December 22, 2008

2008 Year in Pictures

I always make it a point to give Darcie a year in review - but since the picture frames are taking over our house (and since we enjoy sharing our story on the ol' blog), I thought I'd try a video this year. Many thanks to the folks at Animoto for the cool video stuff and to Steven Curtis Chapman for such a great song. Hope you enjoy the look back at such an amazing year! Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2008

Oasis

I'm basking in the glow of what is the approaching Christmas break.  I just wrapped up my 7th semester of the Forge (geeze!) and I have some serious plans to sleep for the next 3 straight weeks.  Don't blame the students - they have really been an exciting and engaging group this year.  It's just been a long fall.  Lots of life lessons, struggles, bewilderments and sleepless nights (thank you Heidi), but I've made it to the oasis of Christmas - 3 glorious weeks of finally getting the chance to process my own thoughts and get caught up on all that I've fallen behind on.

I'm also looking forward to celebrating 6 years of being married to Darcie here in a couple of weeks.  That's like 12 semesters + a lot of summer school!  It's great to see her shine as a mommy.  She loves it (and Heidi does too) and I don't think she realizes how much it makes her shine to me.  Just another bonus of having a child, I guess.  :)

Darcie and I are hoping to be able to take a short vacation for our anniversary, but a 5-month old and a 1 year old dog present quite the challenge to that endeavor.  We'd really like to go skiing - mostly because neither of us have been since high school and we have friends up in Colorado.   Hopefully we'll work something out!

I'm also sad to report that my Fantasy Football team failed to make it to the Super Bowl again this year.  It was a good season - finished up 9-5 on the year, but my players underperformed all season and I just couldn't catch a break when I needed it most.  Still so fun to play, though, and look forward to next season.

...speaking of next season...only 1 month until Lost season 5!  

December 8, 2008

4 months old!

Heidi had her 4-month checkup last week, and we can't believe how fast she's growing!  She is so much fun now, laughing and "talking" and interacting with us and her toys so much more now. One of her favorite new activities is jumping in her bouncer seat that I got at the children's consignment sale (which is one of my new favorite things... the bouncer and the sale!)  

We had a great time with families over Thanksgiving, and we're looking forward to Christmas already.  Heidi has a little cousin, Meredith, on the way - probably at the end of December, and another one due in June, so we're excited to welcome more babies to the family.  So far, there will be 4 girls and 1 unknown.  If it's a boy, he'd better look out!

video

November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving in D/FW

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Hope you all have enjoyed some extended time with your families and friends. Darice and I took Heidi to DFW for some time with both of our families. I wish we could say that we were the main attraction this time around, but, alas, Heidi is the main event - and we're just her roadies. But I'm okay with that. :)

Here are some fun pictures of the Main Event from our week in town:



























November 19, 2008

Tis the Season(s)

Or I suppose you would put "th'are" instead of "tis", but...

Darcie has had lots of fun keeping busy during the daytimes and when Matt is on trips by taking fun pics of Heidi around town and at home.  What good is it having a baby if you can't put them in silly poses and take pictures so you can embarrass them when they're older?

Heidi had her first visit to see Santa last week with her good friends Nathan (the Halloween giraffe) and Mackenna.  We actually got Santa pics at the same grocery store where the pumpkin 
pictures were taken.  What's next?  The Easter bunny?  All three kids did very well - a lot less crying than the older kids that were in line in front of us.  Heidi had on her normal "serious" face most of the time. She also got a good hold of his beard at one point and she has a good grip. We figure next year she'll be old enough to be scared of him.  

She is also learning to talk a lot more, and has gained some control of her once flailing hands, so she can grasp at things and loves bright colors.  It's a lot of fun to watch her learn.

video video

November 7, 2008

Are you smarter than these guys?

So, I was updating my fantasty football team tonight and just happened to notice these ads at the bottom of the screen. I couldn't help but laugh out loud. Can you spot the goof....and the irony? :)

November 1, 2008

Weekend Getaway

October has been a busy month for me. I was gone for 2 weeks and left Darcie and Heidi here all by themselves. So, at my first opportunity, I wanted to treat Darcie to a special weekend just to say thanks for taking care of Heidi all by herself those weeks and for making it possible for me to do the things I love to do. So, here's a fun little recap of our adventures in Dallas this weekend!

