Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Too long needing an update!!!

Hello from Ripon!!!! We can't believe how long it has been since our last post, but we have officially made it up north and have moved in to our new place. It is definitely an adjustment but we are slowly getting accustomed to our new life up here. Annika likes the extra space to roam, she has found the stairs a new adventure and loves seeing her cousins almost everyday. More on our move later, now we need to catch up on the last 4 weeks!

Thanksgiving was our first in SD and we spent it and Jon and Ang's house. It was a great time and Sienna and Annika made it through most of the day. Ryan and BJ schooled Jon and me in corn hole, really just me and Jon had to endure it. Corn hole is one thing I will not miss about SD.

Annika had some hard days adjusting to her house being boxed up, but she also got into the spirit of it as well. The day we moved out Tatum took her to the park for two hours and when she came back, all her furniture was gone. She looked around and started to cry because none of her stuff was there! Proof we are creatures of habit.

One of the coolest things Kara did with Annika was take her to Glenner, an Alzheimer's day center that Kara worked at during nursing school. Every week Annika would hang out with the group and they all would light up. One man in particular was always pretty grumpy but would light up when Annika showed up.

So this is my tball shirt from when I was 4 years old. It is a little big but she fits!

So we left SD on Saturday the 5th and moved our stuff into the garage of our house on the 8th. We couldn't move in until the 19th so we took the time for a family vacation to the coast at Kara's parent's place in Pebble Beach. Her parents came down for 2 days to bring her cousin from out of town. We love Pebble, the weather, the peace and quiet, the golf, Carmel, coffee at Il Fornaio by the fireplace, the bag piper at sunset at Spanish Bay... needless to say it was a great vacation, and the first for us as a family of three!

We went to Los Lobos state park one day, it is just south of Carmel. We walked about a mile in and after about 30 minutes of being there the rain and wind caught up with us. A brisk walk back in the wind and a short drive with some visitors from Colorado made it a memorable day, and thankfully Kara didn't kill me for convincing her not to bring another blanket on the walk. Always trust a mother's intuition!

You can't really see it from this picture, but the coastline across from here is the 18th Hole of Pebble Beach. Beautiful!

Another day we went to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. Annika enjoyed it but it probably will be more enjoyable for her in another few months, which is cool because Kara's parents got us passes for the year for Christmas. We look forward to coming back, especially with Ethan and Morgan.

At the park in Dublin, we spent a few days with my parents before moving in.

"I luv medicine."

Annika has become a great traveler. As long as music is playing in the car she is happy.

I went to give Annika a bath one night at Kara's parent's house. I told Ethan what I was doing and before I could grab Annika Ethan was already in the tub. It was the first time I bathed three kids by myself, but it worked and Ethan kept the girls in line. They all had a fun time.

Annika's first Christmas present. She didn't really get into this one, but by the fourth or fifth present over a few day period she figured out how presents work. I was proud of Kara's wrapping job personally.

Annika's first gift. She figured it out more after this... I promise!

Ok that's it, thanks for being patient and reading all the way through. For those of you in SD, we definitely miss you, and probably will more so in the upcoming weeks as the holidays come to an end. With that said, even though it isn't always easy, we know each day that being up here is the right thing for us. Happy New Year to everyone, we hope you all have had a great holiday season!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Found Art Party

During this stage of life we find ourselves each year celebrating fewer weddings and more babies. Last month we were privileged to celebrate in a birth of different sorts, the release of Leeana Tankersley's book, Found Art.

The book was released in November and is a memoir of the first year of Steve and Leeana's marriage which they spent in Bahrain as Steve was deployed with the Navy. It focuses on the tough lessons learned, the areas of her life (which we all have) that were exposed during that year, and the way in which God transformed her in that desert oasis.

