Sunday, November 13, 2011

Playing with cousins

We had some fun with cousins in the last week. First, Crystal's sister, Heather, and her family came to visit us. My brother-in-law Scott and I drove to Canton and spent Saturday in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which was really cool. When we got back, Crystal and Heather (in true Sorensen girl form) had made tons of treats - mostly pastries like bearclaws and Danishes - so we got to enjoy those, as well.

Clara and Lucas loved playing with cousins Payton and Jenna. Here are some pictures of Payton holding Will and playing with other kids.

 Clara likes to make funny faces.

Lucas decided to put his hand in his pocket, and with his curly hair and untucked white shirt, he looks pretty debonair. He would look even a little grown up, too, if not for his lack of teeth and chubby wrist.

A couple days later, Harry and Wyatt came over for an hour or so, and it was such a nice day that Lucas took them in the back yard to play. Clara was taking a nap (shocker!), so it was an all-boy cousins party in the back yard. Check out the fun.

Stripey buddies.

Happy brothers.

There is a reason ATV manufacturers no longer make three-wheelers. They are dangerous. This is one of the times Lucas had not crashed his.

Wyatt and his hog.

So, here is Lucas after another three-wheeled vehicle caused him consternation.

And, I don't know why he did this, but Lucas went and knelt in the grass under a fruit tree and folded his fingers like he was praying. It is a little reminiscent of Joseph Smith. I hope he was praying for me to find a job, and that it is answered quickly.

Will is growing

Here are some updated photos of young Will. He is growing quickly, having gained more than 2 pounds and 1.5 inches since he was born.

He is getting more alert and stronger each day and his personality is more apparent, as well. He is pretty mellow.

Here's a short video of Willberforce, as we sometimes call him. Willster is another common nickname.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Grandma Arrives!

So I have thankfully had a pretty light school load for the last week, so I've been doing more direct parenting than usual. I have a greater appreciation for Crystal and any other mom of young children, and I've also had a lot of fun cruising around with Clara and Lucas.

Crystal's mom got her today and we are all so excited and grateful that she's here. Will has taken right to her, at least as much as he's taken to any of us!

 So, Clara and I had a great scheme set for after dinner today. We've been telling Crystal we had a surprise for her for a couple days, and today was the day to spring it on her. We all put on our sandals and decided to enjoy the 78-degree mid-October weather with some ice cream. There is an ice cream shop less than 50 yards from our house and this was the fourth time we've ever gone. We got two-scoop sundaes (on sale for less than one-scoop cones - go figure) and walked (or, for one of us, toddled) back to the front porch to enjoy our treats.

Lucas' ice cream ended up, appropriately, all over him.And Clara enjoyed hers immensely, as well.

Will will be upset with us some day because he didn't get any. (Also, that is the first time I used his name next to the future-tense word that is exactly the same as his name. I'm sure it won't be the first time Will will hear that.)

Clara helped Lucas get his last sticky bite. And then hammed it up for the camera for a while

Then, it was clearly time for a bath. The water was dirty about 5 seconds after we plopped them in, so it was a good thing we gave them a bath.

After the bath, lotion, diapers, hairbrushing, hugs, etc., they kids were ready for bed. They love the jammies Aunt Rachael made for them!

And, they love their Momma. Both kids are still adjusting to not having as much of her time and attention right now, but Crystal is doing a great job of spreading her love and time around.

I'll post more Will pictures soon.

The Grants

Our friends Lindsey and Edwin Grant came over to visit Will and hang out (we stayed up laughing and playing for a long time, it was great!)

 They also pampered the kids with presents, taco dip, and cupcakes.

The cupcakes were obviously addressed to will, but Lucas was quick to grab a handful.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Meet Will!

Will Muhlestein was born today at 2:32 p.m.
Like his siblings, he has no middle name, and we'll let him choose his own for his 16th Birthday.
He was 7 pound 10 ounces, 20.5 inches long, and is cute as a button. Everything went well for Will and Crystal and we are so grateful he arrived safely. Here are some photos!

He is a little sweetheart, hardly even cried after he was born and then went right to cuddling with his Mama. He also loves to eat already, so he'll fit right in at our house!

Lucas is saying "cheese!" He really likes to get his picture taken.

The older siblings were so excited!