First priority: ditch Heidi. We love our daughter, but she wouldn't make for a very nice evening for the two of us. Fortunately for us, my parents live in Plano and were more than excited to watch her for the evening.

After dropping her off, we headed straight for our favorite restaurant: Del Frisco's. We used to go there once a year for our anniversary, but since Tyler is fairly slim on classy places to take your wife to tell her you love her - we have to make do with our occasional visits now. Nevertheless, it is the BEST steakhouse anywhere. Really. I'm not just exaggerating. It really is that good. I mean, just check out the onion rings - if the onion rings look this good - can you imagine how amazing my steak was? Anyway, I could go on...


After stuffing ourselves we headed Uptown for the David Wilcox concert. Now, the weird thing is that the concert was held at Bend Studio - a yoga studio by day and a concert venue by night. I was a little skeptical when I saw that's where he was playing, but it was our only chance to catch him, so I had to give it a shot. It actually made for a very nice atmosphere for the concert. There were only about 80 people there, it felt like we were sitting in his living room and it provided us with the opportunity to meet and speak with him at the end of the show! Very cool place. Would definitely see a concert there again.


The concert itself was fantastic. Dave played all of the favorites along with a few new songs that he's been working on. It was a treat for me to be able to see him again, but it was Darcie's first time, so she was excited to be able to put a name with the face - even if he was wearing an Obama/Biden t-shirt. Perhaps one of the best moments of the evening was when he decided to play one of his most popular songs, "Waffle House", as an encore. First he had to teach himself the chords again and then couldn't remember all the words! So, he brings up an audience member who gets to sing along with him the words to a perfect song to sing on Halloween. It was a great time. If you aren't familiar with David or his music, here's a youtube video of "Perfect Storm" - a good song for these tough times.

Upon arriving back at the hotel (Homewood Suites by Hilton - a very nice and affordable place to stay), we caught Heidi watching a show she shouldn't have been watching. See for yourself:
video


The next morning we had breakfast with Nana, Pops & Jodie before heading back to Tyler. And to top-off the weekend I saw something I thought I would never see again in my lifetime: gas below $2 a gallon. Unbelievable.















So, all in all, a great little getaway for our family!

October 24, 2008

Heidi-O-Lantern

So, Darcie took Heidi to a pumpkin patch and the results were just way too good not to put up on here. I know, we're shameless and post about nothing other than our daughter, but, hey, when she's this cute - can you blame us? Seriosuly, if these pictures don't make you say, "Awww", you should seek professional help as soon as you possibly can.


"Hey, mom...this costume fits pretty good...'cept how big does a girl's head gotta be for this hood thing to fit?"







Nate:  "Yo, girl.  What's up?"

Heidi:  "MaaaaaauuuuM!  Quit with the pictures!"







Heidi:  "Did someone say food?!"

Nate:  "Naw, they're just trying to get you to be cute.  Don't buy it.  Besides, girl, you need to lay off the milk - know what I'm sayin?  Those cheeks are out of control, girlfriend."

October 18, 2008

Busted!

We caught Heidi trying to set up her own Facebook account yesterday.  We had to have a long talk about the dangers of 11-week old girls setting up profiles on Facebook.  Who knows what other infants could be out there, right?

Fortunately, Heidi was very understanding.  :)

October 7, 2008

Keepin' busy

Let me first say, if you haven't read the Ode to Cinco below, start there first. Matt has written a lovely epic poem in celebration of Cinco's first birthday.

This week, Matt is with the Forge students on a trip, so Heidi and I are trying all kinds of new things to keep us busy. She didn't used to like the baby 'backpack' because she had to face in and look at my shirt, but now that she can hold her head up better, she can face out and she seems to like it. Back where she started, hanging around on (luckily not in) mommy's tummy!

We have also learned that Heidi really looks up to her daddy! :-) At her 2-month appointment, she weighed 10 1/2 pounds, up from 6lbs, 10oz at 2 weeks, and as you can tell, most of it has gone to her cheeks and her chin, causing her lack of neck.

I've been taking short videos to send to daddy this week, so here's one of the latest. She's a pretty smiley one, and has discovered her hands and how to suck on them. Keeps her busy when the pacifier falls out. We're lovin' life. She's a cutie... and she only woke up once last night!

video

October 3, 2008

Cinco: Uno

Well, Darcie has just about taken over this blog, so I figured I better chime in with something blog-worthy of my own.  