Two separate thoughts stand out to me about Leeana's book. The first is the process Leeana went through to write it. I would often times see Leeana during the day as Steve and I were working together a lot during this time, and I can say the process she went through was grueling. The idea of writing a memoir is terrifying enough, yet to have an outside third party rip revisions to shreds and tell you to tell your life story differently... all I can say is she handled that experience better than I ever would. We often ask her which was worse, birthing the book or the twins... it is usually a toss up. Her perseverance, dedication, and commitment to the process is truly something that will always speak of Leeana's character.

Then her book was released, and I have to admit, as a friend it is a little unnerving opening your friend's work and being able to read the final print. Yet in true Leeana fashion, her blend of wit, self humor, introspection, and vulnerability are a delight to read and speaks of who she is. The conclusions she comes to about life, God, and our relationship with him are profound and applicable.

Kara and I both recommend purchasing a copy (yes, even a woman's memoir is a solid read for a guy), and the link for the book on Amazon is below. You can also check out her blog, Gypsy Ink ( where her latest post is about Kara, and always gets me choked up when I read it.

Lee, thanks for allowing us to celebrate the birth of your book with you! We love you!

EJ, KJ, and AJ

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Proof Lehman will be a great dad to a girl!!!

Eric and Tatum found out they are going to be parents of a baby girl, and we know for most new dads the thought of having a girl first causes a little panic (I know it did for me!). Things like boyfriends, dates, the teenage years, all become frightening in a single moment. For me, the first thought that got me excited was the thought of walking my daughter down the aisle someday. Now, I could have all girls and be totally happy.

Anyways, last weekend Eric and Tatum came over to help us pack, Eric was often given the duty of taking care of Annika so we could focus on other things. As the video shows, his daughter will be in good hands.

A final word of wisdom on having a girl first, from 6th grader Ashley Hammett: (rough paraphrase, I won't do the original justice) "It is much better to have a girl first because a girl will help you take care of the other kids and do things around the house. Boys aren't very good at those things."

Touche Ashely, touche.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Most of you know by now that Eric, Annika and I will be moving to Northern California in a couple of weeks...A COUPLE OF WEEKS...I can't believe I'm saying that already!

Eric and I have been talking about moving since before we even got married (we are both nor cal people...its in our blood), but we have stayed down here in SD due to our amazing community of friends who have now become family to us.

I have dreaded writing this post and have put it off for some time now because it is just so sad to say goodbye to everyone here.


The lasts have started. They started a while ago, but I didn't really want to acknowledge them for fear the floodgates would open...they have. So I guess its time to talk about goodbyes.

A couple of weeks ago we sat down around our dining room table for our last dinner with the Tanks. We will so miss our family dinners with them. You two have been such a support to Eric and me and we are forever grateful for your friendship. Being that Annika is going to marry their son Luke, I know we will forever be connected.

Eric and I both had our last official growth group meetings. These groups have been a lifeline to us. You are irreplaceable...not even gonna try.

This weekend we had our last night with the Swifts. Jeremy and Audi have become such amazing friends, have stood by us through hard times and have been so generous to us and AJ (swim classes will be something we will forever hold dear).

Last night we had our last game of pinochle with the Lehmans...words cannot express how much we will miss you. You have been Annika's auntie and uncle here in San Diego and have truly become family to me and Eric. You guys are a constant for us here...seeing you every day at the gym and knowing that you are always there for us...we will miss you. (a sigh and a tear...)

We are anticipating a few more lasts in the next couple of weeks that will be very hard to swallow...

-our last church service at Flood Church. What an amazing church family you have been. We wish we could take you all up to nor cal with us.

-our last workout at Crossfit Flood. These are the people we see most in San Diego. Every day at 4 p.m. we get together for some shared suffering...its amazing how close you become to those you suffer with. Whats the word for that Matt? Luminality?

-our last playdate at the park with Audi and Harper, Aj's best little girlfriend. We are going to miss you guys so much!

