The Big 1

Banner made by Claire's "Grandma" Becca. Isn't it fabulous?

It is mind blowing  that an entire year has already passed since we brought home our baby girl from the hospital. It has been the best and the fastest year of our lives.  (hopefully the feelings are mutual, little lady.)

   It's so crazy how much they change.

We originally planned on her1st  birthday party being a low-key and intimate affair. But 24 adults and 11 children later, we had a pretty sizable celebration at hand.


This is Claire's baby book that I took apart for a decoration. They are big envelopes that I put pictures from each month inside of and then on the back of each one there is space for me to write her stats and milestones for each  month.  I love it!

I'm not a crafty person by nature but have somehow always manged to surround myself with friends that are. Thank goodness for them and for Etsy. One of my best friends is a very talented sewer and she designed a dress that she named the "Claire" dress, inspired by you know who. It is so perfect and fitting for her. You should get one too.

 I think it is an unwritten rule in the book of motherhood that children's birthday cakes are supposed to be homemade. While I might lack in the craftiness area, I can usually compensate in the culinary sector. Except for when I am making a giant cupcake, apparently.  I ended up making this cake, not once, not twice but three TIMES before I finally got it right. The bottom would turn out okay but the top was super tricky with timing and temperature. But I was grossly determined to make it  happen and was not willing to accept defeat and purchase one. You know, because Claire would have totally known the difference and would have looked back at her party pictures in 20 years and wonder why I was so lame. Why are mothers so crazy?

Needless to say it turned out and I think she liked it. 

She loved opening presents. Or should I say she loved watching us open her presents. We have put a few of them in the closet so she doesn't bored too fast. Would it be horrible if we gave some of them to her for Christmas? What's the rule on re-gifting to your own children? 

We had a great time celebrating Claire's big day. We will really miss not having family and close friends to celebrate with when we move to Georgia. Here's to another wonderful year Claire Bear!


First Year Slideshow

Enjoy a quick 2 minute recap of Claire's first year.  This silly girl is such a joy in our our lives and it is so bittersweet to watch her grow up.  We love you, baby girl!



Halloween is way more fun with cousins!

"Brothers" Weekend

I can't imagine the mischief, silliness  and craziness that would come with raising four sons that are all two years apart. Surely my mother-in-law must have constantly had her hands full and her patience tested to the max.  I can see why she took a five year break before she had two daughters. I would likely be certifiable if this was my lot. Yet, when I see old pictures of Niels and his brothers, I can't help but to think how much fun these boys must have had growing-up together.     

Poor Niels
One of these skin tones is not like the others.

The Silly Side 
The Serious Side
Today, they are spread out all over the U.S of A so they obviously don't see each other that much. So they decided to plan their first-ever boys trip in August. The plan was to meet back east but Hurricane Irene royally thwarted that idea. So plan B was planned and executed and they all met in Provo for the BYU v Utah game in September. As luck would have it, it was the absolute worst game of the season. But alas, they still had a good weekend.

What was intended to be a brothers trip quickly evolved into a mini family reunion. Niels' mom happened to be visiting from Germany, and once his dad and step-mom heard that all the siblings were going to be together (with the exception of one daughter serving a mission in Chili) it was a no-brainer to make the trip from Reno. And then there's me and Claire who decided to hop in the car last minute  and crash brother's weekend too.

Family dinner at Tucanos!

Volleyball is a pretty standard activity at most Jensen gatherings. But this isn't your ordinary picnic volleyball.  They are all very good and slightly competitive which makes it pretty amusing to watch.

                     The brothers and their sister, Sarah

And what's a boy trip without any toys? Or an entire arsenal for that matter.

It was a quick trip but they seemed to pack in a lot of great stuff.  Thanks for letting us share your weekend with you!


Moving for Dummies

A lot of people have been asking me lately about how I feel about our big upcoming move to Georgia. To be honest, it's still pretty surreal to me because it seems so far away. I can say, "We're moving to Augusta," like it's a programmed response. But I say it without really considering everything that really encompasses. But then I also have days when suppressed reality surfaces and my type A genes kick in full blast and suddenly all the hairy logistics of moving, coupled with the thought of reinvention in a new place (after just getting settled here) begin to mimic minor IBS-like symptoms.

On one such day last month I figured I would ease some anxiety by making some calls to a variety of moving companies to gather quotes. It seemed to be a pretty logical and responsible thing to do to start mentally planning financially. In other words, I needed to know how much to cut back at Target and Amazon. Well who knew that Little Miss Planny Pants here would be practically laughed to scorn?

So I suppose my calls maybe did sound a little ridiculous after all:

"And when is your moving date, Mam?" 


"2012, Mam?"


Awkward silence ensued on every call as each rep conjured up the nicest way in their heart to tell me that I'm basically crazy and to try back again next year. 