Just to bring everyone up to date on things with me:
1.  The Forge students are doing great.  We go on our first official trip on Monday and we're all pretty excited about being gone for a week (except me, really...who would want to leave the two most beautiful girls I know for that long?  I must be crazy).
2.  The Forge website has been updated and enhanced - WAY cooler now.  Check it out.
3.  My fantasy football team has recovered from a dismal week 1 loss to go on a 3 game win streak.  Brandon Marshall and Gregg Jennings are good starters this year - and I got em both!
4.  Darcie and I are both trying to lose our baby weight and have started the Body for Life diet.  We just finished our second week and, I must say, I really like this eating/exercise plan.  Especially the days off when I get to have ice cream.   :)
5.  I caved in and bought an iPhone last month.  Pine Cove was re-doing its cell phone policy and gave us the option of buying our own phones.  I was wanting a larger iPod anyway - and, well, I must say I really do like it.  It's not just trendy and fun anymore - I really find it more useful than my other smart phone.  

That's about it for me right now.  But the real reason for the season is that our doggy, Cinco, turns one this weekend!  For those of you who don't know, his birthday is the 5th of October.  We got him on our 5th anniversary.  We thought Cinco would be a fun name for him.  

Here is a little ode to my dog on his first birthday:    


Cinco, the German long hair,
came home in October 07
with a soft brown coat
and yellow eyes that could coax
your heart in under a second.





Cute he was that first week or two
while we played in the yard with his ball,
but soon we would see
this precocious puppy
was not so calm after all.





We built him a house, bought him some toys,
and trained him the way he should go,
but he dug holes in the sand,
barked, nipped, whined and...man!
even disobeyed when we'd tell him, "No!"





Don't get me wrong, I'm not all that mad -
even when he lets out a toot;
He loves to play
makes you laugh and say,
"Cinco, it's a good thing you're cute."







When he's tired - he's cute and, really, quite snuggly
and never needs a tap from the whomper.
But he eats trash of all kinds
(even the kitchen window blinds!)
so now we call him, "the chomper."






For all his faults - and even rough edges
Cinco really has taught us a lot.
How else could we be
so ready for Heidi
were it not for the lessons he's taught?

September 26, 2008

Heidi and Friends

Heidi and her friend Nathan had their first real visit together this week. Nathan's mom and I took classes together at the hospital (along with another couple) and we also know them all from Pine Cove, and we've been keeping up with each other ever since - sharing baby stories and advice. We'll take all we can get! It's been so great to have other moms who are in the same stage as us. Nathan is just 2 weeks older than Heidi, so I get all the hand-me-down advice on what to do each week. I love it!

Nana and Pops are coming to visit tomorrow and we're really excited. Heidi is so much fun now, smiling and making fun noises. Can't wait for the next stage, whatever it holds!

September 20, 2008

For the grandparents...

video

So, for Nana and Pops, and DeeDee and Grandpa, we thought we'd try a video. Might take a while to load. :-) She's so smart... she's learning how to talk already!

September 15, 2008

God is good, I love the fall!

I know it's not actually Fall yet, but with the leftovers of Ike still in town, the weather here is beautiful! It's not humid, and it's in the 70's! I think Fall is my favorite season.
This morning, Heidi and I went for a walk in the cool weather. here's the play by play...
Leave the house. Run into our neighbor's mom who is in town escaping bad weather in South Texas. We chat for a while and she tells me she's been enjoying the large swing that hangs in our front yard from a tree. I tell her to go right ahead - that's what it's for!

She's super nice.
Head up the road a couple of houses, to find 3 adult horses and a
new baby horse running through our other neighbor's front yard. They are beautiful! They stop to watch us roll by.

Walk up the road a bit before turning around to make a circle. A yellow and black butterfly flitters in front of us on our way back.
Nearing the house a brownish black bird and a yellowish bird decide to dive bomb straight for the stroller - one goes to the left and one to the right, just a few inches from us.
We get back to the house and Heidi is soundly asleep in her stroller, where she stays while I start picking up around the house.
Now, I know not every day in parenting will be like this one, but I'll stop and be thankful for the days that are. Heidi is in her crib playing and listening to lullabies while I have a moment to myself on the computer.
Life is good. God is good.