Though moving is always tough it also forces you to be more intentional with relationships and Eric and I have seen our friendships here deepen over the past few months. We have shared great moments with so many of you...the wasmuths, the jacksons (x 2), angelee, the browns, rachael, jamie, mike, chelsea...the list goes on and on...Thank you for making it hard for us to leave.

Our door is always open to anyone looking to get away for a weekend. Please come visit us...Lord willing we will also be visiting you down here frequently.

We love you all!
Eric, Kara and Annika

Here are a few pictures from the past few weeks with all of you!

Best buds AJ and Harper at the zoo.

Last Growth Group night

Toronado Pub with the Lehmans

Day in Julian with the ladies. AJ and Rachael

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Helping Around the House and more at the Park

So, lately Annika has taken interest in helping around the house with everything. You can't have the dishwasher open for more than 5 second without a second set of hands to help. Washing clothes really means playing in clothes piles (and we realized with this photo also moving the detergent, Baby Proofing 2.0, here we come).

A daily routine for Kara and Annika is going to the park down the street. Annika loves seeing the other kids there and is wanting to be as big as they are and climb on everything. She used to be a little timid of the swings and now loves them, we are working on the slides now.

I love this sequence as it truly illustrates our daughter's personality. "I will pose for a smile, but you better make it quick, because I don't want to sit in one place too long!" I know Kara is loving this time with her before she starts work in January, but she is also a saint for the amount of time she spends with Annika, chasing her around. I have one amazing wife!

Annika is getting much better at standing without any support. If we can distract her she can last 10-15 seconds before realizing she is standing and might need a little extra help.

Usually on the weekends the girls let me join them to the park. Annika loves playing patty cake and now anticipates tossing the cake in the oven, it always comes with a smile.

As much as we love this stage, the one downside is her hair is a perfect boy's length. Even when we dress her in pink, men still call her a boy. C'mon, really? Every once in awhile now she will give a look and it reminds me of my baby pics, but most of the time she still reminds me of her mom (thankfully)!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

"Mom, what are you doing to me?" Annika wasn't so sure of her fairy costume at first, but as soon as she saw herself in the mirror she was thrilled.

Our adorable little fairy...thanks to Katie E who let us borrow Merrideth's outfit from last year!

Here are the "triplets" at a Halloween party. Our friend Kristy threw a party and set up this adorable backdrop so that we could get some cute pictures with the little ones. I didn't get a lot of good ones, but you can check out here blog to see more. ( As you can see there was quite a baby boom among our friends down here....thats only half the kids that were there!

"Mama I'm done."

We spent an afternoon/evening with our friends the Eatons carving pumpkins...we used to get to see Seth and Katie and their kids a lot more, but now that we have Annika its a bit more difficult to get together. We had a blast with them and its so fun to have aj around other kids. She loves watching them and trying to chase after them.

The finished product. No we're not that artistic...we traced that from a pattern book.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Swim lessons

Our friends Jeremy and Audi gifted us with swimming lessons for Annika this fall. Audi and I have been taking Harper and Annika to "Bubbles" swim school twice a week for the past 6 weeks. They have come so far and gotten so brave in the water...they know how to hold their breath under water and are learning to turn over onto their backs and float. Audi and I have had a blast watching the girls in their first "classroom" environment.
The girls got to ride in the boat and go down the slide during their last lesson. Annika pretty much wears a permanent smile on her face during the lessons. She doesn't like floating on her back, but other than that she does great in the water. When I was little I hated floating on my back as well. I remember throwing fits at my swim lessons because I didn't want to do it. However, a few years later when I was on the Ripon swim team the Backstroke was my favorite. I remember looking for those flags as a little girl and getting so excited knowing that I was almost done.
They put these little "wetsuits" on the girls to make them more buoyant. The suits make them look so grown up. Eric and Jeremy got to come to the girls' last lesson. You could tell that the girls loved having their daddies there. They were showing off a little more than they normally do...lots of giggles...