I suppose I will have to be patient. But in the meantime, if any of ye have wisdom to shed on two young novices in regards to moving cross-country, we would love to hear your two-cents. Perhaps you have an opinion about the different options (pods, hiring movers, shipping cars, Uhaul, etc.) ... or you know a thing or two that we might not consider. Either way, thank you in advance.



While Niels was jetsetting the U.S. for 9 days interviewing for residency programs, me and the little lady decided to take a quick trip to Reno to visit Aunt Jessica. Sadly, I somehow managed to delete about 20 great pictures from our adventure whilst uploading them to Picasa. I don't even want to talk about it. Pictures are such treasures to me and I was really upset about it. BUT, the silver lining here is that I had emailed a handful of them to Niels while we were apart so he could get his daily pixie fix.

She was just a little excited about the whole airport/flying thing.


She loved playing with her cousins!

Niels' dad and stepmother live in Reno as well so we stopped in for a quick visit with the grandparents.


Fish out of Water

Claire had never seen a splash pad before and we figured she would be scared since she cant walk/run and play in it. So we decided we'd just get her feet wet real quick.

That was until she wanted to get her hands wet ...

And her clothes wet ...

We of course were not prepared with a change of clothes or diaper. But it was totally worth it.

Needless to say the splash pad has become a common outing in our weekly repertoire.

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Georgia on my mind

It looks like we are packing our boxes next summer and heading down south for a few years. Niels decided he loves school so much that he wanted to specialize. So he will begin a 3-year residency in periodontics next July at the Medical College of Georgia, located in Augusta.

Our big decision came down to Georgia or Oklahoma City, and to me it felt like we had to choose between Mars or Jupiter. I know little about both places and have never been to either. So I basically told Niels to take us where he would have the best training and where we would be happiest. No pressure, honey.

Albeit very far away from family and friends, we are excited for the next chapter in our "student years" journey.  So far I hear Georgia is beautiful and the people are very friendly. I'll be honest I'm slightly nervous to be in right in the thick of the Bible belt. But I think me and the southern belles will jive just fine. Anytime I get too worried about it all, I just look at Claire and think about her calling me momma with a nice heavy accent.

One of the best perks about  living in Vegas is that so many people are always stopping through from/to California and Utah so we always get a fair share of company. I'm pretty sure nobody will just be stopping through Augusta, but please know that the door and the white picket fence will always be open if you are ever looking for some good ol' southern hospitality.



It’s been a few months since the last update on the pixie chubbs. Needless to say she has become a completely different baby in the last few months. She is so fun right now and we are loving how she is starting to understand, react and communicate in her own little expressive way.

It’s interesting how we think every new little stage of hers is our favorite . That is until she hits the next stage and we fall in love all over again. Yep, we are still smitten. I actually worry sometimes about having child #2. This sounds awful, but there are days where I have anxiety about having another baby because I can’t imagine loving another child as much as Claire. Yet, at the same time I of course know that I want more children. I guess it will all work out and my heart will grow or something. I hope some of you veteran parents have felt this way before or perhaps I am a heartless matron.

Dear # 2, 

Sorry in advance.

Love, Mom 

Anyway, back to # 1. She is crawling and cruising all over the place and is days away from taking her first steps. We aren’t encouraging that too much, because she is wild and we know she is going to be all over the place. Also, I feel like once babies are walking, they aren’t your babies anymore. And that would mean it’s time for # 2 and you know how I feel about that (see above). 

People say she is a nice mix looks-wise of me and Niels. We still don't see a ton of resemblance on either part. Although, one day I was about to claim some of her features... until the lady at story time asked me if I was her nanny. 

I still can’t get over how brown she is. I slather her in 200 SPF, she wears a sun hat and sits in a canopy pool float and she is still somehow glitz-pageant bronze. The best part about it all is folding back all her leg rolls and seeing white inside. 

Her newest bag of tricks include: clapping, waving like Miss America, covering her eyes and “hiding” when asked “Where’s Claire?", standing/balancing for long periods of time. 

Current favorite pastimes: books, swings, big dogs, dad & anything involving water.

And we're back

Here we go again with another earnest effort to keep up in the blogosphere. Letting myself go, letting the blog go. It’s all Claire’s fault. (I love pulling the baby card. It works every time.) I’m excited to be back with the latest Jensen happenings. More to come very soon ... but if the suspense is killing you please be advised of the following: Things are great. Life is good. Claire is ridiculously fantastic. More meat to come on those bones.


Dad is hysterical

Claire thinks Niels is the funniest thing alive. Don't mind her post nap crazy hair and runny nose.


Camera Shy

It is crazy how much Claire has changed in six months. As much as I would like to have her pictures taken every month, we settled on getting them done for her first year at newborn, 6 months and one year.

Basically I provided the cute baby and my friends from high school provided all the talent. She is an amazing photographer, and she makes the adorable headbands.

Ya, we still kind of like her. Lots.