September 11, 2008

Forge, Football, Family & Ike

The big news of the week has been the arrival of the Forge class of 2009!  This year we have 10 guys and 6 girls in the program.  They moved in last weekend and are off to a great start.  Darcie and I love getting to know the new students each year and look forward to getting to know them in the coming weeks and months. 


The first weekend in the month of September also means the beginning of football season - which also marks the beginning of the fantasy football season as well!  :)  I made sure to introduce Heidi to the insanity so that she'll be able to talk sports with her daddy when she grows up.  Incidentally, my fantasy football team did horribly this past week - no thanks to the game that Heidi and I were watching here.  Thanks a lot Steven Jackson.  

The weather around here has been nice the past few days, so we decided to take the whole family for a walk.  We ventured out up our little county road and as we were walking with the sun behind us, I thought it made for a cool picture of our family:  Darcie, Me, Heidi and Cinco.  Awww.  







And, finally, our weekend wouldn't be complete without the impending doom of yet another hurricane.  Gustav was a total no show for us - threatening with 15" of rain and we barely got a sprinkle.  Ike seems to be much more unavoidable for the Tyler area, so we'll see how it goes.  We're supposed to get the worst of it Saturday afternoon.

That's all for now! 



September 5, 2008

One month old!

We finally got around to taking some official photos. Our friend Carrie graciously donated her camera skills and an hour or two to be the baby paparazzi for Heidi.

We're biased, but she's the cutest!

September 1, 2008

Labor Dabor

Well, here's to another Labor Dabor. It's been a nice, enjoyable calm weekend before the storm - quite literally in more than just one way. The remnants of Gustav are fast approaching the Tyler area and our weather forcasters are freaking out about 6-15" of rain that could fall in the next few days. I'm skeptical, but we'll see. The other storm fast approaching is my next class of Forge students. They will be here on Saturday. All 16 of them! Hard to believe this will be our fourth class of students and we already have 40 alumni. We're excited though - it will be a great year.

This weekend was also my dad's birthday weekend. So, instead of them coming out to see us, we decided to give Heidi her first try at a road trip. She did pretty good! We made it out to Plano and enjoyed celebrating my Dad's last year as a pentagenarian - complete with Nintendo Wii. This was my first chance to ever box my dad (I won by the way). Too bad it wasn't Festivus. :) It was great to get out of the house and see the family one more time before things get busy again. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Wednesday was Heidi's 4-week birthday! She's a month old already. We call her "Chubs" now because her cheeks are exploding off her face! Seriously, she's all cheek. She's doing great, though. Darice has done a great job of getting her on a schedule and is figuring out her new life at home with her girl. Daddy tries to get her out of the house as much as he can. That's really the substance of our lives right now. It's not much, but we love it and give thanks for all of the gifts that God has given us.

August 24, 2008

Being a parent is pretty fun . . .

So now that Heidi has existed for over 3 weeks now, we're starting to get the question, "So, you guys still like this gig?" We do. We really like being parents. We realize it's relatively easy right now - but it's so fun. She's our own source of entertainment. The Olympics have taken a back seat to just sitting around in the living room watching our daughter. She's pretty cute. Don't believe me? How about these pictures . . .










Here she is on her changing table. We discovered (by accident) that if we put the mirror from her papasan chair on the table with her, it totally changes the experience.










C'mon, yall got to create a caption for this picture. We thought this was hilarious. This was her first bath in the real tub - and her first expression when placed in the water. So cute!

Not to be outdone, we've also been busy at our rent house next door. We've always known our kitchen was booty ugly and our poor tenants have been living there for a year in the worlds smallest and most inconvenient kitchen. Really, look how bad it was:










We hired one of our friends to fix it up for the girls that live there now and install a dishwasher so they could move into the 20th century. He obliged and did a fantastic job. Just look at the difference:










That's all from the homefront! Hope all of you are well! Thanks so much for thinking of us and praying for us over the past month. We have really appreciated it. We'll continue to keep you posted not just on Heidi's developments, but also on the next class of Forge students that will arrive in a short 2 weeks! Amazing that it's time for fall already. . .