And Will got to meet his cousins Harry and Wyatt and Uncle David and Aunt Megan for the first time, too. He took right to them.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Law Graduation Speech

So, I was selected as the speaker for Honor's Convocation at law school graduation in May. I wanted to share my speech. Sorry it's taken a while.

I titled it, "A Change for the Better."

The video doesn't have all of my speech, so I started out with this story:

One morning in a Professional Responsibility class during the fall of 2009, a visiting speaker came to explain the documented increased risk for mental illness and substance abuse in attorneys and law students. He talked about the stresses we just put ourselves through for the past three years, and those which we are heading toward in future … actually starting Monday (look at watch), less than 65 hours from now, when we start studying for the bar.

After explaining the stresses on time and relationships related to legal study, the speaker asked us a question.

“With regard to what kind of person you are, who here has changed since they began law school?”

Every hand in the room shot up immediately.

Then, he asked the follow-up: “How many of you like how you’ve changed?”

(this is where the video picks up)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Stars at Night are Big and Bright...

Deep in the Heart of...

For Spring Break we decided to leave chilly Ohio and visit my brother, Joseph, in Texas. Joseph, his wife, Maren, and their son Nicholas (then about 18 months old) live in Irving (near Dallas) while Joseph is studying to be a doctor. His Spring Break was the week before ours, but we were able to get a free weekend with him and he was kind enough to study ahead so he could play with us when he wasn't in class.

We left Columbus on a Thursday night and drove, drove, drove. About an hour south of Columbus we had a mishap: Ranch dressing spilled in the car, so we had that to deal with. While Crystal was dealing with the spill, Lucas grabbed a bag of pita bread and dumped it all over himself. This caused some sort of reaction on Lucas (rash, mucusy breathing, etc.) which caused us to have to stop and get Benadryl for him. Then, Clara only slept like three hours the whole night and the next morning, as we had just gotten into the Dallas area, Clara threw up all over the car. Clara wasn't that sick, but Lucas was throw-uppy about the whole time we were there, and he was (un)kind enough to share that with Nicholas, who was sick while we were there, too.

Despite all the throwing up (and getting to watch BYU play its way to the Sweet Sixteen that week), we were able to go out and have some fun.

On Saturday morning, Clara and I went with Joseph, Maren and Nicholas, to Fort Worth's old-time stock yards, which have been refurbished into a cool tourist area. Crystal and Lucas stayed home because he was sick and she was tired from the all-night drive the night before and staying up with Lucas that night, too. (And being pregnant, but shhh! no one else knew at that point.)

Here is Clara showing off the Longhorn pen.

I love how their horns are spirally from the side.

So, like I said, they refurbished the old stock yards that had been used for years and years, but in about the 1970s it became cheaper to ship the cattle by semi-trailer rather than driving them to the stockyards and loading them on trains. Here is what the unrefurbished areas look like:

Here is what the re-done part looks like. Much nicer.

Clara and I tried to measure up to the big cows.

Twice a day they drive the herd down the road and we got to watch the cows mosy along the cobblestones. They don't run them because I think they would end up with tourist-kebabs and no one would want to go and visit.

Around the corner from the stockyards is Billy Bob's, which is the worlds largest honky-tonk. It has concert stages, a rodeo arena, tons of pool tables, a restaurant, and dance floors, all under one roof.
Oh, and the world record belt buckle.

Clara got to dance a little, under the mirror saddle (which is the Texas equivalent of a disco ball).

We had a great day Sunday, going to church and then having dinner with Joseph's classmate, Matt, who also happens to be one of Crystal's great friends from college. It is a small world.

On Monday, Joseph went to school and then we picked him up and went to the Dallas Farmers' Market. It was so fun to be in shorts and to be around all the bright, fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables. (It was snowy when we got back to Ohio).

The food looks great and so do my girls!

We then drove through downtown Dallas and got to see the cool larger-than-life statues of a cattle drive which is in front of the conference center. It is really an impressive sight.

Then, we got to have a fun cookout at a park in Irving. Joseph and Maren were very hospitable, breaking out their grill and letting us just hang out and enjoy the wonderful Spring weather.
It was a wonderful trip and so cool to see where Joseph and Maren and Nicholas and Soon-t0-be Daughter (we found out they are expecting, too, shortly after we got home).

PS - Doesn't Crystal look cute eating her mango from the Farmers' Market.