa Jo (you can't really want to be called that can you?) and the rest of the Smith gang (longer for Natalie than for me). Then came Christmas and Grammy and Grampy Salt made the trip to Madison with the rest of the Salt clan which made for a lot of noise if nothing else. During their stay we took family photos, saw Sherlock Holmes, played Wii Sports, watched The Muppet Christmas Carol, watched Alana enjoy the wrapping paper more than the presents, celebrated the birthday of my brother-in-law with the most amazing cake ever created, enjoyed new family stocking made by my talented wife, took pictures with Santa, played Santa, and ate our weight in Ferrero Rochet and Bluebird chocolates. A successful holiday if I have ever seen one.

Which brings us to the new year. Resolutions abound, but my goal was to get us up through Christmas and I have done it. Now, enjoy our (almost) monthly photos of Alana and our Bang! card game container while you wait for our next installment (pins and needles, I am sure).