August 13, 2008

Two-Weeks and 28 Years

Heidi had her two-week appointment today and everything looked great. She is back up to her birth weight of 6lbs 10oz, so still very tiny but gaining every day. Mommy wants her to have those chubby thighs, so that's the goal! Right now she is in the 5% for weight so we have a lot of work to do. :-)

We also took pictures of her today for her 2-week birthday. The first photo here is of Darcie at 2 weeks, wearing a cute little white dress. Darcie's mom saved the dress for 28 years, so we put Heidi in it to do a quick comparison and photo shoot. What do you think? We think she looks like Darcie with a hint of Lantz - just as it should be!

You can't deny it, she's a pretty cute baby, especially when she's smiling like this. She really is a good baby - she is already on a 2.5 - 3 hour schedule and getting better at sleeping at night and being awake during the day. We are really lucky.
More to come soon, I'm sure! Matt has been sick this week, so we're learning to parent without transferring germs. :-)




August 7, 2008

They Grow Up So Fast...

Well, we celebrated Heidi's one-week birthday yesterday... and by celebrated, I mean we took a few photos. We had high hopes of doing some 'professional' shots of all her different fun faces with a nice background, but the face that kept showing up was the cry-face - imagine that - so we settled for what we could get! She's got some cute ones, including the very thoughtful face, the serious face, the just-after-i-ate happy face...

We're having fun trying to learn to interpret her many faces, and her cries too. I think we've figured out a few, but I'm sure there are many more we'll come across in the coming weeks.

The other big news is that we took Heidi for her first doctor's appointment at the pediatrician's on Monday - her first outing! She did great and everything looked normal. Our pediatrician is great, very personable and you can tell he loves kids. He's also an Aggie, so that helps!

If you are a fan of Seinfeld and his stand-up routines, we took a picture of Heidi at the doctor's office as a tribute and touched it up a bit... see here. :-)






August 1, 2008

Pictures Galore

Heidi Katharine Lantz
Okay, you guys want pictures? We got pictures. ....this is only the beginning. :)

Heidi's Story

For those of you we haven't gotten to talk to about Heidi's birthday, we thought we'd put the whole story up here for you guys to read - then we can tell you about the details when you get to meet her!

For us, the excitment began early Wednesday morning. Darcie was awake at about 12:30am after only being asleep for an hour or so. She started having some contractions, but was sweet enough to let me sleep. I was startled awake by one around 1:30, so we decided we better start keeping track.

The contractions intensified so that by 6:30am we called the doctor and he told us to go ahead and come on in to the hospital. Once we got there, the nurse took her time checking Darice in because, as she later told us, she didn't think she was that far along because she was managing the pain so well. But, when she checked her she said, "Oh, my! You're at a 4.5 - we'd better get you guys a room!"

The contractions continued to increase in frequency and duration. By around 11am, she was dialated to a 6 and made the decision to go ahead and get an epidural - a decision she says, "I'd do it again!" She loved it. After that, the OB decided to go ahead and break her water to move things along. We were all expecting a baby before dinner.

We waited, and waited, and waited, but Heidi just wasn't ready to come yet. So, since I was no longer coaching Darcie through the pain - we just played cards and watched TV as our poor parents sat forever out in the lobby waiting for news.

Finally, around 7pm, Darice was at a 10 and the Dr. wanted her to start pushing just to see how well she could move the baby. After a few practice runs, they decided to tell her to start pushing for real and by 8:05, Heidi was here!

We didn't get to bed that night until 3am Thursday morning -but Heidi was sweet and let us sleep in till 6:30. We entertained lots of friends and family yesterday that came to meet her and we are heading home from the hospital this morning to introduce her to her new home!

Thank you all so much for your prayers, notes of encouragement, for checking up with us and for coming to visit. We've felt so loved through this process by all of you and treasure your friendship. For those of you who haven't gotten the chance to meet her, we're eager to introduce her to you!

Heidi Katharine means "the noble, pure one". We'd like for her bedtime stories to revolve around her two names, so if you come across any good ones - let us know!

Once we get home, we'll post lots more pictures for you guys to see!

Join us in giving great thanks and praise to God for His indescribable gift!

July 31, 2008

July 30, 2008

Multimedia message

Heidi Katharine Lantz is Here!

Here she is! Mom and baby are happy & healthy! 6lbs 10oz 19" long born at 8:05pm on 7.30.08. more to come!